Your Top Three is a new series here at Movies.com where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.
This weekend sees the nearly wide release of The To Do List, a sex comedy starring Aubrey Plaza set in the summer of 1993. In honor of the film and the year in which it takes place, the latest edition of Your Top Three is focused on movies that opened 20 years ago. The year 1993 was a mostly great and altogether interesting time for movie fans, what with two Steven Spielberg classics in theaters in the same year -- Schindler's List and Jurassic Park -- the former being named Best Picture and the latter being the highest grossing picture.
Also a nice departure from Martin Scorsese (The Age of Innocence), a beloved debut from Baz Luhrman (Strictly Ballroom), the start of something very special from Krzysztof Kieslowski (Three Colors: Blue), a breakthrough for Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused), the beginning of the end for action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone (The Last Action Hero and Demolition Man) and pretty much both the beginning and the end for Jennifer Lynch (Boxing Helena). And let's not forget we got one of the greatest, most foresighted soundtracks of all time (Judgment Night).
We also laughed at Robin Williams in drag (Mrs. Doubtfire), Kevin Kline in dual roles (Dave), Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau reunited in familiar roles (Grumpy Old Men), Keanu Reeves doing Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing) and Bill Murray trapped inside of a day (Groundhog Day). We cried over Tom Hanks dying of AIDS (Philadelphia), were disturbed by Ethan Hawke going cannibal (Alive) and even more disturbed at Dennis Hopper's tongue as King Koopa (Super Mario Bros.). And let's not forget we got all nostalgic through one of our favorite summertime coming-of-age movies of all time (The Sandlot).
Personally, I have a ton of favorite movies from 1993 and have some trouble choosing my top three this time around. Some of those that just barely make the cut include Groundhog Day, Dave, Short Cuts, Falling Down, The Snapper, Baraka, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer and The Wrong Trousers.
Here are my top three movies from 1993:
1. True Romance - Tony Scott directing from a script by Quentin Tarantino very much inspired by Badlands, which is one of my top three movies ever. Yep, my top movie of '93 is a pseudo remake of one of my all-time favorites. I can't help it. It's just "so cool."
2. Dazed and Confused - Another movie that's just so cool is Linklater's ensemble high school period piece. It's quotable as anything ever written for the screen, and it plays on so many levels of enjoyment. That's what I love about this movie: I get older, it stays the same, ageless, timeless, forever-poignant classic.
3. The War Room - The best documentary of 1993 is D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus's direct cinema look at the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, specifically during the Democratic primaries -- recalling one of Pennebaker's earliest film jobs on 1960's Primary. This is a capsule that presents a changing time in politics, it helped make James Carville a star and it amazingly was compiled out of a very limited amount of material. It's a real masterpiece.
Your Picks (the top of which are Schindler's List, Jurassic Park and Dazed and Confused, the latter two of which tie for second):
Join in the next discussion: