(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Samuel L. Jackson Movies Ranked

After a number of character parts and bit roles in a swath of urban dramas at the start of his career, Jackson made his breakthrough statement as the fiery voice of reason in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing: DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy. Pulling off a character with a name like that should only lead to more success, and sure enough, then came the slapstick comedy (Loaded Weapon 1), a disarming role in Jurassic Park, and the ultimate ’90s character: hitman Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction.

From there, Jackson has only cemented his rep as Hollywood’s versatile king of volatile cool, partnering with John McClane (Die Hard With a Vengeance), feelin’ the Force in the Star Wars prequels, starring as the sexy spawn of Shaft, and making his mark in original meme movie Snakes on a Plane.

And as, of course, the linchpin of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Nick Fury, whose movie appearances (brief or significant) are all included here in the greater interest of the general public, i.e. you’re going to complain if we didn’t. With that said, hold on to your butts for Samuel L. Jackson movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#97

Kite (2014)
0%

#97
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: With the help of her father's ex-partner (Samuel L. Jackson) and a friend (Callan McAuliffe) from her past, an orphaned... [More]
Directed By: Ralph Ziman

#96

Twisted (2004)
1%

#96
Adjusted Score: 5579%
Critics Consensus: An implausible, overheated potboiler that squanders a stellar cast, Twisted is a clichéd, risible whodunit.
Synopsis: Recently promoted and transferred to the homicide division, Inspector Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) feels pressure to prove herself -- and... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#95
#95
Adjusted Score: 9752%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Waymon (Joseph C. Phillips) has a great job in real estate and a promising future, but he's also trapped in... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Hooks

#94

Sphere (1998)
11%

#94
Adjusted Score: 13427%
Critics Consensus: Sphere features an A-level cast working with B-grade material, with a story seen previously in superior science-fiction films.
Synopsis: When psychologist Norman Goodman (Dustin Hoffman) wrote a report for the government on how to deal with extraterrestrial life forces,... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#93

Cell (2016)
11%

#93
Adjusted Score: 12657%
Critics Consensus: Shoddily crafted and devoid of suspense, Cell squanders a capable cast and Stephen King's once-prescient source material on a bland rehash of zombie cliches.
Synopsis: A graphic novelist (John Cusack) begins a desperate search for his estranged wife (Clark Sarullo) and son (Ethan Andrew Casto)... [More]
Directed By: Tod Williams

#92

The Spirit (2008)
14%

#92
Adjusted Score: 18549%
Critics Consensus: Though its visuals are unique, The Spirit's plot is almost incomprehensible, the dialogue is ludicrously mannered, and the characters are unmemorable.
Synopsis: Apparently murdered cop Denny Colt (Gabriel Macht) returns as the Spirit, dedicated to protecting Central City from crime. His archenemy,... [More]
Directed By: Frank Miller

#91

Jumper (2008)
15%

#91
Adjusted Score: 20622%
Critics Consensus: Featuring uninvolving characters and loose narrative, Jumper is an erratic action pic with little coherence and lackluster special effects.
Synopsis: Aimless David Rice (Hayden Christensen) has the ability to instantly transport himself to any place he can imagine. He uses... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#90

Cleaner (2007)
17%

#90
Adjusted Score: 8608%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Retired policeman Tom Cutler (Samuel L. Jackson) works as a crime-scene cleaner to support his young daughter. Cutler's quiet life... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#89

Amos & Andrew (1993)
17%

#89
Adjusted Score: 17511%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When erudite black playwright Andrew Sterling (Samuel L. Jackson) moves to a predominantly white suburb, the buffoonish local police surround... [More]
Directed By: E. Max Frye

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 21212%
Critics Consensus: Even more absurd and implausible than the first XXX movie, State of the Union is less inspired and technically competent than its predecessor.
Synopsis: When the government finds out that a group of terrorists has infiltrated its ranks, and the group is being trained... [More]
Directed By: Lee Tamahori

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 24802%
Critics Consensus: Mechanical animation and a less-than stellar script make The Clone Wars a pale shadow of George Lucas' once great franchise.
Synopsis: As more star systems get swept into the Clone Wars, the valiant Jedi knights struggle to maintain order. Anakin Skywalker... [More]
Directed By: Dave Filoni

#86
Adjusted Score: 22567%
Critics Consensus: Loaded Weapon 1 hits all the routine targets with soft squibs, yielding a tired parody that cycles through its laundry list of references with little comedic verve.
Synopsis: This "Lethal Weapon" spoof follows Los Angeles police officers Wes Luger (Samuel L. Jackson) and Jack Colt (Emilio Estevez) as... [More]
Directed By: Gene Quintano

#85

Basic (2003)
21%

#85
Adjusted Score: 24617%
Critics Consensus: Basic gets so needlessly convoluted in its plot twists that the viewer eventually loses interest.
Synopsis: During a special operations training mission in Panama, four U.S. soldiers are killed mysteriously, and their leader, Sgt. Nathan West... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#84

Reasonable Doubt (2014)
22%

#84
Adjusted Score: 9343%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A prosecutor (Dominic Cooper) commits a fatal hit-and-run, then manipulates the case so that the man who was arrested for... [More]
Directed By: Peter P. Croudins

#83

Meeting Evil (2011)
22%

#83
Adjusted Score: 9845%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An unwitting family man (Luke Wilson) takes a joy ride from hell with an insane killer (Samuel L. Jackson).... [More]
Directed By: Chris Fisher

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 23764%
Critics Consensus: The ensemble cast works hard, but hammy direction and a script lacking in nuance ruins this movie's noble intentions.
Synopsis: Following a lengthy tour of duty in Iraq, three soldiers find that readjusting to life at home is not as... [More]
Directed By: Irwin Winkler

#81

Freedomland (2006)
23%

#81
Adjusted Score: 29195%
Critics Consensus: Poorly directed and overacted, Freedomland attempts to address sensitive race and class issues but its overzealousness misses the mark.
Synopsis: A mother blames the disappearance of her child on a black man from the projects after she reports a carjacking.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Roth

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 25663%
Critics Consensus: A well-intentioned but melodramatic look at post-Apartheid South Africa.
Synopsis: An American reporter (Samuel L. Jackson) and an Afrikaans poet (Juliette Binoche) meet and fall in love while covering South... [More]
Directed By: John Boorman

#79

Zambezia (2012)
25%

#79
Adjusted Score: 9021%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Kai (Jeremy Suarez), a high-spirited falcon, travels to the bird city of Zambezia and discovers the truth about his origins.... [More]
Directed By: Wayne Thornley

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 11908%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Police Detective Jack Friar (Samuel L. Jackson) is searching for a runaway teen when he's taken hostage by a band... [More]
Directed By: Bob Rafelson

#77
Adjusted Score: 36058%
Critics Consensus: Despite the charms of its ensemble, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard fails to protect the audience from repetitive and tired genre tropes.
Synopsis: The world's most lethal odd couple -- bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) --... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#76

Barely Lethal (2015)
26%

#76
Adjusted Score: 25569%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Seeking a normal adolescence, a special-operations agent (Hailee Steinfeld) fakes her own death and enrolls in high school as an... [More]
Directed By: Kyle Newman

#75

The Samaritan (2012)
26%

#75
Adjusted Score: 25647%
Critics Consensus: The Samaritan is a ludicrous neo-noir starring a seemingly bored Samuel L. Jackson.
Synopsis: After many years in prison, a former grifter (Samuel L. Jackson) tries to go straight, but the son (Luke Kirby)... [More]
Directed By: David Weaver

#74

The 51st State (2001)
26%

#74
Adjusted Score: 29333%
Critics Consensus: Filled with profanities, Formula 51 is a stylized and incoherent mess that doesn't add up to much.
Synopsis: "The 51st State" is the story of Elmo McElroy (Samuel L. Jackson), a streetwise American master chemist, who heads to... [More]
Directed By: Ronny Yu

#73

Fluke (1995)
27%

#73
Adjusted Score: 15117%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Workaholic Thomas P. Johnson (Matthew Modine) has achieved professional success at the expense of his family life, having neglected his... [More]
Directed By: Carlo Carlei

#72

One Eight Seven (1997)
30%

#72
Adjusted Score: 30019%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a student writes the police code for homicide, 187, inside a textbook owned by teacher Trevor Garfield (Samuel L.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Reynolds

#71

Shaft (2019)
34%

#71
Adjusted Score: 40526%
Critics Consensus: Decades removed from the original, this multi-generational Shaft struggles to keep its characters interesting -- or anything other than uncomfortably outdated.
Synopsis: John Shaft Jr. may be an FBI cyber security expert, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend's untimely... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 51152%
Critics Consensus: The Legend of Tarzan has more on its mind than many movies starring the classic character, but that isn't enough to make up for its generic plot or sluggish pace.
Synopsis: It's been nearly a decade since Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård), also known as John Clayton III, left Africa to live in... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#69
#69
Adjusted Score: 39532%
Critics Consensus: The script is unconvincing and the courtroom action is unegaging.
Synopsis: Col. Terry Childers (Samuel L. Jackson) is a 30-year Marine veteran: a decorated officer with combat experience in Vietnam, Beirut... [More]
Directed By: William Friedkin

#68
Adjusted Score: 47866%
Critics Consensus: Spiral: From the Book of Saw suggests an interesting new direction for the Saw franchise, even if the gory sum is rather less than its parts.
Synopsis: A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw.... [More]
Directed By: Darren Lynn Bousman

#67

Oldboy (2013)
39%

#67
Adjusted Score: 44779%
Critics Consensus: Suitably grim and bloody yet disappointingly safe and shallow, Spike Lee's Oldboy remake neither surpasses the original nor adds anything new to its impressive legacy.
Synopsis: Although his life is already in a downward spiral, things get much worse for advertising executive Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin)... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#66

Death to 2020 (2020)
40%

#66
Adjusted Score: 40485%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: 2020: A year so [insert adjective of choice here], even the creators of Black Mirror couldn't make it up... but... [More]
Directed By: Al Campbell, Alice Mathias

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 59872%
Critics Consensus: The Hitman's Bodyguard coasts on Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds' banter -- but doesn't get enough mileage to power past an overabundance of action-comedy clichés.
Synopsis: The world's top protection agent is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#64

Lakeview Terrace (2008)
44%

#64
Adjusted Score: 50497%
Critics Consensus: This thriller about a menacing cop wreaking havoc on his neighbors is tense enough but threatens absurdity when it enters into excessive potboiler territory.
Synopsis: An uptight cop (Samuel L. Jackson), the self-appointed watchdog of his neighborhood, strongly disapproves of the interracial newlyweds (Patrick Wilson,... [More]
Directed By: Neil LaBute

#63
Adjusted Score: 54809%
Critics Consensus: xXx: Return of Xander Cage should satisfy fans of the first two installments, but its preponderance of set pieces can't quite make up for a tired storyline that fails to take the franchise -- or action fans -- anywhere new.
Synopsis: After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister... [More]
Directed By: D.J. Caruso

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 45568%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Boxing promoter the Rev. Fred Sultan (Samuel L. Jackson) decides the best way to revive public interest in his top... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 47768%
Critics Consensus: The Caveman's Valentine has an intriguing premise, but the film falls flat under the weight of its ambition.
Synopsis: Romulus (Samuel L. Jackson) is a homeless man who dwells in a cave in one of New York City's parks,... [More]
Directed By: Kasi Lemmons

#60

Soul Men (2008)
45%

#60
Adjusted Score: 48439%
Critics Consensus: Soul Men features lively performances from Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson and some hilarious moments, but ultimately suffers from an unoriginal script.
Synopsis: Louis (Samuel L. Jackson) and Floyd (Bernie Mac) used to be one of the country's top musical duos, until they... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

#59

S.W.A.T. (2003)
48%

#59
Adjusted Score: 52599%
Critics Consensus: A competent, but routine police thriller.
Synopsis: Hondo Harrelson (Samuel L. Jackson) recruits Jim Street (Colin Farrell) to join an elite unit of the Los Angeles Police... [More]
Directed By: Clark Johnson

#58

RoboCop (2014)
48%

#58
Adjusted Score: 57434%
Critics Consensus: While it's far better than it could have been, José Padilha's RoboCop remake fails to offer a significant improvement over the original.
Synopsis: In 2028, OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. While its drones have long been used by the military... [More]
Directed By: José Padilha

#57

XXX (2002)
49%

#57
Adjusted Score: 54242%
Critics Consensus: It has an endearing lack of seriousness, and Vin Diesel has more than enough muscle for the starring role, but ultimately, XXX is a missed opportunity to breathe new life into the spy thriller genre.
Synopsis: Vin Diesel stars as former extreme sports athlete Xander "XXX" Cage, notorious for his death-defying public stunts. Betting he can... [More]
Directed By: Rob Cohen

#56

Astro Boy (2009)
50%

#56
Adjusted Score: 55855%
Critics Consensus: While it isn't terribly original, and it seems to have a political agenda that may rankle some viewers, Astro Boy boasts enough visual thrills to please its target demographic.
Synopsis: In futuristic Metro City, a brilliant scientist named Tenma builds Astro Boy (Freddie Highmore), a robotic child with superstrength, X-ray... [More]
Directed By: David Bowers

#55
Adjusted Score: 62997%
Critics Consensus: Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy -- albeit visually dazzling -- start.
Synopsis: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a young apprentice Jedi knight under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) ; Anakin... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#54

Deep Blue Sea (1999)
59%

#54
Adjusted Score: 64276%
Critics Consensus: Deep Blue Sea is no Jaws, but action fans seeking some toothy action can certainly do -- and almost certainly have done -- far worse for B-movie thrills.
Synopsis: On an island research facility, Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) is harvesting the brain tissue of DNA-altered sharks as a... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 64484%
Critics Consensus: Die Hard with a Vengeance benefits from Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson's barbed interplay, but clatters to a bombastic finish in a vain effort to cover for an overall lack of fresh ideas.
Synopsis: Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is now divorced, alcoholic and jobless after getting fired for his reckless behavior and bad... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 64567%
Critics Consensus: The Last Full Measure struggles to capture the incidents that inspired it, but ultimately prevails thanks to strong performances in service of a remarkable true story.
Synopsis: Airman William H. Pitsenbarger Jr. is awarded the Medal of Honor for his service and actions on the battlefield.... [More]
Directed By: Todd Robinson

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 65414%
Critics Consensus: While sluggish in spots, Resurrecting the Champ is a sports/newsroom drama elevated by high-caliber performances by Samuel Jackson, Josh Hartnet, and Alan Alda.
Synopsis: Things are not going well for Erik Kernan (Josh Hartnett). Erik, a sports reporter, is stuck covering the bush leagues... [More]
Directed By: Rod Lurie

#50

Coach Carter (2005)
64%

#50
Adjusted Score: 69773%
Critics Consensus: Even though it's based on a true story, Coach Carter is pretty formulaic stuff, but it's effective and energetic, thanks to a strong central performance from Samuel L. Jackson.
Synopsis: In 1999, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California, to get the basketball... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Carter

#49
Adjusted Score: 79954%
Critics Consensus: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children proves a suitable match for Tim Burton's distinctive style, even if it's on stronger footing as a visual experience than a narrative one.
Synopsis: When his beloved grandfather leaves Jake clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#48
Adjusted Score: 74007%
Critics Consensus: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones benefits from an increased emphasis on thrilling action, although they're once again undercut by ponderous plot points and underdeveloped characters.
Synopsis: Set ten years after the events of "The Phantom Menace," the Republic continues to be mired in strife and chaos.... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#47

Black Snake Moan (2007)
66%

#47
Adjusted Score: 71847%
Critics Consensus: Uninhibited performances, skillful direction, and a killer blues soundtrack elevate Black Snake Moan beyond its outlandish premise.
Synopsis: After her lover (Justin Timberlake) leaves to serve in the military, Rae (Christina Ricci) gives in to her raging libido... [More]
Directed By: Craig Brewer

#46

Shaft (2000)
67%

#46
Adjusted Score: 70184%
Critics Consensus: With a charismatic lead, this new Shaft knows how to push the right buttons.
Synopsis: Crooked cops on the take -- small-time drug lords -- sleazy informers and sadistic rich kids ready to kill ---... [More]
Directed By: John Singleton

#45

Turbo (2013)
67%

#45
Adjusted Score: 70149%
Critics Consensus: It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a speed-obsessed snail with an unusual dream: to become the world's greatest racer. This odd snail... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#44

A Time to Kill (1996)
68%

#44
Adjusted Score: 70248%
Critics Consensus: Overlong and superficial, A Time to Kill nonetheless succeeds on the strength of its skillful craftsmanship and top-notch performances.
Synopsis: Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson) is a heartbroken black father who avenges his daughter's brutal rape by shooting the... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#43

Kiss of Death (1995)
67%

#43
Adjusted Score: 68026%
Critics Consensus: An outstanding ensemble cast propels Kiss of Death, a noir-ish crime thriller that's slick and big on atmosphere, even if its script may only provide sporadic bursts of tension.
Synopsis: After his time in prison, Jimmy Kilmartin (David Caruso) keeps his head down and provides for his wife and kids,... [More]
Directed By: Barbet Schroeder

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 76187%
Critics Consensus: Snakes on a Plane lives up to its title, featuring snakes on a plane. It isn't perfect, but then again, it doesn't need to be.
Synopsis: FBI agent Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) boards a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, escorting a witness to trial.... [More]
Directed By: David R. Ellis

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 70199%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sharp-witted, and fueled by enjoyably over-the-top action, The Long Kiss Goodnight makes up in impact what it lacks in consistent aim.
Synopsis: Schoolteacher and single mother Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) lives an average suburban life -- until she begins having strange memories... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#40

Unbreakable (2000)
70%

#40
Adjusted Score: 76687%
Critics Consensus: With a weaker ending, Unbreakable is not as a good as The Sixth Sense. However, it is a quietly suspenseful film that intrigues and engages, taking the audience through unpredictable twists and turns along the way.
Synopsis: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is a... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#39

Mo' Better Blues (1990)
71%

#39
Adjusted Score: 71957%
Critics Consensus: Mo' Better Blues is rich with vibrant hues and Denzel Washington's impassioned performance, although its straightforward telling lacks the political punch fans expect from a Spike Lee joint.
Synopsis: Financially irresponsible Giant (Spike Lee) manages a jazz group, but his sax player, Shadow (Wesley Snipes), wants to replace him... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#38

Iron Man 2 (2010)
72%

#38
Adjusted Score: 85019%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#37

The Red Violin (1998)
74%

#37
Adjusted Score: 74801%
Critics Consensus: A symphony of storytelling whose lulls lead to satisfying crescendos, The Red Violin weaves a centuries-long saga with the journey of a single instrument.
Synopsis: The intricate history of a beautiful antique violin is traced from its creation in Cremona, Italy, in 1681, where a... [More]
Directed By: François Girard

#36

The Negotiator (1998)
74%

#36
Adjusted Score: 75686%
Critics Consensus: The Negotiator's battle of wits doesn't wholly justify its excessive length, but confident direction by F. Gary Gray and formidable performances makes this a situation audiences won't mind being hostage to.
Synopsis: Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson) is considered the best police hostage negotiator in Chicago. After a friend warns him that... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 88013%
Critics Consensus: The Hateful Eight offers another well-aimed round from Quentin Tarantino's signature blend of action, humor, and over-the-top violence -- all while demonstrating an even stronger grip on his filmmaking craft.
Synopsis: While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell)... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#34
Adjusted Score: 84837%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, subversive, and above all fun, Kingsman: The Secret Service finds director Matthew Vaughn sending up the spy genre with gleeful abandon.
Synopsis: Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton), whose late father secretly worked for a spy organization, lives in a South London housing... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 104536%
Critics Consensus: Offering exhilarating eye candy, solid acting, and a fast-paced story, Kong: Skull Island earns its spot in the movie monster's mythos without ever matching up to the classic original.
Synopsis: Scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. Cut off from everything they... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 90810%
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

#31

Changing Lanes (2002)
77%

#31
Adjusted Score: 80763%
Critics Consensus: Though some may find its conclusion unsatisfying, Changing Lanes is a tense, well-crafted exploration of meaty ethical dilemmas.
Synopsis: A rush-hour fender-bender on New York City's crowded FDR Drive, under most circumstances, wouldn't set off a chain reaction that... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#30

Thor (2011)
77%

#30
Adjusted Score: 90300%
Critics Consensus: A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment.
Synopsis: As the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Norse gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will soon inherit the throne... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#29

Big Game (2014)
78%

#29
Adjusted Score: 79986%
Critics Consensus: Big Game's enthusiastic throwback vibe will appeal to fans of low-budget '80s action movies, but co-writer/director Jalmari Helander adds a level of smarts and skill that make it more than just an homage.
Synopsis: The U.S. president (Samuel L. Jackson) must rely on a 13-year-old boy (Onni Tommila) to get him out alive after... [More]
Directed By: Jalmari Helander

#28

Mother and Child (2009)
78%

#28
Adjusted Score: 82438%
Critics Consensus: Though it occasionally veers into unnecessary melodrama, Mother and Child benefits from a stellar cast and writer-director Rodrigo Garcia's finely detailed, bravely unsentimental script.
Synopsis: The lives of three women have a commonality: adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) is a physical therapist who regrets that, as... [More]
Directed By: Rodrigo Garcia

#27

The Other Guys (2010)
78%

#27
Adjusted Score: 87678%
Critics Consensus: A clever parody of cop-buddy action-comedies, The Other Guys delivers several impressive action set pieces and lots of big laughs, thanks to the assured comic chemistry between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: Unlike their heroic counterparts on the force, desk-bound NYPD detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) garner no headlines... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#26

