60 Essential Adventure Movies

The adventure is one of the hardest kinds of movie to define, but like certain other genres: “You know it when you see it.” Adventures are grand, exciting, and often epic tales, usually focused on people on a mission, whose purposes include fame, fortune, and glory. The best adventure movies can run on the thrill of exploration and discovery, treading deep into jungles, stalking across arid deserts, or sailing across open oceans. The casts of characters feature rambunctious pirates, lordly counts, mercenaries and bounty hunters, big whales, and even bigger apes. And adventure movies can invite their other genre buddies along for the ride, too, including fantasy and science-fiction.

Now we’re embarking on our own journey, plundering gem after gem for a guide to what we’re calling the essential adventure movies if you love the genre. Listing these best adventure movies in chronological order, we begin a century in the past, when the adventure genre was defined by the swashbucklers of Captain Blood and The Three Musketeers. At the same time, the fantastical elements introduced in King Kong and Wizard of Oz marked adventure movies as the spot to introduce the latest in dazzling special effects.

After World War II, the adventure genre entered its prestige era, with historical epics like Lawrence of Arabia and The Man Who Would Be King, and tales of derring-do in The African Queen and The Great Escape. Here it should be said there is a certain Western-centric viewpoint that cannot be denied as inherent to many adventure movies, one that ‘others’ different countries and cultures. And hopefully what elevates these movies above that are their swaggering sense of playful optimism and lighthearted fun.

That’s certainly evident in Raiders of the Lost Ark, whose retro serial action and intrigue established the adventure formula for a new generation, which marched on through Indiana Jones’ sequels, Romancing the Stone, National Treasure, and The Mummy. During the same ’80s Indy decade, the adventure genre opened itself back up to sci-fi and fantasy, along with spotlighting younger protagonists, leading to The Goonies, The NeverEnding Story, Labyrinth, and more.

Around the turn of the century, the adventure movie successfully aided the resurrection of other genres that common Hollywood wisdom had deemed box office poison: swashbucklers (The Mask of Zorro), high fantasy (The Lord of the Rings), and even the pirate movie (Pirates of the Caribbean), which had been sent to Davy Jones’ Locker after Cutthroat Island sank Carolco Pictures.

And since 2012’s Life of Pi, there’s been another adventure resurgence with The Jungle Book and more Kong and Jumanji movies.

Now, continue on and discover the 60 best adventure movies to watch now!

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 101783%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Leaving his country village, D'Artagnan (Douglas Fairbanks) heads to Paris in hopes of becoming a musketeer. Soon after, he meets... [More]
Directed By: Fred Niblo

#59

King Kong (1933)
98%

#59
Adjusted Score: 108185%
Critics Consensus: King Kong explores the soul of a monster -- making audiences scream and cry throughout the film -- in large part due to Kong's breakthrough special effects.
Synopsis: Actress Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) and director Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) travel to the Indian Ocean to do location shoots... [More]

#58

Captain Blood (1935)
100%

#58
Adjusted Score: 104115%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In England in the 1600s, Dr. Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) treats the wounds of a man who had been injured... [More]
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

#57
Adjusted Score: 109007%
Critics Consensus: Errol Flynn thrills as the legendary title character, and the film embodies the type of imaginative family adventure tailor-made for the silver screen.
Synopsis: When King Richard the Lionheart is captured, his scheming brother Prince John (Claude Rains) plots to reach the throne, to... [More]

#56

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
98%

#56
Adjusted Score: 115182%
Critics Consensus: An absolute masterpiece whose groundbreaking visuals and deft storytelling are still every bit as resonant, The Wizard of Oz is a must-see film for young and old.
Synopsis: When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to... [More]
Directed By: Victor Fleming

#55

Gunga Din (1939)
92%

#55
Adjusted Score: 93957%
Critics Consensus: Funny, suspenseful, and spectacularly entertaining, Gunga Din is an expertly calibrated adventure flick with some unfortunately outdated ideas about race.
Synopsis: British army sergeants Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.), Cutter (Cary Grant) and MacChesney (Victor McLaglen) serve in India during the 1880s,... [More]
Directed By: George Stevens

#54
Adjusted Score: 106494%
Critics Consensus: Remade but never duplicated, this darkly humorous morality tale represents John Huston at his finest.
Synopsis: In this classic adventure film, two rough-and-tumble wanderers, Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) and Curtin (Tim Holt), meet up with a veteran... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 80435%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Aspiring swordsman D'Artagnan (Gene Kelly) arrives in Paris with hopes of joining the royal guard and falls in love with... [More]
Directed By: George Sidney

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 101379%
Critics Consensus: Perfectly cast, smartly written, and beautifully filmed, The African Queen remains thrilling, funny, and effortlessly absorbing even after more than half a century's worth of adventure movies borrowing liberally from its creative DNA.
Synopsis: After religious spinster's (Katharine Hepburn) missionary brother is killed in WWI Africa, dissolute steamer captain (Humphrey Bogart) offers her safe... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#51
Adjusted Score: 91341%
Critics Consensus: One of Disney's finest live-action adventures, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea brings Jules Verne's classic sci-fi tale to vivid life, and features an awesome giant squid.
Synopsis: In 1866, Professor Pierre M. Aronnax (Paul Lukas) and his assistant Conseil (Peter Lorre), stranded in San Francisco by reports... [More]
Directed By: Richard Fleischer

#50

Moby Dick (1956)
83%

#50
Adjusted Score: 83657%
Critics Consensus: It may favor spectacle in place of the deeper themes in Herman Melville's novel, but John Huston's Moby Dick still makes for a grand movie adventure.
Synopsis: Capt. Ahab (Gregory Peck) has a vendetta against Moby Dick, the great white whale responsible for taking his leg. He... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 99746%
Critics Consensus: A feudal adventure told from an eccentric perspective, The Hidden Fortress is among Akira Kurosawa's most purely enjoyable epics.
Synopsis: Japanese peasants Matashichi (Kamatari Fujiwara) and Tahei (Minoru Chiaki) try and fail to make a profit from a tribal war.... [More]
Directed By: Akira Kurosawa

#48
Adjusted Score: 85369%
Critics Consensus: A silly but fun movie with everything you'd want from a sci-fi blockbuster -- heroic characters, menacing villains, monsters, big sets and special effects.
Synopsis: A geologist (James Mason) and his assistant (Pat Boone) set off on an expedition to the center of the earth.... [More]
Directed By: Henry Levin

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 105664%
Critics Consensus: The epic of all epics, Lawrence of Arabia cements director David Lean's status in the filmmaking pantheon with nearly four hours of grand scope, brilliant performances, and beautiful cinematography.
Synopsis: Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) is sent to Arabia to... [More]
Directed By: David Lean

#46

The Great Escape (1963)
94%

#46
Adjusted Score: 97795%
Critics Consensus: With its impeccably slow-building story and a cast for the ages, The Great Escape is an all-time action classic.
Synopsis: Imprisoned during World War II in a German POW camp, a group of Allied soldiers are intent on breaking out,... [More]
Directed By: John Sturges

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 50659%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An adaptation of the classic Dumas novel, this film tells the tale of aspiring swordsman D'Artagnan (Michael York), who arrives... [More]
Directed By: Richard Lester

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 98358%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling, this adventure film follows the exploits of Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine) and... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 102224%
Critics Consensus: Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time.
Synopsis: Dr. Indiana Jones, a renowned archeologist and expert in the occult, is hired by the U.S. Government to find the... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#42
Adjusted Score: 89562%
Critics Consensus: It may be too "dark" for some, but Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom remains an ingenious adventure spectacle that showcases one of Hollywood's finest filmmaking teams in vintage form.
Synopsis: The second of the Lucas/Spielberg Indiana Jones epics is set a year or so before the events in Raiders of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 88042%
Critics Consensus: Romancing the Stone reaches back to the classic Saturday morning serials of old with an action-filled adventure enlivened by the sparkling chemistry between its well-matched leads.
Synopsis: A dowdy romantic-adventure writer is hurled into a real-life adventure in the Colombian jungle in order to save her sister,... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 82899%
Critics Consensus: A magical journey about the power of a young boy's imagination to save a dying fantasy land, The NeverEnding Story remains a much-loved kids adventure.
Synopsis: On his way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#39

The Goonies (1985)
77%

#39
Adjusted Score: 80852%
Critics Consensus: The Goonies is an energetic, sometimes noisy mix of Spielbergian sentiment and funhouse tricks that will appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike.
Synopsis: When two brothers find out they might lose their house they are desperate to find a way to keep their... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#38

Return to Oz (1985)
54%

#38
Adjusted Score: 56413%
Critics Consensus: Return to Oz taps into the darker side of L. Frank Baum's book series with an intermittently dazzling adventure that never quite recaptures the magic of its classic predecessor.
Synopsis: Dorothy discovers she is back in the land of Oz, and finds the yellow brick road is now a pile... [More]
Directed By: Walter Murch

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 85362%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by impressive special effects and a charming performance from its young star, Flight of the Navigator holds up as a solidly entertaining bit of family-friendly sci-fi.
Synopsis: This 1978 Disney adventure tells the story of 12-year-old David (Joey Cramer) who lives with his family in Fort Lauderdale,... [More]
Directed By: Randal Kleiser

#36

Labyrinth (1986)
74%

#36
Adjusted Score: 78422%
Critics Consensus: While it's arguably more interesting on a visual level, Labyrinth provides further proof of director Jim Henson's boundless imagination.
Synopsis: Teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) journeys through a maze to recover her baby brother (Toby Froud) from a goblin king (David... [More]
Directed By: Jim Henson

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 103682%
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Synopsis: A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#34
Adjusted Score: 93086%
Critics Consensus: Lighter and more comedic than its predecessor, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade returns the series to the brisk serial adventure of Raiders, while adding a dynamite double act between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.
Synopsis: An art collector appeals to Jones to embark on a search for the Holy Grail. He learns that another archaeologist... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 79396%
Critics Consensus: Even as its special effects take center stage, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids still offers a charming, high-spirited sense of adventure for the whole family.
Synopsis: When kids sneak into inventor Wayne Szalinski's (Rick Moranis) upstairs lab to retrieve an errant baseball, his experimental shrink ray... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 74228%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An adventurer (Jackie Chan) and his friend (Alan Tam) aid a woman (Rosamund Kwan) kidnapped by cultists seeking a set... [More]
Directed By: Jackie Chan

#31

Hook (1991)
29%

#31
Adjusted Score: 32913%
Critics Consensus: The look of Hook is lively indeed but Steven Spielberg directs on autopilot here, giving in too quickly to his sentimental, syrupy qualities.
Synopsis: When his young children are abducted by his old nemesis, Capt. Hook (Dustin Hoffman), middle-aged lawyer Peter Banning (Robin Williams)... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#30

White Fang (1991)
65%

#30
Adjusted Score: 65792%
Critics Consensus: This glossy edition of White Fang shaves off the rough-hewn edges that made Jack London's epic story so distinct, but gorgeous photography and heartfelt performances make this an appealing adventure.
Synopsis: This adaptation of Jack London's wilderness tale focuses on young Jack Conroy (Ethan Hawke), who has arrived in Alaska to... [More]
Directed By: Randal Kleiser

#29
Adjusted Score: 55019%
Critics Consensus: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves brings a wonderfully villainous Alan Rickman to this oft-adapted tale, but he's robbed by big-budget bombast and a muddled screenplay.
Synopsis: Nobleman crusader Robin of Locksley (Kevin Costner) breaks out of a Jerusalem prison with the help of Moorish fellow prisoner... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Reynolds

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 96167%
Critics Consensus: The Last of the Mohicans is a breathless romantic adventure that plays loose with history -- and comes out with a richer action movie for it.
Synopsis: The last members of a dying Native American tribe, the Mohicans -- Uncas (Eric Schweig), his father Chingachgook (Russell Means),... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#27
Adjusted Score: 82247%
Critics Consensus: Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book may not hew as closely to the book as its title suggests, but it still offers an entertaining live-action take on a story best known in animated form.
Synopsis: When his father is killed by a jungle tiger, Mowgli (Jason Scott Lee) is orphaned and grows up in the... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Sommers

#26

Jumanji (1995)
55%

#26
Adjusted Score: 56952%
Critics Consensus: A feast for the eyes with a somewhat malnourished plot, Jumanji is an underachieving adventure that still offers a decent amount of fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: A magical board game unleashes a world of adventure on siblings Peter (Bradley Pierce) and Judy Shepherd (Kirsten Dunst). While... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 85851%
Critics Consensus: Banderas returns as an aging Zorro in this surprisingly nimble, entertaining swashbuckler.
Synopsis: After being imprisoned for 20 years, Zorro -- Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) -- receives word that his... [More]
Directed By: Martin Campbell

#24

The Mummy (1999)
61%

#24
Adjusted Score: 65193%
Critics Consensus: It's difficult to make a persuasive argument for The Mummy as any kind of meaningful cinematic achievement, but it's undeniably fun to watch.
Synopsis: The Mummy is a rousing, suspenseful and horrifying epic about an expedition of treasure-seeking explorers in the Sahara Desert in... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Sommers

#23
Adjusted Score: 100587%
Critics Consensus: Full of eye-popping special effects, and featuring a pitch-perfect cast, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring brings J.R.R. Tolkien's classic to vivid life.
Synopsis: The future of civilization rests in the fate of the One Ring, which has been lost for centuries. Powerful forces... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 26312%
Critics Consensus: Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role of Lara Croft, but even she can't save the movie from a senseless plot and action sequences with no emotional impact.
Synopsis: This live action feature is inspired by the most successful interactive video-game character in history -- Lara Croft. Beautiful and... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 77422%
Critics Consensus: Though it may not reach for any new artistic heights, The Count of Monte Cristo is an old-fashioned yet enjoyable swashbuckler.
Synopsis: The classic story of an innocent man wrongly, but deliberately imprisoned and his brilliant strategy for revenge against those who... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Reynolds

#20
Adjusted Score: 86718%
Critics Consensus: May leave you exhausted like the theme park ride that inspired it; however, you'll have a good time when it's over.
Synopsis: Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) arrives at Port Royal in the Caribbean without a ship or crew. His timing is... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#19
Adjusted Score: 92639%
Critics Consensus: Russell Crowe's rough charm is put to good use in this masterful adaptation of Patrick O'Brian's novel.
Synopsis: In 1805, aboard the H.M.S. Surprise, the brash Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) and his trusted friend, the ship's scholarly... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#18

Big Fish (2003)
76%

#18
Adjusted Score: 82679%
Critics Consensus: A charming father-and-son tale filled with typical Tim Burton flourishes, Big Fish is an impressive catch.
Synopsis: When Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) becomes ill, his son, William (Billy Crudup), travels to be with him. William has a... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 51400%
Critics Consensus: National Treasure is no treasure, but it's a fun ride for those who can forgive its highly improbable plot.
Synopsis: Historian and code-breaker Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) has been searching his whole life for a rumored treasure dating back to... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#16

King Kong (2005)
84%

#16
Adjusted Score: 93928%
Critics Consensus: Featuring state-of-the-art special effects, terrific performances, and a majestic sense of spectacle, Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong is a potent epic that's faithful to the spirit of the 1933 original.
Synopsis: Peter Jackson's expansive remake of the 1933 classic follows director Carl Denham (Jack Black) and his crew on a journey... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#15

Zathura (2005)
76%

#15
Adjusted Score: 81193%
Critics Consensus: Dazzling special effects for the kids + well-crafted storytelling for the 'rents = cinematic satisfaction for the whole family.
Synopsis: After their father (Tim Robbins) is called into work, two young boys, Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo), are... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#14

Duma (2005)
93%

#14
Adjusted Score: 94725%
Critics Consensus: This is an old-fashioned, richly textured family film that will appeal to children and adults alike.
Synopsis: Xan (Alexander Michaletos) lives on a ranch in Kenya with his mother (Hope Davis) and father (Campbell Scott). When the... [More]
Directed By: Carroll Ballard

#13

Stardust (2007)
77%

#13
Adjusted Score: 84384%
Critics Consensus: A faithful interpretation that captures the spirit of whimsy, action, and off-kilter humor of Neil Gaiman, Stardust juggles multiple genres and tones to create a fantastical experience.
Synopsis: To win the heart of his beloved (Sienna Miller), a young man named Tristan (Charlie Cox) ventures into the realm... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#12
Adjusted Score: 66219%
Critics Consensus: Modern visuals and an old fasioned storyline make this family adventure/comedy a fast-paced, kitschy ride.
Synopsis: During an expedition to Iceland, professor Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser), his nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) and their guide, Hannah (Anita... [More]
Directed By: Eric Brevig

#11

Nim's Island (2008)
52%

#11
Adjusted Score: 54753%
Critics Consensus: Despite good intentions, Nim's Island flounders under an implausible storyline, simplistic stock characters, and distracting product placement.
Synopsis: Life is an adventure for a courageous youngster named Nim (Abigail Breslin), who lives on an exotic island with her... [More]

#10

City of Ember (2008)
54%

#10
Adjusted Score: 57829%
Critics Consensus: City of Ember is visually arresting, and boasts a superb cast, but is sadly lacking in both action and adventure.
Synopsis: For generations a massive generator has sustained the needs of the underground city of Ember. But the generator was built... [More]
Directed By: Gil Kenan

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 61843%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton's Alice sacrifices the book's minimal narrative coherence -- and much of its heart -- but it's an undeniable visual treat.
Synopsis: A young girl when she first visited magical Underland, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is now a teenager with no memory... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#8

Life of Pi (2012)
86%

#8
Adjusted Score: 96906%
Critics Consensus: A 3D adaptation of a supposedly "unfilmable" book, Ang Lee's Life of Pi achieves the near impossible -- it's an astonishing technical achievement that's also emotionally rewarding.
Synopsis: After deciding to sell their zoo in India and move to Canada, Santosh and Gita Patel board a freighter with... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#7

The Jungle Book (2016)
94%

#7
Adjusted Score: 114751%
Critics Consensus: As lovely to behold as it is engrossing to watch, The Jungle Book is the rare remake that actually improves upon its predecessors -- all while setting a new standard for CGI.
Synopsis: Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) must leave the only home he's ever known when... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 104571%
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

#5
Adjusted Score: 93704%
Critics Consensus: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle uses a charming cast and a humorous twist to offer an undemanding yet solidly entertaining update on its source material.
Synopsis: Four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming... [More]
Directed By: Jake Kasdan

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 103393%
Critics Consensus: The Lost City of Z's stately pace and visual grandeur hearken back to classic exploration epics, and Charlie Hunnam turns in a masterful performance as its complex protagonist.
Synopsis: At the dawn of the 20th century, British explorer Percy Fawcett journeys into the Amazon, where he discovers evidence of... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 63038%
Critics Consensus: A Wrinkle in Time is visually gorgeous, big-hearted, and occasionally quite moving; unfortunately, it's also wildly ambitious to a fault, and often less than the sum of its classic parts.
Synopsis: Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever... [More]
Directed By: Ava DuVernay

#2
Adjusted Score: 93177%
Critics Consensus: Led by a winning performance from Isabela Moner, Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a family-friendly adventure that retains its source material's youthful spirit.
Synopsis: Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure yet --... [More]
Directed By: James Bobin

#1
Adjusted Score: 100541%
Critics Consensus: The Kid Who Would Be King recalls classic all-ages adventures -- and repurposes a timeless legend -- for a thoroughly enjoyable new addition to the family movie canon.
Synopsis: Old-school magic meets the modern world when young Alex stumbles upon the mythical sword Excalibur. He soon unites his friends... [More]
Directed By: Joe Cornish

Jacob Tremblay

(Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)

Fourteen-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay has built up quite the résumé of acclaimed performances in heavy films: He broke out in the Oscar-winning Room as a young boy held captive with his mother, then brought us to tears as the inspirational Auggie Pullman in Wonder, before shocking us with a brief but harrowing turn in Shining sequel Doctor Sleep. When he’s dabbled in lighter fare, it’s tended to come with an “R”-rated edge – think The Predator and Certified Fresh comedy Good Boys, in which the cognitive dissonance of hearing the innocent-looking Tremblay saying some very not-innocent things was the recurring punchline.

His latest project, Pixar’s Luca, is a definite change of pace – a trip to the Italian Riviera for a story about the titular sea monster (voiced by Tremblay) who just wants to be part of our world… and ride a Vespa. It’s already Certified Fresh on the Tomatometer, and, Tremblay says, arrives just in time for a world emerging from the darkness and reconnecting with loved ones. Ahead of the movie’s release on Disney+, Tremblay spoke to Rotten Tomatoes about his favorite movies, silencing his internal doubts on set (and on the slopes), and gives us a tiny hint of what to expect from the upcoming live-action movie, The Little Mermaid, in which he plays Flounder.


Jacob Tremblay’s Five Favorite Films


Ocean's Eleven (2001)

83%

I think it’d be hard to put this list in a certain order, but I think the one I think about first is Ocean’s Eleven. The first time I watched it, I was actually in London, it was just on the TV, so I just put it on and I watched it. I think I’d seen it prior to that before, but I think that was the first time I was paying attention to it. I feel like every time I watch it, every time I rewatch it, I figure out something new, because the plan is so sneaky. Every time I watch it I can just find a little detail I didn’t notice the first time I watched it.

I just love Star Wars, but I think Empire Strikes Back is the best one in my opinion. It’s great. What I really like about it is that at the end fight Luke doesn’t win. He loses. So it’s kind of cool to see how he wants to train more. I like that.

Rotten Tomatoes: Would you take a role in a Star Wars movie?

One hundred percent! Absolutely. I mean, that’s obviously my dream right now to be in one of those movies.

Rotten Tomatoes: Do you want to be a baddy or a goody? Dark side, light side, Jedi?

Erm, you know, it’s interesting because usually you’d say, “Oh, I’d want to be a good guy,” but in the Star Wars universe, it’s the villains who always have really good stories. They always have the conflict in them. So I think it’d be kind of cool to play a villain.

I think that one has a lot of nostalgia for me because I remember always watching that one when I was really little. I actually haven’t seen it in a while, but I remember I had a LEGO game on my DS for it, so I’d always play it. And, you know, when you were little and you would play imagination where you’d pretend you’re someone, I remember using a belt as an Indiana Jones whip. But it was really cool because, I think a while ago, I went to Disney World and, you know how there’s – what’s it called – Hollywood Studios? There’s a whole Indiana Jones experience and I actually got his classic hat. It was really cool.

The Dark Knight (2008)

94%

I think Batman is a great superhero, but I also think that that movie is just amazing. Obviously, Heath Ledger’s performance was amazing and he’s just so cool. I like to quote him a lot from that movie just for fun. But yeah, I really liked that one. I think it’s good. A while ago I showed it to my older sister, and she usually watches Marvel movies from the MCU, and it was kind of cool to show her something different, something more gritty, I guess.

Rotten Tomatoes: You said you have favorite quotes from that movie – what’s the one you use most?

I think I like the one where – I don’t really have a good Heath Ledger Joker impression – but he’s all like, “I’m not a monster, I’m just ahead of the curve.” [Editor’s note: Jacob gave a very good Heath Ledger impression]. He’s just like that. I think I like that one.

A Goofy Movie (1995)

59%

I feel like that one’s just like a comfort movie that I just put on in the background. My mom showed it to me recently because it was a big part of her childhood and you know I really like it. So I thought it was a really fun movie.nI love the music in it. I think my favorite part is maybe when they first start their road trip and they’re still on the highway, and there’s a lot of traffic and a musical sequence breaks out.


Joel Meares for Rotten Tomatoes: This movie, Luca, just made me so happy to watch. It’s like you’re transported to Italy, it’s got bright colors, it’s got beautiful themes. And it feels like it’s coming at just the right time, because it’s making us happy as we emerge from this rough period. And then it’s also about friends and reconnecting with friends and I feel like that’s also something we’re all going through. Do you feel like this is a really good movie for the current time?

