Best Ethan Hawke Movies Of The 90s, Ranked | Pretty Reel

Ethan Hawke is a famous actor, writer and director, as well as the father of Maya Hawke. He was nominated for four Academy Awards, both for acting and writing. Working in genres such as drama, romantic comedy, and horror, he’s had an incredibly diverse career that spans from low-budget independent films to major studio productions. Hawke’s first film was Explorers, in which he starred alongside River Phoenix. A few years later, his big breakthrough came with his role as Todd Anderson in Dead Poets Society, which also starred Robin Williams and Robert Sean Leonard.

More recently, Hawke has starred in projects like Boyhood, which earned him an Oscar nomination, Marvel’s Moon Knight, and The Black Phone, based on a story by Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill. Lately, Hawke opened up about how he felt he was nearing the end of his career. In conversation with the Independent, he said: “I don’t have many films left. With the possibility that he decides to retire, it’s the perfect time to reminisce about his back catalog. So here are the nine best movies Ethan Hawke made in the 90s.

9/9 Search and Destroy

October movies

In ninth place we have Search and Destroy, a film about middle-aged Martin Mirkhein, a down-on-his-luck businessman. With a failed business and a failed marriage, he decides his solution is to adapt a successful self-help book into a movie. Hawke plays Roger, a smaller role, alongside fellow cast members Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Christopher Walken and Martin Scorsese. The film is a satire that doesn’t seem to achieve much of what it sets out to do, finding itself aimless due to its misdirecting.

8/9 Land of water

Pictures of Palace

Waterland depicts the story of an English teacher in Pittsburgh recounting his World War II experiences to a class of students. It’s directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal – yes, Jake and Maggie’s father – and stars Jeremy Irons, Lena Headey and Hawke. We’re offered an unflinching view into a troubled past, and while not entirely successful, the ambition of this adaptation is laudable in itself. The performances of this film are excellent and worth watching even though it is not a perfect film.

7/9 Mystery date

Pictures of Orion

One of Hawke’s first films of the ’90s, Mystery Date follows his character Tom as he takes his neighbor’s housekeeper, played by Teri Polo, on a date. Tom’s plans go horribly wrong when he is mistaken for his brother and harassed because of it. Things quickly start spiraling out of control with this case of mistaken identity. The plot is messy and the movie is all over the place, but that doesn’t stop it from being incredibly fun. If you’re looking for a wild, campy ride, this is the movie for you.

6/9 The Newton Boys

20th century workshops

Directed by Richard Linklater, this film marks his second collaboration with Hawke. The Newton Boys is the story of a group of brothers who became bank robbers in the 1920s in order to escape the poverty in which they grew up. The plot seems to promise action and violence, but this movie is more about sibling relationships. and period details, as you would expect from a Linklater production. There’s a really nice attention to detail here that invites you into the world of film.

5/9 Reality Bites

Universal images

One of Hawke’s most famous roles in the ’90s, Reality Bites centers on a group of young college graduates, with Winona Ryder playing a documentary filmmaker. The film’s lofty promise of being a definitive statement about the experiences of Generation X has kept audiences from enjoying its charm. As Ben Stiller’s first directing effort, it’s confidently done and well put together. Truly, the film is more enduring and connected to anyone lost in life, regardless of generation, than its claim has declared.

4/9 High expectations

20th century fox

This version of Great Expectations is a modernized and Americanized adaptation directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Here we have Hawke as Finn and Gwyneth Paltrow as Estella, with Robert De Niro, Hank Azaria and Anne Bancroft rounding out the cast. The original Charles Dickens story is endlessly adaptable, and this take is a fresh variation. With stunning visuals and a solid cast that creates a tangible world in which these characters can exist, the film offers a timely update to a timeless story.

3/9 Gattaca

Pictures of Colombia

In a rare sci-fi twist from Hawke, Gattaca tells the story of a man deemed genetically inferior, who finds his way into the Gattaca space program. The film is a compelling discussion of genetic engineering and eugenics, driven by excellent performances. Speaking to Newsweek, Hawke said the film got it right about “our overwhelming desire as a community and a society to put people in labels”. The characters are well drawn and aren’t forced to the back in favor of action or intrigue, as can happen in spectacle-oriented action or sci-fi films.

2/9 wade

Strand release

Floundering is a playful, low-budget film about an unemployed man who literally flounders. It’s relatively unstructured and wordy, which gives the impression that it could have been improvised although it’s quite the opposite. There are conversations about spirituality, morality, and romance that ring true and stick with you after watching. While it couldn’t be less polished, the film has such a strong charm that any “mistakes” can be easily forgiven. If you love wandering, thoughtful, and funny movies, you can’t go wrong.

1/9 before sunrise

Photos of Colombia

First up comes Hawke’s first collaboration with Linklater: the undeniable classic, Before Sunrise. Julie Delpy stars alongside Hawke as we follow them both around Vienna as they talk. The simplicity of the premise makes it an elegant and poignant story. It manages to be deeply engaging without having any real plot aside from the conversation. Hawke and Delpy have such charming screen presences that audiences fall in love with them as they fall in love with each other. Before Sunrise is one of the most romantic films of all time and can’t be beat as Hawke’s best 90s film.

Best Ethan Hawke Movies Of The 90s, Ranked | Pretty Reel