Best Films Of 1997

by TheAnimalMother | created - 17 Mar 2014 | updated - 5 days ago | Public

All lists of this nature are obviously continuous works in progress...

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1. As Good as It Gets (1997)

PG-13 | 139 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

A single mother and waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is assaulted in a robbery.

Director: James L. Brooks | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Votes: 291,619 | Gross: $148.48M

9/10

2. Boogie Nights (1997)

R | 155 min | Drama

85 Metascore

Back when sex was safe, pleasure was a business and business was booming, an idealistic porn producer aspires to elevate his craft to an art when he discovers a hot young talent.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Luis Guzmán

Votes: 255,525 | Gross: $26.40M

9/10

3. The Ice Storm (1997)

R | 112 min | Drama

72 Metascore

In suburban New Canaan, Connecticut, 1973, middle-class families experimenting with casual sex and substance abuse find their lives beyond their control.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny

Votes: 55,499 | Gross: $7.84M

4. Kundun (1997)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

74 Metascore

From childhood to adulthood, Tibet's fourteenth Dalai Lama deals with Chinese oppression and other problems.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong, Gyurme Tethong, Tulku Jamyang Kunga Tenzin, Tenzin Yeshi Paichang

Votes: 27,692 | Gross: $5.53M

8.5/10

5. Donnie Brasco (1997)

R | 127 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

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

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 295,982 | Gross: $41.91M

8.5/10

6. Contact (1997)

PG | 150 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

Votes: 267,530 | Gross: $100.92M

8.5/10

7. Deconstructing Harry (1997)

R | 96 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Stephanie Roth Haberle

Votes: 44,304 | Gross: $10.69M

8.5/10

8. Cube (1997)

R | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

61 Metascore

Six complete strangers with widely varying personalities are involuntarily placed in an endless maze containing deadly traps.

Director: Vincenzo Natali | Stars: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller

Votes: 224,130 | Gross: $0.50M

8.5/10

9. Jackie Brown (1997)

R | 154 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A flight attendant with a criminal past gets nabbed by the FBI for smuggling. Under pressure to become an informant against the drug dealer she works for, she must find a way to secure her future without getting killed.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda

Votes: 337,201 | Gross: $39.67M

8.5/10

10. Habitat (1997)

R | 120 min | Sci-Fi

In a future world where Earth's ozone layer has been completely destroyed, a brilliant but obsessed scientist, Hank Symes uses illegally obtained biological materials for an experiment that... See full summary »

Director: Rene Daalder | Stars: Balthazar Getty, Tchéky Karyo, Alice Krige, Kenneth Welsh

Votes: 898

4.9 out of 10? Only 825 people have rated this film on here so far. These voters mostly of the absent-minded sort, or worse I dare to assume. 8.5/10

11. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 921,716 | Gross: $138.43M

8.5/10

12. Titanic (1997)

PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Votes: 1,117,801 | Gross: $659.33M

13. Event Horizon (1997)

R | 96 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

35 Metascore

A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson | Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson

Votes: 171,703 | Gross: $26.67M

8/10

14. Gattaca (1997)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

64 Metascore

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director: Andrew Niccol | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal

Votes: 294,258 | Gross: $12.34M

8/10

15. Face/Off (1997)

R | 138 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

To foil a terrorist plot, an FBI agent undergoes facial transplant surgery to assume the identity of the criminal mastermind who murdered his only son, but the criminal wakes up prematurely and seeks revenge.

Director: John Woo | Stars: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Alessandro Nivola

Votes: 365,495 | Gross: $112.23M

8/10

16. The Devil's Advocate (1997)

R | 144 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

60 Metascore

An exceptionally-adept Florida lawyer is offered a job at a high-end New York City law firm with a high-end boss--the biggest opportunity of his career to date.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 355,363 | Gross: $60.98M

8/10

17. Chasing Amy (1997)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

Holden and Banky are comic book artists. Everything's 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.

Director: Kevin Smith | Stars: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Ethan Suplee, Scott Mosier

Votes: 136,243 | Gross: $12.02M

8/10

18. The Rainmaker (1997)

PG-13 | 135 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

72 Metascore

An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent insurance company.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes, Jon Voight

Votes: 70,982 | Gross: $45.86M

8/10

19. The Full Monty (1997)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama

75 Metascore

Six unemployed steel workers form a male striptease act. The women cheer them on to go for "the full monty" - total nudity.

