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1994 Movies — 21 Classic Films Turning 30 and Where to Stream Them!

From 'Forrest Gump' to 'Lion King', here are our favorites

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The year 1994 was a great year for cinema, delivering a diverse array of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films. That was the year Forrest Gump won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Lion King becoming the highest-grossing animated film to date. Here we look back at the 20 best films of 1994, currently celebrating their 30th anniversary this year.

The Santa Clause: 1994 Movies

Directed by John Pasquin, The Santa Clause follows a divorced dad (Tim Allen) who accidentally becomes Santa Claus after inadvertently causing the real Santa’s demise. Allen stars alongside Judge Reinhold and Wendy Crewson. The Santa Clause was a commercial success and spawned two sequels, becoming a beloved holiday classic.

This film is streaming on Disney+.

MUST READ: The Top 15 Tim Allen Movies and TV Shows, Ranked — And Where to Watch Them

The Mask

Starring Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz, The Mask tells the story of bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss (Carrey) who is transformed into a manic superhero when he wears a mysterious mask. It’s Jim Carrey at his best. And a young Cameron Diaz at the start of her career. Streaming on Netflix.

This movie is streaming on Hulu.

MUST READ: Jim Carrey Best Movies: The Eccentric Funnyman’s Top 12 Performances, Ranked

Pulp Fiction: 1994 Movies

Directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction was one of the biggest hits of 1994, and was John Travolta’s career come-back.  This movie had it all: gangsters, hitmen, drugs, romance, and sexy dancing. With its innovative storytelling, sharp dialogue, and unforgettable characters, Pulp Fiction cemented Tarantino’s status as a visionary filmmaker.

This movie is streaming on Max.

The Shawshank Redemption

Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption was another huge success in 1994. The movie, based on a novella by Stephen King tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker wrongfully convicted of murder, who befriends a fellow prisoner, Red, as they dream of life outside the oppressive walls of Shawshank State Penitentiary. With its themes of hope, friendship, and perseverance, this film has become a beloved classic.

This film is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Forrest Gump: 1994 Movies

Life is like a box of chocolates….who could forget the great writing, acting and story line of Forrest Gump. It was not surprising that this much-loved film won the Academy Award for best picture in 1994. Starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright and Gary Sinise, this movie focuses on a character named Forrest Gump, a man with an intellectual disability who witnesses and influences several historical events in the latter half of the 20th century. This heartwarming and visually stunning film blends comedy, drama, and romance, earning Hanks his second Best Actor Oscar.

This film is streaming on Paramount+.

MIST READ: Tom Hanks Through the Years: 27 Rare Photos of the ‘Nicest Guy In Hollywood’

The Lion King

Disney’s animated masterpiece, The Lion King, tells the story of Simba, a young lion prince who is forced into exile after his father’s death. With its unforgettable characters, stunning visuals, and iconic musical numbers by Elton John and Tim Rice, The Lion King became an instant classic and a cultural phenomenon. It didn’t hurt that the voices were done by some of the best actors of that time–Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones.

This film is streaming on Disney+.

MUST READ: ‘The Lion King’ Is Turning 30! Celebrate With These 10 Fun Facts About the Disney Classic

Ed Wood: 1994 Movies

Directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ed Wood tells the story of the infamous director Ed Wood, known for making some of the worst films in Hollywood history. With Johnny Depp’s charming performance as Wood and Martin Landau’s Oscar-winning turn as Bela Lugosi, this film is a heartfelt celebration of passion and perseverance in the face of adversity.

This film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Il Postino

This foreign film was both an audience and critic favorite. Co-written by and starring Massimo Troisi this film is about an Italian postman who learns to love poetry while delivering mail to a famous poet. He then uses his newfound skills to woo local beauty Beatrice.

This film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: 1994 Movies

Two drag performers and a transgender woman travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret in Alice Springs, a resort town in the remote Australian desert. They head west from Sydney aboard their lavender bus, Priscilla, and adventures follow.

