Best Heist Movies of All Time

Crooks. Thieves. Liars. And these are the ones we’re rooting for. In the heist and caper films, we see the hero hatching a plan, putting together a crew, and then pulling off the job, usually in order to turn the screws against an institution or person that’s wronged them — or maybe just for the thrill of sticking up banks. Either way, we put together a list of the 78 best-reviewed heist movies of all time for you to look over, each with at least 20 reviews and sorted by ranking formula, which factors how long ago a movie was released and how many critics reviews it got overall. Just don’t get caught!

#88

The Bling Ring (2013)
60%

#88
Adjusted Score: 67358%
Critics Consensus: While it's certainly timely and beautifully filmed, The Bling Ring suffers from director Sofia Coppola's failure to delve beneath the surface of its shallow protagonists' real-life crimes.
Synopsis: A teenager (Israel Broussard) and his gang of fame-obsessed youths (Katie Chang, Taissa Farmiga) use the Internet to track the... [More]
Directed By: Sofia Coppola

#87

The Newton Boys (1998)
64%

#87
Adjusted Score: 65654%
Critics Consensus: The Newton Boys uses a sharp cast and absorbing period detail to help make up for the frustrations of a story puzzlingly short on dramatic tension.
Synopsis: Seeking an escape from poverty, sibling Texas farmers (Matthew McConaughey, Skeet Ulrich, Ethan Hawke) gain notoriety as daring 1920s bank... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#86

Bandits (2001)
64%

#86
Adjusted Score: 70075%
Critics Consensus: The story may not warrant its lengthy running time, but the cast of Bandits makes it an enjoyable ride.
Synopsis: Joe (Bruce Willis) and Terry (Billy Bob Thornton) have escaped from prison. Cutting a swath from Oregon through California, these... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#85

Danger: Diabolik (1968)
65%

#85
Adjusted Score: 67419%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Criminals and the police try to catch a high-tech thief (John Phillip Law) out to steal a 20-ton gold ingot.... [More]
Directed By: Mario Bava

#84

2 Guns (2013)
65%

#84
Adjusted Score: 71507%
Critics Consensus: Formulaic and often jarringly violent, 2 Guns rests its old-school appeal on the interplay between its charismatic, well-matched stars.
Synopsis: For the past year, DEA agent Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and U.S. Navy intelligence officer Marcus Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) have... [More]
Directed By: Baltasar Kormákur

#83
#83
Adjusted Score: 69438%
Critics Consensus: Full of special effects, Brian DePalma's update of Mission: Impossible has a lot of sweeping spectacle, but the plot is sometimes convoluted.
Synopsis: When U.S. government operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his mentor, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight), go on a covert assignment... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 69431%
Critics Consensus: Woody Allen rises from his recent slump with Small Time Crooks. A simple, funny movie, Crooks proves Allen still has the touch that made his name synonymous with off-beat comedy.
Synopsis: Woody Allen wrote, directed and stars in this romantic comedy that follows the misadventures of an ex-con dishwasher and his... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#81
#81
Adjusted Score: 73832%
Critics Consensus: The Burnt Orange Heresy has a certain stylish charm, even if -- much like the art world it depicts -- it'll strike some viewers as pretentious.
Synopsis: Charismatic art critic James Figueras and his American lover travel to the lavish Lake Como estate of powerful art collector,... [More]
Directed By: Giuseppe Capotondi

#80

Heist (2001)
66%

#80
Adjusted Score: 71543%
Critics Consensus: Heist didn't cover any new ground, but the cast and Mamet's expertise with witty banter make it worthwhile.
Synopsis: Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) has a job he loves. He's a thief. His job goes sour when he gets caught... [More]
Directed By: David Mamet

#79

Wrath of Man (2021)
66%

#79
Adjusted Score: 79658%
Critics Consensus: Wrestling just enough stakes out of its thin plot, Wrath of Man sees Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham reunite for a fun, action-packed ride.
Synopsis: Mysterious and wild-eyed, a new security guard for a cash truck surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#78

Army Of The Dead (2021)
67%

#78
Adjusted Score: 81525%
Critics Consensus: An ambitious, over-the-top zombie heist mashup, Army of the Dead brings Zack Snyder back to his genre roots with a suitably gory splash.
Synopsis: From filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Zack Snyder's Justice League), ARMY OF THE DEAD takes place following a zombie outbreak that... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#77
#77
Adjusted Score: 90558%
Critics Consensus: The Fate of the Furious opens a new chapter in the franchise, fueled by the same infectious cast chemistry and over-the-top action fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: With Dom and Letty married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#76

Tower Heist (2011)
68%

#76
Adjusted Score: 74616%
Critics Consensus: Tower Heist is a true Brett Ratner joint: little brains to this caper, but it's fun fluff, exciting to watch, and showcases a welcome return to form for Eddie Murphy.
Synopsis: For more than 10 years, Josh Kovaks (Ben Stiller) has managed one of New York City's most luxurious and well-secured... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner

#75

Public Enemies (2009)
68%

#75
Adjusted Score: 78789%
Critics Consensus: Michael Mann's latest is a competent and technically impressive gangster flick with charismatic lead performances, but some may find the film lacks truly compelling drama.
Synopsis: Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger's (Johnny Depp) charm and audacity endear him to much of America's downtrodden public, but he's... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 79087%
Critics Consensus: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. tries to distract from an unremarkable story with charismatic stars and fizzy set pieces, adding up to an uneven action thriller with just enough style to overcome its lack of substance.
Synopsis: At the height of the Cold War, a mysterious criminal organization plans to use nuclear weapons and technology to upset... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#73

Point Break (1991)
69%

#73
Adjusted Score: 74109%
Critics Consensus: Absurd, over-the-top, and often wildly entertaining, Point Break is here to show you that the human spirit is still alive.
Synopsis: After a string of bizarre bank robberies in Southern California, with the crooks donning masks of various former presidents, a... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#72

Ronin (1998)
69%

#72
Adjusted Score: 71908%
Critics Consensus: Ronin earns comparisons to The French Connection with strong action, dynamic road chase scenes, and solid performances.
Synopsis: Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) puts together a team of experts that she tasks with stealing a valuable briefcase, the contents of... [More]
Directed By: John Frankenheimer

#71

Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
69%

#71
Adjusted Score: 77665%
Critics Consensus: Ocean's Thirteen reverts to the formula of the first installment, and the result is another slick and entertaining heist film.
Synopsis: Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang hatch an ambitious plot for revenge after ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#70

