We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 disaster films from 1990-2000. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. Volcano (1997) 46% at Rotten Tomatoes
A volcano has formed beneath the La Brea Tar Pits, and it’s threatening to spew molten lava all over one of the most populated cities in the world. At the time it was released, critics panned Volcano for not having the volcanic realism of Dante’s Peak. However, critics are entitled idiots far disconnected from reality, as we saw with the pathetic temper tantrum thrown when Disney banned the LA Times from its premieres.
Director: Mick Jackson
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche, Don Cheadle
9. Twister (1996) 57% at Rotten Tomatoes
A TV weatherman and his girlfriend are trying to get his estranged wife to sign divorce papers so they can get married. However, when a massive tornado hits, they find themselves working with her team of storm chasers to track it with their unique (at the time) sensor system.
Director: Jan de Bont
Starring: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes
8. Godzilla (1998) 16% at Rotten Tomatoes
After spending several decades terrorizing Japan, Godzilla makes his way to Manhattan. This American remake uses a computer-generated monster, which annoyed critics at the time of its release, but, as stated above, critics are snooty, entitled morons who would have us all still watching black and white silent films while drinking hipster liquor out of hats.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Hank Azaria
7. Deep Impact (1998) 48% at Rotten Tomatoes
A comet is headed toward the Earth, and it’s rumored to be causing an Extinction Level Event (ELE). A journalist discovers this while investigating a prominent cabinet member’s resignation, rumored to be due to an affair with a woman named Ellie (get it?). If you’ve ever been curious how the government would handle repopulating the human race, this is a pretty good representation.
Director: Mimi Leder
Starring: Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Tea Leoni
6. Fearless (1993) 86% at Rotten Tomatoes
Fearless is a bit of a departure from your typical disaster movie, where the disaster in question takes up the majority of the run time. This time, we’re following Max Klein, who survives a deadly plane crash and emerges a changed man. He thinks he’s invincible and starts making dramatic choices while testing the line between life and death.
Director: Peter Weir
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Rosie Perez, Isabella Rossellini
5. Backdraft (1991) 74% at Rotten Tomatoes
Most disaster movies portray unlikely heroes in scenarios that most of us are unlikely to ever experience. Backdraft follows firefighters following an arsonist, something local heroes in our community do have to deal with. The pyrotechnics alone are worth your time, but there’s a great cast too.
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro
4. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes
John Conner is destined to be the leader of the human resistance in a future where robots rose against us. Of course for that to happen, he’ll need to survive an assassination attempt by a T-1000 liquid metal cyborg as a kid. His mom is in a mental institute for trying to protect him, his dad is the dead best friend he sent back to protect her, and his only hope is a reprogrammed cyborg bodyguard.
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger
3. Independence Day (1996) 60% at Rotten Tomatoes
Aliens are among us, and they’re not interested in making friends. Space ships have covered the globe, destroying every major city, and everything we’ve thrown at them has failed. There’s one small chance, but it’ll require infiltrating the mother ship.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox
2. Armageddon (1998) 39% at Rotten Tomatoes
When a giant asteroid threatens to annihilate the planet, the U.S. government recruits a team of oil drillers to land on it and detonate a nuclear warhead in the core that’ll prevent it from hitting. Nothing ever goes as smooth as you want, especially in space, and these cowboy roughnecks are about to face a very melodramatic choice. I dare you to watch without tearing up.
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton
1. Mars Attacks! (1996) 52% at Rotten Tomatoes
Martians have landed, and they have a sick sense of humor. The Earth convey sent to meet them sets off doves of peace, and it’s taken as an act of war. Now, people around the globe are being systematically hunted and destroyed by these nearly invincible monsters, and an unlikely group of heroes is fighting back.
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker