(Photo by Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Morgan Freeman Movies Ranked By Tomatometer

Morgan Freeman. Read this sentence in his voice. That familiar sound of authoritative benevolence, that could make an intro paragraph soar like a songbird with world-weariest wings. Freeman has lent his sonorous gift for narration to dozens of documentaries, including March of the Penguins, and to several of his narrative films, like Million Dollar Baby and, to lasting generational effect, in The Shawshank Redemption.

But before the voice of God got to play God (see: Bruce and Evan Almighty), Freeman had to humbly serve the silver screen in bit and seriously secondary parts for two decades. He got his big break performing the the lead villain in Christopher Reeve’s journalism thriller Street Smart, for which he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. That was released in 1987 and is where we’ll start Freeman’s filmography for this guide. Just two years later, he was on the national radar with the Best Picture-winning Driving Miss Daisy, for which he was once more nominated. The Academy has recognized his work three times since: Shawshank, Million Dollar Baby (for which he won), and Invictus.

The Daisy prestige brought in a raft of memorable roles for Freeman, including in Glory, Unforgiven, and Seven. He also seems to have a knack for being in the right comic book movie at the right time: see Red, Wanted, and his turn as Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight trilogy. We’re taking a look back on a celebrated career with this list of all Morgan Freeman movies ranked by Tomatometer!


The Poison Rose (2019)

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A hard-drinking detective takes on what looks to be a routine missing person case, only to be drawn into a... [More]


The Contract (2006)

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Frank Carden (Morgan Freeman), one of the world's greatest assassins, is handed a lucrative contract to kill a highly secretive... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Beresford

Adjusted Score: 4806%
Critics Consensus: A thoroughly unfunny misfire, Just Getting Started manages the incredible feat of wasting more than a century of combined acting experience from its three talented leads.
Synopsis: Duke Diver is living the high life as the freewheeling manager of a luxurious resort in Palm Springs, Calif. He... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton


Vanquish (2021)

Adjusted Score: 6658%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: From the director of Double Take, Middle Men, and The Poison Rose comes this stylish, glossy action-thriller starring Morgan Freeman... [More]
Directed By: George Gallo


Edison (2005)

Adjusted Score: 4575%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ambitious young reporter Pollack (Justin Timberlake) suspects insidious corruption in his town's elite police unit, known as F.R.A.T., and finds... [More]
Directed By: David J. Burke


Last Knights (2015)

Adjusted Score: 16390%
Critics Consensus: As blandly unimaginative as its title, Last Knights revisits well-worn sword-and-sandal tropes without adding anything new -- or interesting -- to the genre.
Synopsis: A fallen swordsman (Clive Owen) leads a small army against a sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master (Morgan Freeman).... [More]
Directed By: Kaz I Kiriya


The Big Bounce (2004)

Adjusted Score: 19622%
Critics Consensus: Lazily crafted and light on substance, The Big Bounce takes few chances and strands its promising cast in a subpar adaptation that fails to do its source material justice.
Synopsis: Beach bum and petty criminal Jack Ryan (Owen Wilson) gets into a fight while working at a construction site owned... [More]
Directed By: George Armitage

Adjusted Score: 18421%
Critics Consensus: The Bonfire of the Vanities is a vapid adaptation of a thoughtful book, fatally miscast and shorn of the source material's crucial sense of irony. Add it to the pyre of Hollywood's ambitious failures.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of the Tom Wolfe novel, powerful Wall Street executive Sherman McCoy (Tom Hanks) is riding with his... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma


Chain Reaction (1996)

Adjusted Score: 18424%
Critics Consensus: Ironic given the scientific breakthrough at the story's core, Chain Reaction is a man-on-the-run thriller that mostly sticks to generic formula.
Synopsis: At a Chicago university, a research team that includes brilliant Eddie Kasalivich (Keanu Reeves) experiences a breakthrough: a stable form... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Davis


Evan Almighty (2007)

Adjusted Score: 31330%
Critics Consensus: Big on special effects but short on laughs, Evan Almighty underutilizes a star-studded cast that includes Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman.
Synopsis: Newscaster Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) leaves Buffalo behind when he wins a seat in Congress. Moving his wife (Lauren Graham)... [More]
Directed By: Tom Shadyac


Ben-Hur (2016)

Adjusted Score: 35701%
Critics Consensus: How do you fight an idea? By filming a remake that has too few of its own, and tries to cover it up with choppy editing and CGI.
Synopsis: Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) loses everything after his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), now an officer in the Roman army,... [More]
Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov

Adjusted Score: 39098%
Critics Consensus: London Has Fallen traps a talented cast -- and all who dare to see it -- in a mid-1990s basic-cable nightmare of a film loaded with xenophobia and threadbare action-thriller clichés.
Synopsis: After the death of the British prime minister, the world's most powerful leaders gather in London to pay their respects.... [More]
Directed By: Babak Najafi


Dreamcatcher (2003)

Adjusted Score: 34186%
Critics Consensus: An incoherent and overly long creature feature.
Synopsis: "Dreamcatcher" tells of four young friends who perform a heroic act -- and are changed forever by the uncanny powers... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

Adjusted Score: 29600%
Critics Consensus: Neither Rob Reiner nor Morgan Freeman are able to conjure up their old magic in this dull trifle, with both director and star appearing content to tread through the paces of the saccharine script.
Synopsis: An alcoholic, disabled novelist (Morgan Freeman) finds his muse again after he moves into a lakeside cabin and meets a... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner


Hard Rain (1998)

Adjusted Score: 32910%
Critics Consensus: Hard Rain is an implausible heist movie soaked in disaster movie trappings.
Synopsis: The small town of Huntingburg is forced to evacuate when torrential rains bring rising flood waters. The local sheriff (Randy... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Salomon


Kiss the Girls (1997)

Adjusted Score: 34467%
Critics Consensus: Detective Alex Cross makes his inauspicious cinematic debut in Kiss the Girls, a clunky thriller that offers few surprises.
Synopsis: Successful forensic psychologist Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) discovers that his niece has gone missing. Once he consults with police Detective... [More]
Directed By: Gary Fleder


High Crimes (2002)

Adjusted Score: 34042%
Critics Consensus: Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman make this predictable affair watchable.
Synopsis: A happily married, successful lawyer (Ashley Judd) is shocked to learn that her husband (Jim Caviezel) has a hidden past... [More]
Directed By: Carl Franklin

Adjusted Score: 35652%
Critics Consensus: Derivative and contains too many implausible situations.
Synopsis: A psychological suspense thriller adapted from James Patterson's first highly acclaimed novel in the Alex Cross series, Morgan Freeman reprises... [More]
Directed By: Lee Tamahori

Adjusted Score: 44043%
Critics Consensus: Lacking a transporting yuletide story or dazzling dance routines, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a hollow holiday confection that's lovely to look at -- and easy to forget.
Synopsis: Young Clara needs a magical, one-of-a-kind key to unlock a box that contains a priceless gift. A golden thread leads... [More]


Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Adjusted Score: 45098%
Critics Consensus: Now You See Me 2 packs in even more twists and turns than its predecessor, but in the end, it has even less hiding up its sleeve.
Synopsis: After fleeing from a stage show, the illusionists (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson) known as the Four Horsemen find themselves in... [More]
Directed By: Jon M. Chu


Levity (2003)

Adjusted Score: 36574%
Critics Consensus: Levity could really use some, as it's weighted down by dour self-importance and a heavy-handed message.
Synopsis: Seeking redemption after his release from prison, a murderer (Billy Bob Thornton) meets a shady pastor (Morgan Freeman) and the... [More]
Directed By: Ed Solomon


Angel Has Fallen (2019)

Adjusted Score: 49474%
Critics Consensus: Cut from the same rough cloth as its predecessors, Angel Has Fallen rounds out a mostly forgettable action trilogy in fittingly mediocre fashion.
Synopsis: Authorities take Secret Service agent Mike Banning into custody for the failed assassination attempt of U.S. President Allan Trumbull. After... [More]
Directed By: Ric Roman Waugh


The Power of One (1992)

Adjusted Score: 38743%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: It's the 1930s, and as the people he cares for die or leave his village, young South African P.K. bonds... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen


Feast of Love (2007)

Adjusted Score: 43598%
Critics Consensus: Though beautifully photographed, Feast of Love offers little beyond a trite, melodramatic character drama.
Synopsis: The love lives of several people of various ages intersect when a young woman named Chloe (Alexa Davalos) comes to... [More]
Directed By: Robert Benton


The Bucket List (2007)

Adjusted Score: 47981%
Critics Consensus: Not even the earnest performances of the two leads can rescue The Bucket List from its schmaltzy script.
Synopsis: Billionaire Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and car mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) are complete strangers, until fate lands them in... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner


Moll Flanders (1996)

Adjusted Score: 43805%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After her mother is executed as a thief, young Moll Flanders (Robin Wright) flees the orphanage in which she was... [More]
Directed By: Pen Densham


Ted 2 (2015)

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


Deep Impact (1998)

Adjusted Score: 46597%
Critics Consensus: A tidal wave of melodrama sinks Deep Impact's chance at being the memorable disaster flick it aspires to be.
Synopsis: A comet is hurtling toward Earth and could mean the end of all human life. The U.S. government keeps the... [More]
Directed By: Mimi Leder

Adjusted Score: 33558%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Indebted to the mob, two movie producers try to save themselves by setting up an aging actor for an insurance... [More]
Directed By: George Gallo


5 Flights Up (2014)

Adjusted Score: 47824%
Critics Consensus: 5 Flights Up is a bit of a narrative fixer-upper, but when it comes to watching Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman share screen time, you really can't beat the view.
Synopsis: A husband (Morgan Freeman) and wife (Diane Keaton) spend a hectic weekend pondering the sale of the apartment they've shared... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine


Last Vegas (2013)

Adjusted Score: 50582%
Critics Consensus: The cast of Last Vegas keep things amiably watchable, but the film is mostly a mellower Hangover retread for the older set.
Synopsis: Aging pals Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline) have been best friends... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub


Going in Style (2017)

Adjusted Score: 58423%
Critics Consensus: Despite the considerable talent of its leads, Going in Style is light on laughs and plays it safe far too often.
Synopsis: Lifelong buddies Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin) decide to buck retirement and step off the... [More]
Directed By: Zach Braff


Bruce Almighty (2003)

Adjusted Score: 54578%
Critics Consensus: Carrey is hilarious in the slapstick scenes, but Bruce Almighty gets bogged down in treacle.
Synopsis: Bruce Nolan's (Jim Carrey) career in TV has been stalled for a while, and when he's passed over for a... [More]
Directed By: Tom Shadyac


Under Suspicion (2000)

Adjusted Score: 48994%
Critics Consensus: Though Hackman and Freeman turn in solid performances, Under Suspicion moves at a plodding rate and has a disappointing ending.
Synopsis: "Under Suspicion" is an intense, psychological thriller, with veteran Police Captain Victor Benezet squaring off against prominent tax attorney Henry... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Hopkins

Adjusted Score: 56955%
Critics Consensus: It's far from original, but Olympus Has Fallen benefits from Antoine Fuqua's tense direction and a strong performance from Gerard Butler -- which might just be enough for action junkies.
Synopsis: The unthinkable happens when heavily armed and highly trained terrorists launch a bold daytime attack on the White House. The... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua


Coming 2 America (2021)

Adjusted Score: 62527%
Critics Consensus: Decades after its predecessor joked about the fine line between love and nausea, Coming 2 America reminds audiences that there's an equally fine line between sequel and retread.
Synopsis: Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, newly-crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi(Arsenio Hall)... [More]
Directed By: Craig Brewer


Now You See Me (2013)

Adjusted Score: 56562%
Critics Consensus: Now You See Me's thinly sketched characters and scattered plot rely on sleight of hand from the director to distract audiences.
Synopsis: Charismatic magician Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) leads a team of talented illusionists called the Four Horsemen. Atlas and his comrades mesmerize... [More]
Directed By: Louis Leterrier

Adjusted Score: 55014%
Critics Consensus: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves brings a wonderfully villainous Alan Rickman to this oft-adapted tale, but he's robbed by big-budget bombast and a muddled screenplay.
Synopsis: Nobleman crusader Robin of Locksley (Kevin Costner) breaks out of a Jerusalem prison with the help of Moorish fellow prisoner... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Reynolds

Adjusted Score: 57291%
Critics Consensus: Trying too hard to be clever in a Pulp Fiction kind of way, this film succumbs to a convoluted plot, overly stylized characters, and dizzying set design.
Synopsis: A case of mistaken identity puts a man named Slevin (Josh Hartnett) in the middle of a war between two... [More]
Directed By: Paul McGuigan

Adjusted Score: 57346%
Critics Consensus: A story of disjointed family members yearning for true emotional depth, An Unfinished Life teeters between overtly saccharine sentiments and moments of real intimacy.
Synopsis: Einar (Robert Redford), a recovering alcoholic rancher who lives with his loyal pal Mitch (Morgan Freeman), gets an unexpected visit... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallström


Outbreak (1995)

Adjusted Score: 61692%
Critics Consensus: A frustratingly uneven all-star disaster drama, Outbreak ultimately proves only mildly contagious and leaves few lasting side effects.
Synopsis: A dangerous airborne virus threatens civilization in this tense thriller. After an African monkey carrying a lethal virus is smuggled... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

Adjusted Score: 64597%
Critics Consensus: A slick and well-made thriller that takes on new weight due to the current political climate.
Synopsis: Based on Tom Clancy's novel, this espionage thriller tracks a sinister plot to draw the United States and Russia into... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson


Clean and Sober (1988)

Adjusted Score: 57253%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Hotshot real estate salesman Daryl (Michael Keaton) has a bad cocaine habit. After embezzling his company's money, he wakes up... [More]
Directed By: Glenn Gordon Caron


