Paramount courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Paramount courtesy Everett Collection)

All Robert Downey Jr. Movies Ranked

Before he became synonymous with playing playboy millionaire rascal Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. was…a playboy millionaire rascal, but with an Oscar nomination! Born into minor Hollywood royalty, Downey spent his formative ’80s career as a Brat Pack honorary in films like Weird Science and The Pick-Up Artist. An Oscar nomination for playing the titular silent-era legend in Chaplin suggested a watershed moment for Downey and his future career.

Instead, he spent the rest of the ’90s in a maelstrom of wild parties and tabloid headlines as he publicly battled addiction. Early 2000s work in A Scanner Darkly, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Zodiac told the world he was still capable of intriguing work, though, and the marked the early stages of a career comeback.

His tumultuous decades seem like a lifetime ago, simply a precursor to his role today as the Man in the Iron Mark IV. Director Jon Favreau fought hard to get Downey in as star of the first Iron Man, with Marvel Studios literally put up as collateral, and the rest is modern history. Across nearly a dozen appearances in Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Downey has utterly owned the Tony Stark role, whose redemption arc mirrors the actor’s own in real life. Downey’s first post-Avengers: Endgame appearance was Dolittle, a high-profile critical disaster. We’ll see where the future takes him (including Jamie Foxx’s All-Star Weekend this year, and Sherlock Holmes 3 next fall), but first we’re taking the time to rank the best Robert Downey Jr. movies (and the worst!) by Tomatometer!

#62

Johnny Be Good (1988)
0%

#62
Adjusted Score: 433%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: High-school quarterback Johnny Walker (Anthony Michael Hall) is being courted by elite colleges nationwide. To get the sports star to... [More]
Directed By: Bud S. Smith

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 4628%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ian (George Newbern) doesn't have the greatest relationship with his father, Richard (David Rasche). The problem is that Ian resents... [More]
Directed By: George Haas

#60

Air America (1990)
13%

#60
Adjusted Score: 13305%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Despite having just had his Los Angeles pilot's license revoked, Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr.) is hired by Air America,... [More]
Directed By: Roger Spottiswoode

#59

Gothika (2003)
15%

#59
Adjusted Score: 19636%
Critics Consensus: Berry's acting talents can't save Gothika from its preposterous plot and bad dialogue.
Synopsis: The life of psychiatrist Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) is derailed after she nearly hits a girl with her car one... [More]
Directed By: Mathieu Kassovitz

#58

Tuff Turf (1985)
17%

#58
Adjusted Score: 9361%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The new guy (James Spader) in a Los Angeles high school does some singing and fights a hotshot (Paul Mones)... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Kiersch

#57

Dolittle (2020)
14%

#57
Adjusted Score: 30592%
Critics Consensus: Dolittle may be enough to entertain very young viewers, but they deserve better than this rote adaptation's jumbled story and stale humor.
Synopsis: Dr. John Dolittle lives in solitude behind the high walls of his lush manor in 19th-century England. His only companionship... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Gaghan

#56

Too Much Sun (1991)
14%

#56
Adjusted Score: 8780%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: To cash in, the homosexual son (Eric Idle) and daughter (Andrea Martin) of a dying millionaire must somehow produce an... [More]
Directed By: Robert Downey

#55

In Dreams (1999)
25%

#55
Adjusted Score: 26622%
Critics Consensus: Some interesting visuals, but the movie is as confusing as a dream.
Synopsis: After clairvoyant Claire Cooper (Annette Bening) has a disturbing dream about the murder of a young girl, her daughter, Rebecca... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#54

U.S. Marshals (1998)
25%

#54
Adjusted Score: 26328%
Critics Consensus: A rote albeit well-cast action thriller, U.S. Marshals suffers badly in comparison to the beloved blockbuster that preceded it.
Synopsis: An airplane bearing gruff U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) crashes in the wilderness. On board the same flight... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Baird

#53

The Shaggy Dog (2006)
26%

#53
Adjusted Score: 29002%
Critics Consensus: This Disney retread has neither inspiration nor originality, but may please moviegoers under the age of ten.
Synopsis: Deputy District Attorney Dave Douglas (Tim Allen) is a workaholic and frequently puts his job before his family. After taking... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#52

Lucky You (2007)
29%

#52
Adjusted Score: 33798%
Critics Consensus: Lucky You tries to combine a romantic story with the high-stakes world of poker, but comes up with an empty hand.
Synopsis: Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) is a talented poker player who must balance an intense love affair with the feats he... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Hanson

#51

Hugo Pool (1997)
29%

#51
Adjusted Score: 29271%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A disabled client (Patrick Dempsey) charms a lonely Los Angeles pool cleaner (Alyssa Milano) and her cynical helpers.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Downey Sr.

#50

One Night Stand (1997)
32%

#50
Adjusted Score: 33319%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In Los Angeles, Max Carlyle (Wesley Snipes) makes a good living directing commercials and has a happy home life with... [More]
Directed By: Mike Figgis

#49
Adjusted Score: 36288%
Critics Consensus: This portrait of a groundbreaking photographer lacks the daring of its subject.
Synopsis: In 1958 New York Diane Arbus (Nicole Kidman) is a housewife and mother who works as an assistant to her... [More]
Directed By: Steven Shainberg

#48

Eros (2004)
34%

#48
Adjusted Score: 35039%
Critics Consensus: Though Wong's short lives up to the promise of the title, Antonioni's is a serious disappointment.
Synopsis: This anthology film features three different tales of passion. In "The Hand," young tailor Zhang (Chen Chang) is attracted to... [More]