Jacob Tremblay: Yeah, for sure. You know, because of COVID and everything, people are always inside and to be able to [go out]… I know this is more of a kid’s movie I guess, but I think it will mean a lot to adults too to be able to remember a lot of childhood memories of having fun adventures in the summertime.

Rotten Tomatoes: Yeah, absolutely. One thing that we saw in the trailer and is a big theme in the movie is this “Silenzio Bruno” concept – sort of putting down the doubter who lives inside you and saying, “Shut up, I’m going to go and have this fun and do this thing.” Do you have “Silenzio Bruno” moments in your own life or in some of your past acting jobs where you’re like, “Don’t be afraid, I’ve got to go and do this”?

Tremblay: Yeah. I guess that’s a big part of acting for sure, you not being afraid to put yourself out there and do stuff. Because if you don’t give it 100 percent, sometimes it’ll fall flat. But I think another example of it for me is skiing. I know skiing season is over, but I’m in Vancouver right now and skiing is amazing here in winter. So I did a lot of skiing this winter and I think sometimes you have to silence Bruno. Sometimes you can be scared to go out, go try a new jump or something. But yeah, I’ve definitely silenced Bruno. And I think because of that, I think because of me silencing Bruno, I was able to get a lot better and I was able to have a lot of fun with it.

Rotten Tomatoes: Are you on the black-diamonds?

Tremblay: Yeah, I’ve managed to do my fair share of blacks.

Rotten Tomatoes: I’d read somewhere else that you’re a big Pixar fan and a big fan of Cars in particular. Why is that your favorite?

Tremblay: I think it’s because it has the most nostalgia for me because when I was little – or littler I guess – I would always have Lightning McQueen toys. And I even had this Power Wheels car that was Lightning McQueen. It looked like Lightning McQueen or, well, it was Lightning McQueen. Yeah. I would always drive that up and down the street and have a lot of fun with it.

(Photo by © Pixar)

Rotten Tomatoes: And are there other Pixar movies more recently that have stood out to you or really appealed? 

Tremblay: I think honestly Soul was really, really good. I really loved that one. And I don’t know if this is really, really recent, but Cars 3, I guess. Because I guess it’s like Cars 1 and 2 came out when I was at the toddler stage of my life. Cars 3 came out when I was kind of transitioning I guess. But yeah, to be able to see that, it was really cool. I really liked that movie.

Rotten Tomatoes: In this movie, Luca is obsessed with Vespas. He dreams about a Vespa, it’s his goal, that’s what he wants, he gets slack-jawed whenever he sees one on the street. Is there a thing in your life, an item or something, that you’ve been as obsessed about as Luca is with the Vespa?

Tremblay: So, speaking of going outside, I just got a bike recently, a new bike. I always had a bike but I got a really nice BMX bike. So I’ve been going out and teaching myself how to do tricks and stuff, and silencing Bruno on the way too. So yeah, I’ve been able to do that riding around town. But another thing is… I mean, this is very, very different, but I got a PS5 the other day, really, really recently. So I’m really excited about that. But I think the bike that I just got definitely relates to Luca more than a video game console.

Rotten Tomatoes: Luca is one of many animated films that you’ve done and you’ve got a few more coming up from what I’ve read. What do you like about animation that you get to do differently than when you’re doing something live-action?

Tremblay: It’s almost like a whole different set of acting skills. There are very, very talented voice actors and I had to learn a lot to do this film. I think one of the biggest things for me is learning how to transport a lot of energy into your voice. So yeah, I guess it was kind of a big learning curve to do that, because a lot of my acting roles have been these big dramatic roles where it has to be very real. And then for something as awesome as Luca I get to let go of all that and have fun with it. So it was really cool. And another thing about this movie is we were able to do a lot of improv. Enrico [Casarosa], the director, he’s a really awesome director. He let me kind of go off script sometimes. It was really, really cool.

Luca

(Photo by © Pixar)

Rotten Tomatoes: And just finally, you have another voice piece coming up… I’m sure you can’t say anything about it, but I have to ask. You’re returning to the water as Flounder in the live-action The Little Mermaid. Are you excited for that role and what can you tell us about your Flounder, if anything?

Tremblay: Yeah, I’m really excited for that one. Just like Pixar and Cars, Little Mermaid is such a big part of my childhood. Especially because I have two sisters, so they’d always put on Disney movies, even though I wanted to watch Indiana Jones. But they’d always have those movies on. So yeah, I definitely have a lot of good memories from that movie. So it’s very, very exciting to be a part of that. And even like when you go to Disneyland too, and there’s rides. So cool, so cool.

Rotten Tomatoes: Will your Flounder be any different from the Flounder in the original? Will it have a Jacob Tremblay spin?

Tremblay: I guess you’ll have to watch to find out. I think they did something really cool with the design for this fish.


Luca is available on Disney+ from Friday June 18, 2021.

Thumbnail image: Leon Bennett/WireImage, ©Lucasfilm Ltd., © Warner Brothers, © Buena Vista Pictures, © Warner Brothers, © Paramount


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

(Photo by Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection)

All Harrison Ford Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

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

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

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

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

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

#41

Paranoia (2013)
7%

#41
Adjusted Score: 10836%
Critics Consensus: Clichéd and unoriginal, Paranoia is a middling techno-thriller with indifferent performances and a shortage of thrills.
Synopsis: Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) is a rising star at a global tech company run by Nicolas Wyatt (Gary Oldman). An... [More]
Directed By: Robert Luketic

#40

Random Hearts (1999)
15%

#40
Adjusted Score: 17474%
Critics Consensus: Even Harrison Ford could not save the dull plot and the slow pacing of the movie.
Synopsis: After a plane crash in which both their spouses are killed, Sergeant Dutch Van Den Broeck (Harrison Ford) and Congresswoman... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#39

Firewall (2006)
18%

#39
Adjusted Score: 24527%
Critics Consensus: Harrison Ford's rote performance brings little to this uninspired techno-heist film whose formulaic plot is befuddled with tedious and improbable twists.
Synopsis: Bank security expert Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) builds a career on his expertise in designing theft-proof computer systems for financial... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine

#38
Adjusted Score: 26740%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Steve Binder

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 33121%
Critics Consensus: Despite a timely topic and a pair of heavyweight leads, Extraordinary Measures never feels like much more than a made-for-TV tearjerker.
Synopsis: John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) is a man on the corporate fast-track, with a beautiful wife (Keri Russell) and three children.... [More]
Directed By: Tom Vaughan

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 35401%
Critics Consensus: Hollywood Homicide suffers from too many subplots and not enough laughs.
Synopsis: After music mogul Antoine Sartain's (Isaiah Washington) rappers are murdered, Sgt. Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) and police Detective K.C. Calden... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 39224%
Critics Consensus: Like its predecessors, Expendables 3 offers a modicum of all-star thrills for old-school action thriller aficionados -- but given all the talent assembled, it should have been a lot more fun.
Synopsis: Years ago, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) co-founded the Expendables with Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). After Stonebanks became an arms dealer,... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#34

The Devil's Own (1997)
35%

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

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 37517%
Critics Consensus: A generally enjoyable, if completely forgettable piece of Hollywood fluff.
Synopsis: In the South Pacific island of Makatea, career-driven magazine editor Robin Monroe (Anne Heche) is on a week-long vacation getaway... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#32

Regarding Henry (1991)
43%

#32
Adjusted Score: 44690%
Critics Consensus: Although Harrison Ford makes the most of an opportunity to dig into a serious role, Regarding Henry is undermined by cheap sentiment and clichés.
Synopsis: An unscrupulous corporate lawyer, Henry Turner (Harrison Ford) will do whatever it takes to win a case, and treats his... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#31

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
44%

#31
Adjusted Score: 53072%
Critics Consensus: Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are as dependably appealing as ever, but they're let down by director Jon Favreau's inability to smooth Cowboys & Aliens' jarring tonal shifts.
Synopsis: Bearing a mysterious metal shackle on his wrist, an amnesiac gunslinger (Daniel Craig) wanders into a frontier town called Absolution.... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 50583%
Critics Consensus: Robert Zemeckis is unable to salvage an uncompelling and unoriginal film.
Synopsis: It had been a year since Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford) betrayed his beautiful wife Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer). But with... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#29

Frisco Kid (1935)
50%

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

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 60611%
Critics Consensus: The Age of Adaline ruminates on mortality less compellingly than similarly themed films, but is set apart by memorable performances from Blake Lively and Harrison Ford.
Synopsis: Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has miraculously remained a youthful 29 years of age for nearly eight decades, never allowing herself... [More]
Directed By: Lee Toland Krieger

#27

Morning Glory (2010)
55%

#27
Adjusted Score: 60693%
Critics Consensus: It's lifted by affable performances from its impeccable cast, and it's often charming -- but Morning Glory is also inconsistent and derivative.
Synopsis: Newly hired as a producer on a national morning-news program called "Daybreak," Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) decides to revitalize the... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#26

Hanover Street (1979)
57%

#26
Adjusted Score: 40627%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A U.S. bomber pilot (Harrison Ford) goes on a secret World War II mission with his English lover's (Lesley-Anne Down)... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

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

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 65449%
Critics Consensus: A gripping drama even though the filmmakers have taken liberties with the facts.
Synopsis: Follows Captain Alexi Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) who, at the height of the Cold War, is ordered to take over command... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 76282%
Critics Consensus: It's undermined by distracting and unnecessary CGI, but this heartwarming Call of the Wild remains a classic story, affectionately retold.
Synopsis: Buck is a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life gets turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his... [More]
Directed By: Chris Sanders

#22

Ender's Game (2013)
62%

#22
Adjusted Score: 71075%
Critics Consensus: If it isn't quite as thought-provoking as the book, Ender's Game still manages to offer a commendable number of well-acted, solidly written sci-fi thrills.
Synopsis: When hostile aliens called the Formics attack Earth, only the legendary heroics of Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) manage to attain... [More]
Directed By: Gavin Hood

#21

Sabrina (1995)
63%

#21
Adjusted Score: 65806%
Critics Consensus: Sydney Pollack's Sabrina doesn't do anything the original didn't do better, but assured direction and a cast of seasoned stars make this a pleasant enough diversion.
Synopsis: Sabrina Fairchild (Julia Ormond) is a chauffeur's daughter who grew up with the wealthy Larrabee family. She always had unreciprocated... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#20

Patriot Games (1992)
74%

#20
Adjusted Score: 76071%
Critics Consensus: Patriot Games doesn't win many points for verisimilitude, but some entertaining set pieces -- and Harrison Ford in the central role -- more than compensate for its flaws.
Synopsis: When former CIA agent Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) hampers an IRA terrorist attack in London, he kills one of the... [More]
Directed By: Phillip Noyce

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

#18

Frantic (1988)
76%

#18
Adjusted Score: 78759%
Critics Consensus: A tense, on-point thriller in the vein of Polanski's earlier work.
Synopsis: While attending a medical conference in Paris, Dr. Richard Walker (Harrison Ford) is horrified when his wife, Sondra (Betty Buckley),... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#17

Air Force One (1997)
78%

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

#16
Adjusted Score: 88420%
Critics Consensus: Though the plot elements are certainly familiar, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still delivers the thrills and Harrison Ford's return in the title role is more than welcome.
Synopsis: It's the height of the Cold War, and famous archaeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), returning from his latest adventure, finds... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 82563%
Critics Consensus: Perfecting the formula established in earlier installments, Clear and Present Danger reunites its predecessor's creative core to solidly entertaining effect.
Synopsis: Agent Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) becomes acting deputy director of the CIA when Admiral Greer (James Earl Jones) is diagnosed... [More]
Directed By: Phillip Noyce

#14

42 (2013)
81%

#14
Adjusted Score: 87776%
Critics Consensus: 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon, though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some.
Synopsis: In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#13
Adjusted Score: 91179%
Critics Consensus: Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy.
Synopsis: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) battles horrible Jabba the Hut and cruel Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel... [More]
Directed By: Richard Marquand

