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30 Most Underrated '90s Movies

The Dark Half (1993)

The 90s Movie: After years of writing under an assumed name, novelist Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) lays his writing pseudonym, George Stark, to rest.

After Beaumont becomes framed for a series of murders there’s no chance he could’ve committed, he learns that his alter-ego has emerged from a fake grave and has every intention of ruining Thad’s life.

Filmed two years before it landed a theatrical release, the studio, Orion Pictures, suffered major financial difficulties. The subsequent marketing campaign did little to entice audiences.

Why It’s Worth A Watch: It’s one of the better Stephen King adaptations, and arguably George A. Romero’s most gripping genre work outside of the Dead canon.

Big Night (1996)

The 90s Movie: In 1950s New Jersey, two Italian brothers struggle to make ends meet at their Italian restaurant, Paradise.

The stern, fanatical chef Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and his wiser, manager brother Secundo (Stanley Tucci) prepare for a ‘big night’ when their competitor Pascal (Ian Holm) convinces crooner Tony Prima to visit Paradise for dinner.

Why It’s Worth A Watch: The big dinner scene. Edited specifically to make you salivate and defrost that lasagna you’ve had squirrelled away in the freezer for years.

Phantoms (1998)

The 90s Movie: Based on the Dean Koontz novel of the same name, Phantoms is a surprisingly scary adaptation of the horror maestro's work.

Sisters Jenny (Joanna Going) and Lisa (Rose McGowan) head to the ski resort town of Snowfield, Colorado only to find it deserted. That is, apart from Sheriff Hammond (Ben Affleck) and Deputy Wargle (Liev Schrieber), who are equally perplexed as to why everyone has suddenly died in the middle of the night....

Why It’s Worth A Watch: The sequence when the group investigate the town’s abandoned houses is creepy as hell. And of course, that's WAY before the twist...

The Day Trippers (1996)

The 90s Movie: Before Adventureland and Superbad , Greg Mottola helmed this indie pic. An amusing glimpse into the lives of The Malones, the family invite themselves along on a road trip when youngest daughter Eliza (Hope Davis) sets off to New York to confront her cheating scoundrel of a husband, Louis (Stanley Tucci).

Why It’s Worth A Watch: For Liev Schreiber’s performance as Eliza’s sister’s boyfriend, Carl Petrovic.

Starship Troopers (1997)

The 90s Movie: Paul Verhoeven’s military alien epic, Starship Troopers got an unfair rap by critics who focused on the schlocky tone and its apparent lack of irony. When really, Verhoeven deliberately hammed it up with over-the-top performances from Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer and in particular Denise Richards.

Why It’s Worth A Watch: Giant mecha-aliens getting blown into tiny icky bits by tanks. Need we say more?

Very Bad Things (1998)

The 90s Movie: A gaggle of buddies head to Las Vegas for a sleazy weekend of drugs, drink and women. Which is all fine until Michael (Jeremy Piven) accidentally kills a prostitute, sending the group of men into histrionics of Beatlemania proportions.

The film’s hyper-violence was a turn off for some, and a point of discussion for many, which wound up alienating its potential audience.

Why It’s Worth A Watch: Christian Slater finally achieved a Nicholsonian level of craziness he was destined to reach.

Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

The 90s Movie: Schlubby sportswriter Lenny Weinrib tracks down his adopted son’s biological mother, Linda Ash, only to find she’s a porn star and hooker. In case his son ever seeks out his real mother, Lenny aims to help her make improvements in her life.

Sorvino went on to bag a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her hilarious turn as Ash which still wasn’t enough to satisfy the masses.

Why It’s Worth A Watch: Woody Allen’s smutty dialogue coming out of Mira Sorvino's mouth. Genius.

Cop Land (1997)

The 90s Movie: A blazing crew of Hollywood’s finest unite for this New York tale of police corruption. Kickstarted by a case of mistaken weaponry, the nephew (Michael Rapaport) of Lt. Donlan (Harvey Keitel) is instructed to go into hiding after a murder, the effects of which spiral out into the police community.

Why It’s Worth A Watch: James Mangold’s gritty cop flick has one of the most impressive casts assembled during the nineties.

Rounders (1998)

The 90s Movie: John Dahl’s card shark drama was buried when it was released. It’s a shame because there’s a sharp gambling flick here waiting to get rediscovered.

Less flashy than 21 or Runner Runner , Dahl keeps it down low and gritty with Matt Damon as a law student with a gift for the game.

Why It’s Worth A Watch: Damon’s solid turn as youngster Mike McDermott keeps the status quo, but it’s Edward Norton as the cocksure Worm who steals every scene he’s in.

Albino Alligator (1997)

The 90s Movie: If you’re a fan of movies shot in one location, with the heightened drama of a close proximity situation, look no further than Albino Alligator.

Over the course of a night, three crooks take refuge in a local bar and nab themselves a bundle of hostages to keep themselves safe. Needless to say, there’s talking, and when people talk, sommat’s bound to go awry.

Why It’s Worth A Watch: It’s Kevin Spacey’s directorial debut.

Gem Seddon

I'm GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter. I'm a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator. You can find my byline on our best Netflix movies and best Netflix shows lists.