Sony Pictures

(Photo by Sony/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Daniel Craig Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Before he would get to utter the words “Bond, James Bond” to the delight of millions, Daniel Craig built up a durable if not spectacular resume, showing up in a range of films from the first Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider to A Kid In King Arthur’s Court. As the sniveling son of mob boss Paul Newman in Road to Perdition, Craig was able to make an impact with a broad audience in a film that already had plenty for us to look at, including Conrad L. Hall’s rain-drenched cinematography and a rare anti-hero turn from Tom Hanks.

By 2005, Craig was on the cusp of a major breakthrough with a co-starring role in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, and crime flick Layer Cake, essentially a stylish and gritty feature-length audition tape to play Agent 007. The following year, he and GoldenEye director Martin Campbell launched Casino Royale, a rousing and hard-nosed crowdpleaser revealing a James Bond for a new cynical generation. He’s since reprised the role three more times with Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre, and when he returns in 2020 with No Time to Die, Craig will have the longest consecutively tenured Bond in film history.

Of course, when you’re James Bond, every non-Bond role you take becomes something of an automatic sensation. Some roles, like Logan Lucky or David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo really demonstrate Craig’s range. Other films, like Dream House or The Invasion, are spectacular bombs. And the rest, along the lines of Cowboys & Aliens and The Golden Compass, are right in the mushy middle.

We know on which end of the spectrum Craig’s latest film, the Rian Johnson whodunit Knives Out, lands. (Hint: It’s his best-reviewed movie ever.) With No Time To Die‘s April 2020 November 2020 April 2021 October 2021 release now behind us, take a look back as we rank all Daniel Craig movies by Tomatometer!

#30
Adjusted Score: 4631%
Critics Consensus: Disappointing even by the relaxed standards of live-action children's entertainment, A Kid in King Arthur's Court stands as a rare near-total misfire from Disney.
Synopsis: When a violent earthquake rocks Southern California, hapless teenager Calvin Fuller (Thomas Ian Nicholas) finds himself careening through a hole... [More]
Directed By: Michael Gottlieb

#29

Dream House (2011)
6%

#29
Adjusted Score: 7791%
Critics Consensus: Dream House is punishingly slow, stuffy, and way too obvious to be scary.
Synopsis: Publisher Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) quits a lucrative job in New York to relocate his wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz), and... [More]
Directed By: Jim Sheridan

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 12477%
Critics Consensus: The straightforward retelling of Kuki Gallman's life in Africa neither moves or entertains the viewer.
Synopsis: Inspired by the true story of indomitable Kuki Gallmann, the film tells of a beautiful and inquisitive woman who had... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Hudson

#27

Kings (2017)
13%

#27
Adjusted Score: 14442%
Critics Consensus: Kings has good intentions, a talented cast, and the basis for an incredible fact-based story; unfortunately, they don't amount to much more than a missed opportunity.
Synopsis: Millie is a hardworking, tough and protective Los Angeles single mother with an affection for homeless children. Her neighbor Obie... [More]
Directed By: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

#26

The Invasion (2007)
19%

#26
Adjusted Score: 25895%
Critics Consensus: The Invasion is slickly made, but it lacks psychological insight and thrills.
Synopsis: Washington, D.C. psychologist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) and her colleague Dr. Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) are the only two people... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Hirschbiegel

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 26312%
Critics Consensus: Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role of Lara Croft, but even she can't save the movie from a senseless plot and action sequences with no emotional impact.
Synopsis: This live action feature is inspired by the most successful interactive video-game character in history -- Lara Croft. Beautiful and... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#24

Sylvia (2003)
36%

#24
Adjusted Score: 40184%
Critics Consensus: This biopic about Sylvia Plath doesn't rise above the level of highbrow melodrama.
Synopsis: Young Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) dreams of becoming an important writer. Her childhood is scarred by the unexpected loss of... [More]
Directed By: Christine Jeffs

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 35779%
Critics Consensus: Despite Daniel Craig's earnest efforts, Flashbacks of a Fool suffers from an ambitious but underdeveloped script.
Synopsis: When washed-up British actor and drug addict Joe Scott (Daniel Craig) learns that his best friend, Boots (Max Deacon), has... [More]
Directed By: Baillie Walsh

#22

The Power of One (1992)
39%

#22
Adjusted Score: 38744%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: It's the 1930s, and as the people he cares for die or leave his village, young South African P.K. bonds... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#21

Some Voices (2000)
40%

#21
Adjusted Score: 8862%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A restaurant owner (David Morrissey) cares for a brother (Daniel Craig) whose mental stability continues to decline.... [More]
Directed By: Simon Cellan Jones

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 50475%
Critics Consensus: Without the bite or the controversy of the source material, The Golden Compass is reduced to impressive visuals overcompensating for lax storytelling.
Synopsis: Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) lives in a parallel world in which human souls take the form of lifelong animal... [More]
Directed By: Chris Weitz

#19

The Jacket (2005)
44%

#19
Adjusted Score: 50282%
Critics Consensus: The Jacket is a case of creepy style over substance.
Synopsis: Amnesiac Gulf War veteran Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) can't explain why he's been found at the scene of a murder.... [More]
Directed By: John Maybury

#18

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
44%

#18
Adjusted Score: 53072%
Critics Consensus: Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are as dependably appealing as ever, but they're let down by director Jon Favreau's inability to smooth Cowboys & Aliens' jarring tonal shifts.
Synopsis: Bearing a mysterious metal shackle on his wrist, an amnesiac gunslinger (Daniel Craig) wanders into a frontier town called Absolution.... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#17

Renaissance (2006)
49%

#17
Adjusted Score: 50620%
Critics Consensus: Renaissance attempts to blend sci-fi wonder with stark noir animation, but is often more fun to look at than to watch.
Synopsis: Avalon Corp., a purveyor of eternal youth and beauty, worms its way into every facet of life in 2054 Paris,... [More]
Directed By: Christian Volckman

