(Photo by Open Roadt/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Liam Neeson Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

After a major film debut with 1981’s Excalibur, Liam Neeson spent the rest of that swingin’ decade slowly climbing the acting ladder. (See him randomly in Krull, The MissionThe Dead Pool, and more, for example.) But after holding his own opposite Patrick Swayze in 1989’s Next of Kin, Neeson was at last upgraded to star for Sam Raimi’s dark superhero movie Darkman…where he spends most of the movie disfigured and fully covered in bandages. Still, Darkman was a financial success, especially for an original superhero IP in this era, and Neeson carried on with lending his baritone gravitas in dramas like the Certified Fresh Husbands and Wives.

In 1994, Neeson nabbed his only Oscar acting nomination with the monumental Schindler’s List, which would go on to win Best Picture for producer Steven Spielberg, who of course also got Best Director. Neeson took on another significant title historical role a few years later with Michael Collins, before entering the pop cultural fray as the decidedly unhistorical (though we suppose it depends on who you ask) Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. And after that, just into the 21st century, Neeson appeared in Gangs of New York, Kingdom of Heaven, and Batman Begins. A resume that includes working with Raimi, Spielberg, Allen, Lucas, Scorsese, Scott, and Nolan? Sounds like that’d be a career peak for most…

And yet 2008’s Taken was still to come, which would transform Neeson into the go-to mid-budget action guy, create a cottage industry of similar flicks to follow in its wake. Some were pretty good (Cold Pursuit, A Walk Among The Tombstones), others came out decent (The Commuter, Non-Stop), a few were god-awful (Taken 2, Taken 3), and some were one was amazing (The Grey).

We also recently saw Neeson’s softer side resurface with Ordinary Love, his first romantic film since 2003’s Love Actually and one of the best-reviewed films of his career, proving he remains as versatile as ever. To celebrate his birthday, we take a look back on all Liam Neeson movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#72

The Nut Job (2014)
13%

#72
Adjusted Score: 16603%
Critics Consensus: Hampered by an unlikable central character and source material stretched too thin to cover its brief running time, The Nut Job will provoke an allergic reaction in all but the least demanding moviegoers.
Synopsis: After he accidentally destroys the winter food supply of his fellow Liberty Park residents, Surly (Will Arnett), a squirrel, is... [More]
Directed By: Peter Lepeniotis

#71

Taken 3 (2014)
13%

#71
Adjusted Score: 17469%
Critics Consensus: Hampered by toothless PG-13 action sequences, incoherent direction, and a hackneyed plot, Taken 3 serves as a clear signal that it's well past time to retire this franchise.
Synopsis: Ex-covert operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) and his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), are enjoying a reconciliation when Lenore is brutally... [More]
Directed By: Olivier Megaton

#70

The Other Man (2008)
15%

#70
Adjusted Score: 16014%
Critics Consensus: Despite the best efforts of a talented cast, The Other Man is talky, witless, and tension-free.
Synopsis: When his shoe-designer wife, Lisa (Laura Linney), disappears while on one of her frequent business trips, computer executive Peter (Liam... [More]
Directed By: Richard Eyre

#69

The Haunting (1999)
17%

#69
Adjusted Score: 20193%
Critics Consensus: Sophisticated visual effects fail to offset awkward performances and an uneven script.
Synopsis: This horror tale focuses on visitors to the secluded mansion of Hill House who have been called to the isolated... [More]
Directed By: Jan de Bont

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 4584%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scottish miner Danny Scoular (Liam Neeson) loses his job, and, when his past as a political activist prevents him from... [More]
Directed By: David Leland

#67

Taken 2 (2012)

#67
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two years ago, retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) used his "particular set of skills" to rescue his daughter,... [More]
Directed By: Olivier Megaton

#66
Adjusted Score: 42862%
Critics Consensus: Amiable yet forgettable, MiB International grinds its stars' substantial chemistry through the gears of a franchise running low on reasons to continue.
Synopsis: The Men in Black have expanded to cover the globe but so have the villains of the universe. To keep... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#65

Under Suspicion (1991)
25%

#65
Adjusted Score: 8862%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the late 1950s, British police officer Tony Aaron (Liam Neeson) resigns from the force after sleeping with Hazel (Maggie... [More]
Directed By: Simon Moore

#64

After.Life (2009)

#64
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Following a terrible car crash, a woman (Christina Ricci) awakes to find an enigmatic mortician (Liam Neeson) preparing her for... [More]

#63

Third Person (2013)
25%

#63
Adjusted Score: 29026%
Critics Consensus: Third Person finds writer-director Paul Haggis working with a stellar cast and a worthy premise; unfortunately, he fails to fashion a consistently compelling movie out of the intriguing ingredients at his disposal.
Synopsis: An acclaimed novelist (Liam Neeson) struggles to write an analysis of love in one of three stories, each set in... [More]
Directed By: Paul Haggis

#62

Gun Shy (2000)

#62
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Legendary undercover DEA agent Charlie Mayough (Liam Neeson) has suddenly lost his nerves of steel. On the verge of a... [More]
Directed By: Eric Blakeney

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 33193%
Critics Consensus: Its 3D effects are an improvement over its predecessor's, but in nearly every other respect, Wrath of the Titans fails to improve upon the stilted acting, wooden dialogue, and chaos-driven plot of the franchise's first installment.
Synopsis: Ten years after defeating the Kraken, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is living a quieter life as a fisherman and sole parent... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Liebesman

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Perseus (Sam Worthington), the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), is caught in a war between gods and is helpless to... [More]
Directed By: Louis Leterrier

#59

High Spirits (1988)
27%

#59
Adjusted Score: 26344%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Irish hotelier Peter Plunkett (Peter O'Toole) attempts to fill the chronic vacancies at his castle by launching an advertising campaign... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#58

Before and After (1996)
32%

#58
Adjusted Score: 31442%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The lives of Carolyn Ryan (Meryl Streep), a small-town doctor, and her artist husband, Ben (Liam Neeson), are shaken up... [More]
Directed By: Barbet Schroeder

#57

Krull (1983)

#57
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On the planet of Krull, an evil creature called the Beast decimates the world's army and kidnaps the lovely Princess... [More]
Directed By: Peter Yates

#56
Adjusted Score: 41965%
Critics Consensus: While it offers a few laughs and boasts a talented cast, Seth MacFarlane's overlong, aimless A Million Ways to Die in the West is a disappointingly scattershot affair.
Synopsis: Mild-mannered sheep farmer Albert Stark (Seth MacFarlane) feels certain that the Western frontier is trying to kill him, then he... [More]
Directed By: Seth MacFarlane

#55

Battleship (2012)
34%

#55
Adjusted Score: 42598%
Critics Consensus: It may offer energetic escapism for less demanding filmgoers, but Battleship is too loud, poorly written, and formulaic to justify its expense -- and a lot less fun than its source material.
Synopsis: Lt. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is a weapons officer aboard the destroyer USS John Paul Jones, while his older brother,... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#54
Adjusted Score: 41385%
Critics Consensus: Mark Felt may dramatize the man behind Deep Throat, but its stodgy treatment of history offers little insight into the famous whistleblower.
Synopsis: Lifelong G-Man Mark Felt, aka "Deep Throat," leaks information to the press that helps to uncover the Watergate scandal of... [More]
Directed By: Peter Landesman

#53

The Marksman (2021)
39%

#53
Adjusted Score: 44113%
Critics Consensus: The Marksman benefits from having Liam Neeson in the lead, but this formulaic action thriller should have aimed higher.
Synopsis: Hardened Arizona rancher Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson) simply wants to be left alone as he fends off eviction notices and... [More]
Directed By: Robert Lorenz

#52

Honest Thief (2020)
40%

#52
Adjusted Score: 45845%
Critics Consensus: Guilty of first-degree squandering, Honest Thief returns Liam Neeson to late-period action thriller mode but neglects to supply much of a story.
Synopsis: Hoping to cut a deal, a professional bank robber agrees to return all the money he stole in exchange for... [More]
Directed By: Mark Williams

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 46536%
Critics Consensus: Although it's an objective and handsomely presented take on the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven lacks depth.
Synopsis: Still in grief over his wife's sudden death, village blacksmith Balian (Orlando Bloom) joins his long-estranged father, Baron Godfrey (Liam... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 40570%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Gen. Douglas MacArthur (Liam Neeson) conducts a covert operation behind enemy lines to infiltrate North Korean headquarters.... [More]
Directed By: John H. Lee

#49

Khumba (2013)
44%

#49
Adjusted Score: 37200%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After his herd rejects him for having only half his stripes, a young zebra (Jake T. Austin) sets out on... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Silverston

#48

Shining Through (1992)
41%

#48
Adjusted Score: 36277%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Spirited New Yorker Linda Voss (Melanie Griffith) goes to work for international lawyer and secret Office of Strategic Services operative... [More]
Directed By: David Seltzer

#47

Made in Italy (2020)
45%

#47
Adjusted Score: 50085%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A London artist and his estranged son try to mend their relationship as they work together to repair a dilapidated... [More]
Directed By: James D'Arcy

#46

The A-Team (2010)

#46
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man who loves when a plan comes together, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) leads a close-knit team of elite operatives.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Carnahan

#45

The Good Mother (1988)
50%

#45
Adjusted Score: 50074%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Boston woman's (Diane Keaton) ex-husband sues for custody of their daughter after an incident over her live-in lover (Liam... [More]
Directed By: Leonard Nimoy

