ByHeather Snowden, writer at
Lover of bad puns, nostalgic feels and all things Winona. Email: [email protected] Tweet: @heathbetweetin
Heather Snowden

Looking to delve into the '90s movie back catalog but not sure where to start? The below 25 titles are by no means a definitive list of the decade's top offerings, but based on user-review site findings, these guys are consistently voted among the most popular films that decade has to offer. This list is sure to provide plenty of fodder to whet your nostalgia appetite.

25 Top 90s Movies

25. Goodfellas

Year: 1990

Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino

Dropping more F-bombs than your average '90s mob movie, Goodfellas is a nitty-gritty epic that tracks Henry Hill (Liotta) through three decades of Mafia life — from teen years to full-on OG maturity. Nominated for six Academy Awards, the work is largely considered to be director Martin Scorsese's stylistic masterpiece.

The soundtrack is pretty damn sweet, too.

24. Saving Private Ryan

Year: 1998

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Vin Diesel, Matt Damon

Saving Private Ryan follows a group of US soldiers who, after the Normandy landings, must go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

As you can imagine, the soldiers aren't so happy with the mission — in fact, they think it's pretty FUBAR.

23. Good Will Hunting

Year: 1997

Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Stellan Skarsgård, Minnie Driver

Nominated for nine Academy Awards, written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and staring the late and beloved Robin Williams. There's little reason not to grab a box of tissues, plop yourself in front of the TV, and prepare to sob your heart out as 20-year-old unrecognized genius Will Hunting (Damon) works through the pains of his past.

22. Point Break

Year: 1991

Starring: Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey

Remade in 2015, the original Point Break is considered one of the greatest movies of the '90s and has since garnered a cult following — and, once you check out Swayze as the charismatic surf leader Bodhi, Reeves as a FBI newbie, and a gang of master criminals in disturbing ex-president masks, it's easy to see why.

21. The Silence of the Lambs

Year: 1991

Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine, Scott Glenn

It's hard to unhear the slithering, snakelike whispers of Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins), the cannibalistic serial killer come brilliant psychiatrist whose creepy AF mannerisms will have you reaching for the pillow faster than you can say "Buffalo Bill."

Proceed with caution.

20. The Usual Suspects

Year: 1995

Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Spacey

Championing flashbacks and narration, The Usual Suspects is a total schooling in how to baffle the F out of your audience. It begins with five criminals meeting in a lineup and ends with the two words that instantly spring to mind as soon as anyone mentions this movie: PLOT TWIST!

19. Se7en

Year: 1995

Starring: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow

One of the best thrillers to come out of the '90s, Se7en stars Pitt and Morgan as a two-man detective team on the hunt for a serial killer using the seven deadly sins as inspiration for his gruesome attacks.

18. Jurassic Park

Year: 1993

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

If Goldblum showing off his golden torso in an open black shirt chatting about dinosaurs wasn't reason enough to bam this movie straight to the top of your need-to-watch list pronto, then watching a lawyer getting munched by a T-rex while sitting on the john should do the trick.

17. Starship Troopers

Year: 1997

Starring: Casper Van Dien, Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Jake Busey

Arguably featuring one of the top battle scenes in '90s movies, in a nutshell, this satirical sci-fi action movie is one huge fight between humans and gargantuan alien bugs — and it's awesome.

16. Independence Day

Year: 1996

Starring: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell

What would you do if you found out an alien attack was imminent, and two motherships the size of the moon were currently circulating the Earth? Hand Will Smith, a.k.a. Captain Steven Hiller, the reins, obviously!

15. American Beauty

Year: 1999

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari

Does anyone do creepy quite as well as Spacey? Probably not, and he nails that vibe in this stunning drama in which he plays a sexually frustrated suburban father lusting after his daughter's best friend.

Not only praised for its cinematic beauty, this movie contains two of the most iconic and parodied scenes in '90s movie history — rose petals and plastic bags, anyone?

14. The Matrix

Year: 1999

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

If you spend your days gazing at a computer screen contemplating the meaning of existence, then The Matrix will push you down that rabbit hole even further. But once you've seen the truth, there's no going back.

