Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection)

All Joaquin Phoenix Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

After making three movies in the ’80s credited as Leaf and then disappearing, Phoenix returned to the public eye, this time under his birth name Joaquin, for 1995’s To Die For. In that Gus Van Sant erotic thriller, Phoenix plays a high schooler seduced by Nicole Kidman to murder, thus beginning the actor’s penchant for performing disturbed, frequently mordant characters, carried further through the ’90s in movies like Clay Pigeons, 8MM, and U-Turn.

Phoenix became a near-household name after playing sword-and-sandal scumbag Commodus in Best Picture-winner Gladiator, in which he got his first of three Oscar acting nominations. But for several years after, Phoenix remained in character actor mode, taking supporting roles if he found the movie compelling (Quills, Hotel Rwanda, Signs), in between lead star parts such as in Buffalo Soldiers and The Village.

In 2005, Phoenix broke into that echelon of truly transformative actors, owning the Johnny Cash role in Walk the Line, which walked him right into a second Oscar nomination. A long period of reunion collaborations has followed, working frequently with clearly favored directors: To Die For‘s Gus Van Sant (Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot), James Gray (Two Lovers, We Own the Night), Rwanda‘s Terry George (Reservation Road), and P.T. Anderson for Inherent Vice and The Master, the latter marking the most recent time he became an Oscar nominee.

His last film, Joker, rampaged into theaters riding a wave of controversy and buzz, all the way to become the biggest-grossing R-rated movie ever. So put on that smile as we rank all of Joaquin Phoenix’s movies by Tomatometer!

#34

Russkies (1987)
14%

#34
Adjusted Score: 9407%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Three patriotic adolescents confront their worst fear when they find a shipwrecked Russian sailor on a Florida beach.... [More]
Directed By: Rick Rosenthal

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 19217%
Critics Consensus: It's All About Love has ambitious ideas and an impressive cast, none of which are put to compelling use in this dramatically inert and narratively incoherent sci-fi drama.
Synopsis: The planet has cooled down to the extent that it snows even in July and people are dying of mysterious... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Vinterberg

#32

8MM (1999)
23%

#32
Adjusted Score: 25322%
Critics Consensus: Its sadistic violence is unappealing and is lacking in suspense and mystery.
Synopsis: Private detective Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage) lives a normal life with his wife (Catherine Keener) and young daughter, until he... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 30944%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the 1950s, brothers Jacey (Billy Crudup) and Doug Holt (Joaquin Phoenix), who come from the poorer side of their... [More]
Directed By: Pat O'Connor

#30

Brother Bear (2003)
37%

#30
Adjusted Score: 41183%
Critics Consensus: Brother Bear is gentle and pleasant if unremarkable Disney fare, with so-so animation and generic plotting.
Synopsis: Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) is a young Indian brave with a particular distaste for bears. When his brother Sitka (D.B. Sweeney)... [More]

#29

Reservation Road (2007)
38%

#29
Adjusted Score: 42066%
Critics Consensus: While the performances are fine, Reservation Road quickly adopts an excessively maudlin tone along with highly improbable plot turns.
Synopsis: The fates of two men and their families converge following a tragic accident. Ethan Lerner (Joaquin Phoenix) and his family... [More]
Directed By: Terry George

#28

Ladder 49 (2004)
41%

#28
Adjusted Score: 45780%
Critics Consensus: Instead of humanizing the firemen, the movie idolizes them, and thus renders them into cardboard characters.
Synopsis: After saving the life of one of the civilians inside, firefighter Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) finds himself trapped in a... [More]
Directed By: Jay Russell

#27

SpaceCamp (1986)
46%

#27
Adjusted Score: 46410%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Andie Bergstrom (Kate Capshaw), an astronaut eagerly awaiting her first trip to space, runs a summer camp for teenagers with... [More]
Directed By: Harry Winer

#26

The Village (2004)
43%

#26
Adjusted Score: 51053%
Critics Consensus: The Village is appropriately creepy, but Shyamalan's signature twist ending disappoints.
Synopsis: Members (Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody) of a 19th-century community fear the strange creatures that inhabit the surrounding... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#25

Mary Magdalene (2018)
44%

#25
Adjusted Score: 50419%
Critics Consensus: Mary Magdalene has obvious reverence for its subject; unfortunately, it lacks enough momentum or depth of character to make her story interesting.
Synopsis: In the first century, free-spirited Mary Magdalene flees the marriage her family has arranged for her, finding refuge and a... [More]
Directed By: Garth Davis

#24

Irrational Man (2015)
47%

#24
Adjusted Score: 58564%
Critics Consensus: Irrational Man may prove rewarding for the most ardent Joaquin Phoenix fans or Woody Allen apologists, but all others most likely need not apply.
Synopsis: A tormented philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) considers murdering a corrupt judge to find meaning in his life.... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#23

I'm Still Here (2010)
53%

#23
Adjusted Score: 57603%
Critics Consensus: As unkempt and inscrutable as Joaquin Phoenix himself, I'm Still Here raises some interesting questions about its subject, as well as the nature of celebrity, but it fails to answer many of them convincingly.
Synopsis: Director Casey Affleck follows Joaquin Phoenix as he carries out a plan to retire from acting and concentrate on a... [More]
Directed By: Casey Affleck

#22

We Own the Night (2007)
57%

#22
Adjusted Score: 63368%
Critics Consensus: Bland characters, clichéd dialogue and rickety plotting ensure We Own The Night never lives up to its potential.
Synopsis: In 1988, New York's police wage an all-out war on drugs, and guilty and innocent alike become casualties. Bobby Green... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#21

U-Turn (1997)
61%

#21
Adjusted Score: 62813%
Critics Consensus: U-Turn is a lurid, stylish lark that boasts striking moments but lacks the focus and weight of Oliver Stone best work.
Synopsis: A two-bit criminal (Sean Penn) meets an attractive woman (Jennifer Lopez) and her spouse (Nick Nolte), each of whom wants... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#20

Clay Pigeons (1998)
61%

#20
Adjusted Score: 63492%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In a small Montana town, Clay Bidwell (Joaquin Phoenix) finds himself increasingly surrounded by dead bodies, making him the chief... [More]
Directed By: David Dobkin

#19

The Yards (2000)
64%

#19
Adjusted Score: 67342%
Critics Consensus: Featuring strong performances and direction, The Yards is a richly textured crime thriller with an authentic feel.
Synopsis: After serving time in prison for taking the fall for a group of his friends, Leo just wants to get... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#18

Joker (2019)
68%

#18
Adjusted Score: 105599%
Critics Consensus: Joker gives its infamous central character a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star -- and a dark evolution for comics-inspired cinema.
Synopsis: Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 72910%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lewis (Joaquin Phoenix), Sheriff (Vince Vaughn) and Tony (David Conrad) are three friends vacationing in Malaysia. Sheriff and Tony eventually... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Ruben

#16

Buffalo Soldiers (2001)
73%

#16
Adjusted Score: 76517%
Critics Consensus: Overall, this caustic comedy hits more of its targets than it misses.
Synopsis: Set on an American Army base in 1989, as the Berlin Wall is about to fall, "Buffalo Soldiers" takes a... [More]
Directed By: Gregor Jordan

