my favorite films of the 1990s

by abrandat | created - 08 May 2011 | updated - 08 May 2011 | Public
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1. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

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: 318,779 | Gross: $101.16M

2. Dead Man (1995)

R | 121 min | Drama, Fantasy, Western

62 Metascore

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover, Lance Henriksen

Votes: 79,576 | Gross: $1.04M

3. Crash (1996)

NC-17 | 100 min | Drama

47 Metascore

After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger

Votes: 45,789 | Gross: $2.04M

4. The Age of Innocence (1993)

PG | 139 min | Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Linda Faye Farkas

Votes: 40,804 | Gross: $32.20M

5. Hai shang hua (1998)

Unrated | 125 min | Drama

In the "flower houses" (upscale brothels) of Shanghai, various interweaving stories of love, loyalty, and deceit play out subtly.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michiko Hada, Michelle Reis, Carina Lau

Votes: 2,018

6. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

R | 159 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.

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

Votes: 255,569 | Gross: $55.69M

7. Lost Highway (1997)

R | 134 min | Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius, Louis Eppolito

Votes: 111,293 | Gross: $3.80M

8. Light Sleeper (1992)

R | 103 min | Crime, Drama

70 Metascore

A drug dealer reconsiders his profession when his boss plans to go straight and an old flame reappears.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, Dana Delany, David Clennon

Votes: 4,230 | Gross: $1.05M

9. 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 support.

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

Votes: 152,233 | Gross: $5.89M

10. Barton Fink (1991)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

69 Metascore

A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner

Votes: 98,804 | Gross: $6.15M

11. Lamerica (1994)

116 min | Drama

Two Italian racketeers come to Albania just after the fall of the communists to set up a fictive firm and pocket the grants. They need a stooge. They choose an old one in a jail : Spiro. ... See full summary »

Director: Gianni Amelio | Stars: Enrico Lo Verso, Michele Placido, Piro Milkani, Carmelo Di Mazzarelli

Votes: 1,854 | Gross: $0.44M

12. To vlemma tou Odyssea (1995)

Unrated | 176 min | Drama, War

An exiled filmmaker finally returns to his home country where former mysteries and afflictions of his early life come back to haunt him once more.

Director: Theodoros Angelopoulos | Stars: Harvey Keitel, Maia Morgenstern, Erland Josephson, Thanasis Vengos

Votes: 5,152 | Gross: $0.04M

13. Fearless (1993)

R | 122 min | Drama, Thriller

A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez, Tom Hulce

Votes: 19,043 | Gross: $7.00M

14. Porco Rosso (1992)

PG | 94 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

In 1930s Italy, a veteran World War I pilot is cursed to look like an anthropomorphic pig.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Shûichirô Moriyama, Tokiko Katô, Bunshi Katsura Vi, Tsunehiko Kamijô

Votes: 56,079

15. Vampires (1998)

R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

42 Metascore

Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, Thomas Ian Griffith

Votes: 46,462 | Gross: $20.24M

16. To Live (1994)

Not Rated | 133 min | Drama, War

After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: You Ge, Li Gong, Ben Niu, Wu Jiang

Votes: 13,204 | Gross: $2.33M

17. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

R | 129 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

74 Metascore

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito

Votes: 519,053 | Gross: $57.14M

18. The 13th Warrior (1999)

R | 102 min | Action, Adventure, History

42 Metascore

A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled on a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.

Directors: John McTiernan, Michael Crichton | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Dennis Storhøi, Vladimir Kulich

Votes: 107,272 | Gross: $32.70M

19. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

89 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: 838,181 | Gross: $46.84M

20. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

74 Metascore

A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall

Votes: 394,984 | Gross: $56.36M

21. 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: 1,038,222 | Gross: $130.74M

22. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

PG | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance

A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Li Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He, Cuifen Cao

Votes: 23,523 | Gross: $2.60M

23. Dracula (1992)

R | 128 min | Horror

57 Metascore

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves

Votes: 161,728 | Gross: $82.52M

24. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

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: 1,001,558 | Gross: $96.07M

25. Pulp Fiction (1994)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's 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: 1,517,816 | Gross: $107.93M

26. The Truman Show (1998)

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

90 Metascore

An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a television show.

