Strange IndiaStrange India

Though people talk about the auteur revolution of the 1970s, or the warm, populist glow of neon-soaked ‘80s movies, the 1990s were an incredibly assured time in filmmaking. Romantic comedies went deeper and darker; Black filmmakers were rising to the forefront and telling their own stories; and technology had advanced to the point that things that had never been possible before were suddenly up on the screen. Plus, it was still an era when a mega-blockbuster might be an Edwardian period drama set on a boat with not a single superhero in sight. Strange days, truly.

Boyz n the Hood (1990)

BOYZ N THE HOOD [1991] – Official Trailer (HD)

Writer/director John Singleton’s debut earned him an Academy Award nomination, and the movie’s reputation has only grown with time. The movie follows Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) as he’s sent to live with his father (Laurence Fishburne) in South Central LA, with the pressures of ‘90s gang culture all around him.

Where to stream: The Roku Channel, Fubo

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (1993) – Official Extended Preview (HD)

It’s easy to forget that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan don’t meet for nearly the entirety of the movie—that’s how memorable their chemistry is. A kid’s request (to a very-1990s radio talk show) for a new girlfriend for his grieving dad culminates in a memorable meeting at the Empire State Building.

Where to stream: Hulu

Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray Is Perfect in Groundhog Day | Movieclips

Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell are entirely delightful in this holiday fantasy about a jerky meteorologist who learns to be a little better person by living day after day (after day) in a small town.

Where to stream: Netflix

Waiting to Exhale (1996)

Angela Basset as Bernadine Getting Revenge | Waiting To Exhale | HBO Max

Starting mid-decade, this Terry McMillan adaptation about the power of female friendships has an all-time great cast led by Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Dazed and Confused (1993)

Dazed and Confused (1993) – Official Trailer – Matthew McConaughey Movie HD

A surprisingly smart high school stoner movie from writer/director Richard Linklater, Dazed and Confused follows a bunch of rowdy Austin teens on the last day of school in 1976. The cast is great, and the ‘70s soundtrack isn’t bad, either.

Where to stream: Hulu

Terminator 2 (1991)

Terminator 2: Judgement Day | Best Scenes | Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

James Cameron re-teamed Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger for this action-blockbuster sequel that took everything great about the first one and turned up the dial. A deeply satisfying sci-fi spectacle.

Where to stream: Paramount+, Showtime, Fubo

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)

Sister Act 2 (Finale) Lauryn Hill – Joyful Joyful With Lyrics (Ft. Whoopi Goldberg)

Both Sister Acts are great, but if it’s a ‘90s vibe you’re going for, this one involves Whoopi Goldberg’s Deloris Van Cartier putting the band (of nuns) back together to save a city school facing closure. It all culminates in a stage performance including jams, baggy overalls, white-boy rap, and Lauryn Hill. This will be a primary source for historians of the era.

Where to stream: Disney+

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project (3/8) Movie CLIP – I Don’t Have the Map (1999) HD

So convincing was the found-footage illusion here that people believed that they were watching the real thing. Of course, we’re far less gullible now.

Where to stream: Paramount+

The Watermelon Woman (1996)


Cheryl Dunye’s indie rom-com finds lead Cheryl exploring the history of a fictional Black golden age film star while simultaneously looking for love and trying to hold on to her job at the video store. The movie explores complicated topics without ever succumbing to self-seriousness.

Where to stream: Paramount+, Showtime, Fubo

Jurassic Park (1993)

The T. rex Escapes the Paddock in 4K HDR | Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg’s dino-drama remains a favorite. Even more shocking, the special effects remain impressive despite decades of innovations. Still the dinosaur-rampage movie to beat.

Where to stream: Peacock

The Fugitive (1993)

The Fugitive (1993) Official Trailer #1 – Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones Movie

An indelible Harrison Ford performance, even as a one-off. Based on the 1960s TV show, this was part of a run of ‘90s reboots that worked.

