(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)
All Bruce Willis Movies Ranked
Where there’s a Willis, there’s a way. A way to make it from TV sitcom star to eternal everyman action movie hero (Die Hard). A way to make a talking baby movie work (Look Who’s Talking) to the tune of $300 million at the box office in the ’80s. And a way to throw it all away with misfires like Bonfire of the Vanities and Hudson Hawk. And a way to get it all back again by kickstarting the ’90s indie boom with Pulp Fiction.
Since then, Bruce has continued to have a wild career, with the occasional crucial movie released at the exact right time to freshen up his image, whether in epic blockbusters (Armageddon), muted horror (The Sixth Sense), twee comedy (Moonrise Kingdom), or sci-fi cult classics (Looper). Recent highlights include Glass, the surprise finale to M. Night Shyamalan’s trilogy that started with Unbreakable and Glass, and Edward Norton passion project Motherless Brooklyn. And now we’re ranking all Bruce Willis movies by Tomatometer! —Alex Vo
Critics Consensus: It's solidly directed by Robert Benton and stacked with fine performances from an impressive cast, but above all, Nobody's Fool is a showcase for some of Paul Newman's best late-period work.
Synopsis: Donald "Sully" Sullivan (Paul Newman) is an expert at avoiding adult responsibilities. At 60, he divides all his time between... [More]
Critics Consensus:Live Free or Die Hard may be preposterous, but it's an efficient, action-packed summer popcorn flick with thrilling stunts and a commanding performance by Bruce Willis. Fans of the previous Die Hard films will not be disappointed.
Synopsis: As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, veteran cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) carries out another routine assignment: bringing... [More]
Critics Consensus: It may not be the killer thrill ride you'd expect from an action movie with a cast of this caliber, but Red still thoroughly outshines most of its big-budget counterparts with its wit and style.
Synopsis: After surviving an assault from a squad of hit men, retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reassembles his old... [More]
Critics Consensus: With a weaker ending, Unbreakable is not as a good as The Sixth Sense. However, it is a quietly suspenseful film that intrigues and engages, taking the audience through unpredictable twists and turns along the way.
Synopsis: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is a... [More]
Critics Consensus: It lacks the fresh thrills of its predecessor, but Die Hard 2 still works as an over-the-top -- and reasonably taut -- big-budget sequel, with plenty of set pieces to paper over the plot deficiencies.
Synopsis: A year after his heroics in L.A, detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is mixed up in another terrorist plot, this... [More]
Critics Consensus: Taut, violent, and suitably self-deprecating, The Expendables 2 gives classic action fans everything they can reasonably expect from a star-studded shoot-'em-up -- for better and for worse.
Synopsis: Mercenary leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) and the rest of the Expendables team reunite when Mr.... [More]
Critics Consensus:Die Hard with a Vengeance benefits from Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson's barbed interplay, but clatters to a bombastic finish in a vain effort to cover for an overall lack of fresh ideas.
Synopsis: Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is now divorced, alcoholic and jobless after getting fired for his reckless behavior and bad... [More]
Critics Consensus: Despite some fine performances and memorable scenes, Fast Food Nation is more effective as Eric Schlosser's eye-opening non-fiction book than as Richard Linklater's fictionalized, mostly punchless movie.
Synopsis: Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear), a marketing executive for a national burger chain must leave blissful ignorance behind when his boss... [More]
Critics Consensus: While it's still hard to argue with its impeccable cast or the fun they often seem to be having, Red 2 replaces much of the goofy fun of its predecessor with empty, over-the-top bombast.
Synopsis: Former CIA black-ops agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his old partner, Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), are caught in the... [More]
Critics Consensus: Lovely to look at but about as intelligent as the asteroid that serves as the movie's antagonist, Armageddon slickly sums up the cinematic legacies of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay.
