15 Best Movies of 1997

Twenty years ago, on the new year’s eve, Paul Thomas Anderson was an unheard name, Leonardo DiCaprio was known as a child actor, Quentin Tarantino was yet to pass the third film litmus test despite his previous outing having a cult following, The Godfather was the highest grossing film and most importantly I wasn’t even born.

On a serious note, ‘97 was one of the best years for Cinema which saw some great technical endeavors behind the camera, some categorically bold content in front of it and above all a milestone box-office collection being set that won’t be dethroned for a decade. Here is the list of the 15 best films of 1997:


15. In the Company of Men

Misogynistic, Misanthropic, Cruel or Unforgiving are the words that could aptly describe Chad. The character is so dark yet so relatable. Every man has a Chad inside him in different proportions .What happens when Chad forms a pact with a more quiet and passive Howard to woo insecure women, manipulate them and finally dump them forms the rest of the plot. This Neil LaBute debut works great as a black comedy which deals with not-so-often discussed fears and insecurities of the male population.


14. Starship Troopers

Come on, digest it. On the very same year Titanic was released, another movie with excessive gore, uncouth sex and to top it all some terrible CGI was made and both are placed in my “15 Best films” of the year. Before you get on with yourself, this is one of the best satires I’ve ever seen. It tackles the topics of jingoism, male chauvinism and right wing militarism with humour. The best thing about this movie is it never takes itself too seriously. That said, this movie isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.


13. The Apostle

90’s could be called as the era of faith, where religion and it’s lessons ruled Hollywood. But don’t worry if you don’t remember any such movie. Because eleven in a dozen is crap. And one such one is “The Apostle”, the dream project of Robert Duvall. We generally don’t root for perfect people. Protagonists of those eleven crappy movies are way too driven by faith to be grounded, that they could actually connect with us. That’s where The Apostle stands different. It’s protagonist is a preacher, but not a Buddha. He kills his wife’s lover. And he doesn’t surrender. He runs away. That makes his character accessible and Robert Duvall as the writer, actor and director does complete justice to each of these roles.


12. The Game

No one can churn out thrillers the way David Fincher does. Highly gripping and deeply atmospheric it won’t be exaggeration to call Fincher as the best thriller filmmaker when it comes to contemporary cinema. The Game is certainly one of the best thrillers of the nineties but didn’t quite receive the praise it deserves because it came between “The Seven” and “Fight Club”, two modern masterpieces. Although, it deserved a better ending this movie is certainly watch-worthy.


11. The Ice Storm

Ang Lee’s best film yet, The Ice Storm is brilliant thanks to a stellar ensemble. This Drama works through catharsis as you relate to members of the two dysfunctional families. The characters are deep and have a well defined trajectory which sets it a level above other family dramas. The film won the award for best screenplay and I’d say it deserves every ounce of it.

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