#47

Firstborn (1984)
36%

#47
Adjusted Score: 35331%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A teen (Christopher Collet) protects his divorced mother (Teri Garr) from her boyfriend (Peter Weller), a drug dealer in a... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted

#46

Black and White (1999)
39%

#46
Adjusted Score: 41268%
Critics Consensus: The atmosphere is affecting, and the story, at times, is compelling, but with a lean script and limp direction, Black and White doesn't add up to much.
Synopsis: Rich Bower (Power) is an up-and-coming star in the hip-hop world. Everyone wants to be around him, including Raven (Gaby... [More]
Directed By: James Toback

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 41241%
Critics Consensus: Delightful performance from Robert Downey Jr. can't save The Singing Detective's transition from TV to the big screen.
Synopsis: Hospitalized for a severe skin disease, a bitter writer (Robert Downey Jr.) imagines he is the gumshoe from his novel.... [More]
Directed By: Keith Gordon

#44

Due Date (2010)
39%

#44
Adjusted Score: 46277%
Critics Consensus: Shamelessly derivative and only sporadically funny, Due Date doesn't live up to the possibilities suggested by its talented director and marvelously mismatched stars.
Synopsis: Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) will be a dad for the first time when his wife gives birth in five... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 50246%
Critics Consensus: Natural Born Killers explodes off the screen with style, but its satire is too blunt to offer any fresh insight into celebrity or crime -- pummeling the audience with depravity until the effect becomes deadening.
Synopsis: Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis are two young, attractive serial killers who become tabloid-TV darlings, thanks to a sensationalistic press... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#42

The Judge (2014)
49%

#42
Adjusted Score: 56445%
Critics Consensus: Solidly cast and beautifully filmed but thoroughly clichéd, The Judge seems destined to preside over a large jurisdiction of the basic cable afternoon-viewing circuit.
Synopsis: Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.), a brilliant but shady attorney, returns to his Indiana hometown after learning that his mother... [More]
Directed By: David Dobkin

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 53075%
Critics Consensus: Two Girls and a Guy has an intriguing premise and a talented trio of leads, but doesn't do quite enough with any of them to make the end result truly worth a watch.
Synopsis: Two women (Heather Graham, Natasha Gregson Wagner) confront their boyfriend (Robert Downey Jr.), a two-timing actor who professed eternal love... [More]
Directed By: James Toback

#40

Less Than Zero (1987)
52%

#40
Adjusted Score: 52593%
Critics Consensus: A couple of standout performances -- notably Robert Downey, Jr. and James Spader -- and a killer soundtrack can't quite elevate a somewhat superficial adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' story of drugged-out LA rich kids.
Synopsis: Clay (Andrew McCarthy) comes home to Los Angeles after his first semester of college and encounters some disturbing developments. His... [More]
Directed By: Marek Kanievska

#39

Only You (1994)
54%

#39
Adjusted Score: 55769%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A childhood incident has convinced Faith Corvatch (Marisa Tomei) that her true love is a guy named "Damon Bradley," but... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#38

Weird Science (1985)
57%

#38
Adjusted Score: 58606%
Critics Consensus: Hardly in the same league as John Hughes' other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.
Synopsis: Teen misfits Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) design their ideal woman on a computer, and a freak... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#37

1969 (1988)
55%

#37
Adjusted Score: 53224%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two rebellious youths, Ralph (Robert Downey Jr.) and Scott (Kiefer Sutherland), find themselves struggling with adulthood as the Vietnam War... [More]
Directed By: Ernest Thompson

#36

Heart and Souls (1993)
55%

#36
Adjusted Score: 55132%
Critics Consensus: A charismatic array of character actors bring a lot of Heart to this supernatural comedy, but many will find that it heaps on the sentimentality where its Soul should be.
Synopsis: Harrison (Charles Grodin), Penny (Alfre Woodard), Julia (Kyra Sedgwick) and Milo (Tom Sizemore) die in 1959 when the bus they... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 60113%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Serial pick-up artist and commitment-phobe Jack Jericho (Robert Downey Jr.) takes lessons in the art of seduction from aging player... [More]
Directed By: James Toback

#34

Charlie Bartlett (2007)
58%

#34
Adjusted Score: 61918%
Critics Consensus: With engaging performances marked by an inconsistent tone, Charlie Bartlett is a mixed bag of clever teen angst comedy and muddled storytelling.
Synopsis: Awkward teenager Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin) has trouble fitting in at a new high school. Charlie needs some friends fast,... [More]
Directed By: Jon Poll

#33

The Soloist (2009)
57%

#33
Adjusted Score: 64421%
Critics Consensus: Though it features strong performances by its lead players, a lack of narrative focus prevents The Soloist from hitting its mark.
Synopsis: Los Angeles columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) has reached an impasse in his life. His marriage is on the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 61290%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rick (Kenneth Branagh), a divorced lawyer, has what he thinks is going to be a one-night stand with the troubled... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#31

Chaplin (1992)
60%

#31
Adjusted Score: 63040%
Critics Consensus: Chaplin boasts a terrific performance from Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, but it isn't enough to overcome a formulaic biopic that pales in comparison to its subject's classic films.
Synopsis: Re-creation of the life of comic genius Charlie Chaplin, from his humble beginnings in south London through his early days... [More]
Directed By: Richard Attenborough

#30

Game 6 (2005)
62%

#30
Adjusted Score: 61877%
Critics Consensus: Though packed with Don DeLillo's witty dialogue and bolstered by strong performances, particularly by lead Michael Keaton, Game 6 also suffers from uneven direction and overwrought symbolism.
Synopsis: It's 1986, and New York playwright Nicky Rogan (Michael Keaton) faces a series of fears, but none more frightening than... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#29
Adjusted Score: 67854%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original.
Synopsis: When Austria's crown prince is found dead, evidence seems to point to suicide. However, detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 66883%
Critics Consensus: Much like a real-life visit Home for the Holidays, this Thanksgiving-set dramedy can get a little bumpy -- but it also has its share of fondly memorable moments.
Synopsis: When her teenage daughter opts out of Thanksgiving, single mother Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) travels alone to her childhood home... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#27

Chances Are (1989)
67%

#27
Adjusted Score: 67910%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man's love for his pregnant wife, Corinne Jeffries (Cybill Shepherd), is interrupted when a car accident sends him to... [More]
Directed By: Emile Ardolino

#26

A Scanner Darkly (2006)
68%

#26
Adjusted Score: 75003%
Critics Consensus: A faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel, A Scanner Darkly takes the viewer on a visual and mind-blowing journey into the author's conception of a drug-addled and politically unstable world.
Synopsis: In the near future, as America virtually loses the war on drugs, Robert Arctor, a narcotics cop in Orange County,... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#25

Soapdish (1991)
71%

#25
Adjusted Score: 73403%
Critics Consensus: Soapdish may not be as addictive as the serialized dramas it's spoofing, but a talented cast helps make this affectionate sendup feel fresh.
Synopsis: Celeste Talbert (Sally Field) is the star of the long-running soap opera "The Sun Also Sets." With the show's ratings... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#24

Restoration (1995)
71%

#24
Adjusted Score: 70465%
Critics Consensus: Restoration spins an engaging period yarn out of its bestselling source material, brought to life through the efforts of an eclectic ensemble cast led by Robert Downey Jr.
Synopsis: In order to keep one of his mistresses, Celia (Polly Walker), at arm's length, King Charles II (Sam Neill) asks... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#23

Sherlock Holmes (2009)
69%

#23
Adjusted Score: 79287%
Critics Consensus: Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr.
Synopsis: When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn't take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#22

Iron Man 2 (2010)
72%

#22
Adjusted Score: 83904%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 90788%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#20
Adjusted Score: 78452%
Critics Consensus: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is a lively, powerful coming-of-age tale with winning performances and sharp direction from first-timer Dito Montiel.
Synopsis: Dito Montiel (Robert Downey Jr.), a successful author, receives a call from his long-suffering mother (Dianne Wiest), asking him to... [More]
Directed By: Dito Montiel

#19

Iron Man 3 (2013)
79%

#19
Adjusted Score: 92731%
Critics Consensus: With the help of its charismatic lead, some impressive action sequences, and even a few surprises, Iron Man 3 is a witty, entertaining adventure and a strong addition to the Marvel canon.
Synopsis: Plagued with worry and insomnia since saving New York from destruction, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), now, is more dependent... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#18

Bowfinger (1999)
81%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85759%
Critics Consensus: A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.
Synopsis: On the verge of bankruptcy and desperate for his big break, aspiring filmmaker Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) concocts a crazy... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#17

Tropic Thunder (2008)
82%

#17
Adjusted Score: 91388%
Critics Consensus: With biting satire, plenty of subversive humor, and an unforgettable turn by Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder is a triumphant late Summer comedy.
Synopsis: Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), pampered action superstar, sets out for Southeast Asia to take part in the biggest, most-expensive war... [More]
Directed By: Ben Stiller

#16

Wonder Boys (2000)
81%

#16
Adjusted Score: 85627%
Critics Consensus: Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire do wonders in this clever dark comedy.
Synopsis: Grady (Michael Douglas) is a 50-ish English professor who hasn't had a thing published in years -- not since he... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Hanson

#15

Back to School (1986)
86%

#15
Adjusted Score: 89012%
Critics Consensus: Back to School gives Rodney Dangerfield plenty of room to riff -- and supports the freewheeling funnyman with enough of a story to keep things interesting between punchlines.
Synopsis: Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) is concerned that his son Jason (Keith Gordon) is unsure whether to go to college, so... [More]
Directed By: Alan Metter

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 92176%
Critics Consensus: Tongue-in-cheek satire blends well with entertaining action and spot-on performances in this dark, eclectic neo-noir homage.
Synopsis: Two-bit crook Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an audition for a mystery film while on the run from... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 114161%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#12

Chef (2014)
87%

#12
Adjusted Score: 93975%
Critics Consensus: Chef's charming cast and sharp, funny script add enough spice to make this feel-good comedy a flavorful -- if familiar -- treat.
Synopsis: After a controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman) pushes him too far, chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) quits his position at a... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#11

Zodiac (2007)
89%

#11
Adjusted Score: 100388%
Critics Consensus: A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the '70s than he does on gory details of murder.
Synopsis: In the late 1960s and 1970s, fear grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer called Zodiac stalks... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#10
Adjusted Score: 117397%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 106041%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 121013%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#7
Adjusted Score: 102101%
Critics Consensus: A passionate and concise cinematic civics lesson, Good Night, And Good Luck has plenty to say about today's political and cultural climate, and its ensemble cast is stellar.
Synopsis: When Senator Joseph McCarthy begins his foolhardy campaign to root out Communists in America, CBS News impresario Edward R. Murrow... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#6

Iron Man (2008)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 104599%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#5

Baby, It's You (1983)
94%

#5
Adjusted Score: 94801%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An aspiring lounge singer (Vincent Spano) romances a rich girl (Rosanna Arquette) in 1960s New Jersey.... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#4