Synopsis: When an asteroid threatens to collide with Earth, NASA honcho Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton) determines the only way to... [More]
Critics Consensus:The Bonfire of the Vanities is a vapid adaptation of a thoughtful book, fatally miscast and shorn of the source material's crucial sense of irony. Add it to the pyre of Hollywood's ambitious failures.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of the Tom Wolfe novel, powerful Wall Street executive Sherman McCoy (Tom Hanks) is riding with his... [More]
Critics Consensus: Despite the presence of Halle Berry and Bruce Willis, Perfect Stranger is too convoluted to work, and features a twist ending that's irritating and superfluous. It's a techno-thriller without thrills.
Synopsis: Rowena Price (Halle Berry), a reporter, uses her investigative skills to solve the murder of a friend. Her search leads... [More]
In Money Monster, a financial TV host (George Clooney) gets his show taken over by an angry audience member. The twist: it’s all in real-time (i.e. the 98 minutes it takes to watch this is the exact amount of time that passes in the movie), inspiring this gallery of 24 more in-the-moment movies.
For the first time in nearly a month, North America’s most popular movie won’t be about motorcycles. Warner Bros. goes back in time 2,500 years for the epic war saga "300" which aims to conquer the box office with ease.
Other studios have conceded the frame to the effects-driven actioner as the only other film opening wide is the family drama "The Ultimate Gift" which will cater to a non-violent crowd that prefers to keep decapitations to a minimum in their weekend entertainment.
Two and a half years after running the historical epic genre into the ground with "Alexander," Warner Bros. is back to breathe new life into the industry with "300." The R-rated war film stars Gerard Butler as the Greek king who in 480 B.C. led his small battalion of brave soldiers in battle against the mighty Persian army. Directed by Zack Snyder ("Dawn of the Dead"), "300" is based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and features stylized action sequences and a visual look unlike the endless line of epics that hit multiplexes a few years ago.
Warner Bros. got the ball rolling early last fall with exciting trailers that really energized the target audience of male action fans who now will be very satisfied by the amount of blood, gore, and female nudity in the picture. Momentum has been building ever since and today, "300" is an event film for many. The film lacks a marquee star but that should not matter much. The unique look and feel should compensate for that as moviegoers will find the film to be worth paying top dollar for to see on the big screen. This is not one to wait for on DVD. And unlike other epics, this one keeps it just under two hours which will allow theaters to offer enough showtimes per day. The marketplace is ready for "300." Aside from "Ghost Rider" which is going into its fourth lap, there will be little direct competition for "300" to face so King Leonidas and his men should prevail in this battle.
Other effects-driven R-rated action films have found success recently in the spring months. In 2005, Keanu Reeves‘ "Constantine" bowed to $29.8M and "Sin City" opened to $29.1M while last March "V for Vendetta" debuted with $25.6M. All three films ended in the $70-76M range. "300" looks like it has the strength to go higher. The marketing has been brilliant, competition is weak, and excitement is high. Warner Bros. will score its first number one opener of the year with "300" which invades 3,103 theaters, including Imax venues which will add a few extra bucks. A Friday-to-Sunday gross of about $38M could result.
"300," finally in theaters.
Fox Faith, the new wing of Twentieth Century Fox dedicated to films with uplifting religious themes, rolls out its family drama "The Ultimate Gift" starring James Garner, Brian Dennehy, and Abigail Breslin who comes straight from her high profile Oscar nomination for "Little Miss Sunshine." Based on the best-selling book, the PG-rated film tells the story of a young man who instead of getting his expected inheritance after the death of his wealthy grandfather, is given a series of challenges to help him build character and learn what is truly important in life. Grassroots marketing is being used to court the faith-based audience and a dollar from every ticket sold will be donated to one of a number of different charities. Still, the film is not being given a marketing blitz so large numbers are not expected. Opening in over 800 theaters, "The Ultimate Gift" may gross about $3M this weekend.
"The Ultimate Gift," with Abigail Breslin.
