A Very Good 12 months: 10 Prime Motion pictures From 1997


In 1997, Invoice Clinton started his second time period as President, and Madeleine Albright grew to become our first feminine Secretary of State.  Hong Kong reverted to Chinese language rule. Steve Jobs rejoined Apple, and “The Lion King” opened on Broadway. Tragically, Princess Diana was killed in a automotive crash whereas making an attempt to evade the paparazzi in Paris. 

And late that yr, James Cameron’s epic “Titanic” hit theaters like a tsunami. It was, in fact, a real sensation and aptly named, its influence like an immense ocean liner plowing by all the opposite ships on its course.

At simply over two billion {dollars} in field workplace income, it stands at present because the third highest grossing film of all time, simply behind “Avatar” and “Avengers: Endgame.”

In actual fact, “Titanic” capped an impressive run of characteristic movies that yr, masking a number of genres and together with distinctive titles geared toward discerning adults in addition to children and teenagers. 

Twenty-five years later, it appears like yesterday, but on the similar time an eternity. A lot has modified. Will the film trade ever expertise one other banner yr like 1997, not simply in field workplace phrases but additionally the vary and high quality of its output? It’s an open query.

Right here then are my very own ten favorites from 1997, all of which amply reward return visits. 


Curtis Hanson’s noir tribute vividly recreates the seamy underside of 1950’s Los Angeles on this story of corrupt cops and myriad different Tinseltown hangers-on and wannabes. Amongst a uniformly effective solid, Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey and an Oscar-winning Kim Basinger are stand-outs. Unmissable.

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Dynamite drama set within the Seventies portrays the glory days of porn movies. We observe the cautionary story of Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) who makes use of his pure presents to climb to the highest. Offering colour and help are Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, and Burt Reynolds as a blasé director.

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Hayao Miyazaki produced a slew of visually beautiful anime classics over his lengthy profession, however this can be his masterpiece. A dense, transporting fantasy involving a curse, numerous forest gods and a valiant princess, the movie’s feminist slant- and its environmental message- solely add to the marvel of all of it.

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Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote this shifting, perceptive indie movie a couple of troubled, working class younger man (Damon) with a hidden present for arithmetic. When Will lands in bother, he’s pressured to see a therapist (an excellent Robin Williams) who sees his potential. Small film, huge influence.

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Pleasant, touching comedy from James Brooks contains a stand-out, Oscar-winning efficiency from Jack Nicholson as a reclusive writer stricken with extreme OCD who strikes up a tentative friendship with a waitress (Helen Hunt) on the diner he visits each day. Romance and journey ensue. 

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Ang Lee’s intense, deliciously darkish story set within the early seventies stars Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, and Tobey Maguire as an prosperous, wildly dysfunctional suburban household headed for a grim reckoning. Lee maintains a subtly ominous temper all through; this slow-burn thriller by no means as soon as overplays its hand.

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Quentin Tarantino’s most laid again, least self-conscious characteristic can be considered one of his greatest. Primarily based on an Elmore Leonard e book, the plot facilities on a bail bondsman (Robert Forster) who will get cunning flight attendant Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) launched from jail after a drug smuggling arrest. However Jackie’s nonetheless in severe hazard.

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Roberto Benigni wrote, directed and starred on this heart-tugging story of an Italian Jew (Benigni) who lands in a focus camp along with his younger son throughout World Warfare 2. He makes use of fantasy and make-believe to consolation his boy on this grim, bewildering surroundings. Received Oscars for Finest International Movie, Actor and Rating.

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Donnie (Johnny Depp) is an spy who infiltrates the mob, cozying as much as an previous soldier named Lefty (Al Pacino), a talkative character who’s by no means risen within the ranks. Finally, an actual bond is fashioned along with his would-be mentor, which complicates the task. Depp delivers, but it surely’s Pacino’s film.

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John Woo’s over-the-top actioner is pure adrenalized leisure. Nicolas Cage is Castor Troy, the world’s most harmful and colourful terrorist, pursued by dogged FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta). Via a weird accident (and facial transplants), the 2 adversaries change identities. Hold on for a wild trip.

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