#15

Inherent Vice (2014)
73%

#15
Adjusted Score: 83386%
Critics Consensus: Inherent Vice may prove frustrating for viewers who demand absolute coherence, but it does justice to its acclaimed source material -- and should satisfy fans of director P.T. Anderson.
Synopsis: In a California beach community, private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) tends to work his cases through a smoky... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#14

Signs (2002)
74%

#14
Adjusted Score: 80947%
Critics Consensus: With Signs, Shyamalan proves once again an expert at building suspense and giving audiences the chills.
Synopsis: Everything that farmer Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) assumed about the world is changed when he discovers a message - an... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#13

Quills (2000)
75%

#13
Adjusted Score: 79583%
Critics Consensus: Though hard to watch, this film's disturbing exploration of freedom of expression is both seductive and thought-provoking.
Synopsis: A fictional work that reconstructs the unknown fate of the Marquis de Sade, the writer and sexual deviant who was... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#12
Adjusted Score: 87207%
Critics Consensus: Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot avoids inspirational biopic clichés thanks to sensitive work from writer-director Gus Van Sant and the admirable efforts of a well-chosen cast.
Synopsis: After nearly dying in a car accident, the last thing Oregon slacker John Callahan intends to do is give up... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#11

Gladiator (2000)
77%

#11
Adjusted Score: 84951%
Critics Consensus: Ridley Scott and an excellent cast successfully convey the intensity of Roman gladitorial combat as well as the political intrigue brewing beneath.
Synopsis: Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) takes power and strips rank from Maximus (Russell Crowe), one of the favored generals of his predecessor... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#10

Two Lovers (2008)
82%

#10
Adjusted Score: 88646%
Critics Consensus: Two Lovers is a complex, intriguing, richly-acted romantic drama
Synopsis: Following a broken engagement, sometime photographer Leonard Kraditor (Joaquin Phoenix) moves in with his parents in Brighton Beach. He soon... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#9

Walk the Line (2005)
82%

#9
Adjusted Score: 90385%
Critics Consensus: Superior acting and authentic crooning capture the emotional subtleties of the legend of Johnny Cash with a freshness that is a pleasure to watch.
Synopsis: The rise of country music legend Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) begins with his days as a boy growing up on... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#8

The Master (2012)
84%

#8
Adjusted Score: 95045%
Critics Consensus: Smart and solidly engrossing, The Master extends Paul Thomas Anderson's winning streak of challenging films for serious audiences.
Synopsis: Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a troubled, boozy drifter struggling with the trauma of World War II and whatever inner... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#7

The Immigrant (2013)
85%

#7
Adjusted Score: 88308%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful visuals, James Gray's confident direction, and a powerful performance from Marion Cotillard combine to make The Immigrant a richly rewarding period drama.
Synopsis: After her sister is quarantined at Ellis Island, a Polish nurse (Marion Cotillard) is forced into prostitution by a theater... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 98364%
Critics Consensus: The Sisters Brothers rides familiar genre trails in occasionally unexpected ways - a satisfying journey further elevated by its well-matched leading men.
Synopsis: It's 1851, and Charlie and Eli Sisters are both brothers and assassins, boys grown to men in a savage and... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Audiard

#5

To Die For (1995)
88%

#5
Adjusted Score: 90427%
Critics Consensus: Smart, funny, and thoroughly well-cast, To Die For takes a sharp - and sadly prescient - stab at dissecting America's obsession with celebrity.
Synopsis: Suzanne Stone (Nicole Kidman) is a weather reporter at her small-town cable station, but she dreams of being a big-time... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#4
Adjusted Score: 106375%
Critics Consensus: Bracingly elevated by a typically committed lead performance from Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here confirms writer-director Lynne Ramsay as one of modern cinema's most unique -- and uncompromising -- voices.
Synopsis: A contract killer uncovers a conspiracy while trying to save a kidnapped teen from a life of prostitution.... [More]
Directed By: Lynne Ramsay

#3

Parenthood (1989)
91%

#3
Adjusted Score: 95624%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by a delightful cast, Parenthood is a funny and thoughtfully crafted look at the best and worst moments of family life that resonates broadly.
Synopsis: Perfectionist Gil Buckman (Steve Martin) struggles with the deficiencies of his children, thinking they reflect poorly on his parenting --... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#2

Hotel Rwanda (2004)
91%

#2
Adjusted Score: 97020%
Critics Consensus: A sobering and heartfelt tale about massacre that took place in Rwanda while most of the world looked away.
Synopsis: Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), a Hutu, manages the Hôtel des Mille Collines and lives a happy life with his Tutsi... [More]
Directed By: Terry George

#1

Her (2013)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 105292%
Critics Consensus: Sweet, soulful, and smart, Spike Jonze's Her uses its just-barely-sci-fi scenario to impart wryly funny wisdom about the state of modern human relationships.
Synopsis: A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after his marriage... [More]
Directed By: Spike Jonze

Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

(Photo by Dee Cercone/Everett Collection)

All Mark Wahlberg Movies Ranked

During the early ’90s, while he was flashing his abs and modeling underwear as Marky Mark, few could have suspected that beneath Mark Wahlberg’s b-boy cap lurked the soul of a thespian. Now, that’s no longer the case — with dozens of roles and a pair of Academy Award nominations to his credit, Wahlberg has compiled an impressive filmography since making his big-screen debut in Danny DeVito’s 1994 comedy Renaissance Man. Since then, he’s branched out quite a bit, showing a flair for drama (Boogie Nights), comedy (Ted), and blockbuster action (Shooter, the Transformers franchise) along the way. It’s never a bad time to look back on Mr. Wahlberg’s career — and with that in mind, we’ve rounded up all of his major roles, sorting the bunch by Tomatometer. Where do your favorites rank? Read on to find out.

#43

Max Payne (2008)
15%

#43
Adjusted Score: 20098%
Critics Consensus: While it boasts some stylish action, Max Payne suffers severely from an illogical plot and overdirection.
Synopsis: After the murders of his family and his partner, maverick cop Max (Mark Wahlberg) becomes hell-bent on revenge. Teamed with... [More]
Directed By: John Moore

#42
Adjusted Score: 34020%
Critics Consensus: Cacophonous, thinly plotted, and boasting state-of-the-art special effects, The Last Knight is pretty much what you'd expect from the fifth installment of the Transformers franchise.
Synopsis: Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

#41

Renaissance Man (1994)
12%

#41
Adjusted Score: 12979%
Critics Consensus: Renaissance Man tries to simultaneously be a literary comedy, an inspirational drama, and a star vehicle that caters to Danny DeVito's strengths, but proves to be a master of none.
Synopsis: After getting canned from his advertising job, down-and-out divorcé Bill Rago (Danny DeVito) gets a gig teaching English at a... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#40

The Happening (2008)
18%

#40
Adjusted Score: 24339%
Critics Consensus: The Happening begins with promise, but unfortunately descends into an incoherent and unconvincing trifle.
Synopsis: An apocalyptic threat to humanity arrives out of the clear blue sky with a series of violent, inexplicable deaths spreading... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#39
Adjusted Score: 26012%
Critics Consensus: With the fourth installment in Michael Bay's blockbuster Transformers franchise, nothing is in disguise: Fans of loud, effects-driven action will find satisfaction, and all others need not apply.
Synopsis: After an epic battle, a great city lies in ruins, but the Earth itself is saved. As humanity begins to... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

#38

Mile 22 (2018)
23%

#38
Adjusted Score: 33338%
Critics Consensus: Mile 22 lets the bullets fly -- and not much else -- in a thrill-deficient action thriller whose title proves sadly fitting for a film that feels close to a marathon endurance test.
Synopsis: CIA operative James Silva leads a small but lethal paramilitary team on an urgent and dangerous mission. They must transport... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#37

Daddy's Home 2 (2017)
21%

#37
Adjusted Score: 29127%
Critics Consensus: A formulaic comedy that's unlikely to spread much yuletide merriment, Daddy's Home 2 can only muster a few stray yuks from its talented cast.
Synopsis: Father and stepfather Dusty and Brad join forces to make Christmastime perfect for the children. Their newfound partnership soon gets... [More]
Directed By: Sean Anders

#36

Broken City (2013)
28%

#36
Adjusted Score: 33850%
Critics Consensus: Broken City's thinly sketched, formulaic script offers meager rewards for all but the least demanding noir aficionados.
Synopsis: Former cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) sees a chance at redemption for past sins when New York City's Mayor Nicolas... [More]
Directed By: Allen Hughes

#35

Mojave (2015)
31%

#35
Adjusted Score: 33721%
Critics Consensus: Mojave has no shortage of talent on either side of the camera; unfortunately, it amounts to little more than a frustrating missed opportunity.
Synopsis: A down-and-out artist (Garrett Hedlund) has a dangerous and shocking encounter with an evil drifter (Oscar Isaac) in the desert,... [More]
Directed By: William Monahan

#34

Daddy's Home (2015)
30%

#34
Adjusted Score: 34514%
Critics Consensus: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg have proven comedic chemistry, but Daddy's Home suffers from a dearth of genuinely funny ideas - and lacks enough guts or imagination to explore the satirical possibilities of its premise.
Synopsis: Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) is a kindhearted radio executive who wants to be the best possible stepfather to his wife's... [More]
Directed By: Sean Anders

#33

The Lovely Bones (2009)
32%

#33
Adjusted Score: 41242%
Critics Consensus: It's stuffed full of Peter Jackson's typically dazzling imagery, but The Lovely Bones suffers from abrupt shifts between horrific violence and cloying sentimentality.
Synopsis: After being brutally murdered, 14-year-old Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) watches from heaven over her grief-stricken family (Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz)... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 37080%
Critics Consensus: Newton has star quality, but this exercise in style can't hold a candle to the original.
Synopsis: Regina (Thandie Newton) meets charming Joshua (Mark Wahlberg) while vacationing in Martinique, as she contemplates ending her whirlwind marriage to... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#31

Fear (1996)
46%

#31
Adjusted Score: 46648%
Critics Consensus: Fear has an appealing young cast, but their efforts aren't enough to consistently distract from an increasingly overblown - and illogical - teen stalker story.
Synopsis: When 16-year-old Nicole Walker (Reese Witherspoon) meets 23-year-old David McCall (Mark Wahlberg) at a Seattle nightclub, she falls in love.... [More]
Directed By: James Foley

#30

The Big Hit (1998)
43%

#30
Adjusted Score: 43587%
Critics Consensus: The Big Hit seeks to blend the best of Hong Kong and American action cinema, but ends up offering a muddled mush that mostly misses.
Synopsis: Affable hit man Melvin Smiley (Mark Wahlberg) is constantly being scammed by his cutthroat colleagues in the life-ending business. So,... [More]
Directed By: Che-Kirk Wong

#29

The Gambler (2014)
44%

#29
Adjusted Score: 48455%
Critics Consensus: Well-paced and reasonably entertaining in its own right, The Gambler still suffers from comparisons to the James Caan classic that inspired it.
Synopsis: Literature professor Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) leads a secret life as a high-stakes gambler. Always a risk-taker, Bennett bets it... [More]
Directed By: Rupert Wyatt

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 50178%
Critics Consensus: This remake of Planet of the Apes can't compare to the original in some critics' mind, but the striking visuals and B-movie charms may win you over.
Synopsis: Director Tim Burton ("Batman") reinvents one of the most acclaimed and beloved works of science fiction, Pierre Boulle's classic novel... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 46695%
Critics Consensus: In spite of its young leading man's heroic efforts to hold it all together, a muddled message prevents The Basketball Diaries from compelling as a cautionary tale.
Synopsis: Jim Carroll (Leonardo DiCaprio) is consumed by his life as a high school basketball star. Pressured by a wicked coach... [More]
Directed By: Scott Kalvert

#26

Ted 2 (2015)
44%

#26
Adjusted Score: 52369%
Critics Consensus: Ted 2 reunites Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane for another round of sophomoric, scatological humor -- and just as before, your enjoyment will depend on your tolerance for all of the above.
Synopsis: Life has changed drastically for thunder buddies John (Mark Wahlberg), now a bachelor, and best pal Ted (Seth MacFarlane), now... [More]
Directed By: Seth MacFarlane

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 50982%
Critics Consensus: While the special effects are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers from any actual drama or characterization. The end result is a film that offers nifty eye-candy and nothing else.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, the film tells of the courageous men and women who risk their lives every working... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#24

Shooter (2007)
47%

#24
Adjusted Score: 53177%
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

#23

The Corruptor (1999)
48%

#23
Adjusted Score: 48468%
Critics Consensus: This uninspiring cop thriller doesn't measure up to Chow Yun-Fat's Hong Kong work.
Synopsis: Martial arts expert Detective Nick Chen (Chow Yun-Fat) teams up with his colleague Danny Wallace (Mark Wahlberg) to keep several... [More]
Directed By: James Foley

#22

Pain & Gain (2013)
50%

#22
Adjusted Score: 58123%
Critics Consensus: It may be his most thought-provoking film to date, but Michael Bay's Pain & Gain ultimately loses its satirical edge in a stylized flurry of violent spectacle.
Synopsis: Danny Lupo (Mark Wahlberg), manager of the Sun Gym in 1990s Miami, decides that there is only one way to... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

#21

Contraband (2012)
51%

#21
Adjusted Score: 56769%
Critics Consensus: It's more entertaining than your average January action thriller, but that isn't enough to excuse Contraband's lack of originality and unnecessarily convoluted plot.
Synopsis: Ex-smuggler Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) gave up his criminal ways long ago. But, he's forced back into the game after... [More]
Directed By: Baltasar Kormákur

#20

Rock Star (2001)
53%

#20
Adjusted Score: 56787%
Critics Consensus: Like its title, Rock Star is rather generic, being not so much about the heavy metal scene than about rock cliches and formula.
Synopsis: A comedy set in the world of '80s rock 'n' roll, "Rock Star" is the story of an office supplies... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Herek

