'Goodfellas' ... 'Silence of the Lambs' ... 'Pulp Fiction' ... where do they rank?

Dramas, comedies, horror, sci-fi, an Italian tearjerker and even an animated musical make the grade as our picks for best flicks of the last decade of the millennium.

Whether your taste runs to gonzo gross-outs ('There's Something About Mary'), cutting-edge special effects ('The Matrix') or gritty violence scored to high octane rock ('Reservoir Dogs,' 'Pulp Fiction' ... and more), there's something for everyone right here.


Best 90s Movies

    Dramas, comedies, horror, sci-fi, an Italian tearjerker and even an animated musical make the grade as our picks for best flicks of the last decade of the millennium. Whether your taste runs to gonzo gross-outs ('There's Something About Mary'), cutting-edge special effects ('The Matrix') or gritty violence scored to high octane rock ('Reservoir Dogs,' 'Pulp Fiction' ... and more), there's something for everyone right here. -- By Tom Johnson

    40. 'Speed' (1994)


    Okay, okay, the premise of an out-of-control L.A. city bus that must maintain a speed of more than 50 mph or a bomb will trigger killing all the passengers, is as high concept as it is high on the hokum meter. But the screen heat between Sandra Bullock (the driver) and Keanu Reeves, the cop who's assigned to board the bus (like a runaway stagecoach in the Wild West) burned rubber with appreciative moviegoers.

    20th Century Fox / ZUMA Press

    39. 'Pretty Woman' (1990)


    The dramedy that shot Julia Roberts into the superstar stratosphere and ushered her into the rarified rank of eight-figure earners (a first for a female movie star) fairly gushes with Roberts' incandescent star quality. If you want a definition of "charisma," look no further than this fanciful tale of a hooker with a heart of gold.

    Touchstone / TBS

    38. 'The Big Lebowski' (1998)


    A cult hit from the febrile gray matter of Joel and Ethan Coen, 'Lebowski' posits what happens when a burned-out, White Russian-swilling, ex-hippie underachiever named the Dude (Jeff Bridges) is mistaken for a millionaire. Hilarious pandemonium ensues involving inept anarchists, a pornographer on the make (Ben Gazzara), an heiress with a plan (Julianne Moore) and assorted oddballs from the Dude's bowling league (John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and John Turturro).

    Polygram / ZUMA Press

    37. 'Three Kings' (1999)


    Enough high-octane testosterone to fuel a military carpool's worth of Bradley Fighting Vehicles is on display in this action-adventure about four Army grunts (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze) who linger after the Persian Gulf War to steal a cache of Kuwaiti gold from Saddam's marauding soldiers. Think 'Kelly's Heroes' with a more redemptive ending.

    Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

    36. 'Swingers' (1996)


    This under-the-radar indie about retro-hipsters in L.A. gained momentum as quickly as it racked up favorable reviews. More importantly, the film provided a breakout platform for Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau (who wrote the script). The duo would go on to co-star in gonzo comedies, with Vaughn graduating to A-list status as a mouthy, in-your-face gadfly who specializes in verbal rants that leave others speechless, while Favreau's focused his talents behind the camera, such as with the summer '08 hit 'Iron Man.'

    Miramax / ZUMA Press

    35. 'Philadelphia' (1993)


    Like the prestige pictures released by major studios during Hollywood's Golden Age, 'Philadelphia' addressed a controversial subject (AIDS) and heralded a shift in how the town depicted homosexuals in movies. To that end, Tom Hanks Oscar-winning performance found deep resonance in his acceptance speech, when he remarked (referring to the AIDS scourge) that "the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels."

    Tri Star / ZUMA Press

    34. Clueless (1995)


    It's Jane Austen's Emma crossed with the mallrats from 'Beverly Hills 90210' in this raucous tale of do-gooder Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) who, though born with a silver spoon in her mouth (make that a Bloomie's charge card), feels compelled to make life at Beverly Hills High just a little more inclusive to such outsiders as East Coast transplant Tai (Brittany Murphy). Amy Heckerling wry take on the overweening teen desire to be well-clothed, well-coiffed and thin, made Silverstone the hot new thang for her allotted 15 minutes.

    Paramount

    33. The Grifters (1990)


    Small-time grifter ( John Cusack) has divided loyalties between his numbers-running mom (Anjelica Huston) and his new girlfriend (Annette Bening), who wants him to play the big con. Bening's never been better (or sexier) as an opportunistic sociopath who's not above spreading her legs for the landlord so he'll look the other way on overdue rent, and Pat Hingle is menacing in the small role of a Mob boss who uses a bag of oranges in ways Anita Bryant never imagined.

    Cineplex Odeon Films / ZUMA Press

    32. Rushmore (1998)


    Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) triumphs as a prep-school nerd in danger of being expelled due to his many extracurricular activities in this offbeat comedy directed by Wes Anderson, who cowrote with screenplay with Owen Wilson. Best scene (and one that sums up the wackadoodle tenor of the movie): Max's theatrical staging of 'Platoon' on the Rushmore prep school stage, complete with Ed Woodesque miniature choppers hovering in the background.

    Disney