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(Photo by Columbia/ courtesy Everett Collection)

Wolfgang Petersen Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Director Wolfgang Petersen filmography was deliberate yet eclectic, as he searched for epic scope across all genres. His second film, 1982’s Das Boot, was towering and claustrophobic, and ended up with six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. His English-language debut was the ’80s fantasy classic The Neverending Story, followed a year later with the cult sci-fi nearly two-hander Enemy Mine.

Petersen’s 1990s output made the most out of when the American studio system could still turn adult thrillers into blockbusters, like Clint Eastwood‘s In the Line of Fire and Harrison Ford‘s Air Force One. By the 2000s, Petersen was reaching with his largest budgets yet, with disaster film The Perfect Storm, and Brad Pitt‘s Troy, which is much improved from the theatrical release in the director’s cut. Petersen’s final film was 2006 remake of The Poseidon Adventure. Alex Vo

#1

Das Boot (1981)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 101901%
Critics Consensus: Taut, breathtakingly thrilling, and devastatingly intelligent, Das Boot is one of the greatest war films ever made.
Synopsis: A German submarine patrols the Atlantic Ocean during World War II, manned by a crew that must contend with tense... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 100733%
Critics Consensus: A straightforward thriller of the highest order, In the Line of Fire benefits from Wolfgang Peterson's taut direction and charismatic performances from Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich.
Synopsis: A Secret Service agent is taunted by calls from a would-be killer who has detailed information about the agent -... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 84838%
Critics Consensus: A magical journey about the power of a young boy's imagination to save a dying fantasy land, The NeverEnding Story remains a much-loved kids adventure.
Synopsis: On his way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#4

Air Force One (1997)
79%

#4
Adjusted Score: 81295%
Critics Consensus: This late-period Harrison Ford actioner is full of palpable, if not entirely seamless, thrills.
Synopsis: After making a speech in Moscow vowing to never negotiate with terrorists, President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) boards Air Force... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#5

Enemy Mine (1985)
63%

#5
Adjusted Score: 62102%
Critics Consensus: Enemy Mine extracts thrilling sci-fi pulp from Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr.'s chemistry and inventive production design, but an overextended story diminishes the power of its central duo's relationship.
Synopsis: During a war between humans and the reptilian Drac race, spaceship pilot Willis Davidge (Dennis Quaid) ends up stranded on... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#6

Outbreak (1995)
59%

#6
Adjusted Score: 62505%
Critics Consensus: A frustratingly uneven all-star disaster drama, Outbreak ultimately proves only mildly contagious and leaves few lasting side effects.
Synopsis: A dangerous airborne virus threatens civilization in this tense thriller. After an African monkey carrying a lethal virus is smuggled... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#7

Troy (2004)
53%

#7
Adjusted Score: 62459%
Critics Consensus: A brawny, entertaining spectacle, but lacking emotional resonance.
Synopsis: Based on Homer's "Iliad," this epic portrays the battle between the ancient kingdoms of Troy and Sparta. While visiting Spartan... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 50825%
Critics Consensus: While the special effects are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers from any actual drama or characterization. The end result is a film that offers nifty eye-candy and nothing else.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, the film tells of the courageous men and women who risk their lives every working... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#9

Shattered (1991)
36%

#9
Adjusted Score: 35198%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Dan Merrick (Tom Berenger) and his wife, Judith (Greta Scacchi), have a car accident. Judith is thrown free, but Dan... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#10

Poseidon (2006)
33%

#10
Adjusted Score: 41849%
Critics Consensus: This remake of The Poseidon Adventure delivers dazzling special effects. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that any of the budget was left over to devote to the script.
Synopsis: After a huge tidal wave capsizes a luxury liner in the North Atlantic, individual survivors (Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Jacinda... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen