If there’s one decade that stands out for me in terms of movies; I’d go for the 90’s, no questions asked. The 80’s are a strong contender of course, boasting of great films such as Back to the Future, Terminator, Aliens, Die Hard etc. but personally, I have a soft spot for the 90’s. Why? you ask?
Well, we can start with the fact that I was born in 1996 and I grew up watching more 90’s movies than those produced in any other decade; low-budget films to be precise. In as much as the latter weren’t the flashiest, they possessed certain narratives that were extensively relatable, riveting and entertaining; elements that I appreciate more as a critic than I did way back when. There are 5 specific flicks I watched recently that just rolled back the years and summarized what I loved about flicks of that era hence the purpose of this article. Here are 5 low-budget 90’s films worth rewatching.
5. GOOD WILL HUNTING (1996).
-Budget; $ 10 Million
Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama motion-picture directed by Gus Van Sant, also known for films such as ‘Drugstore Cowboy’, ‘Psycho’ and ‘Finding Forrester’. Starring an ensemble cast of Matt Damon, Robbin Williams, Ben Affleck and Stellan Skarsgard, the story centres on Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a brilliant but hot-headed janitor who takes a journey of self-discovery in dealing with his bitter past while also shaping his future.
4. HOMEWARD BOUND; THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY (1993).
-Budget; $ 5-15 Million
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a 1993 American adventure comedy film and a remake of the 1963 film The Incredible Journey, which was based on the novel of the same name by Sheila Burnford. Directed by Duwayne Dunham, the film pivots on 3 pet animals in Chance (Michael J. Fox), Shadow (Don Ameche) and Sassy (Sally Field); an American Bulldog, A Golden Retriever and a Himalayan cat respectively. The 3 animals embark on an incredible and dangerous journey through the unforgiving woodlands as they seek to be reunited with their owners.
3. MRS. DOUBTFIRE (1993).
-Budget; $ 25 Million
Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 American comedy-drama film based on the novel Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine. Directed by Chris Columbus, the movie stars Robin Williams (who was co-producer as well), Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein, and Robert Prosky. The narrative of the movie revolves around a recently divorced actor in Daniel Hillard, who dresses up as a female housekeeper to be able to interact with his three children. The film addresses themes of divorce, separation, and the effect they have on a family.
2. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991).
-Budget; $ 19 Milllion
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American psychological horror-thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme. The film stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, and Anthony Heald. The flick centers on a young FBI trainee in Clarice Starling who seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. She does this in the hope of locating and apprehending another serial killer, known only as “Buffalo Bill”, who skins his female victims’ corpses.
1. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994).
-Budget; $ 25 Million
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Written and directed by Frank Darabont, the movie tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. Over a couple of decades, he befriends a fellow prisoner, contraband smuggler Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), and becomes instrumental in a money laundering operation led by the prison warden Samuel Norton(Bob Gunton).
Watching these films one more time just rolled back the good old days and made me appreciate those kind of films even more as compared to the ones we have today. In simple terms, they don’t make them like these no more. Whether it’s the stellar acting by Anthony Hopkins or the deceased Robin Williams, the heartfelt story of a man who goes to unthinkable lengths to be with his children, the relatable themes of justice, vengeance and redemption in a certain Frank Darabont masterpiece; there’s a lot to love about these 5 films. Give them a watch when you can, they are a good waste of your time for sure.