#44
Adjusted Score: 57531%
Critics Consensus: Its leisurely, businesslike pace won't win the franchise many new fans, but Voyage of the Dawn Treader restores some of the Narnia franchise's lost luster with strong performances and impressive special effects.
Synopsis: Visiting their annoying cousin, Eustace, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund Pevensie (Skandar Keynes) come across a painting of a majestic... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 56171%
Critics Consensus: Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks give it their all, but their solid performances aren't quite enough to compensate for The Next Three Days' uneven pace and implausible plot.
Synopsis: Life for John and Lara Brennan (Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks) is miserable after she is convicted of a murder she... [More]
Directed By: Paul Haggis

#42

Chloe (2009)

#42
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Catherine and David Stewart (Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson) are a well-to-do couple living in a posh area of Toronto, but... [More]
Directed By: Atom Egoyan

#41
Adjusted Score: 62997%
Critics Consensus: Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy -- albeit visually dazzling -- start.
Synopsis: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a young apprentice Jedi knight under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) ; Anakin... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#40

Ethan Frome (1993)
50%

#40
Adjusted Score: 50163%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A farmer (Liam Neeson) with an invalid wife (Joan Allen) falls in love with her cousin (Patricia Arquette) in snowy... [More]
Directed By: John Madden

#39

Nell (1994)

#39
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Cut off from the modern world, Nell (Jodie Foster) is a wild child, who has lived her entire life with... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted

#38

Seraphim Falls (2006)
55%

#38
Adjusted Score: 58067%
Critics Consensus: A brutal, slow-moving drama that unfolds among some great-looking scenery.
Synopsis: Gideon (Pierce Brosnan), a former Union officer, finds himself the prey of a manhunt led by Carver (Liam Neeson), Gideon's... [More]
Directed By: David Von Ancken

#37

Unknown (2011)
55%

#37
Adjusted Score: 61874%
Critics Consensus: Liam Neeson elevates the proceedings considerably, but Unknown is ultimately too derivative -- and implausible -- to take advantage of its intriguing premise.
Synopsis: After a serious car accident in Berlin, Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) awakes to find his world in utter chaos.... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

#36

The Commuter (2018)
55%

#36
Adjusted Score: 67880%
Critics Consensus: The Commuter's cast is better than its workmanlike script - which helps make this reasonably diverting Liam Neeson action thriller worth the price of a matinee ticket or rental, if not a full-price ticket.
Synopsis: Insurance salesman Michael is on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

#35

The Dead Pool (1988)
55%

#35
Adjusted Score: 55952%
Critics Consensus: While it offers its fair share of violent thrills and tough wit, The Dead Pool ends the Dirty Harry series on an uninspired note.
Synopsis: In the fifth installment of the Dirty Harry series, gritty cop Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is fresh off the conviction... [More]
Directed By: Buddy Van Horn

#34

Next of Kin (1989)
56%

#34
Adjusted Score: 49437%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When their brother Gerald (Bill Paxton) is murdered by a Chicago mobster (Adam Baldwin), Truman (Patrick Swayze) and Briar Gates... [More]
Directed By: John Irvin

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 61452%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted if monotonous drama about a transvestite prostitute in London during the 1970s.
Synopsis: As a baby, Patrick (Cillian Murphy) is left by his mother on the steps of the rectory in their small... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#32

Taken (2008)

#32
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), a former government operative, is trying to reconnect with his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). Then his... [More]
Directed By: Pierre Morel

#31

Run All Night (2015)
59%

#31
Adjusted Score: 66336%
Critics Consensus: Liam Neeson is in typically fine form, but Run All Night suffers from a convoluted plot and workmanlike execution.
Synopsis: Longtime hit man Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson), best friend of mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), has seen better days.... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 66110%
Critics Consensus: A gripping drama even though the filmmakers have taken liberties with the facts.
Synopsis: Follows Captain Alexi Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) who, at the height of the Cold War, is ordered to take over command... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#29

Leap of Faith (1992)
64%

#29
Adjusted Score: 64298%
Critics Consensus: Steve Martin's layered performance transcends the somewhat undercooked narrative of Leap of Faith.
Synopsis: Touring Christian evangelist Jonas Nightengale (Steve Martin) and his cohorts tend to put on their bogus faith-healing revivals in major... [More]
Directed By: Richard Pearce

#28

The Mission (1986)

#28
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jesuit priest Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) enters the Guarani lands in South America with the purpose of converting the natives... [More]
Directed By: Roland Joffé

#27

Love Actually (2003)
64%

#27
Adjusted Score: 71838%
Critics Consensus: A sugary tale overstuffed with too many stories. Still, the cast charms.
Synopsis: Nine intertwined stories examine the complexities of the one emotion that connects us all: love. Among the characters explored are... [More]
Directed By: Richard Curtis

#26
Adjusted Score: 68852%
Critics Consensus: Kahlil Gibran's the Prophet is a thrillingly lovely adaptation of the classic text, albeit one that doesn't quite capture the magic of its source material.
Synopsis: A dissident being kept under house arrest recounts valuable lessons in a series of vignettes while a mischievous young woman... [More]
Directed By: Roger Allers

#25
Adjusted Score: 75017%
Critics Consensus: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is an entertaining family adventure worthy of the standard set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: One year after their previous adventure, the Pevensie children (Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell) return to the... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Adamson

#24

Suspect (1987)
67%

#24
Adjusted Score: 66728%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Carl Anderson (Liam Neeson), a deaf, mute and homeless war veteran, is arrested for the murder of a prominent judge's... [More]
Directed By: Peter Yates

#23
Adjusted Score: 73756%
Critics Consensus: A Walk Among the Tombstones doesn't entirely transcend its genre clichés, but it does offer Liam Neeson one of his more compelling roles in recent memory, and that's often enough.
Synopsis: Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson), formerly part of the NYPD, now works as an unlicensed private detective. His latest client is... [More]
Directed By: Scott Frank

#22

Cold Pursuit (2019)
68%

#22
Adjusted Score: 79210%
Critics Consensus: Cold Pursuit delivers the action audiences expect from a Liam Neeson thriller -- along with humor and a sophisticated streak that make this an uncommonly effective remake.
Synopsis: Nels Coxman's quiet life as a snowplow driver comes crashing down when his beloved son dies under mysterious circumstances. His... [More]
Directed By: Hans Petter Moland

#21

Rob Roy (1995)
73%

#21
Adjusted Score: 74417%
Critics Consensus: Rob Roy is an old-fashioned swashbuckler that benefits greatly from fine performances by Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, and Tim Roth.
Synopsis: In 18th century Scotland, Robert Roy MacGregor (Liam Neeson) is the head of a proud Highlands clan that herds cattle.... [More]
Directed By: Michael Caton-Jones

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young Irish immigrant released from prison. He returns to the Five Points seeking revenge... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#19

The Bounty (1984)
74%

#19
Adjusted Score: 73805%
Critics Consensus: Thanks in large part to its cast, and Anthony Hopkins in particular, The Bounty's retelling of the mutiny on the HMS Bounty is an intelligent, engaging adventure saga.
Synopsis: Captain Bligh (Anthony Hopkins) struggles to restore discipline among the crew of the HMS Bounty after the ship has an... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#18

Les Miserables (1998)
75%

#18
Adjusted Score: 76845%
Critics Consensus: This intelligent, handsomely crafted adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel condenses the story's developments without blunting its emotional impact.
Synopsis: After serving a lengthy prison sentence, Jean Valjean (Liam Neeson) turns his life around after an act of kindness opens... [More]
Directed By: Bille August

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 75999%
Critics Consensus: Oliver Hirschbiegel's dramatic take on "The Troubles" is an actor's showcase -- and Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt are more than up to the challenge.
Synopsis: In 1970s Northern Ireland, young Joe Griffin watches in horror as the teenage leader of a UVF cell shoots Joe's... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Hirschbiegel

#16
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During the World War II bombings of London, four English siblings are sent to a country house where they will... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Adamson

#15

Michael Collins (1996)
78%

#15
Adjusted Score: 79493%
Critics Consensus: As impressively ambitious as it is satisfyingly impactful, Michael Collins honors its subject's remarkable achievements with a magnetic performance from Liam Neeson in the title role.
Synopsis: In the early 20th century, Michael Collins (Liam Neeson) leads the Irish Republican Army with the help of his friends... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#14

The Grey (2012)

#14
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Following a grueling five-week shift at an Alaskan oil refinery, workers led by sharpshooter John Ottway (Liam Neeson) are flying... [More]
Directed By: Joe Carnahan

#13

Excalibur (1981)

#13
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The magical sword of Excalibur starts off in the hands of British lord Uther Pendragon (Gabriel Byrne) and then, years... [More]
Directed By: John Boorman

#12

Silence (2016)
83%

#12
Adjusted Score: 103529%
Critics Consensus: Silence ends Martin Scorsese's decades-long creative quest with a thoughtful, emotionally resonant look at spirituality and human nature that stands among the director's finest works.
Synopsis: Two 17th-century Portuguese missionaries, Father Sebastian Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), embark on a perilous journey... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#11

Darkman (1990)
83%

#11
Adjusted Score: 87217%
Critics Consensus: Gruesome and deliciously broad, Sam Raimi's Darkman bears the haunted soulfulness of gothic tragedy while packing the stylistic verve of onomatopoeia springing off a comic strip page.
Synopsis: When thugs employed by a crime boss lead a vicious assault on Dr. Peyton Wilder (Liam Neeson), leaving him literally... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#10

Batman Begins (2005)
84%

#10
Adjusted Score: 95916%
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.
Synopsis: A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he's trained in the martial arts by Henri... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#9

A Monster Calls (2016)
86%

#9
Adjusted Score: 105956%
Critics Consensus: A Monster Calls deftly balances dark themes and fantastical elements to deliver an engrossing and uncommonly moving entry in the crowded coming-of-age genre.
Synopsis: Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is dealing with far more than other boys his age. His beloved and devoted mother (Felicity Jones)... [More]
Directed By: J.A. Bayona

#8
Adjusted Score: 103024%
Critics Consensus: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs avoids anthology pitfalls with a consistent collection tied together by the Coen brothers' signature blend of dark drama and black humor.
Synopsis: An anthology of six short films that take place in 19th-century post-Civil War era during the settling of the Old... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#7

Kinsey (2004)
90%

#7
Adjusted Score: 96185%
Critics Consensus: A biopic of the sex researcher is hailed as adventurous, clever, and subversive, with fine performances by Liam Neeson and Laura Linney.
Synopsis: Biology professor Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) has a perfectly respectable life teaching and doing research at Indiana University along with... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#6

Widows (2018)
91%

#6
Adjusted Score: 116965%
Critics Consensus: Widows rounds up a stellar ensemble for a heist thriller that mixes popcorn entertainment with a message - and marks another artistic leap for director Steve McQueen.
Synopsis: A police shootout leaves four thieves dead during an explosive armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their widows -- Veronica, Linda,... [More]
Directed By: Steve McQueen

#5

Ponyo (2008)

#5
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During a forbidden excursion to see the surface world, a goldfish princess encounters a human boy named Sosuke, who gives... [More]
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki

#4

Ordinary Love (2019)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 100536%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson, Ordinary Love wrings heartrending drama out of one couple's medical travails.
Synopsis: Joan and Tom have been married for many years. An everyday couple with a remarkable love, there is an ease... [More]

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 96641%
Critics Consensus: Husbands and Wives is a blistering, emotionally raw snapshot of two marriages self-destructing.
Synopsis: Gabe (Woody Allen) and his wife, Judy (Mia Farrow), are shocked to discover that their best friends, Sally (Judy Davis)... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#2

The LEGO Movie (2014)
96%

#2
Adjusted Score: 105956%
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]

#1

Schindler's List (1993)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 108404%
Critics Consensus: Schindler's List blends the abject horror of the Holocaust with Steven Spielberg's signature tender humanism to create the director's dramatic masterpiece.
Synopsis: Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

(Photo by Murray Close/TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./courtesy Everett Collection)

All James McAvoy Movies Ranked

James McAvoy got his start in British comedies and dramas, working in ensembles like Bright Young Things and TV’s Shameless, while taking the lead early in Starter for 10. His role as hirsute satyr Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe got him major exposure, and an in with the young crowd. McAvoy started to pick up awards attention while on the peripheral in the Forrest Whitaker-starring The Last King of Scotland, a fitting fate considering the observer character he played in that Idi Amin biopic. The Best Picture-nominated Atonement quickly followed.

But it was his role in the raucous Wanted that proved his breakthrough, and that maybe McAvoy could hack it in action blockbuster world. This led to his most iconic role yet, that of Professor X as the X-Men sidewined into the past with First Class. His matchup against Michael Fassbender’s Magneto remains among the most engaging hero/villain feuds in superhero cinema.

2019 was one of his busier years, appearing in three movies, all sequels wrapping up their franchises: Dark Phoenix, IT Chapter Two, and Glass. With that, we’re ranked all James McAvoy movies by Tomatometer!

#32

Submergence (2017)
22%

#32
Adjusted Score: 23534%
Critics Consensus: A slow-moving misfire, Submergence isn't as deep as it thinks it is -- but still manages to drown its stars in a drama whose admirable ambitions remain almost entirely unfulfilled.
Synopsis: Clinging to life in a cell in Africa, James is brutally interrogated by jihadis. Worlds away, Danielle prepares to descend... [More]
Directed By: Wim Wenders

#31

Dark Phoenix (2019)
22%

#31
Adjusted Score: 45011%
Critics Consensus: Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc -- with deeply disappointing results.
Synopsis: The X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe when one of their own, Jean Grey, starts to spiral out... [More]
Directed By: Simon Kinberg

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 31412%
Critics Consensus: A re-imagining without the imagining, Victor Frankenstein plays at providing a fresh perspective on an oft-told tale, but ultimately offers little of interest that viewers haven't already seen in superior Frankenstein films.
Synopsis: While searching for animal body parts at a London circus, radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) meets gifted surgeon Igor... [More]
Directed By: Paul McGuigan

#29

Sherlock Gnomes (2018)
27%

#29
Adjusted Score: 29305%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Gnomes is sadly, utterly stumped by the mystery of the reason for its own existence.
Synopsis: When Gnomeo and Juliet first arrive in London with their friends and family, their biggest concern is getting a new... [More]
Directed By: John Stevenson

#28

The Pool (2002)
36%

#28
Adjusted Score: 17764%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A masked killer slaughters young people having a party at a fancy gymnasium.... [More]
Directed By: Boris von Sychowski

#27

Glass (2019)
36%

#27
Adjusted Score: 61504%
Critics Consensus: Glass displays a few glimmers of M. Night Shyamalan at his twisty world-building best, but ultimately disappoints as the conclusion to the writer-director's long-gestating trilogy.
Synopsis: David Dunn tries to stay one step ahead of the law while delivering vigilante justice on the streets of Philadelphia.... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 49504%
Critics Consensus: Welcome to the Punch is a little deeper and more thoughtful than most police dramas -- but not quite enough to surmount its thinly written characters and numbing violence.
Synopsis: When a notorious criminal is forced to return to London, it gives a veteran detective one final chance to bring... [More]
Directed By: Eran Creevy

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 67945%
Critics Consensus: Overloaded action and a cliched villain take the focus away from otherwise strong performers and resonant themes, making X-Men: Apocalypse a middling chapter of the venerable superhero franchise.
Synopsis: Worshiped as a god since the dawn of civilization, the immortal Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) becomes the first and most powerful... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 50128%
Critics Consensus: The dramatic aspects of Rory O'Shea Was Here veer into mawkish, formulaic sentiment, which undercuts the characters' individuality.
Synopsis: In a Dublin home for the disabled, Michael Connolly (Steven Robertson) leads a glum, introverted existence; his cerebral palsy makes... [More]
Directed By: Damien O'Donnell

#23

Penelope (2006)
53%

#23
Adjusted Score: 57739%
Critics Consensus: Though Penelope has a charming cast and an appealing message, it ultimately suffers from faulty narrative and sloppy direction.
Synopsis: Born with the snout of a pig, young Penelope Wilhern (Christina Ricci) spends life a virtual prisoner in her home.... [More]
Directed By: Mark Palansky

#22

The Conspirator (2010)
56%

#22
Adjusted Score: 63022%
Critics Consensus: The Conspirator is well cast and tells a worthy story, but many viewers will lack the patience for Redford's deliberate, stagebound approach.
Synopsis: Following the assassination of President Lincoln, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill Lincoln,... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#21

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
55%

#21
Adjusted Score: 59557%
Critics Consensus: While it has moments of inspiration, Gnomeo and Juliet is often too self-referential for its own good.
Synopsis: In Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, Miss Capulet and Mr. Montague feud over whose garden is the better. Garden gnomes... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury

#20

Becoming Jane (2007)
58%

#20
Adjusted Score: 62277%
Critics Consensus: Although Becoming Jane is a well-crafted period piece, it lacks fresh insight into the life and works of Jane Austen. The film focuses too much on wardrobe and not enough on Austen's achievements.
Synopsis: Though Jane Austen's (Anne Hathaway) financially strapped parents (James Cromwell, Julie Walters) expect her to marry the nephew of wealthy... [More]
Directed By: Julian Jarrold

#19

Wimbledon (2004)
61%

#19
Adjusted Score: 66216%
Critics Consensus: A predictable, bland rom-com, but Bettany proves to be an appealing lead.
Synopsis: Frustrated at his own failures and disillusioned with professional sports, tennis player Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) resolves to retire from... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine

#18

It: Chapter Two (2019)
62%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85811%
Critics Consensus: It: Chapter Two proves bigger doesn't always mean scarier for horror sequels, but a fine cast and faithful approach to the source material keep this follow-up afloat.
Synopsis: Defeated by members of the Losers' Club, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to terrorize the town of... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During the 1930s in England, a group of young socialites dominate the national gossip with extravagant and outlandish antics. Among... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Fry

#16
Adjusted Score: 68368%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is a hauntingly original rumination on love and loss.
Synopsis: Following the death of their child, a woman (Jessica Chastain) leaves her husband (James McAvoy) and flees to the suburban... [More]
Directed By: Ned Benson

#15

Filth (2013)
66%

#15
Adjusted Score: 69606%
Critics Consensus: Warped, grimy, and enthusiastically unpleasant, Filth lives up to its title splendidly.
Synopsis: A drug-addled, manipulative misanthrope (James McAvoy) begins to experience increasingly severe hallucinations as he tries to solve the murder of... [More]
Directed By: Jon S. Baird

#14

Trance (2013)
68%

#14
Adjusted Score: 75384%
Critics Consensus: As stylish as ever, director Danny Boyle seems to be treading water with the surprisingly thinly written Trance -- but for fans of Boyle's work, it should still prove a trippily entertaining distraction.
Synopsis: Simon (James McAvoy), a fine-art auctioneer, joins a gang of thieves led by Franck (Vincent Cassel) to steal a priceless... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#13

Bollywood Queen (2002)
71%

#13
Adjusted Score: 19523%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Family interference and culture clash threaten the romance between the offspring (Preeya Kalidas, James McAvoy) of rival clothiers in London.... [More]
Directed By: Jeremy Wooding

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1910, famed novelist Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) and his wife Sofya (Helen Mirren) vehemently disagree over the rights to... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#11

Wanted (2008)
71%

#11
Adjusted Score: 79371%
Critics Consensus: Wanted is stylish, energetic popcorn fare with witty performances from Angelina Jolie (playing an expert assassin), James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman that help to distract from its absurdly over-the-top plot.
Synopsis: Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is an office worker whose life is going nowhere. After his estranged father is murdered, he... [More]
Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov

#10
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During the World War II bombings of London, four English siblings are sent to a country house where they will... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Adamson

#9

Split (2016)
77%

#9
Adjusted Score: 100255%
Critics Consensus: Split serves as a dramatic tour de force for James McAvoy in multiple roles -- and finds writer-director M. Night Shyamalan returning resoundingly to thrilling form.
Synopsis: Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#8

Atomic Blonde (2017)
79%

#8
Adjusted Score: 105726%
Critics Consensus: Atomic Blonde gets enough mileage out of its stylish action sequences -- and ever-magnetic star -- to make up for a narrative that's somewhat less hard-hitting than its protagonist.
Synopsis: Sensual and savage, Lorraine Broughton is the most elite spy in MI6, an agent who's willing to use all of... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch

#7

Strings (2004)
80%

#7
Adjusted Score: 17877%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In an alternate puppet world, all marionettes are connected to a higher power by their strings. When one is severed,... [More]

#6

Atonement (2007)
83%

#6
Adjusted Score: 91819%
Critics Consensus: Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel.
Synopsis: This sweeping English drama, based on the book by Ian McEwan, follows the lives of young lovers Cecilia Tallis (Keira... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the early 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, a mutant named Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets a... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#4
Adjusted Score: 93804%
Critics Consensus: Forest Whitaker's performance as real-life megalomaniac dictator Idi Amin powers this fictionalized political thriller, a blunt and brutal tale about power and corruption.
Synopsis: While in Uganda on a medical mission, Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) becomes the personal physician and close confidante... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#3

Starter for 10 (2006)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 92876%
Critics Consensus: Starter For 10 is a spirited coming-of-age tale that remains charming and witty even as it veers into darker teritory. The unique setting of a quiz show makes the film wittier than your average romantic comedy.
Synopsis: Brian Jackson (James McAvoy), a working-class youth from Essex, gets a chance to prove himself when he is accepted to... [More]
Directed By: Tom Vaughan

#2
Adjusted Score: 104605%
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.
Synopsis: Convinced that mutants pose a threat to humanity, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) develops the Sentinels, enormous robotic weapons that... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#1

Arthur Christmas (2011)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 99916%
Critics Consensus: Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.
Synopsis: Everyone knows that, each Christmas, Santa Claus delivers presents to every last child on Earth. What everyone doesn't know is... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Smith

Ava DuVernay’s well-intentioned adaptation of beloved children’s book A Wrinkle in Time isn’t doing so well with critics, so Christy offers up three magical alternatives you can watch at home with the family instead.


THE MOVIE

A Wrinkle in Time (2018) 43%

Rating: PG, for thematic elements and some peril.

Ava DuVernay’s big-budget adaptation of the beloved children’s book manages a tricky balance of staying true to the original story within a diverse, contemporary setting. Meg Murry and her friends attend James Baldwin Middle School, for example, and Mrs. Who quotes everyone from Shakespeare to Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in spouting pearls of wisdom. Younger viewers – whether they’ve read Madeleine L’Engle’s book or not — will respond to the color, energy and overall imagination on display here. In a lot of ways, A Wrinkle in Time really is best suited for kids, even though the characters eventually find themselves in a dark and menacing realm. DuVernay’s film is always visually ambitious, even while the narrative feels compressed and rushed. Storm Reid stars as Meg, a 13-year-old whose science expertise helps her bend time and travel quickly to various exotic lands. She’s looking for her father (Chris Pine) — who disappeared four years earlier while embarking on his own scientific experiment — with the guidance of three ageless, magical women (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling). Ultimately, they’re heading for The It, a powerful, swirling force that turns people’s hearts selfish and cruel. (We see it work its evil on Meg’s younger brother, played by Deric McCabe, which might disturb very little kids.) But there’s so much here that’s worthwhile, from its central figure – a brilliant girl of color – to its idea that our flaws actually give us strength. Fine for viewers around 7 and older.


THE RECOMMENDATIONS

If A Wrinkle in Time has you thinking about other fantasy films in which characters travel to magical lands, here are a few suggestions. Away we go:

The Wizard of Oz (1939) 98%

Rating: G, with some scary moments.

It is THE classic in this category – endlessly imitated, parodied and remade, but nothing could ever compare to the original. You’ve probably watched it countless times over the years and shared it with your own children. (I cried when Judy Garland sings “Over the Rainbow” the first time I showed this film to my son, and he looked at me like something was wrong with me.) But it’s always a pleasure revisiting Dorothy, the Scarecow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and Toto, too. I can’t even remember how old I was the first time I saw The Wizard of Oz. It was always just sort of… there. You know what it’s about so I’m not even going to waste your time explaining the plot. The only elements that might be scary for the viewers around 4 or 5 are the Wicked Witch of the West and that long, imposing corridor Dorothy and her friends must walk down in order to see the wizard. Oh, and the flying monkeys, of course. I used to hide behind the coffee table every time they came on when I was very young. But overall, Victor Fleming’s film is an excellent choice for the whole family, filled with catchy, iconic tunes. And it features a brave, bighearted young woman at its center with Garland’s Dorothy, which is always valuable for kids to see.


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Rating: PG, for battle sequences and frightening moments.

The classic C.S. Lewis novel spawned a series of epic fantasy films, starting with this one, which remains the best of them. The story is a familiar one: The Pevensie children (William Moseley, Skander Keynes, Anna Popplewell, and Georgie Henley) get sent away to the country to protect them from the horror of World War II. While playing hide and seek in the home where they’re staying, they discover a wardrobe that’s a portal to the magical land of Narnia. Wonders and dangers abound: talking animals, mysterious forests, vast armies and a deliciously evil White Witch played by the ever-riveting and versatile Tilda Swinton. A little boy is kidnapped and all the children find themselves in trouble at various points in the film. Plus, it’s up to them to save the kingdom of Narnia. No pressure. Some of the creatures might seem frightening and some of the battles might be too intense for young viewers. But this is an exciting choice for viewers around 9 or 10 and older, especially if they’re avid readers or have a taste for fantasy tales.


Time Bandits (1981) 90%

Rating: PG

I loved this movie so much when I was a kid. It was funny and goofy and just the right amount of scary. In retrospect, I recognize how significant the twisted Monty Python influence is: Terry Gilliam is the director and John Cleese and Michael Palin are among the film’s stars. But their trademark playfulness and off-kilter humor are mixed with some wild creatures and bizarre, fantastical settings. A boy named Kevin (Craig Warnock) accidentally falls in with a group of time-hopping little people (including the late Kenny Baker, better known as R2-D2) who are looting history for treasure. Among the famous figures they encounter on their adventures are Napoleon (Ian Holm), King Agamemnon (Sean Connery), and Robin Hood (Cleese). But even though the bandits have a map, they can’t control where exactly they’ll drop into a point in time, and frequently find themselves in great physical danger. Some of their foes are quite violent and frightening, but it’s often so over-the-top as to be cartoonish. The giant head of the Supreme Being, which chases Kevin and his friends down a long, corridor, freaked me out when I was a kid. But if your kids have a taste for stories that are darkly funny and a little weird, this is a good choice for viewers around 8 or 9 and older.

It’s the beginning of February, which means subscription services have rolled out a ton of new titles available to stream. As usual, we’ve narrowed the selections down to just the Certified Fresh choices, ranging from a recent Pixar hit to a celebrated noir thriller to a teen comedy to a selection of James Bond movies, plus a whole lot more and a handful of rental/purchase titles and the debut of some popular HBO shows on FandangoNOW. Read on for the full list.


New on Netflix

 

The Third Man (1949) 99%

Carol Reed’s classic noir stars Joseph Cotten as a writer who travels to post-war Vienna to visit an old friend (Orson Welles), only to discover he dabbled in the black market and has recently died in a street accident…  or has he?

Available now on: Netflix


The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (2016) 97%

Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson, and John Travolta headline an ensemble cast in this multiple Emmy-winning dramatization of the events surrounding the trial of O.J. Simpson.

Available now on: Netflix


Babe (1995) 97%

James Cromwell and a voice cast that includes Hugo Weaving and Christine Cavanaugh (as Babe) star in this family film about an orphaned farm pig who aspires to be a sheep dog (or sheep pig, rather).

Available now on: Netflix


Finding Dory (2016) 94%

Pixar’s sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo turns the tables, as Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) sets off to find her family and Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence) attempt to track her down.

Available now on: Netflix


The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) 95%

Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, and Danny Elfman lend their voices to Henry Selick’s stop-motion animated musical — based on characters created by Tim Burton — about a skeletal resident of fantastical Halloween Town who becomes obsessed with Christmas and tries to take over Santa Claus’s job.

Available now on: Netflix


Superbad (2007) 88%

Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse star in this comedy about three high schoolers who try to make an impression on the ladies by scoring some alcohol for a party.

Available now on: Netflix


The Blair Witch Project (1999) 86%

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

Available now on: Netflix


Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005)

Tim Burton finally took the reins on this stop-motion animated film about a young man named Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp) and the undead woman (Helena Bonham Carter) he unwittingly marries while practicing his wedding vows in the woods.

Available now on: Netflix


Mulholland Dr. (2001) 84%

Naomi Watts stars in a breakout role in David Lynch’s fever dream about a disturbed woman whose grip on reality slowly crumbles after she meets a stranger (Laura Harring) who’s lost her memory.

Available now on: Netflix


Magic Mike (2012) 79%

Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey star in Steven Soderbergh’s drama — partially based on Tatum’s life — about a male stripper who shepherds a younger dancer in the ways of partying and seduction.

Available now on: Netflix


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

The first chapter in the adaptation of the popular children’s novels by C.S. Lewis follows the four Pevensie children as they discover their old wardrobe is a portal to a vast fantastical world.