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

Votes: 776,035 | Gross: $125.62M

27. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

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: 1,395,398 | Gross: $171.48M

28. Fight Club (1999)

R | 139 min | Drama

66 Metascore

An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soapmaker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Zach Grenier

Votes: 1,555,732 | Gross: $37.03M

29. Heavenly Creatures (1994)

R | 99 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent

Votes: 53,943 | Gross: $3.05M

30. 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: 53,894 | Gross: $4.04M

31. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

R | 112 min | Drama

90 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: 28,910 | Gross: $3.25M

32. Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A New York girl sets her father up with a beautiful woman in a troubled marriage while her stepsister gets engaged.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts, Edward Norton

Votes: 32,436 | Gross: $9.71M

33. Wo de fu qin mu qin (1999)

G | 89 min | Drama, History, Romance

71 Metascore

Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun, Hao Zheng, Yulian Zhao

Votes: 11,257 | Gross: $1.28M

34. The Straight Story (1999)

G | 112 min | Biography, Drama

86 Metascore

An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Jane Galloway Heitz, Joseph A. Carpenter

Votes: 70,829 | Gross: $6.20M

35. Eternity and a Day (1998)

Unrated | 137 min | Drama

Famous writer Alexander is very ill and has little time left to live. He meets a little boy on the street, who is an illegal immigrant from Albania, and goes on a journey with him to take the boy home.

Director: Theodoros Angelopoulos | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Isabelle Renauld, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Achileas Skevis

Votes: 7,687 | Gross: $0.11M

36. Red (1993)

35 min | Short, Comedy

Based on the true story of Louis "Red" Deutsch. A New Jersey bar-owner is plagued with prank phone calls that prompt him to flip into psychotic, profanity-laden rages.

Director: Chris Gore | Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Scott Spiegel

Votes: 109

37. Lone Star (1996)

R | 135 min | Drama, Mystery

78 Metascore

When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.

Director: John Sayles | Stars: Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Peña, Stephen Mendillo, Stephen J. Lang

Votes: 25,053 | Gross: $13.27M

38. 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: 153,169 | Gross: $36.40M

39. 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: 385,758 | Gross: $42.44M

40. JFK (1991)

R | 189 min | Drama, History, Thriller

72 Metascore

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

Votes: 125,042 | Gross: $70.41M

41. Magnolia (1999)

R | 188 min | Drama

77 Metascore

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 259,850 | Gross: $22.46M

42. 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: 525,296 | Gross: $24.61M

43. Fireworks (1997)

103 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Nishi leaves the police in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into depression, he makes questionable decisions.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima

Votes: 23,445 | Gross: $0.23M

44. Funny Games (1997)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

69 Metascore

Two violent young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch, Frank Giering

Votes: 51,642

45. Short Cuts (1993)

R | 188 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

The day-to-day lives of several suburban Los Angeles residents.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Andie MacDowell, Julianne Moore, Tim Robbins, Bruce Davison

Votes: 37,985 | Gross: $6.11M

46. 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: 728,760 | Gross: $191.80M

47. Texasville (1990)

R | 123 min | Drama

The summer of 1984: 32 years after Duane Jackson captained the high school football team and Jacy Farrow was homecoming queen, the small town of Anarene, Texas prepares for its centennial ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Timothy Bottoms, Harvey Christiansen

Votes: 2,135 | Gross: $2.27M

48. The Indian Runner (1991)

R | 127 min | Drama

A Vietnam vet comes home to his small town and finds himself in conflict with rules that his brother has vowed to uphold.

Director: Sean Penn | Stars: David Morse, Viggo Mortensen, Valeria Golino, Patricia Arquette

Votes: 7,450 | Gross: $0.19M

49. Three Colors: Blue (1993)

R | 98 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: 71,699 | Gross: $1.32M