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15 Best '90s Movies On Amazon Prime [November 2021]

The 1990s rank among movie history's most fruitful and creatively dazzling heydays. Many movements and cinematic breakthroughs occurred, across Hollywood and down to smaller movies too. Big blockbusters got even more exciting, and independent film came into its own, as visionary filmmakers from different walks of life were given a chance to explore and share their art. The '90s were a crossroads for movies, and filmmakers went in all sorts of directions, creating more content for more people.

Many of the greatest and most indicative films of the '90s are available across streaming services, particularly Amazon's Prime Video outlet. So if you're feeling in the mood for some true gems from the end of the 20th century, here are the best '90s flicks currently available on Amazon Prime.

Updated on November 1, 2021: Amazon often adds and takes away films from its virtual catalog, so we'll keep this list updated to note all the cinematic comings and goings. Do check back each month for an updated list of what '90s movies are ready to watch on Amazon Prime.

10 Things I Hate About You

The late 1990s witnessed a curious wave of Shakespeare adaptations geared at teen audiences. While "Romeo + Juliet" used the original Elizabethan dialogue and set the action in modern Miami, "10 Things I Hate About You" is a fun, loud modernization of "The Taming of the Shrew." 

Extraordinarily intelligent and mature teen Kat Stratford has zero interest (if not open, caustic disdain) for her classmates, and thus, she doesn't date much. But her bubbly, popular, younger sister, Bianca, does get a lot of male attention, which causes some friction thanks to their father's rule: Bianca can't date until Kat does. New student Cameron is very smitten with Bianca but to be with her, he has to convince Kat to date someone, anyone, and so he pays a handsome, rebellious rogue named Patrick to win her over. They don't get along at all, of course, but since this is a Shakespeare story, you can be sure that there will be some kind of double coupling before it's all over.

  • Starring: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Director: Gil Junger
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Fight Club

Satirical, philosophical, unrelentingly violent, and gleefully nihilistic, there's a lot to unpack in "Fight Club," the head-spinning, electric adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's cult classic novel. A depressed insomniac has grown completely numb to modern life, getting and feeling nothing from doing what he's been told he ought to do as a member of modern American society (work mindlessly and buy stuff he doesn't need or really want). He feels alive for the first time when he falls into the orbit of Tyler Durden, a cocky soap maker. Together, they drop out of society and create an underground "fight club," where other disaffected men pummel each other just to feel something. Before long, the fight club evolves into a terroristic anarchist cell, and that's just one of the many baffling turns in "Fight Club."

  • Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 139 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Not only did "Four Weddings and a Funeral" make an international star and an unlikely, oh-so-'90s leading man out of approachable, stammering star Hugh Grant, but it established the movie pattern of Richard Curtis, who, with "Love Actually" and "Notting Hill," would create a subgenre of chatty, clever, self-conscious romantic comedies set in extremely modern England. 

The gimmick, or engine, of "Four Weddings and a Funeral" is that it's episodic. Over time, audiences come to love British guy Charles (Grant), a man with a string of failed romances who just may have found his soulmate, an American woman named Carrie (Andie MacDowell), when he meets her at a wedding and then keeps running into her at more weddings (and a funeral), almost never getting their relationship timing correct.

  • Starring: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas
  • Director: Mike Newell
  • Year: 1994
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Get Shorty

The success of "Pulp Fiction" — what with its retro cool, glamorization of the Los Angeles criminal underworld and multiple intersecting plots — inspired '90s Hollywood to produce many more films in the same vein, including an adaptation of acclaimed novelist Elmore Leonard's wryly funny crime-and-Hollywood satire "Get Shorty." Miami mob guy Chili Palmer heads to Hollywood to collect payment from a sleazy Hollywood producer, but when he meets the producer's girlfriend, they hit it off, leading Chili to pitch a movie based on his own wild life as a violent criminal.

GoldenEye

After laying dormant for six years, the James Bond franchise came roaring back in the 1990s with "GoldenEye," an of-its-time techno thriller, with electronic and communications networks replacing the now-gone Cold War theatrics that previously defined the world of 007. Because it's Pierce Brosnan's first outing as the suave, legendary, British ultra-spy, "GoldenEye" also delivers on all of the crowd-pleasing Bond elements — he romances multiple women, asks for a martini, uses a cool car and neat gadgets, draws a crowd in a casino, and squares off against a gleefully evil supervillain in an impossibly bizarre and dangerous setting, in this case an underwater satellite dish.

  • Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Famke Janssen
  • Director: Martin Campbell
  • Year: 1995
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

The Last of the Mohicans

By the early 1990s, audiences had come to expect gritty urban crime dramas from Michael Mann (he'd brought "Miami Vice" to TV and would later make "Heat"). But with "The Last of the Mohicans," he made a sweeping epic of a period piece starring Daniel Day-Lewis, an actor famous for completely disappearing into his roles, which he does here as Hawkeye, a half-European member of a Native American tribe in its final days. 

Based on the classic 18th-century novel by James Fenimore Cooper, "The Last of the Mohicans" is a brutal war movie that dramatizes the violent colonization of America and indigenous peoples defending their land, but it's also a starry-eyed romantic drama, focusing on the relationship between Hawkeye and the kidnapped daughter of a British colonel, whom he must rescue.

The Limey

The '90s were all about stark, stylish crime dramas crafted by talented writer-directors with a vision — tales where the bad guys were the good guys. Here then is "The Limey," from acclaimed filmmaker Steven Soderbergh. The story focuses on Wilson, a taciturn British convict who's fresh out of prison. He's grown cold and reckless and decides to makes a visit to America on a mission of reconnaissance and revenge. His daughter reportedly died in a car accident, but Wilson is convinced it was murder. The amateur detective game is afoot as Wilson questions his late daughter's many shady associates, who strike back with violence that ought to kill the older gentleman. That only drives his desire to find out what happened to his daughter and to get back at those who hurt her and him.

  • Starring: Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Lesley Ann Warren
  • Director: Steven Soderbergh
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 88 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

The Mask of Zorro

When they say they don't make 'em like they used to, they're talking about "The Mask of Zorro." It's a fun, fast-paced swashbuckler that features thrilling sword fights, steamy dance scenes, and some of the sexiest stars in Hollywood.

Set in 19th-century Mexico, "The Mask of Zorro" follows a charming rogue named Alejandro Murrieta who crosses paths with Don Diego de la Vega, the man formerly known as Zorro. Both men want revenge against the corrupt officials in control of Mexico, so the older Don Diego decides to turn this scoundrel into the next Zorro.

That means Alejandro must sharpen his blade and his ballroom moves, as he must infiltrate high society to take down his foes. Along the way, he starts falling in love with the gorgeous Elena Montero — a woman who can more than hold her own in a sword fight ... and just so happens to be Don Diego's daughter.

The result is a throwback to the film's of yesteryear, all wrapped up in a slick, entertaining '90s package. In other words, it's one of the finest action flicks of the decade — both rip-roaring and romantic.

  • Starring: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins
  • Director: Martin Campbell
  • Year: 1998
  • Runtime: 137 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Mrs. Doubtfire

By the early 1990s, Robin Williams had developed two parallel careers — starring in dramas about earnest men facing huge problems and silly comedies that allowed him to show off his gifts of improvisation, whimsy, and just being intoxicatingly hilarious. "Mrs. Doubtfire" combined the two Robin Williamses and became one of the biggest comedy hits of the decade. 

Immature divorced dad Daniel is denied access to his children by his sedate yet concerned wife, so he gets his makeup wizard of a brother to dress him up as an elderly British nanny and gets himself hired to babysit his own kids. Because Daniel (or rather Williams) so fully pours himself into the role of Mrs. Doubtfire (a name lifted from a newspaper headline), this is the kind of set-up that can only eventually go terribly, frantically awry.

  • Starring: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan
  • Director: Chris Columbus
  • Year: 1993
  • Runtime: 125 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

The Nutty Professor

After a stretch of critical and commercial misfires, Eddie Murphy returned to the top of the box office in 1996 with "The Nutty Professor," a remake of the wacky Jerry Lewis movie from 1963. In the original, Lewis played a geeky scientist who concocted a potion that made him cool and romantic. In Murphy's version, he's Sherman Klump, and his formula takes him from heavyset to svelte, as well as an unwanted side effect — the side persona of obnoxious jerk Buddy Love, who nevertheless wins friends and dates. 

