The 25 Best Movies of 1998

In the past 12 months, let’s take a look back at the cinema world, which has become more knowledgeable and experienced. Soon, they will leave a long-lasting legacy, reflecting on their best films. Angelopoulos Theo and Frankenheimer John, both entering the twilight of their careers as master directors, created one of their best films during this curious year. Similarly, the debuts of Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky in 1998 marked the start of a somewhat peculiar and iconic year for film. These twenty years have been a long period of time. During this time, Ron Perlman’s portrayal of a gentle giant drilling into his own skull and Seymour Philip Hoffman’s indelible movie images have captivated audiences. Wes Anderson’s inauguration as the heir to a fetishized hipster aesthetic in the cinematic niche has proven his underestimated influence. This year, Wes Anderson’s crowning achievement continues to demonstrate his underestimated influence in the cinematic world. Since Terrence Malick’s re-beginnings, Jeff Bridges has proven to be a consummate and lovable weirdo, disproving any notions of him being annoying. Adam Sandler’s low-key and endearing portrayal has also been a key highlight since his beginnings as “The Dude.” The mythologized Farrelly brothers, as well as Cameron Diaz, have been refuting the same misconceptions for the past twenty years.

These are the top 25 films of 1998.

25. Director: Kirk Jones.

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Ned, one of them, is alive and well, thinking that he is the one who decides to scam the big-city lotto agent into a con-artist caper, but it is not so much a caper as a celebration of all things Irish – the generosity of the human spirit, the camaraderie, the community. Ned is championed by the Irish themes of whiskey, poetry, lush landscapes, and naked geriatric men riding motorcycles. Then, immediately after his old-timer buddies, Jackie and Michael Towers’ Fawlty, shock him with the news of their old-timer friend’s death, Ned wins the lottery. An old-timer made in a small village, Ned’s Waking may be the most feel-good heist flick ever.

24. A Basic Plan Director: Sam Raimi.

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The film “A Simple Plan” is not just a wintry landscape treated as a metaphorical whitewashing of sins, but rather a tragedy that injects each emotional beat with the boundless sympathy of Thornton’s exceptional performance as Bob Billy. Director Raimi never hesitates to splash in the shallows, instead choosing to explore the consequences and inevitability of even the simplest decisions that carry whole worlds. Raimi’s palette of snowy whiteness, reds, and ominous blacks repeatedly allows his characters to desperately claim their innocence, against a bleached-white background and a pitch-black, cawing raven. His unaffected touch and pulpier days are evident in this straightforward fable about good people experiencing bad things. Raimi steps back into the stark clarity of his early days, shaking up his black-and-white palette with subtlety and wasting no time in telling a morality play that can also be seen as a thrilling thriller. After the mixed reception of “The Quick and the Dead,” Raimi’s second mainstream recognition, he decides to start anew.

23. Directed by: Christopher Nolan.

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Amanda Schurr knows quite well that, before anyone finds out, hitting them and getting out is efficient. Following its subjects like a voyeuristic shade over a long hour, Nolan’s first neo-noir film, shot in its favor, was made with no production budget constraints, just six thousand bucks. The story establishes the key players before doubling back through non-linear narratives, showing Nolan’s knack for early suspense. He also penned the screenplay, which happens to be about a hot blonde who takes a stalker route along his crime-filled journey. Along the way, he turns out to be a petty thief followed by a charismatic man in a suit. Innocently sucked in by this inspiration, a young aspiring novelist studies strangers and shadows. In Christopher Nolan’s debut feature-length film, Memento, this tight mindscrew came before Inception.

22. The Idiots Director: Lars von Trier.

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Jester, a manic-depressive, once wrote an episode of the dark comedy show The Kingdom, heavily informed by the absurd and morbid humor of Twin Peaks. In one section, he dedicates an entire sequence to talking about the Fibonacci sequence. He plays a supernatural prank like a bellowing talking fox. Paul Bettany, in Lars von Trier’s Dogville, is the butt of many sardonic jokes. Once, he made an office comedy called The Boss. It has a bizarre sense of humor, both terrible and great, just like Lars von Trier.