#16

Defiance (2008)
58%

#16
Adjusted Score: 65602%
Critics Consensus: Professionally made but artistically uninspired, Ed Zwick's story of Jews surviving WWII in the Belarus forest lacks the emotional punch of the actual history.
Synopsis: In 1941, Nazi soldiers are slaughtering Eastern European Jews by the thousands. Three brothers, Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Liev Schreiber)... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#15

Enduring Love (2004)
59%

#15
Adjusted Score: 61092%
Critics Consensus: While it strains credibility and isn't ultimately as profound as it might first appear, Enduring Love is still an intriguing thriller fueled by strong performances from Rhys Ifans and Daniel Craig.
Synopsis: A man (Rhys Ifans) obsesses over a science professor (Daniel Craig) who helped him save a boy in a runaway... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#14

Spectre (2015)
63%

#14
Adjusted Score: 77447%
Critics Consensus: Spectre nudges Daniel Craig's rebooted Bond closer to the glorious, action-driven spectacle of earlier entries, although it's admittedly reliant on established 007 formula.
Synopsis: A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 75406%
Critics Consensus: Brutal and breathless, Quantum Of Solace delivers tender emotions along with frenetic action, but coming on the heels of Casino Royale, it's still a bit of a disappointment.
Synopsis: Following the death of Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his next mission personal. The hunt for those who... [More]
Directed By: Marc Forster

#12

Infamous (2006)
74%

#12
Adjusted Score: 79421%
Critics Consensus: Though comparisons with last year's Capote may be inevitable, Infamous takes a different angle in its depiction of the author, and stands up well enough on its own.
Synopsis: In Kansas, with childhood friend Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock), author Truman Capote (Toby Jones) developed an intense and complex relationship... [More]
Directed By: Douglas McGrath

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 82069%
Critics Consensus: Drawing deep from the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark playbook, Steven Spielberg has crafted another spirited, thrilling adventure in the form of Tintin.
Synopsis: While shopping at an outdoor market, young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell), accompanied by his faithful dog, Snowy, buys a model... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#10

The Mother (2003)
78%

#10
Adjusted Score: 80574%
Critics Consensus: Reid gives a fearless, realistic performance in depicting an older woman's sexual blossoming.
Synopsis: May (Anne Reid) is a middle-aged grandmother who lives in Northern England with her husband, Toots (Peter Vaughan). When Toots... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#9

Munich (2005)
78%

#9
Adjusted Score: 85427%
Critics Consensus: Munich can't quite achieve its lofty goals, but this thrilling, politically even-handed look at the fallout from an intractable political conflict is still well worth watching.
Synopsis: After the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and their coach at the 1972 Olympics, the Israeli government secretly assigns Avner... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#8

Layer Cake (2004)
80%

#8
Adjusted Score: 85389%
Critics Consensus: A stylized, electric British crime thriller.
Synopsis: An unnamed mid-level cocaine dealer (Daniel Craig) in London makes plans to step away from the criminal life. Before he... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 87148%
Critics Consensus: Somber, stately, and beautifully mounted, Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition is a well-crafted mob movie that explores the ties between fathers and sons.
Synopsis: Mike Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is an enforcer for powerful Depression-era Midwestern mobster John Rooney (Paul Newman). Rooney's son, Connor (Daniel... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#6

No Time to Die (2021)
83%

#6
Adjusted Score: 105751%
Critics Consensus: It isn't the sleekest or most daring 007 adventure, but No Time to Die concludes Daniel Craig's franchise tenure in satisfying style.
Synopsis: In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace... [More]
Directed By: Cary Joji Fukunaga

#5
Adjusted Score: 95952%
Critics Consensus: Brutal yet captivating, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the result of David Fincher working at his lurid best with total role commitment from star Rooney Mara.
Synopsis: Disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) finds a chance to redeem his honor after being hired by wealthy Swedish... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#4

Logan Lucky (2017)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 112379%
Critics Consensus: High-octane fun that's smartly assembled without putting on airs, Logan Lucky marks a welcome end to Steven Soderbergh's retirement -- and proves he hasn't lost his ability to entertain.
Synopsis: West Virginia family man Jimmy Logan teams up with his one-armed brother Clyde and sister Mellie to steal money from... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#3

Skyfall (2012)
92%

#3
Adjusted Score: 108066%
Critics Consensus: Sam Mendes brings Bond surging back with a smart, sexy, riveting action thriller that qualifies as one of the best 007 films to date.
Synopsis: When James Bond's (Daniel Craig) latest assignment goes terribly wrong, it leads to a calamitous turn of events: Undercover agents... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#2

Casino Royale (2006)
94%

#2
Adjusted Score: 105576%
Critics Consensus: Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007.
Synopsis: After receiving a license to kill, British Secret Service agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) heads to Madagascar, where he uncovers... [More]
Directed By: Martin Campbell

#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

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

65%

The past year has seen a rash of films dealing with the Holocaust. This week alone there are two releasing on DVD, while Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds continues to rampage at the cinemas. Of them all, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas has proved to be one of the more contentious.

For some audiences and reviewers this is a moving and affecting story about a dark period in modern history as seen through the eyes of a child. For others, it is an insulting, sanitised and trivialised account of remembered horrors. The internationally best-selling novel of the same name, on which it is based, has faced similar attacks.

The movie tells the story of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of a concentration camp commandant, who befriends a young Jewish boy; a prisoner in his father’s camp. The friendship that builds between the two boys through the camp’s fence, and Bruno’s gradual understanding of his father’s day job, form a kind of parable.

For much of this film, there is a prevailing innocence. However, the subject manner and the slap-in-the-face ending earns this film a well-deserved M rating, meaning it may not be for the everyone.

Consensus: A touching and haunting family film that deals with the Holocaust in an arresting and unusual manner, and packs a brutal final punch of a twist.

Defiance

55%

The true story on which this movie is based is an inspiration. It tells of the Bielski brothers who flee to the forest to escape the Nazis only to become leaders and protectors to over a thousand Jewish refugees. They defend and shelter the lost and helpless against both Nazi sweeps and the bitter winter that descends upon the Belarus Forest.

