The 1990s were a fantastic decade for international film. The box office was dominated by romcoms. The same films wowed critics and audiences alike. Most importantly, the habit of ‘going to the movies’ was enjoyed by the public. Here’s a selection of some of the best 90s movies on Amazon Prime that you can watch right now:
Table Of Content
- 1 American Beauty (1999)
- 2 Amistad (1997)
- 3 Boogie Nights (1997)
- 4 Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
- 5 GoldenEye (1995)
- 6 Ju Dou (1990)
- 7 Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
- 8 My Name is Joe (1998)
- 9 Philadelphia (1993)
- 10 Total Recall (1990)
- 11 Thelma & Louise (1991)
- 12 Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
- 13 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
- 14 The Birdcage (1996)
- 15 The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
- 16 The Matrix (1999)
American Beauty (1999)
‘American Beauty’ is a funny take on a suburban father’s mid-life crisis. Lester Burnham, his real estate agent wife Carolyn Burnham, and their teenage daughter Janie Burnham are the central characters in the story. Even if everything appears regular and joyful from the outside, they have a hard time getting along with one another. Janie despises her parents because of who they are. Lester is having a difficult time at work. When he develops romantic feelings for his daughter’s best friend, things become more complicated.
The actual narrative of the slave ship La Amistad is told in ‘Amistad.’ After a mutiny, abducted Mende tribesmen take control of the ship in 1839. La Amistad is in route to the United States’ northeastern shore, the epicenter of the slave traffic from the Cuban coast. They assassinate the crew and continue their journey to Africa. However, they become separated in the sea and eventually reach the American coast. Almost all of the insurgents have been apprehended and imprisoned. When their cases reach the Supreme Court, he is defended by the great John Quincy Adams, and the rest is history.
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Boogie Nights (1997)
‘Boogie Nights’ is a film set in the 1970s during the golden age of pornography, and it follows the rise and fall of Dirk Diggler, a porn star. Eddie Adams, a nightclub busboy, has his life turned upside down after a chance encounter with pornographer Jack Horner. Horner is on the lookout for a godlike character who can raise his craft to the level of an art form. He warmly welcomes Eddie into the growing realm of pornographic content. Eddie’s climb from a busboy to a pornstar has been meteoric. He is better known as Dirk Diggler, his alter ego. Horner’s aim of turning pornography into an art form, however, collides with Eddie’s wild lifestyle as a pornstar. Furthermore, Eddie’s job and personal life begin to suffer as a result of drugs and ego. Paul Thomas Anderson directs ‘Boogie Nights.’ Major characters in the film include Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Heather Graham.
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
The romantic comedy ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ stars Charles, a British man, and Carrie, his love interest. Charles and his friends never think they’ll find love in their lives. However, he meets Carrie, an American woman, and falls madly in love with her. Carrie, on the other hand, refuses to embrace his love, and the couple goes through four marriages and a burial before recognizing they were meant to be together.
Pierce Brosnan makes his historic debut as James Bond, 007, in ‘GoldenEye.’ The film also introduces new cast members to the franchise, including Judi Dench as the first woman to play M and Caroline Bliss as Miss Moneypenny. The plot of ‘Goldeneye,’ the first Bond film created following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, is set against the backdrop of the collapse of the Soviet bloc. In ‘Goldeneye,’ Agent 007 is on a mission to uncover the Janus Syndicate’s mysterious leader. He is up against an ex-MI6 agent and defector who is in possession of Goldeneye, the Soviet Union’s devastating satellite weapon from the Cold War. To settle old scores with Britain and MI6, the ex-MI6 agent aims to use the attacks to provoke a global economic crisis. Pierce Brosnan teams up with Natalya Simonova, the new Russian Bond girl. Alec Trevelyan, played by Sean Bean, is a dangerous villain.
Ju Dou (1990)
‘Ju Dou’ is a Chinese drama that follows Ju Dou, a needy Chinese woman. She conceives a boy with her husband’s nephew while married to the ruthless and impotent owner of a dye factory in a secluded Chinese hamlet. She does not, however, divulge the truth about the boy’s birth because it may put the mother and son in danger. As a result, she raises her son as the genuine son of her mill owner husband. However, concealing the truth for a long time is practically impossible because the old mill owner is very concerned about his sterility and his desire to pass his money on to a lawful heir. The film concludes with the expected sad end of the boy’s parental ruse. ‘Ju Dou,’ directed by Zhang Yimou and Yang Fengliang, is the first Chinese film to be nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
‘Leaving Las Vegas’ portrays the story of Ben Sanderson, a suicidal alcoholic. In Hollywood, he works as a screenwriter. Ben’s wife recently divorced him, taking their son with her. Ben becomes so miserable and lonely that he resolves to take his own life. He relocates to Las Vegas with the intention of drinking himself to death. However, a chance encounter with Sera, a prostitute, alters his suicidal trajectory. Ben and Sera form an uneasy connection and make a pact. The pair moves in together and begins a new life together, but not without stumbling blocks. Their journey culminates in an unavoidable disaster after a terrible breakup and an emotional reunion. Mike Figgis directs ‘Leaving Las Vegas,’ which is based on a novel by John O’Brien. Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue play the key roles in the film. For his depiction of Ben, Cage received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama and the Academy Award for Best Actor.
