Screengrab via Netflix

How many of these have you seen?

You don’t need to be a ’90s kid to appreciate the beautiful, wonky treasures that hit movie theaters between 1990 and 1999. At the moment, Netflix has more than 250 films from the era waiting for you to watch, but chances are, you’ll need some help knowing where to start. We looked at critic rankings from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic to find the best 90s movies on Netflix. There are a few instances where Metacritic didn’t have reviews for a film, but rest assured, each of these options stand up as a classic in their respective genre.

The best ’90s movies on Netflix

1) Schindler’s List (1993)

96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
93 percent on Metacritic

Steven Spielberg’s heartbreaking portrayal of Oskar Schindler is a horrific yet artistically staggering work of genius. Originally, he is willing to profit off cheap Jewish labor during World War II. But Schindler’s heart changed when he saw the violence the S.S. wrought upon Jews in the Krakow ghetto. Filmed almost entirely in black-and-white, Schindler’s List is an anomaly in Spielberg’s career, a somber examination of how witnessing evil can fundamentally affect someone. It’s one of the finest films of all time, let alone the ’90s.

best 90s moves netflix : schindler's list Screengrab via Netflix

2) Seven (1995) 

80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
65 percent on MetaCritic

David Fincher’s film career almost ended after his disastrous experience making Alien 3, but the script for Seven was good enough to lure him back. It’s a blessing, because no other director would have delivered such a lush and unconventionally bleak vision of horror. Viewers join two detectives as they hunt a serial killer committing murders based on the seven deadly sins of Catholic teachings. Anchored by Morgan Freeman as a cop on his final case working with a new partner, a haunting Brad Pitt, Seven is a terrifying thriller. Don’t read any spoilers and sit back for a nightmarish two hours.

90s movies on netflix : Seven Photo by New Line - © 1995 - New Line Cinema

3) Quiz Show (1994)

96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
88 percent on Metacritic

In the 1950s, TV quiz shows ruled the airwaves. That is until a lawyer discovered proof that they might all have been rigged. Robert Redford directed this riveting account of the original quiz show scandal, crafting a film that’s genuinely riveting without any life-threatening drama. John Turturro doesn’t get enough leading roles in movies, but his Herbert Stempel is a tragic figure despite playing a man willing to compromise his morals for fame. Quiz Show gazes at a time in America where people still trusted what they saw on TV, but this tale of corruption feels oddly timely. 

90s movies netflix : Quiz Show Screengrab via Netflix

4) Scream 2 (1997)

85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
64 percent on Metacritic

This is the last great horror movie the late Wes Craven made. (Red Eye is a blast, but that’s a thriller.) A year removed from the bloodbath in Woodsboro, Sidney (Neve Campbell) is off to college. Like most college freshman, she has some lingering baggage. Unlike most freshman, that baggage literally cannot stop trying to kill her. But her loss is the audience’s gain. Campbell does legitimately great work—her ability to make Sidney a sympathetic figure is a major reason why this film ranks high in the horror sequel pantheon. The series would lose much of its luster in subsequent sequels (and a TV show), but Scream 2 matches its predecessor laugh for laugh and kill. —Eddie Strait

best 90s movies : Scream 2 Screengrab via YouTube


5) L.A. Confidential (1997)

99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
90 percent on Metacritic

Curtis Hanson’s universally acclaimed love letter to hard boiled detective tales faithfully recreates 1950s Los Angeles, warts and all. It’s a world where racism, police corruption, sexual hypocrisy, and gangsters live side by side while a few honest men try to clean up the streets. With an all star cast including Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, and Russell Crowe L.A. Confidential won Oscars for Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Screengrab via Netflix

6) Paris is Burning(1990)

100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
No Metacritic score

“Yas.” “Shade.” “Reading.” “Serving face.” It’s remarkable 27 years after Paris is Burning came out how ubiquitous the language it first introduced into the mainstream has become. This controversial documentary about the ’80s LGBTQ New York ballroom subculture is an important historical record of a community that was rarely documented at length. You’ll fall in love with queens like Ms. Dorian Corey, who explains the difference between reading and throwing shade, and weep at the story of Venus Xtravaganza. 

best 90s movies on netflix : Paris is Burning Screengrab via Netflix

7) Boogie Nights (1997)

93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
85 on Metacritic

Several Paul Thomas Anderson films from this century (There Will Be Blood, The Master) are so routinely referred to as masterpieces that one can almost forget he had a career before the year 2000. But not only was Anderson as a much a product of the ‘90s indie explosion as fellow auteurs Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson, he debatably made the best film out of all of them with 1997’s Boogie Nights. It’s a sprawling, multifaceted depiction of the porn industry in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The rise and fall of Dirk Diggler proved to be a coming-out moment for star Mark Wahlberg. Not to mention a brief redemption for Oscar-nominated supporting actor Burt Reynolds, working alongside many of Anderson’s usual players, who all give career highlight performances. The music, the setting, the acting, the story: Boogie Nights is an American story unlike any other. —Chris Osterndorf

best 90s movies on netflix : boogie nights Screengrab via Netflix

8) The Truman Show (1998)

