Best Drama Movies of 1997

1.

Titanic

7.1

84 years later, a 101-year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater tells the story to her granddaughter Lizzy Calvert, Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell and Anatoly Mikailavich on the Keldysh about her life set in April 10th 1912, on a ship called Titanic when young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and her fiancé, Caledon Hockley. Meanwhile, a drifter and artist named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi win third-class tickets to the ship in a game. And she explains the whole story from departure until the death of Titanic on its first and last voyage April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning.

Starring: Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher
Directed by: James Cameron
Release date: 1997-11-18
2.

Good Will Hunting

6.7

Will Hunting has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves a difficult graduate-level math problem, his talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau, who decides to help the misguided youth reach his potential. When Will is arrested for attacking a police officer, Professor Lambeau makes a deal to get leniency for him if he will get treatment from therapist Sean Maguire.

Starring: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård, Minnie Driver
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Release date: 1997-12-05
3.

L.A. Confidential

6.6

Three detectives in the corrupt and brutal L.A. police force of the 1950s use differing methods to uncover a conspiracy behind the shotgun slayings of the patrons at an all-night diner.

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, Danny DeVito, James Cromwell, Kim Basinger
Directed by: Curtis Hanson
Release date: 1997-09-19
4.

The Game

6.4

In honor of his birthday, San Francisco banker Nicholas Van Orton, a financial genius and a coldhearted loner, receives an unusual present from his younger brother, Conrad -- a gift certificate to play a unique kind of game. In nearly a nanosecond, Nicholas finds himself consumed by a dangerous set of ever-changing rules, unable to distinguish where the charade ends and reality begins.

Starring: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger, James Rebhorn, Spike Jonze
Directed by: David Fincher
Release date: 1997-09-12
5.

Boogie Nights

6.3

Set in 1977, back when sex was safe, pleasure was a business and business was booming, idealistic porn producer Jack Horner aspires to elevate his craft to an art form. Horner discovers Eddie Adams, a hot young talent working as a busboy in a nightclub, and welcomes him into the extended family of movie-makers, misfits and hangers-on that are always around. Adams' rise from nobody to a celebrity adult entertainer is meteoric, and soon the whole world seems to know his porn alter ego, "Dirk Diggler". Now, when disco and drugs are in vogue, fashion is in flux and the party never seems to stop, Adams' dreams of turning sex into stardom are about to collide with cold, hard reality.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Release date: 1997-10-07
6.

Donnie Brasco

6.3

An FBI undercover agent infilitrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life at the expense of his regular one.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo
Directed by: Mike Newell
Release date: 1997-02-27
7.

The Devil's Advocate

6.1

A hotshot lawyer gets more than he bargained for when he learns his new boss is Lucifer himself.

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Judith Ivey
Directed by: Taylor Hackford
Release date: 1997-10-17
8.

Contact

6.1

Contact is a science fiction film about an encounter with alien intelligence. Based on the novel by Carl Sagan the film starred Jodie Foster as the one chosen scientist who must make some difficult decisions between her beliefs, the truth, and reality.

Starring: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, John Hurt, Tom Skerritt
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Release date: 1997-07-11
9.

Jackie Brown

6.1

Jackie Brown is a flight attendant who gets caught in the middle of smuggling cash into the country for her gunrunner boss. When the cops try to use Jackie to get to her boss, she hatches a plan—with help from a bail bondsman—to keep the money for herself. Based on Elmore Leonard's novel “Rum Punch”.

Starring: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Release date: 1997-12-24
10.

Seven Years in Tibet

5.8

Austrian mountaineer, Heinrich Harrer journeys to the Himalayas without his family to head an expedition in 1939. But when World War II breaks out, the arrogant Harrer falls into Allied forces' hands as a prisoner of war. He escapes with a fellow detainee and makes his way to Llaso, Tibet, where he meets the 14-year-old Dalai Lama, whose friendship ultimately transforms his outlook on life.

