Best Movies of the 1990s
Here are our picks for the best 90s films!
Honorable Mention: Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day is one of the funniest, most romantic, and dramatic films of the decade. It features Bill Murray's best performance as he's able to play a cynical, self-absorbed weather man who learns to love others more than himself while still having fun and showing off his comedic side. Andie MacDowell is also excellent as his rival-turned-love-interest and the two make the most of their complicated relationship. It's a well-written film from Harold Ramis that features a trippy time-travel story and unexpected romance.
10. The Truman Show
This prophetic film from Peter Weir is about a man who grows up living his life completely unaware that he is the star of the world's most popular reality television show. It's got Jim Carrey's at his absolute best playing the paranoid Truman as he tries to discover what the truth is bringing pathos playing the part of a man who's entire life has been manipulated by the creator of the series played brilliantly by Ed Harris. It's totally hilarious, has a great script by Andrew Niccol, and remains extremely emotionally moving and engaging.
9. The Shawshank Redemption
Frank Darabont's prison movie masterpiece is the gold standard by which all others film in the sub-genre are judged. Tim Robbins delivers a magnetic performance alongside Morgan Freeman in his greatest role as two inmates who strive for freedom. This is a powerful and touching story of the resilience of the human spirit.
8. Princess Mononoke
One of the greatest achievement's in the history of animation is Hayao Miazaki's Princess Mononoke. It's a stunning film to watch as he holds nothing back including the violence and more horrific parts of the story which has mankind locked in a dangerous battle with nature. This is a genius work of art that focuses on an important story of courage and stewardship.
7. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
One of the few sequels that surpass the original, Terminator 2: Judgement Day takes everything from the epic action to the spectacular special effects to the next level. However, James Cameron rightly keeps the focus on the characters which he gives such depth and complexity that you're along with them wherever the film takes you. This one's got what may be Arnold's best performance, Linda Hamilton killing it as the paranoid warrior Sarah Conner, Edward Furlong as an angry and angst-y John Conner, and Robert Patrick as a deadly serious T-1000.
6. The Iron Giant
An excellent new take on the classic boy and his dog story, The Iron Giant is still Brad Bird's best film. It was an extremely difficult film to make as the animators blended computer generated and hand drawn animation seamlessly to tell this remarkable story with their beautiful artwork. The cast is fantastic and the filmmakers never lose sight of the story, using the comedy and action to keep it all focused on the characters making it a fun and emotional journey.
5. The Matrix
A groundbreaking film from the Wachowski brothers, The Matrix revolutionized action and sci-fi filmmaking in Hollywood. It feels like an independent film with a big budget as we follow Keanu Reeves' Neo down the rabbit hole and he discovers the truth about reality and joins what's left of humanity in a fight against the oppressive machines. The slow-motion cinematography, fight choreography, and impressive cast make this one an intense, emotional, and entertaining non-stop thrill ride.
4. Forrest Gump
Tom Hanks plays his best role as Forrest Gump in Robert Zemekis' ode to Americana. We follow the most ordinary man as he lives the most extraordinary life across some of the most transitional decades in American history. It's a true drama filled with some hilarious moments, and many unforgettable lines of dialogue. The rest of the cast is fantastic too including Robin Wright, Gary Sinese, and Sally Field all of whom inhabit their roles flawlessly.
3. Schindler's List
A harrowing true tale of bravery, Steven Spielberg brings Schindler's List to life with a black-and-white film unlike any other. The emotionally trying movie is a must-watch for anyone who cares about history or wants to know the awful atrocities and great courage mankind is capable of. Both Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes give striking performances as a selfish business man who sees the light and a conflicted yet ruthless Nazi. This is the best film about the Holocaust as it clearly and unabashedly portrays the horrors of World War II.
2. The Lion King
The best animated films of all time is The Lion King. Here, Disney brought the African savanna to life with vibrant animation, an amazing voice cast, and a magnificent soundtrack and score. It's a tale of betrayal, love, and family in which our hero must rise to the occasion facing down his troubled past to help those in need. This remains the standard for Disney and animated movies in general as it blends a dramatic story with characters you care about, situational comedy, intimate romance, and wonderful music.
The best film of the 90s is Unforgiven. Pulling double duty as director and actor, Clint Eastwood manages to play the aging gunslinger William Munny perfectly and still craft a film and direct the rest of the cast. Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, and Gene Hackman all turn in terrific performances populating this world with characters you believe are real. Cinematography is gorgeous, the music is great, and the script is phenomenal. It's a tremendous movie about growing older, facing your past, and the never-ending pursuit of justice.