16 Best Movies of 1995

Best Movies of 1995

The year 1995 was a fantastic one for movies overall. One of the most diverse years ever, with legends demonstrating their mettle and relatively new directors rising to produce some of the best movies of 1995 ever. 

The Oscars the year after were one of the most contentious ever since it divided both critics and spectators, who thought that the deserving lost out.

Below is a list of the best movies of 1995.

1. Apollo 13

  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan, Mary Kate Schellhardt, and Emily Ann Lloyd
  • IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Ron Howard, Hollywood’s prince of the middlebrow, is easy to criticize, yet he is the ideal choice for the role on rare occasions. The primary instance of such is “Apollo 13.” 

It tells the almost unbelievable tale of what was supposed to be the third manned mission to the Moon in April 1970, when three astronauts were left stranded in space following an accident. They, however, miraculously make it back to Earth alive. 

It is realistic, detailed, and completely engaging. The movie works partly because William Broyles Jr. & Al Reinert’s screenplay convincingly conveys the science involved but mainly because Howard wisely avoids sentimental manipulation. 

It features moving and forceful performances by Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris, and Kathleen Quinlan, among others, and blends impeccable period detail with cutting-edge effects. It’s by far one of the best movies of 1995.

2. Maborosi

  • Director: Kore-eda Hirokazu
  • Cast: Makiko Esumi, Takashi Naitô, Tadanobu Asano, Gohki Kashiyama, Naomi Watanabe, Midori Kiuchi, Akira Emoto, and Mutsuko Sakura
  • IMDb rating: 7.5/10

The role of the lady who loses her husband, nurtures their child until he is a little boy, and then remarries to a guy who lives in a remote fishing hamlet was performed by fashion model Makiko Esumi. 

The story of how the lady adapts to her new life while still grieving her old one is the movie’s subject, which ignores all the traditional ways this story may develop. 

Your eyes will want to drink on the screen as Hirokazu Kore-Eda, the director, captures sequence after sequence with a keen sense of light and composition. 

In extended, quiet sequences, she goes about her daily activities, takes care of the kid, gets to know her new spouse, or sits and thinks.

This is one of the best movies of 1995 as the director gives viewers what they need to know about this lady and allows them to intuit the rest.

3. Trimurti

  • Director: Mukul Anand
  • Cast: Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Priya Tendulkar, Gautami, Anjali Jathar, Mohan Agashe, and Anirudh Agarwal
  • IMDb rating: 4.8/10

Trimurti (which translates to “trinity”), an action film featuring three of the greatest actors of the time, was the first Indian movie to gross over 10 million rupees on its opening day. 

Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, and Shah Rukh Khan star as the three brothers of a disgraced former police officer, who is portrayed by Priya Tendulkar, in the movie. 

When the boys are older, they choose a separate course in life after their mother is found guilty of false accusations brought by a crime boss.

Two of them eventually get jobs with the same crime boss that locked their mother up. 

These three brothers finally put their differences aside and seek revenge on their mother as the movie follows them on this trip in their life. This is among the best movies of 1995.

4. Through the Olive Trees

  • Director: Abbas Kiarostami
  • Cast: Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Farhad Kheradmand, Zarifeh Shiva, Hossein Rezai, Tahereh Ladanian, Hocine Redai, Zahra Nourouzi, and Nosrat Bagheri
  • IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Through the Olive Trees is a wonderful, lengthy romantic story with a lighthearted metatextual edge. 

As Kiarostami has done before and since, the movie blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction, turning into an Iranian “Day for Night” as a director gathers a cast to shoot a movie

The director progressively modifies the screenplay to let the young guy present his case to her again.

However, his leading lady and the replacement leading man have a troubled past, so the ending is a naughty but beautiful miles-away long shot.

5. The City of Lost Children

  • Director: Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Cast: Ron Perlman, Daniel Emilfork, Judith Vittet, Dominique Pinon, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Geneviève Brunet, Odile Mallet, and Mireille Mossé
  • IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Daniel Emilfork plays the mad scientist Krank in Jean Pierre-Jeunet & Marc Caro’s “The City Of Lost Children,” their follow-up to the equally aesthetically stunning “Delicatessen.”

Krank kidnaps kids and transports them to an oil rig to steal their dreams and stop himself from aging. 

Circus Strongman One (Ron Perlman) hooks up with an orphan thief for a rescue operation when his adoptive brother is abducted. 

Some may argue that the movie is more concerned with style than content, and there is no doubt that both Jeunet and Caro demonstrate a level of bravura in their directing, making it sad that this was their last collaboration. This is one of the best movies of 1995.

6. Crumb

  • Director: Terry Zwigoff
  • Cast: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Charles Crumb, Maxon Crumb, Robert Hughes, Martin Muller, Don Donahue, and Dana Morgan
  • IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Robert Crumb’s narrative is maybe the craziest ever told if reality is stranger than fiction.

