1990’s

25. THELMA & LOUISE

Thelma and Louise

90 LISTS | 4 TOP SPOTS
Ridley Scott | 130 mins | Adventure/Crime/Drama
Susan Sarandon | Geena Davis | Harvey Keitel | Michael Madsen

“Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis likely will be competing against each other at the Oscars with their loopy, yet tough, portraits of women who rebel against the manipulative, violent and spineless men in their lives. The red rocks of Moab offer the perfect backdrop for a seamless mix of politics and adventure.” – Terry Orme, Salt Lake Tribune

24. MALCOLM X

Malcolm X

103 LISTS | 7 TOP SPOTS
Spike Lee | 202 mins | Biography/Drama/History
Denzel Washington | Angela Bassett | Delroy Lindo | Spike Lee

“Spike Lee’s biography of the black nationalist leader was one of the great screen biographies, celebrating the sweep of an American life that bottomed out in prison before its hero reinvented himself. The movie made two points that needed making: (1) Malcolm gave voice to painful truths that were impolitic for mainstream leaders to utter; and (2) he was a strong role model who began on the streets and through application of his intelligence, will and courage, became someone who made a difference. Denzel Washington’s performance in the title role makes him a front-runner for the Oscar. Aging more than 20 years in the role, he gave us the entire canvas of a man’s lifetime, from orphan to street hoodlum, from prisoner to self-taught preacher to political leader. Lee’s visual style mirrored these changes. It was lush and romantic in the youthful days in Harlem, stark and antiseptic in prison, sharp-edged and fast-moving afterward. In a time when political currents are moving quickly, Lee is one of the few American filmmakers with the clout and the will to make a controversial film like this. Many of his critics are really responding, I think, to his abrasive public personality. Think anything you like about Lee, but listen to his films and you will find they speak for themselves, clearly and with a fair mind.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

23. THE SWEET HEREAFTER

The Sweet Hereafter

162 LISTS | 30 TOP SPOTS
Atom Egoyan | 112 mins | Drama
Ian Holm | Sarah Polley | Caerthan Banks | Tom McCamus

“Atom Egoyan’s heartbreaking drama takes place in a small Canadian town in the dead of winter, as a cloud of grief settles over it. Fourteen children are killed in a school bus accident, and a lawyer (Ian Holm) arrives to interview possible clients for a class-action suit. He may seem to some like an ambulance chaser, but he’s only going through the motions; his own daughter may die any day from drug abuse, and he shares more with the grieving parents than they know.
Egoyan’s story circles around the central fact of the accident, moving back and forth in time as the lawyer and the audience come to know the people in the town. Some of them have secrets that the accident will betray. All have a deep hopelessness, evoked by the film’s sad, beautiful cinematography. Egoyan, whose last film was the seductive (and also sad) “Exotica,” is a director whose films see human weakness with a special poignancy.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

22. BOOGIE NIGHTS

Boogie Nights

162 LISTS | 20 TOP SPOTS
Paul Thomas Anderson | 155 mins | Drama
Mark Wahlberg | Julianne Moore | Burt Reynolds | Luis Guzmán

“Paul Thomas Anderson’s delirious porn-world epic is the most sheerly pleasurable movie I saw all year, and what makes it such a kicky and resonant experience is that its very subject is pleasure. Tracking the rise and fall of Dirk Diggler, a triple-X superstar who rides the waves of post-counterculture hedonism until he can’t stand up anymore, Anderson roots his movie in a definitive recreation of the funky, bedazzled, cocaine-and-disco ‘70s, an era that is only just beginning to enter the realm of pop mythology because it now seems like the last moment in American life when people simply did what they wanted. Anderson embodies that ecstatic, shoot-the-works spirit in the gleeful freedom of his filmmaking. You feel, at every moment, that he’s in love with what he’s showing you, whether it’s Mark Walhlberg, as Dirk, flashing his beautiful gaze of macho innocence as he dreams of becoming a “big bright shining star”; the high comedy of on-set porn shoots that play like Ed Wood without clothes; the cocky desperation of Burt Reynolds’ flashpot auteur saying “sexy!” in the back of a limo as he “directs” a gruesomely unerotic hardcore video; the ferocity of Heather Graham’s Rollergirl removing her cheerleader mask to reveal the scary rage beneath; or – the year’s most indelible scene – the thrill-happy dementia of Alfred Molina’s motormouth addict merging himself with the chorus of “Sister Christian,” a song that, in Boogie Nights, becomes a heavy metal requiem, a shrine to the eternal, unholy American quest for the next high.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