Richard III (1995)
96%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98883%
Critics Consensus: This re-imagining of Shakespeare's Crookback King relocates the story in 1930 and features an indelible star turn for Ian McKellen as the monstrous and magnetic King Richard.
Synopsis: A murderous lust for the British throne sees Richard III (Ian McKellen) descend into madness. Though the setting is transposed... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine

#3

True Believer (1989)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96134%
Critics Consensus: A compelling mystery, social themes, and powerful performances from a pair of well-matched leads make True Believer a legal thriller that definitely passes the bar.
Synopsis: Jaded lawyer Eddie Dodd (James Woods), a well-regarded activist in the 1960s whose moment has long passed, now smokes marijuana... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Ruben

#2

Short Cuts (1993)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 98620%
Critics Consensus: Robert Altman's ensemble drama deftly integrates its disparate characters and episodes into a funny, poignant, emotionally satisfying whole.
Synopsis: Many loosely connected characters cross paths in this film, based on the stories of Raymond Carver. Waitress Doreen Piggot (Lily... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 127912%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

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(Photo by DreamWorks/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Jamie Foxx Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

A recording career and starring roles on In Living Color and his very own sitcom sound like they would have been enough to keep Jamie Foxx out of the movie game during the ’90s. But indeed, Foxx the multi-hyphenate found time to debut as a comedy movie lead for The Truth About Cats & Dogs in 1996 and then delivered his first dramatic performance in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday three years later. But that was all a prelude to his big 2004, when Foxx was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award with the Michael Mann/Tom Cruise thriller Collateral and took home Oscar gold that night for Best Actor, thanks to the musical biopic Ray.

He teamed up with Mann again for Miami Vice in 2006, the same year of musical sensation Dreamgirls‘ arrival. Due Date, Valentine’s Day, Rio, and Horrible Bosses were four $100 million-grossing box office hits in a row, so with his reputation as a guy who can get awards and put butts in seats cemented, there was only one place to go left: Casa de QT. Working with Quentin Tarantino produced the brassy Western Django Unchained, which would go on to become the director’s biggest B.O. draw.

Django would be Foxx’s last Certified Fresh movie for a while, through a stretch of years that has included The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Robin Hood, and White House Down. 2017’s Baby Driver brought back some of that critical acclaim, and so has his latest: Just Mercy, a true story legal drama featuring Foxx as Walter McMillian, who was imprisoned for a murder in 1986 he did not commit. Co-starring Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson, see where the critics place Just Mercy as we rank all Jamie Foxx movies by Tomatometer!

#33

Stealth (2005)
12%

#33
Adjusted Score: 17299%
Critics Consensus: Loud, preposterous, and predictable, Stealth borrows heavily and unsucessfully from Top Gun and 2001.
Synopsis: Navy fighter pilots Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx) and Kara Wade (Jessica Biel) are tasked with training... [More]
Directed By: Rob Cohen

#32

Held Up (2000)
17%

#32
Adjusted Score: 16543%
Critics Consensus: Lackluster performances and fluff humor can't keep this wreck from sinking.
Synopsis: Foxx portrays Michael Dawson, a successful Chicago businessman whose life falls apart while he's driving to the Grand Canyon with... [More]
Directed By: Steve Rash

#31

Valentine's Day (2010)
18%

#31
Adjusted Score: 24076%
Critics Consensus: Eager to please and stuffed with stars, Valentine's Day squanders its promise with a frantic, episodic plot and an abundance of rom-com cliches.
Synopsis: In a series of interconnected stories, various Los Angeles residents (Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper) wend their way through... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

#30

Booty Call (1997)
25%

#30
Adjusted Score: 22431%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rushon (Tommy Davidson) is sexually pent-up and ready to take thing things to the next level with his girlfriend, Nikki... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Pollack

#29

Sleepless (2017)
25%

#29
Adjusted Score: 27790%
Critics Consensus: Sleepless wastes a talented cast -- and solid source material -- on a tired crime drama whose clichés rapidly outnumber its thrills.
Synopsis: Undercover Las Vegas police officer Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) finds himself caught in a high-stakes web of corrupt cops, internal... [More]
Directed By: Baran bo Odar

#28

Bait (2000)
26%

#28
Adjusted Score: 27633%
Critics Consensus: Even though Jamie Foxx shines in Bait, the movie suffers from music video roots and a formulaic script that strains credibility.
Synopsis: Landing in jail for a petty theft crime, Alvin finds himself sharing a cell with John Jaster, the incarcerated half... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 31373%
Critics Consensus: Unnecessarily violent and unflinchingly absurd, Law Abiding Citizen is plagued by subpar acting and a story that defies reason.
Synopsis: Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is an honorable family man, until the day his wife and daughter are murdered in a... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#26

Annie (2014)
28%

#26
Adjusted Score: 33610%
Critics Consensus: The new-look Annie hints at a progressive take on a well-worn story, but smothers its likable cast under clichés, cloying cuteness, and a distasteful materialism.
Synopsis: Ever since her parents left her as a baby, little Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) has led a hard-knock life with her... [More]
Directed By: Will Gluck

#25

The Players Club (1998)
31%

#25
Adjusted Score: 31035%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Single mother Diana Armstrong (LisaRaye) takes to sliding down a stripper pole in order to pay for college -- and... [More]
Directed By: Ice Cube

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 33597%
Critics Consensus: This formulaic screwball comedy is weighed down by a contrived, overly complicated plot.
Synopsis: Quincy Watson (Jamie Foxx) has been having a tough time. After being abruptly dumped by his fiancée (Bianca Lawson), he... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Taplitz

