Top 10 Movies of the 1990s

Script written by Richard Bush. The 1990s saw Hollywood turn to independent studios, Disney make a comeback and CGI advancements make a big impract. For our series of the Best Movies of All Time, we’ve chosen ten movies per decade based on their iconic status, critical acclaim, box-office success, and watchability. And just so you know, we’re not necessarily choosing the movies your film studies professor would pick. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, in this installment of our series on the greatest movies of all time, we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movies of the 1990s. Special thanks to our users Jared Schumann, Mikey Webb, Micheal JCaboose, jwiking62, ibriers 1, Jerome Magajes and krokar94 for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Richard Bush.

This decade saw Hollywood turn to independent studios, Disney make a comeback and CGI advancements make a big imprint. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, in this installment of our series on the greatest movies of all time, we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movies of the1990s.

For our series of the Best Movies of All Time, we’ve chosen ten movies per decade based on their iconic status, critical acclaim, box-office success, and watchability. And just so you know, we’re not necessarily choosing the movies your film studies professor would pick.

So sit back and relax as we choose the red pill, get busy livin’ and break open the toy box.

#10: “The Matrix” (1999)

What is real? Is life just an elaborate computer program? These are the questions raised by the 1999 sci-fi shooter that became one of the most impressive science fiction films to date. We follow protagonist Neo as he explores the synthetic world of the Matrix and fights the oppressive evil that goes along with it. Aside from its complicated plot, this Wachowski Brothers masterwork is also visually stunning, with slow-motion bullet dodging, brilliantly choreographed fights and plenty of shootouts.

#9: “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

With murderer Buffalo Bill on the loose, rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling must call on expert advice from captured cannibal and expert psychologist Hannibal Lecter to catch him. Aside from this pursuit, it’s the eerie one-on-one conversations between Starling and Lecter that send shivers up your spine, proving Anthony Hopkins as the king of creepy and earning “The Silence of the Lambs” the Big Five Academy Awards, including the first ever Best Picture Oscar given to a horror film.

#8: “Fight Club” (1999)

An adaptation of a Chuck Palahniuk novel, “Fight Club” is about materialism, insomnia and what it was to be a Gen-X male in the ‘90s. When our Unnamed Narrator finds solace in the bohemian Tyler Durden, he’s finally able to live without regret and start an underground recreational activity called Fight Club. Divisive and controversial upon its release, “Fight Club” may not have won any Oscars, but it was one of the most talked-about movies of the decade.

#7: “Toy Story” (1995)

The first movie ever produced using only computer animation; “Toy Story” proved the industry could grow “to infinity and beyond.” Based around the adventures of toys that come alive when no one’s around, we follow Woody and Buzz Lightyear as they fight to be Andy’s favorite plaything. Flawless animation and bubbly characters make this Pixar and its two sequels truly magical, and one of the few franchises to receive almost unanimously positive reviews for all three of its installments.

#6: “Schindler’s List” (1993)

Giving us a behind-the-scenes look at Oskar Schindler’s life and efforts throughout the Holocaust, Steven Spielberg came out of his family-friendly comfort zone – and took home seven Academy Awards as a result. Spielberg shows in stark black and white realism the battle between good and evil. Though it was a lightning rod for controversy, the film was massively popular with both audiences and critics. And just think: Spielberg also released the groundbreaking “Jurassic Park” that same year!

#5: “Forrest Gump” (1994)

Football player, Ping-Pong champion, war hero: Is there anything Forrest can’t do? This movie follows the simple-minded Forrest Gump, who proves you don’t have to be a genius to accomplish great things. A symbol of what determination can achieve and how opportunity can always come a-knockin’, Robert Zemeckis’ “Forrest Gump” features Tom Hanks in an Academy Award-winning performance, telling a bittersweet story that nabbed a slew of other Oscars and enchanted audiences to the tune of $677 million.

#4: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

Just when you thought the monosyllabic cyborg from 1984’s original “Terminator” flick couldn’t get any cooler, along came “T2.” Set about a decade after the original, Arnie’s back, only this time it’s to protect future resistance leader John Connor and not to kill his mom. While many special effects-heavy movies ignore story in favor of big action, “T2” was lauded by critics as a well-crafted action flick, that went on to influence the genre in the years that followed.

#3: “GoodFellas” (1990)

It’s a Martin Scorsese classic, wrapped in violence, gangland activity and plenty of F-words. Based on the true story of Henry Hill, we climb up the mafia ladder with him as he goes from parking cars to robbing airports. While Scorsese’s deliberate directorial choices do elevate “GoodFellas,” it’s the acting in this perfectly-cast film that makes it great: Ray Liotta’s portrayal of Hill is amplified by the great supporting work of Robert De Niro and Oscar winner Joe Pesci.

#2: “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994)

Based on a Stephen King novella, “The Shawshank Redemption” follows Andy Dufresne to jail after he’s convicted of his wife’s murder. Watching him battle the usual prison struggles and the despair that will inevitably set it, we see Andy earn the respect of the guards, the prison warden and one inmate in particular. With hope on his side, Andy’s fight for humanity is a truly uplifting story that was nominated for seven Oscars.

Honorable Mentions

- “The Usual Suspects” (1995)
- “Titanic” (1997)
- “The Big Lebowski” (1998)
- “The Lion King” (1994)

#1: “Pulp Fiction” (1994)

Quentin Tarantino proved what he was capable of with his 1992 debut, “Reservoir Dogs.” But few expected a follow-up as brilliant as this. Telling the interwoven stories of multiple characters, from boxer Butch to hit men Vince and Jules, the film is incidentally based around a mysterious, glowing briefcase. Equipped with great actors and a killer script, “Pulp Fiction” delivers memorable lines, no-nonsense violence and intricate storytelling that won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie of the ‘90s? For more thrilling top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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