(Updated on February 11, 2012)
1998 is one of those rare years where you get a bunch of incredible films all in one year. I mean the Best Picture Oscar winner, Shakespeare In Love, is #6 on my list! Of course, I’m sure there are many people who will disagree with my rankings of these 10 films. The first 5 movies are all in my Top 100 Movies of all time. Not too many years can say that! The bottom 5 are all great movies, but not on the same level as the top 5. And yes…I think Elizabeth is the better Queen Elizabeth movie over Shakespeare In Love.
10. Patch Adams (4 stars)
9. Stepmom (4 stars)
8. Playing By Heart (4 stars)
7. Deep Impact (4.5 stars)
6. Shakespeare In Love (4.5 stars)
5. Elizabeth (5 stars)
4. Meet Joe Black (5 stars)
3. Enemy of the State (5 stars)
2. Saving Private Ryan (5 stars)
1. The Thin Red Line (5 stars)
At the time of the Oscars in 1999, I was really cheering for Saving Private Ryan to win, and like many, I was completely shocked that Shakespeare In Love upset it. But looking back on it now, what most shocks me is how The Thin Red Line flew under the radar of the Academy and myself. I still think Saving Private Ryan is an absolutely brilliant film and it is one of my Top 25 of all time. But The Thin Red Line has something really special built into it by director Terrence Malick that makes it so eminently re-watchable over and over again as I grow older. The poetry and complexity of it’s philosophical take on man and war is just so emotionally and intellectually deep that I still don’t totally get it all these years later! I’m always studying The Thin Red Line for its seemingly deeply spiritual meaning. Maybe its there, maybe its not. But my point is that because of that depth, that film constantly inspires me to watch it again and feel inspired by it. That’s a pretty big criteria for a #1 movie in my mind!