#19

Four Brothers (2005)
52%

#19
Adjusted Score: 56989%
Critics Consensus: Despite striking a believable rapport among its principal actors, Four Brothers overwhelms with ultra-violent, vigilante-glorifying action and devolves into too many fractured, insubstantial thematic directions.
Synopsis: When an inner-city Detroit foster mother (Fionnula Flanagan) is murdered in a botched holdup, four of her now-grown adopted children... [More]
Directed By: John Singleton

#18

We Own the Night (2007)
57%

#18
Adjusted Score: 63368%
Critics Consensus: Bland characters, clichéd dialogue and rickety plotting ensure We Own The Night never lives up to its potential.
Synopsis: In 1988, New York's police wage an all-out war on drugs, and guilty and innocent alike become casualties. Bobby Green... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 70061%
Critics Consensus: I Heart Huckabees certainly isn't for everyone, but audiences attuned to its quirky wavelength will find a singularly brainy screwball comedy that refuses to pander.
Synopsis: Environmentalist Albert (Jason Schwartzman) enlists the services of "existential detectives" Bernard (Dustin Hoffman) and Vivian (Lily Tomlin) to solve the... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#16

The Yards (2000)
64%

#16
Adjusted Score: 67342%
Critics Consensus: Featuring strong performances and direction, The Yards is a richly textured crime thriller with an authentic feel.
Synopsis: After serving time in prison for taking the fall for a group of his friends, Leo just wants to get... [More]
Directed By: James Gray

#15

2 Guns (2013)
65%

#15
Adjusted Score: 71507%
Critics Consensus: Formulaic and often jarringly violent, 2 Guns rests its old-school appeal on the interplay between its charismatic, well-matched stars.
Synopsis: For the past year, DEA agent Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and U.S. Navy intelligence officer Marcus Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) have... [More]
Directed By: Baltasar Kormákur

#14

Date Night (2010)
66%

#14
Adjusted Score: 74848%
Critics Consensus: An uneasy blend of action and comedy, Date Night doesn't quite live up to the talents of its two leads, but Steve Carell and Tina Fey still manage to shine through most of the movie's flaws.
Synopsis: Dragged down by the daily grind, suburbanites Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire (Tina Fey) try to invigorate their marriage by... [More]
Directed By: Shawn Levy

#13

Ted (2012)
69%

#13
Adjusted Score: 77406%
Critics Consensus: Ted's "romance versus bromance" plot is familiar, but the film's held aloft by the high-concept central premise and a very funny (albeit inconsistent) script.
Synopsis: When John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) was a little boy, he made a wish that Ted (Seth MacFarlane), his beloved teddy... [More]
Directed By: Seth MacFarlane

#12

Invincible (2006)
72%

#12
Adjusted Score: 77481%
Critics Consensus: As simple and authentic as the gritty South Philly invirons in which it's set in, Invincible sends a uplifting and heartfelt message packed with an athletic enthusiasm that shouldn't be missed.
Synopsis: Lifelong football fan Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) sees his wildest dreams come true when he becomes a member of the... [More]
Directed By: Ericson Core

#11

The Italian Job (2003)
73%

#11
Adjusted Score: 78188%
Critics Consensus: Despite some iffy plot elements, The Italian Job succeeds in delivering an entertaining modern take on the original 1969 heist film, thanks to a charismatic cast.
Synopsis: After a heist in Venice, Steve (Edward Norton) turns on his partners in crime, killing safecracker John Bridger (Donald Sutherland)... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#10

Lone Survivor (2013)
75%

#10
Adjusted Score: 83662%
Critics Consensus: A true account of military courage and survival, Lone Survivor wields enough visceral power to mitigate its heavy-handed jingoism.
Synopsis: In 2005 Afghanistan, Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Matthew "Axe"... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#9
Adjusted Score: 98334%
Critics Consensus: All the Money in the World offers an absorbing portrayal of a true story, brought compellingly to life by a powerful performance from Christopher Plummer.
Synopsis: In 1973, kidnappers demand $17 million from billionaire J. Paul Getty in exchange for his grandson's release. Getty refuses to... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#8

The Other Guys (2010)
79%

#8
Adjusted Score: 85914%
Critics Consensus: A clever parody of cop-buddy action-comedies, The Other Guys delivers several impressive action set pieces and lots of big laughs, thanks to the assured comic chemistry between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: Unlike their heroic counterparts on the force, desk-bound NYPD detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) garner no headlines... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#7

Traveller (1997)
79%

#7
Adjusted Score: 79093%
Critics Consensus: Though it may not explore its core issues as deeply as some may like, Traveller is nevertheless a smart and funny portrait of a relatively unfamiliar subculture with some strong performances.
Synopsis: A con man (Bill Paxton) teaches a novice (Mark Wahlberg) the rules for membership in an Irish-American grifters gang.... [More]
Directed By: Jack N. Green

#6

Patriots Day (2016)
81%

#6
Adjusted Score: 97608%
Critics Consensus: Patriots Day offers a stirring, solidly crafted tribute to the heroes of a real-life American tragedy without straying into exploitative action thriller territory.
Synopsis: Tragedy strikes on April 15, 2013, when two bombs explode during the Boston Marathon. In the aftermath of the attack,... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 98686%
Critics Consensus: Deepwater Horizon makes effective use of its titular man-made disaster to deliver an uncommonly serious -- yet still suitably gripping -- action thriller.
Synopsis: On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, igniting a massive fireball that... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#4

The Fighter (2010)
91%

#4
Adjusted Score: 99782%
Critics Consensus: Led by a trio of captivating performances from Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams, The Fighter is a solidly entertaining, albeit predictable, entry in the boxing drama genre.
Synopsis: For Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), boxing is a family affair. His tough-as-nails mother is his manager. His half-brother, Dicky (Christian... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#3

The Departed (2006)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102533%
Critics Consensus: Featuring outstanding work from an excellent cast, The Departed is a thoroughly engrossing gangster drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality we come to expect from Martin Scorsese.
Synopsis: South Boston cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) goes under cover to infiltrate the organization of gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#2

Boogie Nights (1997)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 97458%
Critics Consensus: Grounded in strong characters, bold themes, and subtle storytelling, Boogie Nights is a groundbreaking film both for director P.T. Anderson and star Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: In the San Fernando Valley in 1977, teenage busboy Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) gets discovered by porn director Jack Horner... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#1

Three Kings (1999)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98633%
Critics Consensus: Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.
Synopsis: Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

One of the best films of last year comes to DVD this week (Gone Baby Gone, written and directed by Ben Affleck, starring brother Casey Affleck), but there are tons more to pick from — a NASA documentary, praised by critics (In the Shadow of the Moon), a crime thriller about cops and family (We Own the Night), and (sigh) a new Tyler Perry movie (Why Did I Get Married?). You be the judge!


Gone Baby Gone

Tomatometer: 93%

Casey Affleck stars as Patrick Kenzie, a private investigator hired to search Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood for clues in the abduction of a young girl. Based on Dennis Lehane’s novel and adapted by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard, Gone Baby Gone has been hailed by critics for its noirish tension, complex questions of morality, and its realistic immersion into the culture of working class Boston. In his directorial debut, Ben Affleck has crafted one of 2007’s best films; more impressively, he’s done what more established directors before him could not — he’s transformed younger brother Casey Affleck into a leading man. Amy Ryan’s mesmerizing turn as the missing girl’s deadbeat mother is nominated for an Oscar — how do you like them apples? Insightful featurettes and a commentary track with Affleck and Stockard round out this excellent release.

 

In the Shadow of the Moon

Tomatometer: 94%

One intimate, wondrous documentary about NASA’s Apollo program is one giant leap for DVD this week for the Discovery Channel set. If you find yourself flipping through the television for science programs, you’ll marvel at the sight of rockets blasting off in close-up and other archival footage used to poignant effect. Former lunar astronauts like Buzz Aldrin offer their own warm recollections of space travel which remind us of the enormous impact made when man first stepped foot on the moon.

 

Kurt Cobain About a Son

Tomatometer: 74%

Documentarian AJ Schnack crafts a haunting portrait of late Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain — his childhood, his discovery of music, and his tragic rise to fame — without relying on footage or photographs of the grunge legend. Culling from over 25 hours of interviews taped by music journalist Michael Azerrad for his book Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana, the film employs the disembodied voice of Cobain himself to paint a picture of the man within the poster boy for Gen-X anomie. Instead of supplementing his film with songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Schnack offers a soundtrack of Cobain influences like The Melvins, Half Japanese, Iggy Pop and Leadbelly.


 

We Own the Night


Tomatometer: 54%

Nightclub manager Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) is torn between loyalties when his policeman brother (Mark Wahlberg) and father (Robert Duvall) get involved in a deadly anti-crime crusade in 1980s New York. Writer-director James Gray sprinkles in car chases and shoot-outs, but keeps his eyes trained on character drama in this gritty, violent crime thriller. A handful of behind-the-scenes featurettes flesh out the bonus menu, and Eva Mendes also steams up the screen as Green’s hot-blooded girlfriend, Amada.

Romance & Cigarettes


Tomatometer: 52%

If you’ve been waiting for years for John Turturro‘s Romance & Cigarettes (which was originally supposed to hit theaters back in 2005), wait no longer! The star-studded musical — a romantic comedy about iron worker Nick Murder (James Gandolfini) choosing between his wife (Susan Sarandon) and his mistress (Kate Winslet) — is written and directed by the kooky character actor, who came up with the idea while shooting the Coen brothers’ Barton Fink. Along for the ride are thesps Steve Buscemi, Mandy Moore, Eddie Izzard, Mary-Louise Parker, and Christopher Walken, who hoof their way through genre-spanning tunes from Cyndi Lauper to Engelbert Humperdinck.

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?


Tomatometer: 48%

Even if you’re not a fan of actor/director/playwright Tyler Perry‘s work, you may take some solace knowing one thing: his latest comedy-drama is completely devoid of his iconic family matriarch, Madea. Tackling the topics of marriage and fidelity, Perry directs himself and a cast of stars (Sharon Leal! Janet Jackson! Jill Scott!) in a tale of a group of married friends confronting each other while on a Colorado getaway.

No Reservations


Tomatometer: 39%

Mix one part no-nonsense master chef (Catherine Zeta-Jones) with a dash of a newly orphaned niece (resident cutie pie Abigail Breslin); toss in a rascally brash, easygoing sous chef (Aaron Eckhart) and let stand. Serve well chilled to unimpressed film critics.

The Martian Child


Tomatometer: 28%

Continuing a series of roles as widowed father figures dealing with children (see: Grace is Gone), John Cusack stars as a science-fiction writer with creative block who takes in a young boy who thinks he is an alien. Adapted from the autobiographical novel by David Gerrold (the man who wrote the classic Star Trek episode The Trouble with Tribbles, for what it’s worth), The Martian Child nevertheless garnered mostly scorn from critics for being call-your-dentist saccharine and unbearably sentimental.

So there you have it. Choose wisely, and ’til next week, happy renting!

In an age of fast-rising Hollywood production costs, the young actresses who strive to keep movie budgets down — specifically in the wardrobe department — deserve to be saluted.

To that end, noted film critic Mr. Skin has unveiled his Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2007. Calling the last twelve months “A surprisingly strong year for big-screen nudity…among this decade’s very breast,” the renowned nakedologist has compiled the following list:

1. Marisa TomeiBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead
2. Keeley Hazell – Cashback
3. Natalie Portman – Hotel Chevalier
4. Christina RicciBlack Snake Moan
5. Sienna MillerFactory Girl
6. Roselyn SanchezYellow
7. Malin AkermanThe Heartbreak Kid
8. Eva MendesWe Own the Night
9. Lena Headey300
10. Stormy Daniels and Nautica Thorne – Knocked Up
11. Alexa DavalosFeast of Love
12. Chelan SimmonsGood Luck Chuck
13. Wei TangLust, Caution
14. Ashley JuddBug
15. Olivia WildeAlpha Dog
16. Ana Claudia TalanconAlone With Her
17. Danielle HarrisHalloween
18. Heather MatarazzoHostel: Part II
19. Amber VallettaThe Last Time
20. Lucy LiuBlood Hunter

Adjust your Netflix queues accordingly.

Source: PR Newswire

Competition, or a lack of it, will be the deciding factor at the North American box office this weekend for the half-dozen new releases that studios are packing into already overcrowded multiplexes. Leading the way is the horror film 30 Days of Night followed by the sports comedy The Comebacks which both will be targeting the teens and young adults that Hollywood has been ignoring in recent weeks. Mature adults who already have a wide selection of serious dramas to choose from will be served up three more – Reese Witherspoon‘s Rendition, Ben Affleck‘s Gone Baby Gone, and Halle Berry‘s Things We Lost in the Fire. With far too many films aiming for the same finite audience segment, some are sure to eat into the potential of others.

Sony will monopolize the horror crowd looking for a scare before Halloween with its gorefest 30 Days of Night which tells of vampires that attack a small town in northern Alaska during its annual sunless period. The R-rated film prominently informs moviegoers in its marketing that it is based on a graphic novel hoping to tap into a little bit of the excitement generated by 300 last spring. The first eight months of this year were brutal to R-rated horror films with none reaching number one and high-profile franchise flicks like Hostel II, 28 Weeks Later, and The Hills Have Eyes 2 all failing to reach $10M on opening weekend. But the Halloween remake over Labor Day weekend changed all that and was followed three weeks later by another top spot debut from horror-action hybrid Resident Evil: Extinction. But those have died out so 30 Days stands as the only creepfest at a time when scary movies are in demand. Attacking 2,700 theaters, 30 Days of Night should easily top the charts and could bite into around $19M over the weekend.


30 Days of Night

Fox spoofs the world of sports films with its new comedy The Comebacks which will target adolescents either too young for 30 Days or uninterested in scary movies. With so many mature stories hogging up screens, the market can certainly use a dose of immature humor right about now. The Comebacks is the first viable PG-13 comedy aimed at teens since fellow sports comedy Balls of Fury launched at the end of August. After a mid-week debut, that pic bowed to $11.4M over three days and Comebacks will play to many of the same folks. And with seventeen R-rated films opening wide over the last eight weeks, there has been little to celebrate for the under-17 crowd. Sure The Comebacks looks dumb, but dumb can sell. Add in a trim running time of under 90 minutes and commercial prospects are not bad. This is disposable entertainment for 14-year-olds. It will draw attention upfront, and be forgotten two weeks from now. Thanks to a lack of direct competition, The Comebacks could debut with about $11M from 2,800 sites.


