90s Movies The Best Movies of 1996  

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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
156 100
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
120 119
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
125 104
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
171 89
Scream is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
93 107
Primal Fear is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
143 100
Happy Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
67 130
The English Patient is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
180 96
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
120 116
Space Jam is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
81 66
Sling Blade is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
114 65
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
85 66
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
73 86
Ransom is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
123 66
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
132 72
Twister is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
32 73
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
30 76
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
61 74
Swingers is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
99 64
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
76 76
The Birdcage is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
67 70
The People vs. Larry Flynt is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
98 82
Mars Attacks! is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
85 88
Romeo + Juliet is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
87 65
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
46 106
Jack is listed (or ranked) 25 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