#12

Working Girl (1988)
84%

#12
Adjusted Score: 86939%
Critics Consensus: A buoyant corporate Cinderella story, Working Girl has the right cast, right story, and right director to make it all come together.
Synopsis: Savvy New York City receptionist Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) gives her conniving boss, Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver), an excellent business... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#11
Adjusted Score: 89562%
Critics Consensus: It may be too "dark" for some, but Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom remains an ingenious adventure spectacle that showcases one of Hollywood's finest filmmaking teams in vintage form.
Synopsis: The second of the Lucas/Spielberg Indiana Jones epics is set a year or so before the events in Raiders of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

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

#9
Adjusted Score: 93086%
Critics Consensus: Lighter and more comedic than its predecessor, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade returns the series to the brisk serial adventure of Raiders, while adding a dynamite double act between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.
Synopsis: An art collector appeals to Jones to embark on a search for the Holy Grail. He learns that another archaeologist... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 120782%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and narratively satisfying, Blade Runner 2049 deepens and expands its predecessor's story while standing as an impressive filmmaking achievement in its own right.
Synopsis: Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#7

Blade Runner (1982)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 99684%
Critics Consensus: Misunderstood when it first hit theaters, the influence of Ridley Scott's mysterious, neo-noir Blade Runner has deepened with time. A visually remarkable, achingly human sci-fi masterpiece.
Synopsis: Deckard (Harrison Ford) is forced by the police Boss (M. Emmet Walsh) to continue his old job as Replicant Hunter.... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#6
Adjusted Score: 105728%
Critics Consensus: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.
Synopsis: The Imperial Forces -- under orders from cruel Darth Vader (David Prowse) -- hold Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) hostage, in... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#5

Witness (1985)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 95095%
Critics Consensus: A wonderfully entertaining thriller within an unusual setting, with Harrison Ford delivering a surprisingly emotive and sympathetic performance.
Synopsis: After witnessing a brutal murder, young Amish boy Samuel (Lukas Haas) and his mother Rachel (Kelly McGillis) seek protection from... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

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

#3
Adjusted Score: 104236%
Critics Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.
Synopsis: The adventure continues in this "Star Wars" sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)... [More]
Directed By: Irvin Kershner

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 102224%
Critics Consensus: Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time.
Synopsis: Dr. Indiana Jones, a renowned archeologist and expert in the occult, is hired by the U.S. Government to find the... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#1

The Fugitive (1993)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 102754%
Critics Consensus: Exhilarating and intense, this high-impact chase thriller is a model of taut and efficient formula filmmaking, and it features Harrison Ford at his frantic best.
Synopsis: Wrongfully accused of murdering his wife, Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) escapes from the law in an attempt to find her... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Davis

WALL-E

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

50 Essential Movies For Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ages 1-5

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 103577%
Critics Consensus: Enchanting, sweepingly romantic, and featuring plenty of wonderful musical numbers, Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney's most elegant animated offerings.
Synopsis: An arrogant young prince (Robby Benson) and his castle's servants fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress, who turns... [More]
Directed By: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

#49

Chicken Run (2000)
97%

#49
Adjusted Score: 103668%
Critics Consensus: Chicken Run has all the charm of Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit, and something for everybody. The voice acting is fabulous, the slapstick is brilliant, and the action sequences are spectacular.
Synopsis: This engaging stop-motion, claymation adventure tells the story of an American rooster who falls in love with a gorgeous hen... [More]
Directed By: Peter Lord, Nick Park

#48

Frozen (2013)
90%

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

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 98717%
Critics Consensus: Kiki's Delivery Service is a heartwarming, gorgeously-rendered tale of a young witch discovering her place in the world.
Synopsis: In this anime feature, 13-year-old Kiki moves to a seaside town with her talking cat, Jiji, to spend a year... [More]
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 98719%
Critics Consensus: Alfonso Cuarón adapts Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel with a keen sense of magic realism, vividly recreating the world of childhood as seen through the characters.
Synopsis: When young Sara (Liesel Matthews) is sent to a boarding school by her well-meaning World War I-bound father (Liam Cunningham),... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#45

The Muppet Movie (1979)
88%

#45
Adjusted Score: 92295%
Critics Consensus: The Muppet Movie, the big-screen debut of Jim Henson's plush creations, is smart, lighthearted, and fun for all ages.
Synopsis: After Kermit the Frog decides to pursue a movie career, he starts his cross-country trip from Florida to California. Along... [More]
Directed By: James Frawley

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

#43

The Red Balloon (1956)
95%

#43
Adjusted Score: 96991%
Critics Consensus: The Red Balloon invests the simplest of narratives with spectacular visual inventiveness, making for a singularly wondrous portrait of innocence.
Synopsis: A red balloon with a life of its own follows a boy around Paris.... [More]
Directed By: Albert Lamorisse

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

#41

Toy Story (1995)
100%

#41
Adjusted Score: 106146%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#40

WALL-E (2008)
95%

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

#39

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
98%

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


Ages 6-9

#38

Babe (1995)
97%

#38
Adjusted Score: 101437%
Critics Consensus: The rare family-friendly feature with a heart as big as its special effects budget, Babe offers timeless entertainment for viewers of all ages.
Synopsis: Gentle farmer Arthur Hoggett (James Cromwell) wins a piglet named Babe (Christine Cavanaugh) at a county fair. Narrowly escaping his... [More]
Directed By: Chris Noonan

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 103093%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.
Synopsis: In this 1980s sci-fi classic, small-town California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is thrown back into the '50s when... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#36

Coco (2017)
97%

#36
Adjusted Score: 123816%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Synopsis: Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#35
Adjusted Score: 110804%
Critics Consensus: Playing as both an exciting sci-fi adventure and a remarkable portrait of childhood, Steven Spielberg's touching tale of a homesick alien remains a piece of movie magic for young and old.
Synopsis: After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#34

Elf (2003)
85%

#34
Adjusted Score: 90697%
Critics Consensus: A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers.
Synopsis: Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa's elves.... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 102147%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Mr. Fox is a delightfully funny feast for the eyes with multi-generational appeal -- and it shows Wes Anderson has a knack for animation.
Synopsis: After 12 years of bucolic bliss, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) and raids... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#32

The Goonies (1985)
77%

#32
Adjusted Score: 80852%
Critics Consensus: The Goonies is an energetic, sometimes noisy mix of Spielbergian sentiment and funhouse tricks that will appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike.
Synopsis: When two brothers find out they might lose their house they are desperate to find a way to keep their... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

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

#30

Home Alone (1990)
68%

#30
Adjusted Score: 71393%
Critics Consensus: Home Alone uneven but frequently funny premise stretched unreasonably thin is buoyed by Macaulay Culkin's cute performance and strong supporting stars.
Synopsis: When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother (Catherine... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 106011%
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Synopsis: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life.... [More]

#28

Inside Out (2015)
98%

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

#27

The Karate Kid (1984)
89%

#27
Adjusted Score: 91184%
Critics Consensus: Utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio's relaxed chemistry.
Synopsis: Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#26

The Iron Giant (1999)
96%

#26
Adjusted Score: 101302%
Critics Consensus: The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.
Synopsis: In this animated adaptation of Ted Hughes' Cold War fable, a giant alien robot (Vin Diesel) crash-lands near the small... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#25

The LEGO Movie (2014)
96%

#25
Adjusted Score: 105889%
Critics Consensus: Boasting beautiful animation, a charming voice cast, laugh-a-minute gags, and a surprisingly thoughtful story, The Lego Movie is colorful fun for all ages.
Synopsis: Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as the Special -- an... [More]

#24

Little Manhattan (2005)
77%

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

#23

Matilda (1996)
90%

#23
Adjusted Score: 90504%
Critics Consensus: Danny DeVito-directed version of Matilda is odd, charming, and while the movie diverges from Roald Dahl, it nonetheless captures the book's spirit.
Synopsis: This film adaptation of a Roald Dahl work tells the story of Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson), a gifted girl forced... [More]
Directed By: Danny DeVito

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 82899%
Critics Consensus: A magical journey about the power of a young boy's imagination to save a dying fantasy land, The NeverEnding Story remains a much-loved kids adventure.
Synopsis: On his way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#21

Paddington 2 (2017)
99%

#21
Adjusted Score: 113870%
Critics Consensus: Paddington 2 honors its star's rich legacy with a sweet-natured sequel whose adorable visuals are matched by a story perfectly balanced between heartwarming family fare and purely enjoyable all-ages adventure.
Synopsis: Settled in with the Brown family, Paddington the bear is a popular member of the community who spreads joy and... [More]
Directed By: Paul King

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 103682%
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Synopsis: A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#19

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#19
Adjusted Score: 68719%
Critics Consensus: It may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but The Sandlot is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure.
Synopsis: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids... [More]
Directed By: David Mickey Evans

#18

Spirited Away (2001)
97%

#18
Adjusted Score: 103385%
Critics Consensus: Spirited Away is a dazzling, enchanting, and gorgeously drawn fairy tale that will leave viewers a little more curious and fascinated by the world around them.
Synopsis: 10-year-old Chihiro (Daveigh Chase) moves with her parents to a new home in the Japanese countryside. After taking a wrong... [More]
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise

#17

Spy Kids (2001)
93%

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

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

#15
Adjusted Score: 95387%
Critics Consensus: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is strange yet comforting, full of narrative detours that don't always work but express the film's uniqueness.
Synopsis: The last of five coveted "golden tickets" falls into the hands of a sweet but very poor boy. He and... [More]
Directed By: Mel Stuart


Ages 10-12

#14

The 400 Blows (1959)
98%

#14
Adjusted Score: 104417%
Critics Consensus: A seminal French New Wave film that offers an honest, sympathetic, and wholly heartbreaking observation of adolescence without trite nostalgia.
Synopsis: For young Parisian boy Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), life is one difficult situation after another. Surrounded by inconsiderate adults, including... [More]
Directed By: François Truffaut

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 90717%
Critics Consensus: A warm, family-friendly underdog story, featuring terrific supporting performances from Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne, and Angela Bassett.
Synopsis: Akeelah, an 11-year-old girl living in South Los Angeles, discovers she has a talent for spelling, which she hopes will... [More]
Directed By: Doug Atchison

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 99265%
Critics Consensus: Louis Malle's autobiographical tale of a childhood spent in a WWII boarding school is a beautifully realized portrait of friendship and youth.
Synopsis: In 1943, Julien (Gaspard Manesse) is a student at a French boarding school. When three new students arrive, including Jean... [More]
Directed By: Louis Malle

#11

Hugo (2011)
93%

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

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 78235%
Critics Consensus: A charming, quirky, and often funny comedy.
Synopsis: In small-town Preston, Idaho, awkward teen Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) has trouble fitting in. After his grandmother is injured in... [More]
Directed By: Jared Hess

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 89484%
Critics Consensus: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure brings Paul Reubens' famous character to the big screen intact, along with enough inspired silliness to dazzle children of all ages.
Synopsis: Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), an eccentric child-like man, loves his red bicycle and will not sell it to his envious... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#8

Queen of Katwe (2016)
94%

#8
Adjusted Score: 104629%
Critics Consensus: Queen of Katwe is a feel-good movie of uncommon smarts and passion, and outstanding performances by Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo help to elevate the film past its cliches.
Synopsis: Living in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) and her... [More]
Directed By: Mira Nair

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 102224%
Critics Consensus: Featuring bravura set pieces, sly humor, and white-knuckle action, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the most consummately entertaining adventure pictures of all time.
Synopsis: Dr. Indiana Jones, a renowned archeologist and expert in the occult, is hired by the U.S. Government to find the... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#6

Romeo and Juliet (1968)
95%

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

#5

Rudy (1993)
78%

#5
Adjusted Score: 81459%
Critics Consensus: Though undeniably sentimental and predictable, Rudy succeeds with an uplifting spirit and determination.
Synopsis: Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin) wants to play football at the University of Notre Dame, but has neither the money for... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#4
Adjusted Score: 121255%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

#3

Time Bandits (1981)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 92686%
Critics Consensus: Time Bandits is a remarkable time-travel fantasy from Terry Gilliam, who utilizes fantastic set design and homemade special effects to create a vivid, original universe.
Synopsis: Young history buff Kevin (Craig Warnock) can scarcely believe it when six dwarfs emerge from his closet one night. Former... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#2

West Side Story (1961)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103980%
Critics Consensus: Buoyed by Robert Wise's dazzling direction, Leonard Bernstein's score, and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, West Side Story remains perhaps the most iconic of all the Shakespeare adaptations to visit the big screen.
Synopsis: A musical in which a modern day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh... [More]

#1

The Witches (1990)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 95740%
Critics Consensus: With a deliciously wicked performance from Angelica Huston and imaginative puppetry by Jim Henson's creature shop, Nicolas Roeg's dark and witty movie captures the spirit of Roald Dahl's writing like few other adaptations.
Synopsis: While staying at a hotel in England with his grandmother, Helga (Mai Zetterling), young Luke (Jasen Fisher) inadvertently spies on... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg

With John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum unleashed into theaters last week– and currently sitting pretty, and bloody, at 88% on the Tomatometer, with John Wick: Chapter 4 just announced – we wanted to know which action movie franchises have the highest Tomatometer averages ever. So, we did a deep Tomatometer dive into over 80 action franchises and found 12 Fresh series that punched, kicked, and sprinted their way ahead of the pack.

