Top 90 Movies of the ’90s

At the Movies Blog
Another movie list.

Ricky Jay, Burt Reynolds, and William H. Macy making Boogie Nights

A bunch of film critics got together (well, as much as you can get together when quarantined), tallied their votes, and a list came out of the best movies of the ‘90s. Obviously, a few things bothered me about this. First, that I wasn’t consulted ;-). Second…the list. I didn’t care for it. It bugged me to see Eyes Wide Shut at #5 and Magnolia at #7; both good movies, but come on! They should be much farther down on the list (all my friends hated Eyes Wide Shut, and a few didn’t like Magnolia, but that’s another debate for another time).

I hated seeing The Thin Red Line in the Top 10. By the time I got to #23, and saw that’s where Groundhog Day was, I figured I should just write my own list before bursting a blood vessel. Of course, my list will make others just as angry as I was reading their list. And I’m going by one thing — how ENTERTAINED I was watching these films. Not whether it was groundbreaking or changed how movies were made, or how many Oscar nominations they got. Speaking of which, Titanic won 10 Oscars, including “Best Picture.” It was okay, but not good enough to make my list of the 90 best movies of the ‘90s. Now, all my friends loved Dazed and Confused, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Sandlot. I didn’t like those films (although each had a few scenes that were funny). 

While technically, J.F.K. was a well-done film, I had so many problems with the things Oliver Stone made up, I just couldn’t put it on my list. Film critic Roger Ebert and I had a spirited debate on this topic once, as it was his favorite movie of 1991 (actually one of his favorite movies of all-time). 

I wish he were still around. I’m sure he’d have problems with my list, as will you. 

My Top 90 of the ‘90s, in order of their greatness — for all your quarantine viewing needs.

  1. Pulp Fiction
  2. Boogie Nights
  3. Goodfellas
  4. Fargo
  5. The Silence of the Lambs
  6. Groundhog Day
  7. Unforgiven
  8. Toy Story
  9. The Sixth Sense
  10. The Fugitive
  11. The Shawshank Redemption
  12. Election
  13. Office Space
  14. The Big Lebowski
  15. Out of Sight
  16. Jackie Brown
  17. Good Will Hunting
  18. The Usual Suspects
  19. Sense and Sensibility
  20. 12 Monkeys
  21. A River Runs Through It
  22. Trainspotting
  23. The Prince of Tides
  24. The Matrix
  25. The Player
  26. Glengarry Glen Ross
  27. Swingers
  28. Clerks
  29. There’s Something About Mary
  30. L.A. Confidential
  31. Sling Blade
  32. Forrest Gump
  33. Fight Club
  34. The American President
  35. Clueless
  36. Being John Malkovich
  37. Life is Beautiful
  38. Magnolia
  39. Welcome to the Dollhouse
  40. Barton Fink
  41. The Piano
  42. Jerry Maguire
  43. Dark City
  44. Dolores Claiborne
  45. Three Colors (trilogy)
  46. True Romance
  47. Kids
  48. Casino
  49. Lone Star
  50. Chungking Express
  51. Schindler’s List
  52. City Slickers
  53. The Firm
  54. Rushmore
  55. The Truman Show
  56. Shakespeare in Love
  57. Cop Land
  58. Hoop Dreams
  59. White Men Can’t Jump
  60. The Sweet Hereafter
  61. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  62. Reservoir Dogs
  63. Il Postino
  64. Misery
  65. American Beauty
  66. Rounders
  67. A Few Good Men
  68. Heat
  69. Dances With Wolves
  70. The Crying Game
  71. Breaking The Waves
  72. Galaxy Quest
  73. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  74. Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels
  75. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  76. Babe
  77. The Iron Giant
  78. Men in Black
  79. The Blair Witch Project
  80. Maybe…Maybe Not
  81. Primal Fear
  82. Ghost
  83. Ed Wood
  84. The English Patient
  85. Tombstone
  86. Gattaca
  87. Wild At Heart
  88. Saving Private Ryan
  89. Aladdin
  90. Miller’s Crossing

Honorable mentions: Jurassic Park, Singles, Wayne’s World, Before Sunrise, Cape Fear, Absolute Power, Crimson Tide, Crumb, The Lion King, Eyes Wide Shut, Malcolm X, Blast From The Past, Go, He Got Game, Boys Don’t Cry, The Fifth Element, Sleepless in Seattle, Austin Powers, American History X, Face/Off, Falling Down, Braveheart, Boyz in the Hood, Thelma & Louise, Toy Story 2, The Birdcage, EDtv, Crimson Tide, A League of Their Own, Fireworks, Total Recall.

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