Every '90s Movie You Really Love, Ranked
As if you could come up with a better list
Collage photos via Columbia Pictures Corporation and Twentieth Century Fox Films
Nostalgia for the '90s has been going pretty strong for the last five years or so, and we can only say that we fully support it. After all, the decade was filled with undeniably amazing things, like velvet chokers, high-waisted jeans, crop tops, and really good beanies. Beyond fashion, though, there was great beauty in the '90s. So. Much. Lip liner. And beyond that? Well, there were some pretty sick movies. Here, then, is a list of 91 '90s movies we really, really love, at least a little bit (and sometimes only a little bit), ranked in order from best to worst. Oh, NB: Some of them might not exactly be movies per se, but all are undoubtedly cinematic experiences. So, there should be no argument with any of these selections. This is, after all, a definitive list of that most cinematic of decades. Winona Forever.
91) Forrest Gump (1994): Totally, wildly overrated. But we're suckers for Robin Wright. So.
90) American Beauty (1999): Totally, wildly overrated. But we liked it the first time we saw it when we were very, very young. And Six Feet Under is pretty good.
89) Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s It Takes Two (1995): They were so young once. We all were.
88) Romeo + Juliet (1996): Come for the amazing soundtrack. Stay for that and Claire Danes' wailing death sob.
87) Beethoven (1992): We wish we'd had a dog babysitter.
86) The Blair Witch Project (1999): Never leave the city.
85) My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997): In which Julia Roberts is an old maid at the age of 29.
84) Trainspotting (1996): Never look at a toilet the same way again.
83) Soul Food (1997): Why isn't Vanessa Williams in every movie?
82) Mrs. Doubtfire (1993): The cinematic masterpiece that gave the world the term "drive by fruiting." It's come in handy for us more than once. (It's come in handy for us twice.)
81) A River Runs Through It (1992): Brad Pitt goes fishing.
80) Legends of the Fall (1994): Brad Pitt has long hair.
79) Thelma and Louise (1991): Brad Pitt has a butt. Also, we love a good road trip!
78) Dumb and Dumber (1994): We want a dog van.
77) Cry-Baby (1990): John Waters made a movie about Johnny Depp crying for two hours.
76) That one-hour long episode of Friends with Julia Roberts and Jean-Claude Van Damme and a monkey (1995): This was weirder than any John Waters movie when you really think about it.
75) Serial Mom (1994): Except this one, which is very weird.
74) Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s How the West Was Fun (1994): Worth mentioning for the title alone. The '90s were all about good puns.
73) The first few episodes of Sex and the City, where Carrie frequently breaks the fourth wall (1998): And speaking of good puns, SatC had some great ones. And some terrible ones.
72) Good Will Hunting (1997): This is actually not a good movie. It's a bad movie. But: It's a great hate-watch.
71) I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997): Jennifer Love Hewitt's second best movie of the decade.
70) Can’t Hardly Wait (1998): Jennifer Love Hewitt's first best movie of the decade. "Aman-duhhh."
69) Batman Returns (1992): Meow.
68) Dead Presidents (1995): Don't rob banks, kids. No matter how much your government has screwed you over. Which, lots, probably.
67) Fight Club (1999): Brad Pitt is back, now with more imaginary Helena Bonham Carter.
66) Titanic (1997): The second most amount of sexual tension Kate Winslet had with a co-star in a movie this decade. And also? The raft was big enough for two! SMH.
65) Heavenly Creatures (1994): The first most amount of sexual tension Kate Winslet had with a co-star in a movie this decade.
64) Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Passport to Paris (1999): What can't these two do?
63) Waiting to Exhale (1995): Men are pretty much the worst.
62) Gridlock’d (1997): Actually, heroin is pretty much the worst.
61) Se7en (1995): Actually, Kevin Spacey is pretty much the worst. (See #90)
60) The premiere of Michael Jackson’s video for “Remember the Time” (1992): Iman is, in fact, a queen.
59) 10 Things I Hate about You (1999): Heath:(
58) Home Alone (1990): Never use after-shave, kids.
57) Girl, Interrupted (1999): Never co-star in a movie with Angelina Jolie, kids. She'll eat up every scene.
56) Starship Troopers (1997): Best thing Denise Richards ever did, other than divorcing Charlie Sheen.
55) The Bodyguard (1992): Where were you when you found out "I Will Always Love You" was initially recorded by Dolly Parton? (It still surprises us to this day.)
54) Mermaids (1990): Winona + Cher + baby Christina Ricci = everything
53) What’s Love Got to Do with It? (1993): Leave Angela Bassett alone!
52) The 1997 MTV VMAs (1997): What? This is longer than a movie but more interesting than most. Also: Fiona!
51) The 1993 MTV VMAs (1993): And: Kurt!
50) The entire abbreviated first season of My So-Called Life, seen back-to-back (1994-95): We think this is when "ugly crying" entered the lexicon.
49) Scream 2 (1997): Sequels are never as good as the originals.
48) Scream (1996): Especially when the originals have Drew Barrymore being the perfect victim.
47) Billy Madison (1995): Remember when Adam Sandler was funny?
46) Kalifornia (1993): Spelling things with a "k" instead of a "c" was so prescient.
45) Boyz N the Hood (1991): The copy editor in us really hates that the "N" is capitalized.
44) Hook (1991): Ruffio!
43) The Lion King (1994): Many people think this is the best animated film of the '90s.
42) Toy Story (1995): But it's really this.
41) Princess Mononoke (1997): Nah, it's this.
40) Out of Sight (1998): Why don't George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez star together in every movie?
39) The River Wild (1994): This is a good movie to think of when playing "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon."
38) Menace II Society (1993): But seriously, whatever happened to Larenz Tate?
37) Election (1999): Ur-Reese.
36) Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995): The most depressing movie you've ever seen.
35) Edward Scissorhands (1990): Why scissors? Was there literally nothing else around?
34) Sister Act (1992): Remember how we said that sequels are never better than originals?
33) Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993): This movie is the exception to the rule. The Lauryn Hill exception.
32) Pretty Woman (1990): Yeah, turns out, we love an ode to capitalism.
31) Natural Born Killers (1994): Mickey and Mallory, the ultimate twisted love story.
30) Jurassic Park (1993): Is it wrong that we still think a dinosaur amusement park is a good idea?
29) The Big Lebowski (1998): Is it wrong how often we still tell people that a rug really ties a room together?
28) Friday (1995): Bye, Felisha.
27) Selena (1997): Jennifer Lopez is actually a really good actress? Ben Affleck should never have happened to her.
26) Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992): Perfect except for the Donald Trump cameo. Which is also, actually, perfect.
25) What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1998): Juliette Lewis is the low-key queen of the '90s.
24) The Usual Suspects (1995): We actually gasped at the ending.
23) Buffalo ‘66 (1998): Christina Ricci in a bowling alley. Yes.
22) Slums of Beverly Hills (1998): Natasha Lyonne is and always has been incredible.
21) Crooklyn (1994): Before Brooklyn became whatever it is today.
20) Reality Bites (1994): You know this movie is good because we actually get emotional when watching a love scene soundtracked by U2.
19) Malcolm X (1992): Denzel Washington is the best actor alive.
18) Silence of the Lambs (1991): Will never be able to see lotion in a basket without getting freaked out.
17) Poetic Justice (1993): One of the most beautiful love stories ever. Plus: Janet! And: Tupac!
16) The premiere of Michael Jackson’s video for “Black or White” (1991): What we wouldn't have paid to see this on the big screen.
15) Reservoir Dogs (1992): Come for the illuminating lesson on Madonna lyrics, stay for the, uh, great dance scene.
14) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1992): Last example of a sincere thumbs-up in cinematic history? Maybe.
13) Wild at Heart (1990): Why isn't Laura Dern in everything?
12) Boogie Nights (1997): Why isn't Julianne Moore in everything? (Alternatively: Mark Wahlberg should never be in anything again.)
11) Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992): Does this movie make no sense? Or all the sense?
10) Kids (1995): Come for the great ringer tees, stay for the insane performances by Chloë, Rosario, and Leo. (Not that Leo.)
9) Do the Right Thing (1989): Not the '90s! Doesn't matter. One of the best movies of all time. Fight the power.
8) The Craft (1996): Witches are always relevant.
7) Spice World (1993): The Spice Girls are, strangely enough, also always relevant.
6) Cruel Intentions (1999): We still really want Sarah Michelle Gellar's necklace from this movie.
5) Pulp Fiction (1994): We still really want Uma Thurman's haircut from this movie. (We know it's a wig. Not. The. Point.)
4) Groundhog Day (1993): Ned Ryerson!
3) True Romance (1993): You're so cool.
2) House Party (1990): Best dance scene ever. Learn it. Live it. Get ready for everyone to fall in love with you.
1) Clueless (1995): As if any other movie would be number one. As. If.