Do androids dream of having kids? That seems to be at least one of the questions that Raised By Wolves, the new Ridley Scott–executive produced series coming to HBO Max in September, is asking. Created by Aaron Guzikowski (the writer of Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners) and starring Amanda Collin and Abubakar Salim as Mother and Father (the main robots in question), the show takes viewers to a distant planet in the far-off future where a new synthetic-led human civilization is in the making.

Mother and Father try to live a solitary life, cultivating an atheistic society, but the threat of humanity and its theology, looms nearby. The Mithraic is the perceived enemy and this neo-puritanical religious space army might be all that’s left of Earth’s population. Vikings alum Travis Fimmel is at the center of this plot, and it’d be easy to identify his character, Marcus, as the villain. But Raised By Wolves subverts expectations, leaving the viewer to question which side of this struggle is worth rooting for: the well-intentioned, yet thoroughly lethal robot parents or the possibly misguided human zealots looking for a new planet to call home?

As he did with the likes of Blade Runner and Alien, Scott puts his signature sci-fi world-building skills to use here and directs the show’s first two episodes. But is the HBO Max series a hit? Here’s what critics are saying about Raised By Wolves.


AMANDA COLLIN’S MOTHER STEALS THE SHOW

Amanda Collin in Raised By Wolves

(Photo by Coco Van Oppens/HBO Max)

Collin approaches her role as Mother in a unique way that equals Alicia Vikander’s role in EX MACHINA and Rutger Hauer’s in BLADE RUNNER. Mother is an android with warrior-like skills and abilities that make her a powerful weapon. She alone can rival the entirety of the Mithraic faction and yet she shows a lot of vulnerability as she protects not only her son Campion (Winta McGrath) but several other children as well. — Alex Maidy, JoBlo’s Movie Network

Mother is a fearsome figure, and Collin plays her with tightrope terror: She’s a new god, an anxious mom, or maybe just a broken appliance stumbling toward obsolescence. — Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly


THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

Raised By Wolves

(Photo by Coco Van Oppens/HBO Max)

When Mother and Father do things that make no particular internal sense, you can at least excuse it with, “They’re androids and they’re weird.” It’s less easy to pass off how consistently inconsistent and weakly developed every other character in the series is. As much as I appreciate Guzikowski’s willingness not to overly explain the Mithraic religion or the dystopian world that led to humanity fleeing Earth, it’s astonishing how dull Marcus, Sue and everybody else on the ark are. — Daniel Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

As with most aspects of “Raised by Wolves,” these characters are too derivative to compel, and extraordinarily frustrating from a show that purports itself a true novelty. A show that can’t find more uses for women than “wife” and “mother” isn’t one that’s thinking even halfway outside the box, let alone lightyears beyond our earthly orbit. — Caroline Framke, Variety


THE SCIENCE VS. RELIGION THEME IS A BIT POLARIZING

Travis Fimmel in Raised By Wolves

(Photo by )

The conflict between rationality and religion is sometimes presented in overly simplistic terms, and Guzikowski hedges his bets by using the fictional Mithraic religion (named for a Roman mystery religion) rather than an existing faith tradition, which makes the show’s philosophical debates a bit toothless. — Josh Bell, CBR

The Mithraics are portrayed as warmongers who set out to crush atheists in the name of Sol, their god, and are essentially holy crusaders from space, right down to their knightly armor. Their faith is cultish and infectious, presenting discussions about religion’s place in humanity, and though they espouse virtuous living, they contradict their beliefs with self-preservation and violence — Tim Surette, TV Guide


IT’S THE TYPE OF OPERATIC SCI-FI RIDLEY SCOTT FANS WILL LOVE

Raised by Wolves is sci-fi television of a rare breed. While premium cable and streaming services have been raising the bar in the genre for years, Raised by Wolves leaps ahead in craft, scale, and vision. Its novelistic storytelling and slow-burn pacing ask much of its audience, but it offers rewards in kind. For those willing to engage, Raised by Wolves is a stunning work of operatic science fiction that will linger in your mind well after the credits of each episode roll. — Jamie Lovett, ComicBook.com

Replicants, Synthetics & Androids – oh my! After Blade Runner & Alien, Ridley Scott again visits the world of artificial life, with equally fascinating and thrilling results. — Grace Randolph, Beyond the Trailer


FINAL THOUGHTS?

Raised by Wolves Key Art

Watching “Raised by Wolves,” you feel a certain gratitude that someone can still make sci-fi projects like this, that creatives can keep tinkering with our thoughts of the future while reflecting modern themes back at us. — Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

It’s a show that throws concept after concept at the wall, though in Scott’s seasoned hands, the vast majority of them stick, setting the stage for one of the most interesting sci-fi shows in years…To put it simply, Raised By Wolves is peak Ridley Scott. — Siddhant Adlakha, IGN Movies

Hands down the most thrilling original sci-fi show in more than a decade. — Meghan O’Keefe, Decider

(Photo by Warner Bros. Thumbnail: Jasin Boland for ©Warner Bros. Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection)

150 Essential Sci-Fi Movies to Watch Now

There’s only one place where you can get clones, time travel, simulated realities, irradiated and irritated giant lizards, and space fights and beyond. (Maybe not all at once, but we can dream.) Anything’s possible in this creative nebula known as science fiction, and with its long and historic association with cinema, we present our choices of the greatest science-fiction movies ever: The 150 Essential Sci-Fi Movies!

As they do with horror, filmmakers use science fiction to reflect our aspirations, terrors, and issues of the times. Through genre lens, we can consider our impact on the environment (Godzilla, WALL-E), technology gone berserk (The Terminator, Ex Machina), identity (Blade Runner, The Matrix), and societal breakdowns (Children of Men, A Clockwork Orange). We might even check-in on the current state of the human condition (Gattaca, Her).

Or, maybe we just want to see giant ants wreak havoc across the neighborhood. There may not be a lot of subtext in a big monster movie like Them!, or even crowd-pleasing masterpieces like Star Wars or Back to the Future, but they speak to the one thing that attracts us to movies in the first place: escapism. Science-fiction movies are our tickets to planets far-away (Star Trek, Avatar, Starship Troopers), or a quick hop to a local joint in the solar system (The Martian, Total Recall). They take us just above the atmosphere (Gravity), deep down to the bottom of the ocean (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Abyss), and into the human body (Fantastic Voyage). Limited only 2020by imagination, sci-fi inspires wonder, awe, terror, and hope for alternative mindsets and better futures.

Sci-fi spreads across subgenres, all represented here: the monster movie (Cloverfield), space opera (Serenity), cyberpunk (Ghost in the Shell), and post-apocalyptic (Mad Max: Fury Road) and more. Or it can fuse onto traditional genres like drama (Donnie Darko, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), comedy (Repo Man, Idiocracy), and action (Predator, Demoliton Man). Wherever the destination, these movies — each with at least 20 reviews — were selected because of their unique, fun, and possibly even mind-blowing spins on reality.

It’s time to strap in and cue the Theremin for some of the best science-fiction films created: Time to launch the 150 Essential Sci-Fi Movies!

#150
Adjusted Score: 68905%
Critics Consensus: A frantic and occasional funny adaptation of Douglas Adams' novel. However, it may have those unfamiliar with the source material scratching their heads.
Synopsis: Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is trying to prevent his house from being bulldozed when his friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def)... [More]
Directed By: Garth Jennings

#149

The Endless (2017)
92%

#149
Adjusted Score: 98417%
Critics Consensus: The Endless benefits from its grounded approach to an increasingly bizarre story, elevated by believable performances by filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.
Synopsis: Two brothers receive a cryptic video message inspiring them to revisit the UFO death cult they escaped a decade earlier.... [More]

#148

Timecrimes (2007)
89%

#148
Adjusted Score: 90442%
Critics Consensus: Timecrimes is a low-budget thriller that's well-crafted and loaded with dark humor and bizarre twists.
Synopsis: Nacho Vigalondo's time-travel thriller opens with Hector spying on a beautiful woman undressing in the woods near his property. Investigating,... [More]
Directed By: Nacho Vigalondo

#147

Ad Astra (2019)
83%

#147
Adjusted Score: 106774%
Critics Consensus: Ad Astra takes a visually thrilling journey through the vast reaches of space while charting an ambitious course for the heart of the bond between parent and child.
Synopsis: Thirty years ago, Clifford McBride led a voyage into deep space, but the ship and crew were never heard from... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#146

Westworld (1973)
85%

#146
Adjusted Score: 88544%
Critics Consensus: Yul Brynner gives a memorable performance as a robotic cowboy in this amusing sci-fi/western hybrid.
Synopsis: Westworld is a futuristic theme park where paying guests can pretend to be gunslingers in an artificial Wild West populated... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#145

High Life (2018)
82%

#145
Adjusted Score: 96494%
Critics Consensus: High Life is as visually arresting as it is challenging, confounding, and ultimately rewarding - which is to say it's everything film fans expect from director Claire Denis.
Synopsis: Monte and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to the outer reaches of... [More]
Directed By: Claire Denis

#144

Coherence (2013)
88%

#144
Adjusted Score: 90274%
Critics Consensus: A case study in less-is-more filmmaking, Coherence serves as a compelling low-budget calling card for debuting writer-director James Ward Byrkit.
Synopsis: Eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of events due to the malevolent influence of a passing... [More]
Directed By: James Ward Byrkit

#143
Adjusted Score: 80873%
Critics Consensus: Rocky Horror Picture Show brings its quirky characters in tight, but it's the narrative thrust that really drives audiences insane and keeps 'em doing the time warp again.
Synopsis: In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm,... [More]
Directed By: Jim Sharman

#142

Midnight Special (2016)
83%

#142
Adjusted Score: 97948%
Critics Consensus: Midnight Special's intriguing mysteries may not resolve themselves to every viewer's liking, but the journey is ambitious, entertaining, and terrifically acted.
Synopsis: The government and a group of religious extremists pursue a man (Michael Shannon) and his son (Jaeden Lieberher), a young... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Nichols

#141

Wizards (1977)
59%

#141
Adjusted Score: 61011%
Critics Consensus: Its central metaphor is a bit too on the nose, but Wizards is an otherwise psychedelic, freaky trip into an alternate version of our world.
Synopsis: After the death of his mother, the evil mutant wizard Blackwolf (Steve Gravers) discovers some long-lost military technologies. Full of... [More]
Directed By: Ralph Bakshi

#140

Annihilation (2018)
88%

#140
Adjusted Score: 108010%
Critics Consensus: Annihilation backs up its sci-fi visual wonders and visceral genre thrills with an impressively ambitious -- and surprisingly strange -- exploration of challenging themes that should leave audiences pondering long after the end credits roll.
Synopsis: Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X --... [More]
Directed By: Alex Garland

#139

Contact (1997)
66%

#139
Adjusted Score: 70084%
Critics Consensus: Contact elucidates stirring scientific concepts and theological inquiry at the expense of satisfying storytelling, making for a brainy blockbuster that engages with its ideas, if not its characters.
Synopsis: In this Zemeckis-directed adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) races to interpret a possible message... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#138

The Congress (2013)
73%

#138
Adjusted Score: 75930%
Critics Consensus: The Congress rises on the strength of Robin Wright's powerful performance, with enough ambitious storytelling and technical thrills to overcome its somewhat messy structure.
Synopsis: An aging actress (Robin Wright) agrees to preserve her digital likeness for a studio to use in any future films... [More]
Directed By: Ari Folman

#137
#137
Adjusted Score: 85709%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by impressive special effects and a charming performance from its young star, Flight of the Navigator holds up as a solidly entertaining bit of family-friendly sci-fi.
Synopsis: This 1978 Disney adventure tells the story of 12-year-old David (Joey Cramer) who lives with his family in Fort Lauderdale,... [More]
Directed By: Randal Kleiser

#136
#136
Adjusted Score: 95282%
Critics Consensus: Remixing Roger Corman's B-movie by way of the Off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors offers camp, horror and catchy tunes in equal measure -- plus some inspired cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: Meek flower shop assistant Seymour (Rick Moranis) pines for co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene). During a total eclipse, he discovers an... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#135
#135
Adjusted Score: 81597%
Critics Consensus: Alita: Battle Angel's story struggles to keep up with its special effects, but fans of futuristic sci-fi action may still find themselves more than sufficiently entertained.
Synopsis: Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#134

Ready Player One (2018)
72%

#134
Adjusted Score: 98574%
Critics Consensus: Ready Player One is a sweetly nostalgic thrill ride that neatly encapsulates Spielberg's strengths while adding another solidly engrossing adventure to his filmography.
Synopsis: In 2045, the planet is on the brink of chaos and collapse, but people find salvation in the OASIS, an... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#133
#133
Adjusted Score: 67242%
Critics Consensus: The epitome of so-bad-it's-good cinema, Plan 9 From Outer Space is an unintentionally hilarious sci-fi "thriller" from anti-genius Ed Wood that is justly celebrated for its staggering ineptitude.
Synopsis: Residents of California's San Fernando Valley are under attack by flying saucers from outer space. The aliens, led by Eros... [More]
Directed By: Edward D. Wood Jr.

#132

Rollerball (1975)
68%

#132
Adjusted Score: 69682%
Critics Consensus: In Rollerball, social commentary collides with high-speed action -- and the audience is the winner.
Synopsis: The year is 2018 in a futuristic society where corporations have replaced countries. A violent futuristic game known as Rollerball... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#131

Silent Running (1972)
71%

#131
Adjusted Score: 72857%
Critics Consensus: It doesn't fulfill the potential of its ambitious themes, butSilent Running stands as a decidedly unique type of sci-fi journey marked by intimate character work and a melancholic mood.
Synopsis: After the end of all botanical life on Earth, ecologist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) maintains a greenhouse on a space... [More]
Directed By: Douglas Trumbull

#130
#130
Adjusted Score: 87773%
Critics Consensus: Steven Spielberg's adaptation of War of the Worlds delivers on the thrill and paranoia of H.G. Wells' classic novel while impressively updating the action and effects for modern audiences.
Synopsis: Dockworker Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) struggles to build a positive relationship with his two children, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#129

Metropolis (2001)
87%

#129
Adjusted Score: 87540%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable technical achievement, Metropolis' eye-popping visuals more than compensate for its relatively routine story.
Synopsis: Visually stunning Japanese anime interpretation of Fritz Lang's classic film, also based on Osamu Tezuka's outstanding 1945 illustrations. A Japanese... [More]
Directed By: Rintaro

#128

Shin Godzilla (2016)
86%

#128
Adjusted Score: 90731%
Critics Consensus: Godzilla Resurgence offers a refreshingly low-fi -- and altogether entertaining -- return to the monster's classic creature-feature roots.
Synopsis: A mysterious monster emerges from Tokyo Bay and wreaks havoc upon Japan.... [More]

#127
Adjusted Score: 82958%
Critics Consensus: Though it may be short on dazzling special effects, The Search for Spock is still a strong Star Trek installment, thanks to affecting performances by its iconic cast.
Synopsis: Adm. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) has defeated his archenemy but at great cost. His friend Spock has apparently been... [More]
Directed By: Leonard Nimoy

#126
Adjusted Score: 113613%
Critics Consensus: Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground -- and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise.
Synopsis: Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing... [More]
Directed By: Gareth Edwards

#125

The Fountain (2006)
53%

#125
Adjusted Score: 60769%
Critics Consensus: The Fountain -- a movie about metaphysics, universal patterns, Biblical symbolism, and boundless love spread across one thousand years -- is visually rich but suffers from its own unfocused ambitions.
Synopsis: A man (Hugh Jackman) travels through time on a quest for immortality and to save the woman (Rachel Weisz) he... [More]
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

#124

Logan's Run (1976)
63%

#124
Adjusted Score: 65649%
Critics Consensus: Logan's Run overcomes its campier elements and undercooked plot with a bounty of rousing ideas and dashing sci-fi adventure.
Synopsis: In the year 2274, young residents enjoy an idyllic, hedonistic lifestyle within the protective confines of a domed city. The... [More]
Directed By: Michael Anderson

#123

The Blob (1958)
68%

#123
Adjusted Score: 70835%
Critics Consensus: In spite of its chortle-worthy premise and dated special effects, The Blob remains a prime example of how satisfying cheesy B-movie monster thrills can be.
Synopsis: A drive-in favorite, this sci-fi classic follows teenagers Steve (Steven McQueen) and his best girl, Jane (Aneta Corseaut), as they... [More]
Directed By: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.

