All Chris Evans Movies Ranked

Even if Chris Evans hadn’t played Captain America in the MCU over the last eight years, there’s all kind of evidence he’s some kind of secret comic book nerd. He played the ice-cool Human Torch in two Fantastic Four movies. He was the comic relief in The Losers. He played a jerk-ass ex-boyfriend of Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Casey Jones was his jam in the animated TMNT movie. And he was on the world’s longest train ride ever in Snowpiercer. And just what do all those movies have in common? Yep: They’re all adaptations of comic panel to the big screen.

When he’s not helping sequential art books go back into print, Evans’ other notable jobs include being in one of the few actually funny parody movies of this century (Not Another Teen Movie), reigniting the sun (Sunshine), and testing the waters of his dream career as a director (Before We Go).

But honestly, playing Steve Rogers, the dorky hot guy in the MCU (as opposed to Mark Ruffalo, who plays the hot dork), takes up so much time, it’s amazing Evans gets anything else done. And his recent films, Avengers: Endgame and Knives Out, turned out to be his best. You’ll see (or hear) him next in Lightyear and The Gray Man. And now you can see the rest as look back on Chris Evans movies ranked by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#1

Knives Out (2019)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 126410%
Critics Consensus: Knives Out sharpens old murder-mystery tropes with a keenly assembled suspense outing that makes brilliant use of writer-director Rian Johnson's stellar ensemble.
Synopsis: The circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey are mysterious, but there's one thing that renowned Detective Benoit... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 128441%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#3

Snowpiercer (2013)
94%

#3
Adjusted Score: 104572%
Critics Consensus: Snowpiercer offers an audaciously ambitious action spectacular for filmgoers numb to effects-driven blockbusters.
Synopsis: A post-apocalyptic ice age forces humanity's last survivors aboard a globe-spanning supertrain. One man (Chris Evans) will risk everything to... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 106746%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#5
Adjusted Score: 118242%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#6
Adjusted Score: 102779%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
Synopsis: After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 115736%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#8
Adjusted Score: 93244%
Critics Consensus: Its script may not be as dazzling as its eye-popping visuals, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is fast, funny, and inventive.
Synopsis: As bass guitarist for a garage-rock band, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has never had trouble getting a girlfriend; usually, the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#9
Adjusted Score: 90414%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
Synopsis: It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 91241%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#11

Sunshine (2007)
76%

#11
Adjusted Score: 83406%
Critics Consensus: Danny Boyle continues his descent into mind-twisting sci-fi madness, taking us along for the ride. Sunshine fulfills the dual requisite necessary to become classic sci-fi: dazzling visuals with intelligent action.
Synopsis: In the not-too-distant future, Earth's dying sun spells the end for humanity. In a last-ditch effort to save the planet,... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#12

Gifted (2017)
73%

#12
Adjusted Score: 86463%
Critics Consensus: Gifted isn't quite as bright as its pint-sized protagonist, but a charming cast wrings respectably engaging drama out of a fairly predictable premise.
Synopsis: Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace)... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#13

The Iceman (2012)
66%

#13
Adjusted Score: 70895%
Critics Consensus: While it deserved stronger direction and a more fully realized script, Michael Shannon's riveting performance in the title role is more than enough to make The Iceman recommended viewing.
Synopsis: Hit man Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) earns a well-deserved reputation as a cold-blooded killer but manages to keep his violent... [More]
Directed By: Ariel Vromen

#14

Cellular (2004)
56%

#14
Adjusted Score: 60845%
Critics Consensus: Though it's gimmicky and occasionally feels like a high-end cell phone ad, Cellular is also an energetic and twisty thriller.
Synopsis: Schoolteacher Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) is abducted by ruthless crook Ethan (Jason Statham) and brought to a remote hideout, where... [More]
Directed By: David R. Ellis

#15

Puncture (2011)
52%

#15
Adjusted Score: 53053%
Critics Consensus: There's a compelling story at the heart of Puncture but viewers will have to pierce through the formulaic storytelling to find it.
Synopsis: A lawyer who is a drug addict fights a medical-supplies corporation in court while battling his personal demons.... [More]
Directed By: Adam Kassen, Mark Kassen

#16

The Losers (2010)
48%

#16
Adjusted Score: 53536%
Critics Consensus: The Losers is loud, fast, and unrelentingly violent -- but it's also funny and well-acted, which will make all the difference for some action fans.
Synopsis: On a mission deep in the Bolivian jungle, a team of elite commandos (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans) finds itself... [More]
Directed By: Sylvain White

#17

Battle for Terra (2007)
48%

#17
Adjusted Score: 51601%
Critics Consensus: Despite its earnest aspirations to be a thought-provoking sci-fi alternative, Battle for Terra lacks both a cohesive story and polished visuals, and fails to resonate.
Synopsis: When strange objects appear in the sky above the peaceful world of Terra, some of the inhabitants believe the gods... [More]
Directed By: Aristomenis Tsirbas

#18
Adjusted Score: 44558%
Critics Consensus: While an improvement on its predecessor, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is nevertheless a juvenile, simplistic picture that has little benefit beyond its special effects.
Synopsis: Reed (Ioan Gruffudd), Susan (Jessica Alba), Johnny (Chris Evans) and Ben (Michael Chiklis) face an intergalactic messenger who has arrived... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story

#19

Street Kings (2008)
36%

#19
Adjusted Score: 42154%
Critics Consensus: Street Kings contains formulaic violence but no shred of intelligence.
Synopsis: Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves), a veteran member of the LAPD, is still mourning the loss of his wife and trying... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 39561%
Critics Consensus: The Nanny Diaries' miscast lead and unrealistic, one-dimensional characters make this class satire far less effective than it should've been.
Synopsis: A college student, Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson), with a working-class background takes a nanny job with Mr. and Mrs. X... [More]

#21

TMNT (2007)
35%

#21
Adjusted Score: 39970%
Critics Consensus: TMNT's art direction is splendid, but the plot is non-existent and the dialogue lacks the irony and goofy wit of the earlier Ninja Turtles movies.
Synopsis: Splinter, the rat sensei, senses something amiss in New York City. His disciples, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo have grown... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Munroe

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 33546%
Critics Consensus: NATM has some funny moments, but the movie requires the audience to have familiarity with the movies being spoofed and a tolerance for toilet and sexual humor to be truly effective.
Synopsis: "Not Another Teen Movie" shows no mercy as it skewers the conventions and clichés of the genre you hate to... [More]
Directed By: Joel Gallen

#23

Fantastic Four (2005)
28%

#23
Adjusted Score: 36341%
Critics Consensus: Marred by goofy attempts at wit, subpar acting, and bland storytelling, Fantastic Four is a mediocre attempt to bring Marvel's oldest hero team to the big screen.
Synopsis: Scientist Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) persuades his arrogant former classmate, Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon), to fund his experiments with... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story

#24
Adjusted Score: 26840%
Critics Consensus: Stodgy and dispiritingly old-fashioned, Teardrop Diamond proves to be no big loss.
Synopsis: Romance, jealousy and suspicion come into play after a rebellious heiress (Bryce Dallas Howard) loses a costly earring while in... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Markell

#25

Before We Go (2014)
29%

#25
Adjusted Score: 29418%
Critics Consensus: Chris Evans' directorial debut is modest to a fault, with a threadbare story and minimal style leaving his and Alice Eve's likable performances adrift in New York City with nowhere to go.
Synopsis: A chance encounter between two strangers (Chris Evans, Alice Eve) in Grand Central Terminal sparks a life-changing, nighttime sojourn through... [More]
Directed By: Chris Evans

#26

Push (2009)
24%

#26
Adjusted Score: 28023%
Critics Consensus: The sci-fi thriller Push is visually flashy but hyperkinetic and convoluted.
Synopsis: After his father, an assassin, is brutally murdered, Nick Gant (Chris Evans) vows revenge on Division, the covert government agency... [More]
Directed By: Paul McGuigan

#27

Fierce People (2005)
24%

#27
Adjusted Score: 25176%
Critics Consensus: Fierce People's premise of a teenager studying rich people like animals is grating and self-satisfied, and Anton Yelchin's smug performance makes the film even harder to agree with.
Synopsis: Finn (Anton Yelchin) is a teenager trying to escape his drug-addicted mother (Diane Lane) by going to study tribal people.... [More]
Directed By: Griffin Dunne

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 27273%
Critics Consensus: The comic timing of Anna Faris is sharp as always, but it's wasted away in this predictable, boilerplate comedy.
Synopsis: Ally Darling (Anna Faris) is realizing she's a little lost in life. Her latest romance has just fizzled out, and... [More]
Directed By: Mark Mylod

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 19008%
Critics Consensus: Neither funny nor suspenseful, this heist / teen flick also fails to explore its potentially socially relevant premise.
Synopsis: College is up next for a group of high-school friends, so Francesca (Scarlett Johansson), the most daring of the group,... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#30

London (2005)
14%

#30
Adjusted Score: 13759%
Critics Consensus: Hampered by pretension and undermined by unlikable characters, London proves that the novelty of seeing actors play against type isn't enough to rescue a deeply flawed film.
Synopsis: Upon learning that his ex-lover (Jessica Biel) is leaving New York, a man (Chris Evans) named Syd crashes her going-away... [More]
Directed By: Hunter Richards

#31

Playing It Cool (2014)
14%

#31
Adjusted Score: 14281%
Critics Consensus: Playing It Cool pits Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan's easy chemistry against a screenplay that tries too hard to be quirky and clever, and the results are disappointingly lukewarm.
Synopsis: A lovestruck man (Chris Evans) enters into a platonic relationship with a woman (Michelle Monaghan) who's already engaged to someone... [More]
Directed By: Justin Reardon

Sundance 2009

Five or six years ago, the Sundance Film Festival was more famous for showing dozens of worthy, politically correct movies that instantly disappeared than the odd breakout hits that it spawned, which previously included the likes of The Blair Witch Project, Reservoir Dogs and El Mariachi. Recently, however, the festival has become an excellent launching ground for low-budget movies from across the world, with the 2009 event showcasing the likes of British indie hits Moon and In The Loop and starting the awards momentum for two very different rites of passage movies: An Education and Precious, both tipped for Academy Award/BAFTA success. This year, under the stewardship of new artistic director John Cooper, Sundance shows no sign of slowing down, as its 2010 choices seem to suggest. RT picks 10 we’re keen to see, in strictly alphabetical order.

Buried

Buried – Sundance wouldn’t be Sundance without a low-budget shocker featuring a very twisted, claustrophobic conceit, and following the likes of Saw and Cube comes Buried, an Iraq-set thrill-chiller in which a civilian contractor is kidnapped by insurgents and wakes up to find himself buried alive in a coffin, with just a cellphone, a candle and a knife to hand. Co-starring absolutely nobody else, Buried promises to be both a gruelling study of terror and tension and a much-deserved vehicle for the underrated Ryan Reynolds, who has yet to find his proper place in Hollywood after a series of ill-advised romcoms.

The Extra Man

The Extra ManShari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini made a big splash with their Sundance hit American Splendor — and then promptly blotted it with the poorly-received The Nanny Diaries. This adaptation of an upscale novel by Jonathan Ames should undo the damage, starring Paul Dano as a struggling writer who leaves his teacing job and moves to New York, where he falls for a co-worker (Katie Holmes) and moves in with a crazy playwright (Kevin Kline) who makes ends meet by working as an escort for rich women in the Upper East Side. A mentor-pupil relationship blossoms, but whatever chemistry exists between Kline and Dano will doubtless be overlooked in the media if Holmes’ superstar spouse turns up.

Four Lions

Four Lions – After In The Loop‘s warm reception in 2009, Armando Iannucci‘s old friend Christopher Morris tries his hand there with this uncomfortable black comedy about a team of British suicide bombers. Self-billed as a “comedy of terror”, Morris’s big-screen debut is unlikely to make many easy friends with the tabloids by looking for laughs in a still very painful subject. Still, it seems the film is the result of surprisingly in-depth research by Morris, who concluded that religious fanatics have their bad days like the rest of us. “As Spinal Tap understood heavy metal and Dr Strangelove the Cold War,” says the film’s production company, Warp Films, “Four Lions understands modern British jihadis.”

Hesher

Hesher – A Sundance veteran at the ripe young age of 28, Joseph Gordon-Levitt follows last year’s surprise hit [500] Days Of Summer with yet another change of style. After proving he can do standard leading man stuff, Gordon-Levitt here disappears under a beard, wig and some pretty terrible tattoos to play Hesher (pictured, in his pants), a 20-something metalhead stoner who befriends a young boy who’s coming to terms with his mother’s death. Natalie Portman, who also produced, co-stars as a supermarket worker who befriends the boy in the feature debut from Spencer Susser, director of the 2001 Star Wars-themed short R2-D2: Beneath The Dome.

Howl

HowlJames Franco plays Allen Ginsberg in this ambitious docudrama about the legal wrangles that faced the gay Beat writer when his landmark poem Howl was tried for obscenity in San Francisco in 1957. Details are still sketchy — Franco’s performance may be part of a reconstruction within a traditional documentary frame — and there is even talk of animation being used, but it’s clear that Howl will focus on the younger Ginsberg and the ramifications of the trial, which raised serious questions about censorship, rather than his life story: Beat historians will note that the cast list includes a Jack Kerouac and a Neal Cassady but no William S Burroughs (who left the US at the start of the decade after shooting his wife), suggesting the film will focus on a very slim period of time.

The Killer Inside Me

The Killer Inside Me – The hardboiled crime novels of Jim Thompson have had a tough time translating to film, with only Stephen FrearsThe Grifters coming close to his dark and sleazy stylings. Filmed once before with Stacy Keach, The Killer Inside Me is perhaps Thompson’s best known book, telling the story of a seemingly innocuous smalltown sheriff who hides a psychopathic secret. For Michael Winterbottom‘s adaptation, set in a shimmering 50s-style West Texas, The Assassination Of Jesse James star Casey Affleck plays the sadistic, two-faced sheriff and Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba play the broads. Meanwhile, for support, you can’t ask for better character players than Ned Beatty, Bill Pullman and Elias Koteas.

Lucky

Lucky – After the spelling-bee documentary Spellbound and the debating society comedy Rocket Science, in which he discovered Up in the Air‘s breakout star Anna Kendrick, Jeffrey Blitz returns to non-fiction with this study of the effects of massive wins on people who enter lotteries. “In some ways I think Lucky is a kind of anti-Spellbound,” Blitz tells RT. “That’s not to say that it’s all doom and gloom, because it certainly isn’t. But if Spellbound was about people working hard toward a seemingly impossible goal, this movie is about the opposite — people whose lives transform utterly and wholly without the slightest effort. For me, they kind of lock together like that.”

Splice

Splice – The ingenious, high-tech corporate conspiracy thriller Cypher didn’t quite break director Vincenzo Natali into the mainstream, but the more explicitly horror-themed Splice — showing in Sundance’s genre-friendly Midnight strand — might find him a welcoming cult audience. A cautionary tale set in the world of modern genetics, it stars Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as a pair of scientists who play dangerous games with human and animal DNA. But though it features state of the art effects, the film has been hailed as a return to the bizarre, intelligent psychological sci-fi style pioneered by David Cronenberg in the 80s, most notably in his classic remake of The Fly.

Sympathy for Delicious

Sympathy for Delicious – It’s a well known fact that everybody in the world likes Mark Ruffalo, and after a few years away in mainstream Hollywood (his last Sundance appearance was with 2004’s We Don’t Live Here Anymore), he returns with his directing debut. Christopher Thornton stars as ‘Delicious’ Dean O’Dwyer, an LA DJ who is confined to a wheelchair after an accident that leaves him paralysed. Delicious finds that he has the healing touch, a gift that only benefits others, but the DJ sees a way to fulfill his rock’n’roll fantasies in a dark comedy that also marks the return of Orlando Bloom as the tattooed, buff rocker who helps him.

Welcome to the Rileys

Welcome to the RileysKristen Stewart was a festival newbie in 2009 with the achingly Sundance indie Adventureland, and she clearly liked it so much she’s going back with two more. The Runaways, in which she plays femme rocker Joan Jett, tells the story of America’s most famous all-girl rock’n’roll band. Welcome to the Rileys, however, might be the one to scandalise the Twilight fans, since KStew is rumoured to be doing her first nude scene, playing a teenage lapdancer who befriends a lonely businessman (James Gandolfini). Melissa Leo, who received an Oscar nomination for her role in 2008 Sundance winner Frozen River, plays his wife, who is struggling to come to terms with the death of their daughter.

Sundance Film Festival runs January 21st to 31st in Park City, Utah.

Add The Weinstein Company to the list of studios that have signed interim agreements with the Writers Guild of America.

Harvey Weinstein confirmed the deal in an interview this morning, saying “It’s important for the business to get the ball rolling and get back to work.” According to the Los Angeles Times, The Weinstein Company’s deal “mirrors the pacts that the union recently signed with United Artists…and David Letterman‘s production company, Worldwide Pants Inc.”

Between inking various interim deals, shrinking the Golden Globes down to press-conference size, and wreaking havoc with Oscar plans, the WGA seems to be having a pretty good week for itself — but, as the Times notes, “Without one of the big players making such a deal, these interim agreements are unlikely to have much influence in ending the strike, according to industry executives.”

Of course, that’s according to industry executives — they’d probably say the strikers were going to burst into flames from picket friction if they thought anyone would believe them — but it’s a point well-taken. United Artists and The Weinstein Company, though both certain to benefit from their WGA deals, are also two of the more hit-starved studios in Hollywood, and unless they can do better with the scripts currently deluging their offices than they did with recent releases such as Lions for Lambs and The Nanny Diaries, those smug “industry executives” could wind up being right on the money. Literally.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Avast, mateys! This week, pirates trawl the DVD shelves, and they come laden with booty — bonus feature booty (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End)! We’ve also got the foul-mouthed, nerdy-sweet antics of high school buddies (Superbad), a space-war telefilm to geek out over (Battlestar Galactica: Razor), and more.



Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End


Tomatometer: 46%

In Gore Verbinski‘s third (and final?) Pirates of the Caribbean flick, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), and the crew of the Black Pearl must head to the far reaches of the earth to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from Davy Jones’ locker. But behold, the dichotomy; even scribes who enjoyed this nearly three-hour trilogy-capper admit that the bounty of storylines makes for a confusing time. Thankfully, you now have two discs of bonus features to help flesh out the mythos! These extras give us Keith Richards on set, the special effects team behind the scenes, two deleted scenes, and an interactive look at the eight pirate lords.

 



Superbad


Tomatometer: 87%

Greg Mottola’s sweetly raunchy Superbad, the pseudo-biographical tale of two hormonal best buddies, starring Michael Cera and Jonah Hill (and written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg), earned an 87 percent Certified Fresh stamp from critics and solidified producer Judd Apatow’s emergence as the King Midas of the rated-R comedy. If you really need another reason to pick up your copy (and make sure to get the Unrated and Extended version!), here it is: the bonus menu, chock full of bloopers, celebrity pals, table readings, audition tapes, fake behind-the-scenes documentaries, audio voicemails to Cera from Hill, the two stars dancing, a “Snakes on Jonah” prank, the infamous junket from hell interview by director Edgar Wright, and our personal favorite, more penis drawings!

