Entertainment

The Best Movies of 1996 

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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
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

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#355 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Theories About Why The Coen Bros. Had Marge Gunderson Go On A Date In Fargolisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Scream is listed (or ranked) 2 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

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3
Jerry Maguire is listed (or ranked) 3 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

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#4 of 67 Every Movie Coming To Netflix In February 2020 #362 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 4 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

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#485 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #90 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books

5
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 5 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

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#4 of 192 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madefeaturing 13 Things That Prove Pacific Rim And Independence Day Are The Exact Same Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
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

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#100 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #321 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madefeaturing 'Happy Gilmore' Is Secretly A Drama About Dealing With Loss And Grief

7
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 7 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

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#148 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #51 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

8
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

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9
The Rock is listed (or ranked) 9 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

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10
Twister is listed (or ranked) 10 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

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#312 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #339 of 571 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Arelisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

11
Sling Blade is listed (or ranked) 11 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

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#475 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #247 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
From Dusk till Dawn is listed (or ranked) 12 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

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13
A Time to Kill is listed (or ranked) 13 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

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#25 of 720 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #286 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #289 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

14
Primal Fear is listed (or ranked) 14 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

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#5 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings #22 of 59 The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins

15
Kingpin is listed (or ranked) 15 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

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#210 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #100 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

16
Romeo + Juliet is listed (or ranked) 16 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

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#464 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #37 of 324 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

17
The People vs. Larry Fly... is listed (or ranked) 17 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

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18
Mars Attacks! is listed (or ranked) 18 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

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19
The Cable Guy is listed (or ranked) 19 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

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#229 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #285 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #57 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies

20
The Nutty Professor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 1996
Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, Dave Chappelle
The Nutty Professor is a 1996 American slapstick science-fiction comedy film directed by Tom Shadyac, and a remake of the 1963 film, which starred Jerry Lewis. Grossly overweight yet ...more

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21
The Craft is listed (or ranked) 21 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

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#141 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #114 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Moviesfeaturing Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'The Craft'

22
Sleepers is listed (or ranked) 22 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.

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#13 of 46 The Greatest Legal Dramas Ever Made #21 of 23 The Very Best Courtroom Thriller Movies

23
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Swingers is listed (or ranked) 24 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

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#70 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #520 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #420 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

25
That Thing You Do! is listed (or ranked) 25 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

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