Ally disabled. However, their supposed political and social activism falls flat, as their actions only serve to reveal the emptiness of their own lives and the ableism that underlies their ideas. This film, which caused quite a stir when it premiered at Cannes, was met with criticism from film critic Mark Kermode, who was ejected from the theater for shouting that it was a piece of shit. While the film attempts to indulge in the idea of exposing the ableism of its characters, director Von Trier’s execution falls short. It becomes clear that the film’s existence, much like Von Trier’s Dogme 95 movement, is nothing more than a bourgeois performance and artifice, accessible only to those who can afford such experiments. Inhaling the endless buffet of prestige disability porn movies, we are just as complicit in this empty spectacle.

21. The Directors of There’s Something About Mary are Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly.

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Amy Glynn doesn’t love boys who get drunk at frat parties and are into comedy. It’s a sort of comedy masterpiece set in Florida in the 1990s, directed by Laura Preminger’s Otto. If you like ridiculous and raunchy classics, then you’ll even guffaw-inducing somehow know that it’s better when a certain football star and Richman Jonathan both have cameos. Chris Elliott also makes a cringe-worthy appearance in this Ben Stiller splash-in-the-haircut comedy. Aniston’s Jennifer’s side in Friends Season 1 is nothing compared to the ’90s sensibility and crassness of this certain character, combined with the winsomeness of Audrey Hepburn’s certain Gardner Ava. The reason she’s the object of affection for a wide range of guys is not just because she’s Cameron Diaz’s titular character, but also because she’s not just gel hair, it’s something more than that…

20. The Directors of The City of Lost Children: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro.

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Joseph Lucien, portrayed by Ron Perlman, portrays the hesitant protagonist in the role of a circus strongman named One who is searching for his adopted younger sibling. Marc Caro (known for directing Delicatessen) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (known for directing Amélie, as well as Delicatessen) collaborate to construct a remarkably imaginative dystopian world. As One is still young himself, he must seek assistance from a street thief named Judith Vittet, who is an orphan, in order to rescue the kidnapped Denree. The antagonist, Krank (portrayed by Daniel Emilfort), is an evil invention of a deranged scientist, and he is collecting children’s dreams to sustain a cult of Cyborgs known as the Cyclops. This steampunk fantasy is sure to captivate fans of Terry Gilliam and Michel Gondry, as it is populated with clones, conjoined twins, and trained circus fleas.

19. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Filmmaker: Karan Johar.

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One of the most popular Bollywood films of all time, “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” tells the classic tale of Anjali and Rahul, who are inseparable in college until Rahul falls in love with Tina (played by Rani Mukherjee) and Anjali (played by Kajol) realizes her true feelings. This three-hour runtime dives into an extended flashback, featuring colorful sweatshirts from GAP that were popular in the ’90s, making it essentially a commercial for those primers.

18. Director of Dark City: Alex Proyas.

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Rozeman Mark plays the role of our estranged hero, along with Jennifer Connelly as our femme fatale and Kiefer Sutherland as a crazed scientist, in the ride Along. The film The Dark City casts Rufus Sewell as an amnesiac who wakes up one night to discover that his city is literally manipulated by a mysterious band of pale men in jet-black trench coats and fedoras. This film, which serves as Alex Proyas’s magnum opus, is a staggering achievement in the imagination, combining the visual tropes of classic film noir with a cerebral sci-fi extravaganza. Although it initially flopped at the box office, it later became a beloved cult classic and was revived, much like its closest predecessor, Blade Runner.

