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All Michelle Pfeiffer Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer

It was no instant rise to fame for Michelle Pfeiffer, who began her movie career with ’80s teen fluff like The Hollywood Knights and an ill-advised revival of Charlie Chan. Even when she moved up to star status just a year later with Grease 2, it did more harm than good to her career. Both Brian De Palma and Al Pacino resisted auditioning Pfeiffer for Scarface, until they were convinced by producer Martin Bergman. Reason prevailed and she was cast as Tony Montana’s drug-addled girlfriend, and Pfeiffer began to draw national attention thanks to the role.

Pfeiffer’s immediate post-Scarface projects, like Ladyhawke and Sweet Liberty, reveal an actress trying get out of the bimbos-and-trophy-wives pigeonhole, eventually finding both commercial and critical success in 1987’s The Witches of Eastwick. The devilish John Updike adaptation showcased Pfeiffer as an arch comedic performer, able to pull off some strange material, which audiences would see more of in the following year’s Married to the Mob. This kicked off the most rewarding phase of Pfeiffer’s career, resulting in three Oscar nominations (Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Love Field), working with Martin Scorsese (The Age of Innocence), and being crowned a box office queen with her pop culture-defining role as Catwoman in Batman Returns.

Dramas would be her bread and butter (Dangerous Minds, A Thousand Acres, The Deep End of the Ocean, The Story of Us, I Am Sam, White Oleander) up until a hiatus in 2003. She returned in 2007 with three movies: Amy Heckerling’s I Could Never Be Your Woman, cult fantasy favorite Stardust, and the musical Hairspray, which put her together with original Grease alum John Travolta. Her following movies didn’t quite live up to that big re-emergence, including a Batman Returns reunion with Tim Burton on Dark Shadows, and she took another hiatus until 2017. That’s when we got another triple hitter with The Wizard of Lies as Ruth Madoff, Darren Aronofsky’s allegorical freakout mother!, and the opulent Murder on the Orient Express. She drew some of the best reviews of her career in 2018 with Where Is Kyra?, the same year she boarded the MCU as Janet van Dyne in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Her latest film was Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, as Queen Ingrith. And now we’ve gathered her body of work for all Michelle Pfeiffer movies ranked!

#44

New Year's Eve (2011)
7%

#44
Adjusted Score: 12117%
Critics Consensus: Shallow, sappy, and dull, New Year's Eve assembles a star-studded cast for no discernible purpose.
Synopsis: Intertwining stories promise love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and more for a number of New Yorkers on the celebrated night.... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

#43
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two years ago, David Lewis' (Peter Gallagher) wife, Gillian (Michelle Pfeiffer), fell from their sailboat and died, and since then... [More]
Directed By: Michael Pressman

#42
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: It's Halloween night, 1965, and members of the Hollywood Knights -- a drag-racing club -- have just been informed that... [More]
Directed By: Floyd Mutrux

#41

A Thousand Acres (1997)
24%

#41
Adjusted Score: 25813%
Critics Consensus: A Thousand Acres makes disappointingly sudsy stuff out of the source material, but benefits from solid performances by a strong cast.
Synopsis: A patriarch (Jason Robards) deeds his farm to two (Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange) of his three daughters in a modern... [More]
Directed By: Jocelyn Moorhouse

#40

The Story of Us (1999)
26%

#40
Adjusted Score: 31021%
Critics Consensus: A lack of chemistry between Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer fatally undermines the dull and predictable Story of Us.
Synopsis: After 15 years of marriage, Katie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her husband, Ben (Bruce Willis), have grown apart. While they keep... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#39

Dangerous Minds (1995)
31%

#39
Adjusted Score: 32262%
Critics Consensus: Rife with stereotypes that undermine its good intentions, Dangerous Minds is too blind to see that the ones it hurts are the audience.
Synopsis: Former Marine Louanne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer) lands a gig teaching in a pilot program for bright but underachieving teens at... [More]
Directed By: John N. Smith