Sadly, director Edward Zwick didn’t think his audience would understand how great a feat this was, so decided to slam home every single plot point and speech with an inspirational sledgehammer.

Beneath the dogmatic direction, however, lurk some very powerful performances. Most notably Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski, the brother who wants to keep everyone alive by lying low in the forest and waiting out the war and his brother Zus, played by Liev Schreiber who would rather go all Inglourious Basterds on the Nazis’ ass and fight back with the Russian resistance. The struggle between these two men is one of the film’s great strengths.

The other great strength is that it is true; a fact that is brought home at the end when we are shown photos of the individuals who inspired this dramatisation.

Defiance is heavy-going and violent and the ongoing conflict between survival and revenge is hard work. However, the story of human strength and the extent to which people can adapt to almost immeasurable hardships is a good one.

And if you are still hopped up from Tarantino’s ultimate Nazi revenge flick, this will tide you over until Inglourious Basterds is available on DVD.

Consensus: Professionally made but artistically uninspired, Ed Zwick’s story of Jews surviving WWII in the Belarus forest lacks the emotional punch of the actual history

Entourage: Season 5

HBO is responsible for producing some of the highest quality television series of recent years, but none quite as cool as Entourage. .

It is loosely based on the early career of executive producer Mark Wahlberg and his experiences as an up-and-coming movie star in LA. Wahlberg is the inspiration for character Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), a young movie star who has brought his brother and closest childhood friends with him for his Hollywood ride.

Chase’s manager and best friend, Eric ‘E’ Murphy (Kevin Connolly) is said to be an amalgam of the show’s other executive producer, Eric Weinstein and Wahlberg’s real life manager, Stephen Levinson. Vincent’s brother and chef, Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase (Kevin Dillon) is based on Johnny ‘Drama’ Alves, Wahlberg’s real-life cousin and ‘Turtle’ (Jerry Ferrara) is modelled on Wahlberg’s original assistant Donnie ‘Donkey’ Carroll.

For many fans of the show, this writer included, the real star is foul-mouthed, tough-as-nails with a heart-of-gold agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Ari Gold is a characterisation of Wahlberg’s agent, Ari Emanuel.

For most of the show’s run, Vincent and his boys have led a charmed existence. The move from New Jersey to California has been smooth. The cars and girls are hot and life is sweet. Season 5, however, sees a few cracks appearing in their perfect lives, as Vincent’s career, and wallet, hits a roadblock. Vince’s passion project from the previous season, Medellin, has bombed and the work isn’t flowing as it once did. Also, his relationship with E is under strain. It isn’t all bad, however, as Drama’s career is on the rise and Turtle finds himself falling for a high-profile actress.

Heroes: Season 3

They saved the cheerleader and saved the world but these ordinary people who woke up one day with extraordinary abilities are still fighting for their lives.

Watching Heroes is like seeing your favourite childhood comic come to life. It has the aesthetic vibrancy and colour of a graphic novel, combined with super-hero adventure.

Season 2 of Heroes was affected by the writers’ strike, meaning that it ended rather abruptly after only 11 episodes but Season 3 presents a full-length 25 episode season. Whereas Seasons 1 and 2 focused on the heroes, and their fight against the evil Sylar, Season 3 is all about the bad-guys. Villains are aplenty this time around and the pace is definitely faster than the slow-build second series.

One of the great successes of Heroes is the casting. Sendhil Ramamurthy as scientist Mohinder Suresh, Hayden Panettiere as the rejuvenating cheerleader, Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrellie, the man with innumerable super powers, and Masi Oka as the adorable, time and space bending Hiro Nakamura, are each charismatic and believable in this distinctly unbelievable show. A standout, however, is Zachary Quinto as Sylar, an evil watchmaker with one hell of a chip on his shoulder.

For those of you who skipped this show because you are not a sci-fi fan, or you tuned out when they started messing around with the television time-slot, this is a well-written, entertaining, award-winning television series and definitely worth the rental.

This week on DVD catch up on a few big flicks you might have missed in theaters, including an Oscar-nominated suburban period piece by Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio), a real-life tale of WWII heroism (Defiance, starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber), and a sprawling look at dating and relationships in the age of Facebook (He’s Just Not That Into You). If TV’s your thing, pick up the latest seasons of your favorite shows (Weeds Season 4, Prison Break Season 4). And if you dare to go direct-to-DVD, plenty of titles await (Spring Breakdown, Anaconda 4, Direct Contact, Silent Venom).



Although Kate Winslet earned her much-deserved Oscar for Best Actress at the 2009 Academy Awards (for her work in Stephen Daldry’s The Reader), it was her turn in husband Sam MendesRevolutionary Road that should have earned the accolades. As the stifled 1950s housewife April Wheeler, Winslet shines opposite former Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio; together they paint a portrait of painful suburban ennui, crafted handsomely by Mendes (American Beauty, Jarhead). Mendes and screenwriter Justin Haythe offer commentary on the film and deleted scenes, with Winslet and DiCaprio joining in to delve into the film’s production and story, based on the novel by Richard Yates. Watch our exclusive featurette below.


Next: The blonde Bond and Sabretooth team up in Defiance


Defiance

56%



It had all the makings of an Oscar film. Holocaust setting? Check. Compelling real-life story? Yup. Respectable actors (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell) doing humanistic, conflicted drama? Got it. And yet, Defiance failed to capture critical praise because of one crucial missing element: soul. At least, that’s what the scribes noted as they gave mixed negative marks to Ed Zwick‘s WWII action pic, about a trio of Jewish brothers who hid a thousand of their fellow countrymen and fought back against the Nazis in the forests of Belorussia. If you’re all for watching a couple of Jews kill some Nazis — and Inglourious Basterds isn’t opening soon enough — then give it a go, if only to admire the true grit and gumption displayed by the real-life Bielski brothers (whose story is recounted by surviving descendants in one DVD feature). Watch an exclusive clip below.


Next: Guess what critics were Just Not That Into?



