Children in the 90s: Best movies

by Julian Morris | created - 10 Apr 2011 | updated - 24 Dec 2015 | Public

Here is my list of top movies of the 90s with kids in the lead roles. Most of them are drama and adventure and some good foreign stuff. If you think only comedy and american movies are good, sorry this list is not for you! :)

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1. Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
83 Metascore

An unattractive seventh grader struggles to cope with inattentive parents, snobbish classmates, a smart older brother, an attractive younger sister, and her own insecurities in suburban New Jersey.

Director: Todd Solondz | Stars: Heather Matarazzo, Christina Brucato, Victoria Davis, Christina Vidal

Votes: 28,316 | Gross: $4.77M

2. The War (1994)

PG-13 | 126 min | Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Vietnam War vet Stephen Simmons must deal with a war of a different sort between his son and their friends, and a rival group of children. He also must deal with his own personal and ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Avnet | Stars: Elijah Wood, Kevin Costner, Mare Winningham, Lexi Randall

Votes: 10,816 | Gross: $16.55M

3. The Secret Garden (1993)

G | 101 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Living in India, Mary Lennox, a young, privileged girl, is left orphaned when her parents are killed in an earthquake. She is sent back to England where she goes to live on her uncle's ... See full summary »

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott

Votes: 31,278 | Gross: $31.18M

4. Radio Flyer (1992)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A father recounts a dark period of his childhood when he and his little brother lived in the suburbs.

Directors: Richard Donner, David Mickey Evans | Stars: Lorraine Bracco, John Heard, Adam Baldwin, Elijah Wood

Votes: 11,019 | Gross: $4.65M

5. The Cure (1995)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama

7.7
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Erik, a loner, finds a friend in Dexter, an eleven-year-old boy with AIDS. They vow to find a cure for AIDS together and save Dexter's life in an eventful summer.

Director: Peter Horton | Stars: Joseph Mazzello, Brad Renfro, Aeryk Egan, Delphine French

Votes: 8,120 | Gross: $2.57M

6. A Little Princess (1995)

G | 97 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
83 Metascore

A young girl is relegated to servitude at a boarding school when her father goes missing and is presumed dead.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, Rusty Schwimmer

Votes: 27,182 | Gross: $10.02M

7. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 775,309 | Gross: $293.51M

8. The Witches (1990)

PG | 91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

6.8
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A young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.

Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher, Rowan Atkinson

Votes: 27,827 | Gross: $10.36M

9. Home Alone (1990)

PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
63 Metascore

An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard

Votes: 357,291 | Gross: $285.76M

10. My Girl (1991)

PG-13 | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
56 Metascore

A young girl, on the threshold of her teen years, finds her life turning upside down, when she is accompanied by an unlikely friend.

Director: Howard Zieff | Stars: Anna Chlumsky, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis

Votes: 61,030 | Gross: $59.85M

11. Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (1995)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

6.0
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A city girl teams up with a tomboy to solve the mystery of Bear Mountain, Molly Morgan, and the buried treasure as well as learn about true friendships.

Director: Kevin James Dobson | Stars: Christina Ricci, Anna Chlumsky, Polly Draper, Brian Kerwin

Votes: 3,586 | Gross: $6.03M

12. Casper (1995)

PG | 100 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
49 Metascore

A paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in an abandoned house populated by three mischievous ghosts and one friendly one.

Director: Brad Silberling | Stars: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle

Votes: 96,327 | Gross: $100.33M

13. The Addams Family (1991)

PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Fantasy

6.8
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57 Metascore

Con artists plan to fleece an eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long-lost uncle.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Hedaya

Votes: 106,315 | Gross: $113.50M

14. Addams Family Values (1993)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Fantasy

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
62 Metascore

The Addams Family try to rescue their beloved uncle Fester from his gold-digging new love, a black widow named Debbie.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Joan Cusack

Votes: 63,574 | Gross: $48.92M

15. Jumanji (1995)

PG | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Family

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
39 Metascore

When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt, Jonathan Hyde

Votes: 236,081 | Gross: $100.48M

16. Hocus Pocus (1993)

PG | 96 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.8
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After three centuries, three witch sisters are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers, a young girl, and an immortal cat to put an end to their reign of terror once and for all.

