The Top 100 of the 1990s

E verybody loves a list. Actually, everybody loves to hate a list, to argue with it, to shriek at excessive volume, "WHAT THE HELL WERE THOSE PINHEADS THINKING?" So, we pinheads here at AboutFilm.Com decided to give you an opportunity to shriek about us.

Our reviewers have rated all the films released in the past decade. Below you will see our picks for The Best 100 Movies of the 1990s, ranked by their average rating. On our separate list of The Top 25, you will find the awards each film won, along with a rhapsodic comment from one of our reviewers stating why the film deserves its lofty ranking.

Note: Six AboutFilm.Com reviewers (Carlo, Dana, Jeff, Alison, Jen, and Kris ) participated in this feature. To qualify for our list, a movie had to be rated by at least 4 of the 6 reviewers.

Read our reviewers' comments on the Top 25.

  Title Stars Director
1. Goodfellas Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro Martin Scorsese
2. Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley Steven Spielberg
3. Miller's Crossing Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden Joel Coen
4. Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet James Cameron
5. The Silence of the Lambs Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins Jonathan Demme
6. Pulp Fiction John Travolta, Samuel Jackson Quentin Tarantino
7. Dead Man Walking Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn Tim Robbins
8. L.A. Confidential Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe Curtis Hanson
9. Babe James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski Chris Noonan
10. Unforgiven Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman Clint Eastwood
11. Fight Club Edward Norton, Brad Pitt David Fincher
12. Gods and Monsters Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser Bill Condon
13. Hoop Dreams William Gates, Arthur Agee Steve James
14. Beauty and the Beast Paige O'Hara, Robbie Benson Trousdale & Wise
15. The Matrix Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne Wachowski Bros.
16. Fargo Frances McDormand, William H. Macy Joel Coen
17. The Shawshank Redemption Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman Frank Darabont
18. Glengarry Glen Ross Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino James Foley
19. Election Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon Alexander Payne
20. Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore Steven Spielberg
21. American Beauty Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening Sam Mendes
22. Trainspotting Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle Danny Boyle
23. Shakespeare in Love Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow John Madden
24. American History X Edward Norton, Edward Furlong Tony Kaye
25. The Ice Storm Kevin Kline, Joan Allen Ang Lee
26. Reservoir Dogs Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen Quentin Tarantino
27. Searching for Bobby Fischer Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley Steven Zaillian
28. Three Colors: Red Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant Krzysztof Kieslowski 
29. The Straight Story Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek David Lynch
30. The End of the Affair Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore Neil Jordan
31. Heat Robert De Niro, Al Pacino Michael Mann
32. Thelma and Louise Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis Ridley Scott
33. Quiz Show Ralph Fiennes, John Turturro Robert Redford
34. The English Patient Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas Anthony Minghella
35. The Talented Mr. Ripley Matt Damon,Gwyneth Paltrow Anthony Minghella
36. Richard III Ian McKellen, Annette Bening Richard Loncraine
37. Crumb Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky Terry Zwigoff
38. The Crying Game Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson Neil Jordan
39. Terminator 2: Judgement Day Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton James Cameron
40. The Remains of the Day Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson James Ivory
41. Se7en Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt David Fincher
42. Out of Sight George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez Steven Soderberg
43. The Insider Al Pacino, Russell Crowe Michael Mann
44. Sense and Sensibility Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet Ang Lee
45. JFK Kevin Costner Oliver Stone
46. The Player Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi Robert Altman
47. Donnie Brasco Johnny Depp, Al Pacino Mike Newell
48. Leaving Las Vegas Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue Mike Figgis
49. Eat Drink Man Woman Sihung Lung, Yu-Wen Wang Ang Lee
50. Boys Don't Cry Hilary Swank, Chlöe Sevigny Kimberly Peirce
