Sci-Fi Cinema in the 1990s

by mike_sean | created - 06 Mar 2011 | updated - 06 Mar 2015 | Public

Science fiction movies from the nineties (1990-1999), including TV movies as well as stand-alone mini-series. This list uses a fairly strict definition of science fiction, and therefore does not include most films that deal with fantasy, the supernatural, or super heroes. Films that fall more under the umbrella of horror (like a lot of zombie and pandemic films) have also been omitted.

See also: Sci-Fi Cinema in the 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 2000s | 2010s

Related sci-fi list: Sci-Fi Television in the 1990s

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1. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,612,016 | Gross: $171.48M

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 964,724 | Gross: $204.84M

3. 12 Monkeys (1995)

R | 129 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

74 Metascore

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.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito

Votes: 563,459 | Gross: $57.14M

4. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Not Rated | 83 min | Animation, Action, Crime

76 Metascore

A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

Director: Mamoru Oshii | Stars: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka, Kôichi Yamadera

Votes: 123,654 | Gross: $0.52M

5. The Iron Giant (1999)

PG | 86 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy.

Director: Brad Bird | Stars: Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel

Votes: 166,295 | Gross: $23.16M

6. Gattaca (1997)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

64 Metascore

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director: Andrew Niccol | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal

Votes: 273,015 | Gross: $12.34M

7. The Fifth Element (1997)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

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.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm

Votes: 421,366 | Gross: $63.54M

8. Dark City (1998)

R | 100 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

66 Metascore

A man struggles with memories of his past, which includes a wife he cannot remember, and a nightmarish world, no one else seems to be waking up from.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt

Votes: 183,578 | Gross: $14.38M

9. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

PG-13 | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

71 Metascore

The Borg travel back in time intent on preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Picard and his crew pursue them to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes his maiden flight reaching warp speed.

Director: Jonathan Frakes | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton

Votes: 115,132 | Gross: $92.00M

10. Memories (1995)

PG-13 | 113 min | Animation, Comedy, Fantasy

"Memories" is made up of three separate science-fiction stories. In the first, "Magnetic Rose," four space travelers are drawn into an abandoned spaceship that contains a world created by ... See full summary »

Directors: Kôji Morimoto, Tensai Okamura, Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Shigeru Chiba, Hisao Egawa, Kayoko Fujii, Nobuaki Fukuda

Votes: 14,782

11. Cold Lazarus (1996– )

300 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Dr. Emma Porlock and her colleagues, attempting to unlock the secrets of human memory for the Masdon drug empire, get a cryogenically stored 400-year-old human head to project its memories ... See full summary »

Stars: Albert Finney, Ciarán Hinds, Frances de la Tour, Grant Masters

Votes: 634

12. Total Recall (1990)

R | 113 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

57 Metascore

When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or is he?

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin

Votes: 291,326 | Gross: $119.39M

13. Back to the Future Part III (1990)

PG | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

55 Metascore

Stranded in 1955, Marty McFly learns about the death of Doc Brown in 1885 and must travel back in time to save him. With no fuel readily available for the DeLorean, the two must figure how to escape the Old West before Emmett is murdered.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson

Votes: 387,299 | Gross: $87.73M

14. Contact (1997)

PG | 150 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

Votes: 246,391 | Gross: $100.92M

15. Pi (1998)

R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

72 Metascore

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart

Votes: 166,266 | Gross: $3.22M

16. Men in Black (1997)

PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

71 Metascore

A police officer joins a secret organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrial interactions on Earth.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 502,318 | Gross: $250.69M

17. Galaxy Quest (1999)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

70 Metascore

The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.

Director: Dean Parisot | Stars: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 144,106 | Gross: $71.58M

18. Harrison Bergeron (1995 TV Movie)

R | 99 min | Sci-Fi

In a distant future, egalitarianism has created a truly equal state. The cost? The sacrifice of everything great about humankind. The question: is peace worth the price?

Director: Bruce Pittman | Stars: Sean Astin, Miranda de Pencier, Eugene Levy, Howie Mandel

Votes: 2,224

19. Starship Troopers (1997)

R | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

51 Metascore

Humans in a fascist, militaristic future wage war with giant alien bugs.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, Jake Busey

Votes: 260,534 | Gross: $54.81M

20. Cube (1997)

R | 90 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

61 Metascore

Six complete strangers with widely varying personalities are involuntarily placed in an endless maze containing deadly traps.

Director: Vincenzo Natali | Stars: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller

Votes: 203,887 | Gross: $0.50M

21. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

On the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the last best hope for peace.

Director: Nicholas Meyer | Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan

Votes: 68,221 | Gross: $74.89M

22. Strange Days (1995)

R | 145 min | Action, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

A former cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a conspiracy in Los Angeles in 1999.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore

Votes: 65,288 | Gross: $7.92M

23. Stargate (1994)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

An interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson, Viveca Lindfors

Votes: 171,029 | Gross: $71.57M

24. The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

R | 100 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

36 Metascore

A computer scientist running a virtual reality simulation of 1937 becomes the primary suspect when his colleague and mentor is murdered.

Director: Josef Rusnak | Stars: Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 64,914 | Gross: $15.50M

25. Independence Day (1996)

PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell

Votes: 514,932 | Gross: $306.17M

26. The X Files (1998)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

60 Metascore

Mulder and Scully must fight the government in a conspiracy and find the truth about an alien colonization of Earth.

