26 Underrated Films From the ’90s That Never Make Best Lists

The 1990s are known for iconic blockbusters. Nonetheless, there are a ton of underrated films that are typically overlooked while revisiting the classics. Here are some of the most seriously underrated films of the 90s. Do you agree?

1. Short Cuts (1993)

Short Cuts 1993
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Short Cuts weaves together the stories of many characters in Los Angeles. The ensemble cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Matthew Modine, Julianne Moore, Fred Ward, Anne Archer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Madeleine Stowe, Chris Penn, Jack Lemmon, Frances McDormand, Lori Singer, Andie MacDowell, Buck Henry, and Lily Tomlin.

This intricately crafted film provides a mosaic of interconnected stories, exploring themes of love, infidelity, and human complexity. With its stellar cast and masterful storytelling, Short Cuts offers a unique perspective on the intricacies of everyday life.

2. Twenty Bucks (1993)

Twenty Bucks 1993
Image Credit: Triton Pictures.

Twenty Bucks features another stacked cast, including Linda Hunt, Brendan Fraser, Elisabeth Shue, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Lloyd, Gladys Knight, William H. Macy, David Schwimmer, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Spalding Gray. 

It follows the journey of a $20 bill as it passes through many people’s hands. This cleverly interwoven anthology film captures various moments and emotions, revealing the impact that this seemingly insignificant piece of currency can have on people’s lives. The film’s exploration of human connections and experiences makes it a hidden gem worth discovering.

3. The Last Boy Scout (1991)

The Last Boy Scout 1991
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

A blend of action and dark humor, The Last Boy Scout follows a disgraced Secret Service agent and a private investigator as they uncover a complex conspiracy.

With Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans in the lead roles, the film offers thrilling action sequences and witty banter. Despite overshadowing from other ’90s action films, The Last Boy Scout stands out for its unique tone and entertaining storyline.

4. Beautiful Girls (1996)

Beautiful Girls 1996
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

Beautiful Girls is a touching examination of friendships and connections in a small town. Centered around a high school reunion, the film delves into the challenges and dreams of a group of friends. With a strong ensemble cast, including Timothy Hutton, Natalie Portman, and Uma Thurman, the movie offers a touching portrayal of nostalgia, growth, and the complexities of adult life.

5. Buffalo ’66 (1998)

Buffalo '66 1998
Image Credit: Lions Gate Films.

Vincent Gallo helms the compelling drama Buffalo ’66 and features him as well. The film follows a recently released prisoner as he kidnaps a young tap dancer and forces her to pose as his wife during a visit to his dysfunctional family. The film’s unique visual style and offbeat narrative make it a standout piece of ’90s cinema, exploring themes of identity, family, and redemption.

6. My Own Private Idaho (1991)

My Own Private Idaho 1991
Image Credit: Fine Line Features.

My Own Private Idaho is a poignant drama following two young street hustlers, played by River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves, on a journey of self-discovery. Set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, the film delves into themes of love, friendship, and identity. Its unconventional narrative and powerful performances make it a standout work of artistry.

7. The Fisher King (1991)

The Fisher King 1991 Robin Williams
Image Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

The Fisher King presents a unique blend of fantasy and drama. The film follows a radio shock jock, played by Jeff Bridges, who befriends a homeless man, portrayed by Robin Williams. Their unlikely friendship leads to a quest for redemption and healing. With its imaginative storytelling and emotional depth, Fisher King is a thought-provoking exploration of human connection.

8. Kicking And Screaming (1995)

Kicking and Screaming 1995
Image Credit: Trimark Pictures Inc.

Kicking and Screaming offers a witty and relatable portrayal of post-college life and the challenges of transitioning to adulthood. The film follows a group of friends navigating relationships, uncertainties, and the complexities of finding their paths. With its sharp dialogue and authentic characters, this indie gem captures the essence of a generation.

9. In the Company of Men (1997)

In the Company of Men 1997
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Classics.