#122

Scanners (1981)
70%

#122
Adjusted Score: 72537%
Critics Consensus: Scanners is a dark sci-fi story with special effects that'll make your head explode.
Synopsis: Scanners are men and women born with incredible telepathic and telekinetic powers. There are many who exercise the benefits of... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#121

Things to Come (1936)
93%

#121
Adjusted Score: 97557%
Critics Consensus: Eerily prescient in its presentation of a dystopian future, Things to Come's special effects may be somewhat dated, but its potent ideas haven't aged at all.
Synopsis: It's Christmas 1940, and Everytown resident John Cabal (Raymond Massey) fears that war is imminent. When it breaks out, the... [More]

#120

Cube (1997)
64%

#120
Adjusted Score: 65916%
Critics Consensus: Cube sometimes struggles with where to take its intriguing premise, but gripping pace and an impressive intelligence make it hard to turn away.
Synopsis: Without remembering how they got there, several strangers awaken in a prison of cubic cells, some of them booby-trapped. There's... [More]
Directed By: Vincenzo Natali

#119

Strange Days (1995)
65%

#119
Adjusted Score: 68180%
Critics Consensus: Strange Days struggles to make the most of its futuristic premise, but what's left remains a well-directed, reasonably enjoyable sci-fi fantasy.
Synopsis: Former policeman Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) has moved into a more lucrative trade: the illegal sale of virtual reality-like recordings... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#118

Heavy Metal (1981)
61%

#118
Adjusted Score: 63223%
Critics Consensus: It's sexist, juvenile, and dated, but Heavy Metal makes up for its flaws with eye-popping animation and a classic, smartly used soundtrack.
Synopsis: Adventures from deep space to futuristic New York, and beyond. Each world and story is dominated by the presence of... [More]
Directed By: Gerald Potterton

#117
#117
Adjusted Score: 77918%
Critics Consensus: An offbeat, eccentric black comedy, A Boy and His Dog features strong dialogue and an oddball vision of the future.
Synopsis: Vic (Don Johnson) is a libidinous 18-year-old traversing the post-apocalyptic desert of 2024, in the company of his telepathic dog,... [More]
Directed By: L.Q. Jones

#116
Adjusted Score: 82828%
Critics Consensus: A curious, not always seamless, amalgamation of Kubrick's chilly bleakness and Spielberg's warm-hearted optimism, A.I. is, in a word, fascinating.
Synopsis: A robotic boy, the first programmed to love, David (Haley Joel Osment) is adopted as a test case by a... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#115
#115
Adjusted Score: 78602%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After meteors enter Earth's atmosphere, blinding much of the planet's population in the process, plantlike creatures known as Triffids emerge... [More]
Directed By: Steve Sekely

#114
#114
Adjusted Score: 80653%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After Dr. Bronson (Hayden Rorke) discovers Zyra, a new planet, fellow astronomer Dr. Hendron (Larry Keating) checks Bronson's data and... [More]
Directed By: Rudolph Maté

#113

Sunshine (2007)
76%

#113
Adjusted Score: 83974%
Critics Consensus: Danny Boyle continues his descent into mind-twisting sci-fi madness, taking us along for the ride. Sunshine fulfills the dual requisite necessary to become classic sci-fi: dazzling visuals with intelligent action.
Synopsis: In the not-too-distant future, Earth's dying sun spells the end for humanity. In a last-ditch effort to save the planet,... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#112

Liquid Sky (1982)
96%

#112
Adjusted Score: 96541%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An alien creature invades New York's punk subculture in its search for an opiate released by the brain during orgasm.... [More]
Directed By: Slava Tsukerman

#111

Dark Star (1974)
78%

#111
Adjusted Score: 79146%
Critics Consensus: A loopy 2001 satire, Dark Star may not be the most consistent sci-fi comedy, but its portrayal of human eccentricity is a welcome addition to the genre.
Synopsis: A satiric look at the problems experienced by a crew of bumbling astronauts on a mission to destroy rogue planets.... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#110

Open Your Eyes (1997)
85%

#110
Adjusted Score: 87553%
Critics Consensus: Director Alejandro Amenábar tackles some heady issues with finesse and clarity in Open Your Eyes, a gripping exploration of existentialism and the human spirit.
Synopsis: Handsome 25-year-old Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) had it all -- a successful career, expensive cars, a swank bachelor's pad, and an... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar

#109

Paprika (2006)
85%

#109
Adjusted Score: 87384%
Critics Consensus: Following its own brand of logic, Paprika is an eye-opening mind trip that is difficult to follow but never fails to dazzle.
Synopsis: Dr. Atsuko Chiba works as a scientist by day and, under the code name "Paprika," is a dream detective at... [More]
Directed By: Satoshi Kon

#108

Serenity (2005)
82%

#108
Adjusted Score: 88357%
Critics Consensus: Snappy dialogue and goofy characters make this Wild Wild West soap opera in space fun and adventurous.
Synopsis: In this continuation of the television series "Firefly," a group of rebels travels the outskirts of space aboard their ship,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#107

Turbo Kid (2015)
91%

#107
Adjusted Score: 91465%
Critics Consensus: A nostalgic ode to kids' movies of yesteryear, Turbo Kid eyes the past through an entertaining -- albeit surprisingly gory -- postmodern lens.
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, an orphaned teen (Munro Chambers) must battle a ruthless warlord (Michael Ironside) to save the girl... [More]

#106

THX-1138 (1971)
86%

#106
Adjusted Score: 91474%
Critics Consensus: George Lucas' feature debut presents a spare, bleak, dystopian future, and features evocatively minimal set design and creepy sound effects.
Synopsis: In the future, mankind lives in vast underground cities and free will is outlawed by means of mandatory medication that... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#105

Attack the Block (2011)
90%

#105
Adjusted Score: 96874%
Critics Consensus: Effortlessly mixing scares, laughs, and social commentary, Attack the Block is a thrilling, briskly-paced sci-fi yarn with a distinctly British flavor.
Synopsis: South London teenagers (John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones) defend their neighborhood from malevolent extraterrestrials.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Cornish

#104

Upgrade (2018)
88%

#104
Adjusted Score: 99394%
Critics Consensus: Like its augmented protagonist, Upgrade's old-fashioned innards get a high-tech boost -- one made even more powerful thanks to sharp humor and a solidly well-told story.
Synopsis: A brutal mugging leaves Grey Trace paralyzed in the hospital and his beloved wife dead. A billionaire inventor soon offers... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Whannell

#103
#103
Adjusted Score: 94419%
Critics Consensus: While fans of the series will surely appreciate it, First Contact is exciting, engaging, and visually appealing enough to entertain Star Trek novices.
Synopsis: The Enterprise and its crew follow a Borg ship through a time warp to prevent the Borg from taking over... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Frakes

#102

The World's End (2013)
89%

#102
Adjusted Score: 98152%
Critics Consensus: Madcap and heartfelt, Edgar Wright's apocalypse comedy The World's End benefits from the typically hilarious Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, with a plethora of supporting players.
Synopsis: Gary King (Simon Pegg) is an immature 40-year-old who's dying to take another stab at an epic pub-crawl that he... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#101
Adjusted Score: 97055%
Critics Consensus: Employing gritty camerawork and evocative sound effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a powerful remake that expands upon themes and ideas only lightly explored in the original.
Synopsis: This remake of the classic horror film is set in San Francisco. Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) assumes that when a... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#100

The Host (2006)
93%

#100
Adjusted Score: 98416%
Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie.
Synopsis: Careless American military personnel dump chemicals into South Korea's Han River. Several years later, a creature emerges from the tainted... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#99

A Quiet Place (2018)
96%

#99
Adjusted Score: 118868%
Critics Consensus: A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.
Synopsis: If they hear you, they hunt you. A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

#98
Adjusted Score: 110988%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series' former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.
Synopsis: Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#97

Repo Man (1984)
98%

#97
Adjusted Score: 100370%
Critics Consensus: Repo Man is many things: an alien-invasion film, a punk-rock musical, a send-up of consumerism. One thing it isn't is boring.
Synopsis: After being fired from his job, Los Angeles slacker and punk rocker Otto (Emilio Estevez) lands a gig working for... [More]
Directed By: Alex Cox

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 70244%
Critics Consensus: A fun movie...if you can accept the excessive gore and wooden acting.
Synopsis: In the distant future, the Earth is at war with a race of giant alien insects. Little is known about... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#95
#95
Adjusted Score: 74084%
Critics Consensus: Visually inventive and gleefully over the top, Luc Besson's The Fifth Element is a fantastic piece of pop sci-fi that never takes itself too seriously.
Synopsis: In the 23rd century, a New York City cabbie, Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), finds the fate of the world in... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson

#94

V for Vendetta (2006)
73%

#94
Adjusted Score: 85203%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and thought-provoking, V For Vendetta's political pronouncements may rile some, but its story and impressive set pieces will nevertheless entertain.
Synopsis: Following world war, London is a police state occupied by a fascist government, and a vigilante known only as V... [More]
Directed By: James McTeigue

#93

Dredd (2012)
79%

#93
Adjusted Score: 85911%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by bombastic violence and impressive special effects, rooted in self-satire and deadpan humor, Dredd 3D does a remarkable job of capturing its source material's gritty spirit.
Synopsis: Mega City One is a vast, violent metropolis where felons rule the streets. The only law lies with cops called... [More]
Directed By: Pete Travis

#92
Adjusted Score: 90660%
Critics Consensus: Featuring director John Sayles trademark humanity and an expressive performance from Joe Morton, The Brother from Another Planet is an observant, dryly comic sci-fi gem.
Synopsis: "The Brother" (Joe Morton) is an alien and escaped slave on the run from his home planet. After he lands... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#91
Adjusted Score: 70895%
Critics Consensus: Sci-fi parodies like these usually struggle to work, but Buckaroo Banzai succeeds through total devotion to its own lunacy.
Synopsis: Buckaroo Banzai is caught with his trusted allies, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, in a battle to the death between evil... [More]
Directed By: W.D. Richter

#90

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#90

#89

Dark City (1998)
76%

#89
Adjusted Score: 80497%
Critics Consensus: Stylishly gloomy, Dark City offers a polarizing whirl of arresting visuals and noirish action.
Synopsis: John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he is wanted for a series of... [More]
Directed By: Alex Proyas

#88

Under the Skin (2013)
84%

#88
Adjusted Score: 95071%
Critics Consensus: Its message may prove elusive for some, but with absorbing imagery and a mesmerizing performance from Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin is a haunting viewing experience.
Synopsis: Disguising herself as a human female, an extraterrestrial (Scarlett Johansson) drives around Scotland and tries to lure unsuspecting men into... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Glazer

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 87305%
Critics Consensus: Filled with stunning imagery, The Man Who Fell to Earth is a calm, meditative film that profoundly explores our culture's values and desires.
Synopsis: Thomas Jerome Newton (David Bowie) is an alien who has come to Earth in search of water to save his... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg

#86

The Fly (1986)
93%

#86
Adjusted Score: 99669%
Critics Consensus: David Cronenberg combines his trademark affinity for gore and horror with strongly developed characters, making The Fly a surprisingly affecting tragedy.
Synopsis: When scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) completes his teleportation device, he decides to test its abilities on himself. Unbeknownst to... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#85

Cloverfield (2008)
78%

#85
Adjusted Score: 85561%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Blair Witch Project crossed with Godzilla, Cloverfield is economically paced, stylistically clever, and filled with scares.
Synopsis: As a group of New Yorkers (Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman) enjoy a going-away party, little do they know... [More]
Directed By: Matt Reeves

#84

Men in Black (1997)
92%

#84
Adjusted Score: 97654%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a smart script, spectacular set pieces, and charismatic performances from its leads, Men in Black is an entirely satisfying summer blockbuster hit.
Synopsis: They are the best-kept secret in the universe. Working for a highly funded yet unofficial government agency, Kay (Tommy Lee... [More]
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

#83

Tron (1982)
71%

#83
Adjusted Score: 76692%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps not as strong dramatically as it is technologically, TRON is an original and visually stunning piece of science fiction that represents a landmark work in the history of computer animation.
Synopsis: When talented computer engineer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) finds out that Ed Dillinger (David Warner), an executive at his company,... [More]
Directed By: Steven Lisberger

#82

Bumblebee (2018)
90%

#82
Adjusted Score: 105115%
Critics Consensus: Bumblebee proves it's possible to bring fun and a sense of wonder back to a bloated blockbuster franchise -- and sets up its own slate of sequels in the bargain.
Synopsis: On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee the Autobot seeks refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach... [More]
Directed By: Travis Knight

#81

Independence Day (1996)
68%

#81
Adjusted Score: 71486%
Critics Consensus: The plot is thin and so is character development, but as a thrilling, spectacle-filled summer movie, Independence Day delivers.
Synopsis: In the epic adventure film "Independence Day," strange phenomena surface around the globe. The skies ignite. Terror races through the... [More]
Directed By: Roland Emmerich

#80

Barbarella (1968)
74%

#80
Adjusted Score: 79987%
Critics Consensus: Unevenly paced and thoroughly cheesy, Barbarella is nonetheless full of humor, entertaining visuals, and Jane Fonda's sex appeal.
Synopsis: Barbarella (Jane Fonda) roams 41st-century space with her blind guardian angel, Pygar (John Phillip Law).... [More]
Directed By: Roger Vadim

#79

Donnie Darko (2001)
86%

#79
Adjusted Score: 90835%
Critics Consensus: Richard Kelly's debut feature Donnie Darko is a daring, original vision, packed with jarring ideas and intelligence and featuring a remarkable performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled title character.
Synopsis: In a funny, moving and distinctly mind-bending journey through suburban America, one extraordinary but disenchanted teenager is about to take... [More]
Directed By: Richard Kelly

#78

Pacific Rim (2013)
72%

#78
Adjusted Score: 84303%
Critics Consensus: It may sport more style than substance, but Pacific Rim is a solid modern creature feature bolstered by fantastical imagery and an irresistible sense of fun.
Synopsis: Long ago, legions of monstrous creatures called Kaiju arose from the sea, bringing with them all-consuming war. To fight the... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#77

