Best Ten of 1996
1. Big Night. Art vs. commerce, sibling rivalry and great Italian food at the Jersey shore in the Fifties.
2. Fargo. Yah, hon. Murder meets mirth in the frozen nort' country, courtesy of the Coen brothers.
3. Secrets & Lies. Britain's Mike Leigh examines a shattered London family--and its long-lost daughters.
4. Lone Star. John Sayles's best takes on memory, race and the power of ghosts on the Rio Grande.
5. Flirting With Disaster. Smart sleeper finds adoptee Ben Stiller on a wild comic search for his birth parents.
6. The English Patient. War, romance and the tug of conscience on the windswept Sahara; Lawrence of A. would love it.
7. Emma. The Jane Austen craze ends on a high note--lovely Gwyneth Paltrow.
8. The People vs. Larry Flynt. Woody Harrelson scores as the notorious Hustler publisher and First Amendment champion.
9. Trainspotting. Searing group portrait of Edinburgh junkies is the cult hit of the year.
10. Cold Fever. Will Fridrik Thor Fridriksson's quirky tale of a young Japanese tourist in Iceland even get video release?
Worst Ten of 1996
1. Striptease. No contest: Demi Moore takes 12 mil to take off her shirt; only assets briefly exposed.
2. Independence Day. Paint-by-numbers mayhem destroys White House, sets movies back in the process.
3. The Cable Guy. Comic hotshot Jim Carrey gets mired in a nasty, unfunny clunker.
4. Jack. Did the great Coppola really direct Robin Williams in this mess about another eleven-year-old trapped in a grownup's body?
5. Up Close and Personal. Pfeiffer's the bimbo rising fast in TV news, Redford's her seasoned mentor and...Oh, forget it.
6. A Time to Kill. Get outta town, John Grisham, with your wooden lawyers and plastic Ku Klux Klansmen.
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7. Feeling Minnesota. Bloody Tarantino imitators hit low tide.
8. Surviving Picasso. Have you heard? Pablo was a horny old goat with an accent just like Anthony Hopkins's.
9. Diabolique. Classic Remake Hell, with Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani as the killers.
10. The Island of Dr. Moreau. Classic Remake Hell II, with Brando and Hollywood bad boy Val Kilmer as the guys now hiding their heads.