21. SECRETS & LIES

Secrets and Lies

131 LISTS | 19 TOP SPOTS
Mike Leigh | 136 mins | Comedy/Drama
Timothy Spall | Brenda Blethyn | Phyllis Logan | Claire Rushbrook

“Such a simple idea, brilliantly executed. Writer-director Leigh posits the notion that many family troubles could be done away with if the combatants would honestly confront each other instead of allowing jealousies, hurts and angers to fester silently. In this story, a working-class woman receives a call from someone claiming to be her grown daughter, put up for adoption unseen at birth.” – Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

20. THE ENGLISH PATIENT

The English Patient

132 LISTS | 26 TOP SPOTS
Anthony Minghella | 162 mins | Drama/Romance/War
Ralph Fiennes | Juliette Binoche | Willem Dafoe | Kristin Scott Thomas

“For so many European wanderlusters who found an Eden in the Sahara, the desert was a woman–dazzling, enveloping, with a vastness that held all their dreams. In such a place, just before World War II, the Hungarian aristocrat Count Laszlo de Almasy finds his ideal desert woman and follows her to hell. He then lives, just barely, to tell the tale to a ministering angel (Juliette Binoche) who can give him what he needs: not absolution but understanding. The lovers are Ralph Fiennes–all coiled sexiness, threat shrouded in hauteur–and Kristin Scott Thomas, who has the gift of making intelligence erotic; they come together in a dance of doom that is abrasive, mysterious, powerful, inevitable. Anthony Minghella’s beautiful film, based on the Michael Ondaatje novel, gets the rapture right, with a scope and intimacy rarely seen on film since the David Lean days.” – TIME Magazine

19. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Beauty and the Beast

101 LISTS | 10 TOP SPOTS
Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise | 84 mins | Animation/Family/Fantasy
Paige O'Hara | Robby Benson | Jesse Corti | Rex Everhart

“An instant classic in every sense of the word. This 30th full-length feature from the Disney wizards not only offers more enchantment per minute than any other movie this year but more genuine artistry as well, from the canny updating of its classic source material to its resplendent animation and sprightly, tightly integrated score. Fifty years from now, future generations are likely to be as entranced as we are by such earlier Disney treasures as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Pinocchio.”” – Carol Cling, Las Vegas Journal-Review

18. TITANIC

Titanic

174 LISTS | 26 TOP SPOTS
James Cameron | 194 mins | Drama/Romance
Leonardo DiCaprio | Kate Winslet | Billy Zane | Kathy Bates

“If you want a brilliantly well-written, convincing film account of the ill-fated voyage of the “Titanic,” you’ll have to rent the 1956 Eric Ambler-scripted British picture “A Night to Remember.” This movie is something else. It’s a wild romance and one of all-time top cliffhanger movies. For two hours, Cameron draws a superheated, over-the-top, class-crossing romance between frustrated society girl Rose (Kate Winslet) in first class and the poor but dashing Irish artist jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) in steerage. Then, for the last hour and 14 minutes, he pulls out all stops, putting his lovers, and the thousands of “Titanic” crewmates and passengers, through heaven and hell as the ship, with maximum high tech special effects, strikes an iceberg and sinks spectacularly. Breathlessly exciting and deliriously crazy, “Titanic” is one of a kind: a knockout extravaganza whose inflated budget produces delightfully mad and entertaining results.” – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

