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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 

Coming out on home video this week are a few new releases from earlier this year (such as Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Observe and Report), as well as a couple of collections of older, more classic films (a collection dedicated to Paul Newman and two compilations of the Star Trek movies). We’ve got some animation for the kids (Battle for Terra, a Wallace and Gromit collection), and we’ve got some animation for the adults (Rob Zombie’s animated film The Haunted World of El Superbeasto). Plus, there’s a few other little goodies thrown in for good measure, so check out what we think are the most interesting DVDs hitting store shelves this week!



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Observe and Report

Who knew we were going to get not one, but two mall cop-themed movies this year? After Kevin James segwayed and tumbled his way through Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Seth Rogen put a decidedly darker spin on the theme in Observe and Report. Rogen plays Ronnie Barnhardt, a delusional mall security guard who dreams of becoming a real cop and wooing Brandi (Anna Faris), a cosmetics girl. Critics were split almost exactly down the middle by Observe and Report, mostly due to the film’s somewhat vicious nature, but many found rising star Seth Rogen’s performance oddly compelling. You can pick it up on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.



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Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

The first question the title of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past just begs to be answered is whether or not Matthew McConaughey’s past flames are, in fact, dead. The next question that inevitably follows is why these women would appear in the form of otherworldly apparitions if they aren’t, in fact, dead. These, of course, are best answered by watching the film itself, and many did so, despite the collective critical “meh” it received. Still, if nothing else, the premise is an interesting spin on A Christmas Carol, and there are a few laughs to be had, so die hard rom-com fans might still get a kick out of it. Grab it on DVD and Blu-Ray.



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Battle for Terra

The last widely released film of this year to hit the home video market this week is Battle for Terra, an animated action/adventure and morality tale with some top notch voice talent at work. Among the cast are Luke Wilson, Evan Rachel Wood, Brian Cox, David Cross, and Amanda Peet, just to name a few. The story focuses on the battle between two species, humans and Terrians, for control of the planet Terra, which might be the last hope for the survival of humanity. While it’s no Delgo, and some critics found the movie thought-provoking and visually appealing, most were unable to get past what they felt was a heavy-handed message delivered within an all too familiar story. If nothing else, it’s a passable diversion for the kiddies.



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Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection

Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection

Coming on the heels of the J.J. Abrams reboot of the Star Trek franchise are two collections of the previous ten films. The Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection already exists in Blu-Ray format, but those who haven’t yet made the transition to hi-def will now be able to pick up this set in standard definition, which includes all six of the first Star Trek films starring the original crew of the USS Enterprise. On the other hand, the Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection debuts this week in both DVD and Blu-Ray and includes the subsequent four films starring Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and friends. Both collections carry a slew of special features associated with each film, though the Blu-Ray discs offer even more content than the standard collections.



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O’Horten

Almost nobody besides critics saw O’Horten, but if their word is to be trusted, we were all missing out. Bent Hamer, who helmed 2004’s odd yet touching Kitchen Stories and 2006’s Charles Bukowski biopic Factotum, directs this eccentric, deadpan comedy about a train engineer dealing with retirement. Like his other two films, O’Horten earned Certified Fresh status with critics, and since you probably didn’t know it existed before, you can pick it up or rent it when it comes out tomorrow.



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Pierrot Le Fou – Criterion Blu-Ray

The operative word in the title is fou — Godard’s gonzo 1965 lovers-on-the-run dramedy is one of the French New Wave legend’s craziest features. But it’s also a boldly colorful, formally inventive, emotionally resonant tribute to amour fou. Pierrot Le Fou stars the impossibly cool Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina, who go on a crime spree after escaping their dull bourgeoisie lives. This Criterion release showcases Godard at his most deliriously entertaining, and features a documentary on the director as well as vintage interview clips with the stars.


Paul Newman: The Tribute Collection

Is Paul Newman the coolest man ever? He’s at least in the conversation. Exhibit A is the DVD box set Paul Newman: The Tribute Collection, featuring 13 of the legend’s films, including The Long Hot Summer, The Hustler, Hombre, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Verdict. The collection comes with loads of special features and a 136-page book. (Regrettably not included: a jar of Newman’s Own roasted garlic salsa, which is super tasty).


The Haunted World of El Superbeasto

Rob Zombie just can’t get enough of trashy pop culture. His latest feature, the animated The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, has it all: a hero who’s a washed up Mexican wrestler, an antagonist named Dr. Satan, plus strippers and a horde of Nazi zombie bikers. If this sounds like your cup of tea, you’re in luck; this long-gestating flick, featuring voice work from Paul Giamatti, Rosario Dawson, Danny Trejo, and Mrs. Rob Zombie (aka Sheri Moon), hits video stores this week.


