Best Movies of 1995

10. IL POSTINO

Il Postino

50 LISTS | 2 TOP SPOTS
Michael Radford and Massimo Troisi | 108 mins | Biography/Comedy/Drama
Massimo Troisi | Philippe Noiret | Maria Grazia Cucinotta | Renato Scarpa

“This surprising film from Michael Radford is a happy love story in which an illiterate postman (Massimo Troisi, who was dying as the movie was made) learns the seductive power of poetry from Chilean master Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret.) A feel-good film with smarts.” – Jay Stone, Ottawa Citizen

9. GET SHORTY

Get Shorty

69 LISTS | 6 TOP SPOTS
Barry Sonnenfeld | 105 mins | Comedy/Crime/Thriller
Gene Hackman | Rene Russo | Danny DeVito | John Travolta

“In director Barry Sonnenfeld’s spirited adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel, John Travolta proves that his great performance in “Pulp Fiction” was no flash in the pan. As a loan shark with a charming bedside manner and bigtime movie dreams, he raises the movie’s fun quotient into the sublime.” – Desson Howe, The Washington Post

8. NIXON

Nixon

72 LISTS | 7 TOP SPOT
Oliver Stone | 192 mins | Biography/Drama/History
Anthony Hopkins | Joan Allen | Powers Boothe | Ed Harris

“Oliver Stone pushes his hell-bent propulsive sensibility into a new realm of manic truth-telling. In his brilliant, kaleidoscopic dramatization of the life of Richard Nixon, he shows us the Nixon we all know in our bones–the sweaty, stiff-backed paranoiac, his heart black with self-pity–and then lays bare how Nixon’s pathology, his belief that deliverance was attainable through lies, served and finally extended a sinister shadow government. Using the vertiginous multimedia style he developed in JFK and Natural Born Killers, Stone layers 50 years of images into Nixon’s snakelike voyage through the corridors of power. He turns history itself into a hypnotic Black Mass, anatomizing the space between public perception and backroom reality, until the notion of “cover-up” takes on dimensions of mystical unease. And Anthony Hopkins, in a towering performance, puts us right inside Nixon’s skin. His squirmy masochistic righteousness becomes the stuff of high tragedy, as he locks himself off, Kane-like, from the world and turns an entire nation into the mirror of his self-annihilating disgrace. Oliver Stone has become the most exciting filmmaker of his time, and Nixon is the movie he was born to make, a soul-cleansing vision of the corruption of America.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

7. THE USUAL SUSPECTS

The Usual Suspects

81 LISTS | 8 TOP SPOTS
Bryan Singer | 106 mins | Crime/Mystery/Thriller
Kevin Spacey | Gabriel Byrne | Chazz Palminteri | Stephen Baldwin

“Brian Singer’s intricately plotted The Usual Suspects is an unusually smart crime drama filled with fine actors and heavy with atmosphere. There were other outstanding thrillers this year, including artistic bloodbaths such as Seven, but none were as clever or as puzzlingly crafted as The Usual Suspects.” – Sara Voorhees, Scripps Howard Service

6. LEAVING LAS VEGAS

Leaving Las Vegas

90 LISTS | 17 TOP SPOTS
Mike Figgis | 111 mins | Drama/Romance
Nicolas Cage | Elisabeth Shue | Julian Sands | Richard Lewis

“Two of the best performances of the year were in the best film of the year, a heartbreaking, tragic love story set against the seamy backdrop of Las Vegas. Nicholas Cage played an alcoholic Hollywood executive who loses his family, his job and his self-respect, and comes to Vegas determined to drink himself to death. Elisabeth Shue is the hooker who meets him on the Strip, and finds that her heart is touched by his helplessness. “You can never, ever ask me to stop drinking,” he warns her, and she agrees. And for a brief time they are able to hollow out a little happiness in their cave of despair. The movie is operatic in its emotions; the characters may seem like small, unremarkable people, but the film finds heroism and grace in their decisions, and the closing scenes are not only heartbreaking but somehow transcendent. Mike Figgis, whose credits include “Stormy Monday” and “Internal Affairs,” directed; he used a 16mm camera to move freely through Las Vegas, without the delays and formality that come along with a big crew. The result is an unforced authenticity; Cage and Shue really seem present in the streets and casinos, living their lives in a city whose indifference is one of its charms. When I’ve recommended this film, people have sometimes told me they heard it was “depressing.” My answer: No great film is depressing. All bad films are.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

5. BABE

Babe

90 LISTS | 8 TOP SPOTS
Chris Noonan | 91 mins | Comedy/Drama/Family
James Cromwell | Magda Szubanski | Christine Cavanaugh | Miriam Margolyes

“In this atmosphere of general gloom, what film was most satisfying, what motion picture gave the most hope, not to mention comfort and joy, to disgruntled viewers? What else but that swine of destiny, “Babe.”
Though it qualified as a genuine sleeper when it opened, “Babe” is no secret anymore. It’s been so successful that its star (actually 48 different piglets) made People magazine’s year-end compendium of “The 25 Most Intriguing People of the Year” and newspapers in its native Australia have taken to calling it “Jurassic Pork.”
But triumph has not gone to “Babe’s” head. The film remains witty, captivating and imaginative. More than anything, its creativity and ability to surprise say more for the future of film as a medium that has not forgotten how to entertain than most of the other runts of this year’s litter.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

