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10 Movies That Truly Defined The ’90s Era, Ranked

The ’90s were the final decade of the last century. And the era had its own sets of trends like politics and ultra-violence that gave it an identity. These movies best define the ’90s.

Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers was based on Heinlein’s best-selling Hugo award winning book. Nobody ever thought it would become such a huge hit back in 1997 when it was released. It was cheesy, corny, and cliché but that’s what made this alien bugs vs. humanity movie such a huge hit. Many of the actors in the movie like Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris are global sensations today.

The Shawshank Redemption

The rise of new age cinematographers and filmmakers have almost changed the drama genre in Hollywood. The ’90s were probably the last great bastion of amazing bitter-sweet drama movies like Shine and Forrest Gump. We would have included the latter on this list but The Shawshank Redemption is a legendary drama and ultimately, deserves the spot on this list.

Pulp Fiction

’90s crime movies tended to be violent and edgy. But they had little to no flow and creative direction. There is an art to even portraying violence and bloodshed on screen. Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction was the director’s sophomore movie. But it was so good it changed filmmaking overnight, with the rest of the movies of the genre taking multiple cues from it.

Boyz N The Hood

The ’90s saw a boom in movies that explore Black American lives in the mainland. And that is all thanks to the massive, cult-like success of Boyz n The Hood. A cinematic milestone, it is considered still as the best film in this genre. It has created a trail of bread crumbs for the rest of the films that came after it to follow.

Ghost In The Shell

Major Motoko Kusanagi became a global icon after Ghost In The Shell’s watershed success in Hollywood. This movie signaled the rise of the global anime industry. For the first time, people could see how even lead characters could be forced to go through such intense existential crises. This film was also many people’s first foray into anime.


Many would argue that the honor for a pure ’90s Disney movie goes to Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King. But for us, it will always be Aladdin. The 1992 movie broke records and established the Disney animated universe as a force of nature in the Box Office. Aladdin proved animation was no longer just for kids. It could be enjoyed by adults too.


Titanic became the definitive love story of the ’90s era. it was simple, heart-breaking, and genuine. The story was primitive but thought provoking. James Cameron marketed the movie as the “biggest love story ever made”. And he stayed true to those words. This period piece romantic drama is the stuff of legends.


This Disney live action movie must have escaped the eyes of many new generation folks. But it is a movie that has zero haters. One of Robin Williams‘ finest works, Flubber is as much a laughter riot as it is a definitive ’90s movies with its trademark special effects and humor. If you want to relive the ’90s, Flubber is the first movie you should watch.

The Matrix

It is unfathomable just how genre-shattering The Matrix was when it was released back in 1999. Reeking of trademark ’90s aesthetics and mentality, The Matrix captured the decades’ angst against the system through cyberpunk.

Jurassic Park

Spielberg was already a pretty well-known name in America by the ’90s came. but it was 1993’s Jurassic Park that made him an internationally celebrated filmmaker. This movie is also one of the first movies you think when you think of the ’90s. That’s how influential it remains to this date.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

Bibhu Prasad Panda is a Senior Content Writer at FandomWire. He has always been fascinated with the world of word balloons and text boxes since he was 5. From aspiring to be an engineer to becoming a market research specialist, life's been quite a journey for him. Bibhu now follows his passion as an entertainment journalist/blogger. He's also an Omen main in Valorant. SCATTER!!!!