#38

The Family (2013)
28%

#38
Adjusted Score: 33224%
Critics Consensus: Luc Besson's The Family suffers from an overly familiar setup and a number of jarring tonal shifts.
Synopsis: After ratting out his Mafia cohorts, Giovanni Manzioni (Robert De Niro) and his family enter the Witness Protection Program and... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 31577%
Critics Consensus: Up Close & Personal wastes its superstar leads and compelling fact-inspired story on a treacly romance bereft of onscreen chemistry.
Synopsis: Warren Justice (Robert Redford), a producer for a Miami news program, watches an audition tape from a young Nevada woman... [More]
Directed By: Jon Avnet

#36
Adjusted Score: 18929%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The retired detective (Peter Ustinov) and his clumsy grandson (Richard Hatch) probe murders in San Francisco's Chinatown.... [More]
Directed By: Clive Donner

#35

I Am Sam (2001)
35%

#35
Adjusted Score: 40505%
Critics Consensus: Not only does the manipulative I Am Sam oversimplify a complex issue, it drowns it in treacle.
Synopsis: "I Am Sam" is the compelling story of Sam Dawson (Sean Penn), a mentally-challenged father raising his daughter Lucy (Dakota... [More]
Directed By: Jessie Nelson

#34

Dark Shadows (2012)
35%

#34
Adjusted Score: 46243%
Critics Consensus: The visuals are top notch but Tim Burton never finds a consistent rhythm, mixing campy jokes and gothic spookiness with less success than other Johnny Depp collaborations.
Synopsis: In 18th-century Maine, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) presides over the town of Collinsport. A rich and powerful playboy, Barnabas seals... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#33

Into the Night (1985)
40%

#33
Adjusted Score: 40033%
Critics Consensus: Despite its two stellar leads, Into the Night finds director John Landis indulging in far too many gimmicks in lieu of a well-rounded story.
Synopsis: Ed Okin (Jeff Goldblum) leads a joyless existence. He hates his job as an aerospace engineer. To make matters worse,... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#32

Grease 2 (1982)
38%

#32
Adjusted Score: 39754%
Critics Consensus: Grease 2 is undeniably stocked with solid songs and well-choreographed dance sequences, but there's no getting around the fact that it's a blatant retread of its far more entertaining predecessor.
Synopsis: Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer) is the leader of Rydell High School's Pink Ladies, a gang of girls who are counterparts... [More]
Directed By: Patricia Birch

#31

Love Field (1992)
40%

#31
Adjusted Score: 38767%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Dallas housewife is so obsessed with the Kennedys that she travels from her home town to Washington DC for... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Kaplan

#30
Adjusted Score: 53795%
Critics Consensus: While it's far from cursed, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil too rarely supports its impressive cast and visuals with enough magical storytelling to justify its existence.
Synopsis: Maleficent travels to a grand old castle to celebrate young Aurora's upcoming wedding to Prince Phillip. While there, she meets... [More]
Directed By: Joachim Rønning

#29

Tequila Sunrise (1988)
52%

#29
Adjusted Score: 52775%
Critics Consensus: Tequila Sunrise unites three of its decade's most in-demand stars for a slickly packaged crime drama that looks great without ever going anywhere particularly interesting.
Synopsis: In a seaside California town, best friends Mac (Mel Gibson) and Nick (Kurt Russell) are on opposite sides of the... [More]
Directed By: Robert Towne

#28
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After Beth Cappadora's (Michelle Pfeiffer) youngest son, Ben, vanishes in Chicago, she slowly descends into a deep depression, affecting her... [More]
Directed By: Ulu Grosbard

#27
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The adventurous sailor (Brad Pitt) and a beautiful stowaway (Catherine Zeta-Jones) have 10 days to save a prince from execution.... [More]

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: It had been a year since Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford) betrayed his beautiful wife Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer). But with... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#25

One Fine Day (1996)
51%

#25
Adjusted Score: 52495%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Melanie Parker (Michelle Pfeiffer) is an architect who needs to give a very important presentation. Jack Taylor (George Clooney) is... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#24

Chéri (2009)
50%

#24
Adjusted Score: 55372%
Critics Consensus: A too-short script and a romance lacking in heat detracts from an otherwise haughty charmer.
Synopsis: When retired courtesan Charlotte (Kathy Bates) asks her former colleague, Lea (Michelle Pfeiffer) to instruct her son, Chéri (Rupert Friend),... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#23

