14 '90s Movies That Were Way Ahead Of Their Time

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Every decade has some movies that feel out of place for its era. Whether it's due to their subject matter, their effects, or their casting, there are always films that the world just isn't ready for yet. For instance, several '90s movies were way ahead of their time, to the point where the ideas that they put forth would seem unique even if they showed up in a movie today.

The films of the '90s aren't often remembered for being ahead of their time, and are instead usually regarded as being mired in their era. People love to look back with their modern sensibilities and nitpick everything that would be unacceptable by today's standards in movies that were made 25 years ago, but that's not really fair to the decade as a whole. There are plenty of movies from the '90s that not only stood in contrast to their peers at the time of their release, but that still hold up today as relevant cinematic achievements. The 14 '90s films I've included on this list are all very different. There are comedy films and horror movies, Oscar-winners and cult classics, special effects-laden blockbusters and indie darlings — but what they all have in common is something that made them wise beyond their years... specifically, the years between 1990 and 1999.


'The Truman Show'

Reality TV had not yet conquered the airwaves in the '90s, and the idea of one's personal life being consumed as entertainment was still foreign. The plot of this film today though seems entirely plausible.


'The Crow'

Long before dark superhero films were hip, there was already a brooding superhero prowling the streets at night.


'Mystery Men'

Superhero movies weren't big business in 1999, meaning this superhero parody film arrived about a decade too early.


'Jurassic Park'

Its special effects still hold up better than many films of today.


'The Matrix'

Its effects were revolutionary, sure, but so was its idea that we're all living in a computer simulation.


'Terminator 2: Judgement Day'

Another movie that combined groundbreaking CGI special effects with a revolutionary concept. In this case, the idea that a woman could be as much of a badass lead in an action film as any man.


'Toy Story'

The first ever full length computer-animated feature, it created what is now the industry standard.


'The Blair Witch Project'

Nobody gets fooled by found footage horror films anymore, but they did when this classic practically invented the format.


'Thelma And Louise'

Strong and independent women are still underrepresented in today's Hollywood landscape, so just imagine what a rarity this movie was in 1991.


'Boys Don't Cry'

Transgender issues are just now gaining mainstream attraction, making this film a true trailblazer.



A horror movie that managed to be both scary and funny on a meta level, Scream remains beloved today.



At a time when female-led comedies were basically nonexistent, this hilarious film set the landscape for today's woman-dominated comedy industry.


'The Silence Of The Lambs'

A brilliant female detective in a film was a strange concept before this Oscar-winner, but Clarice Starling is now remembered as one of film's all-time great protagonists.


'The Birdcage'

The movie's gay couple definitely plays up stereotypes for laughs, but at the film's core they are also shown as what they are: Just two people in love.