31 '90s Movies You Forgot Were A Thing


The ’90s are gone but never forgotten... except for the parts that no one remembers, like these 31 movies. Though they may have faded from the cultural consciousness, these films definitely deserve to be revisited.

The ’90s were a powerful decade. Those years introduced the world to Tamagotchis and Moon Shoes, and also saw the release of countless classic films, like Titanic, Pulp Fiction, and The Matrix. It can claim countless movies that continue to be talked about and rewatched regularly. Not every '90s film has stood the test of time, though. For every classic we obsess over today, there's a movie that's been completely forgotten. And some of them are, well, pretty wild.

Most of these movies were buzz-worthy when they were released, but have since faded into the background. They're not all bad, but some are certainly not good. In fact, I'm sure many of the actors who starred in these movies wish you'd continue to forget about them forever. (Did the world need Leonardo DiCaprio to play a bratty French king in The Man in the Iron Mask? Actually, yes.) For every underrated gem, there are surely some '90s movies you've forgotten about that you now wish could be wiped entirely from your memory. Take a look at the list of 31 forgotten ’90s movies to find out which movies you'll be elated to remember again, and which ones you wish would stay buried in the slush pile.

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1. Dick (1999)

This seminal late-’90s film set in the midst of the Watergate scandal deserves a resurgence. Dick is about two teen girls, Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams, who have adventures in the White House with President Nixon, just as the Watergate scandal is unfolding. The film pokes fun at the then-unknown identity of “Deep Throat,” the whistleblower who exposed the scandal, and turns the teenage protagonists into the exposers.

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2. Fly Away Home (1996)

Fly Away Home is an oft-forgotten father-daughter drama starring Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin. It's a quietly poignant story about a young girl (Paquin) who decides to raise baby geese on her own. Fly Away Home was a hit with critics upon its release, but has somehow faded into the background ever since.

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3. A Very Brady Sequel (1996)

Possibly the weirdest Brady Bunch movie ever. Sure, all the Jan jokes have remained relevant, but the rest of the film is full of awkward Marcia/Greg sexual tension and uncomfortable innuendos. And yet, A Very Brady Sequel is iconic nonetheless. Just be sure to get your mind out of the gutter.

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4. That Thing You Do! (1996)

Legendary actor Tom Hanks wrote and directed That Thing You Do!, a charming musical comedy starring Liv Tyler and Tom Everett Scott. It's about a band that becomes a one-hit wonder, and while most people might recognize the film's catchy tune (also titled "That Thing You Do"), many haven't even seen the movie. Or if they have, they’ve probably forgotten about it.

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5. Velvet Goldmine (1998)

Jonathan Rhys Meyers. In latex. That is all. Oh, and also Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale. Velvet Goldmine is not only a goldmine of late-’90s heartthrobs, but it’s also a poignant and aesthetically-driven musical directed by Todd Haines (Carol, Safe, etc.) that touches on queer issues and navigating fame in the ’80s. Velvet Goldmine also stars Toni Collette and Eddie Izzard.

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6. The Man In The Iron Mask (1998)

Leonardo DiCaprio plays King Louis XIV and his legendary secret identical twin brother in this creepy movie that has haunted many people’s dreams since its release. The Man in the Iron Mask came out around the same time as Titanic, so it’s understandable why this one fell under the radar. But it’s also just really weird. It be like that sometimes.

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7. Michael (1996)

John Travolta is the sugar-loving angel in Michael, a film based on the Nora Ephron novel. The movie turns the Archangel Michael into a boozy mess. Plus, Travolta also rocks the same haircut he does in Pulp Fiction. If that isn't enough to get you to want to watch this movie, we don't know what is.

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8. Man Of The House (1995)

Millennials probably grew up watching this Jonathan Taylor Thomas classic on Disney Channel back in the day. JTT is at his pre-teen peak in this family comedy, which finds his character forced to bond with his new stepdad (Chevy Chase) when they join the "Indian Guides." While this film may not have aged perfectly, it was an iconic staple for ’90s kids.

Stream on Disney Plus

9. George of the Jungle (1997)

George of the Jungle is another film that didn’t necessarily age well, but that scene with an oiled-up, naked Brendan Fraser is too good to pass up. (Keep in mind that this is supposed to be a children’s film.) George (Fraser) plays a man raised by primates and other animals in an uncolonized region of Uganda. He meets Ursula, an American heiress, and they fall madly in love with each other. How romantic.

