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March 16, 2005

Best movies of the 1990s

Rob from Lawyers Guns and Money and Eric from Alterdestiny list their favorite movies of the 1990s.

Here are mine, in no particular order:

1. Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990)
2. The Big Lebowski (Coen, 1998)
3. Being John Malkovitch (Jonze, 1999)
4. After Life (Hirokazu, 1998)
5. Jackie Brown (Tarantino, 1997)
6. Glengarry Glen Ross (Foley, 1992)
7. Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control (Morris, 1997)
8. Princess Mononoke (Miyazaki, 1997)
9. Breaking the Waves (von Trier, 1996)
10. Lone Star (Sayles, 1996)


Also noteworthy: Magnolia (Anderson, 1999), Waco: The Rules of Engagement (Gazecki, 1997), True Romance (Scott, 1993).

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» Top Movies of the 90s from PSoTD
Majikthise posted her top movies of the 90s. I decided to join the game too... here's mine, also in no particular order... [Read More]

» Best Films of the 90s from The Tattered Coat
Majikthise points to Rob and Eric, who compiled lists of the ten best movies of the 90s. PSoTD jumped in with his picks, as well. Here's my list. What's on yours? 1. Out of Sight (Soderbergh, 1998) 2. Three Colors Trilogy (Kieslowski, 1993-4... [Read More]

» I'd Like Me An Assload of Comments, Merle from Happy Furry Puppy Story Time with Norbizness
There. You've seen every Fincher movie ever now. Given that modern, talking cinema is about 75 years old, a post about the top 10 movies of the 1990s is only two-fifteenths as worthless as a discussion about the top... [Read More]

Comments

No Usual Suspects?

Can't agree on Jackie Brown over Pulp Fiction, but it is a highly underrated movie that holds up very well.

Can't agree on Jackie Brown over Pulp Fiction, but it is a highly underrated movie that holds up very well.

I second the what? at the lack of The Usual Suspects. Also, Miller's Crossing, Heat (you're sensing a theme here maybe). Fight Club as well. Also, Casino over Goodfellas, and Breaking The Waves is beautiful but very, very wrong: there's something deeply creepy about the whole resolution through sacrificial, brutal rape (when I put it like that, creepy doesn't really seem strong enough).

I like Rob's titles above (though Casino over Goodfellas is madness).

I will say: much, much worse than rating Jackie Brown over Pulp Fiction is the implication that "True Romance" is noteworthy while PF is less so. That was a spit-out-the-beverage moment for me.

Hey, but it's a list of favorites-- anything goes!

The notable movies weren't runners-up for the top 10, or even honorable mentions. They're just titles from the era that I liked.

I wouldn't argue that any of the "notables" belongs anywhere near my top 10 or even my top 20 list.

Naked mole rats!

Sorry for the outburst. Good choice with Lone Star. I adore John Sayles movies.

- graefix

Man, that's a hell of a task. I was weaned on so many independent movies in the early 90s at the Dobie Theater in Austin. I'll get back to this later, but anything by Fincher or PT Anderson is right out as far as I'm concerned.

El Mariachi, anyone?

L.A. Confidential?

Fargo
LA Confidential
Glengarry (2nd place gets steak-knives)
Casino
Dracula
Being John M
Magnolia
Usual Suspects
Spy Kids (for Norbizness)
Schindler's List

I like that list, especially Lebowski and Fast, Cheap and Out of Control. I'd add:

Out of Sight (completely underrated, imo)
Fargo
Pulp Fiction
Safe
Three Colors Trilogy
Dead Man
The Wrong Trousers (Wallace and Grommit)
Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould
Fallen Angels

I used to keep up a movie review website, but have let it go dormant. Lists like these make me want to start it up again.

on the list you have up there, I'd quibble with Being John Malkovich. never saw After Life.

I hated Breaking the Waves, even though I recognized the artistry of filmmaking. Too much gratuitous and sadistic abuse of the heroine in the name of "art."

why are these nearly all late ninties films? I would say Fargo is the ultimate Cohen's film myself.

No Boys Don't Cry?? It was absolutely excruciating to watch, but I thought it was a really great movie.

Consider this a a post on the "meta" level if you will, but I wonder about the relationship between one's favorite movies, and the movies one thinks are the best films/best works of art. It doesn't seem to me that those two lists would necessarily be the same, although I'm sure in all but a few cases there would be serious overlap. Anyway, considering this and getting exactly what we mean by favorite worked out may help settle some of the "Casino over Goodfellas" type debates.

My god this woman has hideous taste in movies.

The Big Lebowski is cute for about five minutes. No way is it the second best movie of the nineties. It probably wasn't even the second best movie at the multiplex the day you saw it.

And Lone Star is just retarded. The only people who like it are people who think they should because it was directed by John Sayles. They don't notice that it is a totally pointless, brainless flick that is not even as entertaining as that Andy Warhol film that's just like six hours of a guy sleeping.

I think Jackie Brown has aged much better than Pulp Fiction, and stands up much better to repeated viewings.

i've been waiting for this task for five years:

big night
the truman show
fargo
unforgiven
the city of lost children
the fugitive
waiting for guffman
glen garry glenross
reservoir dogs
there's something about mary

dadahead, get a clue. the big lebowski, while, I admit, a little uneven, is undeniably one of the best movies of the nineties. I can prove it to you with two scenes:

1. The scene where the Dude wakes up after being drugged by Jackie Treehorn. Treehorn get a call, take some notes on a pad, rips off the sheet of paper he was writing on, and then steps out of the room. The dude, in a moment of master-sleuthing, runs over to the pad and shades it in with his pencil, looking for the impression that Treehorn's pen left on the sheet of paper underneath. What does he find? Well, let's just say that he discovers that Treehorn is not the prodigious intellect that he imagined.

2. The best quote of 90s film:

Walter Sobchak: "Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."

So there.

1. Princess Mononoke
(Has no one else watched Miyazaki other than the host and I?)
2. Unforgiven
3. The Usual Suspects
4. American Beauty
5. Pulp Fiction
6. The Thin Red Line (Come on, Malek was a philosophy grad)
7. Last of the Mohicans (I love Michael Mann)
8. Braveheart (Sorry, it is the scotish blood)
9. Dances With Wolves (Costner is NOT all bad)
10. The Shawshank Redemption

Runner Up: The Matrix. I watched it before I knew anything about philosophy.
Robin Hood: Prince of Theives. God, I loved it when I was younger.

There are some nice choices there Lindsay. But I agree that Pulp Fiction belongs in the top ten and Jackie Brown probably doesn't. (Of course I'm here now saying that Pulp Fiction is better than Jackie Brown not that it is in your favorites!) Good calls on Glen Garry Glen Ross and The Big Lebowski. I would have included Fargo, though. And Boogie Nights. And Election is the funniest movie of the 90's, I think. And let's not forget Happiness!

Also, I actually don't think I'd put it in my top ten but I think that Life is Beautiful deserves some kind of mention. It was a fantastically beautiful movie.

Oh yeah, and Waiting for Guffman should be in there!

I don't know why Josh gets his knickers in a pickle about Lone Star, which is clearly a great movie. And not just for John Sayles. Try the narrative shifts back and forth in time, the feeling of community that pervades the picture and the most subversive ending in American cinema for decades in which the leads embark on an incestuous affair. It's like an episode of Love and Rockets committed to film, only without the lesbian punk chicks.

Jackie Brown is also a giant movie; a subtle, beautiful and human work by comparison with the fireworks of Pulp Fiction. I'd say Fargo edges Lebowski, though. And where is Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire, Walk With Me?

Mononoke is inferior Miyazaki compared to his '80s output. Tokuma Shoten have long tried to cover up the fact that Miyazaki is (a) a Socialist and (b) a union convenor. (The backgrounds in Laputa are in part his reading on the effects of the Welsh Miner's strike of the 1980s on local communities.) From the positive eco-messages of the '80s he began to indulge in increasingly sour, reactionary cynicism about modern society. (See also Ponpoko, which is nigh unwatchable.) Let's not forget that even Totoro was a reaction against the generation of mothers who used VCRs as babysitters.

Sorry, it wasn't Josh I was aiming that at, but dadahead. Oopsie!

I love "Fast,Cheap", but "Crumb" is the best documentary of the 90's, and would make my list.

Mamet's best film in the 90's was "Homicide", though I like "Glengarry" also.

The two best crime-dramas were "Heat" and "Leon", though "Pulp Fiction" might be the most influential movie of the past 20 years.

Also, "Shawshank Redemption" and "The Ice Storm" would make my list.

At the top of my list, however, would be "The Sweet Hereafter." My god, what a punch to the gut that film was! "Exotica" would also be a runner-up for my list.

Favorite comedies were "Groundhog Day" and "Kingpin", though neither would make my list.

Geez, a million blogs talking about 90's movies and many of my personal favorites still can't get no love:

The Straight Story

The Player

Bob Roberts

Henry Fool

Run Lola Run

Ed Wood

City of Lost Children

I don't know if all of these would be in my final top ten, but I'd have to think hard before excluding any of them. And I don't know if the fact that they've gone more or less unmentioned elsewhere is because of the embarrassment of riches in 1990's cinema, or simply because everyone else in the blogosphere is a rank philistine.


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