Critics were just not that into He’s Just Not That Into You, the big-screen adaptation of the best-selling dating advice book that strives to teach women to throw away their needy emotional tendencies in order to succeed with men. Not that there’s anything wrong with said self-help book, but the material just didn’t vibe well with the medium — HJNTIY sells out its own message by wrapping most of its threads up too, well, happily. What does it tell eager young women in the audiences when characters are tsk tsked for succumbing to “female” erratic behavior, only to be rewarded with exactly what they want in the end? And while its sprawling cast (Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Connolly, an underused Drew Barrymore and a sultry Scarlett Johansson) deliver charming-enough performances, there are way too many dramas to keep track of. Hollywood, we need better romantic comedies than this.


Next: Dolph Lundgren is back in Direct Contact



When your tagline reads “They thought he was dead… They were dead wrong” and ’90s action star Dolph Lundgren is your lead, you know you’ve got a promising direct-to-video action (or DTV) flick on your hands. Yes, this is your standard DTV fare, but, as Lundgren himself told our friends at IGN, it’s a no-brainer action flick meant to recall the bombastic, explosion-filled action flick of the ’80s and ’90s. All of which sounds good to us! The plot: Dolph is an American operative imprisoned in Eastern Europe promised freedom in exchange for retrieving a hot woman from some bad guys. But who exactly are the real bad guys?? We know you can’t wait to find out. (Unfortunately, the DVD comes with zero bonus features.) Check out the trailer here.

Next: Saturday Night Live‘s ladies star in Spring Breakdown



After being shelved, demoted to DVD, and playing the Sundance Festival, Spring Breakdown arrives to offer its audience — a demographic that we can’t quite pinpoint — an indie, female-driven comedy that is essentially the anti-Sex and the City: a tale about middle-aged lady losers who bring their baggage and social awkwardness to a collegiate spring break, where they proceed to binge drink, pick up men, and do all the things that they never got to do (and which, of course, men always get to do, especially in movies). Saturday Night Live vets Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch (who shares writing credits with director Ryan Shiraki), and Parker Posey star as the geeky 30-something protagonists, with plenty of their contemporary comic actors showing up in support (watch for Will Arnett, Seth Myers, Jane Lynch, Missi Pyle, and Lineal from Borat). Beware: festival reviews were mixed, so this gross-out comedy might be a bust. A commentary and gag reel highlight the bonus features.


Next: Are you ready for Anaconda 4?




At long last, the creature-feature sequel we’ve all been waiting for arrives! From the makers of, well, Anaconda 3, comes Anaconda 4: Trail of Blood, which picks up right where the previous sequel left off. In Anaconda 4, a giant snake is subject to genetic experiments and when someone tries to kill it by cutting it in half… it turns into TWO snakes! Yup. Like a worm! Contrary to initial reports, Anaconda 3 star David Hasselhoff doesn’t return for this Sci Fi Channel adventure, but Crystal Allen does, along with the esteemed but apparently hard-up for cash Jonathan Rhys-Davies, who seems to take any crappy sci-fi/fantasy role he’s offered these days. Hey, internet: remember when the Anaconda property had real stars (like J. Lo and Ice Cube) and played in theaters? Yeah, we do too. Good times.

Next: Weeds Season 4


In Season 4 of Showtime’s hit series Weeds, single mother Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) heads south for a fresh start — at least, as fresh a start as a suburban pot dealer can get — to reboot her marijuana business closer to the Mexican border. But what’s a drug-dealing MILF to do when her sons are maladjusted, she’s in bed with Mexican smugglers, and she’s having an affair with the Mayor of Tijuana? Catch up on Season 4 this week before the series returns June 8.


Next: At last, Prison Break ends…kinda.



Somewhere along its four-season life, Fox’s hit show Prison Break turned into a 24 knock-off with a touch of Alias — double-crosses, conspiracies, and shady organizations galore, less a “inmates break out of jail” show than a conspiracy thriller. Now that the final season has aired, complete (or start!) your Wentworth Miller DVD collection with the season that wrapped it all up by bowing to fan sentiment, for better or worse, revealing that Dr. Sarah Tancredi is still alive (surprise!), Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows may not really be brothers, and that which every man, woman, and operative in the series is after is nothing more than a little black book. And did we mention that Michael’s evil mother shows up? (For you completists, the show officially wraps up in July with the TV movie Prison Break: The Final Break.)


Next: Get Silent and Venomous with Luke Perry!


Silent Venom — N/A




If you’re asking yourself, “Is it bad movie of the week time?” then you’ve hit the nail on the head! Slithering onto shelves this week is Silent Venom, a direct-to-DVD B-movie that could otherwise be called “Snakes on a Submarine.” As if that wasn’t enough to pique our interest, the creature feature stars Krista Allen (star of Baywatch Hawaii and eight Emmanuelle movies), Tom Berenger, and — be still, your beating hearts — former 90210 hunk Luke Perry. But what’s it about, you ask? A bunch of radioactive snakes break loose on a submarine and… well, the details aren’t really important. Enjoy!

Until next week, happy renting!

This week at the movies, we’ve got a guard with insecurity (Paul Blart: Mall Cop, starring Kevin James); pampered pooches (Hotel for Dogs, starring Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin); a crazed killer (My Bloody Valentine 3D, starring Jensen Ackles and Jaime King); Brooklyn’s finest (Notorious, starring Jamal Woolard and Angela Bassett); and wartime heroics (Defiance, starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber). What do the critics have to say?

Everybody loves a good dumb comedy — as long as it provides ample laughs. However, the critics say Paul Blart: Mall Cop is good for a couple of lowbrow yucks, but it isn’t exactly a model of disciplined storytelling. Kevin James likeably plays the title character, a portly, self-important (and sidearm-free) crime fighter in a suburban New Jersey mall who must utilize every shred of his training when a hostage situation arises. The pundits say Paul Blart contains some funny slapstick pratfalls, but its thin premise doesn’t generate a headlong comic intensity, and a number of gags simply fall flat. At 29 percent on the Tomatometer, you may want to go shopping somewhere else.

Kevin James, in a dramatic moment from Chopping Mall 2.

Marley and Me, Bolt, Wendy and Lucy, Beverly Hills Chihuahua… dog people must feel like they’re in cinematic heaven these days. Hotel for Dogs is the latest pooch-centric flick to hit multiplexes, but critics say its appeal will be limited to little kids and die-hard canine lovers. The film stars Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin as a pair of orphans who are so in love with man’s best friends that they convert an abandoned hotel into a four-star doggie resort, providing posh accommodations for as many strays as they can find. Look, few will go to Hotel for Dogs expecting hyper-realism, but the pundits say this occasionally funny slice of whimsy is predictable and contrived, and the four-legged heroes repeatedly outshine their human counterparts. At 48 percent on the Tomatometer, Hotel for Dogs may not be worth a stay.

“This is one more reason why we need a bailout.”

If you’re the type of filmgoer that really, really enjoys blood and guts, My Bloody Valentine 3D is here to overload your senses. Critics say this extremely grisly slasher flick, which with a sick sense of humor and three-dimensions-worth of wild kills, might just be a gorehound’s nirvana. A loose remake of the 1981 title of the same name, Valentine stars Jensen Ackles as Tom, a coal miner whose mistake costs the lives of some co-workers; now, a decade later, someone donning a miner’s mask and wielding a pickaxe is running amok in town, and Tom looks to be a target. The pundits say this is an expertly crafted, pretension-free genre piece that’s technologically advanced and features plenty of wicked scares. At 83 percent on the Tomatometer, this is one Bloody good time.

“I can’t believe it! That guy didn’t even signal!”

The Notorious B.I.G. was one of rap’s most compelling figures, with the remarkable ability to spin tales of his wayward past with devastating emotional vulnerability and insight. However, the critics say Notorious, George Tillman Jr.’s biopic of the late hip hop great, succumbs to the kind of clichés that Biggie studiously avoided on his records. First-timer Jamal Woolard stars as the man who would be B.I.G., a small-time Brooklyn hustler who became a huge star before his death in a shooting before his 25th birthday. The critics say Woolard is excellent, capturing the nuances of the character with assurance, but the rest of the film isn’t up to its central performance, clicking off the details of Biggie’s life without the complexity or depth of his rhymes. At 57 percent on the Tomatometer, Notorious isn’t quite “Juicy” enough.

“What a drag… Oh well, let’s see if Pizza Hut is open.”

Defiance recounts an undeniably important historical tale: that of a group of Eastern European Jews who fought the Nazis in World War II. And although the critics say the film is well-crafted, they also find it lacking in emotional impact. Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell star as brothers who, on the run from the Germans, establish a community of refugees deep in the Belarusian forest; as food becomes scarce and disease runs rampant, the brothers decide to mount an offensive against the Nazis. The pundits say this is a respectful telling of a fascinating story, but the trouble is, it’s overly solemn and clichéd. Defiance currently stands at 54 percent on the Tomatometer. (Check out our interview with director Ed Zwick here)

“So anyway, my agent told me to hold out for $20 million before agreeing to Billy Elliot 2: Feet Afire.”

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The German import Cherry Blossoms, the story of an elderly couple making a final journey to Japan, is at 100 percent.

  • The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, a documentary in which famed philosopher Slavoj Zizek pontificates on the appeal of the movies, is at 100 percent.

  • Chandni Chowk to China, a Bollywood martial arts musical comedy, is at 10 percent.

Recent Daniel Craig Movies:

Edward Zwick - Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com

With a successful career in television (thirtysomething, My So Called Life) and an Academy Award under his belt (for producing Shakespeare in Love), Edward Zwick the writer/producer has dabbled in more arenas than your average filmmaker. However, when it comes to helming his own pics, Edward Zwick the director has become known more specifically for his heroes — flawed, courageous, and almost always gunning for the Oscars. His latest film, Defiance, continues a string of weighty war dramas in the spirit of his previous Oscar pics Glory (1989), The Last Samurai (2003), and Blood Diamond (2006), in a gritty tale based on the true story of Jewish resistance fighters (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell) in Nazi-occupied Poland during WWII.

Rotten Tomatoes caught up with Zwick to ask his Five Favorite Films, although things didn’t quite go as planned; like many film nuts, he had too many favorites to choose from. “That’s about the most difficult question you could ever ask a director,” he told us. “I might have to do my 500 favorites!

I do watch It’s a Wonderful Life with my children at Christmas, and I liked it long before it went into the public domain and became a cliché,” Zwick shared. “I like it frankly not because of its sentimentality but because of its darkness. When The Godfather comes on, any time of the day or night, I’m lost because I’m incapable of turning it off. But, God there are Truffaut movies and Kurosawa movies, and John Ford movies and John Sturgess movies, and Fellini movies and Bunuel movies, and Ettore Scola and Howard Hawks, Woody Allen and Paul Mazursky and… just stop me.

And so, we abandoned the excruciating question and turned towards the film at hand. Along the way, we discussed how a New York Times obituary led to Zwick’s 12-year journey bringing Defiance to fruition; why it was important to allow his heroes a certain degree of bloodlust and complexity; and what elements of the real-life events he had to cut out in the name of cinema. When asked his views on auteur theory — or if there is such a thing as an Ed Zwick aesthetic — his response revealed an interesting directorial point of view.

I’ve always believed that the stories and the performances are more important than I am,” said Zwick. “I think that the more invisible that my hand is, the more attention people can pay to the story and to those performances.

Read on for our full interview with Defiance writer/director Edward Zwick.

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Rotten Tomatoes: Well, let’s talk about Defiance. Were there any movies or directors that influenced you particularly in the making of Defiance?

Edward Zwick: I looked at Klimov‘s movie Come and See. It’s a great film. Different, because it’s very subjectively told, but it’s a great movie.

RT: What lessons did you take from it?

EZ: The brutality of the moment. You know, I tend not to go look at movies before I make a movie. I’d rather not be specifically influenced. I know they’re there. Let’s see, but this movie…I know it was important for me that the ensemble, the community, be a character in that movie, that we have a sense of the group, as a group, in addition to just the players, and so any movie that really talked about ensembles in that particular way I know would have been influential.

