My favorite Movies of 1996

by Blaise Grisson | created - 10 Dec 2010 | updated - 20 Mar 2015 | Public
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1. Breaking the Waves (1996)

R | 159 min | Drama

76 Metascore

Oilman Jan is paralyzed in an accident. His wife, who prayed for his return, feels guilty; even more, when Jan urges her to have sex with another.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge, Jean-Marc Barr

Votes: 54,137 | Gross: $4.04M

2. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Votes: 528,299 | Gross: $24.61M

3. Trainspotting (1996)

R | 94 min | Drama

83 Metascore

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.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd

Votes: 557,392 | Gross: $16.50M

4. Sling Blade (1996)

R | 135 min | Drama

84 Metascore

Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter

Votes: 78,590 | Gross: $24.48M

5. Secrets & Lies (1996)

R | 136 min | Drama

91 Metascore

A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a underprivileged white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan, Claire Rushbrook

Votes: 32,027 | Gross: $13.42M

6. Shine (1996)

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

87 Metascore

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.

Director: Scott Hicks | Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine, Sonia Todd

Votes: 46,766 | Gross: $35.81M

7. The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

79 Metascore

A partially idealized and fictionalized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Brett Harrelson

Votes: 78,496 | Gross: $20.19M

8. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, Romance

60 Metascore

Shakespeare's famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.

Director: Baz Luhrmann | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, Harold Perrineau

Votes: 186,281 | Gross: $46.35M

9. The Apartment (1996)

R | 116 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A recently engaged man sees a former lover and becomes obsessed with meeting her again.

Director: Gilles Mimouni | Stars: Romane Bohringer, Vincent Cassel, Jean-Philippe Écoffey, Monica Bellucci

Votes: 12,332

10. The Crucible (1996)

PG-13 | 124 min | Drama, History

A Salem resident attempts to frame her ex-lover's wife for being a witch in the middle of the 1692 witchcraft trials.

Director: Nicholas Hytner | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield, Joan Allen

Votes: 31,883 | Gross: $7.34M

11. The English Patient (1996)

R | 162 min | Drama, Romance, War

87 Metascore

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 158,204 | Gross: $78.65M

12. Hamlet (1996)

PG-13 | 242 min | Drama

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

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet

Votes: 32,978 | Gross: $4.41M

13. Jude (1996)

R | 123 min | Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

A stonemason steadfastly pursues a cousin he loves. However their love is troubled as he is married to a woman who tricked him into marriage and she is married to a man she does not love.

Director: Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Kate Winslet, Liam Cunningham, Rachel Griffiths

Votes: 9,237 | Gross: $0.41M

14. Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A New York girl sets her father up with a beautiful woman in a troubled marriage while her stepsister gets engaged.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts, Edward Norton

Votes: 32,511 | Gross: $9.71M

15. Jerry Maguire (1996)

R | 139 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, Kelly Preston

Votes: 210,764 | Gross: $153.95M

16. The Birdcage (1996)

R | 117 min | Comedy

72 Metascore

A gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion agree to put up a false straight front so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée's right-wing moralistic parents.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 68,642 | Gross: $124.06M

17. Basquiat (1996)

R | 108 min | Biography, Drama

65 Metascore

The brief life of Jean Michel Basquiat, a world renowned New York street artist struggling with fame, drugs and his identity.

Director: Julian Schnabel | Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Michael Wincott, Benicio Del Toro, Claire Forlani

Votes: 17,360 | Gross: $2.96M

18. Marvin's Room (1996)

PG-13 | 98 min | Drama

68 Metascore

A leukemia patient attempts to end a twenty-year feud with her sister to get her bone marrow.

Director: Jerry Zaks | Stars: Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro

Votes: 22,417 | Gross: $12.78M

19. Lone Star (1996)

R | 135 min | Drama, Mystery

78 Metascore

When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.

Director: John Sayles | Stars: Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Peña, Stephen Mendillo, Stephen J. Lang

Votes: 25,130 | Gross: $13.27M

20. Stealing Beauty (1996)

R | 118 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

60 Metascore

After her mother commits suicide, nineteen year old Lucy Harmon travels to Italy to have her picture painted. However, she has other reasons for wanting to go. She wants to renew her ... See full summary »

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: Jeremy Irons, Liv Tyler, Carlo Cecchi, Sinéad Cusack

Votes: 22,475 | Gross: $4.57M

21. Brassed Off (1996)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

60 Metascore

The coal mine in a northern English village may be closing, which would also mean the end of the miners' brass band.

Director: Mark Herman | Stars: Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald, Ewan McGregor, Stephen Tompkinson

Votes: 16,949 | Gross: $2.56M

22. Crash (1996)

NC-17 | 100 min | Drama

47 Metascore

After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger

Votes: 45,933 | Gross: $2.04M

23. Flirting with Disaster (1996)

R | 92 min | Comedy

81 Metascore

A young man, his wife, and his incompetent case worker travel across country to find his birth parents.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Téa Leoni, Mary Tyler Moore

Votes: 16,107 | Gross: $14.89M

24. A Time to Kill (1996)

R | 149 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

54 Metascore

In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey

Votes: 112,955 | Gross: $108.77M

25. Emma (1996)

PG | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

While matchmaking for friends and neighbours, a young 19th Century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cosmo, Greta Scacchi, Alan Cumming

Votes: 31,044 | Gross: $22.20M

26. Kolya (1996)

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

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: 13,138 | Gross: $5.73M

27. The Eighth Day (1996)

118 min | Comedy, Drama

An unusual and wonderful friendship develops between a busy but unhappy salesman and a resident of a mental asylum.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael | Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Pascal Duquenne, Miou-Miou, Henri Garcin

Votes: 8,028 | Gross: $0.33M

28. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

G | 91 min | Animation, Drama, Family

A deformed bell-ringer must assert his independence from a vicious government minister in order to help his friend, a gypsy dancer.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | Stars: Demi Moore, Jason Alexander, Mary Kay Bergman, Corey Burton

Votes: 118,630 | Gross: $100.14M

29. Michael Collins (1996)

R | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

60 Metascore

Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Ian Hart

Votes: 26,483 | Gross: $11.09M