17. THE TRUMAN SHOW

The Truman Show

178 LISTS | 24 TOP SPOTS
Peter Weir | 103 mins | Comedy/Drama/Sci-Fi
Jim Carrey | Ed Harris | Laura Linney | Noah Emmerich

“Along with “Pleasantville,” here is the most inventive concept film of the year. A middle-class man named Truman Burbank, played by an innocent, no-joking Jim Carrey, is followed by a camera crew every minute of his life from birth, and this video is broadcast 24 hours daily, to a worldwide audience that becomes rabid about the drama of his everyday existence. You could call it “As the Truman Turns.” He lives in a town called Seahaven, which might as well be Pleasantville for all of its seeming innocence. But unlike Pleasantville, Seahaven holds some dark secrets. In addition to noting the omnipresence of video in contemporary life, director Peter Weir’s “The Truman Show” offers genuine drama as we follow Truman’s growing awareness that his whole life has been TV programming. Jim Carrey’s restrained performance extends our estimation of his acting range.” – Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

16. LONE STAR

Lone Star

140 LISTS | 17 TOP SPOTS
John Sayles | 135 mins | Drama/Mystery
Chris Cooper | Elizabeth Peña | Stephen Mendillo | Stephen J. Lang

“John Sayles, the Steven Spielberg of independent filmmaking, could have filled this elaborate mystery with lots of big-bucks special effects. Instead, he chose to do things the old-fashioned way, using intriguing characters, intricate plotting and clever staging. Set in a small Texas town, it’s a story about a 40-year-old murder mystery. A skeleton found in the desert leads to a lot of skeletons in people’s closets.” – Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune

15. AMERICAN BEAUTY

American Beauty

210 LISTS | 72 TOP SPOTS
Sam Mendes | 122 mins | Drama
Kevin Spacey | Annette Bening | Thora Birch | Wes Bentley

“One spectacularly dysfunctional suburban family (led by Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening, both in Oscar-worthy form) and their equally twisted neighbors explore the hollow darkness of the American Dream – and nightmare – in a movie that shifts from eerily unsettling drama to scabrous satire, sometimes in the same heartbeat. Under director Sam Mendes’ sly guidance, “American Beauty” never goes quite where you think it’s headed – and never misses a step along the way. And those footsteps – foolish, frenzied, skipping toward disaster – may echo in your memory long after its rueful illusions fade to black.” – Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal

14. DANCES WITH WOLVES

Dances With Wolves

116 LISTS | 19 TOP SPOTS
Kevin Costner | 181 mins | Adventure/Drama/Western
Kevin Costner | Mary McDonnell | Graham Greene | Rodney A. Grant

“In the aftermath of the Civil War, an infantry officer is posted all by himself at a remote outpost in the Dakotas, where he is eventually driven by loneliness and curiosity into responding when the local Sioux Indians make an overture. Slowly, cautiously, tentatively, the man opens himself to Indian culture, and the film follows him as he is adopted into the tribe.
Then the fragile structure is broken when more U.S. Cavalry arrive, and we are reminded of the tragic and short-sighted racism that led to the genocidal destruction of Native Americans.
The movie stars Kevin Costner, who also makes his directing debut. He shows a sure feeling for the land, for gesture, for language and silence. And the movie expands in its epic form, freeing us from the notion that a plot must be hurried along, freeing us to grow and explore as the protagonist does, as we gradually learn about another culture. One of the key decisions is to allow the Sioux to speak iin their own language, instead of in the demeaning pidgin English so common in films about Indians. The fim is filled with strong, effective performances by actors by Mary McDonnell as the woman Costner falls in love with, and Graham Greene and Rodney A. Grant as two of the Sioux leaders.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

13. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH

Being John Malkovich

226 LISTS | 23 TOP SPOTS
Spike Jonze | 113 mins | Comedy/Drama/Fantasy
John Cusack | Cameron Diaz | Catherine Keener | John Malkovich

