90s Netflix Time Capsule – 18 Essential Flicks That Will Take You Back In Time

NetflixSomeone asked me last week to recommend some 90s movies to watch on Netflix. After much internal debate, I’ve narrowed it down to the movies that really SCREAM 90s to me. (see what I did there?) What are your favorite 90s movies?

The Addams Family
Stepping out of the pages of Charles Addams’ cartoons and the 1960s television series, members of the beloved, macabre family take to the big screen.

You don’t have to know anything about the original to enjoy these hilarious movies with a phenomenal cast. The CGI on Thing is dated, but the jokes are not. Christina Ricci stars in one of her very first roles as Wednesday Addams.

Bad Boys
In this fast-paced actioner, two Miami narcotics cops are hot on the trail of a master crook who has snatched $100 million worth of heroin.

Before Will Smith became a blockbuster king with Independence Day and Men In Black, he starred with Martin Lawrence in this fun buddy cop action comedy. Will he reprise his role in Bad Boys III? It’s only a rumor for now.

Basic Instinct
Det. Curran pursues a case involving Catherine, a writer and temptress who is suspected in a murder reminiscent of a crime detailed in her book.

One of the most controversial movies of the 1990s, it was also one of the most successful. Originally given a rating of NC-17, the director, Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Total Recall, Showgirls, Starship Troopers), cut enough to get a rating of R. Sharon Stone, a relative unknown at the time, didn’t know about the famous interrogation scene until she saw a screening. Michael Douglas also starred in the sexy thriller, Disclosure, opposite Demi Moore, but that’s sadly not available on Instant.

The Cable Guy
When Steven moves into a new place, an overzealous cable guy hooks him up — and doesn’t let go, even after Steven tries to end their “friendship.”

A much darker comedy that Jim Carrey had done before, it was given mixed reviews. Ben Stiller directed and this was actually the first feature produced by Judd Apatow. The soundtrack is a fantastic compilation of 90s gems. Jim Carrey won Best Comic Performance and Best Villain at the 1997 MTV Movie Awards and also nominated for Best Fight with co-star Matthew Broderick. Look out for Jack Black and Owen Wilson in supporting roles as well.

A glimpse at a day in the life of Dante and Randal, convenience store clerks who are sharp-witted, potty-mouthed, and bored out of their minds.

“Just because they serve you, doesn’t mean they like you.” That was the tagline for on the trailer for Kevin Smith’s indie milestone. I was working at a video store so it hit me especially hard. It never came to a theater near me, so when it hit VHS (hey, it was before DVD), I had to see it. Filmed at night where Smith worked, he barely got an hour of sleep a night. He maxed out all his credit cards and squeezed every bit of resource he could. Sometimes risks pay off.

An odd alien family with cone-shaped heads, robotlike walks and an appetite for toilet paper tries to blend into a Paramus, N.J., neighborhood.

One of the first of many SNL skits to get a feature treatment, it’s filled with so many cameos and legendary supporting roles that it’s pointless to list. It’s a comedy masterpiece.

Meddlesome Beverly Hills high school student Cher gets more than she bargained for when she gives a fashion-challenged student a makeover.

“As if!” – There’s a thin line between making fun of it and absolutely loving it. It’s just so much fun. And who can resist Paul Rudd as the adorable step-brother?

The Craft
At a Catholic school, a new girl falls in with a clique of teen witches who wield their powers against anyone who crosses them, even their parents.

Such a guilty pleasure. Anyone who had it bad in high school (i.e. EVERYONE) will enjoy the revenge factor. It’s cheesy and the wardrobes are ever so 90s.

When a car dealer conspires with dim-bulb criminals to kidnap his wife for a hefty ransom, a folksy — and pregnant — police chief is on the case.

One of many great movies of the Coen brothers, it’s the first that received wide critical and box office success. The combination of characters, story and cinematography make for an immensely enjoyable watch. When you finish this, check out the FX series of the same name produced by the brothers.

Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump, a friendly, simpleminded man, finds himself in the middle of nearly every major event of the 1960s and ’70s.

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” This movie was HUGE. There are tons of one-liners and it’s actually out in limited release right now so you could watch it in theaters.

Jerry Maguire
Sports agent Jerry Maguire experiences a crisis of conscience and leaves his high-powered job behind, with only one client and a co-worker in tow.

“Show me the money!!” “You complete me.” “Help me, help you.” “You had me at Hello.” Tom Cruise in one of his best roles; he was nominated for an Academy Award. Nominated for five, Cuba Gooding, Jr won for Best Supporting Actor. Largely sentimental, it’s oozes of positivity.

Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino’s stylized crime caper weaves together stories featuring a burger-loving hit man, his philosophical partner and a washed-up boxer.

It turned the movie word upside-down with it’s radically unconventional editing and relaunched the career of John Travolta. Samuel L. Jackson shines as Jules Winnfield and is endlessly quotable. Love it or hate it, it’s the Citizen Kane of my generation.

Horror maven Wes Craven turns the genre on its head with this tale of a murderer who terrorizes a hapless high schooler by offing everyone she knows.

All the silly things that people made fun of in the typical horror movies were taken in the opposite direction. It will most likely not have the impact now that it did then, but it’s so fun.

Silence of the Lambs
FBI trainee Clarice Starling ventures into a maximum-security asylum to pick the diseased brain of Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist turned cannibal.

“Hello, Clarice.” Anthony Hopkins is scary as hell. It’s worth all five of the Academy Awards it won. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. This had happened only twice before and hasn’t happened since.

Single White Female
An up-and-coming fashion designer’s mousy new roommate seems perfect — until her envy takes a sinister turn in this dark psychological thriller.

Think you have a creepy roommate? Watch this and thank your lucky stars she’s not like this.



The Talented Mr Ripley
A charming sociopath maneuvers into the lush life of a young heir. But as he embraces the posh lifestyle, he’ll stop at nothing to hold onto it.

So good. Sooooooo good. Matt Damon, Jude Law, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett. Nominated for five Academy Awards, sadly not winning any.

The Usual Suspects
When five unacquainted crooks are hauled into a police station to appear in a criminal lineup, they decide to pull off a heist together.

A rag-tag group of criminals bond in a police lineup and are given an opportunity to tell their stories. There’s a magnificent twist that crawls up slowly with a makes the hairs on your arm stand straight up. Directed by Bryan Singer – yes, THAT Bryan Singer, of X-Men fame.

Wayne’s World
In this “SNL” spinoff, goofy rockers Wayne and Garth host a no-budget cable access show that attracts the attention of a television producer.

You know how “That’s what she said.” got started? Yep, you got it. Twenty two years later (OMG), it’s still as funny now as it was then. Of the 11 films that have been made out of Saturday Night Live sketches, this is the highest grossing.

About Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson aka Dial M For Melissa - Managing Editor / Podcast Producer - Growing up, Melissa’s favorite destination was always the video store and would agonize over whether to watch something new or to rewatch a favorite. Things have not changed. Follow on Twitter @DialMForMelissa

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