Must see Movies: 90s

The essential movies of the decade.
Unessential popcorn movies worth a look get their own list.
This list is continuously updated as new movies seen deserves a spot.
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1.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. (154 mins.)
“ Dialogue, style and cast makes it an even better Tarantino experience than his debut. ” - ZapperLife
 
2.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup. (106 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Great cast for great variety of characters. An intriguing story of crime and a mysterious scary story criminals tell their children. ” - ZapperLife
 
3.
Pride and Prejudice (1995 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
Jane Austen's classic novel about the prejudice that occurred between the 19th century classes and the pride which would keep lovers apart. (327 mins.)
“ Okay. It's a TV mini-series, but it's the best TV mini-series I've seen so far. A top notch adaption of the best Jane Austen novel, lead by the amazing duo of Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. ” - ZapperLife
 
4.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (142 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
“ Haven't seen in a while, but as I remember it its well worth some attention even if it's far far from being the best movie ever made. ” - ZapperLife
 
5.
Sling Blade (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town. (135 mins.)
 
6.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant. (99 mins.)
“ Tarantino came with a blast. Dialogue out of this world, great low budget locations and a gangster assembly few could have got in his debut. Remarkable use of soundtrack and some scenes I'll never forget. ” - ZapperLife
 
7.
Show Me Love (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two teenage girls in small-town Sweden. Elin is beautiful, popular, and bored with life. Agnes is friendless, sad, and secretly in love with Elin. (89 mins.)
Director: Lukas Moodysson
“ Lukas Moodyson's small town tale from Sweden is amazing. He captures the time, nails the teen angst and delivers a stand out teen-movie worthy of all the attention it can get. ” - ZapperLife
 
8.
Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household. (125 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
“ A fascinating story, and visually stunning as usual with Zhang Yimou. Gong Li is also as beautiful and brilliant as always. ” - ZapperLife
 
9.
Terminator 2 (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten year old son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg. (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ Cameron and Arnold managed to top their 80-success with this sequel. Great effects that still works well to watch 20 years later. Nice mix of Sci-Fi, action and drama, and cyborg was the only thing Arnold ever was made to act as. ” - ZapperLife
 
10.
Léon: The Professional (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade. (110 mins.)
Director: Luc Besson
 
11.
Heat (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist, while both sides attempt to find balance between their personal and their professional lives. (170 mins.)
Director: Michael Mann
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
12.
Se7en (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives. (127 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
13.
Groundhog Day (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again. (101 mins.)
Director: Harold Ramis
“ Funny, funny, funny, despite Andie MacDowell ” - ZapperLife
 
14.
Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
In the era of Japan's Meiji Restoration, an assassin regains his humanity. (118 mins.)
“ A beautiful origin story for Samurai X, and one not just for fans of anime. ” - ZapperLife
 
15.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office. (100 mins.)
Director: James Foley
“ Raw testosterone power in the dialogue, an ensemble cast and it all pans out like a play. ” - ZapperLife
 
16.
The Matrix (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (136 mins.)
“ Mind-puzzling SciFi mixing slow motion action with a creative story. ” - ZapperLife
 
17.
The Wrong Trousers (1993 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Wallace is used by a criminal penguin in a robbery involving mechanical trousers. (30 mins.)
Director: Nick Park
“ Nick Park had perfected his claymation, and this shorty is a joy to behold. ” - ZapperLife
 
18.
A Close Shave (1995 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Wallace falls for Wendolene, a wool shop owner, while Gromit is framed for the sheep rustling. (30 mins.)
Director: Nick Park
“ Equal to The Wrong Trousers. From here the Wallace and Gromit series went downhill. ” - ZapperLife
 
19.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. (117 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ The Dude is a character impossible to avoid enjoying, and the Coens have struck gold in their L.A.-tale of this fella. ” - ZapperLife
 
20.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice. (138 mins.)
Director: Curtis Hanson
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
21.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera. (111 mins.)
Director: Mike Figgis
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
22.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (107 mins.)
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
23.
The Double Life of Veronique (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two parallel stories about two identical women; one living in Poland, the other in France. They don't know each other, but their lives are nevertheless profoundly connected. (98 mins.)
 
24.
Three Colors: Red (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A model discovers her neighbor is keen on invading people's privacy. (99 mins.)
 
