The 1990s was an incredible decade for cinema. Looking back at the movies released during these years, it is incredibly hard to pick out a handful. But we have tried. Our editors have spoken, here are our favorite movies from the 1990s. Even though you might have seen these in the past, you’d probably want to rewatch one or two after looking at this list. They remind us of a time in cinema before CGI or out-of-this-world-big-budget-superhero universes, a time when movies were judged on their storytelling and pure filmmaking. Let’s get nostalgic!
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Pulp Fiction (1994, IMDb: 8.9)
Starting off this list is probably one of Quentin Tarantino’s best movies. Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman, the cast is also one of the best ensembles of characters ever. The story follows the lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits as they intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. As we have gotten to know the crazy mind of Tarantino, Pulp Fiction is probably the ultimate example of his chaotic but insanely entertaining way of telling stories. Clearly one of the best movies of the 1990s.
This movie needs no introduction. It is not only one of the best movies of the 1990s, but one of the best movies ever made. If the first movie you ever saw was The Shawshank Redemption, you don’t need to watch any other. Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. This is the pinnacle of cinema. We’ll be seeing you in Zihuatanejo.
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino, Lorraine Bracco…do we need to continue? Oh yes, also directed by Martin Scorsese. That will tell you everything you need to know about this mafia-crime-drama. Goodfellas is the story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob. It is without a doubt the product of a great director at the peak of his talents. If you haven’t watched Goodfellas yet, or know someone who hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing it, this is your calling to watch this fantastic movie. One of the best movies of the 1990s.
Steven Spielberg will go down in history as one of the best and most influential filmmakers of all time. This heart-breaking but seriously good war film is one of his best movies. Tom Hanks shines as the commander of a group of U.S. soldiers who go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. The terrors of WW2 and the emotional bond between those who experienced it first handedly is beautifully portrayed in this classic. A movie worth watching time and time again.
Fight Club has probably become more of a cultural icon than a classic movie. Edward Norton plays an insomniac office worker who stumbles upon a mysterious soap maker. Together they form an underground fight club that spirals out of control. This movie is clever in many ways, and it offers one of the greatest plot twists in cinema history which is why it makes our list of the best movies released in the 1990s.
Have you ever felt like you were being watched at all times? Or like the world revolved around you, and only you? In this classic comedy-drama, a kind-hearted insurance salesman, Truman Burbank, discovers his entire life is a lie. Since birth, his life is actually a reality TV show directed by a manipulative television producer. As an ambitious explorer at heart, Truman tries to piece together the puzzle and find his way out of this nightmarish-reality he thought was his life. This is undoubtedly one of our favorite movies of all time.
Toy Story is one hour and 21 minutes of pure nostalgia and entertainment. Who would have thought animated dolls could influence us in such ways? The story follows a cowboy doll who becomes jealous when a new spaceman action figure threatens him as the best toy in a boy’s bedroom. Although Toy Story was released 27 years ago, it is still one of the best and most beloved animated movies ever made. And definitely one of the best movies from the 1990s.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck made their writing-debut with this Oscar winning drama. Starring alongside Robin Williams, Damon plays a janitor at M.I.T. with a special gift for mathematics. But he is lost in life. To help shape his bright future, he gets help from a psychologist to find direction and make the right choices. This movie is probably one of the best emotional roller coasters ever made. Through laughter and tears, this movie left us inspired and deeply moved. In other words, one of the best movies of the 1990s.
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