Millennials and some Generation X members grew up with '90s movies. These films are now cinema classics among today’s nostalgia-obsessed society. Many '90s movies were filled with genres that transcend generations, like big budget action movies, romantic comedies, buddy cop adventures, and coming of age stories. The '90s was a great decade for movies, and some of the best of them are streaming right now.
The best '90s movies made an impression on its viewers. It either helped transform a style of movies, created a visually stunning experience, kept the audience laughing down to the final credit, or made hopeless romantics become even more hopeless and romantic. As with all generations, if you grew up with '90s movies, then they probably have a special place in your heart. For those a little too young to remember this decade of movies, streaming services have made it easier to access a wide selection of older films.
For our list, we picked '90s movies that are accessible through most major streaming subscription services, like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and Prime Video. We also tried to add a variety of films to match many different movie preferences.
While You Were Sleeping (Disney+)
Released in 1995, While You Were Sleeping stars Sandra Bullock as Lucy, a family-less Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) fare token collector. Every day, hot businessman Peter Callaghan (Peter Gallagher) enters the train at her station. She has developed a crush on him despite them never speaking. One day, muggers attack Peter and push him onto the train tracks. Lucy rescues him and takes him to the hospital. The nurse misunderstands Lucy and believes that she is Peter’s fiancé, which is relayed to Peter's estranged family. While Peter is in a coma, Lucy pretends to be his fiancé while starting to develop feelings for his brother, Jack (Bill Pullman).
Even as someone relatively new to the big screen at the time, While You Were Sleeping's Sandra Bullock gives her signature onscreen charisma. Lucy may be doing something morally grey, but you only sympathize and root for her happy ending. Bill Pullman and Sandra Bullock have great romantic chemistry. This makes it easy to slip into this strange concept and just enjoy the comedy and romance of While You Were Sleeping. Disney+ has the charming romantic comedy While You Were Sleeping available to stream. Stream it HERE.
Whoopi Goldberg, Demi Moore, and Patrick Swayze star in Ghost. Whoopi Goldberg won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role as psychic medium Oda Mae in this movie. Patrick Swayze plays Sam Wheat, a murdered man who can’t move on until he ensures his girlfriend Molly's (Demi Moore) safety.
Ghost is a romantic drama that proves that if you really love someone, even death can’t keep you apart. Ghost is full of future memes, very sensual pottery moments, and an intriguing mystery. It is one of the best romantic movies of the 90s and of all-time. Ghost is available to stream on Hulu. Stream it HERE.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney+)
Tim Burton’s masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas follows the king of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon) as he tries to take over Christmas. Fundamentally, Jack doesn’t understand the concept and significance of Christmas, so he completely destroys it.
The Nightmare Before Christmas has the rare honor of being both a great Halloween movie and a great Christmas film. It works as a Christmas movie because it reminds people about the importance of the holiday. The Nightmare Before Christmas is very dark and gloomy, and it could be considered scary to young children. Tim Burton is the master of creating dark visuals and haunting characters. The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of his most striking and engaging films. Disney+ is the home of Jack Skellington and the other residents of Halloween Town. Stream The Nightmare Before Christmas HERE.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Amazon Prime Video)
Young Johnny Depp and even younger Leonardo DiCaprio star in this film about a young man trying to take care of his family. This was one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s first acting jobs. Johnny Depp plays the title character and DiCaprio plays his brother with a mental disability. Gilbert Grape has devoted his life to taking care of his brother and morbidly obese mother (Darlene Cates), but when he falls in love with Becky (Juliette Lewis), he starts to want a life of his own.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape has great performances from the entire cast, but DiCaprio especially excels in this film. It’s clear from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, that this kid would go on to become a major Hollywood actor. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape Is available to stream through an Amazon Prime subscription. It can also be streamed free on Crackle. Stream What’s Eating Gilbert Grape HERE.
The Matrix (Netflix)
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Laurence Fishburne star in The Matrix, an action thriller by Lana and Lily Wachowski. The film makes you question reality while enjoying some revolutionary visual effects for the 90s. The Matrix spun two sequels, with a fourth film in the franchise coming soon.
Bad Boys (Netflix)
Bad Boys features Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as Miami narcotics cops in this buddy cop action movie directed by Michael Bay. The film received a sequel in 2003, eight years after the original, and Bad Boys became a trilogy in 2020 with Bad Boys for Life.
Bad Boys is the perfect heart-pumping thrill ride to warm your winter. It’s a fun blockbuster movie with great chemistry from Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. The film is an easy to digest popcorn flick that brings big laughs and even bigger explosions. Bad Boys and Bad Boys II are both available to stream on Netflix. Stream it HERE.
The Fugitive (Hulu)
Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones star in The Fugitive, a remake of a 1960s series of the same name. Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones engage in an intense chase that could likely end with both of their deaths. Dr. Richard Kimble has been falsely convicted of his wife’s murder. He goes on a quest to find the real murderer and save his own life. Meanwhile, Deputy Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) is hot on his trail.
The Fugitive is full of action and great performances by Jones and Ford. The film even won Tommy Lee Jones a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and it had a spin-off film called U.S Marshals. The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time as you wait to see if Kimble will bring the real killer to justice, or die along the way. The Fugitive is available to stream on Hulu. Stream it HERE.
American Beauty (Amazon Prime Video)
Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, and Mena Suvari star in the Sam Mendes directed American Beauty. The movie deals with characters trying to find themselves while dealing with the complicated nature of modern America. Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a middle age man who fantasizes about his daughter’s teenage best friend, played by Mena Suvari. American Beauty deals with subject matters of sexuality, depression, and life in suburbia.
American Beauty is a very melancholy drama that won many accolades, including the 2000 Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Kevin Spacey. The film deals with controversial issues and subject matters, but that’s mainly the point of American Beauty. It’s not supposed to be an easy film to devour. The film’s acting, dream-like quality, and writing make it one of the most talked about, loved, and debated movies of the '90s. American Beauty is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Stream it HERE.
The Goofy Movie (Disney+)
Arguably, The Goofy Movie is Disney’s most underrated animated film. Goofy (Bill Farmer) and his son Max (Jason Marsden) embark on a cross-country trip at the beginning of the summer. However, Max tries to hijack his father’s carefully planned adventure to attend a Powerline (Tevin Campbell) concert to impress the girl that he likes (Kellie Martin).
The Goofy Movie is all about growing up and how the process can divide children and parents. It’s also a movie about standing out when you’re just trying to fit in. The Goofy Movie has a great soundtrack, a family friendly message, and plenty of Goofy moments. The Goofy Movie is available to stream on Disney+. Stream it HERE.
The Silence Of The Lambs (Amazon Prime Video)
Based on Thomas Harris’ book of the same name and Hannibal Lecter series, The Silence of the Lambs follows FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodi Foster) as she tries to investigate a serial killer nicknamed Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). Clarice must speak to infamous serial killer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to get into Buffalo Bill’s mind and stop his reign of terror.
The Silence of the Lambs is genuinely terrifying. This is mainly because of Anthony Hopkins' Oscar winning performance as Lecter. It’s not only scary, but thrilling, very well acted, and one of the best films of the 90s. The Silence of the Lambs spun several sequel movies, a cancelled-too-soon NBC series, and an upcoming CBS drama. Join Lecter’s madhouse by streaming The Silence of the Lambs on Prime Video. Stream it HERE.
This is a small list of '90s films, but there are a lot of other great ones available to stream, especially on Disney+. Let us know your favorite 90s movies in the comment section.