The Comebacks

Leading the charge for the 30-plus crowd this weekend is Reese Witherspoon who headlines the political thriller Rendition from New Line. The R-rated drama finds the Oscar winner playing a woman whose Egyptian-born husband is captured by the CIA after being suspected of being a terrorist. Jake Gyllenhaal and Meryl Streep add to the cast. Rendition follows The Kingdom and In the Valley of Elah as military-themed films this fall with connections to the Middle East. Audiences will want only so much of this content. Witherspoon will have her starpower put to the test since she is the only major commercial star here and she is outside of her safety zone of romantic comedies. The film will play to mature adults and will have to compete not only with this weekend’s other new dramas, but also with an assortment of holdovers already playing to the same audience. Reviews have been mixed which will also make things difficult. Debuting in roughly 2,200 locations, Rendition may capture about $9M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.


Reese Witherspoon and Peter Sarsgaard in Rendition

Ben Affleck makes his directorial debut with the crime thriller Gone Baby Gone which stars his brother Casey in the lead role. The Miramax release also stars Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and Michelle Monaghan and carries a R rating. Reviews have been good which will come as a shocker to those that look at this movie as nothing more than Daredevil getting to hop into the director’s chair. Reese, Joaquin, George, Cate, and Halle will all be cutting into the adult pie which can only expand by a certain amount. The marketing push has been highlighting the film as being from the author of Mystic River in hopes of finding those who loved that other Boston-set fall crime drama. An invite to the top five may not arrive for Ben. Opening in approximately 1,500 theaters, Gone Baby Gone could collect about $6M this weekend.


Freeman, Affleck and Monaghan in Gone Baby Gone
Yet another new option for adults looking for serious fare is the Halle BerryBenicio Del Toro starrer Things We Lost in the Fire. The Paramount release about a widow who seeks comfort from her dead husband’s drug-addicted friend will play to a mature audience and skew more female. The R-rated film has generated some good early reviews and both leads have Oscars on their shelves, but it will not be enough to compete with the other films targeting the same crowd. Berry showed in April that she can only open a picture so much when her thriller Perfect Stranger bowed to a $4,211 average even though A-lister Bruce Willis co-starred. With a not-so-wide release in about 1,000 theaters this weekend, Things We Lost in the Fire might debut with around $3M.


Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro in Things We Lost in the Fire

Freestyle Releasing has booked the few remaining empty screens out there for its teen thriller Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour. As one of the only PG-rated suspense pics ever made, the film will try to attract younger teenagers not interested in sports-themed comedies. With only 1,100 theaters, a quiet marketing campaign, no stars, and zero buzz, a weak debut of about $1M could result.


Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour

After a potent number one debut, Tyler Perry‘s hit comedy Why Did I Get Married? should suffer a big fall in its second weekend if history is any indicator. Sophomore drops for the filmmaker’s previous offerings include 50% for Diary of a Mad Black Woman, 58% for Madea’s Family Reunion, and 57% for Daddy’s Little Girls. Lionsgate should see a 50% fall to about $10M this weekend giving the ensemble relationship tale $37M in ten days.

Disney’s The Game Plan once again has no new competition for the kiddie audience. Why studios have programmed so many serious adult dramas into this month and no other good family films is anyone’s guess. A 35% dip would leave The Rock with $7M and an impressive cume of $68M after 24 days.

Both Sony’s We Own the Night and the Warner Bros. thriller Michael Clayton will have to fight extra hard in order to compete with the new releases gunning for their customers. Night looks to slide more and fall by 45% while the strongly reviewed Clayton could ease by 40% with both films grossing roughly $6M over the weekend. That would lead to ten-day totals of $20M and $21M, respectively.

LAST YEAR: Just two months after the release of the similarly-themed magician pic The Illusionist, Buena Vista still managed to score a number one bow for The Prestige which opened with $14.8M on its way to $53.1M. Martin Scorsese‘s The Departed enjoyed a strong hold and ranked second with $13.5M in its third frame. Debuting in third was Clint Eastwood‘s war saga Flags of Our Fathers with $10.2M leading to a disappointing $33.6M final for Paramount. Sony’s animated hit Open Season ranked fourth with $8.2M. Rounding out the top five was rival family film Flicka with $7.7M for Fox on its way to only $21M. Also premiering in the top ten was Sony’s Marie Antoinette with $5.4M which led to a final tally of just $16M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tyler Perry
once again proved he is a forced to be reckoned with as his latest film
Why
Did I Get Married?
easily took the number one spot at the box office
this weekend, nearly doubling the nearest competitor. The other debuting films
met with so-so results and there’s a tight race for the runner-up spot.

The filmgoing audience showed once again that if Tyler Perry headlines a film,
they’re going to come out to see it.
Why
Did I Get Married?
  brought in an estimated $21.5M this weekend for
a powerful per screen average of $10,691. The opening was on par with Perry’s
first smash, 2005’s
Diary of a
Mad Black Woman
which opened with $21.9M and an even stronger $14,771
average. Unlike the last film with Perry’s name attached,
Daddy’s Little
Girls
, which opened with a softer $11.2M, Why Did I Get Married?
features Perry in a starring role. Throw in the popular
Janet Jackson
as a co-star and you’ve got a formula for success.


Dropping one spot was two-time box office champ
The Rock
in The Game Plan
which fell only 30% this weekend to an estimated $11.5M. The 30% drop was easily
the best hold in the top 10 this week, and its cume now stands at $59.4M. With
the recent success of comedies featuring tough guys and cute kids, it seems only
a matter of time before there’s a sequel to
Mr. Nanny
.


Battling The Rock for second place were two films that were within $10,000 of
each other this weekend. Currently sitting in third is the
George Clooney
starrer Michael
Clayton
. Expanding nationally from its successful debut last weekend,
the Warner Bros. award hopeful took in an estimated $11M this weekend, for a
solid per screen average of $4,385, bringing its cume to $12.1M. Following
closely on its heels was the
Joaquin
Phoenix
/Mark
Wahlberg
thriller
We Own the Night

which also debuted to an estimated $11M, for a per screen average of $4,179.
When the actual numbers come in on Monday, the 2nd through 4th films could
easily move around.


Falling 47% from its less-than-powerful opening last weekend was the
Ben Stiller
R-rated comedy
The Heartbreak Kid
which laughed up an estimated $7.4M this weekend,
bringing its total to a disappointing $26M. Look for a final theatrical run in
the $45-50M range, which is reasonable for a lot of films, but not for a Ben
Stiller/Farrelly
Brothers
comedy.


Opening in sixth place this weekend was the historical sequel
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
.
Bringing back star
Cate Blanchett
and director
Shekhar Kapur
nine years after the success of the original
Elizabeth
didn’t mean much for audiences as the film brought in an estimated $6.2M this
weekend for a per screen average of $3,169. A run on early season awards could
help the overall gross of the film, otherwise it may fade away quickly.


