The Best 90s

by Batmans_girlfriend | created - 21 Mar 2012 | updated - 01 Sep 2014 | Public

The best 90s movies I've seen so far...

A decade of rom-coms, period dramas, quality action moves, and a little Shakespeare.

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1. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

PG-13 | 135 min | Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

Photographer Robert Kincaid wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days in the 1960s.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Annie Corley, Victor Slezak

Votes: 61,483 | Gross: $71.52M

I can't praise this enough.

2. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

PG | 136 min | Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, James Fleet, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 87,175 | Gross: $43.18M

Best Jane Austen adaption by a mile. Stunning acting. Also one of Ang Lee's best films.

3. The Prince of Tides (1991)

R | 132 min | Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

A troubled man talks to his suicidal sister's psychiatrist about their family history and falls in love with her in the process.

Director: Barbra Streisand | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Nick Nolte, Blythe Danner, Kate Nelligan

Votes: 13,867 | Gross: $74.79M

Prince of Tides tends to polarise opinion - but go for it. I loved it.

Beautifully shot, intricate characters, plot, excellent narration, and also it should be praised as exceptionally well adapted from the novel, which is very long and often clumsily structured.

4. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

PG-13 | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

53 Metascore

After a bitter divorce, an actor disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children held in custody by his former wife.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein

Votes: 206,693 | Gross: $219.20M

This remains HILARIOUS.

Also infers how awful divorce is for everyone involved, without sugarcoating it, which is a great achievement for a children's film... and this isn't just for children to watch.

5. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 713,893 | Gross: $138.43M

Great dialogue. Thought-provoking.

6. Hamlet (1996)

PG-13 | 242 min | Drama

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet

Votes: 32,973 | Gross: $4.41M

Doesn't get enough credit.

Many Shakespeare adaptations tend to be on the boring side. This isn't. It remains compelling throughout. I'm surprised Kenneth Branagh didn't get an oscar for his performance and directing skill...

...people often complain it's over 4 hours long. But so what?

7. Notting Hill (1999)

PG-13 | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

The life of a simple bookshop owner changes when he meets the most famous film star in the world.

Director: Roger Michell | Stars: Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Richard McCabe, Rhys Ifans

Votes: 229,143 | Gross: $116.09M

When I think of the rom-com genre this is the movie which seems to define it.

8. Shadowlands (1993)

PG | 131 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer, and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets a spirited poet from the U.S.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, Julian Fellowes, Roddy Maude-Roxby

Votes: 14,706 | Gross: $25.84M

About C.S.Lewis. Must see. Beautifully filmed.

There's some wonderful lines, especially relating to books/poetry so if you're an English student watch it.

9. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler

Votes: 1,954,041 | Gross: $28.34M

Brutal, but you have to see it.

10. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

63 Metascore

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard

Votes: 372,424 | Gross: $285.76M

11. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

81 Metascore

Over the course of five social occasions, a committed bachelor must consider the notion that he may have discovered love.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, James Fleet, Simon Callow

Votes: 119,426 | Gross: $52.70M

First half: brilliant, hilarious, witty.

Second half: Not so good.

12. The Remains of the Day (1993)

PG | 134 min | Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, John Haycraft, Christopher Reeve

Votes: 52,415 | Gross: $22.95M

Exceptional performances and interesting story. Very slow and subtle.

13. The Fugitive (1993)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt lead by a seasoned US Marshall.

Director: Andrew Davis | Stars: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Julianne Moore

Votes: 234,004 | Gross: $183.88M

Heart-stopping in places, this is the best 90s action movie I've seen.

14. My Own Private Idaho (1991)

R | 104 min | Drama

77 Metascore

Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo, William Richert

Votes: 41,760 | Gross: $6.40M

A lose, modern adaptation of Henry IV, part I. Very strange.

River Phoenix is at his best - great performance. He plays a fascinating character - a hustler, who is a tortured soul and has a tragic past.

