13 Best Thriller Movies From The 90s

It seems like nostalgia and longing for simpler times of the ’90s are in the air once more, with popular series like

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-air” and “iCarly” getting rebooted, and this time you must be longing to re-watch the movies you loved as a child.

But not to fret, the viewers have multiple streaming options available to them that appeal to nostalgic fans like us by adding all of our favorite Thriller movies and shows from the 90s.

So set up your movie night with your gal pals, and scroll through this list of best thriller movies from the 90s!


Misery (1990)

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Director: Rob Reiner

Writer: Stephen King, William Goldman

Cast: James Bann, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth

IMDB: 8/10

Stephen King is considered the undisputed ruler of ’90s movies, and we had to include some of his successful adaptations in our list of best thriller movies from the 90s.

Paul Sheldon is driving back home after attending a book event late at night when suddenly his car skids across the road and crashes into a tree, injuring him. When Paul wakes up, he realizes that he was rescued by a woman who says she is one of his biggest fans and helps recover him from his injuries.

At first, Paul is extremely grateful for being saved, but then he begins to realize that this act is just the beginning of being held captive and abused by a psychopath.

Read Also: 20 Best Horror Movies To Watch In Canada

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The Sixth Sense (1999)

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Director: M. Night Shamalayan

Writer: M. Night Shamalayan

Cast: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Frances McDormand

IMDB: 9/10

The name M. Night Shamalayan strikes a tone because of how he set the standard for good 90’s movies, so we had to include one of our favorites in our list of best thriller movies of the 90s.

Paul is a successful therapist who has been traveling all over America, delivering lectures at many universities about a successful breakthrough in studying child psychology. But personally, his marriage is falling apart, and he and his wife no longer feel that they can stay together.

Then, Paul meets his new client, a child named Coel, who reveals that he can see dead people who keep badgering him to fulfill their last requests.

When Paul begins working with Coel to understand his psychic ability, he begins to unravel his understanding of himself and how he had approached his marriage with his wife.

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The Fugitive (1993)

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Director: Andrew Davis

Writer: Jeb Stuart, David Twohy, Roy Huggins

Cast: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones

IMDB: 7/10

Chicago surgeon Richard Kimble is well respected in the field of heart surgery, but his world falls apart when he gets a phone call from the police telling him that his wife was found dead in their home, and all evidence is pointing toward him.

Despite his pleas that he is innocent, Richard is tried, found guilty, and sentenced to die. On his way to prison, the van taking him skids off the road and crashes, allowing Richard to escape and go on the run.

While there is a national emergency raised and all the police forces of America are looking for him, Richard lays low and tries to investigate the murder of his wife.

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Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)

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Director: Joseph Rueben

Writer: Nancy Price, Ronald Bass

Cast: Julia Roberts, Kevin Anderson, Patrick Bergin

IMDB: 7/10

Julia Roberts is the undisputed queen of ’90s cinema, and we had to include her films in our list of best thriller movies from the 90s. Laura and Martin look like they have a perfect marriage as they live in a comfortable upper-class neighborhood, and Martin makes a lot of money being a heart surgeon.

However, behind the scenes, Laura is miserable as her husband is abusive and consistently prevents her from having financial control and beats her constantly.

Desperate to escape such a controlling environment, Laura fakes her death to convince everyone that she has died and escapes to a new town to rebuild her life. But when Martin finds out that she is alive, he will stop at no end to find her and kill her.

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Seven (1995)

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Director: David Fincher

Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker

Cast: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey

IMDB: 9/10

A film with David Fincher involved doesn’t need much more convincing because you know it is going to be an adventure, so we had to include one of his best masterpieces in our list of best thriller movies from the 90s.

A film about two murder investigators (Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt) on the hunt for a serial killer who excuses his atrocities as atonement for the world’s lack of knowledge of the Seven Deadly Sins.

As the psychopathic “John Doe” (Kevin Spacey) preaches to Detectives Somerset and Mills, the film takes us from the gruesome remains of one victim to the next. The sin of gluttony is first, and the murderer’s dreadful ability is brutally shown in film noir’s gloomy and somber tones.

Somerset, seasoned and sophisticated but cynical, study the Seven Deadly Sins to grasp the killer’s method, while Detective Mills (Pitt), bright but green and impulsive, mocks him.

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Fargo (1996)

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Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Cast: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy

IMDB: 7/10

Jerry works at his father-in-law’s auto dealership and has run into financial difficulties. He attempts various strategies to raise funds for a cause that is never fully addressed. It’s safe to suppose that his massive misappropriation of dealership funds is about to be detected by his father-in-law.

When everything else fails, he intends to have two men kidnap his wife for ransom, which will be paid by her affluent father (who doesn’t appear to care about his son-in-law).

Unfortunately, things start to go wrong right after the kidnapping, and what was supposed to be a non-violent event turns gory by the minute. While Jerry and the rest of the men go on a run to prevent being caught, a pregnant detective investigates the incident and pursues them relentlessly.

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The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

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Director: Jonathan Demme

Writer: Thomas Haris, Ted Tally

Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

IMDB: 8/10

The popular book-to-movie adaptation that won every Oscar it was nominated for should be included in the best thriller movies from the 90s. Clarice Starling is one of the youngest detectives working with the FBI, and she is hoping to further rise in the ranks to become captain someday.

She is assigned to investigate the growing number of missing women in Wisconsin, for which she must seek the help of psychopath and serial killer Hannibal Lecter, who has been kept in one of the top highly secured prisons in America.

As Clarice and Hannibal begin working together, they reveal secrets about themselves to each other, as the case receives more scrutiny every day when a senator’s daughter is kidnapped.

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Primal Fear (1996)

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Director: Gregory Hoblit

Writer: William Diehl, Steve Shagan

Cast: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton

IMDB: 7/10

Martin Vail, a high-end lawyer offers to pro-bono represent Aaron, a young man accused of murdering Archbishop Rushman. Aaron, a shy homeless kid with a stutter, lived on the streets before the Archbishop took him in.

Vail believes that Aaron is innocent, but after a video suggesting Aaron may have had a legitimate cause for wanting the Archbishop dead, he doubts his judgment.

When Aaron screams at the psychologist examining him, another personality emerges named Roy. Vail cannot modify Aaron’s plea because the trial has already started, so he must find means to expose his client’s illness. However, Aaron has a surprise in store for him as well.

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Falling Down (1993)

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Director: Joel Schulmacher

Writer: Ebbe Roe Smith

Cast: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey

IMDB: 8/10

William “D-Fens” Foster (Michael Douglas) is attempting to visit his estranged ex-wife (Barbara Hershey) on the day of his daughter’s (Joey Singer) birthday. Unfortunately, he had a breakdown and decides to walk after leaving his car in traffic congestion in Los Angeles.

He stops at a convenience store along the route to get some change for a phone call, but the proprietor, Mister Lee (Michael Paul Chan), refuses. This destabilized William, who subsequently destroys the shop with a baseball bat and seeks refuge in a remote location to consume cocaine.

When two thugs (Agustin Rodriguez and Eddie Frias) attack him, he responds by swinging his bat at them. D-FENS continues walking and eventually comes to a halt.

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The Usual Suspects (1995)

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Director: Bryan Singer

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri

IMDB: 4/10

Five crooks are captured and brought together for questioning during a truck hijacking in New York. They organize a vengeance operation against the cops because none of them are guilty.

The operation goes well at first, but soon the presence of Keyser Söze, a notorious mastermind criminal, is felt. It becomes evident that they have all harmed Söze at some point and must now make amends.

The payback job results in the deaths of 27 men in a boat explosion, but the real question now is: who is Keyser Söze?

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Double Jeopardy (1999)

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Director: Bruce Beresford

Writer: David Weisberg, Douglas Cook

Cast: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood

IMDB: 7/10

Libby is the wife of successful banking investor Nick Goodwin, but once when she is at home cleaning their lounge, she gets a call from the police telling her that her husband was found dead in his car, and all evidence is pointing toward her that she killed him.

When Libby tries to plead her innocence, her son is taken away from her, and she is sent to prison. Six years later, Libby gets out of prison and is determined to find her son and also the murderer who had killed her husband.

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The Hunt for Red October (1990)

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Director: John McTiernan

Writer: Tom Clancy, Larry Ferguson

Cast: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn

IMDB: 6/10

The Soviet Union built a new nuclear submarine in November 1984, at the height of the Cold War, which is silent thanks to a breakthrough propulsion method.

Marko Ramius (Sir Sean Connery), the Russian submarine captain, defected. His purpose is to bring it to the United States to prevent the Russians from using it to initiate a nuclear war with the United States.

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L.A. Confidential (1997)

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Director: Curtis Hanson

Writer: James Ellroy, Curtis Hanson

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce

IMDB: 7/10

The movie is set in the backdrop of crime-riddled Los Angeles and revolves around the theme of police corruption and general human depravity. The story follows three cops, Bud White, Jack Vincennes, and Exley, each having a distinct personality.

Bud White is always ready to break the rules to seek justice but has a highly violent disposition. Jack Vincennes is a celebrity chaser and always looking to make a quick buck until his conscience makes him join Exley and White in their mission to find truth in the ruthless world of L.A crime.

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Conclusion

90’s movies reminded us of a much simpler time when we weren’t worried about a pandemic, and our sole was making sure that we taped our favorite television shows at the right time.

Featuring masterpieces from directors like Joel Coen and David Fincher and performances by iconic actors like Julia Roberts and Kevin Spacey, our list of best thriller movies from the 90s is one you will surely love!