Crumb, Terry Zwigoff’s portrayal of the notorious artist from 1994 is, in fact, so shocking and unthinkable that it sometimes borders on the absurd. 

Three distinct and self-destructive kids are born to a misfit father and mother; each tries to use art to express their sexual and psychological urges.

Max meditates on beds of nails while eating ribbon. Charles still resides with his parents and wallows in failure while considering suicide. 

It turns out Robert is the “normal” one and a well-known artist who uses his art to stifle his perversions, depicted in graphic and insane detail across the frames of his comics. 

This story gives the impression that art is the only thing keeping these characters alive and that without this specific outlet, they would either commit suicide or take other people’s lives. 

Crumb is one of the best movies of 1995 ever made. That is harrowing in its emotional and psychological understanding and almost Shakespearean in its tragedy.

7. Before Sunrise

  • Director: Richard Linklater
  • Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Andrea Eckert, Hanno Pöschl, Karl Bruckschwaiger, Tex Rubinowitz, Erni Mangold, and Dominik Castell
  • IMDb rating: 8.1/10

This movie tackles the thorny issue of post-teenage sorrow from the inside and the outside. Jesse and Céline get lost for a while in Vienna and spend a long night wandering the city, their initial chemistry tempered by the knowledge that this will probably be the last moments they share. 

He has a trip home the next day, and she is returning to school in Paris. A strategic parallel to the director’s obsession with youth’s self-assured, naive ingenuousness is drawn by using the intrinsic enchantment of old places and Eurail passes. 

Before Sunrise belongs to the highest level of Linklater comedy, the feeling is genuine, the political blather never becomes distracting, and the constantly flowing dialogue is wonderfully in tune.

8. Dead Man

  • Director: Jim Jarmusch
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover, Lance Henriksen, Michael Wincott, Eugene Byrd, John Hurt, and Robert Mitchum
  • IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Dead Man is undoubtedly one of the best movies of 1995. In Jim Jarmusch’s movie Dead Man, death is a spinning coin representing both the freeing journey of self-realization and the fierce conclusion of destiny. 

Dead Man inhabited Anthony Mann’s wooded hills, rivers, and rock formations and was shot by the brilliant director of photography Robby Muller in wonderfully sharp black and white. 

It’s one of the rare Westerns that use Native American philosophy and spirituality as a central theme, often contrasting the perfect calm of nature with the attitude of manifest destiny. 

“White Man’s Metal” tells the story of a banker called William Blake (Johnny Depp) who leaves Cleveland for the West only to encounter muck, filth, and “white man’s metal.” 

Nobody, a linguist and poet from Blake’s land who was trained in British schools, is one of many bizarre and eerie variants of traditional genre tropes that occupy Blake’s murderous voyage. 

Together, they create a complicated bond that serves as both Jarmusch’s argument against the brutality of capitalism and, more crucially, his ideal depiction of extraterrestrial transference.

9. Smoke

  • Director: Wayne Wang
  • Cast: Harvey Keitel, William Hurt, Giancarlo Esposito, José Zúñiga, Stephen Gevedon, Jared Harris, Daniel Auster, and Harold Perrineau
  • IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Wayne Wang’s “Smoke” is a soft exploration of the lives of several Brooklyn residents as they collide at a corner tobacco shop managed by Harvey Keitel.

The movie is about loneliness and the value of fleeting encounters to connect to the outside world. 

Although the story rambles, it is based on a wonderful foundation of community and compassion that can soften even the hardest of hearts.

Paul Auster wrote the screenplay for the movie, which is also oddly of its time. 

As a result, one of the movie’s core ideas has a nostalgic ring to it in the selfie and Instagram period. “Smoke” is a passionate portrait of an ancient history that, like those movies, no one imagined would ever actually change. 

It is much better than “Blue in the Face,” the shot-in-six-days “sequel” released a few months later. It is among the best movies of 1995.

10. Heat

  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, and Ashley Judd
  • IMDb rating: 8.3/10

In Heat, a 1995 movie directed by Michael Mann that stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in a cat-and-mouse cops-and-robbers story, Michael Mann’s crime-cinema cool is epically crafted. 

The legendary performers are paired together on screen for the first time, but Mann only offers them one pre-climax scene.

It takes place in a restaurant and reveals the drama’s opposing forces dynamic, concentrating on Pacino’s loudmouthed detective trying to catch De Niro’s routine-driven robber.  

It remains electrifying, a movie capable of grappling with issues of identity, fate, and purpose while also delivering, through its centerpiece, a bank robbery shootout of rousing vitality.

The standard-issue scenario is given a shimmering sexiness and existential confusion and dread.

11. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

  • Director: Aditya Chopra
  • Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal, Anupam Kher, Parmeet Sethi, Mandira Bedi, and Satish Shah
  • IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Around this time, Shah Rukh Khan performed some of his most famous romantic performances in movies like Mohabbatein and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

The cultural influence of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge may be a notch above the others. 