15. Clear and Present Danger (1994)

PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, Joaquim de Almeida

Votes: 76,693 | Gross: $122.19M

By far the best of the 'Jack Ryan' movies, the action does not supersede plot development and the villains aren't all two-dimensional. This is also a brave attempt at critiquing American government and foreign policy. Highly recommended action film.

16. Dazed and Confused (1993)

R | 102 min | Comedy

78 Metascore

The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey, Rory Cochrane

Votes: 139,286 | Gross: $7.99M

17. Shine (1996)

PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Music

87 Metascore

Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Director: Scott Hicks | Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine, Sonia Todd

Votes: 46,764 | Gross: $35.81M

Brilliant acting.

18. Postcards from the Edge (1990)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Drama

71 Metascore

A substance-addicted actress tries to look on the bright side even as she is forced to move back in with her mother to avoid unemployment.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman

Votes: 13,344 | Gross: $37.96M

Adapted from the autobiography of Carrie Fisher. Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine work well together, but I think it's Maclaine who steals the show. Film/book illustrates the difficulties of growing up with famous parents and working as an actor.

19. The Horse Whisperer (1998)

PG-13 | 170 min | Drama, Romance, Western

65 Metascore

The mother of a severely traumatized daughter enlists the aid of a unique horse trainer to help the girl's equally injured horse.

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Robert Redford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Neill, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 35,347 | Gross: $75.38M

There are elements of sentimentalism (and a rather cliched ending), but as someone who doesn't like horses too much, I really enjoyed it.

20. The Basketball Diaries (1995)

R | 102 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

46 Metascore

A teenager finds his dreams of becoming a basketball star threatened after he free falls into the harrowing world of drug addiction.

Director: Scott Kalvert | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol, James Madio

Votes: 89,416 | Gross: $2.42M

21. The Firm (1993)

R | 154 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

58 Metascore

A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook

Votes: 98,972 | Gross: $158.35M

22. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, History

87 Metascore

A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 193,031 | Gross: $100.32M

23. The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

R | 113 min | Crime, Romance, Thriller

72 Metascore

A very rich and successful playboy amuses himself by stealing artwork, but may have met his match in a seductive detective.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary, Ben Gazzara

Votes: 78,606 | Gross: $69.30M

Underrated, I feel. The music is well done, the story exciting, quite romantic, and the dialogue is pretty good.

Most people tend to prefer the original, but I found that rather dull. To be fair, Pierce Brosnan is a little wooden, and there are a few plot holes, but overall it's enjoyable.

24. Flirting (1991)

R | 99 min | Drama, Romance

Danny has been sent to boarding school, in this sequel to The Year My Voice Broke. Against a backdrop of bullying and sadistic teachers Danny strikes up an affair with an African girl, ... See full summary »

Director: John Duigan | Stars: Noah Taylor, Thandie Newton, Nicole Kidman, Bartholomew Rose

Votes: 5,183 | Gross: $2.42M

25. Mission: Impossible (1996)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

59 Metascore

An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Henry Czerny

Votes: 333,348 | Gross: $180.98M

26. Howards End (1992)

PG | 142 min | Drama, Romance

89 Metascore

A businessman thwarts his wife's bequest of an estate to another woman.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter

Votes: 24,184 | Gross: $25.97M

27. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, Romance

60 Metascore

Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.

Director: Baz Luhrmann | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, Harold Perrineau

Votes: 186,262 | Gross: $46.35M

I can't remember this too well. Will be watching again soon.

28. The Age of Innocence (1993)

PG | 139 min | Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Linda Faye Farkas

Votes: 41,080 | Gross: $32.20M

29. Immortal Beloved (1994)

R | 121 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved, and the movie tries to ... See full summary »

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini, Johanna ter Steege

Votes: 20,809 | Gross: $9.91M

Exquisite and haunting in places. Perhaps a bit too long. A brave film which truthfully (rather than hero-worshiping) examines the character of Beethoven.

