Best Films of the Decade: 1990s


The following is a top 10 list of the best films of the 1990s

The 1990s were very important for the evolution of major motion pictures. It gave us the Disney Renaissance (1989-1999), as well as Pixar – the greatest computer animation film studio in the world. Meanwhile, the advancements made in the field of CGI also made some of the most important 1990s films possible.

Do note that this is my personal top 10 list of the 1990s. Your favorite film may be missing, and I may have loved that film, but, ultimately, this is just a top 10. These decade-lists are the very hardest lists to write, for there are so many films that I had to leave out. If there are films on this list that you’ve never seen, then I would suggest that you check them out post-haste. These aren’t full reviews of every film, but each entry features a comment or two about the film. 

H.M. – Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros.

Kubrick’s erotic thriller is fantastic. I only saw this film recently, but I was just so impressed by it that it had to take this spot. It isn’t on my top ten list, but it’s so very close to being on it.

#10 – The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Orion Pictures – Theatrical release poster

The best fictional serial killer of all-time, portrayed by one of the best actors of his day. This is Anthony Hopkins’ film, of this there can be no doubt. It is definitely the best film featuring Hannibal Lecter, and probably also the best portrayal. A must-watch film for any moviegoer.

#9 – Good Will Hunting (1997)

Miramax – Theatrical release poster

Robin Williams’ best dramatic performance, and perhaps the greatest scene he’s ever been in – “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. ” I love this film so much.

#8 – Groundhog Day (1993)

Columbia Pictures – Theatrical release poster

A bona fide dramedy classic. When people mention Bill Murray to me, the first film I think about isn’t Ghostbusters, Caddyshack or Stripes – it’s this one. It has cultural significance, it’s funny, and thoughtful all the same. It might be my favorite dramedy of all-time.

#7 – Goodfellas (1990)

Warner Bros. – Theatrical release poster

The greatest film director. Yes, I mean THE greatest film director’s 1990’s unforgettable and great crime thriller is the seventh best film of the 1990s. A lot of people say it is Scorsese’s greatest film, which I don’t think is accurate. I probably prefer both Taxi Driver and The Departed. But Goodfellas is a bona fide crime classic, and you owe it to yourself to watch it. Now. Go!

#6 – Jurassic Park (1993)

Universal – Theatrical release poster

From my classic review:

Still, today, this film makes me feel like I am still that kid watching these amazing animals on screen for the first time – some dangerous, some loving – I still feel that sense of wonder every time I watch it. Not many films can make you feel like that – but this is one of them.

#5 – The Green Mile (1999)

Warner Bros. – Theatrical release poster

The best film from 1999, if you ask me. Michael Clarke Duncan always makes me cry when I watch this film. It might be a bit too long, but that’s the only real criticism I have of the film.

#4 – Festen (1998)

Danish Poster – Scanbox Danmark

Festen (the original Danish title), the first Dogme95 film, works brilliantly in spite of the Danish film movement’s restrictions. I would even say those restrictions help to make this film even more effective than it already is. It is an unforgettable film about a messed up family. It is a Danish masterpiece.

#3 – Before Sunrise (1995)

Theatrical Release Poster – Columbia Pictures

From my Before Sunrise review:

Before Sunrise is a masterpiece — it expresses the cinematic value of gentle and sweet romance so very well. Sweetness, new love, and unfanciful dialogue does translate well to the screen, even if there isn’t some evil twist hidden at the end of it. Here the only villain is time, and the goal is the understanding of the value of what is shared — evenings, personal information, a touch.

#2 – Toy Story (1995)

Walt Disney / Pixar / Buena Vista – Theatrical release poster

From my Inside Out review:

I am a part of the Pixar-generation. You could say that I grew up with Andy from Toy Story, and thus Pixar has always been very important to me. In fact, Toy Story was the first animated feature film I ever gave a perfect score. Pixar don’t just make movies for kids, they make relatable animated feature films for people of all ages.

#1 – Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindlers List Poster
Theatrical Release poster – Universal Pictures

From my classic review:

Steven Spielberg is one of the best directors of all-time. He is an amazing storyteller that people expect the best from. He has made many of the most amazing films ever made. To say that one film is his masterpiece sounds a bit odd, as a lot of his films could be regarded as masterpieces. But if I were to single out one film that is the most complete achievement of his career, then it would be Schindler’s List.

Which film was your favorite of this decade? Sound off in the comments!

I’m Jeffrey Rex

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