The 1990s are both overrated and underrated when it comes to movies. The highs may not have been all that high, but the lows weren’t as bad as the eighties and the middles were solid. It was a workmanlike decade in film, and there’s nothing wrong with that, really. The one negative thing I would say about a lot of the movies of the era was that even the independent films feel like their corners have been rounded off a bit. Everything feels really commercial, which is not always bad, but can be a little bit sad.
Just as with my list of favorite songs of the nineties, I feel like I must be forgetting some candidates here. I also fully admit that there are quite a few critically acclaimed movies from the nineties that I’ve never watched; for instance, I haven’t seen four of the ten Best Picture Academy Award winners from the decade. For some reason, even though I say over and over that these lists are of my favorites, and not necessarily the best, I still feel the need to qualify everything. Anyway, let’s get started. Here they are, my twenty five favorite movies of the 1990s:
25) Romeo + Juliet (1996)
I can’t really sit through this entire movie anymore. I need someone to edit it down for me and just cut out the 45 or so minutes of meaningful glances and mournful stares. But I love the concept and the aesthetic of it, and the opening sequence is one of my favorites ever. Unfortunately I can’t find just that bit on YouTube, so I’m posting this trailer (which actually makes the movie look much worse than it is) instead.
24) Clerks (1994)
Kevin Smith is kind of like the Dave Matthews of directors. Clerks and Under the Table and Dreaming both came pretty much out of nowhere in 1994, and were met with commercial and critical success. Both Smith and Matthews were praised initially (and rightly so) for their unique style. Both kept doing pretty much the same thing, and slowly lost fans, through fatigue and a drop in quality of the product they were producing, and eventually became kind of the epitome of uncool in their respective fields. Not people that were terrible at what they did, but people of whom it was embarrassing to be a fan. And yet both maintain, to this day, a core group of hardcore fans that don’t really seem to realize that nobody else cares anymore.
Anyway, I LOVED this movie when I first saw it on VHS. Not surprisingly, I was around 13 at the time. I was also a fan of Mallrats, and loved Chasing Amy when it came out. I thought that Jason Lee was the second coming of Jimmy Stewart. Have I ever considered buying any of these on DVD? No. Let’s leave them locked up in the Nineties Time Capsule.