12 ’90s Movie Stars Who Defined The Decade

Defining a decade is, quite simply, impossible — each ten-year span is as specific as the individual experiencing it. And yet there are the inevitable commonalities, events and names and faces who bridge the gap between our subjective journeys, however we choose to interpret them.

Try to imagine the '90s without its movie stars. Impossible! It is a cinematic decade largely defined by $20 million-a-picture excess, and these inescapable larger-than-life personas, beaming out at us from billboards and multiplex screens, were the literal faces of that overindulgent era — notably the last in which movie-star mystique could effectively be exploited.

As the decade retreats further and further into the distance, we are afforded some perspective. Which movie stars helped to define that span of our collective experience? And perhaps more importantly: which of them continue to feel like a product of that time, whether or not their careers have flourished beyond the turn of the millenium?

There is no doubt: people will disagree with the list of 12 that we've put together. You may be wondering how we could have left out Christina Ricci, for example, or Brad Pitt, or, hell, even '90s Sundance darling Lili Taylor. But that's the fun of it! After scrolling through our choices, let us know which 12 would have made your own list in the comments.