YEAR OF FURIOUS FILMS: 1992
Year of Furious Films is our newest series on FC where we’ll be choosing our favorite films from each designated year. You may notice that we won’t be going in chronological order, it’ll be more random, but that’s really part of the fun. We’ll be covering a wide array of movies from various eras spanning from the 20th century to the modern age. We hope you enjoy these lists and that they’ll inspire you to give the movies a watch or even a rewatch if you’ve already seen them.
Chaplin (Dir: Richard Attenborough)
Years before he became the most popular action hero, Robert Downey Jr played another kind of hero, Charlie Chaplin, the legendary comic genius and pioneer of silent movies. Based on his autobiography, RDJ is magnificent in this biopic that spans Chaplin’s life from growing up poor in England to becoming a major Hollywood star into his later years. Co-starring Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Kline, Diane Lane, Geraldine Chaplin and Dan Aykroyd.
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (Dir: Curtis Hanson)
A woman named Peyton (Rebecca DeMornay) mentally snaps after her husband, a physician, commits suicide due to several accusations of sexual assault and she loses her baby. Peyton then seeks revenge on the victim (Annabella Sciorra) and her family. A smart feminine twist on the usual thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Juice (Dir: Ernest Dickerson)
Talented teenage hip-hop DJ “Q” (Omar Epps) wants to win top prize in a inner city scratching contest. The only problem is his childhood homiez who are turning to crime and want him to join in. The late Tupac Shakur gives a standout performance as Q’s friend turned enemy Bishop. Co-starring Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah.
Supercop (Dir: Stanley Tong)
In this 3rd part of the Police Story movies, Jackie Chan returns as Kevin (Chan Ka-Kui) and signs on to infiltrate a gang led by drug lord Chaibat (Kenneth Tsang). Michelle Yeoh co-stars as Interpol director Jessica Yang. This film has some truly spectacular live stunt sequences that fans of Hong Kong cinema will be blown away by.
Wayne’s World (Dir: Penelope Spheeris)
EXCELLENT! Best friends Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) become famous when their hit local cable TV show in Aurora, Illinois gets picked up by a national network. Based on the classic SNL sketch series. A riotous, rockin time filled with laughs. Co-starring Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere, Lara Flynn Boyle and Chris Farley.
American Me (Dir: Edward James Olmos)
In this biographical crime drama, Edward James Olmos stars as Montoya Santana, feared leader of La Eme aka the Mexican Mafia from Los Angeles. A very stark, brutal look at life inside and outside the prison system where the gangs operate. Co-starring William Forsythe, Pepe Serna and Eric Close.
My Cousin Vinny (Dir: Jonathan Lynn)
Two “yutes”, Billy Gambini (Ralph Macchio) and his buddy Stan (Mitchell Whitfield) get arrested for a crime they didn’t commit in a small Southern town. They are forced to turn to Billy’s cousin Vinny “Bag O’ Donuts” (Joe Pesci) a wannabe lawyer to help clear their names. It’s a true marinara mookfest filled with laughs and charm. Co-starring Marisa Tomei and Fred Gwynne.
Basic Instinct (Dir: Paul Verhoeven)
When sexy crime novelist Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is accused of murder and an alky SFPD Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) is put on the case. Nick gets more than he bargained for when he falls for the suspected killer, becoming entangled in a very steamy love triangle. Co-starring Jeanne Tripplehorn and George Dzundza.
Thunderheart (Dir: Michael Apted)
A Native-American FBI agent Ray Lavoi (Val Kilmer) travels to a Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota to solve the political murder of one Leo Fast Elk. As Ray works the case, he begins to realize he has a very important and ancient connection to the people who regard him as an outsider. An excellent crime thriller set against a different backdrop than we see in most movies of its kind. Co-starring Sam Shepherd, Graham Greene and Fred Ward.
The Cutting Edge (Dir: Paul Michael Glaser)
When pro hockey player Doug Dorsey (DB Sweeney) is injured, he loses his chance at Olympic Gold. In a strange twist of fate he is chosen as a last minute replacement for an Olympic ice skater. His new partner Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly) is a bratty rich girl who he slowly falls in love with…and also the one who ruined his hockey career. If you like romantic comedies and sports films, this is a 90s gem.
The Player (Dir: Robert Altman)
A Hollywood studio executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) is driven to kill a screenwriter he believes is sending him death threats. A very entertaining Hollywood biz themed satire custom made for movie lovers. This film is also well known for an incredible cast of Hollywood stars who make cameos including Steve Allen, Harry Belafonte, Gary Busey, John Cusack, Cher, James Coburn, Peter Falk, Jeff Goldblum and many more.