17. Tony Kaye directed American History X.

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It is a tragic Shakespearean story about a young man, equally promising as his younger brother, who is devoured by menacing forces within him while struggling to rehabilitate himself and seek inner peace and redemption. This is too late if we don’t know that Derek will succumb again to the in-your-face treatise that McKenna’s screenwriter David pinpoints as the source of the problem in X’s History of American After. Tony Kaye, the director, matches the intensity of the melodramatic slow-motion oodles (sometimes literally) approach with a stark black-and-white photography and a hyper-grainy alternating style of muted colors, creating an operatic and theatrical atmosphere. This is a tragic Shakespearean story about a young man, equally promising as his younger brother, who is devoured by menacing forces within him while struggling to rehabilitate himself and seek inner peace and redemption. This is too late if we don’t know that Derek will succumb again to the in-your-face treatise that McKenna’s screenwriter David pinpoints as the source of the problem in X’s History of American After. This is a cautionary tale that one can easily imagine as a violent and virulently racist story that takes place in Venice Beach. Who would have thought that it would later become even more relevant within American society, warning about the dangers of the festering ideology of Nazi-Neo dirtbags marching with their fellow racist companions? Edward Norton gives his best performance of his career as Derek Vinyard, the skinhead in Venice Beach.

16. Terry Gilliam is the director of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

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The seductive incoherency at the heart of its material source captures a kind of mess, but it may be an incoherent mess. In the film, Gary Busey, Cameron Diaz, Flea, and Benicio del Toro appropriately portray unhinged characters such as Gonzo, Dr. Duke, and Raoul. Johnny Depp onscreen as Duke and Benicio del Toro as Gonzo are able to easily induce the same vision of a staggeringly baroque Las Vegas, where the viewer feels as if they have been huffing the detrimental vapors. Collaborating with Gilliam, the director, they successfully capture the nightmare hallucinatory original work of Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, creating a vision that easily induces a dream-like state. However, critics harshly criticized the film upon its release, claiming it was too indulgent in its sickening display of excess and lacking enough character development. They dubbed it too incoherent. Despite this, it is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of Thompson’s novel, which fans of his writing, and of Gilliam’s work, will appreciate.

15. The film “He Got Game” was directed by Spike Lee.

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Kozak Ege Oktay–about 20 minutes too long is the Game Got He, with many ’90s elements from Lee’s movies. Denzel Washington always excels in his role as a father seeking forgiveness from his once-abusive and alcoholic son, who is a prodigy basketball player. This powerful family drama hides a satire on the exploitation of black athletes in college basketball. Game Got He essentially becomes a contemplation on unity against evil, as he goes to jail for the last day of a drug dealer’s freedom in 25th Hour. BlacKkKlansman mirrors our current race relations and when doing another period piece, Spike Lee has the unique ability to insert them into the same movie, but with different tones, themes, and plotlines.

14. Director of Joy: Todd Solondz.

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The film Sisters and Hannah, directed by Todd Solondz, can be described as an edgy and dark comedy that puts pervasive anxiety at the top. It may be even more corrosive to the soul, as it explores the icky and pricklier aspects of happiness. The final line, which affirms the adolescent male orgasm, is nauseating and infinitely more disturbing. The film delves into overwhelming feelings of dissatisfaction and the entanglements of relationships, with themes of suicide, threatened rape, and child rape. If you ever watch it, you certainly won’t forget the depiction of Very Problematic Things™ in a casual manner. You may either admire it for its boldness or end up being repulsed by it, depending on your subjective taste. Some may even qualify it as the “worst” or “uncomfortably sad” film, while others may find it engrossing. Evaluating movies, like Taste, is a subjective matter.

13. The Truman Show Filmmaker: Peter Weir.

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Truman, the protagonist of “The Truman Show,” is often portrayed as an unlikely and hapless hero in his own narrative. In his fight to break free from a curated and sanitized existence dictated by a literal white father figure in the sky, Truman challenges the performative nature of social media and the control it has over our lives. As he fights to escape his gilded cage and reveals devastating revelations through heartfelt monologues, Carrey’s endearing everyman character creates a believable simulated reality. Prior to his catapult to fame in the ’90s, Carrey typically played roles that required copious amounts of special effects work, trapping him within the confines of a simulated reality. Now, as a reality TV star, Carrey’s character Jim suspects that everyone in his life is an actor, and the film revolves around this dystopian premise. “The Truman Show,” directed by Peter Weir, is a star-studded event that is no longer hilarious or delightful.

