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1996 Forever And Ever: 96 notable films turning 25 in 2021

1996
Still from 'Independence Day' by 20th Century Fox
 

1996 was a weird and wacky year for cinema: It was full of delights and disasters, passion projects and passionless star vehicles, iconic sci-fi spectacles and The English Patient. It began with a Terry Gilliam classic and ended with Madonna playing Eva Peron. Somewhere in between, the White House was destroyed by aliens following a months-long advertising campaign, and Tom Cruise was forced to show Cuba Gooding, Jr. the money. Remember, this was the same year that Braveheart won Best Picture. It was the heart of the ’90s, and anything was possible in Hollywood.

There were, not one, but two supernatural-themed John Travolta dramas, two Spike Lee classics, and several films co-starring chimpanzees. Filmmakers such as Wes Anderson, Todd Solondz, Alexander Payne, Billy Bob Thornton, Mike Judge, Paul Thomas Anderson, Cheryl Dunye, Tom Hanks, Mary Harron, the Wachowski siblings, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Steve Buscemi released their debut films. Other established filmmakers truly hit their stride: The Coen Brothers released Fargo, Jim Jarmusch put out Dead Man, Lars von Trier destroyed souls with Breaking the Waves, Mike Leigh’s Secrets and Lies won the Palme D’Or at Cannes, and Michael Bay went home and fucked the prom queen with The Rock.

Pauly Shore’s career reached the high-water mark, and Courtney Love delivered an award-worthy turn in a drama about Larry Flynt. Shaq and Sinbad were unwittingly intertwined in the brains of internet conspiracy theorists, and Drew Barrymore was offed in Scream like Janet Leigh in Psycho. Michael Jordan balled out with Bill Murray and Bugs Bunny, Charlie Sheen realized that the Truth Was Out There, and Arnold Schwarzenegger just wanted to get his son a Turbo Man. It was 1996, and shit was absolutely wild, as this list of 96 of the year’s most notable films (and their trailers), all turning 25 this year, will show you.

 
 

January 5: 12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam

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January 12: Bio-Dome, Jason Bloom

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January 12: Don’t Be A Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, Paris Barclay

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January 12: Dunston Checks In, Ken Kwapis

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January 17: From Dusk till Dawn, Robert Rodriguez

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February 2: Black Sheep, Penelope Spheeris

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February 2: Dead Man Walking, Tim Robbins

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February 2: White Squall, Ridley Scott

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February 9: Broken Arrow, John Woo

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February 16: Happy Gilmore, Dennis Dugan

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February 21: Bottle Rocket, Wes Anderson

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March 8: The Birdcage, Mike Nichols

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March 8: Fargo, The Coen Brothers

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March 22: Girl 6, Spike Lee

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March 29: Sgt. Bilko, Jonathan Lynn

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April 12: Fear, James Foley

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April 12: James and the Giant Peach, Henry Selick

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April 19: Celtic Pride, Tom DeCerchio

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April 19: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, Jim Mallon

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April 26: Mulholland Falls, Lee Tamahori

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April 26: The Quest, Jean-Claude Van Damme

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May 1: I Shot Andy Warhol, Mary Harron

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May 3: Barb Wire, David Hogan

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May 3: The Craft, Andrew Fleming

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May 10: Dead Man, Jim Jarmusch

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May 10: Twister, Jan de Bont

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May 22: Mission: Impossible, Brian De Palma

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May 24: Welcome to the Dollhouse, Todd Solondz

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May 31: The Arrival, David Twohy

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May 31: Dragonheart, Rob Cohen

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June 7: The Phantom, Simon Wincer

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June 7: The Rock, Michael Bay

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June 14: The Cable Guy, Ben Stiller

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June 21: Eraser, Chuck Russell

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June 21: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

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June 21: Lone Star, John Sayles

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June 28: The Nutty Professor, Tom Shadyac

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June 28: Striptease, Andrew Bergman

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July 3: Independence Day, Roland Emmerich

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July 5: Phenomenon, Jon Turteltaub

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July 10: Harriet the Spy, Bronwen Hughes

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July 17: Kazaam, Paul M. Glaser

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July 19: The Frighteners, Peter Jackson

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July 19: Trainspotting, Danny Boyle

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July 24: A Time to Kill, Joel Schumacher

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July 26: Joe’s Apartment, John Payson

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July 26: Kingpin, The Farrelly Brothers

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August 2: Matilda, Danny DeVito

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August 9: Basquiat, Julian Schnabel

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August 9: Escape from L.A., John Carpenter

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August 9: Jack, Francis Ford Coppola

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August 16: The Fan, Tony Scott

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August 23: The Island of Dr. Moreau, John Frankenheimer

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August 30: First Kid, David M. Evans

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August 30: The Stupids, John Landis

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September 6: Bogus, Norman Jewison

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September 6: Bulletproof, Ernest R. Dickerson

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September 13: American Buffalo, Michael Corrente

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September 13 Feeling Minnesota, Steven Baigelman

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September 20: Big Night, Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci

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September 20: Last Man Standing, Walter Hill

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September 27: Two Days in the Valley, John Herzfeld

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September 27: Secrets & Lies, Mike Leigh

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October 4: Bound, Lana and Lily Wachowski

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October 4: That Thing You Do!, Tom Hanks

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October 11: The Long Kiss Goodnight, Renny Harlin

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October 11: Michael Collins, Neil Jordan

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October 16: Get on the Bus, Spike Lee

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October 18: Sleepers, Barry Levinson

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October 18: Swingers, Doug Liman

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October 25: Thinner, Tom Holland

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November 1: Bad Moon, Eric Red

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November 1: The Funeral, Abel Ferrara

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November 1: Romeo + Juliet, Baz Luhrmann

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November 8: Ransom, Ron Howard

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November 13: Breaking the Waves, Lars von Trier

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November 15: The English Patient, Anthony Minghella

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November 15: Space Jam, Joe Pytka

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November 22: Jingle All the Way, Brian Levant

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November 22: Shine, Scott Hicks

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November 22: Star Trek: First Contact, Jonathan Frakes

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November 27: 101 Dalmatians, Stephen Herek

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November 27: The Crucible, Nicholas Hytner

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November 27: Sling Blade, Billy Bob Thornton

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December 6: Daylight, Rob Cohen

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December 13: Citizen Ruth, Alexander Payne

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December 13: Jerry Maguire, Cameron Crowe

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December 13: Mars Attacks, Tim Burton

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December 20: Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Mike Judge

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December 20: Scream, Wes Craven

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December 24: The Portrait of a Lady, Jane Campion

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December 25: Evita, Alan Parker

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December 25: Hamlet, Kenneth Branagh

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December 25: Michael, Nora Ephron

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December 25: Mother, Albert Brooks

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December 25: The People vs. Larry Flint, Milos Forman