Ocean's 8 (2018)
69%

#70
Adjusted Score: 90326%
Critics Consensus: Ocean's 8 isn't quite as smooth as its predecessors, but still has enough cast chemistry and flair to lift the price of a ticket from filmgoers up for an undemanding caper.
Synopsis: Five years, eight months, 12 days and counting -- that's how long Debbie Ocean has been devising the biggest heist... [More]
Directed By: Gary Ross

#69

Set It Off (1996)
71%

#69
Adjusted Score: 71353%
Critics Consensus: It may not boast an original plot, but Set It Off is a satisfying, socially conscious heist film thanks largely to fine performances from its leads.
Synopsis: After being fired from her job as a bank teller, Frankie (Vivica A. Fox) begins working at a janitorial service... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 73248%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, stylish, and painlessly diverting, The Thomas Crown Affair is a remake of uncommon charm.
Synopsis: Bored billionaire Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) decides to entertain himself by stealing a Monet from a reputed museum. When Catherine... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#67

Triple Frontier (2019)
71%

#67
Adjusted Score: 77988%
Critics Consensus: An outstanding cast and ambitious story help Triple Frontier overcome an uneven narrative -- and elevate the end result above a crowded field of grim and gritty heist thrillers.
Synopsis: Former Special Forces operatives reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the... [More]
Directed By: J.C. Chandor

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 79674%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, with eye-popping stunts and special effects, the latest Mission: Impossible installment delivers everything an action fan could ask for. A thrilling summer popcorn flick.
Synopsis: Retired from active duty, and training recruits for the Impossible Mission Force, agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces the toughest... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 75748%
Critics Consensus: Steve McQueen settles into the role with ease and aplomb, in a film that whisks viewers to an exotic world with style and sex appeal.
Synopsis: Bored millionaire Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) concocts and executes a brilliant scheme to rob a bank without having to do... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#64

The Driver (1978)
73%

#64
Adjusted Score: 73648%
Critics Consensus: A tough, highly stylized thriller with amazing sound design and car chases.
Synopsis: An enigmatic man of fast cars and few words, the Driver (Ryan O'Neal) excels at maneuvering getaway vehicles through the... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#63

The Score (2001)
73%

#63
Adjusted Score: 78444%
Critics Consensus: Though the movie treads familiar ground in the heist/caper genre, Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando make the movie worth watching.
Synopsis: Career thief Nick Wells (Robert De Niro) is about to mastermind a nearly impossible theft that will require his joining... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#62

The Italian Job (2003)
73%

#62
Adjusted Score: 78188%
Critics Consensus: Despite some iffy plot elements, The Italian Job succeeds in delivering an entertaining modern take on the original 1969 heist film, thanks to a charismatic cast.
Synopsis: After a heist in Venice, Steve (Edward Norton) turns on his partners in crime, killing safecracker John Bridger (Donald Sutherland)... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 75748%
Critics Consensus: Laboriously paced and overly talky, The Great Train Robbery nevertheless pulls off a thrillingly staged finale anchored by winning performances from Donald Sutherland and Sean Connery.
Synopsis: Edward Pierce (Sean Connery) is a master thief of the Victorian Era who's never found a heist he couldn't pull... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#60

Snatch (2000)
74%

#60
Adjusted Score: 78253%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps a case of style over substance, Guy Ritchie's second crime caper is full of snappy dialogue, dark comedy, and interesting characters.
Synopsis: Illegal boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham) convinces gangster Brick Top (Alan Ford) to offer bets on bare-knuckle boxer Mickey (Brad... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#59
Adjusted Score: 77268%
Critics Consensus: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is a grimy, twisted, and funny twist on the Tarantino hip gangster formula.
Synopsis: Eddy (Nick Moran) convinces three friends to pool funds for a high-stakes poker game against local crime boss Hatchet Harry... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#58
#58
Adjusted Score: 84642%
Critics Consensus: As grim and grinding as its title, Dragged Across Concrete opts for slow-burning drama instead of high-speed thrills -- and has just the right cast to make it work.
Synopsis: Police partners descend into the criminal underworld after they are suspended for assaulting a suspect on video.... [More]
Directed By: S. Craig Zahler

#57

The Good Thief (2002)
77%

#57
Adjusted Score: 82629%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by Nolte's strong performance, The Good Thief brims with seductive style.
Synopsis: Bob (Nick Nolte) is an aging thief who has seen better days and is battling both an addiction to heroin... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#56

Fast Five (2011)
77%

#56
Adjusted Score: 86764%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, loud, and over the top, Fast Five proudly embraces its brainless action thrills and injects new life into the franchise.
Synopsis: Ever since ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) broke her brother Dom (Vin Diesel) out of... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#55

Kelly's Heroes (1970)
78%

#55
Adjusted Score: 79773%
Critics Consensus: Kelly's Heroes subverts its World War II setting with pointed satirical commentary on modern military efforts, offering an entertaining hybrid of heist caper and battlefield action.
Synopsis: In the midst of World War II, an array of colorful American soldiers gets inside information from a drunk German... [More]
Directed By: Brian G. Hutton

#54

Sneakers (1992)
79%

#54
Adjusted Score: 83502%
Critics Consensus: There isn't much to Sneakers plot and that's more than made up for with the film's breezy panache and hi-tech lingo.
Synopsis: Computer hacker Martin (Robert Redford) heads a group of specialists who test the security of various San Francisco companies. Martin... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#53

The Bank Job (2008)
80%

#53
Adjusted Score: 85344%
Critics Consensus: Well cast and crisply directed, The Bank Job is a thoroughly entertaining British heist thriller.
Synopsis: Self-reformed petty criminal Terry Leather (Jason Statham) has become a financially struggling car dealer and settled into a pedestrian London... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#52

The Italian Job (1969)
81%

#52
Adjusted Score: 80573%
Critics Consensus: The Italian Job is a wildly fun romp that epitomizes the height of Britannia style.
Synopsis: A British crook (Michael Caine) robs gold ingots in Italy by having a computer expert (Benny Hill) cause a traffic... [More]
Directed By: Peter Collinson

#51

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
83%

#51
Adjusted Score: 90209%
Critics Consensus: As fast-paced, witty, and entertaining as it is star-studded and coolly stylish, Ocean's Eleven offers a well-seasoned serving of popcorn entertainment.
Synopsis: Dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#50

Ant-Man (2015)
83%

#50
Adjusted Score: 96057%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Synopsis: Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#49
Adjusted Score: 113613%
Critics Consensus: Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground -- and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise.
Synopsis: Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing... [More]
Directed By: Gareth Edwards

#48

Bottle Rocket (1996)
85%

#48
Adjusted Score: 88796%
Critics Consensus: Bottle Rocket is Reservoir Dogs meets Breathless with a West Texas sensibility.
Synopsis: In Wes Anderson's first feature film, Anthony (Luke Wilson) has just been released from a mental hospital, only to find... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#47

