Are we having fun yet?…Actually, this decade was better than I thought…at least at the top.

At least if you don’t bring none of them boring old morals into it.

Still dreading the post-millennium.

1990 The Grifters (Stephen Frears) (and what a way to open a Decade of Decline!…over Bad Influence, Metropolitan and Pump Up the Volume)

1991 The Doors (Oliver Stone) (over Robin Hood (Patrick Bergin version), JFK (Oliver Stone’s one good year!) and Point Break (still Kathryn Bigelow’s best)

1992 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (Curtis Hanson) (over One False Move and The Player)


1993 Gettysburg (Ron Maxwell) (over Schindler’s List, The Fugitive, Groundhog Day, Matinee and The Wrong Man)

1994 Fresh (Boaz Yakin) (over Barcelona and Ed Wood (Tim Burton’s best…by miles))

1995 To Die For (Gus Van Sant) (over Mighty Aphrodite, Sense and Sensibility and Toy Story)

1996 Grace of My Heart (Allison Anders) (over Freeway, Jerry McGuire and That Thing You Do)

1997 Wag the Dog (Barry Levinson) (over Grosse Pointe Blank, Jackie Brown and The Peacemaker)

1998 A Perfect Murder (Andrew Davis) (over Shakespeare in Love, Croupier and The Mask of Zorro)

1999 The Talented Mr. Ripley (Anthony Minghella) (over Ride With the Devil and, by the thinnest of margins, Dick…if only because “the nineties” was not a decade that deserved to die laughing)

Next, the new millennium…feel my heart go pitter-patter.


  1. NDJ

    Ahhh, GRACE OF MY HEART. Lovely movie and Ileana Douglas’s one shot at solo stardom. If there was an Oscar or a Grammy Award for lip-synching, this shoulda won:


    One of several movies to build on the “legend” of Brian’ Wilson’s lost SMILE album. Have you seen WHALE MUSIC with Maury Chaykin as the Brian Wilson figure?


  2. Despite Michael Pare looking like a ’50s James Deanish hood, and Jim Cafferty playing Springsteen-wannabe music, the basis for the story of EDDIE & THE CRUISERS is the myth of Brian and SMiLE.

  3. Eddie is a successful pop star who works on an ambitious album he refuses to release and then unexpectedly retires and becomes a reclusive genius with a legendary lost album. It’s a good idea for a movie except:

    1) While the music is good, it’s not of “genius” quality.
    2) Michael Pare can’t act.

  4. Understand that I often recommend EDDIE & THE CRUISERS as one of the more interesting rock & roll movies, if only for treating an intellectual aspect of the scene usually ignored by Hollywood. Plus, I like Cafferty’s music …

    • “On the Dark Side”…It’s all coming back to me. I’ll definitely get around to watching it at some point. There aren’t so many good or interesting rock and roll movies that I can afford to miss one.

  5. Not counting concert/live movies (I remember really liking MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN, which I haven’t seen in 45 years) or movies starring a rock star, I think you and I could come up with a much lengthier list of good rock & roll movies than you might guess.

  6. Kinda off topic, but I’ve believed for a really long time that a biopic on Bobby Fuller could make a great movie if done well.

    • Agreed…and here I put in my plug for John Kaye’s The Dead Circus (which is a novel about Fuller’s death, among other things). They apparently made a movie of it (or maybe it was just talked about) but it didn’t do much. A good Fuller biopic would be a great story, though.

  7. I have to think this through: like I would include LOVING YOU, JAILHO– USE ROCK, and KING CREOLE (rock star stars in realistic movies about rock & roll) but not VIVA LAS VEGAS. And not most of the exploitation movies of the ’50s and ’60s.

    I would include A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (rock band stars in realistic movie about rock & roll) but not HELP! The really good movies about rock didn’t start until the past twenty years or so.: THE COMMITMENTS would be top o’ my list!

    Like I said, more thought needed . . .

  8. I suppose we should include biopics, at least as a separate category. Since most of the them are lame, the few that aren’t deserve recognition (such as THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY, LA BAMBA, I WALK THE LINE, and LOVE & MERCY).

    I don’t think of AMERICAN GRAFFITI as being a rock & roll movie, but one of the few movies that uses a rock & roll recordings brilliantly. But EASY RIDER did it better.

    (And if there was a category for that type of film, I would nominate VANILLA SKY for its astounding use of music, especially towards the end, where the protagonist is finally realizing what’s really happening and “Good Vibrations” ironically dominates the one scene.)

    PS: Have you seen the one where a couple of teenagers kidnap Elvis in 1973 as a gift for their depressed Mother?

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