DreamWorks Animation

(Photo by DreamWorks Animation)

All 41 DreamWorks Animation Movies Ranked

DreamWorks Animation’s first movie was Antz, released two months before A Bug’s Life, and thus this studio was born into incessant comparison to Pixar’s output, molded by it, becoming the snarky and sarcastic foil to its competitor’s earnestness.

DreamWorks Animation would forge most of its identity and formula on the back of one giant, smelly, green ogre: Shrek, which has generated sequels, tie-ins, theme park rides, and billions of dollars, while ensuring Smash Mouth’s “All-Star” never leaving the pop culture’s ironic curriculum.

The studio’s other franchises include Kung Fu Panda, which introduced a whole new world of visual flair and surprising emotional depth to the DreamWorks movie canon, and Madagascar, which pulled off the mega-rare feat of each movie being higher-rated on the Tomatometer than the last. At least the mainline movies. (Penguins of Madagascar 73% is lower than the 79% Madagascar 3 has, but that’s a spin-off.)

Their latest releases were Spirit Untamed and Boss Baby: Family Business, with The Bad Guys and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish on the horizon. Now, we’re ranking all DreamWorks Animation movies by Tomatometer!

#41

Shark Tale (2004)
36%

#41
Adjusted Score: 41565%
Critics Consensus: Derivative and full of pop culture in-jokes.
Synopsis: Underachiever Oscar (Will Smith) is a pint-sized fish with grand aspirations. When mob-connected great white shark Frankie (Michael Imperioli) is... [More]

#40

Shrek the Third (2007)
42%

#40
Adjusted Score: 50245%
Critics Consensus: Shrek the Third has pop culture potshots galore, but at the expense of the heart, charm, and wit that made the first two Shreks classics.
Synopsis: When King Harold suddenly croaks, Shrek (Mike Myers) learns he will have to rule the land of Far, Far Away,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller

#39
Adjusted Score: 48026%
Critics Consensus: Competent, but not magical.
Synopsis: The adventurous sailor (Brad Pitt) and a beautiful stowaway (Catherine Zeta-Jones) have 10 days to save a prince from execution.... [More]

#38
Adjusted Score: 50882%
Critics Consensus: It's more C-level than C-suite, but as a painless diversion for the kids, this Boss Baby manages some decent Family Business.
Synopsis: Now adults, Tim Templeton is a stay-at-home dad for two adorable daughters, while his estranged brother, Ted, is a big-shot... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 51697%
Critics Consensus: Predictable story and thin characters made the movie flat.
Synopsis: Two con-men (Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh) get hold of a map to the lost City of Gold, El Dorado. After... [More]

#36

Spirit Untamed (2021)
50%

#36
Adjusted Score: 54670%
Critics Consensus: While it might be a passable diversion for younger viewers, Spirit Untamed is a middling sequel that lacks the essential energy suggested by its title.
Synopsis: After moving to a sleepy little town, young Lucky Prescott befriends a wild mustang named Spirit, who shares her rebellious... [More]
Directed By: Elaine Bogan

#35

Bee Movie (2007)
49%

#35
Adjusted Score: 56326%
Critics Consensus: Bee Movie has humorous moments, but its awkward premise and tame delivery render it mostly forgettable.
Synopsis: Fresh out of college, Barry the Bee (Jerry Seinfeld) finds the prospect of working with honey uninspiring. He flies outside... [More]

#34

Home (2015)
52%

#34
Adjusted Score: 56229%
Critics Consensus: Colorful, silly, and utterly benign, Home is a passable diversion, but there's no shortage of superior animated alternatives.
Synopsis: After a hive-minded alien race called the Boov conquer the Earth, they relocate the planet's human population -- all except... [More]
Directed By: Tim Johnson

#33

The Boss Baby (2017)
53%

#33
Adjusted Score: 65133%
Critics Consensus: The Boss Baby's talented cast, glimmers of wit, and flashes of visual inventiveness can't make up for a thin premise and a disappointing willingness to settle for doody jokes.
Synopsis: A new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator -- a... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#32

Madagascar (2005)
54%

#32
Adjusted Score: 61533%
Critics Consensus: Though its story is problematic in spots and its humor is hit-or-miss for the adult crowd, Madagascar boasts impressive visuals and enough spunky charm to keep children entertained.
Synopsis: Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York's Central Park Zoo. He... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 64543%
Critics Consensus: While not without its moments, Shrek Forever After too often feels like a rote rehashing of the franchise's earlier entries.
Synopsis: Long-settled into married life and fully domesticated, Shrek (Mike Myers) begins to long for the days when he felt like... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#30
Adjusted Score: 69039%
Critics Consensus: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor.
Synopsis: Alex (Ben Stiller), Morty (Chris Rock) and other zoo animals find a way to escape from Madagascar when the penguins... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath

#29

Turbo (2013)
67%

#29
Adjusted Score: 70146%
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

#28
Adjusted Score: 72815%
Critics Consensus: A visually stunning film that may be too predictable and politically correct for adults, but should serve children well.
Synopsis: Follows the adventures of a wild and rambunctious mustang stallion as he journeys through the untamed American frontier. Encountering man... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 81879%
Critics Consensus: A fun follow-up for fans of the original, Trolls World Tour offers a second helping of colorful animation, infectious energy, and sing-along songs.
Synopsis: Poppy and Branch discover that there are six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands. Each tribe is also... [More]
Directed By: Walt Dohrn

#26

The Croods (2013)
72%

#26
Adjusted Score: 76444%
Critics Consensus: While it may not be as (ahem) evolved as the best modern animated fare, The Croods will prove solidly entertaining for families seeking a fast-paced, funny cartoon adventure.
Synopsis: Prehistoric family the Croods live in a particularly dangerous moment in time. Patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage), his mate, Ugga (Catherine... [More]

#25

Megamind (2010)
72%

#25
Adjusted Score: 78778%
Critics Consensus: It regurgitates plot points from earlier animated efforts, and isn't quite as funny as it should be, but a top-shelf voice cast and strong visuals help make Megamind a pleasant, if unspectacular, diversion.
Synopsis: Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 77451%
Critics Consensus: Penguins of Madagascar is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real filmgoing fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Plucky penguins Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) -- the most elite spies... [More]

#23

Flushed Away (2006)
73%

#23
Adjusted Score: 78574%
Critics Consensus: Clever and appealing for both children and adults, Flushed Away marks a successful entry into digital animated features for Aardman Animations.
Synopsis: After an ignoble landing in Ratropolis, a pampered rodent (Hugh Jackman) enlists the help of a sewer scavenger (Kate Winslet)... [More]
Directed By: David Bowers, Sam Fell

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 81922%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't approach the depth of the best animated films, Monsters Vs. Aliens has enough humor and special effects to entertain moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: When a meteor full of space gunk transforms Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) into a giant, the government renames her Ginormica... [More]

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 80577%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department.
Synopsis: Generation after generation, immortal Guardians like Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla... [More]
Directed By: Peter Ramsey

#20

Trolls (2016)
75%

#20
Adjusted Score: 84907%
Critics Consensus: Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents.
Synopsis: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Justin... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn

#19

Over the Hedge (2006)
75%

#19
Adjusted Score: 82241%
Critics Consensus: Even if it's not an animation classic, Over the Hedge is clever and fun, and the jokes cater to family members of all ages.
Synopsis: When Verne (Garry Shandling) and fellow woodland friends awake from winter's hibernation, they find they have some new neighbors: humans,... [More]

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 86137%
Critics Consensus: Another agreeable outing for the titular prehistoric clan, The Croods: A New Age may be the missing link for parents between more elevated family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Searching for a safer habitat, the prehistoric Crood family discovers an idyllic, walled-in paradise that meets all of its needs.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Crawford

#17
Adjusted Score: 83308%
Critics Consensus: Dazzlingly colorful and frenetic, Madagascar 3 is silly enough for young kids, but boasts enough surprising smarts to engage parents along the way.
Synopsis: Animal pals Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) are still trying to... [More]

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 83756%
Critics Consensus: The Prince of Egypt's stunning visuals and first-rate voice cast more than compensate for the fact that it's better crafted than it is emotionally involving.
Synopsis: In this animated retelling of the Book of Exodus, Egyptian Prince Moses (Val Kilmer), upon discovering his roots as a... [More]

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 86532%
Critics Consensus: Mr. Peabody & Sherman offers a surprisingly entertaining burst of colorful all-ages fun, despite its dated source material and rather convoluted plot.
Synopsis: Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), the most accomplished canine in the world, and his boy, Sherman (Max Charles), use a time... [More]
Directed By: Rob Minkoff

#14

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
81%

#14
Adjusted Score: 86841%
Critics Consensus: The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy, and visual sparkle to compensate.
Synopsis: Now known as the Dragon Warrior, Po (Jack Black) protects the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

#13

Abominable (2019)
82%

#13
Adjusted Score: 91096%
Critics Consensus: Working with admittedly familiar ingredients, Abominable offers audiences a beautifully animated and overall engaging adventure that the whole family can enjoy.
Synopsis: After discovering a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building, teenage Yi and her two friends embark on an... [More]
Directed By: Jill Culton

#12

Puss in Boots (2011)
86%

#12
Adjusted Score: 90677%
Critics Consensus: It isn't deep or groundbreaking, but what it lacks in profundity, Puss in Boots more than makes up for with an abundance of wit, visual sparkle, and effervescent charm.
Synopsis: Long before meeting Shrek, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) -- just named a hero for saving a woman from a... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller

#11
Adjusted Score: 95756%
Critics Consensus: With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won't drive a wedge between family members.
Synopsis: George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#10

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
87%

#10
Adjusted Score: 96905%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Living large and loving life, Po (Jack Black) realizes that he has a lot to learn if he's going to... [More]

#9

Kung Fu Panda (2008)
87%

#9
Adjusted Score: 94519%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.
Synopsis: Po the panda (Jack Black) works in his family's noodle shop and dreams of becoming a kung-fu master. His dream... [More]

#8

Shrek (2001)
88%

#8
Adjusted Score: 96421%
Critics Consensus: While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.
Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude... [More]

#7

Shrek 2 (2004)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 96797%
Critics Consensus: It may not be as fresh as the original, but topical humor and colorful secondary characters make Shrek 2 a winner in its own right.
Synopsis: After returning from their honeymoon and showing home movies to their friends, Shrek and Fiona learn that her parents have... [More]

#6
Adjusted Score: 105856%
Critics Consensus: The rare trilogy capper that really works, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings its saga to a visually dazzling and emotionally affecting conclusion.
Synopsis: When the sudden appearance of a female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois

#5
Adjusted Score: 98834%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, emotionally resonant, and beautifully animated, How to Train Your Dragon 2 builds on its predecessor's successes just the way a sequel should.
Synopsis: Five years have passed since Hiccup and Toothless united the dragons and Vikings of Berk. Now, they spend their time... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois, Tom Owens

#4

Antz (1998)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 97015%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a stellar voice cast, technically dazzling animation, and loads of good humor, Antz should delight both children and adults.
Synopsis: Z the worker ant (Woody Allen) strives to reconcile his own individuality with the communal work-ethic of the ant colony.... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson

#3
Adjusted Score: 102223%
Critics Consensus: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a subtly touching and wonderfully eccentric adventure featuring Wallace and Gromit.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Steve Box

#2

Chicken Run (2000)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103668%
Critics Consensus: Chicken Run has all the charm of Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit, and something for everybody. The voice acting is fabulous, the slapstick is brilliant, and the action sequences are spectacular.
Synopsis: This engaging stop-motion, claymation adventure tells the story of an American rooster who falls in love with a gorgeous hen... [More]
Directed By: Peter Lord, Nick Park

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 105999%
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Synopsis: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life.... [More]

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(Photo by Columbia Pictures/ courtesy Everett Collection)

All Seth Rogen Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer

One-season wonder Freaks and Geeks had a startling amount of its young alums go on to have successful Hollywood careers, Seth Rogen chief among them. He followed mentor Judd Apatow into the movie game with The 40 Year-Old Virgin, starring in a memorable supporting role. Rogen was then upgraded to lead status for Apatow’s follow-up Knocked Up, and the movie’s critical and box office success showed Virgin was no fluke, heralding a significant sea change in mainstream American comedy. Rogen has remained the face of this bong- and bro-tastic style of comedy, also featuring big rips of heartfelt emotion – like Animal House by way of James L. Brooks – in repeated movie hits like Superbad, Pineapple Express, This Is the End, Neighbors, and The Disaster Artist.

He’s been amassing an impressive résumé as producer (not just on his own starring films, but also the likes of Blockers and Good Boys) and director, helming This Is the End, The Interview, and episodes of Future Man and Preacher. His latest comedy was An American Pickle. And now we’re looking at all of Seth Rogen’s movies, ranked by Tomatometer!

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 14708%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Compson family struggles to adjust to the changes in society during the early 20th century in the Deep South.... [More]
Directed By: James Franco

#31

Zeroville (2019)
23%

#31
Adjusted Score: 23035%
Critics Consensus: Potentially an ironic favorite for cult film fans, Zeroville is a fundamentally misguided -- and descriptively titled -- passion project for its director and star.
Synopsis: With two tattoos of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor on his shaved head, Vikar rides a bus into Hollywood and... [More]
Directed By: James Franco

#30

The Guilt Trip (2012)
37%

#30
Adjusted Score: 41025%
Critics Consensus: Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand have enough chemistry to drive a solidly assembled comedy; unfortunately, The Guilt Trip has a lemon of a script and is perilously low on comedic fuel.
Synopsis: Before embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime road trip, Andy Brewster pays a visit to his overbearing mother, Joyce. That proves to... [More]
Directed By: Anne Fletcher

#29

The Green Hornet (2011)
44%

#29
Adjusted Score: 53339%
Critics Consensus: It's sporadically entertaining, but The Green Hornet never approaches the surreal heights suggested by a Michel Gondry/Seth Rogen collaboration.
Synopsis: Britt Reid (Seth Rogen), the heir to the largest newspaper fortune in Los Angeles, is a spoiled playboy who has... [More]
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#28

The Interview (2014)
51%

#28
Adjusted Score: 55946%
Critics Consensus: Unfortunately overshadowed by controversy (and under-screened as a result), The Interview's screenplay offers middling laughs bolstered by its two likable leads.
Synopsis: Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) are the team behind the popular tabloid-TV show "Skylark... [More]
Directed By: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 59740%
Critics Consensus: Though it has a mean streak, and does not cater to all tastes, Observe and Report has gut-busting laughs and a fully committed Seth Rogen in irresistible form.
Synopsis: As head of security at the Forest Ridge Mall, Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen) takes his job very seriously, enforcing mall... [More]
Directed By: Jody Hill

#26

The Lion King (2019)
52%

#26
Adjusted Score: 78224%
Critics Consensus: While it can take pride in its visual achievements,The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved--though for some fans that may just be enough.
Synopsis: Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny on the plains of Africa. But... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 60128%
Critics Consensus: Brisk, funny, and sweetly raunchy, For a Good Time, Call... adds to the recent string of R-rated female comedies while serving as an overdue coming out party for the charming Ari Graynor.
Synopsis: Reserved Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) and bubbly Katie (Ari Graynor) are polar opposites and past enemies. However, when both gals... [More]
Directed By: Jamie Travis

#24
Adjusted Score: 75831%
Critics Consensus: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising may not be strictly necessary, but it still wrings a surprising amount of humor from a recycled premise with a distaff twist.
Synopsis: Life is good for Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and pregnant wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) until the unruly sisters of Kappa... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#23
Adjusted Score: 73012%
Critics Consensus: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.
Synopsis: Lifelong friends and now roommates, Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are buried under a mountain of debt. When... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 76191%
Critics Consensus: Both funny and scattershot, this loose-knit action/buddy/stoner comedy bridges genres and keeps a steady tempo of low-ball laughs.
Synopsis: Stoner Dale Denton's (Seth Rogen) enjoyment of a rare strain of marijuana may prove fatal when he drops his roach... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#21

Funny People (2009)
69%

#21
Adjusted Score: 77815%
Critics Consensus: Funny People features the requisite humor, as well as considerable emotional depth, resulting in Judd Apatow's most mature film to date.
Synopsis: Recently learning that he has a fatal disease, comic George Simmons (Adam Sandler) spots a struggling performer named Ira (Seth... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#20

The Night Before (2015)
69%

#20
Adjusted Score: 74215%
Critics Consensus: The Night Before provokes enough belly laughs to qualify as a worthwhile addition to the list of Christmas comedies worth revisiting, even if it isn't quite as consistent as the classics.
Synopsis: For the last 10 years, lifelong buddies Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have gathered on... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

#19

Paul (2011)
70%

#19
Adjusted Score: 77918%
Critics Consensus: It doesn't measure up to Pegg and Frost's best work, but Paul is an amiably entertaining -- albeit uneven -- road trip comedy with an intergalactic twist.
Synopsis: For the past 60 years, a wisecracking alien named Paul (Seth Rogen) has resided at a top-secret military base in... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 83253%
Critics Consensus: An American Pickle lacks the tart snap viewers might expect given its creative premise, but Seth Rogen's dual performance makes this a low-key comedy to relish.
Synopsis: Preserved in pickle brine for 100 years, an Orthodox Jewish factory worker wakes up in New York City and tracks... [More]
Directed By: Brandon Trost

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 81922%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't approach the depth of the best animated films, Monsters Vs. Aliens has enough humor and special effects to entertain moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: When a meteor full of space gunk transforms Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) into a giant, the government renames her Ginormica... [More]

#16

Neighbors (2014)
73%

#16
Adjusted Score: 81526%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of bawdy humor evenly spread between its well-matched stars, Neighbors earns its R rating -- and filmgoers' laughs.
Synopsis: New parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) move to the suburbs when they welcome an infant daughter into... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#15

Take This Waltz (2011)
79%

#15
Adjusted Score: 83634%
Critics Consensus: Featuring excellent work from an outstanding cast, the bittersweet drama Waltz proves that in the right hands, a familiar tale can still ring true.
Synopsis: A young woman (Michelle Williams) is torn between the husband (Seth Rogen) that she loves and a new man (Luke... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Polley

#14
Adjusted Score: 84142%
Critics Consensus: Horton Hears A Who! is both whimsical and heartwarming, and is the rare Dr. Seuss adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the source material.
Synopsis: Animated elephant Horton (Jim Carrey) finds a speck of dust floating in the Jungle of Nool. Upon investigation of the... [More]

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 85664%
Critics Consensus: The Spiderwick Chronicles is an entertaining children's adventure, with heart and imagination to spare.
Synopsis: Of the three Grace children, Jared (Freddie Highmore) has always been thought of as the troublemaker. So when strange things... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#12

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
81%

#12
Adjusted Score: 86841%
Critics Consensus: The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy, and visual sparkle to compensate.
Synopsis: Now known as the Dragon Warrior, Po (Jack Black) protects the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

#11

Long Shot (2019)
81%

#11
Adjusted Score: 99821%
Critics Consensus: A sharp and deceptively layered comedy that's further fueled by the odd couple chemistry of its leads, this Long Shot largely hits its marks.
Synopsis: Fred Flarsky is a gifted and free-spirited journalist who has a knack for getting into trouble. Charlotte Field is one... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

#10

Sausage Party (2016)
82%

#10
Adjusted Score: 95762%
Critics Consensus: Sausage Party is definitely offensive, but backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high laugh-to-gag ratio -- and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline.
Synopsis: Life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank (Seth Rogen) the... [More]

#9

This Is the End (2013)
83%

#9
Adjusted Score: 91203%
Critics Consensus: Energetic, self-deprecating performances and enough guffaw-inducing humor make up for the flaws in This Is the End loosely written script.
Synopsis: In Hollywood, actor James Franco is throwing a party with a slew of celebrity pals. Among those in attendance are... [More]
Directed By: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 92444%
Critics Consensus: Steve Carell's first star turn scores big with a tender treatment of its titular underdog, using raunchy but realistically funny comedy to connect with adult audiences.
Synopsis: Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is an amiable single guy who works at a big-box store. Living alone, 40-year-old Andy spends... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#7

Steve Jobs (2015)
85%

#7
Adjusted Score: 98210%
Critics Consensus: Like the tech giant co-founded by its subject, Steve Jobs gathers brilliant people to deliver a product whose elegance belies the intricate complexities at its core.
Synopsis: With public anticipation running high, Apple Inc. co-founders Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and Steve "Woz" Wozniak get ready to unveil... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#6

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
87%

#6
Adjusted Score: 96905%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Living large and loving life, Po (Jack Black) realizes that he has a lot to learn if he's going to... [More]

#5

Kung Fu Panda (2008)
87%

#5
Adjusted Score: 94519%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.
Synopsis: Po the panda (Jack Black) works in his family's noodle shop and dreams of becoming a kung-fu master. His dream... [More]

#4

Superbad (2007)
88%

#4
Adjusted Score: 96006%
Critics Consensus: Deftly balancing vulgarity and sincerity while placing its protagonists in excessive situations, Superbad is an authentic take on friendship and the overarching awkwardness of the high school experience.
Synopsis: High-school seniors Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) have high hopes for a graduation party: The co-dependent teens plan... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#3

Knocked Up (2007)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 100064%
Critics Consensus: Knocked Up is a hilarious, poignant and refreshing look at the rigors of courtship and child-rearing, with a sometimes raunchy, yet savvy script that is ably acted and directed.
Synopsis: Rising journalist Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) hits a serious bump in the road after a one-night stand with irresponsible slacker... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 116562%
Critics Consensus: Oh, hai Mark. The Disaster Artist is a surprisingly poignant and charming movie-about-a-movie that explores the creative process with unexpected delicacy.
Synopsis: The incredible true story of aspiring filmmaker and Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau as he and his best friend defiantly pursue... [More]
Directed By: James Franco

#1

50/50 (2011)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100616%
Critics Consensus: A good-hearted film about a difficult topic, 50/50 maneuvers between jokes and drama with surprising finesse.
Synopsis: Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has always tried to take good care of his health, so it comes as a cruel... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

Thumbnail image: Columbia Pictures, Universal / courtesy Everett Collection 

Wild

(Photo by Fox Searchlight/ courtesy Everett Collection)

All Reese Witherspoon Movies Ranked

Reese Witherspoon rose to prominence in the late 1990s, a receptive era for twisted comedies (Freeway), teen thrillers (Fear, Cruel Intentions), and quirky satires (Pleasantville, Election). And Witherspoon would become a household name just a few years later through box office hit comedies Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama.

Johnny Cash-biopic Walk the Line would net Witherspoon her first Best Actress Oscar nomination and win for her portrayal as June Carter Cash. Going for more indie-focused, challenging material in the immediate years afterwards produced mixed results, with the likes of Mud and Inherent Vice at the top of that cult-movie pile.

Water for Elephants and Wild (which earned her a second Oscar nom) have been her most recent film glories, but Witherspoon is fully occupied now with her production company, getting women-led television projects off the ground like Big Little Lies, Truth Be Told, Little Fires Everywhere, and The Morning Show. Meanwhile, a third Legally Blonde has long been in the works; for now, we’re ranking all Reese Witherspoon movies by Tomatometer!

#38

Hot Pursuit (2015)
8%

#38
Adjusted Score: 14024%
Critics Consensus: Shrill and unfunny, Hot Pursuit bungles what should have been an easy opportunity to showcase Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara's likable odd-couple chemistry.
Synopsis: Straight-arrow policewoman Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) is excited and thrilled about her next assignment. Her task is to escort Daniella Riva... [More]
Directed By: Anne Fletcher

#37

S.F.W. (1994)
12%

#37
Adjusted Score: 11346%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When young slacker Cliff Spab (Stephen Dorff) becomes one of several hostages in a convenience store held by publicity-seeking extremists,... [More]
Directed By: Jefery Levy

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 14884%
Critics Consensus: An uninspired E.B. White adaptation that's targeted at the very young.
Synopsis: In this animated feature, a swan named Louie (Dee Baker) breaks out of his egg to an enthusiastic reception from... [More]

#35

Little Nicky (2000)
21%

#35
Adjusted Score: 25051%
Critics Consensus: Despite the presence of a large, talented cast, the jokes in Little Nicky are dumb, tasteless, and not that funny, and Adam Sandler's character is grating to watch.
Synopsis: In a perfect world, he'd be happy to head-bang in his room all day to heavy metal music. But no,... [More]
Directed By: Steven Brill

#34

Devil's Knot (2013)
25%

#34
Adjusted Score: 28699%
Critics Consensus: Devil's Knot covers fact-based ground that's already been well-traveled with multiple (and far more compelling) documentaries.
Synopsis: The Arkansas town of West Memphis makes national headlines when three teenagers are arrested for the brutal murders of three... [More]
Directed By: Atom Egoyan

#33

Four Christmases (2008)
25%

#33
Adjusted Score: 29501%
Critics Consensus: Despite a strong cast, this sour holiday comedy suffers from a hackneyed script.
Synopsis: When their plans for an exotic vacation fall apart, unmarried couple Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) must spend... [More]
Directed By: Seth Gordon

#32

This Means War (2012)
26%

#32
Adjusted Score: 32615%
Critics Consensus: A career lowlight for all three of its likable stars, This Means War is loud, clumsily edited, and neither romantic nor funny.
Synopsis: CIA operatives FDR Foster (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) are inseparable best friends and partners. Together, their good looks,... [More]
Directed By: McG

#31

Jack the Bear (1991)
29%

#31
Adjusted Score: 29648%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A single father, John Leary (Danny DeVito), struggles to raise his two young boys, Jack (Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.) and... [More]
Directed By: Marshall Herskovitz

#30

How Do You Know (2010)
31%

#30
Adjusted Score: 36410%
Critics Consensus: How Do You Know boasts a quartet of likeable leads -- and they deserve better than this glib, overlong misfire from writer/director James L. Brooks.
Synopsis: Lisa Jorgenson's (Reese Witherspoon) entire life has been defined by softball, but at 31, she is deemed too old to... [More]
Directed By: James L. Brooks

#29

Home Again (2017)
32%

#29
Adjusted Score: 41914%
Critics Consensus: Home Again gathers a talented crowd of rom-com veterans on both sides of the camera -- all of whom have unfortunately done far better work.
Synopsis: Recently separated from her husband, Alice Kinney decides to start over by moving back to Los Angeles with her two... [More]
Directed By: Hallie Meyers-Shyer

#28
Adjusted Score: 41220%
Critics Consensus: This blonde joke is less funny the second time around.
Synopsis: Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) journeys to Washington, D.C., to have her say about animal rights, but is ignored by every... [More]

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 43067%
Critics Consensus: Reese Witherspoon is charming enough, but the road to Alabama is well-traveled.
Synopsis: New York fashion designer Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) suddenly finds herself engaged to the city's most eligible bachelor. But Melanie's past... [More]
Directed By: Andy Tennant

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 63038%
Critics Consensus: A Wrinkle in Time is visually gorgeous, big-hearted, and occasionally quite moving; unfortunately, it's also wildly ambitious to a fault, and often less than the sum of its classic parts.
Synopsis: Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever... [More]
Directed By: Ava DuVernay

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 19015%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: College student Wyatt (Paul Rudd) is convinced that his hometown girlfriend, Kimberly (Christine Taylor), is cheating on him. Disconsolate at... [More]
Directed By: Jason Bloom

#24

Best Laid Plans (1999)
43%

#24
Adjusted Score: 42080%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Returning to his dreary hometown as a wealthy man, Bryce (Josh Brolin) is unaware of the target his financial gain... [More]
Directed By: Mike Barker

#23

A Far Off Place (1993)
45%

#23
Adjusted Score: 45067%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: With a bushman's help, two teens (Reese Witherspoon, Ethan Randall) cross an African desert to elude poachers who killed their... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Salomon

#22

Fear (1996)
46%

#22
Adjusted Score: 46649%
Critics Consensus: Fear has an appealing young cast, but their efforts aren't enough to consistently distract from an increasingly overblown - and illogical - teen stalker story.
Synopsis: When 16-year-old Nicole Walker (Reese Witherspoon) meets 23-year-old David McCall (Mark Wahlberg) at a Seattle nightclub, she falls in love.... [More]
Directed By: James Foley

#21

Rendition (2007)
47%

#21
Adjusted Score: 53417%
Critics Consensus: The impressive cast cannot rescue Rendition, which explores complex issues in woefully simplified terms.
Synopsis: Isabella El-Ibrahimi (Reese Witherspoon), the wife of an Egyptian engineer, tries desperately to track down her husband after he disappears... [More]
Directed By: Gavin Hood

#20

Vanity Fair (2004)
50%

#20
Adjusted Score: 54987%
Critics Consensus: A more likable Becky Sharp makes for a less interesting movie.
Synopsis: Born to poor parents, Becky Sharp (Reese Witherspoon) has always aspired to be a member of England's upper classes. Leaving... [More]
Directed By: Mira Nair

#19

Penelope (2006)
53%

#19
Adjusted Score: 57739%
Critics Consensus: Though Penelope has a charming cast and an appealing message, it ultimately suffers from faulty narrative and sloppy direction.
Synopsis: Born with the snout of a pig, young Penelope Wilhern (Christina Ricci) spends life a virtual prisoner in her home.... [More]
Directed By: Mark Palansky

#18

Cruel Intentions (1999)
55%

#18
Adjusted Score: 58913%
Critics Consensus: This darkly comic drama and its attractive young cast are easy on the eyes, but uneven performances and an uninspired script conspire to foil Cruel Intentions.
Synopsis: Annette (Reese Witherspoon) unwittingly becomes a pawn in Sebastian's (Ryan Phillippe) and Kathryn's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) deliciously diabolical wager of... [More]
Directed By: Roger Kumble

#17

Just Like Heaven (2005)
55%

#17
Adjusted Score: 59749%
Critics Consensus: Delightfully sweet like a lollipop, Just Like Heaven is a dreamy romantic comedy that may give you a toothache when it attempts to broach difficult end of life issues by throwing a cherry on top.
Synopsis: David (Mark Ruffalo) is a recently widowed architect moving into a new apartment in San Francisco. But the apartment isn't... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#16
Adjusted Score: 59398%
Critics Consensus: Oliver Parker's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic play is breezy entertainment, helped by an impressive cast, but it also suffers from some peculiar directorial choices that ultimately dampen the film's impact.
Synopsis: Two young gents have taken to bending the truth in order to put some excitement into their lives. Worthing (Colin... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Parker

#15

Twilight (1998)
60%

#15
Adjusted Score: 62557%
Critics Consensus: It suffers from a frustratingly deliberate pace, but with nuanced performances from Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, Susan Sarandon, and Reese Witherspoon to fall back on, Twilight can't help but be compelling.
Synopsis: Harry (Paul Newman), a retired private eye, lives in an apartment on the grounds of the estate owned by his... [More]
Directed By: Robert Benton

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 67487%
Critics Consensus: It's a tale tastefully told and beautifully filmed, but Water for Elephants suffers from a pronounced lack of chemistry between its leads.
Synopsis: Jacob Jankowski (Robert Pattinson), a veterinary student, is close to graduating when a terrible tragedy forces him to leave school.... [More]
Directed By: Francis Lawrence

#13

Legally Blonde (2001)
70%

#13
Adjusted Score: 75639%
Critics Consensus: Though the material is predictable and formulaic, Reese Witherspoon's funny, nuanced performance makes this movie better than it would have been otherwise.
Synopsis: Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has it all. She wants nothing more than to be Mrs. Warner Huntington III. But there... [More]
Directed By: Robert Luketic

#12

American Psycho (2000)
69%

#12
Adjusted Score: 74646%
Critics Consensus: If it falls short of the deadly satire of Bret Easton Ellis's novel, American Psycho still finds its own blend of horror and humor, thanks in part to a fittingly creepy performance by Christian Bale.
Synopsis: In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as... [More]
Directed By: Mary Harron

#11

Sing (2016)
71%

#11
Adjusted Score: 82503%
Critics Consensus: Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted -- albeit familiar -- storyline that lives up to its title.
Synopsis: Dapper Koala Buster Moon presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. An eternal optimist, and a... [More]
Directed By: Garth Jennings

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 81922%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't approach the depth of the best animated films, Monsters Vs. Aliens has enough humor and special effects to entertain moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: When a meteor full of space gunk transforms Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) into a giant, the government renames her Ginormica... [More]

#9

Inherent Vice (2014)
73%

#9
Adjusted Score: 83383%
Critics Consensus: Inherent Vice may prove frustrating for viewers who demand absolute coherence, but it does justice to its acclaimed source material -- and should satisfy fans of director P.T. Anderson.
Synopsis: In a California beach community, private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) tends to work his cases through a smoky... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#8

Freeway (1996)
77%

#8
Adjusted Score: 78079%
Critics Consensus: A modern update on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Freeway is an audacious black comedy with a star-making performance from the young Reese Witherspoon.
Synopsis: Following the arrest of her mother, Ramona (Amanda Plummer), young Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon) decides to go in search of... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Bright

#7

Walk the Line (2005)
82%

#7
Adjusted Score: 90385%
Critics Consensus: Superior acting and authentic crooning capture the emotional subtleties of the legend of Johnny Cash with a freshness that is a pleasure to watch.
Synopsis: The rise of country music legend Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) begins with his days as a boy growing up on... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#6

Pleasantville (1998)
85%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89273%
Critics Consensus: Filled with lighthearted humor, timely social commentary, and dazzling visuals, Pleasantville is an artful blend of subversive satire and well-executed Hollywood formula.
Synopsis: Impressed by high school student David's (Tobey Maguire) devotion to a 1950s family TV show, a mysterious television repairman (Don... [More]
Directed By: Gary Ross

#5

The Good Lie (2014)
87%

#5
Adjusted Score: 89182%
Critics Consensus: The Good Lie sacrifices real-life nuance in order to turn its true story into a Hollywood production, but the results still add up to a compelling, well-acted, and deeply moving drama.
Synopsis: After their village is destroyed and their parents killed by Northern militia, Sudanese orphans Theo, his siblings and other survivors... [More]
Directed By: Philippe Falardeau

#4

Wild (2014)
88%

#4
Adjusted Score: 99462%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully moving and emotionally resonant, Wild finds director Jean-Marc Vallée and star Reese Witherspoon working at the peak of their respective powers.
Synopsis: Driven to the edge by the loss of her beloved mother (Laura Dern), the dissolution of her marriage and a... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallée

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 90881%
Critics Consensus: It's sentimental, and some viewers may feel manipulated by the melodramatic final act, but The Man in the Moon offers a finely drawn coming-of-age story with an excellent cast -- including Reese Witherspoon in her film debut.
Synopsis: Maureen Trant (Emily Warfield) and her younger sibling Dani (Reese Witherspoon) share a strong connection, but local boy Court Foster... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mulligan

#2

Election (1999)
92%

#2
Adjusted Score: 96964%
Critics Consensus: Election successfully combines dark humor and intelligent writing in this very witty and enjoyable film.
Synopsis: Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick), a well-liked high school government teacher, can't help but notice that successful student Tracy Flick (Reese... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Payne

#1

Mud (2013)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 103144%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey in the title role, Mud offers an engaging Southern drama that manages to stay sweet and heartwarming without being sappy.
Synopsis: While exploring a Mississippi River island, Arkansas boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) encounter Mud (Matthew McConaughey),a fugitive... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Nichols

When the first of January hits, chances are you’ll be stuffed with holiday goodies, full of various meats and/or cheeses, and all partied out. You’ll also probably be looking for something to watch as you recover from all the festivities. Luckily, Netflix is releasing a ton of new stuff, particularly on January 1, that should keep you entertained. See below for the full list of new movies, TV shows, and originals coming to Netflix in January.


January 1 – January 7

 

The Age of Shadows (2016) 100%

Song Kang-ho (The Host) and Gong Yoo (Train to Busan) star in South Korean director Kim Jee-woon’s (I Saw the Devil; The Good, the Bad, the Weird) period thriller about two men on opposite sides of Korea’s fight for independence from Japan.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


AlphaGo (2017) 100%

This documentary chronicles the drama leading up to the historic match-up between a human and an artificial intelligence playing against each other in the ancient Chinese strategy game of “Go.”

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


The Godfather (1972) 97%

Al Pacino and Marlon Brando lead an ensemble cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Mario Puzo’s mob family epic, widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. All three chapters of the Godfather saga will be available to stream on January 1.

Available 1/1: The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Godfather Part III


Apollo 13 (1995) 96%

Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon star in Ron Howard’s Oscar-winning historical drama about the ill-fated titular space mission, during which an on-board explosion forced three astronauts to abort a trip to the moon.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Strictly Ballroom (1992) 91%

Baz Luhrmann’s debut feature is an adaptation of his own stage production about a ballroom dancer with a unique vision and his struggle to compete and win a prestigious competition.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


The Truman Show (1998) 95%

Jim Carrey and Ed Harris star in this dramedy about a man who understandably freaks out when he discovers his entire life has been the center of a television production.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Midnight in Paris (2011) 93%

Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and a slew of stars breathe life into Woody Allen’s dreamy romantic comedy about an aspiring novelist who, on a trip to Paris with his fiancée, is transported back to an idealized version of the city in the 1920s.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 91%

Frank Darabont’s adaptation of the Stephen King novella stars Tim Robbins as a wrongly convicted accountant who befriends another inmate (Morgan Freeman) while serving his sentence.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Like Water for Chocolate (1992) 87%

Based on the novel of the same name by Laura Esquival, Alfonso Arau’s magical romantic tale centers on the forbidden love between a man and a young woman who can make others feel what she feels through the food that she cooks.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) 91%

Gene Wilder offers an iconic performance as Roald Dahl’s slightly nutty candy mogul, who welcomes a handful of children to his sweets factory with the intention of bequeathing his company to one of them.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) 89%

Arguably the most celebrated — surely the most widely recognized — Audrey Hepburn film. We just prefer to pretend all the Mickey Rooney stuff doesn’t exist.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Batman Begins (2005) 84%

Christian Bale and Michael Caine star in Christopher Nolan’s beloved reboot of the Batman mythology, a supremely effective but dark and brooding affair that set an ill-advised precedent for DC superhero movies to come.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


King Kong (2005) 84%

Naomi Watts and Jack Black star in Peter Jackson’s update on the original monster movie, about a giant ape on a remote island who is captured and brought back to civilization for the amusement of humans.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


The Italian Job (1969) 81%

Michael Caine stars in the original 1969 heist flick about a career criminal who takes on an eccentric team of accomplices for an elaborate robbery.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Lethal Weapon (1987) 80%

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover star as mismatched partners in this comedy about a pair of cops trying to take down a dangerous drug dealer. Its sequel will also be available to stream.

Available 1/1: Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2


Batman Returns (1992) 80%

For his cold, dark sequel to Batman, Tim Burton gave audiences not one, but two empathetic, pitiable villains: The Penguin (Danny DeVito) and the Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer).

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Stardust (2007) 77%

Based upon Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel and featuring an all-star cast, this fantasy follows a young man who embarks on a journey through a forbidden kingdom to prove his love to the girl of his dreams by presenting her with a fallen star.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Caddyshack (1980) 73%

Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray star in Harold Ramis’s directorial debut, a beloved comedy about the unruly, unusual new members of an exclusive country club.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Wedding Crashers (2005) 76%

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

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) 73%

Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, and Hugh Laurie lend their voices to this DreamWorks animated film about a group of abnormal creatures who come to the aid of humanity when Earth is invaded by an alien robot.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Batman (1989) 71%

One of the most hyped movies in Hollywood history, Batman found director Tim Burton jettisoning the plots (if not the dark tone) of Bob Kane’s original comics, and utilizing set designs reminiscent of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and freakish, brooding characters similar to… well, a Tim Burton movie.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Training Day (2001) 73%

Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke star in Antoine Fuqua’s gritty crime thriller about a rookie cop learning the ropes from a veteran narcotics detective with a decidedly questionable moral compass.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Definitely, Maybe (2008) 70%

In this romantic comedy that essentially inspired How I Met Your Mother, Ryan Reynolds stars as a man who recounts his past conquests (played by Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, and Rachel Weisz) to his daughter when his impending divorce makes her insufferably inquisitive.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011) 65%

Remember how innocent the Biebz was back in 2011, before all the tattoos and poopy-diaper pants? Watch this naively optimistic documentary about Ju-Bieb’s improbable rise to stardom from the gritty streets of Ontario to the echo chamber of YouTube and beyond.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Bring It On (2000) 64%

Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku star in this tongue-in-cheek look at the competitive high school cheerleading scene that was so acceptable it lead directly to an MCU gig for director Peyton Reed (Ant-Man).

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Love Actually (2003) 64%

Thanks in part to its luminous cast, which includes Bill Nighy, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, Keira Knightley, Billy Bob Thornton, Rowan Atkinson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Andrew “CORRRRALL” Lincoln, Richard Curtis’ yuletide romantic comedy has become a seasonal cult favorite.

Available 1/1 on: Netflix


Rotten: Season 1 (2018) 86%

This Netflix original series examines the global scope and impact of some common food items, starting from the plate and following the trail of money and politics.

Available 1/5 on: Netflix


Episodes 80%

Showtime’s show business satire stars Matt LeBlanc as an exaggerated version of himself, tapped to play the lead in a new sitcom imported from the UK, and Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan as the put-upon husband-wife creators of said sitcom.

Available 1/6 on: Netflix


January 8 – January 14

 

The Conjuring (2013) 86%

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star in this supernatural horror story based on true events about a family experiencing unexplained disturbances in their new home who call upon paranormal investigators for help.

Available 1/8 on: Netflix


Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) 87%

Kevin Hart and Ed Helms lend their voices to this animated adaptation of the popular children’s books about a couple of young pranksters who hypnotize their principal into believing he is a superhero.

Available 1/10 on: Netflix


Colony: Season 2 (2017) 100%

Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies star in this sci-fi drama about a family struggling to survive during an alien invasion.

Available 1/10 on: Netflix


January 15 – January 21

Dallas Buyers Club (2013) 92%

Matthew McConnaughey won an Oscar for his portrayal of unlikely AIDS activist Ron Woodroof in Jean-Marc Vallée’s drama about the Texas man who was diagnosed with HIV and took matters into his own hands to find treatments wherever he could.

Available 1/16 on: Netflix


Bad Day for the Cut (2017) 92%

This indie thriller centers on a farmer who embarks on a campaign for vengeance through the Irish criminal underworld after his mother is murdered.

Available 1/18 on: Netflix


Grace and Frankie: Season 4 (2018) 100%

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star in this Netflix original series about two women who are forced to move in together when their husbands come out as gay and leave them for one another.

Available 1/19 on: Netflix


January 22 – January 28

A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018) 67%

Will Forte and Domhnall Gleeson star in David Wain’s Netflix original film chronicling the rise and fall of humor magazine National Lampoon.

Available 1/26 on: Netflix


Dirty Money: Season 1 (2018) 100%

This Netflix original series from acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney takes an episode-by-episode look at various acts of corporate greed and misconduct.

Available 1/26 on: Netflix


One Day at a Time: Season 2 (2018) 100%

This Netflix original series remakes and recontextualizes a popular 1970s-1980s sitcom about a divorced mother raising two teenage daughters: this time, they’re Cuban.

Available 1/26 on: Netflix


January 29 – January 31

The Force (2017) 87%

This acclaimed documentary takes a look at the men and women who make up the Oakland Police Department, and the department’s effort to reform itself over a period of two years.

Available 1/29 on: Netflix


Cars 3 (2017) 69%

Owen Wilson returns to voice Lightning McQueen in the third installment of Pixar’s Cars franchise, in which Lightning struggles to stave off retirement and makes one last go at winning the Piston Cup.

Available 1/31 on: Netflix

Ever since 1998 and into this Friday’s release of Kung Fu Panda 3, DreamWorks Animation has emerged as one of the dominant forces in animated storytelling worldwide, whose blend of state-of-the-art tech and raucous contemporary humor has carved their own identity in our current cartoon renaissance. Kung Fu Panda 3 inspires this week’s 24 Frames gallery, in which we explore the nearly two-decade history of DreamWorks Animation.

She’s one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood, with dozens of films to her credit and a lifetime box office gross total topping a billion dollars — and this weekend, Reese Witherspoon will add to that impressive sum with Hot Pursuit, an action comedy pairing her with Sofia Vergara. To celebrate Reese’s return to the big screen, as well as a terrific 2014 that included her Oscar-nominated work in Wild as well as a small supporting appearance in Inherent Vice, we decided to dedicate this week’s Total Recall to an appreciative look back at some of her best-reviewed releases.


10. LEGALLY BLONDE (2001) 68%


Critics tend to vilify the romantic comedy, but it’s an undeniable rite of passage for twentysomething actresses in Hollywood, and with 2001’s Legally Blonde, Witherspoon managed to enjoy the perks of the genre (such as the pay raise that comes with toplining a $141 million smash hit) without succumbing to its worst pitfalls (including dreadful scripts and scathing reviews). While Legally Blonde is far from groundbreaking, and its plot hinges on any number of silly contrivances, it’s never less than likable — largely thanks to a magnetic performance from its talented leading lady. In the words of Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum, “As an actor of distinction who’s all of 25, Reese Witherspoon reveals interesting dark roots even as she plays golden girls.”

Watch Trailer

 


9. MONSTERS VS. ALIENS (2009) 72%


In real life, Reese Witherspoon is a hair under five feet, two inches tall, which might be why the idea of playing a freakishly tall woman nicknamed “Ginormica” appealed to her — or maybe it was just the chance to score one of those cushy voice acting gigs that all the major celebrities seem to get these days. Either way, the result was Monsters vs. Aliens, Witherspoon’s only film of 2009 and a $381 million 3D hit for DreamWorks Animation. Alongside the famous voices of Seth Rogen, Kiefer Sutherland, Steven Colbert, Rainn Wilson, Will Arnett, and others, Witherspoon helped wreak family-friendly cartoon havoc — and helped earn praise from critics like the Houston Chronicle’s Amy Biancolli, who wrote, “True, the story doesn’t amount to much, but the plot tends to take a back seat when you’ve got a not-quite-50-foot version of Reese Witherspoon duking it out with a mighty alien robot alongside the Golden Gate Bridge.”

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8. FREEWAY (1996) 76%


She’d made a few movies by the mid-’90s, but it was Reese Witherspoon’s work in 1996’s Freeway that really made critics sit up and take notice. At the center of this modern take on Red Riding Hood, playing a juvenile delinquent whose trip to her grandmother’s house is impeded by a wolfish sexual predator (Kiefer Sutherland), she essentially used her smoldering performance as a challenge, daring viewers to look away. It was a challenge unmet by many critics, including the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Margaret A. McGurk, who wrote, “I didn’t particularly want to like Freeway, but I couldn’t help myself. Reese Witherspoon made me.”

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7. WALK THE LINE (2005) 82%


Witherspoon joined the ranks of Oscar-winning leading ladies for her sensitive portrayal of June Carter Cash in this Johnny Cash biopic, which follows the early years of the Man in Black (played by Joaquin Phoenix), including the beginning of his career and the romance that would endure through more than four decades of his life. One of the year’s biggest hits and a five-time Academy Award nominee, Walk the Line wasn’t without its concessions to Hollywood formula — or without its critics, including Cash’s daughter Rosanne — but most scribes had plenty of praise for the film, including Andrew Sarris of the New York Observer, who wrote, “I advise you catch up with Walk the Line, if only for Ms. Witherspoon’s transcendent joyousness as a still-growing legend within a legend.”

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6. PLEASANTVILLE (1998) 85%


Gary Ross’ Pleasantville could easily have been nothing more than a gentle, simple satire about the way nostalgia changes our memories, but beneath the surface of the story — which sends a pair of squabbling modern teens (played by Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire) into the world of a 1950s sitcom — there’s some thoughtful commentary on civil rights and the cruelly arbitrary ways society can oppress those who don’t fit in. Pleasantville wasn’t a blockbuster hit, but it earned some of the best reviews of the year from critics like Louis B. Hobson of Jam! Movies, who wrote, “This wondrous little fable is a cross between The Truman Show and Back to the Future — and it’s better than both.”

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5. THE GOOD LIE (2014) 88%


Befitting its title, The Good Lie practiced a bit of well-meaning subterfuge with its marketing materials, selling this fact-based drama about the American lives of Sudanese refugees once known as “lost boys” by putting Witherspoon’s face front and center on the poster. But if her character — a Kansas City settlement worker given the life-altering task of helping her charges adjust to their new environment — isn’t truly central to the story, her performance remains a solid anchor in a film whose ingredients run the gamut from Hollywood gloss to real-life horror. “This is very much a mainstream movie meant to shine a light on the plight of people who were ignored for too long,” wrote the Arizona Republic’s Bill Goodykoontz. “For that reason alone, it’s well worth seeing.”

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4. THE MAN IN THE MOON (1991) 89%


For her first film, Witherspoon found herself in good company, including director Robert Mulligan (concluding a career that included To Kill a Mockingbird and Summer of ’42) and co-stars Sam Waterston and Tess Harper. But in this sweet coming-of-age drama, it’s Witherspoon’s character that largely drives the story, and she carried the film with an assured performance that belied her youth and lack of experience. Man in the Moon “gets an outstandingly natural performance out of Miss Witherspoon, who has no trouble carrying a lot of the film single-handedly,” wrote Janet Maslin for the New York Times. “It falls to her to remind the audience that this story is at heart about a family, and she does.”

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3. WILD (2014) 90%


The sort of physically and dramatically demanding role that an actor can spend an entire career waiting to score, Wild gave Witherspoon the opportunity to shoulder an entire film pretty much on her own — and she more than delivered, bringing Cheryl Strayed’s unflinching memoir to the screen with a suitably fierce drama (directed by Jean-Marc Vallée from a screenplay by Nick Hornby) that takes viewers on a harrowing hike along the Pacific Crest Trail while reliving key moments from its protagonist’s bumpy past. At the forefront of it all are solid performances from Witherspoon and Laura Dern, both of whom picked up Oscar nominations for their efforts. As Mick LaSalle wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle, “This pensive, reflective, complicated Witherspoon feels more real than the one she left behind — and more in keeping with how she started, in hard-hitting independent movies 20 years ago.”

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2. ELECTION (1999) 92%


It takes a special type of young actress to embody a character who is both seductive enough to destroy one high school teacher’s career and irritating enough to turn another teacher into an election-fixing madman — and that’s exactly what Witherspoon did as Election‘s Tracy Flick, the overachieving senior whose steamrolling campaign for student body president inspires one of her teachers (Matthew Broderick) to take desperate measures to keep her out of office. Critics expected great things from writer/director Alexander Payne after 1996’s Citizen Ruth, and Election delivered — and it also helped cement Witherspoon’s burgeoning reputation, thanks to reviews from critics like CNN’s Paul Clinton, who wrote, “Reese Witherspoon is proving to be one of the most versatile actresses of her generation.”

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1. MUD (2013) 98%


Just when it seemed like she might be forever doomed to a lifetime of romantic comedies like Four Christmases and This Means War, Witherspoon turned up next to her fellow rom-com refugee Matthew McConaughey in 2013’s Mud — and although he received much of the movie’s accolades for one of the roles that helped spark his so-called “McConaissance,” there really are no false notes or out-of-place performances in writer-director Jeff Nichols’ tale of a mysterious man who claims to be on the run from bounty hunters and desperate to flee with the love of his life. Calling it “More than a mere tribute to Twain and Dickens,” the Vine’s Alice Tynan wrote, “This has all the makings of a modern classic.”

Watch Trailer

This week on home video, we’ve got a bunch of ’09 films hitting DVD shelves (Monsters vs. Aliens, Away We Go, The Brothers Bloom, and more), as well as a couple of fantasy classics for those who grew up in the 80s (Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal) that are getting the high definition treatment for the first time. Then we’ve got one iconic film receiving a brand new anniversary edition (The Wizard of Oz) and a first-time complete collection of a movie-based cartoon series (The Real Ghostbusters). As usual, we’ve tried to bring a good variety to the list while still highlighting the brand new releases, so have a look and see if anything tickles your fancy.



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Monsters vs. Aliens

Dreamworks Animation may not have the consistency of Pixar, but they’re doing well nonetheless, with a couple of high profile franchises (Shrek and Madagascar) and last year’s hit Kung-Fu Panda. Monsters vs. Aliens was its next big winner, making over $350 million worldwide at the box office and garnering enough critical praise to earn a 72% Tomatometer — not too shabby. Starring the voice talents of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, and Hugh Laurie among others, Monsters vs. Aliens centers around Susan Murphy (Witherspoon), who is transformed into a giant by a meteorite on her wedding day. Taken into custody by the government, she meets other quarantined “monsters,” and when an invading alien threatens the planet, Susan and her new friends are called upon to defend the Earth. Monsters vs. Aliens was noted for its particularly effective use of 3D, and if you pick up either the Blu-Ray version or the DVD “Ginormous Double Pack,” you’ll get four pairs of 3D glasses and a bonus adventure starring B.O.B. the blob (Rogen), in addition to all the special features. FYI, if you grab the standalone DVD of the movie, you won’t get the glasses or B.O.B.’s bonus adventure.



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Away We Go

After his powerful suburban melodrama Revolutionary Road, director Sam Mendes decided to lighten the mood a bit with road trip comedy starring John Krasinski (The Office) and Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live), who play young couple Burt Farlander and Verona De Tessant. Just a few months away from having their first child, Burt and Verona decide to leave their home in Colorado in search of a better place to settle down, crossing paths with family and friends along the way. The film earned a 66% on the Tomatometer, with most critics willing to dismiss some of its familiar indie comedy elements for its sweetness and the likeability of its main characters. Special features include a couple of featurettes, including one on environmentally friendly “green” filmmaking, and a feature commentary with Mendes and writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. You can pick it up on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.



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The Brothers Bloom

Another film that opened earlier this year and flew under the radar of most moviegoers is The Brothers Bloom, a quirky, darkly comedic take on the caper movie. It stars Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel Weisz in a story about two brothers (Brody and Ruffalo) in the con business who plan a final job to swindle an heiress (Weisz) out of her fortune. When the heiress expresses interest in joining the brothers in their business, their plan meanders into unpredictable territory; emotions develop, people are arrested, and the trio soon find themselves struggling for their lives. The film earned marginally Fresh status at 62%, with critics noting that the actors delivered fine performances, but the story left something to be desired. It drops this week on DVD and Blu-Ray, with special features such as a commentary track and deleted scenes. *Note – This title is only being made available for rental on 9/29; you’ll have to wait a bit longer to buy it for your own collection.



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The Girlfriend Experience

Say what you will about Steven Soderbergh: he certainly doesn’t play things safe. Sandwiched between his epic Che Guevara biopic and The Informant! was the lo-fi drama The Girlfriend Experience. Adult film star Sasha Grey stars as a high-priced call girl who provides a unique service: for a price, she’ll pretend to be your significant other. The reviews were mixed, but more than a few critics found The Girlfriend Experience to be an interesting experiment, as well as an unconventional metaphor for the current economic crisis. The DVD features an unrated cut of the film, as well as a making-of documentary.



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Management

Steve Zahn has played dozens of supporting roles in films, regularly stealing scenes with his goofy, offbeat humor, but in Management, he gets the opportunity to play the lead opposite Jennifer Aniston. What’s more, the movie is an attempt to paint stalkers in a sympathetic light, and if anyone can make stalking lovable, it’s probably Steve Zahn. Zahn plays Mike, the manager of a motel his parents own in Arizona. When Sue (Aniston), a traveling saleswoman, ends up at the motel, the two share a few nights together, and Mike becomes instantly obsessed, following Sue home across the country in hopes of winning her heart for good. Unfortunately for Zahn, the film failed to perform very well with audiences or critics, some of whom nevertheless thought both actors played their parts endearingly. Still, for those looking for an unconventional rom-com, you could certainly do worse.



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The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition

What more is there to say about The Wizard of Oz? It remains of the crowning achievements of Hollywood’s Golden Age, with its combination of visual splendor, enduring musical numbers, and its strange, fantastical story of equal parts wide-eyed wonder and dark melancholy. Obviously, a movie of this magnitude requires some bells and whistles for its 70th anniversary, and that’s what you get with the four-disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition, which features a new transfer of the film, commentary tracks, earlier cinematic versions of Frank L. Baum’s tale, and a number of documentaries about the making of the film, its principle cast and crew. It’s available on both standard DVD and Blu-Ray this week.



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The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth – Blu-Ray

Back in the 80s, a slew of imaginative and sometimes creepy fantasy films for children (The Neverending Story, Legend, Return to Oz, etc.) showed up in cinemas everywhere, and many of them seemed to strive for the same aesthetic. This meant lots of creative set decoration and advanced puppetry (this was before the age of mass CGI). Arguably two of the best known of these are Labyrinth, starring Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie, and The Dark Crystal, and this week, both films are blessed with the hi-def treatment. In doing so, both films come with a few new HD-exclusive goodies: for Labyrinth, you’ll get a picture-in-picture function with interesting tidbits about the movie, and for The Dark Crystal, there’s an interactive function to learn fun facts as the movies playing, as well as a trivia game and a picture-in-picture storyboard that displays concept art as the movie plays. If you passed on these two films before, this might be the time to pick them up.


Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Recent direct-to-video productions based on comic franchises have met with mixed results, and we have yet to gather enough reviews for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies to generate a Tomatometer score. But a few details might be telling enough to convince fans to pick up this latest from the DC universe. First, it’s based on the opening six-part storyline of the Superman/Batman series, in which the two heroes must work together to thwart newly elected President Lex Luthor’s plans to utilize an approaching Kryptonite meteor for his own purposes. Second, the voice cast from both respective television shows has been brought on board to bring life to the characters. Third, the special features include a couple of new items that will be of interest to fans, like an examination of the two heroes from a psychological standpoint and an interview piece featuring Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman. You can pick it up on DVD or Blu-Ray.



