The 90s were over 20 years ago! Time passes at an unsuspected speed, the world changes and leaves only the nostalgia of the good years. When we take a closer look, the last decade of the 20th century was particularly rich in masterpieces of the 7th art.
We can’t help but see them and see them again. From the record holder for the most Oscars; From Titanic to prison dramas The Escapees and The Green Line, we’ve compiled a list of 30 of the best films of this decade for you.
Alarmed by the fact that people close to her are suddenly dying, young Yumiko begins to harbor a fear of the presence of a curse. Indeed, one day, under mysterious circumstances, her husband Ikuo commits suicide. Yumiko’s world is falling apart, but she still holds out hope. The young woman marries a second time with a fisherman named Tamio, but something sinister and inevitable continues to haunt her.
This ode to grief, loneliness and mourning remains a particularly striking work of Japanese cinema of the 90s. family affair , Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.
Craig Jones (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker) are two lazy friends who live in Los Angeles and love to spend the day drinking, smoking and hanging out. But today they have a serious problem: having kept on them a portion of “weed” to sell, they could not resist it and therefore decided to consume this herb. But the goods are not free, the two young men must obtain 200 dollars to give them to the drug trafficker at 10 p.m. at the latest.
“Friday” is one of the best comedies of the 90s and one of the most iconic films of everyday life in certain African-American neighborhoods. Built around an original cast and a hilarious script, the film fully assumes its relaxed style which has become the greatest ingredient of its success.
A terrorist places a radio-controlled bomb in an ordinary bus which will explode if the driving speed drops below 80 km/h. Once the bus is on the highway, the explosive is activated and the bus itself turns into a “speedbomb” and the passengers become its hostages. A police officer on the bus and his occasional traveling companions are looking for a way to save people’s lives.
Speed is an impeccable action film that contains all the ingredients that make the success of this genre: a gripping story, constant tension, breathtaking suspense and memorable performances. The film also benefits from the undeniable chemistry between these two main actors Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.
Defying a ban, two young women view a videotape that predicts a curse on anyone who watches its contents. They are soon overtaken by the macabre consequences that have been predicted by the rumor. After these events, a young journalist and her ex-husband decide in turn to investigate the content of the famous tape.
Faithful to the recurring darkness of Japanese cinema, the feature film explores a macabre universe full of surprises and strangers. It spearheaded a new wave of Japanese horror films from the 2000s.
A series of bloody murders disturb the usual lull in the suburb of Woodsboro. The compulsive killer who harasses on the phone is a psychopath. Armed with a long knife, he taunts and stalks his victims. The stranger also seems to be a horror movie fan who kills his victim just for fun.
This cult saga by Wes Craven explores the world of horror film itself. It has become a self-criticism full of references to this genre and builds much of its suspense on the vagueness surrounding the identity of the killer.
Central do Brasil (1998)
A retired teacher, Dora (Fernanda Montenegro) earns her living by writing letters for the illiterate in a central train station in Rio de Janeiro. Indifferent to her clients, she charges one dollar for missives and another dollar if she is asked to send it. Josué, 9, and his mother also use Dora’s services. They write to their father whom Joshua has never seen, but dream of meeting. One day, when his mother dies, the young boy finds himself alone and without landmarks in the immense Brazilian capital. Looking at the poor boy, Dora decides to help him find his father.
Directed in 1998 by Walter Salles, Central do Brasil is an empathetic road movie that tells the journey of two beings that nothing seemed to link. At the Berlin Film Festival in 1998, Central do Brasil won the prize for best film and Fernanda Montenegro, that of best actress. The following year, the film again won the award for best foreign language film at the Golden Globes.
Shot in the Head (1990)
In 1967, three friends from Hong Kong travel to war-torn Saigon in search of an easy life. But the heroes are far from imagining what awaits them. During their adventure, which will last longer than expected, they will have to engage in an unequal battle with the local mafia, the troops of communist Vietnam, to escape captivity. The 3 adventurers will also face drastic choices that will reveal to them the true value of friendship.
The release of this film directed by John Woo coincides with the peak of the golden age of Hong Kong cinema revitalized by this director among others. Far from being a simple action film filled with combat scenes, A bullet in the head is an emotionally powerful work which deals with certain aspects of human relationships, the taste for power, betrayal and the real importance of life. ‘friendship.
