Released: May 13, 1994 (20 Years)
There are a lot of great Spike Lee joints, but none of them have as much heart as the family drama/coming-of-age film Crooklyn. Sort of based on Lee’s life, the film balanced humor with heartfelt drama. It told a specific story that still spoke to the African-American condition, and for that we’ll always be grateful.
Released: June 10, 1994 (20 Years)
Before he helmed one of the biggest films of all time, Joss Whedon wrote a script for a film that featured “The One” (a.k.a. Keanu Reeves) going against a beautifully insane Dennis Hopper. Speed was a top-notch action film and left a mark on pop culture (who hasn’t reenacted the bus speeding scene at least once while driving?). Bonus: it featured a spunky and kind of-cute Sandra Bullock before she blew up.
The Lion King
Released: June 15, 1994 (20 Years)
The Lion King’s impact on the lives of children (and adults) of the ‘90s is indelible. A kid’s version of a Shakespearean play, this box office-smashing animated film helped propel Disney into the stratosphere and explained to the world what the hell a meerkat was.
Released: July 6, 1994 (20 Years)
“Life is like a box of chocolates.” Very few lines in modern cinema are as famous as those uttered by Tom Hanks as the title character in this 1994 critical darling and blockbuster smash. Hanks’ performance endeared millions to Mr. Gump and touched all our hearts in the process.
Released: Sept. 23, 1994 (20 Years)
1994 was a year full of groundbreaking films and Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction might have led the pack. A film as irreverent as humanly possible, Pulp Fiction revived careers, made stars of newcomers, and encapsulated the post-modern film stylings of the ‘90s.
Released: Oct. 14, 1994 (20 Years)
While we could argue about the greater social and political activist side of NBA players today, flimmakers showcased the sport of basketball in several ’90s films. One of them that created a lasting impact is the critically acclaimed documentary centered in Chicago, Hoop Dreams. What it lacked in all-star soundtrack and energy (see: 1994’s Above the Rim), it made up in honesty, soul, and zero pulled punches. We probably wouldn’t have the great ESPN 30 for 30 series without this film.