100 Best War Movies of All Time

From peacetime to frontlines, from coming home to left behind: Rotten Tomatoes presents the 100 best-reviewed war movies of all time, ranked by Adjusted Tomatometer with at least 20 reviews each.

#100

Che: Part Two (2008)
79%

#100
Adjusted Score: 80412%
Critics Consensus: The second part of Soderbergh's biopic is a dark, hypnotic and sometimes frustrating portrait of a warrior in decline, with a terrific central performance from Del Toro.
Synopsis: Seven years after his triumph in Cuba, Che (Benicio Del Toro) winds up in Bolivia, where he tries to ignite... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#99
Adjusted Score: 75641%
Critics Consensus: Worthy themes and strong performances across the board make Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence an impactful story about bridging cultural divides.
Synopsis: During World War II, British soldier Jack Celliers (David Bowie) is captured by Japanese forces and held in a prison... [More]
Directed By: Nagisa Ôshima

#98

Black Hawk Down (2001)
76%

#98
Adjusted Score: 82806%
Critics Consensus: Though it's light on character development and cultural empathy, Black Hawk Down is a visceral, pulse-pounding portrait of war, elevated by Ridley Scott's superb technical skill.
Synopsis: The film takes place in 1993 when the U.S. sent special forces into Somalia to destabilize the government and bring... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#97

The Tin Drum (1979)
84%

#97
Adjusted Score: 85673%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Oskar Matzerath (David Bennent) is a very unusual boy. Refusing to leave the womb until promised a tin drum by... [More]
Directed By: Volker Schlöndorff

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 83118%
Critics Consensus: A well-crafted and visually arresting drama with a touch of whimsy.
Synopsis: Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) is told that her fiancé (Gaspard Ulliel) has been killed in World War I. She refuses to... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

#95

American Sniper (2014)
72%

#95
Adjusted Score: 84403%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Clint Eastwood's sure-handed direction and a gripping central performance from Bradley Cooper, American Sniper delivers a tense, vivid tribute to its real-life subject.
Synopsis: U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) takes his sole mission -- protect his comrades -- to heart and becomes... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#94

Kelly's Heroes (1970)
78%

#94
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

#93

Braveheart (1995)
79%

#93
Adjusted Score: 83524%
Critics Consensus: Distractingly violent and historically dodgy, Mel Gibson's Braveheart justifies its epic length by delivering enough sweeping action, drama, and romance to match its ambition.
Synopsis: Tells the story of the legendary thirteenth century Scottish hero named William Wallace (Mel Gibson). Wallace rallies the Scottish against... [More]
Directed By: Mel Gibson

#92

War Horse (2011)
74%

#92
Adjusted Score: 83296%
Critics Consensus: Technically superb, proudly sentimental, and unabashedly old-fashioned, War Horse is an emotional drama that tugs the heartstrings with Spielberg's customary flair.
Synopsis: Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his beloved horse, Joey, live on a farm in the British countryside. At the outbreak of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#91

Coming Home (1978)
85%

#91
Adjusted Score: 87131%
Critics Consensus: Coming Home's stellar cast elevates the love triangle in the center of its story - and adds a necessary human component to its none-too-subtle political message.
Synopsis: The wife of a Marine serving in Vietnam, Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda) decides to volunteer at a local veterans hospital... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#90
#90
Adjusted Score: 85725%
Critics Consensus: The Thin Red Line is a daringly philosophical World War II film with an enormous cast of eager stars.
Synopsis: In 1942, Private Witt (Jim Caviezel) is a U.S. Army absconder living peacefully with the locals of a small South... [More]
Directed By: Terrence Malick

#89

Lone Survivor (2013)
75%

#89
Adjusted Score: 83662%
Critics Consensus: A true account of military courage and survival, Lone Survivor wields enough visceral power to mitigate its heavy-handed jingoism.
Synopsis: In 2005 Afghanistan, Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Matthew "Axe"... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#88

Private Benjamin (1980)
82%

#88
Adjusted Score: 84635%
Critics Consensus: Private Benjamin proves a potent showcase for its Oscar-nominated star, with Hawn making the most of a story that rests almost completely on her daffily irresistible charm.
Synopsis: A Jewish-American princess, Judy Benjamin (Goldie Hawn), is devastated when her husband (Albert Brooks) drops dead on their wedding night.... [More]
Directed By: Howard Zieff

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 84626%
Critics Consensus: Benigni's earnest charm, when not overstepping its bounds into the unnecessarily treacly, offers the possibility of hope in the face of unflinching horror.
Synopsis: A gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni), meets Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with... [More]
Directed By: Roberto Benigni

#86

Fury (2014)
76%

#86
Adjusted Score: 87221%
Critics Consensus: Overall, Fury is a well-acted, suitably raw depiction of the horrors of war that offers visceral battle scenes but doesn't quite live up to its larger ambitions.
Synopsis: In April 1945, the Allies are making their final push in the European theater. A battle-hardened Army sergeant named Don... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

Three of this week’s new releases on home video were recognized by the Academy with Oscar nominations this year, so that’s already a pretty good start. The other three selections include two comedies that earned mixed reactions and one French import featuring some impressive performances, and those are followed by a number of notable rereleases. See below for the full list!



The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

64%

After the success of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptations, it was impossible not to approach his interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit with high anticipation. When Jackson announced that The Hobbit — a single volume much shorter than the LOTR saga — would also be stretched into a trilogy, however, some fans expressed a bit of concern, and Jackson’s use of the higher frame rate was also met with mixed reactions. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey chronicles the first portion of the tale of young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is swept up in a journey alongside thirteen dwarves to recapture their kingdom, which has been usurped by a fearsome dragon named Smaug. With Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen, reprising his role from the Rings series) in tow, their quest leads them into perilous encounters with all sorts of creatures, including Gollum (Andy Serkis), whose fate is intimately tied to Bilbo’s. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was an “event movie,” if ever there was one, and while most critics found it both visually spectacular and evident of Jackson’s earnest affection, some also found that its pace was too deliberate and that it ultimately failed to meet the same standard for majesty and wonder that was set so high in Jackson’s previous trilogy. At 65% on the Tomatometer, this is probably still a trip worth taking.



Zero Dark Thirty

91%

Kathryn Bigelow took home a few Oscars for 2008’s The Hurt Locker, and she’s always had a knack for action flicks (“The FBI’s going to pay me to learn to surf?”), so it’s not entirely surprising that her gritty action/procedural about the search for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, garnered five Oscar nods (including Best Picture and Best Actress) of its own. The story follows fledgling CIA operative Maya (Jessica Chastain) over the course of her entire career — which is dedicated to the capture of Osama bin Laden — as she collects intelligence, pursues leads, participates in classified interrogations, and ultimately oversees the mission to raid bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. There was some controversy over the kinds of access that Bigelow and writer Mark Boal (who also wrote The Hurt Locker) were allegedly given to classified records, as well as some grumbling over whether or not the film condoned torture, but the vast majority of critics simply saw a gripping, intelligently crafted film with an eye for detail. Certified Fresh at 93%, it was one of last year’s highest rated wide releases, so if you’re looking for a solid thriller, this one comes highly recommended.



Les Misérables

70%

Victor Hugo’s classic novel of redemption has been adapted several times before on both stage and screen, so it’s tempting to ask, “Is this a story worth revisiting again?” Most critics say yes, as did the Academy when it honored the film with eight Oscar nominations (it won three of them). Anyone who’s taken high school English will be familiar with the tale: Ex-convict Frenchman Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released from prison in 1815 at the end of a 19-year sentence, and after benefiting from an act of kindness by a local bishop, he vows to live an honest life. Thus begins a sprawling historical narrative that follows several characters in Valjean’s life and culminates in the June Rebellion of France in 1832. Directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), Les Misérables received some attention for its actors singing live on set (some better than others), and though its story was familiar, its accomplished cast (including Best Supporting Actress winner Anne Hathaway) helped to elevate the film.



This Is 40

51%

Judd Apatow’s been wearing his Producer hat more often lately, but he decided to jump back behind the camera again for This Is 40, the “sort-of sequel to Knocked Up,” as its poster so proudly proclaims. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann (Apatow’s wife) reprise their roles from that previous film as upper-middle-class married couple Pete and Debbie, who both celebrate their 40th birthdays. In the week between Debbie’s actual birthday and Pete’s party, audiences bear witness to the conversations, the arguments, the intimate moments, the public meltdowns, and everything in between that the couple experience with each other and their children (played by Maude and Iris Apatow, they of Judd and Leslie’s loins). Unfortunately, there were a lot of critics who just didn’t find This Is 40 to be a winning effort; while many conceded the film successfully made light of some hard truths, most also felt the story was unfocused and muddled, and that it appealed to too specific an audience.



Rust and Bone

82%

We last heard from French filmmaker Jacques Audiard back in 2010, when his acclaimed film A Prophet was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Though his latest effort, Rust and Bone, failed to make it onto the Oscar list this year, it’s received a number of accolades, particularly for its acting. The film stars Matthias Schoenaerts as unemployed single father and aspiring kickboxer Alain, who moves to Antibes to live with his sister and look for work. After securing a job as a bouncer at a night club, Alain meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), a whale trainer at the local marine park who forms a close relationship with Alain when she suffers a tragic accident that results in the amputation of her lower legs. A handful of critics felt Rust and Bone‘s third act could have been a little stronger, but most agreed that both Schoenaerts and Cotillard put in powerful performances here, and that Audiard’s script succeeds in being sensitive without veering into melodrama. Certified Fresh at 81%, it’s an unconventional love story that may move you if you give it a chance.



Bachelorette

57%

Much to the chagrin of its producers, Bachelorette was just about to start shooting when Bridesmaids hit theaters back in 2011, thereby snatching up the “female answer to The Hangover” crown. When it finally opened back in September of last year, however, its makers decided to take a chance and release it on Video On Demand a month ahead of time. The story centers around a group of friends who reunite when one of them (Rebel Wilson) announces she’s getting married. What ensues is a series of mishaps as the bridesmaids (Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher) accidentally ruin the wedding dress and attempt to fix the situation, all after having insulted the bride and ingested copious amounts of booze and drugs. Critics were relatively split on Bachelorette; some thought it was funny and well-written by Leslye Headland (who also directed), but others felt the film’s leads were a bit too unlikeable to fully earn the sentimental ending. It might be a risk at 55%, but the cast — which includes Adam Scott, James Marsden, and Ann Dowd — may win you over.

Also available this week:

  • Two choices from the Criterion Collection: Terence Malick’s Badlands (98%) and Powell and Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (95%), now both available on DVD and Blu-ray.
  • The HBO original film The Girl, which explores Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with Tippi Hedren.
  • The 1981 cult favorite sex comedy Porky’s (30%) on Blu-ray.

Droll, erudite and extremely affable, Bob Balaban is the kind of guy you could spend hours listening to — which is probably why Wes Anderson cast him as New Penzance’s all-purpose meteorologist narrator in his latest hit, Moonrise Kingdom. Balaban’s own career as an actor, writer and director goes way back, and via many curious avenues: He made his debut in the classic Midnight Cowboy, has worked with the likes of Woody Allen, Ken Russell and Christopher Guest, and famously appeared as François Truffaut’s interpreter in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He’s also directed and produced film and TV, appeared in theater, and been the NBC executive responsible for sinking Seinfeld — on TV, anyway. With Moonrise Kingdom expanding nationally this week, sat down for a talk with Balaban about the film, his experience working with Wes Anderson, and much more. During the course of the interview, he also talked about five of his favorite films.

La Ronde (Max Ophüls, 1950; 100% Tomatometer)



Well I always have a hard time with this. As we get older or grow or whatever, it’s always changing, because you just see more movies, for one thing, so you change. One of my most favorite movies, I think a perennial favorite movie of mine is La Ronde. I don’t know how well acquainted you are with it. It’s one of my favorite movies. Anton Walbrook is one of the stars, who also the stars of another one of my favorite movies, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. He’s the guy who’s that German who has the seven-minute monologue with the moving camera that never cuts, and he breaks down during it.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1943; 95% Tomatometer)



Those are two favorites of mine.

Colonel Blimp really is something else, isn’t it?

Yeah — and I was surprised. I didn’t think I’d love it. I saw pieces of it and I kept avoiding watching it, because it seemed so artificial and I didn’t get the acting style, but when I watched the whole movie I just thought it was the most amazing movie. I loved it. And Deborah Kerr was just great. I always liked her, but she was just fantastic in this.

The Palm Beach Story / The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Preston Sturges, 1942/1944; 100/90% Tomatometer)



I do like… I’m a big Preston Sturges fan. I like all of them, but I especially like, probably Palm Beach Story, and Miracle at Morgan’s Creek is one of my favorites. I happen to love it. I think it’s maybe one of my favorite… 20 movies, ’cause there’s so many great things.

The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel-Donnersmarck, 2006; 93% Tomatometer)


Another foreign film was probably The Lives of Others. I thought that was pretty great.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982; 98% Tomatometer)



I love E.T., you know. I think E.T. ‘s great. Those scenes with the kids are quite amazing.

Some of the greatest direction of kids there, that’s for sure.

And that’s not an accident. He’s been consistent, Steven, in his whole career doing that.