The Getaway (1972)
86%

#47
Adjusted Score: 79747%
Critics Consensus: The Getaway sees Sam Peckinpah and Steve McQueen, the kings of violence and cool, working at full throttle.
Synopsis: When convict Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) is refused parole, he enlists his wife, Carol (Ali MacGraw), to strike a deal... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#46

Inside Man (2006)
86%

#46
Adjusted Score: 95728%
Critics Consensus: Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller is a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill.
Synopsis: A tough detective (Denzel Washington) matches wits with a cunning bank robber (Clive Owen), as a tense hostage crisis is... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 90003%
Critics Consensus: This likable buddy/road picture deftly mixes action and comedy, and features excellent work from stars Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges and first-time director Michael Cimino.
Synopsis: While stealing a car, free-spirited drifter Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges) crosses paths with legendary thief Thunderbolt (Clint Eastwood) in the midst... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cimino

#44

Heat (1995)
87%

#44
Adjusted Score: 92679%
Critics Consensus: Though Al Pacino and Robert De Niro share but a handful of screen minutes together, Heat is an engrossing crime drama that draws compelling performances from its stars -- and confirms Michael Mann's mastery of the genre.
Synopsis: Master criminal Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) is trying to control the rogue actions of one of his men, while... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#43

Jackie Brown (1997)
87%

#43
Adjusted Score: 92623%
Critics Consensus: Although somewhat lackadaisical in pace, Jackie Brown proves to be an effective star-vehicle for Pam Grier while offering the usual Tarantino wit and charm.
Synopsis: When flight attendant Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is busted smuggling money for her arms dealer boss, Ordell Robbie (Samuel L.... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#42

Sexy Beast (2000)
87%

#42
Adjusted Score: 91852%
Critics Consensus: Sexy Beast rises above other movies in the British gangster genre due to its performances -- particularly an electrifying one by Ben Kingsley -- and the script's attention to character development.
Synopsis: Ex-villain Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) has served his time behind bars and is blissfully retired to a Spanish villa paradise... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Glazer

#41

The Lookout (2007)
87%

#41
Adjusted Score: 93099%
Critics Consensus: The Lookout is a genuinely suspenseful and affecting noir due to the great ensemble cast and their complex, realistic characters.
Synopsis: Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a star athlete, has the world at his feet. Then a devastating car accident leaves him with... [More]
Directed By: Scott Frank

#40

Inception (2010)
87%

#40
Adjusted Score: 103254%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Synopsis: Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people's dreams and steal their secrets from... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#39

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
88%

#39
Adjusted Score: 94201%
Critics Consensus: A paradigm-shifting classic of American cinema, Bonnie and Clyde packs a punch whose power continues to reverberate through thrillers decades later.
Synopsis: Small-time crook Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) tries to steal a car and winds up with its owner's daughter, dissatisfied small-town... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Penn

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 92980%
Critics Consensus: Expertly shot and edited, The Usual Suspects gives the audience a simple plot and then piles on layers of deceit, twists, and violence before pulling out the rug from underneath.
Synopsis: "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist," says con man Kint (Kevin Spacey),... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#37

American Animals (2018)
88%

#37
Adjusted Score: 99750%
Critics Consensus: American Animals tangles with a number of weighty themes, but never at the expense of delivering a queasily compelling true crime thriller.
Synopsis: Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk and Chas Allen are four friends who live an ordinary existence in Kentucky. After... [More]
Directed By: Bart Layton

#36

The Pink Panther (1963)
89%

#36
Adjusted Score: 90772%
Critics Consensus: Peter Sellers is at his virtuosically bumbling best in The Pink Panther, a sophisticated caper blessed with an unforgettably slinky score by Henry Mancini.
Synopsis: In this first film of the beloved comic series, dashing European thief Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven) plans to steal... [More]
Directed By: Blake Edwards

#35
Adjusted Score: 95780%
Critics Consensus: With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-'60s American cinema.
Synopsis: The true story of fast-draws and wild rides, battles with posses, train and bank robberies, a torrid love affair and... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 90945%
Critics Consensus: The Spanish Prisoner delivers just what fans of writer-director David Mamet expect: a smart, solidly constructed drama that keeps viewers guessing... and entertained along the way.
Synopsis: Everything changes for rising corporate star Joe Ross (Campbell Scott) when he meets the wealthy and mysterious Jimmy Dell (Steve... [More]
Directed By: David Mamet

#33

Topkapi (1964)
90%

#33
Adjusted Score: 91455%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Beautiful thief Elizabeth Lipp (Melina Mercouri) and criminal genius Walter Harper (Maximilian Schell) put together a plan to steal an... [More]
Directed By: Jules Dassin

#32

The Wild Bunch (1969)
90%

#32
Adjusted Score: 98963%
Critics Consensus: The Wild Bunch is Sam Peckinpah's shocking, violent ballad to an old world and a dying genre.
Synopsis: In this gritty Western classic, aging outlaw Pike Bishop (William Holden) prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#31

Kajillionaire (2020)
90%

#31
Adjusted Score: 103285%
Critics Consensus: Whether you see Kajillionaire as refreshingly unique or simply bizarre will depend on your cinematic adventurousness -- and fans of writer-director Miranda July wouldn't have it any other way.
Synopsis: Two con artists have spent 26 years training their only daughter to swindle, scam and steal at every turn. During... [More]
Directed By: Miranda July

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 93403%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Virgil Starkwell (Woody Allen) is intent on becoming a notorious bank robber. Unfortunately for Virgil and his not-so-budding career, he... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#29

Widows (2018)
91%

#29
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

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 92986%
Critics Consensus: Duck, You Sucker is a saucy helping of spaghetti western, with James Coburn and Rod Steiger's chemistry igniting the screen and Sergio Leone's bravura style on full display.
Synopsis: At the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1913, greedy bandit Juan Miranda (Rod Steiger) and idealist John H. Mallory... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#27

Rififi (1955)
92%

#27
Adjusted Score: 97283%
Critics Consensus: Rififi depicts the perfect heist in more ways than one, telling its story so effectively that it essentially provided the template for an entire genre to follow.
Synopsis: Out of prison after a five-year stretch, jewel thief Tony (Jean Servais) turns down a quick job his friend Jo... [More]
Directed By: Jules Dassin

#26

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
92%

#26
Adjusted Score: 96877%
Critics Consensus: Thrumming with intelligence and energy, Reservoir Dogs opens Quentin Tarantino's filmmaking career with hard-hitting style.
Synopsis: A group of thieves assemble to pull of the perfect diamond heist. It turns into a bloody ambush when one... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#25