Director: Rob Bowman | Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, John Neville, William B. Davis

Votes: 98,801 | Gross: $83.90M

27. Bicentennial Man (1999)

PG | 132 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

An android endeavors to become human as he gradually acquires emotions.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt

Votes: 107,273 | Gross: $58.22M

28. eXistenZ (1999)

R | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe

Votes: 91,354 | Gross: $2.84M

29. Event Horizon (1997)

R | 96 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

35 Metascore

A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson | Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson

Votes: 152,325 | Gross: $26.67M

30. Demolition Man (1993)

R | 115 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

34 Metascore

A police officer is brought out of suspended animation in prison to pursue an old ultra-violent nemesis who is loose in a non-violent future society.

Director: Marco Brambilla | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, Nigel Hawthorne

Votes: 153,418 | Gross: $58.06M

31. Dream Parlor (1999)

98 min | Sci-Fi

A sci-fi tale of how a man and a woman team up to challenge and destroy their oppressive government's mind altering technology designed to control people.

Director: Jonathan Lawrence | Stars: Christopher Andrews, Alison Storry, Harold Cannon, Kevin Moore

Votes: 42

32. Star Trek: Generations (1994)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

55 Metascore

With the help of long presumed dead Captain Kirk, Captain Picard must stop a deranged scientist willing to murder on a planetary scale in order to enter a space matrix.

Director: David Carson | Stars: Patrick Stewart, William Shatner, Malcolm McDowell, Jonathan Frakes

Votes: 74,114 | Gross: $75.67M

33. Fire in the Sky (1993)

PG-13 | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Fantasy

42 Metascore

An Arizona logger mysteriously disappears for five days in an alleged encounter with a flying saucer in 1975.

Director: Robert Lieberman | Stars: D.B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Peter Berg

Votes: 20,571 | Gross: $20.10M

34. Sleepwalker (1998)

R | 103 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

It runs the year 2010 in Argentina, it is the bicentennial of the May Revolution. During that year, the authorities carried out experimental tests with a new chemical substance and an ... See full summary »

Director: Fernando Spiner | Stars: Eusebio Poncela, Sofía Viruboff, Lorenzo Quinteros, Patricio Contreras

Votes: 218

35. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

PG | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

Two Jedi escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to claim their old glory.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd

Votes: 706,493 | Gross: $474.54M

36. Alien³ (1992)

R | 114 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

After her last encounter, Ellen Ripley crash-lands on Fiorina 161, a maximum security prison. When a series of strange and deadly events occur shortly after her arrival, Ripley realizes that she has brought along an unwelcome visitor.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Paul McGann

Votes: 268,858 | Gross: $55.47M

37. The Faculty (1998)

R | 104 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

61 Metascore

Students suspect that their teachers are aliens after bizarre occurrences.

Director: Robert Rodriguez | Stars: Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett

Votes: 107,722 | Gross: $40.06M

38. Grand Tour: Disaster in Time (1991)

PG-13 | 99 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi

Before they can complete renovations on their new inn, Widower (Ben Wilson) and daughter (Hillary) are visited by a woman seeking immediate lodging for her strange group of travellers. Why ... See full summary »

Director: David Twohy | Stars: Jeff Daniels, Ariana Richards, Emilia Crow, Jim Haynie

Votes: 2,353

39. Acción mutante (1993)

90 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

In a future world ruled by good-looking people, a terrorist group of mutants led by Ramon Yarritu kidnap the daughter of Orujo, a rich businessman, to claim for the rights of the ugly ... See full summary »

Director: Álex de la Iglesia | Stars: Antonio Resines, Álex Angulo, Frédérique Feder, Juan Viadas

Votes: 4,703

40. Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

PG | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

When the crew of the Enterprise learn of a Federation conspiracy against the inhabitants of a unique planet, Captain Picard begins an open rebellion.

Director: Jonathan Frakes | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton

Votes: 68,639 | Gross: $70.12M

41. Screamers (1995)

R | 108 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Soldiers attempting to negotiate the end to a long-running war discover the robots they built to assassinate enemy combatants have gained sentience and are plotting against both sides.

Director: Christian Duguay | Stars: Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin, Andrew Lauer

Votes: 24,350 | Gross: $5.78M

42. Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County (1998 TV Movie)

93 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

After a mysterious blackout, a son goes out to investigate and captures footage of actual aliens. When the aliens follow him and his brothers back to their home, all hell breaks loose.

Director: Dean Alioto | Stars: Benz Antoine, Kristian Ayre, Gillian Barber, Michael Buie

Votes: 3,163

43. Intruders (1992– )

163 min | Biography, Horror, Mystery

All over the world, people report they've been visited by aliens, taken aboard spaceships and medically examined. The authorities appear to know all about these visits but won't acknowledge... See full summary »

Stars: Richard Crenna, Mare Winningham, Susan Blakely, Daphne Ashbrook

Votes: 1,203

44. White Dwarf (1995 TV Movie)

90 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

In a distant future New York, medical student Driscoll Rampart accomplishes his internship at Rusta, a rural planet that doesn't revolve around its axis and therefore is divided into ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Markle | Stars: Paul Winfield, Neal McDonough, Ele Keats, Giuseppe Andrews

Votes: 612

45. Mars Attacks! (1996)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi