Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Men in Black. What do all these amazing sci fi movies have in common? That’s right – they’re all from the 90s. We’ve got these and so many other classics that you need to relive again. So, check out the best sci fi movies from the 90s that will give you a blast from the past.
Deep Impact (1998)
A comet is hurtling toward Earth and could mean the end of all human life. The U.S. government keeps the crisis under wraps. But reported Jenny Lerner uncovers the truth, forcing U.S. President Beck to announce his plan.
This is a sci fi disaster film that was a huge box office success but was met with a mixed response from critics. However the movie was praised for having a more thoughtful tone than its counterparts in this genre. So if you prefer a deeper disaster movie then this may be your go to!
Event Horizon (1997)
When the Event Horizon suddenly reappears after years, a team is dispatched to investigate the ship. Accompanied by the creator, William Weir, the crew of the Lewis and Clark begins to explore the seemingly abandoned vessel. However, it soon becomes evident that something sinister resides there.
This is a science fiction horror with an all star cast including Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan and Joely Richardson. The production was rushed on this movie (due to Paramount’s other blockbuster Titanic being projected not to meet its release date). Therefore the heavily edited release ended up being a box office and critical failure. It was only upon it’s DVD release that it began to garner a huge following making the cult classic it is today.
Jonny Mnemonic (1995)
Johnny is a data courier who has a secret stash of information implanted into his mind. However, the data will kill him if he cannot retrieve it within 48 hours. Accompanied by physically enhanced bodyguard Jane, Johnny sets out to save himself.
This is a cyberpunk movie directed by Robert Longo and starring Keanu Reeves and Dolph Lundgren. It is based on the story of the same name from William Gibson. The movie hasn’t received the most favourable reviews but it is regarded as being some goofy fun. So if that’s what you are looking for then this is your movie!
Total Recall (1990)
Douglas Quaid is a bored construction worker in the year 2084 who dreams of visiting the colonized Mars. He visits a company that plants false memories in order to experience the thrill of Mars without having to travel there. But something goes wrong and Quaid discovers that his entire life is actually a false memory.
This sci fi action film is directed by Paul Verhoeven and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone. It was a huge box office success, the fifth most commercially successful movies of the year. Critical reception was mixed but the movie was highly praised for its score and practical special effects. This is a must see movie!
The Matrix (1999)
Neo believes that the most dangerous man alive, Morpheus, can answer his question. What is the Matrix? Neo is contacted by Trinity, who leads him to Morpheus. They fight a brutal battle against viciously intelligent secret agents. And the truth could cost Neo something more precious than his life.
The Matrix is a science fiction cyberpunk action film written and directed by the Wachowskis. It stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano. A huge commercial and critical success it has since spawned three sequels (the most recent being out just last year). The movie is credited with popularizing “bullet time” effects (we all know that scene, right?). This movie and the rest of the franchise are must watch movies!
Dr. Ellie Arroway races to intercept a possible message originating from the Vega star system. Once first contact with an extra-terrestrial intelligence is proven, Arroway contends with people bent on containing the implications of such an event. But an incredible message is found hidden in the signal.
Contact is a science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. It is based on the book of the same name by Carl Sagan. The movie was a huge box office hit and it also sent the book back to the top of the bestsellers lists. Critics also loved the movie and it was the winner of the Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation. So this is a must watch movie!
Vincent Freeman has always fantasized about traveling into outer space. But he is grounded by his status as a genetically inferior in-valid. He decides to fight his fate by purchasing the genes of Jerome Morrow and assumes his DNA identity. Then, his plans are complicated, when an investigation begins into the death of a Gattaca officer.
Gattaca is a sci fi dystopian movie starring Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke. This movie wasn’t a hit at the box office but it did get critics raving positively and has sparked some debates about human genetic engineering. So if you are looking for a more intelligent science fiction movie then this is the one for you!
In modern-day Egypt, professor Daniel Jackson teams up with retired Army Col. Jack O’Neil to unlock the code of an interstellar gateway to an ancient Egypt-like world. They arrive on a planet ruled by the despotic Ra. Now, after being trapped in their intergalactic purgatory, they must convince the planet’s people that Ra must be overthrown.
Stargate is a science fiction action movie starring Kurt Russell and James Spader. Upon its release this movie was a commercial success , it was praised for its story, characters and atmosphere. This movie also began the Stargate franchise which spawned further movies, tv spins offs and video games. This is a classic that needs to be watched!
The Fifth Element (1997)
In the 23rd century, a New York City cabbie, Korben Dallas, finds the fate of the world in his hands when Leeloo falls into his cab. Leeloo will need to combine with four other elements in order to keep the approaching Great Evil from destroying the world.
The Fifth Element is a sci fi action movie and it stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and Milla Jovovich. Reactions to the movie were quite polarising but ultimately reviews were mostly positive. The movie won several awards, such as from the British Academy Film Awards, the César Awards, the Cannes Film Festival, and the Lumières Awards. Alternatively the movie also received nominations at the Golden Raspberry and Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. So the conclusion is that you need to watch this movie and make up your mind for yourself!
Independence Day (1996)
Strange phenomena surfaces around the globe. The skies ignite. Terror races through the world’s major cities. As these events unfold, it becomes increasingly clear that a force of incredible magnitude has arrived. Its mission: total annihilation over the Fourth of July weekend.
Independence Day is a sci fi action disaster movie with a huge all star cast, with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum to name a few. This movie was at the forefront of the large scale disaster movie at the time and is considered to be an influence of the future of the genre. It was the highest grossing movie of 1996 and although critical reaction was slightly mixed it has given us some of the most memorable movie scenes in sci fi. So this is a must watch movie!