25.
True Romance (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In Detroit, a lonely pop culture geek marries a call girl, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the owners of the cocaine - the Mob - track them down in an attempt to reclaim it. (120 mins.)
Director: Tony Scott
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
26.
Naked (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Parallel tales of two sexually obsessed men, one hurting and annoying women physically and mentally, one wandering around the city talking to strangers and experiencing dimensions of life. (132 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
“ Johnny isn't anything like the rest of us. Leigh gives us a funny and deep look at lives waiting to begin, or people who's given up the idea of living meaningful lives at all. ” - ZapperLife
 
27.
Girl on the Bridge (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
It's night on a Paris bridge. A girl leans over Seine River with tears in her eyes and a violent yearning to drown her sorrows... (90 mins.)
Director: Patrice Leconte
“ With highlights few movies within this genre ever achieve ” - ZapperLife
 
28.
American History X (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did. (119 mins.)
Director: Tony Kaye
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
29.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. (169 mins.)
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
30.
Chungking Express (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents. (102 mins.)
Director: Kar Wai Wong
 
31.
Breaking the Waves (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another. (159 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
 
32.
The Fifth Element (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay. (126 mins.)
Director: Luc Besson
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
33.
Three Colors: Blue (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman struggles to find a way to live her life after the death of her husband and child. (98 mins.)
 
34.
Miller's Crossing (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties. (115 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
 
35.
Trainspotting (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends. (94 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
“ Raw peak at Edinburgh junkies capturing the mid-90s feel with humor. ” - ZapperLife
 
36.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet. (129 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
37.
Goodfellas (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
The story of Henry Hill and his life through the teen years into the years of mafia, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his Mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate. (146 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
38.
Dark City (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun. (100 mins.)
Director: Alex Proyas
 
39.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation. (105 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
40.
Eye of God (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
We see two stories told over four time lines, which wind down to a devastating ground zero collision... (84 mins.)
 
41.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
When Woody is stolen by a toy collector, Buzz and his friends vow to rescue him, but Woody finds the idea of immortality in a museum tempting. (92 mins.)
 
42.
Die Hard 2 (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
John McClane attempts to avert disaster as rogue military operatives seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. (124 mins.)
Director: Renny Harlin
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
43.
In the Name of the Father (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A man's coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them. (133 mins.)
Director: Jim Sheridan
 
44.
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master. (83 mins.)
Director: Mamoru Oshii
 
45.
Only Yesterday (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A twenty-seven-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tokyo. (118 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
 
46.
Perfect Blue (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A retired pop singer turned actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past. (81 mins.)
Director: Satoshi Kon
 
47.
The Straight Story (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother. (112 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ Remarkable road trip movie on lawn mower. Begins as a masterpiece, but runs a little out of gas. ” - ZapperLife
 
48.
Open Your Eyes (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A very handsome man finds the love of his life, but he suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured. (117 mins.)
“ Intelligent movie questioning the state of the protagonist. ” - ZapperLife
 
49.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976. (102 mins.)
“ Linklater strikes gold with this High School feel packed in a movie. ” - ZapperLife
 
50.
Office Space (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Three company workers who hate their jobs decide to rebel against their greedy boss. (89 mins.)
Director: Mike Judge
 
51.
Chasing Amy (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Holden and Banky are comic book artists. Everything's going good for them until they meet Alyssa, also a comic book artist. Holden falls for her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she's a lesbian. (113 mins.)
Director: Kevin Smith
“ Haven't seen in a while, but remember it fondly. ” - ZapperLife
 
52.
The Boondock Saints (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Fraternal twins set out to rid Boston of the evil men operating there while being tracked down by an FBI agent. (108 mins.)
Director: Troy Duffy
 
53.
Three Colors: White (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After his wife divorces him, a Polish immigrant plots to get even with her. (91 mins.)
“ Not quite a must see on its own, but as part of the Three Colors trilogy of Kieslowski you should get this as well. ” - ZapperLife
 
54.
Titanic (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. (194 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ Been a while since I watched this so its place will be re-evaluated once I've seen it again, but I do know it's essential of the decade. ” - ZapperLife
 
55.
Fargo (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson. (98 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ Been a while since I watched this so its place will be re-evaluated once I've seen it again, but I do know it's essential of the decade. ” - ZapperLife
 
56.
Forrest Gump (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
JFK, LBJ, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75. (142 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
“ Been a while since I watched this so its place will be re-evaluated once I've seen it again, but I do know it's essential of the decade. ” - ZapperLife
 
57.
American Beauty (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ Been a while since I watched this so its place will be re-evaluated once I've seen it again, but I do know it's essential of the decade. ” - ZapperLife
 
58.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns. (107 mins.)
Director: Guy Ritchie
“ Been a while since I watched this so its place will be re-evaluated once I've seen it again, but I do know it's essential of the decade. ” - ZapperLife
 
59.
Fight Club (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more. (139 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ Been a while since I watched this so its place will be re-evaluated once I've seen it again, but I do know it's essential of the decade. ” - ZapperLife
 
60.
Iron Monkey (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A martial artist/doctor steals from the corrupt authorities as a masked thief to give to the poor while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt him down. But a major threat unites them as a powerful and traitorous shaolin monk takes over the authorities. (90 mins.)
Director: Woo-Ping Yuen