My Top Ten Favorite Movies From the 90s

Ah the 90's.  What a wonderful time it was.  Of course the title of my blog will have no doubt tipped you off to the fact that I was a child during the 90's.  I'm sure you have seen the countless number of 90's kids on the internet who seem to have some kind of superiority complex, much to the annoyance of anybody who are either too young to remember the 90's or who grew up in the decades preceding the 90's.  I want to be completely upfront here: I have a very special spot in my heart for all games, television shows, movies and toys released in the 90's.  I also recognize that my love for these things are, in large part, due to nostalgia.  Products from the 90's are superior to me because they make up a part of my childhood.  In no way do I believe that the products of the 90's are completely, objectively better than the products of the 2000's or 2010's.  My hope is that fellow 90's kids will enjoy reliving some of their childhood with this blog, while introducing new (old) things to kids of the 2000's and 2010's.

In addition to this blog I am working on videos reviewing games from the 90's (and early 2000's) as well as top ten videos and other random things for YouTube.  I will update the blog as soon as my channel has gone live with some videos.

And with all of that out of the way I present to you my top ten favorite movies from the 90's.  Keep in mind that these are my favorites, not necessarily the best movies made in the 90's.  In other words this is purely my opinion, which you are welcome to disagree with.  If you do disagree feel free to share your favorites in the comments, but please be respectful.

10. Dumb & Dumber (1994, Newline Cinema)

source: wikipedia.org

source: wikipedia.org

 

I know that this is an incredibly lowbrow choice, but you know what?  It is one of the only movies in the world that can consistently bring me close to voiding my bladder in my pants laughing.  Okay, so that's a little gross, but I just don't know how to better describe how this movie makes me feel.  From the very beginning when Lloyd (Jim Carrey) responds to learning that an attractive young woman's accent is Austrian with a hearty "let's put another Shrimp on the barbie," to the two clueless wonders directing a bus full of beautiful models to the nearest town to find some oil boys, this movie is filled with memorable scenes and one-liners that are insanely quotable.

My favorite scene is absolutely the scene in which Lloyd and Harry (Jeff Daniels) are camping out in a park in the middle of winter in Aspen Colorado.  Upon learning that Harry's hands are freezing, Lloyd offers Harry the extra pair of gloves he's had for the whole trip, which results in Jeff Daniels acting the craziest I have ever seen him in any film.

Dumb and Dumber is one of the greatest comedies of the 90s.  It's not the cleverest or the most original but it is absolutely hilarious, and a movie I would recommend to anybody and everybody.  Well, maybe not those who are easily grossed out by potty humor.  There is a crap-ton of potty humor in this movie.

 

9. The Sandlot (1993, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

 

Remember what I said about nostalgia playing a big part in my love for things from the 90's?  The love I have for this movie is nothing but nostalgia.  Filmed mostly in Salt Lake City, Utah where I grew up, it's easy to see why this movie holds a special spot in my heart.  Every time I watch this movie I am immediately taken back to the glorious summers of my school-days, eating root beer popsicles, riding my bicycle for hours on end and playing baseball...on my Nintendo 64.  

Okay so my summers weren't exactly the same as the one portrayed in this movie, but as many of my memories were formed in either the same locations or locations similar to the ones featured in the film, I feel like this film is a direct line to my past.  Only the most special of films are able to do that for me, and that is why this unlikely choice made it on my list.  Additionally this film is hilarious.  So, there's that too.

 

8. Groundhog Day (1993, Columbia Pictures Corp.)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

Bill Murray.  I really don't know why anybody would expect me to say more.

Okay, fine I'll elaborate.  I am a huge Bill Murray fan.  There's just something about his dry sarcasm that I find hilarious, and this film perfectly illustrates what I am talking about.  In fact I feel that this film is almost the perfect comedy.  I'm not saying it's the greatest comedy ever made, but it has witty dialogue, a very uniques premise and the perfect comedic chemistry between all the actors.  It does what every amazing comedy does, that is: it creates compelling characters whom the audience grows to love, creates a dilemma dire enough to get the audience rooting for the hero and, in the end it has a good love story, in which the hero gets the girl.  I really feel this movie is a must see for any Bill Murray fan, or any fan of comedies.  Even though it is a tad repetitive.

8. Groundhog Day (1993, Columbia Pictures Corp.)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

 

Bill Murray.  I really don't know why anybody would expect me to say more.

Okay, fine I'll elaborate.  I am a huge Bill Murray fan.  There's just something about his dry sarcasm that I find hilarious, and this film perfectly illustrates what I am talking about.  In fact I feel that this film is almost the perfect comedy.  I'm not saying it's the greatest comedy ever made, but it has witty dialogue, a very uniques premise and the perfect comedic chemistry between all the actors.  It does what every amazing comedy does, that is: it creates compelling characters whom the audience grows to love, creates a dilemma dire enough to get the audience rooting for the hero and, in the end it has a good love story, in which the hero gets the girl.  I really feel this movie is a must see for any Bill Murray fan, or any fan of comedies.  Even though it is a tad repetitive.

7. Jurassic Park (1993, Universal Pictures)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

 

I went to a screening of this film when it was re-released in April of 2013 and I was absolutely blown away at how well most of the special effects in this movie have held up over the last 20 years.  I really wish that more directors today would take a page out of this film's book.  Not the novel Jurassic Park I mean the figurative book, as in "follow this film's example".  Many blockbusters today rely much too heavily on CGI.  There is something to be said for having an actual, physical puppet, or auto, uh auto-erotica-- er I mean, audio-animatronics present for filming.  I believe using such devices elicit more realistic reactions from actors, and therefore create more believable scenes.  Steven Spielberg mixed CGI with practical effects to create a brilliantly delicious stew of awesomeness, the ultimate monster movie.  But Jurassic park is so much more than just a monster movie.

I still get goosebumps whenever I see the first sweeping shot of the Brontosaurus (or is it Apatosaurus?  Seriously if you know which one it is please let me know in the comments.  I could look it up on the internet, I know but I know that if I do that I will end up spending three hours looking at pictures of dinosaurs).  I am so glad I was still a little boy who was obsessed with dinosaurs when this movie came out.  It added so much magic to seeing these creatures come to life.  It was the first time dinosaurs had ever seemed real and alive in a film.  Although the raptors were a bit much.  I still won't go near kitchens.

Also, Jeff Goldblum.  I am of the persuasion that any movie can be improved with more Jeff Goldblum.

As one final aside, anybody who understands why the phrase "auto-erotica" is in this particular section is a true fan of this film.  Kudos to you.

6. The Lion King (1994, Walt Disney Pictures)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

 

I was in kindergarten when this movie came out.  In fact, it is the first Disney Movie I remember seeing in theaters, which means it will always hold a special spot in my heart.  But going beyond that, I really see this film as the pinnacle of Disney animation, the totality of Walt Disney's vision for the animated feature.  With a compelling soundtrack, gorgeous animation and talented voice ensemble, this film has cemented its place as my favorite Disney animated feature to date.

5. Braveheart (1995, Icon Entertainment International)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

 

A film that is rife with anachronisms,  unbelievably violent battles and a very valiant (if failed) shot at a Scottish accent by a decidedly American Mel Gibson.  It is very easy to pick out all the things this film gets wrong, like the fact that the actual William Wallace was a Scottish noble and not a commoner as the film portrays him to be, but I think it's important to look at this film as more of a form as escapism and less as a biopic.   When it is looked at in such a way it becomes a rousing and inspiring film.

I want to give a special shout out to James Horner's score. The soundtrack to this film is also one of the best ever.  It's what made me fall in love with the bagpipes.  The music mingled with watching the Scottish fight for their freedom is enough to make me cling to that minute amount of Scottish blood I (probably) have.

4. Apollo 13 (1995, Universal Pictures)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

 

It almost seems like cheating when Hollywood decides to make a movie based on history,  even more so when they get names like Tom Hanks, Ed Harris and Bill Paxton to star in the film.  With a true story and talent like that how could any movie not pack an emotional punch straight to the face of the heart?

I wasn't alive when Apollo 13 happened, or when space was still exciting, so I can't fully understand how it must have been to hear and watch the live news reports in which man broke the confines of his earthly sphere for the first time or in which a man could be heard and seen walking on the moon.  This film does a wonderful job of highlighting the drama and thrill of the space age, and it gives me an opportunity to understand a little more of what living through that age was like.  I wish I could have witnessed man's first steps on the moon, or felt the excitement of living in a country that had the means to send men to the moon, when there was still so much to learn about our planet and it's small satellite.  Now we are inundated with so many high quality photos from space we don't even think twice about it.   Additionally this film reminds us of the value of will power, of not accepting defeat, even when it seems inevitable.  Lastly, the movie has the combination of Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise, two of my favorite actors ever.

Speaking of Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise...

3. Forrest Gump (1994, Paramount Pictures)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

 

The more I think about what to write about this the movie the more I realize how strange it really is.  I mean think about it, the film is  all about a simpleton telling complete strangers that he secretly drove the history of our nation through the better part of the 60's and 70's.  That being said this film has a lot of heart.  Tom Hanks gives such a sincere performance as the titular character the funny moments in the film never fail to elicit a chuckle from me, but it's the kind of reaction I have to when a little child does something funny without really meaning to.  That takes an enormous amount of talent.

I mentioned how much I love movies with Gary Sinise and/or Tom Hanks in them and this film is the main reason why.  They friendship they have is so unique.  Lt. Dan's dark, tortured character is a nice counter-balance to Forrest's incessant innocence.  Both Sinise and Hanks give so much to their respective roles, and I honestly believe they are the heart and soul of the film.  That's not to take away from the brilliant performance of Sally Field as Forrest's self-sacrificing mother, or that chick who plays the nurse whose feet hurt whose name I couldn't be bothered with looking up on IMDB.  She was awesome.

2. Good Will Hunting (1997, Miramax Films)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

 

I don't know what it is about Ben Afleck as an actor, but I just can't stand him most of the time.  He always comes across to me as incredibly vapid.  That is not to say that I do not recognize the talent he possesses both as a director (Argo) and a screen writer (Good Will Hunting) it's just that, for whatever reason I can't stand him when he is in front of the camera.  I think it might have something to do with his eyes, there's just something about them I don't trust.  But even he does a really good job in this film.  Maybe because he's supposed to be a lovable feminine hygiene product in this film.

In all seriousness, this film has an incredibly good story, with incredibly good acting.  The story is all about life and how we tend to not become what we wished we could be.  At the same time the film is about rising above your circumstances and having the courage to turn your back on the parts of your past which are holding you back.

The chemistry between Robin Williams and Matt Damon is incredible.  The fact that his previous film was Flubber should give you an idea of how unthinkable it was to see Robin Williams in such a serious role.  Williams proved his mettle in this film, as did Damon and, as much as it pains me to say it, Affleck.  The film has quite a bit of course language, but it is still a film that I whole-heartedly recommend to anybody who loves movies and/or great, inspiring stories.

1. Godzilla (1998, TriStar Pictures)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org

 

Quite frankly I view this film as the quintessential performance of Matthew Broderick, the pinnacle of his illustrious film career.  Not only that, I believe this film has contributed more to modern special effects than any other film of the 90s.  Seriously, go back and watch that film, I bet you'll have the same thought I did after watching the film: 

I can't believe that this movie was made only 5 years after Jurassic Park!  Look at how far we came in that short amount of time!  Also, I really feel like they were able to capture the true essence of the original Godzilla.

In addition to the amazing special effects, Godzilla had one of the most poignant stories cinema has ever presented audiences with....okay I'm sorry I can't do this anymore.  I feel dirty...like I have to go and do thirty "Hail Marry's".  And I'm not even Catholic.  Time to reveal my real number one movie from the 90s.

1. Shawshank Redemption (1994, Castle Rock Entertainment)

Source: wikipedia.org

Source: wikipedia.org


Okay, I know it's a super obvious and popular choice, which, for whatever reason, makes the hipster within me feel like a trollop, but darn it all to heck, I love this movie.  The funny thing is, I hadn't seen this movie until just a few years ago, which to be honest, makes me incredibly angry with my friends, family and any other person who cares about me.  How is it that they could allow me to go on living for almost 20 years without showing me this absolute masterpiece?  This is one of those films that honestly puzzles me. Whenever I try to describe why this is one of my all-time favorite movies I come up blank.  I mean, sure it has amazing actors, fantastic dialogue, a moving soundtrack and an incredible story about perseverance and the indomitable human spirit- huh I guess it is easy to describe what makes this movie great after all.

Shawshank Redemption is near film perfection.   Frank Darabont manages to pull incredible performances from each and every actor in this film.  Everything in this film comes together and clicks so incredibly well, its uncanny.  There's a reason it is the number one rated film on IMDB.com.

There you have it, my top ten favorite movies from the 90's.  Do you agree with any of the entries on my list?  What films are in your top ten for the 90's.  Let me know in the comments!  Again this was only my opinion, so please be respectful if you disagree.  I respect your opinion and I ask that you respect mine...even if you disagree with it.