After opening almost everywhere else in the world, the hit Korean horror film "The Host" makes its ways to American shores through Magnolia Pictures this weekend. The R-rated creature feature debuts in about 70 theaters and has been garnering impressive reviews since its premiere last May at the Cannes Film Festival. Fox Searchlight platforms its family saga "The Namesake" from director Mira Nair ("Monsoon Wedding," "Vanity Fair") in six theaters in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto. Starring Kal Penn, the PG-13 film about the struggles of an Indian-American family will expand weekly throughout the rest of the month.
After three weeks of motorcycle flicks ruling the box office, a stylized trip back in time with "300" will come as a welcome change of pace. "Wild Hogs," which powered its way to a surprisingly potent $39.7M bow last weekend, will drop out of pole position. With little direct competition, look for a reasonable dip in sales. The Buena Vista release has been a crowdpleaser and will remain the top choice for moviegoers in the mood for a laugh or anything with big Hollywood stars. A 35% decline could result giving "Hogs" a weekend tally of around $26M and a ten-day cume of $74M.
Paramount’s serial killer pic "Zodiac" got off to a moderate start last weekend and will have another R-rated film aimed at adults to deal with. A drop of 40% may occur putting the murder mystery at $8M for a total of only $25M after ten days. Sony’s "Ghost Rider" will become the first member of the 2007 century club and should fall 45% to $6M for a $103M cume. The Nicolas Cage pic is set to take a serious hit thanks to 300.
One super hero on a motorcycle looks to get replaced by four middle-aged bikers at the number one spot at the North American box office this weekend.
The new comedy "Wild Hogs" leads the pack of new releases with the widest release of the trio. Also debuting are the serial killer thriller "Zodiac" and the southern sizzler "Black Snake Moan" to kick of a March movie marathon.
Starpower is at the center of Buena Vista’s new highway to hell comedy "Wild Hogs." The PG-13 film brings together Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy as four suburban men who take to the road to put some adventure back into their lives. An adult audience is likely here and both genders should be represented fairly evenly. Star wattage and concept should sell the picture and trailers and commercials haven’t been half bad. The studio saw encouraging results from its sneak previews last Saturday which were at 85% capacity and skewed 51% male. "Wild Hogs" could reach the same audience that came out for Travolta’s "Be Cool" and "Ladder 49" which opened to $23.5M and $22.1M, respectively. Both Travolta and Allen have been out promoting the film aggressively so awareness is sizable. Opening in about 3,300 theaters, "Wild Hogs" may take in around $23M in ticket sales this weekend giving Allen a badly-needed hit.
Several actors attempt to kickstart their stalled careers in "Wild Hogs."
Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo star in the new serial killer pic "Zodiac" from director David Fincher ("Seven," "Panic Room"). The R-rated film chronicles the investigation behind one of the most notorious and mysterious murderers of the twentieth century. Paramount has long had a solid track record at finding success from crime thrillers with its slick marketing. For this particular film, the studio is hoping that the public does not find out that it is in for a nearly three hour saga. The running time should cut into the box office potential of the film since theaters will have to offer one less showtime per day compared to most other movies. A more subdued theater count will play a role too.
Still some appealing names are being offered in front of and behind the camera. Older adults are more likely to show up as the subject matter is too ancient for those in their early 20s. Films about famous California murders were met with indifference last fall in the other 49 states when Ben Affleck‘s "Hollywoodland" and Josh Hartnett‘s "The Black Dahlia" opened nationally to just $5.9M and $10M, respectively. "Zodiac" is a little more modern and is being packaged in a better way so its debut should be stronger. But the film lacks a star that can really bring some bang to the box office right out of the gate. Critics have been very supportive which will help with the older target audience. Attacking 2,362 theaters, "Zodiac" might find itself with about $16M this weekend.
Contemplating horoscopes is emotionally draining in "Zodiac."