RT: What is interesting about your filmography is that in later years, you’ve been known for your large scale war-related movies, but you started out with different sorts of projects in both television and film. Can you talk about where in your career or in your life you started being attracted to the bigger films, or these certain themes?

EZ: Well, I hate to dissuade you from this, but I’m gonna tell you a story. Do you know the poet John Donne? He did “Death Be Not Proud,” he did, “No man is an island unto himself.” He was a preacher, and he wrote the Holy Sonnets, and it was later discovered that there were other poems by a man named Jack Donne, they thought, who wrote this very bawdy, very sexual poetry. And then they discovered it was the same man, and they decided that Jack Donne had a religious conversion and became John Donne. And then they discovered that, in fact, he was doing all of them all along. And the truth is that I made Glory after making About Last Night…, but then went and did thirtysomething. But after thirtysomething did Legends of the Fall. But after Legends of the Fall, went back and did My So-Called Life. And after My So-Called Life then did Courage Under Fire, but then did Once and Again and The Siege. And then we did Quarterlife a couple years ago, but now I’m doing [Defiance]. I think the truth is I’m interested in both those things, have been, and will continue to be. That TV stuff has given me an opportunity to give voice to a much more nuanced appreciation of human behavior and a kind of more comedic view, and these movies are 70 ft. across and 30 ft. high, and somehow the stories feel better when they can fill the screen.

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RT: You mentioned Quarterlife, which I really enjoyed. I watched that when it was first online.

EZ: Yeah, it was an experiment, and that was, again, something that was as intimate as anything could ever be. It’s sometimes a little too convenient to assume that things are a progression. They’re often not.

RT: If it’s possible, would you be able to define an Ed Zwick style or aesthetic?

EZ: I guess I’ve always believed that the stories and the performances are more important than I am. I think that the more invisible that my hand is, the more attention people can pay to the story and to those performances. I actually think it’s kind of easy to impose yourself onto the material, with a self-conscious camera or an obvious stylistic choice. I’m much more interested in realism and verisimilitude and I think in order to do that, I will do whatever I can in its service.

RT: So perhaps you don’t subscribe to auteur theory.

EZ: I don’t think that I do.

RT: It seems like, these days, directors are very tied to a persona.

EZ: Yeah, I find that to be too easy. I actually think it’s much harder to humble yourself before the material.

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RT: With Defiance, how did you come to find and select that story as the next one that you’d be telling?

EZ: Well, you know, it took twelve years. We came upon an obituary in the New York Times that many years ago. We worked on a script, we couldn’t get financing; we were turned down by every studio again and again. During that time obviously I made other movies, but it really wasn’t until a couple of my movies did particularly well in Europe that I was able to get financing. And Daniel Craig’s star suddenly was ascendant there too. We financed the movie out of Europe, and brought it back here, and then found a domestic distributor. In that sense, it’s as much a European production as it is an American.

RT: What was it about the European financers? Were they a little more courageous?

EZ: I think film is culture in Europe, and films that have ideas in them, and films that have historical or philosophical bases, fit better into the commercial marketplace. And here, studios with any scale feel the need to do things that are about sequels or superheroes. You know, the arthouse space at $6 or $7 million certainly is available here, although that’s getting its own problems these days. This movie cost $30 million, which is modest by the huge standards, but we needed it to put it all on the screen, to accomplish what we wanted to accomplish and tell the story well. Period, and costumes, and numbers of people at times… In order to do that, Daniel and all the actors and I and everyone else took a quarter of our salary just to get it done. We invested in the movie, we invested in ourselves, and should it succeed, we’ll get our fees. But if not, we made something we wanted to make, and that was our operating principle. And I think in Europe right now, the international marketplace is as important as the domestic.

RT: Is this the first time you’ve had to leave the United States to get financing for a project?

EZ: Absolutely. And should it work, it may provide a template for others who are trying to a little bit more challenging material at scale.

Next: On casting Bond as his Jewish resistance fighter and why Zwick’s heroes tend towards violence

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RT: Talking about Daniel, was it very much of a challenge to get away from his Bond persona?

EZ: Not in the slightest. We knew Daniel’s work based on before Bond, when he became Terry Smith in Infamous, when he became Ted Hughes, when he became the character in The Mother or Layer Cake. He is a very chameleon-like actor, and you don’t lose that when suddenly you become a movie star. In fact, I think this suggest his determination to hold on to that quality.

RT: Was there a challenge in getting the audience to detach from their idea of who Daniel Craig is?

EZ: Well, I think it’s a testament to the course of his performance and that those to whom I’ve spoken who’ve seen the movie seem to have no problem having to disappear even within moments. Whether that’s because he has a very natural modesty and a very different quality, whether it’s costume, or whether it’s accent, or whatever it is, that hasn’t seemed to be a problem for many people.

RT: What I like about your characters in Defiance is that they’re heroes, but they have blood on their hands.

EZ: Yeah, it was very important to me that we don’t sugarcoat who these people were. They had to do things that may not have been a source of pride, but were a source of exigency. You know, when Leonardo DiCaprio and I were working on Blood Diamond, it was also trying to be truthful. That character is morally very questionable, right? And yet, you come to understand him and follow his struggle. I think these men are in a terrible circumstance, and yet, despite doing things that are at times morally questionable, I think their motivations are understandable and you can give yourself over to following why they do the things they do. And I think that engages us. I think when people are paragons, it’s less interesting, and it was very important to try to give complexity to a subject. You know, the whole subject itself was trying to add complexity into who Jews were. Similarly, we want to not give a “primary colors” interpretation of the characters.

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RT: It also seems that your central trio, the three main brothers, comprise different shades of the same person, with Jamie Bell’s character quite torn between being more like either of his two older brothers.