Jurassic Park (1993)
Paleontologists Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, along with mathematician Ian Malcolm, are among a select group chosen to tour an island theme park. The park is populated with dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. But various ferocious predators have broken free to go on the hunt.
Jurassic Park is a science fiction action film directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Sam Neill, Lauren Dern and Jeff Goldblum. It is based on the book of the same name from author Michael Crichton. This movie was the highest grossing film of 1993 and was also a critical success, being praised for its score, acting performances, special effects and directing. Jurassic Park has since become a huge franchise with further movies, video games and merchandise. The latest movie is out this year so if somehow you have never seen the original then please do so now!
Alien 3 (1992)
Ellen Ripley is the only survivor when she crash lands on Fiorina 161. It’s a bleak wasteland inhabited by former inmates of the planet’s max security prison. However, there is an alien that is hunting down the prisoners and guards. Without weapons or modern technology, Ripley leads the men into battle.
This is a science fiction horror movie, the third in the Alien franchise and has Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley. This movie did underperform to expectations and is regarded as being inferior to the first two movies in the series but if you have watched those then you should still watch this!
Seeking answers about the afterlife, Chicago medical student Nelson persuades his fellow pupils – David, Joe and Rachel – to help him end his life. And then resuscitate him in the nick of time. But as the experiments become more perilous, each is forced to contend with the paranormal consequences.
Flatliners is a sci fi psychological horror film directed by Joel Schumacher with an all star cast including Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts. Whilst not as critically well received as others on this list this is still a different concept and definitely one to watch!
Terminator 2 (1992)
A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten-year-old son John from a more advanced and powerful cyborg. Over 10 years have passed since the first machine called The Terminator tried to kill Sarah Connor and her unborn son, John.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a science fiction action film produced and directed by James Cameron with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reprising their roles from the original movie. This movie is regarded as being even better than the first Terminator movie and being praised for its action scenes, action and visual effects. Other movies followed this one and in the words of the Terminator himself, “I’ll be back”.
Starship Troopers (1997)
In the distant future, Earth is at war with a race of giant alien insects. Little is known about the Bugs except that they are intent on the eradication of all human life. The Bugs are a ruthless enemy with only one mission: survival of their species no matter what the cost.
Starship Troopers is a military science fiction action film It is directed by Paul Verhoeven and is based on the novel of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein’s. This is the only movie in the Starship Troopers franchise to get a theatrical release. Initially the movie received negative reviews, however it has aged well and the response over time has become more positive with the movie being praised for its political satire.
Ghost In The Shell (1995)
Cyborg federal agent Maj. Motoko Kusanagi is trailing The Puppet Master, who is illegally hacking into the computerized minds of cyborg-human hybrids. Her pursuit of a man who can modify the identity of strangers leaves Motoko pondering her own makeup and what life might be like if she had more human traits.
Ghost in the Shell is an animated neo-noir cyberpunk thriller film directed by Mamoru Oshii. It is based on the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. Upon its release critics were quick to praise the movie for its narrative, visuals, and musical score. But it still did not perform well at the box office and it was only upon its release to home video that the movie become a cult classic. A whole franchise was born and whether or not anime is your thing this is a must see movie!
Men In Black (1997)
They are the best-kept secret in the universe. Kay and Jay are providers of immigration services and regulators of all things alien on Earth – Men in Black. While investigating a series of unregistered close encounters, the MIB agents uncover the deadly plot of an intergalactic terrorist.
This is a sci fi action comedy starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The movie received huge praise, particularly the performances of the two leads, its script and set pieces. The movie has spawned two sequels, a spin off move and an animated television series. If you have never watched anything in this franchise then then you don’t know what you are missing!
Escape from LA (1996)
In 2013, the United States president is exiling all citizens who don’t conform to his hyper-conservative views to LA, which became an island after a huge earthquake. But when the president’s daughter nabs the detonator to her dad’s apocalyptic weapon and sneaks into LA, commando-turned-crook Snake Plissken is sent to retrieve her. And if he doesn’t succeed quickly, he’ll be executed.
This is a 1996 post-apocalyptic action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter. It stars Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken. Reviews were mixed and the movie was a box office bomb. But as so often happens with box office failures this movie has gone on to be rewarded cult status. And is now a must watch 90s movie!
Tank Girl (1995)
After a comet disrupts the rain cycle of Earth, the planet has become a desolate, barren desert by the year 2033. With resources scarce, Kesslee, head of the powerful and evil Water & Power Corporation, has taken control of the water supply. Unwilling to cower under Kesslee’s tyrannical rule, a pair of outlaws – Tank Girl and Jet Girl – rise up.
This is a science fiction post-apocalyptic film directed by Rachel Talalay. It is based on the British comic series of the same name created by Jamie Hewlett. The film stars Lori Petty, Naomi Watts, Ice-T and Malcolm McDowell. This movie was a box office failure but has gone on to achieve cult classic status and being praised for its feminist themes.
12 Monkeys (1995)
Traveling back in time isn’t simple, as James Cole learns the hard way. Imprisoned in the 2030s, James is recruited for a mission that will send him back to the 1990s. Once there, he’s supposed to gather information about a nascent plague that’s about to exterminate the vast majority of the world’s population.
This sci fi movie is directed by Terry Gilliam and is inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée. With an all star cast consisting of Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt. A huge critical and commercial success with Pitt’s performance particularly praised, leading him to be nominated for an Oscar and to win a Golden Globe. This one one 90s sci fi movie not to miss!