The 25 best '90s movies

16. Jurassic Park (1993)

The movie: The original and still the best, Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park retains its awe-inspiring wonder even in the wake of Jurassic World. Even if you haven't seen it (get it watched, now!), you will still know some of its most iconic beats as they've become ingrained in popular culture. A ripple in a glass of water has never been quite the same since we first watched it. Everything just works, from Stan Winston's animatronic beasts to John Williams' soaring score, creating a world you want to visit in spite of the danger. Welcome to Jurassic Park? I've never left. 

Most '90s moment: Lex, totally losing her shit as she spies an interactive CD-ROM in one of the tour Jeeps. 

15. Trainspotting (1996)

The movie: Following the (mis)adventures of heroin addicts doesn't sound like cinematic gold, yet in Danny Boyle's hands, it becomes the launch point for one of the best British films of all time. With an outstanding soundtrack and career-making turns from the likes of Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle, Trainspotting is an often-relentless dive into squalor but one that you won't be able to turn away from. More than Shallow Grave, it defined Boyle's inimitable style. 

Most '90s moment: Ewan McGregor's Renton, legging it down a high street to the sound of Iggy Pop's Lust for Life. 

14. The Matrix (1999)

The movie: Forget the dodgy sequels for a moment, and just remember how you felt when you first watched The Matrix. The Wachowskis created something that was unlike anything you'd seen before, stretching the limits of technology all in aid of making you lose your shit. Often-copied, never-bettered, bullet time resulted in some of the best action sequences of the decade including THAT lobby fight. Sure, it doesn't quite nail its attempt at bringing Baudrillard's concept of the hyperreal to the mainstream, but at least it doesn't get weighed down in it. It was, and still is, one of the most ambitious sci-fi movies ever made. 

Most '90s moment: The first time Neo, Trinity and Morpheus all walk together in their ankle-flapping, wannabe-goth leather coats. 

13. Fargo (1996)

The movie: The Big Lebowski might be more quotable but really Fargo was peak Coen Brothers in the 90s. A black comedy masquerading as a crime thriller, its wholly original, often violent and brilliantly performed, especially Oscar-winning Frances McDormand's pregnant cop and Peter Stormare and Steve Buscemi's completely inept criminals. The recent TV series is undeniably excellent, yet the original remains the best. I guarantee you'll never look at a wood chipper the same way again. And, despite the jokey this is a true story opening title, some elements did actually happen in real life. Just kidding. The whole thing's fiction. 

Most '90s moment: All those turtlenecks.

12. The Lion King (1994)

The movie: Whatever decade it would have been released in, The Lion King would rank as one of its greatest movies. Through the use of gorgeous (and ground-breaking, at the time) animation, it tells a story that is unmistakably Disney, capable of reducing even the hardiest soul to tears one minute and get them toe-tapping the next. Don't try to pretend that Hakuna Matata didn't become your life mantra after watching it, and the film's legacy continues on with the highest-grossing theatre show of all time. I still haven't forgiven Disney for the emotionally traumatic death of Mufasa, though. 

Most '90s moment: Casting Jeremy Irons as the voice of the villainous Scar.  

11. The Usual Suspects (1995)

The movie: A deceptively simple Reservoir Dogs-esque crime thriller becomes so much more in The Usual Suspects, thanks to Christopher McQuarrie's Oscar-winning script and Bryan Singer's direction. Framed by an interrogation of con man Roger Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey, also a deserving Oscar winner), it captivates throughout thanks to a flawless ensemble and delivers an ending that will make you re-think everything you've been watching. Luckily, you'll want to re-watch it time and again. Oh, and sorry The Sixth Sense, The Usual Suspects delivered the best twist ending of the 90s. 

Most '90s moment: (SPOILER ALERT!) Kevin Spacey being revealed as the bad guy right at the end. 

10. Toy Story (1995)

The movie: Pixar arrived in some style with Toy Story in 1995, an instant classic with children and adults alike. The first feature-length computer-animated film was about so much more than its innovative technology, with its witty script also delivering on the emotion (just try not to sob when Buzz discovers he's a toy). It set a standard that few animations since have matched, except for maybe Pixar's further outings, and was the first chapter in one of cinema's greatest-ever trilogies. With Toy Story, we were made to feel that we had a friend in Pixar, and it's a friendship that endures to this day. 

Most '90s moment: The toys rally together to have a plastic corrosion awareness meeting. 

9. Seven (1995)

The movie: Seven is a grimy and intense crime thriller that's difficult to shake from your mind. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman lead us into a series of murders inspired by the seven deadly sins, each one gorier than the last and responsible for one of the decade's more effective jump scares (hello, sloth victim!). But the murders pale in comparison to the shock that awaits us (courtesy, again, from Kevin Spacey) at the end as we discover just what's in the box. To this day, it remains one of cinema's darkest climaxes. 

Most '90s moment: The fact that keeping Kevin Spacey uncredited and out of pre-release marketing would actually work to bolster the final act's sting. With set photos today, that would never happen. 

8. Schindler's List (1993)

The movie: Steven Spielberg gives one of history's bleakest events the dramatic respect it warrants in the magnificent Schindler's List. Carried by an imperious Liam Neeson, the true story of Oskar Schindler is far from an easy watch, nor should it be. Spielberg doesn't hide from the horrors, even when he's offering a moment of respite such as in the shower scene, and delivers one of cinema's most haunting images with just a splash of red. You might decide that you don't want to watch it again, but everyone needs to see it at least once. 

Most '90s moment: John Williams' undeniably haunting score. 

7. Heat (1995)

The movie: Michael Mann's crime masterpiece more than lives up to the promise of bringing together two acting powerhouses on screen for the first time. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino don't share that many minutes together but it's electric when they do, with their restaurant scene as thrilling as any shootout in the movie. And what shootouts they are. Even recent sub-par Mann like Blackhat has had killer action sequences, and Heat showcases just how brilliant the director is at his prime. This is intelligent adult cinema done right. With no Heat, there'd likely be no Nolan Batman. 

Most '90s moment: Pitting major league heavyweights like Pacino and De Niro against one another; and having it be the main crux of the marketing.