Captain Marvel (2019)
79%

#26
Adjusted Score: 113649%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#25

1408 (2007)
79%

#25
Adjusted Score: 87058%
Critics Consensus: Relying on psychological tension rather than overt violence and gore, 1408 is a genuinely creepy thriller with a strong lead performance by John Cusack.
Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena -- before he checks into... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

#24

The Banker (2020)
79%

#24
Adjusted Score: 83699%
Critics Consensus: The Banker's timid approach to dramatizing its fact-based story is often outweighed by the trio of strong performances at its core.
Synopsis: In the 1960s, two entrepreneurs hatch an ingenious business plan to fight for housing integration and equal access to the... [More]
Directed By: George Nolfi

#23
Adjusted Score: 91336%
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

#22
Adjusted Score: 92986%
Critics Consensus: With Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas brings his second Star Wars trilogy to a suitably thrilling and often poignant -- if still a bit uneven -- conclusion.
Synopsis: It has been three years since the Clone Wars began. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Jedi Knight Anakin... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#21

Hard Eight (1996)
81%

#21
Adjusted Score: 82364%
Critics Consensus: An absorbing showcase for Philip Baker Hall, Paul Thomason Anderson's feature debut is a gamble that pays off handsomely.
Synopsis: A stranger (Philip Baker Hall) mentors a young Reno gambler (John C. Reilly) who weds a hooker (Gwyneth Paltrow) and... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#20

Trees Lounge (1996)
81%

#20
Adjusted Score: 80853%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Long Island loser Tommy (Steve Buscemi) is a hopeless alcoholic who loses his job for stealing from his boss, Rob... [More]
Directed By: Steve Buscemi

#19

Jungle Fever (1991)
82%

#19
Adjusted Score: 84387%
Critics Consensus: Jungle Fever finds Spike Lee tackling timely sociopolitical themes in typically provocative style, even if the result is sometimes ambitious to a fault.
Synopsis: A married black lawyer named Flipper (Wesley Snipes) begins an affair with Angie (Annabella Sciorra), his white secretary. When the... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#18

Eve's Bayou (1997)
82%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85553%
Critics Consensus: Eve's Bayou marks a striking feature debut for director Kasi Lemmons, layering terrific performances and Southern mysticism into a measured meditation on disillusionment and forgiveness.
Synopsis: Over the course of a long, hot Louisiana summer, a 10-year-old black girl, Eve Batiste (Jurnee Smollett), discovers that her... [More]
Directed By: Kasi Lemmons

#17

Chi-Raq (2015)
82%

#17
Adjusted Score: 90973%
Critics Consensus: Chi-Raq is as urgently topical and satisfyingly ambitious as it is wildly uneven -- and it contains some of Spike Lee's smartest, sharpest, and all-around entertaining late-period work.
Synopsis: The girlfriend (Teyonah Parris) of a Chicago gang leader (Nick Cannon) persuades other frustrated women to abstain from sex until... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 87361%
Critics Consensus: Told with grit and verve by the Hughes brothers in their feature debut, Menace II Society is a gangland epic that breathes with authenticity while steeped in style.
Synopsis: After growing up in the gang lifestyle of the Los Angeles projects, 18-year-old Caine Lawson (Tyrin Turner) wants a way... [More]

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 94104%
Critics Consensus: Kill Bill: Volume 2 adds extra plot and dialogue to the action-heavy exploits of its predecessor, while still managing to deliver a suitably hard-hitting sequel.
Synopsis: The Bride (Uma Thurman) picks up where she left off in volume one with her quest to finish the hit... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 93911%
Critics Consensus: Kill Bill is admittedly little more than a stylish revenge thriller -- albeit one that benefits from a wildly inventive surfeit of style.
Synopsis: A former assassin, known simply as The Bride (Uma Thurman), wakes from a coma four years after her jealous ex-lover... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 114139%
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

#12

Jackie Brown (1997)
87%

#12
Adjusted Score: 92623%
Critics Consensus: Although somewhat lackadaisical in pace, Jackie Brown proves to be an effective star-vehicle for Pam Grier while offering the usual Tarantino wit and charm.
Synopsis: When flight attendant Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is busted smuggling money for her arms dealer boss, Ordell Robbie (Samuel L.... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#11

Django Unchained (2012)
86%

#11
Adjusted Score: 99465%
Critics Consensus: Bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, Django Unchained is another incendiary masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino.
Synopsis: Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#10

Fresh (1994)
88%

#10
Adjusted Score: 89139%
Critics Consensus: Well cast and sharply directed, Fresh serves as an attention-getting calling card for writer-director Boaz Yakin as well as a gripping urban drama.
Synopsis: Fresh (Sean Nelson) is a 12-year-old drug dealer who finds himself trapped in a web of poverty, corruption and racial... [More]
Directed By: Boaz Yakin

#9
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

#8
Adjusted Score: 118708%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Synopsis: Peter Parker's relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 107368%
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

#6

Jurassic Park (1993)
92%

#6
Adjusted Score: 104075%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of Spielberg's best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws.
Synopsis: In Steven Spielberg's massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#5

Pulp Fiction (1994)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 98832%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential films of the 1990s, Pulp Fiction is a delirious post-modern mix of neo-noir thrills, pitch-black humor, and pop-culture touchstones.
Synopsis: Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) are hitmen with a penchant for philosophical discussions. In this... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#4

True Romance (1993)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 96651%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by Quentin Tarantino's savvy screenplay and a gallery of oddball performances, Tony Scott's True Romance is a funny and violent action jaunt in the best sense.
Synopsis: A comic-book nerd and Elvis fanatic Clarence (Christian Slater) and a prostitute named Alabama (Patricia Arquette) fall in love. Clarence... [More]
Directed By: Tony Scott

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 100605%
Critics Consensus: Smart, vibrant, and urgent without being didactic, Do the Right Thing is one of Spike Lee's most fully realized efforts -- and one of the most important films of the 1980s.
Synopsis: Salvatore "Sal" Fragione (Danny Aiello) is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn. A neighborhood local, Buggin' Out (Giancarlo... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#2

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 116866%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#1

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 108259%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

What better way to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama by watching Oliver Stone’s W. this week on DVD? While a handful of middling studio releases hit home video this week (Nights in Rodanthe, Soul Men, Blindness), the Certified Fresh pick (and Oscar nominee), Frozen River, hits as well. Celebrate Black History Month with the latest from Spike Lee (Miracle at St. Anna) or go indie with the moving directorial debut of actor Giancarlo Esposito (Gospel Hill). Finally, peruse the week’s more eclectic offerings for a break from the norm — and a well-placed roundhouse kick or two (Chocolate, Street Fighter Extreme Edition, and Bruce Campbell in My Name is Bruce).


1. W. — 58%

The politically-inclined movie lover should take note of Oliver Stone’s latest, a shockingly tame envisioning of the early adult life of former US President George W. Bush. As Dubya, Josh Brolin turns in an astoundingly acute and yes, often humorous, portrayal of the Texan playboy-turned-Commander in Chief, and fellow cast members Elizabeth Banks (as Laura Bush) and James Cromwell (as George Bush Sr.) drew praise from critics. The problem, however, lies in relevance — Stone opts to ignore much of Bush’s Presidential choices in lieu of speculating a psychological case study of power ascendance and daddy issues, in the process neutralizing his too-subtle damnation of the former Prez. Learn more about Stone’s approach in a filmmaker commentary available on the standard release, with more materials (making-of featurettes, deleted scenes) found on Blu-ray.

Next: Spike Lee’s latest joint falls south of Fresh

2. Miracle at St. Anna — 33%

While his impressive track record boasts more fresh movies than the average director (he’s got a 75 percent Fresh filmography), Spike Lee has known the occasional flop. Unfortunately, Lee’s latest flick, Miracle at St. Anna, is one of those Spike Lee joints; an over-earnest World War II fable about an all-black squadron in Nazi territory, it careens back and forth between war actioner and mystical legend and runs well overtime. That said, Lee’s epic has something to say about black American soldiers in battle and their depictions (or lack thereof) in American cinema, and that’s worth watching for. Expect no additional bonus materials, however, unless you spring for Blu-ray.

Next: The schmaltzy Nights in Rodanthe


3. Nights in Rodanthe — 30%

Richard Gere and Diane Lane reunite (after starring as a married couple in the thriller Unfaithful) in this schmaltzy romance about two middle-aged strangers who meet at a seaside B&B. How much schmaltz are we talking, you ask? Perhaps these two words can give you an idea: Nicholas Sparks. The author of goop-fests like The Notebook and Message in a Bottle offers up another three-hankie romance full of sentiment that is only for those with the strongest tolerance for cornball contrivances. Featurettes, deleted scenes a commentary by director George C. Wolfe (Lackawanna Blues) and more appear — but only on the Blu-ray disc.

Next: Remembering Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes…with Soul Men

4. Soul Men — 45%

If we are to remember the late comic Bernie Mac and the late musical legend Isaac Hayes, let it not be through watching Soul Men. The two artists, who passed away last year, deserve more of a send-off than this tepid R&B buddy comedy, though the disc fittingly includes separate tributes to the careers of both men. The film itself, directed by Malcolm D. Lee (Undercover Brother, Roll Bounce) follows the reunion of two former singers (Mac and Samuel L. Jackson) who reunite for a concert; humorously delivered expletives and adult humor mar much of the proceedings. If that’s your cup of tea, so be it, though there are more fitting ways to pay tribute to the memories of two such well-loved entertainers.

Next: Blindness, from the director of City of God

5. Blindness — 40%

A city-wide epidemic mysteriously leaves the population without sight — save for one woman (Julianne Moore) — in Blindness, the latest film from Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener). As in his previous films, Meirelles tells a story of human conflict in a strikingly visual manner; that story, however, was too bleak and muddled for many critics. Although this allegory fell short of the freshness mark, the dynamics of post-apocalyptic society and the social cannibalism of Lord of the Flies may appeal to fans of science fiction. An hour-long behind-the-scenes documentary and deleted scenes bolster the DVD, which lacks what would have been an intriguing commentary track.

Next: Bruce Campbell goes post-modern in My Name is Bruce

6. My Name is Bruce — 38%

Fans of the Evil Dead films, Brisco County Jr., or Bruce Campbell himself should pick up this week’s DVD release of My Name is Bruce, a post-modern horror adventure in which a small town is terrorized by an ancient demon, and Campbell (as himself) must step in to save the day. Similar to the recent JCVD, in which over-the-hill action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself as hero in a fictional situation, Campbell pokes fun at (and celebrates) his own movie star status as a B-movie actor of yesteryear. Featurettes, a fake trailer (for the faux film within a film, Cavealien 2), an hour-long making-of documentary, and a feature-length commentary by Bruce Campbell and producer Mike Richardson all make this a must-own for Campbell fans.

Next: Chocolate: Are you ready for the female Tony Jaa?

7. Chocolate — 71%

If the phrase “the female Tony Jaa” doesn’t grab you, then you’re not going to be hooked by this Thai import. (And you also have no sense of fun — because it gets even better.) Chocolate stars newcomer Yanin Vismistananda as Zen, a young autistic woman with an uncanny knack for Muy Thai who puts her martial arts skills to work to pay for her mother’s cancer treatments, leading to a battle with the Yakuza. Plot-wise, it may not make much sense, but amazing stunt work is the leading reason to give Chocolate a go; director Prachya Pinkaew also made the landmark Ong Bak, which made a star of Tony Jaa, and he’s looking to do the same with his agile 22-year-old female star. Chocolate opened in theaters in limited release only last week, so those in major metropolitan areas might even still catch it on the big screen.

Next: The Certified Fresh (and Academy Award-nominated) Frozen River

8. Frozen River — 86%

Independent cinema often needs the most help reaching the masses, so here are a few more reasons to check out Frozen River this week: at 86 percent and Certified Fresh, it’s the best-reviewed wide release of the week, and features an Oscar-nominated performance by actress Melissa Leo. The drama, directed by first-timer Courtney Hunt (who is also up for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay), follows a financially-struggling mother (Leo) who takes to smuggling illegal aliens across the Canadian border to make ends meet. Morally complex, this thriller is made all the more relevant by today’s economic climate — not just in its story, but in the behind-the-scenes drama of how an independent film reportedly made for less than $1 million made it to the Academy Awards.

Next: Giancarlo Esposito’s directorial debut, Gospel Hill

Actor Giancarlo Esposito (Mo’ Better Blues) makes his writing and directing debut with this independently-made drama about race relations and community in the fictional town of Gospel Hill, screened at the Oxford Film Festival last week. As in many Southern towns today, Gospel Hill and its denizens are still hurting from ills committed during the civil rights movement; in examining the lingering specter of segregation, Esposito (who also stars) aims to help heal the social wounds that still separate black and white communities. Esposito managed to nab colleagues Angela Bassett, Danny Glover, Samuel L. Jackson and Julia Stiles for his passion project, which also stars Taylor Kitsch, Adam Baldwin, and the RZA.

Next: Do you need the re-released Back to the Future trilogy?

10. Back to the Future Trilogy

If you already own the time-traveling adventures of Marty McFly from the previously-released box set, or are waiting patiently for the trilogy to get its as-yet unannounced Blu-ray treatment, then you’ll probably want to avoid double-dipping with this week’s 2-Disc Special Edition. But if not, you might want to take advantage of this week’s re-release of all three Back to the Future films, available for the first time individually. While each film has its own substantial set of extras and a commentary track featuring producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton, only the first movie comes with an additional disc that highlights Back to the Future: The Ride; Robert Zemeckis and star Michael J. Fox only appear in Q&As. Personally, where the future of home video is going, we will need more.

Next: Street Fighter hits Blu-ray!

11. Street Fighter Extreme Edition Blu-ray

Despite the lack of any indication that the world particularly needed a Blu-ray release of 1994’s Street Fighter, here it arrives in an “Extreme Edition.” What’s so “extreme” about this High Def release, besides the sight of seeing Jean-Claude Van Damme about to spiral into B-movie obscurity (in high definition)? Nothing much, though we are extremely sad to be reminded that such respectable thespians as Ming-Na, Raul Julia, and heck, Kylie Minogue, cashed in to bring such iconic characters as Chun Li, Bison, and Cammy to life. A plethora of bonus materials are on display here to commemorate the cheesy action flick, which helped to kick off an entire genre (the disappointing video game adaptation) and — surprise! — arrives just in time to help promote Capcom’s new game, Street Fighter IV.

Until next week, happy renting!

This week at the movies, we’ve got Big Brothers (Role Models, starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott), wild animals (Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, with voice work by Ben Stiller and Chris Rock), and R&B vets (Soul Men, starring Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson). What do the critics have to say?

Films that are at once raucously stupid and genuinely funny are a rarity. However, critics say Role Models fits the bill with aplomb. The film stars Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott as a pair of energy drink pitchmen with a proclivity for bad behavior and law-breaking; assigned to community service, they act as Big Brothers to a pair of troublemakers — and learn something in the process. It may sound like pure formula, but the pundits say this is a worthy entry in the Judd Apatow-inspired subgenre of gross-out comedy with heart, featuring well-paced, spectacularly dumb (in a good way) gags and engaging performances. At 75 percent on the Tomatometer, Role Models may be worth following.

“I’d like to dedicate this next number to McLovin.”

Speaking of rarities, how many sequels top the original? Madagascar
made a ton of money but disappointed critics unimpressed with its string of pop culture references and flatulence jokes. The scribes say Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is better in almost every regard, with sharper animation, funnier jokes, and a better story. Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock) and Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) are relocated from captivity in New York to a savannah in Africa. Once there, they rediscover their roots, but pine for the friendly confines of the zoo. It may not be the edgiest animation out there, but pundits say Madagascar is bright and cheerful, with a good deal of energy and some smart laughs. At 68 percent on the Tomatometer, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa may be worth a trip.

“They call me the Hiphopapotamus, my lyrics are bottomless…..”

