(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Samuel L. Jackson Movies Ranked

After a number of character parts and bit roles in a swath of urban dramas at the start of his career, Jackson made his breakthrough statement as the fiery voice of reason in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing: DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy. Pulling off a character with a name like that should only lead to more success, and sure enough, then came the slapstick comedy (Loaded Weapon 1), a disarming role in Jurassic Park, and the ultimate ’90s character: hitman Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction.

From there, Jackson has only cemented his rep as Hollywood’s versatile king of volatile cool, partnering with John McClane (Die Hard With a Vengeance), feelin’ the Force in the Star Wars prequels, starring as the sexy spawn of Shaft, and making his mark in original meme movie Snakes on a Plane.

And as, of course, the linchpin of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Nick Fury, whose movie appearances (brief or significant) are all included here in the greater interest of the general public, i.e. you’re going to complain if we didn’t. With that said, hold on to your butts for Samuel L. Jackson movies ranked by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#97

Kite (2014)
0%

#97
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: With the help of her father's ex-partner (Samuel L. Jackson) and a friend (Callan McAuliffe) from her past, an orphaned... [More]
Directed By: Ralph Ziman

#96

Twisted (2004)
1%

#96
Adjusted Score: 6141%
Critics Consensus: An implausible, overheated potboiler that squanders a stellar cast, Twisted is a clichéd, risible whodunit.
Synopsis: Recently promoted and transferred to the homicide division, Inspector Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) feels pressure to prove herself -- and... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#95
#95
Adjusted Score: 4973%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Waymon (Joseph C. Phillips) has a great job in real estate and a promising future, but he's also trapped in... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Hooks

#94

Sphere (1998)
11%

#94
Adjusted Score: 13229%
Critics Consensus: Sphere features an A-level cast working with B-grade material, with a story seen previously in superior science-fiction films.
Synopsis: When psychologist Norman Goodman (Dustin Hoffman) wrote a report for the government on how to deal with extraterrestrial life forces,... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#93

Cell (2016)
11%

#93
Adjusted Score: 12892%
Critics Consensus: Shoddily crafted and devoid of suspense, Cell squanders a capable cast and Stephen King's once-prescient source material on a bland rehash of zombie cliches.
Synopsis: A graphic novelist (John Cusack) begins a desperate search for his estranged wife (Clark Sarullo) and son (Ethan Andrew Casto)... [More]
Directed By: Tod Williams

#92

The Spirit (2008)
14%

#92
Adjusted Score: 18362%
Critics Consensus: Though its visuals are unique, The Spirit's plot is almost incomprehensible, the dialogue is ludicrously mannered, and the characters are unmemorable.
Synopsis: Apparently murdered cop Denny Colt (Gabriel Macht) returns as the Spirit, dedicated to protecting Central City from crime. His archenemy,... [More]
Directed By: Frank Miller

#91

Jumper (2008)
15%

#91
Adjusted Score: 21043%
Critics Consensus: Featuring uninvolving characters and loose narrative, Jumper is an erratic action pic with little coherence and lackluster special effects.
Synopsis: Aimless David Rice (Hayden Christensen) has the ability to instantly transport himself to any place he can imagine. He uses... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#90

Cleaner (2007)
17%

#90
Adjusted Score: 9031%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Retired policeman Tom Cutler (Samuel L. Jackson) works as a crime-scene cleaner to support his young daughter. Cutler's quiet life... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#89

Amos & Andrew (1993)
17%

#89
Adjusted Score: 16009%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When erudite black playwright Andrew Sterling (Samuel L. Jackson) moves to a predominantly white suburb, the buffoonish local police surround... [More]
Directed By: E. Max Frye

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 21675%
Critics Consensus: Even more absurd and implausible than the first XXX movie, State of the Union is less inspired and technically competent than its predecessor.
Synopsis: When the government finds out that a group of terrorists has infiltrated its ranks, and the group is being trained... [More]
Directed By: Lee Tamahori

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 25031%
Critics Consensus: Mechanical animation and a less-than stellar script make The Clone Wars a pale shadow of George Lucas' once great franchise.
Synopsis: As more star systems get swept into the Clone Wars, the valiant Jedi knights struggle to maintain order. Anakin Skywalker... [More]
Directed By: Dave Filoni

#86
Adjusted Score: 18654%
Critics Consensus: Loaded Weapon 1 hits all the routine targets with soft squibs, yielding a tired parody that cycles through its laundry list of references with little comedic verve.
Synopsis: This "Lethal Weapon" spoof follows Los Angeles police officers Wes Luger (Samuel L. Jackson) and Jack Colt (Emilio Estevez) as... [More]
Directed By: Gene Quintano

#85

Basic (2003)
21%

#85
Adjusted Score: 25010%
Critics Consensus: Basic gets so needlessly convoluted in its plot twists that the viewer eventually loses interest.
Synopsis: During a special operations training mission in Panama, four U.S. soldiers are killed mysteriously, and their leader, Sgt. Nathan West... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#84

Reasonable Doubt (2014)
22%

#84
Adjusted Score: 9503%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A prosecutor (Dominic Cooper) commits a fatal hit-and-run, then manipulates the case so that the man who was arrested for... [More]
Directed By: Peter P. Croudins

#83

Meeting Evil (2011)
13%

#83
Adjusted Score: 4691%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An unwitting family man (Luke Wilson) takes a joy ride from hell with an insane killer (Samuel L. Jackson).... [More]
Directed By: Chris Fisher

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 23832%
Critics Consensus: The ensemble cast works hard, but hammy direction and a script lacking in nuance ruins this movie's noble intentions.
Synopsis: Following a lengthy tour of duty in Iraq, three soldiers find that readjusting to life at home is not as... [More]
Directed By: Irwin Winkler

#81

Freedomland (2006)
23%

#81
Adjusted Score: 29271%
Critics Consensus: Poorly directed and overacted, Freedomland attempts to address sensitive race and class issues but its overzealousness misses the mark.
Synopsis: A mother blames the disappearance of her child on a black man from the projects after she reports a carjacking.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Roth

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 25967%
Critics Consensus: A well-intentioned but melodramatic look at post-Apartheid South Africa.
Synopsis: An American reporter (Samuel L. Jackson) and an Afrikaans poet (Juliette Binoche) meet and fall in love while covering South... [More]
Directed By: John Boorman

