#30: the green mile (1999)
Adapted from the series of novellas by Stephen King, this film was nominated for 4 Oscars, including Best Picture. A surprisingly heartfelt story from the master of horror, The Green Mile explores the relationship between prison guard and a death row inmate with supernatural powers.
#29: clerks (1994)
Simply one of the greatest indie films of all time. Clerks follows one day in the lives of Dante and Randal, two strip mall clerks, who between helping their rude and odd customers, ponder questions of life, love, and movies.
#28: being john malkovich (1999)
The feature film debut of both director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman earned them both Oscar nominations for this fantastic dark comedy. The film explores so many themes and has so many twists and surprises that you’re not soon to forget it.
#27: magnolia (1999)
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s ambitious, sweeping drama which follows the interconnected lives of dozens of Californians. From heartbreaking tragedy to biting satire, Anderson weaves together these tales into a film unlike an other.
#26: leon: the professional (1994)
A lonely professional hitman takes in a desperate 12-year-old orphan girl and shows her the art of his trade. Leon: The Professional, while thrilling to behold, is more than your average revenge film. It truly shines in the blossoming, yet innately tainted, relationship of its two protagonists.
#25: beauty and the beast (1991)
A tale as old as time. Beauty and the Beast is first animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. That alone should be reason enough to see it. This film also marks the beginning of the Disney Renaissance that will continues throughout the decade.
#24: barton fink (1991)
Shot almost entirely in the titular character’s hotel room, the film is both an exploration of the craft of fiction writing (and writer’s block) and, like many Coen brothers’ films, an existential character study laden with moral and religious overtones. Fun fact: this film was written entirely during a period of writer’s block while the Coens were working on the screenplay of Miller’s Crossing.
#23: south park: bigger, longer, & uncut (1999)
Never have I seen meta-narrative employed in a film to greater effect than this. South Park effectively performs satire judo on its would-be critics, portraying them in the film as priggish parents. All that aside, this film is downright hilarious and is legitimately one of the best musical films made in the past 30 years.
#22: the matrix (1999)
The dystopian sci-fi epic that changed action films forever. Groundbreaking in its special effects and fight choreography, The legacy of The Matrix may be the incredible world-building powers of the Wachowski brothers, which captured the imaginations of an entire generation, spawning countless philosophical, mythological, and literary debates.
#21: crumb (1994)
This hidden gem of a film follows the recluse artist Robert Crumb, a pioneer of the underground comic scene of the early 70s. The documentary explores the artist’s relationship with his troubled family, his influence on the comic industry, and his unique outlook on life. A masterclass in character study and brilliant exploration of the delicate relationship between art and life.