In general, I think that the 1980-1995 period is the weakest stretch in American film history. During the 1965-1980 period, filmmakers had a lot of freedom, in part because the studios were flummoxed by the "youth revolution" and adopted a "Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks" attitude. But by the early 1980s, they had clamped down again but hard, test-marketing films within an inch of their lives and in most cases eliminating any visible traces of imagination or individuality.
One of the embarrassments of the time was watching Pauline Kael atop her perch at the New Yorker gamely trying to maintain her enthusiasm about American movies which simply didn't merit it. The Robert Towne of Tequila Sunrise is simply not the Robert Towne of Chinatown - or is not allowed to be. Yet Kael disliked Chinatown and gave Tequila Sunrise a rave, and that was not an unusual exercise of her taste in that period. It was a consistently silly display.