 



Battlestar Galactica: Razor


Tomatometer: N/A

Battlestar fans, get your geek on! The Sci Fi channel’s uproariously beloved space saga about the last remaining humans in the galaxy kicked off season four with this two-part mini-film, following the early days of the Cylon War. You might have caught it as the first two episodes of the current (and final) season, but the DVD version of Battlestar Galactica: Razor includes an extended cut, sneak peeks at Season 4, a commentary track, cast favorite episodes, deleted scenes, outtakes, and more.

More Delightful DVDs

Lady Chatterly
Tomatometer: 74%

This French adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s 1928 novel won a Cesar award (the Gallic Oscar) for Best Picture, and critics agreed; even with a three-hour runtime, this sensual, transcendent tale of a married aristocrat woman seeking sexual fulfillment with her gameskeeper is Certified Fresh. Did someone say date night?



Arctic Tale

Tomatometer: 63%

Kids can learn the inconvenient truths about nature and the environment in this National Geographic-like nature documentary, innocuously narrated by Queen Latifah. Follow baby walrus Seela and little polar bear Nanu as the natural enemies grow into adulthood (aww!) if you can stand the original pop soundtrack by the likes of Aimee Mann and Brian Wilson (meh…).



24 Season Six

Tomatometer: N/A

Poor Jack Bauer never gets a day off. Like every “day” on 24, Season Six features explosions, assassination attempts, and Oval Office intrigue; more awesomely, it also involves the Chinese, the Russians, more Bauer family fun and the gruesome, splendid sight of watching Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) kill a terrorist with a bloody bite to the neck!


Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You





The Hottest State

Tomatometer: 35%

Writer-director Ethan Hawke‘s semi-autobiographical relationship drama was agonizingly pretentious to most critics, but boasts the acting talents of Mark Webber, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and — go figure! — Ethan Hawke.





The Nanny Diaries

Tomatometer: 34%

While Scarlett Johansson has dared to take on many a bold role, this misstep — a too bland social satire about upper class parents and working class nannies — is one of her lowest-rated films in over a decade. Considering The Island, that ain’t too impressive.

Happy renting, everyone!

For the second straight weekend, a star-driven action drama aimed at adult
audiences opened at number one with $14M in ticket sales from roughly 2,700
theaters. This time it was
Jodie Foster‘s
The Brave One
which topped the charts bumping former champ
3:10 to Yuma
to
the runner-up spot.
Billy Bob
Thornton
‘s new comedy
Mr. Woodcock

opened respectably in third while the fantasy actioner
Dragon Wars
bowed to
weak results in fourth place.

Warner Bros. captured the top spot with the vigilante thriller
The Brave One
this
weekend averaging a solid $5,087 from 2,755 theaters. The Jodie Foster film’s
gross was enough to claim the number one spot, but was a far cry from the
numbers that the Oscar-winning actress has seen from recent films. The R-rated
pic’s bow was 43% weaker than her last film
Flightplan
‘s
$24.6M launch in September 2005 and down 53% from the $30.1M debut of
Panic Room
in
March 2002. All were adult-skewing thrillers anchored solo by Foster playing a
strong woman who takes care of problems on her own.
 



Two elements that may have dampened the grosses for Brave were lukewarm
reviews and a better-than-expected hold from
3:10 to Yuma

which is also playing to a mature adult crowd. Foster was aggressively promoting
the Neil Jordan-directed
film on every TV and print outlet over the past two weeks but that did little to
prevent the revenge pic from posting one of her worst openings in recent years.
In fact, over the last decade, her only wide release to debut weaker was 1999’s
Anna and
the King
with $5.2M.
 





The Brave One was the first number one hit of the year to be anchored by
a woman. It could be followed by another next weekend when
Milla Jovovich‘s
action sequel
Resident
Evil: Extinction
attacks.
 




Audiences kept lining up for
Russell Crowe
and Christian
Bale
in the Western 3:10 to Yuma which enjoyed a strong hold in its
second weekend dropping only 35% to an estimated $9.2M. That gave Lionsgate a
solid $28.5M after ten days with $50M possible by the end of the run which will
make it one of the distributor’s top-grossing non-Saw
films.





Opening with a decent showing in third place was the
Billy Bob ThorntonSeann
William Scott
comedy
Mr. Woodcock

with an estimated $9.1M. Averaging $4,079 from
2,231 theaters, the PG-13 pic performed slightly better than Thornton’s last
comedy
School for Scoundrels
which bowed to $8.6M despite playing in 773 more
theaters last September. Critics were understandably harsh.





The fantasy adventure film Dragon Wars debuted with weak results in fourth with
an estimated $5.4M from 2,269 sites for a poor $2,371 average. The PG-13 film
from Freestyle Releasing attracted poor reviews. Teen sensation Superbad spent its fifth straight weekend in the Top Five
grossing an estimated $5.2M and boosted Sony’s cume to $111.3M. MGM’s horror
redo Halloween fell 47% to an estimated $5M in its third scare and lifted its
sum to $51.3M.
 


Dipping only 27% was
The Bourne Ultimatum
which grossed an estimated $4.2M
pushing the massive cume to $216.2M. Only one 2007 release has performed better
in its seventh weekend — Wild Hogs with $4.7M in April. Overseas, the Universal
hit collected an estimated $20.8M from 4,333 theaters in 46 territories and
enjoyed number one debuts in France, South Korea, Belgium, Norway and the
Netherlands. That lifted the international total to $125M and the global tally
to $341M making it the biggest Bourne ever. Look for the $400M barrier to fall
later this fall.
 



The sports comedy Balls of Fury drooped down to eighth place with an estimated
$3.3M, off 41%, for a $28.9M total after 19 days for Focus. New Line’s action
sequel Rush Hour 3 held up well again sliding 32% to an estimated $3.3M for a cume of $133.2M to date. The family comedy
Mr Bean’s Holiday eased only 22% to
an estimated $2.7M for a $28.5M sum for Universal.
 



There was plenty of activity in the arthouses as Oscar season got underway with
strong limited launches from a handful of early contenders. Director
David
Cronenberg
‘s crime thriller
Eastern Promises
generated the best average with its
estimated $553,000 bow from 15 theaters for a muscular $36,867 per site. The
R-rated tale won the top audience prize at the Toronto International Film
Festival on Saturday boosting its industry profile and will expand on Friday to
more than 1,300 locations nationwide. This weekend’s results were almost
identical to the platform bow of Cronenberg’s last film
A History of Violence

which opened in mid-September two years ago in 14 theaters to a $515,992 frame
and $36,857 average before expanding wide the following weekend with $8.1M from
1,340 venues and a $6,047 average. Coincidentally, Jodie Foster was number one
at that time with Flightplan.