#79

Zambezia (2012)
25%

#79
Adjusted Score: 9283%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Kai (Jeremy Suarez), a high-spirited falcon, travels to the bird city of Zambezia and discovers the truth about his origins.... [More]
Directed By: Wayne Thornley

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 12608%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Police Detective Jack Friar (Samuel L. Jackson) is searching for a runaway teen when he's taken hostage by a band... [More]
Directed By: Bob Rafelson

#77
Adjusted Score: 35993%
Critics Consensus: Despite the charms of its ensemble, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard fails to protect the audience from repetitive and tired genre tropes.
Synopsis: The world's most lethal odd couple -- bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) --... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#76

Barely Lethal (2015)
26%

#76
Adjusted Score: 25600%
Critics Consensus: Just like its underserved protagonist, Barely Lethal is in disguise -- it wants you to think it's smarter than it is but it fails by falling prey to all the clichés it mocks.
Synopsis: Seeking a normal adolescence, a special-operations agent (Hailee Steinfeld) fakes her own death and enrolls in high school as an... [More]
Directed By: Kyle Newman

#75

The Samaritan (2012)
26%

#75
Adjusted Score: 25710%
Critics Consensus: The Samaritan is a ludicrous neo-noir starring a seemingly bored Samuel L. Jackson.
Synopsis: After many years in prison, a former grifter (Samuel L. Jackson) tries to go straight, but the son (Luke Kirby)... [More]
Directed By: David Weaver

#74

The 51st State (2001)
25%

#74
Adjusted Score: 28038%
Critics Consensus: Filled with profanities, Formula 51 is a stylized and incoherent mess that doesn't add up to much.
Synopsis: "The 51st State" is the story of Elmo McElroy (Samuel L. Jackson), a streetwise American master chemist, who heads to... [More]
Directed By: Ronny Yu

#73

Fluke (1995)
25%

#73
Adjusted Score: 13778%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Workaholic Thomas P. Johnson (Matthew Modine) has achieved professional success at the expense of his family life, having neglected his... [More]
Directed By: Carlo Carlei

#72

One Eight Seven (1997)
30%

#72
Adjusted Score: 29270%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a student writes the police code for homicide, 187, inside a textbook owned by teacher Trevor Garfield (Samuel L.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Reynolds

#71

Shaft (2019)
34%

#71
Adjusted Score: 40602%
Critics Consensus: Decades removed from the original, this multi-generational Shaft struggles to keep its characters interesting -- or anything other than uncomfortably outdated.
Synopsis: John Shaft Jr. may be an FBI cyber security expert, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend's untimely... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 51685%
Critics Consensus: The Legend of Tarzan has more on its mind than many movies starring the classic character, but that isn't enough to make up for its generic plot or sluggish pace.
Synopsis: It's been nearly a decade since Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård), also known as John Clayton III, left Africa to live in... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#69
#69
Adjusted Score: 39202%
Critics Consensus: The script is unconvincing and the courtroom action is unegaging.
Synopsis: Col. Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) is a 30-year Marine veteran: a decorated officer with combat experience in Vietnam, Beirut... [More]
Directed By: William Friedkin

#68
Adjusted Score: 47870%
Critics Consensus: Spiral: From the Book of Saw suggests an interesting new direction for the Saw franchise, even if the gory sum is rather less than its parts.
Synopsis: A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw.... [More]
Directed By: Darren Lynn Bousman

#67

Oldboy (2013)
39%

#67
Adjusted Score: 44056%
Critics Consensus: Suitably grim and bloody yet disappointingly safe and shallow, Spike Lee's Oldboy remake neither surpasses the original nor adds anything new to its impressive legacy.
Synopsis: Although his life is already in a downward spiral, things get much worse for advertising executive Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin)... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#66

Death to 2020 (2020)
40%

#66
Adjusted Score: 40518%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: 2020: A year so [insert adjective of choice here], even the creators of Black Mirror couldn't make it up... but... [More]
Directed By: Al Campbell, Alice Mathias

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 60325%
Critics Consensus: The Hitman's Bodyguard coasts on Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds' banter -- but doesn't get enough mileage to power past an overabundance of action-comedy clichés.
Synopsis: The world's top protection agent is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#64

Lakeview Terrace (2008)
44%

#64
Adjusted Score: 50855%
Critics Consensus: This thriller about a menacing cop wreaking havoc on his neighbors is tense enough but threatens absurdity when it enters into excessive potboiler territory.
Synopsis: An uptight cop (Samuel L. Jackson), the self-appointed watchdog of his neighborhood, strongly disapproves of the interracial newlyweds (Patrick Wilson,... [More]
Directed By: Neil LaBute

#63
Adjusted Score: 55056%
Critics Consensus: xXx: Return of Xander Cage should satisfy fans of the first two installments, but its preponderance of set pieces can't quite make up for a tired storyline that fails to take the franchise -- or action fans -- anywhere new.
Synopsis: After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister... [More]
Directed By: D.J. Caruso

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 41691%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Boxing promoter the Rev. Fred Sultan (Samuel L. Jackson) decides the best way to revive public interest in his top... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 47857%
Critics Consensus: The Caveman's Valentine has an intriguing premise, but the film falls flat under the weight of its ambition.
Synopsis: Romulus (Samuel L. Jackson) is a homeless man who dwells in a cave in one of New York City's parks,... [More]
Directed By: Kasi Lemmons

#60

Soul Men (2008)
45%

#60
Adjusted Score: 47751%
Critics Consensus: Soul Men features lively performances from Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson and some hilarious moments, but ultimately suffers from an unoriginal script.
Synopsis: Louis (Samuel L. Jackson) and Floyd (Bernie Mac) used to be one of the country's top musical duos, until they... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

#59

S.W.A.T. (2003)
48%

#59
Adjusted Score: 53058%
Critics Consensus: A competent, but routine police thriller.
Synopsis: Hondo Harrelson (Samuel L. Jackson) recruits Jim Street (Colin Farrell) to join an elite unit of the Los Angeles Police... [More]
Directed By: Clark Johnson

#58

RoboCop (2014)
49%

#58
Adjusted Score: 57657%
Critics Consensus: While it's far better than it could have been, José Padilha's RoboCop remake fails to offer a significant improvement over the original.
Synopsis: In 2028, OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. While its drones have long been used by the military... [More]
Directed By: José Padilha

#57

XXX (2002)
48%

#57
Adjusted Score: 54048%
Critics Consensus: It has an endearing lack of seriousness, and Vin Diesel has more than enough muscle for the starring role, but ultimately, XXX is a missed opportunity to breathe new life into the spy thriller genre.
Synopsis: Vin Diesel stars as former extreme sports athlete Xander "XXX" Cage, notorious for his death-defying public stunts. Betting he can... [More]
Directed By: Rob Cohen

#56

Astro Boy (2009)
50%

#56
Adjusted Score: 55584%
Critics Consensus: While it isn't terribly original, and it seems to have a political agenda that may rankle some viewers, Astro Boy boasts enough visual thrills to please its target demographic.
Synopsis: In futuristic Metro City, a brilliant scientist named Tenma builds Astro Boy (Freddie Highmore), a robotic child with superstrength, X-ray... [More]
Directed By: David Bowers

#55
Adjusted Score: 61779%
Critics Consensus: Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy -- albeit visually dazzling -- start.
Synopsis: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a young apprentice Jedi knight under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) ; Anakin... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#54

Deep Blue Sea (1999)
60%

#54
Adjusted Score: 63715%
Critics Consensus: Deep Blue Sea is no Jaws, but action fans seeking some toothy action can certainly do -- and almost certainly have done -- far worse for B-movie thrills.
Synopsis: On an island research facility, Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) is harvesting the brain tissue of DNA-altered sharks as a... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 63845%
Critics Consensus: Die Hard with a Vengeance benefits from Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson's barbed interplay, but clatters to a bombastic finish in a vain effort to cover for an overall lack of fresh ideas.
Synopsis: Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is now divorced, alcoholic and jobless after getting fired for his reckless behavior and bad... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 64768%
Critics Consensus: The Last Full Measure struggles to capture the incidents that inspired it, but ultimately prevails thanks to strong performances in service of a remarkable true story.
Synopsis: Airman William H. Pitsenbarger Jr. is awarded the Medal of Honor for his service and actions on the battlefield.... [More]
Directed By: Todd Robinson

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 64967%
Critics Consensus: While sluggish in spots, Resurrecting the Champ is a sports/newsroom drama elevated by high-caliber performances by Samuel Jackson, Josh Hartnet, and Alan Alda.
Synopsis: Things are not going well for Erik Kernan (Josh Hartnett). Erik, a sports reporter, is stuck covering the bush leagues... [More]
Directed By: Rod Lurie

#50

Coach Carter (2005)
64%

#50
Adjusted Score: 69207%
Critics Consensus: Even though it's based on a true story, Coach Carter is pretty formulaic stuff, but it's effective and energetic, thanks to a strong central performance from Samuel L. Jackson.
Synopsis: In 1999, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California, to get the basketball... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Carter

#49
Adjusted Score: 80683%
Critics Consensus: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children proves a suitable match for Tim Burton's distinctive style, even if it's on stronger footing as a visual experience than a narrative one.
Synopsis: When his beloved grandfather leaves Jake clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#48
Adjusted Score: 74026%
Critics Consensus: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones benefits from an increased emphasis on thrilling action, although it's undercut by ponderous plot points and underdeveloped characters.
Synopsis: Set ten years after the events of "The Phantom Menace," the Republic continues to be mired in strife and chaos.... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#47

Black Snake Moan (2007)
66%

#47
Adjusted Score: 72108%
Critics Consensus: Uninhibited performances, skillful direction, and a killer blues soundtrack elevate Black Snake Moan beyond its outlandish premise.
Synopsis: After her lover (Justin Timberlake) leaves to serve in the military, Rae (Christina Ricci) gives in to her raging libido... [More]
Directed By: Craig Brewer

#46

Shaft (2000)
67%

#46
Adjusted Score: 70014%
Critics Consensus: With a charismatic lead, this new Shaft knows how to push the right buttons.
Synopsis: Crooked cops on the take -- small-time drug lords -- sleazy informers and sadistic rich kids ready to kill ---... [More]
Directed By: John Singleton

#45

Turbo (2013)
67%

#45
Adjusted Score: 70339%
Critics Consensus: It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a speed-obsessed snail with an unusual dream: to become the world's greatest racer. This odd snail... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#44

A Time to Kill (1996)
67%

#44
Adjusted Score: 70089%
Critics Consensus: Overlong and superficial, A Time to Kill nonetheless succeeds on the strength of its skillful craftsmanship and top-notch performances.
Synopsis: Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson) is a heartbroken black father who avenges his daughter's brutal rape by shooting the... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#43

Kiss of Death (1995)
68%

#43
Adjusted Score: 69076%
Critics Consensus: An outstanding ensemble cast propels Kiss of Death, a noir-ish crime thriller that's slick and big on atmosphere, even if its script may only provide sporadic bursts of tension.
Synopsis: After his time in prison, Jimmy Kilmartin (David Caruso) keeps his head down and provides for his wife and kids,... [More]
Directed By: Barbet Schroeder

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 75686%
Critics Consensus: Snakes on a Plane lives up to its title, featuring snakes on a plane. It isn't perfect, but then again, it doesn't need to be.
Synopsis: FBI agent Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) boards a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, escorting a witness to trial.... [More]
Directed By: David R. Ellis

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 68479%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sharp-witted, and fueled by enjoyably over-the-top action, The Long Kiss Goodnight makes up in impact what it lacks in consistent aim.
Synopsis: Schoolteacher and single mother Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) lives an average suburban life -- until she begins having strange memories... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#40

Unbreakable (2000)
70%

#40
Adjusted Score: 75418%
Critics Consensus: With a weaker ending, Unbreakable is not as a good as The Sixth Sense. However, it is a quietly suspenseful film that intrigues and engages, taking the audience through unpredictable twists and turns along the way.
Synopsis: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is a... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#39

Mo' Better Blues (1990)
71%

#39
Adjusted Score: 71827%
Critics Consensus: Mo' Better Blues is rich with vibrant hues and Denzel Washington's impassioned performance, although its straightforward telling lacks the political punch fans expect from a Spike Lee joint.
Synopsis: Financially irresponsible Giant (Spike Lee) manages a jazz group, but his sax player, Shadow (Wesley Snipes), wants to replace him... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#38

Iron Man 2 (2010)
72%

#38
Adjusted Score: 83551%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#37

The Red Violin (1998)
74%

#37
Adjusted Score: 74559%
Critics Consensus: A symphony of storytelling whose lulls lead to satisfying crescendos, The Red Violin weaves a centuries-long saga with the journey of a single instrument.
Synopsis: The intricate history of a beautiful antique violin is traced from its creation in Cremona, Italy, in 1681, where a... [More]
Directed By: François Girard

#36

The Negotiator (1998)
74%

#36
Adjusted Score: 75473%
Critics Consensus: The Negotiator's battle of wits doesn't wholly justify its excessive length, but confident direction by F. Gary Gray and formidable performances makes this a situation audiences won't mind being hostage to.
Synopsis: Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson) is considered the best police hostage negotiator in Chicago. After a friend warns him that... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 88394%
Critics Consensus: The Hateful Eight offers another well-aimed round from Quentin Tarantino's signature blend of action, humor, and over-the-top violence -- all while demonstrating an even stronger grip on his filmmaking craft.
Synopsis: While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell)... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#34
Adjusted Score: 85113%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, subversive, and above all fun, Kingsman: The Secret Service finds director Matthew Vaughn sending up the spy genre with gleeful abandon.
Synopsis: Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton), whose late father secretly worked for a spy organization, lives in a South London housing... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 105430%
Critics Consensus: Offering exhilarating eye candy, solid acting, and a fast-paced story, Kong: Skull Island earns its spot in the movie monster's mythos without ever matching up to the classic original.
Synopsis: Scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. Cut off from everything they... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 91311%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#31

Changing Lanes (2002)
77%

#31
Adjusted Score: 81984%
Critics Consensus: Though some may find its conclusion unsatisfying, Changing Lanes is a tense, well-crafted exploration of meaty ethical dilemmas.
Synopsis: A rush-hour fender-bender on New York City's crowded FDR Drive, under most circumstances, wouldn't set off a chain reaction that... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#30

Thor (2011)
77%

#30
Adjusted Score: 89270%
Critics Consensus: A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment.
Synopsis: As the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Norse gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will soon inherit the throne... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#29

Big Game (2014)
78%

#29
Adjusted Score: 80068%
Critics Consensus: Big Game's enthusiastic throwback vibe will appeal to fans of low-budget '80s action movies, but co-writer/director Jalmari Helander adds a level of smarts and skill that make it more than just an homage.
Synopsis: The U.S. president (Samuel L. Jackson) must rely on a 13-year-old boy (Onni Tommila) to get him out alive after... [More]
Directed By: Jalmari Helander

#28

Mother and Child (2009)
78%

#28
Adjusted Score: 82776%
Critics Consensus: Though it occasionally veers into unnecessary melodrama, Mother and Child benefits from a stellar cast and writer-director Rodrigo Garcia's finely detailed, bravely unsentimental script.
Synopsis: The lives of three women have a commonality: adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) is a physical therapist who regrets that, as... [More]
Directed By: Rodrigo Garcia

#27

The Other Guys (2010)
78%

#27
Adjusted Score: 86350%
Critics Consensus: A clever parody of cop-buddy action-comedies, The Other Guys delivers several impressive action set pieces and lots of big laughs, thanks to the assured comic chemistry between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: Unlike their heroic counterparts on the force, desk-bound NYPD detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) garner no headlines... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#26

Captain Marvel (2019)
79%

#26
Adjusted Score: 113122%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#25

1408 (2007)
79%

#25
Adjusted Score: 86702%
Critics Consensus: Relying on psychological tension rather than overt violence and gore, 1408 is a genuinely creepy thriller with a strong lead performance by John Cusack.
Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena -- before he checks into... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

#24

The Banker (2020)
78%

#24
Adjusted Score: 82995%
Critics Consensus: The Banker's timid approach to dramatizing its fact-based story is often outweighed by the trio of strong performances at its core.
Synopsis: In the 1960s, two entrepreneurs hatch an ingenious business plan to fight for housing integration and equal access to the... [More]
Directed By: George Nolfi

#23
Adjusted Score: 90386%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
Synopsis: It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#22
Adjusted Score: 92607%
Critics Consensus: With Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas brings his second Star Wars trilogy to a suitably thrilling and often poignant -- if still a bit uneven -- conclusion.
Synopsis: It has been three years since the Clone Wars began. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Jedi Knight Anakin... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#21

Hard Eight (1996)
81%

#21
Adjusted Score: 83382%
Critics Consensus: An absorbing showcase for Philip Baker Hall, Paul Thomason Anderson's feature debut is a gamble that pays off handsomely.
Synopsis: A stranger (Philip Baker Hall) mentors a young Reno gambler (John C. Reilly) who weds a hooker (Gwyneth Paltrow) and... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#20

Trees Lounge (1996)
81%

#20
Adjusted Score: 80832%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Long Island loser Tommy (Steve Buscemi) is a hopeless alcoholic who loses his job for stealing from his boss, Rob... [More]
Directed By: Steve Buscemi

#19

Jungle Fever (1991)
81%

#19
Adjusted Score: 84102%
Critics Consensus: Jungle Fever finds Spike Lee tackling timely sociopolitical themes in typically provocative style, even if the result is sometimes ambitious to a fault.
Synopsis: A married black lawyer named Flipper (Wesley Snipes) begins an affair with Angie (Annabella Sciorra), his white secretary. When the... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#18

Eve's Bayou (1997)
83%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85089%
Critics Consensus: Eve's Bayou marks a striking feature debut for director Kasi Lemmons, layering terrific performances and Southern mysticism into a measured meditation on disillusionment and forgiveness.
Synopsis: Over the course of a long, hot Louisiana summer, a 10-year-old black girl, Eve Batiste (Jurnee Smollett), discovers that her... [More]
Directed By: Kasi Lemmons

#17

Chi-Raq (2015)
82%

#17
Adjusted Score: 91314%
Critics Consensus: Chi-Raq is as urgently topical and satisfyingly ambitious as it is wildly uneven -- and it contains some of Spike Lee's smartest, sharpest, and all-around entertaining late-period work.
Synopsis: The girlfriend (Teyonah Parris) of a Chicago gang leader (Nick Cannon) persuades other frustrated women to abstain from sex until... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 87153%
Critics Consensus: Told with grit and verve by the Hughes brothers in their feature debut, Menace II Society is a gangland epic that breathes with authenticity while steeped in style.
Synopsis: After growing up in the gang lifestyle of the Los Angeles projects, 18-year-old Caine Lawson (Tyrin Turner) wants a way... [More]

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 93128%
Critics Consensus: Kill Bill: Volume 2 adds extra plot and dialogue to the action-heavy exploits of its predecessor, while still managing to deliver a suitably hard-hitting sequel.
Synopsis: The Bride (Uma Thurman) picks up where she left off in volume one with her quest to finish the hit... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 92960%
Critics Consensus: Kill Bill is admittedly little more than a stylish revenge thriller -- albeit one that benefits from a wildly inventive surfeit of style.
Synopsis: A former assassin, known simply as The Bride (Uma Thurman), wakes from a coma four years after her jealous ex-lover... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 115771%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#12

Jackie Brown (1997)
86%

#12
Adjusted Score: 91144%
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

#11

Django Unchained (2012)
86%

#11
Adjusted Score: 99414%
Critics Consensus: Bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, Django Unchained is another incendiary masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino.
Synopsis: Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#10

Fresh (1994)
88%

#10
Adjusted Score: 87625%
Critics Consensus: Well cast and sharply directed, Fresh serves as an attention-getting calling card for writer-director Boaz Yakin as well as a gripping urban drama.
Synopsis: Fresh (Sean Nelson) is a 12-year-old drug dealer who finds himself trapped in a web of poverty, corruption and racial... [More]
Directed By: Boaz Yakin

#9
Adjusted Score: 103876%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
Synopsis: After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#8
Adjusted Score: 119046%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Synopsis: Peter Parker's relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 106817%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#6

Jurassic Park (1993)
92%

#6
Adjusted Score: 102442%
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

#5

Pulp Fiction (1994)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 98229%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential films of the 1990s, Pulp Fiction is a delirious post-modern mix of neo-noir thrills, pitch-black humor, and pop-culture touchstones.
Synopsis: Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) are hitmen with a penchant for philosophical discussions. In this... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#4

True Romance (1993)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 97520%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by Quentin Tarantino's savvy screenplay and a gallery of oddball performances, Tony Scott's True Romance is a funny and violent action jaunt in the best sense.
Synopsis: A comic-book nerd and Elvis fanatic Clarence (Christian Slater) and a prostitute named Alabama (Patricia Arquette) fall in love. Clarence... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 100155%
Critics Consensus: Smart, vibrant, and urgent without being didactic, Do the Right Thing is one of Spike Lee's most fully realized efforts -- and one of the most important films of the 1980s.
Synopsis: Salvatore "Sal" Fragione (Danny Aiello) is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn. A neighborhood local, Buggin' Out (Giancarlo... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#2

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 117289%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#1

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 107367%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

Moviegoers rallied behind the star-driven comedy "Wild Hogs," which raced to number one at the North American box office, zooming past all expectations from Disney. Meanwhile, Viacom saw less-than-stellar debuts from its serial killer drama "Zodiac" from Paramount Pictures and the southern fried saga "Black Snake Moan" from arthouse unit Paramount Vantage. Overall, the box office remained healthy and surged well ahead of last year’s performance.

Buena Vista powered its way to an estimated $38M in opening weekend sales for its road comedy "Wild Hogs," delivering the largest March debut in history for a live-action film. The PG-13 pic starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy as four middle-aged men on a motorcycle adventure averaged a stellar $11,561 from 3,287 theaters. It was the year’s second biggest opening after "Ghost Rider‘s" $45.4M bow two weeks ago. According to studio research, 54% of the audience was actually female. Travolta’s everlasting sex appeal, Allen’s pull with moms thanks to his many Disney flicks, and the cast’s appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last week probably contributed to the solid turnout by women. The stars also allowed the film to tap into different audience segments.

"Wild Hogs" posted the best opening ever in March for a non-animated film and the third biggest overall. The only movies to debut better in this month were the "Ice Age" flicks of 2002 and 2006. It also gave Travolta the biggest opening by far of his career, beating the $23.5M of 2005’s "Be Cool," and the second best bow for Allen after the $57.4M bow of 1999’s "Toy Story 2." As expected, "Hogs" was slammed by critics but reviews are practically irrelevant for a star-driven comedy like this. This is a crowdpleaser, not a criticpleaser. Audiences make their decisions based on if they think they will get a good laugh or not and Buena Vista’s marketing push was indeed solid. Though the overall weekend gross was strong, what was even more encouraging was the significant Friday-to-Saturday boost of 49% which is rare for any new release. A journey into nine-digit territory seems likely.

Debuting far back in second place was the serial killer pic "Zodiac," with an estimated $13.1M from 2,362 sites. Averaging a respectable $5,546 per theater, the R-rated film from director David Fincher played to an older audience as two-thirds of the crowd was over the age of 25, according to studio research from Paramount. Males and females were evenly represented. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo, "Zodiac" follows the investigation behind one of California’s most notorious murderers from the 1960s and 70s. The $65M film fared better than last fall’s murder mysteries set in the Golden State, "The Black Dahlia" and "Hollywoodland," which debuted to $10M and $5.9M respectively.

Reviews were overwhelmingly positive for "Zodiac," but its 160-minute length may have cut into its grossing potential. Plus when factoring in ticket prices increases over the years, it can be estimated that "Zodiac" sold the fewest opening weekend tickets of any of Fincher’s films. Admissions were roughly the same as for "Fight Club," which bowed to $11M in 1999. The studio is hoping that good word-of-mouth can carry the film in the weeks ahead.

After leading the pack for two full weeks, the Johnny Blaze flick "Ghost Rider" fell to third but only dropped 43% for an estimated $11.5M gross. Sony’s Nicolas Cage starrer has taken in $94.8M in 17 days and should become the first new release of 2007 to break the $100M barrier. Disney’s "Bridge to Terabithia" also held up well dipping 39% in its third adventure to an estimated $8.6M. Cume stands at $57.9M.

Jim Carrey‘s thriller "The Number 23" fell from second to fifth place in its sophomore scare and collected an estimated $7.1M. Down an understandable 52%, the New Line title has taken in a semi-decent $24.7M in ten days and looks headed for a $35-38M finish.

Eddie Murphy‘s latest comedy "Norbit" enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten and dipped 34% to an estimated $6.4M for a $83M sum. Fellow laugher "Music and Lyrics" dropped just 36% to an estimated $4.9M giving the Hugh GrantDrew Barrymore pic $38.7M to date.

Paramount Vantage bowed its Samuel L. JacksonChristina Ricci drama "Black Snake Moan" and collected an estimated $4M from 1,252 theaters. Averaging a mild $3,208, the debut was half the size of writer/director Craig Brewer‘s last film "Hustle & Flow," which opened in July 2005 to $8M from 1,013 theaters on its way to $22.2M and an Oscar. Jackson has witnessed many of his headlining vehicles struggle at the box office including "Freedomland," "The Man," and even "Snakes on a Plane," which despite hitting the top spot, grossed much less than expected given its media hype last summer.

The Fox comedy "Reno 911!: Miami" tumbled 64% in its second weekend to an estimated $3.8M for a ninth place finish. The R-rated pic has grossed $16.4M in ten days and should conclude with roughly $20M. Rounding out the top ten was the FBI thriller "Breach" with an estimated $3.5M, off 42%, for a $25.4M total.

Three smaller films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. The slave trade drama "Amazing Grace" dipped only 26% in its second weekend to an estimated $3M. With $8.2M in ten days, the Samuel Goldwyn/Roadside Attractions period pic may find its way to $15-18M. The Billy Bob Thornton flop "The Astronaut Farmer" grossed an estimated $2.2M, down 52%, and put its sum at an embarrassing $7.7M. Look for a $11M final.

Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry comedy "Daddy’s Little Girls" fell 53% to an estimated $2.3M in its third frame and upped its cume to $28.4M. By comparison, the distributor saw stronger 17-day grosses of $44M and $55.7M respectively for the director’s last two films, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and "Madea’s Family Reunion." "Daddy’s" should end its run with $30-33M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $100.8M which was up a stunning 30% from last year when "Madea" stayed at number one with just $12.6M; but off 4% from 2005 when "The Pacifier" debuted on top with $30.6M.

Source: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Five new films, each targeting its own audience, cram into North American multiplexes giving moviegoers plenty of entertainment options over the four-day Presidents’ Day holiday weekend.

Segregating the races on Wednesday’s Valentine’s Day holiday with competing romantic comedies, Warner Bros. bowed the Hugh GrantDrew Barrymore starrer "Music and Lyrics" for white audiences while Lionsgate countered with Tyler Perry‘s "Daddy’s Little Girls" for black moviegoers. Adding to the overcrowded frame on Friday will be Sony’s comic book actioner "Ghost Rider," Disney’s tween adventure "The Bridge to Terabithia," and the FBI thriller "Breach" from Universal. Although studios jammed too many films into this particular frame, audience overlap seems minimal so the box office should easily expand to its largest size of the year finally beating 2006 levels.

Johnny Blaze leads the way over the extended weekend as Nicolas Cage steps into the role of the Marvel Comics character in the big-budget actioner "Ghost Rider." The PG-13 film is directed by Mark Steven Johnson whose "Daredevil," another effects-driven action flick based on a B-level Marvel hero, topped the box office over the Presidents’ Day frame four years ago with a powerful $45M with Ben Affleck in the lead. Much of the same audience of young males and comic fans will be back, however moviegoers have since been subjected to endless super hero flicks so don’t be surprised if some take a pass this time. Sony has been loud in its marketing campaign and awareness is sky high with the target audience. A crowded marketplace could keep the grosses in check. But with the most theaters of any new release by far, the motorcycle pic should ride off with the box office crown with ease. "Ghost Rider" opens in 3,619 theaters on Friday and could collect around $35M over the four-day span.


Nicolas Cage in "Ghost Rider"

Disney goes after the always reliable family audience with the fantasy drama "The Bridge to Terabithia," a film adaptation of the beloved book. In the PG-rated tale, a seventh grade boy befriends the new girl who moves in next door and together create a fantasy world through their imaginations as an escape from the struggles of real life. Kidpics based on books usually find themselves with a built-in audience showing up on opening weekend and with "Terabithia" launching over a school holiday session, the target audience will be very available. Last year, the studio won the weekend going after a similar crowd with "Eight Below" which opened to a solid $25M over four days. "Bridge" lacks big star names, but should still pull in families especially since that segment has few other titles in the current marketplace to be excited about. Younger teens may however get pulled away by the crude physical comedy of "Norbit" or the comic book action of "Ghost Rider." Launching in over 2,800 theaters, "The Bridge to Terabithia" may gross around $18M over the Friday-to-Monday period.


"The Bridge to Terabithia"

Following up his number one hits "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and "Madea’s Family Reunion," Tyler Perry returns to the big screen with his latest comedy, "Daddy’s Little Girls." The PG-13 film stars Gabrielle Union as an attorney who falls for a working class driver who has three daughters. Unlike his last two February chart-toppers, "Girls" finds Perry strictly behind the camera and not playing the outrageous matriarch Madea.

In recent years, nobody has proven the power of the African American audience more than Perry who exceeded industry expectations both times with the $21.9M bow of "Diary" and the stronger $30M debut of "Reunion" a year ago. Both debuted on the weekend after the Presidents’ Day frame. Lionsgate once again handles distribution duties, but various factors indicate that sales should deflate a bit. Starpower is less for "Girls," most notably because of Perry’s absence. Plus competition will be much tougher than in past years with "Norbit" in its second weekend playing to much of the same audience. However, the Tyler name sells and sell-outs are sure to occur in all parts of the country. Opening Wednesday in 2,111 theaters, "Daddy’s Little Girls" could take in about $16M over four days and $23M over six days.