This film is streaming on Tubi.

Clerks

Directed by Kevin Smith and starring Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson, this low-budget film was a surprising hit with both audiences and critics.  Clerks follows a day in the lives of Dante and Randal, two clerks at a convenience store and video rental shop. With its sharp wit, irreverent humor, and relatable characters, Clerks became a cult classic and launched Smith’s career as an independent filmmaker.

This film is streaming on MGM+.

Hoop Dreams: 1994 Movies

Hoop Dreams is a powerful and intimate documentary that follows the lives of two inner-city Chicago teenagers, William Gates and Arthur Agee, as they pursue their dreams of becoming professional basketball players. This film offers a poignant and unflinching look at the challenges and obstacles faced by underprivileged youth. The film was directed by Steve James.

This film is streaming on Max.

Heavenly Creatures

Before his Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson directed Heavenly Creatures, a chilling and haunting drama based on the true story of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, two teenage friends whose intense bond leads to tragic consequences. Featuring breakout performances by Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet, this film is a haunting exploration of obsession and friendship.

This film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

MUST READ: 14 Best Kate Winslet Movies, Ranked

Leon: The Professional: 1994 Movies

Starring a young Natalie Portman, Leon: The Professional is a gritty and stylish thriller about a professional hitman who reluctantly takes a young girl under his wing after her family is murdered. With its intense action sequences, memorable characters, and the standout performances of Jean Reno and a Natalie Portman, this film is a cult classic.

This film is streaming on Netflix.

Bullets Over Broadway

This Woody Allen directed movie starred John Cusack, Dianne Wiest and Jennifer Tilly. Bullets Over Broadway takes a satirical look at the world of Broadway theater in the 1920s. With its sharp dialogue, memorable characters, and standout performances by Dianne Wiest and Jennifer Tilly, this film is a blend of comedy and crime.

This film is streaming on Tubi.

Dumb and Dumber: 1994 Movies

Starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, and directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Dumb and Dumber is a comedy that follows the misadventures of two dim-witted friends, Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Daniels), as they embark on a cross-country journey to return a briefcase to its owner.

This film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Four Weddings and a Funeral

One of Hugh Grant’s earliest roles (and a break-out performance), Four Weddings and a Funeral is a charming and witty romantic comedy that follows the lives of a group of friends as they navigate love, relationships, and, well weddings and funerals. With its clever dialogue, memorable characters, and standout performances, this film became a critical and commercial success. The film also starred Andie MacDowell and Kristin Scott Thomas.

This film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

MUST READ: 15 Best Hugh Grant Movies, Ranked: Our Favorite Brit in His Greatest Films

Quiz Show: 1994 Movies

This gripping and thought-provoking drama, directed by Robert Redford, was based on the real-life scandal involving the rigging of the popular 1950s game show Twenty One. With its great performances, particularly by Ralph Fiennes and John Turturro, and its exploration of themes of integrity and ambition, this film is both powerful and engaging.

This film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Crumb

Crumb is a fascinating and unflinching documentary that explores the life and work of the controversial underground cartoonist Robert Crumb. Through interviews and archival footage, the film offers a compelling portrait of Crumb’s artistic genius and troubled personal life.

This film is streaming on Tubi.

Speed: 1994 Movies

Starring Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper and Sandra Bullock this blockbuster movie started a franchise. The premise is that a young police officer must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.

This film is streaming on Hulu.

Shallow Grave

Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave is a dark and twisted thriller about three friends who find themselves in a moral dilemma after their roommate dies and leaves behind a suitcase full of cash. With its stylish direction, sharp wit, and standout performances, this film is a gripping exploration of greed and moral corruption. Starring Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston and Ewan McGregor.

This film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Burnt by the Sun: 1994 Movies

Burnt by the Sun is a powerful Russian drama set in the 1930s during the Stalinist era. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov, the film explores the themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the human cost of political oppression. With its stunning cinematography and powerful performances, this film was a big success with the critics.

This film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.


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