With the eye-catching image of an older black man chaining up a young scantily clad white woman, Paramount Vantage’s "Black Snake Moan" already has one of the year’s most memorable posters. The new R-rated entry from writer/director Craig Brewer is the follow-up to his 2005 hit "Hustle & Flow" which won an Oscar last year for best song. With some more cash and bigger stars, "Snake" features Samuel L. Jackson as a Bible-loving blues guitarist who finds and cares for a beaten, bruised, and half-naked woman with a disturbing past played by Christina Ricci. Justin Timberlake adds some starpower with his second film of the year following
January’s "Alpha Dog."
"Black Snake Moan" should appeal to much of the "Hustle" crowd. That film was a summer opener and bowed to $8M from just over 1,000 locations for a solid $7,915 average. Jackson is always a wild card at the box office as many of the films he anchors do not pull in the big numbers while his ensemble pics tend to thrive. Here, he is the main draw. Competition from other contenders should not be that much of a factor as the film will work if audiences find it cool. Reviews have been generally favorable so that could provide an assist at the turnstiles. Young adults not interested in Vincent Vega and Santa on choppers might go for a more bold moviegoing choice like this. Opening in 1,252 locations, "Black Snake Moan" may debut with about $8M.
Ricci and Jackson in "Black Snake Moan."
After leading the pack for two weeks, Sony’s "Ghost Rider" will get passed up by some of the new releases this weekend. A 50% drop to about $10M seems likely giving the Nicolas Cage film $93M in 17 days.
Disney should enjoy a better hold for its fantasy drama "Bridge to Terabithia" since its audience is a little too young for the newcomers. A 35% decline would leave the PG-rated film with roughly $9M for the frame and push the 17-day cume up to $58M. Jim Carrey on the other hand should tumble with his thriller "The Number 23" which will see some direct competition from "Zodiac." A 55% drop would leave New Line with $7M over the weekend and $25M after ten days.
LAST YEAR: Tyler Perry stayed at number one for the second straight weekend with the Lionsgate comedy "Madea’s Family Reunion" which grossed $12.6M despite a hefty sophomore drop. Opening close behind in the runnerup spot was the Bruce Willis actioner "16 Blocks" with $11.9M on its way to $36.9M for Warner Bros. Disney’s family adventure "Eight Below" held up well in its third ride grossing $10.1M for third place. Debuting with unimpressive results were Sony’s action flick "Ultraviolet" with $9.1M in fourth and Fox’s drama "Aquamarine" with $7.5M in fifth. Final grosses reached $18.5M and $18.6M, respectively. Opening with decent results was "Dave Chappelle’s Block Party" with $6.2M for Focus from 1,200 theaters on its way to $11.7M overall.
By now it’s downright ridiculous, but once again the weekend’s box office winners are also the week’s critical duds, with the aptly named "Failure To Launch" balancing a Tomatometer of 30 percent with an opening B.O. of $24.6 mil.
That’s right, the Matthew McConaughey–Sarah Jessica Parker rom-com that gave all the scribes fodder for their cannons with its title alone managed to debut at #1 last weekend, with an impressive per-screen average of $8K. According to Variety, we have the over-25 female demographic combined with the hunky powers of McConaughey to thank for this.
Coming in second last weekend was Tim Allen‘s mongrel of a flick, "The Shaggy Dog," which actually tied "Failure to Launch" with 30% on the Tomatometer but performed well below at the box office with a total of $16 million from 3501 theaters.
Third in theaters last weekend was the Alexandre Aja – Wes Craven remake, "The Hills Have Eyes." Faring slightly better with critics (51% on the Tomatometer) seemed to do little good for the mutant hill-people slasher, which brought in $15.5 million (but played in only 2620 theaters and had a much narrower, bloodthirstier audience than the top two flicks).
Interesting results came with the performance of Oscar winner "Crash," which Lions Gate re-released last week following the Best Picture win. Opening in only 175 theaters, the pic brought in a disappointing $357,000, according to Variety.
