Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) began as a DVD rental business in 1998, a direct online competitor to Blockbuster Video which was a dominant name in the industry at the time. The company gradually shifted to a subscription model around the turn of the century. This was a revolutionary idea that allowed the subscribers to rent as many DVDs as they could without incurring any additional fees or penalties.
Netflix expanded rapidly in the early 2000s, from 300,000 users in 2000 to 600,000 in 2002 and 4.2 million in 2005. A huge part of the growth was due to the increased affordability of DVD players. A key feature that transformed Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) from a competitor in the industry to an industry giant was ‘streaming’. As we can see, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was quick to study market dynamics and adapt accordingly. Incorporation of key algorithms that allowed the user to stream relevant content, especially tailored to their likes and dislikes proved to be critical to the company’s success.
Initial Success and COVID-19 Impact
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) went international in 2010, first launching internationally in Canada. Since then, the company has grown exponentially, expanding to Latin America in 2011, and then eventually conquering the European and Asian streaming industry by 2016.
Paid subscriptions of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) increased from 203.66 million subscribers in 2020 to 209 million in the second quarter of 2021. As the figures indicate, the popularity of the streaming service continues to increase. This is largely due to its ease of use and algorithms that tailor streaming according to user preference. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) offers economical packages and a wide range of streaming content to choose from. As of February 2021, 3,579 movies and 1,836 shows are available for streaming on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) in the US. Netflix continues to expand its operations and has grown from a mere streaming service to a production house.
Like all the industries, COVID 19 had a massive impact on the streaming industry. The 2020 lockdowns and stay at home rules had a direct effect on the streaming industry. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) viewership and a number of subscribers soared up. Immediately following the lockdowns, in April Netflix reported 1.35% increase in paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2020. Netflix stock rose up to 60% during the first quarter of 2020. In the last quarter of 2020 reports indicated that in a period of 9 months, 8 million people subscribed to Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).
A large part of this increase was due to Netflix’s creative and strategic features like Netflix party (now Teleparty). This feature allowed the user to enjoy their movie nights while perfectly maintaining social distancing. With Netflix parties, viewers can stream the same content on different screens and engage in a conversation while streaming, making it a perfect alternative for movie night.
Slowing Growth and Competition
Following the record year of the pandemic which saw 36 million subscribers, there has been significant decrease in the growth of subscribers. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) attracted just 5.5 million members in the first half of 2021, compared to more than 25 million at the same time a year earlier, according to the company’s latest earnings announcement. The streaming giant acquired just 1.5 million paying customers globally in the three months ending June 30, the lowest quarterly growth since Q2 2013.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) anticipates subscriber growth to speed up again in the third quarter, with the content lined up. The company is predicting net additions of 3.5 million.
The streaming industry is booming in the year 2021. The two big competitors for Netflix in the industry are Amazon Prime Video by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and HBO by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). Amazon Prime Video rose up in popularity with 175 million subscribers in 2021. HBO, as compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime, is only limited to the US, and hence remains a weak competitor. AppleTV+ by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL), Youtube by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Disney+ by The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) are also considered competitors in the industry since they provide streaming content.
Netflix however has successfully maintained its dominance in the market and the stock price for the streaming industry giant continue to rise. Netflix plans to continue on its trajectory of expansion by moving past passive streaming and incorporating video games, which will allow the users to live in the story rather than just passively watch it.
From the start of its journey in 1998, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has come very far. Let’s take a look at one of the most popular periods in the history of the film industry; the ’90s. We have compiled a list of the 25 best ’90s movies on Netflix. We carried out extensive research of popularity on forums such as Reddit, and based on ‘popularity’ on these forums and IMDb ratings, we have compiled a list of 25 best ’90s movies. The region of availability is also discussed for each movie.
With this context and industry outlook in mind, let’s now discuss our list of the 25 best ’90s movies on Netflix.
25 Best ’90s Movies on Netflix
25. The Craft
IMDb Rating: 4.4/10
Based on its IMBD ranking and our search on Reddit forums, The Craft ranks at 25th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX). The Craft is a supernatural horror film directed by Andrew Fleming in 1996. It was based on a screenplay by Peter Filardi and Fleming and a narrative by Filardi. The Craft is a brilliant time capsule of ’90s women’s fashion and alternative rock, featuring Skeet Ulrich. Featuring Neve Campbell, Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, and Rachel True as a bunch of high school outcasts who could only ever be outsiders in a movie about high school, the girls turn to witchcraft to improve their social position.
However, things swiftly spiral out of control as Nancy (Balk) loses her mind and begins murdering people. It’s the ideal movie to rent for a sleepover, and the quality hasn’t deteriorated with time.
The Craft is now available on Australian and Swedish Netflix. Other streaming platforms like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) , The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) are also offering movies like the The Craft.
24. Space Jam
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Joe Pytka directed Space Jam, a 1996 American live-action/animated science fiction sports comedy film featuring basketball player Michael Jordan.
