Throughout the 1990s, Winona Ryder was one of Hollywood’s most well-known and beloved actors, and she’s presently recovering that popularity thanks to her starring role in Netflix’s Stranger Things, which is now in its fourth season.
Ryder portrays Joyce Byers, one of the few adult characters in Hawkins, Indiana, who is aware of the otherworldly activity.
Throughout the 1990s, Ryder’s most well-known work encompassed a wide spectrum of genres, with the actress never limiting herself to a single sort of film.
As a result, she has an extensive and diversified filmography, which Ranker users have ranked from best to worst.
10) Reality Bites
Reality Bites is a classic rom-com directed by Ben Stiller that follows a videographer as she begins work on a personal documentary about her friends, housemates, and herself.
In the starring part, Ryder is cast alongside Ben Stiller and Ethan Hawke, with all three characters enjoying equal screen time.
Reality Bites offers everything you’d expect from a ’90s rom-com: a simple yet engaging tale, charming and charismatic acting, and plenty of terrific laughs throughout. It’s cheesy and predictable at times, but that only adds to the nostalgia factor.
Frankenweenie is only one example of Winona Ryder’s long-running cooperation with famed director Tim Burton, and while it isn’t regarded as their best film together, it is unquestionably one of their most enjoyable and engaging.
Danny Elfman, who has composed many of Burton’s films over the years, composed a highly famous score for the film.
His soundtrack gives Frankenweenie a very distinct atmosphere, distinguishing it from many other films in the genre and adding to its distinctiveness.
8) The Age Of Innocence
The Age of Innocence, directed by Martin Scorsese, tells the dramatic story of lawyer Newland Archer and his scandalous romance with Ellen Olenska, his wife’s cousin, in one of the most intriguing and unusual romantic films of the 1990s.
It’s a thrilling and compelling drama, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder giving outstanding performances.
Although this isn’t the type of story you’d anticipate from Martin Scorsese (who rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s for his crime and gangster films), he obviously knows how to navigate this type of story and these distinct characters.
Scorsese’s directing and his actor’s command of the screen work together to make the film a success.
Lucas exemplifies the coming-of-age romances that appeared to define the 1980s in cinema.
It tells the narrative of Corey Haim’s titular character, a bookish adolescent who becomes embroiled in a tangled love triangle involving himself, his unrequited love, and his closest friend.
Lucas, like so many other films from this era, succeeds because of the intriguing characters and clever narrative at its core. It’s a rather straightforward and predictable tale, but it succeeds thanks to the obvious connection between the leads.
6) Little Women (1994)
In this adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, Winona Ryder plays heroine Jo March, who follows the March siblings as they grow up and learn the trials and nuances of womanhood.
It’s a classic tale of self-discovery and romance that’s been adapted numerous times, but Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 adaptation is largely regarded as one of the best.
Little Women is packed with strong female characters and inspirational words, making it one of the most essential stories ever shown on film, portraying a familiar story from a fresh perspective.
Along with her passionate chemistry with Christian Bale’s Laurie, Ryder’s portrayal of Jo is one of the film’s best qualities.
Beetlejuice, played by Michael Keaton, is not only one of the most well-known characters of all time, but the film was also one of the most influential films of the 1980s.
Burton’s horror/comedy depicts the story of Adam and Barabara, a departed couple who seek the help of bio-exorcist Betelguise to scare away the new couple who has moved into their old home.
Beetlejuice’s surreal and mystical approach was never actually committed to film before, making the film a profoundly significant event that has been a mainstay of pop culture ever since its premiere.
The performances of Ryder and Keaton have also become increasingly well-known over time.
4) Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Edward Scissorhands, directed by Tim Burton, is one of the most moving and vulnerable fantasy films of the 1990s, following a young child named Edward who is wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit.
Despite the character’s robotic scissor hands, Edward’s story is brutally human and relatable. Kim, played by Winona Ryder, is the daughter of the suburban family who takes Edward in after his inventor dies.
Edward falls in love with Kim because of her kindness and charity, and the two rapidly create a deep bond.
Edward Scissorhands is often regarded as one of Tim Burton’s most underappreciated films, owing to its engaging characters and sympathetic narrative.
3) Mermaids (1990)
Mermaids, directed by Richard Benjamin, follows the story of Charlotte, a young adolescent who causes major upheaval in her family when she develops feelings for an older guy.
Despite the film’s dark and unsettling topics, it remains a wild comedy with many memorable scenes and loud laughs. Mermaids star Winona Ryder as the protagonist Charlotte, with Cher playing her eccentric mother.
The two have a great connection together, which allows them to really nail the mother-daughter interaction in the movie.
2) Girl, Interrupted
Winona Ryder stars as Susanna, a directionless adolescent who is transported to a mental institution following a rumored suicide attempt in James Mangold’s Girl, Interrupted.
Susanna’s life at the Claymoore Institution is chronicled in the film, as she encounters a group of unstable young ladies who transform her outlook on life.
Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Moss, and Clea DuVall are among the many great actresses who appear alongside Ryder in the film. Their characters are all very distinct, but each actress manages to bring something fresh to the table and have a significant impact on the tale.
1) Heathers (1989)
Heathers is widely regarded as one of the best 1980s teen comedies of all time, with such a devoted following that it was transformed into a hit stage musical in 2010.
Winona Ryder plays Veronica Sawyer, one of the most popular girls in high school until she begins murdering the cool kids with the help of her boyfriend in the original film.
The film delivers a really bold and adventurous subject, but it manages to pull it off thanks to an engaging cast and a unique storytelling style. It’s a film unlike any other, and it boasts what could be Winona Ryder’s all-time best performance.