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20 Years in Film – Our Favorite Movies from 1996

Although some might be a bit biased, the 90s is commonly known as one of the best decades. Whether you’re referring to the music, the fashion, the beauty trends, the 90’s had it all. And even though we’ve come a long way in cinema, there’s still nothing quite like a good a 90’s movie. You know a movie’s good when we quickly remember the lines we love and can probably be found quoting them years later. Many movies have come out in the past 20 years, but something about the decade and its movies has left their mark on the big screen.

Here are the films we still remember from 1996.

20 Years in Film: Don't Be a Menace

Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood

In January 1996, we saw what would be one of the first movie parodies. Brother Shawn and Marlon Wayans star in this comedy that poked fun and recreated scenes from other popular black films. Although this movie was met with generally negative reviews from critics, it is definitely a movie that is still remembered. Simply from the name, they parodied Menace II Society, South Central, Juice, and Boyz n the Hood. They also parodied the movies Do the Right Thing, Above the Rim, and Friday.

20 Years in Film: The Nutty Professor

The Nutty Professor

In June 1996, Eddie Murphy appeared in the biggest movie of his career since Coming to America. In The Nutty Professor, Murphy took to the screen in a modern day Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The story starred Sherman Klump, a morbidly obese professor and research scientist who developed a pharmaceutical drug that transformed him into Buddy Love, a skinnier, cockier, and more obnoxious version of himself. This film also stars Jada Pinkett-Smith, but Eddie Murphy stole the screen appearing as 7 different characters. Hercules, Hercules!

20 Years in Film: Independence Day

Independence Day

Known as one of the best sci-fi films of all time, millions of people took the theaters on July 4 to see Will Smith in Independence Day. This movie follows the stories of people in Nevada who have survived an attack by an extraterrestrial race. On July 4, they plan their own counterattack, hence the film’s title, Independence Day. This film went on to be the highest grossing film of 1996 and as of 2016 is still the 55th highest grossing film. A sequel to this film, Independence Day: Resurgence was released in June 2016.

20 Years in Film: The Preacher's Wife

The Preacher’s Wife

In 1996, Courtney B. Vance took to the film screen alongside Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington. The story follows a preacher (Vance) who is under extreme pressure of rebuilding his parish while rebuffing a real estate developer who wants to build condos in the area. Vance prays for help and receives in the form of Dudley (Washington) who essentially allows Vance to restore the church and focus on his wife (Houston) and family. With the soundtrack being the best-selling gospel album of all time, this film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score.

20 Years in Film: Space Jam

Space Jam

If you missed out on the film Space Jam, there’s a chance you were living under a rock. With an all-star cast of celebrity basketball players and Looney Tunes, this film creates a fictional story of what happened in Michael Jordan’s life between his departure from basketball in 1993 and his return in 1995. When the Looney Tunes are challenged to a game of basketball by the Nerdlucks, they recruit the help of Michael Jordan. In this film, we see appearances from NBA greats like Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, and Larry Bird.

20 Years in Film: Set It Off

Set It Off

Set it Off is definitely a cult classic in the black community. Starring Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise, this film tells the story of four friends living in Los Angeles. The story starts when Frankie (Fox) is fired from her job as a bank teller when the police believe she is connected to an on-site robbery. When she joins her friends Stoney, Cleo, and T.T. at a janitorial company, the friends decide to rob a bank themselves. With hopes of moving out of the projects, they soon find that their actions lead to fatal ends.

1996 was definitely a huge year in films. Some of Hollywood’s biggest actors like Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Queen Latifah made this decade what it was. Whether it be 10 years from now or 20 years from now, these films will never be forgotten.

In the comments, let us know what your favorite movie from 1996 was.

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