review: Oliver Stone's perfect movie, whether you believe his conclusions or not, in which he deconstructs Kennedy's assassination and a version of the popular conspiracy theory narrative that has built up around it over the years.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
review: Fans still consider Wrath of Khan to be the perfect Star Trek film, but it's hard to contend, at least for a film featuring the original cast, with this nuanced portrait of Starfleet/Klingon relations that also covers real-world political events from the Cold War that inspired it.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
review: The movie that officially launched James Cameron's blockbuster career is nearly perfect, and helped Hollywood finally begin to deconstruct the Star Wars phenomenon once and for all, so that in another decade, this kind of movie is released all the time.
review: Routinely listed as one of Spielberg's rare misses, this is another 1991 deconstruction (I guess that was the running theme) that probably asked audiences to think too much about Peter Pan to succeed on its own merit.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
review: Kevin Costner in this period was absolutely untouchable, although this movie also stands as the starting point of audiences questioning whether the lead actor was in fact ethnically miscast. In truth, it doesn't matter. Despite the ongoing love for the romanticism of Errol Flynn, this is by far the better movie. This was a whole era in which moviemaking started to grow up.
review: Honestly, I think this second Stone flick from the years has just gotten lost in the shuffle. It's an excellent portrait of Jim Morrison, and Val Kilmer absolutely nails his performance. Probably a victim of the emerging Stone backlash.
The Fisher King
review: Terry Gilliam begins to mature as a filmmaker, pulling all his best impulses together, which doesn't hurt when he's got Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams to work with.
Beauty and the Beast
review: Famously the first animated feature to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, this was Disney maturing along with the rest of Hollywood plain and simple.
What About Bob?
review: A minor Bill Murray classic, in which he drives Richard Dreyfuss crazy. Kicked off a Dreyfuss renaissance that culminated in Mr. Holland's Opus.
review: Classic rock drama that happens to feature an Irish cast.
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
review: These were excellent (heh) movies, but another case where this whole period in film history was somewhat hastily pasted over for later '90s developments. Basically Bill & Ted's Divine Comedy.
review: This was my introduction to both Jack London and Ethan Hawke.
review: More so than the young stars, including an oddly supporting turn from sudden megastar Macaulay Culkin, it's actually the unusually melancholy performance from Dan Ackroyd as the father that sticks with me.
Thelma and Louise
review: Don't tell the girls, but this female Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is better known, to me and possibly to a lot of other fans, as the movie stolen by a young Brad Pitt.
review: The juxtaposition between Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves is even more excellent than Bill and Ted, but it's a movie that juggles the line between cheese and awesome even more uncomfortably. Eventually gave birth to an excellent film series: The Fast and the Furious.
review: This was a childhood favorite, and paved the way for my Pirates of the Caribbean obsession.
review: Like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, its wonderful nostalgic anachronism is fun to watch, but doesn't quite duplicate, say, Indiana Jones.
review: Mel Brooks in an original movie that set the tone for a lot of '90s cynicism that eventually coalesced around Seinfeld.
Fried Green Tomatoes
review: One of those archetypal chick flicks that you would probably have to be specifically geared toward to rate higher. But then, you can probably guess some of my own biases. So at least I'm being honest.
The Silence of the Lambs
review: Source for our ongoing obsession with police procedurals on TV, made iconic in the few minutes Anthony Hopkins appears as Hannibal Lecter.
review: I vaguely remember this John Goodman movie, but the similar Dave with Kevin Kline ages better in my memory.
review: It's kind of funny. Spike Lee came around at a time when there was considerable racial unrest. It's a little odd that there isn't someone like him right now. This was one of the movies in his string of studies on the subject, that isn't quite up to par.
Highlander 2: The Quickening
review: There are actually two cuts of this movie available, one that completely excises the apparently controversial origin element of the alien origin for the immortals running around in this series. I kind of like both.
review: One of the poster children for vanity projects from this period and their incredibly poor reputations, I actually like it. Bruce Willis clearly just wanted to have fun, but he became pigeon-holed as someone who instead had to be grim all the time. Now he has no fun at all. See what happened, folks?
The Neverending Story II
review: It's definitely one of those historical ironies that a movie with this title had a sequel that didn't not beg for another sequel.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II
review: Pegged in history as part of the Vanilla Ice phenomenon.