Exploring the films and filmmakers that broke the rules of cinema in the 1990s.
Our collection focusing on the titles that created a new cinematic language and challenged aesthetic and formal conventions. The influence of these films can still be felt today; some of them challenged what was expected of a director, of moving image, of a national cinema. We celebrate the rule breakers and rebels who defined a decade.
Drama1995101 minsDirector: Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater's lovely Rohmer-esque romance, in which an American student (Ethan Hawke) convinces a Parisian student (Julie Delpy) to spend the next 14 hours in his company.
Drama1999159 minsDirector: Stanley Kubrick
Kubrick’s final film, released posthumously, is a precise portrayal of a fragile relationship, played out by then-couple Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise.
Horror199981 minsDirector: Eduardo Sanchez
Three student filmmakers attempt to make a documentary about a local urban legend, in this terrifying and groundbreaking pioneer of the ‘found-footage’ genre.
Science Fiction199784 minsDirector: Darren Aronofsky
Darren Aronofsky’s magisterial monochrome mystery concerns a mathematician whose discovery of a powerful number leads to the dark side.
Drama1999189 minsDirector: Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson's sprawling, intense and multi-layered study of a collection of characters going through varying levels of crisis.
Drama1997155 minsDirector: Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson's deliriously entertaining account of the mid-70s porn industry, with an unforgettable Mark Wahlberg as 'Dirk Diggler' and Burt Reynolds as his producer.
Drama1991104 minsDirector: Gus Van Sant
A narcoleptic hustler (River Phoenix) and his friend (Keanu Reeves) hit the road in this landmark of New Queer Cinema from Gus Van Sant.
Crime1995127 minsDirector: David Fincher
David Fincher's breakthrough film is a disturbing and visceral thriller starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt as detectives hunting down a meticulous serial killer.
Science Fiction1999136 minsDirector: Larry Wachowski
Hacker Neo (Keanu Reeves) is drawn into a burgeoning underground rebellion against the machines that enslave humanity, in the hugely influential action sci-fi.
Drama199590 minsDirector: Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle's exhilarating, narcotic trip follows a group of heroin-addicted friends as they navigate their way through Glasgow's seedy 1990s drug culture.
Comedy1993101 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha's charming and critically acclaimed comedy about a group of British Asian women from Birmingham who bond during a day-trip to Blackpool.
Musical199877 minsDirector: Julian Henriques
Neeta and her crew rise to dancehall fame in North West London's Caribbean community, in the first Black British musical.
Gangster1990145 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese
Scorsese’s dazzling depiction of organised crime from the 50s to late 70s contains some of his most memorably stylish set-pieces.
Film noir199199 minsDirector: Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino explodes onto the screen with his debut feature following a jewellery heist gone horribly, violently wrong.
Crime1994154 minsDirector: Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino’s crackling crime classic still retains its swagger as one of the great American films of recent decades.
Drama1992112 minsDirector: Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan's acclaimed 1992 drama-mystery tells the story of Fergus (Stephen Rea), who looks after the lover (Jaye Davidson) of a British soldier he once knew. But what is Dil hiding?
Comedy199691 minsDirector: Hettie Macdonald
Hettie MacDonald’s 1996 comedy tells the story of two classmates and neighbours (Glen Berry, Scott Neal) who fall in love in over one summer in South East London.
Comedy199492 minsDirector: Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith ushered in a new wave of no-budget indie filmmaking, and introduced the world to his enduring one-man brand, with this classic convenience-store comedy.
Comedy199691 minsDirector: Steve Buscemi
Venerable character actor Steve Buscemi steps behind the camera in this profound character study on a lonely, alcoholic, and unemployed mechanic.
Drama1996106 minsDirector: Alexander Payne
Laura Dern is hilarious an addict unwittingly caught in the midst of America's culture wars, in Alexander Payne's superb first feature - previously unreleased in the UK.
Drama1995103 minsDirector: Udayan Prasad
Udayan Prasad's perceptive 1995 drama follows Amir (Pavan Malhotra), a Pakistani immigrant living in England and adjusting to his new life - including meeting an Irish girl who moves into his boarding house.
Comedy199997 minsDirector: Damien O'Donnell
Damien O'Donnell's charming comedy-drama about Zaheed Khan (Om Puri), the patriarch of a Pakistani-British family whose children begin to reject their heritage and embrace UK life.
Thriller1997119 minsDirector: Alejandro Amenábar
Alejandro Amenabar’s signature science-fiction drama follows a young man who falls for his dream woman, before he is disfigured in an accident.
Drama199797 minsDirector: Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar’s sexy and suspenseful thriller follows the intertwining destinies of a cop (Javier Bardem) and the criminal who paralyses him.
Comedy199788 minsDirector: Majid Majidi
Iranian siblings Ali and Zahra lose the latter’s pair of shoes – but devise a plan to survive and obtain new ones in this family drama.
Animation & Artists Moving Image199496 minsDirector: Stephen Dwoskin
Autobiographical film by the veteran disabled experimental filmmaker, Steve Dwoskin.
Drama1995105 minsDirector: Brothers Quay
Mark Rylance stars in the debut feature film from the Brothers Quay. A student at a peculiar school for servants gradually uncovers its secrets and, by extension, those of life itself.
Animation & Artists Moving Image199192 minsDirector: Derek Jarman
Inside his modest, sparsely-furnished home on the barren, windswept Dungeness coastline, Derek Jarman dreams.
Animation & Artists Moving Image199362 minsDirector: John Maybury
John Maybury’s dark, queer state of the nation film starring Tilda Swinton and Rupert Everett
Drama1991112 minsDirector: Julie Dash
Julie Dash’s groundbreaking Daughters of the Dust remains urgent and poetic and continues to resonate, most recently inspiring Beyoncé’s Lemonade.
Drama1997115 minsDirector: Kasi Lemmons
Samuel L. Jackson stars in this seething slice of Southern Gothic, about the travails of a Louisiana family bedevilled by infidelity, incest and witchcraft.