31 '90s Movie Posters That Still Make No Sense

One of my favorite things about going to the movies is walking around the lobby and looking at the framed, one-sheet posters of upcoming film releases. Pursuing full-size new movie posters is part of the theater experience that streaming channels can’t quite replicate. Movie posters have the difficult job of summing up a movie’s tone, story, and appeal, all in a single graphic. There are designs that have become classics, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show lips or Jaws floating right below a bikini-clad swimmer. But some movie posters — especially ones from the ‘90s — can be a little misleading about the subject matter, or just not seem to have a real purpose. These 31 ‘90s movie posters seriously make no sense, even when viewed today.

It’s not that all of these movie posters are bad, exactly. (Though, let’s be real: some of them very much are.) You might even see some of your favorites on this list — even images that have become iconic. But look at each one individually. Really look, and try to imagine that you know nothing about the movies they’re advertising. Now, could you blame an uninformed viewer for getting confused? Keep on clicking to see the 31 movie posters from the ‘90s that still, to this day, make zero sense.

1. The Silence Of The Lambs

Sure, it gets explained in the film, but this poster seems like the harrowing tale of what happens when a woman wears sticky lip gloss under a street lamp at night. Moth face.

Orion Pictures

2. Tommy Boy

A fully-grown man picks his 15-year-old son up from his snooty prep school for summer vacation. Road trip hijinks ensue.

Paramount Pictures

3. American Beauty

My first thought as a kid upon seeing this poster was that this most be a movie about nude figure drawing models at a small-town community college. My second thought was that I would definitely watch that.

Dreamworks Pictures

4. Showgirls

Saved By The Bell's Elizabeth Berkeley stars as... A Leg?

United Artists

5. Reindeer Games

I don't see any reindeer in this poster at all, so I can only assume they arrive in an 11th hour plot twist, possibly with machine guns.

Miramax Pictures

6. The Frighteners

The story of a haunted trampoline and the ghouls living under it.

Universal Pictures

7. My Girl

What makes no sense about this poster is that it seems like this is a movie that will make you smile like the cutie pies on the poster and not, in fact, rip your heart out of your chest and throw it into the sun.

Columbia Pictures

8. Glengarry Glen Ross

Didn't that movie about the tightrope walker came out 20+ years after this?

Warner Bros. Pictures

9. Groundhog Day

Apparently, Bill Murray's character is trapped in a clock, and Andie McDowell's character is the mischievous witch who put him there. Sure, it goes with the movie's theme, but come on.

Columbia Pictures

10. Encino Man

Corrected pull quote: "If you like Wayne's World, you should just watch Wayne's World again instead."

Walt Disney Studios

11. Blank Check

This is not a movie about a child who is mugged 30 seconds after leaving the bank with an unzipped backpack full of hundreds.

Walt Disney Studios

12. A Bronx Tale

Who will win in the battle of the giant faces? The guy in the middle is not sticking around to find out.


13. Sphere

A drama about a new sci-fi themed SnapChat filter.

Warner Bros. Pictures

14. Phenomenon

John Travolta plays a powerful giant who allows couples to nestle in the soft corduroy of his giant jacket, apparently..

15. The Long Kiss Goodnight

Something went wrong when Samuel L. Jackson and Geena Davis put their photos into one of those "what would our kid look like?" apps.

Warner Bros. Pictures

16. So I Married An Axe Murderer

Mike Meyers has to escape San Francisco before a graphic designer blurs into oblivion.

TriStar Pictures

17. Devil's Advocate

"Never speak to me or my son ever again," this confusing poster seems to be saying.

Warner Bros. Pictures

18. The Pelican Brief

In which Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts commandeer your public library for a really intense online RPG.

Warner Bros. Pictures

19. Sleepless In Seattle

She's nocturnal; he lives in a land where it's always daytime. Can they reconcile their differences and make it work?

TriStar Pictures

20. Kingpin

I don't even know where to start.


21. Election

Reese Witherspoon swallows tiny Matthew Broderick. He becomes her conscience. That's Election, right?

Paramount Pictures

22. Soapdish

This is a dramatization of that time you tried to squeeze six too many people into a wedding reception photobooth.

Paramount Pictures

23. Death Becomes Her

A witch and her magic cleavage wreak havoc. Can they be stopped?

Universal Pictures

24. While You Were Sleeping

A dark story of a man fighting his urge to throw things and people onto train tracks.

Walt Disney Studios

25. Waiting For Guffman

Someone cast your high school drama teacher in a movie. Actually, that's a pretty accurate description of this film.

Sony Pictures Classics

26. Ransom

Mel Gibson spends the whole movie looking for his son, not realizing there's about a dozen of him right behind him.

Walt Disney Studios

27. Point Break

Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze are emo because they forgot to bring their masks for the presidential-themed fancy dress beach party.

20th Century Fox

28. Batman Returns

A team of armored penguins takes on a three-headed giant? Sure, why not.

Warner Bros. Pictures

29. Necessary Roughness

Not a Pixar movie about a sentient football, unfortunately.

Paramount Pictures

30. Thelma & Louise

This must be a gal pal road trip movie with a happy ending!


31. Sabrina

Harrison Ford falls in love with a chic ghost, this poster says. He's a little embarrassed about it.

Paramount Pictures