People Like Us (2012)
53%

#23
Adjusted Score: 56651%
Critics Consensus: Though calculated and melodramatic, People Like Us benefits from a pair of solid leads and its rare screenplay that caters to adult filmgoers.
Synopsis: On the day his latest deal collapses, fast-talking-salesman Sam (Chris Pine) receives the news that his father has died. Reluctantly,... [More]
Directed By: Alex Kurtzman

#22

Wolf (1994)
63%

#22
Adjusted Score: 65433%
Critics Consensus: Wolf misses the jugular after showing flashes of killer instinct early on, but engaging stars and deft direction make this a unique horror-romance worth watching.
Synopsis: After being bitten by a wolf in rural Vermont, aging book editor Will Randall (Jack Nicholson) finds himself full of... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#21
Adjusted Score: 82395%
Critics Consensus: Stylish production and an all-star ensemble keep this Murder on the Orient Express from running off the rails, even if it never quite builds up to its classic predecessor's illustrious head of steam.
Synopsis: A lavish trip through Europe quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train. When... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#20
Adjusted Score: 31071%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Mother Nature (Tracey Ullman) loves to cause mischief, and she steps in to help two love-starved souls find happiness. She... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#19

Ladyhawke (1985)
68%

#19
Adjusted Score: 69437%
Critics Consensus: There's pacing problems, but Ladyhawke has an undeniable romantic sweep that's stronger than most fantasy epics of its ilk.
Synopsis: Upon breaking out of a dungeon, youthful thief Phillipe Gaston (Matthew Broderick) befriends Capt. Navarre (Rutger Hauer), a man with... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 66598%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When Johnny (Al Pacino) is released from prison following a forgery charge, he quickly lands a job as a short-order... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

#17
Adjusted Score: 70062%
Critics Consensus: Faultless production and shining performances display the Bard's talent propitiously.
Synopsis: This version of the renowned comedic play finds the world of humans intersecting with the realm of magic. The lovely... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#16

White Oleander (2002)
68%

#16
Adjusted Score: 72156%
Critics Consensus: Strong performances by the lead actresses make White Oleander a compelling female melodrama.
Synopsis: "White Oleander" chronicles the life of Astrid (Alison Lohman), a young teenager who journeys through a series of foster homes... [More]
Directed By: Peter Kosminsky

#15

mother! (2017)
68%

#15
Adjusted Score: 96600%
Critics Consensus: There's no denying that mother! is the thought-provoking product of a singularly ambitious artistic vision, though it may be too unwieldy for mainstream tastes.
Synopsis: A young woman spends her days renovating the Victorian mansion that she lives in with her husband in the countryside.... [More]
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 76082%
Critics Consensus: The Wizard of Lies doesn't really shed much new light on its fact-based story, but thanks to solid direction and a talented cast, it still proves consistently watchable.
Synopsis: In 2008, stockbroker, investment adviser and financier Bernie Madoff made headlines around the world when he was arrested for perpetrating... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#13

Stardust (2007)
77%

#13
Adjusted Score: 84378%
Critics Consensus: A faithful interpretation that captures the spirit of whimsy, action, and off-kilter humor of Neil Gaiman, Stardust juggles multiple genres and tones to create a fantastical experience.
Synopsis: To win the heart of his beloved (Sienna Miller), a young man named Tristan (Charlie Cox) ventures into the realm... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#12

The Russia House (1990)
68%

#12
Adjusted Score: 68652%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While visiting Moscow, British publisher Barley Blair (Sean Connery) learns of a manuscript detailing the Soviet Union's nuclear missile capabilities.... [More]
Directed By: Fred Schepisi

#11
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Three small-town friends, Alexandra (Cher), Jane (Susan Sarandon) and Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer), each having lost the man in their lives,... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#10

Sweet Liberty (1986)
81%

#10
Adjusted Score: 81735%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A professor (Alan Alda) tries to stop a film crew from making a teen comedy out of his book about... [More]
Directed By: Alan Alda

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 83755%
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]

#7

Where Is Kyra? (2017)
81%

#7
Adjusted Score: 83405%
Critics Consensus: Where Is Kyra? rests on Michelle Pfeiffer's magnetically raw performance -- and lives up to it with a trenchant, hard-hitting story.
Synopsis: A fragile woman is already stressed from a fast-paced world when her mother dies and she must find a means... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Dosunmu

