Claire Folger/20th Century Fox Film Corp.

(Photo by Claire Folger/20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

All Chris Evans Movies Ranked

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

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

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

#31

London (2005)
14%

#31
Adjusted Score: 13715%
Critics Consensus: Hampered by pretension and undermined by unlikable characters, London proves that the novelty of seeing actors play against type isn't enough to rescue a deeply flawed film.
Synopsis: Upon learning that his ex-lover (Jessica Biel) is leaving New York, a man (Chris Evans) named Syd crashes her going-away... [More]
Directed By: Hunter Richards

#30

Playing It Cool (2014)
14%

#30
Adjusted Score: 14255%
Critics Consensus: Playing It Cool pits Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan's easy chemistry against a screenplay that tries too hard to be quirky and clever, and the results are disappointingly lukewarm.
Synopsis: A lovestruck man (Chris Evans) enters into a platonic relationship with a woman (Michelle Monaghan) who's already engaged to someone... [More]
Directed By: Justin Reardon

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 18506%
Critics Consensus: Neither funny nor suspenseful, this heist / teen flick also fails to explore its potentially socially relevant premise.
Synopsis: College is up next for a group of high-school friends, so Francesca (Scarlett Johansson), the most daring of the group,... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#28

Push (2009)
23%

#28
Adjusted Score: 27826%
Critics Consensus: The sci-fi thriller Push is visually flashy but hyperkinetic and convoluted.
Synopsis: After his father, an assassin, is brutally murdered, Nick Gant (Chris Evans) vows revenge on Division, the covert government agency... [More]
Directed By: Paul McGuigan

#27

Fierce People (2005)
24%

#27
Adjusted Score: 25010%
Critics Consensus: Fierce People's premise of a teenager studying rich people like animals is grating and self-satisfied, and Anton Yelchin's smug performance makes the film even harder to agree with.
Synopsis: Finn (Anton Yelchin) is a teenager trying to escape his drug-addicted mother (Diane Lane) by going to study tribal people.... [More]
Directed By: Griffin Dunne

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 26997%
Critics Consensus: The comic timing of Anna Faris is sharp as always, but it's wasted away in this predictable, boilerplate comedy.
Synopsis: Ally Darling (Anna Faris) is realizing she's a little lost in life. Her latest romance has just fizzled out, and... [More]
Directed By: Mark Mylod

#25

Before We Go (2014)
27%

#25
Adjusted Score: 26343%
Critics Consensus: Chris Evans' directorial debut is modest to a fault, with a threadbare story and minimal style leaving his and Alice Eve's likable performances adrift in New York City with nowhere to go.
Synopsis: A chance encounter between two strangers (Chris Evans, Alice Eve) in Grand Central Terminal sparks a life-changing, nighttime sojourn through... [More]
Directed By: Chris Evans

#24
Adjusted Score: 26743%
Critics Consensus: Stodgy and dispiritingly old-fashioned, Teardrop Diamond proves to be no big loss.
Synopsis: Romance, jealousy and suspicion come into play after a rebellious heiress (Bryce Dallas Howard) loses a costly earring while in... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Markell

#23

Fantastic Four (2005)
27%

#23
Adjusted Score: 35609%
Critics Consensus: Marred by goofy attempts at wit, subpar acting, and bland storytelling, Fantastic Four is a mediocre attempt to bring Marvel's oldest hero team to the big screen.
Synopsis: Scientist Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) persuades his arrogant former classmate, Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon), to fund his experiments with... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 33486%
Critics Consensus: NATM has some funny moments, but the movie requires the audience to have familiarity with the movies being spoofed and a tolerance for toilet and sexual humor to be truly effective.
Synopsis: "Not Another Teen Movie" shows no mercy as it skewers the conventions and clichés of the genre you hate to... [More]
Directed By: Joel Gallen

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 39335%
Critics Consensus: The Nanny Diaries' miscast lead and unrealistic, one-dimensional characters make this class satire far less effective than it should've been.
Synopsis: A college student, Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson), with a working-class background takes a nanny job with Mr. and Mrs. X... [More]

#20

TMNT (2007)
34%

#20
Adjusted Score: 38697%
Critics Consensus: TMNT's art direction is splendid, but the plot is non-existent and the dialogue lacks the irony and goofy wit of the earlier Ninja Turtles movies.
Synopsis: Splinter, the rat sensei, senses something amiss in New York City. His disciples, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo have grown... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Munroe

#19

Street Kings (2008)
36%

#19
Adjusted Score: 41798%
Critics Consensus: Street Kings contains formulaic violence but no shred of intelligence.
Synopsis: Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves), a veteran member of the LAPD, is still mourning the loss of his wife and trying... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

#18
Adjusted Score: 44234%
Critics Consensus: While an improvement on its predecessor, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is nevertheless a juvenile, simplistic picture that has little benefit beyond its special effects.
Synopsis: Reed (Ioan Gruffudd), Susan (Jessica Alba), Johnny (Chris Evans) and Ben (Michael Chiklis) face an intergalactic messenger who has arrived... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story

#17

The Losers (2010)
48%

#17
Adjusted Score: 54141%
Critics Consensus: The Losers is loud, fast, and unrelentingly violent -- but it's also funny and well-acted, which will make all the difference for some action fans.
Synopsis: On a mission deep in the Bolivian jungle, a team of elite commandos (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans) finds itself... [More]
Directed By: Sylvain White

#16

Battle for Terra (2007)
48%

#16
Adjusted Score: 51415%
Critics Consensus: Despite its earnest aspirations to be a thought-provoking sci-fi alternative, Battle for Terra lacks both a cohesive story and polished visuals, and fails to resonate.
Synopsis: When strange objects appear in the sky above the peaceful world of Terra, some of the inhabitants believe the gods... [More]
Directed By: Aristomenis Tsirbas

#15

Puncture (2011)
52%

#15
Adjusted Score: 52977%
Critics Consensus: There's a compelling story at the heart of Puncture but viewers will have to pierce through the formulaic storytelling to find it.
Synopsis: A lawyer who is a drug addict fights a medical-supplies corporation in court while battling his personal demons.... [More]
Directed By: Adam Kassen, Mark Kassen

#14

Cellular (2004)
55%

#14
Adjusted Score: 60201%
Critics Consensus: Though it's gimmicky and occasionally feels like a high-end cell phone ad, Cellular is also an energetic and twisty thriller.
Synopsis: Schoolteacher Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) is abducted by ruthless crook Ethan (Jason Statham) and brought to a remote hideout, where... [More]
Directed By: David R. Ellis

#13

The Iceman (2012)
66%

#13
Adjusted Score: 70731%
Critics Consensus: While it deserved stronger direction and a more fully realized script, Michael Shannon's riveting performance in the title role is more than enough to make The Iceman recommended viewing.
Synopsis: Hit man Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) earns a well-deserved reputation as a cold-blooded killer but manages to keep his violent... [More]
Directed By: Ariel Vromen

#12

Gifted (2017)
73%

#12
Adjusted Score: 86133%
Critics Consensus: Gifted isn't quite as bright as its pint-sized protagonist, but a charming cast wrings respectably engaging drama out of a fairly predictable premise.
Synopsis: Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace)... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 90788%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#10

Sunshine (2007)
77%

#10
Adjusted Score: 83187%
Critics Consensus: Danny Boyle continues his descent into mind-twisting sci-fi madness, taking us along for the ride. Sunshine fulfills the dual requisite necessary to become classic sci-fi: dazzling visuals with intelligent action.
Synopsis: In the not-too-distant future, Earth's dying sun spells the end for humanity. In a last-ditch effort to save the planet,... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#9
Adjusted Score: 89804%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
Synopsis: It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#8
Adjusted Score: 92604%
Critics Consensus: Its script may not be as dazzling as its eye-popping visuals, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is fast, funny, and inventive.
Synopsis: As bass guitarist for a garage-rock band, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has never had trouble getting a girlfriend; usually, the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 114161%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#6
Adjusted Score: 102467%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
Synopsis: After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#5
Adjusted Score: 117397%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 106041%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#3

Snowpiercer (2013)
94%

#3
Adjusted Score: 104212%
Critics Consensus: Snowpiercer offers an audaciously ambitious action spectacular for filmgoers numb to effects-driven blockbusters.
Synopsis: A post-apocalyptic ice age forces humanity's last survivors aboard a globe-spanning supertrain. One man (Chris Evans) will risk everything to... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 127912%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#1

Knives Out (2019)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 125727%
Critics Consensus: Knives Out sharpens old murder-mystery tropes with a keenly assembled suspense outing that makes brilliant use of writer-director Rian Johnson's stellar ensemble.
Synopsis: The circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey are mysterious, but there's one thing that renowned Detective Benoit... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

Push

Like a teen riff on X-Men, the sci-fi thriller Push is described as following “two young Americans with special abilities, who must race to find a girl in Hong Kong before a shadowy government organization called Division does.” It’s got another superhero connection in Fantastic Four‘s Chris Evans and, for you Twilight fans, also features future New Moon star Dakota Fanning.

With thanks to Icon, we’ve got 20 double in-season passes to give away to the film, which opens nationally on September 10.

To win, tell us in 25 words or less what your favourite Dakota Fanning performance is, and why. E-mail your answer, along with your name and postal address, to: Push Giveaway.

Entries close Sunday, September 6.

It’s a genre lover’s feast this week on DVD, but don’t say we didn’t warn you about those pesky rotten Tomatometers. First up? Alex Proyas’s latest science fiction thriller, starring Nicolas Cage in a doomsday scenario (Knowing). Also new is a would-be franchise about super-powered humans on the lam from shady government types (Push, starring Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning). David S. Goyer tries his hand at an original story, resulting in silly, PG-13 horror (The Unborn), while one of our favorite ’90s rappers gives directing a shot (A Day in The Life, filmed entirely in rhyme!). If all else fails, look backward to a handful of older titles getting a shiny new polish (Beau Geste, The Deep on Blu-ray). Dig in!


Knowing

32%



Unless you’re an avowed Alex Proyas fan, his latest science fiction thriller, Knowing, is likely to underwhelm. (But who knows? Roger Ebert, one of the lone critics to champion Proyas’s Dark City, found Knowing to be “frightening, suspenseful, [and] intelligent.”) Most critics agreed that Knowing — about a professor (Nicolas Cage) who discovers that a series of numerical codes have predicted major disasters for decades, with more to come — is simultaneously absurd and overly serious, although its CG-enhanced set pieces are a wonder to behold. Silly or no, those spectacular subway and plane crash scenes will, morbidly, look great on Blu-ray; glean insights from Proyas himself in a commentary track and behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the film.

Next: Dakota Fanning, superhero? Push hits DVD


Push

22%



Hearken back to February of this year, and you might remember a little sci-fi actioner called Push, a Hong Kong-set superhero tale of sorts about a ragtag band of super-powered young people (Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, and Camilla Belle) on the run from a shadowy organization called The Division (led by Djimon Hounsou). After a mild box office performance, Push seems unlikely to spawn its intended film sequels (the last in a set of comic book prequels were published upon release), so look on it as a sort of failed experiment in science fiction franchise-making; where did it go wrong? Director Paul McGuigan‘s (Lucky Number Slevin) hyperkinetic direction? The convoluted plot? The audience’s impatience for the over-tread ground of average Joes discovering super powers and fighting off shady government types? Truth be told, McGuigan gives the material a distinct stylistic flair; listen to his musings on production on a commentary track, joined by stars Evans and Fanning.

Next: David S. Goyer’s original horror concept: The Unborn


The Unborn

12%




As David Goyer warns in his latest film, The Unborn, beware the dybbuk! Wait, you ask, what’s a dybbuk? Well, it’s a demon. A Jewish demon that possesses humans. Like, to gain access in to the human world. So, yeah, The Unborn is about a Jewish demon. Goyer, best known for adapting beloved comic book properties into major motion pictures (The Crow: City of Angels, Blade, Batman Begins) hit upon the concept for The Unborn by combining otherwise unrelated historical, scientific, and mystical ideas — the Jewish dybbuk, Nazi experimentation, genetic twin phenomena, and of course, creepy kids and hot girls –resulting in this silly PG-13 genre exercise. Odette Yustman stars as Casey, a coed who fears a demon is trying to possess her; Gary Oldman, Idris Elba, Cam Gigandet and Meagan Good try to help her, with varying degrees of success.

Next: Reno 911! Sixth Season hits DVD!



The inept deputies of the Reno Sheriff’s Department carry on after tragic Season 5 losses from their ranks in Season Six, which picks up with a memorial to fallen Officers Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui), Johnson (Wendi McLendon-Covey), and Kimball (Mary Birdsong). In true Reno 911! fashion, more escapades ensue as the Reno cops, led by Lt. Dangle (Thomas Lennon), welcome new officers and encounter guest stars old and new (Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, the Human Giant comedy troupe). Get all 15 episodes uncensored along with outtakes, deleted scenes, and commentary tracks.

Next: Universal releases four classic films, including Ali Baba and Beau Geste



This week, Universal releases four new reissues from their Universal Backlot Series, which has become a great way to reacquaint yourself with (or, discover for the first time) some classic catalog titles. In 1936’s The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (Tomatometer N/A), an Appalachian family feud gets in the way of romance — and industrialization — as Henry Fonda and Fred MacMurray vie for the same woman. The Western genre takes on a wistful sheen in 1962’s Lonely are the Brave (89%), which stars Kirk Douglas as a cowboy living off the grid, pursued by a sheriff (Walter Matthau) in a film scripted by Dalton Trumbo. Shot in “glorious” Technicolor, the 1944 spectacle film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (N/A) is a sumptuous, if camp, adventure starring the exotic screen star Maria Montez. Finally, check out Beau Geste (100%), the 1939 classic about a trio of French Legionnaire brothers harboring a secret, starring Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, and Robert Preston.

Next: Leelee Sobieski, Steve Zahn, and Danny Glover are strangers on a Night Train


Night Train — N/A




Pandora’s Box meets Murder on the Orient Express in Night Train, a direct-to-DVD thriller about greed and murder among strangers who find a mysterious box in the possession of a dead man on an overnight train. Danny Glover stars as the conflicted conductor, who along with Leelee Sobieski and her Joyride co-star Steve Zahn, wrestles with his conscience over the jeweled contents of the wooden puzzle box. (shades of Hellraiser, anyone?) Making-of features accompany the film.


Next: Jacqueline Bisset in The Deep, in High Definition!



A scuba-diving couple (Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset) discovers a sunken ship full of treasure — and valuable drugs — in this 1977 underwater thriller from director Peter Yates (Breaking Away, Bullitt). Based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name, The Deep suffered from comparisons to Benchley’s other deep sea tale — a little story called Jaws — but features a watchable cast (including Robert Shaw, Louis Gossett, Jr. , and Eli Wallach) and blazed the trail for an entire genre of underwater, treasure-hunting films. (Into the Blue? Not very original.) A handful of additional scenes and a lengthy making-of feature make this a fair release for retro film aficionados.

Next: Rapper-turned-actor makes his star-studded directorial debut!



You might remember him best from the 1993 hit single “Slam,” courtesy of his rap group Onyx, but hip-hop-artist-turned-actor Sticky Fingaz (AKA Kirk Jones) has been involved in film and television almost as long. This week, Mr. Fingaz makes his directorial debut with A Day in the Life, a crime saga in which every line — yes, even those spoken by the narrator in this ought-to-be-red band trailer — are rhymed. As in, rapped! Given the impressive cast listing, seemingly comprised of everyone Sticky Fingaz knows in showbiz (including Omar Epps, Mekhi Phifer, Bokeem Woodbine, Faizon Love, Michael Rapaport, Kurupt, Treach, and fellow Onyx musician Fredro Starr), we were a little disappointed by the production values and silly, gratuitous violence on view in the aforementioned trailer. Then again, Fingaz gets points for having the guts to add some realism to the classic movie cliché of the runaway stroller (watch at the 2:32 mark)!

Until next week, happy renting!


Djimon Hounsou
After giving critically-acclaimed performances in Oscar-nominated films like Amistad, In America, Gladiator, and Blood Diamond, Benin-born actor Djimon Hounsou finally gets to play a villain in this week’s science fiction thriller, Push. Rotten Tomatoes spoke with Hounsou about his Five Favorite Films of all time and discussed the two-time Oscar nominee’s philosophies on the nature of acting, the perils of creating a signature style, and more.

In this week’s Push, Djimon Hounsou strikes a menacing pose as Carver, the ominous head of a secret government agency working to cultivate an army of telekinetics, psychics, shape-shifters, and others endowed with unique powers. It’s a bit of a departure for Hounsou, who came to attention as the leader of a slave rebellion in the Oscar-nominated Amistad only a little over a decade ago, but achieving variety, it would seem, is Hounsou’s intent. Read on as Djimon Hounsou takes us through his favorite films — classics of their respective generations — and shares his thoughts on filmmaking, acting and creative versatility.

“I’d like to think that when a story changes, your vision changes.” — Djimon Hounsou

 

Raging Bull (1980, 98% Tomatometer)



Raging Bull
What a scope of a film for Martin Scorsese. To really dig into the humanity of that character, Jake La Motta. And what a portrayal by Robert De Niro! What an amazing talent. How he was able to really touch into this organic moment…it was just unbelievable.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962,
98% Tomatometer)

Lawrence of ArabiaJust the scope of the film. The journey the film takes, the journey the character takes. Doing that film today you couldn’t get your head around it — it was such a massive undertaking. It leaves so much room for imagination, to escape. I escaped with that film.




The Bridge on the River Kwai
(1957, 95% Tomatometer)



The Bridge on the River Kwai
I think it was a beautiful, well-told story. If you’re learning to know how to direct a film, it’s a great subject film to study.


The Usual Suspects (1995, 89% Tomatometer)



The Usual Suspects
Obviously it has to do with the story and how complicated it was. [Bryan Singer] was an impressive young man, to be able to draw that.


Taxi Driver (1979,
100% Tomatometer)

Taxi DriverI thought its arc of character was beautifully captured. [Martin Scorsese] has got so many dramatic views — men fed up with life, the situation, the system. These days people are more experienced [as filmmakers] but we’ve just been poorly making movies lately. We used to tell beautiful, humane stories. We used to care about characters instead of just blowing some f***ing building down.


Next: Hounsou talks about Push, as well as formenting a personal style in the movies.

Rotten Tomatoes: In Push, the government secretly trains people with a number of special powers, but the most dangerous ones are “pushers” — people who can make you believe lies are real. Are all the best actors really pushers of some sort?

 

Djimon Hounsou: I guess you could look at it that way. But at the end of the day, actors are “pushing” themselves, not you; that belief makes you [the audience] believe. They don’t alter your thinking; they alter their own beliefs, embodying the life condition that they’re playing. They are convincing themselves, not you.

And you, do you ever push yourself too far?

 

DH: [Smiling] No. I’m not an actor who takes his bulls*** home. There are limitations.

 

Hounsou in Push.

 

Your director, Paul McGuigan, was previously known for a few very striking movies, Gangster No. 1 and Lucky Number Slevin among them. Did you feel that Push would fit into Paul’s style, or do you resist the idea that filmmakers or artists can have a signature style?

 

DH: I don’t know if it’s such a nice thing [to be thought of as having a signature.] It’s like a painter — where one stroke of a brush can be read into. In that sense, maybe. I like to think that moving to a new project, your style should change to accommodate the story. If it’s the same, you become repetitive with your style. Paul [McGuigan] is known for his visual interpretations, but I’ve paid attention to his directorial visions. I think of Push as an entity unto itself, completely independent of all other films. I’d like to think that when a story changes, your vision changes.

When I spoke with Ed Zwick, who you worked with on Blood Diamond, he said he preferred to not be typed and to let a film speak for itself.

 

DH: I certainly don’t see Zwick other than his great storytelling; I don’t want to pigeonhole him by saying I see the “Zwick trait.” I don’t look at directors like that. Hopefully we don’t all.

You’ve done historical drama, action drama, and now, sci-fi action. How do you strike a balance between the projects you choose?

 

DH: I guess you could try to balance but at the end of the day you’re left to what’s available at the time. Some projects can be amazing, but they won’t happen until five years from now. You sort of have to surrender to the outcome of what’s present at the time, and hopefully choose one of the best and hope it creatively comes together.

Push opens in wide release February 6, 2009.
Click here for a full synopsis, photo gallery and trailers.

Want more Five Favorite Films? Check out previous installments with Ernest Borgnine, Jean Reno, Danny Boyle, and James Franco.

This week at the movies, we’ve got dark whimsy (Coraline, with voice work by Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher); love mishaps (He’s Just Not That Into You, starring Jennifer Aniston and Scarlett Johansson); a bumbling detective (The Pink Panther 2, starring Steve Martin and Aishwarya Rai) and some paranormal antagonists (Push, starring Chris Evans and Djimon Hounsou). What do the critics have to say?


[tomatometer]MuzeID=1189949[/tomatometer]

Coraline

If any proof were needed that 3-D movies have entered a bold new era, the critics say Coraline is it; this stylistically bold, emotionally resonant stop-motion flick is a twisted marvel. Directed by Henry Selick (who helmed the bewitchingly macabre The Nightmare Before Christmas) and based upon the best seller by Neil Gaiman, Coraline follows the phantasmagoric exploits of the title character (voiced by Dakota Fanning), a bored 11-year-old who discovers a door in her house that leads to a parallel version of her life — one that at first is enchanting, but soon threatens to entrap our hero. The pundits say Coraline is one of the most visually dazzling pictures to come along in many a moon, and it’s anchored by a delightfully twisted storyline. It’s not only Certified Fresh, it’s also the best-reviewed wide release of the year so far. (Be forewarned, however; the scribes say this film may be too scary for small children.)



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1192140[/tomatometer]

He’s Just Not That Into You

He’s Just Not That Into You is the latest in a long line of romantic comedies that attempt to navigate the complexities of modern relationships. The movie’s problem, critics say, is that by juggling so many plot threads it ends up giving a short shrift to characterization and insight. An embarrassment of talented actors (including Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, and Jennifer Connelly) play Baltimore residents who are attempting to find the perfect match, but are regularly stymied by self-questioning and unreturned phone calls. The pundits say the film is bogged down by the fact that there’s too much going on for the characters to emerge as three-dimensional personalities, thus reducing its talented thespians (despite their best efforts) to playing stereotypes.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1190694[/tomatometer]

The Pink Panther 2

As the self-important, supremely incompetent, and impenetrably-accented Inspector Clouseau, Peter Sellers created one of the most memorable comic characters of modern times. Steve Martin is a very funny guy too, but critics say that’s not enough to redeem The Pink Panther 2‘s uninspired script and tired gags. In the second installment starring Martin, Clouseau is enlisted into a team of super detectives in order to track down some priceless cultural artifacts that have been purloined by a rogue named the Tornado. The pundits say that like its predecessor, The Pink Panther 2 is a “beumb”; it’s aimlessly plotted and emphasizes lame slapstick gags at the expense of the considerable talents of Martin, John Cleese, Lily Tomlin, Jeremy Irons, and Aishwarya Rai, among others. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we explore Martin’s best-reviewed movies, and click here for co-star Jean Reno‘s five favorite films.)



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1195186[/tomatometer]

Push

Establishing a credible science fiction world — especially one containing characters with super abilities — is a tall order. Unfortunately, critics say Push isn’t up to it, squandering an intriguing premise with hyperkinetic pacing and a general lack of coherence. Chris Evans plays Nick, who has remarkable paranormal powers and finds himself on the run from unseemly government agents, including the dangerous Henry (Djimon Hounsou), who want to utilize his abilities for their own means. The pundits say that despite director Paul McGuigan‘s visual flair, Push is really hard to follow, with a convoluted script and an excess of style. (Check out our interview with McGuigan, in which he shares his five favorite films with RT.)


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Chocolate, a bizarre Thai martial arts flick about an autistic girl with remarkable fighting skills, is at 71 percent.
  • Our City Dreams, a documentary about a year in the life of five female artists in New York City, is at 67 percent.
  • The road trip comedy Fanboys, which follows several Star Wars fanatics on their quest to see The Phantom Menace before its release, is at 27 percent.
  • Memorial Day, a mockumentary about a group of hard-partying soldiers and their bad behavior on leave and in Iraq, is at 14 percent.

Four new releases hit North American multiplexes on Friday setting up a pair of cinematic fights. The main event sees rival franchise comedies go at it for the number one spot with He’s Just Not That Into You targeting the date crowd and The Pink Panther 2 reaching out to kids and families. The second battle is between two short-titled films starring young superstar Dakota Fanning who voices the title character in the girly animated fantasy and co-stars as a teen bad-ass in the sci-fi actioner Push. The overall box office looks to easily outpace the same weekend from a year ago.

The battle of the sexes unfolds this weekend with the all-star comedy He’s Just Not That Into You as the popular relationship book jumps to the big screen. The PG-13 film brings together the acting talents of Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, and Jennifer Connelly. Seeing broader potential, Warner Bros. set up a marketing push for the New Line production that targets both genders preventing a ladies-only turnout. Sure females will outnumber the chaps, but a significant number of couples will pick up tickets since it doesn’t have an ultra chick flick vibe. You should target the same audiences that last year generated openings of $20.2M for What Happens in Vegas, $21.6M for Fool’s Gold, and $23M for 27 Dresses.

Indeed with Valentine’s Day around the corner and recent weeks being dominated by Clint, Blart, and Liam, there is an opening for a romantic comedy to score with young women. And the cast is young enough to draw in celebrity-obsessed teens too. Direct competition should not be too fierce which could open the door for a top spot bow. With a built-in audience from the self-help book and plenty of star wattage, a solid turnout should be expected this weekend. After that, it’ll be up to words from the mouth. Opening in 3,175 theaters, He’s Just Not That Into You could pull in about $22M this weekend.


He’s Just Not That Into You

Nearly three years to the day after Steve Martin rebooted the classic bumbling sleuth franchise, the funnyman returns with The Pink Panther 2 reuniting him with past co-stars while new cast members join in too. The PG-rated pic features Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer reprising their roles from the 2006 edition and sees additions with John Cleese, Alfred Molina, Andy Garcia, Lily Tomlin, Jeremy Irons, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The last Panther, which was also one of four new wide releases on the weekend before the Presidents’ Day frame, bowed at number one to a solid $20.2M from 3,477 locations and went on to gross $82.2M domestically and $159M worldwide. Knowing the international potential of the franchise, actors from across the globe were tossed in along with a story that unites a dream team of detectives from all parts of the world banding together to solve a new case.

The family audience is the target here and given the success of the last film, there should certainly be a built-in audience here. Weak reviews should matter not. Fans have not been clamoring for a new adventure so don’t expect the opening weekend to far exceed the last one’s, but rather mimic it. Competition will be a factor since the PG-rated comedies Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Hotel For Dogs have given this crowd plenty of physical humor over the last three weeks with close to $135M in combined sales. Plus Coraline may take away some girls not interested in seeing grown men fall flat on their faces. Sony breaks into more than 3,000 theaters with The Pink Panther 2 and could see a debut of around $20M.


Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther 2

Chris Evans turns his flame off but remains in the sci-fi action genre with Push, a Hong Kong-set thriller about a group of operatives with paranormal powers that must fight the government agency out to exploit them. The PG-13 film co-stars Dakota Fanning and Djimon Hounsou. As the latest young-skewing movie to brand its title and release date across the top of its entire 30-second television spot, Push should play to teens and young adults and skew a bit more male. A slick trailer from Summit has been selling the picture well which is crucial since the stars are known, but far from sure things at the box office. With no new action entries to face this weekend, the main competition will come from the current chart-topper Taken which proved last weekend that an appetite is still there for interesting action films. Floating into 2,313 theaters, Push could make off with about $10M this weekend.


Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning in Push

Fanning fans who find her new tough-girl persona too radical in Push can rest easy. The actress voices the title character in the stop-motion pic Coraline playing an 11-year-old girl who discovers a gateway to a mysterious new world in her new house. The PG-rated film from Focus should play to a young audience of kids and skew female. It will have to compete with Pink Panther which is a bigger brand name to girls and parents so it won’t be easy this weekend. But despite the recent round of PG-rated content, there have been no new animated films since mid-December’s The Tale of Despereaux so there should be some takers this weekend, especially among moms and daughters. Selling this to ten-year-old boys will be tougher. The advertising has been shrewdly pitching Coraline as being from the director of James and the Giant Peach which many think was helmed by Tim Burton. He produced. A respectable opening should result and good legs could follow since many schools take time off in February for winter breaks and Presidents’ Day. Sneaking into about 2,100 locations, Coraline may debut to roughly $9M this weekend.


Coraline

Liam Neeson still aims to make his presence felt in the top three this weekend. His action thriller Taken scored a major opening last weekend despite facing off against the highest-rated Super Bowl ever. Audiences responded to the raw nature of the kidnapping pic’s marketing push. A 40% drop may occur this frame giving Fox about $14.5M and an impressive ten-day total of $47M.

Sony’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop has a new bumbling crime-fighter to deal with which happens to be another PG-rated comedy from the same studio. Pink Panther should provide some direct competition for families and young kids looking for mindless humor. Look for a 35% fall to roughly $9M boosting the 24-day cume to a jolly $95M.

Not faring all that well last weekend was the supernatural thriller The Uninvited which failed to open the way so many previous horror films debuting over Super Bowl weekend have. Fans seem to have had enough fright flicks over the last few weeks. The road ahead is creepy too with nothing here to keep the numbers alive. A fall of 55% may result putting the Paramount title at around $4.5M this weekend pushing the sum to $16.5M.

LAST YEAR: The comedy-adventure Fool’s Gold which reunited Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson debuted at number one with $21.6M. The Warner Bros. release went on to capture $70.2M. Opening in second place in 738 fewer theaters but with a nearly identical average was Martin Lawrence‘s comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins with $16.2M. A $42.4M final resulted for the Universal title. Former champ Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus tumbled 67% and fell from first to third with $10.3M in its sophomore session for Disney. Rounding out the top five were The Eye with $6.5M and Juno with $5.6M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com


Paul McGuigan  L. Busacca/WireImage.com
Given his filmography of stylized thrillers, Scottish director Paul McGuigan (Gangster No. 1, Wicker Park, Lucky Number Slevin) seemed a fitting choice to helm this month’s supernatural actioner Push, a Hong Kong-set sci-fi adventure about normal people endowed with super powers starring Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, and Djimon Hounsou. Accordingly, one may be taken aback to hear that McGuigan names romantic auteur Wong Kar-Wai among his favorite directorial influences, but as he demonstrates in Push — which captures the vibrant streets of Hong Kong in lush detail, appropriately — McGuigan possesses a strong visual finesse that belies his history of making brutal crime movies and Hollywood suspense flicks.

McGuigan shared his Five Favorite Films with Rotten Tomatoes, which range from the above mentioned work of Wong Kar-Wai to UK family classics to the edgy work of Darren Aronofsky and beyond. Read on to discover the films most loved by Paul McGuigan, and learn what Hitchockian backstory he’s developing into a feature film.

 

In the Mood for Love (2001, 88% Tomatometer)



In the Mood for Love
It’s such a beautiful cinematic poem, I suppose. When I did Push in Hong Kong, it was a great pleasure to be able to shoot the film almost in the style of Wong Kar-Wai — just with him in mind, you know. Beautiful light, reds and greens. I actually stayed in one of the apartments in Hong Kong that he designed, which was nice. Lots of wallpaper. As a movie, you’re just so compelled by these two characters, and he only shows glimpses of them, yet they’re so compelling — which is a feat in itself.

Have you taken any cues from Wong Kar-Wai in your overall directorial style?

I’d like to think so. I would never compare myself to Wong Kar-Wai — that would be silly, that would be like comparing yourself to David Beckham. But I would like to make more work that has the kind of silence that he has, you know?

Push isn’t quite that quiet film, is it?

Push is really loud. There’s not much silence in Push. [Laughs] It’s a pretty cool movie; it’s not going to stretch you intellectually, but it’s definitely going to make you have some fun at the cinema. In a way, that’s as much a part of what I do as anything; just to entertain people. It was great for me to do something like this. I mean, imagine going to work and talking about f***ing floating guns, you know?


