Best Fantasy Movies of All Time

Welcome to Rotten Tomatoes’ compendium of cinema’s best-reviewed tales of swords and sorcery, fire and ice, and dungeons and…you get the idea. The swirling mythic cauldron (i.e. our database) reveals to all the best-reviewed live-action fantasy movies of all time, sorted by our ranking formula with at least 20 reviews each!

#84

The Fall (2006)
62%

#84
Adjusted Score: 65022%
Critics Consensus: More visually elaborate than the fragmented story can sometimes support, The Fall walks the line between labor of love and filmmaker self-indulgence.
Synopsis: A bedridden patient (Lee Pace) captivates a hospitalized girl (Catinca Untaru) with a fantastic tale involving heroes, mystics and villains... [More]
Directed By: Tarsem

#83

Solomon Kane (2009)
66%

#83
Adjusted Score: 67239%
Critics Consensus: Solomon Kane's formulaic and bleak narrative is overcome by an entertaining, straightforward adherence to its genre, exciting gore, and a gratifying lead performance by James Purefoy.
Synopsis: A man (James Purefoy) must renounce his newly taken vows of peace to rescue a young woman (Rachel Hurd-Wood) from... [More]
Directed By: Michael J. Bassett

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 67869%
Critics Consensus: Though Conan may take itself too seriously for some, this adventure film about a former slave seeking vengeance is full of quotable Schwarzenegger lines and gritty action.
Synopsis: Orphaned boy Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is enslaved after his village is destroyed by the forces of vicious necromancer Thulsa Doom... [More]
Directed By: John Milius

#81
#81
Adjusted Score: 67873%
Critics Consensus: This hotly-anticipated pairing of martial arts legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li features dazzling fight scenes but is weighed down by too much filler.
Synopsis: Jason (Michael Angarano), an American teenager, is a huge fan of Hong Kong cinema and old kung-fu movies. While browsing... [More]
Directed By: Rob Minkoff

#80

Ladyhawke (1985)
68%

#80
Adjusted Score: 69437%
Critics Consensus: There's pacing problems, but Ladyhawke has an undeniable romantic sweep that's stronger than most fantasy epics of its ilk.
Synopsis: Upon breaking out of a dungeon, youthful thief Phillipe Gaston (Matthew Broderick) befriends Capt. Navarre (Rutger Hauer), a man with... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#79
Adjusted Score: 70359%
Critics Consensus: Terry Gilliam remains as indulgent as ever, but The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus represents a return to the intoxicatingly imaginative, darkly beautiful power of his earlier work, with fine performances to match all the visual spectacle.
Synopsis: Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer), the leader of a traveling show, has a dark secret. Thousands of years ago he traded... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 67590%
Critics Consensus: A goofy, old-school sword-and-sandal epic, Clash of the Titans mines Greek mythology for its story and fleshes it out with Ray Harryhausen's charmingly archaic stop-motion animation techniques.
Synopsis: Perseus (Harry Hamlin), son of the Greek god Zeus (Laurence Olivier), grows up on a deserted island. His destiny is... [More]
Directed By: Desmond Davis

#77

Godmothered (2020)
68%

#77
Adjusted Score: 72342%
Critics Consensus: More bippity boppity than boo, Godmothered tweaks fairytale conventions with just enough self-aware humor to overcome a disappointing deficit of genuine magic.
Synopsis: Set at Christmas time, "Godmothered" is a comedy about Eleanor, a young, inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training (Jillian Bell), who upon hearing... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#76

Highlander (1986)
70%

#76
Adjusted Score: 73012%
Critics Consensus: People hate Highlander because it's cheesy, bombastic, and absurd. And people love it for the same reasons.
Synopsis: When the mystical Russell Nash (Christopher Lambert) kills a man in a sword fight in a New York City parking... [More]
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

#75
Adjusted Score: 73698%
Critics Consensus: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is an entertaining family adventure worthy of the standard set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: One year after their previous adventure, the Pevensie children (Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell) return to the... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Adamson

#74

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
69%

#74
Adjusted Score: 74375%
Critics Consensus: It isn't Tim Burton's best work, but Sleepy Hollow entertains with its stunning visuals and creepy atmosphere.
Synopsis: Set in 1799, "Sleepy Hollow" is based on Washington Irving's classic tale "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Faithful to the... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#73
Adjusted Score: 77362%
Critics Consensus: Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth is an earnest, visually resplendent trip, but the film's deliberate pace robs the material of some of its majesty.
Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) lives a simple life with his fellow hobbits in the shire, until the wizard Gandalf (Ian... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#72
Adjusted Score: 78135%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining PG detour for gore maestro Eli Roth, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a family-friendly blend of humor and horror with an infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: Ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his oddball uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious ticktock noise.... [More]
Directed By: Eli Roth

#71
#71
Adjusted Score: 78264%
Critics Consensus: A wickedly funny tale of three witches and their duel with the Devil, fuelled by some delicious fantasy and arch comedic performances.
Synopsis: Three small-town friends, Alexandra (Cher), Jane (Susan Sarandon) and Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer), each having lost the man in their lives,... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#70

Labyrinth (1986)
74%

#70
Adjusted Score: 78422%
Critics Consensus: While it's arguably more interesting on a visual level, Labyrinth provides further proof of director Jim Henson's boundless imagination.
Synopsis: Teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) journeys through a maze to recover her baby brother (Toby Froud) from a goblin king (David... [More]
Directed By: Jim Henson

#69

Nanny McPhee (2005)
74%

#69
Adjusted Score: 78481%
Critics Consensus: A bit alarming at first, Nanny McPhee has a hard edge to counter Mary Poppins-style sweetness, but it still charms us and teaches some valuable lessons.
Synopsis: Widower Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) hires Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) to care for his seven rambunctious children, who have chased... [More]
Directed By: Kirk Jones

#68
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Enigmatic Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives on the doorstep of a harried mother, Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who is trying... [More]
Directed By: Susanna White

#67
Adjusted Score: 79954%
Critics Consensus: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children proves a suitable match for Tim Burton's distinctive style, even if it's on stronger footing as a visual experience than a narrative one.
Synopsis: When his beloved grandfather leaves Jake clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#66

Into the Woods (2014)
71%

#66
Adjusted Score: 80576%
Critics Consensus: On the whole, this Disney adaptation of the Sondheim classic sits comfortably at the corner of Hollywood and Broadway -- even if it darkens to its detriment in the final act.
Synopsis: As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch (Meryl Streep), a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily... [More]
Directed By: Rob Marshall

#65

Peter Pan (2003)
77%

#65
Adjusted Score: 80693%
Critics Consensus: Solid if far from definitive, this version of Peter Pan is visually impressive, psychologically complex and faithful to its original source.
Synopsis: As Wendy Darling (Rachel Hurd-Wood) recounts stories to her brothers, John (Harry Newell) and Michael (Freddie Popplewell), she is visited... [More]
Directed By: P.J. Hogan

#64

Zathura (2005)
76%

#64
Adjusted Score: 81240%
Critics Consensus: Dazzling special effects for the kids + well-crafted storytelling for the 'rents = cinematic satisfaction for the whole family.
Synopsis: After their father (Tim Robbins) is called into work, two young boys, Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo), are... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#63
#63
Adjusted Score: 81427%
Critics Consensus: Not all of its many intriguing ideas are developed, but The City of Lost Children is an engrossing, disturbing, profoundly memorable experience.
Synopsis: Old and decrepit Krank (Daniel Emilfork) has lost his capacity for dreaming and is attempting to fight death by stealing... [More]

#62

The Dark Crystal (1982)
79%

#62
Adjusted Score: 81765%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Crystal's narrative never quite lives up to the movie's visual splendor, but it remains an admirably inventive and uniquely intense entry in the Jim Henson canon.
Synopsis: Jen (Stephen Garlick), raised by the noble race called the Mystics, has been told that he is the last survivor... [More]
Directed By: Jim Henson, Frank Oz

#61

Big Fish (2003)
76%

#61
Adjusted Score: 82678%
Critics Consensus: A charming father-and-son tale filled with typical Tim Burton flourishes, Big Fish is an impressive catch.
Synopsis: When Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) becomes ill, his son, William (Billy Crudup), travels to be with him. William has a... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 82895%
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

#59
Adjusted Score: 83225%
Critics Consensus: While still slightly hamstrung by "middle chapter" narrative problems and its formidable length, The Desolation of Smaug represents a more confident, exciting second chapter for the Hobbit series.
Synopsis: Having survived the first part of their unsettling journey, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his companions (Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage)... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#58
#58
Adjusted Score: 83288%
Critics Consensus: Some may find its dark tone and slender narrative off-putting, but Spike Jonze's heartfelt adaptation of the classic children's book is as beautiful as it is uncompromising.
Synopsis: Feeling misunderstood at home and at school, mischievous Max (Max Records) escapes to the land of the Wild Things, majestic... [More]
Directed By: Spike Jonze

#57

Excalibur (1981)
74%

#57
Adjusted Score: 80413%
Critics Consensus: John Boorman's operatic, opulent take on the legend of King Arthur is visually remarkable, and features strong performances from an all-star lineup of British thespians.
Synopsis: The magical sword of Excalibur starts off in the hands of British lord Uther Pendragon (Gabriel Byrne) and then, years... [More]
Directed By: John Boorman

#56
Adjusted Score: 83788%
Critics Consensus: With first-rate special effects and compelling storytelling, this adaptation stays faithful to its source material and will please moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: During the World War II bombings of London, four English siblings are sent to a country house where they will... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Adamson

#55
Adjusted Score: 84120%
Critics Consensus: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is an old-school adventure yarn with a distaff European - and generally rather delightful - spin.
Synopsis: A popular novelist deals with her would-be suitors, the cops, monsters, and other distractions.... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson

#54

Dragonslayer (1981)
82%

#54
Adjusted Score: 84251%
Critics Consensus: An atypically dark Disney adventure, Dragonslayer puts a realistic spin -- and some impressive special effects -- on a familiar tale.
Synopsis: A terrible dragon is terrorizing the medieval land of Urland in the 6th century. Representatives from the kingdom seek the... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Robbins

#53

Stardust (2007)
77%

#53
Adjusted Score: 84378%
Critics Consensus: A faithful interpretation that captures the spirit of whimsy, action, and off-kilter humor of Neil Gaiman, Stardust juggles multiple genres and tones to create a fantastical experience.
Synopsis: To win the heart of his beloved (Sienna Miller), a young man named Tristan (Charlie Cox) ventures into the realm... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 84660%
Critics Consensus: A visual treat rich in symbolism, The Holy Mountain adds another defiantly idiosyncratic chapter to Jodorowsky's thoroughly unique filmography.
Synopsis: A Mexican master (Alexandro Jodorowsky) leads a Christ figure (Horacio Salinas) and other disciples to a mountain of immortal wise... [More]
Directed By: Alexandro Jodorowsky

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 85681%
Critics Consensus: The Spiderwick Chronicles is an entertaining children's adventure, with heart and imagination to spare.
Synopsis: Of the three Grace children, Jared (Freddie Highmore) has always been thought of as the troublemaker. So when strange things... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 86149%
Critics Consensus: Like many classic games, Jumanji: The Next Level retains core components of what came before while adding enough fresh bits to keep things playable.
Synopsis: When Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring... [More]
Directed By: Jake Kasdan

#49

Pinocchio (2019)
83%

#49
Adjusted Score: 86380%
Critics Consensus: Sticking closely to Carlo Collodi's original story, Matteo Garrone's Pinocchio pulls every string to create a visually stunning film that proves some tales really are timeless.
Synopsis: Geppetto's puppet creation, Pinocchio, magically comes to life with dreams of becoming a real boy. Easily led astray, Pinocchio tumbles... [More]
Directed By: Matteo Garrone

#48
Adjusted Score: 86717%
Critics Consensus: May leave you exhausted like the theme park ride that inspired it; however, you'll have a good time when it's over.
Synopsis: Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) arrives at Port Royal in the Caribbean without a ship or crew. His timing is... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#47

Tale of Tales (2015)
83%

#47
Adjusted Score: 87983%
Critics Consensus: Visually splendid and narratively satisfying, Tale of Tales packs an off-kilter wallop for mature viewers in search of something different.
Synopsis: Three fairy tales revolve around a king (John C. Reilly) who must slay a sea monster, a giant flea and... [More]
Directed By: Matteo Garrone

#46
Adjusted Score: 88153%
Critics Consensus: It can't help but feel like the prelude it is, but Deathly Hallows: Part I is a beautifully filmed, emotionally satisfying penultimate installment for the Harry Potter series.
Synopsis: Without the guidance and protection of their professors, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) begin a... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#45
Adjusted Score: 88345%
Critics Consensus: It's not easy to take the longest Harry Potter book and streamline it into the shortest HP movie, but director David Yates does a bang up job of it, creating an Order of the Phoenix that's entertaining and action-packed.
Synopsis: Now in his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) learns that many in the wizarding community do not know... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#44
Adjusted Score: 89062%
Critics Consensus: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone adapts its source material faithfully while condensing the novel's overstuffed narrative into an involving -- and often downright exciting -- big-screen magical caper.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling's popular children's novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#43
Adjusted Score: 90061%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps more enchanting for younger audiences, Chamber of Secrets is nevertheless both darker and livelier than its predecessor, expanding and improving upon the first film's universe.
Synopsis: The follow-up to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" finds young wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends, Ron... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#42

Matilda (1996)
90%

#42
Adjusted Score: 90497%
Critics Consensus: Danny DeVito-directed version of Matilda is odd, charming, and while the movie diverges from Roald Dahl, it nonetheless captures the book's spirit.
Synopsis: This film adaptation of a Roald Dahl work tells the story of Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson), a gifted girl forced... [More]
Directed By: Danny DeVito

#41
Adjusted Score: 91324%
Critics Consensus: Closer to the source material than 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is for people who like their Chocolate visually appealing and dark.
Synopsis: Based on the beloved Roald Dahl tale, this comedic and fantastical film follows young Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) and his... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 91751%
Critics Consensus: Bridge to Terabithia is a faithful adaptation of a beloved children's novel and a powerful portrayal of love, loss, and imagination through children's eyes.
Synopsis: The life of Jesse (Josh Hutcherson), an adolescent, changes when he befriends Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb), the class outsider. The children... [More]
Directed By: Gabor Csupo

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 92322%
Critics Consensus: Don Chaffey's Jason and the Argonauts is an outlandish, transportive piece of nostalgia whose real star is the masterful stop-motion animation work of Ray Harryhausen.
Synopsis: After saving the life of his royal father's usurper, Pelias (Douglas Wilmer), whom he fails to recognize, Jason (Todd Armstrong)... [More]
Directed By: Don Chaffey

#38

Time Bandits (1981)
90%

#38
Adjusted Score: 92684%
Critics Consensus: Time Bandits is a remarkable time-travel fantasy from Terry Gilliam, who utilizes fantastic set design and homemade special effects to create a vivid, original universe.
Synopsis: Young history buff Kevin (Craig Warnock) can scarcely believe it when six dwarfs emerge from his closet one night. Former... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#37