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk, David Thewlis, BD Wong, Mako
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Release date: 1997-09-12
11.

Lost Highway

5.5

A tormented jazz musician finds himself lost in an enigmatic story involving murder, surveillance, gangsters, doppelgangers, and an impossible transformation inside a prison cell.

Starring: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius, Louis Eppolito, Robert Blake
Directed by: David Lynch
Release date: 1997-01-15
12.

The Ice Storm

5.3

In the weekend after thanksgiving 1973 the Hood family is skidding out of control. Then an ice storm hits, the worst in a century.

Starring: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny, Tobey Maguire
Directed by: Ang Lee
Release date: 1997-09-27
13.

Amistad

5.2

In 1839, the slave ship Amistad set sail from Cuba to America. During the long trip, Cinque leads the slaves in an unprecedented uprising. They are then held prisoner in Connecticut, and their release becomes the subject of heated debate. Freed slave Theodore Joadson wants Cinque and the others exonerated and recruits property lawyer Roger Baldwin to help his case. Eventually, John Quincy Adams also becomes an ally.

Starring: Djimon Hounsou, Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, Nigel Hawthorne
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: 1997-12-03
14.

Lolita

5.2

Urbane professor Humbert Humbert marries a New England widow to be near her nymphet daughter.

Starring: Jeremy Irons, Dominique Swain, Melanie Griffith, Frank Langella, Suzanne Shepherd
Directed by: Adrian Lyne
Release date: 1997-09-27
15.

Chasing Amy

5.2

Holden and Banky are comic book artists. Everything is going good for them until they meet Alyssa, also a comic book artist. Holden falls for her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she's a lesbian.

Starring: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Dwight Ewell, Jason Mewes
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Release date: 1997-04-04
16.

Wag the Dog

5.1

During the final weeks of a presidential race, the President is accused of sexual misconduct. To distract the public until the election, the President's adviser hires a Hollywood producer to help him stage a fake war.

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Woody Harrelson, James Belushi
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Release date: 1997-12-25
17.

Kundun

5.1

The Tibetans refer to the Dalai Lama as 'Kundun', which means 'The Presence'. He was forced to escape from his native home, Tibet, when communist China invaded and enforced an oppressive regime upon the peaceful nation. The Dalai Lama escaped to India in 1959 and has been living in exile in Dharamsala ever since.

Starring: Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong, Tencho Gyalpo, Tsewang Migyur Khangsar, Gyurme Tethong, Robert Lin
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Release date: 1997-12-25
18.

The Rainmaker

5.1

When Rudy Baylor, a young attorney with no clients, goes to work for a seedy ambulance chaser, he wants to help the parents of a terminally ill boy in their suit against an insurance company. But to take on corporate America, Rudy and a scrappy paralegal must open their own law firm.

Starring: Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Jon Voight, Claire Danes, Mary Kay Place
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Release date: 1997-11-18
19.

Selena

5.0

In this biographical drama, Selena Quintanilla is born into a musical Mexican-American family in Texas. Her father, Abraham, realizes that his young daughter is talented and begins performing with her at small venues. She finds success and falls for her guitarist, Chris Perez, who draws the ire of her father. Seeking mainstream stardom, Selena begins recording an English-language album which, tragically, she would never complete.

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Constance Marie, Jon Seda, Lupe Ontiveros
Directed by: Gregory Nava
Release date: 1997-03-21
20.

The Edge

5.0

The plane carrying wealthy Charles Morse crashes down in the Alaskan wilderness. Together with the two other passengers, photographer Robert and assistant Stephen, Charles devises a plan to help them reach civilization. However, his biggest obstacle might not be the elements, or even the Kodiak bear stalking them -- it could be Robert, whom Charles suspects is having an affair with his wife and would not mind seeing him dead.

Starring: Alec Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins, Elle Macpherson, Harold Perrineau, L.Q. Jones
Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Release date: 1997-09-06

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