13. Schindler's List

Year: 1993

Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Based on a true story, Schindler's List tells the tale of a vain, power-hungry businessman who transforms into an unlikely humanitarian when he turns his factory into a refuge for Jews during the Nazi regime. As you can imagine, it's not a bundle of laughs, but it's certainly one of the most powerful films to come out of the '90s.

12. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace

Year: 1999

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd

Somewhat of a divisive movie for diehard Star Wars fans, The Phantom Menace is set 32 years before the original film and kicks off the prequel series. The narrative focuses on the mysterious return of the Sith and intergalactic trade embargoes, and while it might not be the best movie in the franchise by a long shot, it's a fun ride.

11. The Big Lebowski

Year: 1998

Starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Vengeance, ruined rugs, bowling games, a whole load of White Russian cocktails and a bikini-clad, poolside Tara Reid, all form the filling of this excellent Coen brothers sandwich.

10. The Lion King

Year: 1994

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Rowan Atkinson

Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase, Hakuna Matata, ain't no passing craze — and clearly, neither is this fantastic, bug-filled Disney classic, whose songs are as majestic as its beasts.

9. Forrest Gump

Year: 1994

Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise

Life may sometimes be like a box of chocolates, but with Forrest Gump you always know what you're going to get — an emotional rollercoaster. Here you'll follow Forrest, a simple guy with a huge heart and obsessive love for his childhood sweetheart, as he accidentally finds himself participating in countless historical moments.

8. The Mummy

Year: 1999

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo

Now getting the reboot treatment from Universal Pictures, The Mummy tracks the awakening of High Priest Imhotep and the curse that comes gift bagged with his arrival. There's also an extremely haunting scene with a scarab, which you can watch above if you're feeling brave.

7. Fight Club

Year: 1999

Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf, Helena Bonham Carter

We're not really supposed to talk about Fight Club, first rules and all that, so all you need to know about this therapeutic shit spiral of a movie is that it's widely considered to have one of the best endings in cinema history. Oh, and there's a lot of sweaty, topless Brad Pitt in it, too, so that's a plus.

6. Dazed And Confused

Year: 1993

Starring: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich

If your adolescences weren't spent getting obscenely high and smacking the shit out of junior high kids, then you're welcome to live those moments out vicariously via Dazed and Confused — undoubtably one of the top high-school movies of the '90s.

5. Pulp Fiction

Year: 1994

Starring: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis

Bursting with bad motherfuckers, Pulp Fiction's gang of mob bosses, bandits and boxers intertwine and collide to result in an endlessly quotable, glorious cacophony of Tarantino goodness.

4. The Little Rascals

Year: 1994

Starring: Travis Tedford, Bug Hall, Brittany Ashton Holmes

From the "He-Man Womun Haters Club," to the gutsy Darla, and Alfalfa's unfortunately hilarious haircut, this lovable, madcap movie has all the nostalgic feel-good fun a '90s childhood movie should have.

Fun Fact: Donald Trump has a cameo role.

3. Titanic

Year: 1997

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Still championing relationship goals almost 20 years down the line (despite that door scene, but let's not talk about that), there's good reason we'll never let go of all the romantic feels given by Jack and Rose as they fight against fate aboard the R.M.S. Titanic.

2. The Sandlot

Year: 1993

Starring: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Patrick Renna, Chauncey Leopardi

If a storyline following the mischievous adventures of neighborhood baseball buddies wasn't enough to turn you on to this '90s classic, maybe the fact it has one of the best vom sequences in cinema will.

1. The Shawshank Redemption

Year: 1994

Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Framed for murders he didn't commit, this is the harrowing story of Andy Dufrense as he's sentenced to two consecutive life terms in a rough AF prison, and learns how to play the long game the hard way. It's as dramatic as it is charming and is constantly voted the top movie of the '90s for good reason.

And, there you have it — the top '90s movies consistently voted for by fans!

What do you think is the top movie of the '90s?

Source: IMDb


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