(Photo by Ron Batzdorff/©Overture Films/Courtesy Everett Collectionn)

All Edward Norton Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Primal Fear was notable for being a pretty crafty legal thriller and for introducing Edward Norton to the public sphere. Here was a 27-year-old no one’s ever heard of, going toe to toe with Richard Gere, still in the long afterglow of Pretty Woman, and coming out on top with Golden Globe and Oscar acting noms. That he was also in two Certified Fresh films (Everyone Says I Love You, The People Vs. Larry Flynt) the same year as Fear just about seals the deal for the most auspicious debut for an American actor.

The violent, intelligent, and complex performances in Best Actor-nominated American History X and Fight Club, made Norton, for better or worse, an icon of modern masculinity. Naturally, he followed it up with a rom-com: Keeping the Faith, also Norton’s directorial debut, and indicative of a filmmaker willing to power against expectation, behind and in front of the camera.

Norton then got to work with some heavyweights: Marlon Brando in his final film The Score, Robin Williams in Death to Smoochy, and Anthony Hopkins in Red Dragon. He infamously sneered through his contractually obligated role in The Italian Job, which only amplified the villain role.

Just a month after the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with Iron Man, Norton starred in The Incredible Hulk as Bruce Banner. He opted not to appear any further due to the multi-movie commitment required of the MCU, the role then going to Mark Ruffalo.

Norton struck a working partnership with Wes Anderson, who has been the source of most of his Certified Fresh movies in the past decade: Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs. His other Certified movies? Sausage Party, voicing Sammy Bagel Jr., and Birdman, where he satirizes his persnickety reputation, leading to this third acting Oscar nomination.

And Norton kept the faith on pulling double duty as actor and director – and writing the screenplay, too – with Motherless Brooklyn, released in 2019. And now, we’re looking back on all Edward Norton movies and ranking them by Tomatometer!

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 24130%
Critics Consensus: Well-meaning but fundamentally flawed, Collateral Beauty aims for uplift but collapses in unintentional hilarity.
Synopsis: When a successful New York advertising executive (Will Smith) suffers a great tragedy, he retreats from life. While his concerned... [More]
Directed By: David Frankel

#28

Pride and Glory (2008)
35%

#28
Adjusted Score: 40454%
Critics Consensus: Formulaic in its plotting and cliched in its dialogue, Pride and Glory does little to distinguish itself from other police procedurals.
Synopsis: Ray Tierney (Edward Norton) comes from a family full of New York cops, including his father (Jon Voight), brother Francis... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 46045%
Critics Consensus: Although it's an objective and handsomely presented take on the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven lacks depth.
Synopsis: Still in grief over his wife's sudden death, village blacksmith Balian (Orlando Bloom) joins his long-estranged father, Baron Godfrey (Liam... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#26

Death to Smoochy (2002)
42%

#26
Adjusted Score: 45677%
Critics Consensus: The talent involved can't save a script that has nowhere to go with its promising premise.
Synopsis: Tells the story of Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams), the corrupt, costumed star of a popular children's TV show, who is... [More]
Directed By: Danny DeVito

#25

Stone (2010)
50%

#25
Adjusted Score: 53074%
Critics Consensus: Stone boasts a cast that includes Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Milla Jovovich, and it features strong dialogue, but it's ultimately undone by its heavy-handed symbolism and overabundant plot twists.
Synopsis: Parole officer Jack Mabry (Robert De Niro) is just days from retirement and busy wrapping up the last few cases,... [More]
Directed By: John Curran

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 55437%
Critics Consensus: The premise of Old West clashing with modern suburbia is fresh and initially intriguing, but the second act degenerates into a clumsy jumble of events which strain credibility.
Synopsis: On a trip to the beach, a teenage girl named Tobe (Evan Rachel Wood) meets a charismatic stranger named Harlan... [More]
Directed By: David Jacobson

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 65620%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite as compelling as the earlier trilogy, but The Bourne Legacy proves the franchise has stories left to tell -- and benefits from Jeremy Renner's magnetic work in the starring role.
Synopsis: When the actions of Jason Bourne spark a fire that threatens to burn down decades of research across a number... [More]
Directed By: Tony Gilroy

#22

Leaves of Grass (2009)
61%

#22
Adjusted Score: 60518%
Critics Consensus: Edward Norton delivers one of his finest performances in Leaves of Grass, but he's overpowered by the movie's many jarring tonal shifts.
Synopsis: An Ivy League professor (Edward Norton) returns home, where his pot-growing twin brother has concocted a plan to take down... [More]
Directed By: Tim Blake Nelson

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 76095%
Critics Consensus: Motherless Brooklyn's imposing length requires patience, but strong performances and a unique perspective make this a mystery worth investigating.
Synopsis: Lionel Essrog is a lonely private detective who doesn't let Tourette's syndrome stand in the way of his job. Gifted... [More]
Directed By: Edward Norton

#20

Rounders (1998)
65%

#20
Adjusted Score: 70039%
Critics Consensus: Richly atmospheric and colorful performances contributed to the movie's entertainment value.
Synopsis: Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) loses his money in a poker game against Russian gangster Teddy "KGB" (John Malkovich). Under pressure... [More]
Directed By: John Dahl

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 76372%
Critics Consensus: The Incredible Hulk may not be quite the smashing success that fans of Marvel's raging behemoth might hope for, but it offers more than enough big green action to make up for its occasionally puny narrative.
Synopsis: Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately seeks a cure for the gamma radiation that contaminated his cells and turned him... [More]
Directed By: Louis Leterrier

#18

Red Dragon (2002)
68%

#18
Adjusted Score: 74432%
Critics Consensus: Competently made, but everything is a bit too familiar.
Synopsis: Ex-FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 73820%
Critics Consensus: A dramedy featuring an unusual love triangle, Keeping the Faith is a perceptive look at how religion affects us in everyday life.
Synopsis: Best friends since they were kids, Rabbi Jacob Schram (Ben Stiller) and Father Brian Finn (Edward Norton) are dynamic and... [More]
Directed By: Edward Norton

#16

The Score (2001)
73%

#16
Adjusted Score: 77758%
Critics Consensus: Though the movie treads familiar ground in the heist/caper genre, Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando make the movie worth watching.
Synopsis: Career thief Nick Wells (Robert De Niro) is about to mastermind a nearly impossible theft that will require his joining... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#15

The Italian Job (2003)
73%

#15
Adjusted Score: 78039%
Critics Consensus: Despite some iffy plot elements, The Italian Job succeeds in delivering an entertaining modern take on the original 1969 heist film, thanks to a charismatic cast.
Synopsis: After a heist in Venice, Steve (Edward Norton) turns on his partners in crime, killing safecracker John Bridger (Donald Sutherland)... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#14

The Painted Veil (2006)
74%

#14
Adjusted Score: 79326%
Critics Consensus: Visually, The Painted Veil has all the trappings of a stuffy period drama, but Norton's and Watts's deft portrayals of imperfect, complicated characters give the film a modern-day spark.
Synopsis: Caught in an affair with another man (Liev Schreiber), a scientist's callow wife (Naomi Watts) accompanies her husband (Edward Norton)... [More]
Directed By: John Curran

#13

The Illusionist (2006)
73%

#13
Adjusted Score: 80556%
Critics Consensus: The Illusionist is an engrossing, well-crafted story of mystery, magic and intrigue that is certain to enchant, if not hypnotize, audiences.
Synopsis: A master magician named Eisenheim (Edward Norton) vies with Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) of Vienna for the hand of... [More]
Directed By: Neil Burger

#12

Primal Fear (1996)
76%

#12
Adjusted Score: 78645%
Critics Consensus: Primal Fear is a straightforward yet entertaining thriller elevated by a crackerjack performance from Edward Norton.
Synopsis: Defense attorney Martin Vail takes on jobs for money and prestige rather than any sense of the greater good. His... [More]
Directed By: Gregory Hoblit

#11

Frida (2002)
75%

#11
Adjusted Score: 80256%
Critics Consensus: Frida is a passionate, visually striking biopic about the larger-than-life artist.
Synopsis: This is the true story of Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) and her husband Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), the larger-than-life painters... [More]
Directed By: Julie Taymor

#10

25th Hour (2002)
79%

#10
Adjusted Score: 83820%
Critics Consensus: An intelligent and well-acted film despite the usual Spike Lee excesses.
Synopsis: In New York City in the days following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Monty Brogan (Edward Norton) steels himself... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 81414%
Critics Consensus: A likable, infectious musical, Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You is sometimes uneven but always toe-tapping and fun.
Synopsis: The daughter of wealthy Manhattanites Joe (Woody Allen) and Steffi (Goldie Hawn), D.J. (Natasha Lyonne) has to contend with her... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#8

Fight Club (1999)
79%

#8
Adjusted Score: 86288%
Critics Consensus: Solid acting, amazing direction, and elaborate production design make Fight Club a wild ride.
Synopsis: A depressed man (Edward Norton) suffering from insomnia meets a strange soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and soon... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#7

Sausage Party (2016)
82%

#7
Adjusted Score: 95540%
Critics Consensus: Sausage Party is definitely offensive, but backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high laugh-to-gag ratio -- and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline.
Synopsis: Life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank (Seth Rogen) the... [More]

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 87486%
Critics Consensus: American History X doesn't contend with its subject matter as fully as it could, but Edward Norton's performance gives this hard-hitting drama crucial weight.
Synopsis: Living a life marked by violence and racism, neo-Nazi Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) finally goes to prison after killing two... [More]
Directed By: Tony Kaye

#5
Adjusted Score: 90438%
Critics Consensus: The People Vs. Larry Flynt pays entertaining tribute to an irascible iconoclast with a well-constructed biopic that openly acknowledges his troublesome flaws.
Synopsis: Pursued by opponents who say his "Hustler" magazine breaks decency laws, pornographer Larry Flynt (Woody Harrelson) hires lawyer Alan Isaacman... [More]
Directed By: Milos Forman

#4

Isle of Dogs (2018)
90%

#4
Adjusted Score: 111256%
Critics Consensus: The beautifully stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs finds Wes Anderson at his detail-oriented best while telling one of the director's most winsomely charming stories.
Synopsis: When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island,... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#3
Adjusted Score: 105818%
Critics Consensus: A thrilling leap forward for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase powered by a layered story and outstanding performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.
Synopsis: Former cinema superhero Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is mounting an ambitious Broadway production that he hopes will breathe new life... [More]

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 104512%
Critics Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.
Synopsis: In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by concierge Gustave H. (Ralph... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#1

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104518%
Critics Consensus: Warm, whimsical, and poignant, the immaculately framed and beautifully acted Moonrise Kingdom presents writer/director Wes Anderson at his idiosyncratic best.
Synopsis: The year is 1965, and the residents of New Penzance, an island off the coast of New England, inhabit a... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

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