EZ: Well I think that’s probably true. In Nechama Tec’s book, she really goes out of her way to talk about this dialectic between the urge for vengeance and the desire to save others, and I guess it’s the dramatist’s stroke to really invest that further in those two personalities. That also seemed to be born out by the history and the anecdotes we would hear about them. So yes, as the youngest and as someone becoming a man of his own, he both embraces violence and yet is drawn toward community. He gets married and stays true to that. So yes, I guess he manifests both of them.

RT: It’s been discussed that it’s seems convenient to some that all three of those main brothers get love interests.

EZ: It happens to be true!

RT: Right, those things really happened — which I suppose is your answer to assumptions of artistic license.

EZ: Yeah, that’s the amazing part. Sometimes truth can seem even beyond what you would dare write if you were making it up. But indeed, that happened.

RT: Was it difficult at all to have that very specific set of events and to kind of have to balance that out as a storyteller, and were you ever tempted to cut out any of the minor details?

EZ: Well, sure, you inevitably cut out a lot of detail. They took much more vengeance than I showed, they had much more quotidian making of shoes and coats, you know, there was a lot of trench digging. They, in fact, moved several more times than I was able to dramatize. You know, redundancy is not the thing that one looks fondly at in movies. Things stand in for other things; it’s dynamic. It’s more like poetry than prose. One event signifies or represents many others. So, there is always a reductionist quality. You hope you’re not taking away too much complexity while you’re doing it.

Next: Comparing his personal connection to Defiance to that with My So-Called Life

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RT: It seems like that’s quite a difficult thing to do as a writer when you’re adapting.

EZ: Yes, that is the challenge, and that’s why, by the way, we chose to tell only nine or ten months of the story rather than three years. At least, it was cutting out a more compassable part of the story to tell. It was choosing, limiting our ambition slightly, because if you told three years, think of how more diffused it would have had to be and how much more you were eliminating even than we did.

RT: And yet, you still have so much packed into one movie.

EZ: Well, yeah, that’s the trick.

RT: In terms of the action scenes, how much of the action was embellished from the real life events?

EZ: Well, I mean, they did perpetrate ambushes. The Bielskis certainly took their revenge on those in those villages, as we showed. They were attacked by planes and Howitzers. I think the final scene condenses several engagements in which they manage to get away. You know, I’m sure that the particular battle itself was more desultory in the way that things tend to begin and end than the way we show it, but the movie had to end somehow. It was time. And in fact, it was as much about the reconciliation of those brothers coming together as anything else, that led to that.

RT: In what way do you consider this a personal film, and is it more or less personal than any of your other films?

EZ: Well, as a Jewish kid growing up, assimilated in the Midwest, you don’t feel particularly close to these events. You hear about them, and you’re confused by them, and even angered by them. But to go there, inevitably you suddenly realize that the proximity between you and these events is an accident of geography and birth and maybe a generation, and but for a quirk of fate or fortune, karma, you may have been there. And had you been there, you can’t help but ask what you would have done. Who would you be? Would you have been able to survive? Would you have been inclined to one philosophy or the other? And that inevitably makes it personal. On the other hand, I think you can’t direct a movie without investing in certain aspects of its story or characters. So yes, in some specific way it was personal, but not in the specific way that thirtysomething was personal, when I’m writing about my friends or my marriage, or My So-Called Life when I’m writing about being in high school. On the other hand, every time you hold a camera and every time you talk to an actor or cut two pieces of film together, you’re making an editorial choice that reveals you.

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RT: How did you know what it was like to be a high school girl?

EZ: I think we’re all high school girls.

RT: I think you guys nailed it.

EZ: [Laughs]

RT: What’s it like being a voting member of the Academy? Is this time of year incredibly exciting and fun?

EZ: Yeah, I think that every member of the Academy thinks that he’s a genius. And everyone is an expert and knows just who to vote for, and does it in a way that is entirely personal and probably immune to all of the buzz and hum about all this stuff. You know, I do try to see the films so when I’m voting I actually know what I’m talking about. I’m not just voting for my friends; in that aspect, I’m no longer in high school.

Read reviews and watch the trailer for Defiance here. For more awards season interviews and news, check out RT’s Awards Tour.

A trip to the cinema is a sure-fire way to beat the January blues, but which film should you be shelling out to see? Vying for your pennies this weekend we have Daniel Craig in non-Bond mode for the WWII epic Defiance. Already a big festival hit, Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire finally hits the UK cinemas, as do two US comedies in the Apatow-vein, Role Models and Sex Drive. So what did the British critics have to say?

Defiance tells the incredible true story of the Bielski brothers, a trio of Jewish resistance fighters in Belarus, who saved thousands of lives through their actions in WWII. Directed by Edward Zwick and starring Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell and Liev Schreiber, Defiance is an all-action epic with an amazing true story at it’s heart, but it has split the critics. Currently standing at 52% on the Tomatometer, most critics were wowed by the previously rarely heard story, but felt the production was let down by clichéd narrative, drab cinematography and an all-round muddled approach to the central story. Xan Brooks of The Guardian summed up the general consensus:

Defiance makes a noise but leaves no echo. It feels progressively more bogus and less significant the further it recedes from view, and myths are meant to wax in the memory, not wane.”

Danny Boyle has been a stalwart of British cinema since breaking onto the scene first with Shallow Grave, then the critically acclaimed Trainspotting. Always defying convention, Boyle has tried his hand at many genres, and has now turned his eye to Bollywood, with his Mumbai-set Slumdog Millionaire. With no Rotten ratings compiled from the UK reviews, Slumdog proudly stands at a very healthy, and Certified Fresh, 94% on the Tomatometer. There was universal praise for its uplifting tone, inspirational fairytale story, and stunning use of location and setting. Rob Daniel, Sky Movies, said about the film:

“Hard hearts may balk at the unashamed sentiment, black and white morality, and question-flashback contrivances, but let them eat pie and mash: this is a tangy banquet of smile-on-the-face feel good.”