12. The Director of Little Dieter Needs to Fly is Werner Herzog.

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Whatever you call it, “Survival” is a movie that tells the story of former fighter pilot Dengler, based on his harrowing experiences in the early days of the Vietnam War. Directed by Werner Herzog and starring Christian Bale in the lead role, “Rescue Dawn” is not your typical war film. Herzog walks a fine line between patriotic melodrama and harsh reality, making the narrative based on Dengler’s story a surprising and compelling feature. Accompanied by locals hired to help “reenact” Dengler’s escape, Herzog leads us step by step through Dengler’s starvation, torture, capture, and eventual rescue in Southeast Asia. Instead of conveying the truth in a straightforward documentary style, Herzog chooses to bend the truth in order to serve the grandeur he finds in his subjects. In doing so, he illustrates his mastery of manipulating the truth to tell an unbelievable story that is pretty captivating.

11. Babe: Pig in the City Director: George Miller.

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Kozak Ege Oktay – The film “City in Pig” is a textbook example of solid sequel-making, blindly recreating the charming family drama of Babe and his group of downtrodden yet plucky animals. Instead of defying his social place in the world, the titular hell-pig Babe follows the quests for dignity and freedom, leading a group of characters, both human and animal, in the wondrous and deadly world of City. The film draws a direct aesthetic line between the old-school fairy-tale visuals of Babe and the grotesque beauty of the post-apocalyptic hellscape depicted in Miller’s previous works, such as “Mad Max” and “Happy Feet”. Throughout his almost five-decade career, Miller has mostly defined himself through these distinct visual languages, keeping the colors lavish and the storytelling visually captivating.

10. Ronin Filmmaker: John Frankenheimer.

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Sinacola Dom wields an Audi on the nice streets. Compared to the kinetic language he uses, the words “honor” and “loyalty” pale in meaning when it comes to someone who goes to great lengths for them. Frankenheimer Whatever has a fine way of putting the whole metaphor of “ronin” on point. We also make a too-long sojourn to the mysterious manse of a rich model-builder (Michael Lonsdale), who is also bald. We gather whatever mercenaries we need, including IRA project manager Dierdra (Natascha McElhone) and their hired men Sean Bean and Stellan Skarsgård (Robert DeNiro). Except for when he is economical with his breath, Director John Frankenheimer is breathlessly serving us a movie deeply indebted to both Melville and Hitchcock, with shoot-outs, car chases, and endless intrigue and espionage-etched plot wrapped around a marginally intimate group of thieves. This spy thriller is bone-dry, with ice-cold sociopaths and badass inhumanity, but with a loudly beating melodrama at its heart.

9. Pi Filmmaker: Darren Aronofsky.

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Pi is akin to an 85-minute headache. That’s a positive aspect.

Darren Aronofsky, the master of American cinematic freakout, fittingly starts his film with Max, a math whiz named Cohen Gullette, who spends his days crunching numbers in a dingy New York apartment. Max, with a quick mind and a PhD in mathematics, intends to exploit the brain’s posse of Wall Street big shots by decoding numerical patterns in the universe. He seeks the help of a group of Hasidic Jews who believe in deciphering the Torah to buy stock and make a profit. This hubristic and possibly intellectual quest will enable him to unlock the patterns and symmetries of the universe by multiplying 491 by 322, a big equation to be solved. However, as Max’s mental state disintegrates, the film shows us the nightmarish and oneiric visions that he hallucinates, externalizing the protagonist’s mind as a disembodied and bloodied hand. The black-and-white film’s slimy aesthetic and alluring character imagery of the woman-next-door’s grating door and Clint Mansell’s brilliantly evokes hellish soundscape if tinnitus might sound, courtesy of Aronofsky’s soundtrack. Appropriately, the movie imbues the surrealism of David Lynch, the obvious forebear of Aronofsky, evoking Lynchian aura with its own status as the literalization of the film’s brain. The subjective experience of the man on the verge of collapse closely follows him, pushing Max to his internal and external brink. Above all, the film shows us the mental-spent Max singing on a subway as a bloodied man with a passenger, hallucinating that the subway is a literalizes film that shows us the things that mentally-spent a Max hallucinates singing a subway.

