The 90’s were a weird decade. We’d just had the legendary 80’s, most commonly known as society’s puberty, and the 90’s were our first steps into adulthood and real life as a modern civilization. The movies and pop culture we had back then played heavily on this, with a much darker and depressing feel and tone than the over-the-top decade that came before it.
And while a touch of the macabre isn’t for everyone, that decade did produce some of the best movies we’ve ever seen. Let’s take a look.
Schindler’s List (1993)
It’s hard to not love this movie. The acting, the visual style, the story, … Everything just falls into place perfectly in this Spielberg film. Having an IMDB score of 8,9 after nearly 1,3 million votes should tell you what you need to know about how generally awesome this movie is.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
If there’s ever a movie to perfectly illustrate the somewhat darker and more mature vibe of the 90’s, it’ll be this one. Anthony Hopkins doesn’t even get 10 minutes of screentime in this one and still bagged an Academy Award because his presence on screen as Hannibal Lecter is just unreal.
Here goes society’s first attempt at a slasher horror movie where the characters are actually connected and develop from one movie to the next. Where the general slasher horror movie plot was easily reduced to “bad guy appears, kills everyone, last person kills bad guy”, Scream was a different beast altogether. Not all the movies in the series were good, but the first one is a classic that you should at least try to watch.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
One of the first movies, if not the first, to deal with multiple main characters telling their story at the same time. This type of storytelling was unseen up until then and the typical Tarantino dialogue and acting are just the cherry on top. If you wonder why Tarantino is held in such high regard as a filmmaker, look at Pulp Fiction. Twice.
While we’re more familiar with the Fargo show these days, this Coen brothers movie is where it all started. It had that perfect mix between a crime movie and a comedy. Not to mention the movie has an excellent soundtrack which just lifts the movie up to a higher level. But if you like the show, this movie is going to be a good time.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
It’s hard to think of a better 90’s action movie than Terminator 2. It probably doesn’t exist. While the first Terminator movie was iconic in its own right, the second version turned the tables and actually made the T-800 a good guy, allowing for much more depth in the storytelling. The franchise should’ve ended with this movie, and I guess the fact that every failed movie since then has been an attempt to be a sequel to this film proves that point.
The Matrix (1999)
The special effects in this one, while they haven’t aged all that nicely, were simply revolutionary when this movie came out. And let’s not forget the very dark view of humanity’s future and the general idea that we live in a false reality. There’s not much more a movie needs to become a cult classic.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
That’s right, M. Night Shyamalan’s movie that was so good, we’re still giving this guy chances. In all fairness, The Sixth Sense is not just Shyamalan’s best movie, but one of the best thriller movies we’ve ever seen.
Credit where credit is due, this is a great movie. James Cameron has a habit of making movies that define the entire decade of cinematography, and Titanic is no exception to that rule. Huge set pieces, amazing special effects, a great soundtrack, great acting, … This movie has all you’d want from a movie, to be honest.