The BFG (2016)
74%

#37
Adjusted Score: 93279%
Critics Consensus: The BFG minimizes the darker elements of Roald Dahl's classic in favor of a resolutely good-natured, visually stunning, and largely successful family-friendly adventure.
Synopsis: Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance). Naturally... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#36

Cinderella (2015)
84%

#36
Adjusted Score: 93476%
Critics Consensus: Refreshingly traditional in a revisionist era, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella proves Disney hasn't lost any of its old-fashioned magic.
Synopsis: After her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella (Lily James) finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother (Cate Blanchett)... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#35
Adjusted Score: 93642%
Critics Consensus: Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey celebrates the yuletide season with a holiday adventure whose exuberant spirit is matched by its uplifting message.
Synopsis: Decades after his apprentice betrays him, a once joyful toymaker finds new hope when his bright young granddaughter appears on... [More]
Directed By: David E. Talbert

#34
Adjusted Score: 93685%
Critics Consensus: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle uses a charming cast and a humorous twist to offer an undemanding yet solidly entertaining update on its source material.
Synopsis: Four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming... [More]
Directed By: Jake Kasdan

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 94217%
Critics Consensus: The first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is a magical modern fairy tale with gothic overtones and a sweet center.
Synopsis: A scientist (Vincent Price) builds an animated human being -- the gentle Edward (Johnny Depp). The scientist dies before he... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#32
Adjusted Score: 94789%
Critics Consensus: Dark, thrilling, and occasionally quite funny, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is also visually stunning and emotionally satisfying.
Synopsis: As Death Eaters wreak havoc in both Muggle and Wizard worlds, Hogwarts is no longer a safe haven for students.... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#31
Adjusted Score: 95406%
Critics Consensus: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is strange yet comforting, full of narrative detours that don't always work but express the film's uniqueness.
Synopsis: The last of five coveted "golden tickets" falls into the hands of a sweet but very poor boy. He and... [More]
Directed By: Mel Stuart

#30

The Witches (1990)
93%

#30
Adjusted Score: 95728%
Critics Consensus: With a deliciously wicked performance from Angelica Huston and imaginative puppetry by Jim Henson's creature shop, Nicolas Roeg's dark and witty movie captures the spirit of Roald Dahl's writing like few other adaptations.
Synopsis: While staying at a hotel in England with his grandmother, Helga (Mai Zetterling), young Luke (Jasen Fisher) inadvertently spies on... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg

#29
Adjusted Score: 94944%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them draws on Harry Potter's rich mythology to deliver a spinoff that dazzles with franchise-building magic all its own.
Synopsis: The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#28
Adjusted Score: 96033%
Critics Consensus: Bursting with Terry Gilliam's typically imaginative flourishes, this story of a possibly deranged Baron recounting his storied life is a flamboyant and witty visual treat.
Synopsis: During the "Age of Reason" of the late 18th century, the Turkish army lays siege to a European city where... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#27

Life of Pi (2012)
86%

#27
Adjusted Score: 96917%
Critics Consensus: A 3D adaptation of a supposedly "unfilmable" book, Ang Lee's Life of Pi achieves the near impossible -- it's an astonishing technical achievement that's also emotionally rewarding.
Synopsis: After deciding to sell their zoo in India and move to Canada, Santosh and Gita Patel board a freighter with... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#26
Adjusted Score: 97486%
Critics Consensus: The main characters are maturing, and the filmmakers are likewise improving on their craft; vibrant special effects and assured performances add up to what is the most complex yet of the Harry Potter films.
Synopsis: The fourth movie in the Harry Potter franchise sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) returning for his fourth year at Hogwarts School... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 97771%
Critics Consensus: El Espíritu de la Colmena uses a classic horror story's legacy as the thread for a singularly absorbing childhood fable woven with uncommon grace.
Synopsis: In an allegory of life after Gen. Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War, life in a remote village in... [More]
Directed By: Víctor Erice

#24

Snow White (2012)
95%

#24
Adjusted Score: 98060%
Critics Consensus: Smartly written and beautiful to behold, Blancanieves uses its classic source material to offer a dark tale, delightfully told.
Synopsis: Rescued from her evil stepmother (Maribel Verdú) by dwarves, a young woman (Macarena García) becomes a bullfighter like her late... [More]
Directed By: Pablo Berger

#23

Orpheus (1950)
97%

#23
Adjusted Score: 98469%
Critics Consensus: Heavy with symbolism and deliberately paced, Orpheus may not be for everyone -- but as an example of Jean Cocteau's eccentric genius, it's all but impossible not to recommend.
Synopsis: At the Café des Poètes in Paris, a fight breaks out between the poet Orphée (Jean Marais) and a group... [More]
Directed By: Jean Cocteau

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 98911%
Critics Consensus: With an enchanting cast, beautifully crafted songs, and a painterly eye for detail, Beauty and the Beast offers a faithful yet fresh retelling that honors its beloved source material.
Synopsis: Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#21

The Seventh Seal (1957)
94%

#21
Adjusted Score: 99271%
Critics Consensus: Narratively bold and visually striking, The Seventh Seal brought Ingmar Bergman to the world stage -- and remains every bit as compelling today.
Synopsis: When disillusioned Swedish knight Antonius Block (Max von Sydow) returns home from the Crusades to find his country in the... [More]
Directed By: Ingmar Bergman

#20
Adjusted Score: 99790%
Critics Consensus: Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.
Synopsis: Harry Potter's (Daniel Radcliffe) third year at Hogwarts starts off badly when he learns deranged killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman)... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 100059%
Critics Consensus: It requires some viewing commitment, but this beautifully assembled showcase for Douglas Fairbanks' acting offers some splendid treats for classic film fans.
Synopsis: A thief sneaks into a royal palace, where he sees and falls instantly in love with a beautiful princess. Pretending... [More]
Directed By: Raoul Walsh

#18

Enchanted (2007)
93%

#18
Adjusted Score: 100282%
Critics Consensus: A smart re-imagining of fairy tale tropes that's sure to delight children and adults, Enchanted features witty dialogue, sharp animation, and a star turn by Amy Adams.
Synopsis: Banished by an evil queen, Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) from a fairy-tale world lands in modern Manhattan, where music, magic... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Lima

#17
Adjusted Score: 100587%
Critics Consensus: Full of eye-popping special effects, and featuring a pitch-perfect cast, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring brings J.R.R. Tolkien's classic to vivid life.
Synopsis: The future of civilization rests in the fate of the One Ring, which has been lost for centuries. Powerful forces... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 101997%
Critics Consensus: Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an innovative and entertaining film that features a groundbreaking mix of live action and animation, with a touching and original story to boot.
Synopsis: Down-on-his-luck private eye Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) gets hired by cartoon producer R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) to investigate an adultery... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#15

Mary Poppins (1964)
96%

#15
Adjusted Score: 100930%
Critics Consensus: A lavish modern fairy tale celebrated for its amazing special effects, catchy songs, and Julie Andrews's legendary performance in the title role.
Synopsis: When Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber), the children of the wealthy and uptight Banks family, are faced with... [More]
Directed By: Robert Stevenson

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 102226%
Critics Consensus: Mary Poppins Returns relies on the magic of its classic forebear to cast a familiar -- but still solidly effective -- family-friendly spell.
Synopsis: Now an adult with three children, bank teller Michael Banks learns that his house will be repossessed in five days... [More]
Directed By: Rob Marshall

#13

Pete's Dragon (2016)
88%

#13
Adjusted Score: 102293%
Critics Consensus: Pete's Dragon continues Disney's current live-action winning streak with an update that gives the original a visual overhaul without overwhelming its sweet, soulful charm.
Synopsis: Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford), a woodcarver, delights local children with stories of a mysterious dragon that lives deep in the... [More]
Directed By: David Lowery

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 102714%
Critics Consensus: Dashing, dazzling, and altogether magical, The Thief of Bagdad is an enchanting fantasy for children of all ages.
Synopsis: Deceived and deposed by his sinister adviser, Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), Ahmad (John Justin), the King of Bagdad, must find a... [More]

#11

Ugetsu (1953)
100%

#11
Adjusted Score: 102696%
Critics Consensus: With its thought-provoking themes, rich atmosphere, and brilliant direction, Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu monogatari is a towering classic of world cinema.
Synopsis: In 16th century Japan, peasants Genjuro (Masayuki Mori) and Tobei (Sakae Ozawa) sell their earthenware pots to a group of... [More]
Directed By: Kenji Mizoguchi

#10
Adjusted Score: 102798%
Critics Consensus: Visually breathtaking and emotionally powerful, The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King is a moving and satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy.
Synopsis: The culmination of nearly 10 years' work and conclusion to Peter Jackson's epic trilogy based on the timeless J.R.R. Tolkien... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#9
Adjusted Score: 103668%
Critics Consensus: The Two Towers balances spectacular action with emotional storytelling, leaving audiences both wholly satisfied and eager for the final chapter.
Synopsis: The sequel to the Golden Globe-nominated and AFI Award-winning "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," "The... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 103679%
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Synopsis: A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#7

The Green Knight (2021)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 106275%
Critics Consensus: The Green Knight honors and deconstructs its source material in equal measure, producing an absorbing adventure that casts a fantastical spell.
Synopsis: An epic fantasy adventure based on the timeless Arthurian legend, THE GREEN KNIGHT tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev... [More]
Directed By: David Lowery

#6

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
95%

#6
Adjusted Score: 104435%
Critics Consensus: Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.
Synopsis: In 1944 Spain young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her ailing mother (Ariadna Gil) arrive at the post of her mother's... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 104933%
Critics Consensus: With its magical optical effects and enchanting performances, Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast remains the most surreal -- and soulful -- of the fairy tale's film adaptations.
Synopsis: The story of a gentle-hearted beast in love with a simple and beautiful girl. She is drawn to the repellent... [More]
Directed By: Jean Cocteau

#4

A Monster Calls (2016)
86%

#4
Adjusted Score: 105962%
Critics Consensus: A Monster Calls deftly balances dark themes and fantastical elements to deliver an engrossing and uncommonly moving entry in the crowded coming-of-age genre.
Synopsis: Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is dealing with far more than other boys his age. His beloved and devoted mother (Felicity Jones)... [More]
Directed By: J.A. Bayona

#3
Adjusted Score: 109302%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, powerfully acted, and visually dazzling, Deathly Hallows Part II brings the Harry Potter franchise to a satisfying -- and suitably magical -- conclusion.
Synopsis: A clash between good and evil awaits as young Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) prepare... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#2

The Jungle Book (2016)
94%

#2
Adjusted Score: 114744%
Critics Consensus: As lovely to behold as it is engrossing to watch, The Jungle Book is the rare remake that actually improves upon its predecessors -- all while setting a new standard for CGI.
Synopsis: Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) must leave the only home he's ever known when... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#1

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 115182%
Critics Consensus: An absolute masterpiece whose groundbreaking visuals and deft storytelling are still every bit as resonant, The Wizard of Oz is a must-see film for young and old.
Synopsis: When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to... [More]
Directed By: Victor Fleming

(Photo by United Artists)

All Sean Connery Movies Ranked

Footballer. Bodybuilder. Navy soldier. Milkman. No, these aren’t the declassified origins of MI6 agent James Bond, but of the actor who would embody him: Sean Connery. An appropriately colorful past for a strappng Scot, Connery saved the best career change for his mid-20s when he turned down a sports contract to pursue theater and acting in the 1950s. Bit parts came quick, leading into 1959 when the very Scottish actor was cast in the very Irish movie, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, which still sticks out in his filmography as one of the rare times Connery has sung on-camera, and his only solo.

Another movie where Connery sings? You know its name: Dr. No, the first James Bond film ever adapted from the espionage books by Ian Fleming, in which Connery has a very brief duet with Ursula Andress. A tremendous financial success back then (and Certified Fresh now), it not only launched the 007 series but a whole international spy genre that would dominate the ’60s, and hang ripe for parody and resurrection for decades to come. Sequels like From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, and You Only Live Twice came in rapid annual fashion.

After being freed from MI6 service and starting in the ’70s, fans never had to wait long for a new on-screen appearance from Connery, who put out two or three movies a year through the late-’90s. The Man Who Would Be King, Murder on the Orient Express, A Bridge Too Far, and Zardoz were among the most notable (and in the last’s case, peculiar) of the ’70s. And the ’80s would see him in Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits, 007 swan song Never Say Never Again, action classic Highlander, and The Untouchables – the only time he’s ever been nominated for an acting Oscar.

He closed the decade with fan-favorite Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as Indy’s dad, and started the ’90s with The Hunt for Red October. He then began to settle more into older statesman and mentor roles – First Knight, Entrapment, Finding Forrester — which probably seemed less appealing as the reviews came in worse and worse. The Avengers was a widely-publicized box office bomb, while The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen became but another embarrassing bullet point on Alan Moore’s list of why he hates Hollywood. But Connery was always a forceful presence, no matter the film he found himself in. The actor retired from acting after League, with only a vocal performance in homegrown Scottish animated movie Sir Billi to tide audiences over in the last 15 years, and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, we sadly lost Sir Sean Connery at the age of 90.

Now, we celebrate a life in film as we rank all Sean Connery movies by Tomatometer!

#51

Sir Billi (2013)
0%

#51
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Sascha Hartmann

#50
Adjusted Score: 1149%
Critics Consensus: There should have been only one.
Synopsis: In this sci-fi/fantasy sequel, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) has become an elderly man after losing his immortality. Living in a... [More]
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

#49

Meteor (1979)
5%

#49
Adjusted Score: 5934%
Critics Consensus: Meteor is a flimsy flick with too much boring dialogue and not enough destruction. At least the pinball game is decent.
Synopsis: In this disaster movie, Americans and Soviets must put aside their differences to save civilization from a huge meteor bearing... [More]
Directed By: Ronald Neame

#48

The Avengers (1998)
5%

#48
Adjusted Score: 8367%
Critics Consensus: A TV spinoff that lacks enough energy to spin, The Avengers is an ineptly written, woefully miscast disaster.
Synopsis: A charismatic evil genius named Sir August de Wynter (Sean Connery) discovers a way to harness the weather and utilize... [More]
Directed By: Jeremiah Chechik

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 7917%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Morgan Leafy (Colin Friels) is a British diplomat living in Kinjanja, an African nation recently freed from British rule. Arthur... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Beresford

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 4393%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A 1930s Scottish doctor (Sean Connery) goes climbing in the Alps with an infatuated niece (Betsy Brantley) he passes off... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#45
Adjusted Score: 23267%
Critics Consensus: Just ordinary. LXG is a great premise ruined by poor execution.
Synopsis: A team of extraordinary figures culled from great adventure literature (including Alan Quatermain, vampiress Mina Harker from Dracula, the Invisible... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Norrington

#44

Medicine Man (1992)
18%

#44
Adjusted Score: 19132%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Brilliant, eccentric research scientist Richard Campbell (Sean Connery), after living for six years in the Amazon jungle, has possibly discovered... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#43

Just Cause (1995)
26%

#43
Adjusted Score: 26408%
Critics Consensus: Just Cause you round up a phenomenal cast, that doesn't mean you have everything you need for a solid legal thriller -- and this film is forgettable proof.
Synopsis: Paul Armstrong (Sean Connery), a law professor who staunchly fights the death penalty, is lured into defending a death row... [More]
Directed By: Arne Glimcher

#42

Wrong Is Right (1982)
30%

#42
Adjusted Score: 30015%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Patrick Hale (Sean Connery) is a slick television journalist with impressive ratings. When Hale travels to the Middle East to... [More]
Directed By: Richard Brooks

#41

Rising Sun (1993)
33%

#41
Adjusted Score: 34877%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a prostitute is found dead in a Los Angeles skyscraper occupied by a large Japanese corporation, detectives John Conner... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#40

Family Business (1989)
38%

#40
Adjusted Score: 37551%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Vito (Dustin Hoffman) is the son of Jessie (Sean Connery), a professional criminal who has trained his son in the... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#39

Entrapment (1999)
39%

#39
Adjusted Score: 42319%
Critics Consensus: A poorly developed plot weighs down any potential chemistry between the movie's leads.
Synopsis: Insurance investigator Virginia "Gin" Baker (Catherine Zeta-Jones), looking into a stolen Rembrandt painting, suspects that accomplished thief Robert "Mac" MacDougal... [More]
Directed By: Jon Amiel

#38

Shalako (1968)
40%

#38
Adjusted Score: 8268%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While guiding a hunting party of clueless European aristocrats, cowboy Bosky Fulton (Stephen Boyd) leads them into hostile Apache territory.... [More]
Directed By: Edward Dmytryk

#37

First Knight (1995)
43%

#37
Adjusted Score: 43108%
Critics Consensus: This unimaginative reimagining of Arthurian legend dispenses with the magic without achieving a convincing realism in the bargain, suffering from fatal miscasting and a lack of romance.
Synopsis: Handsome swordsman Lancelot (Richard Gere) is incredibly skilled at fighting, but when he meets the lovely Guinevere (Julia Ormond), he... [More]
Directed By: Jerry Zucker

#36

Cuba (1979)
45%

#36
Adjusted Score: 45119%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Pre-revolutionary Cuba is the setting for this drama about British mercenary Robert Dapes (Sean Connery), who is sent to Havana... [More]
Directed By: Richard Lester

#35

Zardoz (1974)
47%

#35
Adjusted Score: 47289%
Critics Consensus: Zardoz is ambitious and epic in scope, but its philosophical musings are rendered ineffective by its supreme weirdness and rickety execution.
Synopsis: In the future, Earth is ruled by Eternals, an advanced and secret sect of beings who reign over a savage... [More]
Directed By: John Boorman

#34

Dragonheart (1996)
50%

#34
Adjusted Score: 51139%
Critics Consensus: Dragonheart gives us medieval action, a splendidly mulleted Dennis Quaid, and Sean Connery as a talking dragon -- and, unfortunately, a story that largely fails to engage.
Synopsis: Disillusioned knight Bowen (Dennis Quaid) befriends Draco (Sean Connery), the last of the dragons, and the two begin scamming village... [More]
Directed By: Rob Cohen

#33

The Presidio (1988)
37%

#33
Adjusted Score: 37684%
Critics Consensus: The Presidio is too well-cast and competently directed to be truly painful, but action fans have no shortage of more compelling options.
Synopsis: Ex-military policeman Jay Austin (Mark Harmon) is now a San Francisco detective. When his former MP partner is killed at... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

#32

Outland (1981)
56%

#32
Adjusted Score: 57390%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Thriller about an honest marshal in a corrupt mining colony on Io, Jupiter's sunless third moon, who is determined to... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

#31

Playing by Heart (1998)
60%

#31
Adjusted Score: 62427%
Critics Consensus: It's overly talky, but Playing By Heart benefits from witty insights into modern relationships and strong performances from an esteemed cast.
Synopsis: In this tale of how love binds 11 random people from Los Angeles, a married couple (Sean Connery, Gena Rowlands)... [More]
Directed By: Willard Carroll

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 62733%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: John Milius fictionalizes the historical story of President Roosevelt's attempts to deal with the kidnapping of an American citizen by... [More]
Directed By: John Milius

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 68932%
Critics Consensus: Diamonds are Forever is a largely derivative affair, but it's still pretty entertaining nonetheless, thanks to great stunts, witty dialogue, and the presence of Sean Connery.
Synopsis: While investigating mysterious activities in the world diamond market, 007 (Sean Connery) discovers that his evil nemesis Blofeld (Charles Gray)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Hamilton

#28

A Bridge Too Far (1977)
62%

#28
Adjusted Score: 62900%
Critics Consensus: A Bridge Too Far is a war movie too long, although top-notch talent on both sides of the camera keeps the end result consistently watchable.
Synopsis: Late in 1944, the Allies seem to have the upper hand in the European land war. A combined British and... [More]
Directed By: Richard Attenborough

#27

The Rock (1996)
68%

#27
Adjusted Score: 71940%
Critics Consensus: For visceral thrills, it can't be beat. Just don't expect The Rock to engage your brain.
Synopsis: FBI chemical warfare expert Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) is sent on an urgent mission with a former British spy, John... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 70412%
Critics Consensus: While the rehashed story feels rather uninspired and unnecessary, the return of both Sean Connery and a more understated Bond make Never Say Never Again a watchable retread.
Synopsis: An aging James Bond (Sean Connery) makes an uncharacteristic mistake during a routine training mission, leading M (Edward Fox) to... [More]
Directed By: Irvin Kershner

#25

Highlander (1986)
70%

#25
Adjusted Score: 73012%
Critics Consensus: People hate Highlander because it's cheesy, bombastic, and absurd. And people love it for the same reasons.
Synopsis: When the mystical Russell Nash (Christopher Lambert) kills a man in a sword fight in a New York City parking... [More]
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

#24

The Hill (1965)
71%

#24
Adjusted Score: 71095%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Five British soldiers are sent to a detention camp in the Libyan Desert, including Sergeant Major Roberts (Sean Connery), whose... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#23

The Offence (1973)
71%

#23
Adjusted Score: 71552%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A veteran British police inspector, Sgt. Johnson (Sean Connery), has grown increasingly disturbed by the rapes and murders he has... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#22

The Russia House (1990)
68%

#22
Adjusted Score: 68652%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While visiting Moscow, British publisher Barley Blair (Sean Connery) learns of a manuscript detailing the Soviet Union's nuclear missile capabilities.... [More]
Directed By: Fred Schepisi

#21

Robin and Marian (1976)
74%

#21
Adjusted Score: 75815%
Critics Consensus: Robin and Marian gives the legendary characters a somber sendoff, finding ample success in the romantic chemistry between Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn while yielding diminishing returns in its attempts at relevant satire.
Synopsis: Long after their original adventures in Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood (Sean Connery) and his trusty sidekick, Little John (Nicol Williamson),... [More]
Directed By: Richard Lester

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 77718%
Critics Consensus: With exotic locales, impressive special effects, and a worthy central villain, You Only Live Twice overcomes a messy and implausible story to deliver another memorable early Bond flick.
Synopsis: During the Cold War, American and Russian spacecrafts go missing, leaving each superpower believing the other is to blame. As... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Gilbert

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 62187%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: John "Duke" Anderson is a burglar (Sean Connery) recently released from prison who returns to his ex-girlfriend (Dyan Cannon) after... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 75748%
Critics Consensus: Laboriously paced and overly talky, The Great Train Robbery nevertheless pulls off a thrillingly staged finale anchored by winning performances from Donald Sutherland and Sean Connery.
Synopsis: Edward Pierce (Sean Connery) is a master thief of the Victorian Era who's never found a heist he couldn't pull... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 72331%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the 14th century, William of Baskerville (Sean Connery), a renowned Franciscan monk, and his apprentice, Adso of Melk (Christian... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Jacques Annaud

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 78716%
Critics Consensus: Despite the predictability of its plot and its similarity to Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester has an honest, solid feel to it and good rapport between Connery and Brown.
Synopsis: A unique relationship develops between an eccentric, reclusive novelist and a young, amazingly gifted scholar-athlete. After the novelist discovers that... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#15

The Untouchables (1987)
83%

#15
Adjusted Score: 87047%
Critics Consensus: Slick on the surface but loaded with artful touches, Brian DePalma's classical gangster thriller is a sharp look at period Chicago crime, featuring excellent performances from a top-notch cast.
Synopsis: After building an empire with bootleg alcohol, legendary crime boss Al Capone (Robert De Niro) rules Chicago with an iron... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#14

Marnie (1964)
83%

#14
Adjusted Score: 85313%
Critics Consensus: A coolly constructed mystery revolving around a character who's inscrutable to a fault, Marnie finds Hitchcock luring audiences deeper into the dark.
Synopsis: Mark Rutland (Sean Connery) is a customer of one Mr. Strutt, whose business was robbed by his secretary, the mysterious... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#13

Thunderball (1965)
87%

#13
Adjusted Score: 93137%
Critics Consensus: Lavishly rendered set pieces and Sean Connery's enduring charm make Thunderball a big, fun adventure, even if it doesn't quite measure up to the series' previous heights.
Synopsis: Led by one-eyed evil mastermind Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), the terrorist group SPECTRE hijacks two warheads from a NATO plane... [More]
Directed By: Terence Young

#12

The Longest Day (1962)
87%

#12
Adjusted Score: 87534%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1944, the U.S. Army and Allied forces plan a huge invasion landing in Normandy, France. Despite bad weather, General... [More]

#11
Adjusted Score: 93079%
Critics Consensus: Lighter and more comedic than its predecessor, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade returns the series to the brisk serial adventure of Raiders, while adding a dynamite double act between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.
Synopsis: An art collector appeals to Jones to embark on a search for the Holy Grail. He learns that another archaeologist... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 92347%
Critics Consensus: Perfectly cast and packed with suspense, The Hunt for Red October is an old-fashioned submarine thriller with plenty of firepower to spare.
Synopsis: Based on the popular Tom Clancy novel, this suspenseful movie tracks Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) as he... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#9

The Red Tent (1971)
89%

#9
Adjusted Score: 35396%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In his apartment in Rome in the 1960s, the elderly and guilt-stricken Gen. Umberto Nobile (Peter Finch) recalls the tragic... [More]
Directed By: Mikhail Kalatozov

#8

Time Bandits (1981)
90%

#8
Adjusted Score: 92684%
Critics Consensus: Time Bandits is a remarkable time-travel fantasy from Terry Gilliam, who utilizes fantastic set design and homemade special effects to create a vivid, original universe.
Synopsis: Young history buff Kevin (Craig Warnock) can scarcely believe it when six dwarfs emerge from his closet one night. Former... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 90206%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Pennsylvania company plants a spy (Richard Harris) among an Irish coal miner's (Sean Connery) secret society of saboteurs.... [More]
Directed By: Martin Ritt

#6
Adjusted Score: 92549%
Critics Consensus: Murder, intrigue, and a star-studded cast make this stylish production of Murder on the Orient Express one of the best Agatha Christie adaptations to see the silver screen.
Synopsis: Having concluded a case, detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) settles into what he expects will be a relaxing journey home... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 102214%
Critics Consensus: The second James Bond film, From Russia with Love is a razor-sharp, briskly-paced Cold War thriller that features several electrifying action scenes.
Synopsis: Agent 007 (Sean Connery) is back in the second installment of the James Bond series, this time battling a secret... [More]
Directed By: Terence Young

#4

Dr. No (1962)
95%

#4
Adjusted Score: 101096%
Critics Consensus: Featuring plenty of the humor, action, and escapist thrills the series would become known for, Dr. No kicks off the Bond franchise in style.
Synopsis: In the film that launched the James Bond saga, Agent 007 (Sean Connery) battles mysterious Dr. No, a scientific genius... [More]
Directed By: Terence Young

#3
Adjusted Score: 98357%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling, this adventure film follows the exploits of Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine) and... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#2

Goldfinger (1964)
99%

#2
Adjusted Score: 104437%
Critics Consensus: Goldfinger is where James Bond as we know him comes into focus - it features one of 007's most famous lines ("A martini. Shaken, not stirred.") and a wide range of gadgets that would become the series' trademark.
Synopsis: Special agent 007 (Sean Connery) comes face to face with one of the most notorious villains of all time, and... [More]
Directed By: Guy Hamilton

#1
Adjusted Score: 66115%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Just-fired Darby O'Gill (Albert Sharpe) does not want to tell his daughter, Katie (Janet Munro), that his position has been... [More]
Directed By: Robert Stevenson

WALL-E

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail image: 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.; Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection; MGM.)

50 Essential Movies For Kids

Looking to enrich your kid’s viewing habits? Or if you’re under 13 yourself, love movies, and you want to watch some of the best ever made, take it from us when we list 50 Essential Movies For Kids!

These are not just great children’s movies, but movies that play well for the curious and growing mind. While all these movies are classics and can be seen at any age, some have stronger themes than others that would play better during upper years. So, we separated the movies in suggested age categories:

Ages 1-5: Kids may not actively recall everything from this age, but a good baseline is fundamental in developing a healthy appetite for movies. Here we feature colorful classics (The Wizard of Oz), fun adventures (Chicken Run), and tales as old as time (Beauty and the Beast).

Ages 6-9: As more time is devoted to school and outside life, movies become more of an escape, and their power to transport starts to become apparent. Don’t miss out on epic quests (Star Wars), wish fulfillment (Home Alone), and dazzling fantasies (Spirited Away).

Ages 10-12: The magic window, the time in life when movies can move and change tweens, and stick for the rest of time. A good era for the classic portrayals of youth (The 400 Blows), face-melting action (Raiders of the Lost Ark), and romance (Romeo & Juliet).

Whether you’re a parent looking for a moral, entertaining movie night with your kids, or you’re a young student of movies making the leap on your own, check out these 50 Essential Movies For Kids!


Ages 1-5

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 103564%
Critics Consensus: Enchanting, sweepingly romantic, and featuring plenty of wonderful musical numbers, Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney's most elegant animated offerings.
Synopsis: An arrogant young prince (Robby Benson) and his castle's servants fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress, who turns... [More]
Directed By: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

#49

Chicken Run (2000)
97%

#49
Adjusted Score: 103666%
Critics Consensus: Chicken Run has all the charm of Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit, and something for everybody. The voice acting is fabulous, the slapstick is brilliant, and the action sequences are spectacular.
Synopsis: This engaging stop-motion, claymation adventure tells the story of an American rooster who falls in love with a gorgeous hen... [More]
Directed By: Peter Lord, Nick Park

#48

Frozen (2013)
90%

#48
Adjusted Score: 100194%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated, smartly written, and stocked with singalong songs, Frozen adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon.
Synopsis: When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna (Kristen Bell) joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and... [More]
Directed By: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 98716%
Critics Consensus: Kiki's Delivery Service is a heartwarming, gorgeously-rendered tale of a young witch discovering her place in the world.
Synopsis: In this anime feature, 13-year-old Kiki moves to a seaside town with her talking cat, Jiji, to spend a year... [More]
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 98718%
Critics Consensus: Alfonso Cuarón adapts Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel with a keen sense of magic realism, vividly recreating the world of childhood as seen through the characters.
Synopsis: When young Sara (Liesel Matthews) is sent to a boarding school by her well-meaning World War I-bound father (Liam Cunningham),... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#45

The Muppet Movie (1979)
88%

#45
Adjusted Score: 92293%
Critics Consensus: The Muppet Movie, the big-screen debut of Jim Henson's plush creations, is smart, lighthearted, and fun for all ages.
Synopsis: After Kermit the Frog decides to pursue a movie career, he starts his cross-country trip from Florida to California. Along... [More]
Directed By: James Frawley

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 95572%
Critics Consensus: My Neighbor Totoro is a heartwarming, sentimental masterpiece that captures the simple grace of childhood.
Synopsis: This acclaimed animated tale by director Hayao Miyazaki follows schoolgirl Satsuke and her younger sister, Mei, as they settle into... [More]
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki

#43

The Red Balloon (1956)
95%

#43
Adjusted Score: 96989%
Critics Consensus: The Red Balloon invests the simplest of narratives with spectacular visual inventiveness, making for a singularly wondrous portrait of innocence.
Synopsis: A red balloon with a life of its own follows a boy around Paris.... [More]
Directed By: Albert Lamorisse

#42
Adjusted Score: 99232%
Critics Consensus: With its involving story and characters, vibrant art, and memorable songs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs set the animation standard for decades to come.
Synopsis: The Grimm fairy tale gets a Technicolor treatment in Disney's first animated feature. Jealous of Snow White's beauty, the wicked... [More]
Directed By: David Hand

#41

Toy Story (1995)
100%

#41
Adjusted Score: 106145%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#40

WALL-E (2008)
95%

#40
Adjusted Score: 105657%
Critics Consensus: Wall-E's stellar visuals testify once again to Pixar's ingenuity, while its charming star will captivate younger viewers -- and its timely story offers thought-provoking subtext.
Synopsis: WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#39

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
98%

#39
Adjusted Score: 115182%
Critics Consensus: An absolute masterpiece whose groundbreaking visuals and deft storytelling are still every bit as resonant, The Wizard of Oz is a must-see film for young and old.
Synopsis: When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to... [More]
Directed By: Victor Fleming


Ages 6-9

#38

Babe (1995)
97%

#38
Adjusted Score: 101436%
Critics Consensus: The rare family-friendly feature with a heart as big as its special effects budget, Babe offers timeless entertainment for viewers of all ages.
Synopsis: Gentle farmer Arthur Hoggett (James Cromwell) wins a piglet named Babe (Christine Cavanaugh) at a county fair. Narrowly escaping his... [More]
Directed By: Chris Noonan

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 103089%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.
Synopsis: In this 1980s sci-fi classic, small-town California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is thrown back into the '50s when... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#36

Coco (2017)
97%

#36
Adjusted Score: 123792%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Synopsis: Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#35
Adjusted Score: 110789%
Critics Consensus: Playing as both an exciting sci-fi adventure and a remarkable portrait of childhood, Steven Spielberg's touching tale of a homesick alien remains a piece of movie magic for young and old.
Synopsis: After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#34

Elf (2003)
85%

#34
Adjusted Score: 90696%
Critics Consensus: A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers.
Synopsis: Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves.... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 102151%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Mr. Fox is a delightfully funny feast for the eyes with multi-generational appeal -- and it shows Wes Anderson has a knack for animation.
Synopsis: After 12 years of bucolic bliss, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) and raids... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#32

The Goonies (1985)
77%

#32
Adjusted Score: 80849%
Critics Consensus: The Goonies is an energetic, sometimes noisy mix of Spielbergian sentiment and funhouse tricks that will appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike.
Synopsis: When two brothers find out they might lose their house they are desperate to find a way to keep their... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#31
Adjusted Score: 89062%
Critics Consensus: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone adapts its source material faithfully while condensing the novel's overstuffed narrative into an involving -- and often downright exciting -- big-screen magical caper.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling's popular children's novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#30

Home Alone (1990)
68%

#30
Adjusted Score: 71390%
Critics Consensus: Home Alone uneven but frequently funny premise stretched unreasonably thin is buoyed by Macaulay Culkin's cute performance and strong supporting stars.
Synopsis: When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother (Catherine... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 105999%
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Synopsis: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life.... [More]

#28

Inside Out (2015)
98%

#28
Adjusted Score: 113968%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
Synopsis: Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#27

The Karate Kid (1984)
89%

#27
Adjusted Score: 91180%
Critics Consensus: Utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio's relaxed chemistry.
Synopsis: Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#26

The Iron Giant (1999)
96%

#26
Adjusted Score: 101301%
Critics Consensus: The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.
Synopsis: In this animated adaptation of Ted Hughes' Cold War fable, a giant alien robot (Vin Diesel) crash-lands near the small... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#25

The LEGO Movie (2014)
96%

#25
Adjusted Score: 105883%
Critics Consensus: Boasting beautiful animation, a charming voice cast, laugh-a-minute gags, and a surprisingly thoughtful story, The Lego Movie is colorful fun for all ages.
Synopsis: Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as the Special -- an... [More]

#24

Little Manhattan (2005)
77%

#24
Adjusted Score: 77385%
Critics Consensus: Little Manhattan is a sweet story of young love that provides an enlightening if pragmatic view on love and courtship.
Synopsis: Gabe (Josh Hutcherson), a sixth grader, is partnered with Rosemary (Charlie Ray) in his karate class. Though he's known her... [More]
Directed By: Mark Levin

#23

Matilda (1996)
90%

#23
Adjusted Score: 90497%
Critics Consensus: Danny DeVito-directed version of Matilda is odd, charming, and while the movie diverges from Roald Dahl, it nonetheless captures the book's spirit.
Synopsis: This film adaptation of a Roald Dahl work tells the story of Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson), a gifted girl forced... [More]
Directed By: Danny DeVito

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 82895%
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

#21

Paddington 2 (2017)
99%

#21
Adjusted Score: 113872%
Critics Consensus: Paddington 2 honors its star's rich legacy with a sweet-natured sequel whose adorable visuals are matched by a story perfectly balanced between heartwarming family fare and purely enjoyable all-ages adventure.
Synopsis: Settled in with the Brown family, Paddington the bear is a popular member of the community who spreads joy and... [More]
Directed By: Paul King

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 103679%
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Synopsis: A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#19

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#19
Adjusted Score: 68717%
Critics Consensus: It may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but The Sandlot is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure.
Synopsis: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids... [More]
Directed By: David Mickey Evans

#18

Spirited Away (2001)
97%

#18
Adjusted Score: 103390%
Critics Consensus: Spirited Away is a dazzling, enchanting, and gorgeously drawn fairy tale that will leave viewers a little more curious and fascinated by the world around them.
Synopsis: 10-year-old Chihiro (Daveigh Chase) moves with her parents to a new home in the Japanese countryside. After taking a wrong... [More]
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise

#17

Spy Kids (2001)
93%

#17
Adjusted Score: 97787%
Critics Consensus: A kinetic and fun movie that's sure to thrill children of all ages.
Synopsis: Two young kids become spies in attempt to save their parents, who are ex-spies, from an evil mastermind. Armed with... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#16
Adjusted Score: 105728%
Critics Consensus: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.
Synopsis: The Imperial Forces -- under orders from cruel Darth Vader (David Prowse) -- hold Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) hostage, in... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#15
Adjusted Score: 95406%
Critics Consensus: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is strange yet comforting, full of narrative detours that don't always work but express the film's uniqueness.
Synopsis: The last of five coveted "golden tickets" falls into the hands of a sweet but very poor boy. He and... [More]
Directed By: Mel Stuart


Ages 10-12

#14

The 400 Blows (1959)
98%

#14
Adjusted Score: 104188%
Critics Consensus: A seminal French New Wave film that offers an honest, sympathetic, and wholly heartbreaking observation of adolescence without trite nostalgia.
Synopsis: For young Parisian boy Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), life is one difficult situation after another. Surrounded by inconsiderate adults, including... [More]
Directed By: François Truffaut

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 90719%
Critics Consensus: A warm, family-friendly underdog story, featuring terrific supporting performances from Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne, and Angela Bassett.
Synopsis: Akeelah, an 11-year-old girl living in South Los Angeles, discovers she has a talent for spelling, which she hopes will... [More]
Directed By: Doug Atchison

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 99264%
Critics Consensus: Louis Malle's autobiographical tale of a childhood spent in a WWII boarding school is a beautifully realized portrait of friendship and youth.
Synopsis: In 1943, Julien (Gaspard Manesse) is a student at a French boarding school. When three new students arrive, including Jean... [More]
Directed By: Louis Malle

#11

Hugo (2011)
93%

#11
Adjusted Score: 100995%
Critics Consensus: Hugo is an extravagant, elegant fantasy with an innocence lacking in many modern kids' movies, and one that emanates an unabashed love for the magic of cinema.
Synopsis: Orphaned and alone except for an uncle, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in the walls of a train station in... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 78234%
Critics Consensus: A charming, quirky, and often funny comedy.
Synopsis: In small-town Preston, Idaho, awkward teen Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) has trouble fitting in. After his grandmother is injured in... [More]
Directed By: Jared Hess

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 89483%
Critics Consensus: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure brings Paul Reubens' famous character to the big screen intact, along with enough inspired silliness to dazzle children of all ages.
Synopsis: Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), an eccentric child-like man, loves his red bicycle and will not sell it to his envious... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#8

Queen of Katwe (2016)
94%

#8
Adjusted Score: 104634%
Critics Consensus: Queen of Katwe is a feel-good movie of uncommon smarts and passion, and outstanding performances by Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo help to elevate the film past its cliches.
Synopsis: Living in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) and her... [More]
Directed By: Mira Nair

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 102222%
Critics Consensus: Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time.
Synopsis: Dr. Indiana Jones, a renowned archeologist and expert in the occult, is hired by the U.S. Government to find the... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#6

Romeo and Juliet (1968)
95%

#6
Adjusted Score: 98016%
Critics Consensus: The solid leads and arresting visuals make a case for Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet as the definitive cinematic adaptation of the play.
Synopsis: In the Italian city of Verona, the Montague and the Capulet families are perpetually feuding. When Romeo (Leonard Whiting), a... [More]
Directed By: Franco Zeffirelli

#5

Rudy (1993)
78%

#5
Adjusted Score: 81458%
Critics Consensus: Though undeniably sentimental and predictable, Rudy succeeds with an uplifting spirit and determination.
Synopsis: Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin) wants to play football at the University of Notre Dame, but has neither the money for... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#4
Adjusted Score: 121248%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

#3

Time Bandits (1981)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 92684%
Critics Consensus: Time Bandits is a remarkable time-travel fantasy from Terry Gilliam, who utilizes fantastic set design and homemade special effects to create a vivid, original universe.
Synopsis: Young history buff Kevin (Craig Warnock) can scarcely believe it when six dwarfs emerge from his closet one night. Former... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#2

West Side Story (1961)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103950%
Critics Consensus: Buoyed by Robert Wise's dazzling direction, Leonard Bernstein's score, and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, West Side Story remains perhaps the most iconic of all the Shakespeare adaptations to visit the big screen.
Synopsis: A musical in which a modern day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh... [More]

#1

The Witches (1990)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 95728%
Critics Consensus: With a deliciously wicked performance from Angelica Huston and imaginative puppetry by Jim Henson's creature shop, Nicolas Roeg's dark and witty movie captures the spirit of Roald Dahl's writing like few other adaptations.
Synopsis: While staying at a hotel in England with his grandmother, Helga (Mai Zetterling), young Luke (Jasen Fisher) inadvertently spies on... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg

Jason Momoa in See in Apple TV+ trailer screencap (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Netflix, Amazon, and now Hulu have both become synonymous with prestige TV, but there’s one giant tech company not far behind the two streaming services — at least in theory. In the past year, Apple has made moves to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and premium cable channels (like HBO and Showtime) for the peak TV crown in 2019.

With more TV series — and places to watch them — than ever, Apple is putting a reported $1 billion toward adding to the peak TV pile. While the company began its foray into scripted series with two current shows offered through Apple Music — the tech-themed Shark Tank–esque reality competition Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke: The Series — the competition really ramped up when it hired veteran TV executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht in June 2017. The duo formerly ran Sony Pictures Television, the studio that brought the world Breaking Bad and The Crown.

Van Amburg and Erlicht have engaged in aggressive bidding wars for some of TV’s hottest projects, according to a New York Times report, and will likely surpass its reported budget in doing so. With more than a dozen projects currently in the works, it’s clear the company is ready to spend money to compete with TV’s current titans. (Planet of the Apps, which featured guest judges including Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, didn’t get much critical acclaim when it debuted in June 2017. Carpool Karaoke: The Series, a spin-off of James Corden’s popular Late Late Show segment, has been ordered for a second season.)


Tim Cook introduces Apple TV+ at the Apple Event March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater on the company's corporate campus in Cupertino, CA, (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Apple held a star-studded launch event at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters in March to announce its new streaming product and original series offerings. Stars including Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, J.J. Abrams, Sara Bareilles, and even Big Bird were present for the Apple TV+ presentation. The service is scheduled to roll out its programming on Nov. 1.


RELATED: “Everything To Know About Apple TV+


Below, we’ve rounded up a list of all the titles that are headed to or intended for the tech giant. Some are in development, while the others are series orders (and have even completed filming). Read on to find out who the players are and more about the shows.

UPDATED (9/11/19): Apple’s latest event revealed pricing and launch date information for Apple TV+. Check out the updated list of everything we know below, including which shows will debut at launch, which are coming soon, and which are still in the works.


Launching Nov. 1


The Morning Show

Jennifer Aniston in The Morning Show in Apple TV+ trailer screencap (Apple)

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Talent: Witherspoon and Aniston are both set to star in and executive produce the drama, which was one of the first scripted series Apple announced. While Jay Carson (House of Cards) was originally signed on to write the project, he has since departed and Bates Motel boss Kerry Ehrin took over. Steve Carell will play the male lead.
What it’s about: The morning show drama has already been ordered for two seasons and 20 episodes and will draw background from Brian Stelter’s book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: With the star power and bona fides of Big Little Lies star and producer Witherspoon and Friends vet Aniston, plus the creative power of Ehrin, it’s almost too big to fail. Then again, the drama surrounding Carson’s departure is never a good sign…


See

Jason Momoa in "See" (Apple TV+)

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Talent: Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard star in the series, which was written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and directed by Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games).
What it’s about: The show is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the human race has lost the sense of sight.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Momoa is a fan-favorite star, and with such high-caliber talent attached, this could go very, very well. (But since it’s got such an ambitious plot, there’s also plenty of opportunity for things to go very, very wrong.


For All Mankind

Joel Kinnaman in For All Mankind in Apple TV+ trailer screencap (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: Battlestar Galactica and Outlander creator Ronald D. Moore has teamed up with Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi (Fargo) for the still-untitled series.
What it’s about: The drama, which has been ordered straight to series, explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Between BSG and Outlander, Moore certainly has both the cred and the goods to assume he’ll deliver on this one, too.


Dickinson

Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson in Apple TV+ trailer screencap (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: Hailee Steinfeld and Jane Krakowski are set to star as young poet Emily Dickinson and her mother, respectively.
What it’s about: The series is a half-hour comedy that “is set during Emily Dickinson’s era with a modern sensibility and tone. It takes viewers into the world of Emily, audaciously exploring the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of a budding writer who doesn’t fit in to her own time through her imaginative point of view,” per Deadline.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: The star power is great, but the series logline is a little out there. We’ll have to wait and see to reserve judgement.


Helpsters

Apple

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: Sesame Workshop is producing the series, which was announced at the Apple event by none other than Big Bird.
What it’s about: The preschool-targeted series will be an educational program about coding.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: If Sesame Street can continue educating children a half a century after its original launch, there’s no reason to believe this new series won’t work.


Snoopy in Space/Peanuts STEM Series

Peanuts (Courtesy of DHX Media)

(Photo by Courtesy of DHX Media)

Talent: Charlie Brown, Lucy, Pigpen, Snoopy — you know, all your favorites from Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts gang — will be the focus of this new series.
What it’s about: The first series from Apple’s deal acquiring the rights to the famous characters will be a science- and math-oriented short featuring Snoopy as an astronaut. This and other new originals with be produced with DHX Media, a Canadian production company that owns a large portion of children’s content, also including Yo Gabba Gabba! and the Teletubbies.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: You can’t really go wrong with such beloved characters.


Ghostwriter

Ghostwriter, Apple TV+

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Talent: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. veteran Brett Dalton
What it’s about: According to the official description, this is a “reinvention” of the classic ’90s children’s series following “four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighborhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.”
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: While beloved to a very small group of people who grew up in the 1990s, the series doesn’t necessarily have much recognition outside that circle. We’ll have to wait until it debuts to find out whether the concept transfers to a new generation.


Launching Soon


M. Night Shyamalan Thriller, Servant

Servant in Apple TV+ trailer screencap (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: M. Night Shyamalan is executive producing and will direct the first episode of this series, from writer Tony Basgallop.
What it’s about: As if the king of big twists would reveal anything about his psychological thriller! Good to note: The first season will consist of 10 half-hour episodes and has been ordered straight to series.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: This one, like Shayamalan’s movies, depends on execution. Will it be a Sixth Sense or a Lady in the Water? Only time will tell.


Truth Be Told

Octavia Spencer in Truth Be Told in Apple TV+ trailer screencap (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: Octavia Spencer is set to star in the drama, which is produced by Reese Witherspoon, created and written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman (The Good Wife, Justified), and based on true-crime novel by Kathleen Barber. Sarah Koenig, creator of the podcast phenomenon Serial, is consulting. Aaron Paul plays the male lead.
What it’s about: Truth Be Told (formerly, “Are You Sleeping“) provides a unique glimpse into America’s obsession with true-crime podcasts and challenges its viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage. Spencer plays a disgraced journalist who returns to her hometown and revisits a case in which she played a pivotal role in her early career. Paul plays a man Spencer’s character helped put behind bars — but he could potentially be innocent of the crime.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: There’s a reason true-crime stories are so engrossing, and if this series can capture the source of that fascination, then it should thrive.


Little America

Kumail Nanjiani speaks at the Apple TV+ announcement on March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple corporate campus in Cupertino, CA (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the husband-and-wife team behind indie hit The Big Sick, are developing this series for Apple.
What it’s about: The anthology series is based on Epic Magazine’s series of the same name, described as “a small, collective portrait of America’s immigrants — and thereby a portrait of America itself.” Nanjiani announced at the Apple TV+ launch that the scripted series is being made solely by immigrants or children of immigrants, and will focus on everyday people.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Given the tender eye and charm they gave their feature film debut, the Oscar-nominated duo are probably a safe bet.


Release Date TBD


Amazing Stories

Amazing Stories in Apple TV+ trailer screencap (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: Steven Spielberg is on board to revive his ’80s anthology series. Bryan Fuller (American Gods) and Hart Hanson (Bones) were originally on board to run the show, which was ordered for 10 episodes, but both departed in February 2018.
What it’s about: The sci-fi/horror/supernatural anthology series originally ran on NBC.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Despite the talent involved, the creative departures could mean there’s more behind-the-scenes drama — which can lead to on-screen discord — afoot. Plus, the series sounds more like a pulpy guilty pleasure than prestige awards bait. Still, it was the first new original series Apple teased at its big announcement, so there seems to be plenty of faith in the series.


Little Voice

J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles speaks at the Apple TV+ announcement on March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple corporate campus in Cupertino, CA (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: Tony-, Grammy-, and Emmy-nominated singer/songwriter/actress Sara Bareilles is writing the music (and could possibly star) in the J.J. Abrams-produced half-hour show, which received a straight-to-series order in June 2018.
What it’s about: Based on the singer’s first album, The Hollywood Reporter described the series as “a love letter to the diverse musicality of New York” that “explores the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: In addition to Bareilles and Abrams, the series will be run by Bareilles’ Waitress collaborator Jessie Nelson (who will also write and direct the first episode). With Waitress, Bareilles’ six Grammy nominees, and Abrams’ pedigree, this series has all the elements needed for success.


Oprah Docuseries

Apple

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: In addition to re-launching her book club for Apple TV+, Oprah Winfrey is producing multiple documentaries for the service.
What it’s about: The first projects include a documentary on workplace abuse, and a series about mental health.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Anyone who’s known by single moniker has the star power to pretty much launch anything they want. Come on, it’s Oprah! She won’t let us down.


Time Bandits

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 08: Taika Waititi walks the red carpet ahead of the Award Ceremony during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 8, 2018 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Stefania D'Alessandro/WireImage)

(Photo by Stefania D'Alessandro/WireImage)

Talent: Taika Waititi is set to co-write and direct the pilot for the project, which will also involve the film’s original writer/director, Terry Gilliam.
What it’s about: While still in the development stages, the potential series is an adaptation of Gilliam’s 1981 fantasy film of the same name, about a young boy who joins a group of renegade time-traveling dwarves.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Well, the original film is Certified Fresh, and at least five of Waititi’s most recent projects are CF or Fresh on the Tomatometer too. The odds are definitely in his favor.


Untitled Brie Larson CIA Project

Brie Larson, WINNER: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for ROOM in the press room for The 88th Academy Awards Oscars 2016 - Press Room, The Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center, Los Angeles, CA February 28, 2016. Photo By: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection

(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)

Talent: Oscar winner and Marvel superhero Brie Larson is set to star.
What it’s about: The new series is “a look at a young woman’s journey in the CIA told through the prism of her closest relationships,” per Variety. The series is based on the experiences of real-life undercover CIA operative Amaryllis Fox and her upcoming memoir Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Since 2010, Larson’s been a part of a whopping 11 Certified Fresh films, with an additional three films sitting at Fresh on the Tomatometer and just a few (okay, four) at Rotten. That’s a pretty stunning record. Let’s just hope the show is more of a Room than a Basmati Blues.


Defending Jacob

Chris Evans at arrivals , The 91st Academy Awards - Arrivals, The Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center, Los Angeles, CA, United States February 24, 2019. (Photo by: Jef Hernandez/Everett Collection) at arrivals for The 91st Academy Awards - Arrivals, The Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center, Los Angeles, CA February 24, 2019. Photo By: Jef Hernandez/Everett Collection

(Photo by Jef Hernandez/Everett Collection)

Talent: Captain America himself, Chris Evans, is starring in and executive producing the new series.
What it’s about: Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, this limited series follows assistant district attorney Andy Barber, who’s investigating the murder of a 14-year-old boy and discovers his son is a suspect.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: A fellow Hollywood Chris (Pine) had similar success executive producing and starring in the drama I Am the Night, so there’s no reason to think Evans couldn’t do the same.


My Glory Was I Had Such Friends

Jennifer Garner at arrivals for CAMPING Series Premiere on HBO, Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, CA October 10, 2018. Photo By: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection

(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

Talent: Jennifer Garner and J.J. Abrams are staging an Alias reunion when the actress stars in the megaproducer’s latest TV project. She’ll also executive produce.
What it’s about: The series is based on the 2017 memoir of the same name by Amy Silverstein, and according to its official description (via The Hollywood Reporter), “the drama showcases the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit as it follows an extraordinary group of women who supported Silverstein as she waited for a second life-saving heart transplant.”
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Alias ran for five seasons, and Garner and Abrams are both A-list movie stars (in front of and behind the camera). Chances for success are high.


Charlie Day–Rob McElhenney Series, Mythic Quest

Ashly Burch and Charlie Day in Mythic Quest in Apple TV+ trailer screencap (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia stars and creators Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney are writing and executive producing a new half-hour comedy. The series will star McElhenney, F. Murray Abraham, David Hornsby, Danny Pudi, and more.
What it’s about: The sitcom follows the diverse group of people who work together in a video game development studio.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Believe it or not, Sunny is one of the longest-running sitcoms of all time. Anyone who can crack the secret to that kind of longevity while still remaining culturally relevant and, most importantly, funny certainly has the potential to do it again.


Foundation

Foundation book cover, David S. Goyer (Penguin Random House; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

(Photo by Penguin Random House; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Talent: David S. Goyer (Blade, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy) and Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Avatar 2) are developing an adaptation of the iconic novel series from famed sci-fi author Isaac Asimov for Skydance Television, the company behind Netflix’s ambitious Altered Carbon.
What it’s about: The book series inspired plenty of the sci-fi you love, including Star Wars. It follows a mathematician who predicts the collapse of humanity, which is scattered on planets throughout the galaxy and ruled by the Galactic Empire. The first book was published in 1951, followed by sequels in the subsequent years and two more in the ’80s, along with two prequels.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: There have been numerous attempts to turn Foundation into a feature film or a TV series before (including by disaster-movie king Roland Emmerich and Westworld creator Jonathan Nolan). Needless to say, the subject matter is daunting and will require a deft approach to capturing the books’ rich world. It could go very, very wrong. But if done well, it could enjoy Game of Thrones–level success.


Untitled Richard Gere Series

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 23: Actor Richard Gere attends the "Invisibles" (Time Out of Mind) charity premiere at the Callao cinema on November 23, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Talent: Richard Gere is set to star in and executive produce the drama series.
What it’s about: Based on the Israeli series Nevelot, the show will follow two elderly Vietnam vets whose lives are changed when a woman they both loved 50 years prior is killed in a car accident.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Though he’s had a storied film career, this is Gere’s first foray into television — so it’ll definitely be worth checking out.


Hilde Lysiak Series, Home Before Dark

Brooklynn Prince in Home Before Dark in Apple TV+ trailer screencap (Apple)

(Photo by Apple)

Talent: The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince is set to play the lead in the upcoming series, which is executive produced by Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu. Jim Sturgess will play her father.
What it’s about: Inspired by the real-life story of Hilde Lysiak, a 9-year-old investigative reporter who uncovered a murder in her Pennsylvania hometown and broke the news in a paper she started herself, the 10-episode mystery series “follows a young girl who moves from Brooklyn to the small lakeside town her father left behind. While there, her dogged pursuit of the truth leads her to unearth a cold case that everyone in town, including her own father, tried hard to bury,” per Deadline.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Prince received plenty of great reviews for her film debut, but that’s no guarantee of success in a crowded TV landscape.


Damien Chazelle Project

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Director Damien Chazelle, winner of Best Director for 'La La Land' poses in the press room during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images))

Talent: La La Land director Damien Chazelle is writing and directing every episode of this straight-to-series drama.
What it’s about: No details about the series have been released, other than the fact that it’s the Oscar winner’s second foray into streaming TV (he’s also involved in Netflix’s musical drama The Eddy).
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Since there isn’t any information on what the show is even about, this isn’t a call that can be made quite yet. But Chazelle is batting two for two with his films Whiplash and La La Land, and his upcoming Neil Armstrong biopic First Man looks to be an awards contender.


Central Park

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02: Josh Gad attends the 'Murder On The Orient Express' World Premiere held at Royal Albert Hall on November 2, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images/for 21st Century Fox)

(Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images/for 21st Century Fox)

Talent: Apple has ordered two seasons of the series, from Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard, actor Josh Gad (pictured), and Nora Smith, which will feature voice talent from Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Titus Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Daveed Diggs, and Kathryn Hahn.
What it’s about: The animated musical comedy follows a family of caretakers who live and work in Central Park and end up saving the park — and basically the world.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Bob’s Burgers is Emmy-nominated, so that pedigree plus the voice talent involved means there’s certainly the potential for critical acclaim.


Swagger

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 24: Professional basketball player Kevin Durant takes a question from a student during the KD Build It and They Will Ball court ceremony on July 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Kevin Durant Charity Foundation)

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Kevin Durant Charity Foundation)

Talent: NBA star Kevin Durant is producing the series along with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Television, and Reggie Rock Blythewood (Shots Fired, Notorious) is writing.
What it’s about: Based on the early life and career of Durant, Swagger will explore the world of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball and the lives of the players, their families, and coaches.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: Like a jump ball, it’s up in the air. The series is still being developed.


Calls

Talent: This international series has no major Hollywood players attached, but comes from creator Timothée Hochet.
What it’s about: The first international co-production for Apple is an English adaptation of the French short-form series of the same name, which allows “audiences to experience short stories through real-life audio sources and minimal visuals,” per Deadline.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: This is a format the U.S. hasn’t really seen before, so there’s plenty of potential for a really innovative, groundbreaking series.


Home

Talent: Documentarian Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor, pictured) will direct all 10 one-hour episodes of the first season.
What it’s about: Home offers viewers a never-before-seen look inside the world’s most extraordinary homes and delves into the minds of the people who built them.
Chances it’ll be a Certified Fresh hit: If Tyrnauer serves up the dishy stories behind those gated palaces, the series is sure to be more than simply gorgeous real estate porn.


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(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

Neil Blomkamp is reassembling RoboCopJoaquin Phoenix is getting his own Joker movie, and Robin is about to lead the Titans on streaming. That’s the great thing about our favorite characters: they’re never really gone – someone new can always bring them back. But how many of these adaptations really capture what we love about our favorite characters? And which adaptations do it best?

To find out, we took a deep look at 15 characters who have had at least five different versions of them made, and which have current or upcoming adaptations on the way. For some who’ve had dozens (thanks to public domain), we stuck to the 10 most famous versions. If a role was just recast during the same series – as opposed to a wholly new take – we counted them together. For each character, we also found their highest Tomatometer-rated portrayal – the ultimate arbiter of which version is the best (and likely the ultimate argument-starter among those who disagree!).