Available now on: Netflix


Frequency: Season 1 (2016) 77%

Inspired by the 2000 film of the same name, this CW drama centers on an NYPD detective who discovers she can communicate with her deceased father, living int he past, via ham radio, and attempts to prevent his inevitable death.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime

 

Goldfinger (1964)

– James Bond Films

Amazon Prime is unlocking a slew of classic 007 movies this week, including GoldfingerThe Spy Who Loved MeThe Living DaylightsOctopussyLive and Let Die, and even the unofficial Bond movie Never Say Never Again.

Available now on Amazon Prime: Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, Never Say Never Again, The Living Daylights, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day


Nuts! (2016) 94%

This cheeky documentary recounts the story of John Romulus Brinkley, an early 20th century Kansas doctor who believed he could cure impotence in men by transplanting goat testicles into them.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Margin Call (2011) 87%

Kevin Spacey and Zachary Quinto lead an ensemble cast in J.C. Chandor’s drama about an investment bank on the verge of collapse.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Hoosiers (1986) 91%

Gene Hackman stars in this classic sports drama about a disgraced basketball coach who relocates to a small town, takes charge of the local high school’s hoops team, and leads them to a state championship.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Thelma & Louise (1991)

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

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Into the Wild (2007) 83%

Emile Hirsch stars in Sean Penn’s Oscar-nominated account of Christopher McCandless, a college grad who abandoned a privileged life to embark on a cross-country adventure in search of personal enlightenment.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Pretty in Pink (1986) 73%

This quintessential 1980s high school movie by John Hughes stars Molly Ringwald as a teen princess-in-waiting, Andrew McCarthy as the preppie doofus she falls for, and Jon Cryer as the loyal friend who’s secretly in love with her.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The Firm (1993) 75%

Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman star in Sydney Pollack’s adaptation of the John Grisham novel about a law school grad who discovers the firm that hired him engages in rather unsavory practices.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on FandangoNOW

 

Insecure 97%

A variety of HBO series are now available on FandangoNOW, including this one, partly based on star Issa Rae’s 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: FandangoNOW


The Manchurian Candidate (1962) 97%

Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury star in John Frankenheimer’s classic thriller about a war veteran who returns home to his family and friends, one of whom begins to suspect he may have been brainwashed by Communists for nefarious purposes.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


The Sopranos 92%

One of the most critically acclaimed dramas of all time, this HBO crime series centers on a New Jersey mob boss (played by Emmy winner James Gandolfini) who seeks therapy as he attempts to balance his criminal life with his family obligations.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Manchester by the Sea (2016) 96%

This multiple Oscar-nominated drama from Kenneth Lonergan stars Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges in a drama about a man with a troubled past who returns to his hometown to help care for his nephew after his brother suddenly dies.

Available 1/11 on: FandangoNOW


Game of Thrones 89%

Based on the popular novels by George R.R. Martin, this HBO fantasy series revolves around the tricky politics and looming supernatural menace in a fictional medieval world as various noble families strive for dominion over all the kingdoms.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


The Night Of 94%

This HBO miniseries centers on a Pakistani-American college student (Riz Ahmed) who is accused of murder and the eccentric attorney (John Turturro) who agrees to defend him, despite a mountain of incriminating evidence.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


The Eagle Huntress (2016) 93%

Nominated for a number of awards this year, this documentary centers on a Kazakh teen training to become the first female in twelve generations to join her family tradition.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Girls 89%

Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy follows the whirlwind drama of making ends meet, falling in love, and being a good friend while living in the Big Apple — as told by four privileged girls in their mid-20s.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


The Color of Money (1986)

Paul Newman and Tom Cruise star in Martin Scorsese’s late follow-up to The Hustler, in which Fast Eddie Felson takes on a new protege in the form of an arrogant young pool shark.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Hacksaw Ridge (2016) 84%

Andrew Garfield stars in Mel Gibson’s war drama about real life hero Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector and army medic who single-handedly saved the lives of 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa during WWII.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


London Road (2015) 77%

Based on true events that occurred in 2006, this musical chronicles the efforts of a Suffolk, England neighborhood to come to grips with a series of grisly murders that took place there.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Nocturnal Animals (2016) 74%

Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michael Shannon (nominated for Best Supporting Actor) star in this Oscar-nominated thriller from Tom Ford about a woman who suspects the worst when her writer ex-husband delivers his latest manuscript, a dark mystery with parallels to their relationship.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Divorce 78%

Sarah Jessica Parker stars in this HBO comedy about a woman who suddenly begins to reassess her life and her marriage and finds that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Band of Brothers 97%

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks executive produced this HBO miniseries, based on the Stephen Ambrose book of the same name and starring the likes of Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Michael Fassbender, Colin Hanks, Simon Pegg, and more in a WWII drama chronicling the history of the US Army’s “Easy” Company throughout the war.

Available now on: FandangoNOW

There aren’t a whole lot of immediately recognizable choices this week on streaming video, but we do have the hotly anticipated latest season of an acclaimed anthology series on Netflix, as well as a Rolling Stones concert doc, an Amazon original series, and a number of smaller films.  Read on for the full list.


New on Netflix

 

The Crown: Season 1 (2016) 88%

Claire Foy stars in this Netflix original period drama about the young Queen Elizabeth II, who took the throne at just 25 years old in 1952 and began forging a relationship with then Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Available now on: Netflix


What About Bob? (1991)

Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss star in this comedy about a psychologist who slowly begins to lose his mind when a particularly neurotic new patient follows him and his family on vacation.

Available now on: Netflix


The Ivory Game (2016) 77%

This harrowing Netflix original documentary delves into the underground network of the ivory trafficking industry in Africa.

Available now on: Netflix


Lilo & Stitch (2002) 86%

This animated Disney treat follows the adventures of a young Hawaiian girl who befriends a cute but rowdy alien fugitive.

Available now on: Netflix


Sun Choke (2015) 88%

This moody horror film centers on an emotionally and psychologically unstable woman, housebound under the watchful eye of a caretaker who exerts her will forcefully.

Available now on: Netflix


The Emperor's New Groove (2000) 86%

Disney’s animated comedy features the voices of David Spade and John Goodman in a story about an obnoxious young emperor who’s transformed into a llama by a scheming advisor and must rely on a good-hearted peasant to help him reclaim his throne.

Available now on: Netflix


Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) 81%

John Cusack and Minnie Driver star in this action comedy about a hitman who attends his ten year high school reunion and tries to patch things up with an old flame… while dodging the feds and other hitmen on his tail.

Available now on: Netflix


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

The first chapter in this adaptation of the popular children’s novels by C.S. Lewis follows the four Pevensie children as they discover their old wardrobe is a portal to a vast fantastical world.

Available now on: Netflix


Black Book (2006) 76%

Carice van Houten and Sebastian Koch star in Paul Verhoeven’s World War II thriller about a Jewish cabaret singer who becomes a spy for the Dutch resistance after a run-in with the Nazis.

Available now on: Netflix


Sky High (2005) 73%

Michael Angarano and Kurt Russell star in this action adventure about a high school freshman who discovers that he — like his fellow classmates — is the child of superhero parents and might possess a few hidden gifts of his own.

Available now on: Netflix


The Last King (2016) 89%

Game of Thrones‘ Kristofer Hivju stars in this historical adventure film about a pair of warriors tasked with guarding a young heir to the throne during a civil war in 13th century Norway.

Available now on: Netflix


Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Diane Lane and Sandra Oh star in this romantic comedy about a writer suffering from writer’s block who purchases a Tuscan villa on a whim and revitalizes her life as she restores the home.

Available now on: Netflix


10 Things I Hate About You (1999) 70%

Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles star in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, set in a high school, which finds a fiercely independent teen falling for the school’s rebellious outsider.

Available now on: Netflix


Dough (2015) 53%

Jonathan Pryce and Jerome Holder star in this dramedy about Kosher baker in London who bonds with the young part-time marijuana dealer he hires as his assistant.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime

 

A Monster With a Thousand Heads (2015) 88%

In this Mexican dramatic thriller, a woman is willing to go to extreme lengths to find her husband the cancer treatment he needs.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans (2015) 75%

This documentary centers on the famously troublesome production of 1971 racing film Le Mans, which starred Steve McQueen during a time when he was battling multiple personal issues.

Available 10/27  on: Amazon Prime


Flesh and Bone: Season 1 (2015) 58%

This drama from Starz focuses on a troubled young dancer who joins a prestigious ballet company in New York lead by an artistic director with whom she has a past.

Available 11/9 on: Amazon Prime


Available to Purchase

 

Hell or High Water (2016) 97%

Chris Pine and Ben Foster star in this crime thriller about a pair of brothers who resort to robbing banks when one of them learns they’re about to lose their family land.

Available now on: AmazonFandangoNOWiTunes


Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) 97%

Another stop motion animated triumph from Laika, this fantastical tale follows a young boy in Japan who accidentally summons a vengeful spirit from his past and sets out to save his family.

Available now on: Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes


Don't Breathe (2016) 88%

Stephen Lang stars in this tense reversal of a home invasion thriller, in which a trio of thieves are systematically hunted down by the blind man whose home they assumed would make for an easy heist.

Available now on: Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes


Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016) 58%

Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders reprise their roles as the oft-intoxicated social climbers of the popular 1990s British comedy for a big screen adventure that finds the pair fleeing from the paparazzi to the French Riviera.

Available now on: Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes


War Dogs (2016) 61%

Miles Teller and Jonah Hill star in Todd Phillips’ dark comedy about a couple of enterprising young bros who exploit a loophole in a government initiative to become international arms dealers.

Available 11/11 on: Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

Alice Through The Looking Glass may not be getting critics supremely high off caterpillar smoke (neither did the Tim Burton-directed original), but don’t let that stop you from having a lauded fantasy movie weekend with your family: simply check out this gallery list of 24 Certified Fresh PG and below fantasy classics and modern hits!