Wallace and Gromit: The Complete Collection

This British stop motion duo has captured the hearts and minds of millions with their animated high jinks, winning a little award known as the Oscar more than once in the process. This new four-disc compilation presents all four of their short films, including 2008’s A Matter of Loaf and Death, in one nifty set and includes hours of special features like commentaries and featurettes on each film and a bonus episode with Shaun the Sheep. Separately, an individually packaged release of A Matter of Loaf and Death is also available this week, so if that’s the only one you care to own, you can pick that up instead.



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Shaun of the Dead – Blu-Ray

Hot Fuzz – Blu-Ray

The Edgar Wright-Simon Pegg-Nick Frost trio has earned quite a following in the past several years, beginning for some with their collaboration on the homage-infused BBC show Spaced in 1999. 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, an affectionate take on the zombie movie genre, was the first feature film the three worked on together, and while it was a bit of a sleeper at the box office, it received high marks from critics and went on to achieve cult status in popularity as word of mouth spread. Three years later, they followed it up with a buddy cop satire, Hot Fuzz, which also won critics over and cemented them as an audacious comedic force to be reckoned with. This week, both films hit the shelves in Blu-Ray editions, so you can watch your zombie-bashing and small town shootouts in high definition.

This week at the movies, we’ve got a pop songbird (Hannah Montana: The Movie, starring Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus), a mall cop (Observe and Report, starring Seth Rogen and Anna Farris), and plenty of dragon balls (Dragonball: Evolution, starring Justin Chatwin and Chow Yun-Fat). What do the critics have to say?



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Hannah Montana: The Movie

Ok, let’s get this out of the way upfront: if you fall within the target demographic of tween girls, you’re unlikely to be swayed by what the critics have to say about Hannah Montana: The Movie. Still, the pundits say the film is unlikely to draw many converts — or parents — into Hannah Montanah’s orbit. Miley Cyrus stars as the titular hero, who alternates between a life of pop-star celebrity and a down-to-earth existence in a small town. But will success spoil her? Will she forget her Tennessee roots? The pundits say the movie is inoffensive and good-natured, but painfully thin in the plotting department and fails to capitalize on its star’s natural charisma and charm. It’s also several notches below Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, which notched an impressive 70 percent on the Tomatometer. (Check out our interview with Miley’s dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, in which he tells us about his five favorite movies.)



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Observe and Report

What is it about mall cops that screenwriters find so hilarious? Observe and Report follows on the heels of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but happily, critics say this time out the fledgling formula is more successful. Seth Rogen stars as Ronnie, a rent-a-cop who takes mall security very seriously. However, when a flasher starts trouble, Ronnie is on the case, hoping it will be a springboard to the police academy — and a relationship with a make-up saleswoman (Anna Farris). The pundits say Observe and Report is one of the weirdest — and creepiest — mainstream comedies in quite a while, an odd mix of sadness and hilarity that provides ample teeth-gritting chuckles. But some also note it’s very dark and occasionally cruel.(Have a look at this week’s Total Recall, in which we list Seth Rogen’s Best Movies.)



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Dragonball: Evolution

For non-initiates, the Dragonball universe (detailed in graphic novels, video games, and a TV seires) can seem all but impenetrable. But critics say that’s the least of its big-screen incarnation’s problems; of greater concern is that Dragonball Evolution is simply dull and generic. Justin Chatwin stars as Goku, a young martial artist who seeks training from Master Roshi (Chow Yun-Fat) after the evil Piccolo has slain his grandfather; Goku and Piccolo end up in a race to acquire the Dragon Balls, magical spheroids that grant wishes to their possessors. The pundits say Dragonball Evolution is a dull slog, with so-so special effects and little of the complex mythology that spawned such cult devotion to the books and the TV show.


Also opening this week in limited release:

Five years ago, all Seth Rogen really had going for him were roles in a pair of quickly canceled television shows and bit parts in Donnie Darko and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy — but in Hollywood, fortunes can change quickly, and this Friday, Rogen will return to theaters with his fourth live-action leading role in the last two years, as mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt in Jody Hill’s Observe and Report. At the tender age of 26, Rogen has already put together such an impressive résumé that we thought now would be the perfect time to devote an installment of Total Recall to his best-reviewed movies.