Johnny Handsome (1989)

Adjusted Score: 61261%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A crook, given a new identity by reconstructive surgery, plots revenge against the gangsters who double-crossed him.... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill


10 Items or Less (2006)

Adjusted Score: 64871%
Critics Consensus: A small film that relies too heavily on the charm of its big actors.
Synopsis: An actor (Morgan Freeman) who is considering the role of a supermarket manager arrives at a grocery store on the... [More]
Directed By: Brad Silberling


Street Smart (1987)

Adjusted Score: 64344%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jonathan Fisher (Christopher Reeve) is a reporter struggling to keep his job at a magazine. Assigned to write a real-life... [More]
Directed By: Jerry Schatzberg


Unleashed (2005)

Adjusted Score: 70033%
Critics Consensus: Jet Li gets to emote in some emotionally awkward scenes, but the gritty fight sequences come through in what is Li's best English language film.
Synopsis: Crime boss Bart raises orphan Danny with no knowledge of anything other than how to fight, using him as an... [More]
Directed By: Louis Leterrier


Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)

Adjusted Score: 68135%
Critics Consensus: Much like its predecessor, Dolphin Tale 2 offers animal antics and sweet, old-fashioned drama that the whole family can enjoy.
Synopsis: Several years have passed since Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) and the team at Clearwater Marine Hospital gave Winter the dolphin... [More]
Directed By: Charles Martin Smith


Lucy (2014)

Adjusted Score: 76226%
Critics Consensus: Enthusiastic and silly, Lucy powers through the movie's logic gaps with cheesy thrills plus Scarlett Johansson's charm -- and mostly succeeds at it.
Synopsis: When a boyfriend tricks Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) into delivering a briefcase to a supposed business contact, the once-carefree student is... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson


Lean on Me (1989)

Adjusted Score: 64652%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this fact-based film, a New Jersey superintendent, Dr. Frank Napier (Robert Guillaume), watches helplessly as East Side High becomes... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen


Wanted (2008)

Adjusted Score: 79371%
Critics Consensus: Wanted is stylish, energetic popcorn fare with witty performances from Angelina Jolie (playing an expert assassin), James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman that help to distract from its absurdly over-the-top plot.
Synopsis: Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is an office worker whose life is going nowhere. After his estranged father is murdered, he... [More]
Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov


Red (2010)

Adjusted Score: 78999%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the killer thrill ride you'd expect from an action movie with a cast of this caliber, but Red still thoroughly outshines most of its big-budget counterparts with its wit and style.
Synopsis: After surviving an assault from a squad of hit men, retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reassembles his old... [More]
Directed By: Robert Schwentke


Invictus (2009)

Adjusted Score: 85438%
Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision by director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.
Synopsis: Following the fall of apartheid, newly elected President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) faces a South Africa that is racially and... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood


Amistad (1997)

Adjusted Score: 79861%
Critics Consensus: Heartfelt without resorting to preachiness, Amistad tells an important story with engaging sensitivity and absorbing skill.
Synopsis: In 1839, the slave ship Amistad set sail from Cuba to America. During the long trip, Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) leads... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg


Seven (1995)

Adjusted Score: 86446%
Critics Consensus: A brutal, relentlessly grimy shocker with taut performances, slick gore effects, and a haunting finale.
Synopsis: When retiring police Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) tackles a final case with the aid of newly transferred David Mills... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

Adjusted Score: 86248%
Critics Consensus: While it's fueled in part by outdated stereotypes, Driving Miss Daisy takes audiences on a heartwarming journey with a pair of outstanding actors.
Synopsis: Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy), an elderly Jewish widow living in Atlanta, is determined to maintain her independence. However, when she... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Beresford


Dolphin Tale (2011)

Adjusted Score: 84911%
Critics Consensus: Wisely dialing down the schmaltz, Dolphin Tale is earnest, sweet, and well-told, a rare family film that both kids and parents can enjoy.
Synopsis: While swimming free in the ocean, a young dolphin gets caught in a trap and severely damages her tail. Though... [More]
Directed By: Charles Martin Smith


Nurse Betty (2000)

Adjusted Score: 87760%
Critics Consensus: Quirky in the best sense of the word, Nurse Betty finds director Neil LaBute corralling a talented cast in service of a sharp, imaginative script.
Synopsis: What happens when a person decides that life is merely a state of mind? If you're Betty, a small-town waitress... [More]
Directed By: Neil LaBute


Batman Begins (2005)

Adjusted Score: 95916%
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.
Synopsis: A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he's trained in the martial arts by Henri... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Adjusted Score: 103517%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Knight Rises is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan's franchise in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Adjusted Score: 100203%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help Million Dollar Baby to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving.
Synopsis: Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran Los Angeles boxing trainer who keeps almost everyone at arm's length, except his... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

Adjusted Score: 96492%
Critics Consensus: The Shawshank Redemption is an uplifting, deeply satisfying prison drama with sensitive direction and fine performances.
Synopsis: Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont


Glory (1989)

Adjusted Score: 96362%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by exceptional cinematography, powerful storytelling, and an Oscar-winning performance by Denzel Washington, Glory remains one of the finest Civil War movies ever made.
Synopsis: Following the Battle of Antietam, Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is offered command of the United States' first all-African-American... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick


Gone Baby Gone (2007)

Adjusted Score: 101660%
Critics Consensus: Ben Affleck proves his directing credentials in this gripping dramatic thriller, drawing strong performances from the excellent cast and bringing working-class Boston to the screen.
Synopsis: Along with his girlfriend (Michelle Monaghan), a private detective (Casey Affleck) takes on the difficult task of searching for a... [More]
Directed By: Ben Affleck


The Dark Knight (2008)

Adjusted Score: 107468%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Synopsis: With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan


The LEGO Movie (2014)

Adjusted Score: 105883%
Critics Consensus: Boasting beautiful animation, a charming voice cast, laugh-a-minute gags, and a surprisingly thoughtful story, The Lego Movie is colorful fun for all ages.
Synopsis: Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as the Special -- an... [More]


Unforgiven (1992)

Adjusted Score: 105273%
Critics Consensus: As both director and star, Clint Eastwood strips away decades of Hollywood varnish applied to the Wild West, and emerges with a series of harshly eloquent statements about the nature of violence.
Synopsis: When prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson) is disfigured by a pair of cowboys in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, her fellow brothel... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

As usual, the first of the month brings a wealth of great movies to watch online. This week, Netflix and Amazon Prime have added some bona fide classics, a few Oscar-winners, a pair of animated Disney favorites, and even an acclaimed film from this year. Read on for the full list of Certified Fresh picks.

New on Netflix


Jaws (1975) 98%

Steven Spielberg’s influential thriller stars Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw as an unlikely trio who set out to sea to take down a giant great white shark terrorizing a New England resort town. All of its sequels are also available on Netflix.

