Editorial – 1994: The Best Year for Movies Ever?


I was doing my standard internet trolling when I stumbled upon an IMDb link that my good friend Chris had posted. The link describes the most popular feature films released in 1994. I was only 7 years old at the time, so I don’t have a great recollection of that year, but HOLY CRAP 1994 HAD THE SICKEST MOVIE LINEUP EVER. Movies that were released that year include:

The Shawshank Redemption

Pulp Fiction

Forrest Gump

The Lion King

Dumb and Dumber


True Lies

Ed Wood

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

I still could go on listing some classic movies that came out that year. 1994 was one hell of a year for film (at least in my opinion) and I am going to say that it is the most solid year for movies I can think of.

Now I ask, can anyone think of a year that rivals 1994?

The link for the IMDb page can be found below. Special thanks to Chris for the link. P.S. you can check out his acclaimed music blog from the link below too.




  1. Brian Galbraith says:

    Quiz Show, Four Weddings and a Funeral

  2. Al B. says:

    1994 goes downhill fast after the first three. I vote for…


    Apocalypse Now
    Kramer Vs. Kramer
    Rocky II
    Norma Rae
    China Syndrome
    Mad Max
    The Great Santini
    Star Trek (first one)
    Life of Brian
    The Jerk
    The Muppet Movie
    Being There
    The Champ

    Shall I go on?

  3. Jeff Marlowe says:

    I tried to come up with a metric way to figure this out and I came up with a system. A year gains a point if: a) It produces a good movie b) It produces a blockbuster (adjusted from year to year based on relative industry gross) c) It produces a movie of significance in the history of film. For example, Star Wars Ep. 1 in ’99 was not a good movie, but it was significant in film history and was a blockbuster, so it earns 2 points for 1999. I also gave a bonus point for the best movie of the decade. I took a point away if the year produced a bad movie, two points if the movie was particularly awful or starred Nic Cage. I did a couple average years in film and an average score is around 10 or 11. Here’s the breakdown:

    Hi-lights: Pulp-Fiction, Lion King, Four-Deaths and a Funeral, Forrest Gump (movie of the decade)
    Low-lights: The Ref, 3 Ninjas Kick Back, Tom and Viv
    Overall Score: 17. Some great movies for sure, but a lot of mediocre, bad, and just plain shitty movies too. Excellent highlights blurred by miserable lows

    Hi-lights: The Matrix, Toy Story 2, American Beauty, Sixth Sense
    Low-lights: The World is Not Enough, EDtv, Universal Soldier: The Return
    Overall Score: 19. So many ups and downs. It was amazing seeing everything that was made that year. Truly great movies in every genre…unfortunately offset by some of the worst horror movies of the last 25 years leading the shit storm. If only those horror movies were held off a year it would have won, beating out…

    Hi-lights: 300, Ratatouille, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood (movie of the decade)
    Low-lights: 4 Nic Cage movies…all shit. AND 2 Dane Cook movies. How did we survive?
    Overall Score: 21. How did this year get so much after losing 12 points from Nic Cage and Dane Cook alone? Look at the Oscar class from this year and the following. The good movies this year were GREAT. And, because it was at the end of the writers strike, studios had trimmed their systems so they produced movies that would be most successful. They did a good job. 2007 is the winner in my book.

    I didn’t do 1979 because Star Trek 1 and Moonraker were shit. And that was the argument for why it was good…so no.

    • Justin Dubin says:

      Jeff, that’s a really good system, however, I think it is hard to score good movies. A lot of the movies in 1994 may be considered shit by the critics but have a special place in my heart. D2: The Mighty Ducks, Richie Rich, Beverly Hills Cop III, The Mask, Major League II…I think all of these are awesome. Having said that, I still think you have a pretty valid system and 2007 was definitely a very solid year.

    • Al B. says:

      No, Star Trek and Moonraker were throw-ins because they were in the top 5 in gross, which would give them points under your own system.

      Movies like Apocalypse Now, Kramer vs. Kramer, Alien, 10, were some of the most significant movies of the 70’s, perhaps the greatest decade in American film-making (extra points for that…).

  4. Alec says:

    I agree with Akif, ’99 is just an unbeatable year. You got:
    Fight Club
    The Matrix
    American Beauty
    (I could stop right now…)
    The Green Mile
    The Boondock Saints
    Office Space
    The Sixth Sense
    Eyes Wide Shut
    Being John Malkovich
    The Virgin Suicides
    Three Kings
    American Pie
    South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
    All About My Mother
    The Mummy
    Toy Story 2
    Big Daddy
    Sleepy Hollow
    The Iron Giant
    The Insider
    Summer of Sam
    The Straight Story
    Julien Donkey-Boy
    Sweet and Lowdown
    Dead or Alive

    And two of my personal favorites- Galaxy Quest and Mystery Men.

    ’99 by a landslide. I also think that 2004 and 2010 were ridiculously good as well.

  5. Abdellah says:

    I still have two year in my mind :

    1983 :
    Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
    Terms of Endearment
    The Outsiders
    Trading Places
    Risky Business
    Rumble Fish
    Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
    Sudden Impact
    Staying Alive
    Mr. Mom
    The King of Comedy
    National Lampoon’s Vacation
    Superman III
    The Big Chill

    2012 :
    The Avengers
    Wreck-It Ralph
    The Hunger Games
    Rock Of Ages
    The Amazing Spiderman
    Expendables 2
    The Dark Knight Rises
    Zero Dark Thrity
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
    Les Miserables
    Mirror Mirror
    21 Jump Street
    Titanic 3D
    American Reunion
    The Three Stooges
    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    Dark Shadows
    The Dictator
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Snow White and the Huntsman
    To Rome with Love
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Magic Mike
    The Watch
    The Bourne Legacy
    The Master
    Trouble with the Curve
    Life of Pi
    Silver Linings Playbook
    Jack Reacher
    Django Unchained
    The Impossible
    Promised Land

    • Justin Dubin says:

      2012 had a lot of good movies but it seems like you just listed every movie that came out that year. In my opinion, many of those movies you listed were bad or absolutely sucked.

  6. Coach Guru says:

    I submit 1988:
    -The Abyss
    -Above the Law
    -The Accused
    -Beaches(I hate, but women love)
    -Bull Durham
    -Cinema Paradiso
    -Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
    -Eight Men Out
    -A Fish Called Wanda
    -Funny Farm
    -The Great Outdoors
    -I’m Gonna Git You Sucka
    -Mississippi Burning
    -The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
    -Rain Man
    -Short Circuit 2(I don’t care, I’ll watch it every time its on.)
    -Stand and Deliver,
    -They Live (Its terrible but, Rowdy Roddy Piper!)
    -Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    -Young Guns
    -Akira(only anime movie I’ve ever seen)

    And to put it over the top:
    -Die Hard

  7. James says:

    whatever year deliverance came out is the greatest year for movies because ned beatty getting anally raped is the single greatest moment in film history and anyone who disagrees doesnt know a damn thing about cinema

  8. Ernst Dante says:

    1994 rules because of Chungking Express, Three Colors Red and White, Crumb, Hoop Dreams, Heavenly Creatures, The Last Seduction, Il Postino, The Professional, Satantango, Eat Drink Man Woman, Speed, Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Legend of Drunken Master, Once Were Warriors, Exotica, To Live, Shallow Grave, Burnt by the Sun, The Kingdom, Wild Reeds…

    An exceptional year for movies.

  9. Mark R.Y. says:

    Certainly ’94 is one of the best movie years of the 1990s. My top 12:

    1. The Hudsucker Proxy

    2. Three Colors: Red

    2. Three Colors: White

    4. Barcelona

    5. Burnt by the Sun

    6. Quiz Show

    7. Eat Drink Man Woman

    8. Vanya on 42nd Street

    9. The Shawshank Redemption

    10. Pulp Fiction

    11. The Shadow

    12. Black Beauty

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