Crazy Heart

(Photo by Fox Searchlight/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: Gramercy Pictures.)

All Jeff Bridges Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Jeff Bridges, son of Lloyd, struck it big with his first major role in 1971’s The Last Picture Show, where he was Oscar-nominated for his role as a graduating high school student in a prospectless Texas town. Afterwards, Bridges became a steady, comforting fixture in American cinema, appearing across action-thrillers (Thunderbolt & Lightfoot, Cutter’s Way), big-budget remakes (1975’s King Kong, The Vanishing), magnificent bombs (Heaven’s Gate), science-fiction (TRON, Starman), theater adaptations (The Iceman Cometh), and additional fine-tuned dramas (The Fisher King).

Bridges’ eclectic career choices primed him to become a beloved Hollywood statesman, all but confirmed with 1998’s The Big Lebowski. Wearing his personal wardrobe on-screen (including the jelly sandals) and directed by the Coen brothers, Bridges as Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski in a state of perpetual befuddled zen has rooted himself into pop culture with his generation-defining comedy performance. And Lebowski has only paved the way for later milestones and hits, including True Grit, Hell or High Water, and a take-home Best Actor Oscar for Crazy Heart, his big win out of seven nominations overall.

And now we do believe you shall abide as we take a trip through all Jeff Bridges movies, ranked by Tomatometer.

#62
#62
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Matt Scudder (Jeff Bridges) is a depressed and hard-drinking Los Angeles cop troubled by a shooting that occurred in the... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#61

R.I.P.D. (2013)
12%

#61
Adjusted Score: 15702%
Critics Consensus: It has its moments -- most of them courtesy of Jeff Bridges' rootin' tootin' performance as an undead Wild West sheriff -- but R.I.P.D. is ultimately too dim-witted and formulaic to satisfy.
Synopsis: Veteran lawman Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges) works for the R.I.P.D., a legendary police force charged with finding monstrous spirits who... [More]
Directed By: Robert Schwentke

#60

Seventh Son (2014)
12%

#60
Adjusted Score: 16423%
Critics Consensus: Seventh Son squanders an excellent cast and some strange storyline ingredients, leaving audiences with one disappointingly dull fantasy adventure.
Synopsis: Centuries ago, a supernatural champion named Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) defeated Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), a malevolent witch. Now, she... [More]
Directed By: Sergei Bodrov

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 26220%
Critics Consensus: Unintelligible and self-indulgent Bob Dylan vehicle.
Synopsis: A nation wracked with civil war and social unrest is looking forward to a giant charity concert, organized by deceptive... [More]
Directed By: Larry Charles

#58

Simpatico (1999)
25%

#58
Adjusted Score: 26137%
Critics Consensus: Critics say Simpatico's lengthy plot is too unfocused; the movie becomes confusing and tedious to watch.
Synopsis: Carter receives a collect call from Vinnie, and a dark event from the past threatens to destroy his current success.... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Warchus

#57

The Open Road (2009)
29%

#57
Adjusted Score: 8918%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While playing minor league baseball in Texas, Carlton Garrett (Justin Timberlake) receives word from his grandfather (Harry Dean Stanton) that... [More]
Directed By: Michael Meredith

#56

Tideland (2005)
30%

#56
Adjusted Score: 31686%
Critics Consensus: Tideland is a disturbing, and mostly unwatchable effort from Terry Gilliam.
Synopsis: Little Jeliza-Rose (Jodelle Ferland) has a very warped childhood. Her parents (Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Tilly) are both drug addicts, and... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#55

Stick It (2006)
31%

#55
Adjusted Score: 34716%
Critics Consensus: Director Jessica Bendinger is unable to transfer her winning Bring It On formula to the world of gymnastics, despite Missy Peregrym's strong lead performance.
Synopsis: Haley (Missy Peregrym) is a naturally gifted athlete but, with her social behavior, the teen seems intent on squandering her... [More]
Directed By: Jessica Bendinger

#54
Adjusted Score: 38145%
Critics Consensus: Narratively messy and cloying, The Only Living Boy in New York is a romantic trifle that audiences won't want to give a second date.
Synopsis: After graduating from college and moving into an apartment, young Thomas Webb befriends an alcoholic neighbor who dispenses worldly wisdom... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#53

The Giver (2014)
35%

#53
Adjusted Score: 40990%
Critics Consensus: Phillip Noyce directs The Giver with visual grace, but the movie doesn't dig deep enough into the classic source material's thought-provoking ideas.
Synopsis: Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) lives in a seemingly idyllic world of conformity and contentment. When he begins to spend time with... [More]
Directed By: Phillip Noyce

#52
Adjusted Score: 40066%
Critics Consensus: A decent performance from Pegg in a disappointing film. Neither sharp nor satirical, Weide's adaptation relies too heavily on slapstick, and misses the point of the source material in the process.
Synopsis: Sidney Young is a down-on-his-luck journalist. Thanks to a stint involving a pig and a glitzy awards ceremony, Sidney turns... [More]
Directed By: Robert Weide

#51

Blown Away (1994)
38%

#51
Adjusted Score: 35799%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After staging a particularly gory jailbreak, Irish Republican Army agent Ryan Gaerity (Tommy Lee Jones) makes his way to Boston... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Hopkins

#50

Wild Bill (1995)
42%

#50
Adjusted Score: 43020%
Critics Consensus: Crowded with talent on either side of the camera, Wild Bill shoots itself in the foot with a surprisingly muddled take on the story of the titular folk hero.
Synopsis: Gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok (Jeff Bridges) travels the frontier, gaining fame and enemies in roughly equal measure. He sometimes meets... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#49

K-PAX (2001)
42%

#49
Adjusted Score: 47410%
Critics Consensus: For those who have seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest or Starman, K-Pax may not hold anything new. The movie works best as a showcase for Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.
Synopsis: Tells the story of a mysterious patient (Kevin Spacey) at a mental hospital who claims to be from a distant... [More]
Directed By: Iain Softley

#48

Nadine (1987)
45%

#48
Adjusted Score: 45057%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Hairdresser Nadine Hightower (Kim Basinger) wants to retrieve the risqué photos she once posed for, but when she visits the... [More]
Directed By: Robert Benton

#47

The Vanishing (1993)
49%

#47
Adjusted Score: 50586%
Critics Consensus: The Vanishing copies the form of its pulse-pounding predecessor but loses much of its thrilling function along the way, leaving American audiences with one more rote remake.
Synopsis: Barney (Jeff Bridges) is a disturbed man intent on abducting a woman. After numerous failed attempts, he manages to kidnap... [More]
Directed By: George Sluizer

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 11780%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In need of money for his upcoming wedding, Lenny (Jon Abrahams) agrees to help Rick (Peter Greene) with some work.... [More]
Directed By: Dominique Forma

#45
Adjusted Score: 58906%
Critics Consensus: Though The Men Who Stare at Goats is a mostly entertaining, farcical glimpse of men at war, some may find its satire and dark humor less than edgy.
Synopsis: Struggling reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) gets the scoop of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), who... [More]
Directed By: Grant Heslov

#44

Tron: Legacy (2010)
51%

#44
Adjusted Score: 59499%
Critics Consensus: Tron Legacy boasts dazzling visuals, but its human characters and story get lost amidst its state-of-the-art production design.
Synopsis: Sam (Garrett Hedlund), the son of famous video-game developer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), has been haunted for a long time... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski

#43
Adjusted Score: 73280%
Critics Consensus: Kingsman: The Golden Circle offers more of everything that made its predecessor so much fun, but lacks the original's wild creative spark.
Synopsis: With their headquarters destroyed and the world held hostage, members of Kingsman find new allies when they discover a spy... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#42

The Muse (1999)
53%

#42
Adjusted Score: 55014%
Critics Consensus: Despite quirky and original writing, the subject matter feels too removed to produce laughs.
Synopsis: Screenwriter Steven Phillips (Albert Brooks) seemingly has it all, including an Academy Award for his latest script. But he's hit... [More]
Directed By: Albert Brooks

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 26992%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Manhattan psychiatrist (Jeff Bridges) shuttles from his second wife (Alice Krige) to his ex-wife (Farrah Fawcett), with children in... [More]
Directed By: Alan J. Pakula

#40

Texasville (1990)
55%

#40
Adjusted Score: 54913%
Critics Consensus: An impressive array of talent on either side of the camera helps compensate for Texasville's inability to live up to its classic predecessor, but it isn't quite enough.
Synopsis: 1950s lovers (Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd) meet in the 1980s in this sequel to "The Last Picture Show."... [More]
Directed By: Peter Bogdanovich

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 55363%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Comic tale about the relationship between a frumpy college lecturer specializing in romantic literature and a fellow professor who wants... [More]
Directed By: Barbra Streisand

#38

King Kong (1976)
55%

#38
Adjusted Score: 57937%
Critics Consensus: King Kong represents a significant visual upgrade over the original, but falls short of its classic predecessor in virtually every other respect.
Synopsis: When a research ship is sent to explore an island thought to be rich in oil, paleontologist Jack Prescott (Jeff... [More]
Directed By: John Guillermin

#37

White Squall (1996)
58%

#37
Adjusted Score: 59577%
Critics Consensus: Though it gets occasionally bogged down by touchy-feely sentiment, White Squall benefits greatly from Jeff Bridges' assured lead performance and Ridley Scott's visceral, exciting direction.
Synopsis: In 1960, a hardy group of prep school students boards an old-fashioned sailing ship. With Capt. Christopher Sheldon (Jeff Bridges)... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#36

