1990s Were How Long Ago? One Movie for Each Year!

I look back at the 1990s with some fondness. There were many good movies that poured out of the studios in this decade. Here are my ten movie picks, one for each year, that are still great to watch.

Misery (1990)

Paul Sheldon should count his lucky stars he has such a huge fan base. He was doing so well until Annie Wilkes came into his life. She’s the nightmare all writers fear. Heck, she’s the nightmare everyone fears. This is based from the Stephen King novel of the same name. James Caan plays Sheldon and Kathy Bates plays his crazed number one fan. Good thing you don’t need your legs for inspiration or to write.


Cape Fear (1991)

Max Cady is not someone you want to mess around with in either the 1962 version or this one. Sam Bowden learns the hard way when Cady is released from prison and seeks revenge on his family. It stars Robert DeNiro as Cady, Nick Nolte as Bowden, Jessica Lange as Leigh (wife), and Juliette Lewis as Danielle (daughter).


Bram Stokers: Dracula (1992)

Everything is not right in love and dracula. This is an adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola with Gary Oldman as Dracula, Winona Ryder as Mina, and Keanu Reeves as Tom Harker. This centers around Dracula’s longing to love again and becomes fixated on Mina. The soundtrack is really good too and Tom Waits has a small role.


Ba wang bie ji (original title)
Farewell My Concubine (1993)

This is the longest movie I’m recommending because it spans quite a bit of time. It’s an adaptation from Pik Wah Lee’s (Lillian Lee) novel that focuses on two performers in the Peking Opera. It follows their lives, competitive in career and love, as they navigate their way through the political turmoil in China. It stars Leslie Cheung as Chen Dieyi, Fengyi Zhang as Duan Xiaolou, and Li Gong as Juxian.


Léon (original title)
Léon: The Professional (1994)

The first movie that Natalie Portman starred in and as a 12-year-old girl named Mathilda. She finds life again under the tutelage of a hitman and her emotions don’t run deep for her parents and sister. Her brother is a different story, and this is why she pesters Léon to the point of him teaching her how to hold a gun and shoot properly. Little does he know the only thing she wants is revenge. You can’t go wrong with Jean Reno and Gary Oldman either.


The Usual Suspects (1995)

This remains one of my favorite Benicio Del Toro and Kevin Spacey movies. The whole cast is great and the interaction among them all is first-rate. The whole time you’re trying to figure out why everyone is there and if you’ll actually find out who Keyser Söze is by the end. Sometimes the truth can be right in front you, but sometimes it is very far away.


Sling Blade (1996)

The second movie Lucas Black was in and complete in his underwear. He plays Frank Wheatley who befriends a man named Karl Childers who was recently released from a mental hospital. This movie was written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton and stars himself as Childers. It’s a great drama with great small roles played by Robert Duvall, John Ritter, and Dwight Yoakam.

sling blade

Le cinquième élément (original title)
The Fifth Element (1997)

We zigzag back and forth from the 23rd century to the past, about 5,000 years, when the people with good intentions are still battling those with only evil intentions. All will be lost if the four stones aren’t found, but have no fear because Korben Dallas played by Bruce Willis and Vito Cornelius played by Ian Holm come to the rescue, sort of. Milla Jojovich as Leeloo is the Fifth Element.

the fifth element

Lola rennt (original title)
Run Lola Run (1998)

This movie is for all those girlfriends who have boyfriends who can’t stay out of trouble and put them in predicaments they’d rather not be in. Lola played by Franka Potente has to fix her boyfriend’s screw up. She’s a woman who keeps running in order to get 100,000 Deutschmarks so Manni doesn’t get killed or have to rob a bank. There are many different ways this day could end and all in 20 minutes.


Being John Malkovich (1999)

This gem of a movie is written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze. It deals with getting inside someone’s mind, and in this case, John Malkovich. As the puppeteer who found this portal, Craig Schwartz, he begins to ponder the true meaning of life and all it has to offer him. He shares his secret with others and this soon leads to problems for everyone involved. It stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and of course, John Malkovich.



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