Throughout the film, Max recounts three times the incident from his childhood where his mom told him to stare into the Sun, resulting in his vision being impaired and him feeling that his own obsession with clarity obstructs the transcendent truth, whether it is the sun or the unclear nature of what Max is trying so hard to grasp. However, the story also tells of a man who, after spending his life in the dark and being blinded by sunlight, is freed from ignorance and allowed to step above into the light, liberated from the shadows projected on the wall, believing that the truth is a transcendent sun. The film evokes Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” but it also explicitly references the classic admonishment against unchecked ambition, as seen in the obvious reference to the myth of Icarus.

8. Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Shanghai Flowers.

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Scenes in the film Shanghai, 14th Century are portrayed with a somber and emotionally charged atmosphere. The camera moves slowly and elegantly, capturing the interactions without interfering with the drama. The director has created a social system within the film, where callers and courtesans compete for power and favor. This system is set within the late 19th century Shanghai brothels, and the film never leaves the confines of this setting. Director Hou’s Shanghai, a film of weight and significance, beautifully conveys the majesty and melancholy of the empirical realities and intricacies of this world. The hidden realities and intricacies are revealed through gorgeously crafted frames, offering the barest knowledge needed to discern them.

In Shanghai Flowers, a film by Hou, the lives of these women are portrayed as being deeply affected by the patriarchy and the ownership of enterprise. The story begins in a long period of silence, where their cries for help go unanswered. As time passes and revolutions occur, their stories are lost and forgotten. It is expected that these women will eventually marry their favorite clients and rely on them for support. However, their main source of income comes from being prostitutes, and they depend on the power and income they gain from their profession. They are not seen as individuals who might accompany men out of love or passion, but rather as “professional young women” who provide a service. Hou’s film deprives them of the opportunity to have a sense of love or passion in their lives, and instead focuses on the business aspects of the sex industry.

7. Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After Life.

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The movie, Life After, is a compassionate film that emphasizes the spiritual transition in humanity. It moves at a deliberately paced, meditative gait, with tendencies to emphasize the metaphysical aspects. In this movie, you are required to pick a single happy memory from your own personal eternity and recreate it in the form of a movie, which then becomes a memory that you relive for eternity. Imagine being in limbo, where the stewards usher you onto the next life after evaluating your soul. It’s like being shipped off before undergoing an evaluation. Now, imagine the filmmaker, Hirokazu Kore-eda, creating a similar product, but with none of the elements that make his recent movies, like Sister, Our Little Sister, The Third Murder, and Shoplifters, excellent. If you have experienced his recent work, you will likely not feel the same limited experience with Life After.

6. Eternity and a Day Filmmaker: Theo Angelopoulos.

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At the end of Angelopoulos’s moving meditation, Sinacola Dom, the man who was nothing but a ghost, resumes his role as the caretaker and allows Alexandre to talk to his former self, halting the Greek wedding procession. Observing Alexandre’s moral dilemma calmly, the protagonist follows him through landscapes of celebration, grief, and terror, never differentiating between the real and the surreal. As he continues through mist-filled gates into Albania, the ever-shifting world of joy and pain surrounds him, awakening his passion and transforming him into a street urchin and Albanian refugee named Skevis Achileas. It is not until he meets a small boy that he hobbles painfully around the dreary piers of Thessalonica, immobilized by regret. Alexandre, an inveterate loner and hirsute famous writer, is tasked with taking care of his dog and finding someone to order his affairs. On his last day on Earth, seemingly targeted as a moving tableau of time and magical memory, he treats Day and Eternity as if they were one. In 2012, Angelopoulos’s last film, “Theo,” began his incomplete opus, questioning whether he would ever finish it or if it would become a great disappointment in his career.

