In 1991, Jennifer Connelly was cast in the lead role in Disney's expensive film "The Adventures of Rocketeer," where she starred alongside her then-boyfriend Billy Campbell. Despite high expectations, the film was a box office failure and forced Jennifer to take a break from acting. The film, set in Hollywood in the 1930s, follows a young pilot who discovers a rocket backpack that he uses to rescue his girlfriend and fight gangsters and Nazis. Despite the film being well-received by critics, it was outclassed at the box office by other films such as Terminator 2 and Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves.
Jennifer went on to star in a TV movie called "The Heart of Justice" in which Eric Stoltz played a journalist investigating the suspicious and potentially shameful affairs of a wealthy Upper East Side family. Jennifer played the role of the beautiful but suspicious daughter. She also starred in "Of Love and Shadows," a film based on the novel of the same name by Isabel Allende, in which she played a well-to-do journalist during the Chilean dictatorship of General Pinochet. In "The University of Hate," Jennifer played the role of a college lesbian who mentors Kristy Swanson.
In the 1996 independent film "Far Harbor," Jennifer gave a fantastic performance as a young woman spending a weekend on Long Island with six other people. She starred alongside Marcia Gay Harden, who she would team up with again in the film "Pollock," which won an Oscar. In the thriller "Mulholland Falls" (1996), Jennifer played the seductive siren who bewitches both Nick Nolte and John Malkovich in 1940s Los Angeles. Her life changed after meeting photographer David Dugan while climbing north of New York. Their relationship led the couple to climb the Grand Tetons of Wyoming and Mount Shasta in California together, and from this intense relationship, their son Kai was born.
Jennifer started making cameos in notable films, such as "Innocence" (1997) where she played a bad girl role alongside Billy Crudup, Joaquin Phoenix, and Liv Tyler. In 1998, she starred in the science fiction film "Dark City" by Alex Proyas, where she played the famous role of Rufus Sewell's wife in a world of darkness where people can make anything die, move, and then revive. This film gave Jennifer the opportunity to work with well-known actors such as William Hurt, Ian Richardson, and Kiefer Sutherland.