If you enjoyed our trip down memory lane with our list of movies that defined the 80s, you are sure to fall in love with our next list. Most of us vividly remember the 90s, which were spent dancing to the beats of the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, comparing Lisa Frank collectibles, and donning colorful clothes (and friendship bracelets!). But with great music and fashion that defined the era came great cinema as well. Here is our list of 20 must-see movies released between 1990 and 1999:
1. Titanic (1997)
One of the most popular, highest grossing, tear-jerking movies of all time. This ill-fated love story of lovers Rose and Jack made us cry buckets back when it was released. And let’s face it, even all these years later, our tears run as deep as the Atlantic when we watch this flick.
2. Pretty Woman (1990)
One of the most defining films of the 90s, Pretty Woman is a modern-day fairy tale that shows how its not impossible to turn things around (in any situation) and how there is love for everyone.
3. Clueless (1995)
The 90s also had its fair share of high school-based movies, one of the most defining of which is Clueless. It was even used as inspiration for one of Iggy Azalea’s music videos! It basically centers on the life of popular girl Cher Horowitz and the life and social issues she encounters along the way to finding love in the last place she looked for it.
4. Home Alone (1990)
Gosh, Macaulay Culkin was a cute little kid. We all remember how he played a boy who was accidentally left behind when his family left for a Christmas vacation. He then had to deal with two burglars who had targeted his home for their nefarious plans.
5. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
It’s been 25 years, but it’s funny to think that some people have forgotten Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp were once an item! Well, we didn’t—and we remember so clearly how they gave us all the feels we could want in Edward Scissorhands, a story about an unfinished artificial man who gets taken in by a local family and falls in love with their teenage daughter.
6. Forrest Gump (1994)
The movie follows the life of loving and naive Forrest Gump. Despite being a little, well, slow, Forrest was able to go through life and have his own share of success. In the end, he had a family and more success than anyone could have predicted. Be warned, though—if you haven’t seen this yet, watch it with tissues on hand!
7. Jurassic Park (1993)
What if dinosaurs still roamed the land? Well they do—in Jurassic Park, a movie that filled us with awe, wonder, and fear when we first saw it in the early 90s. It had a couple of sequels, and recently we saw a reboot of the franchise. Jurassic World starred Chris Pratt and broke records on the box office its first weekend, and a big reason for that is because so many of us loved the original movie.
8. Free Willy (1993)
Here’s a film that never failed to make our hearts melt back when we were kids, Free Willy is the story of how a 12-year-old boy befriended and helped a whale named Willy return to the wild and rejoin his family.
9. Toy Story (1995)
Of course, this movie just had to make our list. The 90s was full of well-loved films and Toy Story was among the best of them. Whoever thought that toys might lead their own lives when the kids who play with them aren’t around, after all?
10. Matilda (1996)
Another well-loved film that helped define the ’90s is Matilda, the story of a little girl blessed with telekinetic powers. It’s based off a much-loved children’s book you probably were also a fan of back then too!
11. She’s All That (1999)
Oh yes! Freddie Prinze Jr. was many a girl’s onscreen crush back in the day. The movie follows him in his role as Zack as he tries to transform a nerdy Rachel Leigh Cook into a prom queen in a matter of weeks.
12. The Matrix (1999)
Another movie headlined by a 90s hottie, this sci-fi film may have a highly technical plot, but its action scenes and effects were cutting edge back then! Plus, who didn’t wonder if they would’ve taken the red pill or the blue pill?
13. The Addams Family (1991)
While you can trace this decidedly eccentric (and occasionally homicidal) family’s history to the 60s, their reboot in the 90s made them some of the most recognizable characters of the decade.
14. The Bodyguard (1992)
Starring actor Kevin Costner and singer Whitney Houston, this unforgettable movie from the 90s is the story of an Oscar-nominated music superstar who gets swept off her feet by her handsome bodyguard.
15. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
This 90s take on the classic Shakespearean love story truly made us fall in love… with Leonardo di Caprio. Kidding! Kind of. Anyway, di Caprio and actress Claire Danes were certainly able to pull off this attempt to modernize a centuries-old tale.
16. The Parent Trap (1998)
A young Lindsay Lohan played twins who got separated when they were babies and grew up never knowing about each other’s existence in this reboot of a classic family flick. The twins eventually exchange lives, and each gets to spend time with the parent they never knew.
17. Men in Black (1997)
If the 80s had the Ghostbusters to help save the world from supernatural beings, the 90s had the Men in Black. In this movie, a veteran MIB agent played by Tommy Lee Jones pairs up with rookie Will Smith to investigate extraterrestrial activity on Earth.
18. Ghost (1990)
After dying, Sam (played by Patrick Swayze) returns as a ghost and struggles to protect the love of his life Molly (played by Demi Moore). He enlists the help of a psychic, played by Whoopi Goldberg, to communicate with Molly from the other side.
19. Schindler’s List (1993)
Based on events that took place during World War II, this historical drama follows German Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson), who saved over a thousand Jews by hiring them as employees. If you’re a fan of Steven Spielberg, this is probably on your list of must-see movies.
20. Father of the Bride (1991)
This comedy film follows the struggles of a father (played by Steve Martin) getting ready to bring his little girl to the altar. While there were a lot of comedic moments in this film, we definitely got the feels from seeing how much Steve Martin’s character loved his daughter.
The 90s is surely a decade close to our hearts. It represents a time when life was simpler and somehow more fun (since many of us were kids or teenagers at the time). If you’re hoping to recapture that feeling, why not have a movie marathon featuring a few of these films?