Also, the mighty "Madea" was finally knocked off its cushy perch by the top three openers and last week’s "16 Blocks," which pulled in $7.3 million to take number 4 at the B.O. "Madea’s Family Reunion" added only $5.8 million to its total so far of nearly $56 mil, and dropped from #1 last week to #5.
The power of Tyler Perry continued over Oscar weekend, with his "Madea’s Family Reunion" snagging the #1 spot for a second consecutive weekend. Despite a Tomatometer stuck on 30%, the flick just keeps packing ’em in: Madea made another $13 million last weekend, giving her a total purse of $48.1 million.
Debuting in the #2 spot was the Bruce Willis action thriller "16 Blocks," which tallied an estimated $11.7 million from 2,700 theaters. Disney’s "Eight Below" exhibited some strong staying power by hanging at #3 in its third weekend. The frozen dog flick made another $10.3 million last weekend, giving it a grand total of $58.8 million thus far.
A pair of kid-friendly newcomers rounded out the top five. Milla Jovovich‘s futuristic action flick "Ultraviolet" pulled in $9 million from 2,500 theaters, while the teen-girl mermaid comedy "Aquamarine" made about $7.5 million from its own 2,500. (I’d pay nine bucks to see a sequel called "Ultraviolet vs. Aquamarine.")
With the first two "LethalWeapon" films, Richard Donner perfected a certain kind of action-buddy template, and he gives it another try in "16 Blocks." Bruce Willis and Mos Def star in this tale of a cop who must transport a witness across town to testify in court, but must make it past a bunch of bad guys first. Critics say the film is a solid action picture with interesting characters, but it’s still a little too formulaic. It’s currently at 49 percent on the Tomatometer, well below Donner’s best-reviewed action film ("Superman," 94 percent) and Willis’ ("Die Hard," 92 percent).
We’ve missed you, Dave Chappelle. We were deeply concerned when you went on hiatus. We were afraid we’d lost the comedy voice of a generation. We needn’t have worried, say critics. "Dave Chappelle’s Block Party" is a raucous return to the spotlight, and Dave’s incisive, observational wit appears to be as sharp as ever. Directed with style by Michel Gondry and featuring exceptional musical performances by some of hip-hop’s heaviest hitters (including — will wonders never cease — the reunited Fugees), this is one swingin’ "Party." It currently stands at 93 percent on the Tomatometer, and if that number holds, "Block Party" will be the best reviewed wide release of the year. It’s also nearly 50 points higher than Chappelle’s career Tomatometer of 44 percent. Heck, even he makes fun of "Half Baked.")
"Aquamarine" tells a fish-out-of-water story — or, better yet, a mermaid-out-of-the-ocean story. A couple of teenage girls discover a mermaid who, like Ariel before her, is looking for love, preferably on dry land. As you can probably guess, the target audience for this movie is ichthyologists. Sorry, I meant teenage girls. Critics say that demographic will dig it to an acceptable degree, but their parents and the fellas will be feeling a bit seasick. At 50 percent on the Tomatometer, "Aquamarine" is a tad soggy.
Extensive exposure to ultraviolet rays can be very harmful, particularly to the eyes. So the people behind the futuristic action flick "Ultraviolet" did the critics a favor by not screening the film for them. Whether it’s harmful for audiences, we can’t say at this point. Just be warned.
Speaking of which, it’s time to announce the winners of last week’s Guess the Tomatometer contest. Mizzoucritic was one point off in his/her evaluation of "Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion," which landed at 32 percent, and lovelykeira came the closest to "Doogal"’s score of six percent. So the next time we’re in Mizzou’s neck of the woods, we’ll get dinner at Shakespeare’s Pizza to celebrate. Go Tigers.
Tyler Perry‘s follow-up to "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "Madea’s Family Reunion" had no trouble leaping to the top of the box office in its first weekend, handily satisfying its target demographic (and without any help from the film critics, tyvm). The flick snagged an estimated (and rather impressive) $30.2 million from 2,200 theaters, while fending off a pair of underperforming newcomers and a handful of hangers-on.