#6

Scarface (1983)
82%

#6
Adjusted Score: 87514%
Critics Consensus: Director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino take it to the limit in this stylized, ultra-violent and eminently quotable gangster epic that walks a thin white line between moral drama and celebratory excess.
Synopsis: After getting a green card in exchange for assassinating a Cuban government official, Tony Montana (Al Pacino) stakes a claim... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 105679%
Critics Consensus: A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.
Synopsis: Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 92205%
Critics Consensus: Buoyed by Jonathan Demme's intuitive direction and Michelle Pfeiffer's irresistible charisma, Married to the Mob is a saucy mix of broad comedy and gangster drama.
Synopsis: Angela de Marco (Michelle Pfeiffer) is fed up with her gangster husband's (Alec Baldwin) line of work and wants no... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#3

Hairspray (2007)
91%

#3
Adjusted Score: 100574%
Critics Consensus: Hairspray is an energetic, wholly entertaining musical romp; a fun Summer movie with plenty of heart. Its contagious songs will make you want to get up and start dancing.
Synopsis: In 1960s Baltimore, dance-loving teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) auditions for a spot on "The Corny Collins Show" and wins.... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 94684%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, seductive, and clever, Stephen Frears' adaptation is a wickedly entertaining exploration of sexual politics.
Synopsis: The Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) and the Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) display the petty jealousies and jaded insouciance... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 97715%
Critics Consensus: Its story is nothing special, but The Fabulous Baker Boys glows beneath luminous performances from its perfectly cast stars.
Synopsis: Frank (Beau Bridges) and Jack Baker (Jeff Bridges) are brothers who have performed together in a small but successful piano... [More]
Directed By: Steve Kloves

Black Mass explores the real life unholy alliance between the FBI and Irish Mob, namely that of gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger who’s played by Johnny Depp. Depp is known as the actor with a thousand faces, a title earned after the end of his star-making TV show 21 Jump Street led to his obsession in seeking out bizarre and dynamic roles he could fully disappear into. His part in Black Mass — which manipulates his voice, eye color, and hairline — is no exception.

In this week’s 24 Frames gallery, we stare straight into the faces of Depp with some of his craziest acting transformations.


This week on home video, Disney releases another one of its timeless classics on Blu-ray, and Tim Burton’s latest collaboration with Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman hits shelves. Beyond that, we’ve got a handful of movies — good and bad — that only a few people saw and Blu-ray reissues of another beloved storybook movie and a moody Wong Kar Wai film. See below for the full list!



Dark Shadows

35%

If you weren’t already familiar with Dark Shadows, the cult TV show that first aired from the late 1960s to early 1971, you probably had less of a desire to see Tim Burton’s big screen adaptation of it. The story follows Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), an 18th Century playboy-turned-vampire — thanks to a witch’s (Eva Green) curse — who is buried alive until he is rudely awakened in 1972. Upon returning to his family manor, he finds it occupied by unruly descendants and sets about righting the family’s fishery. Though the quirky, dark, and campy source material seemed a perfect fit for a Burton-Depp collaboration, most critics felt the film almost completely missed its mark, tonally speaking, and saddled it with a 38% Tomatometer.



People Like Us

53%

Chris Pine’s career hasn’t quite taken off the way some people suspected it might after his successful turn as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek reboot, and People Like Us isn’t likely to make him any more of a household name. Here he plays a smooth-talking salesman named Sam who, upon his father’s death, learns he has an older sister (Elizabeth Banks) he never knew about; as he attempts to reconnect with lost family, Sam must reexamine his own life. Critics liked the fact that the film catered more to adult filmgoers than most modern dramedies have, and conceded that both Pine and Banks were great. Unfortunately, they also found the story too calculated and overly melodramatic, so it just misses the mark of Freshness at 57% on the Tomatometer.



Red Lights

30%

What happens when you score a surprise hit with a relatively low-budget thriller? Rodrigo Cortes, director of the acclaimed 2010 film Buried found out: you get to make another movie, but this time you have a bigger budget, and you can hire people like Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy, and Elizabeth Olsen to be in it. Red Lights focuses on physics wiz and supernatural debunker Tom Buckley (Murphy), who decides to confront the world’s most renowned psychic (De Niro) against the wishes of his superior (Weaver). As Tom begins his investigation, strange things begin to happen, and of course, all may not be as it seems. Cortes drew comparisons to M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) with this script, and that can either be a good thing or a bad thing, but overall, critics felt the story was too outlandish and failed to sustain momentum to the end. At 29%, Red Lights can be chalked up as a disappointment for most everyone involved.



