The 40 (or so) Best Films in the Past 20 Yearsby bogartcagney19 | created - 08 Oct 2010 | updated - 03 Mar 2011 | Public
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1. Dances with Wolves (1990)
PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.
Votes: 204,833 | Gross: $184.21M
2. Ghost (1990)
PG-13 | 127 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance
After a young man is murdered, his spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger, with the help of a reluctant psychic.
Votes: 167,238 | Gross: $217.63M
3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.
Votes: 1,014,708 | Gross: $130.74M
4. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
G | 84 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
A young woman whose father has been imprisoned by a terrifying beast offers herself in his place, unaware that her captor is actually a prince, physically altered by a magic spell.
Votes: 354,397 | Gross: $218.97M
5. Aladdin (1992)
G | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie's magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her.
Votes: 293,132 | Gross: $217.35M
6. Basic Instinct (1992)
R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A violent, suspended police detective investigates a brutal murder, in which a manipulative and seductive woman could be involved.
Votes: 146,264 | Gross: $117.73M
7. The Fugitive (1993)
PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt lead by a seasoned US Marshall.
Votes: 230,635 | Gross: $183.88M
9. Pulp Fiction (1994)
R | 154 min | Crime, Drama
The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
Votes: 1,488,699 | Gross: $107.93M
10. Forrest Gump (1994)
PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance
The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.
Votes: 1,438,790 | Gross: $330.25M
11. The Lion King (1994)
G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
Lion cub and future king Simba searches for his identity. His eagerness to please others and penchant for testing his boundaries sometimes gets him into trouble.
Votes: 742,453 | Gross: $312.90M
12. Braveheart (1995)
R | 178 min | Biography, Drama, History
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, Sir William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.
Votes: 824,079 | Gross: $75.60M
14. Scream (1996)
R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery
A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.
Votes: 243,295 | Gross: $103.05M
15. Jerry Maguire (1996)
R | 139 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.
Votes: 207,510 | Gross: $153.95M
16. The Fifth Element (1997)
PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay.
Votes: 377,171 | Gross: $63.54M
17. L.A. Confidential (1997)
R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.
Votes: 456,623 | Gross: $64.62M
18. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
R | 169 min | Drama, War
Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.
Votes: 1,002,366 | Gross: $216.54M
19. A Bug's Life (1998)
G | 95 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A misfit ant, looking for "warriors" to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, recruits a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe.
Votes: 230,690 | Gross: $162.80M
21. Fight Club (1999)
R | 139 min | Drama
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soapmaker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.
Votes: 1,525,499 | Gross: $37.03M
22. Gladiator (2000)
R | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.
Votes: 1,104,083 | Gross: $187.71M
23. Almost Famous (2000)
R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.
Votes: 223,066 | Gross: $32.53M
24. Donnie Darko (2001)
R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.
Votes: 648,357 | Gross: $0.19M
25. Black Hawk Down (2001)
R | 144 min | Drama, History, War
160 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.
Votes: 318,991 | Gross: $108.64M
26. Minority Report (2002)
PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.
Votes: 438,179 | Gross: $132.07M
27. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
PG-13 | 179 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.
Votes: 1,231,365 | Gross: $342.55M
PG-13 | 201 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.
Votes: 1,360,194 | Gross: $377.85M
29. Finding Nemo (2003)
G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.
Votes: 789,091 | Gross: $380.84M
30. Seabiscuit (2003)
PG-13 | 140 min | Drama, History, Sport
True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation.
Votes: 60,538 | Gross: $120.28M
31. The Incredibles (2004)
PG | 115 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world.
Votes: 531,777 | Gross: $261.44M
32. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius.
Votes: 459,848 | Gross: $373.59M
33. King Kong (2005)
PG-13 | 187 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
Votes: 345,530 | Gross: $218.08M
34. Munich (2005)
R | 164 min | Drama, History, Thriller
Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.
Votes: 188,888 | Gross: $47.40M
35. The Departed (2006)
R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.
Votes: 982,459 | Gross: $132.38M
36. The Prestige (2006)
PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
After a tragic accident two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion whilst sacrificing everything they have to outwit the other.
Votes: 967,039 | Gross: $53.09M
38. I Am Legend (2007)
PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.
Votes: 591,224 | Gross: $256.39M
39. The Dark Knight (2008)
PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama
When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.
Votes: 1,877,976 | Gross: $534.86M
40. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
R | 120 min | Drama, Romance
A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"
Votes: 701,032 | Gross: $141.32M
41. Up (2009)
PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.
Votes: 761,338 | Gross: $293.00M
42. District 9 (2009)
R | 112 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.
Votes: 574,203 | Gross: $115.65M
43. Inception (2010)
PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.
Votes: 1,666,322 | Gross: $292.58M
44. Toy Story 3 (2010)
G | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home.
Votes: 617,084 | Gross: $415.00M