Director: Kenny Ortega | Stars: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz

Votes: 70,557 | Gross: $39.51M

17. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

PG-13 | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
53 Metascore

After a bitter divorce, an actor disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children held in custody by his former wife.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein

Votes: 201,064 | Gross: $219.20M

18. Little Women (1994)

PG | 115 min | Drama, Family, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
87 Metascore

The March sisters live and grow in post-Civil War America.

Director: Gillian Armstrong | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes

Votes: 39,810 | Gross: $50.08M

19. Fly Away Home (1996)

PG | 107 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

6.8
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A father and daughter decide to attempt to lead a flock of orphaned Canada Geese south by air.

Director: Carroll Ballard | Stars: Jeff Daniels, Anna Paquin, Dana Delany, Terry Kinney

Votes: 20,938 | Gross: $24.51M

20. The Mighty (1998)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

7.3
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Two young boys, both social outcasts in their small town, form an unlikely friendship.

Director: Peter Chelsom | Stars: Kieran Culkin, Elden Henson, Sharon Stone, Harry Dean Stanton

Votes: 11,084 | Gross: $2.64M

21. It (1990)

TV-14 | 192 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

6.9
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In 1960, seven pre-teen outcasts fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for all when it returns to their hometown.

Stars: Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson

Votes: 90,795

22. The People Under the Stairs (1991)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

6.3
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Two adults and a juvenile break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children. There, they must fight for their lives.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A.J. Langer

Votes: 26,094 | Gross: $24.20M

23. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

R | 123 min | Drama, Horror

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
59 Metascore

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst

Votes: 257,382 | Gross: $105.26M

24. The Good Son (1993)

R | 87 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle, and befriends his cousin who's the same age. But his cousin begins showing increasing signs of violent behavior.

Director: Joseph Ruben | Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Elijah Wood, Wendy Crewson, David Morse

Votes: 30,952 | Gross: $44.59M

25. The Client (1994)

PG-13 | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
65 Metascore

A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the District Attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 50,148 | Gross: $92.12M

26. This Boy's Life (1993)

R | 115 min | Biography, Drama

7.3
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60 Metascore

The story about the relationship between a rebellious 1950s teenager and his abusive stepfather, based on the memoirs of writer and literature Professor Tobias Wolff.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones | Stars: Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Barkin, Jonah Blechman

Votes: 38,972 | Gross: $4.10M

27. The Man Without a Face (1993)

PG-13 | 115 min | Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
62 Metascore

Chuck wants to leave home, but can't make the grade for boarding school. Then he finds out the disfigured recluse living nearby, is an ex-teacher.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Mel Gibson, Nick Stahl, Margaret Whitton, Fay Masterson

Votes: 24,504 | Gross: $24.76M

28. Forever Young (1992)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

6.3
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During a cryogenics test, a pilot frozen in 1939 awakes in 1992 but time is running out, as his body starts to age rapidly.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elijah Wood, Isabel Glasser

Votes: 39,169 | Gross: $55.96M

29. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 818,666 | Gross: $19.50M

30. Ma Vie en Rose (1997)

R | 88 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ludovic is a transgender girl who is coming out. She talks of marrying her neighbor's son and can not understand why everyone is so surprised about it. Her family and neighbors struggle ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Berliner | Stars: Georges Du Fresne, Michèle Laroque, Jean-Philippe Écoffey, Hélène Vincent

Votes: 7,843 | Gross: $2.28M

31. Central Station (1998)

R | 113 min | Drama

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
80 Metascore

An emotive journey of a former school teacher, who writes letters for illiterate people, and a young boy, whose mother has just died, as they search for the father he never knew.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Fernanda Montenegro, Vinícius de Oliveira, Marília Pêra, Soia Lira

Votes: 30,703 | Gross: $5.60M

32. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, War

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
59 Metascore

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.

Director: Roberto Benigni | Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano

Votes: 484,100 | Gross: $57.60M

33. Kolya (1996)

PG-13 | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

7.8
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Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Sverák | Stars: Zdenek Sverák, Andrey Khalimon, Libuse Safránková, Ondrej Vetchý

Votes: 12,922 | Gross: $5.73M

34. The Piano (1993)

R | 121 min | Drama, Music, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
89 Metascore

A mute woman is sent to 1850s New Zealand along with her young daughter and prized piano for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, but is soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

Director: Jane Campion | Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin

Votes: 68,586 | Gross: $40.16M

35. A Perfect World (1993)

PG-13 | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A kidnapped boy strikes up a friendship with his captor: an escaped convict on the run from the law, headed by an honorable U.S. Marshal.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern, T.J. Lowther

Votes: 62,389 | Gross: $31.16M

36. King of the Hill (1993)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, History

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
86 Metascore

A young boy struggles on his own in a run-down motel after his parents and younger brother are separated from him in 1930s Depression-era Midwest.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Jesse Bradford, Jeroen Krabbé, Lisa Eichhorn, Karen Allen

Votes: 6,352 | Gross: $1.30M

37. Matilda (1996)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.

Director: Danny DeVito | Stars: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidtz

Votes: 99,845 | Gross: $33.08M

38. FairyTale: A True Story (1997)

PG | 99 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1917, two children take a photograph, which is soon believed by some to be the first scientific evidence of the existence of fairies.