Aside from the #1 spot, the top five was populated by older titles, with Disney’s "Eight Below" ($15.7m weekend, $45.1m total) coming in a distant second and spots 3 through 5 belonging to "The Pink Panther" ($11.3m weekend, $61m total), "Date Movie" ($9.2m weekend, $33.9m total), and "Curious George" ($7m weekend, $43.1m total), respectively.
A pair of new releases debuted rather inauspicously in Madea’s wake: Weinsteins’ "Doogal" managed $3.6 million from 2,300 theaters while the action thriller "Running Scared" scared up an anemic $3.1 million from 1,600 theaters.
It’s almost here — the one time of year when pigskin-loving jocks and ravenous movie fans come together to salivate over 30-second blocks of pure advertising: Super Bowl Sunday.
Here at RT we’ll be working overtime during Super Bowl XL (that’s 40, not extra large) to bring you a play-by-play of the highly anticipated movie trailers peppered among the talking frogs, soccer-playing Clydesdales, and The Twins of 2006! Check back for updates at halftime and after the game, and let us know which trailers (and other multi-million dollar ads) you enjoyed the most…
Super Bowl Trailer Watch Update:
In between trips to the fridge for beer and snacks, you may have glimpsed the following trailers — but did they convince you to run to your local cineplex when they hit theaters?
At a rumored average price of $2.6 million per spot, the studios sure hope so.
HALF TIME UPDATE – In broadcast order:
Click, (Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale)…view it here.
Post your thoughts on the 2006 Super Bowl: million-dollar trailers, Mick Jagger (does he still rock at age 90?), Jerome Bettis (is retirement on the horizon for The Bus?), the Super Bowl itself (is it, in fact, still Super??)
GoDaddy.whatever it is, FedEx delivery cavemen, Budweiser’s secret revolving beer fridge, Godzilla gives Mechaman a Hummer, Burger King’s dancing whopper orgy — does anyone else miss the talking frogs??
The IMDb sums up the plot like so: "Based on a pitch by Richard Wenk, the mismatched buddy film follows a troubled NYPD officer who’s forced to take a happy, but down-on-his-luck witness 16 blocks from the police station to 100 Centre Street, although no one wants the duo to make it. The story is a redemptive tale for characters who are polar opposites. The cop, a dark guy and a heart attack waiting to happen, who is escorting this witness who is a 14-time loser with a sunny outlook."
Warner Bros.’ "16 Blocks" opens wide on March 3rd.
Action star Bruce Willis has fought countless terrorists on-screen — now, the bald, bachelor A-lister is offering $1 million in real-life bounty to any civilian who turns in al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Willis, a long-standing Republican and supporter of the Iraq war, made the offer via telephone on MSNBC’s "Rita Cosby: Live and Direct" show. The actor endorsed the efforts of embedded independent blogger Michael Yon and the Deuce Four Army battalion Yon has accompanied in Iraq, and alluded to plans to make a Deuce Four movie. Willis himself has previously visited armed forces in Iraq and is critical of unbalanced media coverage in America, what he says neglects to show the "really good things happening in Iraq."
This isn’t the first time the erstwhile John McClane has dipped his toes into the political arena. Back in 2003, while entertaining troops with his band, The Accelerator, Willis made a similar offer of $1 million for the capture of Saddam Hussein; it is, however, unclear whether he ever made good on the hefty pledge once the former dictator was apprehended.
In any event, while he waits to award his cash prize and single-handedly defeat the forces of terrorism worldwide, Willis has a slew of upcoming projects to sate movie-going audiences: "Alpha Dog," co-starring Justin Timberlake and Emile Hirsch; "16 Blocks" with Mos Def; and, finally, the long-awaited fourth installment of Willis’ most famous role — "Die Hard 4.0."