Next, Balaban on working with Wes Anderson on Moonrise Kingdom, directing kids and his memories of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

 

[Balaban looks over some of the Moonrise Kingdom promotional items.]

They always have good promotional things for Wes Anderson movies.

Bob Balaban: It’s funny — I saved a few things from Gosford Park, ’cause as a producer we had the promotional materials. We had the strangest promotional materials. And Catch-22, which was the first movie I was in — well along with Midnight Cowboy, but we didn’t get anything on that; I mean, what would it have been? Used condoms? [Laughs] But on Catch-22 we all got this amazing silver key chain. I remember it vividly: it had the logo of the movie done in a silver disc with this most gorgeous key chain, and I had it for so long that the disc eventually fell off from the key chain.

It does pay to hold on to stuff, sometimes. Well, congratulations on the film. I very much liked it.

Thank you.

I’m sure nobody tells you how much they didn’t like it.

[Laughs] Well sometimes they do, but they don’t at a junket.

Well, I’m not just saying that; I genuinely loved it. I’m a fan of Wes.

I am too. And now I’m even more of a fan, because to watch him do what it is that he does to get those movies that you love so much — he is all the time exhibiting all the traits, as a director, that you’ve come to admire in his movies. His movies and Wes, they’re like one and the same. And it’s very satisfying to see that.

You have an amusing role: the omniscient narrator, presiding over the story.

Yeah, I guess you could say it’s like the narrator, or the stage manager in our town. I just knew that it was a tradition in Wes’s movies that he often did have a narrator, so I was very happy to occupy it — “Oh, I have a place in his vocabulary.” I was very happy to be the narrator. And I knew that it was likely that I wouldn’t get cut. [Laughs] I also knew that, like all the parts in this movie, there are no small parts in a Wes Anderson movie. I felt like I had a small but really nice, secure thing to be in the movie. I enjoyed being both the commentator and then sometimes being a character in it as well.

You’re almost an instrument in the film’s orchestra.

Yes. I also think that some part of the narrator — which I didn’t think of too much actively when I was doing it — but at some point I thought, “This movie is really a book.” Moonrise Kingdom is the sixth book in what Kara’s character carries around with her in her little satchel of children’s books. So I think those kinds of books have first person narrators who also appear in the story, and I think of this as a sort of literary conceit that I thought worked very nicely on the page; and when I see the movie, I think Wes made great choices about that.

Yours is a distinct and recognizable screen presence. Why did you think Wes approached you for this part?

Oh I have no idea. [Laughs]

He must have been a fan; I mean, you’re a fan of his.

I’m a fan of his. I knew him, enough to say “Hello” a couple of times but I didn’t really know him. I guess as writers and directors do. I certainly do it when I’m planning to direct something. I’m always making lists of “Who can I think of that I haven’t seen in a little bit?” or “Who somehow has some great similarity to this thing that I’m doing, but that they haven’t done it before?” I guess I came to Wes’s mind. Thank god — that’s how we get jobs.

He does appear to have a very specific list, in terms of his cast.

Yeah. Well I certainly hope I end up being cast in another Wes Anderson movie.

He reuses the same people, so you could be in.

I know. But he can’t keep expanding, otherwise the cast will be so big. But I’d find it very gratifying to work with him again.

His movies, especially this one, have very rigorous formal structures. What’s it like acting under that kind of direction?

Well in my case, I didn’t have that many marks to hit. [Smiles] It was, “Stand there, put your foot there on the rock, and I’ll go over here.” But, as in all life, sometimes the very things you would think would make somebody not be good at the thing that they’re doing — for instance, an obsessive attention to clothing and scenery and stuff — in Wes’s case, it has a whole different form and it takes on a whole different meaning, because he does create a world in all of his movies. They’re all different worlds, but you can tell they all come from the same creator. Most people don’t make movies that way. There are very few people who do: there’s similarities, there’s shooting style, but there’s something about Wes that is deeply ingrained in his movies, and instead of making the same movie all the time — they may feel similar, but they have different themes, very different strengths, and the characters are really very remarkably different in all of these movies; and I thought that especially in Moonrise Kingdom.