In the Company of Men is a provocative drama that explores toxic masculinity and corporate power dynamics. The film follows two executives who embark on a cruel and manipulative plan to exploit a woman emotionally. With its unflinching examination of human behavior, the film offers a disturbing yet thought-provoking exploration of morality.

10. A Simple Plan (1998)

A Simple Plan 1998
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Directed by Sam Raimi, A Simple Plan is a gripping thriller that explores the moral dilemmas faced by three men who discover a bag of money in a crashed plane. As their greed and paranoia escalate, their lives unravel in unexpected ways.

The film’s tense atmosphere and complex characters make it a standout entry in ’90s cinema, highlighting the consequences of one fateful decision. It stars Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, and Bridget Fonda. 

11. Carpool (1996)

Carpool 1996
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

The lighthearted comedy Carpool pokes fun at the unexpected situations that arise during a group carpool. Starring Tom Arnold, the film follows the comedic mishaps and adventures of a mismatched group of passengers and the harried driver. With its zany scenarios and quirky characters, Carpool offers an entertaining ride.

12. Dirty Work (1998)

Dirty Work
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

In the comedy Dirty Work, starring Norm Macdonald and Artie Lange, two friends launch a business offering revenge for hire in order to obtain money for a heart transplant. Packed with irreverent humor and outrageous pranks, the film delivers laughs as it explores the unconventional ways the characters navigate their challenges.

13. Dead Man (1995)

Dead Man 1995
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

In the visually stunning and surreal Western Dead Man, Johnny Depp plays a man on the run who gets involved in a number of strange and existential events. The film’s poetic and enigmatic narrative stands out as a unique exploration of identity, mortality, and the human experience.

14. Wild at Heart (1990)

Wild at Heart 1990
Image Credit: The Samuel Goldwyn Company.

The bizarre road trip movie Wild at Heart, directed by David Lynch, is aesthetically captivating. Starring Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern, the movie follows a passionate and often surreal journey of love and danger. Known for its Lynchian aesthetic and unconventional storytelling, Wild at Heart is a captivating and offbeat cinematic experience.

15. Dead Presidents (1995)

Dead Presidents 1995
Image Credit: Hollywood Pictures.

Dead Presidents is a gritty crime drama that explores the struggles of a young Black American man after he returns from serving in the Vietnam War. Starring Larenz Tate, Chris Tucker, Keith David, Rose Jackson, and Freddy Rodriguez, the film examines themes of poverty, racism, and the challenges veterans face.

With its powerful performances and social commentary, Dead Presidents offers a raw and impactful portrayal of a generation’s experiences.

16. Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

Drop Dead Gorgeous 1999 Kirsten Dunst
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Dark comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous mocks small-town life and beauty pageants. With a mockumentary-style approach, the film follows the competitive and often deadly rivalry among contestants in a local pageant.

Its sharp wit and over-the-top humor make it a standout comedy with satirical commentary on societal expectations. It stars Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy, Denise Richards, Allison Janney, Ellen Barkin, Kirstie Alley, and Amy Adams.

17. Copycat (1995)

Copycat 1995
Image Credit: Regency Enterprises.

This gripping thriller stars Sigourney Weaver as a criminal psychologist and Holly Hunter as a detective teaming up to catch a serial killer. The film delves into the mind of a deranged murderer who emulates the techniques of famous killers. With its suspenseful plot and strong performances, Copycat offers a captivating and chilling cinematic experience.

18. A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

A Life Less Ordinary 1997
Image Credit: Figment Films and Channel Four Films.

A Life Less Ordinary is a whimsical romantic comedy that blends elements of fantasy and romance. The film follows a down-on-his-luck janitor (Ewan McGregor) and a spoiled heiress (Cameron Diaz) who are thrust into an unexpected adventure. With its quirky premise and offbeat humor, the movie explores the unconventional ways love can blossom.

19. Head Above Water (1996)

Head Above Water 1996
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

The married couple at the center of the suspenseful thriller Head Above Water have their lives turned upside down as they get caught up in a web of lies and suspicion. Starring Cameron Diaz and Harvey Keitel, the film presents a tense and unpredictable narrative that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

20. But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

But I'm a Cheerleader 1999
Image Credit: Lions Gate Films.

