Remember when cellphones looked like bricks that only the rich could afford? How about Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air and its sassy humor? Or the teen angst of grunge bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana? Maybe you lived through all this as a kid, and now it’s all only but a strange memory where everything was awesome.
Many people might claim that this is only your brain looking back at the past with nostalgia, but you know they’re wrong. The nineties were objectively as awesome as they appear to be in retrospective, and there are several films to prove it. Sit back and let yourself be taken back in time.
Jurassic Park (1993), Steven Spielberg
I've got this theory that absolutely no one can hear the Jurassic Park’s theme without feeling chills down their spine. Everything about this Spielberg flick is awesome. The special effects gave believable life to dinosaurs for the first time in cinema history. Jeff Goldblum is as charmingly annoying as he ever was, and we’ve got a young Samuel L. Jackson who gets his arm ripped out by a vicious velociraptor. A tour de force that will make you feel as impressed as you were when you first saw the movie as a kid.
Reality Bites (1994), Ben Stiller
A bizarre coming of age story featuring a strange love triangle involving Ben Stiller at his most annoying, a cynical and nihilistic Ethan Hawke, and a bewildering Winona Ryder? Say no more. A cool approach to the turn of the century, this film is filled with memorable quotes and a nice soundtrack that includes Ethan Hawke singing a quite not-too-shabby selection of songs of the decade.
Groundhog Day (1993), Harold Ramis
Although most people hold Ghostbusters as their favorite Ramis / Bill Murray flick, Groundhog Day could be its most relevant competitor. Imagine what it would it be like if you were caught in a loop and you had to live through the same day over and over again? Perhaps, after Twelve Monkeys, Looper, and Marvel’s Dr. Strange this resource doesn’t sound as cutting-edge as it was, but back in the day, nobody would’ve expected to have a film (specially a comedy) built on such a complex premise. This film will keep you laughing for two hours straight, even if you’re only watching a day that repeats itself time after time.
Clueless (1995), Amy Heckerling
The best thing that could’ve ever happened to the high school genre, besides John Hughes, was Amy Heckerling. Even though only two of her films made it to a cult status (the other being Fast Times at Ridgemont High from '82), both became the cornerstones of the beloved genre. Along the film, you can see some of the most recognizable personalities of the nineties: Alicia Silverstone
, a baby-faced Brittany Murphy, a charming teen Paul Rudd, even Donald Faison (yeah, Turk from Scrubs!) and the rapper Coolio. It’s a fun and wacky parade of beloved nineties’ personalities.
Toy Story (1995), John Lasseter
Pixar’s groundbreaking first film not only paved the way for all of modern animation, but it also warmed all our hearts through a funny, captivating, and emotional flick. Woody and Buzz’s adventure into the house of Syd, the psycho kid, isn’t only an exciting adventure for children, but also for all adults who let themselves be taken by its charm. If this film doesn’t make you feel as bedazzled as you were by movies when you were a child, then none will.
The Big Lebowski (1998), Joel and Ethan Coen
The nineties were a time when simple folk wanted to make the most of their lives without harming anybody else. According to the film’s rowdy narrator, nobody had ever represented so closely the spirit of their time than The Dude. This man is then blackmailed by a group of thugs who think he is a business tycoon who shares his surname, Lebowski. Throughout the film, we follow The Dude’s surreal journey with his bowling mates, a short-tempered John Goodman and a fidgety Steve Buscemi, on their search for justice. This is the ultimate nineties’ epic. Praise his dudeness.
Are you feeling the nineties vibes by now? Good. Just don’t develop a crush for the teen version of Leo DiCaprio.