“The Telluride and Toronto festivals had already started lobbing in great new films, and by the time I saw “Being John Malkovich” and “Three Kings” early in October, it was clear that Hollywood’s hounds of creativity had been set loose and were running free. The last four months of 1999 were a rich and exciting time for moviegoers–there were so many wonderful films that for the first time in a long time, it was hard to keep up. “Being John Malkovich” was the year’s best, a film so endlessly inventive that I started grinning at the way it kept devising new ways to surprise me. Most movies top-load their bright ideas in the first half hour; this first feature from music video vet Spike Jonze, with screenplay by Charlie Kaufman, is a continuing cascade. And unlike many MTV refugees, Jonze doesn’t crank up the volume and the visual overkill; his film unfolds slyly, with delight, like a magician showing you the trick is far from over. John Cusack stars, as a man who gets a job on floor 7 1/2 of a very strange building (the visuals inspire sustained laughter). Behind a filing case, he finds a hole in the wall that is a portal directly into the brain of the actor John Malkovich (playing himself). First Cusack and then a series of paying customers line up to take their trip inside Malkovich, and in one dizzying scene Malkovich even enters his own brain, which is like turning your consciousness inside-out. The movie is funny and very smart, metaphysical in a way, and so bountiful you feel not just admiration but gratitude.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

12. QUIZ SHOW

Quiz Show

141 LISTS | 10 TOP SPOTS
Robert Redford | 133 mins | Biography/Drama/History
Ralph Fiennes | John Turturro | Rob Morrow | Paul Scofield

“Though it did not catch on with ticket buyers, this examination of the rigged TV programs of the late 1950s is the best film to come out of the studio system this year. Directed by Robert Redford from a script by Paul Attanasio and starring Ralph Fiennes as a trapped Charles Van Doren, “Quiz Show” is a Hollywood rarity: a thoughtful, absorbing drama about moral ambiguity and the affability of evil.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

11. HOWARDS END

Howards End

135 LISTS | 23 TOP SPOTS
James Ivory | 142 mins | Drama/Romance
Anthony Hopkins | Emma Thompson | Vanessa Redgrave | Helena Bonham Carter

“There’s also more change than immediately might be apparent in the virtually flawless Ismail Merchant-James Ivory “Howards End.” It’s filled with civilized epiphanies and sensual delights as it plays out E. M. Forster’s favorite theme — the human heart’s skill in outmaneuvering lesser, stifling forces. We appreciate the generous and imaginative woman played by Emma Thompson because of the humane energies she’s able to release in the clenched businessman (Anthony Hopkins) she marries. And Vanessa Redgrave’s performance as the most generous character of all is magical to the point of otherworldliness.” – Jay Carr, Boston Globe

10. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

Saving Private Ryan

210 LISTS | 92 TOP SPOTS
Steven Spielberg | 169 mins | Drama/War
Tom Hanks | Matt Damon | Tom Sizemore | Edward Burns

“When I went to see Steven Spielberg’s cataclysmic World War II masterpiece on opening weekend (it was my second viewing), most of the audience sat right through to the end of the closing credits. Few of us moved, or even spoke. We were too thunderstruck. Any movie that can do that can create in its viewers this hushed and staggering a contemplation of the defining military conflict of the 20th century is nothing less than a seismic work of art. Yet such is the nature of our myopic media culture that I now feel compelled to defend Spielberg against the charge that he has filmed two extraordinary battle sequences and sandwiched some Hollywood combat clichés in between. I could go on about the performances (Tom Hanks’ authority and clandestine turmoil, Jeremy Davies’ terror), but the ultimate brilliance of Saving Private Ryan is the way it depicts the horror of World War II right alongside its heroism – indeed, the two are organically intertwined. As a vision of hell, the opening D-Day massacre may, in movie terms, rank with Picasso’s Guernica, but when it’s over, the spectre of war doesn’t disappear. It haunts the soldiers’ every breath. The final battle is wrenching in a less existential, more clear-eyed way. That’s because the men know each other, and they understand why they’re fighting: not to save Private Ryan but to save what he stands for – the belief that another man’s life is really your own.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

