30 Beloved Movies You Won't Believe Are 30 Years Old

It's been three decades since these iconic 1990 films hit theaters.

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Straddling the line between classic '80s films and the movies that defined the '90s, the films of 1990 reflect the transition from one decade to the next. Some of these movies feel like throwbacks, while others were ahead of their time. Either way, it's hard to believe that it's been three decades since they hit theaters. From Pretty Woman and Postcards From the Edge to House Party and Home Alone, we remember these 30 movies that are now 30 years old like they came out yesterday. And for more cinematic nostalgia, revisit these 20 Beloved Movies You Won't Believe Are 20 Years Old.

1
Pretty Woman

still from pretty woman
Buena Vista Pictures

Underestimating the cultural influence of this Garry Marshall romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? Big mistake. Big. Huge. And for more movies we're still quoting, check out these 30 Movie Quotes Every '90s Kid Knows by Heart.

2
Home Alone

still from home alone
20th Century Fox

Before he got lost in New York, young Kevin McCallister had to fend off burglars all by himself in Home Alone. As star Macaulay Culkin tweeted recently, "Hey guys, wanna feel old? I'm 40. You're welcome."

3
Ghost

still from ghost
Paramount Pictures

In 1990, Demi Moore got very intimate with her dead husband Patrick Swayze to the tune of "Unchained Melody," and we have never looked at a pottery wheel the same since. And for a walk down TV memory lane, check out these 20 Beloved TV Shows You Won't Believe Are 20 Years Old.

4
House Party

still from house party
New Line Cinema

Hip-hop duo Kid 'n Play—also known as Christopher "Kid" Reid and Christopher "Play" Martin—starred in this critically-acclaimed comedy that spawned several less critically-acclaimed sequels. And for more movies that got great reviews, discover The Best Movie That Came Out the Year You Graduated, According to Critics.

5
Total Recall

total recall
TriStar Pictures

Forget the disappointing remake—it's all about Paul Verhoeven's original Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger at the height of his powers (between Terminator movies).

6
Postcards From the Edge

postcards from the edge
Columbia Pictures

Carrie Fisher adapted her own semi-autobiographical novel into this semi-autobiographical film, in which Meryl Streep plays an actor who is definitely not Carrie Fisher, and Shirley MacLaine plays her mother, who is definitely not Debbie Reynolds.

7
Goodfellas

goodfellas
Warner Bros.

Martin Scorsese has made his fair share of mob movies, but Goodfellas may be the best of the bunch. It earned six Academy Awards nominations, and won Joe Pesci an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. And for more memorable performances we're still talking about, here are 13 Great Oscar-Winning Performances That Still Hold Up.

8
Edward Scissorhands

edward scissorhands
20th Century Fox

Never have there been lovers more star-crossed than Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands and Winona Ryder's Kim, the girl he can't hold.

9
Back to the Future Part III

back to the future part iii
Universal Pictures

For the second sequel to Back to the Future, Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled way back to the 1880s, ending the sci-fi trilogy with some distinctly Western flair. And for more fun content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

10
The Witches

still from the witches
Warner Bros.

Based on the Roald Dahl novel of the same name, The Witches traumatized a generation of children, thanks to Anjelica Huston's terrifying performance as the Grand High Witch. Will Anne Hathaway be able to do the same in the forthcoming remake?

11
Misery

still from misery
Columbia Pictures

Rob Reiner proved himself to be the all-time greatest adapter of Stephen King novels with Misery, which won Kathy Bates an Oscar for her harrowing portrayal of obsessed fan Annie Wilkes. It's the only King adaptation to win an Academy Award.

12
Awakenings

still from awakening
Columbia Pictures

Penny Marshall's adaptation of Oliver Sacks' memoir earned rave reviews for the lead performances by Robin Williams, as Dr. Malcolm Sayer, and Robert De Niro, as the catatonic patient he gives new life.

13
Dances With Wolves

dances with wolves
MGM

Kevin Costner made his directorial debut with Dances With Wolves, in which he also stars as a Union Army lieutenant. The movie helped usher in a new era of the classic Western genre in the '90s.