Since John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is the third film in the Wick saga, we decided to focus on action franchises with at least three Tomatometer-rated films that told a continuous story. We split up the Spider-Man, Planet of the Apes, James Bond, and Batman franchises into chunks, as they had multiple directors, reboots, and often happened in different universes. For example, we looked at the Sean Connery Bond films as a separate entity from the Daniel Craig Bond films, and the Christopher Nolan Batman films as separate from the 1980s and ’90s movies; we did however include Fury Road with the original Mad Max trilogy, as it centers on the same Max – albeit played by a different actor – and is directed by George Miller. Also: sci-fi, fantasy, and animated films were out; superhero flicks were in.

Basically, we were hoping for an eclectic list and we got one!

Will Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy be ranked higher than Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones franchise? Can any action franchise defeat Miller’s Mad Max quartet? How in the hell is Mission Impossible not on this list?! (Sorry, blame the just Fresh first Mission Impossible, and the Rotten Mission Impossible 2.) Check out the list below and let us know which action franchises you love in the comments.


12. Iron Man (2008 – 2013)

Iron Man

(Photo by @ Paramount)

Tomatometer Average: 81.7%

Movies: Iron Man (2008) 94%, Iron Man 2 (2010) 72%Iron Man 3 (2013) 79%

Highest Rated Film: Iron Man (2008) 94%

Lowest Rated Film: Iron Man 2 (2010) 72%

In 2008, the Jon Favreau-directed Iron Man became a smash hit that was beloved by critics and audiences alike. The 93% Tomatometer-rated film featured Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” who becomes the superhero Iron Man, and it kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, it’s significant. Less significant, though still very well regarded, are the movie’s two Certified Fresh follow-ups: Iron Man 2, also directed by Favreau, and Shane Black’s Iron Man 3. The sequels couldn’t recapture the Tomatometer heights of the first film, but they were box office blockbusters – Iron Man 3 is the seventh highest-grossing MCU movie, just behind Captain Marvel – with high enough Tomatometer scores to land the franchise at the 12th spot on our list.


11. Spider-Man (2002 – 2007)

Tomatometer Average: 82%

Movies: Spider-Man (2002) 90%, Spider-Man 2 (2004) 93%Spider-Man 3 (2007) 63%

Highest Rated Film: Spider-Man 2 (2004) 93%

Lowest Rated film: Spider-Man 3 (2007) 63%

With all the superhero films that have been released since 2002, it’s easy to forget how popular Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy was in the 2000s. In 2002, the 90% Tomatometer-rated Spider-Man was a massive success that cleared $100 million in its opening weekend (which was huge at the time) and introduced us to Tobey Maguire’s amazingly earnest take on the popular web-slinger. It was followed up by the 93% Tomatometer-rated Spider-Man 2, which is one of the most critically beloved sequels of all time. The franchise took a bit of dip in 2007, with Spider-Man 3 – OK, a “bit” might be understating it. However, its Fresh score of 63% was just enough to ensure its placement in this list. Cue dancing Emo Spidey!


10. Jackie Chan’s Police Story (1985 – 1996)

Supercop

(Photo by Courtesy the Everett Collection)

Tomatometer Average: 84.5%

Movies: Police Story (1985) 93%Jackie Chan's Police Story 2 (1988) 83%Supercop (1992) 96%Jackie Chan's First Strike (1996) 57%

Highest Rated Film: Supercop (1992) 96%

Lowest Rated Film:Jackie Chan's First Strike (1996) 57%

An action movie list without a Jackie Chan film wouldn’t feel right. Kicking off in 1985, Chan directed Police Story, which introduced the world to Sergeant Chan Ka-Kui (Chan), an incredibly likable and athletic cop who engages in the greatest shopping mall fight ever. The acclaimed Police Story 2 (92% on the Tomatometer) was also a huge success and featured the greatest playground fight ever (are you sensing a trend?). Basically, the four core Police Story movies starring Jackie Chan feature all-time great action scenes – made great because of the brilliance of Chan and his commitment to hurting himself to entertain audiences. (Note, while Supercop was released in 1992, it didn’t get a theatrical release in the U.S. until 1996.)


9. Sean Connery Bond Films (1962 – 1971)

Tomatometer Average: 85.3%

Movies: Dr. No (1962) 95%From Russia With Love (1963) 97%Goldfinger (1964) 99%Thunderball (1965) 87%You Only Live Twice (1967) 73%Diamonds Are Forever (1971) 64%

Highest Rated Film: Goldfinger (1964) 99%

Lowest Rated Film: Diamonds Are Forever (1971) 64%

Bond. Sean Connery’s James Bond. The action world was changed forever when Dr. No was released in 1962. The movie, Certified Fresh at 96%, was an adaptation of Ian Fleming’s spy novel and the first to feature Sean Connery as the smooth-talking badass who traveled the world, killed with ease, and wooed way too many women. Peaking with the classic 97% Tomatometer-rated Goldfinger, Connery’s six Bond films set a new standard for action in the 1960s, shooting on location around the world and featuring a “hero” who had a literal license to kill.


8. Ip Man (2010 – 2016)

Ip Man 3

(Photo by © Well Go USA / courtesy Everett Collection)

Tomatometer Average: 86.3%

Movies: Ip Man (2008) 86%Yip Man 2 (2010) 97%Ip Man 3 (2015) 76%

Highest Rated: Yip Man 2 (2010) 97%

Lowest Rated: Ip Man 3 (2015) 76%

Many non-action film fans may only know Ip Man star Donnie Yen from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, XXX: Return of Xander Cage, or Blade 2. However, Yen is an action icon who has been hurting onscreen henchmen since the early 1990s. That’s why it’s awesome to include on this list the Wilson Yip-directed Ip Man franchise, which tells the story of Ip Man, the famous martial artist who mentored Bruce Lee and is considered the grandfather of the Kung Fu hybrid Wing Chun. The trilogy of films have allowed Yen to engage in some truly wicked brawls that showcase his martial arts prowess and ability to learn an insane amount of fight choreography. (Note, we are not including this year’s, Master Z: Ip Man legacy, as it does not feature Yen and is a spin-off set in the same universe rather than directly part of the series.)


7. Indiana Jones (1981 – 2008)

Tomatometer Average: 86.5%

Movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 95%Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) 84%Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) 88%Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) 78%

Highest Rated: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 95%

Lowest Rated: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) 78%

We know many people think Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the fourth entry in the Indiana Jones franchise, nuked the goodwill of the original trilogy. However, its Certified Fresh 78% Tomatometer score got the franchise to swing into the top 10 where it deserves to be — so it’s not all bad. Harrison Ford’s portrayal of the archaeologist who spends his days teaching college students and weekends globetrotting to deadly locations in hunt of ancient artifacts, still feels fresh and full of charm. It also helps that Steven Spielberg directed all four movies and loaded them with action-packed set pieces, memorable characters, and some very twisted moments – yes, this is a family flick featuring hearts being pulled from people’s chests.


6. The Avengers (2012 – 2019)

Tomatometer Average: 86.5%

Movies: Marvel's the Avengers (2012) 91%Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) 76%Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 85%Avengers: Endgame (2019) 94%

Highest Rated: Avengers: Endgame (2019) 94%

Lowest Rated: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) 76%

The Avengers franchise made the pointy end of the list because of the two critically beloved blockbusters that bookend the franchise. Joss Whedon’s Marvel’s The Avengers, 92% on the Tomatometer, was a massive blockbuster that proved a movie featuring the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s mightiest heroes could be funny, surprising, and most importantly, capable of giving every superhero a moment to shine (except for the zombie Hawkeye thing). Most recently, the Russos-directed Avengers: Endgame pulled off an equally impressive feat by giving what feels like 7,000 characters something to do in a narrative that makes logical sense. And it’s the highest-rated movie in the franchise, Certified Fresh at 95%.


5. Captain America (2011 – 2016)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

(Photo by @ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, @ Marvel Studios)

Tomatometer Average: 87%

Movies: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) 80%Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) 90%Captain America: Civil War (2016) 90%

Highest Rated: Captain America: Civil War (2016) 90%

Lowest Rated: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) 80%

The Captain America franchise kicked off in 2012 with the Certified Fresh Captain America: The First Avenger, 80% on the Tomatometer. The Joe Johnston-directed superhero origin story struck a chord with audiences who loved its nostalgic vibe – Johnston directed The Rocketeer and it showed – and lead performance by Chris Evans. But, it wasn’t until 2014 that the Russo brothers’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier (90% on the Tomatometer) propelled the franchise into the critical elite. The Russos struck gold again in 2016 with the Captain America: Civil War; its Tomatometer score of 91% makes Captain America the only superhero franchise to have its Tomatometer score improve with each installment.


4. John Wick (2014 – 2019)

Tomatometer Average: 88%

Movies: John Wick (2014) 86%John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) 89%John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) 89%

Highest Rated: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) 89%

Lowest Rated: John Wick (2014) 86%

Much like the immortal Keanu Reeves, the John Wick franchise keeps getting better with age. Kicking off in 2014, the 86% Tomatometer-rated John Wick introduced the world to an unstoppable assassin who wiped out hundreds of well-groomed henchman in his quest to get revenge on the people who killed his adorable puppy. His quest for revenge lead him to the 89% and 88%-Tomatometer rated John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, which also feature him killing hundreds of well-groomed henchman and assassins who want him dead. Guided by director Chad Stahelski (and co-director David Leitch for the first film), the trilogy has remained incredibly consistent, and we’re hoping the duo of Stahelski and Reeves keeps up the high-scoring work when Chapter 4 is released in 2021.


3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011 – 2017)

War for the Planet of the Apes

(Photo by © 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

Tomatometer Average: 88.3%

Movies: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) 82%Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) 90%War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) 94%

Highest Rated: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) 94%

Lowest Rated: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) 82%

OK, so we’re bending the “no sci-fi” rule here a touch, given the technology to enhance apes’ intelligence doesn’t yet exist. But, aside from that, this series is kept relatively grounded (or, at least, tree-bound). Director Rupert Wyatt kicked off the Apes reboot trilogy with Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), which set up the heroic journey of Caesar (another incredible performance-capture performance from Andy Serkis). The successful prequel/reboot was followed up by the even more successful Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (90%) and War for the Planet of the Apes (93%), which continued Caesar’s story, and gave thousands of visual effects artists plenty of work. Matt Reeves directed the two later films, and his insistence of shooting at actual locations, instead of sound stages, made the films look authentic, real, and dangerous. Between the large battles, incredible CGI and committed performances, this trilogy was an inventive, action-packed surprise.


