The silver screen is growing gold and getting old. Hollywood studios invested more than £1 billion in blockbuster movies in 2020. This number accounts for a small amount of the money and effort that went into UK film.
But older films have just as much to offer as new ones. The movies of the 90s are terrific, once you figure out what the best ones are. Of course, you will get many different opinions on which films made in the 1990s are the best. We particularly like those in our list below.
What are some good choices for comedies? What should you turn on if you want a good drama or action film? Are there any good documentaries or horror movies?
Answer these questions and you can enrich your appreciation of film from across the years. Here is your quick guide to the best flicks we enjoyed from this era.
Major movie critics like Roger Ebert considered Fargo to be one of the best movies of all time. The story follows a car salesman down on his luck who hires two criminals to kidnap his wife. He hopes to extort money from his wealthy father-in-law, but the job goes wrong.
The film won two Oscars for Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay. Frances McDormand plays a perky yet intelligent detective who gets to the bottom of the kidnapping scheme. The story is dark and funny, with terrific cinematography and editing.
Directors: The Cohen Brothers
Groundhog Day (1993)
Groundhog Day is another dark comedy. A sardonic weatherman goes out to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to do a story on Groundhog Day. He becomes stuck in the town overnight, and he finds himself in a time loop.
At first, the weatherman indulges himself. But as time goes on, he takes the opportunity to improve his behaviour and gain a new respect for life. Bill Murray plays the weatherman perfectly, selling his transformation into a thoughtful and intelligent journalist.
The movie is funny yet philosophical. Essayists have written about how the movie relates to a number of topics, including life lessons for the pandemic.
Director: Harold Ramis
The Truman Show (1998)
An interesting addition to the simulated reality movie genre, the Truman Show follows a man whose life has taken place on a television show. He doesn’t know that the entire world around him has been created for him until accidents begin to occur.
The film came out in 1998, just before reality television took off in earnest. It is a thorough exploration of privacy, reality television, and the meaning of life. Jim Carrey combines his brand of manic comedy with subtle dramatic acting, and he won a Golden Globe for his work.
Director: Peter Weir
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Being John Malkovich is one of the most original movies ever made. A puppeteer finds a portal into the actor John Malkovich’s mind. He first uses the portal to make money, but then he takes over Malkovich’s consciousness and life.
The movie is a fantasy comedy that plays its concept to the hilt. The puppeteer comes to control John Malkovich like one of his puppets. But other people take advantage of the portal for their own reasons, including Malkovich himself.
Director: Spike Jonze
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
In 1971, Hunter S. Thompson wrote a novel about two men who travel to Las Vegas in search of the American Dream. Monty Python alumnus Terry Gilliam adapted the story for Hollywood in 1998.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas underperformed at the box office and received mixed reviews. But it has grown in stature through time and is now considered one of the seminal 90s films.
Gilliam replicates the experience of being high through editing and cinematography choices. The viewer often sees things from the character’s perspective, making things even more realistic.
Director: Terry Gilliam
Read a list of movie recommendations or browse through movie streaming services, and you will stumble across GoodFellas. The film follows Henry Hill as he joins the mob in the 1950s and rises through the ranks over the next 25 years.
Hill is a brutal gangster, but he is not as bad as his associates. Joe Pesci won an Oscar for his role as a psychopathic and unpredictable mobster. Robert De Niro plays Hill’s superior who becomes more murderous and deranged as the film progresses.
There are plenty of movies like GoodFellas that you can watch next. Classic story The Godfather is another essential mob movie that many people consider to be one of the greatest movies ever made.
Director: Martin Scorsese
The Fugitive (1993)
The Fugitive was a popular television series in the 1960s. The 1993 movie is a modern interpretation of the series, following a doctor falsely accused of murdering his wife. He escapes from custody and tracks down the killer while a US Marshal hunts him down.
Tommy Lee Jones plays the US Marshal, and he won an Oscar for his performance. The film is an extremely engaging action film and detective story.
Director: Andrew Davis
Paradise Lost (1996)
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills is one of the best true story documentaries ever made. In 1993, three boys were murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas. Three teenagers were convicted for the crimes, but the case against them wasn’t solid.
The documentary breaks down the case bit by bit and sheds some light on the three teenagers’ innocence. Paradise Lost was extremely successful, and it called international attention to the case. The three men were later released from prison in 2011 after witnesses recanted their testimonies against them.
Directors: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Cult film The Blair Witch Project popularised the found-footage horror film genre. Three college students go missing, and the tapes are discovered years later. The footage reveals a series of bizarre events, some of which may or may not be supernatural.
The movie is extremely polarising due to its slow pacing and lack of a clear villain. But if you like to watch movies that are more experimental in nature, you should try it out.
Directors: Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick
The Greatest Movies of the 90s
The very best movies of the 90s cut across all genres. Black comedies dominated the decade, especially Fargo and Groundhog Day. If you are interested in philosophy, you should check out Being John Malkovich and The Truman Show as well.
Fear and Loathing is a great road and drug film. GoodFellas is an engaging mafia film and The Fugitive is an exhilarating action film.
Documentary enthusiasts can check out Paradise Lost. If you want to get scared, try The Blair Witch Project.
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