Role Models and Sex Drive hit the UK cinemas this week both boasting impressive current US-comedy pedigree. Role Models stars Paul Rudd, Seann William-Scott and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (AKA McLovin of Superbad fame) in a comedy about two thirty-something slackers on community service, whilst Sex Drive features Clark Duke, James Marsden and Seth Green in a teen coming-of-age road movie. Role Models is currently faring better on the Tomatometer at a Certified Fresh 76%, whilst Sex Drive is lagging behind at 42% overall, but both films tallied a similar number of fresh ratings with the UK critics, so if a laugh-out-loud comedy is what you are looking for this weekend, you are spoilt for choice. Nigel Andrews of The Financial Times said of the two films:

“Neither film wins a prize for visual style. Each deserves one for clever gags and zanily zig-zagging dialogue.”

Quote Of The Week

“This unfunny studio comedy is so downright demeaning I ended up hating not only it but my entire gender — and most specifically myself for secretly quite wanting to watch it.”

Bride Wars

Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro.

Jamie Bell - Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com

Jamie Bell tap-danced his way into the national consciousness with his breakthrough performance in Billy Elliot nine years ago. Just 14 at the time, he saw off competition from former Oscar winners Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush to win the Best Actor award at the BAFTAs. Since then he has worked with heavyweight screen luminaries such as Peter Jackson, Clint Eastwood, and now Edward Zwick, director of his latest film, the WWII epic Defiance.

RT spoke to the young actor about working with 007, his hopes for the future, and whether he’d ever consider slipping back into his tap shoes for the big screen.

Did you find it daunting sharing the screen with actors like Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber in Defiance?

Jamie Bell: A little bit, because they’re both pretty good actors. I had immense admiration for both of them before starting the movie, and even more so after the movie. The great thing about it was realising that they’re incredibly generous with everything; with their ideas, with their acting, with their ability. They’re the actors who, when you stand in front of them, they elevate your performance without really doing anything. So it was daunting, but immediately I was equal, and immediately there was none of that sort of macho stuff that usually happens on movie sets.

Defiance
Bell (left) with Daniel Craig in Edward Zwick’s Defiance.

Having had no training in acting prior to Billy Elliot, when you’re on sets like these, do you actively seek out advice from the more experienced actors?

JB: I don’t think it’s ever a direct thing. I don’t ever go, “How would you do this?” or, “How would this happen?” It’s more about studying the way that they approach scenes. We would start scenes and Liev would just go, “Hold on a second,” and walk through the pages. And I would just see how he mentally and intellectually goes through every step and every decision that his character makes. When you see someone who is paying that much attention to detail, you start doing these things yourself. I’ve learnt so much from so many of the fantastic people I’ve managed to work with, and these guys were no different.

You’ve had a lot of diverse roles in big films such as Jumper and King Kong and smaller independent films such as The Chumscrubber and Hallam Foe; has it been a conscious decision to strike that balance?

JB: I think so. I’ve almost been acting for 10 years, and you’re always striving for longevity. I think that there’s no way of ensuring it; everyone does things differently. I often find the smaller, independent films are much more rewarding than the bigger stuff, but you do the bigger stuff because it’s a business, and you’ve got to show your face a bit, get yourself around. So those sorts of things are often very business-driven decisions.

Hallam Foe
In last year’s Hallam Foe as the odd title character.

Smaller films tend to be much more intimate character stories, and you get to work with directors who don’t follow any set conventions. I mean, I love Ed Zwick, he’s a fantastic director and I think he manages to blend the intimate with the epic incredibly well. But it’s also fantastic working with people like David Mackenzie [on Hallam Foe] or David Gordon Green [Undertow] who both defy convention. And that’s their whole purpose of being, is that they do things completely differently, which is also refreshing. It challenges you in a different way.

Is there anyone you’d love to work with in the future?

JB: Yeah. I think there’s probably a list every actor carries around with them with the same names on it. But I also like fresh, young, different directors too. I’d love to work with some people again actually. I’d like to reunite with some people and do something different. That idea sounds good to me, you know, the familiarity. But they’re all the same people on the same list!

Do you find being a young British actor in the United States an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to landing roles?

JB: I don’t think it makes that much difference really. People have an idea of who you are, and you’re either right for it or wrong for it. The reason I’m living in New York is because most of the work is in the States. While it’s mostly in Los Angeles, I chose not to live in LA because I just didn’t really vibe with it. New York is much more my kind of place, and it’s also in between LA and London, and I love to come back to England all the time, so it seemed to be the perfect place for me now. But that could definitely change.

Jumper
In Fox’s big-budget action flick of 2007, Jumper.

Any things you are yet to do that you’d like to?

JB: No. I think most of the decisions that always come up are not really thought about that much. It just comes up, you know, “Do you want to make a movie about a kid who climbs rooftops and wears make-up around his nipples?” It just stems from that, and you go, “Well that sounds interesting, lets look into it.” There’s never a grand master plan of what the next thing is. I just usually wait, and turn a lot of stuff down, until the right thing with the right person comes along.

Would you consider taking a role involving dancing again?

JB: I would definitely never cancel it out as an option, I love dancing, and it’s a massive part of my life. I just haven’t seen the right thing yet. There hasn’t been a really good dancing movie for a while, or at least I haven’t seen it, and it hasn’t come through my desk. But I would love to. I would never cancel that out.

Billy Elliot
As Billy Elliot in the role which made him famous.

Were you offered more dancing roles after Billy Elliot?

JB: Bizarrely not. It’s hard to incorporate dance into movies I think. I think dance has to be seen live or on stage, and I don’t think it really works in the recorded format. If I was to do it again, I’d love to do one of those old musical movies. I usually hate musicals, but they don’t make them any more, so you’re just waiting for the right thing to come along. Maybe Baz Luhrmann will do something good.

Have you got any advice for any aspiring young actors out there?

JB: There’s no right way to do it. I think everyone does it very differently. I look at my contemporaries, and we’re all at different stages and levels, and all choosing different routes, different ways to do things. But, really, I’m crap at giving advice. I’ve 10 years of people giving me advice, and I still need to receive it. Even though I’ve been working for 10 years, I still have no idea of what the hell I’m doing actually, and that’s the reality of it.

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