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 41519%
Critics Consensus: Horrible Bosses 2 may trigger a few belly laughs among big fans of the original, but all in all, it's a waste of a strong cast that fails to justify its own existence.
Synopsis: Tired of always answering to others, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) go into business for... [More]
Directed By: Sean Anders

#22

Due Date (2010)
39%

#22
Adjusted Score: 46277%
Critics Consensus: Shamelessly derivative and only sporadically funny, Due Date doesn't live up to the possibilities suggested by its talented director and marvelously mismatched stars.
Synopsis: Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) will be a dad for the first time when his wife gives birth in five... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#21

Robin Hood (2010)
43%

#21
Adjusted Score: 51697%
Critics Consensus: Ridley Scott's revisionist take on this oft-told tale offers some fine acting and a few gripping action sequences, but it's missing the thrill of adventure that made Robin Hood a legend in the first place.
Synopsis: After the death of Richard the Lion-Hearted, a skilled archer named Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) travels to Nottingham, where villagers... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 45575%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Boxing promoter the Rev. Fred Sultan (Samuel L. Jackson) decides the best way to revive public interest in his top... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#19

Miami Vice (2006)
46%

#19
Adjusted Score: 55673%
Critics Consensus: Miami Vice is beautifully shot but the lead characters lack the charisma of their TV series counterparts, and the underdeveloped story is well below the standards of Michael Mann's better films.
Synopsis: A case involving drug lords and murder in South Florida takes a personal turn for undercover detectives Sonny Crockett (Colin... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#18

Rio 2 (2014)
48%

#18
Adjusted Score: 52448%
Critics Consensus: Like most sequels, Rio 2 takes its predecessor's basic template and tries to make it bigger -- which means it's even busier, more colorful, and ultimately more exhausting for viewers outside the youthful target demographic.
Synopsis: Blue macaws Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and their three children are comfortably settled in the city -- perhaps... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha

#17

The Kingdom (2007)
51%

#17
Adjusted Score: 59071%
Critics Consensus: While providing several top-notch action scenes, The Kingdom ultimately collapses under the weight of formula and muddled politics.
Synopsis: Charged with the most important assignment of his career, federal agent Ron Fleury (Jamie Foxx) has one week to assemble... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#16

White House Down (2013)
52%

#16
Adjusted Score: 59090%
Critics Consensus: White House Down benefits from the leads' chemistry, but director Roland Emmerich smothers the film with narrative clichés and choppily edited action.
Synopsis: Capitol police officer John Cale (Channing Tatum) has just been denied his dream job of protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie... [More]
Directed By: Roland Emmerich

#15

Any Given Sunday (1999)
52%

#15
Adjusted Score: 57380%
Critics Consensus: Sometimes entertaining, but overall Any Given Sunday is a disappointment coming from Oliver Stone.
Synopsis: Four years ago, DAmato's (Al Pacino) Miami Sharks were at the top. Now, his team is struggling with three consecutive... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 64749%
Critics Consensus: While the cast is outstanding and the special effects are top-notch, the latest installment of the Spidey saga suffers from an unfocused narrative and an overabundance of characters.
Synopsis: Confident in his powers as Spider-Man, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) embraces his new role as a hero and spends time... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#13

The Soloist (2009)
57%

#13
Adjusted Score: 64421%
Critics Consensus: Though it features strong performances by its lead players, a lack of narrative focus prevents The Soloist from hitting its mark.
Synopsis: Los Angeles columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) has reached an impasse in his life. His marriage is on the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#12

Jarhead (2005)
61%

#12
Adjusted Score: 67983%
Critics Consensus: This first person account of the first Gulf War scores with its performances and cinematography but lacks an emotional thrust.
Synopsis: In the late 1980s, Anthony Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) enlists as a Marine, training in boot camp under a sadistic drill... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#11

Shade (2003)
67%

#11
Adjusted Score: 38873%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tiffany (Jamie Foxx), Charlie (Gabriel Byrne) and Vernon (Thandie Newton) are con artists looking to up the ante from their... [More]
Directed By: Damian Nieman

#10

Ali (2001)
68%

#10
Adjusted Score: 72998%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps no film could fully do justice to the fascinating life and personality of Muhammad Ali, Mann's direction and Smith's performance combine to pack a solid punch.
Synopsis: With wit and athletic genius, with defiant rage and inner grace, Muhammad Ali forever changed the American landscape. Fighting all... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#9

Horrible Bosses (2011)
69%

#9
Adjusted Score: 77596%
Critics Consensus: It's nasty, uneven, and far from original, but thanks to a smartly assembled cast that makes the most of a solid premise, Horrible Bosses works.
Synopsis: Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are workers who would like nothing better than to grind... [More]
Directed By: Seth Gordon

#8

Rio (2011)
72%

#8
Adjusted Score: 77462%
Critics Consensus: This straightforward movie reaches great heights thanks to its colorful visual palette, catchy music, and funny vocal performances.
Synopsis: Captured by smugglers when he was just a hatchling, a macaw named Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) never learned to fly and... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha

#7

Dreamgirls (2006)
78%

#7
Adjusted Score: 86908%
Critics Consensus: Dreamgirls' simple characters and plot hardly detract from the movie's real feats: the electrifying performances and the dazzling musical numbers.
Synopsis: Deena (Beyoncé Knowles),Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose) form a music trio called the Dreamettes. When ambitious manager... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#6

Ray (2004)
79%

#6
Adjusted Score: 86557%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing and energetic portrait of a great musician's achievements and foibles, Ray is anchored by Jamie Foxx's stunning performance as Ray Charles.
Synopsis: Legendary soul musician Ray Charles is portrayed by Jamie Foxx in this Oscar-winning biopic. Young Ray watches his 7-year-old brother... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#5

Just Mercy (2019)
85%

#5
Adjusted Score: 105715%
Critics Consensus: Just Mercy dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy.
Synopsis: After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation.... [More]
Directed By: Destin Daniel Cretton

#4
Adjusted Score: 87365%
Critics Consensus: Sharp, witty, and charming, The Truth About Cats and Dogs features a standout performance from Janeane Garofalo.
Synopsis: Abby (Janeane Garofalo) hosts a popular radio show about pets. When Brian (Ben Chaplin) calls in to ask about his... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#3

Collateral (2004)
86%

#3
Adjusted Score: 94839%
Critics Consensus: Driven by director Michael Mann's trademark visuals and a lean, villainous performance from Tom Cruise, Collateral is a stylish and compelling noir thriller.
Synopsis: A cab driver realizes his current fare is a hit man that has been having him drive around from mark... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#2

Django Unchained (2012)
86%

#2
Adjusted Score: 98840%
Critics Consensus: Bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, Django Unchained is another incendiary masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino.
Synopsis: Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#1

Baby Driver (2017)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 122089%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, exciting, and fueled by a killer soundtrack, Baby Driver hits the road and it's gone -- proving fast-paced action movies can be smartly written without sacrificing thrills.
Synopsis: Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

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This week at the movies, we’ve got bare-knuckle bouts (Fighting, starring Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard), the wonders of nature (Earth, narrated by James Earl Jones), a musical friendship (The Soloist, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx), and some office intrigue (Obsessed, starring Idris Elba and Beyonce Knowles). What do the critics have to say?



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Fighting

Look, you pretty much know what you’re getting into with a movie called Fighting: lots of tough-as-nails dudes beating the stuffing out of each other. And the pundits say that while director Dito Montiel does his best to infuse interesting characterization and a sense of place, Fighting is still a shopworn underdog sports movie. Channing Tatum stars as a kid who’s just arrived in New York City from Alabama; after attempting to make a living on the streets, he falls in with a sketchy character (Terrence Howard) who realizes he may be a natural fit for the world of underground bare-knuckle brawls. The pundits say Fighting is a bit better than its setup would suggest, with a good deal of energy and a dash of gritty authenticity. However, others say the performances are a mixed bag and the script is ultimately weighted down by clichés. (Check out Terrence Howard’s Five Favorite Films.)



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Earth

The popular award-winning BBC series Planet Earth offered some staggeringly beautiful images of life around the globe. If the small screen version was too limited to contain such visual majesty, now comes its multiplex companion: Earth, which critics say is a remarkable document with a timely message. Narrated by (who else?) James Earl Jones, Earth focuses on three mother/child relationships in the animal kingdom, following the exploits of polar bears, humpback whales, and African elephants. The pundits say Earth doesn’t offer a ton of insight, but the images on display are so gorgeous that viewers are unlikely to quibble too much. Plus, it invites audiences to reflect upon our place in the larger ecosystem. Earth is Certified Fresh.



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The Soloist

The Soloist tells an inspiring true story, and its stars and director are Oscar nominees. But distinguished pedigree does not a movie make, and critics say The Soloist is too uneven to fully resonate. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Steve Lopez, an LA Times reporter who befriends, and writes movingly about, a homeless, profoundly mentally ill man named Nathaniel Ayers, who was once a virtuoso cellist. The pundits say all the elements are here for a moving tale, and Downey and Foxx give it everything they’ve got; unfortunately, that’s not enough to overcome the film’s lack of focus and maudlin stretches. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Downey’s best-reviewed films, and find out director Joe Wright’s Five Favorite Films).


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Obsessed

It appears the folks behind Obsessed were dubious that critics would be, ahem, obsessed with their film. Hence, it wasn’t screened prior to its release. The movie stars Idris Elba as a successful asset manager who’s happily married — to Beyonce, no less — before an attractive, brazen office temp (Ali Larter) threatens to bring his world crashing down. Kids, it’s time to guess that Tomatometer!


Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, props to Brendan C. for correctly guessing Crank High Voltage‘s 63 percent Tomatometer.

The environment needs saving so Hollywood is doing its part to go green by opening recycled versions of Fatal Attraction and Fight Club in hopes of attracting young adults. In a battle of genre divisions, Sony’s Screen Gems unit offers the relationship thriller Obsessed starring Beyoncé Knowles while Rogue Pictures counters with the Channing Tatum vehicle Fighting released through Universal. Paramount goes for an older audience with the Robert Downey Jr.Jamie Foxx drama The Soloist and Disney aims for families with the nature documentary Earth. Titles are short and succinct this weekend and overall it should be another up session for the film industry during the final frame before the highly-anticipated launch of the summer movie season.

After two weeks of high school superstars ruling the box office, things get a little more mature with Obsessed starring Beyoncé, Ali Larter, and Idris Elba. The PG-13 flick tells of a happily married man being stalked by a seductress working as a new temp in his office. Much like Fatal Attraction before it, this blandly-titled film is centered around a love triangle but the casting allows for a new twist with a white woman invading the sanctity of a black couple’s marriage. Sony should see a strong turnout from females and from African American moviegoers, but male appeal is solid too so the date crowd will be key here.

The former Destiny’s Child singer is always a big draw in anything she does so look for her fan base to show some support this weekend as the storyline is generating interest. Marketing has been top notch too with commercials and trailers selling the pic as a sexy suspense film. Fast & Furious is the only film in the top ten now with any racial diversity on screen so ethnic audiences will add to a solid top spot bow. Entering over 2,400 locations, Obsessed might debut with around $17M.


