90s Movies The Best Movies of 1996  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
10k votes 522 voters 14.6k views 116 items

List Rules Movies that were in theaters in 1996

A list of the best movies of 1996, from classics like Romeo & Juliet to dramas like Jerry Maguire. The '90s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. In were new stars and big blockbusters and 1996 was no exception. Some the best movies of this year are some of the best teen, coming of age, adventure, comedies and dramas in history. The films on here are very memorable and had audiences on the edges of their seats, and still pack a punch so many years after they were first released. You shouldn't be too surprised by the movies listed on here.

As stated before, some of the best movies of the decade were released in 1996. Who could forget Fargo, Mission: Impossible with Tom Cruise, and of course, Scream starring Neve Campbell and David Arquette. And let's not forget about The Rock with Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris.

The best movies of 1996 featured some of the biggest stars in the movie business. Whether it was the aforementioned stars continuing their success or the breakout performances featured in Swingers, or established stars like Mel Gibson in Ransom.

Some of the best movies of all time were released in 1996. This is the ultimate list of the best movies of 1996, which shouldn't feature the best movies of 1995. Vote and re-rank this list according to how you think the best movies of that year should be reflected. If you notice that there's a movie from this year that should be on this list but is missing, feel free to add it.
list ordered by

1
139 81
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

2
109 95
Jerry Maguire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Tom Cruise, Lucy Liu, Renée Zellweger Jerry Maguire is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama sports film written, produced and directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renée Zellweger. It was ...more

3
109 86
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller Trainspotting is a 1996 British comedy drama film directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald. Based on ...more

4
82 88
Primal Fear is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir thriller film, based on William Diehl's 1993 novel of the same name and directed by Gregory Hoblit. The film tells the story of Chicago defense attorney ...more

5
120 87
Happy Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Julie Bowen Happy Gilmore is a 1996 sports comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and produced by Robert Simonds. It stars Adam Sandler as the title character, an unsuccessful ice hockey player who discovers ...more

6
139 76
Scream is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more

7
163 79
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more

8
97 99
Space Jam is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Larry Bird Space Jam is a 1996 American live-action/animated sports family/comedy film starring basketball player Michael Jordan and featuring the Looney Tunes characters. The film was produced by Ivan ...more

9
55 111
The English Patient is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth The English Patient is a 1996 romantic drama directed by Anthony Minghella from his own script based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje and produced by Saul Zaentz. The film was ...more

10
67 74
Ransom is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Mel Gibson, Liev Schreiber, Rene Russo Ransom is a 1996 American thriller film written by Richard Price & Alexander Ignon and directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Brawley Nolte, Gary Sinise, Delroy ...more

11
98 55
The Rock is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris The Rock is a 1996 action film that primarily takes place on Alcatraz Island and in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was directed by Michael Bay, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and ...more

12
72 55
A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey This film is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name, directed by Joel Schumacher. Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey ...more

13
70 57
Sling Blade is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, John Ritter Sling Blade is a 1996 American drama film set in rural Arkansas, written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, who also stars in the lead role. It tells the story of a man named Karl Childers with ...more

14
112 57
Twister is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Paxton Twister is a 1996 American disaster drama film starring Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt as storm chasers researching tornadoes. It was directed by Jan de Bont from a screenplay by Michael Crichton ...more

15
106 58
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Vanessa Redgrave Mission: Impossible is a 1996 American action spy film directed by Brian De Palma, based on the 1960s television series. IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must uncover the mole who has framed

16
30 62
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Kate Winslet, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal Hamlet is a 1996 Shakespearean tragedy film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in the titular role as Prince ...more

17
28 67
When We Were Kings is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
George Foreman, B.B. King, Don King When We Were Kings is a 1996 documentary film directed by Leon Gast about the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" heavyweight championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The ...more

18
69 64
The Birdcage is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Hank Azaria The Birdcage is a 1996 American comedy film, directed by Mike Nichols and stars Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, and Dianne Wiest. Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart, Hank Azaria, and ...more

19
85 57
From Dusk till Dawn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Salma Hayek, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American horror-crime thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino. It stars George Clooney, Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Juliette ...more

20
48 66
Swingers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Heather Graham, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau filmography This film is a 1996 comedy-drama film about the lives of single, unemployed actors living on the 'eastside' of Hollywood, California during the 1990s swing revival. Written by Jon Favreau and ...more

21
42 90
Jack is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Jennifer Lopez, Robin Williams, Diane Lane Jack is a 1996 American comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lopez, Fran Drescher, Bill Cosby, and Brian Kerwin. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Williams ...more

22
73 73
Romeo + Juliet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Leonardo DiCaprio, Paul Rudd, Brian Dennehy Romeo + Juliet is a 1996 American romantic drama film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It was directed by Baz Luhrmann. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in ...more

23
81 74
Mars Attacks! is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker Mars Attacks! is a 1996 American comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and written by Jonathan Gems. Based on the cult trading card series of the same name, the film features an ...more

24
71 58
Kingpin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Bill Murray, Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid Kingpin is a 1996 American sport comedy film directed by the Farrelly brothers and starring Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Vanessa Angel, and Bill Murray. It was filmed in and around Pittsburgh, ...more

25
74 72
The Nutty Professor is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, Dave Chappelle The Nutty Professor is a 1996 American science fiction comedy film starring Eddie Murphy. It is a remake of the 1963 film of the same name, which starred Jerry Lewis, and was itself based on ...more