Where to stream: Tubi

The Addams Family (1991)

The Addams Family (3/10) Movie CLIP – Dinner Conversation (1991) HD

Director Barry Sonnenfeld and company have a ton of fun in expanding Addams Family lore into a full-blown tribute to weirdness—just when we needed it most. Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci head the stacked cast.

Where to stream: Paramount+

The Brady Bunch (1995)

The Brady Bunch Movie (2/10) Movie CLIP – Breakfast with the Bradys (1995) HD

The (very silly) joke here is that the goofy Brady family of the very ‘70s sitcom are living their lives in a pseudo-punk ‘90s. It shouldn’t work at feature length, but the commitment to the bit—and to replicating the look and feel of the beloved sitcom—makes it a camp classic.

Where to stream: Paramount+, Prime Video, MGM+

Poetic Justice (1993)

Poetic Justice: Lucky and Justice (Tupac Shakur, Janet Jackson HD CLIP)

John Singleton followed up Boyz N the Hood with this more mellow romantic drama, with leads Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur offering up impressive, moving lead performances.

Where to stream: Pluto

The First Wives Club (1996)

The First Wives Club (1996) Official Trailer #1 – Goldie Hawn Movie HD

It’s not Shakespeare, but Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton are great fun as three divorcées seeking revenge on the husbands who left them for younger women. The finale, set to “You Don’t Own Me,” is cheer-worthy.

Where to stream: Showtime, Fubo, Paramount+

GoldenEye (1995)

GOLDENEYE | Bond, James Bond

After some darker adventures with 007, Pierce Brosnan brought just the right blend of style and action, with a lighter touch that was exactly what Bond fans were looking for. Extra points for introducing Judi Dench as a new generation’s M.

Where to stream: Prime Video

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

A Love Triangle – Movie Scene – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai – Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukerji

One of the decade’s great rom-coms has a requisite tragic setup that builds to not only a great romance, but several very memorable Bollywood dance numbers.

Where to stream: Netflix, Prime Video

Princess Mononoke (1997)

PRINCESS MONONOKE Clip – “Wolf Girl” (1999) Hayao Miyazaki

Another triumph from Hayao Miyazaki, Princess Mononoke is set in a fantasy medieval Japan. Ashitaka is infected in an animal attack, and seeks a natural cure—only to discover that humanity’s activities have angered the gods and thrown the natural balance. If it’s not the director’s best, it’s one that best sums up his talents.

Where to stream: Max

Run Lola Run (1998)

🎥 RUN LOLA RUN (1998) | Full Movie Trailer | Full HD | 1080p

Lola (Franka Potente) needs 100,000 Deutschmarks—fast. She’s got 20 minutes to get the money and save the life of her bagman boyfriend Manni from his boss. So she runs. And when she can’t get the money the first time, she tries again, literally running through different scenarios until she finds a way to get the money.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction – Dance Scene (HQ)

Quentin Tarantino made a giant splash with this retro-style, endlessly quotable, non-linear neo-noir packed full of memorable scenes. Uma Thurman is phenomenal, but there’s no weak link in the large ensemble.

Where to stream: Max

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Ghost in the Shell (1995 Movie) Official IMAX Trailer – Mamoru Oshii, Masamune Shirow

Rather artfully blending CGI and cel animation, Ghost in the Shell involves cyborg agent Maj. Motoko Kusanagi trailing a man who hacks minds. Like Blade Runner before it, the movie explores the nature of human consciousness and the idea that we might be just another kind of machine.

Where to stream: Prime Video, Tubi, Freevee

Election (1999)

A Scene from ELECTION

Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick are perfect adversaries in this sharp comedy. It satirizes high school life, sure, but the movie is also as on-target a critique of American politics as you’re likely to find in a mainstream movie.

Where to stream: Max, Kanopy

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Edward Scissorhands/Best scene/Johnny Depp/Vincent Price

Tim Burton was at the top of his game when he directed this deeply weird, but very sweet fable that also served as a fitting swan song for Vincent Price.

Where to stream: Max

The Fifth Element (1997)

The Fifth Element: The Ruby Rhod Show Scene (HD CLIP)

Speaking of weird: This science fiction story about a cab driver (Bruce Willis) tasked with saving a girl who might be humanity’s salvation (Milla Jovovich) is full of high concepts, low comedy, and outer space arias. It doesn’t always all hang together, but there’s such an abundance of imagination at work here that it’s hard not to sit back and enjoy it.

Where to stream: Tubi

Dead Presidents (1995)

Dead Presidents (1995) Trailer

After returning from Vietnam and being unable to find work in their home in the Bronx, a group of friends lead by Anthony Curtis (Larenz Tate) plan a suspenseful bank heist. It’s based, loosely, on a true story.

Where to stream: Paramount+, Showtime, Fubo

Clueless (1995)

Clueless (1995) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Having already made one of the definitive teen comedies of the 1980s, writer/director Amy Heckerling pulled a similar trick with this coming-of-age comedy, based on Jane Austen’s Emma, set among the popular kids in Beverly Hills.

Where to stream: Paramount+, Pluto

Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (1997)

Time After Time – Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

Approaching 30, our leads (Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow) haven’t achieved much of significance, so they decide to beef up their resumes—with mixed results. Sorvino and Kudrow are so charmingly stupid here that it’s impossible not to root for them against the mean girls. Amid all the broad comedy, the movie makes a good case that it’s better to be a slacker than an ambitious jerk.

Where to stream: Digital rental

Love Jones (1997)

Love Jones – Original Theatrical Trailer

The chemistry between Larenz Tate and Nia Long is off the charts after they meet in a Chicago club. Their passionate connection is threatened by old relationships and her impending move to New York.

Where to stream: Max

Ring (1998)

Ringu Official Trailer | 4K

Before the very-good American remake, there was the excellent Japanese original about a mysterious tape that curses its viewers to death over the course of seven days. The image of Sadako climbing out of a TV is indelible.

Where to stream: Shudder, Tubi, Arrow

Malcolm X (1992)

Malcolm X | Full Movie Preview | Warner Bros. Entertainment

Spike Lee brings his signature directorial style to this epic, ensuring that this plays as far more than a typical biopic. Denzel Washington absolutely disappears into the lead role.

Where to stream: Paramount+, Showtime, Fubo

Babe (1995)

Babe Official Trailer #1 – Miriam Margolyes Movie (1995)

Mad Max director George Miller crafted this big-hearted but darkly comic all-ages barnyard fable. It was so influential that star James Cromwell immediately gave up eating meat.

Where to stream: Starz

Heat (1995)

HEAT – Trailer – (1995) – HQ

Michael Mann’s crime drama pits an LAPD detective against a career criminal, their cat-and-mouse game revealing that they’re as similar as they are different. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are at the tops of their mid-career games.

Where to stream: Netflix

Scream (1996)

SCREAM “Opening Scene” Clip (1996) Wes Craven

Wes Craven reinvented slasher movies with this funny, bloody, clever film that breaks down and breaks apart everything we love about the genre. We’re still living in the horror flick world that Craven created, and not just because this franchise is still going, stronger than ever.

Where to stream: Paramount+, Fubo

Menace II Society (1993)

Menace II Society (1993) Trailer #1

The Hughes Brothers’ early masterpiece, Menace believably recreates the world of LA’s Watts and Crenshaw neighborhoods in the era, with Tyrin Turner’s Caine looking to escape from violence—only to find himself drawn deeper in.

Where to stream: Tubi

White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

White Men Can’t Jump | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX

Wesley Snipes gives a smart, funny performance in this basketball-themed comedy-drama, as does Woody Harrelson—though, of course, Rosie Perez steals every scene she’s in. It was one of director Stanley Kubrick’s favorite movies.

Where to stream: Max

Titanic (1997)

Titanic 25th Anniversary | Official Trailer | In Theatres February 10th

In a modern world of blockbusters designed to be as comforting and non-threatening as possible, be the movie that made an entire generation of moviegoers loudly sob.

Where to stream: Paramount+

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