The script of Soul Men may be coarse and shopworn, but critics say it’s an ok sendoff for the great comic Bernie Mac, who passed away earlier this year. The film stars Mac and Samuel L. Jackson as a pair of R&B backup singers who reluctantly agree to perform at a tribute concert for a soul legend despite mutual acrimony; their cross-country journey to the show is filled with wacky hostility. The critics say Soul Men isn’t particularly original, borrowing from a number of road-buddy flicks, and the jokes are pretty blue. Still, they also note it’s a worthy final performance for Bernie Mac, an actor who stole many scenes in supporting roles and is in fine form as a lead here (and the late soul great Isaac Hayes also turns in a sharp supporting performance). At 54 percent on the Tomatometer, Soul Men hits some decent notes.

One of these men is in no hurry to take it to the bridge, to the consternation of the other.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Captain Abu Raed, a tale of a janitor in Jordan who inspires a goup of children who believe he’s a pilot, is at 100 percent.

  • A revival of Francois Truffaut‘s classic The Wild Child, based on the true story of a boy who survived alone in the wild, is at 100 percent.

  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell, a documentary about a group of Liberian women’s political activism in the midst of civil war, is at 100 percent.

  • JCVD, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as a version of himself fighting to escape a hostage situation in a bank, is at 85 percent (check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down the Muscles from Brussels’ best-reviewed films).

  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, a Holocaust drama about the son of a Nazi officer who forms a friendship with a boy in a concentration camp, is at 71 percent.

  • The World Unseen, a drama about two South African women who form a tight bond during the Apartheid era, is at 29 percent.

  • Repo! The Genetic Opera, a futuristic musical about a biotech company that harvests human organs, is at 25 percent.

Finally, props to indiefilmfan2, Mary R., and rockclimbr6 for coming the closest to guessing The Haunting Of Molly Hartley‘s three percent Tomatometer.

Best-Reviewed Bernie Mac Movies:

Bursting into theaters across North America on Friday is the toon sequel Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa which looks to keep the recent wave of kidpic hits going strong. For those not interested in animated zoo animals, two R-rated buddy comedies also hit multiplexes – Role Models starring Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd plus Soul Men with Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac. Overall, the marketplace seems to have a very good chance of beating year-ago sales figures to kick off the holiday movie season.

Three and a half years after their first adventure grossed a stunning $531M worldwide, the fun-loving animals are back in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. The PG-rated film reunites the talented voice cast of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett-Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Cedric the Entertainer and picks up where the 2005 original left off with a story about the gang going from the island nation to… continental Africa. Putting the same characters into a new location is common for sequels but this one doesn’t really bother globe-trotting too much. But the story should not matter too much.

Kids and parents loved the first pic which pulled in a broad audience reaching teens and young adults too. It bowed to $47.2M over the three-day portion of the Memorial Day holiday frame that year and had sturdy legs. The brand has remained popular over the years thanks to DVD and TV so there is a desire to see these characters again. High School Musical 3 will be the only major competitor this weekend so the road ahead is clear for Africa to hit its mark. Over the last three years, November has been home to high profile animated films opening in the $38-42M range – 2005’s Chicken Little, 2006’s Happy Feet, and last year’s Bee Movie. Thanks to a built-in audience, Escape should have no problem soaring higher. Crashing into more than 3,900 locations, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa may take in about $55M this weekend.


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd play friends that are ordered by a court to mentor two troubled kids in Universal’s raunchy comedy Role Models. The R-rated film has earned encouraging reviews and will play to older teens and young adults looking for envelope-pushing jokes. With a Medieval-crazy teen and a cursing ten-year-old, audiences are bound to find just that. The leads have had success in supporting roles while in this genre, Scott with the American Pie pics and Rudd with films from the Judd Apatow factory. While not A-listers individually, as a combined entity they should be able to pull in some sales for a movie like this. McLovin’ adds some voltage and the studio’s marketing push has been good too. Don’t expect early-November Borat numbers here, but a respectable turnout is likely plus word-of-mouth should be good going forward. Landing in about 2,700 theaters, Role Models might take in around $11M this weekend.


Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, and Bobb’e J. Thompson in Role Models

Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac play the two remaining members of a popular 1970s band that take a road trip to New York to perform once again in Soul Men. The MGM release will try to tap into the starpower of the leads but the film can’t help itself from being affected by the sympathy factor for Mac who died just three months ago. Reviews have not been very positive and both men have seen their big openings come from larger franchise films and movies with bigger stars in them. The African American audience will be critical here but it’s unclear how many white moviegoers will open their wallets for this film, even in this new Obama era. Debuting in roughly 2,000 sites, Soul Men could bow to about $9M.


Bernie Mac, Isaac Hayes and Samuel L. Jackson in Soul Men

Following its two-week stint on top, High School Musical 3 will fall from the number one spot and be replaced by another kidpic. But since last Friday’s box office was so affected by Halloween, this weekend’s overall decline may not be too large. Look for a 40% slide to about $9M for a 17-day cume of $75M. Zack and Miri Make a Porno will face direct competition from Role Models for the exact same audience. The Weinstein Co. release might drop by 50% to around $5M for a ten-day total of $19M.

LAST YEAR: The top two films swapped places with the animated comedy Bee Movie moving into first place with $25.6M and a 33% drop, while fellow sophomore American Gangster fell 45% to $24M. Debuting in third was the Vince Vaughn holiday comedy Fred Claus with $18.5M. The Warner Bros. title went on to collect $72M. Stumbling into fourth was the Tom CruiseRobert Redford project Lions for Lambs with just $6.7M for MGM on its way to $15M. Buena Vista’s Dan in Real Life rounded out the top five with $6M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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