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The 45 Best Movies of 1994— Was This the Best Year Ever?



The 45 Best Movies Of 1994
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The Best Movies of the 1990s Part 5

My Subjective List of the Best Films of 1994

When It comes to pop culture highlights, 1994 had plenty of big moments. It was the year Friends premiered on NBC capturing the optimism and aspirations of young Americans everywhere and the year Everett Peck created one of the greatest adult-oriented cartoons Duckman while Winnie Holzman debuted her critically acclaimed but short-lived My So-Called Life which introduced the world to Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano. Hulk Hogan left WWE for WCW; the nWo was born, and Madonna made headlines for going on a profanity-laden tirade when she appeared on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman. An estimated 350,000 showed up at Woodstock ’94 (which proved to be a complete nightmare for most); River Phoenix committed suicide; beloved Comedian John Candy passed away; Kurt Cobain was found dead in his greenhouse from a shotgun blast to the head, and Britpop took over the airwaves peaking with the release of Oasis’s Definitely Maybe and Blur’s Parklife. It was the year my friends and I spent most of our free time playing Super Metroid, Earthbound, and Donkey Kong Country, and later that year, we got our hands on the original Playstation which launched just before Christmas.

1994 is also cited as one of the greatest years for movies thanks to the booming American independent filmmaking scene and the number of high-quality movies made within the Hollywood studio system. Quentin Tarantino burst into the mainstream with his crime epic Pulp Fiction; Kevin Smith had college kids reciting every line from Clerks and Hollywood mainstays like Robert Zemeckis, Robert Redford, and Tim Burton earned both critical acclaim and box office success for Forrest Gump, Ed Wood, and Quiz Show. Just in October alone, Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, The Lion King, and Forrest Gump, were all in theaters at the same time. Just think about that. To say 1994 was a good year for movies would be an understatement— it was an amazing year. Pulp Fiction won the Palme d’Or, Jim Carey became the world’s biggest actor thanks to the success of both The Mask and Dumb and Dumber and The Lion King became the highest-grossing Walt Disney Feature Animation film of all-time. 1994 was such a great year for film that it took me forever to decide what to include in the following list. After much consideration, I have narrowed it down to 45 picks— 45 movies that left a big impression with me way back when…

A few quick notes before moving ahead:

As with all lists, the choices here are obviously subjective.

Normally, in the past, I would write one capsule review for each film but since I plan on releasing a list for every other year in the decade, I’ve instead decided to simply include one screenshot along with the official plot synopsis courtesy of Sorry guys, but these lists are time-consuming, and I’ve quickly come to learn that most people don’t bother reading every capsule review either way— so why bother?

That out of the way, here are the 30 best movies of 1993, each represented by one perfect screenshot. You can find my list of the best films of 1994 here.

45 Perfect Screenshots from the Best Movies of 1994

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Some people take my heart, others take my shoes, and some take me home. I write, I blog, I podcast, I edit, and I design websites. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Goomba Stomp and Tilt Magazine. Host of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast and the Sordid Cinema Podcast. Former Editor-In-Chief of Sound on Sight. Former host of several other podcasts including the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead shows, as well as Sound On Sight. There is nothing I like more than basketball, travelling, and animals. You can find me online writing about anime, TV, movies, games and so much more.

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  1. Shanna Brainard

    December 30, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Stumbled across this list after geeking out on how awesome 1994 was in terms of movies. When I started seeing all the films that came out in this year, I couldn’t believe it! What a shame I was too young to appreciate it at the time. My list might include Immortal Beloved, Nell, and Little Women, but I am glad you included films I haven’t seen yet. My friend and I are going to do a 1994 movie night and I think we will include a few from this list. Also, I would have read your capsule reviews; Reading someone else’s thoughts and experiences are the best part of any list (don’t sell your readers short).

    • Ricky Fernandes da Conceição

      December 30, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks Shanna. I am doing a list for each year. When I am done, my plan is to narrow down the 90 best from the 90s for an additional list that will have my capsule reviews. There is only so much time and I wear many hats here on the site. That said, feel free to listen to the Sordid Cinema podcast which you can find on this site. You’ll hear me talk about movies each week for an hour.

  2. Michael Sontoloyo

    March 10, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Sure! 94 was the best movie year and still remember the best WC also..
    My Fav was Shawshank Redemption and All 94 Jim Carrey’s Movie, so sad that Brandon Lee aslo died during filming Crow also that year.. 94 Movies will not be ever got matched by any year at least for hundred years.

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