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Top 100 Movies Of The 1990's: #23 Fight Club

Box Office: $37.0 Million

Oscar Nominations: Best Sound Editing

Oscar Wins: None

MovieRankings.Net: 91/100

Available To Stream: Sling TV, Apple TV

Fight Club is an absolutely fantastic movie that is brilliantly directed and acted. It also seems to mean less and less to me with each passing year. The nihilism and cynicism just rings more true when you are in your 20's as opposed to your 40's. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this is like Mallrats which is a movie I loved in my teens but now is not something I ever need to see again. That's something you completely age out of. Fight Club is still a great movie. It's just not quite as great to me.

It's such a sign of the times that Edward Norton shares top billing with Brad Pitt. Don't get me wrong. Norton is fantastic in this and was absolutely supposed to be the next De Niro before DiCaprio took that crown. If you look at his career the past 20 years, I can't think of many other actors who have done so little with so much talent.

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But he's the perfect counterbalance to Pitt in Fight Club. The anti-capitalism/marketing is very forced at times but it's the performances of Norton and shockingly Meat Loaf that really ground this movie and make you care at an emotional level. Helena Bonham Carter never feels like she quite belongs in this movie. She's a very good actress but it just didn't feel like she belonged in this world. It may sound crazy but Courtney Love might have been a better fit. She was really good in (#48)The People Vs. Larry Flynt and (#54) Man On The Moon

I'm probably nitpicking this movie too much. This is a movie with a lot to say and it struck a nerve with Gen X guys. We were more sarcastic than our parents but also not as relevant culturally. The movie calls Generation X the "middle child of history" which is pretty fair. I think the movie still works today for young guys. That anger and feeling of being disillusioned is hardly a Gen X issue.

Giphy Images.

The main reason this movie works is the director David Fincher. To even have this movie make sense is a massive accomplishment. It's the 3rd Fincher movie to make this list (#34 The Game and #37 Seven are the others). It's my second favorite Fincher movie after The Social Network (which I still think is the most important movie of this century).

I have real doubts that Fight Club could be made today for a few reasons. The content is too controversial and the satire is too subtle. The same voices who didn't get the movie in 1998 are louder today. The other thing is where would this movie be released? Studios don't make mid-budget movies anymore. It's tent pole blockbuster or nothing. Maybe this appears on Netflix or some other streaming service?

The themes of the movie worked perfect as a sort of fun house mirror to how guys felt and looked at the world in 1998.  You even felt that in the moment. It was always a movie of it's time. I just had no idea then that the movie itself couldn't be made today. It's too original, too dark and not profitable enough. 

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But isn't that what Tyler Durden was warning us all about?

23. Fight Club

24. Saving Private Ryan

25. True Romance

26. Dumb & Dumber

27. Kingpin

28. Donnie Brasco

29. Heat 

30. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

31. Rounders

32. Unforgiven

33. Trainspotting

34. The Game

35. Out Of Sight

36. Carlito's Way

37. Seven

38. L.A. Confidential

39. Speed

40. Gattaca

41. Misery

42. Tombstone

43. Ransom

44. Wayne's World

45. The Insider

46. Back To The Future Part III

47. A Bronx Tale

48. The People Vs. Larry Flynt

49. Eyes Wide Shut

50. The Sandlot

51. Happy Gilmore

52. Contact

53. The Green Mile

54. Man On The Moon

55. Boyz N The Hood

56. Grosse Pointe Blank

57. Independence Day

58. The Rainmaker

59. Go

60. The Firm

61. Magnolia

62. The Talented Mr. Ripley

63. Tommy Boy

64. The Usual Suspects

65. In The Line Of Fire

66. My Cousin Vinny

67. Awakenings

68. JFK

69. Toy Story

70. Home Alone

71. Jerry Maguire

72. Titanic

73. Billy Madison

74. Apollo 13

75. Braveheart

76. Edward Scissorhands

77. Cape Fear

78. The River Wild

79. What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

80. 12 Monkeys

81. Stir Of Echoes

82. Mission: Impossible

83. Total Recall

84. Quiz Show

85. For Love Of The Game

86. Being John Malkovich

87. Men In Black

88. Scream

89. Alive

90. Three Kings

91. Glengarry Glen Ross

92. Die Hard With A Vengeance

93. The Blair Witch Project

94. Twister

95. Dirty Work

96. Election

97. Tremors

98. Any Given Sunday

99. The Wedding Singer

100. Clerks