15 Randomly Picked Great Hollywood Movies Since 1990

15 Randomly Picked Great Hollywood Movies Since 1990

Before we start reading past the names of some joyful cinematic endeavors, let me just say at the outset that this list about the best films since 1990 does miss out on some real classics, probably even better than the ones mentioned. That’s why the title.

For example, you won’t find names like Miller’s Crossing, Eastern Promises, Goodfellas, etc. but rest assured, watching each movie that makes the cut feels like it was made in the magic hour. So just segue into the list. And don’t forget to let Netflix take you off to the wondrous journey, movie-by-movie:

Forrest Gump

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It might have had its share of criticism after it edged past Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption in the Oscar Race, but movies like Forrest Gump don’t come on the odd occasions, but when they do, they sweep you off your feet. The love story of this 1994 flick has a purity that our ill-livered filmmakers would most likely find a way around.

Gosford Park

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Image Courtesy: USA Films

Gosford Park takes some time getting used to. But once it does, it plugs you right into the old fashioned English country house, and introduces you to the green-eyed monsters of the elite class who seemingly are drenched in snob. One of the Altman’s finest work, Gosford Park focuses on muted colours and equinox background, rather than the whodunit. Set in 1932, the movie tells the entangled life of typically civilized non-entity servants, and the sophisticated but prude elite class.

The Truman Show

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Image Courtesy: Paramount Pictures

Teeming with vital juices of perhaps a spurious existence, The Truman show runs on a bolstered fuel of undiluted innovation.

The Straight Story

The straight story movie hollywood

The subtle emotional pull of The Straight Story and Richard Farnsworth’s performance have a massive effect. No maudlin impulses here, yet, it’ll make your heart sing and seep.

The Shawshank Redemption

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It is a tour de force of a film that has achieved the status of a cult with the passage of time. It has been close to 19 years since this movie hit the screens, and we remain ‘institutionalized’.

There Will Be Blood

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The movie has Daniel Day Lewis and that’s a bloody good reason to watch There Will Be Blood. It is a movie blissfully unaware that it is a movie. And if that doesn’t seem like making a lot of sense, pop in a Blu-Ray and be prepared to be thwarted in your chair.

Inglorious Basterds

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Image Courtesy: Weinstein Company

I am an unabashed fan of Tarantino. To be honest, I was not quite taken by Pulp Fiction as much as everyone was, but Inglorious Basterds made me sit up and take notice. Here is a man unchained who lives to cross the line. You either hate him or you love him – and love him to bits. “He is OK” does not exist.

Django Unchained

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Image Courtesy: Weinstein Company

And then there is that! Django Unchained opens a big can of worms – Tarantino style. The fans of the *popular* cinema would hardly be keen for a movie made on slavery, but in Tarantino’s anti-high tech masterpiece, they have spring times. The criminally awesome performances by the trio – Chrtisopher Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo Di Caprio – leave you gasping (Hollywood should thank Tarantino for gifting them Waltz). Django Unchained leaves you solemnly transfixed at the brutality.

The Man From Earth

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This hypnotic flick triumphs on its own occult terms. The movie confined in just one room is a cliffhanger and willfully opaque to begin with. However, unlike a lesser film, The Man From Earth doesn’t hold all its card till the pre-climax. The cards are on the table after just half of the movie’s running time and that’s when the game beings to unravel. With just half a dozen characters, the movie is, at heart, a humane process of eager seekers. Of all the moments that gave me goosebumps, “I don’t smell rain” and “He is Christ” stand out.

Frost/Nixon

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Howard smartly keeps the politico in check and yet delivers a political drama with flair and finesse. Frost/Nixon keeps you on board from start to finish.

Schindler’s List

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Image Courtesy: Universal Pictures

Has there been a better Holocaust movie? I don’t know. For me, it is a spotlessly paved horror account. Period.

Sweeney Todd

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This is not a ‘ghost’ movie in the true sense of the word. Yet, the protagonist, Sweeney Todd is demonized and demonizing by the horrors of his past. The concept of revenge has been done to death over decades but hand it to Tim Burton, and he will reinstate your penchant for revenge by making a film with a bracing vibrancy. This is what he has done with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of the Fleet Street. As for Johnny Depp, err…NO; No Depp..He is Todd now – Sweeney Todd. And he had his revenge!

Dark Knight

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Image Courtesy: Warner Bros. Pictures

Wake up superhero aficionados. This is how you make them. Dark Knight is a spectacular nightmare. Before the first is spoken.

The Departed

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Image Courtesy: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Departed may or may not be Martin Scorsese’s best, but that’s a debate for another day. It is a bloody good gangster flick that restores you faith in the notion that there is an art to the gangster movies. With three supremely talented actors in the center of all the action – though Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg steal everyone’s thunder – The Departed is a full-bodied oxygen blast.

Saving Private Ryan

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Image Courtesy: DreamWorks SKG

The most popular war movie since Paths of Glory, Saving Private Ryan also had critics and the general audience divided. Look, the fact remains that this Steven Spielberg film does meander every now and then into the melodrama territory, but it never felt out of place or forced to me. Tom Hanks’ brilliance, meanwhile, did not stir up any debate.

***

There are movies that stretch their directors, their actors and any whodunit associated with the film to the extremes of their limit. To see their brilliance, you don’t have to squint. Not even a bit.

Rohit Raina
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