One of the pleasures I find in seeing the movie — ’cause when you’re in a movie there’s one kind of pleasure, and it was very fun to be in this movie — but watching the movie, the pleasure of seeing the stuff that you don’t [initially see], that you are not being made aware of all the time, is to me one of the strongest parts of the movie. And it exists because it’s existing in such a rigorous structure. I think Moonrise Kingdom has a very, very strong emotional current and a very strong core in it about love and disappointment and youth and, I mean there’s so many fun ways to analyze this movie when you see it. Because I did, and I think most audiences have a very powerful reaction to it. At first when you see the movie you might think it’s sort of a trifle: It’s fun, it’s beautiful to look at, the characters are funny. It’s sort of a romp, you could say, and I think it’s popularity is somewhat derived from that; but on the other hand, it’s a very deep and rather profound movie, and all the more profound because it’s a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you know. It sort of dares you to get involved with it, and then you really get involved with it. I was amazed from the first time I saw the movie at how invested I was, in the children and the adults: in the adults’ rather sad but understandable lives, and the purity and just the passion of those two little, both outcast children. I was just amazed that a movie that had that formal structure could have that kind of emotional life to it.

Agreed. It’s a synthesis of style and content that he does so very well.

Yes. And also, I don’t think it’s a choice Wes makes. I think that he, at some point, he just made what was in his heart, and he just keeps making it over and over again. But it’s also different in that there’s enough you really do feel — I mean that’s why they call it the auteur [theory], or whatever it is — it’s because you really get to know somebody. And it’s not — there’s no easy answer to what makes it. There is a surface to a Wes Anderson movie, you could say that’s why it’s a Wes Anderson movie, but really it’s a Wes Anderson movie because he subconsciously and consciously infuses every frame of the movie — yes visually, yes emotionally, and yes in the text; he infuses it with his unique vision of life. It’s so specific. And I think that’s what we crave in all art forms; something that’s so specific that you can identify with it, because it’s so specific. It’s the general stuff that can’t identify with, because it doesn’t engage you as much as one person’s vision –which isn’t your vision, but somehow you’re able to connect with it.

You’ve said almost everything I needed to say about it. I think the interview’s over.

[Laughs]

You’ve worked with many interesting actors and directors, and one that comes to mind I’m sure for a lot of people is François Truffaut in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Yes, one of my favorite directors.

Did Wes ask you about working with him — given what a great admirer he is of Truffaut?

I don’t know that we did talk about it. But I wrote a book about the making of the movie.

That’s right, yes — I mean to read it.

It’s kind of — it’s fun, you know. It’s very specific, because it’s sort of my impressions. It’s a small actor’s view of what it’s like to be in a really big movie. [Laughs] So it’s sort of from the ant’s point of view, I would say. But I don’t think we talked about it. I try to guard against telling too many anecdotes because I’m not very good at them, and it’s really boring to be with people who are all, “Oh yes, and then in 1968 this happened,” you know—

[Laughs] I think we’d need another few hours to through the anecdotes you have.

Well not all of them are that interesting. But Close Encounters was extremely interesting and very easy and fun to write about. Also, I liked everybody so I had nothing bad to say, which I would never write about anyway. It was a really interesting experience, and I think for people who love the movie — I think it’s survived and it’s still kind of a classic — I trust it’s fun for them to see the nuts and bolts of the scenes that were caught; what it was like working with [child actor] Carey Guffey, who was so amazing, and what’s it like to have a four-year-old in a movie. In many ways there are definite similarities between [Steven] Spielberg and Wes — if only talking about their affection, respect, and ability to understand and deal with both children and child actors; ’cause they really are both fabulous at that, and an awful lot of directors cannot deal with children. You know, having a child in a movie is like — a movie’s all about precision, and getting somebody to do what you need and want, and Can they do 15 takes, and will they match what they’re doing? And the beauty of children is that, when they’re well used, they’re unpredictable, hopefully — or at least they give the impression of that. And I know watching Wes work with these two kids — granted they were 12, they weren’t four, but there was the same kind of affection, respect, and not talking down; the idea that if you treat a child like they’re equals, they respond accordingly. He was great with kids, and I think the kids were great in the movie. As I do think the kids in Steven’s movies are uniformly fantastic.

It’s a very difficult kind of film to get right, isn’t it — the adolescent romance.

Yes, and very Truffaut like, I think. Very French, in way.

Wes talked about Small Change a bit, which is a great film.

Yes.

When it comes to getting great performances from kids, how much of it do you think is successful casting, and how much of it is in the directing?

Well I think it’s both. It’s an instinct and an ability, ’cause kids, you know, kids don’t memorize lines too well. I directed — have we talked about this? I directed a movie called Parents

It’s funny you mention it, because it always comes up in my Netflix recommendations of “Things you may like?”