The Babe (Dir: Arthur Hiller)
Based on the true story of George “Babe” Ruth. John Goodman stars as the unstoppable baseball legend and delivers a home run with his portrayal. One of the best modern sports biopics. Co-starring Trini Alvarado.
A trio of criminals (Billy Bob Thornton, Cynda Williams, Michael Beach) from Los Angeles hit the road after holding up a drug dealer and killing several people. Their destination is Houston, Texas to sell off the cache of drugs. Meanwhile the LA police believe they’re headed to a small Arkansas town where a local sheriff (Bill Paxton) plans to help apprehend them. An excellent indie crime drama with more to it than just cops n robbers. Co-written by Billy Bob Thornton.
Far and Away (Dir: Ron Howard)
Set in the 1890s, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman star in this adventurous, family friendly epic about poor Irish immigrants who seek out a new life in the West and compete in a massive settlement competition.
Unlawful Entry (Dir: Jonathan Kaplan)
LA Business developer Michael Carr (Kurt Russell) is victimized by psychotic police officer Pete Davis (Ray Liotta) who is obsessed with his wife (Madeline Stowe) and wants to take his place. A very suspenseful crime thriller. Co-starring Roger E. Mosely and Ken Lerner.
HARD BOILED (Dir: John Woo)
One of Woo’s pivotal entries in the action genre and influential as hell. Chow Yun-Fat stars as Hong Kong Detective “Tequila”, always with a toothpick in his mouth, two guns akimbo and shooting quicker than Woo could edit it. An action film feast with a steadi-cam shootout in a hospital that is legendary. They don’t make ’em like this no more. (Sebastian)
Raising Cain (Dir: Brian DePalma)
John Lithgow gives a wildly funny performance as Carter Nix, a child psychologist who happens to suffer from multiple personality disorder. This movie is DePalma at his craziest and most darkly comical. It’s a rollercoaster of weirdness and twists as Nix’s various inner characters appear and dissapear. Co-starring Lolita Davidovitch, Steven Bauer, Gregg Henry.
Man Bites Dog (Dir: Remy Balvaux/Andre Bonzel/Benoit Poelvoorde)
In this witty, engaging Belgian black crime-comedy, Benoit Poelvoorde plays Ben, a charming psychopath that is the subject of a documentary film. We follow him with a camera crew as he commits murders and waxes philosophic about killing as well as other topics such as poetry, music and architecture. A controversial, furious low budget cult classic.
Unforgiven (Dir: Clint Eastwood)
One of the most successful modern westerns, and recently remade in Japan with Ken Watanabe. Unforgiven is about William Munny (Eastwood), a former gunslinging killer who sets out to play good samaritan but discovers that his past still haunts him and that swearing off killing wasn’t gonna last forever. Co-starring Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman and Richard Harris. (Sebastian)
A-ALWAYS B-BE C-CLOSING! A group of hot tempered, fast talking real estate salesmen (Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin) on the verge of being fired try to make good but are thrown into sudden turmoil when some prized phonecall leads are stolen out of their office. Co-starring Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey. A crackerjack screenplay by David Mamet, based on the play.
Single White Female (Dir: Barbet Schroeder)
NYC based Software designer Allie Jones (Bridget Fonda) is searching for a roommate but ends up with the worst one imaginable when the mentally deranged Hedra Carlson (Jennifer Jason Leigh) shows up at her door. A sexy, disturbing doppleganger themed psychological thriller. Co-starring Steven Weber.
Rapid Fire (Dir: Dwight H. Little)
Jake Lo (Brandon Lee) is an art student at a small Los Angeles city college who witnesses a murder by a mafia drug kingpin. He is then brought into witness protection by the police but still isn’t safe. A reluctant Jake is forced to use his own wits and martial arts skills to help the cops take down the criminals. This film was made before The Crow (Lee’s final movie) and features some excellent fight sequences in the Jeet Kune Do style his father Bruce created. Co-starring Powers Boothe.
