Turning 30 is a big deal, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. With some trepidation, I entered my fourth decade on this earth in August 2019, and the lack of a world-changing event was surprising by its absence. Perhaps I had built it up to be something more than it was.
Nevertheless, I intend to spend my next decade seeing as many places as I can, trying new things and watching as many films as possible. With that in mind, I decided to get right back to where I started – way back in 1989. These are the top five movies from 1989: the year of my birth. Let me tell you, this wasn’t an easy list to make – 1989 had some cracking films released, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to just five. Without further ado, let’s take a look.
#5 The Little Mermaid
Another Disney film that’s getting the live-action treatment in 2020, The Little Mermaid is one of the studio’s most successful and enjoyable films. Following Ariel, the titular character, as she struggles to come to terms with who she is, it’s a great family story of love and loss, populated by great performances from the cast and memorable songs. Ursula also makes for one of Disney’s best villains.
#4 Back to the Future: Part 2
Back to the Future is one of the all time greats, and rightly so. Therefore, creating a sequel that lived up to that was always going to be difficult. Thankfully, Back to the Future: Part II is funny, engaging and filled with amazing special effects – for the time of course. While it wasn’t as well received as its predecessor, this sequel played around with the rules of time travel even more than Part 1. It’s unashamedly fun and definitely worth a watch if you haven’t gotten round to it yet.
#3 Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade
Steven Spielberg was really at the top of his game in the late 80s and early 90s, with Jurassic Park arriving just four years later and we know what that film did for my life. Anyway, I digress – The Last Crusade is arguably better than its predecessor with Spielberg really ramping up the action and Harrison Ford really getting into his groove as the titular tomb raider. It’s a true action adventure and an absolute classic of the genre. They don’t make them like this anymore that’s for sure.
Tim Burton may have lost his way over the course of his career, but in the late 80s, he could do no wrong. Batman is arguably one of the best films to feature the caped crusader with Jack Nicholson’s performance of the Joker being an absolute standout. Is Michael Keaton the best Batman? Hmmm, I’m not 100% sold on that, but he puts in a great portrayal of Bruce Wayne in particular that makes this film look like a million dollars. The Batmobile looks awesome too.
#1 Dead Poets Society
Oh Robin Williams, when will your death not weigh heavy on the minds of your fans? Dead Poets Society features Williams in one of the defining roles of his career and one that is very against type for the comedian. It tells the story of an English teacher (Williams) who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry. Deeply emotional and with some powerhouse performances, it won a BAFTA for best film and is fully deserving of that accolade and this one – it’s the best film of 1989.
When Harry Met Sally – The scene set in the diner is now more infamous than the film itself, but When Harry Met Sally is a great rom-com that stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in one of the defining films of both of their careers.
The Abyss – James Cameron played around with ground-breaking special effects long before Avatar hit screens in 2009. The Abyss follows a team of underwater researchers as they come into contact with an alien life-form.
There we have it, some top picks for the best films of 1989. Did any of your favourites make the cut? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box below, we reply to them all.