1996 Films Reviewed

NOTE: As you'll know if you read my bio I don't live in the US, or even in Europe (well, not really), so don't expect too many up-to-the-minute reviews here. Note the heading: these are all 1996 movies but not (necessarily) 1996 reviews. I doubt I'll be seeing too many end-of-year US releases before mid-'97 at the earliest - and, as far as independents are concerned, I'll probably have to wait for when (and if) they come out on video.

For those films that I actually watched in '96 - like "Broken Arrow", from almost two years ago now - I haven't tried to write a "new" review. What's here is whatever I put down at the time, intended only for myself and my friends (hey, we're all friends here). I did make a half-hearted attempt to re-write from scratch, but it's amazing how much you forget about a movie a few months later, especially when you watch so many - and when the movie is, say, "Broken Arrow". Hopefully future reviews will be more detailed (but don't hold your breath), and I also promise to try and write shorter sentences from now on.

How the Ratings Work: Basically, anything from 60 (%) and over is recommended. 70-80 are the "good" films, the ones in contention for end-of-year lists, stimulating or impressive or fascinating or just very skilful entertainments - but with something missing, like a date you really want to see again but know you aren't in love with. Over 80 are the Something Specials, the modern classics, or just the films that get an emotional reaction out of you (well okay, out of me); there's rarely more than a half-dozen of these every year (usually fewer).

Moving on down, 40-60 are competent and/or interesting films where I like some things and not others (most of the Hollywood blockbusters fall into this category); generally, for a film in the 50s the good aspects outweigh the bad, and vice versa for a film in the 40s. Below that, 20-40 are unequivocally mediocre and/or disappointing films, which don't really work but aren't unwatchable either. And, last but least, under 20 are the really awful or really irritating (not always the same thing), of which thankfully I don't see more than a dozen or so per year - mainly because I've given up all Steven Seagal vehicles, Whoopi Goldberg vehicles, comedies starring TV comics, straight-to-video "erotic thrillers", and American family films featuring any combination of little kids and marine life.

Due to overwhelming popular demand (had to hire a special guy just to sort through all the e-mail), it's now possible to see a list of all these 1996 Films Ranked by Rating. No request too bizarre here at the Century of Movies...

(V) = film seen only on video

Films not linked to a review are "coming soon".

Title (Rating)