Best Heist Movies of All Time

Crooks. Thieves. Liars. And these are the ones we’re rooting for. In the heist and caper films, we see the hero hatching a plan, putting together a crew, and then pulling off the job, usually in order to turn the screws against an institution or person that’s wronged them — or maybe just for the thrill of sticking up banks. Either way, we put together a list of the 78 best-reviewed heist movies of all time for you to look over, each with at least 20 reviews and sorted by ranking formula, which factors how long ago a movie was released and how many critics reviews it got overall. Just don’t get caught!

#88

The Bling Ring (2013)
60%

#88
Adjusted Score: 67358%
Critics Consensus: While it's certainly timely and beautifully filmed, The Bling Ring suffers from director Sofia Coppola's failure to delve beneath the surface of its shallow protagonists' real-life crimes.
Synopsis: A teenager (Israel Broussard) and his gang of fame-obsessed youths (Katie Chang, Taissa Farmiga) use the Internet to track the... [More]
Directed By: Sofia Coppola

#87

The Newton Boys (1998)
64%

#87
Adjusted Score: 65522%
Critics Consensus: The Newton Boys uses a sharp cast and absorbing period detail to help make up for the frustrations of a story puzzlingly short on dramatic tension.
Synopsis: Seeking an escape from poverty, sibling Texas farmers (Matthew McConaughey, Skeet Ulrich, Ethan Hawke) gain notoriety as daring 1920s bank... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#86

Bandits (2001)
64%

#86
Adjusted Score: 69236%
Critics Consensus: The story may not warrant its lengthy running time, but the cast of Bandits makes it an enjoyable ride.
Synopsis: Joe (Bruce Willis) and Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) have escaped from prison. Cutting a swath from Oregon through California, these... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#85

Danger: Diabolik (1968)
65%

#85
Adjusted Score: 67036%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Criminals and the police try to catch a high-tech thief (John Phillip Law) out to steal a 20-ton gold ingot.... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#84

2 Guns (2013)
65%

#84
Adjusted Score: 71508%
Critics Consensus: Formulaic and often jarringly violent, 2 Guns rests its old-school appeal on the interplay between its charismatic, well-matched stars.
Synopsis: For the past year, DEA agent Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and U.S. Navy intelligence officer Marcus Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) have... [More]
Directed By: Baltasar Kormákur

#83
#83
Adjusted Score: 69438%
Critics Consensus: Full of special effects, Brian DePalma's update of Mission: Impossible has a lot of sweeping spectacle, but the plot is sometimes convoluted.
Synopsis: When U.S. government operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his mentor, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), go on a covert assignment... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 69431%
Critics Consensus: Woody Allen rises from his recent slump with Small Time Crooks. A simple, funny movie, Crooks proves Allen still has the touch that made his name synonymous with off-beat comedy.
Synopsis: Woody Allen wrote, directed and stars in this romantic comedy that follows the misadventures of an ex-con dishwasher and his... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#81
#81
Adjusted Score: 73832%
Critics Consensus: The Burnt Orange Heresy has a certain stylish charm, even if -- much like the art world it depicts -- it'll strike some viewers as pretentious.
Synopsis: Charismatic art critic James Figueras and his American lover travel to the lavish Lake Como estate of powerful art collector,... [More]
Directed By: Giuseppe Capotondi

#80

Heist (2001)
66%

#80
Adjusted Score: 69787%
Critics Consensus: Heist didn't cover any new ground, but the cast and Mamet's expertise with witty banter make it worthwhile.
Synopsis: Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) has a job he loves. He's a thief. His job goes sour when he gets caught... [More]
Directed By: David Mamet

#79

Wrath of Man (2021)
66%

#79
Adjusted Score: 79653%
Critics Consensus: Wrestling just enough stakes out of its thin plot, Wrath of Man sees Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham reunite for a fun, action-packed ride.
Synopsis: Mysterious and wild-eyed, a new security guard for a cash truck surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#78

Army Of The Dead (2021)
67%

#78
Adjusted Score: 81533%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious, over-the-top zombie heist mashup, Army of the Dead brings Zack Snyder back to his genre roots with a suitably gory splash.
Synopsis: From filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Zack Snyder's Justice League), ARMY OF THE DEAD takes place following a zombie outbreak that... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#77
#77
Adjusted Score: 90575%
Critics Consensus: The Fate of the Furious opens a new chapter in the franchise, fueled by the same infectious cast chemistry and over-the-top action fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: With Dom and Letty married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#76

Tower Heist (2011)
68%

#76
Adjusted Score: 74616%
Critics Consensus: Tower Heist is a true Brett Ratner joint: little brains to this caper, but it's fun fluff, exciting to watch, and showcases a welcome return to form for Eddie Murphy.
Synopsis: For more than 10 years, Josh Kovaks (Ben Stiller) has managed one of New York City's most luxurious and well-secured... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#75

Public Enemies (2009)
68%

#75
Adjusted Score: 78789%
Critics Consensus: Michael Mann's latest is a competent and technically impressive gangster flick with charismatic lead performances, but some may find the film lacks truly compelling drama.
Synopsis: Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger's (Johnny Depp) charm and audacity endear him to much of America's downtrodden public, but he's... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 79089%
Critics Consensus: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. tries to distract from an unremarkable story with charismatic stars and fizzy set pieces, adding up to an uneven action thriller with just enough style to overcome its lack of substance.
Synopsis: At the height of the Cold War, a mysterious criminal organization plans to use nuclear weapons and technology to upset... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#73

Point Break (1991)
69%

#73
Adjusted Score: 74088%
Critics Consensus: Absurd, over-the-top, and often wildly entertaining, Point Break is here to show you that the human spirit is still alive.
Synopsis: After a string of bizarre bank robberies in Southern California, with the crooks donning masks of various former presidents, a... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#72

Ronin (1998)
69%

#72
Adjusted Score: 71527%
Critics Consensus: Ronin earns comparisons to The French Connection with strong action, dynamic road chase scenes, and solid performances.
Synopsis: Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) puts together a team of experts that she tasks with stealing a valuable briefcase, the contents of... [More]
Directed By: John Frankenheimer

#71

Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
69%

#71
Adjusted Score: 77687%
Critics Consensus: Ocean's Thirteen reverts to the formula of the first installment, and the result is another slick and entertaining heist film.
Synopsis: Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang hatch an ambitious plot for revenge after ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#70

Ocean's 8 (2018)
69%

#70
Adjusted Score: 90321%
Critics Consensus: Ocean's 8 isn't quite as smooth as its predecessors, but still has enough cast chemistry and flair to lift the price of a ticket from filmgoers up for an undemanding caper.
Synopsis: Five years, eight months, 12 days and counting -- that's how long Debbie Ocean has been devising the biggest heist... [More]
Directed By: Gary Ross

#69

Set It Off (1996)
70%

#69
Adjusted Score: 71149%
Critics Consensus: It may not boast an original plot, but Set It Off is a satisfying, socially conscious heist film thanks largely to fine performances from its leads.
Synopsis: After being fired from her job as a bank teller, Frankie (Vivica A. Fox) begins working at a janitorial service... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 73245%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, stylish, and painlessly diverting, The Thomas Crown Affair is a remake of uncommon charm.
Synopsis: Bored billionaire Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) decides to entertain himself by stealing a Monet from a reputed museum. When Catherine... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#67

Triple Frontier (2019)
71%

#67
Adjusted Score: 77993%
Critics Consensus: An outstanding cast and ambitious story help Triple Frontier overcome an uneven narrative -- and elevate the end result above a crowded field of grim and gritty heist thrillers.
Synopsis: Former Special Forces operatives reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the... [More]
Directed By: J.C. Chandor

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 79670%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, with eye-popping stunts and special effects, the latest Mission: Impossible installment delivers everything an action fan could ask for. A thrilling summer popcorn flick.
Synopsis: Retired from active duty, and training recruits for the Impossible Mission Force, agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces the toughest... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 75748%
Critics Consensus: Steve McQueen settles into the role with ease and aplomb, in a film that whisks viewers to an exotic world with style and sex appeal.
Synopsis: Bored millionaire Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) concocts and executes a brilliant scheme to rob a bank without having to do... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#64

The Driver (1978)
73%

#64
Adjusted Score: 73544%
Critics Consensus: A tough, highly stylized thriller with amazing sound design and car chases.
Synopsis: An enigmatic man of fast cars and few words, the Driver (Ryan O'Neal) excels at maneuvering getaway vehicles through the... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#63

The Score (2001)
73%

#63
Adjusted Score: 77742%
Critics Consensus: Though the movie treads familiar ground in the heist/caper genre, Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando make the movie worth watching.
Synopsis: Career thief Nick Wells (Robert De Niro) is about to mastermind a nearly impossible theft that will require his joining... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#62