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10. Jungle 2 Jungle (1997)

What is it with the '90s and this weird obsession trying to whitewash indigenous cultures? Anyway, Jungle 2 Jungle stars Tim Allen, who plays a modern New York businessman who finds out he has a 13-year-old son named Mimi-Siku raised in a semi-Westernized Venezualian tribe. He brings him back to NYC to show him the “American” way, so to speak. Cue eye roll.

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11. Two Girls And A Guy (1997)

In Two Girls and a Guy, Robert Downey Jr. plays Blake, a playboy actor dating two women, Carla (Heather Graham) and Lou (Natasha Gregson Wagner), at the same time. When they both find out, they break into his apartment and angrily confront him. Now, one might call that Iron Man: The Prequel, sans the superheroes and villains.

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12. The Borrowers (1997)

Have you ever put something down in its rightful place, only for it to disappear when you need it most? Chances are one of the “Borrowers” took it. This 1997 film is about a family of very tiny people who live in the nooks and crannies of another normal-sized family’s home. Inevitably, hijinks ensue. Also, look out for a pre-Harry Potter Tom Felton!

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13. Mighty Joe Young (1998)

Remember when Charlize Theron was basically in love with a giant gorilla? Yikes. Mighty Joe Young is kind of like King Kong, if King Kong was a romantic family drama. Theron stars as Jill, a woman who raises a giant gorilla named Joe. She moves him to a conservancy in Los Angeles to protect him from poachers. The tropes in this film are kind of a mess, but it's still weirdly heartwarming.

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14. October Sky (1999)

A young, big-eyed Jake Gyllenhaal plays a teenager obsessed with rockets in a sweet drama. October Sky is based on the true story of Homer Hickman, a man whose space ambitions eventually land him a top engineering position at NASA. Unfortunately for October Sky, the movie was overshadowed by Gyllenhaal's huge breakout two years later in Donnie Darko.

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15. Jawbreaker (1999)

Jawbreaker is a campy cult-classic that somehow convinced audiences that jawbreaker candies were deadly. Starring Rose McGowan, Rebecca Gayheart, and Julie Benz as a trio of popular girls-turned-murderers, the film was seen as a less successful little sister to Heathers, another iconic cult classic, so it makes some sense why Jawbreaker was swept under the rug after its release.

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16. Set It Off (1996)

F. Gary Gray's Set It Off stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise. The four women play low-income workers who are sick of being taken advantage of, so they decide to rob a bank in Los Angeles. Their plan isn’t sinister though: They’re doing it solely to better the lives of their families. Why isn’t this movie more popular?

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17. The Bone Collector (1999)

Denzel Washington teams up with Angelina Jolie to solve murders in this insane '90s thriller set in New York City. Based on Jeffery Deaver’s novel of the same name, The Bone Collector follows Lincoln Rhyme (Washington), a forensic expert left paralized from the neck down after an accident. The film probably got lost in the shuffle thanks to its super creepy title. But what a pair of stars!

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18. The Indian In The Cupboard (1995)

This children's film is definitely one of those movies that would have a tough time getting made today. Despite playing into harmful stereotypes, The Indian in the Cupboard was a beloved film for many who grew up in the ’90s, and is ultimately about friendship. It follows Omri, a 9-year-old who brings his toy Native American figurines to life.

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19. Waterworld (1995)

Anyone who went to Universal Studios growing up surely went to the live Waterworld show, but how many actually saw the movie on which it was based? The 1995 film post-apocalyptic thriller stars Kevin Costner as The Mariner, a man living in a world where sea levels have risen so high that dry land no longer exists. Not only is Waterworld an epic action film, but it also offers an astute prediction for how the current climate crisis can — and will — devastate Earth.

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20. City Of Angels (1998)

City of Angels — aka the movie where Meg Ryan rides a bike with no hands — was a big deal when it was released in 1998, but the film has since faded into '90s history. Ryan stars alongside Nicholas Cage, who plays an angel who falls madly in love with Ryan’s character. In fact, he’s so in love with her, he falls from heaven and becomes mortal just to be with her. It’s both romantic and creepy at the same time.