2. The Dark Knight (2005 – 2012)

Tomatometer Average: 88.3%

Movies: Batman Begins (2005) 84%The Dark Knight (2008) 94%The Dark Knight Rises (2012) 87%

Highest Rated: The Dark Knight (2008) 94%

Lowest Rated: Batman Begins (2005) 84%

*The Dark Knight Trilogy and the Rise of the Planet of the Apes Trilogy both have 88.3% Tomatometer averages. The Dark Knight Trilogy has a higher ranking because it has more reviews (967 > 897).

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy is the highest Tomatometer-rated superhero franchise ever – impressive, considering expectations were low for 2005’s Batman Begins after Batman & Robin put a freeze on the franchise in 1997. However, DC fans and audiences soon learned that Nolan was the right person to guide Batman through three films that took on a grittier tone, featured beautiful cinematography, and gave the world an all-time-great performance by Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Ledger’s portrayal won him a posthumous Academy Award in 2009 and helped people realize that superhero movies could also be taken ‘so serious.’


1. Mad Max (1979 – 2015)

Tomatometer Average: 91.25%

Movies: Mad Max (1979) 90%Mad Max 2 (1981) 94%Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) 80%Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 97%

Highest Rated: Mad Max 2 (1981) 94%

Lowest Rated: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) 80%

George Miller’s Mad Max trilogy featuring Mel Gibson as the titular Max, is a perfect example of  a handmade action franchise. The mayhem in the Mad Max world felt primal (and feral), which is a testament to Miller’s direction and a fearless crew who didn’t mind blowing up dozens of vehicles. If you haven’t seen Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Certified Fresh at 98%, we totally recommend it. Why? Not only is it the highest Tomatometer-rated movie featured in this entire list, it also features one of the greatest vehicular chase scenes ever made.


Let us know about you favorite action movie franchises in the comments! Also, how in the heck is the Blade trilogy Rotten?

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

It would be easy — and egregiously dismissive — to say that the X-Men character Wolverine alone made Hugh Jackman the star that he is today. Plenty of actors land big roles early in their careers, only to squander the opportunity or fade from memory soon after. From the outset, it was clear that Jackman possessed the kind of onscreen charisma not only to play the gruff hero but also to break off and lead a solo franchise of his own, culminating in a swan song for the character that earned some of the best reviews of any film in 2017, period.

Of course, Jackman is more than just the iconic mutant who helped raise his profile. He has starred in films in a wide variety of genres and worked with several acclaimed directors to establish himself as one of the more versatile leading men working today. This week, for example, he appears in multiple Oscar-nominated director Jason Reitman’s political drama The Front Runner, in which he plays former U.S. presidential candidate Gary Hart, whose 1988 campaign was derailed by reports of an extramarital affair, and it ranks as one of Jackman’s most challenging roles to date. The film is currently in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles before it expands on November 21, and ahead of its release, Jackman chatted with RT to give us his Five Favorite Films, then talked about the new film, the evolution of political journalism, and whether or not he thinks his Wolverine might make a comeback.


The Deer Hunter (1978) 91%

I saw that when I was 15, and that blew my mind about what was possible with acting. Yeah, that was a game changer.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 95%

It’s another game changer for me. I saw it when I was 12, I think. 11 or 12. I just remember saying to my brother, “I didn’t know movies could make me feel like this.” So it transported me. I believed in it. It was fun, it was funny, I was on the edge of my seat — everything about it. I remember saying that to him: “I didn’t know movies could make me feel like this.”

The Singing Detective 100%

I’m going to break your rules, and I’m going to mention The Singing Detective, which was a TV series out of Britain with Michael Gambon. I don’t know if you ever saw it. Dennis Potter; it was so amazing. I remember watching that while I was acting training, in my first year of acting training, and I loved it so much, I got depressed, because I remember thinking, “I will never be able to act as well as Michael Gambon.” It was just so incredible.

Singin' in the Rain (1952) 100%

You’ve got to put Singin’ in the Rain in there. I’m trying to think of what I’m taking out. It’s just a perfect movie. I don’t care who you are, it’s amazing.

Caddyshack (1980) 73%

I’m going to have to say Caddyshack, because any movie you’ve seen 63 times has got to somehow rate. Admittedly, it wasn’t last year, but it was when I was younger, but I’m going to say Caddyshack. It’s just one of the greats. Put that at number five.


Ryan Fujitani for Rotten Tomatoes: You have this reputation for being one of the nicest people in Hollywood, but that’s gotta be tiring, isn’t it? Is it difficult for you, just having everyone sort of expect you to be the most charming person they’ve ever met?

Hugh Jackman: [laughs] No. What you’ve got to understand is most people assume people in movies are dicks, and arrogant, and expect everything. And I actually think I’m being a slightly watered down version of the way I was brought up, as in my parents would expect me to be nicer, more polite, more appreciative, never allow anyone to do anything for me. So I kind of get away with it, I think, in a way. People go, “Wow.” I always feel what they’re saying is, “For a movie star, you’re kind of nice.”

RT: It’s not, “He’s a nice guy.” It’s, “He’s a nice guy for a movie star.”

Jackman: “For a movie star.” Exactly. Like, people say to me, “Oh, that was so sweet. You remembered my name.” And I’m just like, “You just told me three seconds ago.” You know? Anyway…

If you’re a parent, you go up and you say, “Oh, hello, Mrs. Lacey.” And they say, “Oh, you remembered my name.” And it’s like, “Yeah. I’m looking after your stinking kid all this time. Of course you remember my name.”

RT: So that works to your advantage.

Jackman: Oh, totally. Expectations are low. Easy to deliver.

RT: Well, so far, you’re a pretty nice guy for an actor.

Jackman: Right, thanks man. For an actor. [laughs]

RT: So, let’s talk about The Front Runner. Obviously the Gary Hart story was a big one here in the States when it happened, but I’m wondering how much of it you were aware of before you took on the role.

Jackman: Oh, I really was not aware. In fact, I was like most people. Most people would say to me, “Oh, yeah, Gary Hart. Monkey business? What was the name?” And, “Didn’t he tell them to follow him around?” And it would usually happen in that order. I was probably… I would know even less than that. I didn’t know the “follow me around.” I think I’d heard of Monkey Business.

I think what’s really interesting about this film — Jason’s highlighted something that’s been pretty much forgotten. It feels like a blip in terms of political history, right? But actually, when you look at that moment, you really get an idea of how and why we got to where we are today. And I think that’s what makes Jason such a great storyteller.

And also, I’m proud of the way he kind of treats everybody in the movie, and every character, and someone who might’ve been, “What was her name, that girl on the boat?” You know? But by the end, you really feel and understand and empathize with her story as much as the woman at the Washington Post, or the campaign worker who has to take care of Donna. You see it from so many perspectives.

RT: And the actors playing all of those characters. It’s a fantastic cast you’re working with in this film.

Jackman: Oh yeah, a phenomenal cast. And Jason had this technique which was really interesting. He really wanted a very believable atmosphere. He used to grab extras. So I’d be doing a scene, and an extra would be… He would just say, “I want you to go and interrupt, and I want you to go and do this,” and so they would just come in and interrupt. We’d have to deal with it.

When we did the press conference [scene], we didn’t know what order the questions were going to come in. They were just sort of being fired. He just said, “Can you see that?” He would point — they were all in there, and I wasn’t allowed to go in. We’re peeking through the door, and he says, “Can you see that white cross on the floor?” And I said, “Yeah.” And he goes, “If you stand around there, and go for it.” I’m like, “Like now? Like go?” And he goes, “Yeah.” So we just sort of walked in. So it was really interesting what he did.

RT: The film paints a complex portrait of Gary Hart, because it builds him up as this superstar candidate, but it doesn’t shy away from his faults. It must have been a challenge to portray someone who is so charismatic and charming and seemingly upstanding, but also has these big gaping flaws, because you had to show how he was so likable at the same time that he was, in a sense, morally compromised. How did you strike that balance?

Jackman: It was a definite challenge for me on many levels because I’m more of an open book. We’ve only spoken for ten minutes. A lot of the characters I play have their heart beating out of their chest, and this is someone who will allow you close. He is very charismatic and enigmatic — some people called him elusive. He was hard to get to know. He would let you get close to a point, but then not, and he never really felt comfortable personally letting everybody in. It just wasn’t his personality, nor did he think that was important for the job he was going for, and thought it was distracting.

He thought about things very, very differently than any other politician, and this is really the turning point. After this point, it’s very clear to every political candidate that there is your personality, your ability or willingness to entertain, to be an entertainer, is part of the process. There was a reason why, I think, Clinton played saxophone on Arsenio Hall, whereas that wasn’t happening before. Things certainly did change in this era, and I think the challenge for me was having the restraint to not let people in fully, because that is my instinct.

Of course, I had to have that inner life, and you needed to see that, but there’s moments of kindness, which are actually true. Like on the plane to the reporter who was going through that fright with a fear of flying.

RT: That was a real thing that happened?

Jackman: Yeah, that actually happened. Yeah, you know, he would hand books to people, and he would buy drinks for the press. But, at the same time, you never really fully felt that you got to know every part of him, and that was the challenge. It was a big challenge for me, and I really relied and leaned heavily on Jason for that.

RT: You touched on this already, but while this film is certainly about the rise and fall of Gary Hart, it’s clearly also about how journalism and especially political journalism changed at the time, particularly with respect to the privacy of candidates running for office. I think the film lets the audience decide where they stand, between “the press should be free” and “candidates deserve their privacy.” Where do you stand on that?

Jackman: Look, it’s a far more important job than probably anything else out there, so I do understand that people need to feel like they know the character of all these candidates. I learned this — this is a new world — prior to 1970, there was no primary system. So now you’re expecting everyone around the country to judge 12 people that are running for a Republican ticket. So there is a responsibility of the press to get to know these people, and to let us know. You don’t have time to do it.

I think the question more for rather than putting it all on the press, and it’s the press’s job, and have they gone too far or not, I think if we as voters or citizens, whichever country we’re at, have a very strong sense of what is important to us, what do we need to know, because that is different for everybody. And I don’t judge it, the film doesn’t judge it. Some people will judge a person on how they are in their marriage, you know? I’m not, except for the person I’m married to, but that’s not me. But I do judge someone’s character. I want to know that they are smart enough to see problems that I can’t see coming, and that they have the conviction to follow through on what they say they’re going to do. So that is a character judgment.

So on some level, I do want to know them. I would like that to be uncovered. I don’t need to know if they wear boxers or briefs, or their dog’s name, whether they played piano in school, or what their girlfriend’s name is, or whether they smoke marijuana. I don’t really care about that. But that’s different for everybody.

RT: Before we go, I feel like I have to ask this. There’s obviously been a lot of talk about the whole Disney-Fox deal and the fact that Bob Iger confirmed that Marvel’s Kevin Feige will be the new caretaker of the X-Men franchise. If — and I know this is a big if — at some point, if they figure out a way to incorporate the X-Men into the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they come knocking on your door, would you be willing to come back in some capacity, whether big or small?

Jackman: Now, in terms of opening windows, you just left a crack so small. Like, “Would you like to just smell what is going on in the room?” I love what you did there.

For many, many years, I often thought how cool would it be to have Wolverine in a scene with Iron Man, or Hulk, particularly Hulk, and all of that. I totally get that. It frustrated me that that was not… And I, for many years, thought that that was an impossibility. But, mate, I think the ship has sailed.

You know, when you get into a party, you leave the party, all is good. You’re in the cab. You’re just about to get home, and someone goes, “You’ve got to come back, dude. Such-and-such has turned up,” and you go, “You know what? I’m going to bed.”


The Front Runner opens in limited release on November 7.

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


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

Steven Spielberg has two big movies opening in the early months of 2018 — the based-on-true-events drama The Post, starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, and the nostalgic sci-fi adventure Ready Player One, based on the popular book of the same name. To celebrate, we’re looking back too on this acclaimed director’s lifetime behind the lens, ranking his brightest critical highlights by Tomatometer while inviting you to put together a lineup of your own personal favorites. It’s time for Total Recall!


