T Nation

Movies of 90s vs Today


In the interest of not totally highjacking the District 9 thread, I'd thought I'd bring the debate to a separate thread as I'm a big movie geek. The debate is the usual one about how today's [movies/sports/music/etc.] cannot compare to [some other era]. I always find these debates interesting and a lot of times can't totally make up my mind where I stand. I thought it would be interesting if some people weighed in. I randomly chose 1995 as eic mentioned the 90s so I chose a year smack dab in the middle of it. Here are most of the movies I've seen from 1995 that I would consider at least "pretty good" on my scale of:

Unwatchable --> Bad --> Decent --> Pretty Good --> Good --> Really Good --> Excellent

12 Monkeys
Mr. Holland's Opus
Billy Madison
Bad Boys
Crimson Tide
Die Hard w/ a Vengeance
Apollo 13
The Brothers McMullen
Empire Records
Dead Presidents
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
The American President
Toy Story

With (IMO): Heat, Ace Ventura, Se7en, Apollo 13, Crimson Tide and Friday qualifying as "excellent." Keep in mind this is a pretty subjective list but that's just going off my personal tastes and also the general consensus of people I know.

The list from today to follow:


As far the list of movies released in the past year:

Dark Knight
Tropic Thunder
Pineapple Express
Vicky Christina
Zach and Miri
Role Models
Quantum of Solace
Gran Torino
The Wrestler
7 Pounds
Benjamin Button
Last House on the Left
The Soloist
Star Trek
Angels and Demons
Terminator: Salvation
The Girlfriend Experience
Taking of Pelham 123
Transformers 2
District 9

With (IMO): District 9, Angels and Demons, Watchmen, Taken, Benjamin Button, Gran Torino and Dark Knight qualifying as excellent.

Pretty even to me. Your thoughts?


I have watched some great movies this year. Neither era is better really. I will say though that this year has seemed pretty spectacular in regards to quality movies then the past few years have.

But...if I were to write a top 10 of my favorite movies, Apollo 13 and Casino(maybe Heat) would both be in it - which both happen to be on the first list, and probably nothing from this year.


...Kids...that movie brings back memories.

I've always found it interesting that only folks right around my age know what I'm talking about when I make a reference to Kids. So it's always seemed to me like it's not widely known, but for the people who were in high school during the mid-nineties, especially if you were getting high, this is a classic.

...damn now I want to watch it.


Good idea to start a separate thread, J. I would add Casino and Jamunji to the list of excellent from 1995 and strike Taken and Angels and Demons from the list of excellent this past year.

You kinda fucked me on the year selection, though. Really wish you'd choose 1994 as the representative from the 90s. Here is a list of some of the best films from 1994:


It almost reads like an attempt at some of the all-time greatest movies. Shawshank Redemption? The Lion King? Pulp Fiction? Forrest Gump? ALL IN THE SAME FREAKING YEAR?!?!?! That's what I'm talking about.

Edit: Just re-read the District 9 thread and realized that you are only 22. No wonder you don't remember the glory days of the 90s!


I remember standing in line at a 2-screen theater to see Star Wars for the first time, there were only about 150 in line ahead of us.


Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla is clearly the best movie ever.


Okay, well that's just crazy. Still, even with Star Wars, I don't think the 70s can hold a candle to the 90s in terms of sheer movie quality. Here is a complete list of the movie releases from 1994:

Some timeless ones on that list, including:

Ace Ventura (original)
Clear and Present Danger
The Crow
Dumb and Dumber
Forrest Gump
Legends of the Fall (a little ghey)
The Lion King
The Mask (huge year for Jim Carrey!)
Pulp Fiction
The Shawshank Redemption
True Lies

The year before, in 1993, you had Jurrasic Park, Schindler's List, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Fugitive, The Firm, Falling Down, etc. I could go on!

That is an insane number of big hits in just two years! Don't forget also that the 90s was the decade that gave us Terminator 2 and The Matrix, two revolutionary movies that fundamentally altered film forever after.

90s FTW!


that movie = my life @ 16-17


How does Mrs. Doubtfire even get a mention against some of the top movies ever.


You stole bottles of OE from Korean grocers, got AIDS, had sex with reluctant sleeping chicks and beat a guy to death with a skateboard? Damn!


I'm seeing a lot of personal taste in this thread and not a case for one decade's movies being better than the other.

And it's a crime "Up" wasn't included as one of the better movies this year.


1) It is a hilarious movie and was a great performance by Robin Williams.

2) This thread is not about the top movies ever. As indicated by the title, the thread is about whether the 1990s produced larger numbers of high-quality films than the trash that is passed off as movies today.


You forgot that '93 produced True Romance. As much as I've liked some of the movies since y2k [the two that immediately pop in my head are the Dark Knight and Training Day, but I'm also hungover], I don't think as a whole they can stack up with what came down the pike in the 90's.

Oh, Live, I think KIDS pretty much mirrors any highschool kids life that grew up in the inner city and gravitated towards partying.


The sheer spike in quantity of movies during the 00's makes it seem like there were more good movies back in the 90s. There were plenty of clunkers back then as well.


I only included movies that I've seen.

Also, I think the 90s benefit from some nostalgia. Let's be honest, "Speed" is not really a great movie, just your standard over-the-top action flick. And I love Jim Carrey, but The Mask was kinda weesh. I also think that Forrest Gump is a movie that has gained a ton of steam over the years; I think it's very well possible that in 10 years we view Benjamin Button in the same light.


No mention of Robocop? I am old enough to have seen Robocop in the theater and I thought it was the greatest fucking movie I ever saw. I left the theater sweating, high on rootbeer and M&Ms and I felt like I was drenched in blood..... God that was an awesome feeling.

Could you imagine a Robocop movie today? It would thouroughly suck donkey ass.


Original Robocop came out in '87.