In seventh was the war drama
The Kingdom
which
fell 53% from last weekend to an estimated $4.5M. Its total now stands at a
shade under $40M. Adding a few hundred screens this weekend and crashing into
the top 10 was
Across the
Universe
which features the songs of the Beatles. The film took in $4M
in its fourth weekend, according to estimates, bringing its total to $12.9M.


In ninth place this weekend was
Resident
Evil: Extinction
which took in $2.6M in its fourth lap around the
country, bringing its total to $48M. And rounding out the top 10 was
The Seeker:
The Dark is Rising
which fell 42% from its soft opening last weekend to
an estimated $2.1M. Its cume stands at $7M and it should end up in the $12-14M
range with some hope for success on DVD. The only other film debuting this
weekend was the high school baseball pic
The Final Season

which opened to an estimated $665K for a per screen average of a pitiful $658.
Look for the film to quickly appear in DVD bargain bins.



The top 10 grossed $81.4M this weekend, which was down 15% from 2006 when
The Grudge 2
opened
with $20.8M, but up 23% from 2005 when another horror film,
The Fog
, bowed on top
with $11.7M.

Author: Sujit Chawla, www.boxofficeguru.com

This week at the movies we got lawyer types (Michael
Clayton
, starring
George Clooney
and Tilda
Swinton
), dueling brothers (We Own the Night,
starring Joaquin Phoenix and
Mark Wahlberg),
virgin queens (Elizabeth:
The Golden Age
, starring
Cate Blanchett),
baseball hopefuls (The
Final Season
, starring
Sean Astin and
Powers Boothe),
Beatles-inspired lovers (Across the Universe,
starring Evan Rachel
Wood
and
Jim Sturgess),
and reunited college friends (Tyler Perry’s Why Did I
Get Married?
). What say ye, critics?

Critics frequently bemoan the fact that movies are no
longer made for adults. Who better to come to their rescue than
George Clooney,
oft-called the Cary Grant of our generation? Clooney stars in
Michael Clayton
as
a washed-up legal consultant caught up in a pesticide case that isn’t quite what
it seems, with support from Tilda
Swinton
,
Tom Wilkinson, and
Sydney Pollack.
With strong performances all around, critics call this a challenging but
rewarding movie that also doesn’t skimp out on the popcorn factor.
At a Certified Fresh 89 percent, critics sustain Michael Clayton‘s appeal.



Wilkinson preparing to celebrate Bastille Day for the next 17
years.

Actors frequently re-team with directors they’ve worked with before. But two principal actors? Only once in a blue moon. Such an
event strikes for
We Own the Night
, a crime drama/thriller about two brothers on
opposite sides of the law. The film reunites
Joaquin Phoenix and
Mark Wahlberg
with director James Gray, who all previously created 2000’s
The Yards. But the
trio isn’t having as much luck the second time around: critics say Night cribs from
The Godfathers and
The Departed, while relying too heavily
on improbable plot turns to fuel the action.  But moviegoers who don’t expect
anything particularly original can have a reasonably good time. At 50 percent,
Night gets close, but doesn’t quite Own.



Who makes Mark Wahlberg a star? Who owns the night? We do, we do!

Cate Blanchett
is one of the best actresses on the planet today, and with
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
,
she revisits the role that made her a star. Big mistake, critics say. Age
picks up where its predecessor left off, with the Virgin Queen navigating the
rough waters of political unrest in 16th Century Europe, as well as palace
intrigue closer to home. The pundits say the costume and set design are
impeccable, but otherwise, this is a campy, bombastic flick, filled with silly
dialogue and featuring a script that’s more hysterical than historical. At 29 percent on the Tomatometer, this one ain’t golden. And it’s a steep drop from
the Certified Fresh
original
(at 79 percent).



Elizabeth contemplates conquering Narnia next.

It’s October, and that means it’s time for some
super-dramatic baseball action. Unfortunately, we’re talking about the MLB
playoffs, not
The Final Season
, which critics say is as predictable as
Alex Rodriguez failing in the clutch. Directed by
David Mickey Evans (who helmed
the cult-fave The Sandlot), Season is the story of a tiny Iowa
high school with a proud baseball tradition that may come to an end because of
redistricting. Season features a strong cast that includes
Sean Astin,
Powers Boothe, and
Rachael Leigh Cook, and the film oozes sincerity. But pundits
say it’s as safe as an intentional walk and as clichéd as a post-game interview.
At 11 percent on the Tomatometer, The Final Season is way below the
cinematic Mendoza line.



"11 percent?"

Is there anybody going to listen to this story, all about
Julie Taymor‘s attempt to capture the zeitgeist of the 1960s through the music
of the Beatles? As far as
Across the Universe
goes, some critics say
stop, others say go, go, go. Universe is the story of Lucy (Evan Rachel
Wood
) and Jude (Jim Sturgess), a young couple who stalk across the political and
social landscape of the tumultuous decade to the tune of such classics as "Come
Together," "Helter Skelter," and "All You Need is Love." The critics are pretty
split on Universe: some say the film is an audacious, beautiful movie
that will make you feel all right. But others say it’s all wrong (that is, they
think they disagree), calling the film an exercise in excess with bland
characters. We hope the film’s 52 percent Tomatometer will
Help!
you decide to see it or not.



An early incarnation of The Blue Man Group.

With his heartfelt domestic dramedies, Tyler Perry has
established himself as a commercial sure thing. But he’s yet to win over
critics, which may be why his latest,
Tyler Perry’s Why Did I
Get Married?
,
wasn’t screened before release. It’s the story of a reunion of college friends,
who, over the course of a long weekend together, begin to question their
marriages. Guess the Tomatometer.



"What happened to Steve Buscemi?"

Also opening this week in limited release:
Control
,
a
biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, is at 90 percent (check out our interview with director Anton Corbijn
here);
Terror’s Advocate
,
Barbet
Schroder
‘s documentary portrait of an
attorney for the undefendable, is at 83 percent on the Tomatometer;
Lars and
the Real Girl
, starring
Ryan Gosling as a delusional guy dating a female doll, is at 78 percent (check out our review from Toronto
here);
Canvas,
a drama about a family dealing with one member’s schizophrenia, is at 71
percent;
Golda’s Balcony
, about the Israeli prime minister, is at 64
percent; and Sleuth, an update of the 1972 murder mystery starring
Michael Caine and
Jude Law, is at 48 percent.



"We couldn’t quite afford Jessica Alba. But we got a good
replacement."