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

It’s the very first streaming column of 2017, which means it’s also the first streaming column of the month, which means the subscription services are releasing a ton of new titles, and we’re culling them down to the very best. Read on for all the Certified Fresh choices available on Netflix and Amazon Prime this week.


New on Netflix

 

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 99%

Steven Spielberg’s family classic — the tale of a young boy named Elliott who discovers an orphaned alien in his backyard — boasts one of the most beloved movie characters in history.

Available now on: Netflix


The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) 95%

Robert Wise’s Certified Fresh sci-fi classic tells the story of an alien being who arrives on Earth with a warning for mankind: make peace or face annihilation.

Available now on: Netflix


Hugo (2011) 93%

Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the Brian Selznick novel stars Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz in the story of a young boy who befriends a reclusive toymaker in order to unlock the secret behind an automaton left to him by his late father.

Available now on: Netflix


Superman: The Movie (1978) 94%

– Franchise

All four of the classic Superman films starring Christopher Reeve — and Bryan Singer’s 2006 update — are available on Netflix this week.

Available now on Netflix: Superman, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV, Superman Returns


Boogie Nights (1997) 93%

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ensemble opus about life in the porn industry made a movie star out of Mark Wahlberg and benefited immeasurably from great performances by Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, Luis Guzman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and William H. Macy.

Available now on: Netflix


Gimme the Loot (2012) 91%

This independent drama follows a pair of graffiti artists over two days as they attempt to raise funds for a bold act of tagging.

Available now on: Netflix


After Innocence (2005) 92%

This documentary catches up with several men exonerated by DNA evidence and freed from prison as they attempt to reintegrate into society.

Available now on: Netflix


Cheap Thrills (2013) 88%

This dark comedy centers on two friends and a wealthy married couple who meet at a bar and engage in a series of progressively more twisted dares.

Available now on: Netflix


The Shining (1980) 85%

Stanley Kubrick’s iconic adaptation of the Stephen King novel stars a creepy Jack Nicholson as a struggling writer who relocates his family to an empty hotel during a harsh winter season and slowly goes mad.

Available now on: Netflix


Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant star in this comedy about a brash thirtysomething London woman who decides to shape up and meets a couple of eligible bachelors.

Available now on: Netflix


Beautiful Girls (1996) 79%

Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman, a young Natalie Portman, and a bunch of other noted indie thespians star in this mid-1990s comedy about a high school reunion in snowy New England.

Available now on: Netflix


Braveheart (1995) 79%

Mel Gibson directs and stars in this multiple Oscar-winner as William Wallace, a Scottish folk hero from the 13th century who led his people against the English in the First War of Scottish Independence.

Available now on: Netflix


Caddyshack (1980) 73%

Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray star in Harold Ramis’s directorial debut, a beloved comedy about the unruly, unusual new members of an exclusive country club.

Available now on: Netflix


V for Vendetta (2006) 73%

Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving star in this dystopian thriller about a lone freedom fighter plotting a series of revolutionary bombings against a tyrannical government who recruits a young woman to join his cause.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 95%

– Franchise

Harrison Ford stars as the iconic archaeologist/adventurer whose thrilling exploits take him all over the globe. Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to stream all of the Indiana Jones movies this week.

Available now on Amazon Prime: Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Iron Man (2008) 94%

This action blockbuster, which kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in spectacular style, stars Robert Downey Jr. in a role he was born to play: an arrogant billionaire supergenius who creates a weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Cropsey (2009) 91%

This Certified Fresh documentary tells the chilling tale of a Long Island child killer that many assumed was an urban legend.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Trading Places (1983) 88%

Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd star in John Landis’s classic comedy about a well-to-do businessman and a common street hustler whose lives become intertwined when the businessman’s bosses concoct an elaborate bet involving them.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


American History X (1998) 83%

Edwards Norton and Furlong star in this drama about an ex-white supremacist who returns from prison a changed man and attempts to prevent his younger brother from following the same path.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Beetlejuice (1988) 85%

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

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Jesus' Son (1999) 80%

Billy Crudup and Samantha Morton star in this drama about an aimless junkie who meets an interesting collection of characters as he attempts to straighten out his life.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The Untouchables (1987) 83%

Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, and Robert De Niro star in Brian DePalma’s dramatization of the Prohibition Era war between Al Capone and lawman Eliot Ness.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Stardust (2007) 77%

Based upon Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel and featuring an all-star cast, this fantasy follows a young man who embarks on a journey through a forbidden kingdom to prove his love to the girl of his dreams by presenting her with a fallen star.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Gangs of New York (2002) 73%

Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis headline an all-star cast in Martin Scorsese’s stylized portrayal of the rise of criminal power in New York’s Five Points neighborhood during the mid-1800s.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Happy Feet (2006) 76%

Elijah Wood and Robin Williams lend their voices to this animated feature about an emperor penguin who overcomes his inability to sing by becoming a fantastic dancer instead.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Available to Purchase

 

Insecure: Season 1 (2016) 100%

Issa Rae stars in this HBO comedy series, partly based on her web series Awkward Black Girl, that centers on two black women learning to navigate their personal and professional lives in Los Angeles.

Available now on: Amazon, Google PlayiTunes


Pinocchio (1940) 100%

Disney’s classic take on the story of a wooden boy who wishes to become human is being made available to stream this week.

Available now on: AmazonFandangoNOW, iTunes


Queen of Katwe (2016) 94%

Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo star in Mira Nair’s inspirational tale based on a true story about a chess prodigy who is discovered in a Ugandan slum and nurtured to become a champion.

Available now on: AmazonFandangoNOW, iTunes


Christine (2016) 88%

Rebecca Hall stars in this fact-based drama as Christine Chubbuck, the Florida news reporter who committed suicide on live TV in 1974.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes


Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) 82%

This surprisingly effective prequel to the forgettable 2014 original follows a scam psychic and her two daughters as they deal with an unwelcome spirit who enters their lives via the titular game board.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes

Movies can transport you from your life for a little while, but did you ever let the movies transport you in life? Every country and virtually every way of life has been captured on film, so it’s rather irresistible to catch the travelling bug from the silver screen.

Today, let Rotten Tomatoes be your travel guide, as we present 10 places whose architecture, landscape, and beauty have given life to some famous movies in history. Navigate the cities below and fire up your wanderlust!

What is your top movie vacation spot?


When it comes to big summer movies, the opinions of critics and audiences are always out of sync. Right? Not so fast. Using our weighted formula, we at Rotten Tomatoes decided to spotlight the best-reviewed wide releases from each summer since 1975 — the year Jaws kicked off the blockbuster era — and it turns out that many of the big winners with the pundits have become perennial favorites with regular moviegoers as well.


1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s

#1975

Jaws (1975)
98%

#1975
Adjusted Score: 106303%
Critics Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.
Synopsis: When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island,... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#1976
#1976
Adjusted Score: 93711%
Critics Consensus: Recreating the essence of his iconic Man With No Name in a post-Civil War Western, director Clint Eastwood delivered the first of his great revisionist works of the genre.
Synopsis: Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) watches helplessly as his wife and child are murdered, by Union men led by Capt. Terrill... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#1977
Adjusted Score: 105728%
Critics Consensus: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.
Synopsis: The Imperial Forces -- under orders from cruel Darth Vader (David Prowse) -- hold Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) hostage, in... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#1978
Adjusted Score: 95021%
Critics Consensus: The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live's irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.
Synopsis: When they arrive at college, socially inept freshmen Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst) attempt to pledge the snooty... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#1979

Alien (1979)
98%

#1979
Adjusted Score: 108931%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Synopsis: In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

With this weekend’s The BFG, Steven Spielberg stands poised to add yet another blockbuster to an impressive filmography that already boasts an incredible number of beloved hits. In honor of Mr. Spielberg’s lifetime behind the lens, we’re taking a fond look back at the brightest critical highlights among his many well-reviewed efforts — and the results probably include some of your fondest childhood memories. It’s time for Total Recall!


The Sugarland Express (1974) 85%

Sugarland-Express

Spielberg was still a young college dropout with a few years of TV work under his belt when he cut his feature-film teeth on The Sugarland Express, a 1974 crime drama about a husband and wife (Goldie Hawn and William Atherton) bound and determined to prevent their young son from being put in a foster home — even if it means they have to hold a cop hostage and lead police on a chase across Texas in order to do it. Inspired by real-life events and topped off by a typically charming performance from Hawn, Express demonstrated Spielberg’s youthful command of his medium, particularly with its action sequences; although audiences largely ignored it at the time, it’s come to be recognized as an entertaining early entry in a filmography chock-full of them. “The Sugarland Express is not terribly original — Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands and The Getaway are indelibly marked in its DNA,” wrote Christopher Lloyd for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “But it shows an already dazzling young filmmaker honing his skills and vision.”

Watch Trailer


Saving Private Ryan (1998) 93%

Saving-Private-Ryan

American directors have been making movies about World War II since 1940, and even as early as the ‘80s, it was a genre associated by many with Norman Rockwell revisionism and John Wayne machismo. By 1998, for a movie about the war to add anything new to the dialogue, it would have to be something truly special – but with Spielberg behind the cameras and a cast led by Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan was off to a pretty good start even before the first roll of film had been shot. The end result, of course, was one of the best-reviewed films (and biggest hits) of the year – a $481 million hit that arrived perfectly timed to coincide with a new wave of interest in what Tom Brokaw dubbed “The Greatest Generation.” Lauded for its sometimes shocking realism, Ryan was eventually nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and helped prompt Hanks’ involvement (along with Spielberg and many others) in HBO’s 10-part World War II miniseries, Band of Brothers — an important film, in other words, and one that, despite a few dissenting opinions (Andrew Sarris called it “tediously manipulative”), earned a healthy 92 percent Tomatometer thanks to plenty of high praise from critics like Richard Schickel of Time, who applauded it as “a war film that, entirely aware of its genre’s conventions, transcends them as it transcends the simplistic moralities that inform its predecessors, to take the high, morally haunting ground.”

Watch Trailer


Bridge of Spies (2015) 90%

BridgeOfSpies
Spielberg’s classics evoke ’80s nostalgia and Tom Hanks embodies simple decency better than arguably any other leading man working today, which made them a natural duo for 2015’s Bridge of Spies — a Cold War drama about an American lawyer burdened with the thankless fallout from a spy plane pilot’s Russian capture. They haven’t really made ’em like this since the fall of the Berlin Wall, but by deliberately connecting Bridge‘s bygone setting to the modern sociopolitical climate, Spielberg proved he was out to make more than your average period piece. Nominated for six Oscars (one of which was taken home by Best Supporting Actor Mark Rylance), the end result was a box office hit that harkened back to the past while remaining uncomfortably relevant. “Bridge of Spies is a heart-on-its-sleeve affirmation of American values,” observed BuzzFeed’s Alison Willmore. “Not in the loaded contemporary sense of the term, but in the way the country was founded on values we have to work and fight to abide by.”

Watch Trailer


 Jurassic Park (1993) 92%

Jurassic-Park

Heralding the full-on arrival of Hollywood’s CG era with a throwback to good old-fashioned creature features, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park offered sublime spectacle without forgetting the cardinal rule of filmmaking: You have to tell a story audiences are going to care about. To that end, Park assembled a cast of savvy character actors (including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Richard Attenborough) to lend heart and believability to a sci-fi-infused tale about a goofy millionaire (Attenborough) who bankrolls a vacation destination filled with real live dinosaurs. Having said that, it would be disingenuous to suggest that David Koepp and Michael Crichton’s script spent much time on human characterizations; it was far too busy zipping around from one dino-peril to the next. But that was just fine with audiences, who made Jurassic Park the year’s top-grossing film by a wide margin — and with most critics, including Movieline’s Stephen Farber, who admitted “True, the dialogue and performances are feeble, but the thing is basically no more — and no less — than a nifty monster movie that delivers crackerjack thrills.”

