The 90s were a time where pop culture thrived, as music, film, and basically everything went mainstream. With the rise in all things “cool” and “trendy”, there was also a rise in deep and incredibly meaningful stories.
In the following films mentioned, we take a trip into the past to understand what makes our future so worth living. These stories give the moving, the inspirational, and the absolute most motivational tales for people of all ages.
Without further ado, here are some 90s films that will completely change your life.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Headed by Matt Damon and Robin Williams, this late 90s film gave viewers a well-needed life lesson or two. The film revolves around self-taught genius Will Hunting, who works as a janitor at the prestigious university, MIT. After a run-in with a cop, Will is left to work out his issues with a psychology professor (Williams).
The film is powerful because it shows us all the ins and outs of love, friendship, faith, and trust. In the film, there is a man who dares to dream, but must see himself through his own fears to get where he wants to be — a lesson many of us can try to take on.
The Green Mile (1999)
Based on the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name, The Green Mile tells a particularly moving story of a corrections officer (Tom Hanks) and his encounter with an extraordinary inmate named John Coffey.
The Green Mile is powerful for its ability to convey the true meaning of compassion and kindness. Among the looming theme of death (and the controversial death penalty), we also experience the themes of morality, justice, and healing. It’s a lot to take on for one movie, but just one watch, and you’ll be sure to walk out with a renewed sense of life afterwards.
Forrest Gump (1994)
Another Tom Hanks special, Forrest Gump chronicles the life of oddball Forrest Gump and the various historical events he happens to take part in throughout the 20th century.
We love it because the character that Hanks plays is sincere and lovable, traits not many people carry in the real world. His simple outlook on life and genuine love for the people around him can be felt wholly through the screen, making the film a complete experience in itself.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Rightfully helmed by the talented Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, this prison-based film oversees the life of convicted murderer Andy Dufresne and the following two decades he spends at Shawshank Prison. The friends, experiences, and changes Andy undergoes make for a deeply emotional and touching film.
Movie lovers list this film down as a classic for its very simple exploration of freedom, hope, and the human condition. While there has been deep analysis into the Christian mysticism aspects of the film, the movie is just plain good because of the subtle ways it empathizes with the prisoners and brings life to the morbid prisonscape.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Probably one of the most accurate film depictions of D-Day, Saving Private Ryan follows Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (played by our 90s favorite, Tom Hanks) and his squad as they attempt to locate missing paratrooper Private Ryan (Matt Damon) in the midst of World War II.
The blockbuster film was lauded for its unapologetic portrayal of the brutality of war. War, as shown to the audience, is a terrible, long-running question of morality that appears whenever mankind attempts to reach eye to eye. This struggle, beautifully played out by Saving Private Ryan‘s standout cast, is exactly what makes the film so memorable and soul-crushing at the same time.