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

1994

Clerks (1994), 90 minutes, D: Kevin Smith
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Crumb (1994), 119 minutes, D: Terry Zwigoff
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Ed Wood (1994), 124 minutes, D: Tim Burton
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Exotica (1994), 103 minutes, D: Atom Egoyan
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Forrest Gump (1994), 142 minutes, D: Robert Zemeckis
The winner of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and three more major Oscars. A sentimental tale of a slow-witted, low-IQ title character (Oscar-winning Tom Hanks) from the South who lived a full live surveyed from the 1950's through the 1980's. Remarkably, Gump witnessed the civil rights movement, the two 1960s assassinations of JFK and RFK, the moon landing, the Vietnam War, the hippie flower-children and anti-war protest, the Watergate scandal, the thawing of US/China relations, the beginning of the AIDs era, and more. In many cases, he was inserted into the historical footage - establishing a famous shrimping business (Bubba Gump's), meeting Presidents, playing ping-pong with Chinese team competitors, inventing the smiley logo, fighting in the war, and creating the jogging craze, etc. without realizing their significance. He fathered a son with childhood sweetheart Jenny (Robin Wright) and married her, but soon after, she died of a virus (HIV?).

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994, UK), 117 minutes, D: Mike Newell
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Heavenly Creatures (1994, UK/Germ./NZ), 99 minutes, D: Peter Jackson
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Hoop Dreams (1994), 171 minutes, D: Steve James
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The Last Seduction (1994), 110 minutes, D. Robert Dahl
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The Lion King (1994), 87 minutes, D: Disney Studio
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Natural Born Killers (1994), 120 minutes, D: Oliver Stone
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The Professional (1994, Fr.) (aka Leon), 109 minutes, D: Luc Besson
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Pulp Fiction (1994), 153 minutes, D: Quentin Tarantino
A stylish, immensely-popular, violent, off-beat, modern B-movie cult classic from writer/director Tarantino - his second feature, about corruption and temptation. An interwoven series of three vignettes about low-life criminals, thugs, drug-dealers, hitmen, a washed-up crooked boxer, and restaurant-robbing lovers in the sleazy underworld of Los Angeles. Small-time hold-up artists - "Pumpkin" (Roth) and "Honey Bunny" (Plummer) - plot a robbery in a restaurant. Meanwhile, philosophically-talkative hit men Jules Winfield (Jackson) and Vincent Vega (Travolta) carry out a hit for their vengeful, underworld boss Marsellus Wallace (Rhames) against double-crossing college-aged kids. Vincent entertains Marsellus' irresponsible wife Mia (Thurman) one evening - and then she overdoses on heroin. By not taking a dive, boxer Butch (Willis) scams Marcellus during his last bout and plans to skip town. The two hitmen call on gangland cleanup specialist The Wolf (Keitel) when their jobs get messy.

Quiz Show (1994), 130 minutes, D: Robert Redford
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The Shawshank Redemption (1994), 142 minutes, D: Frank Darabont
An uplifting, engrossing, life-affirming drama/prison tale about the relationship between two jailed prisoners, adapted from a Stephen King novella titled "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption." Wrongly imprisoned for life in the Shawshank State Prison in the mid 1940s for murdering his adulterous wife and her lover, innocent banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) meets another dignified lifer Red (Morgan Freeman) known for procuring contraband. The evil, Bible-pounding Warden Norton (Bob Gunton) uses Andy's financial background to cover his nefarious activities, and Red obtains a geological rock hammer and pinup of Rita Hayworth at Andy's request. The passage of time over two decades is conveyed by the pin-ups on Andy's cell wall, which change from Hayworth to Marilyn Monroe, and then to Raquel Welch. Serving as an inspiration to the other convicts, Andy yearns for freedom and patiently plans for it.

Speed (1994), 115 minutes, D: Jan De Bont
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Trois Couleurs: Red (1994, Fr/Pol./Switz.) (aka Three Colors: Red), 99 minutes, D: Krzysztof Kieslowski
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True Lies (1994), 141 minutes, D: James Cameron
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