Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

5 Movies From The 1990’s That Got Us Through Our Teen Years

by  |  September 18th, 2012  |  Blog

Left to right: Steve Zahn, Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo & Ethan Hawke are lost "Generation X-ers" in Ben Stiller's Reality Bites (1994).

The 90’s for me was a time of creativity, carefree summers, discovery, progressive change and art. Sometimes as an adult we can loose perspective of the things that first inspired us to become the working, bill paying adults we are today. I was inspired to write this little piece recently when I stumbled upon Empire Records in my dvd collection and felt compelled to re-watch this movie from my teen years. I hope everyone in their 30’s can relate to these selections as much as I do.

On a side note, I would like to say RIP to Tony Scott and thank you sir for suppling my teen years we some great films so that I can often be reminded of the girl I used to be. Enjoy!

1. Empire records (1995)

Starring – Liv Tyler, Johnny Whitworth, Renee Zellweger

This little gem will always hold a special place in my heart and I must admit I still watch it as an adult from time to time. Not only did I aspire to work at a record store as a teenage girl because of this movie but I also had the realization for the first time that nothing lasts forever and I really need to start appreciating my teen years a little more. It now saddens me to say that this movie was indeed a look into the future of things to come. There may be no more Tower Records or Warehouse but at least We’ll always have Empire Records! DAMN THE MAN!!


2. Pump up the Volume (1990)

Starring – Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis

Music!!! Music!!! Music!!! If you are looking for a movie to provide you with one of the best soundtracks this is it! I mean honestly Pixies, Cowboy Junkies, Soundgarden, Concrete Blonde, and Ivan Neville to name a few!! That’s like a 90’s all star music lineup! Not only did this movie deliver a new music experience at the time but also a shout out to all teenagers that disobedience is cool, edgy, and fashionable and so different then the 80’s.

2 words: “Ethan Hawke”. Honestly, I have seen this movie at least twenty times and get so distracted by watching Ethan Hawke and how well that camera loves him that I couldn’t even tell you the exact plot…

3. Reality Bites (1994)

Starring – Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo, Steve Zahn, Ben Stiller

Two words… Ethan Hawke. Honestly I have seen this movie at least twenty times and get so distracted by watching Ethan Hawke and how well that camera loves him that I couldn’t even tell you the exact plot of the film, this is none the less one of my favorite coming of age movies from my teen years! I like to think of it as the 90’s version of St. Elmo’s Fire. Again the soundtrack to this movie is awesome and I think the directing was brilliant! Kudos to Ben Stiller, as this was his directing debut.

4. Mad Love (1995)

Starring – Chris O’Donnell , Drew Barrymore

Simply put I was a 15 year old girl when this movie and I crossed paths! And looking back I must admit it definitely influenced some of my teen rebellion. The whole Idea of having sex, listening to riot girl punk music, and driving to Mexico seemed like a good idea to me at the time! It was adventurous, cool and dangerous…I’m here to let all teenage girls know this is a Horrible idea! Don’t ever do any of it! I still love this movie because it takes me back to that time and makes think about how easy life really was as a teenager.

5. True Romance (1993)

Starring – Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken

They just don’t make em’ the way they used too! I will love this movie the end! Tony Scott you’ve come a long way and this film proves that you’re a Top Gun at what you do! Who doesn’t love a good twisted romance movie filled with sex, drugs, pimps and murder!? There is not one thing I would change about this movie! Between the writing, cast and direction this movie creates a “first time” thrill for me every time I watch it to this day! It’s pretty rare you get a perfect marriage of actors/directing and writing and when you do its legendary!




Candace is a native Californian, born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Aside from being a doting mother, she's also an award winning writer who's poetry has been featured in major publications. Her work as a painter and photographer has been featured in galleries around the country. It is Candace that brings a unique female voice to ABM and keeps all the guys in line.

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