90s was undoubtedly the best decade in terms of classic Hollywood movies. The 70s was an era of creativity, the 80s saw the start of the blockbusters, but the 90s saw a little of both, record breaking blockbusters like Jurrasic Park, Titanic and cult classics like Shawshank redemption, resulting in a perfect mix of big-budget blockbusters, and quirky, inventive cult hits.
The 1990s were a pretty amazing decade for film: The rom-com was at its pinnacle , comedies were truly funny, critical movie were also crowd-pleasers, but one genre that stood tall above all in 90s was Crime Thrillers. This genre was at its best in 90s with all time favourites of all of us like goodfellas, casino, usual suspects to name a few. The groundbreaking changes in Hollywood by the means of special effects also started in 90s with movies like Jurrasic Park, Matrix, Men in Black.
Smart, self-aware and groundbreaking, the cinema of the 1990s is worth getting nostalgic over. No wonder studios are so keen to resurrect it. Here’s our list of the 10 top films of the 90s.
There couldn’t have been a better start to decade than this gangster film. You can’t beat a classic gangster film – and this was one of the very best. Liotta, De Niro and Pesci under Scorsese’s direction, providing a fantastic depiction of the mob lifestyle – the downfalls and violence, but also the glamour. It’s a critically-acclaimed movie, and the first in a trilogy of Scorsese crime epics: Goodfellas was later followed by Casino and TheDeparted.
2. The silence of the lambs(1991)
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American psychological horror-thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme. Another thriller gem from the early ’90s, The Silence of the Lambs was a mindfuck. Movie was never an outright scary but it’s thrilling suspence and mind blowing screenplay was one of its kind. It also garnerned Anthony Hopkins an Oscar for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter even though he was only on the screen for less than 15 minutes. It was only the 3rd movie to receive Oscars in all of the top 5 categories i.e Best picture, Best director, best actor, best actress, best adapted screenplay.
3. Jurrasic Park (1993)
Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg, is set on an island turned into a park of cloned dinosaurs. ( Am I really telling about Jurrasic park, where we’re going with this, afterall am sure every single one of you have seen and if not, it should be the first thing you do after reading this article) Anyway, the dinosaurs in the film were depicted with groundbreaking computer-generated imagery and the film was the highest-grossing film of all time until Titanic.
4. Schindler’s List (1993)
Steven Spielberg spent ten years thinking on whether to take on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who turned from Nazi exploiter to a saver of lives and saved lives of thousands of Jewish people. Thankfully, for movie history, he went ahead and created a cinematic masterpiece which won seven Oscars and made a special place in the hearts and memory of everyone who saw it. Liam Neeson was as good as an actor could be in the role of Schindler.
There is so music to know about this movie and history behind its making and real story of Oskar Schindler that I would suggest you to read it’s Wikipedia page once- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schindler%27s_List
5. Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It’s the second highest rated movie on IMDb after godfather.
One of many great adaptations of Stephen King works, this was box office failure initially but later went on be the ultimate sleeper hit and became one of the biggest-selling videos and DVDs of all time. Set in the Shawshank prison, it tells a story of two great friends and the effects of prison life upon them and their fellow inmates and featured brilliant performances by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
6. Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film stars Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump and he have done a mind blowing in that capacity. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump, a slow-witted but kind-hearted man who witnesses and, unwittingly, influences, several defining historical events in the 20th century in the United States.
Film was the huge success at box office and critically as well and won 6 oscars.
7. A Time to Kill (1996)
How high the level of acting is in this movie, can be easily estimated by its cast of Mathew McConoughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Ashley Judd. This court room drama film is an ultimate masterpiece filled with emotions and depicting racial discriminations.
A Time to Kill is based on John Grisham’s 1989 novel ATime to Kill, directed by Joel Schumacher. Set in Mississippi, the film involves the rape of a young girl, the arrest of the rapists, their subsequent murder by the girl’s father, and the father’s trial for murder.
8. LA confidential (1997)
It is a stylish, seductive and smart film based on the bestselling novel by James Ellroy. LA Confidential took the unknown actors Russell Crowe and Guy to big fame, thanks to their outstanding acting performances.
Movie revolves around three detectives from LAPD investigate multiple homicides. While unearthing the evidence and the suspects, the trail leads to corruption in their own department. Film also stars Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger who also won an Oscar for her performance as a Veronica Lake lookalike sex worker in this pitch-perfect, crime thriller.
9. Fight club (1999)
This movie would have surely made its way even if this article was top 5 movies of all time. Just like Shawshank redemption, fight club was also not a box office success but became very successful after its DVD release and became a cult classic. And you will definitely find this movie in everyone’s list of greatest movies of all times.
It was directed by David Fincher and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton plays the unnamed narrator, who is discontent with his white-collar job. He forms a “fight club” with soap salesman Tyler Durden (Pitt), and becomes embroiled in a relationship with him and a destitute woman, Marla Singer. It is a mind blowing thriller and witnessed finest piece of art of acting by all 3 lead stars.
The director Wachowskis went for epic in every sense of the word with The Matrix. An ambitious sci-fi plot involving religion, myths and philosophical thought experiments, together with some never seen special effects – particularly the ultra-slow ‘bullet time’, special effects fight sequences. Matrix set the benchmarks of creative imagination, VFX that revolutionised Hollywood to whole new genre. Even two decades on, it’s a high point for action cinema.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano, movie depicts a future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality called the Matrix, created by thought-capable machines to control humans while using their bodies as an energy source. Hacker and computer programmer Neo learns this truth and “is drawn into a rebellion against the machines”, which involves other people who have been freed from the Matrix.
Here were the 10 movies but the list still looks incomplete, as there were so many other great classics in the 90s. In fact even Titanic didn’t made to this list so you can guess how great these movies are. Tell us your favourites from 90s in the comments section. And I am leaving with other notable mentions from 90s that are worth watching n number of times-
- Reservoir Dogs
- Pulp Fiction
- Few good men
- Jerry Maguire
- Good will hunting
- Brave heart
- Usual suspects
- Saving Private Ryan
- Sixth sense
- Men In Black