Tyler Perry’s "Daddy’s Little Girls"

Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore find love in the new romantic comedy "Music and Lyrics" which also opened on Wednesday to capture the date crowd on Valentine’s Day. On paper, the PG-13 film has all the ingredients to become a box office hit thanks to the starpower and timing of its release. But a poor script and lack of chemistry could impact weekend grosses if mid-week ticket buyers spread bad word of mouth. Both actors are proven draws at the turnstiles and their first pairing will undoubtedly spark interest from women and couples. Warner Bros. has been pushing the 80’s music angle since Grant plays the washed up half of a pop music superduo from that era. Competition for white women over 25 is not too fierce among the weekend’s other contenders so a strong start is likely. Composing tunes in 2,929 locations, "Music and Lyrics" may find itself with around $16M over four days and about $22M over six days.


Hugh Grant, in a sadly realistic portrayal of an 80s popstar, in "Music and Lyrics."

Ryan Phillippe stars as a young FBI agent out to catch his boss who has been selling secrets to the Soviet Union in the new political thriller "Breach." The PG-13 pic co-stars Chris Cooper, Laura Linney, and Dennis Haysbert and is being released by Universal. Three factors will prevent big grosses for Reese’s ex-hubby. "Breach" lacks starpower, has too much competition to face, and is not being booked in too many theaters. Though the cast features some respected actors, none is a box office anchor that can draw in large paying crowds. Plus with four other new films hitting the multiplexes, and a collection of acclaimed Oscar contenders all attracting the attention of serious-minded adults, "Breach" cannot stand out. Academy pics may all be grossing small numbers individually, but moviegoers spent nearly $20M on the ones in the Top 20 last weekend and this long holiday frame will be the last full weekend to catch up on the contenders. Opening in just 1,487 theaters, "Breach" might steal about $7M over the four days.


"Breach," with Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, and some blurry guy.

Among holdovers, Oscar nominee Eddie Murphy may get driven out of the top spot by Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage. Both of their new films, of course, are for commercial gain and not critical acclaim. "Norbit" will be coming off of a solid opening, but will face competition from many of the new releases. The four-day gross could slide 30% from last weekend’s three-day opening and reach roughly $24M for the frame. That would give the Paramount release a terrific $64M in 11 days. A larger drop is in the works for "Hannibal Rising." The MGM release may fall 40% to about $8M for a cume of $23M after a similar 11 days.

LAST YEAR: The battle for Presidents’ Day weekend was won by the family adventure "Eight Below" which debuted on top with $25M over the four-day frame. Disney’s hit kids flick went on to collect $81.6M. Fox settled for second with its spoof comedy "Date Movie" which bowed to $21.8M over the Friday-to-Monday period on its way to $48.5M. "The Pink Panther" dropped from first to third with $20.9M followed by fellow kidpic "Curious George" with $15.4M. Rounding out the top five was "Final Destination 3" with $11.5M. Samuel L. Jackson flopped with his new drama "Freedomland" which debuted to just $6.7M over four days leading to a weak $12.5M final for Sony.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we’ve got snakes…. on a plane ("Snakes on a Plane," starring Samuel L. Jackson), slackers on a campus ("Accepted," starring Justin Long), and Duffs on the screen ("Material Girls," starring Hilary and Haylie Duff). What do the critics have to say?

"Snakes on a Plane," the movie with the greatest title since "Dude, Where’s My Car?", has captured the imagination of the blogosphere. However, it will have to wait to capture the imagination of the critics, since it wasn’t screened in advance. The plot involves an FBI agent (Samuel L. Jackson) who, golly, would really like to expel those ophidians from the aircraft upon which he’s traveling. Since "SOAP" (as the fanboys and girls call it) has no reviews, we’re going to play our favorite game: Guess the @#&$*$ Tomatometer.


Contrary to the wishes of Samuel L. Jackson, these guys are putting the snakes on the @#&$*$ plane.

There’s something inherently appealing about a bunch of party-hearty students and their battles with the uptight squares; that’s why movie people keep trying to recapture the magic of "Animal House" and "Rock ‘n’ Roll High School." "Accepted" tells the story of a high school graduate (Justin Long) who’s having no luck getting into college, so he decides to start his own fake institute of higher learning. To his surprise, a bunch of like-minded outcasts join him. Critics say the movie has its share of laughs, but it never totally gels, and turns a little too sweet at the end. At 31 percent on the Tomatometer, "Accepted" has been waitlisted.


"Accepted": In culinary class, these guys are preparing an official South Harmon Institute of Technology sandwich.

Critics can beg, and critics can plead, but they can’t see "Material Girls" (that’s right!), ’cause the audience members with the cold hard cash are always Mr. (and Ms.) Right. Or, perhaps the people behind the latest Duff sisters vehicle feel the film is in the same artistic league as Madge‘s "Body of Evidence." Guess this Tomatometer while you’re at it.


The Duff sisters flee in anguish after their unsuccessful auditions for "Hulk 2"

"Little Miss Sunshine" was a big hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and now that it’s hitting the theaters, the scribes are just as enthusiastic as the folks in Park City. This tale of a dysfunctional family hitting the road for a child pageant is Certified Fresh, and features sharp performances from its ensemble cast, particularly Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell. At 94 percent, this one’s a ray of "Sunshine." (Check out RT’s interview with co-directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton here.)

Also in theaters in limited release this week: "Factotum," the Sundance-approved Bukowski adaptation starring Matt Dillon and Lili Taylor, is at 75 percent; "The Illusionist," a tale of intrigue in turn of the century Vienna starring Ed Norton, Jessica Biel, and Paul Giamatti, is at 67 percent; Dutch import "Moonlight," a tale of risky teenage love, is at 60 percent; "Trust the Man," a rom-com starring David Duchovny and Julianne Moore, is at 39 percent; and "10th & Wolf," a story of mob family ties starring James Marsden and Giovanni Ribisi, is at zero percent.

Finally, props to XeternityX, who came closest to predicting "Pulse"’s 12 percent Tomatometer. Nobody got particularly close to "Zoom," still flying high at zero percent. Be forwarned when guessing the Tomatometers for this week’s unscreened releases: the average T-meter for movies not screened for critics is 11.75 percent.

Recent Samuel L. Jackson Movies:
——————————————-
25% — Freedomland (2005)
13% — The Man (2005)
82% — Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
18% — XXX: State of the Union (2005)
23% — In My Country (2005)

Recent Hilary Duff Movies:
———————————-
7% — Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)
6% — The Perfect Man (2005)
15% — Raise Your Voice (2004)
11% — A Cinderella Story (2004)
24% — Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

Disney’s family adventure flick "Eight Below" narrowly defeated the spoof comedy "Date Movie" over the 4-day holiday weekend, grossing an estimated $25 million from over 3,000 theaters. Close behind in second place, the Alyson Hannigan-led rom-com spoof tallied about $22 million from just under 3,000 theaters.

Last week’s #1 movie, "The Pink Panther," dropped to third place but snagged another $21 million, which puts its grand total at about $47 million. Fourth place went to Universal’s feature-length version of "Curious George," which added $15 million to its $33 million total, while "Final Destination 3" rounded out the top 5 by pulling in another $12 million, which gives the horror sequel a grand total of about $38 million.

Debuting not all that impressively was Sony’s "Freedomland," which arrived in 7th place with a 4-day tally of about $7 million from 2,300 theaters.

Three new wide releases hit the scene next weekend: New Line’s action flick "Running Scared," the Weinstein’s animated comedy "Doogal," and the return of Tyler Perry in Lionsgate’s "Madea’s Family Reunion."

As always, you can visit the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page for a closer look at the weekend numbers.

A pack of sled dogs brave the cold ("Eight Below"). A detective works on a case with potentially explosive ramifications ("Freedomland"). A movie parodies other movies ("Date Movie"). It’s this week’s wide releases!

Over the years, Disney has produced many adventures with animals struggling to survive in the harsh wild ("White Fang" comes to mind). And critics say "Eight Below," the story of a group of sled dogs who must brave the cold of Antarctica, carries on that proud tradition. Paul Walker stars in the based-on-a-true-story of a guide who must take a visiting researcher across a particularly perilous stretch of territory. The scribes say this is more than just a shaggy-dog story; it’s infused with a real sense of drama and some of the warmest canine thespians ever to grace the silver screen. It’s Mr. Walker’s best reviewed film since "Pleasantville" (86 percent on the Tomatometer), and his best in a leading role. At 82 percent, "Eight Below" proves that every dog has its day. And "Eight Below" is not only Certified Fresh, is also the best-reviewed wide release of the year, besting a pair of family films, "Nanny McPhee" (75 percent) and "Curious George" (72 percent).

Sometimes the noblest of intentions can make for the clumsiest of films. Case in point: "Freedomland," a drama that delves into the thorny issue of race relations after a white woman dubiously claims she has been carjacked and her child kidnapped in a largely African American housing project. Critics say the film features perhaps the weakest performances in the distinguished careers of Samuel L. Jackson and Julianne Moore, and the script lacks the nuances that should give the film its emotional punch. (Strange, since Richard Price, the screenwriter, also penned the source novel for Spike Lee’s "Clockers," a deft mixture of police procedural and social issues. It’s at 75 percent on the Tomatometer.) At 16 percent on the Tomatometer, "Freedomland" may not be worth a visit.

Like someone on who has a stunning picture on the Internet personals but looks a lot different in person, "Date Movie" claims to be a comedy, but, since it wasn’t screened for critics, we’re guessing it may be a little short on laughs. (Here’s a hint, in love as in cinema: just be honest!) So, kids, it’s time for the funnest game since Spin the Bottle: Guess the Tomatometer! The closest guess wins a date with Critical Consensus. Or at least some props.

The Best Reviewed Wide Releases of 2006:
—————————————————–
75% — Nanny McPhee (2006)
72% — Curious George (2006)
64% — Something New (2006)
58% — Hostel (2006)
57% — Glory Road (2006)

Notable Movies About Dogs in the Wild:
——————————-
22% — Snow Dogs (2002)
67% — Lassie (1994)
75% — Homeward Bound- The Incredible Journey (1993)
82% — White Fang (1991)
86% — Benji (1974)

Recent Films Not Screened For Critics:
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10% — When a Stranger Calls (2006)
16% — Underworold: Evolution (2006)
7% — BloodRayne (2006)
15% — Grandma’s Boy (2006)
12% — Aeon Flux (2005)

Four brand-new flicks took most of the money home over this past weekend. First and second place were remarkably close, but early estimates indicate that Steve Martin and his remake of "The Pink Panther" came in first ($21.7 million from nearly 3,500 theaters), while the horror sequel "Final Destination 3" was right on his heels with $20.1 from 2,900 theaters.

Third and fourth place also went to a pair of newcomers: Universal’s "Curious George" debuted with an unspectacular $15.3 million from 2,500 theaters, and the newest Harrison Ford thriller, "Firewall," delivered only $13.8 million from 2,800 theaters.

Rounding out the top five was last weekend’s #1 hit, "When a Stranger Calls," which dropped more than 53% in its second frame. The flick snagged an extra $10 million, which puts its grand total at nearly $39 million.

Next weekend sees three new wide arrivals: Fox’s spoof comedy "Date Movie," Disney’s family adventure "Eight Below," and Sony’s kidnapping thriller "Freedomland."

For a closer look at the weekend box office, you know where to go. (Right here.)

From director Joe Roth and screenwriter Richard Price comes "Freedomland," an apparently racially-charged kidnapping thriller that stars Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore, and Edie Falco. Check out the brand-new trailer right here.

"Based on Richard Price’s bestselling novel, which opens as a bruised and bloodied white woman named Brenda Martin stumbles into a Dempsey, New Jersey, emergency room, claiming that a black man stole her car with her four-year-old son in the backseat. Veteran detective Lorenzo Council is assigned to investigate the case, and despite reservations about Brenda’s story, he launches an all-out search for the abducted boy. Jesse Haus, an ambitious young reporter for the local newspaper, also suspects that Brenda is hiding something, and she befriends the grief-stricken mother in an attempt to break the biggest story of her career. But as the search for the alleged carjacker intensifies, smoldering racial tensions between the predominantly black city of Dempsey and its mostly white neighbor, Gannon, threaten to explode."

Movie fans will know Richard Price as the screenwriter of "Kiss of Death," "Clockers," and "Ransom." Joe Roth is best known as a prolific producer, but ocassionally steps behind the cameras to direct movies called "America’s Sweethearts," "Christmas with the Kranks," and "Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise."

Co-starring Ron Eldard, Anthony Mackie, Aunjanue Ellis, and William Forsythe, "Freedomland" opens in limited release on Dec. 23rd, and wide on Jan. 13th.