EW's Top Films of the Past 25 Years

Tackling Entertainment Weekly’s “new classics. And I’ll agree with many: no Shawshank Redemption?
Won’t comment on films I noted on the AFI list (unless I feel like it).

*I saw it.

*1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03) -saw the first third
*3. Titanic (1997)
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
*5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
*7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) – on my top three list of Woody Allen films
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – I was at my parents’ house. They had HBO. Started watching; bailed.
*9. Die Hard (1988) – good if you like that sort of thing.
*10. Moulin Rouge (2001) – I think I like the effort of the film more than the movie itself. I do have the soundtrack, though.
*11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) – saw several times in the 1980s, but not at all in years. Seems I recorded off TV; definitely need to see again lest I set the dial to 11.
*12. The Matrix (1999) – saw on commercial TV in the last couple years, which probably didn’t do it justice.
13. GoodFellas (1990) – saw parts of it.
14. Crumb (1995) – had planned to see at the time, but never did.
*15. Edward Scissorhands (1990) – liked it well enough, but seems too high on this list.
*16. Boogie Nights (1997) – I really liked the first part of it, appreciated the middle section, but that part at the end felt so contrived.
*17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
*18. Do the Right Thing (1989) – great, and dare I say, important film.
19. Casino Royale (2006)
*20. The Lion King (1994)
*21. Schindler’s List (1993) – probably should be in the Top 10.
22. Rushmore (1998) – keep meaning to see.
23. Memento (2001) – ditto.
*24. A Room With a View (1986) – I’ve seen a lot of Merchant/Ivory films, and this is clearly the best.
*25. Shrek (2001)
*26. Hoop Dreams (1994) – Roger Ebert is right. Devastating, yet oddly hopeful.
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire (1988)
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004) – never seen a Bourne film in its entirety.
*30. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
*31. Brokeback Mountain (2005) – I said it before – that stuff on the mountain was boring. Much more interesting after that point. I’m talking about the ranching stuff.
32. Fight Club (1999)
*33. The Breakfast Club (1985) – I saw a bunch of Hughes films in a short period, and they all blend together in my mind.
*34. Fargo (1996) – on the strength of McDormand and Macy’s performances, a winner.
*35. The Incredibles (2004) – this was on NBC in the past year, and it was unwatchable to me. The commercials ruined any rhythm I got from seeing it in the theater. Still, my father-in-law stayed with it and appreciated its charms; I was too impatient. Such great social satire!
*36. Spider-Man 2 (2004) – a great superhero movie.
*37. Pretty Woman (1990) – stood in a long line at the Madison Theater in Albany to see it. I liked it just fine. Not great “cinema”.
*38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – said before, but bears repeating. Watched this on video, but was too tired to finish. Got up in the morning, finished watching it. A terrible way to see a film. Yet I LOVED it. As someone said, “A very, very sweet movie masquerading as something else.”
*39. The Sixth Sense (1999) – Soylent Green is…no wait, wrong film. No, I didn’t know the big reveal, and I’d like to see again, now that I do now.
*40. Speed (1994) – the first movie Carol and I saw together. Trashy fun.
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)- must see.
*42. Clueless (1995) – pleasant enough.
43. Gladiator (2000)
*44. The Player (1992) – loved it at the time, but now, except for the ending, fading from memory.
*45. Rain Man (1988) – Tom Cruise is amazingly good in this movie in a thankless role against the Hoffman performance. Own the soundtrack; like the soundtrack a lot.
46. Children of Men (2006)
*47. Men in Black (1997) – saw it, didn’t hate it, but wouldn’t bother watching again.
48. Scarface (1983)
*49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) – this Ang Lee film was amazing.
*50. The Piano (1993) – was quite impressed at the time, yet this movie is also fading from memory.
51. There Will Be Blood (2007) – people are appalled that I actually watched the last 10 minutes of this; someone on my blogroll posted it from YouTube. It’ll be years before i see it, and it’ll have faded.
*52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988) – VERY funny.
*53. The Truman Show (1998) – I adore this film.
54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
*55. Risky Business (1983) – it’s fine, but it didn’t move me as much as it did my wife and many others.
56. The Lives of Others (2006) -wanted to see this.
57. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
*58. Ghostbusters (1984) – quite excellent. Based in a library, which is always a plus. And fun video for the title song, put together so quickly that Ray Parker, Jr. didn’t know it was out until a friend told him how great it was.
*59. L.A. Confidential (1997) – saw Washington’s Birthday weekend 1998 along with The Queen at Crossgates Mall, one of the last times I was there. It really worked for me.
60. Scream (1996)
*61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) – fine, but probably not worthy of inclusion on the list.
*62. sex, lies and videotape (1989) – along with Do the Eight Thing, my favorite film of that year.
*63. Big (1988)
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
*65. Dirty Dancing (1987) – it was OK, but not worthy of inclusion on this list.
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
*68. Witness (1985) – probably my favorite Harrison Ford performance.
*69. All About My Mother (1999) – liked it.
*70. Broadcast News (1987) – worth it just for Albert Brooks.
*71. Unforgiven (1992)
*72. Thelma & Louise (1991)
73. Office Space (1999) – I NEED to see this film; my co-workers reference it too often.
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
*75. Out of Africa (1985) – bored me silly.
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
*78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
*79. Waiting for Guffman (1996) – like this movie a lot, love the ensemble in just about everything they’ve done.
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
*81. Moonstruck (1987) – THAT’S amore.
*82. Lost in Translation (2003) – never warmed to this film.
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
*84. Sideways (2004) – great performances.
*85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005) – my wife was really hesitant to see this, as she thought it’d be stupid. So it ended up being astonishingly good, and should be ranked much higher.
*86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002) – it was pretty good, but didn’t love it.
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
*91. Back to the Future (1985)
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002) – I had forgotten about this movie which was quite fine when I saw it in the theater.
*97. Glory (1989) – there’s a scene with Denzel that pains me just thinking about it. Have on video, have the soundtrack.
*98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) – clever enough, but I don’t think it has legs.
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
Roger Ebert writes The Balcony Is_Closed. Made me sad. Hope he comes back in a different format, if his health allows.


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