Available now on Netflix: Jaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3, Jaws: The Revenge

Graduation (2016) 95%

Acclaimed Romanian director Cristian Mungiu’s latest drama centers on a father’s progressively more complicated efforts to ensure a bright academic future for his daughter.

Available now on: Netflix

Gone Baby Gone (2007) 94%

Casey Affleck and Morgan Freeman star in Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel about a private detective whose investigation into the kidnapping of a local girl uncovers a web of corruption.

Available now on: Netflix

Pulp Fiction (1994) 92%

John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel and many more star in Quentin Tarantino’s celebrated second film, a series of vignettes about various criminals in Los Angeles.

Available now on: Netflix

The Squid and the Whale (2005) 92%

Noah Baumbach’s dysfunctional family dramedy follows a feuding married couple (Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney) whose impending divorce takes a toll on their two sons.

Available now on: Netflix

Love's a Bitch (2000) 93%

Gael García Bernal stars in Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s Oscar-nominated drama that follows the stories of three very different people who are connected by a terrible car crash.

Available now on: Netflix

City of God (2002) 91%

Fernando Meirelles’ explosive coming-of-age drama set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro centers on a pair of friends who grow up together, enter the criminal world, and face the consequences of their lifestyle.

Available now on: Netflix

Mulan (1998) 86%

Ming-Na Wen and Eddie Murphy lend their voices to Disney’s animated retelling of a Chinese folk tale about a brave young girl who dresses like a man to join the emperor’s army.

Available now on: Netflix

Dead Poets Society (1989) 85%

In one of his most memorable roles, Robin Williams stars in this drama as an English teacher at a private academy who inspires his students with his unconventional methods.

Available now on: Netflix

The Secret Garden (1993) 88%

Kate Maberly stars in Agnieszka Holland’s adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel about a young girl who discovers a magical garden on her uncle’s estate.

Available now on: Netflix

Bright Star (2009) 83%

Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish star in Jane Campion’s biopic focusing on the romance between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne during the last years of Keats’ life.

Available now on: Netflix

Hercules (1997) 84%

Tate Donovan, Danny DeVito, and James Woods provided memorable voices for Disney’s take on the Greek demi-god, who struggles against the forces of Hades to protect those around him.

Available now on: Netflix

Requiem for a Dream (2000) 79%

Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans, Jennifer Connelly, and Ellen Burstyn star in Darren Aronofsky’s bleak exploration of the nature and consequences of addiction.

Available now on: Netflix

Gangs of New York (2002) 73%

Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis headline an all-star cast in Martin Scorsese’s stylized portrayal of the rise of criminal power in New York’s Five Points neighborhood during the mid-1800s.

Available now on: Netflix

Greenberg (2010) 76%

Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig star in Noah Baumbach’s dramedy about a New Yorker who agrees to housesit in Los Angeles for his brother and ends up falling for his brother’s assistant.

Available now on: Netflix

Fracture (2007) 71%

Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins star in this thriller about a man on trail for shooting his unfaithful wife who duels with a young, hot-shot district attorney in court.

Available now on: Netflix

New on Amazon Prime


The Cove (2009) 95%

This Oscar-winning documentary charts the efforts of animal trainer-turned-activist Richard O’Barry in battling the culture of dolphin hunting in the town of Taiji, Japan.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

The Innkeepers (2011) 79%

This moody horror film from Ti West centers on a pair of amateur ghost hunters who seek to record proof of the ghostly spirits in the hotel where they work before it closes down for good.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

Wedding Crashers (2005) 76%

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn star in this romantic comedy about a pair of cynical divorce attorneys who spend their time crashing weddings until they both meet their match in two very different women.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

New on FandangoNOW


The Big Sick (2017) 98%

Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan star in this romantic comedy based on the true story of Nanjiani’s unusual and precarious courtship with his wife, Emily.

Available now on: FandangoNOW

It’s the first week of the month, which means Netflix and Amazon Prime have introduced another big batch of new titles to their selections. As usual, we’ve picked just the very best — the Certified Fresh choices — and while some of these have come and gone in the past, it’s always a good thing when they show up again. Read on for the full list, which includes everything from a Mel Brooks spoof to a crime drama from Brazil to a Tina Fey-scripted fan-favorite high school comedy.

New on Netflix


Full Metal Jacket (1987) 92%

Matthew Modine and Vincent D’Onofrio star in Stanley Kubrick’s Certified Fresh Vietnam War movie, which takes viewers through a grueling boot camp before dropping them directly into the field of battle.

Available now on: Netflix

Young Frankenstein (1974) 94%

Gene Wilder and Teri Garr star in Mel Brooks’ hilarious send-up of Mary Shelley’s novel, as Wilder plays the grandson of Victor Frankenstein, who has spent his life distancing himself from his grandfather until he returns to the family castle and discovers his secret notes.

Available now on: Netflix

Zodiac (2007) 89%

Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. star in David Fincher’s gripping retelling of the real-life search for the notorious Zodiac serial killer who terrorized San Francisco during the 1980s.

Available now on: Netflix

The Sixth Sense (1999) 86%

Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment star in M. Night Shyamalan’s supernatural thriller about a child psychologist who attempts to help a young boy who claims to “see dead people.”

Available now on: Netflix

Mean Girls (2004) 84%

With breakout performances from Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Lizzy Caplan, as well as a sharp script from Tina Fey, Mean Girls remains one of the definitive comedies of the 2000s.

Available now on: Netflix

New on Amazon Prime


I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 99%

This Oscar-nominated documentary takes a look at influential African-American writer James Baldwin’s life and sociopolitical legacy, focusing on an unfinished, unpublished manuscript Baldwin left behind when he died in 1987.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

Gone Baby Gone (2007) 94%

Casey Affleck and Morgan Freeman star in Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel about a private detective whose investigation into the kidnapping of a local girl uncovers a web of corruption.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

Blue Velvet (1986) 94%

David Lynch’s haunting, surreal portrait of a small town with dark secrets stars Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern, and Dennis Hopper (in arguably his creepiest performance ever).

Available now on: Amazon Prime

City of God (2002) 91%

Fernando Meirelles’ explosive coming-of-age drama set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro centers on a pair of friends who grow up together, enter the criminal world, and face the consequences of their lifestyle.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

Magnolia (1999) 83%

Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, and Philip Seymour Hoffman headline an all-star cast in Paul Thomas Anderson’s multiple character study that weaves its way through a number of interconnected stories.

Available now on: Amazon Prime

New on Netflix and Amazon Prime


The Queen (2006) 96%

Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen star in this examination of the British Royal Family’s response in the days following the sudden, tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997.

Available now on: NetflixAmazon Prime

New on FandangoNOW


Dirty Pretty Things (2002) 94%

Audrey Tatou and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in this drama about a Nigerian immigrant and Turkish maid working in a sketchy London hotel who become mixed up in its less than legal activities.

Available now on: FandangoNOW

Blue Velvet (1986) 94%

The David Lynch film mentioned above is also newly available on FandangoNOW.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


If you were asked to name one actor capable of playing ex-cons, hitmen, and God, you’d be hard pressed to do any better than Morgan Freeman — which is, probably not coincidentally, why he’s played all those characters (among many others) over the course of his distinguished career. Past the half-century mark as a professional actor, Freeman shows no signs of slowing down; in this weekend’s Going in Style, he updates the 1979 post-retirement comedy alongside Alan Arkin and Michael Caine. In honor of Freeman’s latest trip to the big screen, we’re taking a fond look back at some of his best-reviewed movies — and you know what that means. Hey you guys, it’s time for Total Recall!

Use the up and down arrows to rank Freeman’s movies, or click here to see his top 10 movies ranked by Tomatometer!

A race-swinging horror movie directed by a guy known for his sketch comedy…and it’s getting rave reviews? Get out! No, really, it’s Get Out, the directorial debut of Jordan Peele, one-half of comedy duo Key & Peele. It’s no secret many stars harbor dreams of one day directing. Few get to do it, fewer are any good at it. In this week’s gallery, here’s 24 Certified Fresh movies directed by actors on their first try!

A prolific character actor with leading-man chops and four Oscar nominations under his belt, Ed Harris has been entertaining audiences for decades — so when we saw his name in the credits for Run All Night, we knew exactly what we needed to do with this week’s list. From supporting parts to leading roles, from action to comedy to drama, Harris has done just about everything — and done it well. The Tomatometer agrees, giving us a top 10 that bottoms out at an impressive 88 percent. Which of your favorites made the cut? It’s time to find out, Total Recall style!

10. The Abyss (1989) 87%

1989’s underwater epic The Abyss required the construction of the world’s biggest tank of filtered fresh water, as well as newly designed watertight cameras and bleeding-edge special effects work from Industrial Light & Magic. It also required a lot of patience on the part of its cast (including Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, both of whom suffered emotional breakdowns during the grueling six-month shoot) and crew (including director James Cameron, who spent hours at a time under 50 feet of water) — and the studio had its own cross to bear, enduring millions of dollars in cost overruns and weeks of delays. In the end, The Abyss wasn’t as profitable as Cameron’s other epics, only bringing in around $90 million against a $70 million budget, but critics were generally kind, particularly to the longer version that eventually surfaced on home video (Widgett Walls of Needcoffee.com called the theatrical release “an abomination” and wrote, “For God’s sake, make sure you have the director’s cut”).

Watch Trailer

9. Swing Shift (1984) 87%

It endured an infamously bumpy production period — during which stars Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell went over Jonathan Demme’s head to arrange edits and reshoots with a different director — but even if Swing Shift didn’t end up fulfilling Demme’s original vision, critics still felt it effectively told the story of a war bride (Hawn) who enters the workforce (and starts an affair) during WWII while her husband (Harris) is overseas. Although more than a few viewers have taken issue with its soft-focused treatment of adultery, the picture’s rich detail and well-written script impressed writers like Filmcritic’s Pete Croatto, who observed, “Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson could learn a few things watching this. Or maybe they already have.”

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8. Sweet Dreams (1985) 90%

Although it was roundly criticized for taking liberties with the facts of its subject’s brief, fascinating life, the Patsy Cline biopic Sweet Dreams makes for a solidly compelling — if at times frustratingly inaccurate — film about the country star’s (played by Jessica Lange) early years, short career, and tragic death, as well as her tumultuous marriage to the unfortunately named Charlie Dick (Harris). Earning Lange a Best Actress nomination for her work, Dreams won praise from critics like Time Out’s Geoff Andrews, who wrote, “The two main performances are excellent: Lange plays the singer without a hint of condescension to her dreams of ‘a big house with yellow roses’, while Harris is persuasively menacing, with an inventively foul mouth.”

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7. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) 95%

You think the dynamic at your company is brutal? Try swimming with the sharks of Glengarry Glen Ross, a pitch-black, deeply profane case study in how quickly an office will disintegrate when a sales team is told that it’s about to enter a competition — and everyone who winds up lower than second place is going to lose his job. The result, as you might expect, is a bile-drenched free-for-all, brilliantly scripted by David Mamet (adapting his own Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play) and brought to painful life by an ace cast that included Harris, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin, and Al Pacino (who earned an Academy Award nomination for his work). It isn’t for the faint of heart, and it might provoke a few winces of recognition, but it is, in the words of Filmcritic’s Christopher Null, “An utter masterpiece.”

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6. The Truman Show (1998) 95%

Is it science fiction? A comedy? A drama? A psychiatric syndrome? Actually, 1998’s The Truman Show is all of the above. Jim Carrey stars as Truman Burbank, the unwitting star of a wildly popular reality series engineered by a producer named Christof (played by Harris), in which Truman’s life — complete with fake wife, fake friends, and a whole fake town — is lapped up by eager audiences. It didn’t net Carrey the Academy Award that many were anticipating, but The Truman Show has endured over the last 10 years, and predicted the overwhelming popularity of reality television in the years to come. In the words of Hollywood Report Card’s Ross Anthony, “this is clearly one of the decade’s cleverest, most original pictures.”

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5. Gone Baby Gone (2007) 94%

Ben Affleck made his directorial debut with this pitch-black thriller, adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel about a private investigator (Casey Affleck) who finds himself mixed up in the exceedingly shady case of a kidnapped girl. As he works with the cops (including Harris and Morgan Freeman) and his girlfriend/partner (Michelle Monaghan), it becomes clear that things are not what they seem. It’s a basic framework that pretty much any filmgoer will be familiar with, but in Affleck’s hands, Gone Baby Gone came alive; as Bruce Westbrook wrote for the Houston Chronicle, “A love-tolerate valentine to the city, it feels more real than the gangster-gorged mean streets of Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, and just as tortured as Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River.”

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4. Apollo 13 (1995) 96%

This dramatization of NASA’s aborted 1970 lunar mission combined one of star Tom Hanks’ biggest personal passions — space travel — with Hollywood’s favorite thing: a blockbuster prestige picture. With a cast that featured a number of similarly prolific actors (among them Harris, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, and Gary Sinise), Apollo probably would have made decent money even if it had played fast and loose with the real-life details of the launch, but director Ron Howard and his crew strove for verisimilitude, going so far as to shoot portions of the film in actual zero gravity. The result was a summertime smash that restored some of space travel’s luster for a jaded generation — and made for an exceedingly good filmgoing experience according to most critics, including Roger Ebert, who called it “a powerful story, one of the year’s best films, told with great clarity and remarkable technical detail, and acted without pumped-up histrionics.”

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3. Snowpiercer (2014) 94%

A little more than 15 years after he played a powerful man who manipulates lives in service of his own warped version of the greater good for The Truman Show, Harris offered a variation on that theme for Snowpiercer. One of the best-reviewed movies of 2014, it found director and co-writer Bong Joon-ho exploring the outer reaches of bizarro mainstream sci-fi with a dystopian class warfare thriller about the conflict between the unwashed masses (led by Chris Evans) against their pampered overlords (featuring Tilda Swinton acting as Harris’ cartoonishly awful enforcer) on a train hurtling non-stop around the post-apocalyptic ruins of planet Earth. Bracingly original during a summer season crowded with blockbuster fare, Snowpiercer earned raves from the vast majority of critics, including Slate’s Dana Stevens, who wrote that it “seems to have been sent back to us from some distant alternate future where grandiose summer action movies can also be lovingly crafted, thematically ambitious works of art.”