5. Director: Steven Spielberg.

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Spielberg was chosen by destiny itself to direct the film’s main mission, which stars Captain Miller (Tom Hanks).

4. Director: Steven Soderbergh.

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Soderbergh’s film dedicated to the city of Detroit, “Out of Sight,” takes viewers on a journey through the enchanting and dangerous hometown of Leonard’s Leonard Elmore. In this magical and far more beautiful place, Foley Jack, a consummate bank robber and prisoner, meets U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco in a prison break. The film entertains with a rollicking yarn before delving into the fascinating violence of Detroit Metro’s boxing matches. Soderbergh’s shots of the city’s sprawling and weird sprawl, winter’s colorless and biting grays, and the cold cobalt blues of the temperatures, capture the captivating and suffocating weight of the city’s human industry. In this metropolis, people yearn to leave their typical lives behind and escape into a different time and history, where romance and equal parts of metropolis await. The Renaissance Center’s crystalline hotel rooms, the wealthy compounds in Bloomfield Hills, and the State Theater’s boxing matches are all part of this captivating escape.

3. The Thin Red Line Filmmaker: Terrence Malick.

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The performances of Nick Nolte and Jim Caviezel are faultless, with Nick Nolte perpetually enraged and Jim Caviezel zen-like. The film sustains a raw, aching feeling of emotion that can hardly ever be achieved. The result is an abstract and contemplative epic, with gorgeous cutaways to the beast and jungle, and the main fixation of the filmmaker being the characters residing in their environment. Through his own glorious lens, all of Guadalcanal’s forces battling the Japanese GIs are refracted, creating a paradise-like atmosphere. In 1998, James Jones’ story of a company of Japanese battling GIs was brought to life by the talent of Malick, who had returned from hibernation in moviemaking. The cast was bursting with great acting performances, and the film was shot in a lush location in Australia. It is now unbelievable to think that legendary auteur Malick actually secured financing to make The Thin Red Line on such a large scale, making it as poetic as it is.

2. Joel Coen is the director of The Big Lebowski.

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Josh Jackson — to aspire, we should all acknowledge that he possesses unparalleled strengths and looks even more dashing with his unshaven stride. In life, he experiences both highs and lows, triumphs and setbacks. The Dude, a knight in rumpled pajama pants and a chainmail bathrobe, embodies the consummate essence of “The Big Lebowski,” a great triumph and a source of immense joy. However, any mission set before him seems destined to fail. The Dude hangs around with a emotionally unstable group of bowling enthusiasts and doesn’t have a real job (although dressing himself in the morning is a challenge, especially after chugging White Russians). At least he has plenty of time on his hands, as he spends his days chasing after his stolen rug. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski hardly seems bothered by it though.

1. Director of Rushmore: Wes Anderson.

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After two decades, Anderson began working on the long script for Rushmore and Bottle Rocket, two of his films that contain even more DNA of his rest. Rocket Bottle, co-written by Owen Wilson and Max’s expulsed schoolmate, Ms. Cross, who Max tries too hard to prove himself to, has started dating Herman, making matters worse for Max. Max ends up expelled and in a soul-crushing public school, but he goes too far in trying to prove himself to Ms. Cross, breaking ground on a new school building without permission. In Houston, Max meets Bill Murray’s wealthy industrialist character, Herman, and strikes up an unconventional and unexpected friendship with him before falling for Ms. Cross at Rushmore Academy. This unlikely inter-generational love triangle leads to one of the most entertaining feuds in Schwartzman’s film career, and it helped pivot Bill Murray’s career from broad comic to art-house juggernaut, introducing him to the world of Jason Schwartzman and Rushmore.