9. THE PIANO

The Piano

143 LISTS | 35 TOP SPOTS
Jane Campion | 121 mins | Drama/Music/Romance
Holly Hunter | Harvey Keitel | Sam Neill | Anna Paquin

“Is it a coincidence that the filmmaker who spoke this year with the most passionate and hypnotic voice chose as her heroine someone without a voice–a Victorian Scotswoman who remains mute because she believes that no man will hear he anyway? In this haunting drama of love and revenge, director Jane Campion merges the brooding romantic grandeur of a Wuthering Heights with a sexual and emotional nakedness that is bracingly contemporary. As the silent, piano-playing Ada, who journeys to the misty wilderness of colonial New Zealand to join in an arranged marriage, Holly Hunter gives a performance of transporting purity, her looks and gestures expressing a fire-bright will that words could only hint at. For all of Campion’s jagged visual poetry, what’s timeless about The Piano is the way it cuts to the torn heart of women’s experience–the boundless desire for romantic consummation in a world where true love hinges on the power to be heard.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

8. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

The Silence of the Lambs

123 LISTS | 30 TOP SPOTS
Jonathan Demme | 118 mins | Crime/Drama/Thriller
Jodie Foster | Anthony Hopkins | Lawrence A. Bonney | Kasi Lemmons

“After years of schlock horror movies, the word nightmare has been devalued — we hear it and think, thrills and chills. A true nightmare movie, though, does more than just scare us or give us the cold creeps. It can also be a dark fairy tale for adults, a vehicle for recapturing our childlike wonder in the face of the primal unknown. So it is with Jonathan Demme’s great thriller, the most magical act of storytelling I saw all year. Adapting Thomas Harris’ best-seller about a rookie FBI investigator on the trail of a serial killer, Demme spins a shimmering web of dread and suspense. Jodie Foster plays Agent Starling as a brave, exploratory, life-size heroine: It’s her desperate need to know — to uncover the true face of evil — that propels the movie forward. And Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Lecter is that face in all its disturbing, seductive glory. As the glittery-eyed genius psychopath whose malevolence is a direct extension of his intelligence, Hopkins — witty, charming, monstrous — gives the most memorable performance of the year, creating a timeless portrait of the demonic made human.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

7. SCHINDLER’S LIST

Schindler's List

152 LISTS | 59 TOP SPOTS
Steven Spielberg | 195 mins | Biography/Drama/History
Liam Neeson | Ralph Fiennes | Ben Kingsley | Caroline Goodall

“Steven Spielberg’s epic film, more than three hours long and shot in black and white that brings the stark feel of actuality to the screen, tells the story of an enigmatic man named Oskar Schindler, who began the Second World War hoping to become a millionaire, and ended it by spending his fortune and risking his life to try to save some 1,100 Jews who worked in his factory.What Schindler did was heroic, but the man himself was not a conventional hero, and the film is subtle and patient in showing how, as Schindler’s motives slowly changed, his grandiose personality remained constant. Spielberg says he waited 10 years to tell this story because he wasn’t sure he was ready. During that time he seems to have internalized it, so that the story isn’t told by depending on his usual skill with narrative and melodrama; it’s told simply by being seen, in powerful and unforgettable images.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

6. FARGO

Fargo

180 LISTS | 43 TOP SPOTS
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen | 98 mins | Crime/Drama/Thriller
William H. Macy | Frances McDormand | Steve Buscemi | Peter Stormare

