Entertainment The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s  

Ranker Film
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7.1k votes 982 voters 68.1k views 44 items

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

The best ‘90s thriller movies are a diverse collection of crime, suspense, sex, betrayal, violence, and insanity. Do we have your attention, yet? Fans of the suspense film genre will tell you that the 1990s gave us some of the greatest thrillers ever. The best '90s thriller movies that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.


What are the greatest ‘90s thriller movies? We cannot begin our conversation of ‘90s thrillers without paying respects to Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino released some of his most popular and iconic pictures in the 1990s. Known for their intricate and non-chronological plots, as well as their graphic violence, films like
Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs took audiences on unpredictable and often terrifying journeys through L.A.’s seedy underbelly. In addition, there are also some great psychological thrillers on this list. Films like The Sixth Sense, an iconic picture featuring one of the most legendary twists in cinema history, will make you question everything.


Other top ‘90s thriller movies on this list include
The Silence of the Lambs and The Usual Suspects. We wish we could give you more details about one of the most popular thrillers of the '90s, starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, but unfortunately, the first rule of Fight Club is that you do not talk about Fight Club. Vote up the best '90s thrillers, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section!
list ordered by
1
259 58
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more
2
258 63
Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman
Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more
3
214 71
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more
4
207 66
The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment
The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, isolated boy who ...more
5
171 55
The Usual Suspects is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne
The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del ...more
6
179 58
The Fugitive is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Julianne Moore, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones
This film is a 1993 American action film based on the 1960s television series of the same name created by Roy Huggins. The film was directed by Andrew Davis and stars Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee ...more
7
193 76
Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter
Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton ...more
8
180 62
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough
Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the ...more
9
156 63
Misery is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan
Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more
10
138 55
Heat is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Natalie Portman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro
Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on ...more
11
131 56
Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars ...more
12
136 57
Speed is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper
Speed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels. A ...more
13
102 47
Con Air is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi
Con Air is a 1997 American action film directed by Simon West and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of The Rock. It stars Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, and John Malkovich. The film borrows ...more
14
98 47
Primal Fear is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir thriller film, based on William Diehl's 1993 novel of the same name and directed by Gregory Hoblit. The film tells the story of Chicago defense attorney ...more
15
113 54
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside
Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, and Sharon Stone. The film is loosely based on the Philip ...more
16
108 56
Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Cape Fear is a 1991 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and a remake of the 1962 film of the same name. It stars Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and ...more
17
92 45
The Rock is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris
The Rock is a 1996 action film that primarily takes place on Alcatraz Island and in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was directed by Michael Bay, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and ...more
18
112 56
True Lies is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliza Dushku, Jamie Lee Curtis
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
19
95 44
The Hunt for Red October is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Tim Curry
The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American action thriller film based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It was directed by John McTiernan and stars Sean Connery as Captain Marko Ramius ...more
20
96 49
A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey
This film is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name, directed by Joel Schumacher. Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey ...more
21
106 53
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer
12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée, and starring Bruce ...more
22
106 54
Enemy of the State is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Will Smith, Jack Black, Gene Hackman
Enemy of the State is a 1998 American spy-thriller about a group of rogue U.S. National Security Agency agents conspiring to take out a U.S. Congressman and try to cover up. It was written by ...more
23
94 45
Falling Down is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas, Tuesday Weld
Falling Down is a 1993 drama film directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith. The film stars Michael Douglas in the lead role of William Foster, a divorcé and unemployed ...more
24
80 46
Point Break is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze
Point Break is a 1991 American action film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term point break, where ...more
25
96 66
Face/Off is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Thriller Movies of the 1990s
John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Gina Gershon
Face/Off is a 1997 American science fiction action thriller film directed by John Woo and starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. Travolta is an FBI agent and Cage is a terrorist, sworn enemies ...more