Lethal Weapon

(Photo by Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: Buena Vista Pictures, Columbia/Courtesy Everett Collection)

All Danny Glover Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

The journey to fame and employment for every movie star is different, but Danny Glover‘s background of working in the public sector with a side theater hobby stands unique among his peers. His work for the city drove Glover’s strong political and social activism, which translated into his major movie debut, 1984’s Places in the Sun. More critically acclaimed films he starred in the years following that ran along the same lines, including prominent Black stories, among them The Color Purple, To Sleep With Anger, Bopha!, Beloved, and Grand Canyon.

But because he broke through in the ’80s, buddy-cop action flicks were what the people demanded, and Glover delivered. His Roger Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon is the best example of the buttoned-down family man foil to a loose-cannon partner, and together Murtaugh and Riggs rode through three more sequels. In fact, Glover’s mainstream bread-and-butter was playing these sympathetic yet strong authority figures or trustworthy officers, in films like Witness, Predator 2, Shooter, Operation Dumbo Drop, and even the original Saw. And he even eventually reached the highest office in the land when he became President of the United States in disaster movie 2012.

Glover has continually worked since getting that big break in 1984, all the more impressive that he was 40 when it happened. Recently, he’s been making appearances in vital contemporary Certified Fresh movies, including Dreamgirls, Beyond the Lights, and Sorry To Bother You. In 2019 alone, he was in The Last Black Man in San Francisco, The Dead Don’t Die, and Jumanji: The Next Level. And now we’re taking those and more as we rank all Danny Glover movies by Tomatometer!

#65
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 2154, young men and women must navigate their way through a deadly maze as spectators wager on their fates.... [More]
Directed By: Francesco Cinquemani

#64

Gone Fishin' (1997)

#64
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Joe (Joe Pesci) and Gus (Danny Glover) are lifelong friends who seem to encounter disaster wherever they go. They're ecstatic... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Cain

#63

Pure Luck (1991)

#63
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When Valerie Highsmith (Sheila Kelley) goes missing in Mexico, it isn't too surprising, as she is generally acknowledged as having... [More]
Directed By: Nadia Tass

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 5023%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: With help from his crew, Capt. Ahab (Danny Glover) seeks vengeance against a great white dragon that killed his sister.... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Little

#61

Tokarev (2014)
12%

#61
Adjusted Score: 11974%
Critics Consensus: Depressingly dull and all-around poorly made, Rage is the rare Nicolas Cage action thriller lacking enough energy to reach "so bad it's good" territory.
Synopsis: Following the kidnapping and murder of his daughter (Aubrey Peeples), a reformed criminal (Nicolas Cage) returns to his old ways... [More]
Directed By: Paco Cabezas

#60

Alpha and Omega (2010)
18%

#60
Adjusted Score: 18419%
Critics Consensus: With bland visuals and a dull, predictable plot, Alpha and Omega is a runt in 2010's animated litter.
Synopsis: After park rangers capture and ship them halfway across the country, omega wolf Humphrey (Justin Long) and alpha wolf Kate... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Bell, Ben Gluck

#59

Diablo (2015)
19%

#59
Adjusted Score: 19397%
Critics Consensus: Diablo has neither the intelligence nor the originality to compete with the revisionist latter-day Westerns it owes obvious debts to.
Synopsis: A young Civil War veteran (Scott Eastwood) embarks on a quest to save his kidnapped wife (Camilla Belle) from a... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Roeck

#58

Legendary (2010)
18%

#58
Adjusted Score: 19248%
Critics Consensus: Maudlin, predictable, and clichéd, Legendary pins its talented cast under a heavy layer of formulaic schmaltz.
Synopsis: Hoping that his estranged brother (John Cena) will train him, a scrawny teenager (Devon Graye) joins his high-school wrestling team.... [More]
Directed By: Mel Damski

#57
Adjusted Score: 24622%
Critics Consensus: Unimaginative and unfunny, this tale of barnyard mischief borders on 'udder' creepiness and adds little to this summer's repertoire of animated films.
Synopsis: Like the other animals in the barn, Otis the bull (Kevin James) likes to sing and play while the farmer... [More]
Directed By: Steve Oedekerk

#56

Donovan's Echo (2011)
33%

#56
Adjusted Score: 13973%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After he discovers events from his past are repeating, Donovan (Danny Glover) is convinced his young neighbor and her mother... [More]
Directed By: Jim Cliffe

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 25074%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: U.S. Navy pilot Lt. Jake Grafton (Brad Johnson) and his bombardier buddy, Lt. Cmdr. Virgil Cole (Willem Dafoe), are two... [More]
Directed By: John Milius

#54

Proud Mary (2018)
25%

#54
Adjusted Score: 28818%
Critics Consensus: Proud Mary proves Taraji P. Henson has more than enough attitude and charisma to carry an action movie -- just not, unfortunately, one this indifferently assembled.
Synopsis: Mary is a professional assassin who works for Benny, a ruthless gangster who heads an organized crime family in Boston.... [More]
Directed By: Babak Najafi

#53

Supremacy (2014)
27%

#53
Adjusted Score: 13314%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a fugitive white supremacist (Joe Anderson) takes him and his family hostage, a black man (Danny Glover) uses their... [More]
Directed By: Deon Taylor

#52

Predator 2 (1990)
30%

#52
Adjusted Score: 30178%
Critics Consensus: The thrill of the hunt is gone in this hackneyed sequel.
Synopsis: Los Angeles is enduring a heat wave and a crime wave, so the pressure on police officer Michael Harrigan (Danny... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Hopkins

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 31019%
Critics Consensus: The Vietnam War would seem an unlikely backdrop for a family-friendly comedy involving an airlifted elephant, and Operation Dumbo Drop lands with a thud.
Synopsis: Soon-to-retire Captain Sam Cahill (Danny Glover) and his unit labor to build a secret relationship with a local Vietnamese village... [More]
Directed By: Simon Wincer

#50

Switchback (1997)
32%

#50
Adjusted Score: 32870%
Critics Consensus: Burdened by its heavy load of digressive plots turns and uneven performances, Switchback never gains any sense of narrative momentum.
Synopsis: After his son is kidnapped by a notorious serial killer, FBI agent Frank LaCrosse (Dennis Quaid) travels to Amarillo, Texas,... [More]
Directed By: Jeb Stuart

#49

Gospel Hill (2008)
33%

#49
Adjusted Score: 8877%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jack Herrod (Tom Bower), the racist former sheriff of a South Carolina town, is dying of cancer. Decades ago, when... [More]
Directed By: Giancarlo Esposito

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 33217%
Critics Consensus: A queasy mishmash of poignant drama and slapstick fantasy, Angels in the Outfield strikes out as worthy family entertainment.
Synopsis: Foster kid Roger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) loves the Anaheim Angels, even though they're the worst team in the major leagues. His... [More]
Directed By: William Dear

#47

Luv (2012)
34%

#47
Adjusted Score: 34856%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Accompanied by his young nephew (Michael Rainey Jr.), an ex-convict (Common) tries to raise money through a drug deal.... [More]
Directed By: Sheldon Candis

#46
Adjusted Score: 19685%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Justices (Frank Langella, Danny Glover) of the Supreme Court discuss boxer Muhammad Ali's refusal to fight in the Vietnam War.... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#45

2012 (2009)
39%

#45
Adjusted Score: 51440%
Critics Consensus: Roland Emmerich's 2012 provides plenty of visual thrills, but lacks a strong enough script to support its massive scope and inflated length.
Synopsis: Earth's billions of inhabitants are unaware that the planet has an expiration date. With the warnings of an American scientist... [More]
Directed By: Roland Emmerich

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 42099%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Daniel is an idealistic and dedicated priest who loves his work more than anything else, until a chance meeting with... [More]
Directed By: Paul Shoulberg

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Preparing for a funeral is never pleasant, but for Aaron, it is shaping up to be the worst day of... [More]
Directed By: Neil LaBute

#42

Blindness (2008)
44%

#42
Adjusted Score: 50261%
Critics Consensus: This allegorical disaster film about society's reaction to mass blindness is mottled and self-satisfied; provocative but not as interesting as its premise implies.
Synopsis: When an epidemic of a disease known as the "white sickness" appears in her city, the wife (Julianne Moore) of... [More]
Directed By: Fernando Meirelles

#41

Shooter (2007)
47%

#41
Adjusted Score: 54043%
Critics Consensus: With an implausible story and numerous plot holes, Shooter fails to distinguish itself from other mindless action-thrillers.
Synopsis: A top Marine sniper, Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg), leaves the military after a mission goes horribly awry and disappears... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua

#40

Almost Christmas (2016)
49%

#40
Adjusted Score: 52623%
Critics Consensus: While far from the worst holiday dramedy audiences could hope for, Almost Christmas isn't distinctive enough to prompt a visit to the theater -- or annual yuletide viewings.
Synopsis: Walter Meyer (Danny Glover) is a retired mechanic who lost the love of his life one year earlier. Now that... [More]
Directed By: David E. Talbert

#39

Battle for Terra (2007)
48%

#39
Adjusted Score: 51415%
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

#38

Saw (2004)
51%

#38
Adjusted Score: 56772%
Critics Consensus: Saw ensnares audiences with a deceptively clever plot and a myriad of memorable, nasty set pieces, but its lofty ambitions are undercut by a nihilistic streak that feels more mean than profound.
Synopsis: Photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) regain consciousness while chained to pipes at either end... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#37

Boesman & Lena (2000)
50%

#37
Adjusted Score: 31017%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Carrying bottles, pots, wire, twigs around their shoulders and a few pieces of clothing, Boesman and Lena are forced to... [More]
Directed By: John Berry

#36

Manderlay (2005)

#36
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1933 a young woman, named Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), and her father discover an Alabama plantation whose inhabitants live... [More]
Directed By: Lars von Trier

#35

Complete Unknown (2016)
51%

#35
Adjusted Score: 55054%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A married man (Michael Shannon) is convinced that an unexpected guest (Rachel Weisz) at his birthday party is a former... [More]
Directed By: Joshua Marston

#34

Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
53%

#34
Adjusted Score: 55942%
Critics Consensus: Jet Li's arrival breathes fresh life into a tired franchise formula -- but not enough to put Lethal Weapon 4 on equal footing with its predecessors.
Synopsis: Detective Riggs (Mel Gibson) tries to settle down with his pregnant girlfriend, Lorna (Rene Russo), while his partner, Murtaugh (Danny... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 73354%
Critics Consensus: The Dead Don't Die dabbles with tones and themes to varying degrees of success, but sharp wit and a strong cast make this a zom-com with enough brains to consume.
Synopsis: In the sleepy small town of Centerville, something is not quite right. The moon hangs large and low in the... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#32

About Scout (2015)
60%

#32
Adjusted Score: 19946%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scout (India Ennenga), a 15 year-old Goth girl, embarks on a road trip across Texas with a suicidal man (James... [More]
Directed By: Laurie Weltz

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Veteran police detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is only days away from retiring when he and his tough partner, Martin... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#30

Mr. Pig (2016)
57%

#30
Adjusted Score: 57099%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An American sees the beauty of Mexico during a road trip.... [More]
Directed By: Diego Luna

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 32569%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Terror strikes when three college students encounter a ghost on the most haunted road in America.... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Currie Holmes

#28

A Rage in Harlem (1991)
65%

#28
Adjusted Score: 66044%
Critics Consensus: If it can't quite live up to its source material, A Rage in Harlem still proves a stylishly effective period thriller.
Synopsis: After her gangster boyfriend, Slim (Badja Djola), has a shootout with the police, Imabelle (Robin Givens) flees Natchez, Miss., with... [More]
Directed By: Bill Duke

#27

Be Kind Rewind (2008)
65%

#27
Adjusted Score: 68873%
Critics Consensus: Slighter and less disciplined than Gondry's previous mind-benders.
Synopsis: After a man (Jack Black) accidentally creates a magnetic field that erases a store's videotapes, he hatches a daring scheme... [More]
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#26

Come Sunday (2018)
68%

#26
Adjusted Score: 68184%
Critics Consensus: Come Sunday benefits greatly from Chiwetel Ejiofor's central performance, which is often enough to lift an otherwise uneven drama.
Synopsis: Internationally-renowned pastor Carlton Pearson risks his church, family and future when he questions church doctrine and finds himself branded a... [More]
Directed By: Joshua Marston

#25

Honeydripper (2007)
69%

#25
Adjusted Score: 71440%
Critics Consensus: Honeydripper's electric musical numbers and sharp performances make for an exciting film, despite its slow pace.
Synopsis: Faced with mounting debts and stiff competition from a rival nightclub and its newfangled jukebox, small-town Alabama club owner Tyrone... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 86149%
Critics Consensus: Like many classic games, Jumanji: The Next Level retains core components of what came before while adding enough fresh bits to keep things playable.
Synopsis: When Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring... [More]
Directed By: Jake Kasdan

#23

Silverado (1985)
76%

#23
Adjusted Score: 78314%
Critics Consensus: Boasting rich detail and well-told story, Silverado is a rare example of an '80s Hollywood Western done right.
Synopsis: Rambling man Emmett (Scott Glenn) assembles a group of misfit cowboys (Kevin Costner), (Kevin Kline, Danny Glover). After helping a... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#22

Grand Canyon (1991)

#22
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A diverse group of characters are thrown together through chance encounters while coping with urban chaos in L.A. The main... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#21

Mooz-lum (2010)
80%

#21
Adjusted Score: 34464%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young man from a strict Muslim background begins college. Due to the 9/11 attacks, he is pushed to confront... [More]
Directed By: Qasim Basir

#20

Beloved (1998)

#20
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1873 Ohio, Sethe (Oprah Winfrey) is a mother of three haunted by her horrific slavery past and her desperate... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#19

Dreamgirls (2006)
78%

#19
Adjusted Score: 86912%
Critics Consensus: Dreamgirls' simple characters and plot hardly detract from the movie's real feats: the electrifying performances and the dazzling musical numbers.
Synopsis: Deena (Beyoncé Knowles),Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose) form a music trio called the Dreamettes. When ambitious manager... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#18
Adjusted Score: 80063%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In New York City, Jerry (Danny Glover), a homeless, street-smart Vietnam veteran, befriends Matthew (Matt Dillon), a mentally ill young... [More]
Directed By: Tim Hunter

#17

Lethal Weapon (1987)
80%

#17
Adjusted Score: 84375%
Critics Consensus: The most successful installment in a phenomenally successful series, Lethal Weapon helped redefine action movies for the 1980s and 1990s.
Synopsis: Following the death of his wife, Los Angeles police detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) becomes reckless and suicidal. When he... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 83755%
Critics Consensus: The Prince of Egypt's stunning visuals and first-rate voice cast more than compensate for the fact that it's better crafted than it is emotionally involving.
Synopsis: In this animated retelling of the Book of Exodus, Egyptian Prince Moses (Val Kilmer), upon discovering his roots as a... [More]

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 88555%
Critics Consensus: The Royal Tenenbaums is a delightful adult comedy with many quirks and a sense of poignancy. Many critics especially praised Hackman's performance.
Synopsis: Royal Tenenbaum and his wife Etheline had three children and then they separated. All three children are extraordinary --- all... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#14

Bat 21 (1988)
81%

#14
Adjusted Score: 81431%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton (Gene Hackman) is shot down behind enemy lines during the waning days of the Vietnam War.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Markle

#13

The Color Purple (1985)
81%

#13
Adjusted Score: 82400%
Critics Consensus: It might have been better served by a filmmaker with a deeper connection to the source material, but The Color Purple remains a worthy, well-acted adaptation of Alice Walker's classic novel.
Synopsis: An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#12

Bopha! (1993)
82%

#12
Adjusted Score: 81066%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Micah Mangena (Danny Glover) is a black police officer in a small township in apartheid-era South Africa. Mangena is overseen... [More]
Directed By: Morgan Freeman

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Boxer Donnie (Rossif Sutherland), jailed for nine years after causing brain damage to a boy he assaulted, is finally released.... [More]
Directed By: Clément Virgo

#10
Adjusted Score: 84798%
Critics Consensus: Invigorated by its talented cast and Francis Ford Coppola's strong direction, The Rainmaker is a satisfying legal drama -- and arguably the best of Hollywood's many John Grisham adaptations.
Synopsis: Struggling new attorney Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) resorts to working for a shady lawyer (Mickey Rourke), where he meets paralegal... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#9

Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
82%

#9
Adjusted Score: 85715%
Critics Consensus: Lethal Weapon 2 may sport a thin plot typical of action fare, but its combination of humor and adrenaline, along with the chemistry between its leads, make this a playful, entertaining sequel.
Synopsis: South African smugglers find themselves being hounded and harassed by Riggs and Murtaugh, two mismatched Los Angeles police officers. However,... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 85366%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to smart direction and a powerhouse performance from Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Beyond the Lights transcends its formulaic storyline to deliver thoroughly entertaining drama.
Synopsis: Though she's been groomed for stardom all her life by an overbearing mother (Minnie Driver), singer Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince-Bythewood

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 88869%
Critics Consensus: To Sleep with Anger examines cultural tensions with a deft hand and a potent blend of comedy and drama, stirred skillfully to life by a strong cast led by Danny Glover.
Synopsis: Vagabond Harry (Danny Glover) pays an unexpected visit to his old chum Gideon (Paul Butler), who accepts the aimless man... [More]
Directed By: Charles Burnett

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 91614%
Critics Consensus: Places in the Heart is a quiet character piece with grand ambitions that it more than fulfills, thanks to absorbing work from writer-director Robert Benton and a tremendous cast.
Synopsis: In 1935 rural Texas, recently widowed Edna Spaulding (Sally Field) struggles to survive with two small children, a farm to... [More]
Directed By: Robert Benton

#5

Antz (1998)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 97014%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a stellar voice cast, technically dazzling animation, and loads of good humor, Antz should delight both children and adults.
Synopsis: Z the worker ant (Woody Allen) strives to reconcile his own individuality with the communal work-ethic of the ant colony.... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson

#4

Witness (1985)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 95093%
Critics Consensus: A wonderfully entertaining thriller within an unusual setting, with Harrison Ford delivering a surprisingly emotive and sympathetic performance.
Synopsis: After witnessing a brutal murder, young Amish boy Samuel (Lukas Haas) and his mother Rachel (Kelly McGillis) seek protection from... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#3
Adjusted Score: 104589%
Critics Consensus: An affecting story powerfully told, The Last Black Man in San Francisco immediately establishes director Joe Talbot as a filmmaker to watch.
Synopsis: Jimmie and his best friend Mont try to reclaim the house built by Jimmie's grandfather, launching them on a poignant... [More]
Directed By: Joe Talbot

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 108350%
Critics Consensus: A well-told story brought to life by a beautifully matched cast, The Old Man & the Gun is pure, easygoing entertainment for film fans - and a fitting farewell to a legend.
Synopsis: At the age of 70, Forrest Tucker makes an audacious escape from San Quentin, conducting an unprecedented string of heists... [More]
Directed By: David Lowery

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 111972%
Critics Consensus: Fearlessly ambitious, scathingly funny, and thoroughly original, Sorry to Bother You loudly heralds the arrival of a fresh filmmaking talent in writer-director Boots Riley.
Synopsis: In an alternate reality of present-day Oakland, Calif., telemarketer Cassius Green finds himself in a macabre universe after he discovers... [More]
Directed By: Boots Riley

Jack Black returns to theaters this weekend as one of the unwilling adventurers in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and in anticipation of his latest foray into big-budget slapstick comedy, we decided to take a loving look back at some of his many memorable film roles. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just looking to get acquainted, there’s something here for everyone’s queue, so let’s get started — it’s time for Total Recall!


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

Jack Black returns to theaters this weekend as kidlit legend R.L. Stine in Goosebumps, and in anticipation of his first foray into family-friendly comedy-horror, we decided to take a loving look back at some of his many memorable film and television roles. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just looking to get acquainted, there’s something here for everyone’s queue, so let’s get started — it’s time for Total Recall!


High Fidelity (2000) 91%

01HighFidelity

They’ve always been popular, but book-to-film adaptations are always an iffy proposition, too; no matter how successful they might be with movie audiences, film versions of beloved books often can’t help but suffer in comparison to their invariably more fleshed-out counterparts. Still, every once in awhile, an adaptation works so well that almost no one complains about the changes that were made — and 2000’s High Fidelity, about the emotional travails of a music-obsessed sensitive soul with a checkered romantic past (John Cusack), is a perfect example. Aside from catering gracefully to its leading man’s cinematic strengths, the script (which Cusack co-wrote) made plenty of room for scene-stealing supporting players, led by Black as a cranky record store employee whose stereotypical snobbery is leavened by the hyperactive, wide-eyed overconfidence Black would soon be asked to bring to bear on a long list of comedies. He’d been in plenty of TV shows and films prior to this, but after High Fidelity, Jack Black was finally on his way to becoming a star — and an unforgettable ingredient in a movie that the A.V. Club’s Nathan Rabin lauded as “A film pragmatic enough to concede that almost every relationship is doomed, but romantic enough to realize that it’s worth it to carry on in spite of that fact … one of the smartest and funniest romantic comedies of the past few years.”

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Shallow Hal (2001) 50%

02ShallowHal2

A Farrelly brothers movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat suit? Filmgoers definitely could have been forgiven for assuming Shallow Hal would be a repository for the writer-directors’ grossest and most insensitive gags, but this 2001 comedy — about an appearance-obsessed cretin (Black) who’s hypnotized into seeing only inner beauty after a chance encounter with self-help guru Tony Robbins — is actually rather sweet, and with a talented cast that also included Jason Alexander, it even managed to add a new spin or two to cinema’s long obsession with the battle between the sexes. “A big part of what makes the movie successful is the combination of Black and Paltrow,” wrote Aisle Seat’s Mike McGranahan. “He gives the movie its humor, while she gives it some heart.”