Sony’s musical extravaganza
Across the Universe
was red hot also with a debut of
an estimated $685,000 from 23 venues for a potent $29,783 average. Studio data
showed that the Julie Taymor-directed pic skewed towards young women as the
audience breakdown was 62% female and 57% under 25. Universe also widens on
Friday and will be in roughly 400 playdates.



The Tommy Lee Jones military mystery
In the Valley of Elah opened to solid
results with an estimated $150,000 from nine locations for a $16,667 average.
Warner Independent reported that the audience was more male and older. Directed
by Paul Haggis,
Elah will expand to 250-300 runs next weekend. The
distributor’s
Daniel Radcliffe drama
December Boys did not fare as well and
grossed an estimated $18,000 from four theaters for a mild $4,500 average in New
York and Los Angeles. Pic will widen to 10 theaters on Friday and will have a
tough road ahead given the avalanche of limited-release options on the horizon.



Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. New Line’s stylish
action thriller Shoot
‘Em Up
tumbled 55% in its second weekend to an estimated
$2.6M giving the Clive Owen pic only $10.3M after ten days. A $15M final seems
likely. The Nanny Diaries grossed an estimated $2.2M, off 31%, for a cume of
$24M. The MGM release should finish up with just under $30M. Paramount’s
expensive flop Stardust took in an estimated $1.4M, down 25%, for a domestic
tally of only $36.4M. With a reported production cost of $65M, the adventure
film looks to end its run with a disappointing $40M.




The top ten films grossed an estimated $61.3M which was up 9% from last year
when Gridiron Gang debuted in first place with $14.4M; but down 8% from 2005
when Just Like Heaven opened in the top spot with $16.4M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru

After struggling at the box office over the last few years, Russell Crowe scored his first number one film in more than seven years with the critically-acclaimed Western 3:10 to Yuma which bumped fellow Hollywood remake Halloween out of the top spot. The weekend’s other new releases, the action film Shoot ‘Em Up and the comedy The Brothers Solomon, both failed to make much of a dent into the typically-slow early September marketplace. The top ten slumped to its lowest point since late April while aside from Yuma, no wide release managed a per-theater average of more than $3,000.

Lionsgate scored its first top spot debut of the year with 3:10 to Yuma which shot up an estimated $14.1M in its opening frame from 2,652 theaters. Averaging a solid $5,317 per venue, the R-rated drama stars Crowe as a captured outlaw and Christian Bale as the man set to accompany him to the train that will take him to prison. Not since his career-making turn in 2000’s Oscar-winning picture Gladiator has Russell Crowe inhabited the number one spot at the box office. Last year’s dramedy flop A Good Year bowed to an embarrassing $3.7M on its way to a puny $7.5M while 2005’s well-reviewed Cinderella Man debuted below expectations with $18.3M leading to a $61.6M domestic total. Critics were very supportive of Yuma giving much praise to the two lead actors as well as to director James Mangold (Walk the Line).

After a record Labor Day weekend launch, the horror entry Halloween plunged 62% and dropped a notch to second place with an estimated $10M in ticket sales. The Rob Zombie-directed film pushed its ten-day cume up to a rosy $44.2M which already makes it the top-grossing R-rated fright flick of the year. Halloween seems on track to finish with roughly $60M for MGM.

Sony’s teen hit Superbad became the 20th film of 2007 to cross the $100M mark over the weekend. The raunchy sex romp collected an estimated $8M, dropping only 36%, and pushed its total gross to a stellar $103.7M. A final gross in the neighborhood of $125M seems likely for the inexpensive $18M production.

Rival comedy Balls of Fury lost half of its opening weekend audience and placed fourth for the frame with an estimated $5.7M pushing the 12-day tally to a respectable $24.3M. The Focus release should end up with $35-38M.

Matt Damon‘s third blockbuster in less than a year, The Bourne Ultimatum, followed in fifth with an estimated $5.5M, off 47%, lifting the cume to $210.1M from North America. The assassin pic joins Shia LaBeouf‘s Disturbia as the only 2007 films to spend six weeks in the Top Five. Worldwide, Ultimatum climbed past $300M making it the top-grossing film in the Bourne series globally with many international markets still to come.

The new Clive OwenPaul Giamatti action pic Shoot ‘Em Up debuted in sixth place with a disappointing $5.5M gross, according to estimates. Making its way into 2,108 theaters, the R-rated film averaged a weak $2,585 per site for New Line. Reviews were mixed.

New Line’s action sequel Rush Hour 3 followed in seventh with an estimated $5.3M, down 37%, boosting the cume to $129.3M. Fellow funny franchise flick Mr Bean’s Holiday dropped 43% to an estimated $3.4M giving Universal a domestic total of $25.1M. The global gross has now risen to a stunning $215M.

A pair of female-skewing pics rounded out the top ten. The Nanny Diaries grossed an estimated $3.3M in its third weekend, off 35%, giving MGM $21M to date. Leggy musical smash Hairspray dipped only 28% which was good enough to allow the John Travolta hit to climb back into the top ten with an estimated $2M. Cume stands at $114.9M for New Line.

Opening terribly in wide release outside of the top ten was the R-rated comedy The Brothers Solomon which bowed to an estimated $525,000 from 700 theaters for a dismal $750 average. The $10M production failed to even make the Top 20.

A pair of films enjoyed encouraging and almost identical launches in arthouses over the weekend. The lunar mission documentary In the Shadow of the Moon bowed to an estimated $41,200 from four sites for a solid $10,300 average. The ThinkFilm release was “presented” by Ron Howard and will add more theaters within New York and Los Angeles and expand to Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C. on Friday. MGM’s Richard Gere war drama The Hunting Party debuted in four venues as well and grossed an estimated $40,000 for a strong average of $10,000 per theater.

Two competing late-August action titles were tossed out of the top ten. Fox’s Kevin Bacon revenge pic Death Sentence tumbled 62% to an estimated $1.6M in its sophomore frame for a ten-day sum of only $7.9M. Look for a $10M final. The Jet LiJason Statham actioner War has done somewhat better and took in an estimated $1.4M in its third session. Crashing 68%, the Lionsgate release has taken in $20.5M thus far and should conclude with around $23M.

Among summer megahits still climbing the list of all-time domestic blockbusters, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix rose to $288.2M after its ninth weekend while Transformers inched up to $311.4M after its tenth attack. The July releases now sit at 31 and 21, respectively, on the all-time list.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $62.7M which was up a healthy 28% from last year when The Covenant debuted in first place with $8.9M; but down 11% from 2005 when The Exorcism of Emily Rose opened in the top spot with $30.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

A record summer box office ended on a high note
with a record Labor Day weekend led by
Rob Zombie‘s new take on the horror
classic Halloween which scored the biggest opening ever for this holiday frame.
The R-rated creepfest grossed an estimated $31M over the four-day
Friday-to-Monday period for MGM and The Weinstein Co. from an ultrawide 3,472
theaters for a powerful $8,932 average. That was enough to slash through the
previous holiday best of $20.1M from 2005’s
Transporter 2
by a stunning 54%.
Over the Friday-to-Sunday portion, the pic scored $26.5M and a $7,622 average.
The gross for the Michael Myers fright pic surged ahead of industry expectations
and ranked as the best horror opening since
Saw III‘s three-day tally of $33.6M
from last Halloween.

Marking the end of summer and a time when students begin going back to school,
Labor Day weekend is typically the weakest of all the holiday weekends during
the year. But the overall summer movie season was anything but. The domestic box
office generated over $4 billion led by seven blockbusters that crossed the
$200M mark with four sailing past the $300M milestone. Both were new industry
highs.
 






Sony’s two-time champ
Superbad
held up well in its third frame this weekend and grossed an
estimated $15.6M for a 18-day cume of $92.4M. Another comedy aimed at young
people, Balls of
Fury
, opened in the third spot with an estimated $13.8M from 3,052
locations for a decent four-day average of $4,534. Since its Wednesday launch,
the ping pong pic has taken in $16.8M for Focus.
 




For the fourth consecutive weekend the threequels
The Bourne Ultimatum
and
Rush
Hour 3
were back-to-back on the charts. The
Matt Damon assassin smash took in an
estimated $13.2M for a total of $202.6M while the
Jackie ChanChris Tucker
action-comedy dropped to an estimated $10.4M for a $122.2M sum. Bourne crossed
the $200M mark on Labor Day.
 






Following in sixth was Universal’s
Mr. Bean’s Holiday
with an estimated $8.1M
for $21.1M to date. The Nanny Diaries fell to an estimated $6.4M for MGM giving
the comedy just $16.5M in ten days.
Kevin Bacon stumbled into eighth place with
his vigilante thriller
Death Sentence
which bowed to an estimated $5.2M from
1,822 sites for an average of only $2,854 for Fox.
 





Jet Li and
Jason Statham followed in ninth with
War which crumbled in its
sophomore frame to an estimated $5.1M giving Lionsgate $18M in ten days.
Paramount’s fairy tale adventure
Stardust
rounded out the top ten with an
estimated $3.9M for a $31.9M total.
 





Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend.
The Simpsons Movie

laughed up an estimated $3.5M and boosted its sensational domestic haul to
$178.4M on its way to what should be a final tally of about $185M. Overseas, the
Fox smash broke through the $300M barrier this weekend and hopes to see its
global gross surge past $500M.
 





New Line’s hit musical
Hairspray
posted another strong performance banking an
estimated $3.5M over four days to raise its cume to $112.3M. A final domestic
gross of at least $120M seems likely. Not faring well was the Nicole Kidman
sci-fi thriller The Invasion which tumbled down to an estimated $1.5M for a poor
$14.1M total after 18 days. Paramount should end up snatching a miserable $16M.
 



The top ten films grossed an estimated $112.7M over four days (a new Labor Day
weekend record) which was up 26% from last year when
Invincible
remained in
first place with $15.4M in its second session; and up 23% from 2005 when
Transporter 2 opened in the top spot with a then-record $20.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,
www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

 

Booze and babes were still in high demand as
the teen sex comedy
Superbad
ruled the North American box office for the second straight
weekend despite the arrival of a handful of new releases. Most of the debuting
films were met with disappointing sales since ticket buyers spent their time and
money catching up on popular holdover titles which commanded the top three
spots.

The supercool kids of
Superbad
remained the leaders of the pack with an estimated weekend
gross of $18M, falling 46% from last weekend. After ten days, the Sony smash has
taken in an impressive $68.6M and could be on its way to $120M or more. That
would give the raunchy hit a domestic gross nearly seven times its production
cost of $18M. Superbad is the first summer film to spend back-to-back
weekends at number one since
Pirates of
the Caribbean: At World’s End
which bowed over Memorial Day weekend in
May. Sony has now claimed the number one film nine times in 2007, more than any
other studio.






Rising one spot to second place was
Matt Damon‘s
latest assassin flick
The Bourne Ultimatum

which slipped only 38% to an estimated $12.4M. It was the fourth best
fourth-weekend gross of any summer film this year after the threequel
triumvirate of Shrek the Third ($15.3M),
Spider-Man 3
($14.3M), and Pirates
($12.4M). With $185.1M in the bank for Universal, Bourne has now outgrossed
every James Bond film domestically (in nominal dollar terms), both previous
Bourne films, and two of the three Mission: Impossible pics. Ultimatum
is still
on track to hit the $200M mark by the end of Labor Day weekend and will give a
serious challenge to this decade’s top action films that are not driven by
special effects – Rush Hour 2 ($226.2M in 2001) and Mission: Impossible 2
($215.4M in 2000).
 


New Line’s action-comedy sequel
Rush Hour 3 fell 43%
to an estimated $12.3M in its third mission. The
Jackie ChanChris
Tucker
threequel has collected $109M in 17 days and is on track to finish
with $140-145M.
 






In a tight race among new releases, the family film
Mr. Bean’s Holiday

edged out the action film War
for fourth place. Universal’s G-rated comedy opened to an estimated $10.1M from
1,714 theaters for a solid $5,905 average. The
Rowan Atkinson
starrer has already grossed a stellar $189M internationally. Debuting close
behind with an estimated $10M was the R-rated crime drama War which
averaged a mediocre $4,392 from 2,277 locations. Starring
Jet Li and
Jason Statham,
the Lionsgate release opened close to the numbers of the last films from the two
actors. Last September, Li’s
Fearless
bowed to
$10.6M and a $5,857 average while Statham’s
Crank
launched with
$10.5M over three days and a $4,158 average. Putting the two together did little
to broaden the audience, however.
 


MGM landed in sixth place with a disappointing opening for the comedy
The Nanny Diaries

which grossed an estimated $7.8M. Playing in 2,629 theaters, the PG-13 pic based
on the popular novel averaged just $2,971 per site.
 



The year’s top-grossing non-rat toon
The Simpsons Movie

dropped 36% to an estimated $4.4M in its fifth frame boosting the cume to
$173.4M for Fox. Paramount’s fantasy adventure
Stardust
grossed an
estimated $4M, off only 30%, for a total of $26.5M.
 



