historical dramas The Best Historical Movies from the '90s  

Ranker Film
Originally by
3.6k votes 457 voters 13.1k views 43 items Embed

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
242 40
Ranker Video
Forrest Gump 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

The Best Iraq Movies Ever Made The Best British Documentaries

2
202 36
Ranker Video
Saving Private Ryan 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

3
177 43
Ranker Video
Apollo 13 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

4
130 75
Ranker Video
The Shawshank Redemption 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

5
135 83
Ranker Video
Schindler's List 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

6
158 95
Ranker Video
Titanic Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster drama film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars ...more

7
109 62
Ranker Video
Braveheart 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

8
82 46
Ranker Video
Dances with Wolves 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

9
76 44
Ranker Video
The Last of the Mohicans Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 during the French and Indian War and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James ...more

10
70 39
Ranker Video
Tombstone 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

11
52 37
Ranker Video
JFK 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

12
37 33
Ranker Video
Amistad 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 abducted for the ...more

13
50 40
Ranker Video
Mississippi Burning Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American crime thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the murders of three civil ...more

14
18 12
Ranker Video
Legends of the Fall 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

15
46 39
Ranker Video
Casino Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, James Woods Casino is a 1995 American crime 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 ...more

20 Historical Facts That Movies Got Totally Wrong 7 Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life

16
35 33
Ranker Video
Wyatt Earp 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

17
36 29
Ranker Video
Elizabeth 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

18
38 33
Ranker Video
A River Runs Through It 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

19
56 42
Ranker Video
Sleepy Hollow 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

20
34 38
Ranker Video
The Thin Red Line George Clooney, John Travolta, Sean Penn The Thin Red Line is a 1998 American ensemble epic war 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

21
9 7
Ranker Video
Sazonana added In the Name of the Father 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

22
13 9
Ranker Video
Sazonana added The Mask of Zorro 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

23
34 35
Ranker Video
Thelma & Louise Brad Pitt, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis Thelma & Louise is a 1991 American crime drama film, written by Callie Khouri and directed by Ridley Scott. It stars Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise, two friends who ...more

24
28 36
Ranker Video
but chickens double d added Pocahontas 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

25
16 14
Ranker Video
but chickens double d added Rob Roy Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hurt Rob Roy is a 1995 adventure film directed by Michael Caton-Jones. Liam Neeson stars as Rob Roy MacGregor, an 18th-century Scottish clan chief who battles with an unscrupulous nobleman in the ...more

26
26 28
Ranker Video
Nixon Anthony Hopkins, James Woods, Ed Harris Nixon is a 1995 American biographical film directed by Oliver Stone for Cinergi Pictures that tells the story of the political and personal life of United States President Richard Nixon, played ...more

27
23 26
Ranker Video
A Bronx Tale Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Chazz Palminteri A Bronx Tale is a 1993 American crime drama film set in the Bronx during the turbulent era of the 1960s. It was the directorial debut of Robert De Niro that follows a young Italian-American ...more

28
28 26
Ranker Video
The Crucible Winona Ryder, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeffrey Jones The Crucible is a 1996 drama film written by Arthur Miller and based on his play of the same name. It was directed by Nicholas Hytner and stars Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor, Winona Ryder as ...more

29
23 31
Ranker Video
The Cider House Rules Charlize Theron, Michael Caine, Paul Rudd The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John Irving's novel of the same name. The film won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for the ...more

Historical Figures That Hollywood Got Wrong The Best Qualities in a Woman

30
10 13
Ranker Video
but chickens double d added Squanto: A Warrior's Tale Michael Gambon, Mandy Patinkin, Julian Richings Squanto: A Warrior's Tale is a 1994 theatrical live action Disney adventure drama film. It was written by Darlene Craviato. Xavier Koller and Christopher Stoia were the directors. It is very ...more

31
28 28
Ranker Video
Ed Wood Johnny Depp, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray Ed Wood is a 1994 American period comedy-drama biopic directed and produced by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp as cult filmmaker Ed Wood. The film concerns the period in Wood's life when he ...more

32
22 32
Ranker Video
The Piano Anna Paquin, Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel The Piano is a 1993 romantic drama film about a mute female piano player and her daughter. Set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater on the west coast of New Zealand, ...more

33
20 37
Ranker Video
Evita Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Billie Piper Evita is a 1996 American musical drama film based on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical of the same name about Eva Perón. Directed by Alan Parker and written by Parker and Oliver ...more

34
29 33
Ranker Video
October Sky 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

35
20 25
Ranker Video
The Madness of King George Helen Mirren, Ian Holm, Rupert Everett The Madness of King George is a 1994 film directed by Nicholas Hytner and adapted by Alan Bennett from his own play, The Madness of George III. It tells the true story of George III's ...more

36
1 7
Ranker Video
Sazonana added The Age of Innocence Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Daniel Day-Lewis The Age of Innocence is a 1993 American film adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1920 novel of the same name. The film was released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Martin Scorsese, and stars Daniel ...more

37
17 28
Ranker Video
The Remains of the Day Lena Headey, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson The Remains of the Day is a 1993 Merchant Ivory film adapted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. It was directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant, Mike ...more

38
12 27
Ranker Video
Sweet and Lowdown Uma Thurman, Sean Penn, Woody Allen Sweet and Lowdown is a 1999 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. The film tells the story, set in the 1930s, of a fictional jazz guitarist named Emmet Ray who regards ...more

39
11 29
Ranker Video
Raise the Red Lantern Gong Li, He Saifei, Baotian Li Raise the Red Lantern is a 1991 film directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li. It is an adaption by Ni Zhen of the 1990 novel Wives and Concubines by Su Tong. The film was later adapted into ...more

40
9 29
Ranker Video
The Portrait of a Lady Nicole Kidman, Christian Bale, Viggo Mortensen The Portrait of a Lady is a 1996 film adaptation of Henry James's novel The Portrait of a Lady directed by Jane Campion. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Barbara Hershey, John Malkovich, ...more

41
7 26
Ranker Video
Jude Kate Winslet, David Tennant, Christopher Eccleston Jude is a 1996 British period drama film directed by Michael Winterbottom, and written by Hossein Amini, based on Thomas Hardy's novel Jude the Obscure. The original music score was composed by ...more

42
6 26
Ranker Video
Avalon Elijah Wood, Elizabeth Perkins, Aidan Quinn Avalon is a 1990 drama film directed by Barry Levinson. It is the third in Levinson's semi-autobiographical four "Baltimore Films" set in his hometown during the 1940s, '50s, and '60s: ...more

43
6 33
Ranker Video
Washington Square Jennifer Garner, Maggie Smith, Jennifer Jason Leigh Washington Square is a 1997 American drama film directed by Agnieszka Holland. The screenplay by Carol Doyle is based on the 1880 novel of the same name by Henry James, which was filmed as The ...more