The Best Films of the 90’s

The films of the ’90s are often held in high regard, in this post I will use some subjective knowledge as well as scores from Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB and Letterboxd. I am defining a 90s film simply as a film that was released in the 90 not just filmed in the 90s.

What dictates ‘The Best Film?’

A good film can simply be many things, it can have amazing reviews and be held in high regard, other times it can have a cult following.

A great example of this is Heathers, it has a huge cult following, and is even a fully-fledged musical. It flopped hard at the box office and picked up steam after. Although it isn’t actually a 90’s film due to it realising in 1989 it is a personal favourite of mine. You can watch Heathers on Amazon Prime in the UK at the time of publishing this.

Essentially this blog post is just a culmination of some of my favourite 90’s movies, their review scores (audience score from Rotten Tomatoes) and where you can find them to stream or purchase.

So… what is first up?

The Mask (1994)

This film is why I still low-key love Jim Carrey. I know that can be a sore subject so we will move on relatively swiftly however, his acting style and physicality are incredible, as were the special effects for the time.

How does The Mask Score on review sites?

You can find The Mask to stream on Netflix UK.

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

This film really isn’t Leo’s best work, is it? I remember falling to sleep in the back of a GCSE English lesson when they forced us to watch it. Since then I’ve revisited and still struggled to keep my eyes open. At the time I’m sure Leo managed to turn a few heads but ultimately it’s a no from me.

The only reason why it made it onto this list is that the Rotten Tomatoes audience score was higher than I guessed it would be and because Baz Luhrmann directed.

How does Romeo + Juliet Score on review sites?

You can find William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet to stream on Disney+.

The Iron Giant (1999)

The Iron Giant has made adults and children cry all across the globe for more than two decades now. There is no surprise that it scores as high as it does. Animation excellence that makes you feel all sorts of emotions in a 90-minute spectacular. 

How does The Iron Giant Score on review sites?

The Iron Giant is available to stream on Netflix UK.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

An all-star cast of greats in their prime featuring: Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman and John Travolta. Pulp Fiction will always be a lot of film bro’s favourites. If you’ve never watched it I’d fully recommend it, Pulp Fiction keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat.

I went to watch Pulp Fiction in the Cinema when they reopened for the first time after the pandemic hit and it was an experience like no other.

How does Pulp Fiction Score on review sites?

Unfortunately, Pulp Fiction is not available on streaming services at the time of writing this article. It used to be on Netflix UK but they appear to have taken it off. You can buy or rent Pulp Fiction on Amazon Prime or YouTube for around £2.50.

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

Quite frankly the first time I watched The Silence Of The Lambs I almost shit myself. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins do an amazing job in this film. It is considered one of the most influential films of all time, especially its poster, which is instantly recognisable to any film buff and has directly influenced film posters for generations since.

How does The Silence Of The Lambs Score on review sites?

The Silence Of The Lambs is available to stream on Amazon Prime UK as a part of your monthly subscription.

Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club is a film that’s famous for it’s quotes and psychological trickery. It features a good twist and keeps you guessing. It also helps that Brad Pitt is shredded and easy on the eyes.

The violence and gore in this film is not for the faint hearted, it regularly features toe-curling fights that made me want to look away from the screen. As per usual Helena Bonham Carter gives up a camp performance that is not easily forgotten for all of the right reasons.

How does Fight Club Score on review sites?

Fight Club is on Netflix UK and is a must-see if you haven’t already.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

If I am being honest I’ve never seen Eyes Wide Shut, only heard about it. This film contains lots of harsh language, full-frontal nudity and supposedly some thrills, although I can’t confirm that for myself.

How does Eyes Wide Shut Score on review sites?

Eyes Wide Shut is not available on streaming services and there may be a reason for that… It is available for purchase on Amazon, Google Play and Apple TV for around £3.50

American Beauty (1999)

When released American Beauty rose to critical acclaim and has stayed there, even if Kevin Spacey is in it. If dark humour is you gab and you don’t mind putting up with Spacey  American Beauty is the film for you.

Sam Mendes deserves a mention here, he is a great director and it shows, I didn’t realise he had made his directorial debut with this film until I was doing research for this post, his other films include but are not limited to: 1917, Skyfall and Revolutionary Road. Sam has also directed stage musicals in his time.

How does American Beauty Score on review sites?

American Beauty is free to watch with ads on Amazon Prime.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park is one of the films that shaped my childhood. The dinosaurs fascinated me growing up, especially the way they achieved the special effects. John Williams’ music, as always, is incredible. If you’ve not seen Jurassic Park what’re you doing?