Heaven's Gate (1980)
59%

#36
Adjusted Score: 61924%
Critics Consensus: Heaven's Gate contains too many ideas and striking spectacle to be a disaster, but this western buckles under the weight of its own sprawl.
Synopsis: Harvard graduate James Averill (Kris Kristofferson) is the sheriff of prosperous Jackson County, Wyo., when a battle erupts between the... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cimino

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 64060%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Failed actress Alex Sternbergen (Jane Fonda) wakes up hungover one morning in an apartment she does not recognize, unable to... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#34

Arlington Road (1999)
63%

#34
Adjusted Score: 66731%
Critics Consensus: A suspenseful thriller led by strong cast performances built around a somewhat implausible story.
Synopsis: Widowed when his FBI agent wife is killed by an extremist group, college professor Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) becomes obsessed... [More]
Directed By: Mark Pellington

#33

Against All Odds (1984)
64%

#33
Adjusted Score: 64331%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Having been cut from his professional football team, down-and-out athlete Terry Brogan (Jeff Bridges) is in desperate need of money.... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#32

Stay Hungry (1976)
67%

#32
Adjusted Score: 66682%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A dishonest businessman asks rich layabout Craig Blake (Jeff Bridges) to help him buy a gym, which will be demolished... [More]
Directed By: Bob Rafelson

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 70951%
Critics Consensus: Though uneven in tone, this is one of the better adaptations of John Irving's novels, with Jeff Bridges giving one of his best performances.
Synopsis: The lives of Ted (Jeff Bridges) and Marion Cole (Kim Basinger) are thrown into disarray when their two adolescent sons... [More]
Directed By: Tod Williams

#30

Rancho Deluxe (1975)
70%

#30
Adjusted Score: 71169%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Cattle rustlers Jack McKee (Jeff Bridges) and Cecil Colson (Sam Waterston) steadily steal cows from wealthy rancher John Brown (Clifton... [More]
Directed By: Frank Perry

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 23675%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Junior Jackson (Jeff Bridges) is a Southern boy with a penchant for driving too fast along his native North Carolina... [More]
Directed By: Lamont Johnson

#28

Tron (1982)
71%

#28
Adjusted Score: 76697%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps not as strong dramatically as it is technologically, TRON is an original and visually stunning piece of science fiction that represents a landmark work in the history of computer animation.
Synopsis: When talented computer engineer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) finds out that Ed Dillinger (David Warner), an executive at his company,... [More]
Directed By: Steven Lisberger

#27

The Last Unicorn (1982)
73%

#27
Adjusted Score: 73232%
Critics Consensus: The Last Unicorn lacks the fluid animation to truly sparkle as an animated epic, but offbeat characters and an affecting story make it one of a kind for the true believers.
Synopsis: In this animated musical, the villainous King Haggard (Christopher Lee) plots to destroy all the world's unicorns. When a young... [More]

#26
Adjusted Score: 89448%
Critics Consensus: Smart, stylish, and packed with solid performances, Bad Times at the El Royale delivers pure popcorn fun with the salty tang of social subtext.
Synopsis: The El Royale is run-down hotel that sits on the border between California and Nevada. It soon becomes a seedy... [More]
Directed By: Drew Goddard

#25

The Contender (2000)
76%

#25
Adjusted Score: 80805%
Critics Consensus: The Contender wears its political heart on its sleeve, but strong performances and a solid screenplay help the end result add up to a gripping drama from either side of the aisle.
Synopsis: When the sitting Vice President dies, Senator Laine Hanson is chosen by the President to be the first woman to... [More]
Directed By: Rod Lurie

#24

Seabiscuit (2003)
77%

#24
Adjusted Score: 84129%
Critics Consensus: A life-affirming, if saccharine, epic treatment of a spirit-lifting figure in sports history.
Synopsis: In the midst of the Great Depression, a businessman (Jeff Bridges) coping with the tragic death of his son, a... [More]
Directed By: Gary Ross

#23

Surf's Up (2007)
79%

#23
Adjusted Score: 84038%
Critics Consensus: Surf's Up is a laid back, visually stunning animated movie that brings a fresh twist to some familiar conventions. Its witty mockumentary format is fun and inventive, and the CGI is breathtakingly realistic.
Synopsis: Surfing means everything to teenage penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf). Followed by a documentary film crew, he leaves his home... [More]
Directed By: Ash Brannon, Chris Buck

#22

American Heart (1992)
80%

#22
Adjusted Score: 80456%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This unflinching drama tells the story of recently released ex-convict Jack Kelson (Jeff Bridges) as he struggles to begin a... [More]
Directed By: Martin Bell

#21

Jagged Edge (1985)
81%

#21
Adjusted Score: 82023%
Critics Consensus: Coolly performed and suspenseful, Jagged Edge is a satisfying enough potboiler that most audiences won't mind if the twists don't quite add up.
Synopsis: Lawyer Teddy Barnes reluctantly takes up the case of publisher Jack Forrester, who is accused of murdering his wife for... [More]
Directed By: Richard Marquand

#20
Adjusted Score: 85028%
Critics Consensus: Though it may not be as comprehensive as some would like, Francis Ford Coppola's cheerful biopic of the failed automotive designer features sparkling direction and a strong central performance from Jeff Bridges.
Synopsis: Obsessed with cars since childhood, inventor Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges) has his first successful auto design partnership in the 1930s... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#19

The Big Lebowski (1998)
83%

#19
Adjusted Score: 89050%
Critics Consensus: Typically stunning visuals and sharp dialogue from the Coen Brothers, brought to life with strong performances from Goodman and Bridges.
Synopsis: Jeff Bridges plays Jeff Lebowski who insists on being called "the Dude," a laid-back, easygoing burnout who happens to have... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#18

The Fisher King (1991)
84%

#18
Adjusted Score: 87557%
Critics Consensus: An odd but affecting mixture of drama, comedy and fantasy, The Fisher King manages to balance moving performances from Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges with director Terry Gilliam's typically askew universe.
Synopsis: After shock jock Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) inadvertently provokes a caller into murdering a group of innocent people in a... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#17

Starman (1984)
85%

#17
Adjusted Score: 86140%
Critics Consensus: What initially begins as sci-fi transforms into a surprisingly sweet, offbeat drama, courtesy of John Carpenter's careful direction.
Synopsis: Answering a NASA message intended for aliens, a space being tries to contact mankind, but an American missile grounds his... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#16

Fearless (1993)
85%

#16
Adjusted Score: 87974%
Critics Consensus: This underrated gem from director Peter Weir features an outstanding performance from Jeff Bridges as a man dealing with profound grief.
Synopsis: When Max Klein (Jeff Bridges) survives a plane crash that kills many others, his last-minute epiphanies bring him a sense... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#15

Bad Company (1972)
86%

#15
Adjusted Score: 86608%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and pleasantly gritty, Bad Company is one of the more authentic Westerns of its era -- and an auspicious debut for director Robert Benton.
Synopsis: Out of the frying pan and into the fire: Civil War draft dodger Drew Dixon (Barry Brown) avoids the horrors... [More]
Directed By: Robert Benton

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 89616%
Critics Consensus: This likable buddy/road picture deftly mixes action and comedy, and features excellent work from stars Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges and first-time director Michael Cimino.
Synopsis: While stealing a car, free-spirited drifter Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges) crosses paths with legendary thief Thunderbolt (Clint Eastwood) in the midst... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cimino

#13

Only the Brave (2017)
87%

#13
Adjusted Score: 98887%
Critics Consensus: Only the Brave's impressive veteran cast and affecting fact-based story add up to a no-frills drama that's just as stolidly powerful as the real-life heroes it honors.
Synopsis: Through hope, determination, sacrifice and the drive to protect families and communities, the Granite Mountain Hotshots become one of the... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 31626%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During the 1930s, endearingly naïve Lewis Tater (Jeff Bridges) aspires to be the next great American Western writer. But when... [More]
Directed By: Howard Zieff

#11

Winter Kills (1979)
88%

#11
Adjusted Score: 88731%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Inspired by the conspiracy theories surrounding John F. Kennedy's assassination, this comic thriller follows Nick Kegan (Jeff Bridges), the younger... [More]
Directed By: William Richert

#10

Crazy Heart (2009)
90%

#10
Adjusted Score: 97011%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a captivating performance from Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart transcends its overly familiar origins and finds new meaning in an old story.
Synopsis: With too many years of hazy days and boozy nights,former country-music legend Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is reduced to playing... [More]
Directed By: Scott Cooper

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 90221%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on the play by Eugene O'Neill, this drama begins as the sad-sack patrons of a New York City bar... [More]
Directed By: John Frankenheimer

#8

Cutter's Way (1981)
91%

#8
Adjusted Score: 92201%
Critics Consensus: A suitably cynical neo-noir that echoes the disillusionment of its era, Cutter's Way relies on character-driven drama further elevated by the work of an outstanding cast.
Synopsis: Best friends Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) and Alex Cutter (John Heard) are two middle-class guys living in an upper-class town.... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Passer

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 97518%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated and faithful to the spirit of its classic source material, The Little Prince is a family-friendly treat that anchors thrilling visuals with a satisfying story.
Synopsis: The Aviator introduces a girl to a world where she rediscovers her childhood and learns that it's human connections that... [More]
Directed By: Mark Osborne

#6

Iron Man (2008)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 104599%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#5

True Grit (2010)
95%

#5
Adjusted Score: 105689%
Critics Consensus: Girded by strong performances from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, and lifted by some of the Coens' most finely tuned, unaffected work, True Grit is a worthy companion to the Charles Portis book.
Synopsis: After an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) murders her father, feisty 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 97716%
Critics Consensus: Its story is nothing special, but The Fabulous Baker Boys glows beneath luminous performances from its perfectly cast stars.
Synopsis: Frank (Beau Bridges) and Jack Baker (Jeff Bridges) are brothers who have performed together in a small but successful piano... [More]
Directed By: Steve Kloves

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 114023%
Critics Consensus: Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.
Synopsis: Toby is a divorced father who's trying to make a better life for his son. His brother Tanner is an... [More]
Directed By: David Mackenzie

#2

Fat City (1972)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 102105%
Critics Consensus: Fat City is a bleak, mordant, slice of life boxing drama that doesn't pull its punches.
Synopsis: Washed-up boxer Tully (Stacy Keach) is inspired to restart his career after seeing potential in a teenager, Ernie (Jeff Bridges),... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 106110%
Critics Consensus: Making excellent use of its period and setting, Peter Bogdanovich's small town coming-of-age story is a sad but moving classic filled with impressive performances.
Synopsis: High school seniors and best friends, Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges), live in a dying Texas town. The... [More]
Directed By: Peter Bogdanovich

Guillermo del Toro’s latest film is a rather grown-up sci-fi fairy tale of sorts, and while it looks gorgeous, its messages are worthy, and fine for older teens, we realize it’s not the most family-friendly stuff. Plus, it’s only showing in a couple of theaters in New York this week. Instead, critic Christy Lemire offers up three similar alternatives you can enjoy with your kids.


THE MOVIE

The Shape of Water (2017) 92%

Rating: R, for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence and language.

The latest from visionary director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak) is a symphony of sight and sound – a lush love letter to movies and to the power of love itself. As romantic and transporting as it is, though, it’s also a dark, sci-fi fairy tale, as del Toro’s films tend to be. This one earns its R rating with quite a bit of nudity, suggested sexuality, language, and some strong violence, including shootings. But The Shape of Water could be a solid choice for teenagers and up: It’s a dazzling and inspiring story of unexpected romance and of outsiders banding together for a noble cause. Sally Hawkins stars as Elisa, a mute janitor working at a government laboratory during the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War. When she and her co-worker (Octavia Spencer) discover that a mutant amphibian man (Doug Jones) is being hidden away there for experimentation, they dare to free him with the help of Elisa’s best friend (Richard Jenkins). Del Toro’s film features a thoughtful mix of thrills and melancholy, and its themes of courage and acceptance are definitely worthwhile.


THE RECOMMENDATIONS

If your kids are too young to see The Shape of Water but you’d like to share another creature feature with them, here are a few suggestions:

Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) 79%

Rating: G

An obvious choice, perhaps, because the creature in The Shape of Water so clearly resembles this classic Universal monster – although del Toro had the benefit of high-tech special effects and a much more elaborate suit to help bring his amphibious man to life. But while this sci-fi oldie but goodie may look cheesy to young viewers today, it still provides thrills as well as something to think about. Scientists on an expedition to the Amazon discover the mysterious and ferocious Gill Man, which hunts them down in pursuit of one of their colleagues, the beautiful Kay (Julie Adams). In both films, the creatures are feared, captured and misunderstood. But as is the case with The Shape of Water, Creature From the Black Lagoon is clearly an allegory about what happens when we make the mistake of attacking those who might seem different or unusual. Your kids might think the black-and-white, low-budget look of Jack Arnold’s movie is hilarious or bizarre, but that’s part of the fun.


E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 99%

Rating: PG, for language and mild thematic elements.

If you’ve never shown your kids E.T., now is the time. Just give in to snuggling on the couch and sobbing with your children as you wallow in the nostalgia of your own youth. Although, you may find, as I did when I watched E.T. with my 8-year-old son for the first time a couple years ago, that it’s just as powerful viewing it as an adult. I thought a lot about E.T. – one of my favorite movies ever – as I was watching The Shape of Water, and I even referenced the Steven Spielberg classic when I was explaining the plot of del Toro’s film to my son. In both, a highly intelligent, sensitive, and kind human forms a powerful bond with an otherworldly creature; in both, the government wants to take that creature away to study it. But the strength of their connection allows them to overcome whatever obstacles come their way. In a nutshell: An alien is left behind on Earth when his spaceship takes off without him. He forms a sweet friendship with a lonely boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas), which becomes so strong that they begin communicating psychically. Of course, scary scientists close in to investigate – at least, they seem scary from Elliott’s perspective. There’s some stuff in here that will seem too frightening or emotionally intense for very little kids, as Elliott and E.T. find themselves in increasing physical danger. And the ending will just wreck you, no matter how old you are. But this is a must-see, of course – both from a film-history perspective and for its themes of decency and friendship.


Starman (1984) 85%

Rating: PG-13, for adult situations/language, violence.

This one’s probably better for older kids – tweens and up – but it’s an ‘80s classic with a funny and touching Jeff Bridges performance. Bridges stars as an alien who crash lands on Earth and takes the human form of a deceased man named Scott. He then kidnaps Scott’s widow, Jenny (Karen Allen), and forces her to drive him to a crater in the desert to reconnect with his kind, or he’ll perish. (The alien journey element of the story is reminiscent of last year’s excellent Midnight Special, which would also be a solid choice for older kids.) But the two eventually form an unlikely bond as he learns to assimilate on Earth, and Jenny feels protective of (and ultimately falls for) this sweet, misunderstood visitor – especially as the authorities close in on them. John Carpenter’s film is both thrilling science fiction and a cleverly charming romance. It features a bit of sex, and Jenny becomes pregnant. There’s also some violence, smoking, and language scattered throughout. But the film’s themes of kindness, tolerance and generosity toward people who seem different are more than worthwhile.

Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner attempt to communicate through an intergalactic language barrier with aliens in this week’s Arrival. Are the visitors hostile? Curious? Come bearing presents and gift cards? Those questions answered in this week’s gallery: 24 best and worst movie alien visitors!

You’re in for some sweet, sweet movie watching this week, starting with the latest in bromantic comedies (I Love You, Man, starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel). Those with a High School Musical fetish should check out Zac Efron’s more grown-up vehicle (17 Again), while you twee cineastes have a new reason to worship Zooey Deschanel (Gigantic, also starring Paul Dano). Go European with a few highly rated imports (Oscar nominee The Class; Paris 36; London to Brighton) or go lowbrow with a direct-to-DVD college comedy sequel (Road Trip: Beer Pong). Lastly, check out everyone’s favorite heroes on a half-shell (the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 25th Anniversary set) and a few sci-fi throwbacks (the retro spoof Alien Trespass; Starman on Blu-ray).


I Love You, Man


82%




Paul Rudd and Jason Segel (who last co-starred in 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall) team up again in this romantic comedy of sorts about a super nice girls’ guy (Rudd) on a desperate search for a best man who finds an unlikely BFF in a carefree bohemian bachelor (Segel). Naturally, the odd couple bond over poop jokes, the music of Rush, and plenty of Apatow-styled comedy (minus the actual involvement, and some argue, the edginess, of Judd Apatow himself). This Certified Fresh valentine to the bromance — the unabashed man-love between two or more straight men — comes to DVD with even more laughs, thanks to a wealth of additional footage that includes alternate take after take of ad-libbed lines and a particularly cozy commentary track with Rudd, Segel, and director/co-writer John Hamburg (pictured in the exclusive snapshot above recording the DVD commentary on a special man-date in Hollywood). Watch an exclusive deleted scene below!

Next: Zac Efron grows up (and Matthew Perry gets younger) in 17 Again


17 Again


57%




Disney star Zac Efron continues to transition out of the ‘tween niche with 17 Again, his first starring vehicle after hitting stardom as the singing jock in the High School Musical films (a supporting role in Hairspray earned kudos, as did the forthcoming Me and Orson Welles, which was directed by Richard Linklater and debuted at the Toronto Film Festival). In 17 Again, an unhappy former basketball star (played in middle age by Matthew Perry, who we hope Efron doesn’t grow up to resemble) wishes his way back into his 17-year-old body (Efron) to relive the glorious high school life that he once had. The only catch? Save his grown-up geek of a best friend (Thomas Lennon), nobody knows who he really is, including his estranged wife (Leslie Mann) and his two teenage children. Truth be told, the formulaic fantasy wasn’t as bad as some critics feared, thanks in great part to Efron’s winning charm, resulting in a Tomatometer rating just shy of Fresh. For a handful of Zac-tastic bonus features (including a commentary track with Efron available on BD-Live, OMG) you’ll have to pick up 17 Again on Blu-ray.

Next: Zooey Deschanel as Paul Dano’s manic pixie dream girl


Gigantic


38%




Anyone already tired of the Zooey Deschanel Manic Pixie Romance Film (see: Elf, (500) Days of Summer, Yes Man, The Go-Getter, etc.) should go ahead and skip this one on principle, seeing as Deschanel plays a beautiful, quirky love interest yet again — and what’s more, her character’s name is “Happy.” All others will find that Gigantic is on quirky indie overload, from its plot (28-year-old man-child mattress salesman adopts Chinese orphan baby) to its supporting cast (John Goodman as Happy’s millionaire father, Ed Asner as a mushroom-hunting senior citizen). Only a few extra scenes have been included, making for a fairly sparse DVD menu.

Next: France’s Oscar nominee, The Class


The Class


97%




One of the best-reviewed films of last year, this French drama not only earned an impressive 97 percent Tomatometer (and Certified Fresh seal of approval), it also won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. Partially filmed documentary-style, The Class (AKA Entre les murs) follows an inner city teacher, played by Francois Begadueau (who wrote the original book from his own experiences) over the course of a year within the walls of a Parisian school where racially diverse students examine themselves and each other. Director Laurent Cantet cast an impressive group of non-actor teens, lending a natural energy to his film; their own self-portraits and actors’ workshop are a few of the fascinating extra features included in the release.

Next: Moulin Rouge-esque nostalgia in Paris 36


Paris 36


58%




Moulin Rouge devotees might like this similarly-themed and -set musical comedy about a ragtag group of locals who attempt to restore a Parisian theater with a fantastic vaudeville show in 1936. Pure Francophiles are the target audience here, as the more bourgeois in taste might find the frothy proceedings too light and whimsical for their liking, and the multi-strand plot altogether too jumbled. However, if you’re in the mood for an unapologetically nostalgic fantasy filled with fabulous costuming, intricate musical numbers, and Amelie-like adornments (and who isn’t, really?), give Paris 36 a rental.

Next: The gritty, taut crime thriller London to Brighton




The titular train route is what two young prostitutes hope will take them away from trouble when a job goes horribly awry in Paul Andrew Williams’ directorial debut. Taut and grim (very grim, according to critics), this British crime thriller makes brutal use of cinematic realism, peeling back the layers to tell a story not just about two women on the run, but one about the sordid world of street kids and criminals on the hustle in England’s underworld. A making-of featurette, deleted scenes, director commentary and more highlight the special features.

Next: Road Trip gets a sequel in Beer Pong




Shockingly, it took nine years to get a sequel to the Breckin Meyer-Seann William Scott college comedy Road Trip (thanks, if you can call it that, go to Paramount Vantage for seizing the rights to make this long-awaited follow-up). With the sole exception of a cameo by Road Trip‘s DJ Squalls, Road Trip: Beer Pong assembles a new crew of college kids who hit the road for an adventure full of shenanigans, this time headed for the National Collegiate Beer Pong Championship. Personally, we’d rather rack up our own cups than watch some actors throw down (or watch these guys hit some impossible trick shots), although in real life, there are no “Bodacious Babes of Ta Tas” at our beer pong/Beirut tourneys. An unrated cut, bloopers, and a beer pong tutorial are just some of the illuminating special features in the release.

Next: Retro creatures featured in Alien Trespass




Conceived and presented as part homage, part spoof to the bygone creature features of the 1950s, Alien Trespass sets itself up as a “lost” film from the era, a conceit that it never quite surmounts. Boasting an “all-star” cast (headlined by Eric McCormack, Robert Patrick, and Dan Lauria), this faux-B movie alights on a desert town where an alien spacecraft crashes, releasing two passengers: a galactic police officer of sorts, and the fugitive monster who could destroy the entire planet. But the nostalgic charm wears off too soon, leaving stilted dialogue and inconsistent special effects and direction — what one might consider not just unintentionally campy, but altogether bad.

Next: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles complete film set!




Lovers of sewer-dwelling martial arts-mastering mutant turtles should jump at the chance to own all four of Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo’s feature films, released this week in a 25th Anniversary edition box set, but will they? Children of the ’80s (now full-fledged grown-ups) can capture a little bit of that bygone turtle power with 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (46 percent), the first live-action film to translate the pizza-loving heroes from animation to the big screen (as a bonus, you may delight in the fact that the Blu-ray set discs are presented in the form of different kinds of pizza). One of our personal favorites, however, was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze (36 percent), and yes, it is because of Vanilla Ice’s Ninja Rap. Perhaps we can all agree to give a pass to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (32 percent), because no sequel ever goes to Japan and succeeds (as the Bad News Bears and the 3 Ninjas can attest). Rounding out the collection is the 2007 animated update TMNT (33 percent).

Unfortunately, the only advantage to picking up this TMNT set on either DVD or Blu-ray is the additional promo swag included in each set (temporary tattoos and bandannas in the DVD set, collectible cards, a Kevin Eastman-signed sketch and beanie in the Blu-ray box). Cowabungle, dude.

Next: John Carpenter’s Starman hits Blu-ray!




After directing such genre classics as Halloween, Escape from New York, and The Thing, John Carpenter turned his attention to a much gentler kind of science fiction; the result was 1984’s Starman, a fish-out-of-water tale about an alien (Jeff Bridges) who mimics the form of a grieving widow’s (Karen Allen) late husband and kidnaps/asks her to drive him cross-country to a homebound rendezvous ship. Although the 1980s-era special effects seem a bit dated (exception: Bridges’ shape-shifting transformation from infant human form to grown man in the span of a minute is still as creepy as ever), and its dialogue is frequently corny, Starman looks great in HD and is a worthy addition to your sci-fi geek Blu-ray collection. (Sadly, there are zero bonus features on the disc.)

Until next week, happy renting!

What do Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, and Jeff Bridges all have in common? They’ve all been nominated for Oscars — and they’re all set to star in Jon Favreau‘s "Iron Man" adaptation.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Bridges will be playing an old-school colleague / friend of Tony Stark, but that’s all the producers are dishing out so far.

And if right now you’re scratching your head wondering who Jeff Bridges is, shame on you. (You know him from "Tron," "Starman," "Jagged Edge," "The Fisher King, " "Fearless," "Seabiscuit," and (of course) "The Big Lebowski.")


Bridges as a gymnastics coach in "Stick It," (which features this great "Lebowski" nod)

Marvel boss Kevin Feige seems justifiably happy with the casting choice: "He’s excited about doing a movie like this, and we’re excited to have him in this particular role. There are many facets to this character which I can’t discuss, but looking at the spectrum of all of Jeff’s roles, this fits in nicely with the man who played ‘Starman,’ ‘Tucker,’ ‘Big Lebowski’ with a little bit ‘Tron’ thrown in … This rounds out our ensemble, and I think it’s one of the strongest casts ever assembled for one of our films."

No argument here.

Production on "Iron Man" is scheduled to begin next month. The flick is scheduled to hit screens a year from this May — so expect a lot more news. (I’m expecting them to cast Kevin Kline and Jennifer Connelly next.)

IGN Filmforce scored a pretty sweet scoop, provided you’re any sort of animation fan, that is. Click over to FF to enjoy a pair of clips from the all-new "Ice Age" sequel, which used to have a "2" in the title, but is called "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

"In "Ice Age: The Meltdown," the sub-zero heroes from the worldwide blockbuster CGI film "Ice Age" are back – Manny the woolly mammoth, Sid the sloth, Diego the saber-toothed tiger, and the hapless prehistoric squirrel/rat known as Scrat. In the new film, from director Carlos Saldanha and the Academy Award winning creators of "Ice Age" and "Robots," the Ice Age is coming to an end, and the animals are delighting in the melting paradise that is their new world.

Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Denis Leary return to voice our three heroes: Manny, Sid, and Diego. New cast members include Academy Award nominee Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, late night talk show king Jay Leno, Will Arnett and Josh Peck.

Our trio is still together and enjoying the perks of their now melting world. Manny may be ready to start a family, but nobody has seen another mammoth for a long time; Manny thinks he may be the last one. That is, until he miraculously finds Ellie (voiced by Queen Latifah), the only female mammoth left in the world. Their only problems: They can’t stand each other – and Ellie somehow thinks she’s a possum!

Ellie comes with some excess baggage in the form of her two possum "brothers"…Crash and Eddie (voiced by Seann William Scott and Josh Peck), a couple of daredevil pranksters and cocky, loud-mouthed troublemakers.

Manny, Sid, and Diego quickly learn that the warming climate has one major drawback: A huge glacial dam holding off oceans of water is about to break, threatening the entire valley. The only chance of survival lies at the other end of the valley. So our three heroes, along with Ellie, Crash and Eddie, form the most unlikely family – in any "Age" – as they embark on a mission across an ever-changing, increasingly dangerous landscape towards their salvation.

The film also presents the continuing adventures, or misadventures, of Scrat, who has an even larger role this time."

"Ice Age: The Meltdown" opens this Friday (March 31st), so grab a few kids and pretend you’re seeing it for their sake.

William Hurt, whose role as a crime boss in David Cronenberg‘s "A History of Violence" nabbed him an Oscar nomination, joins the cast of MGM’s psychological thriller "Mr. Brooks" as the evil alter ego of Kevin Costner‘s character.

Bruce A. Evans will direct from a script he co-wrote with Raynold Gideon; Evans and Gideon have been a screenwriting team since 1979’s "A Man, A Woman and a Bank" and have also co-written "Starman," "Stand By Me," "Kuffs" (Evans’ other directing credit), "Cutthroat Island," and "Jungle 2 Jungle."

From the Hollywood Reporter: "Costner will play Brooks, a tortured man who tries to be disciplined and remain in control. Hurt will play Costner’s alter ego, the evil part of Brooks that loves murder and mayhem.

Evans wrote the script with Raynold Gideon. Costner is producing via his Tig Prods. with Jim Wilson and Gideon.

An April shoot in Louisiana is being eyed."

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