Was 1999 the greatest movie year ever?

Exactly a quarter century ago, Hollywood peaked.

(Credit: Warner Bros)
Morpheus in The Matrix, played by Laurence Fishburne. (Warner Bros)

25 years since the cyberpunk wonders of The Wachowskis and Jim Levenstein's apple pie fiasco first flashed on screen, it's now clear that 1999 was probably the greatest-ever year for the movie business.

Never before or since has such a varied catalogue of stone-cold classics hit cinemas across a calendar year; '93 and '07 certainly had their moments with Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood, but the final dozen pre-Millennium months are just so stacked they're impossible to argue against.

Check out what Tinsel Town treated us to right here...

'The Green Mile'. (Credit: Warner Bros)
The Green Mile. (Warner Bros)

Directed with heartbreaking lightness and buoyancy by Frank Darabont, this Stephen King adaptation saw Michael Clarke Duncan shine the brightest as superpowered Death Row inmate John Coffey, with Tom Hanks, Sam Rockwell, Jeffrey DeMunn and Michael Jeter providing exquisite support.

American Pie star admits its problematic (Credit: Universal)
American Pie. (Universal)

The one that kickstarted the horniest franchise out there, American Pie cast Jason Biggs as the hopeless high-schooler Jim Levenstein, whose laugh-out-loud mission to lose his virginity may well have inspired The Inbetweeners.

Nick Moran, Jason Statham, Dexter Fletcher and Jason Flemyng in a still from Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Universal Pictures)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Universal Pictures)

Marking the directorial feature debut of Guy Ritchie, this endlessly quotable, low-budget gangster flick launched the careers of Jason Statham, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran and Jason Flemying.

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in 1999's 'Fight Club'. (Credit: Fox)
Fight Club. (Fox)

Brad Pitt's most iconic performance unfolds across David Fincher's searing comment on capitalism and identity. Ed Norton and Helena Bonham Carter are equally as unforgettable in their respective roles as The Narrator and Marla Singer.

Toni Collette starred in Shyamalan's 'The Sixth Sense'
The Sixth Sense. (Buena Vista Pictures)

Master of the twist ending M. Night Shyamalan announced himself on the world stage with this understatedly intense chiller. "I see dead people", whispered by child star Haley Joel Osment's character Cole, has since entered the cinematic lexicon.

One of the most anticipated sequels of the year will see Keanu Reeves return to one of his most iconic roles — that of Neo. He’s rejoined by Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity and Lana Wachowski is back in the director’s chair, albeit without her sister Lilly. The plot is very secretive as things stand, but it’s certain to be a typically mind-bending journey into alternate realities. We’ll be queueing up to take that particular red pill. (Credit: Siemoneit/Sygma via Getty Images)
The Matrix. (Siemoneit/Sygma via Getty Images)

Keanu Reeves' first encounter with The Matrix will always be the best. Forget the three sequels; Neo's bullet-time fisticuffs with Agent Smith start and peak right here.

American Beauty  Mena Suvari
American Beauty. (DreamWorks Pictures)

Lead by an Oscar-winning Kevin Spacey, this mesmerising suburban black-comedy sees an advertising executive become infatuated with his teenage daughter's best friend. American Beauty was the first movie from filmmaker Sam Mendes, too.

Prod DB © Miramax / DR L'OEUVRE DE DIEU, LA PART DU DIABLE  THE CIDER HOUSE RULES de Lasse Hallstrom 1999 USA Tobey Maguire Charlize Theron. d'apres l
The Cider House Rules. (Miramax Films)

Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron and Michael Caine all excel in this tender tale of an orphan leaving his community for the first time to discover a whole world out there. There will be tears.

Brendan Fraser starred in 1999's franchise-spawning The Mummy. (Alamy)

There's not a lot of prestige attached to The Mummy, but if you're wanting an old-school action-adventure with colourful characters and nightmare-inducing scarab beetles, you're in perfect company.

Notting Hill 1999  Julia Roberts
Notting Hill. (Universal)

Considered up there with the finest romantic-comedies ever made, Notting Hill follows the unlikely relationship between Hugh Grant's bookseller and a Hollywood A-lister played by Julia Roberts.

'The Iron Giant'. (Credit: Warner Bros)
The Iron Giant. (Warner Bros)

A beautifully animated story set during the Cold War; young Hogarth befriends an alien robot capable of annihilating humanity. The Iron Giant tops most of Pixar's output, it's just that good.