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2. Places in the Heart (1984) 89%

Sally Field won a Best Actress Oscar and John Malkovich earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for their work in this 1984 drama, which tells the story of a widowed woman (Field) who struggles to keep her Texas farm afloat during the Great Depression while her sister (Lindsay Crouse) deals with her crumbling marriage to a carousing husband (Harris). The kind of film whose plot doesn’t seem to cover a lot of ground, but which deals with some unmistakeably weighty themes (in this case racism, adultery, and family commitment), Places in the Heart wasn’t necessarily one of the most exciting pictures of the year, but it was an Academy favorite — Field’s Best Actress win prompted her oft-lampooned “you like me” speech — and a source of admiration for critics like Vincent Canby of the New York Times, who wrote, “Out of the memories of his boyhood in Waxahachie, Tex., during the Great Depression, and within the unlikely tradition of the old-fashioned ‘mortgage’ melodrama, Robert Benton has made one of the best films in years about growing up American.”

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1. The Right Stuff (1983) 96%

It’s based on one of America’s most inspiring true stories, it features an ace ensemble cast, and it earned rave reviews from critics — so why did audiences turn their backs on The Right Stuff during its 1983 theatrical run? The fact that it’s more than three hours long probably had something to do with it, but in writer/director Philip Kaufman’s defense, it’s hard to think of a better way to tell the story of NASA’s famed “Mercury Seven.” As astronaut John Glenn, Harris held his own against talented co-stars such as Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, and Dennis Quaid; together, they helped create the four-time Oscar winner that Combustible Celluloid’s Jeffrey M. Anderson recommended by writing, “Along with Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America it’s the last great American epic — the kind of film that couldn’t be made today.”

Watch Trailer


Finally, here’s the trailer for Harris’s directorial debut, Pollock, which also earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination:

This week's UK Box Office Top EightA trio of niche fare tried — and dismally failed — to dislodge the box office behemoths Sex and the City and Indy 4 from the top two spots at the UK box office this week.

The unlikely triumvirate of Prom Night, Gone Baby Gone and Superhero Movie all failed to make much of an impression in a market place still dominated by sex, cities, whips and dusty fedoras.

Superhero Movie came in at number three, despite prompting fewer laughs than an episode of My Family.

Next up was Prom Night, an equally unsuccessful stab (if you’ll excuse the pun — arrf!) at the horror genre and proof — as if any were needed by now — that all American horror remakes are terrible. It’s just a fact.

And coming in at fifth place was the actually rather good Gone Baby Gone, which received a cracking 94% on the Tomatometer, was praised by critics for its realistic portrayal of working class Boston — and of course therefore made less money than Superhero Movie and Prom Night.

However, with Marvel’s action-tastic reboot of The Incredible Hulk hitting our screens this week, City and Indy will finally have to face up to their first serious bit of box office competition.

Ben Affleck directs Gone Baby Gone

At age 35, Ben Affleck has achieved a level of stardom and notoriety that’s impossible to ignore. He has consistently appeared in magazine listings of Hollywood’s sexiest, smartest and most powerful people, and he’s been dogged by the paparazzi all the way. Of constant press rumours about his love life, he famously said, “Sometimes it’s Britney Spears, and sometimes it’s Carrie Fisher. I can’t tell if I have a Lolita complex or an Oedipus complex.”

So it’s not surprising that he’s figured out how to live outside the spotlight. After the tabloid hurricane surrounding his relationship with Jennifer Lopez, he sidestepped media hysteria to marry Jennifer Garner in 2005. Following seven Razzie nominations from 1998 to 2004, he quietly returned to the big screen in an award-winning performance as tortured actor George Reeves in Hollywoodland. And after years of playing beefcake heartthrobs, he stepped behind the camera to direct his first feature, Gone Baby Gone, starring his brother Casey.

Of course, this isn’t his first work behind the scenes; after all, his Oscar win was for Good Will Hunting‘s screenplay, written with lifelong friend Matt Damon, who he also teamed with on the three-time Emmy-nominated reality series Project Greenlight.

Over the years, Affleck has clearly learned how to cope with the critics, both good and bad. When RT meets up with him in London, he’s teasing the Brits about the way we say the name of this website. “You say tom-ay-toes, I say tom-ah-toes,” he laughs. “I love that site; I go on there all the time.”

Gone Baby Gone has been certified fresh by RT critics. Does that make you feel any better about the critics who’ve picked on you for other things you’ve done?

Ben Affleck: No, I don’t care. I’m a great believer in the need for and value of honest critics. And I think some are good and honest and some are, you know, less so. But I also think that no matter what it is that you do for a job – whether you’re a writer or you work in any kind of capacity whatsoever – you know when you’ve done something well and when you’ve done it poorly. You don’t need someone else to tell you. You know if you’ve accomplished it. And sometimes if you know you’ve done it poorly and someone else tells you you’ve done it well, you go, “Oh, that’s good!” But you know deep down. Conversely it’s aggravating, because you think, “No, you’re wrong, because this is actually this or that.”

Gone Baby Gone

Does it make a difference being criticised as an actor and as a director?

BA: Yeah, I think so, because for me it’s the relationship with the critics. It’s very hard, because movies are really a director’s medium. I mean, in a lot of ways you should mostly be criticising the director. Obviously there’s great acting, and everyone knows it, and there is bad acting. But also, you make choices, you get put in a certain context through editing or writing – a lot of stuff gets sort-of mushed in together, and ultimately it’s sometimes hard to know. Well, where were you as the director? You hired the person! The director is, to me, the person with whom the buck should stop.

Did you enjoy being in that seat?

BA: I loved it, because for me there were a lot of times as an actor where I was so frustrated, saying, “I wish that we were doing X. This is what I think. I think we should do X.” The director wants to do Y, well OK, but that would be madness. I’d say, “Let’s not do Y. Please let’s not do Y!”

Did you have any of these conversations with your brother?

BA: [Laughs] I’m sure; you’d have to ask my brother! My brother’s pretty good and I’m sure there’s definitely stuff that he wanted to do. But the thing that I did as a director, because I appreciated the position that I’d been in, was that I never would straitjacket any actor. My whole approach to directing – if one can be said to have an approach as a director of one movie – is to say, “Let me just afford you the freedom to do what you want to do. Let me give you as much room to do what you want to do as possible. Granted, I have a movie, and it’s going in this direction. This is what the story is, and ultimately the story has to go this way. But you have all the space to do what you want to do, try everything you want to try, take the time, experiment. You want to go play the scene in that room? Go play the scene over there. Or play the scene over here. Find the stuff.” Because the actor will feel it when it’s working and when it’s not working, and the actor will know. And then the actor will be more committed to where it’s working.

