It’s hard to believe the 90’s were three decades ago. A lot has changed since then, and that includes the types of movies that are being made. No matter how hard the filmmakers try, it’s impossible to recapture the exact feel of a ’90s movie. There’s the film’s warm, endearing visuals, the expertly chosen soundtrack of ’90s music, and the mismatched, inexplicably chic costumes. Today’s movies understandably look different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go back to that era again through our TV screens.
When you think of classic 90s movies, what do you think of? Is it something nostalgic like Matilda or The Sandlot, or something epic like Jurassic Park or The Matrix? Maybe it’s a movie that became a pop culture phenomenon, like Clueless or Pulp Fiction. There’s no denying the quality or popularity of these titles – but they all get credit where credit is due. Sometimes it can be fun to watch a movie that isn’t as popular but otherwise shines. That’s why we’ve put together this list of grossly underrated movies from the ’90s – so you can catch something old that still feels fresh.
You probably haven’t seen all of the movies below – or if you have, it’s probably been a while. With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, it’s easy to access these ’90s gems with just a few clicks of the remote. who you know Maybe you’ll discover a new favorite among this collection of underrated ’90s classics.
Underrated 90s Movies You Can Watch While Streaming:
These movies don’t get the love they deserve – but you can stream them at home right now.
1. Anastasia (1997)
Despite the fact that it was a critical and commercial success upon release, Anastasia is still an understatement – simply because it’s not a Disney movie. Well, technically it became one when Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, but the movie was originally produced by Fox Animation Studios. In many ways, Anastasia acts as an antidote to the traditional Disney princess story. Anya Romanoff (Meg Ryan) is outspoken and intimidating, and not afraid to get her hands dirty. Based on the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia, the story follows Anya as she sets out on a journey to discover her past. Whether you’ve never seen it before or haven’t seen it in a while, Anastasia is a heartwarming, nostalgic movie that you can enjoy on Hulu.
2. Office Space (1999)
Before anyone had heard of The Office, there was Office Space – Mike Judge’s underrated workplace masterpiece. Although Office Space is now considered a cult film (due in part to an influx of Internet memes inspired by the film), it was initially a box office disappointment. The film is a satire of 1990s tech company culture, but it never does so at the expense of its employees. Judge may be best known as the creator of the animated series Beavis, Butt-Head, and King of the Hill, but there’s no denying that Office Space deserves the same accolades.
3. Homecoming: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Like The Rocketeer, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is often overshadowed by the slew of other more popular Disney films. But in terms of family adventures, this is one for the books. It is a remake of the 1963 film The Incredible Voyage, and an adaptation of Sheila Burnford’s novel of the same name. Voiced by Michael J. Fox Chance, a lively American bulldog who teams up with Golden Retriever Shadow (Don Ameche) and Himalayan cat Sassy (Sally Field) to find their owners, who have temporarily moved to San Francisco. Unlike animal movies these days, Homeward Bound doesn’t rely on CGI to animate the mouths of our furry heroes – their voices are simply played along with their natural movements. Can we get back to that please? Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is on Disney+.
4. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
Fans of David Lynch’s surreal crime thriller series Twin Peaks weren’t sure what to make of the long-running Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me at first. Written as a prequel to the TV show, the psychological horror film explores the last seven days of the life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), a complex beauty queen who is found murdered at the beginning of Twin Peaks. Unlike ABC’s original series, Fire Walk With Me doesn’t infuse its subject matter with offbeat humor—it’s much darker. The release of the film polarized critics and failed to recover its budget, but today it has been reevaluated in a more positive light. Curious? You can watch it on HBO Max.
5. Waiting for Goffman (1996)
While many fans of Christopher Guest’s sarcastic style may be quick to point out the show’s best – Ariana Grande and Liz Gillis even dressed up as characters from the film for Halloween – not many do. about Waiting for Gaffman. The film is about a group of Blaine, Missouri residents as they prepare to put on a play for the town’s 150th anniversary. Guest himself plays Corky St. Clair, the play’s energetic (and sometimes delusional) director. With an all-star cast and countless hilarious moments, Waiting For Guffman is great repeat value – download it on HBO Max.
6. Magic Magic (1998)
Every Halloween, it’s all about Hocus Pocus and not enough practical magic – it doesn’t help that Disney has invested a lot of money in a sequel to the first one. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman play two witch sisters who must fight an evil spirit to save their lives. Many critics felt that Magical Magic failed due to its erratic and jarring tone shifts, and the film initially lost money at the box office. Over time, the film acquired a small but powerful cult following. No matter the time of year, you can enjoy this guilt-filled fall treat on HBO Max.
7. This is something you do! (1996)
While Tom Hanks has put his name to a few movies, This Is What You Do! It may be his most underrated work to date. The film follows a pop group called The Wonders in the 1960s, from their humble beginnings to their inevitable demise. Hanks wrote, directed and co-starred in the bubblegum-era flick, which is deftly laced with a number of catchy tunes — including the title track, “That Thing You Do.” Just like in miracles, this thing you do! He was primarily recognized for his infectious pop vocals, which were nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. But it deserves to be remembered more for that – impeccable production design, gracious dialogue and heartfelt performances. You can stream it on Hulu.
8. But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)
But I’m the Cheerleader received mostly negative reviews from critics when it was released in 1999, but it also managed to win applause at film festivals. From the start, it was clear that this film was destined for classic status, not mainstream success. Starring Natasha Lyonne as a teenage cheerleader sent to a lesbian conversion camp by her parents – though she never admits her sexual preferences – I Am a Cheerleader works as both straight-up comedy and scathing satire. You can watch it on Paramount+ and Showtime.
9. The Rocketeer (1991)
Disney’s Forgotten Live Action Adventures The Rocketeer is considered by many to be the most underrated film the studio has ever made. Set in 1938, The Rocketeer follows Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell), an aerobatic pilot who discovers a prototype rocket that allows him to fly without an airplane. A faithful adaptation of the comics of the same name, the film was well received by critics at the time of its release. However, it turned out to be a box office failure – and Disney scrapped all plans for a sequel. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth a look. It is available to stream on Disney+.
10. Election (1999)
Alexander Payne’s “black comedy Election” was much more easily accepted by the public. Although it received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, it did not fare well at the box office. However, the satire of politics and school life only gets sharper with age – former President Barack Obama has twice called it his favorite political movie