The 20 Best Films of the Last Two Decade

by Aleksandar Djordjevic | created - 17 Oct 2010 | updated - 17 Oct 2010 | Public
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1. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

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72 Metascore

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 206,869 | Gross: $184.21M

If someone asked me, what movie was the best from 1990 this would be my number one pick. I remember watching this movie and through it I felt like an Indian... Yeah the hole atmosphere of the film was just thrilling and amazing.

2. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

G | 84 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

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95 Metascore

A young woman whose father has been imprisoned by a terrifying beast offers herself in his place, unaware that her captor is actually a prince, physically altered by a magic spell.

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

Votes: 360,947 | Gross: $218.97M

Well this may look funny, but although there were numerous great films this year, Silence of the lambs and I think it's needless to say anything else, this was and I think is by far the best Disney animation ever...

3. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

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85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

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

Votes: 315,676 | Gross: $101.16M

Someone said for this film, and I quote "The Last Western" and nothing else so I am going to say it also: The Last Western!!!

4. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

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93 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 993,967 | Gross: $96.07M

I watched many World War II films, and only few made a true impact on me. This is one of those films! I had doubts for some films whether I am going to put it on my list or not, but Schindler's List is definitely the movie on every list of mine.

5. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama

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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: 1,929,196 | Gross: $28.34M

What a movie?!? I mean you can see now series like Prison Break and Jail escape movies, but none of them and I say it with no doubt, none of them is near this film! Exclamation point! The performances of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman was unquestionable and without any mistake. Simply the best movie of 1994!!!!

6. Braveheart (1995)

R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History

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68 Metascore

When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, Sir William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen

Votes: 834,748 | Gross: $75.60M

This year had great films and the closest I am to 2010 the bigger doubts I have, but for this one inner boy came out and yell Freedom! OK, I need to lay down this sword and get back to writhing this... If I ever go to Great Brittan, then sure as hell I am going to Scotland!!! Mel Gibson performance - just stunning. As for the story, well it maybe responsible for my future film taste.

7. Jerry Maguire (1996)

R | 139 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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77 Metascore

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, Kelly Preston

Votes: 209,254 | Gross: $153.95M

For this year I was going to put anything but English Patient, so I started to think what were movies of that year and so this was my favorite but maybe not the best.

8. Children of Heaven (1997)

PG | 89 min | Drama, Family

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After a boy loses his sister's pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can't, he tries a new way to "win" a new pair.

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi, Nafise Jafar-Mohammadi

Votes: 42,558 | Gross: $0.93M

My God, what a year Titanic, Good Will Hunting, Life is Beautiful etc. It was hard to choose, so my choice went to this marble of cinematography. Dramatic brother and sister story, small family and the realistic view of this east culture, is phenomenal... Must see picture!!!

9. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | 169 min | Drama, War

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90 Metascore

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns

Votes: 1,016,196 | Gross: $216.54M

... so the actual landing on Omaha Beach was pretty ruff... Yes Sir! The firing is heard on the left from that House... Watch Out!!!! It's a tank!!! That is a part from my dream night after watching this magnificent movie! Phenomenal actors... Tom Hanks outstanding!

10. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

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73 Metascore

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,385,779 | Gross: $171.48M

You are the chosen one Neo! It's one of those films, when you just sit and think after watching it and ask yourself wow, this could be true! Excellent story, original as well... great performance by many actors led by Keanu Reeves

11. Gladiator (2000)

R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

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67 Metascore

When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed

Votes: 1,118,092 | Gross: $187.71M

Perfect movie... Must see film, and really the great description of old Roman Empire! Russell Crowe performed great and without flaws.... Excellent film and excellent story!

12. Shrek (2001)

PG | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

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84 Metascore

After his swamp is filled with magical creatures, Shrek agrees to rescue Princess Fiona for a villainous lord in order to get his land back.

Directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson | Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow

Votes: 520,817 | Gross: $267.67M

At first I wanted to to put A Beautiful Mind here and yeah it's maybe better than Shrek, but hay really Shrek was one of those movies that made me smile for like a week and it started a series of all kind of movies with similar plot, story-like style etc. Great animation with absolute hilarious sense of humor!!!

13. City of God (2002)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

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79 Metascore

Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund | Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele, Phellipe Haagensen

Votes: 599,747 | Gross: $7.56M

After I started making this list I waited to get to this year so I could put this relatively unknown film... This Brazilian must film is one of the greatest story-telling mafia-like pictures of this century, and I stand behind this sentence! Go to your video store, buy it and see it...

14. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

PG-13 | 201 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

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94 Metascore

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,377,114 | Gross: $377.85M

Third part of one of the greatest series ever created... I literally watched this movie 10 times, including the extended edition, and every time I see something new! Great adaptation of an excellent book! This movie is my favorite, and when I talk about it I can't separate this one from the other two! It is really the best epic film and my #1 of all time! Don't underestimate this movie just because of the fantasy genre. Watch it and you will see there is more in it beside those things. Actually I think i am going to watch it after I finish with the list :)

15. The Butterfly Effect (2004)

R | 113 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

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30 Metascore

Evan Treborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal.

Directors: Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber | Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Melora Walters, Elden Henson

Votes: 397,484 | Gross: $57.94M

For this year I had great dilemma and after much thoughts choice came to this one! Funny thing is just before I watched this movie I thought, OMG Ashton Kutcher in a movie... this must same lame film... And how wrong I was... Just see It and you will understand!!!

16. Sin City (2005)

R | 124 min | Crime, Thriller

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74 Metascore

A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption.

Directors: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba

Votes: 697,158 | Gross: $74.10M

Unique film, really unique... Everyone suppressed them in it with their rolls and I don't if there is a way that it could have been done better... Mickey Rourke outdone himself, as well as others... And story, ow God, what a story!

17. Apocalypto (2006)

R | 139 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

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68 Metascore

As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, a young man is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Max Trujillo, Dalia Hernández, Rudy Youngblood

Votes: 257,838 | Gross: $50.87M

Adrenaline pumped picture showing Mayan people and their way of life... How can you describe such a film except, great visual experience... Definitely the best movie of the year. I was blown away! Mel Gibson has gone from great actor to one of the greatest directors!

18. I Am Legend (2007)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

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65 Metascore

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Votes: 597,090 | Gross: $256.39M

Maybe not the best movie of that year, but it is my list and I can put it here :) Will Smith gone from comedy type actor, and a musician to an actor of serious movies like this and The Pursuit of Happyness. Some say the book is bit better, but movie is just fine and outstanding.

19. The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

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82 Metascore

When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Votes: 1,900,034 | Gross: $534.86M

I've seen this movie in a theater and after the end when i left the building, my friend and I who watched the film were incredibly impressed that we haven't spoke for a couple a minutes just from the excitement! Heath Ledger outdone himself and put a shadow on everyone performance, but to be truthful all of them were great, so as the storyline itself.

20. Avatar (2009)

PG-13 | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

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83 Metascore

A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

Votes: 979,417 | Gross: $760.51M

I looked back at my list and I realized there is none of Pixar movies in it, so I thought to put Up! in this place, but than I remembered Avatar... Whatever everyone say about this film I think it is true masterpiece. This movie brought back people to theaters and started a new age of 3D movies. Visual art of director James Cameroon really deserves the place on my list of all time best movies!