Last week I began a series of posts that take a look at my favorite movies from every year I’ve been alive. I took inspiration from a post I read last year over at Fairly Professional. Since I’m 41, I’ve decided to just keep it to my first 40 years. And since that’s a lot, I’ve split it up by decade, so we’re not all overwhelmed by the sheer volume of awesome movies in one post. Here’s a link to last week’s post, where I focus on the movies of the 1980s.
Without further ado, welcome to the 90s!
1990: Dances With Wolves
Did you know that Dancing with the Stars is a spin-off of this movie? They decided that the wolves were too hard to train and that celebrities in the wild were easier to work with and slightly less likely to attack their dance partners. Seriously, though… I do love this movie, but it isn’t one that I’ll watch on repeat. It’s beautifully shot and may be one of Kevin Costner’s best performances, but it becomes difficult to sit through once you reach a certain point.
Honorable Mentions: Kindergarten Cop, Home Alone, and Goodfellas
1991: Beauty and the Beast
I mean, it’s a tale as old as time… a song as old as rhyme. The movie that showed us a cartoon could be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. In spite of how amazing The Lion King would be a few years later, Beauty and the Beast remains my favorite Disney animated motion picture of all time. Funny enough, I remember seeing the trailer as a kid and thinking it a ridiculous plot point of having anthropomorphic household items. But then I saw the movie and it all made sense.
Honorable Mentions: City Slickers, Point Break, and The Silence of the Lambs
1992: A League of Their Own
Another fantastic baseball movie and one that, no matter how much I love it, will always make me angry in the end. SPOILERS for all who’ve never seen it, but Geena Davis’ Dottie Henson definitely drops that baseball on purpose to let her little sister win the World Series. Also… how is there a World Series? Or even the playoffs that are mentioned, for that matter? As far as we know, there are only four teams involved in this movie. Help me with that, internet.
Honorable Mentions: A River Runs Through It, Sister Act, and Sneakers
1993: Jurassic Park
Steven Spielberg brought dinosaurs to life. Why wouldn’t this be my favorite movie of 1993? However, I also believe they should have left well enough alone and just left things finished with this first movie. Won’t stop me from seeing the next Jurassic World when it comes out, though. Anyway, you’d think that going back and watching the original all these years later would ruin it, but the effects hold up and it’s still amazing to see those monsters on screen.
Honorable Mentions: Sleepless in Seattle, The Fugitive, and The Vanishing
1994: Forrest Gump
Does Forrest Gump really do anything? I mean, so many things happen to this guy and his life turns out great. Most of it just seems like he’s in the right place at the right time. He’s certainly not making plans or thinking through his actions. So I guess that answers the first question, huh? Forrest does lots of stuff… he just doesn’t think before doing. One example, in Vietnam, he’s not thinking about being a hero or winning any medals, he just wants to find and save his friend. Anyway… it’s a great movie that I could definitely watch again and again.
Honorable Mentions: The Lion King, The Shawshank Redemption, and It Could Happen to You
1995: Toy Story
Pixar’s first full-length animated film remains, in my opinion, its best. Even now, though, it’s still incredible to go back and watch Toy Story and see how far the animation technology has come when you compare it to the most recent installment, Toy Story 4. But nothing tops Woody and the misfit toys scarring Sid for life.
Honorable Mentions: Braveheart, The American President, and The Usual Suspects
1996: That Thing You Do!
Tom Hanks’ directorial debut tells the story of a one-hit wonder band, The Wonders. I’ve recently heard some people complain about this movie because of its repetition of the title song, but I just sing along every time. I love watching these kids’ journey from the Oneders to the Wonders and all the obstacles that get in their way and tear them apart at the end. Good stuff and very quotable.
Honorable Mentions: A Time to Kill, Independence Day, and Mission: Impossible
1997: Fools Rush In
Uh… I actually question this one showing up at the top on this year on Flickchart. But that’s what I’m using, so that’s what I’ll stick with. Don’t get me wrong, I love this movie. I think it’s a very entertaining romantic comedy and I’ve always been a fan of early Matthew Perry. And who wouldn’t fall in love with Salma Hayek? I mean, really. But if I were scouring through the movies of 1997, I’m not sure I would pick this as my absolute favorite.
Honorable Mentions: My Best Friend’s Wedding, Contact, and Air Force One
1998: Saving Private Ryan
Geez… How many of my favorite movies are going to star Tom Hanks? I mean, do I even have a favorite actor? Okay, yes, and it’s Tom Hanks. Saving Private Ryan, I’m pretty sure, began Hollywood’s obsession with rescuing Matt Damon from obscure locations, a tradition that would be held up in Interstellar and The Martian. I would almost call this one a masterpiece for the realism of World War II battles alone.
Honorable Mentions: Enemy of the State, Patch Adams, and Can’t Hardly Wait
1999: The Matrix
Not gonna lie, this was one of the most confusing movies I’d ever seen when I first watched it. I was glad I didn’t see this in theaters and was able to rewind the tape once I got about 20 minutes in. Because I had no clue what was happening. But once I got it, I got it. So much about this movie is brilliant and beautiful. It’s just a shame they had to make sequels. I know I say that, but I’ll still watch the whole trilogy. And I’ll be there for part four when it comes out later this year. Stop judging me!
Honorable Mentions: 10 Things I Hate About You, Office Space, and Blast from the Past
That’ll do it for part two of this series. We are halfway through my first 40 years of life. And I suddenly feel very old. Well, what are you gonna do? Come back next time for the 2000s, a decade I feel like we really should still be in at this point. I mean, when someone talks about movies planned to be released in 2023, all I can think is, “That’s not a real year!”