Top 100 Movies Of The 1990's: #21 Schindler's List

Box Office: $96.9 Million

Oscar Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Actor (Liam Neeson), Best Supporting Actor (Ralph Fiennes), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, Best Sound, Best Costume Design

Oscar Wins: Best Picture, Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction

MovieRankings.Net: 96/100

Available To Stream: Apple TV ($4)

Steven Spielberg is such a great storyteller that it's easy to forget how great he is at the visual element of his craft. Think of the great shots in his movies. They are right up there with the most iconic you'll see in any movie.

Giphy Images.
Giphy Images.
Giphy Images.

Out of all of these, it's the shot of the little girl in the red dress that is the most memorable.

Moviestore. Shutterstock Images.


War is horrific and cruel. But having that little girl be highlighted was a reminder to us all the Holocaust was beyond war. It was right to the limits of how horrible humanity can treat themselves. They killed children. There are some crimes and actions that society should never forgive or understand even if a thousand years pass. 

Schindler's List takes a measured approach for the movie. The story of how Liam Neeson's Oskar Schindler is at first only motivated by greed until he learns to care about the genocide that is happening right in front of him is such effective storytelling. We, as a modern audience, understand wanting to make money. The Holocaust is so horrific that anyone who wasn't alive then can't even begin to emotionally comprehend the situation but by having it start with a businessman allows us to at least process his mindset.

That's similar to 12 Years A Slave. Having a free man get kidnapped and become a slave is terrifying for anyone watching. Obviously, we feel horrible for a slave but we can't truly understand their perspective because we've never been owned. But we've all been free and having that taken away from us makes that incredible movie feel more understood. 

Ralph Fiennes is exceptional and fearless playing about as evil a real person as you will see in a movie. He really is such a fantastic actor. Compare his work in this movie to his role in (#84) Quiz Show. As the the brutal killer Amon Goth, he is brutal killer without guilt. In Quiz Show, he is almost defined by guilt. He's so good in these movies, despite having a very nice career, I almost expected even more out of him.

Schindler's List captures the fear and helplessness so well especially with Ben Kingsley's performance as the accountant Itzhak Stern. His eyes say so much and not just in the big moments when he is stuck on a train heading to certain demise. But even during the everyday meetings with Schindler. What if this man who is helping us one day stops? What if something happens to him? What if he accepts a bribe? Imagine having you, your family and your friends lives all depend on one man for years?

It's not easy ranking this movie on a list like this. It could easily be number one but it's also a movie I don't want to watch again. I certainly will because it's important to remind myself of what Jewish people had to endure. This should be watched by every high school student. Steven Spielberg has been responsible for some of the greatest movies and moments of the last 50 years. But his most important work was making a movie that helps generations never forget the most heinous acts of the past century.

21. Schindler's List

22. Rushmore

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