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21. Antz (1998)

More proof that Pixar animated movies are superior to most other animated films, Antz is pretty much remembered as the poor man's A Bug's Life. It doesn’t help that both movies came out around the same time, and that Antz also stars filmmaker Woody Allen as a neurotic ant. So, yeah, there's a good reason why this one was forgotten.

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22. Blast From The Past (1999)

You’re probably wondering how the public could have forgotten this ’90s romcom starring Alicia Silverstone and Brendan Fraser, and there’s just no good answer. Blast From the Past follows a 35-year-old man (Fraser) who has spent his entire life in a bunker awaiting nuclear war. He reemerges into the contemporary ’90s world, where he’s finally able to live his life without fear of the Red Scare.

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23. A Walk In The Clouds (1995)

Keanu Reeves stars alongside Aitana Sánchez-Gijón in A Walk in the Clouds, a truly weird period romance about a WWII soldier who pretends to be the husband of an unwed pregnant woman, in order to protect her from her father's disapproval. Though Reeves definitely steals hearts in his portrayal, some movies deserve to fall under the radar. A Walk in the Clouds is one such film.

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24. Forever Young (1992)

Mel Gibson stars in Forever Young as a man who essentially comes back to life in 1992 after being frozen in 1939. Putting aside the terrifying prospect of an age-defying Mel Gibson, the movie is notable as it was written by none other than J.J. Abrams, back when he was still calling himself "Jeffrey Abrams." It's nice to know that even the man credited with reviving two major Stars (Trek and Wars) had to start somewhere. (Bonus: baby Elijah Wood co-stars!)

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25. Mystery Men (1999)

This oddball comedy about a group of ridiculous superheroes probably should have become a cult classic. Instead, it faded into the background. Mystery Men stars a myriad of recognizable ’90s actors, including Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo, and Kel Mitchell (as in “Kel loves orange soda!”). This is a film that definitely deserves a resurgence in today’s canon of zany cult flicks.

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26. Singles (1992)

Gen X will feel all types of nostalgia for Singles. Time forgot this '90s Cameron Crowe movie, and that's a true shame. Part rom-com and part coming-of-age film, Singles follows a group of 20-somethings living in a Seattle apartment building. Sure, some of the storylines are a little dated (landline phones feature prominently, as does the beginnings of online dating), but it's a charming film that deserves better than to be lost in the '90s.

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27. Les Misérables (1998)

No, not the one where Anne Hathaway sings. This '90s adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables starred Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean, Uma Thurman as Fantine, Geoffrey Rush as Javert, and Claire Danes as Cosette, along with a plethora of other stars. It’s likely that this adaptation was forgotten because it’s not the musical version, but it received rave reviews upon its release, so it’s worth a watch.

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28. Boys On The Side (1995)

Drew Barrymore, aka the queens of almost-good '90s films, stars in Boys on the Side alongside Whoopi Goldberg and Mary-Louise Parker. They play three very different women brought together on a cross-country trip. Oh, and Matthew McConaughey is in it, too. Boys on the Side tackles important issues often neglected during this era, like the AIDS epidemic, so it's a shame this one fell by the wayside.

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29. Analyze This (1999)

Analyze This isn't exactly a Goodfellas or Casino, and that's probably why people seem to have forgotten about this delightful Robert DeNiro mobster comedy. The film pits DeNiro's mob boss against Billy Crystal, who plays his therapist. The movie was so successful (at the time, at least) that they made a sequel in 2002 called Analyze That, but that, too, seems to have been forgotten over time.

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30. Fear (1996)

Perhaps the plot of Fear will help explain why it's one of the forgotten movies of the '90s: Reese Witherspoon plays Nicole, a young woman who falls in love with the seemingly perfect David (Mark Wahlberg), and then finds herself terrorized by his increasingly stalker-like behavior.

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Clockwatchers (1997)

Clockwatchers is on its way to achieving cult status, but still isn’t talked about enough. Starring Toni Collette as Iris, the timid protagonist, alongside Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow, and Alanna Ubach, the film follows a group of women working office temp jobs, completing a myriad of unessential (and boring) tasks — until one of them stirs the pot.

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