For those of us cinephiles who easily get caught up in the world of a good movie, no runtime is too extreme. We can stay up and watch all four hours of Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America or all three hours of Oliver Stone’s JFK, Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, or Kubrick’s Spartacus because they’re all great movies.
But as you’ve probably learned by now, not everyone is like us. The eye-widening, masterful technique used by a filmmaker or the suspense a writer incorporates in his or her story is not always enough to keep everyone in their seats for two or three or even four hours. It’s one of the main arguments, or excuses, people use to explain why they prefer TV shows over movies.
We’ve heard it a thousand times: movies are too long (though I never really understood this contention, given that many of these same people will watch two or three hour-long episodes of a show in one sitting). But I get it. Watching a movie is a commitment; it’s hard to sit still and be focused on one screen for long periods of time – for a lot of us, we get enough of that during the work day.
However, there is a way around this enigma! Believe it or not, there are great 90-minute movies out there that aren’t plagued by Adam Sandler’s voice or Kevin James’ fat jokes. The following is a compilation of 8 such films. In order to be considered for this list, the guidelines are rather self-explanatory: The film’s runtime must be no longer than 90 minutes. Therefore, excellent movies like Annie Hall (93 minutes) and Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (96 minutes), which are barely over the line, will not be considered.
Before we begin, here are some Honorable Mentions:
The Simpsons Movie
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
Beauty and the Beast