The movie that put Writer-Director Quentin Tarantino on the map! Reservoir Dogs tells the tale of a jewelry store heist gone wrong and how a bunch of gangsters in cheap suits try to figure out what happened. It is highly quotable with an amazing soundtrack and a cast to die for. Let’s get to work! Starring Harvey Keitel, Lawrence Tierney, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Michael Madsen and Eddie Bunker. (Sebastian)
Light Sleeper (Dir: Paul Schrader)
The third part of Schrader’s “Man And His Room” trilogy that includes Taxi Driver and American Gigolo. Willem Dafoe plays John LeTour a middle aged high class drug dealer whose life is at a crossroads when his boss (Susan Sarandon) decides to switch her career to something more legal. A very intriguing character study that shows us yet another side of the alienated, urban male. Co-starring Dana Delaney. Look for an early cameo by Sam Rockwell.
School Ties (Dir: Robert Mandel)
Set in the 1950s, a Jewish teenager (Brendan Fraser) from Pennyslvania tries to hide his ethnic background from his WASP classmates at a prestigious uppercrust New England prep school. A great coming of age story that deals with class structure and racism. Co-starring Matt Damon, Chris O’Donnell, Ben Affleck, Cole Hauser.
Sneakers (Dir: Phil Alden Robinson)
A group of computer security specialists join forces to help the NSA foil a crime involving the Russian government. One of the best cyber thrillers of the 90s. Starring Robert Redford, Dan Ackroyd, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell and David Strathairn.
We recently covered this in its own review on Furious Cinema. It’s Michael Mann’s epic adaptation of James F. Cooper’s romantic novel that depicts life in the wilderness during the conflict between France and Britain in the American colonies. It is epic in scale, features a great score, stunning cinematography and a capable cast. It’s part action adventure, part romance and definitely one of the best films of its kind. Starring Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stowe. (Sebastian)
Innocent Blood (Dir: John Landis)
Anne Parillaud is Marie, a beautiful woman who also happens to be a vampire living in Pittsburgh, PA. Although she is a bloodsucker she tries to only choose criminals as her victims. When she targets a Mafia boss (Robert Loggia) but doesn’t completely kill him off. He then uses his vampirism to increase his powers over the underworld. Together with a cop (Anthony LaPaglia), Marie tries to help take the mobster vamps down. A highly entertaining twist on the standard vampire movie. Co-starring David Proval, Chazz Palminteri, Tony Sirico, Kim Coates.
Under Siege (Dir: Andrew Davis)
Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. Missouri is hijacked by psychotic ex-government operative Bill Strannix (Tommy Lee Jones) as payback for his being ruined professionally. A rebellious Navy SEAL turned Chief Petty Officer/cook Casey Ryback (Steven Seagal) is the only hope the government have to get the ship back from Strannix and his mercenaries. Seagal at his aikido grappling, bone breaking, gun blazing best. Co-starring Gary Busey, Erika Eleniak.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Dir: Francis Ford Coppola)
A gorgeously stylized modern retelling of the legend of the ancient prince of vampires. Gary Oldman plays Dracula with an elegance and operatic fervor. Co-starring Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Anthony Hopkins.
Denzel Washington blazes bright as the late controversial Civil Rights leader. The story follows Malcolm from his early days as a petty criminal to his final hours as an outspoken political activist. One of Lee’s finest films. Co-starring Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Albert Hall and Al Freeman Jr.
A Few Good Men (Dir: Rob Reiner)
When a young Marine is killed during a secretive hazing incident, lazy Navy lawyer Daniel Caffey (Tom Cruise) is brought on to investigate. Through his process in uncovering the events surrounding the crime he finds his true talents as a professional attorney. Co-star Jack Nicholson is furious as the vindictive, elitist Col. Jessup. One of the best courtroom dramas. Co-starring Demi Moore, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Bacon, Keifer Sutherland.
Scent of a Woman (Dir: Martin Brest)
A blind, curmudgeonly ex-military serviceman Col. Frank Slade (Al Pacino) hires a teenage assistant (Chris O’Donnell) to accompany him to New York City for one last bit of wreckless fun before he ends his life. Co-starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.
An intense, visually stylized biographical epic about infamous teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa (Jack Nicholson). Director/Co-star Danny DeVito takes us through Hoffa’s quest for power as he does battles with the likes of Robert F. Kennedy and tries to keep his ties to organized crime under wraps. Co-starring John C. Reilly, Armand Assante, Kevin Anderson, J.T. Walsh. Screenplay by David Mamet.
El Mariachi (Dir: Robert Rodriguez)
A legendary multi-talent, Rodriguez made this first film from money earned as a lab rat so to speak. He even wrote about about it. El Mariachi is an amazing low-budget actioner that (along with its history and context) can teach you more about making it as a filmmaker than most schools can. He later sort of remade it with more money and called it Desperado.