The Italian Job (2003)
73%

#62
Adjusted Score: 78186%
Critics Consensus: Despite some iffy plot elements, The Italian Job succeeds in delivering an entertaining modern take on the original 1969 heist film, thanks to a charismatic cast.
Synopsis: After a heist in Venice, Steve (Edward Norton) turns on his partners in crime, killing safecracker John Bridger (Donald Sutherland)... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 75748%
Critics Consensus: Laboriously paced and overly talky, The Great Train Robbery nevertheless pulls off a thrillingly staged finale anchored by winning performances from Donald Sutherland and Sean Connery.
Synopsis: Edward Pierce (Sean Connery) is a master thief of the Victorian Era who's never found a heist he couldn't pull... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#60

Snatch (2000)
74%

#60
Adjusted Score: 78292%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps a case of style over substance, Guy Ritchie's second crime caper is full of snappy dialogue, dark comedy, and interesting characters.
Synopsis: Illegal boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham) convinces gangster Brick Top (Alan Ford) to offer bets on bare-knuckle boxer Mickey (Brad... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#59
Adjusted Score: 77268%
Critics Consensus: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is a grimy, twisted, and funny twist on the Tarantino hip gangster formula.
Synopsis: Eddy (Nick Moran) convinces three friends to pool funds for a high-stakes poker game against local crime boss Hatchet Harry... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#58
#58
Adjusted Score: 84650%
Critics Consensus: As grim and grinding as its title, Dragged Across Concrete opts for slow-burning drama instead of high-speed thrills -- and has just the right cast to make it work.
Synopsis: Police partners descend into the criminal underworld after they are suspended for assaulting a suspect on video.... [More]
Directed By: S. Craig Zahler

#57

The Good Thief (2002)
77%

#57
Adjusted Score: 81733%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by Nolte's strong performance, The Good Thief brims with seductive style.
Synopsis: Bob (Nick Nolte) is an aging thief who has seen better days and is battling both an addiction to heroin... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#56

Fast Five (2011)
77%

#56
Adjusted Score: 84788%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, loud, and over the top, Fast Five proudly embraces its brainless action thrills and injects new life into the franchise.
Synopsis: Ever since ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) broke her brother Dom (Vin Diesel) out of... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#55

Kelly's Heroes (1970)
78%

#55
Adjusted Score: 79773%
Critics Consensus: Kelly's Heroes subverts its World War II setting with pointed satirical commentary on modern military efforts, offering an entertaining hybrid of heist caper and battlefield action.
Synopsis: In the midst of World War II, an array of colorful American soldiers gets inside information from a drunk German... [More]
Directed By: Brian G. Hutton

#54

Sneakers (1992)
79%

#54
Adjusted Score: 83134%
Critics Consensus: There isn't much to Sneakers plot and that's more than made up for with the film's breezy panache and hi-tech lingo.
Synopsis: Computer hacker Martin (Robert Redford) heads a group of specialists who test the security of various San Francisco companies. Martin... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#53

The Bank Job (2008)
80%

#53
Adjusted Score: 84681%
Critics Consensus: Well cast and crisply directed, The Bank Job is a thoroughly entertaining British heist thriller.
Synopsis: Self-reformed petty criminal Terry Leather (Jason Statham) has become a financially struggling car dealer and settled into a pedestrian London... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#52

The Italian Job (1969)
81%

#52
Adjusted Score: 80458%
Critics Consensus: The Italian Job is a wildly fun romp that epitomizes the height of Britannia style.
Synopsis: A British crook (Michael Caine) robs gold ingots in Italy by having a computer expert (Benny Hill) cause a traffic... [More]
Directed By: Peter Collinson

#51

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
83%

#51
Adjusted Score: 90209%
Critics Consensus: As fast-paced, witty, and entertaining as it is star-studded and coolly stylish, Ocean's Eleven offers a well-seasoned serving of popcorn entertainment.
Synopsis: Dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#50

Ant-Man (2015)
83%

#50
Adjusted Score: 96062%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Synopsis: Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#49
Adjusted Score: 113388%
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

#48

Bottle Rocket (1996)
85%

#48
Adjusted Score: 88796%
Critics Consensus: Bottle Rocket is Reservoir Dogs meets Breathless with a West Texas sensibility.
Synopsis: In Wes Anderson's first feature film, Anthony (Luke Wilson) has just been released from a mental hospital, only to find... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#47

The Getaway (1972)
86%

#47
Adjusted Score: 79747%
Critics Consensus: The Getaway sees Sam Peckinpah and Steve McQueen, the kings of violence and cool, working at full throttle.
Synopsis: When convict Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) is refused parole, he enlists his wife, Carol (Ali MacGraw), to strike a deal... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#46

Inside Man (2006)
86%

#46
Adjusted Score: 94908%
Critics Consensus: Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller is a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill.
Synopsis: A tough detective (Denzel Washington) matches wits with a cunning bank robber (Clive Owen), as a tense hostage crisis is... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 89613%
Critics Consensus: This likable buddy/road picture deftly mixes action and comedy, and features excellent work from stars Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges and first-time director Michael Cimino.
Synopsis: While stealing a car, free-spirited drifter Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges) crosses paths with legendary thief Thunderbolt (Clint Eastwood) in the midst... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cimino

#44

Heat (1995)
87%

#44
Adjusted Score: 92679%
Critics Consensus: Though Al Pacino and Robert De Niro share but a handful of screen minutes together, Heat is an engrossing crime drama that draws compelling performances from its stars -- and confirms Michael Mann's mastery of the genre.
Synopsis: Master criminal Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) is trying to control the rogue actions of one of his men, while... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#43

Jackie Brown (1997)
87%

#43
Adjusted Score: 92479%
Critics Consensus: Although somewhat lackadaisical in pace, Jackie Brown proves to be an effective star-vehicle for Pam Grier while offering the usual Tarantino wit and charm.
Synopsis: When flight attendant Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is busted smuggling money for her arms dealer boss, Ordell Robbie (Samuel L.... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#42

Sexy Beast (2000)
87%

#42
Adjusted Score: 91070%
Critics Consensus: Sexy Beast rises above other movies in the British gangster genre due to its performances -- particularly an electrifying one by Ben Kingsley -- and the script's attention to character development.
Synopsis: Ex-villain Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) has served his time behind bars and is blissfully retired to a Spanish villa paradise... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Glazer

#41

The Lookout (2007)
87%

#41
Adjusted Score: 93091%
Critics Consensus: The Lookout is a genuinely suspenseful and affecting noir due to the great ensemble cast and their complex, realistic characters.
Synopsis: Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a star athlete, has the world at his feet. Then a devastating car accident leaves him with... [More]
Directed By: Scott Frank

#40

Inception (2010)
87%

#40
Adjusted Score: 101366%
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

#39

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
88%

#39
Adjusted Score: 93147%
Critics Consensus: A paradigm-shifting classic of American cinema, Bonnie and Clyde packs a punch whose power continues to reverberate through thrillers decades later.
Synopsis: Small-time crook Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) tries to steal a car and winds up with its owner's daughter, dissatisfied small-town... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Penn

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 92980%
Critics Consensus: Expertly shot and edited, The Usual Suspects gives the audience a simple plot and then piles on layers of deceit, twists, and violence before pulling out the rug from underneath.
Synopsis: "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist," says con man Kint (Kevin Spacey),... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#37

American Animals (2018)
88%

#37
Adjusted Score: 99750%
Critics Consensus: American Animals tangles with a number of weighty themes, but never at the expense of delivering a queasily compelling true crime thriller.
Synopsis: Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk and Chas Allen are four friends who live an ordinary existence in Kentucky. After... [More]
Directed By: Bart Layton

#36

The Pink Panther (1963)
89%

#36
Adjusted Score: 90781%
Critics Consensus: Peter Sellers is at his virtuosically bumbling best in The Pink Panther, a sophisticated caper blessed with an unforgettably slinky score by Henry Mancini.
Synopsis: In this first film of the beloved comic series, dashing European thief Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven) plans to steal... [More]
Directed By: Blake Edwards

#35
Adjusted Score: 94836%
Critics Consensus: With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-'60s American cinema.
Synopsis: The true story of fast-draws and wild rides, battles with posses, train and bank robberies, a torrid love affair and... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 90945%
Critics Consensus: The Spanish Prisoner delivers just what fans of writer-director David Mamet expect: a smart, solidly constructed drama that keeps viewers guessing... and entertained along the way.
Synopsis: Everything changes for rising corporate star Joe Ross (Campbell Scott) when he meets the wealthy and mysterious Jimmy Dell (Steve... [More]
Directed By: David Mamet

#33

Topkapi (1964)
90%

#33
Adjusted Score: 91263%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Beautiful thief Elizabeth Lipp (Melina Mercouri) and criminal genius Walter Harper (Maximilian Schell) put together a plan to steal an... [More]
Directed By: Jules Dassin

#32

The Wild Bunch (1969)
90%

#32
Adjusted Score: 98142%
Critics Consensus: The Wild Bunch is Sam Peckinpah's shocking, violent ballad to an old world and a dying genre.
Synopsis: In this gritty Western classic, aging outlaw Pike Bishop (William Holden) prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#31

Kajillionaire (2020)
90%

#31
Adjusted Score: 103285%
Critics Consensus: Whether you see Kajillionaire as refreshingly unique or simply bizarre will depend on your cinematic adventurousness -- and fans of writer-director Miranda July wouldn't have it any other way.
Synopsis: Two con artists have spent 26 years training their only daughter to swindle, scam and steal at every turn. During... [More]
Directed By: Miranda July

