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The Best '90s Spy Movies 

Ranker Film
696 votes 232 voters 7.8k views 35 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite espionage films that were released in the 1990s

The greatest ‘90s spy movies have the usual blend of comedy and intrigue. Against the backdrop of a changing world, ‘90s spy movies explore new themes, such as global and domestic terrorism. Cold War themes dominated spy movies for the previous 50 years, so these funny espionage films from the 1990s are a breath of fresh air. 


What are the top ‘90s spy movies? Old standbys like James Bond appear on this list, but newer spy heroes emerged in the 1990s, such as the
Mission Impossible franchise’s Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise. Known for doing many of his own stunts, Cruise electrified audiences in the first Mission Impossible, directed by Brian de Palma. If you are interested in a spy movie starring Robert DeNiro, Ronin is the film for you. If you’re looking for the ultimate spy parody, Austin Powers can provide you with plenty of covert laughs.


For fans of superhero spy movies, you can find the original cinematic versions of
Captain America and Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Before Samuel L. Jackson, Director Fury was portrayed by David Hasselhoff. Vote up the best '90s spy movies, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 
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1
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave

Released: 1996

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Mission: Impossible is a 1996 American action spy film directed by Brian De Palma, based on the 1960s television series. IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must uncover the mole who has framed

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2
True Lies is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliza Dushku, Jamie Lee Curtis

Released: 1994

Directed by: James Cameron

True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in the lead roles with Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, ...more

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3
GoldenEye is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Pierce Brosnan, Famke Janssen, Judi Dench

Released: 1995

Directed by: Martin Campbell

GoldenEye is the seventeenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 officer James Bond. The film was directed by Martin Campbell and is the ...more

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4
Ronin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Robert De Niro, Sean Bean, Ron Jeremy

Released: 1998

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

Ronin is a 1998 American spy thriller action film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean, and Jonathan ...more

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5
The World Is Not Enough ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Pierce Brosnan, Denise Richards, John Cleese

Released: 1999

Directed by: Michael Apted

The World Is Not Enough is the nineteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the third to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was directed by Michael Apted, ...more

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6
Tomorrow Never Dies is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Pierce Brosnan, Teri Hatcher, Gerard Butler

Released: 1997

Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial This film is the eighteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode, with the screenplay ...more

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7
Broken Arrow is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
John Travolta, Christian Slater, Howie Long

Released: 1996

Directed by: John Woo

Broken Arrow is a 1996 American action film directed by John Woo, written by Graham Yost, and starring John Travolta and Christian Slater.
8
The Peacemaker is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Nicole Kidman, George Clooney, Tamara Tunie

Released: 1997

Directed by: Mimi Leder

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Peacemaker is a 1997 American action/thriller film starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman and directed by Mimi Leder. It was the first film released by DreamWorks. While the story takes ...more

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9
The Saint is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Val Kilmer, Elisabeth Shue, Roger Moore

Released: 1997

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

The Saint is a 1997 espionage thriller film, starring Val Kilmer in the title role, with Elisabeth Shue and Rade Šerbedžija, directed by Phillip Noyce and written by Jonathan Hensleigh and ...more
10
The Russia House is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Michelle Pfeiffer, Sean Connery, Roy Scheider

Released: 1990

Directed by: Fred Schepisi

The Russia House is a 1990 American spy film directed by Fred Schepisi. Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay based on John le Carré's novel of the same name. The film stars Sean Connery, ...more
11
Austin Powers: Internati... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Elizabeth Hurley, Will Ferrell, Carrie Fisher

Released: 1997

Directed by: Jay Roach

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a 1997 American action comedy film and the first installment of the Austin Powers series. It was directed by Jay Roach and written by Mike Myers, ...more

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12
Jackie Chan's First Stri... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Jackie Chan's First Strike
13
Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Mark Hamill, Lena Olin, Peter Stormare

Released: 1998

Directed by: Harald Zwart

Hamilton is a 1998 Swedish action film directed by Harald Zwart, starring Peter Stormare, Mark Hamill and Lena Olin. The film was edited with additional scenes into a 6 hour long TV-series in ...more
14
Austin Powers: The Spy W... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Elizabeth Hurley, Heather Graham, Will Ferrell

Released: 1999

Directed by: Jay Roach

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is a 1999 action comedy film and the second film in the Austin Powers series. It is preceded by the original film, Austin Powers: International Man of ...more

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15
If Looks Could Kill is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies

Released: 1996

Directed by: Sheldon Larry

If Looks Could Kill is a film directed by Sheldon Larry released on February 6, 1996.
16
Spymaker: The Secret Lif... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Kristin Scott Thomas, David Warner, Joss Ackland

Released: 1990

Directed by: Ferdinand Fairfax

Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming is a 1990 TV biographical film of the life of Ian Fleming, creator of the popular James Bond spy character, retracing his playboy youth, his expulsion ...more
17
Safe House is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Patrick Stewart, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Héctor Elizondo

Released: 1998

Directed by: Eric Steven Stahl

Safe House is a made for TV film directed Eric Steven Stahl. It premiered in the UK in late 1998 on Channel 5 and in the US on Showtime on January 24, 1999. Patrick Stewart stars as Mace Sowell, ...more
18
Spy Hard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Hulk Hogan, Ray Charles, Nicollette Sheridan

Released: 1996

Directed by: Rick Friedberg

Spy Hard is a 1996 American spy comedy film parody starring Leslie Nielsen and Nicollette Sheridan, parodying James Bond films and other action films. The introduction to the movie is sung by ...more

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19
Terminal Velocity is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Charlie Sheen, James Gandolfini, Nastassja Kinski

Released: 1994

Directed by: Deran Sarafian

Terminal Velocity is a 1994 action film starring Charlie Sheen as a daredevil skydiver and Nastassja Kinski as a tough KGB spy who team up to stop renegade spys who are trying to steal gold. It ...more
20
Blue Ice is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, Sean Young

Released: 1992

Directed by: Russell Mulcahy

Blue Ice is a 1992 film directed by Russell Mulcahy that stars Michael Caine and Sean Young.
21
Undercover Blues is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Kathleen Turner, Dennis Quaid, Dave Chappelle

Released: 1993

Directed by: Herbert Ross

Undercover Blues is a 1993 comedy film about a family of secret agents, starring Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid. The film was written by Ian Abrams and directed by Herbert Ross.
22
Mother Night is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Kirsten Dunst, Nick Nolte, John Goodman

Released: 1996

Directed by: Keith Gordon

Mother Night is a 1996 American romantic war film based on Kurt Vonnegut's 1961 book of the same name. Nick Nolte stars as Howard W. Campbell, Jr., an American who moves with his family to ...more
23
Live Wire is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Pierce Brosnan, Ron Silver, Philip Baker Hall

Released: 1992

Directed by: Christian Duguay

Live Wire is a 1992 action movie, written by Bart Baker, directed by Christian Duguay and starring Pierce Brosnan, Ron Silver, Ben Cross and Lisa Eilbacher. The plot revolves around a rash of ...more
24
The Innocent is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Anthony Hopkins, Isabella Rossellini, Campbell Scott

Released: 1993

Directed by: John Schlesinger

The Innocent is a 1993 John Schlesinger film. The screenplay was written by Ian McEwan and based on his novel of the same name.
25
M. Butterfly is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '90s Spy Movies
Jeremy Irons, Ian Richardson, John Lone

Released: 1993

Directed by: David Cronenberg

M. Butterfly is a 1993 romantic drama film directed by David Cronenberg. The screenplay was written by David Henry Hwang based on his play of the same name. The film stars Jeremy Irons and John ...more