Nine of the most 90s movies eva
Woah! Think back to when you were in a crib you rambunctious millennials. Cowabunga dude. Better grab your roller skates and video tapes, coz we’re headed back to the 1990s. We’ve got Hulk Hogan, we’ve got Pulp Fiction, we’ve Lewinskygate, we’ve got the subprime mortgage crisis of 1991 (huh what?) and we’ve also got a bevy of nineties fuelled films.
These nine films. Count ‘em again. Nine. Are r-r-r-r-radically tied to their decade. The nineties was a time of freshness, of adventure, of anticipation for the new millennium, and also of a very serious foot and mouth disease outbreak amongst some European populations of cattle.
Anyway, on that light note. Let’s dive into these w-w-w-w-wicked nineties flicks.
True Romance (1993)
From a punched-up script from Quentin Tarantino, Tony Scott’s True Romance follows two lovers caught up in a cat and mouse game of cocaine, mobsters, and Hollywood heights. Christian Slater, when he’s not making everything weird in Mr. Robot these days, is a helluva charming actor and his smarm just shines through every scene – a rumpus ride packed full of 90s nods.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Alright, alright, alright. Matthew McConaughey was put on the map by this film, and then went on to star in every single romantic comedy ever made before landing on True Detective. Richard Linklater’s story about high school students going on a cheeky adventure is packed with Linklater-like meditations on humanity, and a tone of joy that comes through every wonderful little gag. An all-timer, really.
Office Space (1999)
Sat at your cubicle desk? Sick of work? Want nothing more than the fall of Western crony capitalism? This cult film follows 90s white-collar Americans torn apart by complete and total apathy. It’s got an obvious message in its soul, but the whir of the nineties sounds off in the background to this outlandish social satire. A real treat of a film.
Tank Girl (1995)
Rachel Talalay’s post-apocalyptic flick is a complete and total feminist masterpiece. Wonderfully brimming with energy and a chaotic tone, it was pretty negatively received upon release. It’s about a reluctant anti-hero who ends up doing tonnes of cool shit. It’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen it, and it’s bursting with that sense of the nineties. The 90s were a decade of radical change, not just for mankind.
Boyz ‘n the Hood (1991)
This debut film from John Singleton follows the lives of three young blokes living in the ghettos of 90s Los Angeles. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. (What Dreams May Come), Ice Cube (Friday) and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), it’s a provocative and often deeply sad film about gentrification, race relations, and all sorts of difficult subject matter.
It’s disheartening to see how painfully relevant this film is to our current sociopolitical climate, but it’s an incredibly important watch nonetheless.
Buffalo 66 (1998)
This film written, directed and starring Vincent Gallo (The Brown Bunny) is filled with dark humor and crime fuels. Just out of prison, Billy Brown kidnaps a girl named Layla, played by Christina Ricci (Sleepy Hollow), and heads for a destination of revenge. What might sound like a crime thriller story turns out to be a much more romantic film. The result is an unconventional 90s flick that manages tones with astonishing expertise.
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Angelina Jolie (Changeling) and Winona Ryder (Stranger Things) star in this film chronicling a young woman’s experiences in a psychiatric hospital. Whilst it’s a heavy and intense film, there are also moments of friendship and a tough-love attitude throughout. Some bits may come across as overwrought, but there’s a much deeper philosophical outlook buried inside this film that’s quite fascinating.
A film about heroin addicts in the squalor of 90s Edinburgh shouldn’t be one of the funniest black comedies ever made but, uh, it is? Trainspotting is a real raw modern classic that put Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) and Ewan McGregor (Young Adam) on the map. It’s just a complete raucous laugh of a film, but has some genuine heart in it towards the end. The background noise of nineties Britain is on full display here – Britpop and all.
Amy Heckerling’s magnum opus was stuck in development hell for years, before seeing the light of day in the sun-drenched landscape of 90s LA. This loose (like really loose) Jane Austen adaptation shot Paul Rudd (Role Models), Alicia Silverstone (The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and Brittany Murphy (8 Mile) to stardom and almost single-handedly launched the tartan kinder whore trend of the 90s.
Twenty-odd years after it’s premiere Clueless is still keepin’ it real, with the 90s generation-defining hit still inspiring catwalks and snapchat captions to this day. If you don’t love this film you must be a virgin who can’t drive.