A lot of movies from the 1990s haven’t aged well, but there are some classics from the decade that still hold up remarkably well. One film fan on a popular online forum kicked off a discussion about 90s movies that don’t feel that old. Here are 14 movies from the 90s that aged like fine wine.
1. The Truman Show (1998)
Several movie buffs picked The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, and Ed Harris, noting how the social commentary explored in the film has held up over time. In the movie, Truman (Carrey) is the unsuspecting star of a reality show that follows his every move around the clock. He starts to suspect something isn’t quite right in his world and seeks out the truth as the world watches.
2. Heat (1995)
Heat, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, and Jon Voight, is one movie many people mentioned, with one film fan noting it “has aged fairly well.” Heat is a crime thriller involving a detective and a professional thief and his crew.
3. The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix is a sci-fi action film and the first installment in The Matrix film franchise. It follows computer programmer Thomas Anderson, under the hacker alias Neo, who uncovers the truth about the dystopian nightmare reality has become. Humans are trapped by machines using their bodies as energy sources while distracting them with simulated reality. It stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano.
4. The Rock (1996)
The Rock is an action thriller that tells the story of a group of rogue marines who take hostages on Alcatraz before making threats if their demands aren’t met. They want the U.S. government to pay $100 million to the next-of-kin of 83 men killed on missions that the general led and the Pentagon denied. Otherwise, they’ll launch rockets with poisonous gas to wipe out San Francisco. It stars Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, and Ed Harris.
5. Titanic (1997)
Titanic is a 1997 classic that closely follows the details surrounding the maiden voyage and sinking of the RMS Titanic. It also follows a fictional love story between two young people (Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio) from different social classes. James Cameron spent a significant amount of time ensuring the historical accuracy and recreation of the ship. It’s often hailed as one of the greatest romances in film history.
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saving Private Ryan is an epic war film following a group of United States Army Rangers searching for a paratrooper. Three of the soldier’s brothers died in action and the rangers set out to prevent his mother from being handed another flag and burying her last son.
I saw this film with my father in the theatre. After the movie, there was an older man with his veteran cap on and tears running down his face. He said it was exactly like that. He couldn’t believe the accuracy. It was gut-wrenching devastation that sits with me even as I type this, but also a testament to the film’s quality.
7. Sleeping With the Enemy (1991)
Sleeping with the Enemy is a psychological thriller that follows a young wife (Julia Roberts) trapped in an abusive marriage in total isolation. She fakes her death to get away and establishes her life with a new identity. However, her husband discovers her betrayal and hunts her down. The music is also chilling.
8. Double Jeopardy (1999)
Double Jeopardy is a crime thriller film that follows the story of a woman (Ashley Judd) who wakes up on a boat covered in blood and with no memory of what happened. As a result, she goes to jail for murder.
She unwittingly entrusts her son’s care to the woman having an affair with her husband and living large on the $2 million life insurance. She discovers that her husband faked his death and, after she gets out, she can kill him using the procedural defense known as double jeopardy.
9. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, the movie The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of Andy (Tim Robbins), a man wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his cheating wife and her lover.
He builds a friendship with a fellow inmate who knows how to get things in prison, Red (Morgan Freeman). Andy makes the most of his time and helps educate prisoners while ensuring they still experience life despite their current condition. “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
10. True Lies (1994)
True Lies is a spy action comedy that follows U.S. government agent Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who hasn’t been honest with his wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) about his career. Under strange but comical circumstances, she gets pulled into his spy world. They’re taken hostage and must work together to escape and save their daughter.
11. Demolition Man (1993)
Demolition Man is a sci-fi action comedy that follows police officer John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) and a dangerous criminal’s (Wesley Snipes) battle through the decades. After being found guilty in a failed attempt to rescue hostages, John is cryogenically frozen alongside Phoenix.
However, after Phoenix is thawed for a parole hearing in 2032, he escapes and immediately wreaks havoc in a futuristic world where guns are only in museums. Society has changed and all crime is scarce. Unable to deal with Phoenix, the authorities awaken Spartan to help capture him.
12. Jurassic Park (1993)
Jurassic Park is the first movie in the Jurassic film franchise and still holds up well today. Some movie fans argue it is the best of the bunch, including the Jurassic World films. It’s an iconic film that follows the park’s systems failing and how the people on the island handle the many obstacles they face. Jurassic Park provided an incredible backstory about how they recreated dinosaurs but also scared the living daylights out of us.
13. The Fifth Element (1997)
Starring Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Chris Tucker, and more, The Fifth Element was ahead of its time, literally — it’s set in the 23rd century. It’s a solid movie, with one film lover noting, “The movie is beloved because it’s not just a good movie, but a great satire of an entire genre without becoming a joke of itself.”
14. Contact (1997)
After years of research and searching for proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) finds the evidence she’s been looking for. Contact is a science fiction drama based on the novel by Carl Sagan. One person explained, “The themes the movie goes over are still valid and the film is not dated like many mid-90s films.”