So shoot me. Apollo 13, Ron Howard's stirring take on a failed moon mission, is the kind of epic celebration of triumph in adversity that wins awards. It's just that these 10 smaller movies impressed me more.
1. Get Shorty: Elmore Leonard's crime fiction is the basis for a never more pertinent satire about Hollywood's fear of reality.
2. Leaving Las Vegas: Mike Figgis directs Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue in the year's most fearless and touching romance.
3. Crumb: One man's obsession with big boobs and butts becomes a masterly chronicle of life, art and family dysfunction.
4. Kids: Harmony Korine was 19 when he wrote the script, which offers a look at teens without the usual glib, comforting answers.
5. Sense and Sensibility/Persuasion/Clueless: It's the Jane Austen trilogy – three films that brought to fresh, funny and stinging life the work of an English writer dead for 178 years. I bet Jane never thought her Emma would turn up as a Beverly Hills high school student who looked like Alicia Silverstone.
6. The Usual Suspects: The search for the evil Keyser Soze sparks the year's freshest and wittiest thriller, with performances by Kevin Spacey and Benicio Del Toro that must be seen to be believed.
7. Devil in a Blue Dress: Carl Franklin crafts a black Chinatown, and Denzel Washington seizes a great role as a detective sniffing out moral corruption.
8. Dead Man Walking: Writer and director Tim Robbins drops the polemics to put a human face on the death-penalty issue.
9. Priest: Antonia Bird stirs up a tempest with this heartbreaker about a gay priest (Linus Roache) at odds with his church.
10. To Die For: A killingly funny Nicole Kidman earns her acting chops in Gus Van Sant's spoof of our obsession with celebrity.
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