Best Movies Part 2: ’88-’97

The list celebrating my favorite movies from each of my (nearly) 40 years continues! If you missed part 1 (’77-’87) you can check it out here.

Let’s get right back into it starting with…

1988: Beetlejuice

The Michael Keaton classic comedy just barely snuck by the honorable mentions thanks to scenes like this:

Honorable mentions: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Die Hard

1989: Batman

It’s back-to-back Keaton as his turn as Batman marked the very first time that a superhero movie played well and felt “modern” (at least for 1989 it felt modern). Today the superhero genre has exploded but there will always be a place in the comic pantheon for this Batman.

Funny thing is, Nicholson’s Joker held up well until Heath Ledger’s turn as the clown prince but overall the movie is still strong as Keaton is one of the few actors who actually plays a strong Bruce Wayne and Batman.

Honorable mentions: ’89 was a great year for films as it also had Dead Poet’s Society, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Roadhouse.

1990: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Hey, not every year can be like 1989. In fact, any of the honorable mentions from ’89 would have won in ’90 but…here we are.

TMNT wasn’t awful but it doesn’t hold up well especially considering the much better animated film that would come out two decades later.

1991: Boyz n the Hood

I was heavy into my rap phase by this point and NWA had a role in that. What started as a love for the song of the same title by Eazy-E turned into a love of the story about Tre, Ricky and Dough Boy.

NSFW language

Honorable mentions: The Last Boy Scout and Beauty and the Beast (how’s that for a wide range of movies?)

1992: Aladdin

This movie has a sentimental place in my heart because it was the first movie that I connected with my then-crush and eventual bride over. It’s not the best Disney movie but it is one that gives me the feels every time.

Honorable mention: Reservoir Dogs

1993: Tombstone

Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday and Sam Elliott’s mustache alone are reason to give this movie the nod for best film of 1993 but as it is, the movie stands on its own for its strong story and is my second-favorite Western which is a genre I don’t care for.

Honorable mention: Jurassic Park

1994: Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite directors/storytellers/soundtrack creators and Pulp Fiction may be the defining movie of the 90’s. It also witnessed the rebirth of John Travolta and introduced the world to Samuel L. Jackson with frighteningly powerful (and very NSFW) scenes like this one.

Honorable mention: the Lion King (so weird that these were my two favorite of 1994, right?)

1995: Seven

The year I graduated high school featured a couple of strong thrillers but perhaps none more memorable than the movie Seven – the film based on a serial killer who killed 7 people each based on the “seven deadly sins”.

To this day I can’t get a sealed box without saying “What’s in the box? Aww… WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!?!” a half dozen times first. In fact, even my kids do it, but don’t worry…they haven’t seen this movie…yet.

Some NSFW language and also a HUGE spoiler if you haven’t seen this movie yet. You’ve been warned.

Honorable mentions: The Usual Suspects, Mortal Kombat and Toy Story. Seriously, I was all over the place in the 90’s.

1996: Happy Gilmore

Not all years can be great. 1996 was one of them. At least the movie was funny. It can’t get any worse though, right?

1997: The Fifth Element

Wrong but what was I supposed to pick? Titanic? This was a short lived phase where I avoided all “R” rated movies so by default we have a (reluctant) winner.

Man, Chris Tucker could be brutal at times…

Sure,this edition didn’t exactly go out with a bang but overall it was a strong decade. Part 3 coming soon! I’d love your thoughts!

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Best Movies Part 2: ’88-’97

  1. Rob Kotaska says:

    1997 – Good Will Hunting, LA Confidential (a must), Starship Troopers (which somehow nailed the War on Terror before 9/11 happened), Mimic, Copland

    1996 (a weaker year, for sure): Fargo, Big Night, The Long Kiss Goodnight

    1. Adam Lockhart says:

      That’s all from my “no R rated film” era of life. Most of those when I went back to watch felt dated or I just never bothered.

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