Nothing screams the ’90s like Space Jam. It is a 90-minute advertisement for all of basketball legend Michael Jordan’s brand promotion. The film pits Jordan and the Looney Tunes against a group of aliens attempting to smuggle Bugs Bunny and his pals into a space theme park. The movie is ranked 24th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).
It is available for streaming on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) Canada and Australia.
23. The Firm
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
The firm is a legal thriller based on a book written by John Grisham. The movie was a big commercial success, making $270.2 million against a $42 million budget. It is 23rd on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
It is available for streaming in the US and Australia on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).
22. Mask of Zorro
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Available for streaming on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime, Mask of Zorro is without a doubt one of the best adventure flicks of the 1990s. It ranks 22nd on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix. The film was directed by Martin Campbell and written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who would go on to write Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
In this movie, Antonio Banderas plays the titular hero. He’s an actor who’s always known how much fun it is to make movies, and he’s a natural adventurer. The Mask of Zorro features spectacular swordplay, astute direction, stunning set pieces, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. As the elder Zorro, Anthony Hopkins gives a naturally powerful performance in this movie.
The Mask of Zorro is now available on Canadian Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX). Other streaming platforms owned by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) , The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) are also offering movies like Mask of Zorro.
21. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a 1990’s American martial arts superhero. This film tracks Turtles that are on a mission to defend their master, Splinter, from The Shredder and his Foot Clan, with the help of their new allies, April O’Neil and Casey Jones. It stars Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, and Brian Tochi, Robbie Rist, Corey Feldman, and Josh Pais, and is directed by Steve Barron.
If video stores still existed, you might turn into some kind of aggressive mutant after spending too much time standing next to a copy of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. It’s a fantastic mash-up of every significant pop culture element from the 90’s.
This movie is available for streaming on Netflix Australia. It is 21st on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
20. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
This is one of the greatest pictures starring Kevin Costner as a renowned Englishman with a Midwestern accent. Thanks to outstanding supporting performances from Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman, Prince of Thieves is one of the better interpretations of the Robin Hood legend.
Words fall short to describe Rickman’s broad hilarious performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham, a cartoon cat of a villain. To be specific, Prince of Thieves is a gloomy, occasionally horrific period adventure film with a wooden main character. The film is ranked at 20th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is now accessible on Netflix in the United States.
You can also watch this movie at streaming platforms owned by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) , The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
19. Bad Boys
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Ranking 19th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix is Michael Bay’s Bad Boys, a 1995 American buddy cop action-comedy film. Michael Bay was introduced to the world with Bad Boys, for better or worse. It’s also the film that marked Will Smith’s initial footstep into fame.
In this movie Smith and Martin Lawrence play two Miami Police Department investigators who are forced to assume each other’s identities in order to keep a witness safe. Smith and Lawrence have a great chemistry that has lasted through two sequels, as evidenced by Bad Boys for Life’s recent success.
This movie is available for streaming on Netflix Canada and Australia.
18. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
IMDb Rating: 7/10
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a tremendously funny meta-spoof of the spying genre that also established a cornerstone of 90’s comedy, popularizing various joke techniques that would become genre staples over the next several years.
Surprisingly, Austin Powers did not perform well at the box office, but it did well on home video, resulting in almost $300 million in ticket sales for the sequel, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. It is ranked 18th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
The seventeenth James Bond film, GoldenEye, is the first to star Pierce Brosnan as Ian Fleming’s British secret service agent James Bond. With Mrs. Doubtfire’s Pierce Brosnan in the lead role, goldeneye brought James Bond back into the 1990’s after a seven-year sabbatical.
Director Martin Campbell successfully brought back to life the persona for a new generation of viewers. Undercooked digital effects, miniskirts, false Russian accents, and a malevolent Sean Bean ooze mid-’90s style in GoldenEye
GoldenEye generated global income worth $356.4 million.
GoldenEye is now accessible on Netflix in the United States. On March 8, 2019, it was made available for online viewing. The movie is 17th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
16. Jerry Maguire
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Tom Cruise stars in the lead role as Maguire. When sports agent Maguire experiences a moral crisis, he writes a sincere company-wide memo, which gets him fired. Jerry launches his own management agency out of desperation, to keep the sportsmen he represents with only single mother Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) joining him. Jerry and Dorothy begin to fall in love as thy fight to make their firm work, relying on their only client, football player Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.).
This movie is available for streaming on Netflix Canada and the UK. It is ranked 16th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
Apart from Netflix Inc. (NASDQ: NFLX), this movie is also available at streaming platforms owned by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) , The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
15. Men in Black
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
Ranking 15th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies on Netflix is Men in Black, a 1997 American science fiction action-comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and written by Ed Solomon. Men in Black stars Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, to fight aliens as part of a covert police squad on Earth.
Smith and Jones are an unusual pair, yet they complement each other brilliantly, following genuinely hilarious moments. Men in Black created many sequels, but the first is the most appealing, and it never ceases to be entertaining.
Yes, Men in Black is available on Australian and UK Netflix.
14. Eyes Wide Shut
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Stanley Kubrick directed, produced, and co-wrote the sexual mystery psychological drama film Eyes Wide Shut in 1999. The film is based on Arthur Schnitzler’s 1926 story Traumnovelle. The terrifying link between the sexual and the anonymous lies at the center of Eyes Wide Shut. It investigates the importance of stranger fantasies in our sex lives and proposes that married couples are, in the end, strangers to one another. The film stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in the lead roles. It is 14th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
The movie is streaming on Netflix Canada.
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Contact, based on the novel by the renowned scientist and an astronomer Carl Sagan, follows the narrative of Dr. Ellie Arroway, played by Jodie Foster. She discovers proof of extraterrestrial life after years of seeking solid evidence. Extraterrestrials send her designs for a strange contraption, which she must fund and support in the middle of a tumultuous environment.
The film is 13th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
It earned more than $171 million globally.
12. Boogie Nights
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Paul Thomas Anderson wrote and directed Boogie Nights, a 1997 American period comedy-drama film. A typical Hollywood drama placed in the shadows rather than the limelight, containing elements of fame, envy, talent, greed, money and sex. The film follows a vast, colorful, and strangely emotional array of characters as they experience a pivotal moment in the adult film industry. Boogie Nights depicts the story of a boy from the San Fernando Valley named Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), who works as a dishwasher in a Hollywood nightclub when he is spotted by a Tiparillo-smoking pornographer named Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds).
The movie is streaming on Netflix Canada, Australia and America. The movie ranks 12th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
11. Groundhog Day
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Groundhog Day is a fantasy comedy film, released in 1993, directed by Harold Ramis and written by Ramis and Danny Rubin. Groundhog Day is without a doubt one of Bill Murray’s best performances. It is 11th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
Murray plays nasty, cynical weatherman Phil Connors, who gets stuck in a time loop. Phil tries to cheat the system at first, but eventually realizes that the best way to make the most of his unusual agony is to start assisting others.
This movie is available for streaming on Netflix Canada and Australia.
10. The Truman Show
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
The Truman show stands at 10th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix. Available for streaming in America, Canada and Australia, the film is the ultimate reality show, following the life of a guy, Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), who has had his whole life filmed as a television show, without him being aware of it.
The film was a commercial success and received several nominations at the 71st Academy Awards, 56th Golden Globe Awards, 52nd British Academy Film Awards, and 25th Saturn Awards after its premiere to critical praise.
9. American Beauty
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
American Beauty is a black comedy-drama film directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. Available for streaming on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and It was released in 1999. The story revolves around a man who is afraid of growing older, losing hope of genuine love, and not being respected by people closest to him. Kevin Spacey portrays Lester Burnham, the hero of American Beauty, as a guy who is rejected by his daughter, forgotten by his wife, and unwanted at work.
The movie is 9th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix
The movie is streaming on Netflix Inc. (NASDQ: NFLX) Canada, and America. You can also watch this movie at streaming platforms owned by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) , The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
8. Good Will Hunting
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Available for streaming in Australia, Good Will Hunting is a psychological drama film directed by Gus Van Sant. The film follows Will Hunting (Damon), a 20-year-old South Boston janitor who, as part of a deferred prosecution deal after attacking a police officer, becomes a therapist’s (Sean Maguire) patient and learns advanced mathematics with a renowned professor. Will is a self-taught genius who through his therapy session with his professor confronts challenges in his personal life, his past and his future.
Filmed on a $10 million budget, the picture garnered great reviews and earned over $225 million throughout its theatrical run. It was nominated in nine categories at the 70th Academy Awards. The movie ranks 8th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).
7. American History X
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
American History X is a criminal drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. The movie was released in 1998. It is available on different streaming platforms like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX). The film is about Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), a neo-Nazi who has lived a life marked by violence and hatred. Vinyard is eventually sentenced to prison after killing two black teenagers who attempted to steal his car. Derek swears to change his ways after his release, hoping to keep his younger brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), from following in his footsteps. Derek wonders if his family can overcome a lifetime of hatred as he struggles with his own deeply established beliefs.
The movie is 7th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix
The movie is available on Netflix Canada, Australia, UK and America.
6. The Silence of the Lambs
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Based on Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel, The Silence of the Lambs is a psychological horror film directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Ted Tally in 1991. In 1992, The Silence of the Lambs took over the Academy Awards, winning five major categories. The sequences with Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) are legendary. The rest of the film, which focuses on the hunt for serial killer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), feels familiar and generic.
The thriller is ranked 6th on our list of 25 best’90s movies to watch on Netflix.
Other streaming platforms owned by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) , The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) are also offering The Silence of the Lambs.
IMDb Rating: 8.7/10
Goodfellas is an American biographical crime film. Martin Scorsese directed Goodfellas in 1990, which was written by Nicholas Pileggi and Scorsese and produced by Irwin Winkler.
It is a film adaptation of Pileggi’s nonfiction book Wiseguy, which was published in 1985. From 1955 until 1980, the film depicts the rise and fall of mob member Henry Hill and his friends and family, starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, and Paul Sorvino.
This movie is available for streaming on Netflix Canada and Australia. It is ranked at 5th on our list of 25 best ’90s movies to watch on Netflix.