The Top 25 Films of 1989

The top 25 films of 1989

By Simon Miraudo
July 28, 2014

Every year is a good year for cinema, however, few can boast about having as many memorable movies – certainly ones that remain ingrained in our collective consciousness – as 1989 can. With that in mind, I dug into the Quickflix data bank to see which had been deemed the very best, based on thousands of Quickflix subscribers ratings and reviews.

The eventual victor surprised me, mostly because it bested such imposing competition. I mean, consider the contenders: Spike Lee‘s Do the Right Thing, the rare picture to remain as incendiary and important in 2014 as it was upon release twenty-five years ago (it’s also, cutely, what the Obamas saw on their first date, and contains maybe the greatest ever opening credits sequence); Disney’s comeback flick The Little Mermaid, which, despite some questionable sexual politics, rescued the Mousehouse from irrelevancy and could be considered directly responsible for leading to Frozen; the timeless When Harry Met Sally…, the template for the modern rom-com genre, and yet to be topped. That’s not to mention cult favourite Heathers, surprisingly good blockbuster sequels Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Back to the Future 2, and beloved dramas Dead Poets Society and Cinema Paradiso. How beloved? Well, the latter, an Italian ode to cinema, managed fourth place on this chart, while Robin Williams‘ inspirational teacher tale took the top spot. O captain, my captain indeed.

It was such a good year for film, take a look at what just missed out on making this Top 25 and weep: Batman, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, sex, lies & videotape, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Born on the Fourth of July, Henry V, Meet the Feebles, and, depending on how you feel about Nicolas Cage, Vampire’s Kiss. Turner & Hooch snuck onto the list though, so…

I didn’t compile my own 25 – and for my reasoning I’d like to crib from Lethal Weapon 2: Diplomatic immunity!” – but I would have put Do the Right Thing, When Harry Met Sally… and Say Anything… in the top three spots. (Sidebar: What’s with all the titles being styled with an ellipsis in 1989?) Still, it’s hard to argue with any group of people who rate Kiki’s Delivery Serviceand Road House – so highly.

Happy twenty-fifth bday to you all!


Quickflix subscribers’ Top 25 Films of 1989.

1. Dead Poets Society
2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
3. Kiki’s Delivery Service
4. Cinema Paradiso
5. Back to the Future 2
6. The Little Mermaid
7. Jesus of Montreal
8. Glory
9. Do the Right Thing
10. My Left Foot
11. Driving Miss Daisy
12. When Harry Met Sally
13. See No Evil, Hear No Evil
14. Shirley Valentine
15. The Abyss
16. Lean on Me
17. Road House
18. Field of Dreams
19. Steel Magnolias
20. Heathers
21. Parenthood
22. Roger and Me
23. Turner and Hooch
24. Honey I Shrunk the Kids
25. Lethal Weapon 2

Start reviewing those 1990 movies now!

Check out Simon Miraudo’s archive of reviews.

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