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The School of Rock (2003) 92%

03SchoolOfRock

Jack Black has starred in a number of fine films over the course of his career, but no matter how long he continues making movies, it’s unlikely a project will ever fit his unique combination of talents as snugly as School of Rock. Inspired by a series of recordings culled from a Canadian elementary school project during the 1970s, screenwriter Mike White concocted the story of Dewey Finn (Black), a singer and guitarist whose delusions of grandeur get him kicked out of his band — thus beginning a chain of events that soon sees him jump-starting a local school’s music program while impersonating a substitute teacher. A fat box-office hit whose tangy blend of comedy, drama, and rock ‘n’ roll turned it into a consistent favorite that’s gone on to inspire a stage musical and TV adaptation (as well as persistent rumors of a sequel), it is also — as Desson Thomson wrote for the Washington Post — “A movie for almost everyone, from boomer parents (who remember their teens and twenties) to their teenage kids (who can’t wait to get started with same).”

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Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny (2006)

04TenaciousD

Years before he reached his cinematic breakthrough, Black caught the eye of discerning HBO subscribers through Tenacious D, a series based around the fake musical exploits of the real-life “mock rock” duo he’d co-founded with fellow actor-musician Kyle Gass. The pair filmed a trio of episodes with Mr. Show’s David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, and although the first episode didn’t set the world on fire when it aired in 1997 — HBO neglected to broadcast the other two until 2000 — Tenacious D’s act contributed to the steadily growing cult around the “band’s” brash frontman, and when they finally got around to releasing their debut LP in 2001, it cracked the Top 40 and paved the way for their big-screen debut, 2003’s Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, co-starring Ronnie James Dio as himself and Dave Grohl as Satan. “Black thrives in these grubby environs,” argued the Boston Globe’s Wesley Morris. “His full-throttle bodily chaos makes more sense in movies done on the cheap than in blockbusters and polished comedies.”

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King Kong (2005)

05KingKong

Black’s obviously quite adept at getting laughs, but his gift for playing creeps also lends itself to drama — as director Peter Jackson obviously recognized while casting his big-budget remake of King Kong, tapping Black to play Carl Denham, the financially tenuous (and morally bankrupt) filmmaker whose quest for a hit sets in motion the chain of events that brings a certain giant gorilla to New York and unleashes a hail of CG-assisted destruction. The original Kong remains a towering classic, and Jackson’s version was destined to remain in its shadow long before cameras rolled, but it still acquitted itself fairly admirably; in fact, as far as some critics were concerned, it might even deserve to be considered a classic in its own right. “Monstrous. Monumental. Magnificent,” wrote an impressed Tom Long for the Detroit News. “Use any term you want, there’s no denying the power, genius and spectacle of King Kong, which is certainly the biggest movie of the year and possibly the biggest movie ever made.”

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Margot at the Wedding (2007) 52%

06MargotAtTheWedding

Making a movie about sisters whose tortured relationship is thrown into stark relief by one sister’s impending nuptials to a schlubby layabout? You could definitely do worse than casting Jack Black as the schlub in question, as writer-director Noah Baumbach correctly identified when assembling the stars of his 2007 dramedy Margot at the Wedding. Unfolding over a fraught weekend in Long Island, during which Margot (Nicole Kidman) ends up sharing uncomfortably close quarters with her sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Pauline’s underachieving fiancé (Black), Margot might have been merely a comedy of manners in other hands — but as Baumbach fans know, there’s no sense merely tickling the funny bone when you can go for the jugular while you’re at it. Saying it “counts as a bracing, even disturbing experience,” the A.V. Club’s Scott Tobias observed, “Baumbach doesn’t seem to care whether people like his characters; he merely wants them to be seen for who they are, warts and all.”

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Be Kind Rewind (2008) 65%

07BeKindRewind

For film fans of a certain age, the phrase “be kind rewind” will forever conjure memories of the stickers affixed to VHS rentals begging customers not to return their tapes without rewinding them first — but by 2008, VHS had been all but consigned to the format graveyard, making Be Kind Rewind the perfect title for a movie about a hapless video store clerk (Yasiin Bey) whose knuckleheaded friend (Black) accidentally erases every single tape in stock right after the owner (Danny Glover) leaves town. Forced to act fast, the duo set about remaking (“swedeing”) movies on the fly, inadvertently sparking a neighborhood craze for their unintentionally hilarious low-budget attempts to recreate films like Ghostbusters and Rush Hour 2 — and single-handedly reviving the financial fortunes of the store just as it’s set to meet the wrecking ball at the hand of a heartless building owner intent on gentrifying his property. Be Kind Rewind might look like a goofy comedy on the surface, but writer-director Michel Gondry had much more in mind; as Richard Corliss pointed out for TIME, the movie “declares that the riches of cinema history touch each of us personally. Films become so deep a part of us that we own them, that our memories of them, whether faithful or fanciful, become their meanings.”

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The Kung Fu Panda Franchise

08KungFuPanda

The humor potential inherent in casting a husky funnyman as an unlikely martial arts enthusiast is as obvious as it is deceptively tricky to unlock — witness Chris Farley in Beverly Hills Ninja — so DreamWorks Animation casting Jack Black to voice a rotund panda who becomes a kung fu master might have seemed a little on the nose when Kung Fu Panda was announced. Sometimes the obvious choice is the best one, however, and that’s clearly been the case for Black in the role of Po, the panda whose journey from noodle shop to prophecy-fulfilling glory has expanded to fill three theatrical features, a TV series, animated shorts, a video game, and even a planned live show — not to mention critical acclaim and more than a billion in box-office receipts. “Just about all animated movies teach you to Believe in Yourself,” admitted Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman. “But the image of a face-stuffing panda-turned-yowling Bruce Lee dervish is as unlikely, and touching, an advertisement for that message as we’ve seen in quite some time.”

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Tropic Thunder (2008) 82%

09TropicThunder

Ben Stiller’s experiences as a bit player on Empire of the Sun inspired him to write this barbed Hollywood satire about a group of pampered actors (led by Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey, Jr. in blackface) whose entitled behavior leads their exasperated director (Steve Coogan) to try using a little cinéma vérité on their war movie, with decidedly unintended results. Each of the stars embodies a particular type of stereotypical Hollywood excess; for Black, portraying the drug-addled comedian Jeff Portnoy offered an opportunity to lampoon the self-serious efforts of lowbrow (and filthy rich) comics who try to prove their depth by “going serious.” Loaded with inside jokes, a marvelously insane Tom Cruise cameo, and thinly veiled insults directed at other actors, Thunder earned a healthy critical buzz to go with its $188 million box office draw. Calling it “Stiller’s Hellzapoppin’ Apocalypse Now,” Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum praised it as “a smart and agile dissection of art, fame, and the chutzpah of big-budget productions.”

Watch Trailer


Bernie (2011) 88%

10Bernie

Under the right conditions and parceled out in the proper doses, Black’s stereotypical on-screen persona can be irresistible, which is probably why he’s so rarely been asked to step outside that box over the years — but when he does, the results can be extremely gratifying, as he proved with his starring turn in Bernie. A uniquely twisted, fact-based drama that reunited Black with his School of Rock director Richard Linklater, Bernie led viewers through the incredibly odd story of a Texas mortician whose surprising friendship with a cantankerous widow (Shirley MacLaine) comes to a very bad end — and opens one of the odder chapters in modern small-town American jurisprudence. “I had to forget what I knew about Black,” applauded Roger Ebert. “He creates this character out of thin air, it’s like nothing he’s done before, and it proves that an actor can be a miraculous thing in the right role.”

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This week in DVD news, that long-awaited Kill Bill double-volume set may finally be on its way and Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier promises enough leftover Hulk footage to make another feature film come Blu-Ray time. Plus, we’ve got an exclusive clip from next week’s Charlie Bartlett! Read on for more.


Hulk Blu-Ray to Include 70 Additional Minutes of Footage!

If you’re voraciously eating up every morsel of Hulk trivia on the web these days, then you’ve already heard what director Louis Leterrier is saying about the eventual Blu-Ray release of last weekend’s box office smasher The Incredible Hulk. But we’ll just summarize it for you here: he promises 70 (s-e-v-e-n-t-y) minutes of footage, including scenes like Bruce Banner’s conversation with Betty’s shrink boyfriend and his trek through the Arctic (both of which appeared in trailers but not the final cut). He insists there is a Captain America “Easter egg” in the film. And he reminds us that the 70 cut minutes were cut for a reason — they were bad! Not that it matters to fans. Hulk want extra footage!

Disney Bringing In-Movie Chat and Games to DVD

I believe that children are our future; they’ve got cell phones, PS3s, and Facebook accounts, after all, and now Disney is targeting the tween set for the next generation in multimedia communication: talking with friends through your DVD player. Such wonders will utilize the interactive BD-Live features on HD-DVD players — twitter with Timmy while watching Prince Caspian in your respective living rooms! Challenge Stacy to a Zac Efron trivia contest during High School Musical 2! As of now, only Disney titles are set to include the technology.

Finally, Kill Bill Vol. 1. AND 2 Is Coming

There have been false Kill Bill alarms before. Could the long-awaited special DVD re-release of Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 finally be on the horizon? So sayeth the folks over at DVDtown, who shared a single release date — September 9 — as the official Blu-Ray release of the dual titles. But should we believe it? The timing would seem to make sense, after Uma Thurman let slip in April that QT had already completed one of two promised anime back stories, so break out your yellow Game of Death jumpsuits and katanas and get excited!

Sneak a peek at Charlie Bartlett on DVD!

The good folks at MGM have sent us an exclusive clip from Charlie Bartlett, a comedy about a rich kid at a new school who appoints himself unofficial psychiatrist of the troubled student body. Click here to watch! Charlie Bartlett is out on DVD next Tuesday, June 24.

Click for this week’s new releases!

Fool’s Gold

Tomatometer: 10%

Well, it’s no How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; at least that contrived romantic comedy topped 40% on the Tomatometer. That said, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey seem equally at home in this awful breezer — she in clichéd rom-com territory, he without his shirt on.

Bonus Features:

One by-the-numbers behind-the-scenes featurette and a gag reel means there’s hardly any reward for making it through the movie itself.

Be Kind Rewind

Tomatometer: 67%

Michel Gondry is a wunderkind; sometimes, that wonderment is more accessible (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) than others (The Science of Sleep). His latest, an ode to communal movie-loving, is on the latter end of the spectrum, combining his trademark wackiness with saccharine sincerity — and the scene-chewing antics of Jack Black.

Bonus Features:

If you’re iffy about the film, the bonus menu isn’t going to convince you to give Be Kind Rewind a shot. With only two features on the disc (And since when does a single trailer constitute a “feature”?) we recommend waiting for the inevitable special edition. Or “swede” your own version of the film and have more fun in the process!

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins

Tomatometer: 25%

Martin Lawrence continues in his quest to become the most commercially viable, yet critically derided comic actor known to man with a movie that proves you can go home again…with inane slapstick, shots to the groin, and dogs having sex. (Larry the Cable Guy would give Lawrence some tough competition, if only his movies actually made money.)

Bonus Features:

A wealth of bonus materials abound, including cast interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a director commentary by writer-director Malcolm D. Lee (cousin to Spike), and more.

4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

Tomatometer: 96%

Word on the festival circuit last year had cinephiles buzzing one distinct catchphrase: have you seen the Romanian abortion movie? But this tense, gripping, and fearlessly acted drama about two women trying to arrange the illicit operation in 1987 Communist Romania is far more powerful and moving than any such reduction can convey. Shockingly passed over at the Oscars, the multiple award-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is a must-see.

Bonus Features:

The disc includes a 16-minute making-of featurette and an interview with writer-director Cristian Mungiu and his cinematographer, Oleg Mutu.

‘Til next week, happy viewing!

This week's UK Box Office Top EightA slow week at the nation’s theatres saw Jason Statham surprisingly emerge as the king of the box office. The chrome-domed mockney thesp stars in crime caper The Bank Job, which narrowly overcame Will Ferrell’s new comedy Semi-Pro in a less-than-epic struggle for the number one spot.

This time of year is notoriously slow for cinema releases, with studios usually sitting on their big guns for summer releases and instead using the period as a dumping ground for their less-than-promising, lower budget offerings. This year executives at the big five have bucked the trend a bit – Paramount’s Cloverfield and Fox’s Jumper together raked in big bucks.

This week, though, has seen normal service resumed, with the soulless accountants totting up the profits from The Bank Job and Semi-Pro sure to be disappointed with their takings; the films both scraped less than a million each. The Stath can at least console himself with the fact that The Bank Job received surprisingly good reviews — with an 81% score on the Tomatometer, but Semi-Pro had no such luck. No fewer than three quarters of critics gave the pic a negative review, with the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw labelling the film “chillingly devoid of laughs”.

It was the big-budget behemoths still lurking in the charts that took the biggest financial hit from the lackadaisical British cinema-going public. Arthritis-riddled killing machine Rambo took in 59% less cash than last week, with studio Sony’s spat with the Odeon cinema chain surely biting into their much-needed profits. The film fell from 3rd to 9th in the charts.

Handheld beasty-mash-up Cloverfield also finally relinquished its slimy grip on a top ten place. The J.J. Abrams produced, ahem, monstrosity tumbled from 9th to 17th place, taking in 74% less moolah than the previous week.

Even RT fave Alvin and the Chipmunks – previously impervious to bad reviews, cinema-going trends and the vagaries of basic human decency – was finally abandoned by its army of loyal fans and also dropped out of the top ten. However, we’re sure the be-suited bean counters at Fox, in between sips of Cristal obviously, will still congratulate themselves on the film’s $22 mill take in the UK alone.

This week's UK Box Office Top EightRambo wasn’t box office number 1 in the UK chart this week – and it’s all down to the Odeon.

The cinema chain, the largest in UK, refused to show Sylvester Stallone‘s violent new film in any of their UK theatres. It still made a strong showing everywhere else, making £2.5m and coming in at number three in the chart. But it surely would’ve claimed top spot had it been represented in more than 100 Odeon cinemas.

The reasons for the extraordinary snub are unclear. In an official statement, Odeon claimed the decision was down to “commercial reasons”. They said: “As the UK’s largest cinema chain, Odeon offers its guests a wide range of film genres to appeal to many different audiences. As such the decision not to screen Rambo will free up screens to show alternative popular new films such as Jumper, Be Kind Rewind and Juno.”

What these commercial reasons could be, however, is unclear. Whilst the film wasn’t a huge smash in the States, it still opened at number one and has taken over $40m so far, meaning the idea that it wasn’t commercially viable to take up Odeon’s screens is rather odd.

It’s more probable that the real reason for the snub was the cinema chain’s breakdown in negotiations with the film’s distributor Sony. It is rumoured that the dispute revolves around the share of the profits from the film, although, again, there has been no official comment on this.

Phil Clapp, chief executive of the Cinema Exhibitors Association, said: “Odeon haven’t pulled the film, they have refused to show it. It’s very rare for this to happen with a film of this profile. I understand that Odeon were not happy with the terms the distributors were asking.”

It’s all very bizarre, and until Odeon and/or Sony give us something official, it’s all just speculation. What is clear, though, is that the UK box office looks odd as a result. Action flick Jumper is going strong at number one in its second week, whilst new entry Be Kind Rewind is just ahead of Rambo in second place.

Michel Gondry’s quirky comedy about two friends ( Jack Black and Mos Def ) who begin remaking Hollywood classics themselves – with hilarious consequences obviously – has received mixed but generally favourable reviews (68% on the Tomatometer) and has obviously benefitted from an intensive advertising campaign.

Although no other new releases broke into the charts, fans of gags about animals eating their own droppings will be glad to hear that Alvin and the Chipmunks rose triumphantly back into the top ten. The film, based around the titular high-pitched rodent trio, has now made over £21m at the UK box office alone.

29/2 UPDATE:

Since we published this story, Sony has issued a press release outlining how successful it feels Rambo has been, despite the Odeon snub. MD Peter Taylor said: “Sony Pictures are delighted with the success of the latest instalment of the Rambo franchise. With the movie heading UK box office charts everyday this week it is obvious that the original fans of the character have embraced the new movie alongside a whole new generation seeing Rambo at the cinema for the first time.” They also released facts and figures outlining the film’s strong box office performance — comparing Rambo‘s gross to similarly 18-rated franchises Saw and Hostel.

