Want to relive 1996 at the box office? Then check out these movies that are turning 25 this year.
One of the biggest summer blockbusters of all time, and the one with the best speech from a fictional president, Independence Day was a massive cultural force in 1996. Plus, it was just scary enough to be cool enough to watch at a sleepover, but not so scary as to send everyone home.
The English Patient
Ah, the artsy film everyone loved and then everyone hated. People were drawn to The English Patient’s wartime setting, Oscar-nominated performances, and sumptuous plot. Then Seinfeld made a bunch of jokes about hating it, and nineties contrarians turned on the film. But it’s genuinely a great movie.
Give us this Terry Gilliam sci-fi weirdness over a CGI spectacle any day of the week.
Let’s be clear: Kazaam is a real movie that exists, and it stars Shaquille O’Neal. There was never a film named Shazaam starring Sinbad, no matter what you remember.
Jingle All the Way
This movie, however, does have Sinbad. And Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fighting over an action figure they want because they need Christmas presents for their respective kids. It’s actually a pretty decent family movie.
You want a charming film about accepting your family for who they are and not being afraid to love who you love? The Birdcage is one of the best heart-warming comedies of all time, hands down. Oh, and it has Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, and Dianne Wiest.
You either love Mars Attacks! or you hate it. We find the sci-fi campiness Tim Burton brings to the screen delightful.
The Cable Guy
Here’s another reminder that Jim Carrey was the king of the nineties box office. The Cable Guy had a mixed reception on release, but it’s since found a cult audience. Of course, it helps that the rest of the cast includes Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann, Jack Black, George Segal, Diane Baker, Eric Roberts, Owen Wilson, Janeane Garofalo, David Cross, Andy Dick, Ben Stiller, and Bob Odenkirk. Apparently when Ben Stiller directs, he just gets all his comedy legend friends to help.
The slasher that launched a whole new wave of late nineties slashers—all very self-aware and full of commentary on the horror genre, thank you very much.
Why exactly did the Looney Tunes have to play the Monstars in basketball? Admittedly, the plot doesn’t make much sense, but Space Jam has funny cartoon characters, Michael Jordan, and a bangin’ soundtrack. Also, Marvin the Martian shouldn’t be allowed to officiate a game.
Wow, 1996 was a big year for movies. This Coen brothers neonoir was one of the first in a wave of low-budget, high-quality indie movies that changed Hollywood. And from now on, we can’t look at someone using a woodchipper without cracking a joke.
Muppet Treasure Island
It’s the best Muppet film ever made and the best version of Treasure Island out there. He died? And this is supposed to be a kids movie!
Even though it’s on cable TV basically all the time, Twister is a pretty good movie. The cast is great, the premise is interesting, and Bill Paxton plays a kind of smart, good-hearted everyman. The kind of character we wish we’d see more often, come to think of it. Rest in peace, you gentle soul.