17 Embarrassing ’90s Movies You Wish You Could Forget

Lawrence Brown

The ‘90s were a unique decade, and certain movies from that era have earned a reputation for being “cringe-worthy” due to various reasons, including problematic content, cheesy dialogue, poor acting, and convoluted plotlines. Here are 17 films that we regret watching:

Never Been Kissed (1999)

Never Been Kissed (1999) - 20th Century Fox
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

The bizarre plot of Never Been Kissed involves an English teacher developing feelings for a student he believes to be underage. It’s a weird story, and the notion that eating a lot of coleslaw can make someone popular in high school is equally cringy.

Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)

Highlander II_ The Quickening (1991) Interstar
Photo Credit: Interstar

Russell Mulcahy, the director of Highlander II: The Quickening, reportedly walked out of the world premiere after just 15 minutes. That should have been a red flag, but I watched it anyway, and it was terrible. The plot is a confusing mess, and some performances are downright awful.

Jury Duty (1995)

Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures

Forced comedy can be painfully cringe-worthy, and Jury Duty is a prime example. This movie might have worked better as a drama, but that was impossible with Pauly Shore in the lead role. His embarrassing performance only made things worse.

She’s All That (1999)

Photo Credit: Miramax Films

The premise of a jock betting he could turn an unattractive girl into prom queen is both hilarious and embarrassing. It was a hit in the ’90s, but Netflix’s remake, He’s All That (2021), reminded me just how cringe-worthy the original was.

Mr. Nanny (1993)

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema

Hulk Hogan, unfortunately, does not possess the range of a great actor. He’s an action entertainment star, and while there are some fight scenes in this movie (which are also embarrassing), his overall performance leaves much to be desired.

North (1994)

Photo Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment

Even with a star-studded cast, the plot of the movie and what the characters (and actors) have to do in furtherance of the plot is embarrassing. Take the scene where parents have to “audition” as an example. It has some redeeming moments, but still overall atrocious.

The Pest (1997)

Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures

John Leguizamo’s performance was grating, and the movie’s weak plot made things a lot worse. It’s a film you might have liked as a kid because it fit the ‘90s absurdity, but rewatching it because you feel nostalgic would be a huge mistake.

Double Dragon (1994)

Photo Credit: Imperial Entertainment Group

Double Dragon tries to be campy, but the action scenes and special effects fall flat. The filmmakers didn’t seem to understand the video game it was based on. The plot is unremarkable, and the graphics are subpar, leading to a disappointing movie.

It’s Pat (1994)

Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures

SNL skits are tolerable because they’re short, but making an SNL character into a movie like It’s Pat was a terrible idea. The movie fails to extend beyond its one-joke premise, resulting in a cringe-worthy experience.

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)

Photo Credit: Silver Pictures

Andrew Dice Clay’s character as a foul-mouthed detective in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane is meant to be annoying, but the tasteless and crass jokes are too much. The character’s over-the-top nature makes the film unbearably cringe-worthy.

Exit to Eden (1994)

Photo Credit: Savoy Pictures

Exit to Eden is like a ‘90s Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) if Fifty Shades included cops trying to solve a case by joining a group of S&M ‘enthusiasts’ on a secret island. However, the film doesn’t get it right, and even the actors look embarrassed while playing their roles.

Sliver (1993)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

There are so many cringe-worthy scenes in this movie, but I think it all results from two things: bad casting and even worse writing. The roles Sharon Stone and William Baldwin are cast in clearly do not fit the actors, and the dialogue is extremely weak.

The Avengers (1998)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros

No, these are not Marvel’s Avengers that you know and love (or hate). This was a sad adaptation of a British TV show of the same name that ran from 1961 to 1969. The film is incoherent due to the studio’s decision to cut out key scenes that turned out hideous.

Captain America (1990)

Photo Credit: Marvel Entertainment Group

Now, this is about Marvel’s first Avenger. But before Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), there was this atrocious attempt at bringing the character to film. The editing (which I would think anyone should consider essential for a superhero movie) was cringe-worthy, and the production was obviously poorly thought out.

Virtuosity (1995)

Photo Credit: Gary Lucchesi Productions

The undercooked plot relied on action clichés to sell the movie. Despite having big names like Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, it couldn’t shake off its B-movie vibes, owing to its one-dimensional characters and boring dialogue. The flashy visuals are over the top.

Barb Wire (1996)

Photo Credit: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

The film was a lot more focused on showing off Pamela Anderson than having the qualities of a decent movie. Unfortunately, Pamela Anderson wasn’t enough, and its efforts at trying to make her seem so become cringe-worthy about 30 minutes in.

Mr. Magoo (1997)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

It wasn’t a one-joke movie, but it felt like that so many times. Most of the movie relied on Mr. Magoo’s nearsightedness for humor. That slapstick approach and lack of depth made it cringe-worthy for me, adding it to a long list of less-than-impressive live-action adaptations.