Idiocracy (2006)
73%

#77
Adjusted Score: 73430%
Critics Consensus: Frustratingly uneven yet enjoyable overall, Idiocracy skewers society's devolution with an amiably goofy yet deceptively barbed wit.
Synopsis: In 2005, average in every way private Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) is selected to take part in a secret military... [More]
Directed By: Mike Judge

#76

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
81%

#76
Adjusted Score: 83548%
Critics Consensus: Fahrenheit 451 is an intriguing film that suffuses Truffaut's trademark wit and black humor with the intelligence and morality of Ray Bradbury's novel.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the Ray Bradbury novel about a future society that has banned all reading material and the job of... [More]
Directed By: François Truffaut

#75

Demolition Man (1993)
60%

#75
Adjusted Score: 61027%
Critics Consensus: A better-than-average sci-fi shoot-em-up with a satirical undercurrent, Demolition Man is bolstered by strong performances by Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock.
Synopsis: With innocent victims caught in the crossfire in Los Angeles' intensifying war on crime, both cop John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone)... [More]
Directed By: Marco Brambilla

#74

A Scanner Darkly (2006)
68%

#74
Adjusted Score: 75006%
Critics Consensus: A faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel, A Scanner Darkly takes the viewer on a visual and mind-blowing journey into the author's conception of a drug-addled and politically unstable world.
Synopsis: In the near future, as America virtually loses the war on drugs, Robert Arctor, a narcotics cop in Orange County,... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#73

Source Code (2011)
92%

#73
Adjusted Score: 102853%
Critics Consensus: Finding the human story amidst the action, director Duncan Jones and charming Jake Gyllenhaal craft a smart, satisfying sci-fi thriller.
Synopsis: Helicopter pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is part of a top-secret military operation that enables him to experience the last... [More]
Directed By: Duncan Jones

#72

The Abyss (1989)
87%

#72
Adjusted Score: 90558%
Critics Consensus: The utterly gorgeous special effects frequently overshadow the fact that The Abyss is also a totally gripping, claustrophobic thriller, complete with an interesting crew of characters.
Synopsis: Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio are formerly married petroleum engineers who still have some issues to work out. They... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#71
Adjusted Score: 92763%
Critics Consensus: Led by Rupert Wyatt's stylish direction, some impressive special effects, and a mesmerizing performance by Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes breathes unlikely new life into a long-running franchise.
Synopsis: Will Rodman (James Franco), a scientist in San Francisco, is experimenting with a drug that he hopes will cure his... [More]
Directed By: Rupert Wyatt

#70

Altered States (1980)
85%

#70
Adjusted Score: 89027%
Critics Consensus: Extraordinarily daring for a Hollywood film, Altered States attacks the viewer with its inventive, aggressive mix of muddled sound effects and visual pyrotechnics.
Synopsis: Respected scientist and psychology professor Edward Jessup (William Hurt) decides to combine his experiments in sensory deprivation tanks with powerful... [More]
Directed By: Ken Russell

#69

Predestination (2014)
84%

#69
Adjusted Score: 86972%
Critics Consensus: Fun genre fare with uncommon intelligence, Predestination serves as a better-than-average sci-fi adventure -- and offers a starmaking turn from Sarah Snook.
Synopsis: A temporal agent (Ethan Hawke) embarks on a final time-traveling assignment to prevent an elusive criminal from launching an attack... [More]

#68

They Live (1988)
85%

#68
Adjusted Score: 89281%
Critics Consensus: A politically subversive blend of horror and sci fi, They Live is an underrated genre film from John Carpenter.
Synopsis: Nada (Roddy Piper), a wanderer without meaning in his life, discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#67

Seconds (1966)
78%

#67
Adjusted Score: 84362%
Critics Consensus: Featuring dazzling, disorienting cinematography from the great James Wong Howe and a strong lead performance by Rock Hudson, Seconds is a compellingly paranoid take on the legend of Faust.
Synopsis: Banker Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) gets a call one day from a friend he thought was dead. It turns out... [More]
Directed By: John Frankenheimer

#66

Soylent Green (1973)
69%

#66
Adjusted Score: 72323%
Critics Consensus: While admittedly melodramatic and uneven in spots, Soylent Green ultimately succeeds with its dark, plausible vision of a dystopian future.
Synopsis: In a densely overpopulated, starving New York City of the future, NYPD detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) investigates the murder... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#65
Adjusted Score: 91339%
Critics Consensus: One of Disney's finest live-action adventures, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea brings Jules Verne's classic sci-fi tale to vivid life, and features an awesome giant squid.
Synopsis: In 1866, Professor Pierre M. Aronnax (Paul Lukas) and his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre), stranded in San Francisco by reports... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#64

The Hunger Games (2012)
84%

#64
Adjusted Score: 98554%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling and superbly acted, The Hunger Games captures the dramatic violence, raw emotion, and ambitious scope of its source novel.
Synopsis: In what was once North America, the Capitol of Panem maintains its hold on its 12 districts by forcing them... [More]
Directed By: Gary Ross

#63

Avatar (2009)
82%

#63
Adjusted Score: 97487%
Critics Consensus: It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron's singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking.
Synopsis: On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na'vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#62

Minority Report (2002)
90%

#62
Adjusted Score: 97592%
Critics Consensus: Thought-provoking and visceral, Steven Spielberg successfully combines high concept ideas and high octane action in this fast and febrile sci-fi thriller.
Synopsis: Based on a story by famed science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, "Minority Report" is an action-detective thriller set in... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#61
Adjusted Score: 97198%
Critics Consensus: While Alphaville is by no means a conventional sci-fi film, Jean-Luc Godard creates a witty, noir-ish future all his own.
Synopsis: Government agent Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is dispatched on a secret mission to Alphaville, a dystopian metropolis in a distant... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#60

Them! (1954)
93%

#60
Adjusted Score: 98111%
Critics Consensus: One of the best creature features of the early atomic age, Them! features effectively menacing special effects and avoids the self-parody that would taint later monster movies.
Synopsis: While investigating a series of mysterious deaths, Sergeant Ben Peterson (James Whitmore) finds a young girl (Sandy Descher) who is... [More]
Directed By: Gordon Douglas

#59

Videodrome (1983)
78%

#59
Adjusted Score: 82841%
Critics Consensus: Visually audacious, disorienting, and just plain weird, Videodrome's musings on technology, entertainment, and politics still feel fresh today.
Synopsis: As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn (James Woods) is desperate for new programming to attract viewers.... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#58

Snowpiercer (2013)
94%

#58
Adjusted Score: 104212%
Critics Consensus: Snowpiercer offers an audaciously ambitious action spectacular for filmgoers numb to effects-driven blockbusters.
Synopsis: A post-apocalyptic ice age forces humanity's last survivors aboard a globe-spanning supertrain. One man (Chris Evans) will risk everything to... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#57
Adjusted Score: 103694%
Critics Consensus: One of the best political allegories of the 1950s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an efficient, chilling blend of sci-fi and horror.
Synopsis: In Santa Mira, California, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is baffled when all his patients come to him with the... [More]
Directed By: Don Siegel

#56

Predator (1987)
82%

#56
Adjusted Score: 84703%
Critics Consensus: Predator: Part sci-fi, part horror, part action -- all muscle.
Synopsis: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a soldier of fortune, is hired by the U.S. government to secretly rescue a group of politicians... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 92781%
Critics Consensus: Planet of the Apes raises thought-provoking questions about our culture without letting social commentary get in the way of the drama and action.
Synopsis: Complex sociological themes run through this science-fiction classic about three astronauts marooned on a futuristic planet where apes rule and... [More]
Directed By: Franklin J. Schaffner

#54

Mad Max 2 (1981)
94%

#54
Adjusted Score: 98175%
Critics Consensus: The Road Warrior is everything a bigger-budgeted Mad Max sequel with should be: bigger, faster, louder, but definitely not dumber.
Synopsis: After avenging the death of his wife and young son at the hands of a vicious gang leader, Max (Mel... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#53

Star Trek (2009)
94%

#53
Adjusted Score: 109157%
Critics Consensus: Star Trek reignites a classic franchise with action, humor, a strong story, and brilliant visuals, and will please traditional Trekkies and new fans alike.
Synopsis: Aboard the USS Enterprise, the most-sophisticated starship ever built, a novice crew embarks on its maiden voyage. Their path takes... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 91862%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an atmospherically grimy futuristic metropolis, Escape from New York is a strange, entertaining jumble of thrilling action and oddball weirdness.
Synopsis: In 1997, a major war between the United States and the Soviet Union is concluding, and the entire island of... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 91191%
Critics Consensus: Though it's dated in spots, The War of the Worlds retains an unnerving power, updating H.G. Wells' classic sci-fi tale to the Cold War era and featuring some of the best special effects of any 1950s film.
Synopsis: Scientist Clayton Forrester (Gene Barry) and Sylvia Van Buren (Ann Robinson) are the first to arrive at the site of... [More]
Directed By: Byron Haskin

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 120874%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and narratively satisfying, Blade Runner 2049 deepens and expands its predecessor's story while standing as an impressive filmmaking achievement in its own right.
Synopsis: Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#49

Galaxy Quest (1999)
90%

#49
Adjusted Score: 94479%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and humorous satire with an excellent cast -- no previous Trekkie knowledge needed to enjoy this one.
Synopsis: The stars of a 1970s sci-fi show - now scraping a living through re-runs and sci-fi conventions - are beamed... [More]
Directed By: Dean Parisot

#48

Fantastic Voyage (1966)
91%

#48
Adjusted Score: 93661%
Critics Consensus: The special effects may be a bit dated today, but Fantastic Voyage still holds up well as an imaginative journey into the human body.
Synopsis: The brilliant scientist Jan Benes (Jean Del Val) develops a way to shrink humans, and other objects, for brief periods... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#47

Solaris (1972)
92%

#47
Adjusted Score: 98837%
Critics Consensus: Solaris is a haunting, meditative film that uses sci-fi to raise complex questions about humanity and existence.
Synopsis: A psychologist is sent to a space station orbiting a planet called Solaris to investigate the death of a doctor... [More]
Directed By: Andrei Tarkovsky

#46

Her (2013)
94%

#46
Adjusted Score: 105281%
Critics Consensus: Sweet, soulful, and smart, Spike Jonze's Her uses its just-barely-sci-fi scenario to impart wryly funny wisdom about the state of modern human relationships.
Synopsis: A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after his marriage... [More]
Directed By: Spike Jonze

#45

The Iron Giant (1999)
96%

#45
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

#44

Fantastic Planet (1973)
91%

#44
Adjusted Score: 92911%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Planet is an animated epic that is by turns surreal and lovely, fantastic and graceful.
Synopsis: This animated tale follows the relationship between the small human-like Oms and their much larger blue-skinned oppressors, the Draags, who... [More]
Directed By: René Laloux

#43

Total Recall (1990)
82%

#43
Adjusted Score: 87434%
Critics Consensus: Under Paul Verhoeven's frenetic direction, Total Recall is a fast-paced rush of violence, gore, and humor that never slacks.
Synopsis: Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a bored construction worker in the year 2084 who dreams of visiting the colonized Mars.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#42

Moon (2009)
90%

#42
Adjusted Score: 98657%
Critics Consensus: Boosted by Sam Rockwell's intense performance, Moon is a compelling work of science-fiction, and a promising debut from director Duncan Jones.
Synopsis: Astronaut Sam Bell's (Sam Rockwell) three-year shift at a lunar mine is finally coming to an end, and he's looking... [More]
Directed By: Duncan Jones

#41

The Martian (2015)
91%

#41
Adjusted Score: 107214%
Critics Consensus: Smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny, The Martian offers a faithful adaptation of the bestselling book that brings out the best in leading man Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott.
Synopsis: When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#40

Gravity (2013)
96%

#40
Adjusted Score: 110246%
Critics Consensus: Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity is an eerie, tense sci-fi thriller that's masterfully directed and visually stunning.
Synopsis: Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. Her commander is veteran astronaut Matt... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#39

Interstellar (2014)
72%

#39
Adjusted Score: 88274%
Critics Consensus: Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually resplendent filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan, even if its intellectual reach somewhat exceeds its grasp.
Synopsis: In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#38
Adjusted Score: 102303%
Critics Consensus: Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.
Synopsis: After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey)... [More]
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#37

Looper (2012)
93%

#37
Adjusted Score: 104700%
Critics Consensus: As thought-provoking as it is thrilling, Looper delivers an uncommonly smart, bravely original blend of futuristic sci-fi and good old-fashioned action.
Synopsis: In a future society, time-travel exists, but it's only available to those with the means to pay for it on... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#36
Adjusted Score: 99250%
Critics Consensus: Close Encounters of the Third Kind is deeply humane sci-fi exploring male obsession, cosmic mysticism, and music.
Synopsis: Science fiction adventure about a group of people who attempt to contact alien intelligence. Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) witnesses an... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#35

Arrival (2016)
94%

#35
Adjusted Score: 122061%
Critics Consensus: Arrival delivers a must-see experience for fans of thinking person's sci-fi that anchors its heady themes with genuinely affecting emotion and a terrific performance from Amy Adams.
Synopsis: Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#34

Ex Machina (2014)
92%

#34
Adjusted Score: 103686%
Critics Consensus: Ex Machina leans heavier on ideas than effects, but it's still a visually polished piece of work -- and an uncommonly engaging sci-fi feature.
Synopsis: Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) a programmer at a huge Internet company, wins a contest that enables him to spend a... [More]
Directed By: Alex Garland

#33

WALL-E (2008)
95%

#33
Adjusted Score: 107418%
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

#32
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

#31

Godzilla (1954)
93%

#31
Adjusted Score: 100824%
Critics Consensus: More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.
Synopsis: A fire-breathing behemoth terrorizes Japan after an atomic bomb awakens it from its centuries-old sleep.... [More]
Directed By: Ishirô Honda

#30

Forbidden Planet (1956)
96%

#30
Adjusted Score: 99438%
Critics Consensus: Shakespeare gets the deluxe space treatment in Forbidden Planet, an adaptation of The Tempest with impressive sets and seamless special effects.
Synopsis: In this sci-fi classic, a spacecraft travels to the distant planet Altair IV to discover the fate of a group... [More]
Directed By: Fred McLeod Wilcox

#29

12 Monkeys (1995)
89%

#29
Adjusted Score: 93669%
Critics Consensus: The plot's a bit of a jumble, but excellent performances and mind-blowing plot twists make 12 Monkeys a kooky, effective experience.
Synopsis: Traveling back in time isn't simple, as James Cole (Bruce Willis) learns the hard way. Imprisoned in the 2030s, James... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#28

Jurassic Park (1993)
92%

#28
Adjusted Score: 104075%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of Spielberg's best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws.
Synopsis: In Steven Spielberg's massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#27

Primer (2004)
73%

#27
Adjusted Score: 76416%
Critics Consensus: Dense, obtuse, but stimulating, Primer is a film for viewers ready for a cerebral challenge.
Synopsis: Intellectual engineers Aaron (Shane Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan) build and sell error-checking technology with the help of their friends... [More]
Directed By: Shane Carruth

#26

Stalker (1979)
100%

#26
Adjusted Score: 103491%
Critics Consensus: Stalker is a complex, oblique parable that draws unforgettable images and philosophical musings from its sci-fi/thriller setting.
Synopsis: In an unnamed country at an unspecified time, there is a fiercely protected post-apocalyptic wasteland known as The Zone. An... [More]
Directed By: Andrei Tarkovsky

#25

Gattaca (1997)
83%

#25
Adjusted Score: 86115%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.
Synopsis: Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) has always fantasized about traveling into outer space, but is grounded by his status as a... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Niccol

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 99190%
Critics Consensus: A stunning feat of modern animation, Ghost in the Shell offers a thoughtful, complex treat for anime fans, as well as a perfect introduction for viewers new to the medium.
Synopsis: In this Japanese animation, cyborg federal agent Maj. Motoko Kusanagi (Mimi Woods) trails "The Puppet Master" (Abe Lasser), who illegally... [More]
Directed By: Mamoru Oshii

#23

Brazil (1985)
98%

#23
Adjusted Score: 100937%
Critics Consensus: Brazil, Terry Gilliam's visionary Orwellian fantasy, is an audacious dark comedy, filled with strange, imaginative visuals.
Synopsis: Low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) escapes the monotony of his day-to-day life through a recurring daydream of himself as... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#22
Adjusted Score: 91702%
Critics Consensus: Considered by many fans to be the best of the Star Trek movies, Khan features a strong plot, increased tension, and a sharp supporting performance from Ricardo Montalban.
Synopsis: As Adm. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Capt. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) monitor trainees at Starfleet Academy, another vessel from... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Meyer

#21

District 9 (2009)
90%

#21
Adjusted Score: 105132%
Critics Consensus: Technically brilliant and emotionally wrenching, District 9 has action, imagination, and all the elements of a thoroughly entertaining science-fiction classic.
Synopsis: Thirty years ago, aliens arrive on Earth -- not to conquer or give aid, but -- to find refuge from... [More]
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 95654%
Critics Consensus: Disturbing and thought-provoking, A Clockwork Orange is a cold, dystopian nightmare with a very dark sense of humor.
Synopsis: In an England of the future, Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his "Droogs" spend their nights getting high at the Korova... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#19

RoboCop (1987)
90%

#19
Adjusted Score: 95713%
Critics Consensus: While over-the-top and gory, Robocop is also a surprisingly smart sci-fi flick that uses ultraviolence to disguise its satire of American culture.
Synopsis: In a violent, near-apocalyptic Detroit, evil corporation Omni Consumer Products wins a contract from the city government to privatize the... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#18
Adjusted Score: 102472%
Critics Consensus: Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism.
Synopsis: When a UFO lands in Washington, D.C., bearing a message for Earth's leaders, all of humanity stands still. Klaatu (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wise

#17

Akira (1988)
90%

#17
Adjusted Score: 93945%
Critics Consensus: Akira is strikingly bloody and violent, but its phenomenal animation and sheer kinetic energy helped set the standard for modern anime.
Synopsis: In 1988 the Japanese government drops an atomic bomb on Tokyo after ESP experiments on children go awry. In 2019,... [More]
Directed By: Katsuhiro Ôtomo

#16

Children of Men (2006)
92%

#16
Adjusted Score: 101478%
Critics Consensus: Children of Men works on every level: as a violent chase thriller, a fantastical cautionary tale, and a sophisticated human drama about societies struggling to live.
Synopsis: When infertility threatens mankind with extinction and the last child born has perished, a disillusioned bureaucrat (Clive Owen) becomes the... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#15

The Terminator (1984)
100%

#15
Adjusted Score: 105715%
Critics Consensus: With its impressive action sequences, taut economic direction, and relentlessly fast pace, it's clear why The Terminator continues to be an influence on sci-fi and action flicks.
Synopsis: Disguised as a human, a cyborg assassin known as a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) travels from 2029 to 1984 to kill... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#14

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
91%

#14
Adjusted Score: 104400%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller.
Synopsis: When Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them. Maj.... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#13

Aliens (1986)
97%

#13
Adjusted Score: 105757%
Critics Consensus: While Alien was a marvel of slow-building, atmospheric tension, Aliens packs a much more visceral punch, and features a typically strong performance from Sigourney Weaver.
Synopsis: After floating in space for 57 years, Lt. Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) shuttle is found by a deep space salvage team.... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#12
Adjusted Score: 104208%
Critics Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.
Synopsis: The adventure continues in this "Star Wars" sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)... [More]
Directed By: Irvin Kershner

#11

The Thing (1982)
82%

#11
Adjusted Score: 89261%
Critics Consensus: Grimmer and more terrifying than the 1950s take, John Carpenter's The Thing is a tense sci-fi thriller rife with compelling tension and some remarkable make-up effects.
Synopsis: In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at... [More]
Directed By: John Carpenter

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 114455%
Critics Consensus: With exhilarating action and a surprising amount of narrative heft, Mad Max: Fury Road brings George Miller's post-apocalyptic franchise roaring vigorously back to life.
Synopsis: Years after the collapse of civilization, the tyrannical Immortan Joe enslaves apocalypse survivors inside the desert fortress the Citadel. When... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#9

Alien (1979)
98%

#9
Adjusted Score: 108924%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Synopsis: In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#8
Adjusted Score: 98520%
Critics Consensus: T2 features thrilling action sequences and eye-popping visual effects, but what takes this sci-fi/ action landmark to the next level is the depth of the human (and cyborg) characters.
Synopsis: In this sequel set eleven years after "The Terminator," young John Connor (Edward Furlong), the key to civilization's victory over... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#7

Inception (2010)
87%

#7
Adjusted Score: 103254%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Synopsis: Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people's dreams and steal their secrets from... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#6

The Matrix (1999)
88%

#6
Adjusted Score: 95175%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the Wachowskis' imaginative vision, The Matrix is a smartly crafted combination of spectacular action and groundbreaking special effects.
Synopsis: Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, can... [More]

#5
Adjusted Score: 106602%
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

#4

Metropolis (1927)
97%

#4
Adjusted Score: 110464%
Critics Consensus: A visually awe-inspiring science fiction classic from the silent era.
Synopsis: This influential German science-fiction film presents a highly stylized futuristic city where a beautiful and cultured utopia exists above a... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Lang

#3

Blade Runner (1982)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 99674%
Critics Consensus: Misunderstood when it first hit theaters, the influence of Ridley Scott's mysterious, neo-noir Blade Runner has deepened with time. A visually remarkable, achingly human sci-fi masterpiece.
Synopsis: Deckard (Harrison Ford) is forced by the police Boss (M. Emmet Walsh) to continue his old job as Replicant Hunter.... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 103789%
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

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 106716%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential of all sci-fi films -- and one of the most controversial -- Stanley Kubrick's 2001 is a delicate, poetic meditation on the ingenuity -- and folly -- of mankind.
Synopsis: An imposing black structure provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

(Photo by Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection)

All Harrison Ford Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Unless you had tremedous recall of all the bit roles in American Grafitti or The Conversation, the first time the world at large set their eyes on Harrison Ford was in the little indie that could: Star Wars. With no previous acting reference points for most audiences, Ford WAS Han Solo, the glumly debonair and seductive space rogue who gave a dash of modern cynicism to Star Wars’ populist mysticism, singing aliens, and laser swords.

Ford returned for The Empire Strikes Back, jumpstarting the best run of movies anybody had in the ’80s. None of his films this decade were Rotten, and nine of them are Certified Fresh — utter classics and masterpieces like Blade Runner, Return of the Jedi, and all three Indiana Jones movies. 1985’s Witness, in which Ford plays a steely detective protecting an Amish boy who’s seen a murder, garnered him his only Best Actor Academy Award nomination.

Ford’s ’90s highlights include The Fugitive (another box office smash and a Best Picture nominee), taking on the CIA analyst Jack Ryan role created by Tom Clancy in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, and kicking off unruly passengers as the freaking President of the United States of America in Air Force One.

After a 19-year absence from the big screen, he, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas brought Indy back for The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The movie would go on to be designated Certified Fresh by critics, though it’s no secret critical and audience appreciation for the movie remains weak. A fifth Indiana Jones is currently in early pre-production.

Since them, Ford has gamely returned to the roles that made him famous: Han in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and Deckard in Blade Runner 2049. Both movies would also be Certified Fresh, the first time Ford would have two consecutive CF films since the ’80s. And now we’re taking a look back we rank all Harrison Ford movies by Tomatometer!

#41

Paranoia (2013)
7%

#41
Adjusted Score: 10915%
Critics Consensus: Clichéd and unoriginal, Paranoia is a middling techno-thriller with indifferent performances and a shortage of thrills.
Synopsis: Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) is a rising star at a global tech company run by Nicolas Wyatt (Gary Oldman). An... [More]
Directed By: Robert Luketic

#40

Random Hearts (1999)
15%

#40
Adjusted Score: 17473%
Critics Consensus: Even Harrison Ford could not save the dull plot and the slow pacing of the movie.
Synopsis: After a plane crash in which both their spouses are killed, Sergeant Dutch Van Den Broeck (Harrison Ford) and Congresswoman... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#39

Firewall (2006)
18%

#39
Adjusted Score: 24924%
Critics Consensus: Harrison Ford's rote performance brings little to this uninspired techno-heist film whose formulaic plot is befuddled with tedious and improbable twists.
Synopsis: Bank security expert Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) builds a career on his expertise in designing theft-proof computer systems for financial... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine

#38
Adjusted Score: 26747%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Steve Binder

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 33113%
Critics Consensus: Despite a timely topic and a pair of heavyweight leads, Extraordinary Measures never feels like much more than a made-for-TV tearjerker.
Synopsis: John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) is a man on the corporate fast-track, with a beautiful wife (Keri Russell) and three children.... [More]
Directed By: Tom Vaughan

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 35764%
Critics Consensus: Hollywood Homicide suffers from too many subplots and not enough laughs.
Synopsis: After music mogul Antoine Sartain's (Isaiah Washington) rappers are murdered, Sgt. Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) and police Detective K.C. Calden... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 39220%
Critics Consensus: Like its predecessors, Expendables 3 offers a modicum of all-star thrills for old-school action thriller aficionados -- but given all the talent assembled, it should have been a lot more fun.
Synopsis: Years ago, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) co-founded the Expendables with Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). After Stonebanks became an arms dealer,... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#34

The Devil's Own (1997)
35%

#34
Adjusted Score: 36991%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As a favor to a friend, policeman Tom O'Meara (Harrison Ford) lets visiting Irishman Rory Devaney (Brad Pitt) stay with... [More]
Directed By: Alan J. Pakula

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 37683%
Critics Consensus: A generally enjoyable, if completely forgettable piece of Hollywood fluff.
Synopsis: In the South Pacific island of Makatea, career-driven magazine editor Robin Monroe (Anne Heche) is on a week-long vacation getaway... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#32

Regarding Henry (1991)
43%

#32
Adjusted Score: 44673%
Critics Consensus: Although Harrison Ford makes the most of an opportunity to dig into a serious role, Regarding Henry is undermined by cheap sentiment and clichés.
Synopsis: An unscrupulous corporate lawyer, Henry Turner (Harrison Ford) will do whatever it takes to win a case, and treats his... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#31

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
44%

#31
Adjusted Score: 55559%
Critics Consensus: Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are as dependably appealing as ever, but they're let down by director Jon Favreau's inability to smooth Cowboys & Aliens' jarring tonal shifts.
Synopsis: Bearing a mysterious metal shackle on his wrist, an amnesiac gunslinger (Daniel Craig) wanders into a frontier town called Absolution.... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 51000%
Critics Consensus: Robert Zemeckis is unable to salvage an uncompelling and unoriginal film.
Synopsis: It had been a year since Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford) betrayed his beautiful wife Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer). But with... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#29

Frisco Kid (1935)
50%

#29
Adjusted Score: 53926%
Critics Consensus: Not even a genial Gene Wilder or a dashing Harrison Ford can rescue The Frisco Kid from a monotonous procession of gently comedic sketches that never cohere into a memorable yarn.
Synopsis: After escaping an attempt to shanghai him, Bat Morgan (James Cagney) heads to the Barbary Coast and Paul Morra's (Ricardo... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Bacon

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 60621%
Critics Consensus: The Age of Adaline ruminates on mortality less compellingly than similarly themed films, but is set apart by memorable performances from Blake Lively and Harrison Ford.
Synopsis: Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has miraculously remained a youthful 29 years of age for nearly eight decades, never allowing herself... [More]
Directed By: Lee Toland Krieger

#27

Morning Glory (2010)
55%

#27
Adjusted Score: 60683%
Critics Consensus: It's lifted by affable performances from its impeccable cast, and it's often charming -- but Morning Glory is also inconsistent and derivative.
Synopsis: Newly hired as a producer on a national morning-news program called "Daybreak," Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) decides to revitalize the... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#26

Hanover Street (1979)
57%

#26
Adjusted Score: 40603%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A U.S. bomber pilot (Harrison Ford) goes on a secret World War II mission with his English lover's (Lesley-Anne Down)... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 48652%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After successfully sabotaging radar-guided Nazi guns, Mallory (Robert Shaw) and Miller (Edward Fox) find themselves attached to an elite American... [More]
Directed By: Guy Hamilton

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 66110%
Critics Consensus: A gripping drama even though the filmmakers have taken liberties with the facts.
Synopsis: Follows Captain Alexi Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) who, at the height of the Cold War, is ordered to take over command... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 76290%
Critics Consensus: It's undermined by distracting and unnecessary CGI, but this heartwarming Call of the Wild remains a classic story, affectionately retold.
Synopsis: Buck is a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life gets turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his... [More]
Directed By: Chris Sanders

#22

Ender's Game (2013)
62%

#22
Adjusted Score: 71284%
Critics Consensus: If it isn't quite as thought-provoking as the book, Ender's Game still manages to offer a commendable number of well-acted, solidly written sci-fi thrills.
Synopsis: When hostile aliens called the Formics attack Earth, only the legendary heroics of Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) manage to attain... [More]
Directed By: Gavin Hood

#21

Sabrina (1995)
63%

#21
Adjusted Score: 66180%
Critics Consensus: Sydney Pollack's Sabrina doesn't do anything the original didn't do better, but assured direction and a cast of seasoned stars make this a pleasant enough diversion.
Synopsis: Sabrina Fairchild (Julia Ormond) is a chauffeur's daughter who grew up with the wealthy Larrabee family. She always had unreciprocated... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#20

Patriot Games (1992)
74%

#20
Adjusted Score: 76068%
Critics Consensus: Patriot Games doesn't win many points for verisimilitude, but some entertaining set pieces -- and Harrison Ford in the central role -- more than compensate for its flaws.
Synopsis: When former CIA agent Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) hampers an IRA terrorist attack in London, he kills one of the... [More]
Directed By: Phillip Noyce

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 77277%
Critics Consensus: Harrison Ford capably tackles a tough, unlikable role, producing a fascinating and strange character study.
Synopsis: A brilliant but unstable inventor and his family create what they hope will be their Utopia in Central America.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#18

Frantic (1988)
76%

#18
Adjusted Score: 78758%
Critics Consensus: A tense, on-point thriller in the vein of Polanski's earlier work.
Synopsis: While attending a medical conference in Paris, Dr. Richard Walker (Harrison Ford) is horrified when his wife, Sondra (Betty Buckley),... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#17

