By Kaylee Brewster
The ’90s gave the world a good chunk of films. Films that are now classics, cult films, part of pop culture and groundbreaking for their time.
Here are some ’90s movies to remember
These not only helped to define the decade, but also give future generations something to look back on and say, “That’s what the ’90s looked like?”
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan teamed up twice to give the ’90s some of its best rom-coms: “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail.” The Space Needle in Seattle will never be the same, and the early days of the internet and AOL are preserved forever.
Jane Austen’s “Emma” is retold through the fads and fashions of ’90s Beverly Hills in “Clueless.” Even though the styles might have changed, the themes of the movie haven’t (and neither has Paul Rudd).
“Groundhog Day” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” are two comedies that have made audiences laugh since they released in 1993. The repetition of “Groundhog Day” is now a well-known trope, and “Mrs. Doubtfire” showed the struggles of family splits through laughter and tears.
Then there are some ’90s films that have reached cult status. “The Big Lebowski” and “Fargo” — both by the Coen brothers — are dark or quirky comedies with a cast of oddball characters, including Steve Buscemi in both.
Quientin Tarantino is at his finest in “Pulp Fiction” which combines crime, violence and philosophical discussions.
David Fincher’s “Fight Club” takes all the angst of the decade and piles it into one movie. Thanks to this film, we all know that the first rule of fight club is we don’t talk about fight club.
- Night Shyamalan’s break-out hit “The Sixth Sense” gave us an unseen twist at the end and the classic line, “I see dead people.”
All these films not only gained cult status, but helped define the careers of their directors for decades to come.
Some films have carved their names into the pantheon of pop culture status. What would our world be without the epic song “My Heart Will Go On” and debates on whether or not Jack and Rose could have fit onto that floating piece of door in “Titanic.”
Kevin McCallister in “Home Alone” as a one-child home security system, with the recurring scream scene in the bathroom and the clever way he pays for pizza, is a must-see Christmas movie.
Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” is the dinosaur-chasing film that gave us lines like “clever girl” and Jeff Goldblum’s “life finds a way” among others. Another often-quoted film is “Forrest Gump,” featuring pop culture fad cameos and celebrities of the 20th century.
Animation dominated ’90s films and gave Disney a resurgence with “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin” and “Mulan.”
“Beauty and the Beast” was the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Since 1994, people everywhere have been holding up their pets and children and singing “The Circle of Life” at the top of their lungs. Robins Williams in “Aladdin” changed voice acting forever. “Mulan” gave girls a heroine who fights with a sword to the beat of “I’ll Make a Man Out You,” while also questioning her identity in the song “Reflection.”
The ’90s also launched Pixar with “Toy Story” in 1995, and the studio has been releasing kid-friendly films that make adults cry ever since.
Films of the ’90s also broke ground on special effects and storytelling.
Two horror films changed the genre forever. The slasher flick “Scream” inspired sequels and spoofs and made anyone who is home alone terrified to answer the phone.
Found footage horror films began with “The Blair Witch Project,” leading some to believe the whole thing was real. Nothing like it had been done before. Films that followed the trope in the years since haven’t been as successful in convincing audiences that what they’re seeing really happened.
“The Matrix” blew audiences away with stunning special effects that pushed the line for what was visually possible (not to mention the now iconic Matrix-style, bending-over-backward bullet-dodging move).
“Thelma and Louise” wasn’t groundbreaking in special effects, but it shattered the mold for how women were portrayed in film. The movie about two women running from the law on a road trip gone wild made waves and changed expectations for female characters on screen.
Where to stream
Netflix: “Groundhog Day,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Mulan,” “Scream”
Amazon Prime: “Thelma and Louise”
Starz: “The Big Lebowski,” “Fargo,”