In the movie, he plays a young man living in London who falls in love with a girl from a strict household. One of the most cherished love stories in Bollywood history is Dilwale. 

The movie’s iconic sequences are still parodied, and young and old Indians enjoy its ageless music. It is undoubtedly one of the best movies of 1995.

12. Citizen X

  • Director: Chris Gerolmo
  • Cast: Stephen Rea, Donald Sutherland, Max von Sydow, Jeffrey DeMunn, Joss Ackland, John Wood, Radu Amzulescu, and Imelda Staunton
  • IMDb rating: 7.5/10

Citizen X is undoubtedly one of the best movies of 1995. Even though serial killers are the monsters of today’s horror cinema, very few movies address the ordinary realities of these twisted and typically fairly miserable murders. 

Instead of exaggerating its difficult subject matter, Citizen X, based on the true investigation of Soviet serial murderer Andrei Chikatilo, takes on the issue.

Burakov, played by Stephen Rea, is a forensics specialist investigating the victims’ bodies left in Chikatilo’s homicidal wake. 

Chris Gerolmo, best known for writing Mississippi Burning, skillfully adapted and directed Citizen X.

This is a movie that explores the costs of the manhunt and the role incompetence on the part of the Soviet government played in enabling Chikatilo to murder 53 people for more than a decade.

In addition to Rea, who excels as a psychic victim of Chikatilo’s murders, the ensemble is superbly concluded by Donald Sutherland, Joss Ackland, and Imelda Staunton. 

However, Max Von Sydow, the great psychiatrist whose work eventually brings the murderer to jail, steals the show. Von Sydow and Chikatilo’s last moments together are really exciting.

13. Akele Hum Akele Tum

  • Director: Mansoor Khan
  • Cast: Aamir Khan, Manisha Koirala, Master Adil, Deven Verma, Anjan Srivastav, Rohini Hattangadi, Paresh Rawal, and Tanvi Azmi
  • IMDb rating: 6.9/10 

One of the best movies of 1995 with an intriguing plot was Akele Hum Akele Tum.

The movie, loosely modeled on the Hollywood smash Kramer vs. Kramer, examined the reality of marital conflict and divorce. 

In the movie, Aamir Khan and Manisha Koirala play two aspiring singers who fall in love and marry.

A split in their marriage develops when the woman achieves what the couple had been working for separately because the husband’s ego cannot tolerate his wife’s accomplishment. 

The movie explores how their choice to split up would affect everyone involved, especially their little son.

14. Se7en

  • Director: David Fincher
  • Cast: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker, Daniel Zacapa, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Cassini, and Bob Mack
  • IMDb rating: 8.6/10

The release of Jon Amiel’s Copycat, another serial killer thriller, diminished the slight enthusiasm for David Fincher’s second attempt.

Se7en, with its great sense of craft and rhythm, marked a significant auteur whose work continues to surprise with each subsequent release. 

This is in addition to its significance as the movie that revived a debased genre and came soon after his disastrous, interfered-with debut (Alien 3), which was a massive failure. 

Its foul tone and Grand Guignol aesthetic contributed to the rumors that Fincher was some mix between a hotshot marketing guy and a pervert.

However, other movies have made it easier for many to see Se7en as more than just a brilliant but melancholy one-off.

15. Strange Days

  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D’Onofrio, Glenn Plummer, and Brigitte Bako
  • IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Kathryn Bigelow’s near-future cyberpunk noir, which was not well-liked when it was released, has gradually had its reputation restored partly because of its director’s more recent Oscar success. 

This strange movie, featuring Ralph Fiennes as a memory-playback gadget vendor who discovers a conspiracy, is thought-provoking and sometimes challenging to watch. 

However, Bigelow’s technical execution is exceptional as always, the setting is captivating even if it is old, and the “Chinatown”-like the narrative is completely fascinating. However, more than anything, it’s the performances that stand out. 

They provide the first concrete proof that Bigelow was equally skilled at handling people as she was with action.

Tom Sizemore does his grimmest work as the villain, Ralph Fiennes is both sleazy and endearing, and Angela Bassett is legendary as his closest friend.

16. Leaving Las Vegas

  • Director: Mike Figgis
  • Cast: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands, Richard Lewis, Steven Weber, Kim Adams, Emily Procter, and Stuart Regen
  • IMDb rating: 7.5/10

It’s a little deflating to know that Nicolas Cage won his only Oscar for the most conventional movie and performance on his resume, given the range of performances he’s given over the years. 

In Mike Figgis’ depressing alcoholism drama, he is undoubtedly excellent, as is Elisabeth Shue, who manages to give her character a lot of depth and sympathy while being essentially a standard issue. 

The movie’s main highlights are its occasionally wavy editing, which captures the muddy, messy escape of drunkenness, and the chemistry between these committed actors, but it’s also laudably unpreachy. It is undoubtedly one of the best movies of 1995.

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