94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
90 percent on Metacritic

At the time of its release, The Truman Show—about a man stuck in a reality show he doesn’t know he’s participating in—was a biting work of science-fiction satire, dreaming of a world where the growing reality TV genre gave us 24-hour access to a person’s life. Watching it again almost 20 years later, The Truman Show still has all its punch, and maybe a little extra when you factor in our hyperconnected society. This was Jim Carrey’s first major leading dramatic role, and it remains one of the actor’s finest works.

best 90s movies netflix The Truman Show YouTube

9) Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
No Metacritic score

We were as surprised as you are that Homeward Bound would have such a high rating, but upon revisiting, this is truly a timeless children’s film. Two dogs and a cat journey through the woods to find their family after they are abandoned on a farm. Along the way they face life-or-death situations, all the while learning the meaning of family. Kids movies often sacrifice suspense for comedy, and while Homeward Bound is a truly funny film, it’s also more of a drama than you’d expect. The ending is gut-wrenching, but don’t worry if you’re showing it to little kids. It’s not traumatic.

90s movies on netflix : Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey Screengrab via Netflix READ MORE:

10) Jackie Brown (1997)

87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
64 percent on Metacritic

Quentin Tarantino’s only film adapted from someone else’s work (Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard) is a striking departure from the rest of his oeuvre. It has all the hallmarks of a QT film: crackling dialogue, rampant racial slurs, casual violence, and an impeccable soundtrack. But it’s also his most mature film. Pam Grier plays the titular character who gets caught up in an investigation targeting her boss, Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson). Everyone has an angle, and it’s the kind of movie where if you are trying to play someone, you’re getting played. —Eddie Strait

stoner movies on netflix: Jackie Brown YouTube

11) The Sixth Sense (1999)

85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
64 percent on Metacritic

If you’ve made it this far without having the secret of The Sixth Sense revealed for you, we’re not going to be the ones who spoil it for you. Don’t talk to your friends about it, just log in to Netflix and watch this great dramatic ghost story. Haley Joel Osment won an Oscar for his role as a little boy who can see ghosts all around him, and it’s a staggering performance. The Sixth Sense is a movie that tests the limits of horror, taking the genre largely out of jump scares and into the world of emotional chaos. Normally you want the protagonist to live, but in The Sixth Sense, you just hope he finds some peace.  

90s movies netflix : The Sixth Sense Screengrab via Netflix

12) The Commitments (1991)

88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
No Metacritic score

Of all the films on this list, The Commitments is the one you’re least likely to have seen. It was a small hit when it came out that never got much love on cable. That means you’re in for a surprise treat. Jimmy, an aspiring band manager in Dublin, has a stroke of genius one day and sets out to give Dublin its first soul band. At first, the working-class community isn’t sold. However, through the power of song and a streetcar conductor who sings like Otis Redding, he brings together the finest soul band Ireland has ever seen. The music in The Commitments is an achievement on its own, mixing soul and pub rock into a sound that’s its own while also paying loving tribute to the songs being covered. 

90s movie netflix : The Commitments Screengrab via Netflix

13) The Iron Giant (1999)

96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
85 percent on MetaCritic

A box office flop when it was released, The Iron Giant has gone on to become a beloved cult hit among animation fans. The story is right out of a 50s sci-fi comic, a young boy meets a giant robot from space and the two go on the run from the government, but The Iron Giant injects the trope with more heart than an hundred Pixar films. Practical animation started to fall out of favor at the turn of the century, but The Iron Giant is perfect gift of a film. If you’re not crying by the end of it we can’t be friends.

90s movies netflix : the iron giant Screengrab via YouTube

14) The Crying Game (1992)

97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
90 percent on Metacritic

Neil Jordan’s low-budget sleeper hit is often remembered for its twist, which is a shame. The Crying Game is a tragic tale set against a backdrop the IRA conflict with the British. Fergus, an IRA member, bonds with the British soldier he’s holding captive, promising to visit the man’s girlfriend if he dies. When an escape attempt goes wrong, Fregus keeps his word, setting in motion a dark love story where heartbreak and politics violently collide. Stephen Rea and Jaye Davidson turn in two of the best performances of their careers. Don’t let any hack jokes you’ve heard about this film keep you away from an unsung classic.

best 90s movies netflix : the crying game Netflix

15) Like Water for Chocolate (1992)

91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
86 percent on Metacritic

As the youngest daughter in her family, tradition states Tita must care for her mother instead of getting married. Instead, Pedro, Tita’s one true love, ends up marrying her sister Rosaura, even though he shares Tita’s feelings. Forced to bury her feelings, Tita discovers she can imprint her emotions on anyone who eats the food she cooks. Based on Laura Esquivel’s debut novel, Like Water for Chocolate subtly uses magic to tell a years-long love story. Just get some tissues before you start watching.

best 90s movies on netflix: like water for chocolate Netflix Still not sure what to watch tonight? Here are our Netflix guides for the best war movies, documentaries, anime, indie flicks, and movies based on true stories streaming right now. There are also sad movies guaranteed to make you cry, weird movies to melt your brain, and comedy specials when you really need to laugh.

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance. 

John-Michael Bond

John-Michael Bond

John-Michael Bond is a tech reporter and culture writer for Daily Dot. A longtime cord-cutter and early adapter, he's an expert on streaming services (Hulu with Live TV), devices (Roku, Amazon Fire), and anime. A former staff writer for TUAW, he's knowledgeable on all things Apple and Android. You can also also find him regularly performing standup comedy in Los Angeles.