Best Films of the Decade: 1990s

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. – Se7en (1995)

New Line Cinema – Theatrical release poster

Here’s David Fincher’s first great film – a neo-noir classic. Not unlike The Usual Suspects, I feel that its climax has been ruined somewhat by our spoof-filled 21st century culture. My favorite film starring Brad Pitt, for sure. I wish we could see him in more films like this one.


#10 – 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.


#9 – American Beauty (1999)

DreamWorks – Theatrical release poster

Backlash happens to pretty much every film. Everyone loves it instantly, then a few months go by – a couple of people poke holes in your love for it – and suddenly you don’t think it is as magical. American Beauty was and is a great film. I don’t think it’s overrated, though it probably wouldn’t be my pick for best film from 1999. Kevin Spacey is magnificent in this film, and he thoroughly deserved the award-praise he got from it.


#8 – Beauty and the Beast (1991)

beauty-and-the

Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios

Arguably, one of the best Disney films of all-time. It was rightfully nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and today it remains as good as it ever was. The first animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture, and that even happened in the 5-film structure.


#7 – 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.


#6 – 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.


#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 – Goodfellas (1990)

Warner Bros. – Theatrical release poster

The greatest film director. Yes, I mean THE greatest film director’s 1990’s masterpiece is my no. 4 film of the 1990s. A lot of people say it is his 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!


#3 – 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.


#2 – 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.


#1 – 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.

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

I’m Jeffrey Rex

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