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968, 59% Tomatometer)

Chitty Chitty Bang BangMy second favorite film is probably even more intellectually challenging than Wong Kar-Wai; it’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I f***ing love that movie! I have two children; I’ve probably seen this movie, with each child, about 50 times each. And that’s no exaggeration. There’s nothing I don’t know about this movie. I once went to a meeting with an executive in Hollywood, and they asked me what I wanted to do. I said, ‘I’d love to do a remake of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang‘ — I was just making it up — ‘and I’d call it Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Boom,’ and he said that’s a great title! [Laughs] I was only kidding. But that’s a movie I really love.

In the UK at Christmastime, the girls would get The Sound of Music and the boys would get Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was that kind of thing, where every Christmas you would see it. So when I had kids, of course I put it on for my son and then he became obsessed with it. It’s the kind of movie where you never really get to the end; it’s so long, and the kids can only really wait so long. But the beginning of the film is like 20 minutes long, before anything even happens. It’s just the story of the car. It’s fantastic!


The Man in the White Suit (1951, 100% Tomatometer)



The Man in the White Suit
Alex Guinness, to me is — forget De Niro, forget Pacino — he’s the man. Alec Guinness is such a quintessential English actor, but he’s also a brilliant actor. He’s just the best. And The Man in the White Suit is just such a beautiful, charming movie. It’s about a man who invents a suit that you don’t have to wash. It’s a whole movie about it! It’s something that some of the more flamboyant directors should think about remaking. [Laughs] It’s about this guy who invents this material that keeps white all the time. It’s directed by Alexander Mackendrick, a fellow Scot, and the opening title sequence is amazing. Mackendrick is a brilliant director. I just enjoy his work; I enjoy the pace of his work. I think he’s really overlooked. He did The Ladykillers and Whisky Galore, and The Sweet Smell of Success. A lot of really cool movies.

Alec Guinness, to me — forget Star Wars and all that — he’s just the best. And to work with someone like Alexander Mackendrick, who really understood what a story meant…it’s funny, because on IMDB the movie is listed as sci-fi. It’s not sci-fi, that’s ridiculous! It’s actually a very nice tale, about inventing the thing that nobody wants. Like a car that doesn’t need petrol. The thing that people don’t want because of the money [the auto industry] could make off of you. If you say hey great, I’ve invented this car that doesn’t need petrol, and then there’s a silence, and then there’s a gunshot, and you’re dead. It’s that kind of thing.


Rear Window (1954, 100% Tomatometer)



Rear Window
I love Hitchcock’s Rear Window. I’m actually developing a movie about Robert Capa, who was a war photographer that Hitchcock seemingly based the movie on. I used to take photographs; I was a photographer for many years, and I’m intrigued by this idea. I think it’s a wonderful idea about being a voyeur. He just watches his next door neighbors, and becomes convinced that one of them has been killed. It’s the idea of what you see versus what you really see.

I loved making documentaries for that very reason; you just watch people, even after you’ve shot it. You go back to the edit suite and watch them, and you can understand when they’re telling the truth and when they’re lying. You get to know that stuff. It’s really fascinating — the idea that you can have a movie about something that might have happened… it’s a trick of the eye, or using the camera in a fascinating way. You’re using it to tell a story based on intrigue, and I don’t think I’ve seen that before, or since.


Requiem for a Dream (2000, 78% Tomatometer)



Requiem for a Dream
Requiem for a Dream is a really interesting film. It changed my idea of what people really wanted to see. Because I came from the UK, as a European film director, it was interesting to see how American studios or financiers were really into European cinema. They would always quote certain movies that I made that nobody else had seen — like Gangster No. 1. I was amazed, like, ‘Wow, you’ve actually seen that movie?’ And it dawned on me that people in America aren’t that dumb after all, you know? They’re kind of smart — much smarter than I was about movies. And when I saw Requiem for a Dream, I understood it. This guy got cash, he got money, to make this movie. It’s quite a hard movie to actually sell — can you imagine trying to sell that movie? And for that alone I think Aronofsky is a genius. I like what he does. I even liked The Fountain. The Wrestler is a great movie; I think Pi is a genius piece of work. I think he deserves a lot of praise.

For people like me, who come from Europe and go to America and think nobody’s going to know what I’ve done, I’m a struggling filmmaker, and then suddenly you go into a studio and the head exec is like, ‘Gangster No. 1, I loved that film, it had this and that person in it…’ They see everything. I was quite cheered by that.


Push opens in wide release February 6, 2009. Click here for a full synopsis, photo gallery and trailers.

Want more Five Favorite Films? Check out previous installments with Ernest Borgnine, Mickey Rourke, Danny Boyle, and James Franco.

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