Movies from the ’90s

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

We’ve tripped through the ’70s, went radical with the ’80s, and now it’s time to look at our favorite movies from the ’90s!


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Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Can’t believe nobody mentioned T2: Judgement day! One of the first R rated movies I ever saw in the theater.

  2. I agree with Matthew about “Blair Witch Project” . . . a lot of people can’t get over the scene of the girl crying into the camera, which has been played and parodied ten times over. If you actually look at the framework of the movie – especially the foreshadowing the ending – you can see it’s actually a very masterfully done movie.

    Here are my picks:

    Army of Darkness – I was a big fan of the “Brisco County Jr.” growing up. So imagine my surprise when, one day, I flip through the channels and find an ill-tempered Bruce Campbell yelling at medieval peasants and fighting demonic zombies. It’s not the kind of movie I expected my family to embrace (I’m the only horror fan among them), but it’s become a big hit, even among my brother (who generally only likes comedies), further fueling my admiration for the Chin!

    Men in Black – Before Will Smith was testing the limits of his appeal with “After Earth”, he was knocking ’em dead with Tommy Lee Jones in this smash hit. Though it doesn’t bear much in common with the comic of the same name, it’s certainly a very creative crowd-pleaser, explaining how aliens live among us and how we keep forgetting it.

    The Rocketeer – So there seems to be a pattern of Jennifer Connelly in my list . . . not that I’m complaining. This very well could have been the first superhero movie I saw on the big screen. It has it all. Nazis. Howard Hughes. Mobsters. Alan Arkin. Rocket packs. What more could you want?

    Dark City – This movie has the twists and trenchcoats of “The Matrix”, but replaces the martial artis with a healthy dose of noir. It was released a full year before “The Matrix”, but has largely been overshadowed by it, despite having the always-lovely Jennifer Connelly, a near-unrecognizable Keifer Sutherland and a fold-up city that gives “Inception” a run for its money.

    Sleepy Hollow – Many people forget that before Johnny Depp was Jack Sparrow, he was Icabod Crane, and before Ray Park was Snake Eyes, he was the Headless Horseman (and maybe Christopher Walken). It even has Stephen’s pal Casper Van Dien in it!

  3. Rui Almeida aka Ariamus on

    In my opinion, the best five movies of the 90s are, in no particular order:

    “The Shawshank Redemption”
    “American Beauty”
    “LA Confidential”
    “Pulp Fiction”
    “Fight Club”

    OK, I lied; they’re listed in number of characters in the title descending order… ;-)

  4. Ampersand777 on

    Neat topic today, here are my top 5.

    5: South Park Bigger Longer and Uncut.
    Surprised this flick didn’t get any mentions at all in the episode. Probably one of my favorite musicals and comedies of all time. The humor is brilliant and the songs are catchy. Must watch for everyone.

    4. Tremors
    It might not be a great movie, It might not even be a average movie, but I really like Tremors. Just a big fun stupid film. It’s one of those ones that I will sit and watch if its on if I’m channel surfing then watch it again if it repeats. Plus, its got Kevin Bacon.

    3. Princess Mononoke
    This film is my personal favorite Studio Ghibli film and one of my favorite anime films ever. Everything from animation to the story in this movie is great.

    2: Forest Gump
    This movie is just great. One of Tom Hanks best roles ever. It makes me happy just thinking about this movie. So many great moments.

    1: Braveheart
    Why this is my number one is pretty simple. It is probably the first R rated film my parents let me see, I think was around 8 or 9 years old at the time. Solid film over all, very violent and has a couple of funny moments. The only Mel Gibson movie I really like.

    Other Films: Iron Giant, Toy Story, Aladdin, Lion King, Batman:MotP, Last of the Mohicans, The Mystery Men, Men in Black, Seven, L.A Confidential,

    My Ideas for Future top 5’s:
    Top 5 Anime Films.
    Top 5 Female Protagonists
    Top 5 Cars from the (Insert Decade Here)
    Top 5 Fictional Aliens
    Top 5 Documentaries
    Top 5 Least Favorite Films you finished.
    Top 5 Single Season TV Show
    Top 5 Historical Figures
    Top 5 Fantasy Stories
    Top 5 Spaceships

  5. My Top 5 from the 1990’s:

    1. JFK
    2. Schindler’s List
    3. Saving Private Ryan
    4. The Player
    5. Bob Roberts

    Honorable Mentions:

    Bull Durham
    Dances With Wolves
    Wag the Dog

  6. Matthew Pittman on

    There are so many great movies from each decade going back to when movies were first movies, it is difficult to break out a top 5 but here is my try.

    5. Starting off the list is a movie that falls into a category of appreciation that I call “delayed appreciation”. Movies in this category are ones that when I first see them, I may not even “enjoy” the experience of watching it. But, something magical happens in the time after that first viewing where an appreciation grows from somewhere or something. This may occur relatively quickly after that viewing or over a much longer period (years). Perhaps it is talking about the movie with others and seeing it from varying perspectives that allow for a new appreciation. One of these movies for me was A Few Good Men. I may have been too young (19) for this type of movie at the time but now it definitely falls into one of my favorites and a must watch if it happens to be on. It is just a great combination of a good story being well told with really good and compelling acting from an all-star cast (yes, even Kevin Pollak).

    4. This is the time period when I developed an interest in the history of World War II. I cannot attribute this solely to this movie but it did play a large part. Saving Private Ryan was the first war movie that I found myself really enjoying. Mainly it was Tom Hank’s fantastic portrayal of his character but the supporting cast was also great (yes, even Ted Danson and Paul Giamatti). How can I also not mention Spielberg’s shooting of the film-war-realism of the Normandy Beach in the first 20min and the way he shot the final battle of a small group’s attempt to hold a bridge in the face of overwhelming odds. Outstanding! I am not sure why that every time I watch this movie, at the end, the room seems to instantly fill with a large amount of foreign airborne particulate matter that seems to always find its way into one or both of my eyes. It’s embarrassing, really.

    3. My number three was another move that was a “delayed appreciation”. Having grown up in the Minnesota area gave me home-town feel for this movie. In spite of the fact that everyone sounds like they are fresh off the turnip-boat from Sweden, I still managed to end up liking it. It has grown on me so much that it is in my top 5. When I found out it was a true story, it gave it more meaning as in the back of my mind, the story seemed somehow familiar as I vaguely recalled hearing about it in the local news. This team of the Coen Brothers has a certain flair for movie making that I find very unique, disturbing (in an entertaining way), compelling and provocative. All are qualities epitomized by Fargo. I have loved every one of their movies they have made save for their first movie for some reason.

    2. Another movie making brother duo got together to make my number 2 movie. I saw it with a close friend of mine while at grad school. We both had a very similar interest in books and we were both reading an author by the name of Jack Chalker, specifically, the Wonderland Gambit. It is important to note that Chalker was not officially associated in any way with the film but the movie obviously stole some themes from his story. The long known philosophy 101 idea/question of “how do you know what is real?” comes strongly into play as the world as we know it turns out to be nothing more than an elaborate computer simulation in The Matrix. This film has inspired and influenced many movies and individual scenes after its debut. One could argue that it reshaped the genre. I also want to comment that even though this is one of Keanu’s best works, I feel that a supporting actor outshines him in Hugo Weaving. It would be nice if someday the creators would make a sequel to this amazing story but that will probably never happen. ;-)

    1. The easiest choice for me is number 1. This is a movie that usually ends up being viewed once a year for me if I can find a time that my wife will allow it. Bill Murry is in my top 5 comedic actors and he is absolutely amazing in this one. It was directed by an also amazing Harold Ramis and while not necessarily my favorite acting MacDowell, Andie MacDowell is certainly the purdiest. The sci fi theme being told in a rom-com format makes Goundhog Day a special movie indeed. It is just a move that makes me smile.
    And 6 and up (in no order)

    Terminator 2
    The Big Lebowski
    Jurassic Park
    Schindler’s List
    Toy Story
    Good Will Hunting

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