1998 Movies

Venture back to 1998 with the Plex database - a seamless, all-in-one hub for movie enthusiasts. Here, we've corralled the best films from that exceptional year into one convenient online destination. With Plex, discovering and revisiting the classics of '98 is as easy as a single click. Start your '98 movie journey with us today!
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Browse 3,364 titles in our 1998 Movies Database

The Best Movies of 1998

From mesmerizing dramas to thrilling monster films, this year had it all. Let's revisit some of the notable films that captivated audiences in 1998.

Saving Private Ryan

Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" made its mark as one of the most engaging war films ever crafted. Its outstanding execution of the Omaha Beach landing changed the course of movie battle scenes, establishing an unparalleled standard of excellence. The film's narrative transformed into an exceptional journey following the opening act, as Tom Hanks' character and his crew were tasked with locating a private in perilous territory. Although a poignant spectacle, "Saving Private Ryan" transcends momentary emotional impact, leaving lingering thoughts that amplify over time.

Shakespeare in Love

"Shakespeare in Love," released in 1998, is a romantic comedy-drama film directed by John Madden. The story is set in London during the late 16th century and imagines a fictional account of William Shakespeare's life while he was writing his play "Romeo and Juliet."

The film revolves around the struggling playwright Shakespeare, played by Joseph Fiennes, who is suffering from writer's block and a lack of inspiration. He finds his muse in a wealthy young woman named Viola de Lesseps, portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow. Viola, disguised as a man, auditions for a role in one of Shakespeare's plays and captures his attention with her talent and passion for theater.


"Elizabeth," with Cate Blanchett in the lead role, is a story of growth, danger, and transformation. The film sees Elizabeth I transition from an untested young ruler into one of Britain's greatest monarchs. Indian director Shekhar Kapur elegantly weaves a narrative in the hues of his native land, bringing the medieval period to life with a unique aesthetic touch.

Deep Impact

"Deep Impact" is an intriguing take on disaster science fiction, depicting the frantic efforts to destroy a gigantic comet threatening to collide with Earth. Despite facing stiff competition from the similarly themed "Armageddon," this film managed to score points for scientific accuracy and performed admirably at the box office.

Dark City

"Dark City" presents a unique, noir-inspired environment run by aliens seeking to understand humans. It explores the protagonist's struggle against memory erasure and his pursuit of a nebulous past involving a beautiful woman. This film leaves its audience intrigued and eager to uncover the truth of its intricate narrative.

A Simple Plan

"A Simple Plan" offers a chilling tale of values, crime, and human frailty. When three men stumble upon a crashed plane carrying $4 million, they succumb to the temptation of easy wealth, leading them down a path of rapidly unraveling moral fiber. Sam Raimi's direction ensures an authentic depiction of a deep-rooted human dilemma.

Babe: Pig in the City

"Babe: Pig in the City" is a visual treat for audiences, featuring a charming pig navigating a busy city's trials and tribulations. This sequel offers a range of characters and surprises that will keep viewers engaged from start to finish.

Primary Colors

"Primary Colors" serves as a detailed study of a fictional President's character, highlighting the strength, charisma, and weaknesses that have led to his current situation. Even though the film did not do well at the box office, it offered valuable insights into the dynamics of political life.


"Pleasantville" stands as a testament to the leaps and bounds made in computer-generated imagery. It spins a tale of two modern-day young people transported back to a black-and-white sitcom from the 1950s. This movie is an excellent mix of entertainment and social introspection, spurring debate about societal change.


"Happiness" is a blend of pain and humor, showing individuals desperately trying to break free from their lonely lives. Its ability to oscillify between tragedy, farce, and satire made this film a standout at the Cannes Film Festival.

1998 Movies & Industry Highlights

Blockbuster Films of the Year

Shakespeare in Love won the Academy Award for Best Picture, while other influential films such as Saving Private Ryan and Armageddon took the box office by storm. Interestingly, the latter took the crown as the highest-grossing film of the year in the United States.

We also saw the release of The Truman Show, Primary Colors, Rushmore, and Rush Hour. There's Something About Mary and The Big Lebowski brought hearty laughs to audiences, and we witnessed the much-anticipated return of Terrence Malick as a director with The Thin Red Line.

DreamWorks and Animation

DreamWorks SKG ventured into animated films, launching their first two features - Antz and The Prince of Egypt. The Prince of Egypt won the inaugural Critics' Choice Award for Best Animated Feature, sharing the honor with Disney and Pixar's A Bug's Life.

The anime craze was no exception in 1998, with Pokémon: The First Movie starting the Pokémon theatrical film series. Animation certainly had a momentous year.

Dueling Disaster Films

Armageddon and Deep Impact, two competitive sci-fi disaster films about asteroids, took the cinemas by storm, both becoming successful at the box office. Among the two, Armageddon was crowned the highest-grossing film of 1998 on a global scale, showcasing our fondness for extraterrestrial disasters.

Top Grossing Films of 1998

The year's highest-grossing films according to worldwide gross were:

  1. Armageddon - $553.7M
  2. Saving Private Ryan - $481.8M
  3. Godzilla - $379M
  4. There's Something About Mary - $369.8M
  5. A Bug's Life - $363.3M
  6. Deep Impact - $349.4M
  7. Mulan - $304.3M
  8. Dr. Dolittle - $294.4M
  9. Shakespeare in Love - $289.3M
  10. Lethal Weapon 4 - $285.4M

Titanic's Groundbreaking Success

The year 1998 witnessed Titanic becoming the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide. Just twenty days later, the film clinched eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, making it an unforgettable part of film history.

The Duel of Disaster Films

1998 was a year where disaster films caught the public's attention, especially with the release of two asteroid-themed films, Armageddon and Deep Impact. Both films were successful at the box office, but Armageddon emerged victorious in the race, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1998 globally.

Memorable Events of 1998

  • July 24 marked the release of Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg. The film was critically acclaimed, securing the position of the top-grossing domestic film of 1998. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Director, and left a lasting impact on war and action film genres with its unique use of desaturated colors, hand-held cameras, and tight angles.
  • On August 21, the film Blade, based on the character of the same name, grossed over $131.2 million worldwide. The success of Blade laid a solid foundation for future film adaptations of Marvel Comics characters.
  • Finally, on December 25, after a twenty-year hiatus, Terrance Malick returned with The Thin Red Line. Malick's return was celebrated as one of the year's notable events, reminding audiences of his profound influence in the industry.