14
Days of Thunder

days of thunder
Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Whether or not you remember the specifics of the plot of Days of Thunder, you probably remember that it's the film where Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman met—the first of three movies they co-starred in before their 2001 divorce.

15
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

still from teenage mutant ninja turtles
New Line Cinema

If you grew up in the '90s, you were a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which probably means you were a fan of this 1990 film adaptation of the comics and animated series.

16
Die Hard 2

die hard 2
20th Century Fox

Forget the debate over whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie—it's time to start asking if Die Hard 2 is a Christmas movie. (It is.)

17
The Grifters

still from the grifters
Miramax Films

Anjelica Huston makes her second appearance on this list with another iconic performance, this time as one of the titular con artists in Stephen Frears' The Grifters.

18
The Rescuers Down Under

the rescuers down under
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

When people talk about the Disney Renaissance that began with The Little Mermaid, they often neglect to mention the charming Rescuers Down Under, the first Walt Disney Animation Studios sequel released in theaters.

19
My Blue Heaven

my blue heaven
Warner Bros.

The same year that Goodfellas—based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi—hit theaters, My Blue Heaven was released. Both films were inspired by the real-life mobster Henry Hill, and My Blue Heaven scribe Nora Ephron happened to be married to Pileggi.

20
Miller's Crossing

miller's crossing
20th Century Fox

Miller's Crossing was the third feature film from sibling writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen, who continued to have major success in the '90s—including with Fargo and The Big Lebowski—and beyond.

21
Kindergarten Cop

kindergarten cop
Universal Pictures

It was a good year for Arnold Schwarzenegger, who got to balance the gory sci-fi thrills of Total Recall with the broad, fish-out-of-water comedy of Kindergarten Cop.

22
Hamlet

still from the 1990 hamlet
Warner Bros.

For his adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic play, Franco Zeffirelli cast Mel Gibson as Hamlet and Glenn Close as Gertrude, and portrayed their relationship as, well, a little too close for comfort.

23
Pump Up the Volume

pump up the volume
New Line Cinema

Christian Slater does what he does best in Pump Up the Volume, playing an outcast in high school who rages against the confines of his suburban life. (See also: Heathers.)

24
Jacob's Ladder

jacob's ladder
Lionsgate

While Jacob's Ladder wasn't a major hit at the time, the terrifying movie ended up becoming something of a cult film, and its nightmarish visuals were hugely influential on subsequent media, including survival horror games like Silent Hill.

25
Kiki's Delivery Service

kiki's delivery service
Studio Ghibli

Released in Japan in 1989, Kiki's Delivery Service first hit U.S. theaters in 1990, but the delightful Hayao Miyazaki film didn't earn major recognition with American audiences until an English dub was released years later.

26
Joe Versus the Volcano

joe versus the volcano
Warner Bros.

Before Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, there was Joe Versus the Volcano, the first romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan—and definitely the most high-concept.

27
Avalon

still from avalon
TriStar Pictures

Like Diner and Tin Man before it, Avalon offered writer-director Barry Levinson the opportunity to explore his own upbringing in Baltimore, here focusing on a Polish Jewish immigrant family.

28
Gremlins 2: The New Batch

gremlins 2 the new batch
Warner Bros.

Weirder and funnier than the original GremlinsGremlins 2: The New Batch attracted its own set of fans, thanks to director Joe Dante's cartoonish, often satirical approach to the material.

29
Jetsons: The Movie

jetson the movie
Universal Pictures

Thirty years ago, audiences returned to the late 21st century for the first big-screen adventure of the Jetsons. Despite the time period Jetsons: The Movie is set in—and the year it was released—the movie feels distinctly '80s, thanks in no small part to the presence of mall pop diva Tiffany as Judy Jetson.

30
Cry-Baby

still from cry-baby
Universal Pictures

Following the success of HairsprayJohn Waters returned with another retro, Baltimore-set, family-friendly teen musical. It wasn't nearly as successful, though it did also inspire a Broadway musical.

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