“The best scene in this film is probably the one where the pregnant police chief goes to question the car dealer who has hired a couple of guys to kidnap his wife. The chief asks her questions according to inexorable procedure, very business-like. The dealer grows increasingly so nervous–he’s so taut we’re waiting for him to explode. She asks sensible questions in a sweet voice. He answers in tortured evasions. What’s best about the scene is that it’s in complete command of the characters. We know these people, how they’re thinking, how they feel. Frances McDormand, playing the chief, doesn’t use the kind of overbearing tone another actor might have brought to the scene; instead, she seems to sense that sweetness will more quickly crack this guy. And William H. Macy, as the dealer, projects guilt and nerves so urgently we almost feel like kidnappers ourselves. Ethan and Joel Coen’s “Fargo” is a remarkable tour de force: A comedy, a police procedural, a violent crime thriller and a human-interest melodrama, all wrapped up in a vivid sense of time and place, of frigid midwinter Minnesota, where even the police chief needs a jump for her car battery in the morning. This is clearly the year’s best film.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

5. THE PLAYER

The Player

151 LISTS | 21 TOP SPOTS
Robert Altman | 124 mins | Comedy/Crime/Drama
Tim Robbins | Greta Scacchi | Fred Ward | Whoopi Goldberg

“Long after it seemed his creative juices had run dry, director Robert Altman returned to greatness with this hypnotic Tinseltown satire. Altman has great fun skewering the rituals of today’s moviemaking elite: the pitches and power breakfasts, the mud baths and mineral water, the insular celebrity chic (incarnated by a dazzling galaxy of star cameos). At the same time, he recognizes that modern Hollywood is a place at once vacuous and infinitely mysterious — a fantasyland that is fast running out of dreams, a metaphysical hall of mirrors in which the movies that get made are mere reflections of the status-mad, superstar-crazed culture that surrounds them. Tim Robbins, as the production-executive hero, isn’t just a sleek, murderous cad; he’s a likable cad. As his life is transformed into a ”movie” far more gripping than any of the trash he produces, The Player becomes sublime entertainment, a deadpan comic thriller that, in its ingenious design, its delicate ripples of nastiness and joy, embodies the very moviemaking magic it says has leaked out of Hollywood.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

4. UNFORGIVEN

Unforgiven

152 LISTS | 38 TOP SPOTS
Clint Eastwood | 130 mins | Drama/Western
Clint Eastwood | Gene Hackman | Morgan Freeman | Richard Harris

“Not just the last nail in the coffin of the American western, Clint Eastwood’s authoritative howl of agony may be the last word on the failure of western civilization. Perfecting the form and themes of his earlier cowboy movies, Eastwood lashed out, well, unforgivingly at the violent frontier pathologies that still traumatize our society.” – Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News

3. L.A. CONFIDENTIAL

L.A. Confidential

230 LISTS | 80 TOP SPOTS
Curtis Hanson | 138 mins | Crime/Drama/Mystery
Kevin Spacey | Russell Crowe | Guy Pearce | Kim Basinger

“Director and co-writer Curtis Hanson’s adaptation of the James Ellroy novel is the finest example of modern film noir since “Chinatown.” Set in the early ’50s, it untangles a police scandal that reaches from the Hollywood precinct to Mickey Cohen’s mob to City Hall, and features some of the year’s most memorable performances from Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, Russell Crowe, Danny DeVito, and Kim Basinger.” – Jack Mathews, Newsday

2. GOODFELLAS

Goodfellas

147 LISTS | 48 TOP SPOTS
Martin Scorsese | 146 mins | Biography/Crime/Drama
Robert De Niro | Ray Liotta | Joe Pesci | Lorraine Bracco

“The mob picture that had the moral clarity to label Mafioso and their attendant hustlers as vicious animals. We meet them through the wide-eyed reminiscences of a gofer-turned-informant (Ray Liotta) who wanted to become a mobster in the way that other kids wanted to become baseball players. The essential scene has thug Joe Pesci fake getting angry at Liotta`s idolatrous remarks, then relax, and then go nuts when a bar owner respectfully asks him to pay part of his long overdue bill. Very scary. The best line of narration is when Liotta tells how wiseguys think that people who work for a living are suckers. Scorsese mixes music and photographic styles to cover years of a changing landscape of crime. For the third time a Scorsese picture tops my best-of-the-year list (”Raging Bull,” 1980; ”The Last Temptation of Christ,” 1988), breaking a tie he held with director Eric Rohmer (”My Night at Maud`s,” 1970; ”Claire`s Knee,” 1971).” – Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

