The 13 Best Documentaries About The 90s

Jul 15, 2023 | Best Of, History

The 1990s were a revolutionary decade filled with cultural and technological breakthroughs. From the explosion of the internet to the rise of grunge music, there was no lack of groundbreaking moments. But these important events were captured on film too—in some of the most iconic documentaries ever created. Let’s take a look at some of the best documentaries about 90s culture that have become timeless masterpieces.


The Nineties (2022)

This series delves into the dynamic and transformative time period of the late 20th century. From groundbreaking advancements in technology to devastating terrorist attacks, from cultural revolutions to political shifts, this documentary explores the events and trends that shaped a generation. With a focus on the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as the rise of grunge music and hip-hop, the series delves into the complexities of a changing world.



The Untold Story of the 90s (2018)

In an ever-changing world, history has a way of shaping the present. From monumental events that altered the course of nations to advancements in technology that transformed our daily lives, we are constantly evolving. Join us on a journey through the pivotal decade of the 1990s as we delve into the intersection of technology, media, and politics.






The Best Free Documentaries About The 90s


1. The Music That Defined The 1990s

The 90s was an era of music that still resonates with many people today. From hip-hop to grunge, the decade had something for everyone. Join us on a journey through time as we explore and uncover the songs that defined this beloved decade and its lasting impact on music culture! We’ll delve into the stories behind some of the most iconic artists and tracks from the 1990s: from Tupac Shakur’s “California Love” to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Get ready to be taken back in time with The Music That Defined The 1990s!

2. TIMELINE: 1990 – Everything That Happened In the Year 1990

In this video, we explore one of the most important years in modern history – 1990. This was a year that saw the world wide web take off and civil unrest break out across America. We’ll also look at popular culture trends like “The Rachel” hairstyle that defined the decade. Join us as we dive into all things 1990!


3. The Century: America’s Time – The 90s And Beyond: Then And Now

The 90s was an era full of change and development. From the fall of Communism to the rise of new technologies, this decade saw a lot of growth in many areas. This documentary looks back at those changes and examines how they have impacted America’s place in the world today. It explores topics like globalization, technology, social movements, global economics, foreign policy and more – all through interviews with experts from both then and now. Learn about what shaped our country during this important time period!


4. Nirvana in the Nineties – National Geographic

The 90s was a decade of musical revolution. Nirvana, the grunge rock band, rose to fame and changed music culture forever. This documentary by National Geographic dives into the life and legacy of Kurt Cobain and his influence on the world. Discover how Nirvana’s raw sound made an impact on modern music with this insightful documentary!


5. The Nineties: The Decade that defined Gen-X, part 1of7 – The One About TV

The Nineties was an iconic decade that defined Gen-X. It brought us some of the most popular TV shows and movies of all time! From Seinfeld to Friends, the 90s had it all. This documentary miniseries, produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s studio Playtone, takes a look back at this defining decade in American culture. Watch as we explore different aspects of life during this unique era – from fashion trends to world events – in seven captivating episodes!


6. The Nineties : The Decade that defined Gen-X, part 2 of 7 – Clinton The Comeback Kid

In this documentary miniseries, we look at the United States in the 1990s and explore the events and popular culture that defined an entire generation. Produced by Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, The Nineties: The Decade That Defined Gen-X is a 7-part series that follows on from its predecessors – The Sixties, The Seventies, and The Eighties. In Part 2 of 7 – Clinton:The Comeback Kid – join us as we take a deep dive into Bill Clinton’s time in office as one of America’s most beloved presidents.


7. The Nineties : The decade that defined Gen-X, part 3 of 7 – Can We All Get Along

The Nineties were a transformative decade for Generation X, and this documentary series explores the events that shaped their lives. In part three of seven, we look at how the 1990s saw a range of important social issues come to the forefront – from race relations to LGBTQ rights. Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone studio have crafted an insightful look into this pivotal time in American history. Join us as we explore how far society has come since then, and watch Can We All Get Along?


8. The Nineties : The decade that defined Gen-X, part 4 of 7 – New World Order

The Nineties was a groundbreaking decade for Gen-Xers. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the rise of new technologies, this 7-part documentary series produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s studio Playtone takes you back in time to explore some of the major events that shaped our world. Discover how these momentous changes influenced our society and culture as we look at everything from politics to popular music during this era.


9. The Nineties : The decade that defined Gen-X, part 5 of 7 – Terrorism Hits Home

The Nineties is an incredible documentary series that highlights the defining moments of Generation X. This episode, part 5 of 7, focuses on how terrorism hit home during this decade. Through interviews with those who lived through it and archival footage, we get a glimpse into the way this period shaped our nation’s history and culture. Explore the powerful stories of people impacted by these tragic events in The Nineties: Terrorism Hits Home.


10. The 90s : The Great Indian Dream – National Geographic

The 90s was a time of great change in India – from the introduction of liberalized economy to the changing music, television, advertising and lifestyle. This National Geographic documentary takes us on an immersive journey through this decade-long spectacle as Dia Mirza and Ram Gopal Verma share their personal experiences from that era. See how the ‘Great Indian Dream’ unfolded before your eyes!


11. What Was Gaming Like In The ‘90s?

Do you remember the ’90s? It was a time of gaming revolution, with innovative new titles and consoles being released every month. In this documentary we take a look back at what it was like to be part of the gaming culture in the ‘90s, from classic arcade games to console hits – get ready for an exciting trip down memory lane! We’ll explore how these games changed our lives and why they remain so popular today. Join us as we uncover what made gaming so great in the 1990-2000 period.


12. The Biggest Stories of the 1990s

The 1990s was a decade of tragedy, tabloid drama, and music icons. From the 1992 L.A. Riots to the 1995 bombing at Oklahoma City’s federal building to Amy Fisher and O.J. Simpson becoming household names, this era had some of the most impactful stories in modern history – and Inside Edition captured it all on camera! Plus we take a look back at those who left us too soon like Notorious B.I.G., Kurt Cobain, and many more from that time period as well as Columbine school shooting which shook America in 1999 Watch our documentary to get a full overview of these powerful events that still have an impact today!


13. Grab The Mic: A Hip Hop History -The 90s

Grab The Mic: A Hip Hop History -The 90s is an MTV documentary hosted by SWAY CALLOWAY that looks back at the evolution of hip hop in the 1990s. This video provides a historical perspective on this influential genre, and invites viewers to take a journey through time as they learn about how hip hop has changed over the years. It’s an informative and entertaining look into the past, shared for educational purposes only. Don’t miss out on your chance to experience this unique and powerful piece of music history!

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David B