[Laughs] Oh. Because you’re strange. [Laughs] I wish I could say it’s some kind of perfect, great movie. But it’s really interesting and the lead is a nine-year-old boy, Bryan Madorsky, who had never acted before — so that whole issue of casting a leading role in a movie with a child, I was confronted with it immediately. There was nobody I knew who was a famous nine-year-old actor who would be right for this part of a very mysterious, withdrawn kind of disturbed little boy. You can’t act that, exactly. And the first couple of days we saw like 75 million children, all of whom had done Wonder Bread commercials recently, so they were all cheerful — they all fit a certain mold, because child actors who work a lot, work a lot because they’re sort of a type. And I wanted the anti-type person. So at some point I said, “This may seem radical, but I don’t think we need a child who can memorize lines ore is experienced.” And this one kid came in and he sat down, like you could just tell he was fabulous and interesting. I like kids and I probably knew enough to know that you try to find what they do best, and have that be what they do in the movie. I would say to Bryan, “Just say whatever you think you should say,” so he always seemed natural. The only thing he had trouble with was one scene — [laughs] — where he had to hit his father with a baseball bat.

I’m going to watch Parents and finally read your Close Encounters book.

.

Well you have a whole assignment!


Moonrise Kingdom expands nationwide in theaters this week.

Between his stand-up comedy, astute writing on pop culture and wonderfully odd performances in movie and TV roles, Patton Oswalt is a something of a modern media renaissance man. He’s voiced a rat for Pixar, terrorized a football franchise in the excellent Big Fan, and earned well-deserved praise for his part in last year’s Young Adult; and this week, Oswalt appears in director Lorene Scafaria’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, in a small but funny role as an enthusiastic party-goer who’s succumbed to his most wanton desires as the apocalypse approaches. In the spirit of impending doom we chatted with Oswalt earlier this week, and asked him to pick five films he’d want to watch if the world was about to end.

The Searchers (John Ford, 1956; 98% Tomatometer)



Right off the top of my head, it’d be John Ford’s The Searchers

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (George Miller, 1981; 100% Tomatometer)



The Road Warrior

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1943; 95% Tomatometer)



The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Joseph Sargent, 1974; 100% Tomatometer)



The Taking of Pelham One Two Three — the original…

After Life (Hirokazu Koreeda, 1998; 83% Tomatometer)


…and then a Japanese film called After Life.

I mean, they’re just movies that I watch when I’m feeling kind of blue and just wanna take more emotional leave of my brain — so it would just be all about creating a head space where I’m really happy, and enjoying myself. And being really happy that people can put together movies that good. It’s all the same thing. It’s the idea that mankind can get together and make something that good — I know how hard it is, how collaborative it is to make a movie, so the idea that all those movies exist is what makes me happy.


Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is in theaters this week.

Rotten Tomatoes was there on Friday when Joel Silver confirmed the announcement of Emile Hirsch as the live action "Speed Racer." Then he addressed the Wachowski‘s visual ideas for adapting the anime property.

"First of all, they approach everything from a stand point of story and script," Silver said. "They’re writers first. So the script they wrote is really spectacular and it’s a really great story and incredible characters. And they were impressed by ‘Speed Racer’ because it was the first Japanese animation they saw when they were kids. It was the first time they were aware of a different kind of animation, it made them learn about Japanese animation, so it’s kind of seminal, and they always like the idea of the material, so they’ve always known about it."


Your next Speed Racer, Emile Hirsch

Though the vision is being kept strictly under wraps, Silver has already impressed the suits at Warner Brothers. "I keep showing the studio tests and they sit in their room, and I put the lights down, I show them the test. Everybody just looks at me and they say, ‘Can you show that to us again?’ They can’t believe what they’re seeing. It’s just the way they’re working with images and how they’re putting it together. It’s going to be the first HD movie they’ve ever shot."

Silver also explained the R-rated Wachowskis’ first foray into family film. "They’ve always wanted to make a movie that could be seen by the whole family. Every movie they’ve made have been adult movies. And they’re also great film buffs. They love Capra movies, they wanted to make a movie that could have real sentiment. And they feel that a lot of the adult films they see or are aware of are very cynical. But they feel that when they come to the family movies, some of the animated movies that we see are, they feel they return to a kind of filmmaking that they love, so they feel like they can do that in this movie. It doesn’t have to be a cynical story, it can be a movie that is as human and as accessible, and is sentimental. So you’re going to see a very kind of real story, and then technologically, you’re going to see things that you’ve never even dreamed of, or you’ve seen before."

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