Sound of My Voice

75%

If Red Lights was an unsatisfying psychological thriller, Sound of My Voice may be a suitable palate cleanser. Sharing some themes with PT Anderson’s The Master but somewhat rooted in sci-fi notions, Sound of My Voice stars Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius as Peter and Lorna, investigative journalists whose relationship is tested when they attempt to infiltrate a cult centered around a mysterious woman (Brit Marling) who claims to have come from the future. While several critics felt the film’s climax left a lot of important questions insufficiently answered, most found the film thought-provoking and effectively unsettling, leading to a Certified Fresh 75% on the Tomatometer.



Iron Sky

40%

How’s this for a nutty premise: a secret German space program enacted during the last days of World War II has thrived on the dark side of the moon for decades, and when an American astronaut unwittingly makes contact, the space Nazis decide it’s about time to make their way back to Earth and conquer it. Such is the plot of Iron Sky, a would-be over-the-top action comedy that, according to critics, doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its giddy B-movie trappings. It’s impressively made for the budget it was working with, but Iron Sky isn’t nearly funny enough to work successfully either as ironic satire or silly comedy. At 37%, it’ll provide a few laughs, but likely not as many as one would have hoped.



Cinderella – Blu-Ray

In arguably the biggest re-release news this week, Disney is letting loose another of their beloved fairy tale classics on Blu-ray. This time, it’s Cinderella, the story about an unfortunate young woman who is mistreated by everyone in her stepfamily until her fairy godmother shows up, turns a pumpkin into a carriage, and sends her off to the Prince’s ball, where she charms said prince, leaves a glass slipper behind, and resumes her slave lifestyle until he comes to whisk her away. As with other similar Disney releases, Cinderella is available in a variety of packages, from the 2-disc Diamond Edition to a 6-disc box set that also includes the film’s two direct-to-video sequels. Bonus features include an alternate opening sequence, a Tangled short, and three new featurettes on the inspiration behind the Fairy Godmother, the renovation of Fantasyland, and the design of glass slippers.



The Princess Bride – 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray

Cinderella is a timeless classic for sure, but for a certain generation of moviegoers, Rob Reiner’s storybook rom-com The Princess Bride holds just as dear a place in the heart, if not dearer. A young Cary Elwes plays Westley, a stable boy-turned-pirate thought long dead who resurfaces to save the love of his life (Robin Wright) from a scheming kidnapper and an evil prince. With winning turns from Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Mandy Patinkin, and of course Billy Crystal, The Princess Bride holds an impressive Certified Fresh 96% on the Tomatometer. The 25th Anniversary Blu-ray includes mostly the same features found on the previous two-disc Blu-ray release, but with one new extra called “True Love: The Princess Bride Phenomenon” that explores why the movie has resonated to strongly with audiences.



In the Mood for Love – Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

91%

There are few modern directors who are able to capture the sense of yearning and subdued heartache quite like Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar Wai, and In the Mood for Love might be his most quietly evocative effort to that effect. Essentially a story of unrequited love, In the Mood finds Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung as new neighbors who maintain polite contact at first but soon form a bond when both discover that their spouses are engaged in an affair. As their relationship begins to deepen, they find themselves at odds with the vows they have made to their respective spouses and which their spouses have chosen to ignore. Certified Fresh at 88%, In the Mood for Love arrives on Criterion Blu-ray with a wealth of extras, like deleted scenes, a short film by Wong, archival film festival footage, new interviews, and more.

Also available this week:

  • Joe Dante’s supernatural thriller The Hole, which opened in theaters just last week, is simultaneously available on DVD and Blu-ray this week.
  • John Huston’s 1982 big screen adaptation of the 1977 musical Annie arrives on Blu-ray for the first time.
  • The bizarre Masters of the Universe, loosely based on the popular He-Man cartoons of the 1980s, also arrives on Blu-ray for the first time.

This week at the movies, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp reteam to spoof the 1970s horror soap opera Dark Shadows, with help from Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, and Chloë Grace Moretz. What do the critics have to say?



Dark Shadows

35%

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have made plenty of witty, macabre pictures together. Unfortunately, critics say their latest, Dark Shadows, lacks their particular brand of black magic — despite moments of oddball inventiveness, the film suffers from jarring tonal shifts that prevent the story from resonating. Based on the 1970s soap opera, Dark Shadows stars Depp as Barnabas, a wealthy 18th century playboy who becomes a vampire after breaking a witch’s heart. After a long slumber, Barnabas awakes to find himself in the 1970s — and in the center of the squabbling family that now occupies his old mansion. The pundits say Dark Shadows looks fantastic, and Depp is enjoyable as always, but the movie never finds a consistent rhythm, mixing campy jokes and gothic spookiness with considerably less success than earlier Burton/Depp collaborations. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Depp’s best-reviewed movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Portrait of Wally, a documentary about the legal battle over a painting by the great Egon Schiele, is at 100 percent.
  • Sleepless Night, a French thriller about a dirty cop involved in a botched heist, is at 100 percent.
  • Under African Skies, a doc about a reunion between Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo for the 25th anniversary of their Graceland collaboration, is at 100 percent.
  • You Are Here, a sci-fi drama about a woman who collects documents and recordings of a secret parallel world, is at 100 percent.
  • The Chilean import Bonsái, a dramedy about a struggling writer looking for inspiration for his autobiographical novel, is at 93 percent.
  • Patience (After Sebald), a cinematic essay on the work of writer W.G. Sebald, is at 93 percent.
  • Nobody Else But You, an offbeat mystery about the investigation into the death of a Marilyn Monroe lookalike, is at 88 percent.
  • Hirokazu Koreeda‘s I Wish, aa drama about a boy who hopes for a miracle to reunite his divorced parents, is at 87 percent.
  • A Bag of Hammers, starring Jason Ritter and Rebecca Hall in a dramedy about a pair of con men who reconsider their ways when they mentor a 12-year-old boy, is at 67 percent.
  • The Road, a horror movie about the discovery of terrifying secrets in the search for missing teens, is at 67 percent.
  • God Bless America, a black comedy about a terminally ill man who reacts violently to what he sees as the stupidity of contemporary culture, is at 62 percent (check out director Bobcat Goldthwait’s Five Favorite Films here).
  • Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, a dramedy about a pregnant woman who makes an impulsive road trip to visit her estranged mother, is at 50 percent.
  • Where Do We Go Now?, a comedy about a Lebanese town divided along religious and gender lines, is at 47 percent.
  • Transit, starring Jim Caviezel in a thriller about a family on the run from ruthless killers after stumbling upon a stash of money, is at 43 percent.
  • Girl In Progress, starring Eva Mendes and Matthew Modine in a dramedy about a teenager who attempts to stake out a life independent from her preoccupied mother, is at 35 percent.
  • Tonight You’re Mine, a romantic comedy about two young rockers who are accidentally handcuffed to each other, is at 33 percent.
  • The Cup, starring Brendan Gleeson in a drama about a jockey overcoming adversity with the help of a veteran horse trainer, is at 29 percent.
  • Hick, starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Blake Lively in a drama about a pair of young hitchhikers who run into trouble on the open road, is at zero percent.
  • At the venerable age of 14, Chloë Grace Moretz is both something of an acting veteran — she’s been performing since she was six — and poised on the cusp of a very promising film career. Having practically stolen (500) Days of Summer as Joseph Gordon Levitt’s precociously world-weary little sister, she literally blasted her way into movie fame as the colorfully-tongued vigilante Hit Girl in Kick-Ass, and followed that up with a chilling, emotionally impressive performance as an age-old vampire in the unexpectedly great Let Me In. Things are just getting started for Moretz, however: next month she’ll star in Martin Scorsese’s much-anticipated 3D fantasy, Hugo, and she recently wrapped production on Tim Burton’s horror melodrama, Dark Shadows (playing Michelle Pfeiffer’s daughter, no less). This week, Moretz stars alongside Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in (daughter-of-Michael) Ami Canaan Mann’s Texas Killing Fields, an atmospheric police thriller in which she plays an adolescent drifter at the center of the hunt for a mysterious killer. We had the chance to chat with Moretz earlier this week.


