Generally speaking, the vast majority of film and television productions feature a main character leading the project and a group of supporting characters supporting said star. Certainly, this model is centered around this lead role, and by the end of the movie or show, the audience knows every detail about this character perfectly. Yet there is a very different approach that is becoming increasingly popular in the industry, and that is ensemble films. These productions are based on the idea that all actors are equally important to the story, allowing the filmmakers to dig deeper into each character’s background.
Ensemble castings are quite common in television shows, and in fact, there are often episodes devoted to each of the characters that make up the group. Some popular examples of this type of cast are Friends, The Office, and Stranger Things, to name a few. This pattern is also seen in the movie industry, but not as often. However, when a movie features an ensemble cast, it is very likely to be made up of big movie stars, which makes it even more appealing. Some examples of this include Ocean’s Eleven, Pitch Perfect, and Avengers: Infinity War and its sequels. Check out the best movies from the 90s that feature an ensemble cast.
New line cinema
Magnolia is a 1999 film by Paul Thomas Anderson that simultaneously tells the story of several characters from the San Fernando Valley who seem unrelated, but are oddly related to each other. It stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Blackman, Philip Baker Hall, Melinda Dillon, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay, William H. Macy, John C. Reilly, Alfred Molina, Michael Murphy, Melora Walters and Jason Robards in its final. role. This ensemble cast was highly praised, especially Cruise, winning a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, among other awards.
8 Dazed and Confused
Jason London, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Cole Hauser, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, Matthew McConaughey, Nicky Katt, Joey Lauren Adams and Rory Cochrane star in the coming-of-age comedy film Dazed and Confused. This 1993 production directed by Richard Linklater is set in 1976, following the adventures of several groups of Texas teenagers on their last day of school. Although this film was not a huge box office hit, it was warmly received by critics, who praised the film’s cast and humor. Yet over the years, Dazed and Confused’s popularity grew and, according to Rolling Stone, it eventually became a cult classic.
7 boogie nights
New line cinema
Another mention of Paul Thomas Anderson, but this time to talk about the film that made him famous for the first time: Boogie Nights. This 1997 production is also set in the San Fernando Valley and focuses on Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), a young man discovered by Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), who turns into a porn star. Boogie Nights traces the career of this young man, now renamed Dirk Diggler, until his downfall. Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heather Graham join Wahlberg and Reynolds in the cast.
6 reservoir dogs
The 1992 film Reservoir Dogs marked Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut, in which he also served as a screenwriter and actor. He played alongside Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen and Edward Bunker. The film features a gang of thieves who are hired to rob a jewelry store and steal diamonds. However, just as they are about to embark on their mission, the police intercept them, causing some of the gang members to lose their lives. Those who manage to escape reunite to find out which member of the group reported them.
5 Saving Private Ryan
Steven Spielberg led an all-star cast in the epic 1998 war movie Saving Private Ryan. Starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg and Jeremy Davies, this production chronicles Captain John H. Miller’s mission to find Private First Class James Francis Ryan, the sole survivor. about four brothers who disappeared in the middle of World War II. Upon its premiere, Saving Private Ryan immediately became a hit with critics and audiences, and to this day ranks among the most influential films of its decade.
4 Shakespeare in love
Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 film directed by John Madden and starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Ben Affleck and Judi Dench, among other actors. This production traces the love story between William Shakespeare, a talented playwright going through a bad patch, and the young Viola de Lesseps, the muse who inspired one of his masterpieces: Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare in Love was a smash hit and won several nominations and awards, with Paltrow, Rush and Dench gaining recognition for their performances.
3 Jurassic Park
Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park launched one of cinema’s most popular and beloved franchises. Based on Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel and starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough, this 1993 film features John Hammond, a millionaire businessman who has achieved his lifelong dream of cloning dinosaurs and create his own Jurassic Park. Before it opens, it summons a group of scientists and a mathematician to obtain the necessary safety certification. Of course, an employee boycott, terrible weather conditions and a group of savage dinosaurs prove to be the perfect recipe for disaster.
2 Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction is Quentin Tarantino’s second film and the one that cemented his reputation as a director. Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Ving Rhames and Uma Thurman, this 1994 film interweaves several stories featuring members of Los Angeles organized crime, including Vincent Vega (Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Jackson), two criminals who, although complete opposites, must work together to achieve their goals. Pulp Fiction is considered one of Tarantino’s greatest masterpieces and the performances of the film and the actors, especially those of Travolta, Thurman and Jackson, were highly praised.
Goodfellas is one of Martin Scorsese’s best films and is a production that revolutionized the gangster genre. This film adaptation of the book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco and Paul Sorvino, and tells the story of Henry Hill’s life, from his origins as a budding gangster to his eventual downfall. Goodfellas ranks among the best films of the 1990s, winning numerous awards. Within the cast, the most appreciated were Pesci, Bracco and De Niro.