So I’ve counted down my top ten films of the 80s (you can read that here) so I thought I’d delve into another decade and bring you my favorite films released in the 90s.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Quentin Tarantino ruled the 90s and he’s pretty much ruled the rest of time too. His debut film Reservoir Dogs is still one of my favorites of his and in my top films of the 90s. Michael Madsen is unforgettable as Mr.Blonde, the soundtrack is awesome and Tarantino keeps you guessing, like only he can.
The score I listen to the most is the late, great James Horner’s incredible score for Braveheart. That’s just one of the many aspects that makes this film one of my favorites and an always emotional watch. It may not be historically accurate but who cares, it’s a film not a documentary and it’s an epic tale that I can watch over and over.
Home Alone (1990)
I love Christmas and my absolute favorite Christmas film is Home Alone. Home Alone is also a film that transcends Christmas time, I’ve watched it hundreds of times, all year round. It still makes me laugh, I still love the characters and I even love the second one too. Side note, I’ve used ‘The Sticky Bandit’ as a username many times.
Ed Wood (1994)
Tim Burton in the late 80s and 90s was a director who made quirky, different films that worked in wonderful ways. The Tim Burton nowadays, is not so good but in 1994 he made Ed Wood and I love it. The Johnny Depp performances that I like are usually when he plays real people, like Whitey Bulger, Donnie Brasco and Ed Wood. His enthusiasm and passion he brought to Ed Wood, makes the film a joy to watch and is the perfect example of how he can be one of the best actors working.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
I put Good Will Hunting in a handful of films that really get to me emotionally. This is by far my favorite Robin Williams performance, every time I see it I can’t help but get worked up. The dialogue is sharp, with amazing back and forth between Williams and Damon, that make up incredible scenes that I still think about all the time. I love that conversation on the bench in the park.
The Lion King (1994)
Disney in the 90s had a run of perfect animated films but The Lion King always stood above them all, for me. It’s powerful, funny and has the best animated score by the great Hans Zimmer. Scar is my favorite Disney villain, mainly because Jeremy Irons killed it as the voice. I’m a big lover of cats and seeing the beautiful Disney animation bring the lions to life, is still breathtaking 22 years later.
There had to be a Scorsese film in here somewhere and of course it’s Goodfellas. It’s got a brilliant cast, with Joe Pesci winning an Oscar and they’re all shot masterfully by Scorsese. When a mafia film is done right, it makes for the best kind of cinema and Martin Scorsese consistently has made the top tier films in the genre for decades but he never made another one as good as Goodfellas.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
When you think of all the aspects it takes to make a successful sequel, you get everything Terminator 2 did. It took all what the first one did, expanded on it further yet still kept the same spirit. Turning Arnold into the good guy was a genius move and also allowed for Robert Patrick to come in and deliver one of the most intimidating villains ever. That guy runs better than Usain Bolt and Tom Cruise combined. The action still holds up and a deeper story makes Terminator 2 not only a strong action film but one of the best films period.
Toy Story (1995)
I was born 1 year after the release of Toy Story and by the time my family got a copy on home video, I was probably a newborn baby so I’ve been watching Toy Story, literally my entire life. Like Good Will Hunting, I have a strong emotional connection to the Toy Story franchise as I grew up with the series and as the characters progressed so did I. Although my favorite is the 3rd, it’s by the smallest of margins and really I could pick any of the three. The original Toy Story however is a historical film for animation, starting not only a great trilogy but being the kickstarter for the incredible studio, Pixar.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
I started with Tarantino and I’m ending this list with him. He’s my favorite director of all time and I still consider Pulp Fiction to be his ultimate masterpiece. Like all his films, it’s dialogue driven and in Pulp Fiction he hit his peak with monologues and conversations that will tingle the ear. The cast is a bottomless pit of spectacular actors all giving top notch performances. The best being Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta stealing every scene and the entire film. The little puzzle at the end of the film, of putting it in chronological order is a wonderful little bonus in what I think I deemed a few weeks ago, my number 2 film of all time. I love Pulp Fiction!
The Usual Suspects
Silence of the Lambs
Next week – Top Ten film trilogies