    RT: You seem to be endlessly busy with films — what was it that drew you to Texas Killing Fields in particular?

    Chloë Grace Moretz: I really loved this role because it was more than just a girl who was, you know, abused and had a hard life. It was a girl who was bigger than the town she lived in and the situation she’s in; she has more to do in life than to be just stuck there forever. And I liked that. I liked how she knows it, but she never speaks it.

    You and [onscreen mother] Sheryl Lee spent time at a drug rehab center to prepare for your roles, right?

    Yeah. We actually went to a halfway house just out of New Orleans, yeah. It was really, really special — I met a lot of people who were either still using meth or had been clean for several years. So I heard some really amazing stories.

    Do you usually go to that extent to prepare for a role?

    Yeah, I mean — I definitely try to. I try to immerse myself in the character and figure out who she is, and what her expectations are and what her limits are — what she’ll do and what she won’t do. This definitely helped me on her emotions and how, you know — the women I met, they were always putting up a front, brushing everything off kind of nonchalantly. And then when you start asking them more questions, and they got more comfortable with you, they almost became a sort of child; they got very concave, you know how kids get nervous and they run behind their mother’s leg? They almost did that. Of course, there wasn’t anyone’s leg to grab, but there was that look in their eyes.

    The performance has a haunted quality without saying too much, which is not easy to do. Your accent is also quite good — do you practice or does it come naturally?

    I work with my brother Trevor — he’s my acting coach, and he actually does my accents, too. Like for my accent in Hugo Cabret where I’m British, well I play British — well I had a British accent but I’m French — he gave me that accent and worked on it with me, so yeah.

    Where does Trevor get his expertise in accents?

    Ah, he was taught at a professional performing New York arts high school, and he actually trained under some of the best acting coaches out there.

    You often play these rebellious or wayward adolescents — from Kick-Ass to Let Me In to Hick, and even Carolyn Stoddard in Dark Shadows — are you drawn to these kinds of characters?

    I don’t know — I kind of just look for a good role. A role that’s not me, you know — I love playing characters that are not me, who’re able to express emotions that no one could be able to express in everyday life. So I kind of look for roles like that, that are very much different to who Chloë is. Because if I’m playing myself all the time, that’d get kind of boring.

    What kind of film would you be in if you played yourself?

    Oh god! It’d be boring! [Laughs] The character would just be normal, you know; she’d just have a normal, everyday life, I guess, for a 14-year-old.

    You don’t have much of a normal 14-year-old’s life, though. I mean, how do you balance all these movies? Do you even go to school?

    Well I am home-schooled, but I go to a real school with an actual class and everything, I just do it at home — which is distance learning. But I really am just a normal 14-year-old. Yeah, I travel the world, but at the same time that’s the actor in me that does that, you know — the Chloë in me, the girl that grew up in Georgia and lives in LA, she’s just a normal 14-year-old; that’s the real me that no one really sees until they’re close to me. Because when I’m doing interviews and stuff, and doing press tours and all that, I’m “actor Chloë,” which is a different side of me. But when I’m with my friends, my guard goes down telling me to just be a normal girl.

    Do you have any inspirations as an actor? Was there anyone you looked up to?

    Audrey Hepburn is definitely a huge inspiration in my career. I absolutely love her, and her movies — they just make you smile. But I also like the diversity of her career, because she did movies like Wait Until Dark, which was so amazing where she played — have you seen that movie?

    I have, yeah. It’s very different to a lot of her usual stuff.

    It is. It’s beautiful, because you always see her as this happy character who’s always — yes, she’s always tormented inside, but at the same time she’s happy and she puts up a front; but when you see that movie it’s so chilling, it’s terrifying. And she is so smart in the character with everything she does. I absolutely love Audrey Hepburn.

    Speaking of inspiring characters, what was it like working with Marin Scorsese on Hugo?

    Working with Marty was really, really amazing. He’s such a phenomenal director and — I mean, he’s Martin Scorsese, so what do you say, you know? I had a phenomenal time doing it, and it was just… it was special. I got to play a 1930s Audrey Hepburn-like character. And I think this movie will definitely change cinematography, I definitely think it’ll definitely change a lot of things with 3D. It just makes movies special.


    Texas Killing Fields opens this week.


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