Tag Archives: Best Movies

Top 25 Best Movies (1990-2015): Nos. 5-1

This is it, loyal blog readers! We’ve reached the best of the best of my personal favorite 25 motion pictures of the past 25 years. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my picks and keep in mind that while I know your list likely differs from mine, I would encourage all of you to check out any titles on this here list you may have missed.

Our final installment brings us the top five and these are obviously pictures I hold among the greatest of all time. Let’s get to it:

5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Has any actor done more with less screen time than Anthony Hopkins in his iconic role as Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter? I think not. This masterfully constructed suspense thriller deserved the across the board Oscar attention it received – Best Picture, Director (Jonathan Demme), Actor (Hopkins), and Actress (Jodie Foster).

4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

21 years later, it doesn’t matter how many times I see Andy Dufrane (Tim Robbins) make his escape past that poster on the wall… it still gives me goosebumps. Frank Darabont’s rendering of Stephen King’s short story is one of the ultimate feel good movies of any era about a man who had to experience years of hell to find redemption. And that moment seeing Andy walk the beach to meet Morgan Freeman’s Red gets me every time, too.

3. Boogie Nights (1997)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic about people in the California porn industry came out of nowhere and instantly became one of my all time favorites. The lengthy flick with its incredible cast (Mark Wahlberg, Don Cheadle, Burt Reynolds in career best work, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham and so forth) moves us from the character’s glorious excesses of the 1970s to their dark spiral downward in the 1980s. The drug dealing scene involving Alfred Molina’s crazed character and Chinese firecrackers that serve as an amazing example of sound effects work is the crowning scene in a film filled with many of them.

2. GoodFellas (1990)

Coppola’s first two Godfather masterpieces stood as the highlight of the American Mafia film genre. In 1990, Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas made that list a trilogy. Astonishing from beginning to end, this stands as Marty’s finest hour in a career filled with fabulous work.

  1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Readers of my blog knew this was coming from a mile away and Quentin Tarantino’s time shifting crime drama/comedy served as a massive adrenaline shot to the movie industry. With an unrivaled cast that included a career resurgent role for John Travolta, Pulp merged the sensibilities of mainstream entertainment with the independent filmmaker spirit in a previously unforeseen way. In a career filled with one terrific picture after another, Pulp still stands as Quentin’s greatest. And that makes it the greatest movie of the last 25 years.

Thanks for reading, ladies and gentlemen! It was a pleasure.

Top 25 Best Movies (1990-2015): Nos. 10-6

This evening on the blog, we move to the top ten of my personal favorite 25 pictures of the past generation, from 1990 to now. Not an easy task for sure, but clearly all of these ten titles (top five coming tomorrow) are masterpieces in my book. Let’s get to it:

10. Seven (1995)

David Fincher’s run of terrific movies began with this gut wrenching serial killer tale with Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and a deliciously sadistic Kevin Spacey. The final act of these proceedings represent some of the most intense moments on film I’ve ever witnessed.

9. Up (2009)

Over the last 20 years, the creme de la creme of family entertainment has come from Pixar with the Toy Story franchise, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Inside Out, and so on. To me, their absolute high point is Up. I wrote a post on the blog before discussing the sequence which shows the main character’s romance with his wife throughout her life. It’s one of the most beautifully constructed and emotional montages I’ve ever seen, period.

8. The Social Network (2010)

Back to David Fincher again and here we have his brilliant tale of the founding of Facebook that I contend will stand as one of the most important pictures to explain the time we live in.

7. Almost Famous (2000)

Cameron Crowe’s autobiographical tale of his youth spent at Rolling Stone magazine is one of the ultimate feel good experiences filled with great music and performances. The bus scene set to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” is perfect and one of the best examples ever put to film about music advancing the story line.

6. Groundhog Day (1993)

In a career filled with amazing performances, Bill Murray is at his apex in this uproarious and also touching tale of one very long day. It is easily my favorite comedy of the last many years.

And that’ll do it for today and the top five will hit the blog tomorrow!

Top 25 Best Movies (1990-2015): Nos. 15-11

Onto part three of my personal top 25 motion pictures of the past 25 years and we’re at numbers 15-11. Here they are:

15. Fargo (1996)

The Coen Brothers have been responsible for so many fabulous movies over the last 30 plus years. This violent charcoal black comedy that earned highly deserved Oscars for Frances McDormand and its screenplay is the best one of the bunch.

14. The Fugitive (1993)

There’s been a whole lot of action thrillers based on old TV series, but nothing like this one. Andrew Davis’s thrilling adaptation of the 1960s show with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones is a perfect example of this genre at its absolute peak.

13. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

David O. Russell has arguably been putting out the finest films of this ongoing decade and Playbook is the highlight with grade A performances from Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro in a career resurgent part. The last scene of the movie is perfect.