30. The Insider (1999)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

84 Metascore

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora

Votes: 144,515 | Gross: $28.97M

31. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

A pretty, popular teenager can't go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does.

Director: Gil Junger | Stars: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik

Votes: 253,296 | Gross: $38.18M

32. Sleepers (1996)

R | 147 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

49 Metascore

After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized. Over ten years later, they get their chance for revenge.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric

Votes: 168,051 | Gross: $49.10M

Haunting film. Don't watch it if you're feeling fragile. Strong themes of abuse.

33. Peter's Friends (1992)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Six former college friends, with two new friends, gather for a New Year's Eve weekend reunion at a large English countryside manor after ten years to reminisce about the good times now long gone.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh

Votes: 9,300 | Gross: $4.06M

If there wasn't so much arguing in this I would place it higher up on my list, as it's actually very good. Fairly stunning performance by Imelda Staunton as a grieving mother.

34. Sliding Doors (1998)

PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

59 Metascore

A London woman's love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train. We see it both ways, in parallel.

Director: Peter Howitt | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch, Jeanne Tripplehorn

Votes: 57,006 | Gross: $11.88M

35. Emma (1996)

PG | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

While matchmaking for friends and neighbours, a young 19th Century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cosmo, Greta Scacchi, Alan Cumming

Votes: 31,041 | Gross: $22.20M

Gwyneth Paltrow is good as Emma... in fact the casting is great, but the movie is... sentimental, and Jane Austen is NEVER sentimental. Worth watching, though.

36. School Ties (1992)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama

65 Metascore

Set in the 1950s, a star-quarterback is given an opportunity to attend an elite preparatory school but must conceal the fact that he is Jewish.

Director: Robert Mandel | Stars: Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell, Randall Batinkoff

Votes: 19,727 | Gross: $14.72M

37. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

52 Metascore

James Bond heads to stop a media mogul's plan to induce war between China and the UK in order to obtain exclusive global media coverage.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher

Votes: 161,650 | Gross: $125.33M

38. The Virgin Suicides (1999)

R | 97 min | Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents in suburban Detroit in the mid-1970s.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, Kathleen Turner

Votes: 128,948 | Gross: $4.86M

39. The Man in the Iron Mask (I) (1998)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure

48 Metascore

The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

Director: Randall Wallace | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gérard Depardieu

Votes: 139,286 | Gross: $56.97M

Not one of Di Caprio's great roles by a long way. The predominately American accents rather detract from the believability of this French story. Gabriel Byrne and Jeremy Irons rescue it. Very exciting in places, tedious in others.

40. Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

PG-13 | 136 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

True story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber who became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China's takeover of Tibet.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, BD Wong, Mako

Votes: 107,054 | Gross: $37.96M

Brad Pit was the wrong person to pick for this role. Sad because otherwise it's really fascinating and moving in places.

41. Days of Thunder (1990)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Drama, Sport

60 Metascore

A young hot-shot stock car driver gets his chance to compete at the top level.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid

Votes: 67,708 | Gross: $82.67M

Very obvious. Personally I like obvious Tom Cruise movies, but if you're not generally a fan, don't bother. It's basically 'Top Gun' but with cars instead of planes.

42. An Ideal Husband (I) (1999)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Romance

67 Metascore

Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed.... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Parker | Stars: Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Peter Vaughan, Minnie Driver

Votes: 13,874 | Gross: $18.54M

43. Batman Returns (1992)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy

68 Metascore

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken

Votes: 240,256 | Gross: $162.83M

44. Hackers (1995)

PG-13 | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

46 Metascore

This movie is about hackers who are blamed for making a virus that will capsize 5 oil tankers.

Director: Iain Softley | Stars: Jonny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie, Jesse Bradford, Matthew Lillard

Votes: 59,232 | Gross: $7.56M

45. 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: 1,404,700 | Gross: $171.48M

Influential film which has dated quickly.

46. American Beauty (1999)

R | 122 min | Drama

86 Metascore

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley

Votes: 939,302 | Gross: $130.10M