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The Best '90s Spy Movies

846 votes 252 voters 9.0k views35 items

List RulesVote 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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  • Mission: Impossible1
    57
    11

    Mission: Impossible

    Tom Cruise, Jon Voight

    Released1996

    Directed byBrian De Palma

    Mission: Impossible is a 1996 American action spy film directed by Brian De Palma, based on...  more

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  • True Lies2
    50
    9

    True Lies

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliza Dushku

    Released1994

    Directed byJames Cameron

    True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film written and directed by James Cameron, and...  more

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  • GoldenEye3
    53
    24

    GoldenEye

    Pierce Brosnan, Famke Janssen

    Released1995

    Directed byMartin Campbell

    GoldenEye is the seventeenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Pierce...  more

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  • Ronin4
    38
    12

    Ronin

    Robert De Niro, Sean Bean

    Released1998

    Directed byJohn Frankenheimer

    Ronin is a 1998 American spy thriller action film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring...  more

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  • The World Is Not Enough5
    39
    21

    The World Is Not Enough

    Pierce Brosnan, Denise Richards

    Released1999

    Directed byMichael Apted

    The World Is Not Enough is the nineteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the third to...  more

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  • The Peacemaker6
    22
    9

    The Peacemaker

    Nicole Kidman, George Clooney

    Released1997

    Directed byMimi Leder

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
    The Peacemaker is a 1997 American action/thriller film starring George Clooney and Nicole...  more

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  • The Saint7
    20
    11

    The Saint

    Val Kilmer, Elisabeth Shue

    Released1997

    Directed byPhillip Noyce

    The Saint is a 1997 espionage thriller film, starring Val Kilmer in the title role, with...  more
  • The Russia House8
    15
    6

    The Russia House

    Michelle Pfeiffer, Sean Connery

    Released1990

    Directed byFred Schepisi

    The Russia House is a 1990 American spy film directed by Fred Schepisi. Tom Stoppard wrote the...  more
  • Broken Arrow9
    19
    12

    Broken Arrow

    John Travolta, Christian Slater

    Released1996

    Directed byJohn Woo

    Broken Arrow is a 1996 American action film directed by John Woo, written by Graham Yost, and...  more
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery10
    21
    16

    Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

    Elizabeth Hurley, Will Ferrell

    Released1997

    Directed byJay Roach

    Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a 1997 American action comedy film and the...  more

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  • Jackie Chan's First Strike11
    16
    9

    Jackie Chan's First Strike

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  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me12
    20
    15

    Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

    Elizabeth Hurley, Heather Graham

    Released1999

    Directed byJay Roach

    Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is a 1999 action comedy film and the second film in the...  more
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  • Tomorrow Never Dies13
    33
    33

    Tomorrow Never Dies

    Pierce Brosnan, Teri Hatcher

    Released1997

    Directed byRoger Spottiswoode

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    This film is the eighteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Pierce...  more

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  • Hamilton14
    12
    7

    Hamilton

    Mark Hamill, Lena Olin

    Released1998

    Directed byHarald Zwart

    Hamilton is a 1998 Swedish action film directed by Harald Zwart, starring Peter Stormare, Mark...  more
  • Safe House15
    9
    6

    Safe House

    Patrick Stewart, Kimberly Williams-Paisley

    Released1998

    Directed byEric Steven Stahl

    Safe House is a made for TV film directed Eric Steven Stahl. It premiered in the UK in late...  more
  • If Looks Could Kill16
    If Looks Could Kill is a film directed by Sheldon Larry released on February 6, 1996....  more
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  • Live Wire17
    7
    5

    Live Wire

    Pierce Brosnan, Ron Silver

    Released1992

    Directed byChristian Duguay

    Live Wire is a 1992 action movie, written by Bart Baker, directed by Christian Duguay and...  more
  • Terminal Velocity18
    8
    8

    Terminal Velocity

    Charlie Sheen, James Gandolfini

    Released1994

    Directed byDeran Sarafian

    Terminal Velocity is a 1994 action film starring Charlie Sheen as a daredevil skydiver and...  more
  • Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming19
    7
    6

    Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming

    Kristin Scott Thomas, David Warner

    Released1990

    Directed byFerdinand Fairfax

    Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming is a 1990 TV biographical film of the life of Ian...  more
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  • The Innocent20
    4
    5

    The Innocent

    Anthony Hopkins, Isabella Rossellini

    Released1993

    Directed byJohn Schlesinger

    The Innocent is a 1993 John Schlesinger film. The screenplay was written by Ian McEwan and...  more
  • Blue Ice21
    5
    6

    Blue Ice

    Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins

    Released1992

    Directed byRussell Mulcahy

    Blue Ice is a 1992 film directed by Russell Mulcahy that stars Michael Caine and Sean Young....  more

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  • Undercover Blues22
    5
    7

    Undercover Blues

    Kathleen Turner, Dennis Quaid

    Released1993

    Directed byHerbert Ross

    Undercover Blues is a 1993 comedy film about a family of secret agents, starring Kathleen...  more
  • M. Butterfly23
    5
    7

    M. Butterfly

    Jeremy Irons, Ian Richardson

    Released1993

    Directed byDavid Cronenberg

    M. Butterfly is a 1993 romantic drama film directed by David Cronenberg. The screenplay was...  more
  • Mother Night24
    4
    5

    Mother Night

    Kirsten Dunst, Nick Nolte

    Released1996

    Directed byKeith Gordon

    Mother Night is a 1996 American romantic war film based on Kurt Vonnegut's 1961 book of the...  more
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  • From Beijing with Love25
    3
    5

    From Beijing with Love

    Stephen Chow, Anita Yuen

    Released1994

    Directed byStephen Chow, Lee Lik-chi

    From Beijing With Love is a 1994 Hong Kong action and comedy film directed by Lee Lik-Chi and...  more