Movie Rankings: 1990, 1989, 1988

1990.

5. NINJA TURTLES. Too dark for a kids movie but oh man this was my obsession as a kid.  I think it was the first VHS I ever bought because they were fifty bucks back then or something!

4. GREMLINS 2.  Another childhood classic full of very adult commentary on society.  I also love that it’s set trapped in a high tech skyscraper… like Die Hard!

3. HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER.  This is a perfect movie and an adaptation of one of my favorite books as a kid.  Best thing Alec Baldwin has ever done.

2. TOTAL RECALL.  Peak Ahnuld and a great sci-fi story to boot.  Completely iconic!

1. DIE HARD 2. I dearly love the first three Die Hard movies and this one is underappreciated.  It takes the first movie and lets it loose, set across a sprawling major airport in the middle of a snowstorm.  It ups the ante of the first movie.

1989.

5. THE ABYSS.  Cameron creates an astonishly tense thriller that absolutely feels like it’s set at the bottom of the ocean.  Be sure to watch the Special Edition which actually explains why the aliens are there and features a major new set piece.

4. LETHAL WEAPON 2.  A vast improvement on the original with a lot more action and humor.  A great villain and the introduction of Joe Pesci!

3. BACK TO THE FUTURE 2. My favorite of the trilogy just for the future half.  Absolute classic.

2. BATMAN.  I’m too young to remember the insane hype over this movie, but this is still an incredible achievement of making a dark (for the time) realistic comic book movie.

1. INDIANA JONES LAST CRUSADE.  A perfect movie.  As a kid this was my favorite Indy movie.  As an adult I favor Raiders, but Indy and his dad remains the perfect comedy team.

1988.

5. SCROOGED. Haven’t seen it in forever but I remember it being a great blend of funny and creepy.

4. BEETLEJUICE.  Haven’t seen it since childhood but it was a hilariously dark comedy.

3. WILLOW.  George Lucas rips off Lord of the Rings, what’s not to love?

2. DIE HARD. The invention of the modern action movie.  Classic for a reason.

1. ROGER RABBIT. An astonishing blend of live action, animation, and a murder’s row of different franchises.  It’s a miracle this movie exists and it is perfection.

Movie Rankings: 1993, 1992, 1991

1993.

5. THE FUGITIVE. I recall this being a great action thriller.

4. LAST ACTION HERO. I actually hated this movie as a kid, but as an adult I appreciate how it is a parody of action movies.

3. DEMOLITION MAN. Classically ridiculous sci-fi action.

2. ARMY OF DARKNESS. This movie holds a special place in my heart.  It is so hilarious and intentionally ridiculous while also being an epic period piece war film.  Bruce Campbell’s greatest showing in anything.

1. JURASSIC PARK.  One of the greatest movies ever made.

1992.

5. RESERVOIR DOGS. Tarentino’s first film is low budget but still engrossing.

4. ALIEN 3. A massive disappointment after Aliens on every level, but technically impressive.

3. LETHAL WEAPON 3. The weakest of the series but still hilarious.

2. ALADDIN. The second greatest Disney cartoon ever!

1. BATMAN RETURNS.  This movie was huge when I was a kid, particularly since I don’t remember the original movie’s release.  It’s full of classic Burton weirdness.

1991.

5. ROBIN HOOD. I loved this movie as a kid.  Tons of great humor and action.

4. NINJA TURTLES 2.  This was my all time favorite movie as a kid.  The nostalgia is overpowering.

3. HOOK.  A vastly underappreciated movie.  Peak Spielberg with gorgeous production design, humor, and action.  Dustin Hoffman was a fascinatingly ridiculous Captain Hook but I also found the abduction scene terrifying as a kid.

2. STAR TREK 6.  My favorite Trek movie.  Love the Cold War parallel.  In addition to telling a vitally important turning point in Trek history, it also looks incredible and has great humor and character work.

1. TERMINATOR 2.  One of the greatest action movies ever made.  Perfection.

Movie Rankings: 1996, 1995, 1994

1996.

10. EXECUTIVE DECISION. I vaguely recall enjoying this.

9. ERASER. Same.

8. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. I think this is overrated but there are some classic bits in it.

7. MARS ATTACKS. A legitimately hilarious parody of alien invasion movies full of so many stars.

6. SCREAM. The classic that redefined horror.

5. LONG KISS GOODNIGHT. I remember this being a really funny movie with great action.

4. FRIGHTENERS. Peter Jackson makes a classic horror comedy action adventure full of great characters and action scenes.

3. STAR TREK FIRST CONTACT. The best TNG movie.  Seeing the Borg on screen was great.

2. THE ROCK. Classic Michael Bay!

1. INDEPENDENCE DAY. This movie was as big as Star Wars for me as a teenager.  The ultimate popcorn thriller, even if it’s ridiculous and silly at times.

1995.

10. BAD BOYS. Pretty forgettable Michael Bay movie.

9. ACE VENTURA 2. This was the funniest movie ever made for teenage me.

8. OUTBREAK. I just saw this again and it’s a great medical thriller.

7. USUAL SUSPECTS. I recall this being an exceptionally great mystery thriller.

6. 12 MONKEYS. Dark and disturbing but classic time travel sci-fi.

5. JUDGE DREDD. I adore this ridiculous comic book hamfest.

4. BATMAN FOREVER. Too cartoony but still a good Batman adventure.

3. GOLDENEYE. I did not like this movie as a kid but I appreciate it now as an expert reboot with a great hero, villain, and set pieces.

2. WATERWORLD. I legitimately loved this movie as a kid.  The on-water filming remains an incredible achievement and Dennis Hopper was a hilarious bad guy.

1. DIE HARD 3. I absolutely love this movie.  One of my all time favorite action movies.  Great story and villain and full of amazing on location NYC filming.

1994.

10. LEON THE PROFESSIONAL. I’m afraid to watch this movie under a modern lens but it was a really moving action thriller as a teenager with a star-making role for Natalie Portman.

9. THE SHADOW. I’m a sucker for 30s era action adventure and this is a great one.

8. STAR TREK GENERATIONS. Not a very strong Star Trek movie but it’s cool to see the TNG cast in a movie for the first time.

7. PULP FICTION. A ground breaking classic that in addition to an arthouse film manages to be funny and entertaining at the same time.

6. CLERKS. Kevin Smith’s greatest film and another paradigm shift for movies.  Plus, it’s hilarious.

5. MAVERICK. Pure fun.  Mel Gibson at his most charming.

4. TRUE LIES. Not my favorite James Cameron movie by far but still a Cameron movie.

3. STARGATE. Loved this as a kid.

2. LION KING. Disney’s best animated feature.

1. SPEED. One of the great action movies of all time.