RoboCop

(Photo by © Orion/courtesy Everett Collection)

Number of RoboCops: 6

All the RoboCops: Original Trilogy (Peter Weller/Robert Burke), 1988 animated series (voice of Dan Hennessey), 1994 RoboCop TV Series (Richard Eden), RoboCop: Prime Directives TV series (Page Fletcher), 2014 RoboCop (Joel Kinnaman), Neil Blomkamp RoboCop (TBD)

The Best RoboCop: RoboCop (1987) 90%

No surprise, the original 1987 RoboCop is still rated highest. But we would never bet against Neil Blomkamp giving that version a run for its money.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite RoboCop


The Joker

(Photo by ©Warner Home Video)

Number of Jokers: 17 and counting

10 Most Famous Jokers: ‘60s TV Series (Cesar Romero), 1989 Batman (Jack Nicholson), Batman: The Animated Series including Mask of the Phantasm and crossover films and series (voice of Mark Hamill), The Batman (voice of Kevin Michael Richardson), The Dark Knight (Heath Ledger), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voice of Jeff Bennett), Suicide Squad (Jared Leto), The LEGO Batman Movie (Zach Galifianakis), Joker Origin Movie (Joaquin Phoenix), Martin Scorsese-Produced Joker Movie (Leonardo DiCaprio)

The Best Joker: Batman: The Animated Series

At 97%, Batman: The Animated Series edges out even The Dark Knight’s 94% if we judge versions purely by Tomatometer. Morgan Jeffery of Digital spy praised the show’s voice cast, saying, “On top of its beautiful visuals and vocals, Batman also boasted a tone far more adult than one might expect from a comic book cartoon.” Hamill’s Joker is so acclaimed that he continued voicing him in many animated incarnations. However, as live-action Jokers go, Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning portrayal is hard to top. Will Phoenix or DiCaprio do it?

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Joker


Batman

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

Number of Batmans: 17 (including a radio show) and counting

10 Most Famous Batmans: ’60s Batman TV series (Adam West), The Batman/Superman Hour/Super Friends (voice of Olan Soule), Burton/Schumacher film series (Michael Keaton/Val Kilmer/George Clooney), Batman: The Animated Series through Justice League Unlimited (voice of Kevin Conroy), Batman Beyond (voice of Will Friedle), The Dark Knight trilogy (Christian Bale), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Diedrich Bader), Gotham (David Mazouz), DCEU (Ben Affleck), LEGO Movies (voice of Will Arnett), The Batman (TBA)

The Best Batman: Batman Beyond 100%

Batman earned his highest Tomatometer score in the futuristic Batman Beyond with 100%. EW’s Ken Tucker said, “The new, black-winged, red-blooded Batman on display Saturday mornings will have you pouring a steaming mug of coffee and shouldering aside any nearby children to catch all the fresh fun and action.” In the live-action realm, Christian Bale’s Dark Knight trilogy is the most consistently Fresh Batman series with a high of 94% for The Dark Knight.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Batman


Robin Hood

(Photo by © Lionsgate)

Number of Robin Hoods: Dozens

The 10 Most Famous Robin Hoods: 1922 Robin Hood (Douglas Fairbanks), The Adventures of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn), Disney’s Robin Hood (voice of Brian Bedford), Robin and Marian (Sean Connery), Time Bandits (John Cleese), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Kevin Costner), Robin Hood (Patrick Bergin), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (Cary Elwes), 2010 Robin Hood (Russell Crowe), 2018 Robin Hood (Taron Egerton)

The Best Robin Hood: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) 100%

With 100%, Errol Flynn is hands-down the most acclaimed Robin Hood. Not bad considering Rotten Tomatoes didn’t exist yet in 1938! But our critics still respect the classic, with Village Voice’s Elliott Stein commenting, “Movie pageantry at its best, done in the grand manner of silent spectacles, brimming over with the sort of primitive energy that drew people to the movies in the first place.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Robin Hood

Mulan

(Photo by ©Walt Disney Pictures)

Number of Mulans: 15

The 10 Most Famous Mulans: Hua Mulan Joins The Army (Hu Shan), Lady General Hua Mu Lan (Ivy Ling Po), The Saga of Mulan (Bai Shuxian), Disney Mulan franchise (voice of Ming-Na), The Secret of Mulan (uncredited voice), A Tough Side of a Lady (Mariane Chan), Mulan: Rise of a Warrior (Zhao Wei), Once Upon a Time (Jamie Chung), Live-Action Disney Mulan (Liu Yifei), Alex Graves-directed Mulan (TBD)

The Best Mulan: Mulan (1998) 86%

Since most of the Chinese film and television productions of the Mulan story weren’t available to international critics, the Disney Mulan currently wins on the Tomatometer by default. Film Journal International’s Wendy Weinstein wrote, “it is in the subtlety of its characters’ ‘acting’ that Mulan excels” and it does have an 86% Fresh rating. We have every hope for the upcoming live-action renditions, too.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Mulan


Tinker Bell

(Photo by ©Walt Disney)

Number of Tinker Bells: Dozens

10 Most Famous Tinker Bells: 1924 Peter Pan (Virginia Browne Faire), Disney’s Peter Pan/Return to Neverland (Silent), 1960 Peter Pan (stage light), Hook (Julia Roberts), Peter Pan (Ludivine Sagnier), Neverland (Keira Knightley), Tinker Bell film series (voice of Mae Whitman), Peter Pan Live (CGI), Once Upon a Time (Rose McIver), Live-Action Tinker Bell (Reese Witherspoon)

The Best Tinker Bell: Tinker Bell (2008) 90%

Tinker Bell’s solo movie is even fresher than the original Disney Peter Pan, and subsequent sequels are Fresh too. The L.A. Times’ Michael Ordona wrote, “To its target audience, it will be another self-empowerment fable with loads of imagination and colorful, painterly images (and a keen marketing blast for Disney fairies).” The 1924 film is praised unanimously by a handful of critics, so it’s worth seeking out.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Tinker Bell


Superman

(Photo by © The CW)

Number of Portrayals: 16 (including radio)

10 Most Famous Superman: Live-action serials (Kirk Alyn), Superman and the Mole Men + The Adventures of Superman (George Reeves), Superman: The Movie through Superman Returns (Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh), Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (Dean Cain), Superman: The Animated Series (voice of Tim Daly), Smallville (Tom Welling), Warner Animation Superman films (voices of Adam Baldwin, Kyle MacLachlan, Tim Daly, Mark Harmon, James Denton, Kevin Conroy, George Newbern, Matt Bomer, Sam Daly, Alan Tudyk, Jerry O’Connell, Benjamin Bratt), DCEU (Henry Cavill), Supergirl (Tyler Hoechlin), Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (voice of Nicolas Cage)

The Best Superman: Superman: The Movie (1978) 94%

You never forget your first Superman, so the franchise that began with Christopher Reeve’s 94% Fresh Superman: The Movie remains the most acclaimed. As recently as this May, The Times UK’s Ed Potton called Reeve “manlier and steelier than recent portrayals by Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill.” John J. Puccio of Movie Metroplis (appropriate name) said of Reeve “the casting department found someone with just the right charisma to pull it off.” Recently, Tyler Hoechlin’s portrayal of Kal El on a few episodes of Supergirl earned new raves. Digital Spy’s Morgan Jeffery says, “Tyler Hoechlin is the best live-action Man of Steel since the sorely underrated Dean Cain hung up his tights.” TV Fanatic’s Stacy Glanzman agrees that Hoechlin “nailed it.” Give him a few more seasons and see if he can catch up to Reeve!

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Superman


James Bond

Sean Connery as James Bond

Number of Different James Bonds: 006

All the James Bonds: “Casino Royale” episode of Climax (Barry Nelson), EON Film Series (Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig), Casino Royale comedy (Peter Sellers, David Niven, Woody Allen), “The British Hero” episode of Omnibus (Christopher Cazenove in re-enactments), Never Say Never Again (Sean Connery), James Bond Jr. (voice of Corey Burton)

The Best Portrayal: Goldfinger (1964) 99%

It’s the long-running EON films version of the character, obviously. At its height, these films scored a 97%. Roger Ebert remarked of Goldfinger and the franchise, “it is a great entertainment, and contains all the elements of the Bond formula that would work again and again.” Now, whether you pick Daniel Craig or Sean Connery as your favorite from this version…we’ll let that debate continue among Bond fans.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite James Bond


Hulk

(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Number of Portrayals: 13 including Marvel animated guest appearances

10 Most Famous Hulks: The Marvel Super-Heroes (voice of Max Ferguson), The Incredible Hulk TV series (Lou Ferrigno), The Incredible Hulk animated series (voice of Bob Holt), The Marvel Action Hour (voice of Ron Perlman), The Incredible Hulk (voice of Neal McDonough), episodes of Iron Man: Armored Adventures (voice of Mark Gibbon), Superhero Squad Show (voice of Travis Willingham), Hulk (Eric Bana), MCU (Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo), The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes through Avengers Assemble and appearances on Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man (voice of Fred Tatasciore)

The Best Portrayal: Marvel's the Avengers (2012) 91%

With a 92%, The Avengers‘ incarnation of Hulk smashes the rest – and the MCU version as a whole, including Ed Norton and Mark Ruffolo’s tale,s has a Fresh average of 81.8% . The animated Earth’s Mightiest Heroes scores higher even than The Avengers, but with only five reviews, we’re still giving the title to the MCU’s Hulk Matt Brunson of Creative Loafing said when reviewing The Avengers, “The scene-stealer is Ruffalo, who provides Bruce Banner with a soulfulness missing in the portrayals by Bana and Norton.” Even CNN’s Tom Charity singled out the Hulk among other Avengers, saying, “Never underestimate the entertainment value of the Hulk Smash.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Hulk


Spider-Man

(Photo by © Columbia)

Number of Spider-Man: 16

The 10 Most Famous Spider-Men: The Amazing Spider-Man (Nicholas Hammond), Spider-Man (voice of Christopher Daniel Barnes), Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (voice of Neil Patrick Harris), Ultimate Spider-Man and LEGO Marvel (voice of Drake Bell), Sam Raimi Trilogy (Tobey Maguire), Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2 (Andrew Garfield), Turn Off The Dark (Reeve Carney and Justin Matthew Sargeant), LEGO Spider-Man (voice of Jackson Buffington), (MCU/Homecoming (Tom Holland), Into the Spider-verse (Jake Johnson and Shameik Moore)

Best Spider-Man: Spider-Man 2 (2004) 93%

With a peak at Spider-Man 2’s 93%, the Sam Raimi trilogy remains the most critically acclaimed Spider-Man films (Holland’s appearances in Captain America: Civil War and Homecoming comess close though.) AP’s Christy Lemire praised the series when reviewing the second film: “The web-slinging sequences are bigger-better-brighter-faster than the already spectacular ones in 2002’s Spider-Man, and at the same time, the film’s smaller emotional moments are denser, richer and more resonant than those in the first.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Spider-Man


Jughead Jones

(Photo by © The CW)

Number of Jugheads: 7

All the Jugheads: Radio show (voices of Hal Stone, Cameron Andrews and Arnold Stang), The Archie Show and spinoffs (voice of Howard Morris), The New Archies (voice of Michael Fantini), Archie’s Weird Mysteries (voice of Chris Lundquist), 1976 Archie pilot and ’78 special Archie Situation Comedy Musical Variety Show (Derrel Maury), Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again (Sam Whipple), Riverdale (Cole Sprouse)

Best Jughead: Riverdale 84%

Riverdale has a series Tomatometer score of 88%, crowning Cole Sprouse as the best Jughead. It’s also the only take who’s been reviewed enough to have a Tomatometer score, but we have a feeling this CW fan favorite would likely win against his animated competition even if the data was there.

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Jughead 


He-Man

Number of He-Men: 5

All the He-Men: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (voice of John Erwin), Masters of the Universe (Dolph Lundgren), The New Adventures of He-Man (voice of Garry Chalke and Doug Parker), 2002 series (Cam Clarke), New Live-Action Film In Development

Best He-Man: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe 100%

Boy, did all the Tomatometer critics grow up on the weekday afternoon cartoon in the ’80s, or what? Well, this one may still be up for grabs if they make a really cool live-action movie, but for now the original cartoon is the master. Nerdist’s Rosie Knight puts it in perspective saying, “Beloved for many reasons. There’s the notoriously rushed production… giving it a unique and charming look. It’s also revered for its vision of a kid friendly techno-barbarian landscape.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite He-Man


The Punisher

(Photo by © Netflix)

Number of Punishers: 6

All The Punishers: 1989 The Punisher (Dolph Lundgren), Spider-Man: The Animated Series (voice of John Beck), 2004 The Punisher (Thomas Jane), Punisher: War Zone and Super Hero Squad Show (Ray Stevenson), Netflix series (Jon Bernthal), Avengers Assemble episode “Planet Doom” (uncredited)

Best Punisher: Marvel's Daredevil: Season 2 (2016) 81%

Bernthal remains the only certified Fresh Punisher, and his stint on Daredevil season 2 bested even his own series (though Marvel’s The Punisher is still Fresh). New York Observer’s Vinnie Mancuso singles out Bernthal’s haunted portrayal, “Jon Bernthal is the perfect Punisher because there is zero fun in his performance.”In reviewing Daredevil‘s second season, Aggressive Comix’s Steph Cozza adds, “The Punisher is the true MVP here.”

Poll: Vote for Your favorite Punisher


Godzilla

(Photo by © Toho Films)

Number of Godzillas: 9

All the Godzillas: 31 Toho Films, Hanna-Barbera Godzilla, Godzillaland, Godzilla Island, 1998 Godzilla, Godzilla: The Series, Nike commercial with Charles Barkle, Legendary Films’ Godzilla, Netflix Godzilla

The Best Godzilla: Godzilla (1954) 93%

With a 93% for the classic Gojira and seven more Fresh movies in the franchise, nobody’s done Godzilla better than Toho. The Washington Post’s Stephen Hunter put it best in 2004 when he said, “Its images of the destruction of the cities is far more powerful than in American films, where the cities are trashed for the pure pleasure of destruction, without any real sense of human loss.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Godzilla


King Kong

King Kong, 1933

Number of Kongs: 9

All the Kongs: 1933 King Kong and Son of Kong (stop motion animation), 1966 King Kong animated series, King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes, 1976 King Kong (voice of Peter Cullen) and King Kong Lives (Peter Elliott), Kong: The Animated Series and Return to the Jungle, 2005 King Kong (Andy Serkis), Kong: King of Atlantis,  Kong: King of the Apes (voice of Lee Tockar), Legendary King Kong (Toby Kebbell)

The Best Kong: King Kong (1933) 98%

Certified Fresh at 98%, the original 1933 Kong is still King (its sequel, rushed into release later in 1933, not so much). Robert Ebert explained why it still works nearly a century later, writing that “there is something ageless and primeval about King Kong that still somehow works.”

Poll: Vote for Your Favorite King Kong


There are many more characters who’ve been portrayed over and over again. Who are your favorites? Tell us in the comments.

Ava DuVernay’s well-intentioned adaptation of beloved children’s book A Wrinkle in Time isn’t doing so well with critics, so Christy offers up three magical alternatives you can watch at home with the family instead.


THE MOVIE

A Wrinkle in Time (2018) 43%

Rating: PG, for thematic elements and some peril.

Ava DuVernay’s big-budget adaptation of the beloved children’s book manages a tricky balance of staying true to the original story within a diverse, contemporary setting. Meg Murry and her friends attend James Baldwin Middle School, for example, and Mrs. Who quotes everyone from Shakespeare to Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in spouting pearls of wisdom. Younger viewers – whether they’ve read Madeleine L’Engle’s book or not — will respond to the color, energy and overall imagination on display here. In a lot of ways, A Wrinkle in Time really is best suited for kids, even though the characters eventually find themselves in a dark and menacing realm. DuVernay’s film is always visually ambitious, even while the narrative feels compressed and rushed. Storm Reid stars as Meg, a 13-year-old whose science expertise helps her bend time and travel quickly to various exotic lands. She’s looking for her father (Chris Pine) — who disappeared four years earlier while embarking on his own scientific experiment — with the guidance of three ageless, magical women (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling). Ultimately, they’re heading for The It, a powerful, swirling force that turns people’s hearts selfish and cruel. (We see it work its evil on Meg’s younger brother, played by Deric McCabe, which might disturb very little kids.) But there’s so much here that’s worthwhile, from its central figure – a brilliant girl of color – to its idea that our flaws actually give us strength. Fine for viewers around 7 and older.


THE RECOMMENDATIONS

If A Wrinkle in Time has you thinking about other fantasy films in which characters travel to magical lands, here are a few suggestions. Away we go:

The Wizard of Oz (1939) 98%

Rating: G, with some scary moments.

It is THE classic in this category – endlessly imitated, parodied and remade, but nothing could ever compare to the original. You’ve probably watched it countless times over the years and shared it with your own children. (I cried when Judy Garland sings “Over the Rainbow” the first time I showed this film to my son, and he looked at me like something was wrong with me.) But it’s always a pleasure revisiting Dorothy, the Scarecow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and Toto, too. I can’t even remember how old I was the first time I saw The Wizard of Oz. It was always just sort of… there. You know what it’s about so I’m not even going to waste your time explaining the plot. The only elements that might be scary for the viewers around 4 or 5 are the Wicked Witch of the West and that long, imposing corridor Dorothy and her friends must walk down in order to see the wizard. Oh, and the flying monkeys, of course. I used to hide behind the coffee table every time they came on when I was very young. But overall, Victor Fleming’s film is an excellent choice for the whole family, filled with catchy, iconic tunes. And it features a brave, bighearted young woman at its center with Garland’s Dorothy, which is always valuable for kids to see.


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) 76%

Rating: PG, for battle sequences and frightening moments.

The classic C.S. Lewis novel spawned a series of epic fantasy films, starting with this one, which remains the best of them. The story is a familiar one: The Pevensie children (William Moseley, Skander Keynes, Anna Popplewell, and Georgie Henley) get sent away to the country to protect them from the horror of World War II. While playing hide and seek in the home where they’re staying, they discover a wardrobe that’s a portal to the magical land of Narnia. Wonders and dangers abound: talking animals, mysterious forests, vast armies and a deliciously evil White Witch played by the ever-riveting and versatile Tilda Swinton. A little boy is kidnapped and all the children find themselves in trouble at various points in the film. Plus, it’s up to them to save the kingdom of Narnia. No pressure. Some of the creatures might seem frightening and some of the battles might be too intense for young viewers. But this is an exciting choice for viewers around 9 or 10 and older, especially if they’re avid readers or have a taste for fantasy tales.


Time Bandits (1981) 90%

Rating: PG

I loved this movie so much when I was a kid. It was funny and goofy and just the right amount of scary. In retrospect, I recognize how significant the twisted Monty Python influence is: Terry Gilliam is the director and John Cleese and Michael Palin are among the film’s stars. But their trademark playfulness and off-kilter humor are mixed with some wild creatures and bizarre, fantastical settings. A boy named Kevin (Craig Warnock) accidentally falls in with a group of time-hopping little people (including the late Kenny Baker, better known as R2-D2) who are looting history for treasure. Among the famous figures they encounter on their adventures are Napoleon (Ian Holm), King Agamemnon (Sean Connery), and Robin Hood (Cleese). But even though the bandits have a map, they can’t control where exactly they’ll drop into a point in time, and frequently find themselves in great physical danger. Some of their foes are quite violent and frightening, but it’s often so over-the-top as to be cartoonish. The giant head of the Supreme Being, which chases Kevin and his friends down a long, corridor, freaked me out when I was a kid. But if your kids have a taste for stories that are darkly funny and a little weird, this is a good choice for viewers around 8 or 9 and older.

 Traveling through time is all the rage right now. A trio of new time-travel series hit this TV season — NBC’s Timeless, which just had its season 1 finale, as well as recent premieres Making History on Fox and Time After Time on ABC — and a big part of the fun in watching is seeing how each series sends its characters hurtling through the years.

For that, Hollywood has turned to a quirky variety of devices and charmed objects to facilitate time travel on television and in the movies — from straightforward DIY time machines to phone booths, DeLoreans, and even a hot tub. Here are some of the coolest, weirdest, most inventive, and sometimes highly unreliable devices used to wander through time.

Don’t see your favorite time-travel gadget below? Tell us in the comments.



This week on home video, we’ve got a super successful space odyssey from Marvel, a feelgood sequel, and an inspirational sports film to lead things off. Then, there are a number of smaller releases, some notable TV box sets, and a few remastered anniversary Blu-rays of popular older films. Read on for details:



Guardians of the Galaxy

92%

Unless you were already into the comics scene, chances are you’d never heard of these so-called Guardians of the Galaxy. Boy, has that changed. The film surprised almost everyone by ruling the late summer box office, thanks to a number of factors: a cast of charming misfits, a wry sense of humor, top-notch special effects, a killer soundtrack, and James Gunn’s steady directorial hand. This is the movie that made Chris Pratt a star and put a dancing baby Groot on everyone’s stocking-stuffer wishlist. With a Tomatometer score of 90 percent and an Audience score of 94 percent, Marvel’s Guardians succeeded in impressing nearly everyone, which isn’t easy to do. If you pick this one up this week, you’ll get a pretty in-depth commentary track featuring James Gunn, a making-of featurette, and deleted and extended scenes, among other things.



Dolphin Tale 2

66%

Speaking of late summer surprises, 2011 had one of its own in Dolphin Tale, a feelgood movie about a handful of people rescuing a dolphin that was Certified Fresh at 82 percent. Naturally, we got a sequel this year, and though it didn’t fare as well as the first film, most critics found it pleasant enough. This time out, Winter the dolphin is struggling because her dolphin friend Panama has died; in an effort to raise Winter’s spirits and keep her at the aquarium, a search begins for a new companion to share Winter’s tank. Critics agree that Dolphin Tale 2 is a sweet, heartfelt drama for the whole family, even if it doesn’t quite distinguish itself from its predecessor, and it’s Fresh at 68 percent. Bonus features include a couple of short making-of docs, a look at Clearwater Marine Academy’s mission, and a brief piece covering the true events that inspired the film.



When the Game Stands Tall

20%

One of the reasons we love sports is that there are so many incredible stories to tell; the only problem is, when you’ve seen so many of them dramatized on screen, they become more difficult to distinguish from each other. When the Game Stands Tall suffers from this problem; although its tale of football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) and the De La Salle High School team he led to a record-setting 151-game winning streak is undoubtedly remarkable, the film ultimately gets lost in all too familiar clichés. If you’re looking for something inspirational to watch, this may do the trick, but at 18 percent on the Tomatometer, don’t expect any surprises whatsoever, especially when the story plays out exactly like you might expect it to. Extras include a handful of deleted and extended scenes, a profile of the real Coah Ladouceur, and a look at the on-field filming techniques employed in the movie.

Also available this week:

  • Frank (93 percent), starring Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal in a dramedy about a young musician who joins an avant-garde band led by an eccentric man who never takes off his giant papier-mâché mask.
  • Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves (85 percent), starring Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning in a drama about a trio of environmental activists who plan to blow up a hydroelectric dam in protest.
  • I Origins (52 percent) starring Michael Pitt and Brit Marling in a sci-fi drama about a biologist studying the evolution of the eye who makes a breakthrough discovery that alters his understanding of the world.
  • French import The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (47 percent), a horror film in the Giallo style about a man who descends into psychosexual chaos when his wife disappears without a trace.
  • Warner Bros. is releasing a handful of films on “Diamond Luxe Edition” Blu-rays that are celebrating various anniversaries this year: The Green Mile: 15th Anniversary (80 percent), Natural Born Killers: 20th Anniversary, Forrest Gump: 20th Anniversary, Tim Burton’s Batman: 25th Anniversary, and Gremlins: 30th Anniversary. Feel old yet?
  • We also get three choices from the Criterion Collection this week: Todd Haynes’ Safe (84 percent), starring Julianne Moore in a paranoid thriller about a woman who falls victim to an inexplicable disease; Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits (93 percent), about a boy who experiences the journey of a lifetime with a band of time-traveling dwarfs; and Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter (67 percent), starring Charlotte Rampling as a Nazi concentration camp survivor who attempts to rekindle her sadomasochistic relationship with her former torturer in post-war Vienna.
  • Season eight of the BBC’s Doctor Who (91 percent), the first season with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • Season two of Under the Dome (57 percent), a sci-fi mystery about a town trapped under a mysterious dome, is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • The first of three classic TV sets coming out this week, the complete series of 1960s comedy Mister Ed, about the famous talking horse, is available on DVD.
  • Second, the complete series of the popular 1980s sitcom The Jeffersons is also available on DVD.
  • And third, the complete series of the Robin Williams Happy Days spinoff Mork & Mindy is also available on DVD.

In Theaters This Week:



The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

74%

Rating: PG-13, for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.

The second film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy treatment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is ridiculously violent. Yes, it’s all computer-generated fantasy spectacle, but what a spectacle it is – full of piercing arrows, ominous shadows, stabbings and beheadings, with some of those severed heads flying right at the camera. If the giant talking spiders don’t get you, the fierce (and fiercely ugly) orcs will. General peril abounds as Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf pals try and make their way to the Lonely Mountain – and then once they get there, they must contend with the ferocious and fire-breathing dragon Smaug, voiced menacingly by Benedict Cumberbatch. Given the graphic nature of this movie and the extended running time, this really is just for the most mature tweens and up.



Saving Mr. Banks

79%

Rating: PG-13, for thematic elements including some unsettling images.

I’m actually not quite sure why this movie gets a PG-13 rating – maybe because it includes some flashbacks to a childhood with a father whose alcoholism destroyed him. For the most part, Saving Mr. Banks is a cheery (and not entirely accurate) retelling of how folksy Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) persuaded uptight Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to let his studio make a film based on her cherished children’s book. It’s a shamelessly sentimental infomercial by Disney, for Disney, about Disney, full of upbeat songs and cathartic tears. Fine for most kids.



Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

20%

Rating: PG-13, for sexual references, crude humor and language.

This movie is amazingly terrible — incoherent and sloppily constructed in a way that?s surreal — so if you love your children, you probably shouldn’t take them to see it. But! If you’re at the multiplex trying to find something the whole family can enjoy after a long day of holiday shopping ? well, this still probably isn’t the best choice. Multimedia multi-hyphenate Tyler Perry returns to the sassy drag of his Madea character, a crass and wacky old lady with no internal censor. Most of the stuff she babbles about will go over kids’ heads – references to lingerie, drugs and stripping, for starters. Larry the Cable Guy shows up and magnifies the raunch factor with some sexual innuendos – which, again, probably won’t register with young viewers. There’s also a massively contrived car crash and explosion that might have been vaguely suspenseful in the hands of someone, you know, capable.

New On DVD:



Despicable Me 2

75%

Rating: PG, for rude humor and mild action.

Minions, minions and more minions make this sequel to the 2010 international hit such a delight. There isn’t a single thing in this movie that would make it inappropriate or objectionable in any way. When a powerful potion turns some of the babbling, bright yellow creatures into crazed, purple-monster versions of themselves, they’re a little more manic but never truly frightening. This remains my 4-year-old son’s favorite among the many animated films he saw this year.

Classic Fantasy Films:



Princess Mononoke

93%
This gorgeous and wondrous animated fantasy from Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki features a true warrior princess: a fierce young woman named San (voiced by Claire Danes in the English-language version) who can communicate with the spirits. She finds herself in the center of a war between animals, humans (whom she hates) and demons in a mystical 14th century setting. Too intense and complex for the littlest kids but a thrill for everyone else.



Time Bandits

90%
From the endlessly creative mind of Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam comes this comic adventure about a boy who time travels with a group of dwarves. Along the way, he runs into historical figures including Robin Hood and Napoleon. It’s got some darkness to its tone, which may disturb very little kids. But with its elaborately detailed production design, it’s always a wonder to watch.



The Princess Bride

98%
Long before films like Shrek took familiar fairy-tale conventions and turned them on their head, there was Rob Reiner’s cleverly self-referential comedy. A favorite from my own youth, The Princess Bride remains endlessly quotable with its colorful characters and swashbuckling scenarios. It’s charming and subversive in equal measure but, at its core, has an irresistibly sweet heart.

Fool’s Gold hits theaters in wide release on Friday.  Helmed by veteran rom-com director Andy Tennant (Ever After, Hitch), this fortune-seeking adventure reunites Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, who starred together in 2003’s How toLose a Guy in 10 Days (42 percent).  Critics so far haven’t embraced the perfectly bronzed duo’s efforts to retrieve sunken treasure, but if Fool’s Gold turns out to be a diamond in the rough, it would be a pretty silver lining to look forward to.  Too much bling for one sentence?  Nah…

This week we’ll be looking at three films that provide three unique perspectives on the familiar theme of treasure hunting.  Typically characterized by swashbuckling heroes, exotic locales, and an element of mystery, these adventures tend to have a high fun factor and, even at their weakest, succeed at least in appealing to our natural curiosity.


Back in 1981, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas introduced the world to Indiana Jones, archaeology professor by day and retriever of precious artifacts on holiday weekends.  It rocked the box office and spawned a number of clones, including a couple of Allan Quatermain flicks, both National Treasure films, the Mummy series, and even a pair of original Turner Network movies about a librarian.  But one of the first successful copies was a comedic romp through Colombia called Romancing theStone (84 percent), directed by Robert Zemeckis.

The story is relatively straightforward: romance novel writer Joan Wilder’s (Kathleen Turner) sister gets into trouble with some unsavory Colombians, and on her way to exchange a treasure map for her sister, the timid author meets Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas), recluse-cum-aviculturist-cum-fortune finder.  Colton and Wilder butt heads (and ultimately bump uglies) as they follow the map to a giant emerald, fleeing competing parties all the way.

If you’re popping in Romancing for the first time, it may initially feel a bit dated.  The music, the canned gunshots, the wardrobe; all of it is distinctly and unabashedly stuck in the 1980s.  The production is big and bold, from the over-the-top silliness to Michael Douglas’s forehead, and the clichés will come at you so fast, you’ll hardly detect the smell of cheese before a hulking slab of cinematic Velveeta floors you with a blow to your aesthetic sensibilities.  But stick with it, and you’ll come to realize that this is part of the fun of the movie, which never takes itself too seriously in its efforts to entertain.  Turner and Douglas work well on screen together, and there are twists, turns, pitfalls, chases, and explosions aplenty to qualify it as a solid adventure flick.  As Christopher Null of Filmcritic.com wrote, “Few films that have arrived since have captured Stone’s enthusiasm and good-naturedness.”


Take the wayback machine 20 years earlier and you’ll stumble upon the time of the Spaghetti Western, consisting of classic western films that were produced by Italian studios (who could have reckoned that?). Sergio Leone was the undisputed king of the genre, working repeatedly with Clint Eastwood, and the two of them in 1966 brought us The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (100 percent), now considered not only a monumental achievement in the western genre, but also one of the most influential films ever made.

The concept of treasure hunting isn’t foreign to westerns, be it in the form of tracking bounties, panning for gold, or gallivanting around in your average X-marks-the-spot caper.  More the latter of the three but far from “average,” the story here involves The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood, the “Good”), Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef, the “Bad”), and Tuco (Eli Wallach, the “Ugly”), three Civil War-era gunslingers who distrust each other but must work together to secure a buried cache of stolen Confederate gold. When the opening credits roll, you’ll immediately recognize the film’s score; it’s the same coyote-like melody synonymous with western duels, whether found in Looney Toons shorts or ads for weedkiller, and it’s indicative of exactly how
influential The Good, the Bad and the Ugly has been.

Leone takes his time crafting each of the characters and their relationships, and the resulting tension is thick, sweaty, and unnerving, much like I am on a typical day.  But he also throws in some comic elements, mostly at the expense of Tuco, and effectively intertwines the backdrop of the Civil War to move the story along.  The race to the prize culminates in a Mexican standoff (before they became cliché), and Leone doesn’t disappoint with the outcome.  The film is a classic and highly watchable for western buffs and movie lovers alike; as Michael Wilmington wrote for the Chicago Tribune, it is “an improbable masterpiece — a bizarre mixture of grandly operatic visuals, grim brutality and sordid violence that keeps wrenching you from one extreme to the other.”


Lastly, we jump back to the 1980s, when Monty Python alumnus Terry Gilliam put a creative yet bizarre twist on the traditional treasure hunt.  Forget the tumbleweeds and corrals, screw the pirate ships and wooden chests; when Terry Gilliam creates a sprawling adventure, it sprawls across space and time.  At least, that’s what he did with 1982’s Time Bandits
(94 percent), the first of three highly imaginative and visually remarkable films Gilliam made in the era, the other two being Brazil (97 percent) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (86 percent).

Time Bandits’ plot: dwarf thieves who zip through time and loot some of history’s greatest figures.  The aforementioned dwarves, employed by a “Supreme Being,” are commissioned to repair various holes in the fabric of time, utilizing a unique map of the universe.  Due to a labor dispute, however, the dwarves decide to use the map to their own advantage, picking up a child companion along the way and jumping through time to rob the likes of Napoleon (Ian Holm) and King Agamemnon (Sean Connery).  Enter the embodiment of Evil (David Warner), who wants the power of the map to recreate the world, and pretty soon you’ve got man-pigs running around and ogres with back problems trying to devour our anti-heroes.

If nothing else, this movie is a fun ride because it offers a glimpse into the bizarre mind of Gilliam himself, who also co-wrote the film. The scenes are often awkward but hilarious, and with further cameos from a young Jim Broadbent and other Monty Python members, it definitely delivers on its promise of pure gold. “For a kids film this is pleasingly dark with Gilliam delivering as much
classical fairy tale as knockabout comedy,” wrote Ian Freer of Empire Magazine.


 

The promise of instant wealth and the power of greed always make for compelling stories, and when the objects of said greed are (in)conveniently located at the furthest reaches of the planet (and time), you not only have a compelling story, you’ve probably also got a pretty entertaining movie.  For more takes on adventuresome endeavors, see The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (100 percent), The Goonies (63 percent), the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and for some deliciously bad fun, Firewalker (zero percent).

This week, Across the Universe hits theaters. Julie Taymor‘s film, starring Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess as a young couple in the midst of the heady, chaotic 1960s, utilizes the Beatles‘ music to evoke the time period. With that in mind, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the Beatles’ cinematic legacy.

A number of films have attempted to distill the influence and essence of the Fab Four, some from the perspective of their fans (I Wanna Hold Your Hand, 82 percent on the Tomatometer), others from the enduring appeal of the group’s music (the notorious Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 17 percent); still others poke mild fun at Beatle history (The Rutles: All You Need is Cash, 88 percent). Even the group’s first bassist, Stu Sutcliffe, was the subject of a biopic (Backbeat, 74 percent). Ultimately, though, it’s the films in which the Beatles themselves star that remain the best testament to the group’s legend; like their records, the Beatles’ best movies are replete with bold innovation, a mischievous sense of humor, and a sheer joie de vivre.

The first Beatles film, A Hard Day’s Night (100 percent), is also the greatest. The famous opening scene of the group running down the street, chased by crazed fans, sets that tone; it’s a headlong rush that instantly changed the synthesis of music and film forever. Utilizing quick-cut editing techniques, director Richard Lester created musical interludes that act as proto-music videos (the sequence in which the boys horse around in a field, to the tune of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” is probably the best, but “I Should Have Known Better,” “She Loves You,” and “All My Loving” also get memorable treatment as well) and remain influential to this day. A Hard Day’s Night went a long way toward establishing a public perception of the individual Beatles that, however unfairly, carried over into the general consensus of their musical contributions: John, sarcastic and witty; Paul, the showman; George, quiet but inquisitive; Ringo, always up for a laugh.

It’s the personalities of the Beatles that keep the rest of A Hard Day’s Night from aging. The movie follows a day in the life of the young Beatles on their way to a television performance; it sounds simple enough, but the group must outwit its rabid fans, management, and the police, as well as overcoming the dissent sewn by Wilfrid Brambell as Paul’s crotchety grandfather. A Hard Day’s Night has a sophistication and formal daring that remains unmatched in the world of rock film; it’s “a comedy classic that cross-pollinated Jean-Luc Godard with the four Marx brothers,” wrote John Anderson of Newsday.

After the mold-breaking brilliance of A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatles’ second film, Help! (89 percent), is far less consequential. Once again, Lester is at the helm, and once again, the film is a virtually plotless assortment of gags and musical performances. The narrative centers around a religious cult that needs a ring to perform a human sacrifice. Unfortunately for Ringo, he’s just added some new bling to his collection; the band goes on the run, raising some (gentle) Cain in the Alps and the Caribbean.

But something’s missing this time out. Despite the Beatles’ good humor, reasonably funny jokes, and several remarkable songs (including “Ticket to Ride,” “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” and the title tune), Help! lacks the easy charm and stylistic daring of Night. (And in this age of political correctness, some may find the exotic religious cult plotline a bit questionable). Still, Help! makes for moderately pleasant viewing; the Austin Powers films would later draw from this swingin’ spy movie parody. “While it’s true that it’s more Richard Lester’s vision than the group’s, it must be noted that Lester’s anarchic absurdity and quick cut camera gags make for a pretty good whole,” wrote Brad Laidman of Film Threat.

Magical Mystery Tour (60 percent), on the other hand, doesn’t really work as a whole; this hour-long, made-for-TV flick is generally considered to be the weakest Beatles film. Inspired by the antics of Timothy Leary and the Merry Pranksters, Magical Mystery Tour finds the Beatles driving across the English countryside in a bus full of magicians, family members, and oddballs. The jokes are dated, the antics shapeless, and the plot nonexistent. Still, any film in which the Beatles simply play music is of interest, and the proto-videos for “I Am the Walrus,” “Your Mother Should Know,” and “Blue Jay Way” are stunning, showing a formal discipline lacking in the rest of the movie. “I would recommend a new generation of Beatle fans to put [Magical Mystery Tour] near the bottom of their to-do list, but never to scratch it off entirely,” wrote Colin Souter of eFilmcritic.com. “It remains a necessary curiosity item and slightly ahead of its time.” Mystery gets bonus points for Lennon’s storybook-esque narration; even at their trippiest, the Beatles maintain a sense of innocent wonder.

That childlike essence was brilliantly distilled in the Beatles’ next film, the dazzling, richly inventive Yellow Submarine (94 percent). Unenthusiastic about making another live-action film, the Fab Four utilized the cartoon medium in order to fulfill their three-picture deal with United Artists (none of the Beatles performed their voice roles for the movie). However, the result was a swirling phantasmagoria of colors and inspired animation techniques; Director George Dunning and a crack team of artists utilized psychedelic visuals and some heavily-stylized live action footage to bring such Beatles classics as “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Nowhere Man,” and “All You Need Is Love” to vivid life. The plot is simple: The music-hating Blue Meanies attack the colorful Pepperland, rendering it a cold, joyless place. One resident, Old Fred, escapes in the titular craft and collects the Beatles, who travel through a series of dreamworlds to save the town with their songs. (The group liked the final result so much they agreed to appear in the flesh for the movie’s coda).

Though some of the animation may seem somewhat dated by today’s standards, the sense of daring contained within Yellow Submarine still seems fresh; the film exerted an influence on the films of Wes Anderson, particularly The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. (Those who see it as a stoner film miss the point; as the Beatles themselves knew, children are often unconscious surrealists). The film embodies “exactly what the Beatles represented emotionally and philosophically in the mid-’60s: artistic daring, cheeky non-sentimentality, a new generation taking over, naively confident the world was ‘getting better all the time,'” wrote William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Evidence of the Beatles’ exuberance would be in short supply in their next film, Let It Be (73 percent). A documentary about the making of the album of the same name, Let It Be finds the group (with Billy Preston sitting in on organ) going through the motions. The exuberance and communal spirit of A Hard Day’s Night appears to be long gone (even Ringo seems dour throughout the proceedings). It comes as something of a shock when one remembers the fact that none of the Beatles had yet turned 30; they seem ravaged, exhausted, and not particularly happy to be in each other’s company. Hints of domestic concerns seep in; Yoko Ono is often seen at John’s side, and Paul’s stepdaughter Heather provides some fleeting moments of levity, dancing with happy abandon to the Beatles’ jam sessions.

In fact, it’s only when the band is playing that the old spirit of excitement and teamwork is revived; the group runs through its new material, which includes “Get Back,” “Two of Us,” and the title track, as well as some loose, ragged covers of R&B classics like “Kansas City” and “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” And the famous rooftop concert that concludes Let It Be has a giddy, raucous air; you can feel the excitement of the crowd that gathers on the street below, and the brief respite for the Beatles from the bad feelings in the studio. (The rooftop concert was memorably recreated for U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” video.) Even though it ends on a note of triumph, Let It Be is a document of the dissolution of the Beatles, and as a result, it’s a bittersweet experience. “This was the only time the Beatles were not working for the camera in the characters associated with their respective personalities,” wrote Phil Hall in Film Threat.”The raw emotion on screen makes for unsettling yet hypnotic viewing.”

Apart from the group, the Beatles’ film work was almost as disparate as the members’ solo albums. Lennon starred in Lester’s anti-war satire How I Won the War (55 percent); though he disliked the experience of making the film, Lester thought Lennon could have made it as an actor nonetheless. As a solo artist, McCartney was twice nominated for an Oscar (for “Live and Let Die” and “Vanilla Sky”). His best-known movie as an actor is Give My Regards to Broad Street (23 percent), in which he plays a version of himself. Ringo lent his amiable personality to oddities like The Magic Christian (46 percent), Frank Zappa‘s 200 Motels (67 percent), and Caveman (15 percent). Ironically, it was George, the “quiet Beatle,” whose work in film was most memorable. As co-founder of Handmade Films, Harrison helped produce such edgy, important work as Monty Python’s Life of Brian (98 percent), Time Bandits (94 percent), and Withnail & I (94 percent).

Time will tell if Across the Universe sets off another wave of Beatlemania. But one thing’s fore sure: when it comes to rock movies, nobody can top the Fab Four.

In this week’s Ketchup, Rotten Tomatoes counted down the best reviewed horror films just in time for Halloween, "Spider-Man 3" has another villain onboard, and "Superman" will return again.

Also, to the surprise of no rational human being, "Saw 4" is in the works for October of next year, and the studio behind 1982’s "Time Bandits" is experiencing the increasingly common affliction known as "remake-itis." Read on for more.

This Week’s Most Popular News:

RT’s Top 20 Halloween Movie Countdown, Part 4

Happy Halloween! We’ve been counting down the Top 20 Halloween flicks and today we unveil the number one best-reviewed in horror and suspense cinema, so without further ado…

Scoop on a FOURTH "Spider-Man 3" Villain?

It was Villain Overkill that helped to kill the Burton/Schumacher "Batman" series — but somehow we don’t expect the same thing to happen with Sam Raimi’s "Spider-Man 3" — we hope.

Early Buzzings of a "Superman" Sequel

So now that it’s been established that "Superman Returns" was a "hit," but certainly no sort of "mega-hit," we can now start talking about sequels. And it looks like director Bryan Singer might have a smaller budget than previously planned.

Stunning News! "Saw 4" Next October!

What with "Saw 3" doing such amazing business over its first three days of release, it should come as absolutely no surprise whatsoever that Lionsgate has announced plans for "Saw 4" — and considering what happens at the end of Part 3, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s curious to see where THIS sequel heads.

Anyone Interested in a "Time Bandits" Remake?

Today’s daily remake news? Someone wants an all-new version of Terry Gilliam’s "Time Bandits" to get made. I know, I know; I feel the same way you do.

Oh yes, there will be another "Saw."

In Other News:

  • Universal Pictures genre label Rogue has greenlit Paul W.S. Anderson‘s "Castlevania," the $50 million video game adaptation produced and co-financed by Crystal Sky Entertainment.
  • Julia Roberts will co-produce and star in the family drama "The Friday Night Knitting Club," based on Kate Jacobs’ upcoming novel.
  • Production the "Revenge of the Nerds" remake has been shut down after Emory University in Atlanta, where more than a third of the film was to be shot, backed out of its agreement to allow filming on its campus.
  • Ewan McGregor will star in the futuristic British thriller "Franklyn," with first-time writer-director Gerald McMorrow.
  • Jesse Metcalfe will star as a spoiled rich kid whose life takes a wrong turn in "Loaded."
  • Paramount Pictures has acquired North American rights to the Rolling Stones documentary that Martin Scorsese is currently shooting in New York, with plans to release the film in 2007.
  • French producer Thomas Langmann has revived an ambitious two-film project about notorious French gangster Jacques Mesrine, with Vincent Cassel starring. Marion Cotillard and Eva Green will co-star in "Death Instinct" and "Public Enemy No. 1," as Mesrine’s love interests and sometime accomplices.
  • And finally, David Hasselhoff makes his long-awaited return to the Weekly Ketchup, with news that he will star in the hit musical "The Producers," in the role of flamboyantly gay director Roger DeBris.

Landing the perfect role. Welcome back, Hoff.

Today’s daily remake news? Someone wants an all-new version of Terry Gilliam‘s "Time Bandits" to get made. I know, I know; I feel the same way you do.

From Moviehole.net: "The insipid trend of remaking earlier, better films continues with Variety announcing a remake of Terry Gilliam’s 80s fave, “Time Bandits”.

The new movie – assumingly being made with Gilliam’s contribution – will mostly likely be the same thing, just with a higher film stock. The original 1981 film, produced and directed by Gilliam (who created animations for Monty Python’s Flying Circus) and written by Gilliam and Michael Palin, is one of the most famous of more than 30 theatrical features produced by Handmade Films, the London-based independent company backed in part by former Beatle George Harrison.

HandMade, headed by exec, Antony Rufus Isaacs, has been digging through the company archives looking for properties he can exploit. In addition to a redo of "Bandits," he’ll be making a tardy sequel to "The Long Good Friday."

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