Netflix has released an incredible docu-series called “The Movies That Made Us” that goes behind the scenes of films are made. Jurassic Park features in one of the episodes and it details how Laura Dern acted with the SFX dinosaurs. Well worth the watch if you’ve got an hour spare.

How does Jurassic Park Score on review sites?

Jurassic Park is not currently available on any streaming services but you can buy and rent it from the usual places.

Beauty and The Beast (1991)

Tale as old as time, film as good as can be. This Disney classic was reimagined in 2017, however, nothing can beat the original. The rose has become an iconic and instantly recognisable symbol synonymous with the film itself. 

Beauty and The Beast would be in the top 10 of this list if there was one for sure.

Beauty and the Beast Score on review sites?

You can find Beauty and The Beast available to stream on Disney+

The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman show is a classic Jim Carry film that has aged surprisingly well. It features a man who relives his life over and over again and has thought out storyline that not only tugs on the heartstrings, but also makes you laugh a couple of times.

How does The Truman Show Score on review sites?

The Truman Show is not currently available on any streaming service, but is available to buy or rent on Amazon and Google Play. 

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The market for war films was saturated in the 90s but the most iconic one is by far Saving Private Ryan, my grandfather still hails this as the best war film. If you ask anyone to name a war film I can almost guarantee they’ll say one of the following: Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk or Hacksaw Ridge. 

How does Saving Private Ryan  Score on review sites?

You can find Saving Private Ryan on Netflix.

Toy Story (1995)

Toy Story cemented Pixar in the children’s film industry and changed the way the whole industry creates animations. Looking back compared to what we have now Toy Storys’ animation looks crude and rudimentary, however at the time it was state of the art, look how far we’ve come!

How does Toy Story Score on review sites?

Toy Story can be streamed on Disney+

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Another Tarantino classic for the list! Reservoir Dogs is held in extremely high regard as one of his best, if not gory films. This particular film was his directorial debut and was received well. It was so gory on release that it was banned from being released on video for 2 years in the UK. 

How does Reservoir Dogs Score on review sites?

Reservoir Dogs can be streamed on Starz Play, which is different to Disney+’ Star offering. 

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Robin Williams, what more could you want?!? This psychological thriller delves deep into the psyche of an untapped genius unsurprisingly called Will Hunting. It won a lot of awards, including a golden globe for best screenplay and an oscar for best supporting actor for Robin Williams.

How does Good Will Hunting Score on review sites?

You can rent or buy Good Will Hunting on Amazon or the Google Play Store starting from £2.49

Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray stars in Groundhog Day, it uses the same sort of concept as The Truman Show, someone wakes up and relives the same day over and over again.  Per the audience scores The Truman Show actually pips Groundhog Day to the post and scores better, however, Groundhog Day has a hit broadway musical, and the other does not.

Groundhog Day is also mentioned in our article on the best films under 90 minutes.

How does Groundhog Day Score on review sites?

Groundhog Day is not available to stream on any services, I had assumed it was a Disney film, but that is not correct. You can pay to rent or buy Groundhog Day on Amazon or the Google Play Store.

Titanic (1997)

When doing research I was surprised that Titanic wasn’t rated higher. Kate Winslet and Leonardo Decaprio play lovers on the sinking Titanic. The film was seen all across the whole of the world and is loved by many. 

How does Titanic Score on review sites?

The Titanic is on Disney+. 

Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin is world-renowned as one of the best Disney films. The soundtrack by Alan Menken is elite and even the more recent live-action remake saw commercial success. Robin Williams (rest in peace) also stars in Aladdin as the lovable genie and his performance alone makes it worth watching.

How does Aladdin Score on review sites?

Aladdin is available to stream on Disney+

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

This Halloween/Christmas spectacular has divided people for decades. Is it a Christmas film or a Halloween film?! I’d personally say it is a film that can be watched year-round. Tim Burton has injected his personal style into every nook and cranny of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Jack and Sally are characters that are loved by millions of both adults and children. The musical score by Danny Elfman is widely renowned as one of the best of all time. It was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Original Score but lost to Heaven & Earth, a tragedy to be completely honest. 

How does The Nightmare Before Christmas Score on review sites?

You can watch The Nightmare Before Christmas on Disney+. There was also a Documentary called ‘The Holiday Movies That Made Us’ that showed behind-the-scenes information as well as interviews with the cast and crew. Unfortunately, Netflix has taken down both episodes of the documentary.