Director: Peter Cattaneo | Stars: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, Wim Snape

Votes: 104,245 | Gross: $45.95M

8/10

20. The Fifth Element (1997)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm

Votes: 457,395 | Gross: $63.54M

8/10

21. Little Boy Blue (1997)

R | 105 min | Drama

19 y.o. Jimmy' s dad is a vicious, impotent Vietnam vet, who forces his wife and son to have incest. He has a secret he'll kill to keep. Jimmy won't abandon his two kid brothers by leaving.

Director: Antonio Tibaldi | Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Nastassja Kinski, John Savage, Shirley Knight

Votes: 2,116

A severely underrated and underseen film. If you don't mind your mystery films being a little disturbing, this film is one you should see.

22. In the Company of Men (1997)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

Two business executives--one an avowed misogynist, the other recently emotionally wounded by his love interest--set out to exact revenge on the female gender by seeking out the most innocent, uncorrupted girl they can find and ruining her life.

Director: Neil LaBute | Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Matt Malloy, Stacy Edwards, Michael Martin

Votes: 13,549 | Gross: $2.86M

7.5/10

23. Insomnia (1997)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle a Swedish murder investigator has been brought in on a special case. Sleep deprived, he makes a horrible mistake which is discovered by the killer he has been hunting.

Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg | Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Maria Mathiesen, Gisken Armand

Votes: 14,031 | Gross: $0.22M

7.5/10

24. Wag the Dog (1997)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a Presidential sex scandal.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 82,349 | Gross: $43.02M

7.5/10

25. Men in Black (1997)

PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

71 Metascore

A police officer joins a secret organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrial interactions on Earth.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 546,412 | Gross: $250.69M

7/10

26. G.I. Jane (1997)

R | 125 min | Action, Drama, War

62 Metascore

A female Senator succeeds in enrolling a woman into Combined Reconnaissance Team training where everyone expects her to fail.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Demi Moore, Viggo Mortensen, Anne Bancroft, Jason Beghe

Votes: 78,959 | Gross: $48.17M

Demi Moore is actually pretty good in a few films, but certainly never better than in this one. She actually makes this based on a true story film feel quite believable; Which for a Hollywood film is pretty unusual in itself. I honestly think that Ridley Scott is a little overrated as a director generally, but to me this is one of his more underappreciated films really. It's not a great film, but it's definitely quite good. 7/10

27. Private Parts (1997)

R | 109 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

The autobiographical story of Howard Stern, the radio rebel who is now also a TV personality, an author and a movie star.

Director: Betty Thomas | Stars: Howard Stern, Mary McCormack, Robin Quivers, Fred Norris

Votes: 36,477 | Gross: $41.20M

7/10

28. The Game (1997)

R | 129 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

After a wealthy San Francisco banker is given an opportunity to participate in a mysterious game, his life is turned upside down as he begins to question if it might really be a concealed conspiracy to destroy him.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Michael Douglas, Deborah Kara Unger, Sean Penn, James Rebhorn

Votes: 377,424 | Gross: $48.32M

7/10

29. Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

PG-13 | 136 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

True story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber who became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China's takeover of Tibet.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, BD Wong, Mako

Votes: 139,297 | Gross: $37.96M

7/10

30. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 563,525 | Gross: $64.62M

7/10

31. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

PG-13 | 89 min | Adventure, Comedy

51 Metascore

A world-class playboy and part-time secret agent from the 1960s emerges after thirty years in a cryogenic state to battle with his nemesis Dr. Evil.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers

Votes: 233,513 | Gross: $53.88M

7/10

32. Inventing the Abbotts (1997)

R | 110 min | Drama, Romance

49 Metascore

Two working class brothers court three wealthy and beautiful sisters in a small Illinois town.

Director: Pat O'Connor | Stars: Liv Tyler, Jennifer Connelly, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Crudup

Votes: 12,573 | Gross: $5.94M

I think I truly sorta fell in love with Jennifer Connelly in the 90's...but then again, who didn't?