Idris Elba, Ali Larter and Beyoncé in Obsessed

A decade after Ben Button roughed up punks in Fight Club, Hollywood’s new prettyboy Channing Tatum revisits the same territory with Fighting from Universal and Rogue. The PG-13 pic features the Step Up star playing a small-town guy that moves to New York and discovers an underground world of street-fighting. Terrence Howard co-stars. Teens and young adults are the target here with the film reaching out to males with the fisticuffs and to the ladies with Tatum’s sex appeal. The marketing push has been strong and a solid turnout should be expected. More than anything, this will be a test of the lead’s starpower since the film rests almost entirely on his shoulders. If teen girls don’t feel like they’ve spent enough cash on Zac and Miley over the past two weeks, then they will provide a nice boost to Fighting. But younger males should be counted on since there are few exciting options for them at the moment. Plus Wolverine, Kirk, and John Connor haven’t hit the multiplexes yet. Busting into 2,310 theaters, Fighting may open to around $12M this weekend.


Channing Tatum in Fighting

Iron Man and Ray Charles try to drum up some business for Paramount’s new drama The Soloist which opens Friday after being bumped from last December’s release slate. The PG-13 film stars Jamie Foxx as a gifted yet homeless violinist that is discovered by a journalist played by Robert Downey Jr. This is an adult-skewing pic that will be driven by the opinions of critics and so far reviews have been mixed at best which should spell trouble at the box office. The studio is hoping that audiences will overlook the not-so-original subject matter and instead be interested in a killer star-combo. Rarely do two Oscar-caliber actors pair up like this. But it’s not WashingtonCrowe in American Gangster. Foxx’s hairstyle, conveniently cropped out of the poster, may scare off customers too. Playing in more than 1,800 theaters, The Soloist could take in about $8M this weekend.


Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx in The Soloist

Three animal families take amazing journeys in the new G-rated documentary Earth narrated by James Earl Jones which hit theaters on Wednesday to coincide with Earth Day. Disney hopes to pull in the family crowd with a film featuring adorable animals, a familiar voiceover, and environmentally-aware subject matter. Four years ago, the now-defunct Warner Independent hit gold with its nature doc March of the Penguins which made its $77.4M worth of loot in a different way by slowly rolling out in limited release before going nationwide in late summer when it became a pop culture phenomenon of the moment. Earth will take its own path going wide from day one. Reviews have been positive, but that may not help much at the cash registers. While parents know the film is good for them, many will hold back the dollars since the must-see factor just isn’t there. Now playing in 1,804 theaters, a $5M weekend take could result.


One member of the cast of Earth

Zac Efron, lord of the teen kingdom, should see a sizable drop for his hit comedy 17 Again. The Warner Bros. release dipped 3% on Saturday after its solid opening day tally and fell sharply again on Sunday so the young audience is definitely eroding fast. With Beyoncé and Channing offering up new entrées this weekend, some of the young female audience will shift gears. Look for a 50% decline which would deliver a three-day score of about $12M and a ten-day cume of $39.5M.

Monsters vs. Aliens could enjoy its fifth frame in the top five making it the second-longest streak for the list this year trailing only Taken which logged in seven consecutive weekends. The DreamWorks toon will see its only direct new competition coming from Earth so its drop should be low. A 35% dip would give Gallaxhar and gang around $8.5M pushing the amazing total to $175M.

Also on course to see roughly $8.5M in ticket sales is Universal’s Russell Crowe thriller State of Play. With good word-of-mouth and an older audience that does not rush out on opening weekend, a 40% decline could result. Only The Soloist looks to directly steal away any business. State would then see its total climb to a mediocre $26M after ten days.

Disney’s Hannah Montana The Movie may fall by 50% to about $6.5M giving the teen queen $66M to date. Look for a similar drop for Fast & Furious which would decelerate to around $6M putting Universal at a sturdy $145M so far.

LAST YEAR: Universal’s hit buddy comedy Baby Mama starring a pre-Sarah Palin Tina Fey and a pre-pregnancy Amy Poehler opened at number one with $17.4M on its way to a solid $60.3M. Second place went to another new comedy about a pair of funny folks, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay which bowed to $14.9M nearly tripling the debut of its 2004 predecessor. New Line found its way to $38.1M. Holdovers rounded out the top five over the final weekend before Iron Man launched the summer movie season. Lionsgate’s The Forbidden Kingdom dropped to third with $11.2M, Forgetting Sarah Marshall fell to fourth with $11M for Universal, and Nim’s Island took in $4.5M for Fox. Opening poorly in tenth was that studio’s Hugh Jackman thriller Deception with a pitiful $2.3M and $1,155 average leading to a $4.6M finish.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com



Joe Wright

Earlier this decade,
Joe Wright
directed two very British movies from two very British novels, both which had
the fortune of achieving international crossover appeal. 2005’s

Pride and Prejudice
was a sexy, modern take on the classic novel and
reignited Austen-mania for the new millennium, while the celebrated
Atonement
featured
breakthrough serious roles for
James McAvoy
and Keira
Knightley
and was nominated, among other Oscars, for Best Picture
(ultimately, bowing down to
No Country for
Old Men
).

For his American debut, Wright again draws from the literary wellspring, this
time adapting Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez’s The Soloist. The book and
film recounts Lopez’s (played by
Robert
Downey Jr.
) friendship with Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie
Foxx
), a Julliard prodigy discovered years later as a homeless,
schizophrenic vagrant. The Soloist opens this
Friday in theaters everywhere. We spoke to Wright, discovering his own Five Favorite Films.