Recent Cate Blanchett Movies:

————————————-

69% —
I’m Not There
(2007)
32% —
The Good German
(2006)
87% —
Notes on a Scandal
(2006)
68% — Babel (2006) 
85% —
Little Fish
(2006)

Recent Mark Wahlberg Movies:

—————————————-

48% —
Shooter
(2007)
92% —
The Departed
(2006)
70% —
Invincible
(2006)
52% —
Four Brothers
(2005)
61% —
I Heart Huckabees
(2004)

Five new films push their way into nationwide release on Friday hoping to challenge two-time champ The Rock making for what should be a free-for-all at the North American box office with many different studios having a realistic shot at claiming the number one spot. Among the top contenders are Sony’s crime thriller We Own the Night, the Lionsgate comedy Why Did I Get Married?, and the George Clooney vehicle Michael Clayton which expands nationally after its scorching debut in limited release. Adding to the mix are the costume drama Elizabeth: The Golden Age and the baseball tale The Final Season. The box office race should be a tight one with as many as four films likely to reach the low double digit millions.

Oscar nominated actors Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix face off as brothers on different sides of the law in the new action thriller We Own the Night. The R-rated pic co-stars Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes and will target an adult audience with a slightly male skew. The former Marky Mark proved his box office pull last spring as the only major star in Shooter which bowed to $14.5M and a $5,176 average by targeting the same audience. Things will be more difficult this time because of the intense competition for mature audiences especially from Michael Clayton. But Night‘s biggest advantage over Michael is that it has two commercial stars instead of just one. The combo should lead to a slim edge at the cash registers.

Despite its awkward title, Night has been pushing itself as an action-packed thriller with faces people love to watch. Reviews have been mixed and with such a crowded field, it will be hard to stand out as a must-see option. Starpower should be the main factor here and showdowns between two solid actors are usually popular with ticket buyers. Opening in over 2,000 theaters, We Own the Night could debut to about $12M.


Phoenix and Wahlberg in We Own the Night

Taking on those boys with some machismo of his own, George Clooney heads into wide release with his legal drama Michael Clayton which Warner Bros. has drummed up plenty of awards buzz for. The R-rated pic bowed to a sizzling $47,994 average last weekend from its platform bow in the Clooney-friendly towns of New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto. This weekend, the thriller will face the real test when it enters every major market across the 50 states. Thanks to his political outspokenness, the Academy Award winning actor has become a polarizing figure. He could easily win an election to become mayor of Hollywood, but in other parts of the country people would gladly pay theaters to not play his movies.

Clayton will test his drawing power since the film has no other box office anchors in it. Co-stars Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, and Sydney Pollack are well-respected, but they don’t sell tickets. There is plenty of direct competition which is why the film got a head start a week early. Buzz from its red hot platform bow has spread helping to build interest. The crowd will consist of the same people that opened Syriana to $11.7M, The Black Dahlia to $10M, and Zodiac to $13.4M. Night will take away some males and Elizabeth will steal some females so a huge gross will be hard to find. But over the long-term the film could have legs. Expanding into 2,511 locations, Michael Clayton stands as the widest of the new offerings and may capture around $11M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.


Clooney as Clayton

Tyler Perry‘s latest relationship comedy Why Did I Get Married? finds trouble brewing when four married couples come together for an annual winter getaway. The writer/director’s films have always tapped into his loyal fan base with African American women at the core. His 2005 smash Diary of a Mad Black Woman surprised the industry with its first-place debut with $21.9M and a $14,771 average and was followed a year later by Madea’s Family Reunion which grew bigger with a $30M launch. Perry’s last pic Daddy’s Little Girls, also a February release, saw more modest numbers with a $11.2M opening as the filmmaker did not star in the pic.

Married does not have the promotional value of Black History Month or the help of Presidents Day which Girls had early this year. However, Perry’s new film will not face any direct competitors for its target audience. Girls had to face the second weekend of Eddie Murphy‘s hit comedy Norbit which offered some audience overlap. Plus Married boasts more starpower with Perry back on screen and an added boost will come from Janet Jackson who is always a strong draw at the box office with the target audience every time she makes a rare appearance in a movie. The PG-13 film from Lionsgate is unlike anything else in the marketplace right now and with few buzzworthy films aimed at black moviegoers in recent months, it should successfully connect. Debuting in 2,011 theaters, Why Did I Get Married? might open with roughly $12M this weekend.


Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?
Another female-driven film, but taking place centuries ago and across the pond, is the historical drama Elizabeth: The Golden Age which finds Cate Blanchett reprising the role of the British Queen which made her a star nine years ago. The PG-13 pic also finds Geoffrey Rush returning and adds Clive Owen to the mix telling the story of the later years of the monarch’s 16th century reign when threats from Spain and a possible love affair at home led to new challenges. Though at the core a costume drama like its predecessor, Universal’s marketing has played up the action and adventure elements in hopes of attracting men looking for warfare and battle scenes. That may backfire when word gets out that there is actually very little action on screen.

The first Elizabeth opened in limited release in November 1998 and rolled through awards season that winter eventually reaching an impressive $30M while never playing in more than 600 theaters. It also bagged seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Now the studio is hoping that a built-in audience will want to take another trip to the past. Though the first was an acclaimed picture, no real demand ever surfaced for a sequel. So it will be tough for Golden Age at the box office especially with all the competition. Female-led dramas often struggle in the marketplace since it is often too hard for adult women to drag men with them to the multiplex for these stories. New films from Clooney and Wahlberg offer more cross-gender appeal. Ordering her troops into 2,000 theaters on Friday, Elizabeth: The Golden Age might take home about $8M over the three-day period.


Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush in Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Likely to strike out at the box office this weekend is the high school baseball pic The Final Season which stars Sean Astin, Larry Miller, and Powers Boothe. The PG-rated film offers no starpower and has generated very little excitement for itself in the marketplace. Most sports fans interested in the national pastime will tune into the playoffs on their television sets this weekend. A quick trip to DVD is assured for this one which has no guarantee to clinch a spot in the top ten. Opening in about 1,000 theaters, a weekend take of just $2M could be in the works.


The Final Season

Among holdovers, The Game Plan surprised the industry two weeks in a row by taking the number one spot. Given its strong legs and continued lack of competition for the family audience and younger teens, a third round on top is not totally out of the question. Should all the newbies eat into each other and all fail to reach the $12M mark, the Disney kidpic by default may stay put. A 25% decline would give The Game Plan a third weekend tally of $12.5M pushing the 17-day total to a solid $58M.

Paramount and DreamWorks were caught by surprise by the lack of strength for the opening of the Ben Stiller comedy The Heartbreak Kid. With nothing to keep it afloat, a 45% decline might be in order especially since adults will be distracted by a wide assortment of other options. That would give the Farrelly brothers a sophomore session of about $7.5M and a cume of only $25.5M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: Sony used the Friday the 13th before Halloween to launch the sequel to one of the most successful horror films in history and captured the number one spot. The Grudge 2 bowed on top with $20.8M accounting for more than half of its $39.1M final. Eventual Oscar champ The Departed slipped to second with $19M easing only 29% for Warner Bros. The Robin Williams political comedy Man of the Year debuted in third with $12.3M before finishing with a disappointing $37.3M for Universal. Rounding out the top five were the Sony toon Open Season with $11.1M and New Line’s fright franchise flick Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning with $7.5M for a steep 60% plunge. Opening with weak results in sixth was the action pic The Marine with $7.1M on its way to $18.8M for Fox. The religious-themed drama One Night with the King bowed to $4.1M with a good $4,518 average and finished with $13.4M for 8X.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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