33. Cop Land (1997)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

The Sheriff of a suburban New Jersey community, populated by New York City police officers, slowly discovers the town is a front for mob connections and corruption.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro

Votes: 91,605 | Gross: $44.89M

7/10

34. Prefontaine (1997)

PG-13 | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

Based on the life of Olympic hopeful Steve Prefontaine, a long distance runner who lived in Oregon and died young.

Director: Steve James | Stars: Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ed O'Neill, Breckin Meyer

Votes: 7,222 | Gross: $0.53M

7/10

35. Sara (1997)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Leon, the 40-year-old former soldier who is an alcoholic now, gets a job as a bodyguard. His duty is to take care of one of the Mafia leader's daughters. His problems begin when he falls in love with the 16-year-old girl.

Director: Maciej Slesicki | Stars: Boguslaw Linda, Agnieszka Wlodarczyk, Cezary Pazura, Marek Perepeczko

Votes: 2,520

36. Lawn Dogs (1997)

R | 101 min | Drama

When Devon, a 10-year-old girl, forges a friendship with Trent, a 21-year-old outsider who mows the neighborhood lawns, things suddenly get very complicated and private.

Director: John Duigan | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kathleen Quinlan, Mischa Barton, Christopher McDonald

Votes: 7,995 | Gross: $0.11M

37. U Turn (1997)

R | 125 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

54 Metascore

A man heading to Vegas to pay off his gambling debt before the Russian mafia kills him is forced to stop in an Arizona town where everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Billy Bob Thornton

Votes: 51,418 | Gross: $6.63M

7/10

38. Bella Mafia (1997 TV Movie)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama

Starting in Palermo, Italy, 1977 - The ups and downs of a mafia family opposed to drug trade until the men are murdered and the widows take over.

Director: David Greene | Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Dennis Farina, Nastassja Kinski, Jennifer Tilly

Votes: 2,260

7.0/10

39. Playing God (1997)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A disgraced surgeon leaves his former life and reinvents himself as a gunshot doctor in the criminal underworld.

Director: Andy Wilson | Stars: David Duchovny, Timothy Hutton, Angelina Jolie, Michael Massee

Votes: 7,593 | Gross: $4.05M

40. Two Girls and a Guy (1997)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Drama

66 Metascore

2 girls wait outside a young actor's door and find out he's had them both as "only" girlfriend the last 10 months. They wait inside after breaking in. When Blake comes home he just can't stop lying but they stay.

Director: James Toback | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Heather Graham, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Angel David

Votes: 8,359 | Gross: $1.95M

While the film itself really isn't that good, Robert Downey Jr. is phenomenal. The movie is worth its share of praise simply on the merit of his performance alone.

41. The Devil's Own (1997)

R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama

53 Metascore

A police officer uncovers the real identity of his house-guest, an I.R.A. terrorist in hiding.

Director: Alan J. Pakula | Stars: Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Margaret Colin, Rubén Blades

Votes: 63,813 | Gross: $42.87M

7/10

42. The Big One (1997)

PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime

On his book tour, Michael Moore exposes more wrongdoing by greedy big businesses and callous politicians around America.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Elaine Bly, Dan Burns, Chip Carter

Votes: 7,905 | Gross: $0.72M

7/10

43. Absolute Power (1997)

R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

Career thief Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood) witnesses a horrific crime involving U.S. President Alan Richmond (Gene Hackman).

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Laura Linney

Votes: 53,628 | Gross: $50.01M

7/10

44. Dangerous Ground (1997)

R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Vusi Madlazi returns to the South African village he left as a young boy (he was organizing against apartheid and left in fear of his life) to bury his father. He meets up with his brother ... See full summary »

Director: Darrell Roodt | Stars: Ice Cube, Elizabeth Hurley, Thokozani Nkosi, Ron Smerczak

Votes: 1,915 | Gross: $5.08M

Far less than 2000 people have rated this film on here so far. I don't know, I kind of enjoy this film. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and just tells a pretty decent story with some heart and a good bit of fun. I like Ice Cube, because really he's just a pretty genuine guy (all his kidding aside.), and Hurley was a total knockout back then. 7/10

45. The Boxer (1997)

R | 113 min | Drama, Romance, Sport