Watch Trailer


Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) 94%

Close-Encounters1

By the late ‘70s, Hollywood had cranked out enough alien invasion movies filmgoers had started taking it for granted that flying saucers in the sky meant we were all in a lot of trouble. Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind took this notion, turned it on its head, and gave us one of our most enduring all-time sci-fi classics. In Spielberg’s vision, our extraterrestrial guests meant us no harm; they were merely curious, and their presence, rather than being a harbinger of doom, signaled our collective evolution and hinted at our limitless possibilities. (And okay, they had to land here to return all the people they’d abducted over the years, but what’s a few kidnappings between friends?) It all might seem a little quaint and soft-hearted now, but during the Cold War, there was something revolutionary about an alien movie that ended with a smile — and it remains, in the words of Roger Ebert, “One of the great moviegoing experiences.”

Watch Trailer


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 95%

Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark

The idea of Spielberg and his pal George Lucas teaming up after Star Wars and Close Encounters was enough to make a young film fan go wild with anticipation — and the result, 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, did not disappoint. The first in a series of serial-inspired adventures starring Harrison Ford as swashbuckling archaeologist Indiana Jones, Raiders further established Lucas and Spielberg as two of Hollywood’s most bankable filmmakers, cemented Ford as a leading man, and made stubble and a decrepit leather jacket synonymous with high adventure, all while lining Paramount’s coffers with more than $380 million in ticket receipts. A delirious mashup of everything from classic Saturday serials to Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge comics, Raiders took audiences on a thrill ride so breathtaking that not even the New York Times’ Vincent Canby could keep from cheering that it was “one of the most deliriously funny, ingenious and stylish American adventure movies ever made.”

Watch Trailer


Schindler's List (1993) 98%

Schindlers-List

Steven Spielberg circled Schindler’s List for years, concerned he didn’t have the skills or maturity necessary to dramatize the story of Oskar Schindler, the Nazi Party member who used his position as a German industrialist to save nearly 1,200 Jews during World War II. After trying to give the project away more than once (Spielberg’s candidates for his own replacement included Roman Polanski and Martin Scorsese), he finally started filming in early 1993 — and the result is one of the most widely acclaimed movies of the ’90s, and the crowning achievement of Spielberg’s career. Neeson, who was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award, anchors the film as Schindler, lending depth and nuance to the portrayal of a man who started the war as a profiteer and ended it wracked with guilt over the lives he’d failed to spare, despite risking his life — and losing his fortune — to prevent the deaths of so many. It may have taken Spielberg time to feel he was up to the challenge of Schindler’s List, but in the end, he had nothing to worry about; as Janet Maslin of the New York Times wrote, “Rising brilliantly to the challenge of this material and displaying an electrifying creative intelligence, Mr. Spielberg has made sure that neither he nor the Holocaust will ever be thought of in the same way again.”

Watch Trailer


Catch Me if You Can (2002) 96%

Catch-Me-If-You-Can

Spielberg lined up Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio to help him dramatize the story of real-life legendary con man Frank Abagnale, who led the FBI on a wild goose chase during the ’60s while posing as everything from an airline pilot to a doctor, and stealing millions of dollars along the way. Though it was often criticized for its 141-minute running time, Catch Me if You Can had a lot going for it right off the bat, including a fascinating, stranger-than-fiction storyline, directorial work from Steven Spielberg at his breeziest, and DiCaprio (as Abagnale) pitting his naturally rakish charm against Hanks’ driven yet empathetic FBI agent. Yeah, it’s just a caper movie — and a curiously slight one, given its length — but it’s also, in the words of the Denver Rocky Mountain News’ Robert Denerstein, “Precisely what a mainstream movie should be: fleet, savvy and, like a good con, executed as if it were the easiest thing in the world.”

Watch Trailer


Jaws (1975) 98%

Jaws

Just a year after underperforming at the box office with The Sugarland Express, Spielberg returned to theaters with the movie that made him — after it nearly broke him. After reluctantly taking the reins on the big-screen adaptation of the Peter Benchley bestseller about a New England town terrorized by a great white shark, Spielberg found himself beset by all manner of production problems, struggling to hit studio deadlines and budget benchmarks. The entire project was nearly shut down, but he ultimately delivered, and the result was a paradigm-shifting blockbuster that reaped incredible box-office dividends in addition to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Elevating Spielberg from the young Hollywood elite to the industry’s upper echelon of filmmakers, Jaws launched his career in earnest almost overnight — and looking back, it’s fairly incredible he was able to emerge from its shadow as quickly and consistently as he did. “I don’t think there’s a more exciting talent at work right now than Spielberg, an authentic moviemaking prodigy,” proclaimed the Washington Post’s Gary Arnold. “Perhaps his worst problem from June 20, 1975, on will be preventing success from making a nervous or artistic wreck of him.”

Watch Trailer


E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 99%

ET-The-Extra-Terrestrial

No surprises here, right? A modern classic that added another jewel to Spielberg’s crown, earned nine Oscar nominations, and created millions of Reese’s Pieces fans, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial imagined what might happen if an alien life form came to Earth — and had more to fear from us than we did from it. Using a group of kids (including Drew Barrymore in an early star-making turn) as his leads, Spielberg framed a fairly oft-told story in a new way, giving audiences a child’s-eye view that reinforced his movie’s sense of innocent wonder without sacrificing the elements of confusion, danger, and suburban post-war anxiety that made it so much more than a simple family-friendly alien adventure. A massive commercial hit that reaped nearly universal critical acclaim on its way to four Oscars (against nine nominations), it remains a touchstone for cineastes of several generations. “We have yet to recover from his revelation,” wrote Anthony Lane for the New Yorker “that there is nothing more real than sitting in your own back yard — waiting for the unreal to come down, take a handful of candy, and fly you to the moon.”

Watch Trailer

It’s time for another comic book convention, and we at RT are hitting WonderCon in Los Angeles the whole weekend to take photos of the most creative and dedicated cosplayers at the convention. Scroll down for our selection.


Friday’s Gods of Egypt may have drawn early criticism for its mostly white cast, but moviemakers have always viewed the country with a fantastical bent. From biblical stories to historic archaeological delights to springboards into tall science fiction tales, this week’s 24 Frames takes a look at all that, along with modern and true-to-life depictions of Egypt as it is today.

Inspired by The Green Inferno, this week’s 24 Frames treks deep into some of the most dangerous and deadly jungle settings ever captured on film.


Tag Cloud

international El Rey Video Games FX on Hulu Paramount Network Disney Plus 79th Golden Globes Awards serial killer OneApp Horror Amazon Prime Video Holiday news Bravo Funimation docudrama renewed TV shows black comedy romantic comedy fast and furious Academy Awards venice sitcom Ellie Kemper HBO Max black TV One VICE USA APB scene in color Premiere Dates Tomatazos chucky cartoon composers elevated horror Disney posters hollywood adenture Sundance rt labs critics edition Music films Mary Tyler Moore space justice league sag awards TV movies Film Festival historical drama miniseries SDCC prank See It Skip It marvel comics scary rotten movies we love Tokyo Olympics crime drama Turner Classic Movies concert feel good Pop TV biopic worst movies lord of the rings Esquire cancelled TV series Schedule Rocketman BET Awards Prime Video mob know your critic 2021 fresh comic book movie Cartoon Network TNT doctor who spider-man sopranos Cosplay VH1 reboot hist San Diego Comic-Con vampires nature Photos Box Office Drama indiana jones target Adult Swim Walt Disney Pictures CBS vs. cars pirates of the caribbean classics Toys supernatural hispanic heritage month PaleyFest theme song ABC Signature Shondaland First Reviews TCM History Sundance Now Kids & Family MSNBC Sony Pictures Infographic Cannes book movie wonder woman Calendar Baby Yoda TV renewals trailers Syfy ABC Family Hulu dark crime BAFTA X-Men psychological thriller werewolf medical drama game of thrones Hear Us Out breaking bad Writers Guild of America marvel cinematic universe free movies Creative Arts Emmys Musical Mudbound Black Mirror children's TV thriller psycho heist movie cancelled TV shows Food Network worst Freeform comiccon versus joker Marvel Television a nightmare on elm street basketball YouTube Red gangster teaser BBC One Summer CNN suspense remakes Grammys critics The Witch biography Watching Series 20th Century Fox The Walt Disney Company IFC legend Comics on TV disaster Shudder Pacific Islander independent Fox News Wes Anderson football directors BBC child's play 2018 ESPN franchise sequel sports jurassic park slasher Trivia Marathons 4/20 mutant olympics NYCC spanish language TCA Winter 2020 Superheroes 2017 Interview aapi dogs 99% halloween cancelled television Brie Larson Thanksgiving Discovery Channel french Tubi rt archives Arrowverse live event The Academy popular Awards Legendary Rocky stoner Mary Poppins Returns toy story adaptation Mary poppins Song of Ice and Fire 2015 NBC discovery dramedy television Biopics witnail OWN TCA 2017 dceu finale Starz FX Holidays boxing Character Guide all-time travel movies DGA HFPA Family series FOX game show name the review saw First Look natural history streaming cinemax transformers screen actors guild Lionsgate Chernobyl Emmy Nominations nbcuniversal cults Action Avengers south america LGBTQ latino Spring TV what to watch The CW IMDb TV mockumentary Apple GoT Disney+ Disney Plus zombie Heroines zombies sequels blockbusters batman cancelled Film IFC Films Nickelodeon Reality A&E RT History Amazon Prime mcc 93rd Oscars best monster movies new york laika Podcast WarnerMedia Amazon 45 Anna Paquin Dark Horse Comics Spectrum Originals obituary comedies Nominations Christmas New York Comic Con Fox Searchlight CMT action-comedy DC Universe anthology Netflix comics animated godzilla The Purge anime Ghostbusters blaxploitation foreign Crunchyroll 2016 Election superman dc canceled GLAAD TCA Awards rt labs Apple TV Plus Peacock casting comic YouTube Premium Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Quiz Vudu young adult Paramount Britbox Pop Classic Film james bond Star Wars Image Comics Binge Guide documentary Red Carpet singing competition AMC Plus australia AMC President spanish italian award winner Stephen King YA comic books women nfl Marvel Netflix Christmas movies period drama halloween tv FXX Lucasfilm Television Critics Association Trailer DC Comics trophy Travel Channel ViacomCBS VOD Comedy scorecard SXSW Turner Universal hispanic Ovation RT21 Nat Geo 2020 NBA robots Valentine's Day comic book movies Amazon Studios japanese The Arrangement indie Rom-Com TBS National Geographic critic resources Mystery Western TIFF Set visit Comedy Central Spike dragons video on demand green book Extras BBC America Universal Pictures MTV festivals video live action Black History Month hidden camera genre LGBT leaderboard GIFs cats adventure Marvel Studios Star Trek Showtime scary movies Year in Review HBO Go TCA Women's History Month romance rom-coms revenge PlayStation DirecTV die hard Captain marvel twilight Winter TV Logo Trophy Talk Sneak Peek kong debate Pirates 007 Comic-Con@Home 2021 canceled TV shows MCU streaming movies Endgame Super Bowl Crackle high school Fargo diversity Opinion Awards Tour SundanceTV Columbia Pictures art house politics Instagram Live archives Reality Competition Certified Fresh Hollywood Foreign Press Association CBS All Access dexter Hallmark 72 Emmy Awards Pixar Disney Channel mission: impossible richard e. Grant king arthur Winners Acorn TV emmy awards cops ID telelvision new zealand new star wars movies Best and Worst Warner Bros. 2019 Apple TV+ asian-american spider-verse jamie lee curtis PBS Sundance TV Lifetime Christmas movies DC streaming service E3 rotten TV Land talk show 71st Emmy Awards documentaries Elton John cooking Epix Alien TLC USA Network Country Superheroe stop motion American Society of Cinematographers 21st Century Fox Oscars E! slashers crime thriller crossover unscripted ghosts A24 Comic Book parents science fiction blockbuster Pet Sematary razzies Mindy Kaling kaiju king kong docuseries strong female leads Animation golden globe awards ABC universal monsters 90s Teen Masterpiece based on movie spy thriller Sci-Fi police drama dreamworks Fall TV deadpool TV CW Seed ratings technology kids Tarantino christmas movies satire facebook 1990s social media true crime spain aliens war <