The year 1999 was a significant year for film in many ways. For one reason or another, 1999 truly brought out the best in cinema and filmmakers across the world. It saw great films from material that you would least expect, solid filmmakers step up to become excellent ones and some of the greatest films of the Nineties all in one year.
The year was particularly fruitful for American cinema as it witnessed an array of films that would change the landscapes of film making in Hollywood.
Here is a list of ten movies from that year, illustrating the wide cross section that 1999 had in regards to influence and inspiration to cinema across the world.
10. The Sixth Sense
In this tense tale of psychological terror, Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a child psychologist whose new patient has a problem far outside his usual area of expertise. Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is six-years-old and claims to see the spirits of dead people all around him. It seems that Cole has psychic powers and can channel the ghosts of those who were troubled. Cole doesn’t understand his powers, and he has little control over them; he’s constantly terrified by what he sees, and Dr. Crowe is the only one with whom he feels he can share this secret. However, as the doctor digs deeper into Cole’s strange powers, it leads to strange and unexpected consequences for both of them.
Directed by- M. Night Shyamalan.
9. American Beauty
Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a gainfully employed suburban husband and father. Fed up with his boring, stagnant existence, he quits his job and decides to reinvent himself as a pot-smoking, responsibility-shirking teenager. What follows is at once cynical, hysterical, and, eventually, tragically uplifting.
Directed by- Sam Mendes
8. Being John Malkovich
Puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is having money problems, so he takes a temporary job as a file clerk on the seventh-and-a-half floor of a large office building. One day, while rummaging behind a cabinet, he finds a small door that leads to the center of the mind of actor John Malkovich (played by, you guessed it, John Malkovich). Craig discovers that entering the portal allows him to become John Malkovich for a brief spell, and in time he and his beautiful but aloof co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener) get the bright idea to charge admission for the privilege of spending 15 minutes inside the head of a well-known actor. Malkovich realizes that something strange is happening to him, but can do little to stop it, as strangers take over his mind for a quarter-hour at a time. Craig’s wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), eventually takes a trip into Malkovich’s psyche, and she soon finds herself in love with Maxine, with whom Malkovich has an affair; meanwhile, Maxine in time becomes infatuated with both Craig and Lotte, but only when they’re inside Malkovich.
Directed by- Spike Jonze
Lynne Ramsay’s debut feature Ratcatcher is a gritty but often lyrical portrait of a boy growing up on the wrong side of the Scottish tracks. James (William Eadie) is a 12-year-old coming of age in a rough working-class section of Glasgow. Something of a misfit, James has only two close friends, Margaret Anne (Leanne Mullen), an older girl whose need to be loved often leads her into ill-advised sexual episodes with the neighborhood boys, and Kenny (John Miller), a half-bright kid who loves animals but isn’t sure what went wrong when he tried to send his pet mouse into space. One day, James gets into a fight with another boy near a canal that runs through town. James accidentally knocks the boy into the water and he drowns; James is too scared to tell anyone, but the incident weighs heavily on him, adding further tension to an already strained relationship with his alcoholic father.
Directed by- Lynne Ramsay
6. Three Kings
The made-for-TV Three Kings stars Jack Warden, Lou Diamond Phillips and Stan Shaw as three patients in a Los Angeles-area mental institution. Dressed as the Three Wise Men for a Christmas pageant, the trio is suddenly struck with the delusion that they are really their Biblical counterparts. As TV cameras grind away, the three ersatz Kings ride out of the Pageant–on camels–and into the mean streets of LA. As the story draws to its conclusion, the three escapees find themselves providing Christmas cheer for a group of homeless people on the outskirts of the city.
Directed by- David O.Russel
5. The Matrix
Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, can answer his question — What is the Matrix? Neo is contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), a beautiful stranger who leads him into an underworld where he meets Morpheus. They fight a brutal battle for their lives against a cadre of viciously intelligent secret agents. It is a truth that could cost Neo something more precious than his life.
Directed by- Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
4. The Green Mile
Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the head guard on the Green Mile when a new inmate is brought into his custody: John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), convicted of the sadistic murder of two young girls. Despite his size and the fearsome crimes for which he’s serving time, Coffey seems to be a kind and well-mannered person who behaves more like an innocent child than a hardened criminal. Soon Edgecomb and two of his fellow guards, Howell (David Morse) and Stanton Barry Pepper), notice something odd about Coffey: he’s able to perform what seem to be miracles of healing among his fellow inmates, leading them to wonder just what sort of person he could be.
Directed by- Frank Darabont
Earl Partridge (Jason Robards), a successful producer of television game shows, left his wife when she contracted cancer to marry the younger and more beautiful Linda (Julianne Moore).Earl asks his nurse Phil (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to arrange a meeting with his estranged son, Frank Mackey (Tom Cruise), known for his self-help program “Seduce and Destroy,” in which he preaches the importance of male sexual prowess; he cared for his mother after Earl left her, and he has no desire to see his father again. Earl’s best-known show is hosted by Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall), who also learns that he is dying. Jimmy’s show pits bright adults against unusually smart kids; one of Jimmy’s child contestants, Stanley (Jeremy Blackman), arrives late for a taping after being left stranded by his father Rick (Michael Bowen), who is supported by his more successful son. Jimmy wants to reconcile with his estranged and emotionally fragile daughter Claudia (Melora Walters), who despises him and who will become involved with well-meaning police officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly), who has been desperately lonely since his divorce three years ago.
Directed by- Paul Thomas Anderson
2. The Blair Witch Project
Three students went into the Maryland back woods to do a film project on the Blair Witch incidents. These kids were never seen again, and the film you are about to see is from their recovered equipment, found in the woods a year later. The entire movie documents their adventures leading up to their final minutes. The Blair Witch incident, as we initially learn from the local town elders, is an old legend about a group of witches who tortured and killed several children many years ago. Out in the woods and away from their parked car (and civilization), what starts as a school exercise turns into a nightmare when the three kids lose their map. Forced to spend extra days finding their way out, the kids then start to hear horrific sounds outside their tents in the pitch-black middle of night. They also find strange artifacts from (what can only be) the Blair Witch, still living in the woods. Frightened, they desperately try to find their way out of the woods, with no luck. Each night they are confronted with shrieking and sounds so haunting that they are convinced someone is following them, and they quickly begin to fear for their lives.
Directed by- Euduardo Sanchez, Daniel Myrick
1. Fight Club
A depressed man (Edward Norton) suffering from insomnia meets a strange soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and soon finds himself living in his squalid house after his perfect apartment is destroyed. The two bored men form an underground club with strict rules and fight other men who are fed up with their mundane lives. Their perfect partnership frays when Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), a fellow support group crasher, attracts Tyler’s attention.
Directed by- David Fincher