Moviegoers kept going back for more musical fun as New Line’s
Hairspray
dipped a
mere 23% in its sixth session to an estimated $3.5M and raised its overall cume
to $107.5M. Rounding out the top ten was the sci-fi flop
The Invasion
which
tumbled 47% in its second weekend to an estimated $3.1M. The Warner Bros.
release has taken in just $11.5M in ten days and should end with a miserable
$16-18M.



Three national releases dumped into the late-August abyss debuted outside of the
top ten with weak results. Yari Film Group’s well-reviewed boxing drama
Resurrecting
the Champ
starring
Samuel L.
Jackson
and
Josh Hartnett
opened with an estimated $1.8M from 1,605 theaters for a poor
$1,152 average. Universal’s Latino crime drama
Illegal Tender

bowed to an estimated $1.4M from 512 sites for a mild $2,805 average. The most
miserable results came from the
Jon Voight
film September Dawn
which grossed an estimated $600,000 from 850 playdates for an embarrassing $706
per-theater average for Slowhand Releasing.
 



In limited release, the
Mandy Moore
drama Dedication
got off to a moderate start collecting an estimated $24,000 from only four
venues for an average of $6,000 on its opening weekend for The Weinstein Co.
 



Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
grossed an estimated $2.5M,
down 34%, lifting the domestic haul to $283.3M. Despite the midweek launch in
July, the fifth wizard pic should end up with a final take nearly identical to
the $290M taken in by the last installment

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
which had a Friday opening in
November which has been the most common type of launch for the franchise.
 



Buena Vista’s family film
Underdog
fell 42% to
an estimated $2.2M and put its sum at $36.6M. A $42-44M final seems likely.
Adam Sandler
‘s
latest comedy blockbuster
I
Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
grossed an estimated $2.1M, down 42%,
and gave Universal a total of $114.3M to date. The comedian has now generated
$100M blockbusters over six consecutive years trailing only Tom Cruise whose
streak is currently at seven straight years. Look for Chuck to end its
run with roughly $120M.
 



The top ten films grossed an estimated $85.5M which was up 12% from last year
when Invincible opened in first place with $17M; and up 10% from 2005 when
The
40-Year-Old Virgin
remained in the top spot with $16.3M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,
www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Action stars Jet Li and Jason Statham face off this weekend in the new crime thriller War which leads a flood of new releases pouring into North American multiplexes trying to catch the final dollars of the summer movie season. The R-rated Lionsgate release finds the two playing an assassin and a federal agent, respectively, and will aim for young male audiences. Both actors have solid followings and the combination allows War to offer a two-for-one deal that will make the ticket price well worth it for many fans.

Li’s last films Fearless and Unleashed each bowed to just under $11M with averages of a little less than $6,000. Statham’s Crank opened over Labor Day weekend last year with $10.5M and an average of $4,158 over three days while during the same holiday frame in 2005 his action sequel Transporter 2 debuted to $16.5M with a $5,008 average over three days. Lionsgate has had a strong marketing push on War and should connect with male action fans. Last weekend’s top three films Superbad, Rush Hour 3, and The Bourne Ultimatum will all provide some direct competition, but a solid bow is likely. Opening in 2,271 theaters, War could premiere with about $14M this weekend.


Statham and Li compare wireless signals in War.

Scarlett Johansson plays the nanny to the family from hell in The Nanny Diaries, the big-screen adaptation of the popular novel. The PG-13 film co-stars Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti and will have some trouble appealing to moviegoers outside of its core white female demo. Critics have not been too supportive which will only hurt the film’s chances at the turnstiles. Nanny will be lucky to gross in its entire domestic run what last summer’s The Devil Wears Prada collected in just its opening weekend. As the lead, Johansson does not provide too much starpower so many will wait to catch this on DVD later. Debuting in about 1,800 theaters, MGM’s The Nanny Diaries could open to around $7M this weekend.


Johansson scaring young children in The Nanny Diaries.

One of the year’s biggest blockbusters overseas finally makes it to U.S. shores. Universal’s Mr. Bean’s Holiday targets families in the final days before students go back to the land of homework. The G-rated entry finds the popular British character winning a trip to France and of course, stumbling into all kinds of odd situations along the way. Having already grossed $189M internationally, Holiday doesn’t really need much success in North America to be a moneymaker, but it would like some more gravy on top. Competition is light, however the marketing push has not been too powerful so a modest debut could result. Falling into 1,580 venues, Mr. Bean’s Holiday might open with about $6M.


Bean up to his usual tricks in Holiday.

A struggling journalist tries to make a major news item out of the story of a homeless man who used to be a boxer in the new drama Resurrecting the Champ. Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett star in the PG-13 flick which lacks major buzz as it steps into the box office ring. Starpower is also weak in this one and paying audiences will be hard to find. Yari Film Group is releasing Champ in 1,602 theaters and could find itself with about $3M this weekend.


Resurrecting the Champ

Jon Voight stars in the Mormon massacre pic September Dawn which Slowhand Releasing will quietly unleash into about 850 theaters. Neither Voight nor Mormons are part of successful box office formulas and the marketing push has been minimal in this case so no big dollar amounts are expected. A three-day take of about $1.5M could be in the works.


Jon Voight in September Dawn.

Coming off of a spectacular opening weekend, Sony’s Superbad hopes to make it two in a row on top. The R-rated film’s only main competitor for young men will come from War as the frame’s other new releases either target different audience segments or will barely be a blip on the radar. A 45% drop to about $18M would give Superbad a ten-day tally of $70M.

Rush Hour 3 will race past the $100M mark this weekend and could slide by 50% to around $10.5M. That would give New Line $107M after 17 days. Fellow threequel The Bourne Ultimatum should have a better hold and drop by 40% to roughly $12M putting the Universal smash at $185M overall with its eye on the double-century mark by Labor Day.

LAST YEAR: Buena Vista topped the charts with its football saga Invincible which bowed at number one with $17M on its way to a solid $57.8M. Will Ferrell‘s comedy Talladega Nights placed second with $8.1M while Little Miss Sunshine expanded and jumped up to third place with $7.4M. Warner Bros. opened its comedy Beerfest in fourth with $7M leading to a $19.2M final. World Trade Center rounded out the top five with $6.5M in its third frame. Two smaller films debuting far below were Universal’s Idlewild with $5.7M and New Line’s How to Eat Fried Worms with $4M. Final tallies reached $12.6M and $13M, respectively.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the multiplex, you’ll have your
choice between babysitters (The
Nanny Diaries
, starring
Scarlett
Johansson
and
Laura Linney)
manchilds (Mr.
Bean’s Holiday
, starring
Rowan Atkinson),
boxers (Resurrecting
the Champ
, starring
Josh Hartnett
and Samuel
L. Jackson
),  Mormons (September
Dawn
, starring
Jon Voight),
and rogues (War,
starring Jet Li
and Jason
Statham
). What are the critics saying?


