Was 1995 the Best Year Ever For Movies?

I won't argue: "'[T]he stars aligned' may be the only explanation for 1995 being the greatest year in the history of movies. How else do we make sense out of the bounty that included no less than three Christina Ricci vehicles, career-bests for Ron Howard, Michael Mann, Mel Gibson, Richard Linklater, Amy Heckerling, Todd Haynes, and Clint Eastwood, the speedy ascension of Sandra Bullock's star, a talking pig, AND Showgirls?" [The Hairpin]

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  • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

    An appreciated shout-out to some worthy films.

  • The Winchester says:

    And Congo!

  • rainestorm says:

    I'll pit 2007 against 1995 any day of the week.

    • AS says:

      I'm with you. But if we are talking about the 90's, 1999 was far better than 95:

      Eyes Wide Shut
      Fight Club
      The Insider
      The Matrix
      American Beauty
      Being John Malkovich

      • The Cantankerist says:

        The Sixth Sense
        Toy Story 2

        Btw some kind of typo: your list included Eyes Wide Shut. That belongs with Phantom Menace on the "other" 1999 list. But generally, yeah.

        • The Cantankerist says:

          Except 1939 kicks its arse of course.

          Dark Victory
          Gone With the Wind
          Goodbye, Mr. Chips
          Love Affair
          Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
          Of Mice and Men
          The Wizard of Oz
          Wuthering Heights
          Gunga Din
          Destry Rides Again
          The Women
          Only Angels Have Wings
          Beau Geste
          etc etc etc

        • AS says:

          I don't what you're smoking, Eyes Wide Shut is a hot film. I mean, I guess it's become fashionable for hipsters to hate on it, but it's 10 times better than most movies that come out in a given year.

          • The Cantankerist says:

            There we'll have to agree to disagree. I have no idea what the hipsters make of it, or what reaction to it is "fashionable". I know I saw it in 1999 and it was a cold mess. Horribly self-conscious performances, an awful lot of arch straining for importance and, as with so much later Kubrick, directed with sterility. I don't what you're smoking either.

  • Jan Kubicki says:

    Commenters are writing in support of the films they saw as impressionable kids, Most of these films, with the exception of Babe and Leaving Las Vegas are pure junk.

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      I dunno about that. At the very least, Heat holds up for me as the best film of the '90s.

    • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

      Responder is writing to down films (and commenters) from the perspective of an opaque adult. Billy Madison, Clueless, Braveheart touch the kid in you, favor the most immediate and loving response -- something we didn't then need to too much cover for.

  • J.R. says:

    Please go back and look at a list from 1984 and re-think this entire argument/idea... here's one link that may help:

  • dukeroberts says:

    No doubt, 1995 was a great year, but so were 1941, 1946, 1950, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1989 and 1994. Not to mention, the greatest year ever in movies. 1939 is still the all-time reigning champ.

  • Alan says:

    Without thinking about it TOO hard ... 1974? TWO major Coppolas (The Godfather Part II, The Conversation), TWO major Altmans (Thieves Like Us, California Split), Spielberg's theatrical debut (Sugarland Express -- rewatched recently, it's terrific), Demme's debut (Caged Heat), Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Chinatown, A Woman Under the Influence, Phantom of the Paradise, (checking) Young Frankenstein ... I THINK those are all 1974. I must be missing stuff. What was the Bond that year? ... Oh, never mind. Anyway just throwing it out there.

    • kd says:

      I can't believe you mentioned Phantom of the Paradise!! My favourite movie. That and Young Frankenstein were shown as double features.

    • dukeroberts says:

      1974 also offered us Blazing Saddles, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Death Wish, That's Entertainmant! and The Towering Inferno.

  • topsyturvy says:

    Dead Man Walking (a remarkable performance by Sean Penn and a stellar one by Susan Sarandon)

    The Bridges of Madison County (ONLY for Meryl Streep's wonderous performance)

  • FilmSnork says:

    Maybe you never heard of the year 1984.

  • sweetvalleyguy says:

    I have fonder memories of the many iconic 0s films released in 1994 - Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, Four Wedding and a Funeral, Speed, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Muriel's Wedding, True Lies, Reality Bites, The Shawshank Redemption.

    But then again, 1995 had Clueless, Copycat, Strange Days, To Die For, and my personal favorite, Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam, so I concede...

    • sweetvalleyguy says:

      'iconic 90s films' - sorry, the '9' on my keyboard has something stuck under it (I think it might be a piece of cheese)

  • The Winchester says:

    It's all about 1991:

    Showdown in Little Tokyo
    Stone Cold
    FX2 The Deadly Art Of Illusion
    Out for Justice
    Double Impact
    The Perfect Weapon
    Hot Shots
    Terminator 2
    That movie with the cannibal they keep making sequels to
    The Taking of Beverly Hills
    Sleeping with the Enemy
    The Rocketeer
    Eve of Destruction
    Dead Again
    Showdown in Little Tokyo (so amazing, it needs to be named twice)

    • The Winchester says:

      Whoops, hit Post before submitting even more to my list:

      Point Break
      Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country
      Last Boy Scout
      Defending Your Life
      LA Story
      Hudson Hawk
      The People Under The Stairs
      Barton Fink
      Naked Lunch
      The Hitman
      Highlander 2: The Quickening
      Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
      Beastmaster 2
      Showdown in Little Tokyo
      Hangin With The Homeboys
      Cool as Ice
      McBain! THere wactually is a McBain movie, and it stars Christopher Walken and it's amazing.

      Even the bad movies of then were better than the bad movies of now. They had real conviction and passion behind them.

  • bobgeiber says:

    For the 90's, I loved '94 with Pulp Fiction and Forest Gump, and also 1999 with the Matrix, Fight Club and the many other films. But I agree and still put 1995 as my favorite. Just my personal opinion:

    -Toy Story
    -12 Monkeys
    -Apollo 13
    -Crimson Tide
    -Bridges of Madison County