Nine Queens (2001)
92%

#25
Adjusted Score: 93602%
Critics Consensus: Deliciously twist-filled, Nine Queens is a clever and satisfying crime caper.
Synopsis: "Nine Queens" is the story of two small-time swindlers, Juan (Gastón Pauls) and Marcos (Ricardo Darín), who team up after... [More]
Directed By: Fabián Bielinsky

#24

No Sudden Move (2021)
92%

#24
Adjusted Score: 98066%
Critics Consensus: While it may not be on par with his best crime capers, No Sudden Move finds Soderbergh on entertainingly familiar ground -- and making the most of an excellent cast.
Synopsis: Set in 1954 Detroit, NO SUDDEN MOVE centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#23

The Town (2010)
92%

#23
Adjusted Score: 100525%
Critics Consensus: Tense, smartly written, and wonderfully cast, The Town proves that Ben Affleck has rediscovered his muse -- and that he's a director to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) leads a band of ruthless bank robbers and has no real attachments except for James (Jeremy... [More]
Directed By: Ben Affleck

#22

Logan Lucky (2017)
92%

#22
Adjusted Score: 112436%
Critics Consensus: High-octane fun that's smartly assembled without putting on airs, Logan Lucky marks a welcome end to Steven Soderbergh's retirement -- and proves he hasn't lost his ability to entertain.
Synopsis: West Virginia family man Jimmy Logan teams up with his one-armed brother Clyde and sister Mellie to steal money from... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#21

Baby Driver (2017)
92%

#21
Adjusted Score: 122176%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, exciting, and fueled by a killer soundtrack, Baby Driver hits the road and it's gone -- proving fast-paced action movies can be smartly written without sacrificing thrills.
Synopsis: Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#20

Out of Sight (1998)
93%

#20
Adjusted Score: 97885%
Critics Consensus: Steven Soderbergh's intelligently crafted adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel is witty, sexy, suprisingly entertaining, and a star-making turn for George Clooney.
Synopsis: Meet Jack Foley (George Clooney), the most successful bank robber in the country. On the day he busts out of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#19
Adjusted Score: 102856%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, fast-paced, and loaded with gripping set pieces, the fourth Mission: Impossible is big-budget popcorn entertainment that really works.
Synopsis: Blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#18

Drive (2011)
93%

#18
Adjusted Score: 102675%
Critics Consensus: With its hyper-stylized blend of violence, music, and striking imagery, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action.
Synopsis: Driver is a skilled Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. Though he projects an icy exterior,... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Winding Refn

#17

Thief (1981)
94%

#17
Adjusted Score: 95312%
Critics Consensus: Thief is an invigorating cut of neon noir - proudly pulpy, steeped in authenticity, and powered by a swaggering James Caan at the peak of his charisma.
Synopsis: A highly skilled jewel thief, Frank (James Caan) longs to leave his dangerous trade and settle down with his girlfriend,... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 98389%
Critics Consensus: An oddball heist movie with an dark streak that picks apart every rule in filmmaking.
Synopsis: Cinephile slackers Franz (Sami Frey) and Arthur (Claude Brasseur) spend their days mimicking the antiheroes of Hollywood noirs and Westerns... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#15

To Catch a Thief (1955)
94%

#15
Adjusted Score: 100208%
Critics Consensus: It may occasionally be guilty of coasting on pure charm, but To Catch a Thief has it in spades -- as well as a pair of perfectly matched stars in Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.
Synopsis: Notorious cat burglar John Robie (Cary Grant) has long since retired to tend vineyards on the French Riviera. When a... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#14

The Sting (1973)
94%

#14
Adjusted Score: 99094%
Critics Consensus: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and director George Roy Hill prove that charm, humor, and a few slick twists can add up to a great film.
Synopsis: Following the murder of a mutual friend, aspiring con man Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) teams up with old pro Henry... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#13

Three Kings (1999)
94%

#13
Adjusted Score: 99165%
Critics Consensus: Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.
Synopsis: Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#12
Adjusted Score: 106617%
Critics Consensus: Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation continues the franchise's thrilling resurgence -- and proves that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal.
Synopsis: With the IMF now disbanded and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, a new threat -- called the... [More]
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

#11

The Killing (1956)
95%

#11
Adjusted Score: 99078%
Critics Consensus: An expertly crafted noir with more on its mind than stylishly staged violence, The Killing establishes Stanley Kubrick as a filmmaker of uncommon vision and control.
Synopsis: Career criminal Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) recruits a sharpshooter (Timothy Carey), a crooked police officer (Ted de Corsia), a bartender... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#10

The Red Circle (1970)
95%

#10
Adjusted Score: 102063%
Critics Consensus: Melville is at the top of his game, giving us his next-to-last entry into the world of deception, crime, and extreme suspense that made him a maestro of the French heist genre.
Synopsis: When French criminal Corey (Alain Delon) gets released from prison, he resolves to never return. He is quickly pulled back... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Melville

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 100117%
Critics Consensus: Framed by great work from director Sidney Lumet and fueled by a gripping performance from Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon offers a finely detailed snapshot of people in crisis with tension-soaked drama shaded in black humor.
Synopsis: When inexperienced criminal Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino) leads a bank robbery in Brooklyn, things quickly go wrong, and a hostage... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 100471%
Critics Consensus: Smartly written, smoothly directed, and solidly cast, A Fish Called Wanda offers a classic example of a brainy comedy with widespread appeal.
Synopsis: British gangster George Thomason (Tom Georgeson) and his hapless aide, Ken Pile (Michael Palin), draft a pair of arrogant Americans,... [More]

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 114020%
Critics Consensus: Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.
Synopsis: Toby is a divorced father who's trying to make a better life for his son. His brother Tanner is an... [More]
Directed By: David Mackenzie

#6

Bob the Gambler (1955)
97%

#6
Adjusted Score: 96213%
Critics Consensus: Majorly stylish, Bob le Flambeur is a cool homage to American gangster films and the presage to French New Wave mode of seeing.
Synopsis: In Paris, Bob Montagne (Roger Duchesne) is practically synonymous with gambling -- and winning. He is kind, classy and well-liked... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Melville

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 101040%
Critics Consensus: The Asphalt Jungle is an expertly told crime story with attention paid to the crime and characters in equal measure.
Synopsis: Recently released from prison, Dix Handley (Sterling Hayden) concocts a plan to steal $1 million in jewels. Dix gathers a... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#4
Adjusted Score: 100434%
Critics Consensus: The Friends of Eddie Coyle sees Robert Mitchum in transformative late-career mode in a gritty and credible character study.
Synopsis: Aging Boston gunrunner Eddie Coyle (Robert Mitchum) is looking at several years of jail time for a hold-up if he... [More]
Directed By: Peter Yates

