25 greatest films of 1996

by stuff_1004 | created - 27 Mar 2013 | updated - 27 Mar 2013 | Public

as listed in mewlists.com

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1. 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: 525,785 | Gross: $24.61M

2. 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: 157,701 | Gross: $78.65M

3. 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: 46,659 | Gross: $35.81M

4. 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: 554,998 | Gross: $16.50M

5. 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: 78,403 | Gross: $24.48M

6. 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: 53,924 | Gross: $4.04M

7. 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: 210,169 | Gross: $153.95M

8. 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: 31,898 | Gross: $13.42M

9. 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: 32,884 | Gross: $4.41M

10. Scream (1996)

R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich

Votes: 246,080 | Gross: $103.05M

11. 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: 78,167 | Gross: $20.19M

12. 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: 13,102 | Gross: $5.73M

13. 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: 25,063 | Gross: $13.27M

14. Shall We Dance? (1996)

PG | 136 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

68 Metascore

A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons.

Director: Masayuki Suo | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka, Eri Watanabe

Votes: 9,744 | Gross: $9.68M

15. Waiting for Guffman (1996)

R | 84 min | Comedy

71 Metascore

An aspiring director and the marginally talented amateur cast of a hokey small-town Missouri musical production go overboard when they learn that someone from Broadway will be in attendance.

Director: Christopher Guest | Stars: Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey

Votes: 24,010 | Gross: $2.92M

16. La Promesse (1996)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

82 Metascore

Roger uses his son Igor to ruthlessly traffic and exploit undocumented immigrants. When one of the immigrants is killed, Igor is guilt-ridden and wants to care for the dead man's family against his father's orders.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Jérémie Renier, Olivier Gourmet, Assita Ouedraogo, Jean-Michel Balthazar

Votes: 6,109 | Gross: $0.45M

17. Big Night (1996)

R | 109 min | Drama, Romance

80 Metascore

New Jersey, 1950s. Two brothers run an Italian restaurant. Business is not going well as a rival Italian restaurant is out-competing them. In a final effort to save the restaurant, the brothers plan to put on an evening of incredible food.

Directors: Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci | Stars: Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony, Larry Block

Votes: 14,416 | Gross: $11.88M

18. Irma Vep (1996)

Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, Drama

A Chinese movie actress, in France to star in a remake of "Les Vampires", finds petty intrigues and clashing egos on the set.

Director: Olivier Assayas | Stars: Maggie Cheung, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Nathalie Richard, Antoine Basler

Votes: 4,206 | Gross: $0.19M

19. Ponette (1996)

97 min | Drama

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: 3,672 | Gross: $1.40M

20. 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: 32,450 | Gross: $9.71M

21. Ridicule (1996)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

To get royal backing on a needed drainage project, a poor French lord must learn to play the delicate games of wit at court at Versailles.

Director: Patrice Leconte | Stars: Charles Berling, Jean Rochefort, Fanny Ardant, Judith Godrèche

Votes: 6,467 | Gross: $2.50M

22. Swingers (1996)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama

71 Metascore

Wannabe actors become regulars in the stylish neo-lounge scene; Trent teaches his friend Mike the unwritten rules of the scene.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Vince Vaughn, Heather Graham, Jon Favreau, Ron Livingston

Votes: 68,502 | Gross: $4.51M

23. Independence Day (1996)

PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

59 Metascore

The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell

Votes: 472,830 | Gross: $306.17M

24. 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: 185,755 | Gross: $46.35M

25. 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: 16,067 | Gross: $14.89M