12. Nixon (1995)

Whether or not it’s historically accurate is a legit argument. What’s not is that Oliver Stone’s take on the Nixon life and presidency is a brilliantly made story of the corruption of power. It tackles the subject on a level close to that of Citizen Kane and Anthony Hopkins is marvelous as the 37th POTUS.

11. Heat (1995)

Michael Mann teaming with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino for a sprawling L.A. based crime thriller. It’s even better than it sounds and the coffee shop scene that pits its generation’s two signature actors together for the first time is movie lover heaven.

And there you have it… we’ll enter the Top Ten tomorrow folks!

Top 25 Best Movies (1990-2015): Nos. 20-16

Today we arrive at part two of my personal top 25 movies of the last generation – 1990 to now and that covers numbers 20-16. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

20. There Will Be Blood (2007)

From master director Paul Thomas Anderson comes this riveting tale of oil and greed at the turn of the 20th century. It features a towering and Oscar winning performance from Daniel Day-Lewis.

19. The Player (1992)

Robert Altman made some incredible pictures in the 1970s and had a career resurgence in the 90s and his pitch black comedy about Hollywood and its superficiality is the best example of it.

18. Kill Bill – Vol I and II (2003/2004)

OK, maybe I cheated a bit here with this actually being two movies, but Quentin Tarantino’s genre hopping master work stands (almost) at the top of his filmography.

17. Being John Malkovich (1999)

Spike Jonze has been making singularly unique films for nearly two decades now and Malkovich is his most rewarding. There’s simply nothing like it and I mean that in a very great way.

16. The Departed (2006)

Martin Scorsese finally earned his Oscar (though he’d been snubbed plenty of times before) for this twisty and deliciously fun and violent crime thriller with a killer cast that included DiCaprio, Damon, Wahlberg, and Nicholson.

And we’ll get to numbers 15-11 tomorrow, readers!

Top 25 Best Movies (1990-2015): Nos. 25-21

With 2015 nearly over, we can take a look at the beginning of the 1990s through today and see an entire generation of films represented. It caused your trusty movie blogger to think about what my personal favorite 25 pictures have been over that time period and that’s a daunting task. I chose to make the list anyway and, truth be told, it’s a list that could literally fluctuate from day to day.

For one thing, it certainly wouldn’t be accurate to say I’ve seen every acclaimed film from 1990-2015 (and there’s still more to come). Yet I certainly feel confident I’ve viewed enough to make a solid listing and if it changes, I’ll gladly update this.

What we have here is my personal best breakdown of my 25 pictures I keep going back to. That I just can’t quit (Brokeback Mountain didn’t make the cut, by the way). Obviously this is entirely subjective. Movies I wrote down that didn’t make the list are ones that I truly love and or admire from comedies like Dumb and Dumber, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, The Big Lebowski, There’s Something About Mary, The 40 Yr. Old Virgin, and Superbad. Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, which is way at the top of my traditional animated material from the studio. Same goes for Pixar’s Toy Story franchise. Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Inglourious Basterds, and Django Unchained. Fincher’s The Game. Genre standard bearers like Scream, The Matrix, and Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Best Picture winners Unforgiven and No Country for Old Men. American Psycho. Glengarry Glen Ross. Black Swan. Nightcrawler. Captain Phillips. American Sniper. Lost in Translation. Casino. Traffic. The Sixth Sense. The Usual Suspects. L.A. Confidential. Inception. And this is what didn’t make it.

So let’s get to what did, my friends! We’ll do this in five installments counting down from #25 to #1. Here we go:

25. Drive (2011)

Director Nicolas Winding Refn’s ultra violent art house crime pic is a triumph of mood and music with magnificent performances from Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Albert Brooks. More than most others, Drive stayed with me and I find myself going back to it frequently. Is it in acquired taste? Yes and definitely mine.

24. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

This is the only documentary of many I could have considered for inclusion, including Hoop Dreams, Man on Wire, and so on. Yet no documentary floored me like Capturing the Friedmans, which tells the truth is stranger than fiction tale of family members accused of child molestation. It’s riveting, heart wrenching stuff that I found myself endlessly recommending to friends.

23. Fight Club (1999)

I wasn’t crazy about David Fincher’s Fight Club when I saw it in the theater circa October 1999. Since then, I’ve come around and been able to recognize it for the timely masterpiece that it is.

22. Casino Royale (2006)

It’s my second favorite James Bond flick ever after only 1963’s From Russia with Love. It brilliantly cast Daniel Craig in the role of 007 and stands as an absolute classic in the canon of the British super spy franchise.

21. Minority Report (2002)

Many movie fans simply thought this Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise futuristic action thriller was solid. I thought it was amazing from the moment I set eyes on it and it says a lot about the current state of our world and its security. It’s Spielberg’s best work since the early 1980s in my opinion.

And there you have it! I’ll have 20-16 up very soon…