The satirical comedy But I’m a Cheerleader centers on a young cheerleader who is sent to a conversion therapy camp to cure her alleged homosexuality. The film humorously critiques societal norms and stereotypes while exploring themes of identity and acceptance. The movie’s colorful and campy style delivers a unique and thought-provoking message.

21. Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

Devil in a Blue Dress 1995
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

In the neo-noir mystery Devil in a Blue Dress, Denzel Washington plays a private eye involved in a challenging case in post-World War II Los Angeles. With its atmospheric setting and intricate plot, the film offers a stylish and engaging exploration of crime and intrigue.

22. Hurly Burly (1998)

Hurlyburly 1998
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Hurly Burly is a dark comedy-drama that looks into the lives of a group of friends in Hollywood, exploring themes of existentialism, relationships, and self-discovery. Adapted from the play by David Rabe, the film boasts a talented ensemble cast (Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Chazz Palminteri, and Meg Ryan) and provides a raw and thought-provoking examination of the human condition.

23. The Player (1992)

The Player 1992
Image Credit: Fine Line Features.

The Player is a satirical Hollywood insider film that takes a witty and scathing look at the entertainment industry. Tim Robbins stars as a studio executive caught up in a murder plot. Through its clever meta-commentary and sharp humor, the film offers a unique and engaging exploration of ambition and morality.

24. Gattaca (1997)

Gattaca 1997
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures Industries Inc.

The film Gattaca, starring Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, is a science fiction thriller set in a future where genetic engineering determines one’s social status.

The film follows a man with inferior genes who dreams of space travel and assumes the identity of a genetically superior individual. With its thought-provoking themes of genetic discrimination and identity, Gattaca presents a compelling dystopian narrative.

25. Trespass (1992)

Trespass 1992
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This is a crime thriller starring Bill Paxton and Ice-T as two firefighters who stumble upon a map leading to stolen gold. As they pursue their claim, they find themselves in a dangerous conflict with a group of criminals. The film’s tense atmosphere and intense performances create a gripping and suspenseful cinematic experience. It costars Ice Cube.

26. Brain Donors (1992)

Brain Donors 1992
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

A slapstick comedy that honors vintage screwball comedies is Brain Donors. The film follows a trio of eccentric characters as they become embroiled in a legal battle over a ballet company. With its fast-paced humor and zany antics, Brain Donors offers a lighthearted and entertaining ride reminiscent of comedy classics.

15 Forgotten Movies From the 90s To Tickle Your Nostalgia Bone

Only You
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

Are you searching for a little 90s nostalgia that is not on every list? Then, we got you covered. These are several of my favorite forgotten films from the 90s. Do you remember?

22 Popular Films That Completely Traumatized 80s Children, What About You?

Jaws Steven Spielberg
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Was there a film(s) that completely traumatized you as a child? I’ll go first, Cujo. I have no idea what my mother was thinking, allowing that film to play in the background of her chores, but I watched it and had nightmares for months. After someone polled an entertainment forum for other traumatic experiences, here is what scared the youth.

25 Memorable Movies That Are So Totally 80s, Do You Remember?

Trading Places
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The 1980s was an iconic decade for film, delivering many unforgettable movies that have stood the test of time. The 80s film scene left an indelible mark on popular culture, from heartwarming comedies to thrilling adventures and rebellious teenage tales. Recently, people shared some memorable movies that epitomize the spirit of the 80s.

20 Comedies From the 90s That Are Way Funnier Than Anything Coming Out Today

What About Bob 1991
Image Credit: Tombstone Pictures.

The nineties were an incredible decade in film, including several classic comedies. Here are some of my favorites that are guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. Have you seen them?

12 Worst Movies From the 70s According To IMDb — Do You Agree?

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Return to the revolutionary cinema of the 1970s, where risk-taking experimentation and bold concepts frequently produced unforgettable and forgettable moments. Here is a look at the not-so-great 70s films that didn’t garner high ratings on IMDb.