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Snakes on a Plane – Blu-Ray

Brutal straightforwardness in advertising is a novel concept that sometimes works, but the same approach typically denotes farce or satire when applied to movie titles (e.g. Scary Movie). So when people began to realize that Snakes on a Plane was not, in fact, simply the working title for the film, audiences had to wonder, “What exactly is this movie? A thriller? A comedy?” In the end, most were content to watch Samuel L. Jackson battle legless reptiles and exclaim things like, “I’ve had it with these mother****ing snakes on this mother****ing plane!” over the course of an hour and forty minutes, and before we knew it, we had something of a cult phenomenon on our hands. This week, the over-the-top actioner comes out on Blu-Ray, and while there aren’t any brand new special features to speak of, at least you know you’ll get a crystal clear view of a snake swallowing a bald man’s head.


The Real Ghostbusters: Complete Collection

Continuing with the 80s childhood theme, we end with another gem hitting stores this week. Ivan Reitman scored comedy gold when Ghostbusters proved to be a legitimate blockbuster hit in 1984, and it wasn’t long after that an animated daytime TV show soon followed. The Real Ghostbusters debuted in ’86 and ran successfully for 5 seasons, featuring cartoon versions of Egon, Ray, Peter, and Winston, as well as a more friendly, endearing incarnation of Slimer. Starting Tuesday, you can pick up the Complete Collection, which is being released by Time Life Records. The hefty box set arrives in nifty packaging that resembles their firehouse headquarters, includes all 147 episodes of the series, and comes with a truckload of goodies, such as show introductions, episode commentaries, a detailed and informative booklet, and a handful of featurettes, all totaling twelve hours of extra material. It’s also got a relatively hefty price tag, but with this much goodness, we dare say it’s worth it for any fan of the show.

Following a very pricey marketing campaign, DreamWorks Animation’s 3D
animated film
Monsters vs. Aliens
delivered on its promises and attracted the largest
opening weekend of any film this year leading the overall marketplace to its
best performance in over a month. Big muscles were also flexed by Lionsgate
which enjoyed one of its biggest horror openings ever with
The Haunting
in Connecticut
which landed in second place with a powerful launch of
its own. The top ten films sold $135M worth of ticket stubs making it the best
non-holiday tally of 2009.

As the main event at the multiplexes this weekend,
Monsters vs.
Aliens
captured an estimated $58.2M over the Friday-to-Sunday period to
lead a busy frame at the box office. Paramount released the PG-rated hit in an
ultrawide 4,104 locations averaging a stellar $14,181 per location. The numbers
were helped by higher-priced tickets from the 1,550 theaters that featured the
3D presentation with most charging an extra $3 or so per stub. Many exhibitors
allocated screens for both the 2D and more expensive 3D versions offering their
customers a choice although most moviegoers chose to pay more for the extra
dimension. Real D, the leading supplier of 3D equipment, reported that its
screens accounted for about $25M, or 43%, of the total weekend gross.

Produced for $165M, Monsters got off to a superb start with $16.8M on
Friday followed by a 45% surge on Saturday to $24.4M and an estimated 30% dip on
Sunday to $17M.

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It was the best opening of the year so far surpassing the $55.2M of
Watchmen
from the
beginning of the month. For DreamWorks, it was the second largest opening for a
non-sequel toon trailing
Kung Fu Panda
‘s
$60.2M from last June by a slim margin. And for the month of March, Monsters
delivered the third highest bow after 300 ($70.9M) and
Ice Age: The Meltdown

($68M). Looking at admissions however, Monsters attracted about as many
people as the first Ice Age and
Shark Tale
reached
in their debut frames. Fox’s
Ice Age
opened
to $46.3M in March 2002 which would amount to roughly $58M at today’s 2D ticket
prices. The DreamWorks hit Shark Tale bowed to $47.6M in October 2004, or
roughly $56M today.

But with schools taking breaks for Easter in the coming weeks, the long-term
outlook seems bright for Monsters vs. Aliens. Fox has routinely scheduled
family-friendly toons around the spring holiday with past March titles like
Horton Hears a Who
,
Robots, and the
Ice Age
pics finishing with at least three times their opening weekend
takes. That would put Monsters on course to reach the neighborhood of
$175M domestically. Overseas markets should also generate plenty of heat given
how strong toons do abroad. DreamWorks vaulted past the $400M mark overseas
twice last year with Panda and

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
, although each had an internationally-set
story. A global box office gross north of $500M for Monsters would not be
surprising.

Young women looking for a scare powered the new supernatural thriller
The Haunting
in Connecticut
to a stellar second place debut spending an estimated
$23M over the opening weekend. With a teen-friendly PG-13 rating, the Lionsgate
spookfest averaged a muscular $8,422 from 2,732 sites giving the distributor its
best horror movie opening ever outside of the Saw franchise. Studio
research indicated that 62% of the audience was female while 44% was between the
ages of 17 and 24. Friday got off to a solid start with $9.6M, Saturday dipped
9% to $8.7M, and Sunday is estimated to fall by 46% to $4.7M. A creepy marketing
campaign helped to excite the target audience which helped Haunting score
the second biggest debut of the year for a fright film after only Friday the
13th’s $40.6M from last month.

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Last weekend’s trio of new releases got bumped down two notches each but
remained in the same order. The Nicolas Cage hit
Knowing
enjoyed a
solid second weekend hold dropping just 40%, a low decline for a
critically-panned sci-fi actioner, grossing an estimated $14.7M. After ten days,
Summit has banked a solid $46.2M and could be headed for a $75-80M finish.

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The smallest dip in the top ten was generated by the buddy comedy
I Love You, Man

which slid only 29% to an estimated $12.6M giving Paramount $37M after ten days
of play. Julia
Roberts
and
Clive Owen
witnessed a larger 46% fall for their spy pic
Duplicity

which followed with an estimated $7.6M for a cume of $25.6M. Final grosses
should reach around $70M and $45M, respectively. Starpower may help Universal’s
caper flick do better in international waters.

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With families getting their 3D kick this weekend, Disney’s
Race to Witch
Mountain
took a big hit falling 56% to an estimated $5.6M. Total is
$53.3M in 17 days.

Opening poorly in seventh with an estimated $5.3M was the cop actioner
12 Rounds
which
averaged a mere $2,274 from 2,331 locations. Starring wrestler/actor
John Cena, the
PG-13 film played to young males and came in below the $7.1M bow his film
The Marine
from 2006.
Though drawing big numbers on television and even pay-per-view, producer World
Wrestling Entertainment has struggled to make the leap to the big screen with
its ventures. Fox handled distribution duties on 12 Rounds.

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Following in eighth with an estimated $2.8M was
Watchmen
which
tumbled 60% lifting the sum to $103.3M. The Warner Bros. release has fallen by
at least 60% every weekend since debuting at the beginning of the month and now
looks to finish its domestic run with $105-110M meaning more than half of its
overall total will have been grossed during the opening weekend. Fox’s sleeper
hit Taken grossed an
estimated $2.7M, off 34% in its ninth frame, for a cume of $137.1M. Rounding out
the top ten with an estimated $2.6M was the horror flick
The
Last House on the Left
which dropped 55% pushing the total to $28.5M for
Universal.

Continuing to show considerable strength in limited release was Overture’s indie
comedy Sunshine
Cleaning
which expanded from 64 to 167 theaters in its third weekend and
grossed an estimated $1.3M jumping up to eleventh place. The R-rated hit
averaged a solid $8,048 which is an impressive figure given the theater count
and age of the film. Cume to date is $2.5M. Also doing well was the Mexican gang
drama Sin
Nombre
with an estimated $68,512 from only six sites for a $11,419
average. The Focus title has taken in $184,000 in ten days.

With the first quarter of 2009 almost complete, the North American box office is
sizzling once again with total ticket sales at an estimated $2.4 billion, up a
terrific 11% from a year ago. Ten of the thirteen weekends have been up versus
2008 with eight of those enjoying double-digit jumps. But amazingly, this
improvement has occurred despite a decrease in actual films being released. The
first quarter has seen 36 films open in wide release, down 16% from the 43 over
the same period last year. Fifteen hits debuted north of $20M compared to only
ten from a year earlier. And four have topped the $100M mark in total grosses
versus just one from 2008 at this same point. This excludes films that reached
wide release in December and were still playing well into the new year like
Slumdog
Millionaire
and Juno
last year. Studios have done a commendable job streamlining their marketing
efforts on a smaller slate of films and have walked away with more ticket sales
in the process.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $135.1M which was up a whopping 58% from
last year when 21
opened in the top spot with $24.1M; and up a healthy 20% from 2007 when
Blades of Glory

opened at number one with $33M.

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