HomeEntertainment News10 Best 90s Crime Movies, Ranked by IMDb

10 Best 90s Crime Movies, Ranked by IMDb

The crime genre has undoubtedly always been a favorite among moviegoers. Every year, thousands of crime movies and television programs are produced, but the quantity doesn’t seem to please the audience, as they frequently return to what they view as the genre’s monuments from earlier decades.

For instance, when the 1990s are mentioned in the context of movies, a certain number of films — some of which, surprisingly, are crime films—come to mind, solidifying the decade’s place in the history of cinema. Thus, a few of the best crime films from the 1990s are undoubtedly at the top of some viewers’ lists.



1 ‘Pulp Fiction’ (1994)

Pulp Fiction (1994) (1)-1

IMDb Score: 8.9/10

Pulp Fiction covers various interconnected crime scenarios that took place in Los Angeles, California, featuring two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster and his wife, and two diner robbers. The title alludes to the pulp magazines and noir crime novels that were popular in the mid-20th century and were distinguished by their vivid violence and snappy wit.

Because of its witty dialogue, flawless acting, and ongoing unexpected twists, Pulp Fiction has remained a benchmark in cinema and the crime genre since its 1994 release. Additionally, the movie’s neo-crime, post-modern, darkly comedic style makes it seem weirdly ageless while simultaneously capturing its moment and zeitgeist.

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2 ‘Goodfellas’ (1990)

Goodfellas (1990) (1)

IMDb Score: 8.7/10

Goodfellas follows the lives of real-life mobster and FBI informant Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), including his marriage to Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco), his involvement with the Italian-American crime family, and his relationships with Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci).

Goodfellas is a pivotal picture in the history of cinema and is still recognized as one of the greatest gangster films of all time and one of Martin Scorsese‘s best works. Moreover, everything in the film, from the dialogue to the horrific violence to the soundtrack, is drenched in humor, which is an unusual but witty way to approach a film with the such a weighty subject.

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3 ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (1)

IMDb Score: 8.6/10

Based on Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel of the same name, The Silence of the Lambs follows an FBI trainee, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), who is tasked to hunt down a serial killer named “Buffalo Bill” who skins his female victims. To do that, she seeks to consult a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins).

The movie is recognized as one of the best movie adaptations, perfectly encapsulating the spirit of Harris’ work. The book’s readers are not let down by the superb Jonathan Demme‘s direction or the actors’ intense and compelling performances because they are drawn into the plot with the same level of cruelty, tension, and terror they experienced when reading the novel.

RELATED: 11 Movies to Watch if You Like ‘The Silence of the Lambs’

4 ‘Se7en’ (1995)

Se7en (1995) (1)

IMDb Score: 8.6/10

Se7en centers on disillusioned, almost-retired investigator William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and his new colleague, recently transferred David Mills (Brad Pitt), as they work to apprehend a serial killer before he can complete a string of killings inspired by the seven deadly sins.

The crime thriller genre was shaken up by David Fincher‘s dark and gloomy second feature movie, and it served as a model for a long line of imitators that would follow. Nothing can prepare the viewers for the heart-pounding revelation at the end, when the items in that box turned John Doe into one of the most infamous on-screen villains, as each murder is more heinous than the one before.

5 ‘The Green Mile’ (1999)

Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan in 'The Green Mile'

IMDb Score: 8.6/10

Based on Stephen King’s 1996 novel of the same name, The Green Mile follows one of Death Row’s inmates, played by Michael Clarke Duncan, a Black man accused of rape and child murder and has a mysterious skill, and how his case has an impact on the lives of the guards there.

The Shawshank Redemption, King’s 1994 adaptation, casts a long shadow over The Green Mile, but the 1999 film still manages to shine and make an effect in its own particular manner. Additionally, it has all the reliable delight of a well-planned criminal drama anchored by the powerfully talented cast.

6 ‘Léon: The Professional’ (1994)

Léon- The Professional (1994) (1)

IMDb Score: 8.5/10

Léon: The Professionalrevolves around the titular character (Jean Reno), a hitman who reluctantly rescues a 12-year-old Mathilda Lando (Natalie Portman) after Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman), a corrupt Drug Enforcement Administration agent, murders her family. Mathilda and Leon develop a strange bond as she becomes his protege and picks up his hitman skills.

With excellent acting, exciting action, and a well-rounded script, Leon: The Professional is a fascinating character study with an intriguing amount of complexity. Also, the cast’s jaw-dropping performances elevated the suspense and depth of the movie.

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7 ‘The Usual Suspects’ (1995)

The Usual Suspects (1995) (1)

IMDb Score: 8.5/10

The Usual Suspects follows five criminals detained after a truck hijacking in New York and brought together for interrogation. They then prepare a scheme of retaliation against the police because none of them is at fault. The operation runs smoothly until Keyser Söze’s infamous mastermind criminal influence becomes apparent. Every one of them gradually appeared to have mistreated Söze at some point and now needs to make amends.

Director Bryan Singer skillfully blends flashbacks and straight narratives to keep his story engaging and suspenseful in what is still regarded as one of the greatest crime movies of all time with surprising turns. It’s also a movie that begs to be seen repeatedly; it’s classic pulp fiction presented in the neatest 1990s fashion.

8 ‘American History X’ (1998)

American History X (1998) (1)

IMDb Score: 8.5/10

American History X centers on two brothers (Edward Norton and Edward Furlong) from Los Angeles who are active in the neo-Nazi and white power groups. After serving three years in jail for voluntary manslaughter and receiving rehabilitation during that time, the older brother tries to stop his younger brother from receiving more indoctrination.

The film is a story about intergenerational racism and the consequences it has for individuals who support a despicable worldview. Additionally, it is violent and strong and appropriately targets white supremacy. Also, Norton is a brilliant performer whose enthusiasm for change is contagious.

9 ‘Heat’ (1995)

Heat (1995) (1)

IMDb Score: 8.3/10

Heat follows Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) and his squad of officers from the Robbery/Homicide police division to pursue Neil (De Niro) and his professional criminal gang as they seek out high-value targets. While reorganizing and attempting to pull together one last significant “retirement” score, a bungled job sets Hanna on their trail.

Heat is a tough, spirited film that excels at both action and developing its characters in a way that sets it apart from other 90s cop dramas. Additionally, the movie masterfully weaves in the small, everyday dramas of romance, parenting, and family life with the life-and-death careers of both cops and criminals.

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10 ‘Reservoir Dogs’ (1992)

Reservoir Dogs (1992) (1)

IMDb Score: 8.3/10

Unfamiliar with one another, Reservoir Dogs follows six goons who are hired by a crime boss to commit a diamond heist. They are initially given fictitious names with the goal that they won’t become too close and will instead focus on the task at hand. Nevertheless, the task is botched when the police arrive at the scene of the robbery. The team’s survivors gather at the planned rendezvous point, and they start to suspect one of them is an undercover police officer.

This is the product of a movie lover and a passionate storyteller who meticulously structured and engagingly shuffled his story into a rich swirl of memories that twist around the current crises. Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino’s debut as a writer and director, reveals a well-developed sense of cinema and is still considered one of his best works.

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