 


Brief Encounter
(1946,
84% Tomatometer)



Brief Encounter
Okay, so,
Brief Encounter. I love it because of its consummate craftsmanship. It’s deeply British. It [has] perfect structure. Celia Johnson’s performance. And the way in which it’s a film about something not happening rather than something happening.



Close Encounters of
the Third Kind
(1977, 95% Tomatometer)



Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters was the second film I ever saw in my life.

What was the first?

Bambi. And both films had the effect of scaring the living s–t out of me.

I think I was about six or seven when I saw Close Encounters, and it was the psychological terror of the father and his obsession with the mountain. The sequence with him starting building the mashed potato mountain and then turning the whole house into this kind of chaos of obsession. It terrified the living crap out of me. I saw it at the Odeon in Leicester Square and some 25 years later I found myself standing on that stage introducing
Pride and Prejudice. I think one of the reasons why I make films is to overcome that initial fear of watching a film itself.

Did you find Close Encounters frightening because it was a kind of domestic, invasive terror? Was this applied towards your own father?

Just the father losing control, I guess. That kind of absolute obsessiveness and not knowing what was going on with this character who’s supposed to be stable and secure. So maybe I was applying it to my own father. [But] I think it’s a kind of archetypal fear, really.



Blue Velvet
(1986, 90% Tomatometer)



Blue Velvet
What
year was Blue Velvet? It was ’86, wasn’t it? So I was 15 when it came out
and my parents were away for the summer, and they’d left me in the house alone.
I got hold of a VHS copy of Blue Velvet, and I started watching it, and I
couldn’t stop, and I got to the end of it, and rewound it, and played it again
and again, 16 times over. And I watched it at least twice a day, every day, for
that entire summer. You can see perhaps why obsessive behavior scares me. And it
just blew my mind. I knew that cinema could be poetic, but I never had before
understood that it could be poetic in that way, in such a raw and visceral way.
And again, scared the living crap out of me. So there seems to be a theme
running through here.

Last time
we spoke, you praised
Naomi Watts in
Mulholland Drive. What
performances strike you in Blue Velvet?

All of them. Laura Dern,
Dennis Hopper, all of them. They were all incredible in
it. I don’t know how
David Lynch directs his actors. One day I hope to meet him
to talk to him about it, because I don’t quite understand how he gets such
extraordinary performances. I think [Lynch’s] one of the best directors of
actors working today. …Or is he? [laughs]


The Conformist

(1970, 100% Tomatometer)

 

The ConformistJust
for its bold audacity. Its exquisite painterly quality. Its kind of
expressionism, its style, and its kind of audacity to take on great
philosophical themes in cinema.

Are you a Bertolucci fan in general, or do you separate his later stuff from
his early stuff?

I’m afraid I separate his later stuff from his early stuff. [But] I don’t want
to f–k off the great master.


The Apu Trilogy (1954-1959, average 97% Tomatometer)



Pather Panchali
I’ve
only recently come to watch those films (Pather
Panchali
,
Aparajito
,
The World of Apu
), and they’re just the most wonderful, simple, delicate
storytelling. Again, incredibly poetic, and opening up worlds that I hadn’t
imagined before. So delicate, and so honest and human. Seeing the whole of human
experience related in the microcosm of this little family.

No doubt you were aware of The Apu Trilogy‘s reputation. What were you
expecting?

I’m glad to say I didn’t have too many preconceptions about it, other than, you
know, “It was a masterpiece.” And I’m always wary of such labels. I didn’t
really know what it was about. I’m very excited that there are still films,
these masterpieces, that I haven’t fully been introduced to.

How recently did you see The Apu Trilogy?

Only about six or seven months ago. I’m embarrassed to admit that. I’m really
embarrassed.

And what did they replace?

I definitely would have had an
Alan Clarke
film in there. Maybe Alan Clarke’s Elephant.


Catch Joe Wright’s
The Soloist
in
theaters this Friday. For more Five Favorite Films, visit our archive.

Maybe we won’t be seeing Justice League of America in the summer of 2009 after all. Matter of fact, a whole slew of movies might be missing their release targets — including Wolverine, G.I. Joe, The Wolf Man, The Soloist, and the Night at the Museum sequel.

The culprit? Yes, you guessed it, it’s that pesky strike stuff again. After looming in the distance for months, strike season is approaching — and might actually be coming sooner than we’d expected. If you haven’t been following the drama, here’s what’s happening: The studios’ contracts with the actors’ and directors’ guilds expire next June, while the writers’ contracts expire at the end of this month. While many had assumed the industry would be facing one big strike next year, it now looks as if the writers will stage their own walkout first.

According to a report published by The New York Times over the weekend, this could affect something like 75 percent of “the almost 150 feature films that are candidates for production by early next year,” including Justice League and Another Night, both of which “appear not to have final scripts.” From the article:

Barbara Brogliatti, a spokeswoman for the producers’ alliance, said the studios had never assumed writers would keep working after the expiration of their contract. “Every studio and every network has contingency plans,” she said, and those plans “assume there could be a walkout on Oct. 31.”

The studios are still refusing official comment, but all the signs seem to indicate we’re going to suffer through some kind of work stoppage before this is over. As the article notes, the entertainment industry’s last major strike was the five-month writers’ walkout in 1988 — and those of us who are old enough to remember it might still be nursing a grudge for the havoc it wreaked on television shows such as Moonlighting.

Source: The New York Times

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