#3

The Ladykillers (1955)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102462%
Critics Consensus: The Ladykillers is a macabre slow-burn with quirky performances of even quirkier characters.
Synopsis: Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) likes to report suspicious behavior to the police. Unaware of her reputation, the dapper thief Professor... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Mackendrick

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 103780%
Critics Consensus: Fiendishly funny and clever, The Lavender Hill Mob is a top hat Ealing Studios effort.
Synopsis: A meek clerk (Alec Guinness), his buddy (Stanley Holloway) and crooks melt hijacked Bank of England gold into Eiffel Tower... [More]
Directed By: Charles Crichton

#1
Adjusted Score: 100905%
Critics Consensus: Breezy, thrilling, and quite funny, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three sees Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw pitted against each other in effortlessly high form.
Synopsis: In New York City, a criminal gang led by the ruthless "Mr. Blue" (Robert Shaw) hijacks a subway car and... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Sargent

At the ripe old age of 35, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is already a grizzled Hollywood veteran, having made his film debut nearly 25 years ago in the slobbery family comedy Beethoven. And he’s a busy guy, too — although this weekend’s Snowden marks his first trip to theaters in 2016, he also juggles a variety of responsibilities to his online collaborative HitRecord. Clearly, the time has come for us to take a fresh look at the critical highlights from Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s growing filmography, and you know what that means: It’s time for Total Recall!


10. Don Jon (2013) 80%

He’s a preening lunkhead and she’s obsessed with romantic comedies, but as portrayed by Scarlett Johansson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Barbara Sugarman and Jon Martello are far from the empty cinematic stereotypes they might seem like on paper — and their story (written and helmed by Gordon-Levitt in his feature-length directing debut) has much more on its mind than your average boy-meets-girl picture. In fact, as many critics saw it, Don Jon managed to impart some thought-provoking messages about addiction, technology, and the difficulties of modern relationships while also providing an effortlessly entertaining showcase for its appealing young stars; the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr, for one, believed it accomplished the former so well that “R rating aside, it should be required viewing for every 15-year-old boy on the planet.”

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9. Mysterious Skin (2004) 85%

mysterious-skin

Gordon-Levitt raised a lot of eyebrows with 2005’s Brick, but he started erasing memories of Third Rock from the Sun the year before, with this bleak drama from Doom Generation director Gregg Araki. A favorite on the festival circuit, Mysterious Skin delves into the harrowing aftermath of sexual abuse, following the struggles of two teen boys (Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet) to come to grips with the actions of an emotionally disturbed baseball coach (Bill Sage). Understandably not a huge box office draw, Skin was still appreciated by critics such as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Steven Rea, who applauded what he saw as a film that “manages to deal with its raw, awful subject matter in ways that are both challenging and illuminating.”

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8. The Walk (2015) 83%

the-walk

Real-life daredevil Philippe Petit’s death-defying tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers made headlines in 1974 — and astonished viewers all over again when documentarian James Marsh offered an inside look at the story with his 2008 release Man on Wire. Sensing untapped cinematic potential in the tale, director Robert Zemeckis decided to dramatize it with 2015’s The Walk, casting Gordon-Levitt as Petit and bringing the latest and greatest IMAX 3D technology to bear on dazzling scenes depicting the stunt. That technical wizardry rightly received a ton of attention, but some of the film’s charms are decidedly old-fashioned: “Gordon-Levitt beguilingly captures Petit’s irresistible charisma,” wrote Calvin Wilson for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “in a performance that completes his transition from indie-film favorite to big-budget star.”

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7. Inception (2010) 87%

inception

Yeah, you knew this one would be here. Gordon-Levitt was almost an afterthought in Inception, but that had everything to do with the fact that it was a Christopher Nolan joint, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and nothing to do with his own performance as Arthur, DiCaprio’s partner in high-tech corporate espionage. A rare opportunity for Gordon-Levitt to play with choreographed stunts, trippy special effects, and blockbuster expectations, Inception earned four Academy Awards against eight nominations — not to mention more than $825 million in box office receipts, as well as praise from critics like Amy Biancolli of the Houston Chronicle, who called it “only the latest indication that Christopher Nolan might be the slyest narrative tactician making movies today.”

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6. (500) Days of Summer (2009) 85%

500-days-of-summer

Indie boy meets indie girl at their quirky office (a greeting card company, for goodness’ sake) and they start an adorably star-crossed relationship. It’s the kind of thing, at least in its bare outline form, that we’ve seen countless times before — so why was (500) Days of Summer such a hit with critics and audiences? Well, partly because it boasts a smarter, more sensible script than your average Hollywood romance — and partly because Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel had enough soulful chemistry to inspire the New Republic’s Christopher Orr to write that it “Captures with such immediacy the elation and anxiety of new love, the tingle and the terror, the profound sense that you have never been more alive and the occasional wish that you could die on the spot.”

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5. The Lookout (2007) 87%

the-lookout

A little like Memento without a riddle sitting in the middle of the plot, writer/director Scott Frank’s The Lookout revolves around a brain-damaged protagonist (Gordon-Levitt) haunted by a troubled past — and whose friends and/or enemies might not be everything they seem. As a former homecoming king whose shattered life has led him into a dead-end job that makes him a natural target for a gang of unscrupulous ne’er-do-wells, Levitt brought a melancholy heart to what might have been a fairly ordinary heist flick; as Jack Mathews observed for the New York Daily News, “Though The Lookout is eventually a genre film, with a tense, bang-up ending, it is also a thoughtful study of a young man trying to make sense of a world that he is having to learn all over again.”

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4. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) 87%

dark-knight-rises

Trilogy-concluding sequels don’t come much more highly anticipated than 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, which put Christian Bale’s gravel-voiced Batman on a backbreaking collision course with the nefarious Bane (Tom Hardy) while setting up the cataclysmic conflict that brought the story Christopher Nolan started with Batman Begins to an appropriately senses-shattering conclusion — and introducing audiences to the upstanding young cop (Gordon-Levitt) who just might become the next Dark Knight. Although Rises couldn’t quite match its predecessor’s critical standing, it still did pretty well for itself, racking up over a billion dollars in worldwide box office while amassing an impressive number of accolades from the likes of the Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan, who called it “A disturbing experience we live through as much as a film we watch” and added, “This dazzling conclusion to director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is more than an exceptional superhero movie, it is masterful filmmaking by any standard.”