Inspired by Disney’s reimagining of The Jungle Book, get ready to set your heart cockles to “warmed” because here comes 24 Certified Fresh live-action Disney movies!

Guillermo del Toro plans to start up an international animation studio when he’s finished work on The Hobbit film(s), he told RT during our exclusive Dinner and the Movies interview, which has started on the site today.

The director told us that before he got the offer to helm the Tolkien prequel, he was planning to set up two animation studios, one specialising in 3-D CGI in Los Angeles and another focusing on Anime in Japan that would do, “genre animated films, but in a different way.” He told us the offices are still being built and will be used as soon as he’s finished The Hobbit.

This venture isn’t the only project del Toro has had to drop to focus on other priorities, the Mexican moviemaker told us he has rejected dozens of projects down the years due to scheduling issues or problems with the script.

Some of these tantalising films-that-never-were – at least with del Toro – include Se7en (“great script but a very cynical script”), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Sleepy Hollow and The Chronicles of Riddick — all of which were offered to del Toro at some stage.

We’re rolling out our Dinner and the Movies interview with del Toro over the next four days, so click here to start watching.

The action-thriller Wanted hits theaters this week, and though it’s toplined by one of the biggest stars in the world (Angelina Jolie), it also features a young Scotsman who’s making a name for himself as well: James McAvoy.

On these shores, McAvoy first earned notice for his work in HBO’s Band of Brothers and the Sci-Fi Channel’s Children of Dune. Since then, his star has risen, and it’s not hard to see why; McAvoy plays characters of fundamental decency and charm, and has become something of a heartthrob with bookish ladies. Here’s a rundown of McAvoy’s best-reviewed work to date.

Bright Young Things (2004, 65 percent)

After years of acclaimed theatrical and television performances in the UK, McAvoy crossed the pond to US cinemas — albeit joined by a formidable collection of Brit acting talent — in Bright Young Things. Stephen Fry‘s directorial debut wryly follows the social goings-on of young upper-crust Britons in the 1930s, complete with scandal, romantic triangles, and generational conflict. It would seem difficult to stand out in a cast that features Richard E. Grant, Emily Mortimer, Simon Callow, Jim Broadbent, and Peter O’Toole, but McAvoy holds his own, playing a needy, manipulative scandal-sheet writer who still inspires empathy. “Newcomer James McAvoy [is] very good,” wrote Derek Elley of Variety.






The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005, 75 percent)

It’s not easy for an actor to establish a memorable screen persona when surrounded by acting heavyweights in the midst of a fantasy world while wearing a funny costume. But as Mr. Tumnus, a faun who acts as the welcome wagon for the Pevensie children in Narnia, McAvoy still managed to create an indelible impression — again playing a morally-conflicted character who ultimately does the right thing. “Mr. Tumnus is simply one of the most jaw-dropping cinematic creatures invented yet, a stunning mix of filmmaking wizardry and McAvoy’s soulful and physical thesping,” wrote Laura Clifford of Reeling.

Atonement (2007, 83 percent)

Though he’d turned in some outstanding performances before, it was Atonement that provided McAvoy with his first big break. In a Golden Globe-nominated performance, McAvoy plays Robbie, the decent, hard-working son of a housekeeper on a posh estate with dreams of becoming a doctor. He’s carried a torch for Cecilia (Keira Knightly), the eldest daughter of the upper-class Tallis clan. After tip-toeing around each other for years, the pair finally acknowledge a mutual attraction — but their nascent romance is thwarted when Cecelia’s younger sister (perhaps intentionally) misinterprets the nature of a late-night meeting — and lands Robbie in the slammer. The rest of Atonement deals with the ramifications of that night, and it’s a devastating portrait of star-crossed love. “Most people will recognize Knightley, but it’s McAvoy who will have you talking after the credits roll,” wrote Willie Waffle of WaffleMovies.com.

The Last King of Scotland (2006, 87 percent)

It’s no insult to McAvoy to say he doesn’t give the best performance in The Last King of Scotland. He’s merely excellent, while Forest Whittaker, playing Ugandan strongman Idi Amin, is borderline possessed. But McAvoy’s role is just as important; playing Garrigan, Amin’s (fictional) personal doctor, he helps the audience understand the magnetic pull of evil, especially when it’s veiled (initially, at least) in magnanimity. Garrigan begins his journey to Uganda as a naïve liberal, gets in Amin’s good graces after a chance meeting, rationalizes the leader’s methods even as evidence mounts of genocide, and ultimately finds himself in over his head. It’s a tricky balancing act, but McAvoy pulls it off. “Whitaker and McAvoy inhabit their roles so fully that the film around them transforms into a major document of 1970s cultural myopia,” wrote Gabriel Shanks of Modern Fabulosity.

Starter for 10 (2007, 89 percent)

McAvoy excelled as an awkward, trivia-obsessed working-class collegian in this coming-of-age romantic comedy. McAvoy won high praise for his performance as Brian Jackson, an ambitious student who dreams of impressing the lads in his hometown by participating on a televised quiz show — and overcoming his ineptitude with the ladies. Set in the 1980s, Starter for 10 examines the era’s class politics without shorting on laughs, and McAvoy — portraying a flawed but earnest character — helped to elevate it above mere formula. “James McAvoy may be the most likable British newcomer since Ewan McGregor,” wrote Desson Thomson of the Washington Post. “His glistening eyes can seduce audiences with their ability to show conflicting emotions.”

And, finally, here’s a musical interlude from the 2005 made-for-TV movie ShakespeaRe-Told:

C.S. Lewis was no dummy. His Narnia books might have had all the necessary ingredients for success with the younger set — sweeping drama, larger-than-life action, and the fate of the world hanging in the balance, to name a few — but he must have known his ace in the hole was the fact that one of his main characters was a talking lion who wasn’t afraid to tear things up when the bad guys got out of hand. (Why do you think “The Lion” got top billing in that first book? Duh.) Now that the second film in Disney/Walden’s big-budget reimagining of the Narnia series, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, is heading to theaters, we here at RT thought it would be the perfect time to revisit some of our favorite theatrical talking animals.

Our parameters were fairly loose — the movies had to be live-action, and the animals had to, you know, talk — which enabled us to make our selections from across the animal kingdom without regard for Tomatometer, as you’ll soon see. Prepare to relive your fondest (and not-so-fondest) memories of chatty fauna in Hollywood — and, of course, to hit the comments section to take issue with our selections. It’s Total Recall!



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10. Paulie

Given the level of animosity he seems to inspire wherever he goes, you’d think a movie where a character voiced by Jay Mohr spends most of his time locked up in a cage and squawking for pet food would be a big hit — but unfortunately for Mohr, you’d be wrong. At 63 percent on the Tomatometer, Paulie is one of Mohr’s better-reviewed films — and okay, it stands out largely because it’s lumped in alongside titles like Are We There Yet? and The Adventures of Pluto Nash, but still, Mohr is at his most consistently charming here, as an unusually loquacious parrot whose search for his original owner (Hallie Kate Eisenberg, in her screen debut) sends him on a series of incredible adventures. Plus, you get Buddy Hackett in his final role. What’s not to like?

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9. Oh! Heavenly Dog

In one of the great cinematic pairings of the ’80s, box-office heavyweights Chevy Chase and Benji teamed up here for a crime caper about a private eye (Chase) whose death leaves him stranded between afterlife destinations, giving him a chance to return to Earth in the form of a stray dog (um, Benji) so he can punch his ticket to heaven by solving his own murder. Chase received top billing, but this is really a Benji movie, as evidenced by the involvement of director Joe Camp, who had already helmed a pair of features and a TV movie with the canine star. Both Benji and Chase would go on to make better movies, but none of them would include love scenes between Jane Seymour and a dog.



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8. The Shaggy Dog

For their first live-action feature-length comedy, Disney took an unused television pilot and turned it into one of the most successful films of 1959 (good Lord, it even outgrossed Ben-Hur). Tommy Kirk, fresh out of Old Yeller and on the brink of starring in seemingly every single live-action feature Disney made between 1960-65, takes the spotlight here as Wilby Daniels, the goggle-eyed teenage na�f who, thanks to a surprisingly intricate plot too complicated to go into here, winds up shuttling unpredictably back and forth between dog and human form. Though not exactly a critical favorite, The Shaggy Dog stands at a respectable 69 percent on the Tomatometer — and was, perhaps most importantly, responsible for Fred MacMurray’s late-period reincarnation as the go-to guy for films in need of cardigan-rockin’ dads.


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7. Charlotte’s Web

“Modern-day remake of beloved children’s classic” is a phrase that, nine times out of 10, is synonymous with cinematic disaster — but the 2006 film version of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web proved to be the exception to the rule, soaring to 78 percent on the Tomatometer and racking up over $80 million at the box office. Of course, casting the voice talents of Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, and Oprah Winfrey (as a horse, spider, rat, sheep, and goose, respectively) never hurts — but White’s timeless tribute to pan-species friendship has been resonating with readers young and old for over 50 years. Tell the story faithfully — as director Gary Winick and screenwriters Susannah Grant and Karey Kirkpatrick did here — and the audience will follow. Some pig, indeed.

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6. Stuart Little

Michael J. Fox as an adorable talking mouse and Nathan Lane as a jealous cat named Snowbell. How’s that for perfect casting? And it gets better — M. Night Shyamalan and David O. Russell were just two of the writers involved in bringing E.B. White’s 1945 classic Stuart Little (66 percent) to the big screen, and the human cast includes Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, and Jonathan “The Human Head Weighs Eight Pounds” Lipnicki. It isn’t hard to see how the budget topped $100 million — or why Columbia earned it back, and then some. As White’s plucky protagonist and his arch-enemy, Fox and Lane helped make the film a hit with parents as well as kids — and helped make kid-friendly voicework appealing to actors with bigger box-office clout than, say, Jay Mohr.

