review: Pixar becomes an instant phenomenon with this animated pairing of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen and the pleasures of childhood reinterpreted.
Grumpier Old Men
review: The second one is as good as the first, maybe even better, with everyone relaxing comfortably into their roles.
The Quick and the Dead
review: Sharon Stone plays the atypically typical Western lead with superb supporting help from up-and-coming talents Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Don Juan DeMarco
review: Impossibly romantic fantasy, basically a more adult Princess Bride, featuring Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando, the first great movie for one, and possibly the last great for the other.
review: The great black drama from this era not directed by Spike Lee.
review: You know Puss in Boots from the Shrek movies? It was the latterday version of movies like this, in which Antonio Banderas briefly looked like the second coming of Errol Flynn.
The Usual Suspects
review: Hollywood figures out Quentin Tarantino by unleashing the secret weapon known as Kevin Spacey.
review: Mel Gibson gives birth to the post-Kevin Costner historic epic with this portrait of the Scottish savior (ah, pun intended).
review: Seems like an outrageously inflated rating, but then, it's also an outrageously entertaining video game movie, kind of an early preview of Pirates of the Caribbean.
review: This is where Gravity/Interstellar/The Martian came from, the beginning of the popular perception that NASA only breeds tragedy, and great movies, these days.
review: Oliver Stone presents a nuanced portrait of the controversial president.
review: Kevin Costner famously stumbles in his effort to create an entirely new epic vision. But it's not nearly as bad as legend suggests.
review: As much as I love Jim Carrey, I think he's what ultimately tipped the balance in this iteration of the franchise, even though he was only logically following the tradition set by Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito before him.
review: Terry Gilliam and Bruce Willis attempt to keep up with Brad Pitt's efforts to distance himself from expectations.
review: In the tradition of Silence of the Lambs, the good guys have a hard time keeping up with the bad guy, this time Kevin Spacey (famously unbilled, but unlike in Usual Suspects a secret that been kept all these years). Brad Pitt again attempts to subvert expectations, this time with his classic freakout at the end of the movie.
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
review: The follow-up to his first big hit finds Jim Carrey struggling mightily to find something else to say about the character.
Dracula: Dead and Loving It
review: Not quite Robin Hood: Men in Tights, but this Mel Brooks parody of Bram Stoker's Dracula still provides some classic moments.
Dead Man Walking
review: Sean Penn successfully transforms his image into a dramatic actor, but the movie around him is so leaden that it's hard to remember why we should feel sorry for him.
review: Martin Scorsese returns to the gangster well without a compelling central lead. I guess this is what Goodfellas would be like without Ray Liotta's narration.
review: Will Smith's first big movie is memorable enough for me to remember the name Mike Lowry, but he's got better things in the future.
Mr. Holland's Opus
review: Feel-good story, but ultimately about as iconic as the eponymous score.
review: Notable for being one of Laurence Fishburne's early lead performances.
review: This Jeff Bridges Western is like a preview of the much greater artistic achievement The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
review: Unique collaborative effort that eventually led to the more successful Grindhouse, and as much as viewers tend to rag on Quentin Tarantino for doing it and thus spoiling his momentum, his segment is undeniably the best one and worthy of inclusion into his canon.
review: Pierce Brosnan's debut as Bond is a very good, though as far as I can tell, formulaic spin on the franchise.
review: Sylvester Stallone attempts to make a movie out of an impossible proposition: basically a Western set in the future, with no awareness that this is exactly what it is.
review: Chris Farley achieved stardom with this movie, but it's not exactly Blues Brothers.
review: These movies actually aren't terrible, but it's hard to make that argument seriously when they seem to go out of their way to be known first and foremost for nudity.