More interesting is Sony’s decision to release a statement at all. Rambo‘s success in the US, and the fact that the film had the highest screen average of any top ten movie in the UK are both indicative of the film’s obviously sizeable audience. However recent reports in the media have claimed that the film was dropped by Odeon because they expected it to perform poorly and it’s possible that this is the reason for Sony’s comment.

On Oscar weekend, the best seat on the charts belonged to Vantage Point,
which looked down upon the box office with a strong opening, while the other new
releases left relatively small impressions.

Opening on only 114 screens less than the other three new releases combined,
Sony’s ensemble pic
Vantage Point

opened with a strong $23.8M, according to estimates. Launching on 3,149 screens
nationwide, the political thriller averaged $7,558 per screen while earning less
than positive reviews from critics. The twisted tale of an attempted
Presidential assassination benefited from good advertising and many recognizable
faces in the cast.





 

Second and third places were close between two films which opened last
weekend. Former box office champ, Jumper,
dropped 53% from its 3-day tally and fell to second place with an estimated
$12.65M, bringing its cume to $56M. Most effect-laden sci-fi films have drops of
this size, and the unfavorable reviews with poor word-of-mouth didn’t help
matters. Still, look for Hayden Christensen
and company to end their run in the $85M range. Following closely in third place
was the storybook sensation, The Spiderwick Chronicles
which dropped 33% to $12.6M, according to estimates. Its total now stands at
$43.6M which should lead to a grand finale in the $85M range as well. That would
put the Disney film in line with the last two Disney films released over
President’s Day weekend, 2007’s Bridge to Terabithia
which finished with $82M and 2006’s Eight Below
which ended its run with $81.6M


 

Fourth place went to urban dance flick Step Up 2 The Streets
with an estimated $9.8M, a drop of 48% from last weekend. Adding a new dimension
to cleverly named sequels, the total for the Disney title now stands at $41.4M.
Look for a final gross in the $65M range which would match the original’s $65.2M
from 2006. Anticipation now ramps up for how part three will be named. Fifth
place went to the hard bodies of Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson
as their romantic comedy Fool’s Gold
brought in an estimated $6.2M this weekend, bringing their booty to $52.4M.
Sixth place definitely went to another romantic comedy, Definitely, Maybe,
which grossed $5.2M this weekend, according to estimates. This represents a 47%
drop from last weekend, bringing the film’s total gross to $21.8M. Look for a
final total maybe in the $35M range.




 

In another photo finish, seventh and eighth places were taken by two films on
opposite ends of the box office mountain. Currently in seventh is Best Picture
Oscar nominee and Independent Spirit Award winner Juno
which added another $4.1M to its already robust gross, according to estimates.
Its total now stands at $130M after 12 weeks of release. Following closely in
eighth was the
Jack Black and Mos Def
comedy

Be Kind Rewind
,
which took in an estimated $4.05M from its opening weekend. Released on only 808
screens, its per screen average was a decent $5,012. Directed by
Michel
Gondry
, the reviews for the quirky comedy were mostly positive.





 

Being welcomed into the ninth position was the
Martin Lawrence
homecoming comedy
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins,
which grossed $3.9M this weekend, according to estimates, bringing its total up
to $35.5M. And rounding out the top ten was another Oscar nominee for Best
Picture, There Will Be Blood, which struck oil again with $2.5M,
according to estimates. Its total now stands at $35M after 9 weeks in theaters.


 

This weekend’s other new releases both debuted outside the top 10.


Larry the
Cable Guy
‘s latest attempt a movie career,

Witless Protection

grossed an estimated $2.1M from 1,333 screens for a poor average of $1,643. And
the long delayed
Charlie Bartlett
grossed $1.8M, according to estimates, from 1,122 screens for an average of
$1,622. Look for both these films to find more business on DVD.


 

The top ten films grossed $84.9M which was off 11% from last year when Ghost Rider
remained at number one with $20.1M; and also down 11% from 2006 when Madea’s
Family Reunion
debuted in the top spot with $30M.

Author: Sujit Chawla, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

As if bringing the phrase “sweded” into the lexicon wasn’t enough, Be Kind Rewind director Michel Gondry has one-upped himself; he’s gone and sweded his own trailer, inserting himself as Jack Black and Mos Def and using his crafty wiles to replicate the most conventional aspect of Hollywood movies: the preview reel.

Such a maverick move was to be expected from Gondry, the French-born music video wunderkind-turned-maker of the most visually innovative films in recent years (The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep).

His whimsical ways even made it to Youtube, where Gondry duped us all (you know he did, for a little bit!) with the simple video of himself solving a Rubik’s cube with his feet. That video, achieved by employing a rather simple, but effective, camera trick, spawned plenty of response videos and validated Gondry as a champion of simple magic in filmmaking. He’s since updated his Youtube following by solving a Rubik’s cube with his nose.

Now, with his latest film opening in theaters today (Be Kind Rewind, boasting a 68 percent Tomatometer rating), Gondry has unleashed another gem unto us. Where the first trailer for the film gave a taste of the story — two video store schlubs (Jack Black and Mos Def) must remake the most famous movies in the store when all the tapes get accidentally demagnetized — this second clip goes even further. In Gondry’s sweded (read: re-made) trailer, something’s gone wrong in the projection booth, and Gondry himself must step in and re-shoot it, special effects and all.

Watch more Be Kind Rewind clips and trailers here.

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