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Best films turning 25 in 2019

  • Best films turning 25 in 2019

    Like the 1970s, the 1990s represented an extraordinary time for serious, groundbreaking cinema. Thanks to the emergence of studios like Miramax, auteurs such as Quentin Tarantino struck a deft balance between commercial viability and artistic vision. In the process, they redefined the possibilities of narrative, content, and style. Meanwhile, directors like Martin Scorsese experienced a second wind of sorts and churning out some of their best work in over a decade.

    Naturally, 1994 was no exception to the rule. Put simply, this was not a year belonging to big-budget franchise installments or formulaic sequels. That's not to say those didn't exist—as they most certainly did—rather that they weren't exclusively what people talked about at the water cooler on Monday. Indeed, a seminal work like “Pulp Fiction” garnered just as much traction as an action-packed thriller like “Speed.”

    To celebrate the 25th birthday of these movies, Stacker is ranking 1994's best films. IMDb user ratings were used as the data source, and each film needed at least 15,000 votes to qualify. In the case of a ratings tie, the title with more votes ranked higher on the list. Counting down from 50, here are the best films turning 25 in 2019.  

    RELATED: Ranking the Oscar's Best Picture winners from every year

  • #50. The Ref

    IMDb user rating: 6.9
    Votes: 21,825
    Director: Ted Demme
    Runtime: 96 min.

    After fleeing from a botched heist, a cat burglar (Denis Leary) takes a dysfunctional couple hostage (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) in this R-rated comedy. Things are going poorly enough until the couple's conniving son and obnoxious in-laws enter the picture. Leary's rapid-fire comedic style is on full display as he squares off against spoiled members of the elite class.  

  • #49. Clear and Present Danger

    IMDb user rating: 6.9
    Votes: 79,946
    Director: Phillip Noyce
    Runtime: 141 min.

    Harrison Ford reprises his role as Jack Ryan for this Tom Clancy adaptation, which came on the heels of 1992's “Patriot Games.” Facing enemies on all sides, Ryan gets embroiled in an illegal conflict between the U.S. government and the Colombian drug cartel. Willem Dafoe co-stars.

  • #48. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

    IMDb user rating: 6.9
    Votes: 250,128
    Director: Tom Shadyac
    Runtime: 86 min.

    Jim Carrey co-wrote and stars in this wildly idiosyncratic comedy, which launched his career as a bankable movie star. It finds his character—a downright goofy pet detective named Ace Ventura—on the hunt for a stolen NFL team mascot. The movie was a veritable box office smash in 1994, though some of its scenes aren't exactly politically correct by today's standards.  

  • #47. The Mask

    IMDb user rating: 6.9
    Votes: 308,055
    Director: Chuck Russell
    Runtime: 101 min.

    Jim Carrey's hot streak continued with this blockbuster comedy, about a cowardly bank clerk (Carrey) who discovers an ancient mask. Whenever he wears the mask, the timid clerk transforms into a hyperactive and boldly confident superhero. Not only did the movie cement Carrey's A-list status, but it helped turn actress Cameron Diaz into an overnight star.

  • #46. Maverick

    IMDb user rating: 7.0
    Votes: 93,512
    Director: Richard Donner
    Runtime: 127 min.

    Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster were on top of the world when they starred in this action comedy, which re-teamed Gibson with “Lethal Weapon” helmer Richard Donner. Based on a once-popular TV show, the movie follows Bret Maverick (Gibson) as he finagles his way into a high-stakes poker game. Look for a cameo and some adjoining meta-jokes from Gibson's “Lethal Weapon” co-star Danny Glover.

  • #45. Exotica

    IMDb user rating: 7.1
    Votes: 16,378
    Director: Atom Egoyan
    Runtime: 103 min.

    Set largely inside an exclusive strip club, Atom Egoyan's gripping drama explores a range of psycho-sexual themes. Similar to other films from the same director, this one uses traumatic past events to explain the behavior patterns of its main characters. Critic Emanuel Levy called it an “engaging tale of sexual desire and alienation.”

  • #44. The Last Seduction

    IMDb user rating: 7.1
    Votes: 18,646
    Director: John Dahl
    Runtime: 110 min.

    The 1990s was quite simply a great time for independent films, including this one from John Dahl. It centers on a scheming con artist named Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino), who uses both her body and her brains to lure in her next mark. The project was originally pitched as a “skin-e-max”-type flick in order to secure financing, though the intention was always to make a quality art house movie.

  • #43. Swimming with Sharks

    IMDb user rating: 7.1
    Votes: 20,753
    Director: George Huang
    Runtime: 93 min.

    A young Hollywood assistant turns the tables on his sadistic boss in this ruthlessly dark comedy. Writer and director George Huang reportedly based some of the material on his own experiences working for uber-producer Joel Silver. The movie doesn't render the same impact 25 years later, though Kevin Spacey's performance is as cringe-inducing as ever.   

  • #42. Four Weddings and a Funeral

    IMDb user rating: 7.1
    Votes: 123,823
    Director: Mike Newell
    Runtime: 117 min.

    British actor Hugh Grant was just one year away from a very public scandal when he headlined this romantic comedy-drama. It follows him and his friends to four weddings and one funeral, where he keeps crossing paths with the same American woman (Andie MacDowell). Made on a budget of under $5 million, the movie earned over $245 million at the worldwide box office.

  • #41. Stargate

    IMDb user rating: 7.1
    Votes: 163,353
    Director: Roland Emmerich
    Runtime: 116 min.

    What would eventually become a full-blown franchise began as this popular sci-fi film, in which a group of humans travel through an interstellar teleportation device. Upon their arrival on a distant planet, the humans discover an alien civilization with strong ties to ancient Egypt. James Spader and Kurt Russell star.  

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