4. CRUMB

Crumb

98 LISTS | 10 TOP SPOTS
Terry Zwigoff | 119 mins | Documentary/Biography/Comedy
Robert Crumb | Aline Kominsky-Crumb | Charles Crumb | Maxon Crumb

“Robert Crumb, the Brueghel of underground comic books, sits uneasily for Terry Zwigoff’s blistering documentary portrait. Crumb’s images of geeky guys and rampaging women seem almost normal next to this picture of his middle-class family–a mother and three gifted, twisted sons–all devoured by demons. Appalling and enthralling, Crumb is the ultimate situation tragedy.” – TIME Magazine

3. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

Sense and Sensibility

101 LISTS | 15 TOP SPOTS
Ang Lee | 136 mins | Drama/Romance
Emma Thompson | Kate Winslet | James Fleet | Tom Wilkinson

“The best romantic comedy of the year was based on a book written 200 years ago. Emma Thompson superbly adapted Austen’s first novel, a compelling cliffhanger about emotion versus reason, and love versus money. Ang Lee directed with an impeccable sense of comic timing, and the cast, led by Thompson and Kate Winslet, is heavenly.” – Harper Barnes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

2. APOLLO 13

Apollo 13

110 LISTS | 15 TOP SPOTS
Ron Howard | 140 mins | Adventure/Drama/History
Tom Hanks | Bill Paxton | Kevin Bacon | Gary Sinise

“Unfashionably foursquare, it featured squeaky-clean characters in a story we already knew. Yet this emerged as the year’s great thriller. Ron Howard’s efficient direction shaped a taut, suspenseful drama around an honest brand of heroism that put Hollywood’s usual gun-toting bravado to shame. Exciting, illuminating and inspiring. And it’s all true.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times

1. TOY STORY

Toy Story

112 LISTS | 12 TOP SPOTS
John Lasseter | 81 mins | Animation/Adventure/Comedy
Tom Hanks | Tim Allen | Don Rickles | Jim Varney

“I know what you’re thinking: It’s just a kid’s movie. But that objection makes about as much sense as, “It’s just an adult’s movie.” I think “Toy Story” is really an allegory about the very values being contested today in national political forums, a battle between old and new ways. In the case of “Toy Story,” it’s war in a child’s bedroom between his venerable old toys and a new threat–a high-tech space warrior. Tom Hanks supplies the voice of the old cowboy toy, Woody, and Arnold Schwarzenegger supplies the spirit, if not the voice, of the new toy, a spaceman named Buzz Lightyear. Then there’s the heavy-metal-obsessed kid next door, who turns out to be the common enemy. Of course, “Toy Story” is more important for excellence of its computer-generated animation that gives a bright other-worldly look to each toy. Four years in the making, “Toy Story” invents a form and once again raises the stakes upon which all animated films will be judged.” – Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

Full List:

RTITLEL#1ARL%#1%TCLTCL1TCL%TCL1%
1Toy Story102104.352%6%38343%4%
2Apollo 13101134.352%8%41446%5%
3Sense and Sensibility93154.747%10%48454%5%
4Crumb89103.545%6%48654%8%
5Leaving Las Vegas81154.041%10%39844%11%
6Babe7564.938%4%35439%5%
7The Usual Suspects7074.936%5%25428%5%
8Nixon6864.435%4%29333%4%
9Get Shorty6255.732%3%25228%3%
10Il Postino4726.124%1%18020%0%
11Persuasion4354.822%3%20322%4%
12The Bridges of Madison County4315.222%1%17119%1%
13To Die For4215.821%1%18120%1%
14Smoke4074.620%5%21624%8%
15Se7en3824.719%1%14016%0%
16Dead Man Walking3944.819%2%21224%3%
17Clueless3705.819%0%14016%0%
18The American President3714.119%1%9010%0%
19A Little Princess3525.918%1%12113%1%
20Heat3516.018%1%19121%1%
21Braveheart3434.817%2%10111%1%
22The Secret of Roan Inish3105.016%0%14016%0%
23Once Were Warriors2724.514%1%11012%0%
24Casino2733.914%2%10311%4%
25Devil in a Blue Dress2705.214%0%15017%0%
26Burnt by the Sun2203.811%0%12013%0%
27Safe2154.911%3%12413%5%
28Clockers1915.510%1%809%0%
29Les Miserables (1995)1934.910%2%11112%1%
30Richard III1904.79%0%12013%0%
31Kids1825.09%1%829%3%
32Wild Reeds1725.09%1%9110%1%
33Priest1716.19%1%617%1%
34Shanghai Triad1625.88%1%9110%1%
35Before Sunrise1516.08%1%708%0%
36Unstrung Heroes1505.78%0%708%0%
3712 Monkeys1525.38%1%617%1%
38The Brothers McMullen1404.67%0%404%0%
39Carrington1203.96%0%809%0%
40Lamerica1204.96%0%708%0%
41Crimson Tide1106.26%0%202%0%
42Through the Olive Trees1114.65%1%718%1%
43While You Were Sleeping1004.15%0%101%0%
43Beyond Rangoon1003.75%0%506%0%
43Unzipped1004.85%0%506%0%
43Living in Oblivion1006.75%0%607%0%

Lists Included 196 | Top Critics’ Lists Included 89

R Rank
L Total number of lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
AR Average position on ranked top 10 lists
#1 Total number of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year
L% Percentage of total lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
#1% Percentage of mentions where the film was selected as the best film of the year
TCL Number of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1 Number of times that the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL% Percentage of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1% Percentage of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists

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