As evidenced by the excitement of Michael Keaton returning to the role of Batman for the first time since Batman Returns, it’s clear that 1992 was an influential year for film. It was the first time an animated feature was the highest-grossing film of the year, introduced audiences to Quinten Tarantino, and asserted Mike Myers as a comedy legend.
Beyond the franchises and creatives who remain active after 30 years, many of the movies from 1992 are still remembered as classics. They’ve maintained their place in the pop-cultural zeitgeist through quotes and memes, and studios have been desperate to recreate the magic those films (and others from the time period) carry, as evidenced by the remakes and sequels that have increasingly hit theaters. . Yet people still return to the classics, and for those wishing to revisit the ones from 30 years ago, the users at Ranker have offered up a guide for the best films of 1992.
Note: Ranker lists are live and continue to accrue votes. As a result, some rankings may have changed since the publication of this piece.
10 Wayne’s World
An adaptation of the SNL sketch of the same name, Wayne’s World follows the exploits of Wayne and Garth as their public-access television show is picked up by a major television network. Mixed in with this drama is Wayne’s infatuation with Cassandra Wong, the bassist and vocalist for the band Crucial Talent.
The tenth highest-grossing film of the year, Wayne’s World proved a hit with audiences because of the hilarious dynamic between Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. Already well-respected comedians thanks to their antics on SNL, the two became household names thanks to the movie, with Mike Myers, in particular, becoming one of the most bankable actors of the 1990s.
9 Patriot Games
Based on Tom Clancy’s 1987 novel of the same name, Patriot Games stars Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan as he’s brought out of retirement to help the CIA stop a violent IRA offshoot. Upon the film’s release, it grossed $ 178 million at the box office and garnered mixed reviews due to its deviation from the source material.
Even though the plot is fairly standard, Harrison Ford delivers in the role of Jack Ryan. Having previously played rogues, scoundrels, and other assortments of heroes with bad attitudes, he offers something a bit different for Patriot Games. His take on Jack Ryan is much calmer than his previous roles, and it’s this distinct performance that makes the film a standard for many.
8 A League Of Their Own
A light sports comedy inspired by a true story, A League of Their Own gives life to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as they battle prejudice and show that women are just as good at baseball as men. The film does this latter part exceptionally well thanks to the star-studded cast which features Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, Geena Davis, and Tom Hanks.
What makes A League of Their Own so popular with audiences is the strength of the ensemble. The cast is all in top form and plays off each other well, especially Geena Davis and Lori Petty who creates a believable sibling rivalry full of love, envy, and adoration. Their relationship is at the heart of the film and it aids in the chipper tone which makes A League of Their Own successful.
7 A Few Good Men
Led by the charismatic Tom Cruise, A Few Good Men sees the action star transplanted to the courtroom as he must defend two marine offers for the trial of murder. In a tense confrontation against a military tribunal, Cruise stands alone in clearing the names of his defenders.
Despite being taken out of his natural element of action machismo, Cruise proves more than capable as a rookie lawyer and his interactions with Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore make for some of the tensest courtroom scenes in cinema history. It’s this ability to garner engaging drama out of a small setting that elevates A Few Good Men in the eyes of audiences.
6 The Last Of The Mohicans
Set during the French and Indian War, The Last of the Mohicans stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Nathaniel “Hawkeye” Poe, the adopted son of a Mohican warrior who chooses to protect the daughters of an English colonel. Made on a budget of $ 40 dollars, the film was a box office success and won an Academy Award, although not everything about it has aged well.
The Last of the Mohicans was released during a time when war movies and historical dramas were commonplace, yet audiences still remember the film in spite of the oversaturated genre it comes from. This is largely thanks to Daniel Day-Lewis’s intense performance as Hawkeye and the way the film embraces the almost fantastical nature of its premise, which marries romanticized heroics with real-world stakes.
5 Batman Returns
Starring Michael Keaton as Batman and Danny DeVito as the Penguin, Batman Returns follows the caped crusader as he and his enemies are manipulated by Max Schreck. At the same time, Bruce develops a romance with Selina Kyle, despite the two fighting each other under their costumed identities.
While criticized for its dark tone and violence at the time of its release, Batman Returns has since been heralded as a cult classic by filmgoers. Much of this has to do with Burton’s direction, which marries the grim and gothic with zany, animalistic urges. It’s a distinct style that audiences find attractive, to the point where it has been heralded as the best Batman movie by some.
4 My Cousin Vinny
Led by the talented Joe Pesci, My Cousin Vinny sees the titular character represent his cousin in a court of law to prove his innocence. In order to do this, Vinny must ingratiate himself in the Southern town he’s staying in and learn their way of life, something which proves challenging for the brash New Yorker.
My Cousin Vinny was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and that success has continued to hold in recent years thanks to the strength of the cast. Pesci along with Marissa Tomei give career-defining performances that work with the film’s comedic tone. They’re loud and energetic, yet they never go over the top, thus ensuring the courtroom drama doesn’t feel too silly and pointless.
3 Reservoir Dogs
The directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs follows a group of diamond thieves as they try to uncover who among them might be a police informant. Despite the film’s focus on a botched robbery, the events of the heist are never actually shown on screen, instead only alluded to during the aftermath.
Featuring tons of violence and vulgarity, the film is undoubtedly offsetting for some viewers, yet many delight in the trademarks of Tarantino’s filmmaking. There’s less of a filter with this film than in any of his others, and it’s this unhinged nature that makes it appealing to viewers, even as Tarantino has gone on to refine his craft.
Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven sees the western icon play the aged outlaw William Munny, who comes out of retirement to take on one more job. Upon its release, the film was a commercial and critical success, garnering nine Academy Award nominations and winning 4 of them.
Unforgiven is often considered one of Eastwood’s best movies, and for good reason. The film is expertly directed and acted, always giving the actors something to chew on and never meandering in its pace. More importantly, it’s a western with a sense of awareness, looking to portray the frontier life accurately rather than in black and white terms. This choice of deconstructing the tropes of classic westerns is what makes the film so endearing to audiences who tire of basic right and wrong binaries.
A classic of Disney animation, Aladdin follows the title character in his journey from a lowly street urchin to the prince of Agrabah. Along the way, he obtains a magic lamp and befriends the genie inside it, who he promises to free with his third wish.
It goes without saying that Aladdin is beloved for a number of reasons. From the crisp visuals which display the height of what hand-drawn animation was capable of to the hummable earworms courtesy of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice to the inspired improvisation from Robin Williams, the film is made with an incomparable amount of passion. that remains lacking in today’s family blockbusters. Even after 30 years, it’s still a household classic.
Next: The 10 Best Movies Of 2002, According To Ranker
MCU: Every Time Avengers Fought One Another (And Who Won)
About The Author