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 93338%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Virgil Starkwell (Woody Allen) is intent on becoming a notorious bank robber. Unfortunately for Virgil and his not-so-budding career, he... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#29

Widows (2018)
91%

#29
Adjusted Score: 116986%
Critics Consensus: Widows rounds up a stellar ensemble for a heist thriller that mixes popcorn entertainment with a message - and marks another artistic leap for director Steve McQueen.
Synopsis: A police shootout leaves four thieves dead during an explosive armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their widows -- Veronica, Linda,... [More]
Directed By: Steve McQueen

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 92981%
Critics Consensus: Duck, You Sucker is a saucy helping of spaghetti western, with James Coburn and Rod Steiger's chemistry igniting the screen and Sergio Leone's bravura style on full display.
Synopsis: At the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1913, greedy bandit Juan Miranda (Rod Steiger) and idealist John H. Mallory... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#27

Rififi (1955)
92%

#27
Adjusted Score: 97356%
Critics Consensus: Rififi depicts the perfect heist in more ways than one, telling its story so effectively that it essentially provided the template for an entire genre to follow.
Synopsis: Out of prison after a five-year stretch, jewel thief Tony (Jean Servais) turns down a quick job his friend Jo... [More]
Directed By: Jules Dassin

#26

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
92%

#26
Adjusted Score: 96877%
Critics Consensus: Thrumming with intelligence and energy, Reservoir Dogs opens Quentin Tarantino's filmmaking career with hard-hitting style.
Synopsis: A group of thieves assemble to pull of the perfect diamond heist. It turns into a bloody ambush when one... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#25

Nine Queens (2001)
92%

#25
Adjusted Score: 93602%
Critics Consensus: Deliciously twist-filled, Nine Queens is a clever and satisfying crime caper.
Synopsis: "Nine Queens" is the story of two small-time swindlers, Juan (Gastón Pauls) and Marcos (Ricardo Darín), who team up after... [More]
Directed By: Fabián Bielinsky

#24

No Sudden Move (2021)
92%

#24
Adjusted Score: 98088%
Critics Consensus: While it may not be on par with his best crime capers, No Sudden Move finds Soderbergh on entertainingly familiar ground -- and making the most of an excellent cast.
Synopsis: Set in 1954 Detroit, NO SUDDEN MOVE centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#23

The Town (2010)
92%

#23
Adjusted Score: 99975%
Critics Consensus: Tense, smartly written, and wonderfully cast, The Town proves that Ben Affleck has rediscovered his muse -- and that he's a director to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) leads a band of ruthless bank robbers and has no real attachments except for James (Jeremy... [More]
Directed By: Ben Affleck

#22

Logan Lucky (2017)
92%

#22
Adjusted Score: 112375%
Critics Consensus: High-octane fun that's smartly assembled without putting on airs, Logan Lucky marks a welcome end to Steven Soderbergh's retirement -- and proves he hasn't lost his ability to entertain.
Synopsis: West Virginia family man Jimmy Logan teams up with his one-armed brother Clyde and sister Mellie to steal money from... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#21

Baby Driver (2017)
92%

#21
Adjusted Score: 122089%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, exciting, and fueled by a killer soundtrack, Baby Driver hits the road and it's gone -- proving fast-paced action movies can be smartly written without sacrificing thrills.
Synopsis: Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#20

Out of Sight (1998)
93%

#20
Adjusted Score: 97885%
Critics Consensus: Steven Soderbergh's intelligently crafted adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel is witty, sexy, suprisingly entertaining, and a star-making turn for George Clooney.
Synopsis: Meet Jack Foley (George Clooney), the most successful bank robber in the country. On the day he busts out of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#19
Adjusted Score: 102856%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, fast-paced, and loaded with gripping set pieces, the fourth Mission: Impossible is big-budget popcorn entertainment that really works.
Synopsis: Blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#18

Drive (2011)
93%

#18
Adjusted Score: 102675%
Critics Consensus: With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action.
Synopsis: Driver is a skilled Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. Though he projects an icy exterior,... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Winding Refn

#17

Thief (1981)
94%

#17
Adjusted Score: 95059%
Critics Consensus: Thief is an invigorating cut of neon noir - proudly pulpy, steeped in authenticity, and powered by a swaggering James Caan at the peak of his charisma.
Synopsis: A highly skilled jewel thief, Frank (James Caan) longs to leave his dangerous trade and settle down with his girlfriend,... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 98389%
Critics Consensus: An oddball heist movie with an dark streak that picks apart every rule in filmmaking.
Synopsis: Cinephile slackers Franz (Sami Frey) and Arthur (Claude Brasseur) spend their days mimicking the antiheroes of Hollywood noirs and Westerns... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#15

To Catch a Thief (1955)
94%

#15
Adjusted Score: 99213%
Critics Consensus: It may occasionally be guilty of coasting on pure charm, but To Catch a Thief has it in spades -- as well as a pair of perfectly matched stars in Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.
Synopsis: Notorious cat burglar John Robie (Cary Grant) has long since retired to tend vineyards on the French Riviera. When a... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#14

The Sting (1973)
94%

#14
Adjusted Score: 99094%
Critics Consensus: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill prove that charm, humor, and a few slick twists can add up to a great film.
Synopsis: Following the murder of a mutual friend, aspiring con man Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) teams up with old pro Henry... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#13

Three Kings (1999)
94%

#13
Adjusted Score: 98633%
Critics Consensus: Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.
Synopsis: Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#12
Adjusted Score: 106614%
Critics Consensus: Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation continues the franchise's thrilling resurgence -- and proves that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal.
Synopsis: With the IMF now disbanded and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, a new threat -- called the... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

#11

The Killing (1956)
95%

#11
Adjusted Score: 99084%
Critics Consensus: An expertly crafted noir with more on its mind than stylishly staged violence, The Killing establishes Stanley Kubrick as a filmmaker of uncommon vision and control.
Synopsis: Career criminal Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) recruits a sharpshooter (Timothy Carey), a crooked police officer (Ted de Corsia), a bartender... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#10

The Red Circle (1970)
95%

#10
Adjusted Score: 101858%
Critics Consensus: Melville is at the top of his game, giving us his next-to-last entry into the world of deception, crime, and extreme suspense that made him a maestro of the French heist genre.
Synopsis: When French criminal Corey (Alain Delon) gets released from prison, he resolves to never return. He is quickly pulled back... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Melville

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 100415%
Critics Consensus: Framed by great work from director Sidney Lumet and fueled by a gripping performance from Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon offers a finely detailed snapshot of people in crisis with tension-soaked drama shaded in black humor.
Synopsis: When inexperienced criminal Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino) leads a bank robbery in Brooklyn, things quickly go wrong, and a hostage... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 100087%
Critics Consensus: Smartly written, smoothly directed, and solidly cast, A Fish Called Wanda offers a classic example of a brainy comedy with widespread appeal.
Synopsis: British gangster George Thomason (Tom Georgeson) and his hapless aide, Ken Pile (Michael Palin), draft a pair of arrogant Americans,... [More]

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 114020%
Critics Consensus: Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.
Synopsis: Toby is a divorced father who's trying to make a better life for his son. His brother Tanner is an... [More]
Directed By: David Mackenzie

#6

Bob the Gambler (1955)
97%

#6
Adjusted Score: 96212%
Critics Consensus: Majorly stylish, Bob le Flambeur is a cool homage to American gangster films and the presage to French New Wave mode of seeing.
Synopsis: In Paris, Bob Montagne (Roger Duchesne) is practically synonymous with gambling -- and winning. He is kind, classy and well-liked... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Melville

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 100047%
Critics Consensus: The Asphalt Jungle is an expertly told crime story with attention paid to the crime and characters in equal measure.
Synopsis: Recently released from prison, Dix Handley (Sterling Hayden) concocts a plan to steal $1 million in jewels. Dix gathers a... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#4
Adjusted Score: 100434%
Critics Consensus: The Friends of Eddie Coyle sees Robert Mitchum in transformative late-career mode in a gritty and credible character study.
Synopsis: Aging Boston gunrunner Eddie Coyle (Robert Mitchum) is looking at several years of jail time for a hold-up if he... [More]
Directed By: Peter Yates

#3

The Ladykillers (1955)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102466%
Critics Consensus: The Ladykillers is a macabre slow-burn with quirky performances of even quirkier characters.
Synopsis: Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) likes to report suspicious behavior to the police. Unaware of her reputation, the dapper thief Professor... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Mackendrick

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 103637%
Critics Consensus: Fiendishly funny and clever, The Lavender Hill Mob is a top hat Ealing Studios effort.
Synopsis: A meek clerk (Alec Guinness), his buddy (Stanley Holloway) and crooks melt hijacked Bank of England gold into Eiffel Tower... [More]
Directed By: Charles Crichton

#1
Adjusted Score: 100905%
Critics Consensus: Breezy, thrilling, and quite funny, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three sees Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw pitted against each other in effortlessly high form.
Synopsis: In New York City, a criminal gang led by the ruthless "Mr. Blue" (Robert Shaw) hijacks a subway car and... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Sargent

(Photo by Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)

All Mission: Impossible Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer

“Hey, Tom. Paramount here. Yes, the studio. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a new summer franchise out of a 30-year-old TV show, and have it virtually improve with each sequel over 20 years…”

And so Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt has halo-jumped, rock-climbed, motorcycle-duelled, and face mask-revealed his way across dozens of countries to unravel all manner of world threats in the Mission: Impossible movies. He’s had help along the way, featuring a cast of series veterans, like Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg, and occasional players like Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton. Hunt hasn’t had too much help from the IMF, though, considering how many times they think their star employee has gone rogue.

A trademark for most of Mission: Impossible‘s lifespan was bringing in a new director for each entry, ranging from John Woo to Brad Bird to Brian De Palma, giving each entry a unique spin. But Since Rogue Nation, Cruise (who also produces) has found a perfect collaborator in Christopher McQuarrie. He was the first to direct two M:Is in a row, with Fallout raking in the series’ best box office and critical marks. McQuarrie will direct the next two films, both shooting concurrently, scheduled for May 27, 2022 and July 7, 2023.

Before we see what death-defying hijinks they get into next (we don’t think Ethan’s been to the moon yet), we’re ranking all Mission: Impossible movies by Tomatometer!

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 62824%
Critics Consensus: Your cranium may crave more substance, but your eyes will feast on the amazing action sequences.
Synopsis: Tom Cruise returns to his role as Ethan Hunt in the second installment of "Mission: Impossible." This time Ethan Hunt... [More]
Directed By: John Woo

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 69438%
Critics Consensus: Full of special effects, Brian DePalma's update of Mission: Impossible has a lot of sweeping spectacle, but the plot is sometimes convoluted.
Synopsis: When U.S. government operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his mentor, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), go on a covert assignment... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 79670%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, with eye-popping stunts and special effects, the latest Mission: Impossible installment delivers everything an action fan could ask for. A thrilling summer popcorn flick.
Synopsis: Retired from active duty, and training recruits for the Impossible Mission Force, agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces the toughest... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#3
Adjusted Score: 102856%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, fast-paced, and loaded with gripping set pieces, the fourth Mission: Impossible is big-budget popcorn entertainment that really works.
Synopsis: Blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#2
Adjusted Score: 106614%
Critics Consensus: Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation continues the franchise's thrilling resurgence -- and proves that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal.
Synopsis: With the IMF now disbanded and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, a new threat -- called the... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

#1
Adjusted Score: 124077%
Critics Consensus: Fast, sleek, and fun, Mission: Impossible - Fallout lives up to the "impossible" part of its name by setting yet another high mark for insane set pieces in a franchise full of them.
Synopsis: Ethan Hunt and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures

(Photo by Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures)

All Tom Cruise Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer

From his teen idol days in the early ’80s to his status as a marquee-lighting leading man today, Tom Cruise has consistently done it all for decades — he’s completed impossible missions, learned about Wapner time in Rain Man, driven the highway to the danger zone in Top Gun, and done wonders for Bob Seger’s royalty statements in Risky Business, to offer just a few examples. Mr. Cruise is one of the few honest-to-goodness film stars left in the Hollywood firmament, so whether you’re a hardcore fan or just interested in a refresher course on his filmography, we’re here to take a fond look back at a truly impressive career and rank all Tom Cruise movies by Tomatometer.

#41

Cocktail (1988)
7%

#41
Adjusted Score: 8936%
Critics Consensus: There are no surprises in Cocktail, a shallow, dramatically inert romance that squanders Tom Cruise's talents in what amounts to a naive barkeep's banal fantasy.
Synopsis: Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) wants a high-paying marketing job, but needs a business degree first. Working as a bartender to... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#40

The Mummy (2017)
16%

#40
Adjusted Score: 38654%
Critics Consensus: Lacking the campy fun of the franchise's most recent entries and failing to deliver many monster-movie thrills, The Mummy suggests a speedy unraveling for the Dark Universe.
Synopsis: Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest... [More]
Directed By: Alex Kurtzman

#39

Losin' It (1982)
18%

#39
Adjusted Score: 8530%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A teenager (Tom Cruise) and his buddies drive to '60s Tijuana with a woman (Shelley Long) looking for a quick... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Hanson

#38

Lions for Lambs (2007)
27%

#38
Adjusted Score: 34852%
Critics Consensus: Despite its powerhouse cast, Lions for Lambs feels like a disjointed series of lectures, rather than a sharp narrative, and ends up falling flat.
Synopsis: Inspired by their idealistic professor, Dr. Mallery (Robert Redford), to do something meaningful with their lives, Arian (Derek Luke) and... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#37
Adjusted Score: 52028%
Critics Consensus: Monotonously formulaic, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is one action thriller sequel whose title also serves as a warning.
Synopsis: Investigator Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) springs into action after the arrest of Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), an Army major accused... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#36

Legend (1985)
40%

#36
Adjusted Score: 42191%
Critics Consensus: Not even Ridley Scott's gorgeously realized set pieces can save Legend from its own tawdry tale -- though it may be serviceable for those simply looking for fantasy eye candy.
Synopsis: Darkness (Tim Curry) seeks to create eternal night by destroying the last of the unicorns. Jack (Tom Cruise) and his... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#35

Days of Thunder (1990)
38%

#35
Adjusted Score: 42651%
Critics Consensus: Days of Thunder has Tom Cruise and plenty of flash going for it, but they aren't enough to compensate for the stock plot, two-dimensional characters, and poorly written dialogue.
Synopsis: In the fast-paced world of NASCAR, a rivalry brews between rookie hotshot Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) and veteran racer Rowdy... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#34

Vanilla Sky (2001)
42%

#34
Adjusted Score: 48761%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious mix of genres, Vanilla Sky collapses into an incoherent jumble. Cruise's performance lacks depth, and it's hard to feel sympathy for his narcissistic character.
Synopsis: Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe reunite after "Jerry Maguire" for "Vanilla Sky," the story of a young New York City... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#33

Rock of Ages (2012)
43%

#33
Adjusted Score: 51869%
Critics Consensus: Its exuberant silliness is almost enough to make up for its utter inconsequentiality, but Rock of Ages is ultimately too bland and overlong to justify its trip to the big screen.
Synopsis: The songs of Journey, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and other artists underscore a tale of big dreams in Hollywood. Soon... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

#32

Far and Away (1992)
50%

#32
Adjusted Score: 50610%
Critics Consensus: Handsome and simplistic, Far and Away has the beauty of an American epic without the breadth.
Synopsis: Joseph (Tom Cruise) and his landlord's daughter, Shannon (Nicole Kidman), travel from Ireland to America in hopes of claiming free... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 63541%
Critics Consensus: All the Right Moves is an uncommonly grim coming-of-age drama that overcomes numerous clichés with its realistic approach to its characters and setting.
Synopsis: Stefan Djordjevic (Tom Cruise), the star player of his high school football team, is desperately hoping that his football talents... [More]
Directed By: Michael Chapman

#30

Knight and Day (2010)
52%

#30
Adjusted Score: 59848%
Critics Consensus: It's pure formula, but thanks to its breezy pace and a pair of charming performances from Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Knight and Day offers some agreeably middle-of-the-road summer action.
Synopsis: June Havens (Cameron Diaz) chats up her charming seatmate on a flight out of Kansas, but she doesn't realize that... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#29

Oblivion (2013)
53%

#29
Adjusted Score: 63507%
Critics Consensus: Visually striking but thinly scripted, Oblivion benefits greatly from its strong production values and an excellent performance from Tom Cruise.
Synopsis: In the year 2077, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) works as a security repairman on an Earth left empty and devastated... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski

#28

Top Gun (1986)
59%

#28
Adjusted Score: 64615%
Critics Consensus: Though it features some of the most memorable and electrifying aereial footage shot with an expert eye for action, Top Gun offers too little for non-adolescent viewers to chew on when its characters aren't in the air.
Synopsis: The Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School is where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 62824%
Critics Consensus: Your cranium may crave more substance, but your eyes will feast on the amazing action sequences.
Synopsis: Tom Cruise returns to his role as Ethan Hunt in the second installment of "Mission: Impossible." This time Ethan Hunt... [More]
Directed By: John Woo

#26

Valkyrie (2008)
62%

#26
Adjusted Score: 68922%
Critics Consensus: Given the subject matter, Valkyrie could have been an outstanding historical thriller, but settles for being a mildly entertaining, but disposable yarn.
Synopsis: Col. Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) serves Germany with loyalty and pride but fears that Hitler will destroy his country... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#25

The Outsiders (1983)
68%

#25
Adjusted Score: 71975%
Critics Consensus: The cracks continue to show in Coppola's directorial style, but The Outsiders remains a blustery, weird, and fun adaptation of the classic novel.
Synopsis: A teen gang in rural Oklahoma, the Greasers are perpetually at odds with the Socials, a rival group. When Greasers... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#24
Adjusted Score: 67434%
Critics Consensus: Despite lacking some of the book's subtler shadings, and suffering from some clumsy casting, Interview with a Vampire benefits from Neil Jordan's atmospheric direction and a surfeit of gothic thrills.
Synopsis: Born as an 18th-century lord, Louis is now a bicentennial vampire, telling his story to an eager biographer. Suicidal after... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#23

Jack Reacher (2012)
63%

#23
Adjusted Score: 70615%
Critics Consensus: Jack Reacher is an above-average crime thriller with a smoothly charismatic performance from Tom Cruise.
Synopsis: One morning in an ordinary town, five people are shot dead in a seemingly random attack. All evidence points to... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 69438%
Critics Consensus: Full of special effects, Brian DePalma's update of Mission: Impossible has a lot of sweeping spectacle, but the plot is sometimes convoluted.
Synopsis: When U.S. government operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his mentor, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), go on a covert assignment... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#21

The Last Samurai (2003)
66%

#21
Adjusted Score: 72756%
Critics Consensus: With high production values and thrilling battle scenes, The Last Samurai is a satisfying epic.
Synopsis: Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is an American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country's... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#20

Taps (1981)
68%

#20
Adjusted Score: 69390%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Bunker Hill Military Academy has been targeted by real estate developers for demolition. The students, outraged at the thought of... [More]
Directed By: Harold Becker

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 79670%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, with eye-popping stunts and special effects, the latest Mission: Impossible installment delivers everything an action fan could ask for. A thrilling summer popcorn flick.
Synopsis: Retired from active duty, and training recruits for the Impossible Mission Force, agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces the toughest... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#18

The Firm (1993)
75%

#18
Adjusted Score: 79525%
Critics Consensus: The Firm is a big studio thriller that amusingly tears apart the last of 1980s boardroom culture and the false securities it represented.
Synopsis: A young lawyer joins a small but prestigious law firm only to find out that most of their clients are... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#17

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
76%

#17
Adjusted Score: 82227%
Critics Consensus: Kubrick's intense study of the human psyche yields an impressive cinematic work.
Synopsis: After Dr. Bill Hartford's (Tom Cruise) wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met,... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 85844%
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

#15

Tropic Thunder (2008)
82%

#15
Adjusted Score: 91388%
Critics Consensus: With biting satire, plenty of subversive humor, and an unforgettable turn by Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder is a triumphant late Summer comedy.
Synopsis: Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), pampered action superstar, sets out for Southeast Asia to take part in the biggest, most-expensive war... [More]
Directed By: Ben Stiller

#14

Jerry Maguire (1996)
84%

#14
Adjusted Score: 89299%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by dazzling performances from Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renée Zellweger, as well as Cameron Crowe's tender direction, Jerry Maguire meshes romance and sports with panache.
Synopsis: When slick sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) has a crisis of conscience, he pens a heartfelt company-wide memo that... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#13

Magnolia (1999)
83%

#13
Adjusted Score: 89661%
Critics Consensus: Magnolia is an ambitious, lengthy work that ultimately succeeds due to interesting stories and excellent ensemble performances.
Synopsis: On one random day in the San Fernando Valley, a dying father, a young wife, a male caretaker, a famous... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#12

A Few Good Men (1992)
83%

#12
Adjusted Score: 88393%
Critics Consensus: An old-fashioned courtroom drama with a contemporary edge, A Few Good Men succeeds on the strength of its stars, with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and especially Jack Nicholson delivering powerful performances that more than compensate for the predictable plot.
Synopsis: Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is a military lawyer defending two U.S. Marines charged with killing a fellow Marine at... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#11
Adjusted Score: 88654%
Critics Consensus: Led by an unforgettable performance from Tom Cruise, Born on the Fourth of July finds director Oliver Stone tackling thought-provoking subject matter with ambitious élan.
Synopsis: In the mid 1960s, suburban New York teenager Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) enlists in the Marines, fulfilling what he sees... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#10

Collateral (2004)
86%

#10
Adjusted Score: 94839%
Critics Consensus: Driven by director Michael Mann's trademark visuals and a lean, villainous performance from Tom Cruise, Collateral is a stylish and compelling noir thriller.
Synopsis: A cab driver realizes his current fare is a hit man that has been having him drive around from mark... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#9

American Made (2017)
86%

#9
Adjusted Score: 105276%
Critics Consensus: American Made's fast-and-loose attitude with its real-life story mirrors the cavalier -- and delightfully watchable -- energy Tom Cruise gives off in the leading role.
Synopsis: Barry Seal, a TWA pilot, is recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 93097%
Critics Consensus: That it's inferior to the original goes without saying, but Paul Newman and Tom Cruise are a joy to watch, and Martin Scorsese's direction is typically superb.
Synopsis: Former pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson (Paul Newman) decides he wants to return to the game by taking a pupil.... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#7

Rain Man (1988)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 94157%
Critics Consensus: This road-trip movie about an autistic savant and his callow brother is far from seamless, but Barry Levinson's direction is impressive, and strong performances from Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman add to its appeal.
Synopsis: When car dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) learns that his estranged father has died, he returns home to Cincinnati, where... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#6

Minority Report (2002)
90%

#6
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

#5

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
91%

#5
Adjusted Score: 104406%
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

#4

Risky Business (1983)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 95187%
Critics Consensus: Featuring one of Tom Cruise's best early performances, Risky Business is a sharp, funny examination of teen angst that doesn't stop short of exploring dark themes.
Synopsis: Ecstatic when his parents leave on vacation for a few days, high school senior Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise) cuts loose... [More]
Directed By: Paul Brickman

#3
Adjusted Score: 106614%
Critics Consensus: Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation continues the franchise's thrilling resurgence -- and proves that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal.
Synopsis: With the IMF now disbanded and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, a new threat -- called the... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

#2
Adjusted Score: 102856%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, fast-paced, and loaded with gripping set pieces, the fourth Mission: Impossible is big-budget popcorn entertainment that really works.
Synopsis: Blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#1
Adjusted Score: 124077%
Critics Consensus: Fast, sleek, and fun, Mission: Impossible - Fallout lives up to the "impossible" part of its name by setting yet another high mark for insane set pieces in a franchise full of them.
Synopsis: Ethan Hunt and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

As we all settle in to stay at home and socially distance ourselves, the planet has been given a unique resource not often afforded in the modern world: time. With no place to go, what shall we do with this new abundance of free hours? Time to finish that book you have had on your bedside table? Maybe take an online French class or learn to play an instrument? Time to binge every series that ever was? Or perhaps, like us, you’re thinking of all the films you wished you’d seen but never had the time to before.

Maybe one of those epic movie franchises that seemed too daunting to jump into late in the game – don’t ever admit you’ve never seen an MCU movie, ever – or a series of which you’ve caught a few entries but want to fill in the gaps. Fear not  we have you covered with our Epic Franchise Movie Binge Guide. Read below as we break down some of the most beloved long-running movie franchises – like The Lord of the Rings, Mission Impossible, or the granddaddy of them all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and tell you the best way to approach watching them, how long the binge will take, and which titles you can skip. Because hey, even all the time in the world may not be enough time to make you sit through A Good Day to Die Hard.

Disagree with our picks or have a suggestion for a franchise movie binge? Let us know in the comments. 


The Lord of the Rings

What is it: The film adaptations of the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, set in ”Middle-earth,” the fictitious medieval land where elves, men, dwarves, wizards, and hobbits co-exist, often not so peacefully. Over the course of several films, we follow hobbit Bilbo Baggins and later his young heir Frodo Baggins as they go on adventures and battle against the forces of evil. 

How many hours: Extended editions: 20 hours 30 minutes; Theatrical cuts: 17 hours and 12 minutes.

Starts with:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)  

Ends with: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)  

Best way to watch: Some would argue the second trilogy – though the first by story chronology – from Peter Jackson was an unnecessary and bloated cash grab that should be avoided at all costs, but we have a better suggestion. We suggest you begin with the LOTR animated film from 1978, which will give you all the events of the films in a quicker and to-the-point format. Then, if you are compelled to see the best of The Hobbit live-action series, we would say check out the standard edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is the best of the three. We would also suggest you try to watch the extended editions of the original live-action LOTR series – they are more than worth it for the extra content. This recommendation would make for a shorter, 16-hour watch, which could be broken up easily over two days. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. The Two Towers and The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King standard editions are streaming on Netflix.


Marvel Cinematic Universe

What is it: The 23-film saga that chronicles the epic adventures of various superheroes, based on the comics first distributed by Marvel and its subsidiaries. 

How many hours: 50 hours and 3 minutes.

Starts with:   Iron Man (2008)  

Ends with:  Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Best way to watch: Not surprising for a franchise that grossed over $22 billion at the global box office, but Marvel Studios’ 23-film, decade-long opus is quite watchable as is. Some folks would have argued in 2010 that Avengers: The Age of Ultron is a skippable mess, but as we detail here, it is essential viewing to truly appreciate the first four phases of the saga that culminated with Avengers: Endgame. Sorry for those looking for a shortcut, but watching it all is worth it. Viewing all 23 movies straight through, without breaks, however, is not the way to do it.

Instead, we suggest you go in release order and complete each day as follows: day one after Avengers; day two after Ant-man; day three after Black Panther; and finish on day four with Spider-Man: Far From Home. If you’ve previously watched the MCU and are looking to watch it in a new way, use our guide here to watch in chronological order based on the events of each film. If the thought of 50 hours of superheroes is still too intimidating for you, but you want to understand enough to get by, watch these character introduction films (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy) and these team-up films (Civil War, Winter Soldier, Avengers, Ultron, Infinity War, Endgame). Once you have finished that, check out our Oral Histories of the MCU, in which the directors, producer, and casting director who worked on the epic franchise break down all the behind-the-scene secrets.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. All of the films save The Incredible Hulk and the Spider-Man films are streaming on Disney+. The Avengers: Infinity War and The Avengers: Endgame are streaming on Netflix; and Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and Thor are streaming on Amazon Prime.


Die Hard Franchise

What is it: Follow John McClane, a police detective who seems to be a magnet for maniacal criminals no matter which city/structure he is in, and proves to be a tough man to kill.

How many hours: 10 hours and 14 minutes.

Starts with:  Die Hard (1988)

Ends with: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Best way to watch: The original Die Hard is so beloved that many argue it’s the greatest action film ever made – or maybe the greatest Christmas movie, but that is a debate for another day. The film and its follow-ups have a loyal fanbase, and though the second and third entries pale in comparison to the first, we still say they’re worth a watch. The fourth film, Live Free or Die Hard, is a true return to form and, frankly, it’s where you should stop unless you are a true completist. The series’ most recent film, A Good Day to Die Hard, is the only PG-13 entry on the list, and without McClane’s iconic “Yippee-ki-yay, motherf–ker,” there’s really no point pushing play.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discounted Bundle), Amazon,  iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance are streaming now on CinemaxGoLive Free or Die Hard is streaming on the Starz app.


The Fast & Furious Franchise

What is it: Follow Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew, which he calls his family, as they shift from illegal street-racing criminals to heist experts and then finally emerge as a new crime-fighting unit that tackles the world of espionage.

How many hours: 15 hours and 57 mins. 

Starts with: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Ends with:  Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Best way to watch: As Dom and everyone in the Fast franchise says – quite often – this is about family. So, if you’re looking for something to skip, it’s hard to imagine who you’d want to kick out one of the family – though, let’s be honest, 2 Fast 2 Furious is definitely not Dad’s favorite. Without Vin Diesel, that entry can barely call itself a Fast and Furious movie, and the 2009 series soft reboot, Fast & Furious, is not much better and an easy call to skip, as well. We would caution against skipping third entry Toyko Drift; its charms are significantly more than its 37% Tomatometer score would suggest (something we wax about in our book Rotten Movies We Love). Not to spoil anything, but when we finally get Fast 9 in 2021, you’ll need to have seen Tokyo Drift to understand everything fully – check out #JusticeForHan after you finish the series, and you will understand. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Hobbs & Shaw and Fast Five are streaming on HBOnow; Fast 6 is streaming on FXnow.


Rocky Franchise

What is it: Follow Philly underdog boxer-turned-champion, Rocky Balboa, as he battles various fighters in the ring, as well as his own issues outside of it, and later trains the next generation of champions.

How many hours: 14 hours and 55 minutes. 

Starts with: Rocky (1976)

Ends with:  Creed II (2018)

Best way to watch: This one’s real simple: trust us and skip Rocky V. Just pretend it didn’t happen; we’re pretty sure Sylvester Stallone did. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, VuduGooglePlayRocky Balboa is streaming on the Starz appCreed II is streaming on Hulu and Amazon.


Harry Potter / Wizarding World Franchise

What is it: The franchise based on JK Rowling’s phenomenally successful novels follows the adventures of Harry Potter, an orphan-turned-famed wizard, the evil He Who Must Not Be Named, and the Wizarding World they inhabit.

How many hours: 24 hours and 6 minutes. 

Starts with:   Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Ends with:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Best way to watch: As this is a British series, allow us to put this as politely as possible: Fantastic Beasts is simply not quite on form. The first entry is saved by Eddie Redmayne and mesmerizing magical effects; the second entry is the first and only Rotten flick from the Wizarding World and very skippable at this stage. The original seven films are near perfect, but if you wanted to pass over The Chamber of Secrets you wouldn’t miss much – you won’t be too confused later in the series. (Though if watching as a family, this is one the kids tend to like.) If you follow that suggestion, you can finish the entire series in one day.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlayFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is streaming on HBONow.


X-Men Franchise

What Is It: Follow Professor Charles Xavier and his X-Men as they try to save the world and the lives of their fellow Mutants. Professor X and co. work with, and sometimes against, mutants like the powerful Magneto, Wolverine, and the wisecracking mercenary Deadpool.
How many hours: 21 hours and 43 minutes.

Starts with:   X-Men: First Class (2011)

Ends with:  Logan (2017)

How to watch: The critics will tell you that both X-Men: The Last Stand (the third of the original films) and X-Men: Apocalypse (the third of the rebooted, second-gen films) are shells of their brilliant predecessors. And with the last X-Men film to enter theaters, Dark Phoenix, disappointing on the Tomatometer and at the box office, you should essentially skip any film that has anything to do with Jean Gray’s Dark Phoenix. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is admittedly a hard watch to suffer through, but you kinda have to just to appreciate the brilliance of Deadpool and its sequel, if only for what they did differently with the character. Every film that character is in after Origins highlights why Ryan Reynolds was born to play the “Merc with a Mouth.”

Watching in the order of events is the best way to approach things if you don’t want to be confused by the time travel that happens later in the series. That order is: First Class, Days of Future Past, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix, X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Wolverine, Deadpool, Deadpool 2, Logan. If you leave off the aforementioned weakest entries (The Last Stand, Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix) you can complete the entire series in one day.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. X-Men: Days of Future Past and Deadpool are streaming on FXNowX-Men Origins: Wolverine is available to stream on the Starz app. 


Jurassic Park Franchise

What is it: In these films, we welcome you to Jurassic Park, a theme park – and eventually various associated islands, mansions, West Coast cities – where dinosaurs have been genetically recreated to walk the Earth alongside humans. Over the course of series we watch as that combination invariably doesn’t work out well for the humans.

How many hours: 10 hours and 1 minute.

Starts with:  Jurassic Park (1993)

Ends with:  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Best way to watch: This was a subject of contentious debate among the RT staff: some thought the Jurassic World part of the franchise is unwatchable, while others had strong takes on Jurassic Park 3 and The Lost World. As this is only a five-film series so far, we compromised: Watch them all and make your own determinations. Either way, we all agreed that the original Jurassic Park is a bona fide classic, and if you haven’t seen it, please remedy this injustice as soon as possible. It only takes a day to watch them all. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is streaming on CinemaxGo.


Mission Impossible Franchise

What is it: Watch secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his crew of talented spies as they battle the world’s most dangerous criminals along with the bureaucracy of his own organization, the IMF. The films are based on the 1960s television show.

How many hours: 13 hours and 3 minutes.

Starts with:   Mission: Impossible (1996)

Ends with:  Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018)

Best way to watch: It’s apparent after six films (with a seventh on the way): Tom Cruise really likes playing Ethan Hunt. And with every film, Cruise looks to top the jaw-dropping stunts from the last. Still, there is a stark contrast between the first three films and the rest, in regards to quality and scope. Many will tell you the second film, directed by John Woo, and the third, directed by J.J. Abrams, are the weakest of the set, but they’re still thoroughly enjoyable and feature some truly astonishing stunts – so we suggest you watch them all. And thankfully this is not – yes, we’re gonna say it – impossible to do in one or two days. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Mission Impossible: Fallout is streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu; Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation are streaming on FXNow.


James Bond Franchise

What is it: James Bond, MI6 intelligence officer and international playboy, charms women, thwarts terrorist plots, and sips a shaken martini in well-tailored suits. Based on Ian Fleming’s iconic novels.

How many hours: 55 hours and 11 minutes.

Starts with:  Dr. No (1962)

Ends with:   Spectre (2015)

Best way to watch: For completists, we recommend you start with the Connery films on day one, then do a day of Timothy Dalton, David Niven (the satire Casino Royale from 1967), and George Lazenby’s films, adding one or two of Roger Moore’s. Finish with Moore on day three, then do a full day of Pierce Brosnan for day four, and end the series on day five with Daniel Craig. If that’s a bit too daunting, you can break up the films we suggested for one day across two days instead. If you’re looking for a few to skip, we’d suggest A View to Kill and Octopussy. We’d also suggest you skip Never Say Never Again, as it is a shadow of Connery’s older work; Moonraker is only enjoyable for how laughable it is; and there’s not enough vodka on earth to make The World is Not Enough a good time. Quantum of Solace is another one you can miss, but at least watch the opening scene – it’s fantastic.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, Itunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, and Die Another Day are streaming on NetflixQuantum of Solace and Casino Royale (1967) are streaming on HBONow.


Star Trek Franchise

What is it: These are the stories of the USS Enterprise, crafted for the silver screen. Watch Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and later Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) as they lead their crews to the furthest reaches of the universe on a peacekeeping mission to discover new worlds. The films are based on the Star Trek television series and its subsequent spin-offs.

How many hours: 25 hours and 17 minutes.

Starts with:  Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Ends with:  Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Best way to watch: At the risk of angering the original series Trekkies, the first film – Star Trek: The Motion Picture – is simply not very good (it’s 42% on the Tomatometer). The same can be said of The Final Frontier. When we shift into The Next Generation part of the franchise, the series starts off strong but fizzles with Star Trek: Nemesis. We suggest you should skip those four. When you start the reboot franchise, some would advise you to skip Star Trek: Into Darkness, which was much maligned by the fandom but which we say is worth seeing for Benedict Cumberbatch, if nothing else. As far as ordering your binge, watching the series as the films were released is the way to go. Begin with the first set of films featuring the original series characters, followed by the films centering on the cast of The Next Generation, and finish with the reboot films that started in 2009. If you are skipping films following our advice, the new order is original series (The Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, The Voyage HomeUndiscovered Country), followed by the Next Generation films (Generations, First Contact, Insurrection), and finishing with the 2009 reboot films (Star Trek, Into Darkness, Beyond).

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Star Treks 1-6, First Contact, Insurrection, and Generations are streaming AmazonStar Trek: Into Darkness is streaming on FXnow; and Star Trek Nemesis, First Contact, Generations are streaming on Crackle.


Thumbnail image: yParamount, Paramount, courtesy of the Everett Collection 

Thor: Ragnarok only needed to get a 67% on the Tomatometer to improve upon The Dark World‘s score. Looks like all this franchise needed was some new zeal and New Zealand director Taika Waititi because Ragnarok is currently scoring way higher than that, which inspires this week’s gallery of 24 most improved movie sequels by Tomatometer!

Tom Cruise: American Made. After a few years of mostly palatable action films that saw him in cruise control, critics are responding to his new movie and role as a CIA drug runner as once again adding new pages to his acting playbook. This week’s gallery looks back on his career and the 24 Fresh and Certified Fresh movies in his filmography.

This week’s Ketchup brings you ten stories from the last seven days in the realm of film development news.  Included in the mix this time around are headlines involving such movies as Bourne 5, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, Gambit, Ghostbusters, Mission: Impossible 6, and the video game adaptation Five Nights at Freddy’s.


This Week’s Top Story

TOM CRUISE ACCEPTS MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 6

For quite a while, one of the commonly said things about Tom Cruise, Movie Star, is that he will do whatever it takes to promote his latest movie.  Tom Cruise isn’t one of those movie stars who’s shy about talking to the press.  And so, with Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opening this week, Tom Cruise was indeed once again out there, answering questions, and what it led to was something of a deluge of new information about Tom Cruise’s future movies.  The biggest reveal (though not necessarily the most surprising) happened on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, on which Tom Cruise revealed that there will indeed be a movie we’ll call for now, Mission: Impossible 6.  Tom Cruise said the details are currently being worked out, and that he expects to be filming his 6th movie as Ethan Hunt in the summer of 2016 (possibly suggesting a release date in the summer of 2017).  Also this week, Tom Cruise revealed to MTV that he has come up with an idea for a sequel to last year’s Edge of Tomorrow (although he didn’t reveal exactly what that is).  Whatever the sequel might entail, Tom Cruise said that he has already talked to director Doug Liman and costar Emily Blunt about it (Blunt’s reply was reportedly, “Give me another year, please.”).  Finally, more details were revealed this week about Bob: The Musical, in which Tom Cruise will play “a regular guy who, after a blow to the head, suddenly can hear the inner songs of everyone’s heart as his reality is instantly turned into a musical, much to his dismay.”  Bob: The Musical will be directed by Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) from a script by Michael Chabon (John Carter) with music by Bret McKenzie (HBO’s Flight of the Conchords).  Walt Disney Pictures has not yet announced a release date for Bob: The Musical.


Fresh Developments This Week

1. TOMMY LEE JONES JOINS MATT DAMON IN FIFTH BOURNE

As with many similar franchises (like this week’s Mission: Impossible), each new movie in the Jason Bourne franchise sees both new faces along with returning cast playing their characters from previous movies.  Even 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, which was ostensibly something of a post-Matt-Damon reboot, had several cast members from previous movies (namely, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney, and Corey Johnson).  For their fifth movie, Universal has recruited Matt Damon to return as Jason Bourne, along with director Paul Greengrass, who directed The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.  We already have heard that Julia Stiles will be returning from previous films, and that Ex Machina star Alicia Vikander was the first announced new cast member. This week, we learned of the second new cast member, and that honor will go to Tommy Lee Jones.  The former Men in Black star is expected to play “a superior officer at the CIA,” echoing the roles played by many of the previous older costars in the Bourne franchise.  Universal Pictures has scheduled the 5th movie (possibly called The Bourne Betrayal) for July 29, 2016.


2. RACHEL MCADAMS IN TALKS FOR FEMALE LEAD IN MARVEL’S DOCTOR STRANGE

Back in April, in the weeks leading up to the release of Aloha, Forbes ran a story asking, “Why Rachel McAdams Never Became a Movie Star“.  One possible answer is that Hollywood just doesn’t make romantic comedies like they used to, and they sort of stopped at exactly the moment when Rachel McAdams might have become a major “rom com” movie star.  So, how exactly do actors and actresses today become bigger stars?  One very common way is by taking roles in major super hero movies, which leads us to this week’s news.  Rachel McAdams confirmed this week that she has been talking to Marvel Studios about signing on for the female lead in next year’s Doctor Strange (11/4/16).  Emphasizing that this is not yet a firm confirmation, McAdams said, “It’s still super-early days, and I don’t know where that’s gonna go, if it’s gonna go anywhere at all.”  So, if Rachel McAdams does indeed join Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Doctor Strange, who might she be playing?  Although there are other possibilities, the female supporting character that seems most likely for Doctor Strange is probably Clea, the niece of Dormammu, one of Strange’s main enemies, and frequent romantic interest.  Clea is also one of Doctor Strange’s longest-running romantic interests.  And Rachel McAdams in a platinum wig would even sort of resemble the way that Clea is frequently depicted in the comics.  Marvel Studios has scheduled Doctor Strange for November 4, 2016.


3. VAMPIRE CLASSIC NOSFERATU TO GET ANOTHER REMAKE

It has now been 37 years since German director Werner Herzog remade F.W. Murnau’s classic 1922 silent film Nosferatu, under the title Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht.  That Nosferatu has been adapted so rarely (he was also depicted in 2000’s Shadow of the Vampire) is surprising that the character he was based upon, Count Dracula, holds the record as the Most Portrayed Literary Character.  (Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed literary human character.)  Director Robert Eggers, who made his debut with the upcoming indie horror film The Witch, has signed a deal to write and direct a remake of F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu.  That, unfortunately, is about all that we know about Eggers’ plans to remake Nosferatu.  Among the details not known are whether it will be silent (or a “talkie”), black and white (or in color), live action (or animation), or if Robert Eggers will inadvertently cast a real life vampire who sets about devouring most of the crew.


4. RECENTLY PAROLED SPY JONATHAN POLLARD TO GET HIS OWN BIOPIC

For all of the examples where movie projects spend years (and sometimes, decades) in development, there are sometimes cases where Hollywood’s speed is quite remarkable.  Consider convicted spy Jonathan Pollard who was arrested in 1985 on charges of sharing vital U.S. government secrets with Israel.  On Tuesday morning, the news broke that Jonathan Pollard had been granted parole and will be released in November, 2015.  By 11 minutes after Noon that same day, the news broke that producer Gail Berman is now developing  a feature film based on Jonathan Pollard’s life and years in prison.  Gail Berman is best known for executive producing the popular TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.  The Jonathan Pollard feature film will be based upon the play The Law of Return, by Martin Blank, “which covers Pollard’s rocky employment by the U.S. Navy, and his motivations for turning spy.”


5. DANIEL RADCLIFFE TO INFILTRATE HOMELAND TERRORISTS IN IMPERIUM

With the Harry Potter franchise increasingly in his rear view mirror, Daniel Radcliffe is continuing to build a new body of work as a prolific actor.  This includes this November’s Victor Frankenstein (in which he plays Igor to James McAvoy’s title character), the indie “corpse comedy” Swiss Army Man, and the Rockstar Games biopic Game Changer.  The latest movie to be added to Daniel Radcliffe’s IMDb profile is an inspired-by-real-events crime thriller called Imperium.  Daniel Radcliffe will play a young FBI agent who is assigned undercover to infiltrate a group of white supremacists planning on constructing a “dirty bomb.”  Imperium will be the feature film debut of short film director Daniel Ragnussis, who also cowrote the script with Michael German, the FBI undercover agent whose experiences form the basis for the movie.


6. MORGAN FREEMAN MIGHT BE RE-ELECTED IN DOWN TO A SUNLESS SEA

In addition to the times he has played God, Morgan Freeman has also played the President of the United States in Deep Impact, and the Acting President in Olympus Has Fallen.  This week, there was speculation that Morgan Freeman might again get the chance to be the POTUS again, based on one reference in this story.  But first, the facts we know for sure.  Morgan Freeman has signed with Focus Features to star in an action movie called Down to a Sunless Sea.  Plot details aren’t yet known, except that Down to a Sunless Sea is said to be “similar in tone to Air Force One.”  And that right there is why some people are speculating that Morgan Freeman might play the President in the movie, since the lead character in Air Force One was the President of the United States (as played by Harrison Ford).  Down to a Sunless Sea was written by writer/director David Gleeson (The Front Line, Cowboys & Angels), who has also directed his previous films, but it’s not yet known if he will also be directing Down to a Sunless Sea.


Rotten IdeaS of the Week

3. THIS WEEK IN GHOSTBUSTERS: HINTS AND DENIAL ABOUT THE PRATT/TATUM MOVIE

As of nine days ago, we are now less than a year away from the July 22, 2016 release of the new Ghostbusters (the movie with Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, directed by Paul Feig). Back in March (a few months after Feig’s movie was confirmed), there began to be talk online of a second Ghostbusters movie which would be more action-centric, and possibly feature real life friends Chris Pratt and Channing Tatum.  This week, while promoting Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, screenwriter Drew Pearce (who also cowrote Iron Man 3) was quoted as saying that he had “finished by work” on the Pratt/Tatum Ghostbusters.  This led to the online film world sort of blowing up in response to an impending Ghostbusters with two  of the hottest male action stars currently working.  Subsequently, Drew Pearce took to Twitter to clarify, “Also, I’ve only written a bible (because I have to go off and direct my own stuff). No script yet. So news cycle: CHILL YOUR BOOTS.”  That was then followed by this statement by director/producer Ivan Reitman  (the man behind the first two Ghostbusters movies): “As the producer of the new Ghostbusters film, I feel the need to clarify. There is only one new Ghostbusters movie and that is the Paul Feig directed version coming next July, presently filming and going fantastically.  The rest is just noise.”  We’re calling this a “Rotten Idea” in case it really does mean we will never get a Pratt/Tatum Ghostbusters, and similarly, keep reading.


2. OUTSPOKEN GAMBIT ENTHUSIAST CHANNING TATUM MAY FOLD

This was a week of ups and downs for 20th Century Fox’s plans for a solo Gambit movie, based on Marvel’s popular mutant character.  First, there was the news that the studio was planning on a budget of over $154 million for Gambit, with filming to be starting in Louisiana in October under the direction of Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).  As promising as that news was for the fans who have been dreaming about a big budget Gambit movie since the early 1990s, it was soon overshadowed by the much more widely reported next news item.  And that story (although not yet confirmed) is that Channing Tatum might be dropping out of starring in Gambit.  This story was particularly baffling for many fans since Channing Tatum has been talking up his excitement about starring as Gambit since promoting White House Down two years ago (at a time when no one thought there was ever going to be a Gambit solo movie).  It’s not yet known if Channing Tatum really will drop out of Gambit, or why he would do so.  Some of the speculated reasons include conflicts with 23 Jump Street, the rumored Ghostbusters spinoff, and Channing Tatum’s plans to make his directorial debut.  For the time being, 20th Century Fox still has Gambit scheduled for release on October 7, 2016.


1. VIDEO GAME MOVIES STILL BEING GREENLIT: FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S

Pixels opened last week to disappointing box office (compared to its budget), continuing a trend for video game adaptation movies that dates back decades.  Even so, Hollywood still keeps putting video game adaptations into development, with the hope apparently being each time that the given project will be the one that upsets critical and box office patterns.  Such movies that are currently on their way include The Angry Birds Movie (5/20/16), Warcraft (6/10/16),  Assassin’s Creed (12/21/16), and the Minecraft movie.  Warner Bros is also moving forward with plans for a feature film adaptation of the popular survival horror video game franchise Five Nights at Freddy’s.  The games are set in a children’s theme restaurant called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, where at night, the title animatronic animal comes alive to wreak unholy terror on anyone unlucky enough to be there. The first game came out in 2014, and there’s already been four games in the franchise.  The Five Nights at Freddy’s movie will be directed by Gil Kenan, who made his debut in 2006 with the “Fresh” animated movie Monster House, which was followed by two “Rotten” scores for City of Ember (53%) and this year’s Poltergeist remake (33%).

The blockbuster season is upon us and amongst the line-up is the highly anticipated reboot of Star Trek. RT spoke to the man in the captain’s chair, J. J. Abrams, about his galactic re-imagining of the great Trek franchise as well as the films that have inspired him.

Abrams made his name creating ratings gold on the small screen in the form of Felicty, Alias and the mind-bending Lost. His feature directorial debut came in 2006 with Mission: Impossible III and in 2008 he produced the film marketer’s dream, Cloverfield.

Today, J.J. Abrams talks to Rotten Tomatoes about the light and dark in the Star Trek universe and the challenges and freedoms provided by the scale of shooting in space.

We put him through the torture of selecting his top five favorite films right now. In doing so he produced a list that reveals a fan of great and classic cinema.

Check out the video interview or skip below for a pull-out of his five faves.


Jaws
(1975, 100% Tomatometer)



Jaws
Jaws is an undeniably great movie. Jaws is just one of the greatest movies ever. It’s on TV all the time. It is never not on television. They should just have a Jaws Network where they just show Jaws all the time because I would subscribe like crazy. The movie is just wonderful and the characters are so great. I am just in awe of that movie. I think that movie is spectacular.


Philadelphia Story
(1940, 100% Tomatometer)



Philadelphia Story
Brilliant dialogue and even better chemistry.


Star Wars
(1977, 95% Tomatometer)



Star Wars
I can’t understand why that would not be on the list…


Tootsie

(1982, 87% Tomatometer)

 

TootsieThings come to mind and this sounds nuts but Tootsie. It is as preposterous premise as they come and yet you completely believe it is real and happening.


Rear Window (1954, 100%)



Rear Window
And maybe that is just because when Grace Kelly goes to kiss Jimmy Stewart that first time it was just one of those things where it is the best special effect in the history of time


If you are as excited about the reboot as we are, and want to get your Trekkie credentials up to date, join Editor, Tim Ryan, for Trekking With Tim. He will boldly take you on his journey through time as he visits every Star Trek film in the franchise leading up to the reboot.

The casting rumors about J.J. AbramsStar Trek XI have been whirling for months, and lately, we’ve seen them begin to be proven true (Zachary Quinto as Spock) and false (Matt Damon as Kirk). So what’s a rumor mill to do? Generate more rumors, of course.

IGN Movies is reporting that Abrams is after an A-list actor for the high-profile cameo role of Captain Pike, the officer who preceded Kirk on the bridge of the starship Enterprise. As hardcore fans of the show could no doubt tell us all in exhaustive detail, Pike served with Spock for about ten years, and in the show’s original pilot (later aired as the two-part “The Menagerie”), Spock helped shepherd a wounded Pike to the forbidden planet Talos IV, and was court-martialed for his trouble.

Since Abrams has gone on record as saying the new Trek film’s storyline will have a lot to do with Spock, Pike’s appearance is significant. And who does Abrams supposedly want for the role? His friend and Mission: Impossible III star, Tom Cruise. As the IGN article notes, Star Trek is a Paramount production, which would seem to make Cruise’s participation unlikely, but not, um, impossible:

Cruise’s name first surfaced last fall as a possibility for a role in Trek,but Cruise spokesman Arnold Robinson advised TrekMovie.com at the time,”That story is not true.” There was still bad blood between Cruise and Trekstudio Paramount at that time, but in recent months Sumner Redstone,the Viacom honcho who ousted Cruise, has softened his rhetoric, leaving the door open for reconciliation. A Cruise cameo in Trek, however, would be a favor to Abrams and not to Paramount.

Got all that? Good, because IGN hints at more Trek casting rumors around the corner, saying “And if you think this Cruise stuff is crazy then you don’t even want to know which A-lister we were told Paramount is trying to land to play the villain!”

Source: IGN Movies

If you think it’s tough coming up with a "Transformers" movie that’ll please both the hardcore geeks and the total newcomers, imagine how hard it must be to get started on a "Star Trek" prequel.

The producing / screenwriting team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci haven’t been in Hollywood all that long, but already they’ve brought some pretty flashy product to the screen. After starting out on TV ("Hercules" and "Alias" mainly), the duo broke in with "The Island," "The Legend of Zorro," and "Mission: Impossible 3." Their next flick is a little something called "Transformers," and once the dust settles there, they’ll be finishing up their screenplay for J.J. Abrams‘ "Star Trek" prequel.

But what the movie studios care about the most is this: How do you please the loyal fans … while also offering up a movie that’ll be tasty to complete newcomers? In a recent New York Times article, "Lost" creator Damon Lindelof had this to say about the duo: "They can have a tremendous amount of respect for the source material, but they know that a studio is bringing them in because they can make it understandable to an audience that has no comprehension of that source material whatsoever."

As far as the new "Star Trek" movie goes, the Kurtzman / Orci team seems to strike a nice balance: One of ’em is a die-hard and lifelong Trekkie, while the other one … sorta gave up around "Star Trek 5." Should make for an interesting project. We’ll find out at the end of 2008.

Source: New York Times, Cinematical

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