Director: Charles Sturridge | Stars: Paul McGann, Florence Hoath, Elizabeth Earl, Harvey Keitel

Votes: 4,968 | Gross: $14.04M

39. Little Man Tate (1991)

PG | 99 min | Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
71 Metascore

Dede is a sole parent trying to bring up her son Fred. When it is discovered that Fred is a genius, she is determined to ensure that Fred has all the opportunities that he needs, and that ... See full summary »

Director: Jodie Foster | Stars: Jodie Foster, Dianne Wiest, Adam Hann-Byrd, Alex Lee

Votes: 12,284 | Gross: $25.01M

40. Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

PG | 109 min | Biography, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
90 Metascore

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

Director: Steven Zaillian | Stars: Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley, Max Pomeranc, Joan Allen

Votes: 25,478 | Gross: $7.27M

41. Fresh (1994)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Death and violence anger a 12-year-old drug courier, who sets his employers against each other.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Sean Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson, N'Bushe Wright

Votes: 10,422 | Gross: $8.09M

42. The Virgin Suicides (1999)

R | 97 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
76 Metascore

A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents in suburban Detroit in the mid-1970s.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, Kathleen Turner

Votes: 126,274 | Gross: $4.86M

43. The Butcher Boy (1997)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Francie and Joe live the usual playful, fantasy filled childhoods of normal boys. However, with a violent, alcoholic father and a manic depressive, suicidal mother the pressure on Francie ... See full summary »

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Eamonn Owens, Alan Boyle

Votes: 8,283 | Gross: $1.82M

44. Into the West (1992)

PG | 97 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Grandpa Ward gives a horse he found to his grandchildren, who keep it in their tower-block flat in Dublin. The horse is stolen from them, and the two young boys set out to find it and flee on it.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Ellen Barkin, Ciarán Fitzgerald, Rúaidhrí Conroy

Votes: 2,343 | Gross: $4.79M

45. Olivier, Olivier (1992)

R | 110 min | Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A nine-year-old boy disappears without a trace. Six years later, he reappears in Paris but there are doubts about his real identity.

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Brigitte Roüan, François Cluzet, Jean-François Stévenin, Frédéric Quiring

Votes: 1,471 | Gross: $1.26M

46. Léolo (1992)

Not Rated | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Young Leo Lauzon is torn between two worlds - the squalid Montreal tenement that he inhabits with his severely dysfunctional (and largely insane) family, and the imaginative world that he ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Lauzon | Stars: Maxime Collin, Ginette Reno, Gilbert Sicotte, Julien Guiomar

Votes: 5,988 | Gross: $0.61M

47. The White Balloon (1995)

Unrated | 85 min | Drama, Family

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Several people try to help a little girl to find the money her mom gave her to buy a goldfish with.

Director: Jafar Panahi | Stars: Aida Mohammadkhani, Mohsen Kafili, Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy, Anna Borkowska

Votes: 5,336 | Gross: $0.47M

48. Yi ge dou bu neng shao (1999)

G | 106 min | Drama

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Minzhi Wei, Huike Zhang, Zhenda Tian, Enman Gao

Votes: 7,208 | Gross: $0.59M

49. Lan feng zheng (1993)

140 min | Drama

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The lives of a Beijing family throughout the 1950s and 1960s, as they experience the impact of the Hundred Flowers Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution.

Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian | Stars: Tian Yi, Wenyao Zhang, Xiaoman Chen, Liping Lü

Votes: 2,209 | Gross: $0.36M

50. Ponette (1996)

97 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A four-year-old girl tries to come to terms with the sudden death of her mother.

Director: Jacques Doillon | Stars: Victoire Thivisol, Delphine Schiltz, Matiaz Bureau Caton, Léopoldine Serre

Votes: 3,619 | Gross: $1.40M