Will Hunting (1997)
Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a gifted 20-year-old from Boston who leads a tumultuous life. After yet another police arrest, the mathematics teacher, Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) takes him under his wing, but on one condition: Will must undergo psychotherapy. Rehabilitation sessions that began with mistrust gradually turn into a friendship between Will and his mentor.
Gus Van Sant’s film is a particularly well-written and honest work about violence, death, doubt, loss and change. The acting is particularly stunning, with special mentions to Robin Williams ( Oscar for Best Supporting Actor ) and Matt Damon, very credible in his incarnation of the genius haunted by his own demons.
LA Confidential (1997)
In 1950s Los Angeles, Bud White (Russell Crowe) and Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) are two seasoned detectives working for the LAPD. Despite their differences, they are united by a common cause: the investigation of a massacre during which a former cop was killed. Both joined the police to fight evil, but they are also motivated by very personal reasons.
Eclipsed by the release of the film Titanic the same year, LA Confidential nevertheless managed to impose its stature as a masterpiece over the years. The film is based on an irreproachable cast, perfectly well assembled and up to the challenge. Black and exuberant, Curtis Hanson’s work describes a Los Angeles teeming with temptations of all kinds, undermined by corruption and crime.
In the 1990s, a series of riots broke out in Paris after police brutality suffered by an Arab teenager Abdel. In poor neighborhoods, three friends, a young Jew, a black boxer and a young Arab, find a gun and are determined to use it. They seek revenge in this sterile suburb of Paris during the social unrest simmering around them. Situations more unfortunate than each other will follow until the brutal outcome. They are all inspired by hatred.
La Haine brutally exposes the social reality of certain French suburbs with the right words and situations. Made timeless by its black-white coloring, Matthieu Kassovitz’s film is a social chronicle that challenges, moves or revolts. But it certainly does not leave indifferent.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
In Los Angeles in the early 90s, Jeff Lebowski, nicknamed Dude, considers himself a completely happy person. Yet he is a disillusioned stroller who spends his days bowling and drinking. One day, gangsters mistake him for a millionaire of the same name and demand ransom after kidnapping the other Lebowski’s wife. The Duke then goes to his very wealthy namesake to obtain compensation.
This cult work by brothers Ethan and Joel Coen has gone down the ages to become a veritable gold mine for pop culture. The film indeed contains many whimsical characters, hilarious scenes and memorable lines that cemented its reputation.
American Beauty (1999)
Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a family man going through a midlife crisis. His authority as a father is undermined and his professional responsibilities are not respected. All that remains is a happy family appearance to project. His wife Caroline (Annette Benning) has a passionate affair with a co-worker, and his rebellious teenage daughter is in love with a neighbor’s son who has been a resident of a mental hospital. Exasperated by his boring life, Lester resigns and begins a new life where he intends to take everything lightly. The sequence of events is far from brilliant.
Between rage, cynicism and despair, the characters in this work navigate a dark comedy trying to make sense of lives as insipid as the suburbs they share. American Beauty by Sam Mendes is a film that haunts with the accuracy of the performances, the dramatic turn of events, the music…
The Dinner Game (1998)
A rich publisher has fun once a week with friends by inviting an asshole to dinner. The group of friends make fun, have fun without the guest realizing it. Whoever brings back the funniest asshole wins the bet. On the recommendation of a friend, Pierre Brochan (Thierry Lhermitte) invites a potential ‘con’ to dinner, a tax inspector named François Pignon (Jacques Villeret). Meanwhile, Broshan’s wife, condemning such entertainment, walks away and later informs him that she is leaving him for good. Alarmed, Broshan tries to get his wife back and asks Pignon for help, thanks to whom he finds himself in the most ridiculous situations again and again.
This modern classic of French comedy draws its quality from its ultra-skillful staging and the succession of absolutely hilarious misunderstandings. The Villeret-Lhermitte duo of actors shines in a play with a simple script, but invigorated by the quality of their acting.
The Fifth Element (1997)
We are in 2263. Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) has the imperative mission to discover the 5th element otherwise the earth will be destroyed by a huge ball of fire. Guided by the prophecy of an old monk, Cornelius, Korben Dallas is aided by a taxi driver and Leeloo, a resourceful alien with orange hair.