Scream (1996)

What’s your favourite scary movie reader? Wes Andersons Scream redefined the horror movie genre in one clean sweep. Some of the sequels are hit or miss but the first film is still as thrilling all these years later. You want to route for Sidney Prescott, the careful direction really makes you care for her.

Scream is a film with a twist that you do not want to miss. 

How does Scream Score on review sites?

You can’t find Scream on any streaming services in the United Kingdom, however, you can buy it digitally for £5.99 on Amazon.

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is a classic like no other. Mike Myers is an internationally revered actor with a lot of accolades under his belt. The Spy Who Shagged me is a direct sequel to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and second installment of the Austin Powers trilogy. 

The Spy Who Shagged Me features the return of Dr. Evil and pokes fun at the common tropes associated with spy films like James Bond. This particular film is full of some great humour but may not be quite right for some more liberal minded people.

How does Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Score on review sites?

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is available to stream on Netflix.

Cool Runnings (1994)

Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time! Cool Runnings made its way onto our screens in 1994 and people have not stopped watching it since. It’s filled with good vibes, humour and a very important message. 

Cool Runnings is actually very loosely based on a true story with one of the original team members saying about 1% of the film is accurate.

How does Cool Runnings Score on review sites?

You can watch Cool Runnings on Disney+.

Independence Day (1996)

This all-star cast of Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith and Bill Pullman make up a great gang of people that band together to save the human race. This film takes the viewer on a thrilling adventure as Aliens take over and destroy major cities across the world. 

How does Independence Day Score on review sites?

Independence Day is available to stream on Disney+.

Matilda (1996)

I expected Matilda to have a better score on the review sites. The Trunchbull is an incredible antagonist that has inspired messy buns around the world. Matilda the Musical is being turned into a film releasing later this year (2022).

Matilda has inspired generations of young girls to stand up for themselves and has helped them figure out what is right and what is wrong. The film is known for a few famous quotes such as ‘Thats not right’ and ‘I’m big you’re small’.

How does Matilda Score on review sites?

You can watch Matilda on Netflix in the UK.

Mission: Impossible (1996)

The first Mission: Impossible film helped to generate a genre and catapulted Tom Cruise into further acclaim. By the time Mission Impossible released Cruise had already starred in 17 films and has since been in 34 films.

Mission: Impossible follows Ethan Hunt, an undercover spy that has to investigate the killings of the IMF team from the Mission: Impossible TV show.

How does Mission: Impossible Score on review sites?

Mission: Impossible is not currently available on any streaming services but is available to rent and buy on Amazon and the Google Play Store.

Newsies (1992)

Newsies probably shouldn’t be on this list to be completely honest, but it is one of my favourite films so I couldn’t not include it in a ‘Best Films Of The 90s’’ list. Newsies is based on the 1899 newspaper strike in New York City. 

Christian Bale stars as our leading man, Jack Kelly. Christian is an incredible dancer in this movie musical, however he doesn’t actually sing. He is lip syncing throughout. Although he was in ¾ films before Newsies release this was his first major release. Newsies features incredible choreography and songs by Alan Menkin, a renowned composer. 

Newsies originally did not do well in the box office and Disney actually forgot about it for a while. In 2011 Newsies the stage musical had its debut at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey and then transferred to Broadway. It was a huge success and has since been released as a proshoot on Disney+. Newsies is going to open in London in November 2022. 

How does Newsies Score on review sites?

Both the pro shoot of the stage musical and the film are available to stream on Disney+.

What is the best 90s movie of all time?

Pulp Fiction is the best-reviewed film of the 90s. If you look at the review site scores above you’ll see that Pulp Fiction has the highest audience score of 96%, because let’s face it, professional critics can be… harsh.

What are the best 90s movies on Amazon Prime?

This list features 3 movies on Amazon Prime: The Silence of The Lambs and American Beauty, however those aren’t the only 90s films on Prime. Other incredible 90s films on prime are Super Mario Bros, 10 things I Hate About You and Armageddon. 

I remember watching Armageddon with my dad when I was younger and being absolutely terrified, its an incredible thriller that probably should’ve been on this list in hindsight. 

What are the best 90s movies on Netflix?

Other than Disney+ Netflix has the widest selection of 90s films available on a streaming service. Its long list includes The Mask, Iron Giant, Fight Club, Saving Private Ryan, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Matilda. 

If you take advantage of the streaming services search bar you’ll be able to search ‘90s films’ and be greeted by a long lost of films from the 90s.

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