Top 10 Films of 1990

Since your favourite (here’s hoping!) plain, simple reviewer is 26 today (“26? Really? I always assumed you were 12 or something . . . “😉), this seems like the perfect opportunity to celebrate all of the great films that also turn 26 this year. 26 years since the release of Nelson Mandela, the resignation of Margaret Thatcher and . . . the TV debut of Mr. Bean!

This year also saw the births of so many noteworthy actors/actresses including Margot Robbie (surprising, I had no idea she was my age), Kristen Stewart, Emma Watson, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Lucas Till, Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence (only 3 days older than me!) I guess that makes me pretty much the same age as Harley Quinn, Bella Swann, Hermione Granger, Kick-Ass, Havok, Gale Hawthorne and Katniss Everdeen, huh?

And of course, there were plenty of noteworthy films – Happy Birthday (belated or upcoming) to all of them!

10. Home Alone (November 16th, 1990)


A beloved Christmas classic indeed. Celebrate the holiday season by watching Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern getting hurt, eh?

9. Pretty Woman (March 23rd, 1990)


Appropriate, since director Garry Marshall sadly passed away this year. Surely, it’s one of his finest with an impossibly cool Richard Gere and a great Julia Roberts performance.

8. Die Hard 2 (July 2nd, 1990)


A very worthy addition to the franchise; it’s incredibly Christmassy (there’s plenty of  snow, that’s for sure!), there’s awesome action scenes and William Sadler is a suitably nasty villain. Oh, and Sipowicz is in it.

7. Back to the Future: Part III (May 25th, 1990)


A fun, frantic finish to the BTTF franchise. “Nobody calls me yellow!”

6. Miller’s Crossing (October 5th, 1990)


Loosely based on Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key and with such memorable scenes as Albert Finney chasing away enemy gangsters with a Tommy Gun to the tune of “Danny Boy” and John Turturro begging for his life in the woods, this is a Coen Brother classic, with expert writing/direction, great characters and beautiful music and cinematography. “Look in your heart!”

5. Ghost (July 13th, 1990)

ghost 1990 movie whoopi goldberg

Far from the mushy schmaltz I assumed it would be, Ghost is surprisingly dark and has an interesting story and great performances, especially from Vincent Schiavelli and of course, Whoopi Goldberg. Oscar very well deserved.

4. Total Recall (June 1st, 1990)


One of my favourite sci-fi films and surely one of the best Schwarzenegger performances, Paul Verhoeven’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story is colourful, exciting, fun and has an incredible Jerry Goldsmith score. Plus, Sharon Stone and Michael Ironside are both badass (Kate Beckinsale was actually a worthy successor in the otherwise unnecessary remake). So “get your ass to Mars” and I’ll “see you at the party!”

3. Misery (November 30th, 1990)


One of the finest Stephen King film adaptations, Rob Reiner’s film is excellent. Going down in film history as a horror gem, it’s solidly written, unbearably tense and Kathy Bates is perfect; King loved her so much that he subsequently wrote the role of Delores Claiborne specifically for her.

2. Edward Scissorhands (December 6th, 1990)


“Avon Calling!” Who doesn’t love this one? So imaginative, a beautiful Elfman score and perfect performances from Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. A stylish, affecting, colourful piece of magic and a perfect swansong for the great Vincent Price.

1. Goodfellas (September 21st, 1990)

Goodfellas 1

Effortlessly standing the test of time, it’s one of Scorcese’s finest contributions. Based on Nicholas Pileggi’s book and co written by him and Scorcese, it is epic, exciting, well written, shockingly violent and with a whole host of memorable, fleshed out characters, a whole load of them played by Sopranos/Cop Land alumni!

It also has an excellent soundtrack and the use of Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla (Piano Exit)”  for the montage scene and closing credits is wonderful – one of the finest uses of music in a film, in my opinion.

And of course, Academy Award winning Joe Pesci is phenomenal. A funny guy indeed!

Other noteworthy films of 1990:

  • Dances with Wolves
  • Tremors
  • Awakenings
  • Wild at Heart
  • King of New York
  • Life is Sweet
  • Dick Tracy
  • Predator 2
  • The Rescuers Down Under
  • Child’s Play 2

24 thoughts on “Top 10 Films of 1990

  1. Happy birthday! I actually thought of doing a very similar post on my birthday a couple of months ago, but then my roommate and I started drinking champagne at breakfast and… well, you know how it goes 🙂
    Anyhow, I’m really happy to see Wild at Heart and Life is Sweet on the list (I love Mike Leigh!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The Silence Of The Lambs! Terminator 2. Thelma and Louise! And I’m pretty sure Candyman was 1992, too. Great year, also my birth year.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. great list tom. happy belated b-day!

    i was 16 in ’90 so i saw all of them that year (besides ES, which i only saw for the first time in ’09 & apparently i’m one of the few in the world who dislikes it)

    i’d add Memphis Belle, Presumed Innocent and Europa, Europa to that list

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very nice. And you have the right movie at the top of the list! Glad to see Miller’s Crossing make the cut, as well. Some others I love…

    Mo’ Better Blues
    The Grifters
    Dick Tracy
    House Party
    Robocop 2 (yes, I’m the one guy who loves this movie)

    Liked by 1 person

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