The Nanny Diaries
features a stellar cast that includes Scarlett
Johansson, Laura Linney, and
Paul Giamatti, and it’s directed by
Robert Pulcini
and Shari Springer Berman, the team behind the wonderfully unconventional
American
Splendor
. So why, critics ask, is Diaries so mediocre? Perhaps it’s
because the tone shifts between dark satire and lighter comedy. Johansson stars
as a woman who takes a job tending to the child of an affluent-but-cold New York
City couple. Pundits say the biggest problem with the film is not the
performers, who do what they can with the material. It’s that their characters
are one-dimensional, and the satire lacks the edge to really make it work. At 24
percent on the Tomatometer, this Diary isn’t held dear.





“What’d I tell you about doing Jell-O shots before noon?"

Mr. Bean is something of an acquired taste, and critics say
Mr. Bean’s Holiday
may not be the place to acquire it. But they also note the
irrepressible Rowan Atkinson works really hard to sell the gags, and families
could do much worse than this good-natured comedy. With a nod to
Jacques Tati‘s
legendary Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, the film finds Bean leaving the
dreary confines of London for Cannes, where he’s alternately mistaken for a
master filmmaker and a kidnapper. The critics say Bean is mostly harmless
fun, but if you aren’t already a fan (or a little kid) you may find this stuff
pretty tough going. At 43 percent on the Tomatometer, this one might not amount
to a hill of beans, but at least it’s a cut above the original
Bean
(36
percent).




“I see London, I see France…”


Sort of a rough cross between
Cinderella Man
and
Shattered Glass
,

Resurrecting the Champ
gives you two tropes for the price of one: the
washed-up coulda-been-a-contendah and the newspaper man whose hot story may all
be a hoax. Still, critics say Champ works surprisingly well, thanks to
committed performances from Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett. Based on a true
story, the film tells the tale of a sportswriter (Hartnett) who finds what could
be the biggest story of his career in a homeless man (Jackson) who calls himself
Champ and claims to be a former ring king. Critics say that although the film
gets a little melodramatic at times, it’s wise in the ways of the newspaper
life, and it’s got plenty of heart. At 75 percent on the Tomatometer, Champ
puts up a good fight.




“I’ll fight you for the merry-go-round.”

September Dawn was denounced by the Mormon Church before its release; the
LDS claimed it was a distortion of the faith’s history. Now it’s movie critics’
turn, albeit for different reasons. Dawn tells the story of the Mountain
Meadows Massacre, a still-controversial 1857 attack in which a group of Mormons
attacked a wagon train (the church hotly disputes the film’s assertion that LDS
president Brigham Young approved of the killings). Despite the presence of such
acclaimed thespians as
Terence Stamp and Jon Voight, critics say the film works
neither as history nor drama, thanks to mediocre filmmaking throughout; they also
note Dawn‘s attempts to draw parallels to contemporary conflicts are
muddled at best. Dawn currently stands at 10 percent on the Tomatometer.





“Tonight we dine in Utah!”

It appears the folks behind
War
have feared an attack from critics. That
seems to be the reason they’re using the cinematic equivalent of camouflage: not
screening the film before its release. Jet Li and Jason Statham star in this
tale of betrayal and revenge, in which the CIA, Yakuza, and Triads figure
prominently. Guess that Tomatometer.





“I’ll trade you all this for a Wii.”

Also opening this week in limited release:
Deep Water
, a doc about a
fateful solo, around-the-world boat race, is at 100 percent;
Right At Your
Door
, a drama about a terrorist attack in L.A., is at 68 percent;
Hannah
Takes the Stairs
, about a young woman’s romantic angst, is at 61 percent
(check out our interview with
director Joe Swanberg here); No. 2, a Fijian
family dramedy starring Ruby Dee, is at 56 percent;
The Bothersome Man
, a
Norwegian drama about a man who forgets his past and finds himself in a strange
town, is at 56 percent;
Dedication
, an unconventional romance about a
troubled children’s book author starring
Mandy Moore and
Billy Crudup, is at 42
percent; The Hottest State, the
Ethan Hawke-helmed tale of a singer
trying to make it in New York, is at 42 percent; and
Illegal Tender
, a
drama about a woman’s longstanding blood feud with her husband’s killer, is at
33 percent.





Slinky: the new cup and string.


Finally, props to
AudioNinja, who decided to eschew stealth and subsequently
came the closest to guessing
The Last Legion
‘s 18 percent Tomatometer.

Recent Scarlett Johansson Movies:
——————————————
37% — Scoop (2006)
75% — The Prestige (2006)
35% — The Black Dahlia (2006)
79% — Match Point (2005)
39% — A Good Woman (2005)

With a Hollywood strike looming, folks in the industry are locking down projects as quickly as they can — including Scarlett Johansson, who, The Hollywood Reporter tells us, has not one, not two, but three upcoming films.

Of primary interest to readers of this site will be Johansson’s involvement in Frank Miller’s The Spirit. In the Gabriel Macht-led adaptation of the classic Will Eisner strip, Johansson will play a woman with an axe to grind. From the article:

Johansson is in final negotiations to play a dangerous beauty named Silk N. Floss. Eisner’s strip was known for its women with dangerous curves, and Miller is intent on keeping that tradition. Floss is a sexy and intelligent secretary with a vindictive instinct that makes her the perfect accomplice to the Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), an evil mastermind.

Sometimes the roles just cast themselves.

Johansson has also joined the cast of He’s Just Not That Into You, the Drew Barrymore-produced ensemble dramedy that already boasted the involvement of Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Connolly, Justin Long, and Ginnifer Goodwin. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Johansson will play a pilates instructor/aspiring singer who has an affair with a married man and hopes that he will leave his wife for her.”

Last but not least, the article reports that Johansson still has Mary, Queen of Scots on her schedule. The film, which will find Johansson in the title role, has been kicking around for awhile, but development has kicked into a higher gear since The Painted Veil‘s John Curran agreed to direct.

Before any of these movies hit theaters, Johansson will be seen in a pair of films, this month’s The Nanny Diaries and December’s The Other Boleyn Girl.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter