The Best Movies of the 1990s, According to Critics

From hilarious kids' movies to neo-noir thrillers and indie classics.
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The Best Movies of the 1990s, According to Critics Newsweek

What's not to love about 90s cinema? The decade saw a surge of creativity in its filmmaking from Hollywood and beyond, ushering in an era of slick, visionary cinema which blew away the glam excesses of the 80s.

Disney made a comeback after decades in the doldrums with a slew of high-grossing animated smashes, such as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin.

But they weren't the only ones finding box office success with animation. In the second half of the decade, Pixar birthed the rise of the CGI movie, with a series of releases still looked upon as some of the best ever made, despite the subsequent advances in graphic quality.

The 90s was also the decade of indie filmmaking, with Quentin Tarantino leading the pack with his idiosyncratic pop-culture worshipping, wise-cracking exploitation thrillers. Darren Aronofsky, Sofia Coppola, Paul Thomas Anderson, Michael Haneke, Wes Anderson and Spike Jonze would also come of age as directors, laying the foundations for long and impressive careers.

It could also be argued that the romcom reached its peak in the 1990s, before American Pie heralded the arrival of the gross-out gags of the 2000s. Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan perfected the figure of the relatable heroine in My Best Friend's Wedding and Sleepless in Seattle, movies which remain breezy and fun to this day.

Of course, there were plenty of awful films in between—remember the 1996 movie Striptease, which starred Demi Moore as a FBI secretary-turned-stripper and won six Razzie Awards? How about 1997's Batman and Robin? That disastrous flop miraculously did nothing to stop the slew of comic book adaptations over the following two decades.

But happily, it's the best of the decade which stick in our mind—and which make the best lazy Sunday afternoon watching. Rotten Tomatoes, a film review aggregator site, has a mark out of 100 for every 90s movie in its database. Using their scores, we've made a list of the very best of the decade, all of which received 30 reviews or more.

Join us as we count down the best films of the 90s, from hilarious kids' movies to neo-noir thrillers and indie classics.

50. Pulp Fiction (1994). Rotten Tomatoes rating: 94 percent. Number of reviews: 81. Summary: Outrageously violent, time-twisting, and in love with language, Pulp Fiction was widely considered the most influential American movie of the 1990s. Miramax Films