1. PULP FICTION

Pulp Fiction

189 LISTS | 79 TOP SPOTS
Quentin Tarantino | 154 mins | Crime/Drama
John Travolta | Uma Thurman | Samuel L. Jackson | Bruce Willis

“From its opening frames, Quentin Tarantino’s wild, shocking, impassioned, zigzaggy, rudely hilarious crime thriller is more sheer fun than a great movie has any right to be. It’s as packed with pleasures as a toy store for adults, and the pleasures are right there on the surface. Just think of Uma Thurman’s gimlet-eyed moll doing a coked-up dance of eternal-adolescent rapture to ”Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon”; of Bruce Willis’ scruffy-noble palooka escaping an S&M torture den, and then pausing to pick the perfect weapon (the chainsaw … no, the samurai sword!) so that he can go back and save the man who’d sworn to kill him; of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, as the two most eloquent hit men in history, transforming their workaday discussions of foot massages and Parisian Big Macs into goofily irreverent moral debates — mental cross fire for the age of pop. For two and a half hours, Tarantino dedicates all his energies as a filmmaker to keeping you blissfully entertained. Yet it’s his instincts as an artist that make Pulp Fiction take up permanent residence in your imagination. In a brilliant act of cinematic time juggling, Tarantino kills off one of his main characters, only to confront us, in the end, with the stubborn reality of his existence — a structural coup that becomes a kind of sleight-of-hand resurrection. In Pulp Fiction, what Tarantino has resurrected is the primal joy of American moviemaking.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Full Top 100:

RFilmL#1ARL%#1%TCLTCL1TCL%TCL1%Year
1Pulp Fiction189792.5986%43%813383%40%1994
2Goodfellas147483.0780%38%702080%33%1990
3L.A. Confidential230803.0777%32%1073372%26%1997
4Unforgiven152383.6876%23%691675%21%1992
5The Player151213.4376%13%661072%13%1992
6Fargo180432.9275%21%882173%20%1996
7Schindler's List152592.6973%35%692379%34%1993
8The Silence of the Lambs123303.0670%26%481261%20%1991
9The Piano143353.2769%21%591768%25%1993
10Saving Private Ryan210922.4369%35%1044061%29%1998
11Howards End135234.2968%14%64870%11%1992
12Quiz Show141104.4464%5%62563%6%1994
13Being John Malkovich226234.1564%8%1161058%6%1999
14Dances With Wolves116193.8263%15%52960%15%1990
15American Beauty210723.0459%25%1063553%22%1999
16Lone Star140174.4258%8%731260%12%1996
17The Truman Show178244.2658%9%901053%7%1998
18Titanic174264.1458%10%781152%9%1997
19Beauty and the Beast101104.2858%9%44456%7%1991
20The English Patient132264.1855%13%56746%7%1996
21Secrets & Lies131194.0255%9%781064%10%1996
22Boogie Nights162204.5054%8%751150%9%1997
23The Sweet Hereafter162304.2954%12%912161%16%1997
24Malcolm X10375.5452%4%41345%4%1992
25Thelma & Louise9045.6851%4%35344%5%1991
26Toy Story112124.4151%7%41341%4%1995
27Apollo 13110154.7050%9%47647%7%1995
28The Crying Game101174.0650%10%51555%7%1992
29Trainspotting11875.0149%3%54245%2%1996
30Four Weddings and a Funeral10865.7249%3%44245%2%1994
31The Age of Innocence102174.0549%10%39845%12%1993
32Forrest Gump105223.4048%12%38539%6%1994
33The Remains of the Day9743.9647%2%32037%0%1993
34Shakespeare In Love144104.5847%4%77445%3%1998
35Short Cuts9784.5747%5%48555%7%1993
36Boyz N the Hood8145.9346%4%32141%2%1991
37Sense and Sensibility101154.6346%9%53452%5%1995
38Crumb98104.0645%6%54653%7%1995
39Reversal of Fortune8225.3145%2%38244%3%1990
40Ed Wood9765.2744%3%39140%1%1994
41Election15695.3644%3%90545%3%1999
42Hoop Dreams95133.9343%7%47648%7%1994
43Bugsy7524.3443%2%32141%2%1991
44Big Night10255.2243%2%54145%1%1996
45Babe9084.0741%5%44644%7%1995
46Leaving Las Vegas90175.1341%10%43943%11%1995
47The Fugitive8116.1739%1%29033%0%1993
48The Straight Story137154.8239%5%85943%6%1999
49Aladdin7735.7239%2%30233%3%1992
50Husbands and Wives7525.9538%1%28130%1%1992
51The Insider13245.5737%1%69235%1%1999
52The Usual Suspects8185.1537%5%31431%5%1995
53Speed7907.0236%0%30031%0%1994
54Happiness110134.6636%5%67839%6%1998
55Toy Story 2124105.3035%3%57429%2%1999
56JFK6175.2035%6%28435%7%1991
57Much Ado About Nothing (1993)7115.2634%1%29033%0%1993
58Avalon6325.1934%2%29033%0%1990
59Shine82104.5134%5%39632%6%1996
60Out of Sight10436.1334%1%56233%1%1998
61Life is Beautiful103124.3134%5%48628%4%1998
62Barton Fink5814.7733%1%21027%0%1991
63The People Vs. Larry Flynt8155.8033%2%44236%2%1996
64Glengarry Glen Ross6625.7733%1%26128%1%1992
65Nixon7274.8633%4%29329%4%1995
66The Lion King7215.9633%1%32033%0%1994
67The Ice Storm9566.5632%2%47232%2%1997
68Get Shorty6965.9632%4%28328%4%1995
69Miller's Crossing5815.6932%1%29133%2%1990
70The Godfather, Part III5835.2032%2%32237%3%1990
71The Full Monty9455.0831%2%32121%1%1997
72The Commitments5526.7931%2%23029%0%1991
73A River Runs Through It6265.8331%4%29232%3%1992
74Breaking the Waves74154.5131%7%511442%13%1996
75Reservoir Dogs6035.2430%2%28130%1%1992
76Boys Don't Cry10645.5330%1%67334%2%1999
77Bullets Over Broadway6536.0630%2%24024%0%1994
78Little Women6416.2229%1%27028%0%1994
79The Joy Luck Club6015.9829%1%24028%0%1993
80The Shawshank Redemption6304.1629%0%25026%0%1994
81The Butcher Boy8884.8429%3%60635%4%1998
82Terminator 2: Judgment Day5007.2429%0%16020%0%1991
83Three Kings10175.5829%2%57429%2%1999
84In the Line of Fire5927.0029%1%22225%3%1993
85The Wings of the Dove8525.2428%1%36124%1%1997
86Edward Scissorhands5206.7328%0%22025%0%1990
87Farewell My Concubine5905.5028%0%30034%0%1993
88Red6195.4828%5%34735%9%1994
89Magnolia99144.5328%5%57629%4%1999
90Ulee's Gold8135.5827%1%45230%2%1997
91The Sixth Sense9585.4727%3%46223%1%1999
92As Good As It Gets8055.7027%2%30220%2%1997
93Jerry Maguire6426.5527%1%19016%0%1996
94In the Company of Men7936.2026%1%45030%0%1997
95Raise the Red Lantern5215.1226%1%31134%1%1992
96Donnie Brasco7716.1326%0%30020%0%1997
96Chasing Amy7716.0426%0%34023%0%1997
98Heavenly Creatures5615.0826%1%27128%1%1994
99Gods And Monsters7854.7825%2%47427%3%1998
100Cape Fear4425.8725%2%16020%0%1991
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