A few months back, I unveiled my first installment of 40 Years of Movies. I’m turning 40 in 2021, and in honor of this milestone and my life-long love of films, I decided to look back at each year I’ve been alive and pick my personal favorite film released that year. Some decisions were easy, some weren’t.
For the first installment, I covered the first decade—1981 through 1990. Today, I’m picking up with films from 1991 to 2000. Enjoy this 1990s walk down memory lane.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
About: This was an easy choice for me. Lambs is a classic, one of only three films to win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. It’s an incredible thriller that holds up and features a great cast. It’s one of my favorite films.
A Few Good Men (1992)
About: Before Aaron Sorkin was the master of the small screen he wrote A Few Good Men, which was first a play then adapted into a film. Some of the courtroom scenes are iconic, while I enjoy the drama and the performances. Tom Cruise is great in this film.
Jurassic Park (1993)
About: Another easy choice. I remember when I saw this movie in the theater the year it was released, I was blown away. It made a big impression on a 12-year-old kid and remains a film I love and have seen many times even today.
The Paper (1994)
About: This Ron Howard film is under-rated. It has a great cast and follows a day in the life of reporters and editors at a metro paper in New York City. It inspired me to want to go into journalism, something I pursued in high school and college. Michael Keaton is great here.
About: Maybe the 1990s were my decade? I guess I am a child that came of age in the 1990s, so that makes sense. This one was notable for being the first on screen scene between Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Michael Mann delivers a very compelling action film that remains a classic.
A Time to Kill (1996)
About: This one is based on a John Grisham novel and has a heck of a cast. I remember the first time I saw the film; I was captured by the story and performances. More than 20 years later, I still feel that way. I enjoy the story and way it is put together. It’s an all-time favorite.
LA Confidential (1997)
About: This Curtis Hanson film is a beautiful period piece. It got largely overshadowed by Titanic the year it was released, but I think it was the best film of 1997. The cast here is solid and the story spins in some fun ways. It’s well worth checking out.
Simon Birch (1998)
About: This one is personal to me. When I was in high school I was introduced to the novels of John Irving, and A Prayer For Owen Meany became my favorite. This film is an adaptation of that novel, albeit one that changes the character names and greatly cuts down the story. Still, it resonated with me when I saw it and it still does.
The Mummy (1999)
About: There were a lot of big movies that came out in the summer of 1999. We got a new Star Wars and The Matrix, but my favorite was this Brendan Fraser-led re-boot of the classic monster franchise. I love the humor and the action here, and I thought it was a fun start to the franchise.
Way of the Gun (2000)
About: Christopher McQuarrie wrote the screenplay for The Usual Suspects, a fantastic crime drama with a twist. This one was a follow up with a great cast, an interesting story and some good action. McQuarrie also directed, and I loved this film when it was released. It remains a favorite.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.