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Top 10 Movies Of 1996 & How To Stream Them

Intense blockbusters and an iconic 90s movie scene

Get the popcorn ready for the best movies of 1996

Natural disaster movies, chemical warfare, alien invasion and kidnapping – at first glimpse the best movies of 1996 were quite intense storylines.

Throw is a Nutty Professor and we got two of Tom Cruise’s all-time greatest movies – 1996 was one hell of a year for blockbuster hits.

Also don’t forget 1996 was the year everyone was scared to answer their landlines at night with one of the most iconic 90s movie scenes… “what’s your favourite scary movie?”

Sitting comfortably? Here are our top movies 1996 list


Back in 1996, a small independent movie was hobbled together on a shoestring budget (£1.5 million), that would put Danny Boyle firmly on the map.

Based on an Irvine Welsh novel, it catapulted a cast of unknown actors (Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle) into the mainstream.

With its dark comedy and dramatic scenes, capturing 90s hedonism, the growing Britpop scene and underground drug culture, it marvellously captured the zeitgeist of the time. 

IMDb: 8.1/10

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle and more

How to stream Trainspotting

The Rock

If you were hoping for a movie about Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson, turn away! This ’96 classic features Sean Connery as ex-spy John Mason, and Nicholas Cage as chemical warfare expert Stanley Goodspeed.

The duo team up to prevent a chemical war unfold, planned on the island of Alcatraz. With action-packed scenes, it was one of the top 10 grossing movies of 1996.

IMDb: 7.4/10

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris and more

How to stream The Rock


1996 box office movies were low on thrills… until Wes Craven snuck this one in.

The classic scream-out-loud flick centres around a masked knife maniac stalker who infiltrates an all-American high school. Blood, gore and a touch of dark comedy make this highly memorable in the slasher-horror genre, with performances from; Drew Barrymore, Skeet Ulrich, Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell and David Arquette amongst the impressive line-up.

IMDb: 7.3/10

Cast: Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell, David Arquette and more

How to stream Scream

See also: Most icon movie scenes of the 90s

Jerry Maguire

Tom Cruise is at his best, convincingly playing sports agent Jerry Maguire. Ditching the frustrations of working for a leading sports agency, Maguire decides to go it alone, taking with him the goldfish and agent Dorothy (Renee Zellweger).

His ace card, ticket to success, and only client is football player Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Junior).  With the pressure mounting, and a romance between Dorothy and Jerry forming, it’s a whirlwind ride showing the highs, lows and touchdowns of the sports industry. It certainly ‘showed us the money’ too as the fourth highest-grossing film in the top movies 1996 list.

IMDb: 7.3/10

Cast: Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr. and more

How to stream Jerry Maguire

Mission: Impossible

Graduating straight out of the James Bond school of filmography, came Mission: Impossible.

The familiar story of US secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) performing jaw-dropping stunts with big-budget scenes and heart-pumping action. You’ve seen it all before, but this polished blockbuster somehow makes it feel all quite original, spawning several more to come…

IMDb: 7.1/10

Cast: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Jon Voight and more

How to stream Mission:Impossible

Independence Day

Digging into the bank of late 50s themed sci-fi thrillers that aliens were coming for us, Independence Day made a crater-size impact, as the number one movie in 1996.

Beating all other box office records of the year ($306 million), its all-star cast includes Will Smith as Captain Hiller, Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson and Bill Pullman as the President, no less. Made for the cinematic environment, this epic story taps into mankind’s fear of the unknown…

IMDb: 7/10

Cast: Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and more

How to stream Independence Day


When Tom Mullen’s (Mel Gibson) son is snatched and held to ransom, Tom agrees to pay up. But the multi-millionaire soon turns it on his head, going against all the advice given, and uses the ransom money as a bounty to catch the criminals live on national TV.

IMDb: 6.7/10

Cast: Mel Gibson, Brawley Nolte, Gary Sinise and more

How to stream Ransom


One of the unexpected 1996 box office hits, Twister was the second-highest grossing movie of the year, even it if ranked lowly in the ratings war. Jo and Ben are in the throes of divorce when their expertise is called upon as meteorologists for a series of apocalyptic tornadoes invading the city.

IMDb: 6.4/10

Cast: Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt, Jami Gertz and more

How to stream Twister

101 Dalmatians

101 Dalmatians brings the Disney classic tale to life.

Cruella DeVil (Glen Close) is a mean-spirited fashion designer, who rather gruesomely, wants to get her hands on a new litter of Dalmatians to turn into a fur coat. When the animal kingdom comes together, things don’t quite go to plan.

IMDb: 5.7/10

Cast: Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson and more

How to stream 101 Dalmatians

The Nutty Professor

In a film that probably wouldn’t survive these politically correct times, Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) is a kind-hearted but oversize professor.

Deciding to use science to downsize, it’s not just his body shape that transforms, but his personality too. Although critics weren’t impressed, it managed to be one of the top 1996 box office hits. The largely improvised dialogue and Murphy taking on several of the roles in the film, make it quite watchable. 

IMDb: 5.6/10

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, Larry Miller and more

How to stream The Nutty Professor

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