Greatest Films of the 1990s
Greatest Films of the 1990s

Greatest Films of the 1990s
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999


Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description

Aladdin (1992), 90 minutes, D: Ron Clements, John Musker

Bad Lieutenant (1992), 98 minutes, D: Abel Ferrara

Basic Instinct (1992), 127 minutes, D: Paul Verhoeven

Batman Returns (1992), 126 minutes, D. Tim Burton
See Batman series.

Belle Epoque (1992, Sp./Port.) (aka The Age of Beauty), 109 minutes, D: Fernando Trueba

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), 130 minutes, D: Francis Ford Coppola

The Crying Game (1992, UK), 112 minutes, D: Neil Jordan
Writer/director Neil Jordan's powerful, layered suspense thriller/modern-day noir, which examines friendship, sexuality, love, political intrigue, race relations and human nature, was partly inspired by the classic Irish short story A Guest of the Nation by Frank O'Connor. The highly profitable independent film opens with the kidnapping of a British soldier named Jody (Forest Whitaker) by a group of IRA resistance/terrorists, led by a cold, calculating femme fatale Jude (Miranda Richardson), who had entrapped the soldier by seducing him while he was intoxicated. One of the captors, Fergus (Stephen Rea), strikes an unlikely friendship with the prisoner, both knowing that Jody would most likely be executed. The execution goes awry when Jody, trying to escape, is accidentally killed by a convoy of British army soldiers, who immediately disperse the IRA cell. Fergus goes into hiding and partial retirement from the IRA in London, but feels compelled to honor his promise to Jody that if he was killed, he would tell Jody's beautiful lover Dil (Jaye Davidson, whose magnificent gender-bending Oscar-nominated performance was in a role that was considered uncastable) of his fate. As a love triangle develops, Fergus soon finds himself attracted to Dil and valiantly protective of the lonely and aloof hairdresser, but both harbor a secret that would prevent them from romantically loving one another. The revelation of Dil's sexual secret is a Hitchcockian plot twist that audiences were urged not to reveal, which they honored. Complications arise when Jude shows up, and embroils Fergus in a dangerous assassination plot, using "wee black chick" Dil as collateral. The film was a smash hit both critically and commercially, and earned six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and two nominations for Jordan for his direction and original screenplay (which he won.)

A Few Good Men (1992), 138 minutes, D: Rob Reiner

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), 100 minutes, D: James Foley

Howards End (1992, UK), 140 minutes, D: James Ivory

Indochine (1992, Fr.), 153 minutes, D: Régis Wargnier

The Last of the Mohicans (1992), 114 minutes, D: Michael Mann

Like Water for Chocolate (1992, Mex.) (aka Como Agua Para Chocolate), 105 minutes, D: Alfonso Arau

Malcolm X (1992), 201 minutes, D: Spike Lee

My Cousin Vinny (1992), 120 minutes, D: Jonathan Lynn

Of Mice and Men (1992), 115 minutes, D: Gary Sinise

The Player (1992), 123 minutes, D: Robert Altman
Altman's scathing expose eviscerated Hollywood and its film-making industry. The character-intensive satire on contemporary Tinseltown morality and its wheeling and dealing starred Tim Robbins as shallow, back-stabbing studio executive Griffin Mill, hounded by a disgruntled scriptwriter whom he murders. Widely-praised was its sustained, unedited 8 minute opening dolly-shot, its four-dozen cameo appearances, and its dark comedy. The subtle opening and closing shots revealed the underlying joke of the premise - the movie was a 'film-within-a-film' about how the film came to be. The final line described Altman's own take on the film just seen: "It's a Hollywood ending, Griff. He marries the dead writer's girl (Greta Scacchi) and they live happily ever after."

Reservoir Dogs (1992), 99 minutes, D: Quentin Tarantino

A River Runs Through It (1992), 123 minutes, D: Robert Redford

Scent of a Woman (1992), 137 minutes, D: Martin Brest

Single White Female (1992), 107 minutes, D: Berbet Schroeder

The Story of Qiu Ju (1992, China/HK) (aka Qiu Ju da guan si), 100 minutes, D: Yimou Zhang

Unforgiven (1992), 131 minutes, D: Clint Eastwood
Actor/director Clint Eastwood's magnificent Western masterpiece and a Best Picture-winner. Circumstances force a retired, poor, notorious ex-bounty hunter William Munny (Clint Eastwood), now a hog farmer, to resume his former occupation. In the 1880s frontier town of Big Whiskey, Wyoming, a prostitute's face has been brutally slashed by vicious cowboys, and her fellow co-workers have raised a $500 bounty. Joined by former sidekick partner Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) and aspiring, cocky gunfighter 'The Schofield Kid' (Jaimz Woolvett), they journey to the town to confront the corrupt, sadistic and autocratic Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett (Gene Hackman), who has denied justice to the brothel's women. In a deadly and bloody showdown, Munny's nihilistic past is graphically brought back.

Wayne's World (1992), 95 minutes, D: Penelope Spheeris

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