10 Overlooked 90s Movies Worth Watching (Part 1)

10 Overlooked 90s Movies Worth Watching (Part 1)

Prepare to be amazed as we reveal 10 underrated movies from the 1990s that demand your attention.

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I've always found the term "underrated" a bit of a misnomer: For me a film may be lesser known or underrated but to you it could have been a big part of your 90s film journey. We hope you agree with our first round of picks, and if you don't that's fine too - do us a favour and drop your picks in the comments and hopefully we can get a large library of films to share with you all.

List of Films Covered Below

Trees Lounge

Grosse Point Blank

Toy Soldiers


Pump up the Volume

In the Mouth of Madness

Falling Down


Welcome to the Dollhouse

The Birdcage

Trees Lounge (1996)

"A story about one man’s search… for who knows what"

More Info & Where to Watch

Released in 1996, "Trees Lounge" is an American comedy-drama film that marks Steve Buscemi's directorial debut. Written by Buscemi himself, the movie explores the life of Tommy, portrayed by Buscemi, a man who finds himself adrift after losing his ex-girlfriend Theresa to his best friend and losing his job as a car mechanic. Seeking solace and purpose, Tommy spends most of his time drinking at the titular Trees Lounge bar, denying his alcoholism while trying to rebuild his life. With its tough yet tender portrayal of a man's struggle, "Trees Lounge" blends the sharpness of Bukowski, the observational style of Carver, and the dry humor reminiscent of Jarmusch, making it a hidden gem that has gained a cult following over the years.

Our Score: 6.9/10
What do the sites score?

Grosse Point Blank (1997)

"Even A Hitman Deserves A Second Shot!"

More Info & Where to Watch

Grosse Pointe Blank is a 1997 American black comedy film directed by George Armitage. The movie stars John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin, and Dan Aykroyd. It follows the story of contract killer Martin Blank, who returns to his hometown of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, for his high school reunion while simultaneously trying to complete a hit. The film blends offbeat comedy, action, and romance, creating an entertaining mix with a celebrated soundtrack by Joe Strummer. Grosse Pointe Blank has gained a cult following over the years and is known for its dry humor, witty dialogue, and memorable performances.

Grosse Pointe Blank was released by Buena Vista Pictures, receiving generally positive reviews from critics and grossing $31 million.

Our Score: 6.6/10
What do the sites score?

Toy Soldiers (1991)

"Terrorists have taken over Regis Academy…and they’re about to receive a lesson they will never forget."

More Info & Where to Watch

Toy Soldiers is a 1991 American action film directed by Daniel Petrie Jr. The movie takes place at the prestigious Regis High School, where a group of rebellious students find themselves in an unexpected and dangerous situation. When the son of a Colombian drug lord, Luis Cali, is captured and held as a hostage by the U.S. government, his father retaliates by taking over the school with a group of armed terrorists. It's up to the students, led by Billy Tepper (played by Sean Astin) and Joey Trotta (played by Wil Wheaton), to outsmart the terrorists and save their school. With a mix of suspense, action, and teenage heroism, Toy Soldiers delivers an exciting and thrilling cinematic experience.

Our Score: 6.5/10
What do the sites score?

Singles (1992)

"Love is a game. Easy to start. Hard to finish."

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Released in 1992, the film "Singles" directed by Cameron Crowe provides a glimpse into the vibrant music scene of Seattle during the early '90s. Set against the backdrop of the grunge movement, the movie revolves around a group of young adults navigating love, relationships, and careers in the city. With an impressive ensemble cast including Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon, and Kyra Sedgwick, "Singles" captures the essence of the era's alternative music culture and showcases the raw energy and authenticity of the Seattle sound. The film's soundtrack, featuring iconic bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains, serves as a time capsule of the era and further solidifies its status as a cult classic among music and film enthusiasts alike.

Our Score: 7.4/10
What do the sites score?

Pump up the Volume (1990)

"Talk Hard."

More Info & Where to Watch

Released in 1990, "Pump Up the Volume," directed by Allan Moyle, is a powerful and provocative film that explores the themes of teenage angst, self-expression, and the transformative power of music. Starring Christian Slater in a standout performance, the movie tells the story of Mark Hunter, a shy high school student who transforms into an anonymous renegade radio DJ named "Hard Harry." Using his pirate radio station, Harry becomes a voice for disenchanted youth, addressing taboo subjects and challenging the status quo. "Pump Up the Volume" beautifully captures the frustrations and aspirations of a generation searching for their own voice amidst a stifling society. It serves as a rallying cry for individuality and the power of free speech, leaving a lasting impact on viewers and inspiring them to question the world around them.

Our Score: 7.6/10
What do the sites score?