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5. Francis

Before there was Jason, before there was Freddy, there was Francis the Talking Mule. Novelist David Stern’s creation was the inspiration for an incredible seven films, starting with 1950’s Francis (and ending, unfortunately, with 1956’s Francis in the Haunted House, which featured none of the actors from the first six installments). The plot — as with Jason and Freddy — was always basically the same, dropping soldier Peter Stirling (Donald O’Connor) into a ridiculous situation where he had to be bailed out by his sarcastic, braying friend (voiced by Chill Wills). Stirling’s penchant for ill-advised honesty when it came to Francis’ special talents invariably landed him under some sort of psychiatric observation, until the movie’s final act, when everyone realized he’d been telling the truth all along. Until the next movie, of course.

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4. Joe’s Apartment

Skits and short films rarely benefit from being turned into feature-length films — just ask Lorne Michaels — but as soon as MTV started airing brief clips of talking, singing, dancing cockroaches in the early ’90s, a Joe’s Apartment movie was a foregone conclusion. The film’s 12 percent Tomatometer speaks for itself, but this earnest tale of cockroaches with hearts of gold is still the only place to hear Billy West, Dave Chappelle, and Jim Turner voicing lifelike bugs, and it offers a tantalizing glimpse of the career Jerry O’Connell was building for himself before he wrote the First Daughter screenplay and became the world’s foremost Tom Cruise impersonator.

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3. The Wizard of Oz

All right, so maybe this is fudging a little — but what kind of talking animals list would be complete without a nod to Bert Lahr’s turn as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz? Victor Fleming’s adaptation of the L. Frank Baum classic boasts a 100 percent Tomatometer rating for many reasons, not the least of which is Lahr’s iconic performance. In Baum’s book, the Lion gets his courage from a bottle, but Fleming and company understandably shied away from that idea; instead, his film counterpart finds it inside himself, and is rewarded with a shiny new medal. Lahr went on to acquire some hardware of his own, winning a Tony Award for his performance in the 1964 musical Foxy, but to most of us, he’ll always be best remembered as the guy who sang “If I Were the King of the Forest.”

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2. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books sat around for over five decades before someone started making blockbuster live-action epics out of them. The missing ingredients? CGI technology — and the gravitas-drenched voice of Liam Neeson as Aslan, the titular lion. Announced as having been awarded the role just five months before the film’s release — and only after director Andrew Adamson bumped his original choice for Aslan’s voice, Brian Cox. Neeson, of course, was perfect for the role, and although he can’t take all the credit for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe‘s 76 percent Tomatometer rating (or its nearly $300 million gross), his involvement certainly didn’t hurt. Neeson has described Aslan’s role in the upcoming Prince Caspian as more “parental” — here’s hoping the movie still makes room for him to lay some smack down.

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1. Babe

Yes, it’s true: A film about a talking pig who enters a sheepdog competition really was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. It was nominated for seven Oscars, actually — and came away with one, for Best Visual Effects. This George Miller-adapted fable (taken from the Dick King-Smith book) built a lot of buzz thanks to its then-state-of-the-art visuals, but it earned its 98 percent Tomatometer rating based on the story’s big heart, and a terrific cast that included the voices of Christine Cavanaugh (as Babe) and Hugo Weaving (as Rex the sheepdog) — not to mention James Cromwell, whose laid-back turn as Farmer Hoggett earned him a Best Actor nomination and boiled his long, distinguished career down into five words: “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”

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Dishonorable Mention – Howard the Duck

A Lucasfilm release based on one of Marvel Comics’ most beloved second-string characters — a wisecracking, cigar-chomping alien duck. A cast including Lea Thompson and Tim Robbins. A soundtrack featuring Thomas Dolby, Stevie Wonder, and Joe Walsh. What could go wrong? The answer, of course, is “everything” — thanks largely to a nigh-incomprehensible mess of a plot that virtually ignored the comics, Howard the Duck went down in history as an enormous flop, earning the almost universal enmity of critics (look at that 19 percent Tomatometer rating!) and making back less than half of its $40 million budget back during its American theatrical run. Howard the Duck has never even been released on DVD here in the States — and in a marketplace that has room for a 10th anniversary deluxe edition of Tommy Boy, that’s really saying something.

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Spaced, the UK cult hit series, is finally headed to the States this summer – but guess what’s here now? A 3-disc Indiana Jones DVD collection and Narnia in Blu-ray! (Plus, we hear there’s a bit of a virus going around overseas…) Read on for more news and releases.


America Gets Spaced!

Region 1 denizens should mark their calendars for July 22 (and set aside about five Alexander Hamiltons) for the North American debut of the UK smash sitcom Spaced. Created by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson) — and directed by Edgar Wright — the surreal pop culture-referencing television show will finally make it to our shores in a 3-disc edition. Bonus material will include a 2007 cast reunion, an Homage-O-Meter that tracks each pop culture reference as it happens, and a commentary by Wright, Pegg, Hynes, and celeb-hipster buddies Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Bill Hader, Matt Stone, Patton Oswalt, and Diablo Cody.

Meanwhile, McG Gets De-Spaced…

…and if you’re a fan of Spaced, Edgar Wright, and Simon Pegg, then perhaps you’ll be happy to hear that the planned American remake of the show is now D.O.A., according to industry pundit Nikki Finke. Why is that good, you ask? Mostly because the folks behind the re-do, first announced last October, were plotting the series without any involvement by its creators. Also, it had Charlie’s Angels/Terminator 4 director McG at the helm — leading Wright to blog-dub the project McSpaced. Death to McSpaced!

Criterion Goes Blu-Ray

In more highbrow news, the cineastes at the Criterion Collection announced last week that Criterion will be going Blu-ray this fall! They promise “glorious high-definition picture and sound, all the supplemental content of the DVD releases” — and best of all — “they will be priced to match our standard-def editions.” Because it’s not like standard Criterion releases come on the cheap. The first batch of Blu-ray Criterion releases will include Bottle Rocket, Chungking Express, The Last Emperor, Gimme Shelter, Contempt, and The 400 Blows. Click for full titles.

Also announced this week

Early box art reveals that a sneak peek of the teenage vampire romance Twilight will appear on Summit Entertainment’s DVD release of Penelope, starring Christina Ricci. A fable about a pig-nosed girl who finds romance and a first look at the star-crossed love between a high schooler and a handsome bloodsucker? Guys, try to contain yourselves. On shelves July 15.


— Could the National Lampoon brand thrive again, after years of being licensed out to drastically unfunny films like Dorm Daze and Golf Punks? We shall see this summer, when the first National Lampoon movie to be produced by National Lampoon in 19 years comes to DVD: National Lampoon’s Bag Boy. (It’s about competitive grocery bagging. Which reminds us of a funny episode of 10 Items or Less…wonder when that will hit DVD?) Also on shelves July 15.

–Lastly, the Washington Post calls a quietly brewing problem to attention regarding our troops overseas and home video entertainment. Remember to pick up legit adult videos when sending your care packages!

Click for this week’s new releases!

Untraceable


Tomatometer: 15%

The ladies of fellow new release Mad Money are in good company as Diane Lane‘s stab at girl power — the gruesome thriller Untraceable, which pits Lane as a female cop on the trail of a modem-empowered killer — also makes its way to DVD this week.

Bonus Features:

Director Gregory Hoblit (Fracture, Frequency, Primal Fear) provides some insight into what he was thinking in a commentary track; watch picture-in-picture interviews, storyboards, and clips during the feature in Blu-ray.

The Great Debaters



Tomatometer: 79%

Denzel Washington directs his way to Certified Fresh territory for the second time (after 2002’s celebrated Antwone Fisher) and stars in a true story about a debate coach (Washington) leading his all-black college team to the national championships.

Bonus Features:

Genius Products and The Weinstein Co. are releasing a single-disc version with no extra features, but we say go for the 2-disc package for a commentary, documentary, and informative bonus materials about the actual events and figures that inspired the Oprah Winfrey-produced film.


Mad Money


Tomatometer: 20%

Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and the Cruise-bot formerly known as Katie Holmes seemingly cashed in for this all-female heist movie, which earned dismal ratings from critics.

Fun fact: Mad Money is directed by Callie Khouri, the same woman who made one of the best female empowerment flicks of all time: Thelma and Louise.

Bonus Features:

Who really watches extras like “Behind the Scenes of Mad Money??”


Youth Without Youth

Tomatometer: 29%

Francis Ford Coppola‘s pet project about a man (Tim Roth) supernaturally touched by youth was, to put it mildly, not quite a success. Is it still worth a shot, considering it’s Coppola’s first film in a decade?

Bonus Features:

Again, Coppola the Auteur is what’s appealing about Youth Without Youth, sprawling failure or no. Check out his commentary track and three making-of featurettes for insight into the mind of a modern legend.


The Lovers

Tomatometer: 100%

It’s Criterion time! Delight in not one, but two Louis Malle releases this week: The Lovers, Malle’s second film about an adulterous woman (Jeanne Moreau) and The Fire Within, about a suicidal writer.

Bonus Features:

Criterion serves up a newly restored, unedited version of The Lovers, which caused quite a stir when it censored upon debut in 1958 and sparked a Supreme Court obscenity case. But with more new material like video interviews with cast members and a 2005 documentary featuring Mathieu Almaric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Quantum of Solace) Criterion’s The Fire Within has a smidge more to offer. Who are we kidding — get them both!


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Blu-ray

Tomatometer: 75%

With Prince Caspian gearing up for a big opening this Friday, Disney and Walden Media are releasing the first film of the franchise, 2005’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, on Blu-ray for the first time — which means you’ll be able to see every hair on Aslan’s furry frame in inscrutable detail. Woot!

Bonus Features:

Use Blu-ray’s picture-in-picture element to watch extras like pop-up trivia. A second disc full of features should provide all that you ever wanted to know about the making of the hugely popular adventure.


Indiana Jones – The Adventure Collection

Tomatometer: 75%

The best collection of the week has arrived! Compiling all three Indiana Jones adventures — Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and the misnamed Last Crusade — this three-disc release is all you need to get ready for Indy’s return on May 22. We made a marathon out of all three discs in one weekend, and you’ll want to do the same.

Bonus Features:

The notoriously press-shy Steven Spielberg and George Lucas make appearances “introducing” each film, sharing memories of casting and filming the series while simultaneously offering glimpses of the forthcoming sequel, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Each disc has its own bonus menu of related materials, including features on the ladies and sidekicks of the series and the famous “melting face” effect.

Fun fact: George Lucas tells us he wasn’t so keen on casting his Han Solo, Harrison Ford, as Indiana Jones. He also reveals he thought Sean Connery wouldn’t work as the elder Dr. Jones. (Good thing Spielberg convinced him otherwise.)

‘Til next week, happy viewing!

Prince Caspian

Ahead of the release of Prince Caspian, and as an excuse to use these lovely character renders, we preview some of the characters you’ll meet.

Prince Caspian

Miraz is Prince Caspian’s uncle who has usurped the throne of Narnia for himself.

Prince Caspian

Glenstorm is a centaur who joins with Prince Caspian to help fight Miraz’s army.

Prince Caspian

Peter Pevensie is the High King of Old Narnia and returns to help Caspian take down Miraz.

Prince Caspian

Susan Pevensie and her siblings come to Narnia 1,300 years after their last visit.

Prince Caspian

Edmund Pevensie, who was tricked by the witch last time, is now a fine warrior.

Prince Caspian

Lucy Pevensie, was the first to discover Narnia and is the first to spot the arrival of Aslan.

 

When a game’s opening FMV flits between shots culled straight from the Hollywood motion picture on which it’s based and in-game action and you can’t tell the difference between the two, it usually means one of two things: either it’s full of breathtaking visuals or based on a film with shoddy effects. Of course, 2005’s big-screen adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was nominated for an Oscar for Achievement in Visual Effects, so that certainly bodes well for developer Traveller’s Tales’ upcoming Prince Caspian game.

Invited to a castle in Cheshire, near Traveller’s Tales’ Knutsford HQ, to preview the game recently, RT spent hands-on time with title and after a strong first outing with their adaptation of the first movie, sought to find out how the team planned to improve on the Narnian experience this time around.

Prince Caspian

Set 1,300 years after the events of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian tells the tale of the titular monarch-in-waiting whose uncle, the evil King Miraz, has usurped the throne and plans to kill him. With his life threatened, Caspian flees the castle and learns of an ancient Narnia, full of mythical beasts and talking animals, who he seeks to bring out from hiding. Enlisting, too, the help of the four Pevensie children, who return to find Narnia much changed after their first experience, Caspian readies an army to march on Miraz and his Telmarine soldiers.

Anyone who grew up with the BBC’s late-eighties Narnia miniseries, and doubtless those who were introduced to the books as children, will know how exciting the prospect of being a part of Narnia would be, but like all movie-to-videogame adaptations, the challenge is finding a way to take a linear narrative and apply it in such a way that a player feels their choices are actually making a difference to the interactive world they’re presented with. While the Prince Caspian game sticks to the plot of the movie, as might be expected, Traveller’s Tales present a series of mini-missions in every major level they deliver, allowing you to make up your own mind as to the order you set out to complete the game’s challenges, which goes a long way towards breaking this linear feel.

Prince Caspian

Like the first game, Prince Caspian groups a handful of characters together in each level and allows the player to switch between them mid-gameplay. Unlike the first, Prince Caspian offers no fewer than twenty playable characters for players to choose from, and while you were limited to the four Pevensie children in the first game, here you can at various times control fauns, centaurs, dwarves and even trees, each with their own unique skills and abilities. Is this the first game ever to feature a playable tree? We certainly think so. Combine that with the controllable antics of everyone’s favourite sword-wielding mouse, Reepicheep, and you just may have stumbled into controllable-character heaven.

Comfortably, the game adopts an action/puzzle sensibility and promises plenty of big battles and frustratingly enjoyable tasks to solve. In the course of our hands-on we saw hundreds of soldiers fighting on screen at once in grand battles the likes of which are rarely seen outside of RTS games being waged in real time with impressive amounts of detail.

Prince Caspian

The environments, too, don’t disappoint, with the original CG model of King Miraz’s massive castle having been adapted from the film’s production by developers to be recreated in-game. This is certainly a centrepiece level, as you take charge of a gryphon and can fly freely around the towers and battlements, but much of the game features similarly exciting surroundings.

With the blessing of the C.S. Lewis estate, run by the author’s stepson Douglas Gresham who’s been active in overseeing production, the game actually opens with a level set in between the end of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the start of Prince Caspian. Entirely unique to the videogame, players are thrown straight in to a fight to save Cair Paravel castle from the first onslaught of Telmarine invaders. The level forms part of a flashback sequence and two short pieces of original film footage were shot for the game from the set of the movie, as Ben Barnes’ Prince Caspian is told of the battle, to book-end the level. And throughout the game players are rewarded for progress with further clips from the movie.

Prince Caspian

Disney Interactive Studios are clearly hoping the game will appeal to the massive audience of moviegoers who’ll dutifully pay their ticket prices to see the movie when it opens next month, but we’re pleased to be able to report that there’s more to the title than mere cash-in value. The game’s scale and construction is truly impressive and while we were able to log no more than a couple of hours in front of both the 360 and PS3 versions, we’re fairly keen to get stuck in when the game is released in the US on May 15th and the UK on June 20th.

Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian

The Newest Narnian

Newcomer Ben Barnes on stepping into the magical world of Disney’s Prince Caspian.
“In Prince Caspian, the magic has gone from Narnia, because it’s been taken over by greedy, ambitious humans, so it’s going to be much darker, and while The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe was almost a fairytale story, this is much more of a summer action movie. The joy of the series is that they’re all, individually, completely different genres of story, and so there’s quite a different tone for this film. It’s balanced by director Andrew Adamson, who has this extraordinary ability to focus on minute details and the vastness of the Narnia story at the same time.

Prince Caspian

You have to spend the time getting the story right because as amazing as the special effects might be if you don’t care about the characters then your film won’t work. You have to make people care and you have to show all those different sides of the character and Caspian’s fairly well layered, I think. He’s an orphan whose father has been killed by his uncle and he’s ambivalent about being a leader. He really is on the threshold of manhood and it’s quite cathartic; he has to fight his own people.

Prince Caspian

I’m definitely going to be doing Voyage of the Dawn Treader and we’re lined up to start in November. We were going to start straight away but we had problems with the strike and exam schedules for children and all of that. We’re taking our time with it which I think is sensible. The first one was great but Caspian‘s going to be even better, so we have to take the time to make Dawn Treader even better.”

RT will have more from Ben Barnes as our coverage of Narnia continues. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is released in the US on 16th May, Australia on 5th June and the UK on 26th June.

Could Disney be getting cold feet about bringing all seven of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books to the screen? Not really says, the studio. A Disney spokesperson reached out to RT today with the statement that the rumors are entirely false.

So what’s the rumor? According to Jim Hill Media, unnamed insiders at the studio are telling Mr. Hill that the Disney brass seems to be “cooling to the idea of producing movie versions” of the entire series — and that the franchise’s future is hinging on this summer’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian doing “truly huge box office.”

Hill goes on to say that part of the reason for Disney’s change of heart, according to those tricksy unnamed insiders, is the studio’s excitement about Mark Andrews‘ “first pass” on his screenplay for the first installment in Disney/Pixar’s planned series of John Carter of Mars adaptations. For corroboration, Hill did a little poking around, and discovered that the studio registered a batch of Carter-related domain names last week, including:

JOHNCARTERANDTHEGODSOFMARS.COM
JOHNCARTERANDTHEWARLORDOFMARS.COM
GODSOFMARS-MOVIE.COM
GODSOFMARSMOVIE.COM
THEGODSOFMARS-MOVIE.COM
THEGODSOFMARSMOVIE.COM
THEWARLORDOFMARS-MOVIE.COM
THEWARLORDOFMARSMOVIE.COM
WARLORDOFMARS-MOVIE.COM

According to Hill, the plan is for Andrew Stanton to promote Wall-E through the fall, then get together with Andrews and Jim Morris (described as “a Lucasfilm Digital vet who made the jump to Pixar back in 2005” who has “reportedly been tapped to be the producer on the Mars project”) to formulate a “battle plan” for the first John Carter of Mars film.

The first film in Disney/Walden’s Narnia series, 2005’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, earned nearly $300 million at the box office (and netted a 75 percent Tomatometer rating to boot), so it’s hard to imagine that Disney would actually abandon the franchise. If nothing else, such an action would raise some troubling questions about how “success” is being defined in a film industry increasingly hampered by inflated production costs. On the other hand, getting to see Disney/Pixar translate Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter books sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Source: Jim Hill Media

If you’ve been waiting impatiently for a look at the sequel to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, good news: Walden Media has released the first shots from this summer’s Prince Caspian, and they’re just a click of the mouse away!

2005’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe had a lot of things going for it — including a $290 million-plus theatrical gross and the kind of critical affection that earns you a 76 percent Tomatometer rating — successes Walden is hoping to build on with the sequel, debuting May 16. Click on any of the shots below for a look at the hi-res versions:

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