Air Force One (1997)
78%

#17
Adjusted Score: 80411%
Critics Consensus: This late-period Harrison Ford actioner is full of palpable, if not entirely seamless, thrills.
Synopsis: After making a speech in Moscow vowing to never negotiate with terrorists, President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) boards Air Force... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#16
Adjusted Score: 88411%
Critics Consensus: Though the plot elements are certainly familiar, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still delivers the thrills and Harrison Ford's return in the title role is more than welcome.
Synopsis: It's the height of the Cold War, and famous archaeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), returning from his latest adventure, finds... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 82562%
Critics Consensus: Perfecting the formula established in earlier installments, Clear and Present Danger reunites its predecessor's creative core to solidly entertaining effect.
Synopsis: Agent Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) becomes acting deputy director of the CIA when Admiral Greer (James Earl Jones) is diagnosed... [More]
Directed By: Phillip Noyce

#14

42 (2013)
81%

#14
Adjusted Score: 87765%
Critics Consensus: 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon, though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some.
Synopsis: In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#13
Adjusted Score: 91159%
Critics Consensus: Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy.
Synopsis: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) battles horrible Jabba the Hut and cruel Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel... [More]
Directed By: Richard Marquand

#12

Working Girl (1988)
84%

#12
Adjusted Score: 86936%
Critics Consensus: A buoyant corporate Cinderella story, Working Girl has the right cast, right story, and right director to make it all come together.
Synopsis: Savvy New York City receptionist Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) gives her conniving boss, Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver), an excellent business... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#11
Adjusted Score: 90128%
Critics Consensus: It may be too "dark" for some, but Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom remains an ingenious adventure spectacle that showcases one of Hollywood's finest filmmaking teams in vintage form.
Synopsis: The second of the Lucas/Spielberg Indiana Jones epics is set a year or so before the events in Raiders of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 90112%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to an outstanding script, focused direction by Alan Pakula, and a riveting performance from Harrison Ford, Presumed Innocent is the kind of effective courtroom thriller most others aspire to be.
Synopsis: Prosecuting attorney Raymond Horgan (Brian Dennehy) assigns his chief deputy, the taciturn Rusty Sabitch (Harrison Ford), to investigate the rape... [More]
Directed By: Alan J. Pakula

#9
Adjusted Score: 93649%
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

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 120874%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and narratively satisfying, Blade Runner 2049 deepens and expands its predecessor's story while standing as an impressive filmmaking achievement in its own right.
Synopsis: Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#7

Blade Runner (1982)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 99674%
Critics Consensus: Misunderstood when it first hit theaters, the influence of Ridley Scott's mysterious, neo-noir Blade Runner has deepened with time. A visually remarkable, achingly human sci-fi masterpiece.
Synopsis: Deckard (Harrison Ford) is forced by the police Boss (M. Emmet Walsh) to continue his old job as Replicant Hunter.... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#6
Adjusted Score: 106602%
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

#5

Witness (1985)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 95093%
Critics Consensus: A wonderfully entertaining thriller within an unusual setting, with Harrison Ford delivering a surprisingly emotive and sympathetic performance.
Synopsis: After witnessing a brutal murder, young Amish boy Samuel (Lukas Haas) and his mother Rachel (Kelly McGillis) seek protection from... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#4
Adjusted Score: 110988%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series' former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.
Synopsis: Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#3
Adjusted Score: 104208%
Critics Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.
Synopsis: The adventure continues in this "Star Wars" sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)... [More]
Directed By: Irvin Kershner

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 102904%
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

#1

The Fugitive (1993)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 103662%
Critics Consensus: Exhilarating and intense, this high-impact chase thriller is a model of taut and efficient formula filmmaking, and it features Harrison Ford at his frantic best.
Synopsis: Wrongfully accused of murdering his wife, Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) escapes from the law in an attempt to find her... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Davis

Rotten Tomatoes

(Photo by Rotten Tomatoes)

One of Hideo Kojima’s most resonant achievements in his 30-year career as a video game designer and director came early. Kojima saved a troubled project at Konami called Metal Gear by reducing the game’s combat and emphasizing avoiding detection, pioneering the stealth genre. When it was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System, it sold over a million copies in America.

Kojima returned to the series in 1998 with Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation, a groundbreaking hybrid of intense stealth action dressed with stylish cinematic flair that went on to move six million units. He designed and directed four more direct Metal Gear sequels, piecing together a complex and occasionally bizarre tale of nanotechnology, nuclear proliferation, military conspiracies, and, yes, love blooming on the battlefield that has found wide appeal beyond core gamers.

That explains the cast Kojima was able to put together for his latest game, Death Stranding. Through motion capture, Norman Reedus stars as as Sam Bridges, a cargo carrier tasked with connecting a post-apocalyptic America back online, outpost by outpost. Reedus is joined by Lea Seydoux, Mads Mikkelsen, Margaret Qualley, Lindsay Wagner, Guillermo del Toro, and Nicolas Winding Refn in an audacious boots-on-the-ground epic, which emphasizes collaboration with other players online over violent shootouts in rebuilding America, featuring Kojima’s signature maximalist storytelling.

He’s always worn his inspirations in the open, and the way they weave into his games is part of their crossover charm and fun. You can get a sense of what movies Kojima watches through playing his games: Blade Runner is all over cyberpunk graphic adventure Snatcher, there’s plenty of Escape From New York‘s DNA in Metal Gear Solid, and Death Stranding even has a major character named Die-Hardman. So when Kojima stopped by for a tour of Rotten Tomatoes HQ on the eve of The Game Awards — where Death Stranding won Best Game Direction, Best Score/Music, and Best Performance (Mads Mikkelsen) — we had to sneak in a Five Favorite Films.


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 92%

It’s like a monolith to me, that movie. Every time it’s re-shown in theaters, I always go. Star Wars was a big hit in 1977 which created a big sci-fi boom. So 2001 came to Japan, and I saw it in theaters when I was in middle school. Before experiencing that, I was just listening to radio dramas. I read the original novel, but the movie was totally different. I didn’t really understand it the first time. Now, I have a different interpretation every time I watch it. As a creator, I have periods of difficult times, but whenever I feel particularly in need of a pick-me-up, I watch 2001. It’s a perfect movie for me.

It was a real space experience. Exploration even before man went to the moon. I always wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid, but Japan doesn’t have NASA. You had to go either to USSR or China. Although I felt like I had to give up on the dream of becoming an astronaut, when  I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, I felt like I really went to outer space. It’s a life-changing movie because it made me feel like I accomplished a dream.

Did you see Christopher Nolan’s 70mm restoration of 2001 last year? Did your interpretation of it change?

Yes, I went to see it with my son.  I was more interested  about what my son would think. It seems it was quite shocking for him, like something he has never seen or experienced before. Something not really predictable. It’s really difficult to find something that’s created by man which is unpredictable. These days it’s all set.

Taxi Driver (1976) 96%

Taxi Driver. Martin Scorsese. Growing up, most of my friends were interested in becoming bankers or working in a company. I, however, wanted to become a movie director. This was something that I couldn’t be open about with my friends and oftentimes I felt lonely because I couldn’t share those aspirations. I lost my father when I was quite young. My mother was working and I was a latchkey child. Even if I talked to a lot of people, I always felt a little lonely. I thought maybe I’m sick, maybe I’m ill. There was no counseling, or there were no therapists. It was not a trend at that time. So I thought maybe I’m really strange.

After watching Taxi Driver and seeing Travis, I felt this immense similarity between the character and myself. He lives in New York, surrounded by so many people, but he still felt lonely. This surprised me, and I thought “Here is this guy, living in America, who is like me.” Seeing his character, I felt relaxed and realized there are others like me. I felt I was okay.

And I wanted to put that feeling in Death Stranding. Like, you’re all alone, trying to connect the world. Everything has been connected by the internet recently. In so many ways, everyone is battling each over the internet. If you play online, you get head shots, but, like, you don’t know who you actually shot, right? To connect is a very positive concept. But there are people who don’t want to feel connected anymore, and I think a lot of people play games that don’t offer human connection. I can’t tell anyone that I feel lonely or I’m in solitude, and I have this big problem which I couldn’t share with my friends. It’s a big load to carry, just like Sam Bridges. And you’re kind of traveling, you’re sent orders, you go to this place, you trip over, and drown in a river.

But at one point, you have this indirect connection system where you know you’re not alone. It’s not an isolated, lonely planet. There is someone who creates a road. There is someone who has made the coffee. It’s not just me, and I wanted to put that in a game.  This is the same feeling I got from Taxi Driver.

Mad Max 2 (1981) 94%

Mad Max. George Miller is my ultimate mentor. I went to see Fury Road 17 times in the cinemas.

I can’t really express in one word of how good Mad Max 2 is. There’s hardly any dialogue in that movie, right? But the character stands out so much, visually, how he moves. Usually, you express through dialogue, but with George, it’s totally different. Like how a character throws a boomerang: No dialogue, but all character. I’m also influenced by where Geroge places the camera. It never goes away, far from Mel Gibson. Even looking through the telescope, usually the camera jumps to that location, but here you’re always looking at Max. It’s kind of basic, but George Miller keeps it basic in a way no one else can.

It was tough when I had to leave my previous company. George came to Japan, and that was the first time we met. He cheered me up in my darkest time. After I became independent,  and opened my studio, I went to Australia in 2017.  I had two trailers at that time, but there was no gameplay revealed yet of Death Stranding. I explained what Death Stranding would be over an hour — the system, the story, the world. George told me, “What you’re doing is mathematically, philosophically, and physically correct.” He said: “Congratulations; it’s a guaranteed success.”

George is a very kind gentleman. He is really into computer graphics and technology, and he also knows game technology. It’s really rare that a director of his generation knows all of these. He’s even older than me, but he has a lot of energy. There are game producers who are much older than me. But, as for creators who actually write scenarios or game designs, I think I’m the oldest in the industry. Sometimes I feel lonely because of that. But then there’s George; he’s over 70, and he’s still wearing this leather jacket, still young. That cheers me up.

High and Low (1963) 95%

Stanley Kubrick, Hitchcock, Kurosawa: My father always showed me these directors’ movies, whether I liked it or not. I’m selecting Kurosawa’s High and Low because it’s a little different.

It’s based on a story by Ed McBain, and it’s about a kidnapping. During those times in Japan, if you kidnapped someone, you weren’t penalized too much. To have a harsher sentence, other charges, like drugs, were needed. But because of High and Low, the law in Japan changed. The movie had made a positive impact in society. That’s my kind of wish when I create a game. I think entertainment has that power to change society. You don’t have to be a politician or run for a cause to create change. High and Low was, in that sense, really impactful.

Entertainment isn’t really just entertainment. It leaves something in people’s hearts and that person might be moved to create something. It’s a push for that person the next day, and I think entertainment should be similar, including games. When you experience something, and then come back to the real world, I want people to feel a little influence in their world.

Blade Runner (1982) 89%

When it was first released, I was in university. I went to see it alone. In Japan, it only showed for two weeks. There were probably similar reactions in America after its release.

Nowadays, it’s regarded as a classic, but when it was first revealed, there was a lot of criticism. Maybe Death Stranding is the same [laughs]. When Blade Runner was shown for the first time in movie theaters, it was totally different from other movies. The rhythm of how it begins and all, that’s why it catches my eyes. It’s something that’s really indigestible in the beginning and stays in me. Then we moved on to the home video era, where you can watch videos over and over in your room. In the cinemas, you see it once and it’s over. Anything else that’s not digestible and that you can’t relate to, will be criticized. But for videos, it’s different. You can watch it over and over until you digest it yourself. Blade Runner might at one time be perceived only as a “cult movie,” but turned mainstream from the ability to watch it over and over and allow the viewers to digest the content. So Blade Runner was ahead of its time for the current generation at its release.

Ghost in the Shell was probably the same, because it was on video where people watched it over and over. It got really popular; everyone got it. I deliberately made the tempo of Death Stranding totally different than the current games out there. So it might not be for everyone. Blade Runner showed in the cinemas, but then it changed when it came to video. Same with games. We have a platform, we have a console, and then in the future, it will be all streaming. Everything, storytelling, and the rhythm of how you play games will totally change in the near future.


Alex Vo for Rotten Tomatoes: You also made headlines recently because Kojima Productions is moving into the movie space. What can you tell us about the process so far?

Hideo Kojima: I’ve already started kind of, yes, but I can’t really announce it yet. Games are primary for Kojima Productions. Of course, I have staff that need to work. We create games, and maybe in-between… We’re an indie company, so maybe something really punkish in a very small team sort of way, we do a smaller game, and we might do some short films too.

I get a lot of offers, but I’m not really free all the time. If I do 100% movies, the staff will have nothing to do for the other projects, right? So I am doing all these things, but eventually think games and movies will all be on streaming platforms. I could just shoot normal movies and maybe that could be one project I could do. But I think other than that, doing something on a streaming platform and doing something new that no one has done before is more interesting to me.

Thumbnail image: Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures


Death Stranding is currently available for PlayStation 4.

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Stephane Cardinale-Corbis /Getty Images

(Photo by Stephane Cardinale-Corbis /Getty Images)

Jason Clarke isn’t quite a household name – yet. He is, however, poised to make the leap from talented character actor to leading man. After stellar performances in Certified Fresh favorites Mudbound, Zero Dark Thirty, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Clarke has become an integral piece of some of the most critically acclaimed properties of the past few years. Last year the Aussie actor was nigh unrecognizable as he perfectly embodied the late Ted Kennedy in Chappaquiddick, and while his earlier turn as John Conner in Terminator: Genisys didn’t relaunch the Terminator franchise, his post-Genisys choices have marked him as one of the most dynamic actors working today.

The chameleon-like actor seems untethered to genre or archetype, which makes him difficult to typecast. This week, he returns to theaters as the patriarch of the Creed family in a new adaptation of Stephen King’s iconic horror novel Pet Sematary. Dr. Louis Creed (Clarke) moves his family to a quiet town in Maine, where he finds out the neighborhood “Pet Sematary” is actually the last place you’d want to bury the family pet. Premiering at SXSW to positive reviews, the latest version still sits fresh at 80%. We chatted with Clarke just after the SXSW premiere about his horror favorites, why he’s kinda obsessed with Richard E. Grant, and his Five Favorite Films.


Withnail and I (1987) 94%

It was seminal, you know? It’s still a cult film for actors. It’s just about two out-of-work actors in England. I keep that on my iPad; I’ll go back and watch that at any point or scene. And there’s a performance by Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths) — I think it’s one of the greatest comedic performances I’ve seen in my life. Such a wonderful film. It just reaffirms to me that I’m part of an ongoing world of actors. It’s funny, but it’s also beautiful in the end. When Grant does the Hamlet speech… It’s about success, failure, moving on, friendship, loss, and just life. It’s brilliant.

Have you ever talked to Richard E. Grant (Withnail) about it?

Yes. Of course. The first time I met Richard, I literally went grey. That dude is deep in my psyche. I did film The Aftermath which is about to come out, and I was doing English dialect work with Joan Washington. I knocked on her door and this guy comes out saying “Jason,” and I turned around like, “Oh my god. It’s you.” [laughs] I called him “you.” He was there because Joan and Richard are married. He was at home gardening. And was gardening in blue suede shoes. [laughs]

Unforgiven (1992) 96%

I mean, it’s like a massive, big epic, that is all from Richard Harris, Morgan Freeman, and Clint Eastwood. And that ending is incredible, and it starts with Gene Hackman going, “Death’s got nothing to do with it.” It’s just brilliant. “Fat man, get out of the way.” “Who owns this s–t hole?” I mean, it’s wonderful. And highly quotable.