For this French-produced science fiction film, Luc Besson has brought together a cast of the most emblematic of the 90s (Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Chris Tucker). Thanks to a completely original universe, extravagant sets and funny characters, he was able to produce a reference work.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Child psychiatrist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is confronted with an unexplained medical case: Nine-year-old Cole (Haley Joel Osment) is confronted with strange visions of ghosts. All of his visions include murdered individuals who communicate their bitterness and desperate rage to little Cole. As a doctor, Malcolm is helpless to this deeply tormented being. But as a human, he will become a mentor for Cole to help him accept his gift and unravel the mystery of his terrible world.
This supernatural thriller is undoubtedly the film that revealed the talented Night Shyamalan. But it is also an intelligent and poignant work symbolizing the crowning of a decade of high quality cinematography. We will remember it for a long time for its tetanizing final twist.
Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) is one of Los Angeles’ most dangerous criminals. He is pitted against the best detective in town, Lieutenant Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), a man who must manage a private life that goes up in smoke with an unfaithful wife and an ailing daughter-in-law. The two teams are more determined than the other and converge on a deadly confrontation.
This 1995 thriller by director Michael Mann about cops and robbers in Los Angeles is the scene of a ruthless duel between two sacred monsters of contemporary cinema: Pacino and De Niro. In addition to these two key figures, the film is a triumphant assembly of characters that everything opposes.
Professional killer Leon (Jean Reno) unexpectedly decides to take under his wing Matilda (Natalie Portman), his 11-year-old neighbor, whose family has been killed by corrupt police officers. Mathilda teams up with a reluctant Leon to learn his trade as a hitman and use it to avenge the death of her family murdered by corrupt DEA agent Stansfield (Gary Oldman).
In line with La femme Nikita (1990) , Luc Besson offers in this film complex and tormented characters in search of redemption and perfectly interpreted by the actors. The latter take us on an exciting and dangerous journey through an equally perilous city.
April 1912. During the first and last voyage of the luxurious British transatlantic liner Titanic , two characters meet. Lower deck passenger Jack Dawson (Leonardo Dicaprio) has won a ticket through a bet, and wealthy heiress Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) is on her way to America to get married. Their love at first sight will withstand class differences and many other obstacles, but not an iceberg that also capsized an ocean liner considered unsinkable.
How can we forget this memorable work of the 7th art? James Cameron’s film is a (very) visually impressive, emotionally poignant and artistically triumphant feature film. More than just epic entertainment for the masses, the film is arguably one of Hollywood’s biggest hits.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
A psychopath kidnaps and kills young women all over the Midwest. The FBI on the hunt for the serial killer sends Agent Clarisse Starling (Jodie Foster) to interview psychopathic prisoner Hannibal Lecter, another clever serial killer who could paint a psychological portrait of the killer. Lecter only agrees to help Clarissa if she nurses her particularly perverse imagination with the details of her personal life.
Jonathan Demme’s film will long be remembered for its unsettling play of cat-and-mouse between a particularly cunning serial killer and a tetanized rookie FBI agent. Compelling performances from Hopkins and Foster combine with an impeccable script to produce a great work of psychological terror.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) is given a most difficult mission. With a detachment of eight, Miller must go behind enemy lines to rescue Private James Ryan, whose three brothers were killed on the battlefield. Command decided to demobilize Ryan and send him back to his inconsolable mother. To accomplish its mission, however, the small squad will have to go through the fires of hell.
Captivating, visceral and harrowing, Spielberg’s film contains a very realistic depiction of violence and war. It treats devotion, sacrifice and patriotism with finesse.
Life is Beautiful (1997)
During World War II, a father and his young son are among the Jews deported from Italy to a concentration camp. In the camp, the father convinces his son that their stay at the camp is just a game. And the prize will be won by the boy who manages to avoid attracting the attention of the guards.
The comic and dramatic genius of Roberto Benigni succeeded in infusing this apparently banal film with the value of a memorable work. Despite the fact that it deals with a subject of incredible gravity, the work succeeds in the bet of lightness and sincerity.
Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) leads a double life. During the day, he passes for an ordinary computer programmer who works in an administrative office. At night, he transforms into a fearsome hacker named Neo that no computer network can escape. However, his life will change after a major discovery. Thomas receives messages from Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), a Dark Web reference figure considered a dangerous man. Neo is then contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), a stranger who will have to lead him to Morpheus.
Matrix is a complex work of science fiction that knew how to lay the foundations for a quality franchise. Beyond its ingenious cinematography, the film is astoundingly technological and goes a long way to advancing its genre.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson), are contract killers whose destinies will intertwine with several characters over the course of three stories. In the first story, Vincent spends an unforgettable evening with Mia, the wife of Marsellus Wallace. The second tells the story of boxer Butch Coolidge involved in fixed fights. In the third story, Vincent and Jules find themselves in trouble after a banal accident.
Follower of violent films, Tarantino signs with Pulp Fiction an opus for the ages. The film testifies to his penchant for talkative, bloody feature films, imbued with a dark comedy, playful and where alcohol, sex, nudity, swearing are mixed together for an explosive result.
The Lion King (1994)
The majestic Lion King Mufasa sees in his son Simba, the worthy heir to the kingdom. But from childhood, the particularly mischievous lion cub becomes the object of the intrigues of his envious uncle Scar, who dreams of power. After the assassination of his father, the young Simba experience a long hellish journey where the grief of loss, betrayal and exile follow one another. But it is at the end of this ordeal that he will learn to become a true king.
The Lion King is a Disney classic that hasn’t aged a bit. It has an emotional resonance that has managed to cross generations and ages.
The story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), an aspiring gangster who engages in robberies with his accomplices Jimmy Conway (Robert de Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) in 1950s Brooklyn. , young mobsters are ambitious, brutal, and easily kill anyone who gets in their way.
An amazing film that shows the reality of the mafia through its bloodiest and most ruthless works. In the same category as Casino (1995) or Mean Streets (1973), Les Affranchis is one of the works that made the Scorsese myth.
Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is a veteran police officer preparing for retirement. Seven days from the date of his departure, two unforeseen events occur: a young novice inspector Mills (Brad Pitt) and a particularly sophisticated murder. The two investigators soon realize they are dealing with a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who targets people he believes have committed one of the seven deadly sins.
Seven is a dark and suspenseful thriller that will go down in history for its clever plot. The film represents the quintessence of the artistic signature of David Fincher, in whom we recognize a rather dark cinematographic vision.
The Escapees (1994)
In 1947, the young banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is accused of having killed his wife and her lover. Although he denies the crime, he is tried and imprisoned in a prison in Maine called Shawshank. There he faces the cruelty and anarchy that reigns on both sides of the bars. But Andy, who is affable and caring by nature, befriends Red (Morgan Freeman), a wise man who no longer expects anything from life. Andy, he has not said his last word.
Frank Darabont’s prison thriller is a near-perfect work from a screenplay, writing, acting, or soundtrack standpoint. It deals with great success with hope, justice, friendship and the virtue of patience.
The Green Line (1997)
Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the head of the death row guards at Cold Mountain Prison. Paul saw many prisoners and guards during his long stay in this grim place in Louisiana. However, the colossus John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), accused of a terrible crime, has become one of the most unusual inhabitants of the district.
The Green Line is another compassionate, captivating, well-intentioned work produced under Darabont’s exceptional direction. Considered one of the saddest films of all time, it relies on very accurate acting and supernatural elements to deploy a certain emotional charge.
Forrest Gump (1994)
Sitting at the bus stop, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), a man of dubious intelligence, but kind and open-minded, tells random strangers the story of his extraordinary life. From his childhood to his heroic acts during the Vietnam War, passing through the love of his life, and his career as a marathon champion, the man gives himself up without respite. Between atypical characters, cult lines and a memorable soundtrack, Forrest Gump is a gem of the 7th art and one of the greatest films of all time.
Schindler’s List (1993)
The true story of the enigmatic Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), Nazi Party member and successful factory owner who fought Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ and saved nearly 1,200 Jews during World War II .
Whether it is because of the heartbreaking scenes of massacre, its disturbingly realistic characters or the haunting music of John Williams, Shindler’s list has acquired the status of a major work of the 7th art. It is a remarkable and precious tribute to the victims of the Shoah with a dramatic intensity that only Spielberg seems to have mastered.