My Favorite: Movies: Nineties

Picking ten favorite movies of the nineties is kind of a ridiculous challenge now that I’ve plowed through every year.  I have a list of a hundred favorites compiled from the decade — all of which certainly are movies I love.

Now that I’ve started this project, I honestly wonder how critics compile their best of lists — I suppose they are more beholden to some consensus of critical acclaim but even then it must be extremely difficult to narrow in on just ten movies.  AV Club has a top ten of Being John Malkovich, Rushmore, Unforgiven, Reservoir Dogs, Out of Sight, ChungKing Express, Dazed and Confused, Toy Story 2, Pulp Fiction and Goodfellas.  Roger Ebert’s top ten list is Hoop DreamsPulp FictionGoodFellasFargoThree Colors Trilogy: “Blue,” “White,” and “Red“, Schindler’s List, Breaking the WavesLeaving Las VegasMalcolm X and JFK.  Ebert had Martin Scorsese on that top ten show and Scorsese picked the following for his top eleven on the nineties: Horse Thief, The Thin Red Line, A Borrowed Life, Eyes Wide ShutBad LieutenantBreaking the WavesBottle Rocket, Crash, FargoMalcolm X, and Heat (So modest! He doesn’t even pick his own Goodfellas).

Den of Geek has it’s list of the top underrated movies of the nineties– it includes Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Devil in a Blue Dress, A Simple Plan, Jackie Brown, Zero Effect, Pump Up the Volume, Miller’s Crossing, LA Story, Office Space, and Stir of Echoes. (Ahh! Zero Effect, I completely overlooked that in compiling these lists! Flawed, but I did like the absurd spin on Sherlock Holmes)

What’s Paste Magazine? Anyhow, a writer there had the same idea as me and wrote up a top list of the nineties this past summer.  I was glad to see Michael found it as hard coming up with a top list as I have.  His top ten list includes: The Apostle, Rushmore, Hoop Dreams, Goodfellas, Fargo, The Shawshank Redemption, Three Colors Trilogy (everyone seems to cheat and count these three movies as one on their lists), Magnolia, Schindler’s List, and Pulp Fiction.

Just in compiling a top ten for each year of this decade I realized how many probably great movies I have not seen and how many movies I just don’t remember clearly.  All of which means I guess I reserve the right to change my mind and change it often.  I plan on trying to queue up a bunch of these movies — it’s entirely possible I’ll have some new favorites by the time I’m done.

I had to make a few direct comparisons to whittle my list down to ten.  From Wes Anderson — Bottle Rocket or Rushmore? Despite seeing Rushmore quite recently, I still prefer Bottle Rocket.  From Quentin Tarantino — Jackie Brown or Pulp Fiction? Maybe both belong in my top list but I liked Jackie Brown just a bit better.  I have three movies from Director Danny Boyle on my list: A Life Less Ordinary, Trainspotting and Shallow Grave.  I like all three actually but if I have to choose I give Shallow Gravea slight edge.  I have an even tougher choice amongst the four Coen Brothers movies on my list.  Two are comedies: The Big Lebowski and The Hudsucker Proxy; and two are dramas:  Millers Crossing and Fargo.  Now these are tough choices!

My Top Ten Favorite Movies of the Nineties

  1. Smoke
  2. 12 Monkeys
  3. Three Kings
  4. Being John Malkovich
  5. Jackie Brown
  6. Millers Crossing
  7. Shallow Grave
  8. Out of Sight
  9. Dazed and Confused
  10. Bottle Rocket

So is this a reflection of something of me?  What do our favorite movies say about ourselves.  Does it matter if our favorites are ironclad or more susceptible to the winds of change?

Also it’s going to be awhile before I take on another decade of movies, let alone, books, television, music….



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