26
65 67
The Cable Guy is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, Jack Black The Cable Guy is a 1996 American thriller dark comedy film directed by Ben Stiller, who also co-stars in the film, and starring Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick. The film was released in the ...more

27
59 62
The People vs. Larry Flynt is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson The People vs. Larry Flynt is a 1996 American biographical drama film directed by Miloš Forman and starring Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, and Edward Norton. It chronicles the rise of magazine ...more

28
11 45
A Moment of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
mirna-sanders added Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Ammar Tafti, Moharram Zaynalzadeh A Moment of Innocence is a 1996 film directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It is also known as Nun va Goldoon, Bread and Flower, Bread and Flower Pot, and The Bread and the Vase

29
56 60
Black Sheep is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Julie Benz, Gary Busey, David Spade Black Sheep is a 1996 comedy film directed by Penelope Spheeris, written by Fred Wolf and starring Chris Farley and David Spade. The film portrays a political contest in which a candidate for ...more

30
51 41
Sleepers is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
looksharp added Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman Sleepers is a 1996 American legal drama film written, produced, and directed by Barry Levinson, and based on Lorenzo Carcaterra's 1995 novel of the same name.

31
63 74
Beavis and Butt-head Do Americ... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, David Letterman Beavis and Butt-head Do America is a 1996 American animated road comedy film, based on the TV series Beavis and Butt-head. It was produced by Paramount Pictures in association with Geffen ...more

32
63 53
Fear is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Reese Witherspoon, Alyssa Milano, Mark Wahlberg Fear is a 1996 American thriller drama film directed by James Foley. It was written by Christopher Crowe, who created the TV series B.L. Stryker, The Watcher, B.J. and the Bear and Seven Days. ...more

33
80 51
The Craft is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, Christine Taylor The Craft is a 1996 American supernatural thriller film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True. The film's plot centers on a group of ...more

34
56 54
That Thing You Do! is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American musical comedy drama film written, directed by, and co-starring Tom Hanks. Set in the summer of 1964, the movie tells the story of the quick rise and fall ...more

35
20 61
Bottle Rocket is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Owen Wilson, James Caan, Leslie Mann Bottle Rocket is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Wes Anderson. It was co-written by Anderson and Owen Wilson. In addition to being Wes Anderson's directorial debut, Bottle Rocket was the ...more

36
53 52
Star Trek: First Contact is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Patrick Stewart, James Cromwell, Alfre Woodard Star Trek: First Contact is a 1996 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the eighth feature film based on Star Trek, and the first film to feature no cast members ...more

37
37 52
The Long Kiss Goodnight is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Samuel L. Jackson, Geena Davis, Brian Cox The Long Kiss Goodnight is a 1996 action film directed and produced by Renny Harlin, written and produced by Shane Black and starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson.

38
27 49
Courage Under Fire is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Meg Ryan, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington Courage Under Fire is a 1996 film directed by Edward Zwick, and starring Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips and Matt Damon.

39
35 57
Tin Cup is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Don Johnson Tin Cup is a 1996 romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Ron Shelton, and starring Kevin Costner and Rene Russo with Cheech Marin and Don Johnson in major supporting roles.

40
39 51
Phenomenon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
looksharp added John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kyra Sedgwick Phenomenon is a 1996 American romantic fantasy drama film directed by Jon Turteltaub, written by Gerald Di Pego, and starring John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, Robert Duvall, and ...more

41
32 56
Multiplicity is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Julie Bowen, Michael Keaton, Andie MacDowell Multiplicity is a 1996 comedy film, starring Michael Keaton and Andie MacDowell. The film was co-produced and directed by Harold Ramis. The original music score was composed by George Fenton.

42
44 53
Broken Arrow is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
John Travolta, Christian Slater, Howie Long Broken Arrow is a 1996 American action film directed by John Woo, written by Graham Yost, and starring John Travolta and Christian Slater. It deals with the theft of two American nuclear

43
74 44
101 Dalmatians is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Hugh Laurie, Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels 101 Dalmatians is a 1996 family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Stephen Herek. It is the second adaptation of Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One ...more

44
19 60
Waiting for Guffman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
David Cross, Parker Posey, Catherine O'Hara Waiting for Guffman is a comedy in the documentary style starring, co-written and directed by Christopher Guest that was released in 1997. Its cast included Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Fred ...more

45
38 48
Jingle All the Way is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Big Show, Phil Hartman Jingle All the Way is a 1996 American Christmas family comedy film directed by Brian Levant and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad, with Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd, James ...more

46
35 60
The Crucible is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Winona Ryder, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeffrey Jones The Crucible is a 1996 drama film written by Arthur Miller and based on his play of the same name. It was directed by Nicholas Hytner and stars Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor, Winona Ryder as ...more

47
27 52
Ghosts of Mississippi is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, James Woods Ghosts of Mississippi is a 1996 American drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, and James Woods. The plot is based on the true story of the 1994 trial of ...more

48
26 48
Executive Decision is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Halle Berry, Steven Seagal, Kurt Russell Executive Decision is a 1996 American action film directed by Stuart Baird in his directorial debut. The film stars Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Halle Berry, Oliver Platt and John Leguizamo. The ...more

49
39 48
The Ghost and the Darkness is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Val Kilmer, Michael Douglas, Emily Mortimer The Ghost and the Darkness is a 1996 historical adventure film starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas set in Africa at the end of the 19th century. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins and the ...more

50
36 35
James and the Giant Peach is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Dimos Dicoudis added Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss, Joanna Lumley James and the Giant Peach is a 1996 British-American musical fantasy film directed by Henry Selick, based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. It was produced by Tim Burton and ...more