(Photo by Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)
Shia LaBeouf’s first movie was the Certified Fresh surprise kids hit Holes. And though his next starring project, The Even Stevens Movie (based on the show that gave his young career a start), didn’t get same critical reception, it was a quick launch towards the Hollywood A-list. Soon enough he was groomed to be next of adventuring kin in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and was the main confused human face among non-stop robotic carnage with the Transformers franchise.
By 2014, LaBeouf had all but ditched blockbusters for arthouse material, starring in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac saga. Afterwards, red carpet antics, abrasive art projects, and personal issues began to consume his image, with LaBeouf seemingly in danger of becoming another industry burnout. 2016’s American Honey hinted at a comeback, but 2019 was a true redemption arc with the sentimental, classically-styled adventure The Peanut Butter Falcon, and the autobiographical Honey Boy, a searing personal history, both which became his highest-rated movies. As he prepares his next films for release (including re-teaming with Fury director David Ayer for The Tax Collector, and the Vanessa Kriby-starring drama Pieces of a Woman), we’re ranking all Shia LaBeouf movies by Tomatometer!
The 35th annual People’s Choice Awards were handed out on January 7, 2009. A complete list of film nominees, with winners in bold, follows below.
Favorite Action Movie:
The Dark Knight
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Source: People’s Choice Awards
‘Tis the season for gift-giving, which means home video distributers are making the most of the holiday spirit by adding a few irregular release dates to the shopping week. Therefore, look for new releases to hit shelves on Sunday (Burn After Reading), Tuesday (Death Race), and next Saturday (Eagle Eye)! We begin this festive week’s RT on DVD with an exclusive look at Shia LaBeouf’s techno-thriller, and wish you the very LaBeouf-iest Christmas (or your Labeouf-iest non-denominational holiday of choice). See what else is new and coming your way below!
Shia LaBeouf continued his rise through the ranks of Young Hollywood this year by following May’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with his own starring vehicle, the techno-thriller Eagle Eye. While critics went “pshaw” at Eagle Eye‘s preposterous, derivative plot — in which a young loser (LaBeouf) finds himself a pawn at the beck and call of a mysterious, omniscient terrorist — the DJ Caruso flick performed decently at the box office. But hey, it’s Shia!
The 2-Disc Special Edition DVD is stuffed with making-of featurettes, an alternate ending, filmmaker interviews, and more.
Next: Burn After Reading
2. Burn After Reading (Dec. 21) — 79%, Certified Fresh
Delight in the latest Coen brothers’ comedy (and watch Brad Pitt and George Clooney act — on purpose — like fools) with Burn After Reading, a black comedy-caper of sorts set on the periphery of Washington D.C.’s political scene. John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and an unforgettable homemade sex contraption co-star in the tale of a bumbling meathead (Pitt) and his middle-aged, cosmetic surgery-obsessed co-worker (McDormand) who stumble upon what may or may not be sensitive documents belonging to a former CIA operative (Malkovich), whose estranged wife (Swinton) is involved with a philandering Treasury agent (Clooney).
The film, nominated for two Golden Globes (Best Comedy and Best Actress, Frances McDormand) comes to DVD with only three featurettes — not a theatrical trailer or commentary to be seen. (At least, not in this first issue.)
Next: The Women
3. The Women (Dec. 21) – 13%
During the year of 2008 there were certainly a handful of bona fide stinkers (One Missed Call, Disaster Movie, I’m looking at you) and yet I reserve my own personal wrath for this insulting clunker of a remake of the far superior film of the same name: The Women. Just saying the title makes me shudder; ditto my lingering contempt for all parties responsible, beginning with director Diane English, continuing on to the plasticized Meg Ryan-bot that we’ve come to see in recent years, and even trickling down to the film’s A-list roster of supporting actresses (in a gimmick borrowed from the 1939 film, not a single male actor appears onscreen): Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, Carrie Fisher, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Debi Mazar, Bette Midler, and even the incomparable Cloris Leachman, who somehow got herself mixed up in this mess.
What’s The Women about? Ryan plays society maven and housewife Mary Haines (who, since it’s 2008, must be given some measure of independent means and is therefore a fashion designer), who learns (thanks to the age old female practice of gossip) that her husband is cheating on her with a department store perfume girl (who, like young and attractive women are wont to do, is willfully gold-digging her way into marriage). Cat-fighting, moping, and more gossiping ensue in this critically-lambasted tale of womanhood and friendship that belies its own “woman power” message. Even with its handful of featurettes and deleted scenes, anyone who gifts The Women to the females in their family this holiday season will be doing their mother/daughter/girlfriend/wife/platonic female friend a huge disservice; stick with George Cukor’s original version instead.
Next: American Teen
In the grand tradition of archetypal teen flicks like The Breakfast Club, Nanette Burstein’s American Teen introduces us to five high school seniors on the brink of adulthood and independence: the jock, the queen bee, the artsy girl, the heartthrob, and the geek. The difference here is that these kids are real — American Teen‘s a documentary — and yet their experiences, their angst, and their relationships are as rife with drama-rama as any fictional film.
Burstein’s focus lands on the students of Warsaw, Indiana — a Midwestern town chosen for its remarkable unremarkableness — and her camera gains intimate (some critics call it suspiciously-staged) access to her subjects. MTV-style editing gives the doc a fresh feel, while a smattering of bonus features (deleted scenes and video blogs by “artsy loner” Hannah) enhance your voyeuristic glimpse into the kids’ lives.
Next: Death Race
For many of you, the words “Death Race remake” and “Jason Statham” were enough to send you into a frenzy of anticipation; unfortunately, according to critics it would seem that Death Race (42 percent on the Tomatometer) is no Death Race 2000 (82 percent). The R-rated demolition derby-prison survival tale begins in the near future, where a corrupt prison warden (Joan Allen) coerces framed inmate Jensen Ames (Statham) to drive in a pay-per-view auto race where freedom is the ultimate prize; directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil), Death Race is naturally short on character development but long on explosive, violent action — which might just be enough for a certain kind of viewer.
We recommend picking up Death Race on Blu-ray, where the mindless action will be most enjoyable, a plethora of special features (director commentary, Picture-in-Picture, make your own commentary and scene sharing) are available, and you can opt for watching an Unrated, extended version of the film.
Next: Hamlet 2
Although Hamlet 2 came to rest just a few shades north of rotten (at 63 percent on the Tomatometer), those who loved it really, really loved it. So let this be your guide; if you find Steve Coogan’s brand of zesty, hangdog comedy hilarious, you should enjoy watching his manic high school theater teacher tear Shakespeare a new one. [Supplemental question: Does the idea of a song entitled “Rock Me Sexy Jesus” (which is eligible to be nominated for an Oscar) make you titter, or gasp in horror?]
Next: The Duchess
Keira Knightley’s agent is sure of at least one thing: she looks good in a corset. See Knightley in yet another handsomely-shot period piece in The Duchess, based on the true story of Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire. A natural fashionista, Georgiana enthralled the social circles of 18th century England with her audacious outfits, her charm, and her hobby of dabbling in local politics (and with one handsome politico in particular). Yet Georgiana’s domestic life was a women’s rights nightmare, locked in a loveless marriage with her strict, controlling husband (Ralph Fiennes, who earned a Golden Globes nomination for his role) and forced to bear the humiliation of having his mistress move in with them.
A DVD-special documentary about the real Duchess sheds additional light onto her fascinating life and struggles, while Georgiana of Devonshire biographer Amanda Foreman leads a roundtable discussion of her non-fiction book about the woman herself. And for those who’d prefer to look at all the pretty costumes, there’s a featurette on the film’s Oscar-baiting designs.
Next: Ghost Town
Brit comedian Ricky Gervais continues to teach America that he’s got more up his sleeve than the original version of The Office with his first starring Hollywood vehicle, in which he plays a man whose near-death experience leaves him with a lingering side-effect: he can see (and hear) dead people. As the uptight dentist Bertram Pincus, Gervais puts his brand of deadpan British humor to good use, and contrasts pleasantly with on-screen foil Greg Kinnear. (We’re not as sold on any palpable chemistry between Gervais and Tea Leoni, who plays Bertram’s anthropologist love interest, though the two share nary a single kiss on screen. Phew.) Ghost Town is recommended especially for the commentary track by director David Koepp and Gervais himself, whose riffs on any subject we’d listen to any time.
You may not have seen or heard about it, but this little indie is one of the best horror pics of the year. Well, horror-comedy, to be specific; the Duplass brothers film (The Puffy Chair) follows four aspiring actors on a weekend trip to the woods, where they hope to write a starring vehicle for themselves that will help launch their careers. When the bag-wearing killer from their script begins showing up for real, terror and hilarity ensue in equal measure. The mumblecore movement could gain a wider audience thanks to this Certified Fresh film, and genre fans finally get that elusive prize: a horror movie that isn’t rotten.
Until next week, happy renting (and happy holidays)!
In this week’s roster of UK cinema releases we have the latest addition to the Coen canon in the CIA comedy caper, Burn After Reading. Shia LeBeouf stakes a further claim to the Hollywood A-list in the high concept cyber-thriller Eagle Eye, and a washed up ’80s rockstar wannabe gets another stab at fame with his nephew’s band in The Rocker. But what did the UK critics have to say?
Last year, the Coen brothers picked up the Academy Award for Best Picture for their neo-western thriller No Country For Old Men, and at 94% on the Tomatometer, this was long-deserved acclaim for Joel and Ethan Coen, and set their already high standards to an even higher benchmark. It’s an oft-quoted theory that the Coens make two types of films; Screwball caper comedies a la Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski or the ‘serious,’ tougher and more gritty efforts like Fargo and Miller’s Crossing. With No Country they made, arguably, their toughest and grittiest film yet, with great success, so it makes sense that with their follow up, instead of trying to outmuscle their modern masterpiece, they’ve stepped into screwball mode for Burn After Reading. To many this may have seemed a risk, with their last comedic outing, Ealing comedy remake, The Ladykillers taking a bit of a critical kicking at 55% on the Tomatometer, but the Coens’ gamble seems to have paid off with Burn After Reading, as it currently stands at a respectable 78% on the Tomatometer. Despite a few calls from the critics over the lightweight throwaway feel of the film due to its slender running time of 96 minutes, most have been raving about the daffy turns from all the actors involved, with many praising Brad Pitt’s brainless portrayal of fitness instructor Chad Feldheimer as comedy gold. With a killer one/two combo of their last two movies, fans all over will be waiting with baited breath for their next cinematic outing, A Serious Man, due for release next year.
Shia LeBeouf’s rise to the top of the pile in Hollywood surely hasn’t been hindered after being taken under the wing of Steven Spielberg. With a starring role in Spielberg’s Dreamworks Studio teen-thriller Disturbia, followed by a lead role in the Spielberg-produced, robots in disguise, action adventure hit Transformers and finally being cast as Indiana Jones Jr, Mutt Williams, in Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, LeBeouf has become an instantly recognised presence on the big screen. In Eagle Eye,(produced by Spielberg unsurprisingly) he is back with Disturbia director DJ Caruso, and is out to carry on his winning streak in this cyber thriller, as Jerry Shaw, a slacker who gets embroiled in a terrorist plot, out to clear his name with help from the FBI. Unfortunately, the critics didn’t allow themselves to get carried away with the high octane, low brainer action, and many dismiss the film for its preposterous and implausible plotting, accusing it of borrowing too heavily from many other superior, and classic, films. The critics who liked it enjoyed the snappy and thrilling pace of the brainless entertainment on offer, but not enough to escape the ignominy of a measly 28% on the Tomatometer as it currently stands.
Rainn Wilson is probably not a name too well known to UK audiences, but he has a face that makes you think “Hmm, I recognise him from somewhere” thanks to small roles in Juno, and My Super Ex-Girlfriend, as well as a regular role in the American remake of The Office, and a recurring one in the critically-acclaimed Six-Feet Under. In The Rocker, Wilson takes centre stage as ex-rocker Robert ‘Fish’ Fishman, a drummer with fictitious ’80s rock band Vesuvius, who was given the boot moments before the band hit the big time, and who has been coming to terms with his near brush with superstardom ever since. He gets his second chance to reclaim his rock-god throne, when he joins his teenage nephews, high school rock band A.D.D., whilst showing his young band mates the merits of a rock and roll lifestyle in the process. The Rocker seems to have fared better with the UK critics than it did with the US critics, who, in the main had panned the film for its formulaic and unoriginal style, unfunny and forgettable script and shameless similarities to the vastly superior School Of Rock. UK critics weren’t so harsh, and many enjoyed the brisk humour, snappy one liners and good natured feeling to the whole proceedings, even if some of the slapstick doesn’t quite get the laughs it hopes for. Currently at 39% on the Tomatometer, The Rocker isn’t quite that rocking.
Also worth checking out this week…
Young@Heart – Full of endearing characters, this doc about a choir of “seniors behaving badly” is uplifting and delightful. 88% on the Tomatometer.
La Zona – A slick and smart Mexican thriller of middle-class panic and vigilantism, that is lean, mean and often shocking. 78% on the Tomatometer.
Quote Of The Week
“A worse film might be dismissed as sobsploitation.”
Young@Heart. Nigel Andrews, Financial Times.
Looking down upon the rest of the box office,
Eagle Eye soared
to the top of the charts this weekend with one of the largest September openings
in history. But the real surprise on the charts was in the number four position.
Overall, the top ten sailed above last year’s levels.
The combination of actor
D.J. Caruso and
executive producer Steven Spielberg ruled the charts as the action-thriller
Eagle Eye landed at number one this weekend with an estimated $29.2M for a
per screen average of $8,319. The opening currently stands as the fourth biggest
opening in September history behind only Sweet Home Alabama ($35.6M in
2002), Rush Hour ($33M in 1998) and The Exorcism of Emily Rose
($30M in 2005). It was also the biggest opening weekend in nearly two months
since the The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor‘s $40.4M back during the
first weekend in August. The last time LaBeouf and Caruso teamed up was on the
surprise hit Disturbia which opened in April of last year to $22.2M on
its way to a robust $80.2M finale. Reviews were not strong but audiences lined
up for the biggest ‘event’ film in weeks.
In second place was the romantic drama
Nights in Rodanthe
based on the acclaimed novel from Nicholas Sparks. The Warner Bros. film grossed
$13.6M this weekend, according to estimates, for a decent average of $5,018 per
screen. The total fell just behind the opening of the last pairing between
2002’s Unfaithful which opened to $14.1M. Reviews have not been kind to
Rodanthe, but expect many couples to curl up on the couch with this film
when it hits DVD during the winter.
Falling two spots to number three was the Samuel L. Jackson thriller Lakeview Terrace
with an estimated $7M falling a steep 53% bringing its cume after two weeks to
$25.7M. Look for the Sony release to end with a final gross in the $40M range.
Coming from seemingly out of nowhere and debuting in fourth place was the Kirk
Cameron drama Fireproof.
The film, which tells the story of a firefighter who must find a way to save his
marriage, brought in an estimated $6.5M from only 839 screens for a strong
average of $7,764, second highest in the top ten. The film has been heavily
promoted to Christian groups and proves once again that religious-themed films
can bring in an audience.
Fifth place belonged to the Coen brothers latest dark comedy, Burn After Reading.
Starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, the film brought in an estimated $6.2M
this weekend bringing its cume to $45.5M. The film is now the second highest
grossing title for the Coen’s behind only last years Academy Award winning No
Country for Old Men which made $74.3M.
In sixth place with the best hold in the top ten was the animated comedy Igor
which slipped only 29.5% to $5.5M, bringing its cume to $14.3M. Look for a final
gross in the $25-30M range and a steeper drop next weekend as the family comedy
Beverly Hills Chihuahua storms theaters.
The race for seventh place was a tight one as Righteous Kill
and My Best Friend’s Girl
are reporting grosses within $3,000 of each other. Currently in seventh is
the DeNiro/Pacino combination of Righteous Kill which took in an
estimated $3.803M this weekend, bringing its cume to $34.8M. In eighth is the
romantic comedy My Best Friend’s Girl which laughed up an estimated $3.8M
this weekend bringing its cume to $14.5M.
Debuting in ninth place with dismal results was the Spike Lee war drama
Miracle at St.
Anna which brought in an estimated $3.5M from 1,185 for a
sad per screen average of 2,954M. And closing out the top ten was Tyler Perry’s
The Family That Preys
which had the largest drop in the top 10, falling 56.5% to $3.1M bringing its
cume to $32.8M.
The top ten films grossed $82.2M which was up 15% from last year when The
Game Plan opened in the top spot with $23M; and down 2% from 2006 when the
animated Open Season debuted at number one with $23.6M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya,
Indy Jr. looks to seize control of the North American box office with the new action thriller Eagle Eye which leads a new pack of candidates heading into the multiplexes on Friday. Also opening are the romance Nights in Rodanthe starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane plus Spike Lee‘s historical war drama Miracle at St. Anna. Overall, the marketplace stands a good chance of beating last year’s performance ending the month of September on a positive note after such a dismal start.
Shia LaBeouf and director D.J. Caruso spent three weeks atop the box office chart with their sleeper hit thriller Disturbia last year. Now, the two reunite and hope that lightning will strike twice with the political action thriller Eagle Eye which should have no problem debuting in the number one spot this Friday. The PG-13 film finds the Transformers star playing a slacker who is targeted by a mysterious government agency that can use modern information technology to track the lives of any person. Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, and Billy Bob Thornton co-star. Paramount and DreamWorks are aiming for a broad audience here but teens and young adults should be the core. Cross-gender appeal is solid as Shia is a star with males and females alike. This one is for the actor what Enemy of the State was for Will Smith ten years ago – a chance for a rising action superstar to break away from bigger guaranteed hits and anchor a conspiracy thriller on his own.
With most films in multiplexes now skewing towards the 30-plus crowd, Eagle should hit its mark just fine. Plus, there really haven’t been any major serious modern-day action movies since The Dark Knight so ticket buyers are ready to go for another action-packed thrill ride. The reliable tactic of using “from Executive Producer Steven Spielberg” in the marketing is also at play here and will add to the numbers. Disturbia debuted to $22.2M in April 2007 and outside of the Saw sequels, movies released in the September-October corridor rarely break past the $30M mark. Attacking over 3,300 locations, Eagle Eye will try to approach that level and could generate around $27M this weekend.
Samuel L. Jackson hit the top spot last weekend with the not-so-friendly-neighbor thriller Lakeview Terrace. The Sony film’s adult audience will have new options so a 45% decline could be in order. That would leave the PG-13 film with about $8M for the frame and a ten-day sum of $27M.
Burn After Reading held up nicely in its sophomore session so another moderate drop is likely. Focus may see a 40% decline to roughly $6.5M for a total of $45M after 17 days. Dane Cook flicks fall hard on the second weekend as witnessed by his pics Good Luck Chuck and Employee of the Month which both stumbled by 54% in the second frame. The comic’s new masterpiece My Best Friend’s Girl looks to fall by 55% to about $3.5M for a disappointing cume of only $14M after ten days.
LAST YEAR: The Rock became the latest macho star to drive a family comedy to number one. His hit The Game Plan debuted on top with $23M for Disney on its way to a solid $90.6M making it the top-grossing pic for the September-October corridor. Opening in second was the political thriller The Kingdom with $17.1M for Universal on its way to $47.5M. Former chart-topper Resident Evil: Extinction lost two-thirds of its audience and fell to third with $8M in its second weekend. Rounding out the top five was Lionsgate with its double feature of Good Luck Chuck and 3:10 to Yuma with $6.2M and $4.2M, respectively.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com