Best Movies of the 1990s

by The_Listener_Canon | created - 14 Jul 2011 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
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1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Votes: 1,714,744 | Gross: $107.93M

2. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 948,746 | Gross: $46.84M

3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,183,768 | Gross: $130.74M

4. Farewell My Concubine (1993)

R | 171 min | Drama, Music, Romance

The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years.

Director: Kaige Chen | Stars: Leslie Cheung, Fengyi Zhang, Li Gong, Qi Lü

Votes: 23,088 | Gross: $5.22M

5. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,139,430 | Gross: $96.90M

6. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Drama

80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 2,182,894 | Gross: $28.34M

7. Three Colors: Red (1994)

R | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

100 Metascore

A model discovers a retired judge is keen on invading people's privacy.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Frédérique Feder, Jean-Pierre Lorit

Votes: 83,279 | Gross: $4.04M

8. Toy Story (1995)

G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

95 Metascore

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.

Director: John Lasseter | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney

Votes: 832,655 | Gross: $191.80M

Toy Story 1 & 2 (1995 & 1999)

9. Breaking the Waves (1996)

R | 159 min | Drama

76 Metascore

Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge, Jean-Marc Barr

Votes: 59,021 | Gross: $4.04M

10. The Celebration (1998)

R | 105 min | Drama

82 Metascore

At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Paprika Steen

Votes: 74,762 | Gross: $1.65M

11. Days of Being Wild (1990)

Not Rated | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

96 Metascore

A man tries to find out who his real mother is after the woman who raised him tells him the truth.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Carina Lau

Votes: 16,370 | Gross: $0.14M

12. Miller's Crossing (1990)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

66 Metascore

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 120,775 | Gross: $5.08M

13. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

G | 84 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

A Prince cursed to spend his days as a hideous monster sets out to regain his humanity by earning a young woman's love.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | Stars: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Jesse Corti, Rex Everhart

Votes: 401,190 | Gross: $218.97M

14. The Double Life of Véronique (1991)

R | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music

86 Metascore

Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Irène Jacob, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Halina Gryglaszewska, Kalina Jedrusik

Votes: 38,166 | Gross: $2.00M

15. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 944,642 | Gross: $204.84M

16. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

When a simple jewelry heist goes horribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn

Votes: 863,516 | Gross: $2.83M

17. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) and a young man, The "Schofield Kid" (Jaimz Woolvett).

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

Votes: 353,140 | Gross: $101.16M

18. Groundhog Day (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

72 Metascore

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 553,548 | Gross: $70.91M

19. Jurassic Park (1993)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

A pragmatic Paleontologist visiting an almost complete theme park is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 811,073 | Gross: $402.45M

20. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

PG | 76 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

82 Metascore

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.

Director: Henry Selick | Stars: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey

Votes: 277,982 | Gross: $75.08M

21. The Piano (1993)

R | 121 min | Drama, Music, Romance

89 Metascore

In the mid-19th century, a mute woman is sent to New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

Director: Jane Campion | Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin

Votes: 74,784 | Gross: $40.16M

22. Three Colors: Blue (1993)

R | 94 min | Drama, Music, Mystery

85 Metascore

A woman struggles to find a way to live her life after the death of her husband and child.

Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy, Benoît Régent

Votes: 81,501 | Gross: $1.32M

23. Clerks (1994)

R | 92 min | Comedy

70 Metascore

A day in the lives of two convenience clerks named Dante and Randal as they annoy customers, discuss movies, and play hockey on the store roof.

Director: Kevin Smith | Stars: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Lisa Spoonauer

Votes: 205,434 | Gross: $3.15M

24. Ed Wood (1994)

R | 127 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

70 Metascore

Ambitious but troubled movie director Edward D. Wood Jr. tries his best to fulfill his dreams, despite his lack of talent.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette

Votes: 160,108 | Gross: $5.89M

25. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,682,890 | Gross: $330.25M

26. Before Sunrise (1995)

R | 101 min | Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Andrea Eckert, Hanno Pöschl

Votes: 248,217 | Gross: $5.54M

27. Casino (1995)

R | 178 min | Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods

Votes: 432,598 | Gross: $42.44M

28. La Haine (1995)

Not Rated | 98 min | Crime, Drama

24 hours in the lives of three young men in the French suburbs the day after a violent riot.

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz | Stars: Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui, Abdel Ahmed Ghili

Votes: 136,722 | Gross: $0.31M

29. Heat (1995)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight

Votes: 541,515 | Gross: $67.44M

30. Safe (1995)

R | 119 min | Drama

76 Metascore

An affluent and unexceptional homemaker in the suburbs develops multiple chemical sensitivity.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley, Dean Norris, Julie Burgess

Votes: 11,743 | Gross: $0.51M

31. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,343,466 | Gross: $100.13M

32. The Usual Suspects (1995)

R | 106 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

77 Metascore

A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin

Votes: 936,826 | Gross: $23.34M

33. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Votes: 580,190 | Gross: $24.61M

34. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 800,141 | Gross: $138.43M

35. Happy Together (1997)

96 min | Drama, Romance

69 Metascore

A couple take a trip to Argentina but both men find their lives drifting apart in opposite directions.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Leslie Cheung, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Chen Chang, Gregory Dayton

Votes: 20,246 | Gross: $0.19M

36. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen -- one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy -- investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 506,921 | Gross: $64.62M

37. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

R | 112 min | Drama

91 Metascore

A bus crash in a small town brings a lawyer to the town to defend the families, but he discovers that everything is not what it seems.

Director: Atom Egoyan | Stars: Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Caerthan Banks, Tom McCamus

Votes: 30,633 | Gross: $3.25M

38. The Big Lebowski (1998)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime, Sport

71 Metascore

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi

Votes: 686,136 | Gross: $17.50M

39. Run Lola Run (1998)

R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

77 Metascore

After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.

Director: Tom Tykwer | Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri

Votes: 182,110 | Gross: $7.27M

40. The Thin Red Line (1998)

R | 170 min | Drama, War

78 Metascore

Adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Kirk Acevedo

Votes: 164,412 | Gross: $36.40M

41. The Truman Show (1998)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich

Votes: 870,832 | Gross: $125.62M

42. All About My Mother (1999)

R | 101 min | Drama

87 Metascore

Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his second mother, a trans woman, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña, Antonia San Juan

Votes: 83,525 | Gross: $8.26M

43. American Beauty (1999)

R | 122 min | Drama

84 Metascore

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley

Votes: 1,018,171 | Gross: $130.10M

44. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

R | 159 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

A New York City doctor embarks on a harrowing, night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife reveals a painful secret to him.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field, Sydney Pollack

Votes: 282,265 | Gross: $55.69M