My Name is Joe (1998)
‘My Name Is Joe’ takes place in one of Glasgow’s most dangerous districts. The majority of the residents in the region have a criminal or drug history. Joe Kavanagh is a jobless young guy in recovery from alcoholism. He is the coach of Scotland’s underperforming football team. He meets Sarah, a hardworking social worker, and the two fall in love. However, life is not as simple as they had hoped. Liam, one of Joe’s buddies, introduces more crime and gore into the household, and their lives come to a halt. Ken Loach is the director of the film. The film stars Peter Mullan, Louise Goodall, and David McKay in the key roles. Mullan’s portrayal of Joe earned him the Best Actor award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
‘Philadelphia’ is a legal drama set in a Philadelphia law practice that is homophobic. The plot revolves around two lawyers in the firm who are rivals. Andrew Beckett, one of the promising lawyers, has a secret to keep from his colleagues. Beckett keeps his homosexuality and HIV status a closely guarded secret for professional reasons. However, his anxieties and secrets are discovered by other lawyers, and Beckett is sacked from the firm. He chooses to fight back against discrimination and injustice by forming a partnership with his adversary Joe Miller, the sole lawyer on his side. During the legal battle that ensues, the two lawyers form an unexpected relationship and reveal the system’s prejudice and corruption. ‘Philadelphia,’ directed by Jonathan Demme, stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in the key roles. For his depiction of Andrew Beckett in the film, Hanks won an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Total Recall (1990)
The film ‘Total Recall’ follows Douglas Quaid, who is plagued by a reoccurring dream about a space mission. Quaid seeks help from Rekall Inc., a company that specializes in memory implantation technology, in order to break free from the nightmare. However, after the implantation session, memories of a top-secret expedition to Mars flood his memory. He soon discovers a weird thing in his head that is causing him to have repeated dreams and delusions. He sets off on a mission to Mars in search of the answers to the mysteries surrounding his strange dream about the red planet. Douglas Quaid, a construction worker in the present, discovers that he was once a secret operative named Carl Hauser whose memory was erased by some unknown persons to hide a plot. Quaid, on the other hand, finds himself at the center of a deadly plot to start an intergalactic war. ‘Total Recall,’ directed by Paul Verhoeven, stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, and Michael Ironside.
Thelma & Louise (1991)
The film ‘Thelma & Louise’ is a road movie about two best friends named Thelma and Louise. The two adventurous females hit the road in search of adventure, but their journey turns into a cat-and-mouse game with the cops. When Louise shoots a rapist who tries to harm Thelma, the carefree weekend trip quickly turns into a nightmare. Soon, the two females are on the run as two criminals. The faraway Mexican border is their only hope. Thelma and Louise race through Arkansas and the Grand Canyon with the cops on their tails. ‘Thelma & Louise’ comes to a poignant and unexpected conclusion. In the film, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon play the title lead couple.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ is a sequel to ‘The Terminator,’ which was released in 1984. Sarah Connor reprises her role as John’s 10-year-old mother in the film. The defeated robots dispatch an improved Terminator, the shape-shifting T-1000, to track down and eliminate John beginning in the year 2029. The mission’s goal is to stop John from organizing human resistance, which would eventually lead to the robots’ demise. But, detecting a threat, John sends the less advanced Terminator back in time to protect his younger self. Ten years have elapsed since the events of the first film, and the T-1000 and T-800 have clashed. James Cameron directs ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day,’ based on a script he co-wrote with William Wisher. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong play key parts in the film.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption is based on Stephen King’s 1982 novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.” Andy Dufresne, a banker turned criminal, and Ellis ‘Red’ Redding, a fellow inmate and smuggler, star in the film. Andy is accused of murdering both his wife and her lover. His background in banking and accounting allows him to get close to the Shawshank prison’s crooked jail warden. Andy earns the respect and friendship of his fellow convicts and the jail personnel over the course of his sentence. But, underneath his pleasant demeanor, he has other ideas. Frank Darabont directs ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ which stars Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, and Bob Gunton in prominent roles.
The Birdcage (1996)
‘The Birdcage’ is a parody of the Franco-Italian production ‘La Cage aux Folles,’ which premiered in 1978. Armand Goldman, an openly gay cabaret owner, and his companion Albert, the true person behind club heartthrob Starina, are central to the plot. They live in an apartment above ‘The Birdcage,’ a drag club. Armand has a son who wants to marry Barbara, the daughter of Republican Senator Kevin Keeley, an ultra-conservative. In front of Barbara’s right-wing moralist parents, Armand and his partner agree to perform a drama. The Senator and his family visit The Birdcage in order to meet the ‘parents’ of their daughter’s lover. Mike Nichols’ film ‘The Birdcage’ stars Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, and Dianne Wiest.
The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
The plot of ‘The Sweet Hereafter’ revolves around a catastrophic bus accident that shatters a tiny community. The event kills the majority of the town’s children. A lawyer arrives in town to assist the parents in filing a lawsuit. The residents of the town prepare a class action lawsuit against someone they can hold responsible for, only to compound their grief and rage. After the accident, one little girl, who had been living in a wheelchair, steps up to lead the entire small village. With her little intelligence and courage, she opes the lawyer’s eyes. Atom Egoyan directs the film, which is based on Russell Banks’ novel of the same name. The main characters are Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, and Bruce Greenwood.
The Matrix (1999)
The world is controlled by self-improving algorithms in ‘The Matrix,’ which is set in the twenty-first century. The story follows Thomas A. Anderson, who works as a regular computer programmer by day and as Neo, a hacker at night. When the famed computer hacker and most wanted rebel leader Morpheus pays a visit to his den, his humdrum life is turned upside down. Neo is now under the police’s scrutiny as a result of the visit. He then flees to the actual world, which is a desolate wasteland ruled by an advanced kind of artificial intelligence. With the use of an artificial reality called the Matrix, they take heat from human bodies and have power over human minds. Neo becomes a member of a group of underground rebels fighting the Matrix. From the ashes springs a human revolt against the machines. The Wachowskis wrote and directed ‘The Matrix.’ Major characters in the film include Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano.
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