51. The Adventures of Priscilla,
Queen of the Desert
Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving Stephan Elliott
52. Being John Malkovich John Cusack, Catherine Keener Spike Jonze
53. Barton Fink John Turturro, John Goodman Joel Coen
54. Waiting for Guffman Christopher Guest, Lewis Arquette Christopher Guest
55. The Winslow Boy Nigel Hawthorne, Jeremy Northam David Mamet
56. Run Lola Run Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu Tom Tykwer
57. Forrest Gump Tom Hanks, Robin Wright Penn Robert Zemeckis
58. Gattaca Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman Andrew Niccol
59. The Usual Suspects Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey Bryan Singer
60. Swingers Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn Doug Liman
61. Eyes Wide Shut Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman Stanley Kubrick
62. Sonatine Takeshi Kitano Takeshi Kitano
63. La Femme Nikita Anne Parillaud, Marc Duret Luc Besson
64. Dogfight River Phoenix, Lili Taylor Nancy Savoca
65. An Autumn Tale Marie Rivière, Béatrice Romand Eric Rohmer
66. The Game Michael Douglas, Sean Penn David Fincher
67. The Sweet Hereafter Ian Holm, Sarah Polley Atom Egoyan
68. The Limey Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda Steven Soderberg
69. Lock, Stock & Two
     Smoking Barrels
Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher Guy Ritchie
70. Heavenly Creatures Kate Winslet, Melanie Lynskey Peter Jackson
71. Hamlet Kenneth Branagh, Kate Winslet Kenneth Branagh
72. The Fugitive Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones Andrew Davis
73. Edward Scissorhands Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder Tim Burton
74. Apollo 13 Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon Ron Howard
75. All About My Mother Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes Pedro Almodóvar
76. True Romance Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette Tony Scott
77. Ed Wood Johnny Depp, Martin Landau Tim Burton
78. Pleasantville Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon Gary Ross
79. The Grifters John Cusack, Anjelica Houston Stephen Frears
80. The Commitments Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne Alan Parker
81. A Bronx Tale Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri Robert De Niro
82. Secrets and Lies Brenda Blethyn, Timothy Spall Mike Leigh
83. Happiness Jane Adams, Dylan Baker Todd Solondz
84. In the Name of the Father Daniel Day Lewis, Emma Thompson Jim Sheridan
85. Babe: Pig in the City Magda Szubanski, Elizabeth Daily George Miller
86. The Spanish Prisoner Scott Campbell David Mamet
87. Sling Blade Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam Billy Bob Thornton
88. Before Sunrise Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy Richard Linklater
89.  Twin Falls Idaho Mark Polish, Michael Polish Michael Polish
90. Hilary and Jackie Emily Watson, Rachel Griffiths Anand Tucker
91. The Truman Show Jim Carrey, Laura Linney Peter Weir
92. The People vs. Larry Flynt Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love Milos Forman
93. The Professional Jean Reno, Natalie Portman Luc Besson
94. Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell Kevin Costner
95. Clerks Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson Kevin Smith
96. The Piano Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel Jane Campion
97. The Joy Luck Club Kieu Chinh, Tsai Chin, Lisa Lu Wayne Wang
98. Fearless Jeff Bridges, Rosie Perez Peter Weir
99. The Dreamlife of Angels Élodie Bouchez, Natacha Régnier Erick Zoncka
100. Natural Born Killers Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis Oliver Stone

Almost Made It

Movies that failed to qualify for the top 100 because only 3 of our 6 reviewers had seen them:

Hard Boiled After Life
City of Hope
Fast, Cheap and Out of Control         
Hard Boiled
A Midnight Clear
Muriel's Wedding
Once Were Warriors
One False Move
Passion Fish


Some movies were torpedoed by a single low grade. They fell off the list of the top 100 movies because a single reviewer (out of a minimum of five who rated the movie) graded it a C+ or lower, while all the others rated it a B or better. The culprits and the victims are:

Blair Witch Project
Sixth Sense

Alison:  none

Carlo:  The Blair Witch Project (D+), Rushmore (C+), To Die For (C+), Welcome to the Dollhouse (C+), South Park (C+)

Dana:  Howards End (C-), Four Weddings and a Funeral (C-)

Jeff:  The Sixth Sense (C+)

Jen:  The Age of Innocence (C), Aladdin (C+), Kundun (C+), Jerry Maguire (C+), Contact (C-), Short Cuts (D)

Kris:  Eve's Bayou (C+), Reversal of Fortune (C), The Full Monty (C), A Perfect World (C)

  Comment on this feature
  Read user comments
  Continue to our reviewers on The Top 25
  Features Index