I didn’t have the privilege to see some of the favourite 90s movies during my youth where they were best seen; in a cinema, seated in a comfortable chair, while nibbling on buttery popcorn.
However, thanks to the technologically driven world of 2015 in which we live, 90’s movies have not vanished and turned into dust but are rather are more accessible than ever.
I have always enjoyed winding back the clock and sitting through all sorts of old films, especially those from Japan. My favourite is the often unheard of masterpiece, ‘The Castle of Cagliostro’; the first movie that the legendary Hayao Miyazaki directed. Yet, this article isn’t about my favourite international films (that can be saved for another occasion). Here, I would like to take the opportunity to go through the honourable few that I consider to be the Top 10 90’s movies.
Note: This is my list, based on my enjoyment, the film’s re-watchability, importance to the industry and the legacy left until this very day.
10. Se7en (1995)
This unique David Fincher films starts off the list, taking the 10th place due to its powerful ability to create almost unparalleled suspense, care for the characters and true fear among viewers. An incredible performance by Kevin Spacey truly completes this film and cements it as the start of the best 90’s movies.
What’s in the box???
9. The Big Lebowski (1998)
How does a film about bowling make such a strong impact on the film industry? Well, bowling isn’t everything. Hilarious characters, even funnier memorable quotes, and when thought about rationally, an extremely strange plot, one which to some may not even make any sense. This movie is so original that it could receive it’s own genre.
The Dude abides.
8. Fight Club (1999)
Just as this film struggled to initially gain appreciation, acceptance and glory on a wide-scale, so too did it take time for me to recognize its greatness. Having also read the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, I can say that this film did an impressive job at visualizing what may have been considered almost impossible scenes from the original source material. Stellar cinematography and performances, notably by Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter, however, a note of caution – some may find this film very dry, long and boring.
This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.
7. Schindler’s List (1993)
Perhaps the most touching, emotional, realistic and in-depth depiction of the tragic events of the Holocaust to hit Hollywood, with thanks going to director Steven Spielberg. Telling the story of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist and member of the Nazi Party, who saved the lives of over 1,200 Jews. A must-see film, whether or not you’re a fan of 90’s movies.
Whoever saves one life, saves the entire world.
6. The Usual Suspects (1995)
Who is Keyser Soze? A film that seems to have a simple premise but is actually far from it; going back and forth, transitioning between recollection and memory to reality, whilst always maintaining the mystery of the identity of the ever-elusive Keyser Soze. If you are looking for a film with a mighty plot-twist, ‘The Usual Suspects’ is the one for you, in it’s last few minutes revealing arguably the biggest plot twist in movie history.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.
5. Princess Mononoke (1999)
If your dream is to have a cinematic experience viewing events that exceed human potential and visuals that simply could not be achieved when using actors, this Studio Ghibli film is for you. Telling an epic story from medieval Japan, filled with humanism, nature, spirits and demonstrating the power of any individual’s own will, this is undoubtedly one of the greatest animated feature-length films ever created.
Life is suffering. It is hard. The world is cursed. But still, you find reasons to keep living.
4. Jurassic Park (1993)
A decade-defining film almost like no other, one which exposed all to Dinosaurs and their strength, as well as directing viewers against the path of meddling with genetics. Another Spielberg hit, this time sporting an unforgettable soundtrack and small group of characters. (Check out my review of the latest instalment in the franchise, ‘Jurassic World’, here: Jurassic World Review)
We spared no expense!
Perhaps the only gangster and crime film that can give ‘The Godfather’ a run for its money. Combining a great director, awesome acting, an even better script, and the final product is a cult classic and personal favourite. I especially liked the introduction to this film, and how it managed to establish an appropriate mood and environment for the remainder of the movie. How can you not love the amount of swearing, killing and corruption presented in ‘Goodfellas’?
As far back as I remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Often given the label of the greatest film of all time, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is a moving journey along the path of hope, or alternately, hopelessness. A classic performance by Morgan Freeman as ‘Red’ steals the show, with viewers learning to always check the shoes others are wearing.
Get busy living, or get busy dying.
Some honourable mentions:
Toy Story (1995)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Leon: The Professional (1994)
American History X (1998)
Forrest Gump (1994)
1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
‘Pulp Fiction’ is the film that really put Quentin Tarantino on the map, showing his talent of changing so swiftly and masterfully between scenes, times, characters and events. With a great soundtrack and the best dialogue in any film ever (period), I guarantee a great time when watching ‘Pulp Fiction’. By far and away the best that 90’s movies have to offer.
Say ‘what’ again!