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The Best Movies of 1997 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated April 30, 2020 14.9k votes 960 voters 22.2k views 142 items

List Rules Original movies released in theatres in 1997 ONLY. No Star Wars re-releases should be on here etc

A list of the best movies of 1997, from blockbusters like Men in Black to film noirs like L.A. Confidential. The '90s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. In were new stars and big blockbusters and 1997 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 1997. Who could forget Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon and Robin Williams, Face/Off with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage, and of course, Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. And let's not forget about Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery with Mike Myers and Elizabeth Hurley.

The best movies of 1997 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 Chasing Amy, or established stars like Johnny Depp and Al Pacino in Donnie Brasco.

Some of the best movies of all time were released in 1997. This is the ultimate list of the best movies of 1997, which shouldn't feature the best movies of 1996. 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.
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1
Titanic is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates

Released: 1997

Directed by: James Cameron

Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) ...more

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Weird But True Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Set Of 'Titanic' #203 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

2
Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Matt Damon

Released: 1997

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and ...more

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#57 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #139 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Men in Black is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg

Released: 1997

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld

Men in Black is a 1997 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. ...more

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#623 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #7 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

4
Austin Powers: Internati... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Elizabeth Hurley, Will Ferrell, Carrie Fisher

Released: 1997

Directed by: Jay Roach

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a 1997 American action comedy film and the first installment of the Austin Powers series. It was directed by Jay Roach and written by Mike Myers, ...more

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5
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman

Released: 1997

Directed by: Luc Besson

The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set in the ...more

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Things You Still Don't Know About 'The Fifth Element,' Even After Watching It 500 Times On Cable #4 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #49 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

6
Face/Off is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Gina Gershon

Released: 1997

Directed by: John Woo

Face/Off is a 1997 American science fiction action thriller film directed by John Woo and starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. Travolta is an FBI agent and Cage is a terrorist, sworn enemies ...more

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#47 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #239 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #66 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies

7
As Good as It Gets is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Julie Benz

Released: 1997

Directed by: James L. Brooks

As Good as It Gets is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by James L. Brooks and produced by Laura Ziskin. It stars Jack Nicholson as a misanthropic, homophobic, racist, ...more

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#74 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #203 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

8
L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger

Released: 1997

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a group of ...more

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#86 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #161 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Liar Liar is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Jim Carrey, Jennifer Tilly, Krista Allen

Released: 1997

Directed by: Tom Shadyac

Liar Liar is a 1997 American comedy film written by Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur, directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Jim Carrey who was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance ...more

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#15 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #140 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

10
Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Julianne Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham

Released: 1997

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

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11
Con Air is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi

Released: 1997

Directed by: Simon West

Con Air is a 1997 American action film directed by Simon West and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of The Rock. It stars Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, and John Malkovich. The film borrows ...more

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#21 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #375 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #164 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

12
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino

Released: 1997

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Jackie Brown is a 1997 drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's 1992 novel Rum Punch, the first adaptation from Tarantino, and stars Pam ...more

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#174 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #217 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #805 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

13
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart

Released: 1997

Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

Starship Troopers is a 1997 American military science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier. The story follows a young soldier named Johnny Rico and his ...more

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14
The Lost World: Jurassic... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Julianne Moore, Steven Spielberg, Camilla Belle

Released: 1997

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a 1997 American science fiction adventure directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. The film was produced by ...more

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#190 of 233 The Worst Sequels Of All Time #69 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

15
Donnie Brasco is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Paul Giamatti

Released: 1997

Directed by: Mike Newell

Donnie Brasco is a 1997 American film directed by Mike Newell and starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, and Anne Heche appeared in supporting roles. The ...more

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#91 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #240 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #285 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

16
The Game is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Sean Penn, Michael Douglas, Spike Jonze

Released: 1997

Directed by: David Fincher, Pedro Coutinho

The Game is a 1997 American mystery thriller film directed by David Fincher, starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn, and produced by Propaganda Films and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. It tells ...more

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#22 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #15 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings #25 of 63 Movies You Wish You Could Still Watch for the First Time

17
The Devil's Advocate is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Charlize Theron, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves

Released: 1997

Directed by: Taylor Hackford

The Devil's Advocate is a 1997 American mystery thriller film based on Andrew Neiderman's novel of the same name. It is directed by Taylor Hackford and stars Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, and ...more

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#71 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #301 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #165 of 852 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

18
Air Force One is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close

Released: 1997

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Air Force One is a 1997 American political action thriller film written by Andrew W. Marlowe and directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is about a group of Russian terrorists that ...more

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#217 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #14 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Timelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

19
Gattaca is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Ethan Hawke

Released: 1997

Directed by: Andrew Niccol

Gattaca is a 1997 American science fiction film written and directed by Andrew Niccol. It stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, with Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine, Gore Vidal, and Alan ...more

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20
Contact is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

Released: 1997

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan's 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the ...more

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#20 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #706 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #98 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

21
Hercules is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Danny DeVito, James Woods, Charlton Heston

Released: 1997

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Hercules is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 35th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated ...more

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22
Princess Mononoke is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Claire Danes, Gillian Anderson, Jada Pinkett Smith

Released: 1997

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Princess Mononoke is a 1997 anime epic action historical fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It was animated by Studio Ghibli and produced by Toshio Suzuki. The film stars the ...more

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#64 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #713 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #262 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

23
Selena is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Jennifer Lopez, Constance Marie, Edward James Olmos

Released: 1997

Directed by: Gregory Nava

Selena is a 1997 American biographical musical drama film about the life and career of the late Tejano music star Selena, a recording artist well known in the Mexican-American and Hispanic ...more

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#44 of 123 The Most Rewatchable Movie Musicals #1,206 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #177 of 802 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

24
Grosse Pointe Blank is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Dan Aykroyd, John Cusack, Hank Azaria

Released: 1997

Directed by: George Armitage

Grosse Pointe Blank is a 1997 American comedy film directed by George Armitage, and starring John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin and Dan Aykroyd. The film received positive reviews from ...more

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#111 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #243 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #878 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

25
Scream 2 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 1997
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Courteney Cox, Heather Graham

Released: 1997

Directed by: Wes Craven

Scream 2 is a 1997 American slasher film created and written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven, starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie ...more

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