The double life situation quickly becomes more than Sherman can manage, and while the comic chaos is entertaining, the rest of the movie is really just a chance for Murphy to try on prosthetics, costumes, and silly voices and play a bevy of different characters.

  • Starring: Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, Larry Miller
  • Director: Tom Shadyac
  • Year: 1996
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

The Opposite of Sex

"The Opposite of Sex" is a comic femme fatale movie, with a wily protagonist who uses men to get whatever she wants and ensure her basic needs are met. But really, Christina Ricci's calculating Dede is a conduit to discuss, cynically and snidely, the intersection of love, sex, and relationships in the 1990s, when the definitions and boundaries of all three were in flux. 

Pregnant teenager Dede goes to live with her half-brother, Bill, following the death of her stepfather. But then, she convinces Bill's partner, Matt, that the baby is his as the result of a tryst, leading them to abscond with Bill's savings. This prompts a mini-manhunt involving, of all things, cremated ashes, wild allegations, and Lisa Kudrow. 

  • Starring: Christina Ricci, Martin Donovan, Lisa Kudrow
  • Director: Don Roos
  • Year: 1998
  • Runtime: 101 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Philadelphia

In the 1980s, the HIV and AIDS epidemic killed millions, and the 1993 drama "Philadelphia" reckons with that tragedy. It also condemns the ingrained homophobia that allowed the disease to run rampant for so long, particularly in the United States. 

A deeply sad movie but a landmark moment for representation in film, "Philadelphia" is technically a courtroom drama. The amiable, lovable Tom Hanks — in one of his first dramatic roles — portrays Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer fired by his elite Philadelphia law firm, he believes, because of his orientation and HIV-positive status. And so, he sues for discrimination, enlisting the only lawyer he can find who will help, and together, they put the whole system on trial.

The Secret of Roan Inish

An absolutely magical and engrossing cinematic journey to coastal Ireland, "The Secret of Roan Inish" plays on Gaelic mythology to form a modern-day fairy tale that's as charming as it is unpredictable. According to legends in and around Ireland and Scotland, the waters hold creatures called selkies, seals that can transform themselves and live amongst humans. In the post-World War II years, young, ill, grieving Fiona goes off to live with her grandparents in a fishing town, and when she visits the mysterious, animal-loving island of Roan Inish, she thinks she's found her long-lost baby brother — a selkie, in his seal form.

  • Starring: Mick Lally, Eileen Colgan, John Lynch
  • Director: John Sayles
  • Year: 1994
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Stargate

Long before it inspired a couple of ubiquitously syndicated, modestly budgeted TV shows, "Stargate" was a dazzlingly different, blockbuster space opera, offering a new and creatively original saga for genre fans during fallow periods in the "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" franchises. Combining ancient Egyptian mythology with physics-defying sci-fi tropes like space travel and dimension-hopping, "Stargate" finds James Spader's Egyptologist getting together with Kurt Russell's U.S. Army colonel to decode and activate an uncovered artifact they believe is a portal to a distant place. They figure it out but don't really like the results when they're transported to an ancient Egypt-esque planet lorded over by a tyrant.

  • Starring: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson
  • Director: Roland Emmerich
  • Year: 1994
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

Trees Lounge

Small-time crooks hanging out in bars, waxing endlessly on the nature of life and their own unfulfilling and grimy existence beset by half-hearted restarts and ill-advised romances: "Trees Lounge" checks about every box on the list of things a low-key indie movie from the '90s needs. Moreover, not only does it star small-film king Steve Buscemi, but he directed it too. 

Buscemi plays Tommy, a guy from Long Island who drinks copiously and hangs out with friends he doesn't really like at a dive bar called Trees Lounge, lamenting how he lost his job because he stole from his boss who's now dating his former partner. Tommy hates his new gig as an ice cream man but enjoys spending time with his ex's teenage niece, who's both too nice and too young for him to pursue.

  • Starring: Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Anthony LaPaglia
  • Director: Steve Buscemi
  • Year: 1996
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%