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Top 5 Films of 1999

We rank the films that released the year that Focus Film's Ellis was born

March, 1999...Ellis entered the world with a pair of headphones on his head and a microphone in hand, and he's yet to take them off or put them down.

1999 was also a sensational year for film: The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, Tarzan, Blair Witch Project, Fight Club, Toy Story 2, Being John Malkovich, The Iron Giant...we could go on. It's no wonder then that Ellis would be as much of a film lover as he is.

Last month we ranked the films from Gareth's birth year, this time it's Ellis'.

We created our list of the Top 5 Films of 1999 on a recent episode of The Focus Film Podcast where we justified our logic and our ranking. But for now, here is the list! - click here to listen to the discussion


5. Notting Hill

Directed by Roger Michell

"You can stay forever."

The pinnacle of the rom-com genre, there were a lot of films in contention for the 5th place spot (see bottom of list for honourable mentions), but people still love Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts' performances in this film.

It's made a lasting cultural impact and remains popular all over the world to this day. It's one of Grant's more classy romantic comedies, and alongside Julia Roberts the pair are a match made in bookstore heaven.


4. The Sixth Sense

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

"I see dead people."

One word springs to mind when you look at the films of 1999...iconic! Whether it's the rules of Fight Club (oops), the Duel of the Fates fanfare or the haunting Blair Witch close up, there's so many lasting cinema moments in the last year of the 90's. But none are quite as exceptional, as the quote above.

With one of the most memorable twists in movie history, and Bruce Willis delivering one of his best performances, The Sixth Sense is a film for the ages.


3. Fight Club

Directed by David Fincher

"Without pain, without sacrifice...we would have nothing."

We're actually contractually obliged not to talk about this one! But let us say that if there were a film in third place that starred Edward Norton and Brad Pitt and had them setting up an underground fight club whilst also dealing with a frustrating romance with a Helena Bonham Carter character that lead to the protagonists eventual insanity shown through the lens of a dark thriller, then we reckon that would be a great film.


2. The Matrix

Directed by The Wachowski Sisters

"There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."

When Neo burst onto our screens, literally bending over backwards to dodge some bullets, it revolutionised the Sci-Fi genre in so many ways. The film was dark, it was high-concept and it was taking itself seriously.

It absolutely deserves the silver medal spot as nothing has come close to its magnificence since. Even its own sequels have struggled in the shadow cast by their founding father. One of a kind!


1. Toy Story 2

Directed by John Lasseter

"I can't stop Andy from growing up, but I wouldn't miss it for the world."

Toy Story 2 truly stepped things up a notch for the franchise. With Pixar learning a lot more about their technology between this and the first Toy Story, the opportunities in the sequel were much broader. The voice cast are on point, the gags still work on every level, the story is riveting and sometimes close to heartbreaking and the finale is racing. The best of 1999 and quite possibly the best of the franchise.


Worthy Contenders

Films that came close, but for whatever reason, didn't quite make the cut

Being John Malkovich

If it were up to Ellis, this would be on the list. But alas, it didn't quite make it.

The Iron Giant

One of the most underrated animated films of all time, a small tale about a big fella.

Galaxy Quest

A weird, quirky cult comedy with an all star cast. You should check it out!

Toy Story 2 available now on Disney+

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