In the Mouth of Madness (1990)

"There are no words to describe Sutter Cane’s latest and greatest novel. There are no words to describe Sutter Cane."

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Released in 1995 and directed by John Carpenter, "In the Mouth of Madness" is a thought-provoking and unsettling film that delves into the depths of existential horror. The story follows insurance investigator John Trent, played by Sam Neill, as he is tasked with locating missing horror author Sutter Cane. As Trent delves deeper into Cane's work, he becomes entangled in a nightmarish world where fiction and reality blur, and the fabric of his sanity unravels. With its mind-bending narrative and psychological twists, the film challenges the audience's perception of reality and explores themes of identity, perception, and the power of storytelling. "In the Mouth of Madness" showcases Carpenter's masterful direction and delivers a haunting cinematic experience that lingers long after the credits roll.

In the Mouth of Madness pays tribute to the works of author H. P. Lovecraft in its exploration of insanity and its title, the latter being derived from the Lovecraft novella At the Mountains of Madness. Distributed by New Line Cinema, In the Mouth of Madness received mixed reviews upon release, but has since garnered a cult following.

Our Score: 7.0/10
What do the sites score?

Falling Down (1992)

"The adventures of an ordinary man at war with the everyday world."

More Info & Where to Watch

Released in 1993 and directed by Joel Schumacher, "Falling Down" is a compelling and thought-provoking film that delves into the dark side of societal frustrations and personal breakdown. The story revolves around William Foster, played by Michael Douglas, a seemingly ordinary man who experiences a series of frustrating encounters and injustices on a scorching hot day in Los Angeles. As the pressures of his everyday life mount, Foster gradually unravels, venturing on a violent and cathartic journey through the city. The film skillfully explores themes of alienation, urban decay, and the complexities of modern society, highlighting the simmering discontent that can lead individuals to the brink. With its intense performances and gripping narrative, "Falling Down" serves as a poignant reflection on the human condition and the consequences of unchecked frustration and disillusionment.

Our Score: 7.8/10
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Go (1999)

"When the lights go down, the world is yours."

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"Go" is a thrilling film that takes audiences on a rollercoaster ride through interconnected stories of characters navigating life's unpredictable twists and turns. Directed by Doug Liman and released in 1999, the movie follows a group of individuals whose paths intersect over a drug deal gone awry. As the narrative unfolds, the film dives into themes of chance, consequence, and the pursuit of excitement. With its non-linear structure, kinetic pacing, and sharp dialogue, "Go" offers a fresh and exhilarating take on the dark comedy genre. It showcases the talents of a talented ensemble cast, including Sarah Polley, Katie Holmes, Timothy Olyphant, and Jay Mohr, who deliver memorable performances that capture the frenetic energy and moral ambiguity of the story. "Go" is a high-octane cinematic experience that leaves viewers on the edge of their seats, exploring the unexpected chaos that can ensue when ordinary lives collide.

The film performed moderately at the box office, but was critically acclaimed. It has since become a cult classic.

Our Score: 7.4/10
What do the sites score?

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

"Not all girls want to play with dolls."

More Info & Where to Watch

Welcome to the Dollhouse is a 1995 American coming-of-age black comedy film written and directed by Todd Solondz. It tells the story of Dawn Wiener, an unpopular middle schooler who faces bullying and indifference from her family. The film explores Dawn's desperate attempts to earn the respect of her peers while dealing with the complexities of adolescence. Welcome to the Dollhouse won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, establishing Todd Solondz as a notable filmmaker and launching the career of actress Heather Matarazzo. The film received critical acclaim for its darkly comedic portrayal of suburban teen angst and remains an outstanding example of independent cinema.

Our Score: 8.1/10
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The Birdcage (1996)

"Come as you are"

More Info & Where to Watch

The Birdcage is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Mike Nichols and starring Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, and Dianne Wiest. The story follows a South Beach nightclub-owning gay couple, played by Williams and Lane, who must pretend to be straight to meet their son's conservative future in-laws. With a script adapted by Elaine May from the French play "La Cage aux Folles" by Jean Poiret, the film offers a hilarious and heartwarming exploration of family values, acceptance, and the power of love. It remains a beloved and influential film, showcasing queer love and the art of drag, while delivering memorable performances and an entertaining storyline. The Birdcage continues to resonate with audiences, and its themes remain as relevant today as ever.

Our Score: 7.1/10
What do the sites score?

Thanks so much for taking the time to read. Please leave a comment on your thoughts , we'd love to hear from you... Add your "underrated" films to the comments and possibly get your choices featured on the next installment!

Check out our Curated Film Lists below for more film ideas.

More Movie Lists from The Rewind Zone

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