Entertainment

The Best Historical Movies from the '90s 

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5.1k votes 615 voters 18.1k views 43 items

List Rules Vote on your favorite historical films from the 1990s.

What are the best historical movies from the 1990s? This list includes great period pieces such as Schindler's List, The Shawshank Redemption, and Titanic. Historical movies allow audiences to relive a piece of a history that they may never know about otherwise. They become sources of both entertainment and education. 

The movies on this list are the best of the best when it comes to historical films. Which one is the best? Well, that's up to the voters to decide. Vote up your favorite historical movie, and if there isn't one on here that you think deserves a spot, be sure to add it. 

list ordered by
1
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Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field
Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

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#2 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing The ‘Forrest Gump’ Book Is Weirder And More Offensive Than The Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel
Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

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#4 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Moviesfeaturing 17 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn't Know About 'Saving Private Ryan'listed on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

3
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Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris
Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, ...more

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#53 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #115 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
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Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more

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#3 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #14 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing The Best 'Shawshank Redemption' Quotes Will Set You Free

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Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

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#508 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #2 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) ...more

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#39 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Weird But True Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Set Of 'Titanic'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
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Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

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#20 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #12 of 379 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
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Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite
The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same ...more

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#52 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #434 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on List of Silent Movies

9
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Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Charles Rocket
Dances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic western film directed, produced by, and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells ...more

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#247 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #18 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston
Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael ...more

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#10 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #328 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

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Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Julia Ormond
Legends of the Fall is a 1994 American epic drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond, and Henry Thomas. Based on the 1979 novella of ...more

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#321 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #108 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, Lily Allen
Elizabeth is a 1998 biographical film written by Michael Hirst, directed by Shekhar Kapur, and starring Cate Blanchett in the title role of Queen Elizabeth I of England, alongside Geoffrey Rush, ...more

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#13 of 67 Every Movie Coming To Netflix In February 2020 #351 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anna Paquin
Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen taken and managed ...more

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#22 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movies #535 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #50 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

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Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon
JFK is a 1991 American historical legal-conspiracy thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and subsequent ...more

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#622 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #77 of 265 The Best Ensemble Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
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Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand
Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the incidents involving of three ...more

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#68 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #16 of 320 The Best Political Films Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
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Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken
Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American fantasy horror adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It is a film adaptation loosely inspired by the 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington ...more

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#89 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #181 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

17
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Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Téa Leoni
Wyatt Earp is a 1994 American semi-biographical Western film, written by Dan Gordon and Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Kasdan. It stars Kevin Costner in the title role as lawman Wyatt Earp, and ...more

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#54 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #258 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

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but chickens double d added
Mel Gibson, Christian Bale, Billy Connolly
Pocahontas is a 1995 American animated musical romantic-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 33rd film in the Walt Disney Animated ...more

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#58 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #88 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
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Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, James Woods
Casino is a 1995 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with ...more

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#149 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #1,128 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #147 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

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Brad Pitt, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis
Thelma & Louise is a 1991 American film, written by Callie Khouri and directed by Ridley Scott. It stars Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise, two friends who embark on a road ...more

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#241 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Thelma & Louise'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Brad Pitt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Robert Redford
A River Runs Through It is a 1992 American film directed by Robert Redford and starring Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt, Brenda Blethyn, and Emily Lloyd. It is a period drama based on the ...more

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#316 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #20 of 48 The Best Father-Son Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Sazonana added
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas
The Mask of Zorro is a 1998 American swashbuckler film based on the Zorro character created by Johnston McCulley. It was directed by Martin Campbell and stars Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, ...more

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#157 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #19 of 114 The Best Movies Based on TV Shows

23
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Sazonana added
Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Tom Wilkinson
In the Name of the Father is a 1993 Irish-British-American biographical courtroom drama film co-written and directed by Jim Sheridan. It is based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, ...more

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#167 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #23 of 46 The Greatest Legal Dramas Ever Made #48 of 320 The Best Political Films Ever Made

24
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George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn
The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American ensemble epic film written and directed by Terrence Malick. Based on the novel by James Jones, it tells a fictionalized version of the Battle of Mount ...more

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#44 of 379 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #39 of 221 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time #139 of 265 The Best Ensemble Movies

25
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Jake Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper
October Sky is a 1999 American biographical film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's ...more