So Casey had that leeway of where to go, and ultimately he got to that place. And I knew that he was a really good actor, and I really trusted him, and I knew that he was making my movie better.

Gone Baby Gone

But this was definitely your movie.

BA: Talking about critics at the end of the day, if I’m in a movie as an actor and I say, “Look, I thought we were doing one movie, but it turns out we were doing a different movie,” it’s frustrating when somebody says, “Well, I don’t like this movie and it’s your movie.” You know? Well, it’s not my movie! But now with this movie, this is my movie.

The rewarding thing about this for me, even before this movie came out, is that, you know what? If you don’t like this movie, fine. I’m the guy to see. If you like it, I’m the guy to see. It doesn’t matter, and I don’t care. I’m at home with that. I’m at peace with the fact that there are things that I would reshoot about this movie. I’m at peace with the ways in which I feel I f***ed up. And I’m at peace with the fact that there are things that I wanted to do that I like about the movie. You know, ultimately that’s comforting, and I can live with that. And that’s what I’m talking about.

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!

It's a Family Affair

Ben Affleck behind the camera, and his brother
delivering a breakthrough performance in the lead,
Gone Baby Gone
was one
of 2007’s best reviewed films, and a tribute to the skills of the talented
siblings that made it. But it’s not the first time that family members have
joined forces to create a memorable movie.

The early days of cinema were filled with famous onscreen
relations, including
Lillian and
Dorothy Gish,
Jack and
Mary Pickford,
and Syd Chaplin, and various members of the
Buster Keaton‘s clan. It’s a trend
that’s continued to this very day — families like the Bridges (father
sons Jeff and
Beau), the Voights (father
Jon, daughter
Angelina Jolie), and the
Stallones (Frank,
Sylvester, and Sly’s son
Sage) have all shared the screen
together. (And need we even mention the
Olsen twins?) With the DVD of Gone
Baby Gone
hitting the shelves, it’s  a good time to delve
into movies that were truly family affairs: flicks in which brothers, sisters,
parents, and offspring teamed up, behind or in front of the camera, to make
movie magic.

Owen, Luke, and Andrew Wilson
Though you’d expect comedic anarchy of Marxist proportions (the brothers,
not the 19th century political radical),
Luke, and
find themselves in somber mood when thrown on the same set, creating chill, low-key
movies like The Royal Tenenbaums and
The Wendell Baker Story. Their separate filmographies also suggest the brothers approach film
more seriously than their Frat
Pack brethren. Luke frequently breaks ground in new genres, and Owen co-wrote
Wes Anderson‘s first three features, revealing a rather mad genius underneath
his rascally, split-nosed exterior. And what Andrew (call him the group’s Zeppo)
lacks in screen time, he makes up with fabulous character names, i.e.
‘s Future Man or
‘s Beef Supreme.


Francis Ford, Sofia, Roman Coppola, with
Special Appearances by Jason Schwartzman, Talia Shire, and Nicolas Cage

Nepotism greases a lot of wheels in Hollywood, and no family has gone
farther on that notion than the Coppola empire. In addition to casting sister
Talia Shire
as Connie,
Francis Ford Coppola bypassed baby auditions by casting daughter
Sofia in
The Godfather
as an infant
Michael Rizzi. After
graduating from Ridgemont High, Nicolas Cage weathered the 1980s with
The Cotton
Peggy Sue Got Married
, both directed by uncle Francis. And
got through his rocky post-Rushmore years with a gig in
CQ (directed by cousin
Roman Coppola)
and recently starred in
, directed by other cousin Sofia (whose directorial efforts
have absolved her infamous performance in
The Godfather:
Part III


Charlie and Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez

If you’re watching a movie starring a Sheen or an Estevez, chances are
another Sheen or Estevez will show up sooner or later.
Martin Sheen and his
brother Joe Estevez starred in a couple TV movies in the 1970s;
Charlie joined
them in 1998’s No Code of Conduct. Martin played Charlie’s father in
, and made a memorable cameo in
Hot Shots, Part Deux
Emilio Estevez directed and co-starred with his father Martin in
War at Home
, and joined forces
with his brother Charlie in
Men at Work
Young Guns
, and, in an inspired bit of stunt casting, playing porn tycoons the
Mitchell brothers in Rated X. And the list goes on.


Alfred and Patricia Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock‘s instinct for perfect casting is legendary — as was his
disdain for his players ("Actors should be treated like cattle," he once said).
However, one actress the Master of Suspense smiled upon was his daughter
Patricia, who had key parts in
Strangers on a Train
, playing
a partygoer who discovers the depths of
Robert Walker‘s depravity, and in
Janet Leigh‘s chatty office-mate. It’s the underrated
though, that was truly a family affair, scripted by
Mrs. Hitchcock, Alma Reville, and featuring Patricia as the close friend of star
Jane Wyman. She also starred in 10 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents;
at the end of one of them, Hitch said to the camera, "I thought the little
leading lady was rather good, didn’t you?"


Peter, Henry, and Jane Fonda
The three generations of Fondas epitomize their eras.
Henry was the Old
Hollywood everyman,
Peter and
Jane embodied the restless nature of the Move
Brats, and Peter’s daughter
Bridget was a key player in Generation X cinema.
Henry and Peter teamed up for two little known Westerns,
The Rounders
Wanda Nevada; Jane joined her father in the Oscar winner
On Golden
. Bridget was a child when she and her brother Justin made
cameos in Peter’s Easy Rider; years later, he returned the
favor by appearing in
Bodies, Rest & Motion
with her.
However, the most intriguing (and, frankly, creepy) Fonda family collaboration
took place in Metzengerstein, part of the omnibus film
Spirits of the
. Jane plays a spoiled aristocrat who falls for her
neighboring cousin — played by Peter. (She later becomes obsessed with his horse, but that’s another story.)


John and Joan Cusack
The Cusack clan was born ready for show business. Family patriarch
Richard Cusack was a documentary filmmaker and owned a production company. Though all of
his kids have ventured into the thespian trade, it’s
John and
Joan who currently
hog the spotlight. Together, they’ve been featured in ten movies, starting with
1984’s Sixteen Candles, with John as a member of Farmer Ted’s geek squad
and Joan the geeky girl in the neck brace. From there, they collaborated on
projects like Grosse Pointe Blank,
Say Anything…,
High Fidelity, and the
upcoming War, Inc. It’s almost like for every iconic John performance, his
sister is also there working patiently in the wings, tightening the screws for
his machinations to be the ultimate dork heartthrob.

It's a Family Affair

Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo Marx
When people think of the Marx brothers, chances are they’re thinking of
their 1930 to 1935 output. It’s a hot streak that includes
Duck Soup
A Night at the
and remains unparalleled within comedy. The brothers always stuck with
what worked: Groucho was leader and horndog punster,
Chico mixed and matched the
English language to suit his whims, and
Harpo reeled the kids in with his face
contortions and parlor tricks. But praises must be sung for
Zeppo, the
never-flustered straight man. Though he was out by A Night at the Opera, Zeppo
was in each of their previous movies (including 1929’s underrated
The Coconauts
and his cheerful common sense gave Groucho, Chico, and Harpo the vital tether to
spin their vaudeville antics around.


Keenen Ivory, Kim, Damon, Shawn, and Marlon Wayans
The Wayans clan bursted into the mainstream courtesy of the
Keenen Ivory
-produced, fond-memory filled In Living Color.  A mere five Wayans family
members contributed to that TV series — Keenen Ivory,
Shawn, and
Marlon — and the show became a proverbial who’s who of rising 1990s comedians
(and future hot moms, what up J-Lo). Before Color, the Blaxploitation spoof
I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and its six Wayans listed in its credits foreshadowed the
family’s cinematic future. The family banded together once again for
Don’t Be a
Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood
, produced by Keenen Ivory and featuring Shawn and Marlon as co-stars and writers (sister Kim
had a role as well). Further collaborations include Mo’ Money, Blankman,
and Scary Movie 2,
White Chicks, and
Little Man, driving home the Chapelle’s Show quote: "There more of them?"


Will, Jaden, and Willow Smith
Although star siblings
Jaden and
Willow Smith haven’t appeared in a movie
together, they both kickstarted their careers acting alongside dad,
Will Smith. Jaden Smith made his debut in as Will Smith’s son in
The Pursuit of Happyness
The true story about a homeless father and son required the duo to film many
intense scenes together. Smith’s daughter Willow made her debut in
I Am
, playing (who else) Will’s daughter. And who could forget Will’s son,
Trey, in the music video for “Just the Two of Us”? But Jaden and Willow are
branching out beyond Will Smith films — Willow costars in the upcoming
Kittredge: An American Girl
and Jaden is rumored to have a role in
Day the Earth Stood Still


John, Walter, Danny, and Angelica Huston

The first family with three generations of Oscar winners, the Hustons —
most notably Walter,
John, and
Anjelica — embody both old school Hollywood
class and familial cooperation. As a director, John Huston often cast his father
in key roles, most memorably in
The Maltese Falcon
The Treasure of
the Sierra Madre
. Later, he would direct his
daughter Anjelica in in A Walk with Love
and Death
, Sinful Davey,
Prizzi’s Honor
, and The Dead.
He also performed alongside his son Tony in his only acting credit in
List of Adrian Messenger
. And Anjelica and her half-brother
Danny Huston
teamed up for the made-for-TV thriller Covert One: The Hades Factor.


Ron and Clint Howard
If Ron is directing it,
Clint is in it, so the list of collaborative efforts
between these brothers is long. It’d be shorter to list the films Ron excluded
Clint from. Clint usually plays unlikable characters, like the referee in
, annoying Whobris in
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
, or the
unfeeling morgue attendant in
. Ron involved Clint all the way
back in the beginning, casting him in his directorial debut Old Paint and
later in Night Shift. Yeah sure, Clint was just a wedding guest in Splash
but his parts did grow. Though Clint once seemed like the sort of character
actor who wouldn’t have a career if he couldn’t ride family coat tails, the MTV
music awards offered him a Lifetime Achievement award and video tribute that
proved his prowess – in or out of prosthetic makeup. Boston’s The Phoenix
magazine listed Ron and Clint Howard as the #21 and 22 unsexiest men in
the world. Unsexy, perhaps, but productive.


The Long Riders
Casey Affleck’s other breakthrough performance was in The
Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. But that’s not the first
time the outlaw’s story has been told on film. In 1980, Walter Hill directed
Long Riders
, a glorifying Western of James’s exploits and is also the
perfect storm of sibling combinations.
James and
Stacy Keach wrote, produced,
and starred, and the film features three other sets of real life brothers:
Dennis and
Randy Quaid;
Keith, and
Robert Carradine; and in rare serious
role, Christopher Guest plays Charlie Ford, while Guest’s bro
Nicolas portrays
Robert. As far as the fraternities of brotherhood go, this one goes to 11.


And finally, an honorable mention goes out to young actor
Denzel Whitaker, who costarred in
The Great Debaters with no relation to
Forest Whitaker.

Written by Alex Vo, Tim Ryan, Rachel Sandor, Sara Schieron, David Chung

“Making a movie about the war in Iraq” is quickly turning into just another way of saying “losing tons of money at the box office,” but director Paul Greengrass isn’t letting that stop him.

Variety reports that the as-yet-untitled thriller that Greengrass is filming with Matt Damon — inspired by Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone — started shooting in Spain yesterday. Joining Damon are Amy Ryan, currently riding high on critics’ year-end best-of lists for her supporting turn in Gone Baby Gone, and Greg Kinnear. From the article:

Damon plays an officer who teams with a senior CIA officer to search for evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Ryan will play a New York Times foreign correspondent sent to Iraq to investigate the U.S. government’s WMD claims. Kinnear plays another CIA officer. Antoni Corone has been cast as a colonel.

Much has been made of the failure of Iraq-themed films to gain any traction at the box office; whether they’re framed as thoughtful character studies (In the Valley of Elah, $6.5 million box office) or popcorn action flicks (The Kingdom, $47 million), audiences seem to tune them out with equal enthusiasm. Still, Greengrass has experience turning headlines into movies — he directed United 93, after all — and his last project with Damon was a little picture called The Bourne Ultimatum.

Source: Variety

In what seems destined to go down as one of the season’s few strike-free awards shows, the Critics’ Choice Awards were held on Monday.

No Country for Old Men was the evening’s big prizewinner at three awards, followed closely behind by Juno and There Will Be Blood at two apiece. Photographers were the biggest beneficiaries of the night, however; the lack of picket lines meant that the Santa Monica Civic Center was appropriately stuffed with celebrities. The strike wasn’t far from the attendees’ thoughts, however, and the mood of the evening was perhaps summed up best by George Clooney, who remarked:

“This is a one-industry town. And when a strike happens, it’s not just writers or actors, it’s restaurants and hotels and agencies. And our hope is that all of the players involved will lock themselves in a room and not come out until they finish. We want this to be done. That’s the most important thing. It matters to all of us.”

A list of winners follows below, with Tomatometers in parentheses:

Best picture: No Country for Old Men (95 percent)
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood (89 percent)
Actress: Julie Christie, Away From Her (95 percent)
Supporting actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Supporting actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone (93 percent)
Ensemble: Hairspray (92 percent)
Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Writer: Diablo Cody, Juno (93 percent)
Animated feature: Ratatouille (96 percent)
Young actor: Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada, The Kite Runner (65 percent)
Young actress: Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray
Comedy movie: Juno
Family film (live action): Enchanted (93 percent)
Made-for-TV movie: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Foreign language: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (93 percent)
Song: Falling Slowly, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, from Once (98 percent)
Composer: Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood
Documentary: Sicko (93 percent)

Source: USA Today

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