The Godfather, Part II (1974) 96%

I just love The Godfather. It’s so good. When he takes out Freddy is my favorite part. On the boat, the stone falls so deep in the ocean. It’s like “Luke, I am your father.” It drops so deep. It perfectly tells us what Micheal is, and what he’s become. And everything that Freddy’s done, it just resonates even going back to The Godfather and how Freddy, the child, [was] a sick child.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) 71%

I’m not going to take this one too seriously. I love Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. “Little baby Jesus” and “You brought this on yourself, grandpa.” Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, “Shake and Bake.” I love Will, I love John C. Reilly, but them two… they just work so well together. They are both at their best, with freedom of, like, “We don’t know if this will work, but we’re doing it.” There is no right or wrong here, and if you want to put that stamp on it, you can. [That’s] the magic of what acting can be, and what cinema and storytelling can be, and they seem to have it. In Talladega Nights, it’s all on the table, all the cards.

Blade Runner (1982) 89%


Blade Runner, man. It’s filled with endless possibilities. It allows you to think, it allows you to move, it allows you to have different interpretations. As well as that score and that world, that visual thing. I just love it. Through it, we get one of the great scenes at the end, “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion…. Those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.” Every time I watch it, it moves me. It really moves and excites me, as well.


Jacqueline Coley for Rotten Tomatoes: You have been quietly doing some amazing work recently. We loved Mudbound, and then there was First Man. But the one we loved that not as many people saw was Chappaquiddick. It was incredible and quite a transformation for you. 

Jason Clarke: Oh yeah, Chappaquiddick. Thank you. It got a bit lost, but at the same point, it made $18 million in the U.S. It was one of the highest grossing independent films of that year. People saw it. People didn’t talk about it, because it’s pretty difficult to talk about for a lot of the media in the current environment. It will stand the test of time.

RT: Moving to Pet Sematary — are you a scary movie person? A horror person?

Clarke: To be honest, not hugely so, although some of my favorite movies are. You know, I wouldn’t term them as horror, like The Hunt. That film terrorized me. It’s very creepy watching. It’s extraordinary but not “horror.”

RT: We just had the premiere here at SXSW. What was it like, seeing it last night? Because the audiences here are legendary for their reactions.

Clarke: It was insane. Really. It struck me as how rarely I go to a cinema now and watch a movie with a group of people. I’m always watching them by myself, with my wife, maybe with a couple of people, or with my child. To watch something with a thousand people was wonderful. You remember that’s what cinema is about. For an actor, it’s almost like the theater. You’re sitting in the same air. I was able to see people’s reactions. I could feel the love and enjoyment. I couldn’t help but think, “I need more of this.” Like, my God, I might need to do a play again. It’s the connection to the people, because acting [on film sets], you lose that.

RT: Do you think that is particularly because horror is such a reactive genre?

Clarke: You know, it’s cinema, it’s a director’s medium, and whatever anyone says, you know it’s their vision, particularly with horror. The audience watches it to feel it. And last night, I felt it, you know, but that’s not in every horror flick. I think horror’s not enough for this film. It’s not enough to say when it’s Stephen King.


Pet Sematary opens on April 5.

The year 2019: Once a far-off time, once a vessel for writers and filmmakers to explore their hopes, dreams, and fears of the future. A time to wonder what advanced technology we’d be living with, and how much societal and moral progress we would have made. If any.

But reality has trouble keeping up with imagination. 2000 arrived without our electronics turning on us. We threw away our granite Maya calendars when 2012 came and went with nary a shower of brimstone. And 2015 gave us a third Human Centipede, yet no Mattel pink hoverboards. Will 2019 have more success?

To find out, we watched movies set in 2019 to uncover what predictive treasures they may clutch. Stuff like Blade Runner, The Running Man, The Island, Daybreakers, Geostorm, Heatseeker, Steel Frontier, 2019: After the Fall of New York, and The New Barbarians. (Akira is another 2019-set movie, though we opted to stick with live-action predictions.) Together, they form a kind of crystal ball, fragmentary and smoke-filled (seriously, the fog machine budget on these movies was NUTS), and when shaken provide a glimpse into this brave new world of 2019. Keep this gallery close at hand as the year unfolds, and see just how many of these 24 movie predictions become real.

How closely are Ridley Scott’s two most iconic franchises linked? We take a look at the evidence peppered throughout the films, from the technology and hidden messages to Scott’s own words, to unravel the conspiracy.

Over the last 40 years or so, Harrison Ford has amassed a lifetime gross in the billions – and he’s done it while kicking bad-guy tail as some of the most memorable cinematic heroes in history, including Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Jack Ryan. He’s made a whole bunch of great movies along the way, too – and now that one of the best in the bunch is getting a long-awaited sequel with Blade Runner 2049, we thought this would be the perfect time to take a look back at some of the critical highlights from his illustrious filmography. It’s time for Total Recall!


Use the up and down arrows to rank the movies, or click here to see them ranked by Tomatometer!

Over the course of his distinguished filmmaking career, Ridley Scott has dabbled in pretty much every genre: from historical epics to action flicks, fantasy to heartwarming drama, he’s done it all — and he’s racked up an impressive pile of awards and nominations along the way. But these days, he’s focused on expanding the Alien franchise — and with the latest installment, Alien: Covenant, landing in theaters this weekend, we decided now would be the perfect time to take a fond look back at 10 of the brightest critical highlights from the Ridley Scott oeuvre while letting you rank your own personal favorites. You know what that means: it’s time for Total Recall!


Use the up and down arrows to rank the movies, or click here to see them ranked by Tomatometer!

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Since making his screen debut in the mid-1990s, Liev Schreiber has steadily built a career that defies easy categorization, effortlessly crossing genre lines and starring in everything from horror flicks to Oscar-winning prestige dramas. In 2013, Schreiber picked up a plum gig as the lead in Showtime’s acclaimed series Ray Donovan, and he continues to grace the stage on Broadway, where he earned raves for his work early in his career.

This week, Schreiber stars in Chuck, a true story about a New York boxer whose star rose and fell rather quickly and whose experiences inspired Sylvester Stallone to write Rocky. He spoke to us about his Five Favorite Films, talked about the new movie, and gave us pointers on how to mimic bad acting properly.

Being There (1979) 95%

I think Peter Sellers’ performance in that just really knocked me out — what you can do with character. I think Hal Ashby just embraced that naturalistic and really deep performance and took it to the next level, so it became this almost remarkable piece of surrealist social commentary.

Brazil (1985) 98%

I think Terry Gilliam’s imagination is just unrivaled, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on film, and the social commentary aspect, as well.

The Promise (1996) 95%

La Promesse, for me, was like a lesson in minimalism. Just how little you needed to tell a really compelling, honest, and important story. The subjective single-camera perspective, and just how simply you could tell a powerful and substantive story.

Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope (1977) 92%

Star Wars reminds me of my mother, who didn’t let me see color movies until I was 12. I was raised on Alexander Nevsky and Chaplin and all of these insane movies that would just put a 10-year-old to sleep quicker than a shack of sheep. But Star Wars was my first departure from that rule, and it just blew my mind. It was the first color film I saw, and it just knocked me out. I don’t think I ever forgave my mother after I saw that film. But also just the kind of iconoclastic myth retelling that combined with science fiction, which has always been huge to me.

Blade Runner (1982) 89%

I don’t think anyone’s ever done sci-fi better than Blade Runner. That movie’s just the ultimate, deep, immersive fantasy picture as far as I’m concerned. And then Alien I think is its suspense/terror counterpart. So Ridley Scott gets two spots.


Ryan Fujitani for Rotten Tomatoes: You mentioned that you grew up watching a lot of classics, and as much as you say they put you to sleep, I was still expecting to see one or two of them pop up in your top five.

Liev Schreiber: Well, I rebelled, but I think they’re with me somewhere. Of course, Citizen Kane, of course The Third Man — these movies are all really important films in terms of where they fell in developing my aesthetic as an artist and as a film fan and as a filmmaker. But because I had seen so many of them, I think I became very entranced when I saw the other side of things, you know? So maybe it was this kind of thing, like “Poof! Mind blown!” once I saw pop culture films, you know?

RT: That makes sense. So you’re an extremely busy man. Not only are you headlining your own TV series in Ray Donovan, but you’ve got Chuck coming out, you’ve got other films on the horizon, you’re doing theater, you’ll show up randomly on an episode of Drunk History. It’s got to be difficult to manage a schedule like that.

Schreiber: It’s pretty insane. Yeah, and as I listen to you, I think, “What was I thinking?” But last year, my kids, because they go to school in New York City, were not out here. And I found that when I didn’t have my kids around, it was easier for me to work. You know, I miss them unless I’m working. So, if they weren’t out here I was just gonna take whatever work I could. And I did. And Drunk History — I’m just a fan, you know? I just love that show. I do. It cracks me up. I never would’ve dreamed that they would invite me to do it. They called up and said, “Would you do it?” I was like, “Of course I’ll do a Drunk History.” I didn’t know who the character was; I didn’t care. I was just going to get to be on that show. It was exciting.

RT: So you’re in this film, Chuck — it’s a pretty remarkable story. I know you’ve been into boxing for some time, and I’m guessing you must have come across Chuck Wepner’s story at some point. Was there anything about him that surprised you when you finally met him?

Schreiber: I didn’t know who he was, actually. I hadn’t ever met him. I didn’t know about the story at all. I was kind of surprised and embarrassed that I didn’t. And to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t even the boxing that interested me. You know, I’d had the script for about 10 years. Michael [Tollin] involved me because he knew I was a fan of boxing, but I wasn’t immediately drawn to it.

It was a few years later, after I’d had a couple of kids and I was on a television show and found myself in people’s living rooms, that that aspect of Chuck’s story that’s a kind of cautionary tale about fame and celebrity became more and more interesting to me. It was at that point, when I sort of engaged as a producer and writer and started to nudge it in that direction, that it really started to become compelling.

I think the big surprise for me in meeting Chuck when I eventually did — Naomi and I took him and his wife out to dinner and then to a Golovkin fight at the Garden — having heard his story, I was expecting this very bad dude, you know. He’s done some scary things in his time and been in some awful situations. I was just completely excited to discover this really charming, funny raconteur.

This was a guy who loved to tell a story, and he could hold a room, honestly, better than anyone I know. That side of his character was really interesting to me, because I related to that desire to be amusing, to be the center of attention, to be, you know, a little bit of a ham. And I saw that and thought, “Well, that’s kinda interesting.” Then I really felt like we were onto something. I think Philippe Falardeau, the director, felt the same thing when we all sat down together.

RT: What was it about Chuck’s cautionary tale that hit home the most for you?

Schreiber: Well, unlike Chuck, I had the great good fortune to have a kind of gradual ascent or descent, however you want to describe it. I’d had people saying things about me when I was a theater actor in New York that were pretty heavy, and I may have fallen for some of those things briefly before reading other New York critics who will go unnamed say things like I had a head like a watermelon and was somnambulistic as an actor. So if I was gonna believe that I was the greatest big actor of my generation, I would also have to believe that I had a head like a watermelon and was a somnambulistic person, generally speaking. So I had that experience early on and it was useful to me when I got on a television show and kind of experienced celebrity and being recognized and paparazzi and all that at a level which I had never dreamed I would have to deal with.

And it wasn’t so much me having to deal with it as my children. It sets up an expectation. There’s a lie at the center of fame, which is that we are the most interesting person in the room. And if we believe that lie, it’s a really, really slippery slope. There’s an expectation about it. There’s an expectation about fame that I think is inherited by children, and it’s a dangerous one. But I don’t think people know about or understand completely when they think about what it’s like to be famous and all that stuff. And I felt like that was something that was sort of beautifully handled and articulated by Chuck’s story.

RT: In the film, I know you insisted on making the fights as real as possible and taking actual hits from your opponents. You even gave your producers a few scares. When you guys were setting up those scenes, did you talk to the other boxers ahead of time and say, “Go easy on me?” Did you start bleeding at any point?

Schreiber: No. I got my bell rung twice in Bulgaria. But that was only because I had done most of the rehearsing and choreography with Pooch [Hall]. Pooch is a pretty decorated amateur fighter — he’s got Golden Gloves — and he had great control over his hands. We felt that it was important that we make contact, you know? Not only because you were playing Chuck Wepner, but just for the cinematic value of seeing sweat fly off your head every time you got hit. You’ve got that kind of ridiculous mop of a wig I was wearing; to watch it fly when I got punched was worth the pain.

But there was a fighter that we brought on to play [Terry] Hinke in Bulgaria, and he just thought it was insane that I was getting hit. I think he was a little nervous and maybe jammed up a couple of times, and he clocked me. When you’re stiff it’s worse. You know, you gotta be loose. I think he might have stiffened up a couple of times. He cleaned my bell a few times.

RT: The last thing I want to ask is about a specific scene in the film. It’s a short scene when Chuck is meeting with Sly Stallone to read for a part in a Rocky II, and he’s just not cut out to be an actor. Scenes like this always fascinate me, because you’re watching great actors portray bad acting. I feel like a lot of the time, the actors doing this tend to go a bit too far, a bit theatrically over the top, to drive the point home. You don’t do that in this scene; what’s the trick?

Schreiber: Well, the trick is that there are definitely some takes in which I am theatrically over the top! It’s having a great director to rein you in. It was a hard thing to do. I am so interested that you brought that up, because it’s probably, as an actor, one of the more interesting scenes for me.

What is the quality of bad acting? For me, it was really about two things: timing and focus. The timing is slightly delayed because the person who is inexperienced as an actor is trying to figure out what the correct timing is. And so, spending too much time thinking about timing is one of the things that gives you away as an amateur. So, for me, if you just put a little delay a little bit on the timing, that would do something. I’ve never talked about the process so specifically, but it it’s interesting.

The other thing is focus. A good actor gives their focus entirely to the other person. Someone who is inexperienced, that makes them uncomfortable, so they do one of two things: They find another alternative focus, or they find an intermittent focus, where it’s like they look at the person, but then have to look away because they get uncomfortable. For me, it had something to do with Chuck getting lost in the script. He’s focusing on the wrong thing. He’s not just relaxing and responding like an actor should be. He’s just burying his nose in the script, trying to find some logic in that. Of course, there’s no logic in acting, it’s just ridiculous. It’s make believe.


Chuck opens on Friday, May 5, 2017, in limited release.

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(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

 

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter opens Friday and is the newest — and the last — offering in the video game franchise. Star Milla Jovovich has survived six of these films — on screen and off — with bad-assery and skill. But when she’s not destroying the undead, she does films of other genres (The Fifth Element, Dazed and Confused, Zoolander). Living in a zombie apocalypse probably doesn’t give one too long to ponder many things other than survival tactics, like Five Favorite Films or the next great strudel recipe. But we were able to get Jovovich to do just that. Here is her list of awesomeness:

Blade Runner (1982) 89%

It’s such a modern film and it was really just taking all these risks and pushing the boundaries. When you know the history about it, it’s so interesting because it bankrupted the people that made it. I don’t even think it was that successful when it first came out.

It just kind of built up this audience over years and years. It’s so beautifully shot and the music, everything just came together, and Sean Young. That was a defining moment in her career. Perfect.

Her hair is unforgettable.

Daryl Hannah, that makeup, it was just out of this world.

I interviewed Ridley Scott once and said, “I just want to thank you for giving me Rutger Hauer in boxer briefs because it kind of turned me into a woman.”

Right?

Really exceptional. That’s a great one.

Those tests that they do at the beginning — I think that’s just classic.

It’s one of those movies — it almost seems like they had a crystal ball when they were writing it; it’s so valid even today.

It really is.

Boogie Nights (1997) 93%

That’s one film that just like — when you’re flipping the channels and you’re lucky enough to find that — I don’t care where it starts, the end or the beginning or the middle — I’ll just watch that all the way because all of those characters, all of those actors; it’s like the beginning of so many amazing careers. The dialogue is timeless. That first scene with John C. Reilly, he’s like, “Dig for greed.” It’s so good.

Oh my God, there are so many good scenes in that movie.

There’s quite a few [Paul] Thomas Anderson movies that… Magnolia is one of those too. I’ll watch that one at any point. Tom Cruise

He’s unbelievable in that.

Amazing, and just the most incredible performances. Julianne Moore just killed in that movie.

The Shining (1980) 85%

It f—ed me up for life. I still can’t walk down a long corridor without getting scared.

You always imagine that it’s going to be covered in blood in a minute, or that there are twins at the end of it.

Something at the end.

Always something.

I always run, and that’s saying a lot. You’re an adult — you’re a middle aged person — and you’re still like, “Okay, let’s just get to my room.”

A good argument, I think, for how movies really do effect you. They really do stay with you. They can make an impression on you.

It’s so true.

I have a question. Do you think that Jack Nicholson became crazy during the course of the movie or that he always was crazy?

I think Kubrick‘s pretty crazy too. Do you know what I’m saying? I think he drove them crazy.

They probably all started pretty crazy then.

I think Jack Nicholson was born crazy but I’m not one to talk. I don’t know him.

Mean Streets (1973) 96%

Mean Streets — Robert De Niro is so gorgeous. Again, the beginning of all these people’s careers. What a full, well-rounded movie. Then you go to Goodfellas, it’s hard. [Picking five] really is hard. I also loved Wolf of Wall Street, I have to say. That was a fun movie. Matthew McConaughey, so good.

I think [what I love about Mean Streets is] just seeing the world, seeing the costumes, the relationships these guys have with each other. I think also just the stories behind — knowing that these actors, this was so many of their first movie breakout performances; it’s unbelievable watching it and the performances are so great.

WALL-E (2008) 95%

You can’t forget animated films either. WALL-E just kills me. It’s so funny because we watched WALL-E with my daughter when she was little, like two and three and four, and she loved it and then we didn’t watch. It was one of those “we watched it 50 times” kind of films. We didn’t watch it for a couple of years and tried to watch it again when she was seven and as soon as she heard the music, in that part where you have to press play and it was lonely music, and she’s like, “It’s just making me feel really sad. I can’t watch it.”

Then watching him alone on the garbage dumps and she was like, “But everybody’s gone.” It suddenly just started making her question reality, and she kind of tripped out. I had to turn it off because she started crying.

It’s amazing to me, because I don’t have kids, but the emotional difference — I see the same thing in myself too. I watch Boogie Nights as an adult way different than I did maybe even just five years before that. It’s interesting how your relationship changes.

You grow and make stupid mistakes. You suddenly watch and go, “Oh my God.”

You’re like Alfred Molina in a bathrobe throwing firecrackers.

Right, exactly. Also, with Don Cheadle and the bank. Heartbreaking.

I know, I still feel bad for him.

I feel like we all have moments like that, where we’re, “I’m not that.” I’m like really dragging, “I’m not that.”

I was driven to this and I’m just trying to do something good. That’s a solid, it’s a solid film.


Resident Evil: The Final Chapter opens Friday, Jan. 27 in wide release.

This week on streaming video, Netflix added a good number of iconic classics to its catalog, as well as a few recent films worth checking out, a couple of underseen gems, and some fan favorites. Read on for the full list:


New on Netflix

 

Jafar Panahi's Taxi (2015) 96%

This Certified Fresh documentary is a collection of interviews by the renegade Iranian director, who filmed conversations with his passengers while posing as a cab driver in Tehran.

Available now on: Netflix


Unforgiven (1992) 96%

In this Best Picture-winning western, Clint Eastwood stars as an aging gunslinger whose soul has been irrevocably stained by the violence of his past; Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman lend sturdy support.

Available now on: Netflix


Finding Vivian Maier (2013) 95%

This Certified Fresh documentary examines the prolific — and secret — work of an unassuming nanny whose vast collection of striking photographs was discovered by accident long after her death.

Available now on: Netflix


Blade Runner (1982) 89%

Based on a Philip K. Dick short story, Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi noir masterpiece stars Harrison Ford as a detective tasked with tracking down a group of lifelike androids — led by Rutger Hauer’s iconic Roy Batty — who have gone rogue.

Available now on: Netflix


Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) 44%

The first three feature films of the Star Trek franchise are available this week, beginning with the Enterprise crew’s big screen maiden voyage. The acclaimed The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock make nice companion pieces to follow up with.

Available now on Netflix: Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock


Saturday Night Fever (1977) 82%

It’s got a killer soundtrack, a star-making performance from John Travolta…. and a narrative that’s far grittier and sadder than decades of parodies would suggest.

Available now on: Netflix


The Exorcist (1973) 83%

The devil’s taken plenty of forms during his various screen outings, but he’s arguably never been more terrifying than he was when he inhabited the body of 12-year-old Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) in one of Hollywood’s scariest, most epic showdowns between good and evil.

Available now on: Netflix


Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005) 84%

In Tim Burton’s first stop motion animated feature, longtime collaborators Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter lend their voices to a groom-to-be named Victor and the undead woman he unwittingly marries while practicing his wedding vows in the woods.

Available now on: Netflix


Scarface (1983) 82%

Al Pacino offers an unforgettable performance in Brian DePalma’s iconic drama about drug kingpin Tony Montana’s rise to power and eventual downfall.

Available now on: Netflix


Panic in Needle Park (1971) 80%

Al Pacino also stars in this drug drama of a very different sort, about a pair of New York heroin junkies who fall in love and encounter a series of misfortunes.

Available now on: Netflix


The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) 77%

Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, and Alexis Bledel star in this adaptation of the popular coming-of-age novel about four teens who share the same pair of mystical jeans over the course of a summer.

Available now on: Netflix


Son of Batman (2014) 64%

This animated feature from Waner Bros. finds the Dark Knight discovering he fathered a child named Damian with Talia al Ghul. Trained as a lethal assassin, Damian seeks revenge for the death of his grandfather.

Available now on: Netflix


The Summer of Sangaile (2015) 73%

This coming-of-age drama centers on a risk-averse teenager who falls in love with a more brazen peer.

Available now on: Netflix


Love Actually (2003) 64%

Richard Curtis’ yuletide romantic comedy has become something of a cult favorite in recent years, thanks in no small part to its luminous cast, which includes Bill Nighy, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, Keira Knightley, Billy Bob Thornton, Rowan Atkinson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Andrew Lincoln.

Available now on: Netflix


Available to Purchase

 

Legend (2015) 61%

Tom Hardy stars this period crime drama as both of the Kray brothers, the notorious twin gangsters who ruled the London underground during the 1950s and 1960s.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes, Vudu


Sisters (2015) 60%

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reunite for their second co-starring effort (after 2008’s Baby Mama) as a pair of 30-something sisters who decide to throw one last house party before their parents sell their childhood home.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

Philip K. Dick was born 1928 and died 1982, just months before the first movie based on a novel he wrote, Blade Runner, would be released, changing the film landscape forever.

In his 52 years, Dick wrote 44 novels and over 100 short stories, mainly within his adopted literary realm of science fiction. At a time when sci-fi was disrespected and stereotyped with martian invaders and zap guns, Dick turned the genre inward, obsessing over themes of identity, humanity, the nature of reality, religion, and drug abuse.

Since 1982, and especially after the release of 1990’s Total Recall, Hollywood has trawled the Dick library for movie ideas. Television has also been getting into the game, with Fox premiering Minority Report in September (Rotten at 29%), and Amazon releasing all 10 episodes today of The Man in the High Castle (Certified Fresh at 97%), an alternate history series that explores life in America if the Axis powers had won World War II.

Now, Rotten Tomatoes explores the history of Philip K. Dick stories on the big screen and how they compare to their literary sources.


Blade Runner (1982) 89%, based on the 1966 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

In a world… ravaged and emptied after World War III, people are lured into outer space where human cyborgs perform all manual labor. Physically superior to their creators, these replicants are banned from Earth. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a blade runner, a detective/bounty hunter whose latest assignment is to track down and “retire” four replicants.

What went right: Blade Runner eschews the book’s nuttier elements (the world is obsessed with religions and owning animals as status symbols) and transforms itself into hard-boiled neo-noir, full of high-contrast lighting and architectural wonder. The movie is a slow burn for sure, and it doesn’t draw you in so much as smother you with world-building and detail. The 2007 Final Cut is when the film finally came together after existing for decades in various forms of refinement; this version cleans up effects and clarifies dialogue, turning Blade Runner at last into an immaculate timeless nightmare.


Total Recall (1990) 82%, based on the 1966 short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”

In a world… of implanted memories that feel just like the real thing, Douglas Quaid dreams of shedding his humdrum life and becoming a superspy. Quaid goes to Rekall to sidestep reality but when the procedure goes awry, he realizes he was a spy — his identity had been erased and life as he knows it is a forgery.

What went right: A hyper-violent classic! If Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero was a parody of meathead action movies of the ’80s and ’90s, Total Recall delivers the same goods with a straight face. It’s got everything: guns, sex, plot twists, foot and car chases, and Arnie getting hit in the junk half a dozen times. The short story Total Recall is based on plays it straight: the main character goes to Rekall and realizes he was a spy in a previous life and his dreams of Mars were repressed memories coming to surface. The power of Total Recall is that it finds an extra layer that Dick didn’t conceive: What if everything that happens to Quaid is a dream? The movie plays out so conveniently to Quaid’s fantasies that it’s impossible to tell whether it’s actually happening or if he’s still strapped to a chair at Rekall having a psychotic episode. Such existential ruminations represent Dick’s themes at its most fun.


Confessions d'un Barjo (Confessions of a Crap Artist) (1992) , based on the 1959 novel Confessions of a Crap Artist

In a world… where people are horrible to each other. Yeah, not a stretch of the imagination with this one. The crap artist in question is Jack (Hippolyte Girardot), a collector of useless junk and absurd ideas who is invited by his sister to live on her estate with her abusive husband.

What went right: Dick wrote a series of non-science fiction novels before the 1960s, all of which were rejected by book houses. The only one to be eventually published during his lifetime was Confessions, written in 1959 and released in 1975, during a dry spell as Dick dealt with personal issues and labored over A Scanner Darkly. Ostensibly, Crap is a comedic look at the social mores and increasing wealth of California life during the 1950s, though its film adaptation transports this setting to modern France. The movie version of Jack is softer and more accessible as an anti-hero than in the novel, and his observations on the hypocritical nature of family and community translate well, despite this upheaval in setting. Human nature, it seems, transcends time and space.


Screamers (1995) 29%, based on the 1953 short story “Second Variety”

In a world… where man has colonized the planets, war is being waged by two factions (the New Economic Block and the Alliance insurgents) over a precious radioactive mineral. The Alliance has developed “screamers” — autonomous robots that burrow through the ground to fight for them. But the screamers have evolved, developing new varieties that look and act like humans.

What went wrong: The opposing forces in the short story are Americans against Russians with the fate of mankind at stake. In the movie, it’s essentially a war over commercial interests, which drastically reduces the scope and weight of the action. The screamers themselves are not particularly menacing, especially in the wake of Edge of Tomorrow, which nailed the look of fluid cybernetic monsters. Screamers‘ dialogue can be effective and there are some scary moments, but the last 20 minutes are laughable and stupid.


Impostor (2001) 24%, based on the 1953 short story “Impostor”

In a world… where a hostile civilization from Alpha Centauri is waging relentless war on Earth, the aliens have introduced a new weapon: replicants. These replicants arrive, kill their target human and assume its identity — all the while equipped with an internal nuclear device that can blow at any second. Spencer Olham (Gary Sinise) is a government scientist developing humanity’s own secret weapon when he’s arrested with a serious charge: the real Spencer is dead and he is, in fact, a ticking timebomb replicant.

What went wrong: Toss this one onto the pile of Dick adaptations that doesn’t do anything particularly wrong, but also nothing exemplary. Impostor seems to have been something of a passion project for Sinise (who gets a rare producer credit), selling himself as a credible action star with plenty of moments running around shirtless and sneaking in a shower butt shot. But the visuals lack creative spark and the sets are drab and monotone, while the movie’s middle section is essentially a single chase sequence with a few jumps to other locations and not much plot development. Impostor was originally shot as a 40-minute film to be packaged with Mimic (which also became a feature film) and Danny Boyle’s Alien Love Triangle. It works better as a short. Kudos, though, for Impostor retaining the short story’s challenging ending.


Minority Report (2002) 90%, based on the 1956 short story “The Minority Report”

In a world… that has zero murders, thanks to PreCrime wielding mutant predictions to accuse and arrest individuals before their bad deeds get committed, Captain John Anderton goes on the run as the “precogs” accuse him murdering a stranger in 36 hours.

What went right: Some of Dick’s stories lack much action (like this, or “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”), existing more as existential inquiries. That’s a boon for filmmakers as it provides a great groundwork which visionary directors can build upon and overload with imagination.  Along with Blade Runner, Minority Report presents the most “complete” worlds: these movies feel lived-in and the technology is logical. In Minority’s case, it predicted total societal integration with electronics before it happened to us in real life. The action is some of Steven Spielberg‘s best, frequently fused with black humor, though I still take umbrage with the movie’s improbably upbeat ending.


Paycheck (2003) 27%, based on the 1952 short story “Paycheck”

In a world… where your memory is erased after finishing a job, engineer Michael Jennings (Ben Affleck) has just completed a majorly lucrative two-year contract. When emerging with his employment memories wiped, Jennings discovers his past self has inexplicably forfeited the paycheck in favor of an envelope of useless everyday trinkets. Soon afterwards, he’s targeted for assassination and goes on the run.

What went wrong: “Paycheck” was one of Dick’s earliest published stories and, as such, pure 1950s pulp. The screenwriters update the setting and remove the lame original ending, though its replacement isn’t much improvement. The plot hook (that the envelope’s contents rescue Jennings at seemingly random life-threatening moments) is pretty weak. Being aware Jennings will escape every hairy situation with a paper clip or some lederhosen drains all tension from the action as we wait for the envelope to deplete itself, and in the movie that doesn’t happen until there’s 20 minutes before credits. Until then, our hero runs sweatily around clutching a bag of convenient dei ex machina. Uma Thurman plays the love interest, Aaron Eckhart is the evil talking chin, and there’s a motorcycle chase that recalls director John Woo‘s early career but, otherwise, this is forgettable stuff. No need for a memory wipe after watching Paycheck: you won’t remember it the next day.


A Scanner Darkly (2006) 68%, based on the 1977 novel A Scanner Darkly

In a world… of widespread drug addiction, Americans are hooked on mind-altering Substance D. The government responds with heavy policing and ubiquitous surveillance, creating a black job market of narcs who spy and report anonymously on their friends and neighbors. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is one such narc, a Sub D addict keeping tabs on his chums for local police. Things are hunky dory until Arctor receives his next surveillance assignment: himself.

What went right: Dick’s masterpiece in the hands of a master filmmaker (Richard Linklater). The book is a howlingly funny, anguished eulogy to tripped-out hedonists whose major crime is hoping the Summer of Love would last forever, based on Dick’s own experiences as his friends succumbed to hard drugs during the 1970s. Linklater rotoscoped this adaptation, slathering a layer of animation over his live actors which emphasizes the story’s theme of disconnection — mentally and physically — as Arctor loses track of his multiple personas. The casting is perfect, especially Robert Downey Jr. as one of Arctor’s asshole pals. This is also the most faithful of the PKD movies, and in a way reminds me of No Country For Old Men: both strive for such fidelity to the book they develop an un-movielike pace and rhythm, to the point of being unsettling. Though Linklater’s film ups the paranoia and loses a chunk of the book’s humor, this is as good an adaptation it’ll ever get.


Next (2007) 28%, based on the 1954 short story “The Golden Man”

In a world… where one man can see two minutes into the future and its myriad of possibilities, Nicolas Cage is Cris Johnson, a clairvoyant relentlessly pursued by an FBI agent (Julianne Moore) who wants to use his ability to track down a nuke.

What went wrong: In the short story, mutants are common and they’re rounded up to be studied then euthanized, while the Cris Johnson character can see 30 minutes into the future as opposed to two. Also, Cris is a sex object, covered gold head to toe. So yeah, the movie strays far from the source, though that’s no crime if the filmmakers come up with something better. They don’t. Next‘s plot has the depth of a weekly CBS procedural as it pushes Cage around, who wears an ugly jacket with a bad haircut during the runtime. Then there’s loads of CGI, none of which looks convincing. And the ending — wow, a total copout. Place it somewhere between “It was all a dream!” and “Turns out you were crazy the whole time!”


The Adjustment Bureau (2011) 71%, based on the 1954 short story “Adjustment Team”

In a world… where your fate is controlled by angelic bureaucratic agents, Matt Damon dares to defy the odds. Damon plays David Norris, a Senate hopeful who meets Elise, the woman of his dreams (Emily Blunt), on the campaign trail. After accidentally seeing the Adjustment Bureau at work behind the scenes, they warn David he risks everything (including death) in pursuing her.

What went right: The short story is a fairly low-stakes affair, so the movie does right by putting David’s possible candidacy for POTUS on the line. Dick wrote about women a lot but he was not particularly sensuous about it, so it’s refreshing to see a sweeping romance effectively seared into a story of his. And Bureau simply looks great: the colors are lush, deep, and the lines and angles that make up a majority of the backgrounds are wonderful (they’re subtly used to guide the eye around the frame, in the same way these characters are guided by the agents). The movie sets up a lot of rules about this universe and threatens to collapse under their weight; sagely, the story concludes before this occurs.


Total Recall (2012) 31%

What went wrong: Sometimes when Hollywood remakes a classic, producers will claim that their version is going to be closer to the book (see:True Grit). Not so in this case. The remake, directed by Underworld‘s Len Wiseman, doesn’t mine any additional story elements from “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” and instead works completely off the template laid by Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 version. Wiseman is a better director of action scenes than Verhoeven, who’s always been enchanted with gore and sleaze (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and his camera work here is fluid and kinetic. Likewise, the city landscapes and gadget designs are out of this world. But the main characters (this time played by Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel) undergo zero development and all the story beats were done better the first time around. For lightweight spectacle, you could do worse, but this overall is a redundant and bloodless trip down memory lane.


Radio Free Albemuth (2010) 33%, based on the 1976 novel Radio Free Albemuth

In a world… where a fascist president has ruled over America for 15 years, record store clerk Nicolas Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) begins receiving messages in his dreams from a far away galactic supreme being called VALIS. Under its direction, Brady moves his family to Los Angeles, takes up a position at a music label, and awaits the appearance of a songwriter named Silvia (Alanis Morissette) who will help him overthrow the president.

What went wrong: Albemuth is clearly a labor of love but not of particular talent, resulting in a poorly lit film with crap framing, hokey CG, and scenes jammed together without grace. If I hadn’t read the novel beforehand, I would’ve had a tough time following the plot or even understanding what the title meant. The 1970s were a tumultuous decade for Dick: he was questioned by the FBI, his house was burgled (with Dick believing it was the government trying to spook him), and he had a deep religious awakening, all of which are described in this work, where the author himself is a major character. Written as a sci-fi confessional and introduction to his new gnostic viewpoint, Dick’s book is something of a noble failure, beautiful but flat, and it’s crazy somebody thought a movie could be made out of it on such a low budget.

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

(Photo by Getty Images / Mark Mainz)

 

For just over 20 years now, Matthew Fox has been a bit of a TV icon. On whichever six-year series you may have “met” him, be it Party of Five or Lost, chances are one of his characters was at the center of your pop-culture TV discussion at some point or another.  Bone Tomahawk, a new western/horror hybrid film, continues Fox’s significant on-camera travails through the industry. When asked what his Five Favorite Films were, Fox shed light on just a small handful of the movies that make him tick. Here are his responses:

Apocalypse Now (1979) 98%

Ever since I read the Heart of Darkness for the first time — I really loved that book and loved the sort of question at the heart of that book, which is, “What is the true nature of the human species?” So Apocalypse Now is just an incredible adaptation of that concept and a movie that I never get tired of watching. There are so many interesting things in it.

Unforgiven (1992) 96%

I’m a huge fan of the western genre, I really am. I grew up on a ranch in Wyoming; from a very early age I loved westerns. Read a lot of westerns. Went through a period when Louie L’Amour was something that I just read tons of, then sort of moved onto The Virginian, and then movies. I just totally loved that genre. Been a dream of mine to be a part of one.

RT: And now you are.

Yes, it’s one of the things about Bone Tomahawk that’s so exciting.

Drive (2011) 93%

I loved Drive. Drive is one of my favorites, actually. Yeah, I would put that down.  Stylistically, it was like nothing I’d seen in a while. The soundtrack is one of the best soundtracks ever — I loved the soundtrack — and the way that he directed that; there are so many interesting directorial choices there. Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan — their falling in love with each other, the kiss that is in that movie in the elevator, and then the violence that proceeds right after that. And it’s one of the most amazing movie kisses ever because you kind of sense that this thing is coming right afterwards, and it’s so, so brutal. There are so many elements of that movie that I think are really, really well done. Great movie.

Blade Runner (1982) 89%

Blade Runner goes down as one of my favorite movies and I have to watch it every opportunity that I get to watch it; and it seems to me that every single time I watch it, I discover something that I never knew was there. I mean, the fact that that movie was close to 30 years ago, it’s absolutely astounding. I actually watched it recently again and — you look at it now and it’s just — the set design and the way that thing is shot, it feels… it’s absolutely amazing. You can’t say that of some movies. Like, if you go back and watch Alien — the first Alien — it looks dated now. It really does, because of how much technology is moving forward and the kinds of things that are being done onscreen because of CGI. But if you go back and watch Blade Runner, it’s incredible how well it’s held up over time. It’s amazing.

Trading Places (1983) 88%

And then for something light and fluffy I would have to say Trading Places (laughing). Hilarious. Light, and fun, and hilarious, and a lot of laughs. I had to throw one comedy in there. I remember the first time I saw it — I don’t remember exactly where I was; I was young — I think the first time I saw Trading Places I was 15 years old, 16 years old, something like that. Eddie Murphy was just in his comedic prime; I think he came off Saturday Night Live not long before that. It’s absolutely a great premise and really funny, really enjoyable. I just loved it.


Bone Tomahawk opens Friday, Oct. 23 in limited release.

This week in streaming video, we’ve got two hit comedies available for purchase, as well as a brand new Netflix original series. There’s also some acclaimed indie films, noteworthy television, award-winners, and certified classics available on subscription services. Read on for the full list.


Available for purchase:

 

Spy (2015) 95%

When an arms dealer identifies several of the CIA’s top field agents, desk-bound analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) gets her chance to go undercover in Paris. But during the course of her mission, Cooper must endure a string of indignities, from an unflattering cover story to a borderline-psychotic fellow agent (Jason Statham) who questions her competence at every turn.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) 65%

This time out, the Barden Bellas a cappella group is in hot water after an embarrassing performance in front of a distinguished audience. In search of redemption, our heroines journey to Denmark to compete in an international vocal tournament, and wackiness follows them wherever they go.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play


New on Netflix:

 

Revenge: Season 4 (2014) 88%

ABC’s drama centers on a woman (Emily VanCamp) who moves to the Hamptons but harbors a secret vendetta: she’s out for revenge on the people who framed her father for treason when she was young.

Available now on: Netflix


White God (2014) 88%

This Certified Fresh Hungarian drama centers on a dog named Hagen, who is abandoned by his master’s father and subsequently begins a trek home, inciting a seemingly organized mongrel revolt in the process.

Available now on: Netflix


Narcos: Season 1 (2015) 78%

This Netflix original series chronicles the rise of notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel. As with other Netflix shows, all 10 episodes of the first season are available to stream.

Available now on: Netflix


Once Upon a Time: Season 4 (2015) 62%

ABC’s Disney-themed drama centers on a fictional town called Storybrooke, whose residents are all classic fairy tale characters. Season four incorporates the latest Disney sensation, Frozen, by working Elsa and Anna into its plot while continuing its ongoing narrative.

Available now on: Netflix


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) 21%

The evil Foot Clan has taken control of New York City’s politicians and police force, so it’s up to our sewer-dwelling heroes — along with intrepid TV journalist April O’Neil (Megan Fox) — to save the day.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime:

 

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) 91%

Woody Allen’s directs and stars in this classic comedy-drama that chronicles the separate but connected lives of a woman named Hannah (Mia Farrow) and her two sisters (Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest) over the course of two years.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Dear White People (2014) 91%

This Certified Fresh a comedy is the story of an African American college student whose no-holds-barred radio show shakes up the predominantly white campus.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The Blair Witch Project (1999) 86%

Full of creepy campfire scares, mock-doc The Blair Witch Project keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain — thus proving that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) 84%

Madonna and Rosanna Arquette star in this comedy about a bored New Jersey housewife who becomes obsessed with a mysterious New York woman whose life she’s been following via ongoing correspondence in the personals section of a tabloid.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988) 76%

In this shlocky 1980s cult favorite, evil aliens who look like disfigured clowns arrive in a small American town and terrorize its citizens with deadly shadow puppetry, killer popcorn, and cotton candy cocoons.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on HBO Now:

 

Manhattan (1979) 94%

One of Woody Allen’s most acclaimed films, this Certified Fresh romantic comedy stars Allen, Mariel Hemingway (in an Oscar-nominated role), Diane Keaton, and more in a story about a neurotic writer who has difficulty choosing between the 17-year-old ingénue he’s dating and the mistress of his married best friend.

Available now on: HBO Now


In the Heat of the Night (1967) 95%

Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger star in Norman Jewison’s Best Picture-winning thriller about an African American detective who pairs with a racist sheriff to solve a murder in the Deep South.

Available now on: HBO Now


Her (2013) 94%

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore Twombly, a lovelorn writer who falls in love with OS1, his computer’s highly intelligent operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).

Available now on: HBO Now


The Departed (2006) 90%

Martin Scorsese’s Best Picture winner tells the story of two moles, one of whom (DiCaprio) is a cop undercover within a Boston crime family led by Jack Nicholson, and the other (Damon) a hood who has infiltrated the police department.

Available now on: HBO Now


Blade Runner (1982) 89%

Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, and Daryl Hannah, Ridley Scott’s stylishly noir sci-fi tale of replicants and blade runners remains a favorite for its art-deco look and its haunting, mysterious ambience.

Available now on: HBO Now


Titanic (1997) 89%

In James Cameron’s multiple Oscar-winning romance, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet play star-crossed lovers who meet aboard the ill-fated ocean liner. He teachers her how to spit.

Available now on: HBO Now


Thelma & Louise (1991) 85%

Ridley Scott directed this 1991 hit about a pair of women (played by Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis) who leave behind their regular lives for a road trip that quickly goes awry.

Available now on: HBO Now


Beetlejuice (1988) 85%

Tim Burton’s offbeat comedy stars Michael Keaton as the titular ghoul, a chaotic wildcard whose services are called upon by a newly deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) to help rid their home of its new occupants.

Available now on: HBO Now


The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) 78%

This low-budget 1975 cult classic stars Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon as the unlucky couple who stumble into a secluded mansion on a rainy night and bear witness to a freakish party to end all parties, hosted by a transvestite named Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry).

Available now on: HBO Now


V for Vendetta (2006) 73%

V for Vendetta tells the story of a near-future dystopia, where a lone freedom fighter named V (Hugo Weaving) plots a series of revolutionary bombings to bring down a shady, secretly policed government. Along the way, V recruits young, frightened Evey (Natalie Portman ), shaves her head, and turns her into a proper young revolutionary.

Available now on: HBO Now


Blades of Glory (2007) 70%

Will Ferrell and Jon Heder star as rival figure skaters who, after an embarrassing throwdown at the World Championships, team up for a shot at redemption.

Available now on: HBO Now


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Breaker Morant (1980) 100%

Bruce Beresford’s 1980 Australian drama retells the 1902 court martial of the titular soldier, who was accused along with his fellow officers of murdering several prisoners of war while stationed in South Africa during the Second Boer War.

Available now on: Fandor


Stagecoach (1939) 100%

This John Ford western, which  follows a handful of strangers as they embark on a perilous stagecoach journey from Arizona to New Mexico through Apache territory, is the film that catapulted John Wayne to stardom.

Available now on: Fandor


Insomnia (1997) 95%

Erik Skjoldbjærg’s Norwegian thriller — which was remade in 2002 by Christopher Nolan — stars Stellan Skarsgård as a police officer who accidentally shoots his partner while in pursuit of a killer. He decides to keep mum about it, but the killer knows the truth, and psychological games ensue.

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Night of the Living Dead (1968) 96%

George A. Romero’s iconic debut set the template for the modern zombie film, and features tight editing, realistic gore, and a sly political undercurrent.

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Something, Anything (2014) 92%

This quiet drama centers on a newlywed woman who becomes a spiritual seeker and slowly alienates her family and friends in the process.

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Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) 79%

One of Universal’s many iconic monsters, Gill-man (the creature’s infrequently used actual name) made his first appearence in this 1954 classic as a misguided amphibious humanoid, the last of his kind and prone to violence.

Available now on: Fandor


Love Hunter (2013) 86%

Milan Mumin stars in this musical drama about a Serbian rock star-turned-NYC cabbie trying to record one more album and dealing with relationship strife.

Available now on: Fandor

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