Best Movies of 1996

1.

Trainspotting

6.6

Mark Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Release date: 1996-02-23
2.

Fargo

6.5

Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start dying. Enter Police Chief Marge, a coffee-drinking, parka-wearing - and extremely pregnant - investigator who'll stop at nothing to get her man. And if you think her small-time investigative skills will give the crooks a run for their ransom... you betcha!

Starring: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Kristin Rudrüd
Directed by: Joel Coen
Release date: 1996-03-08
3.

Primal Fear

6.3

An arrogant, high-powered attorney takes on the case of a poor altar boy found running away from the scene of the grisly murder of the bishop who has taken him in. The case gets a lot more complex when the accused reveals that there may or may not have been a 3rd person in the room. The intensity builds when a surprise twist alters everyone's perception of the crime.

Starring: Richard Gere, Edward Norton, Laura Linney, John Mahoney, Frances McDormand
Directed by: Gregory Hoblit
Release date: 1996-04-03
4.

Sleepers

6.1

Two gangsters seek revenge on the state jail worker who during their stay at a youth prison sexually abused them. A sensational court hearing takes place to charge him for the crimes.

Starring: Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, Jason Patric, Ron Eldard
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Release date: 1996-10-18
5.

The Rock

6.0

FBI chemical warfare expert Stanley Goodspeed is sent on an urgent mission with a former British spy, John Patrick Mason, to stop Gen. Francis X. Hummel from launching chemical weapons on Alcatraz Island into San Francisco. Gen. Hummel demands $100 million in war reparations to be paid to the families of slain servicemen who died on covert operations. After their SEAL team is wiped out, Stanley and John deal with the soldiers on their own.

Starring: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer, David Morse
Directed by: Michael Bay
Release date: 1996-06-06
6.

Jerry Maguire

5.9

Jerry Maguire used to be a typical sports agent: willing to do just about anything he could to get the biggest possible contracts for his clients, plus a nice commission for himself. Then, one day, he suddenly has second thoughts about what he's really doing. When he voices these doubts, he ends up losing his job and all of his clients, save Rod Tidwell, an egomaniacal football player.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, Kelly Preston, Alison Armitage
Directed by: Cameron Crowe
Release date: 1996-12-13
7.

Mission: Impossible

5.9

When Ethan Hunt, the leader of a crack espionage team whose perilous operation has gone awry with no explanation, discovers that a mole has penetrated the CIA, he's surprised to learn that he's the No. 1 suspect. To clear his name, Hunt now must ferret out the real double agent and, in the process, even the score.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Henry Czerny, Emmanuelle Béart, Jean Reno
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Release date: 1996-05-22
8.

Scream

5.9

A killer known as Ghostface begins killing off teenagers, and as the body count begins rising, one girl and her friends find themselves contemplating the 'rules' of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one.

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, Rose McGowan
Directed by: Wes Craven
Release date: 1996-12-20
9.

From Dusk Till Dawn

5.8

Seth Gecko and his younger brother Richard are on the run after a bloody bank robbery in Texas. They escape across the border into Mexico and will be home-free the next morning, when they pay off the local kingpin. They just have to survive 'from dusk till dawn' at the rendezvous point, which turns out to be a Hell of a strip joint.

Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Release date: 1996-01-19
10.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

5.8

When Quasimodo defies the evil Frollo and ventures out to the Festival of Fools, the cruel crowd jeers him. Rescued by fellow outcast the gypsy Esmeralda, Quasi soon finds himself battling to save the people and the city he loves.

Starring: Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Tony Jay, Kevin Kline, Paul Kandel
Directed by: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Release date: 1996-06-21
11.

Matilda

5.7

An extraordinarily intelligent young girl from a cruel and uncaring family discovers she possesses telekinetic powers and is sent off to a school headed by a tyrannical principal.

Starring: Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito, Embeth Davidtz, Rhea Perlman, Pam Ferris
Directed by: Danny DeVito
Release date: 1996-08-02
12.

Sling Blade

5.7

Karl Childers is a mentally disabled man who has been in the custody of the state mental hospital since the age of 12 for killing his mother and her lover. Although thoroughly institutionalized, Karl is deemed fit to be released into the outside world.

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter, Lucas Black
Directed by: Billy Bob Thornton
Release date: 1996-08-30
13.

Secrets & Lies

5.7

A middle-aged London factory worker is shocked when the mixed-race daughter she gave up at birth decides to track her down. At first she denies she is her mother. All family members become emotional, as everyone's secrets are exposed.

Starring: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Phyllis Logan, Claire Rushbrook
Directed by: Mike Leigh
Release date: 1996-05-24
14.

Independence Day

5.7

On July 2, a giant alien mothership enters orbit around Earth and deploys several dozen saucer-shaped 'destroyer' spacecraft that quickly lay waste to major cities around the planet. On July 3, the United States conducts a coordinated counterattack that fails. On July 4, a plan is devised to gain access to the interior of the alien mothership in space, in order to plant a nuclear missile.

Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Release date: 1996-06-25
15.

A Close Shave

5.6

Wallace falls in love with wool-shop owner Wendolene, not suspecting that she (or rather, her dog) is at the head of a fiendish sheep-rustling plot. Gromit is set up and jailed, but his new-found sheepish friend is determined to give Wallace a helping hand in finding out the real truth.

Starring: Peter Sallis, Anne Reid
Directed by: Nick Park
Release date: 1996-03-07
16.

Romeo + Juliet

5.5

In director Baz Luhrmann's contemporary take on William Shakespeare's classic tragedy, the Montagues and Capulets have moved their ongoing feud to the sweltering suburb of Verona Beach, where Romeo and Juliet fall in love and secretly wed. Though the film is visually modern, the bard's dialogue remains.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, Harold Perrineau, Pete Postlethwaite
Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
Release date: 1996-11-01
17.

Happy Gilmore

5.5

Failed hockey player-turned-golf whiz Happy Gilmore -- whose unconventional approach and antics on the grass courts the ire of rival Shooter McGavin -- is determined to win a PGA tournament so he can save his granny's house with the prize money. Meanwhile, an attractive tour publicist tries to soften Happy's image.

Starring: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Bowen, Frances Bay, Allen Covert
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Release date: 1996-02-16
18.

Shine

5.5

Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Noah Taylor, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine, Sonia Todd
Directed by: Scott Hicks
Release date: 1996-08-15
19.

Beautiful Thing

5.5

A pair of teenage boys growing up in a working-class neighbourhood of Thamesmead, in south-east London, become aware of their homosexuality. While both were vaguely aware they might be gay, neither had ever acted on their impulses. Once they decide that they're attracted to each other, neither is sure just what to do.

Starring: Linda Henry, Glen Berry, Scott Neal, Tameka Empson, Ben Daniels
Directed by: Hettie MacDonald
Release date: 1996-06-21
20.

Hamlet

5.5

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother now marrying the murderer... his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie, Richard Briers, Kate Winslet
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Release date: 1996-12-25

Also check Best movies of 1995.

Check out our top containing the Best Movies of 1996. This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.

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