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3. Lincoln (2012) 89%

lincoln

He presided over the most tumultuous time in our nation’s history, accomplished great things while in office, and ended his administration — and his life — in violent tragedy. Needless to say, Abraham Lincoln’s life is the stuff that Oscar-winning films are made of — and with Steven Spielberg at the helm, directing a stellar cast that included Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, Sally Field, and an almost unrecognizable Daniel Day-Lewis as the man himself, Lincoln was a virtual shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination even before it arrived in theaters. Of course, it helped that the finished product was one of 2012’s best-reviewed films thanks to critics like Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, who wrote, “It blends cinematic Americana with something grubbier and more interesting than Americana, and it does not look, act or behave like the usual perception of a Spielberg epic.”

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2. Looper (2012) 93%

looper

Plenty of people would love to take the opportunity to travel back in time and see our younger selves, but Rian Johnson’s Looper takes this premise and adds a nasty twist. When a hit man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) realizes his latest quarry is his older self (Bruce Willis) — an event known among his peers as “closing the loop” — he muffs the job, allowing him(self) to escape and setting in motion a high-stakes pursuit that puts a widening circle of people in danger. Tense, funny, and surprisingly heartfelt, Looper may suffer from some of the same scientific story flaws as other time travel movies, but it also manages to turn its by-now-familiar basic ingredients into an uncommonly affecting and thought-provoking sci-fi drama. “Looper imagines a world just near enough to look familiar,” mused Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum, “and just futuristic enough to be chillingly askew.”

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1. 50/50 (2011) 93%

50-50

Cancer, generally speaking, isn’t all that funny. So kudos to screenwriter Will Reiser for finding the humor in his own diagnosis — and then using the experience as the grist for 50/50, a dramedy about a pair of best pals (played by Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen) whose relationship is irrevocably altered after one of them learns he has cancer. Director Jonathan Levine’s deft handling of the story’s tonal shifts keeps the movie from straining for laughs or straying into mawkish territory, while Rogen offers able support for Gordon-Levitt as the best friend of a guy who’s fighting for his life. “What ensues is Beaches meets Pineapple Express,” wrote Mary Elizabeth Williams for Salon. “Which, I’ve got to tell you, is pretty much what living with cancer is like.”

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Always an actor first and celebrity second, Jeff Daniels has appeared in scores of films over the last three decades and change without ever commanding a superstar level of attention — but as even a cursory glance at his filmography makes clear, he has a marvelous knack for choosing projects, one that extends to his work on the stage (where he’s earned a Tony nomination) and the small screen (where he won an Emmy for his work on The Newsroom). This weekend, Daniels reunites with his old pal Jim Carrey for the Dumb and Dumber sequel Dumb and Dumber To, and to celebrate, we’ve decided to turn our attention to his most critically beloved efforts. It’s time for Total Recall!


10. Fly Away Home 87%


Little kids and animals often trigger Cuteness Overload warnings for filmgoers over the PG-13 age barrier, and that can be especially true for sun-dappled dramas starring grizzled Hollywood veterans playing emotionally broken parents fumbling to reconnect with their children while also racing against time to solve some critical little kid/animal dilemma. Pretty much all of those boxes are ticked in 1996’s Fly Away Home, but the end result is affecting enough to tug a few strings in all but the hardest of hearts — due in large part to a pair of top-shelf performances from Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin, starring here as a father-daughter duo who move beyond their painful past in order to save a flock of geese. Saying that the movie’s “tender beauty… goes well beyond what might be expected from a movie about things that hatch,” Janet Maslin of the New York Times applauded director Carroll Ballard for turning “a potentially treacly children’s film into an exhilarating ’90s fable” and added, “See it and you will never look at a down comforter in quite the same way.”

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9. The Lookout 87%


Out of Sight and Get Shorty screenwriter Scott Frank made his directorial debut with The Lookout, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt — then just beginning to demonstrate the knack for picking scripts that had helped him earn raves for Brick two years before — as a callow high school athlete whose foolishness leads to a catastrophic accident that turns his entire life upside down…and puts him in the path of a group of bad people who want to use him for their own nefarious ends. Co-starring Daniels as Gordon-Levitt’s blind roommate and Isla Fisher as the seductive, memorably named Luvlee Lemons, The Lookout didn’t have much of an impact at the box office, but it earned plenty of praise from critics like the AV Club’s Scott Tobias, who wrote that its “thriller elements could stand to be more surprising, but they’re ultimately in service of a better understanding of the characters. Usually, it’s the other way around.”

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8. Something Wild 91%


It’s refreshing whenever an actor plays against type, but there’s also something to be said for a script that lets a star sit directly in his or her wheelhouse; for example, here’s Something Wild, in which Daniels plays a buttoned-down stockbroker who makes the fateful decision to accept a ride home from a vivacious stranger (Melanie Griffith), thus setting off a chain of events that finds him an unwilling participant in all manner of ill-advised hijinks — including fending off her enraged husband (Ray Liotta). Subversive, willfully quirky, and thoroughly well-acted, Wild earned applause for its stars as well as for director Jonathan Demme; as James Kendrick wrote for Q Network Film Desk, “The tones shift rampantly, which for some viewers can be disorienting and off-putting. But, if you’re in tune with Demme’s aesthetic, which usually runs counter to our cinematic intuition, it is a wild ride indeed.”

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7. Terms of Endearment 78%


Daniels made his cinematic debut in Milos Forman’s 1981 epic Ragtime, but he got his first big break two years later in Terms of Endearment. Writer-director James L. Brooks, working from Larry McMurtry’s novel about the complicated lives and relationships of a mother (Shirley MacLaine) and daughter (Debra Winger), fashioned a critical and commercial sensation that grossed more than $100 million and picked up 11 Oscar nominations (winning five). While none of those trophies went to Daniels, he did earn positive notice for his supporting role as Winger’s rather scummy (and ridiculously named) husband, Flap Horton, and he was hardly alone among an almost uniformly praised cast; as John Ferguson so succinctly put it for Radio Times, “This is American mainstream movie-making at its best.”

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6. The Purple Rose of Cairo 92%


After catching Hollywood’s eye in Terms of Endearment, Daniels wasted no time racking up further accolades, picking up a starring (and Golden Globe-nominated) role in Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo. Starring Mia Farrow as a mousy waitress toiling her way through a fairly dismal marriage to a rough-tempered drunk (Danny Aiello), the movie offers its heroine an unexpected boost in the form of a movie character (Daniels) who steps out of the screen and into her life. (As she tells her sister, “I just met a wonderful man. He’s fictional, but you can’t have everything.”) Critics were similarly smitten. “To be blunt about it, The Purple Rose of Cairo is pure enchantment,” gushed Vincent Canby of the New York Times. “It’s a sweet, lyrically funny, multi- layered work that again demonstrates that Woody Allen is our premier film maker who, standing something over 5 feet tall in his sneakers, towers above all others.”

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5. Arachnophobia 93%


Frank Marshall (backed here by his longtime production partner Steven Spielberg) made his directorial debut with this affectionate, cheerfully creepy tribute to classic Hollywood creature features, in which a deadly breed of spider terrorizes a small town whose residents include a lunatic exterminator (John Goodman) and, of course, a doctor with the titular phobia (Jeff Daniels). “That sound you hear in the background is the ‘ugh!’ heard round the world,” chuckled Janet Maslin of the New York Times, adding, “luckily, Arachnophobia will also be generating its share of boisterous, nervous laughter.”

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4. Speed 94%


After Die Hard blew up at the box office, action movies where the setting served as a sort of co-star became a wildly popular trend — to the point where, when Keanu Reeves starred in 1994’s Speed as an LAPD officer trapped on a moving bus that a maniac (Dennis Hopper) has loaded with explosives, it seemed safe to assume that it was just one more of the “Die Hard on a _____” movies that had clogged the cineplex for the past several years. Happily, this one proved a sleekly thrilling exception to the rule, both at the box office — where it racked up more than $350 million worldwide — and among critics, who applauded director Jan de Bont’s lean production, the movie’s uncommonly intelligent screenplay (given an instrumental polish by Joss Whedon), and a terrific cast that also included Sandra Bullock, Alan Ruck, and as Keanu’s steadfast partner, Jeff Daniels. Calling it “clean, delirious, and, yes, speedy,” the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane deemed it “the best big-vehicle-in-peril movie since Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear.”

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3. The Squid and the Whale 92%


Round up all the characters in every Noah Baumbach movie, and you’d have yourself a room full of some fairly messed up individuals. Case in point: 2005’s The Squid and the Whale, starring Daniels and Laura Linney as a husband and wife whose messily splintering marriage throws shards that wound their two sons (played by Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline) — not that either of the parents seem willing or able to put a stop to their selfish behavior. Like many of Baumbach’s films, Squid puts the viewer in the company of narcissists and misanthropes, but it’s also a piercingly honest look at the ways in which we deal with disappointment when our lives — and our loved ones — let us down. As Roger Ebert put it, “The Squid and the Whale is essentially about how we grow up by absorbing what is useful in our parents and forgiving what is not.”

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2. Good Night, and Good Luck 93%


For his directorial follow-up to Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, George Clooney decided to dramatize Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt — specifically from the viewpoint of CBS News, where legendary anchor Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) engaged in a public war of wills against McCarthy while trying to temper the mass hysteria wrought by his adversary’s rabid insistence that all levels of American life had been infiltrated by the Red Menace. Rounded out by a stellar supporting cast (including Daniels as CBS News director Sig Mickelson), Good Night, and Good Luck. earned an impressive six Academy Award nominations — as well as our own Golden Tomato for Best Reviewed Film of 2005 in Limited Release. “By its end,” enthused Movie Mezzanine’s Sam Fragoso, “Good Night, and Good Luck evolves into a prophetic vision of how television and film can be used to illuminate or insulate, educate or entertain.”

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1. Looper 93%


A large part of Jeff Daniels’ considerable screen appeal has always been his ability to project an unassuming everyman aura, but acting opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to bring out the oddball in him: After stealing every scene he was in as Gordon-Levitt’s roommate in The Lookout, Daniels proceeded to do the same in Looper, injecting writer-director Rian Johnson’s thought-provoking sci-fi thriller with a madcap blast of energy as the sociopathic (and perversely likable) mob boss who orders Levitt’s hit man character to kill…well, we don’t want to spoil the fun if you haven’t already seen the movie. Point is, Looper is a lot of fun, not least because of Daniels’ performance, as well as what Deadspin’s Will Leitch called “A wildly entertaining film that isn’t content with science and cinematic tricks. It desires, and achieves, much more.”

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Finally, here’s Daniels putting in a plug for his home state:


This week at the movies, we’ve got trips to the future ("Meet the Robinsons," starring Angela Bassett), ice-capades ("Blades of Glory," starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder), and ill-conceived bank heists ("The Lookout," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt). What do the critics have to say?

Lewis, the main character in "Meet the Robinsons," joins a long line of orphaned Disney protagonists that includes Bambi and Mowgli. And while "Robinsons" may not be up to the level of those Disney animated spectacles of old, critics say it’s a fun ride nonetheless. In his quest to find a family that will take him in, Lewis is instead whisked away to the future, where he encounters singing frogs, dinosaurs, and flying cars — all in three dimensions! The critics say the action in "Meet the Robinsons" is so frenetic that it makes the antics of Tigger seem positively sedate, but it’s also witty and touching. At 76 percent on the Tomatometer, the pundits are sending a warm coo coo ca-choo to "Meet the Robinsons."


Say hello to the American family Robinsons.

For those of you who’ve long wondered what the nexus between "The Cutting Edge" and "Elf" would look like, wait no longer: "Blades of Glory" is here. Will Ferrell and Jon Heder star as rival figure skaters who, after an embarrassing throwdown at the World Championships, team up for a shot at redemption. Critics say "Blades of Glory" has its share of laughs and an air of transcendental silliness, but it’s not disciplined enough to ensure that those moments translate into a successful whole. At 63 percent on the Tomatometer, "Blades" ain’t dull, but it isn’t sharp enough, either.


"This is our assistant. If you think she’s cute now, you should’ve seen her a couple years ago."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt may not be Robert Mitchum, but with "Brick" and, now, "The Lookout," he’s carving out a distinct niche in the world of film noir. Gordon-Levitt plays a brain-damaged janitor who gets roped into a bank-heist scheme, and then attempts to turn the tables. Critics say screenwriter Scott Frank ("Out of Sight," "Minority Report"), in his directorial debut, does a terrific job creating believable characters, sharp dialogue, and an engrossing storyline, while Gordon-Levitt continues to prove he’s a talent to watch. At 82 percent on the Tomatometer, you may want to "Lookout" for this one.


Joseph Gordon-Levitt doing more lookout duty for Jeff Daniels.

Also opening this week in limited release: "U-Carmen," a version of Bizet’s opera set in contemporary South Africa, is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; "Killer of Sheep," Charles Burnett’s seminal, long-lost examination of life in Watts, is at 93 percent; the Oscar nominated Danish import "After the Wedding" is at 84 percent; "Summer in Berlin," a tale of two women who are unlucky in love, is at 80 percent; the re-released "Peaceful Warrior," a philosophical gymnastics movie starring Nick Nolte, is at 21 percent; and "The Hawk is Dying," starring Paul Giamatti and Michelle Williams, is at 18 percent.


No, it’s not "American Anthem." It ain’t even "Gymkata."

And finally, we’d like to give a special shout-out to -eternity- (whose moniker is an obvious reference to the work of Greek director Theo Angelopoulos) for coming closest to guessing "The Hills have Eyes II"’s 15 percent Tomatometer. Eternity, treasure this victory forever.

Recent Will Ferrell Movies:
———————————–
74% — Stranger than Fiction (2006)
72% — Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
41% — Winter Passing (2006)
71% — Curious George (2006)
52% — The Producers (2005)

Two promising new comedies target different age groups and look to close off a red hot March box office with strong opening weekend sales.

Paramount offers the Will Ferrell pic "Blades of Glory" while Disney goes after the kids with the animated flick "Meet the Robinsons." Together, the pictures should help the marketplace surge and allow the top ten to cross the $100M mark for the fifth consecutive frame. The box office has not seen this kind of streak since last summer. Smaller films entering the multiplexes include the action pic "The Lookout" from Miramax and Universal’s uplifting drama "Peaceful Warrior."

Comedy king Will Ferrell skates into theaters everywhere looking for another gold medal with his newest laugher "Blades of Glory." The PG-13 film finds the funnyman and Jon Heder playing rival figure skaters who must team up as a pair in order to compete again. Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Jenna Fischer, and Craig T. Nelson co-star. "Blades" boasts the two main ingredients to a successful comedy hit – a bankable star and a unique concept. Add in the very funny commercials and trailers and Paramount is well-positioned to score its second number one hit of the year joining fellow star-driven comedy "Norbit." Both pics were produced by DreamWorks.

Ferrell left the competition in the dust last summer with "Talladega Nights" which bowed to a robust $47M on its way to a $148M final. "Blades" doesn’t have as big of a marketing push or the prime summer play period so its opening will not soar as high. But the former "Saturday Night Live" star will again prove that he is a reliable draw. The industry had some doubts in 2005 when both "Bewitched" and "Kicking and Screaming" failed to reach $65M. Ferrell’s 2004 hit "Anchorman" debuted to $28.4M and "Blades" should play out like that one, only bigger. Teens and young adults will be the driving force plus there is plenty of cross-gender appeal. Though the marketplace is crowded with many options, there aren’t too many direct threats. "Wild Hogs," the only major comedy, is getting old as is "300" which most high school and college students have already seen. Spinning into over 3,000 theaters, "Blades of Glory" should finish in first place and win about $37M over the weekend.


Ferrell and Heder in "Blades of Glory."

Disney uses its patented moves to go after the family audience with its latest animated offering "Meet the Robinsons." With most digital toons these days being of the PG variety, "Robinsons" carries a G rating which it hopes will help convince parents to buy tickets for even the youngest of their children. The story follows an orphan boy who befriends a kind family and features the voices of Angela Bassett, Tom Selleck, and Adam West. In the cartoon world, films sell best when they are comedies and feature popular comedians in central roles. "Robinsons" at least has the first factor working for it.

The marketing has been strong and trailers have been funny. But unlike the studio’s last film for kids, "Bridge to Terabithia," this time competition will be a force. "TMNT" and "The Last Mimzy" will only be in their second weekends and are set to steal away about $20M worth of business from the same target audience. Luckily, the weekend’s two other new films will attract different segments of the moviegoing crowd. "Meet the Robinsons" does not have the firepower to reach the heights of Pixar pics. Rather, it may bring out the same size audience as last fall’s "Open Season" which bowed to $23.2M from an ultrawide 3,833 locations. "Meet the Robinsons" bows in roughly 3,200 sites but could exploit its studio’s brand name to deliver a similar gross of about $23M.


Let’s "Meet the Robinsons."

Years after leaving the sitcom world of NBC’s "3rd Rock From the Sun," Joseph Gordon-Levitt anchors the heist thriller "The Lookout." The R-rated Miramax release comes from writer-turned-rookie-director Scott Frank and co-stars Jeff Daniels. Starpower is seriously lacking here and that will hurt its box office prospects. Reviews have been good, but the target audience of young adults have "Blades of Glory," "300," and "Shooter" to choose from and all of them offer more for the money. With only so much marketing and distribution strength behind it, the film will have a tough time just getting an invite to the top ten. "The Lookout" debuts in about 1,000 theaters on Friday and could collect about $4M over three days.


Jeff Daniels and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "The Lookout."

In an unorthodox approach, Universal will be releasing the inspirational drama "Peaceful Warrior" in 615 theaters this weekend but most moviegoers will actually be getting free tickets through a promotion with Best Buy. The PG-13 film starring Nick Nolte was given a limited release last summer and grossed more than $1M from just over 40 theaters. Universal will report box office grosses that include regular paid sales plus full ticket prices for each free admission. With $15M worth of free tickets allocated for opening weekend, it will be unlikely that the paid portion will make up a sizable amount. Film fans who visit the promotional web site can get up to ten complimentary tickets each. However, the studio should get some extra buzz that it could benefit from when the DVD is released a few months down the road.


Nick Nolte and Scott Mechlowicz in "Peaceful Warrior."

The Ninja Turtles ruled the box office last weekend in "TMNT," but will face a formidable foe in Disney’s "Meet the Robinsons" which will play to the same audience. A 40% drop would give the animated actioner $14M for the frame and $43M after ten days. Warner Bros has also been raking in the dough with its stylish war epic 300 which has been holding up surprisingly well. Another 40% fall will put the R-rated battle pic at $12M boosting the cume to $180M after 24 days. Mark Wahlberg‘s "Shooter" could decline by 45% to $8M giving Paramount a ten-day total of $27M.

LAST YEAR: Smashing the March opening weekend record set four years earlier by its predecessor, "Ice Age: The Meltdown" shot straight to number one with a colossal $68M debut. The Fox juggernaut went on to gross $195.3M domestically and a towering $657M worldwide giving the "Ice Age" duo over $1 billion in global grosses. Dropping to second was "Inside Man" with $15.4M. Warner Bros. launched its urban drama "ATL" in third with $11.6M on its way to $21.2M. Rounding out the top five were "Failure to Launch" with $6.5M and "V for Vendetta" with $6.3M. The horror flick "Slither" creeped into eighth place with a $3.9M opening leading to a $7.8M final. Sony claimed the year’s most notorious flop with "Basic Instinct 2" which bowed to $3.2M on its way to a pathetic $5.9M before sweeping the Razzie Awards.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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