Rogen rose to fame as a member of Judd Apatow’s troupe — he received his first big break as a member of the Freaks and Geeks cast, and Apatow elevated him to leading man status with 2007’s Knocked Up — and although it’s true that many of Rogen’s roles have been in Apatow comedies (or movies that just seem like Apatow comedies), he’s done more than you might think, including voicework for some popular animated fare, production work on many of his films, and writing for projects as varied as Da Ali G Show and Drillbit Taylor. Okay, maybe that last one wasn’t a very good example of his talents, but still, you have to admit — for a guy who wasn’t even on most people’s radar in the not-too-distant past, Seth Rogen has come an awfully long way. Join us in taking a look at the highlights of a brief-yet-busy career — and then visit Rogen’s complete filmography to learn more!


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10. You, Me and Dupree

Even the most impressive filmography has a stinker or two lurking in the weeds, and Seth Rogen’s is no different. Fortunately for him, his lowest-rated movie, 2006’s You, Me and Dupree, didn’t feature much Rogen — it was a starring vehicle for Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, and Matt Dillon, and Rogen only turned up in a supporting role as Neil, a mutual friend of the uptight Carl (Dillon) and lovably irresponsible Dupree (Wilson). In theory, the story of an innocent man-child slowly driving an uptight acquaintance insane is rife with humorous possibilities — see What About Bob? — but critics found few laughs in Dupree; although the film was a moderate hit, the reviews were almost uniformly awful. Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe summed up the overall feeling of most writers when he claimed that watching it “made me feel like Lou Dobbs. I didn’t like Dupree. I wanted him deported.”


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9. Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Rogen took a furlough from Camp Apatow for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, taking advantage of the opportunity to work for Kevin Smith, the director who redefined mainstream raunch with films such as Mallrats — and who demonstrated, with movies like Chasing Amy, that a successful script can be filthy and sweetly sentimental. Smith tried to walk that line with Zack and Miri, which starred Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as a pair of longtime friends who turn to porn as a way of paying their bills; unfortunately, it wasn’t an Amy-sized success, providing only limited critical and commercial returns despite a hot cast and potential-filled premise. Still, Zack and Miri ended up on the right side of 60 percent on the Tomatometer, thanks to reviews from critics like Creative Loafing’s Matt Brunson, who deemed it “Always likable even if it isn’t always inspired.”

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8. Pineapple Express

After channeling the spirit of the ’80s teen comedy for Superbad, Rogen and his screenwriting partner revisited another of the decade’s favorite genres for Pineapple Express: the action buddy comedy. It was marketed as a stoner comedy, and while it certainly contained a fair amount of weed-themed humor, Express was essentially an homage to such squabbling-friends-in-peril classics as Stir Crazy and Running Scared — although it bears pointing out that none of those movies had the benefit of a brief, spectacularly profane appearance by Ed Begley, Jr. Critics weren’t unanimous in their support of the $101 million hit, which starred Rogen and James Franco as a ganja-loving process server and his dealer on the run from a lunatic crimelord — and the theme song, sadly, did not result in a “Back in Time”-sized hit for Huey Lewis — but most scribes agreed with TIME’s Richard Corliss, who deemed Express “A comedy that brings a nicely deflating note of realism to action-film mayhem, as well as being one of the few drug movies you don’t have to be high to enjoy.”


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7. Monsters vs. Aliens

For his latest foray into the vocal booth, Rogen had the opportunity few actors are given — namely, to assume the role of a brainless, one-eyed blob created by injecting chemically altered ranch dressing into a genetically engineered tomato. Oh, and that’s not all — Monsters vs. Aliens marked the first time an animated feature was produced in 3-D start to finish, rather than converted after the fact, meaning Rogen was able to get his blob on while helping make movie history. It’s only been out a few weeks, so Aliens‘ final commercial fate has yet to be decided, but seeing as how it’s topped $100 million in domestic grosses in under a month, it seems safe to say the movie is a hit. The critical response has been more mixed, with some writers decrying what they see as an emphasis on visual thrills at the expense of an involving story or fully developed characters, but at 72 percent on the Tomatometer, most reviews have expressed sentiments similar to the Arizona Republic’s Bill Goodykoontz, who wrote, “don’t overthink Monsters vs. Aliens. Just enjoy it.”


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6. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!

By the time Zack and Miri and Pineapple Express came out in 2008, Seth Rogen seemed more or less inescapable at the box office — but his high-profile roles in hit comedies only told half the story, because ’08 also saw Rogen lending his distinctive pipes to a trio of animated characters, including the part of Morton the Mouse in Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! As the plucky rodent sidekick of Jim Carrey’s Horton, Rogen helped this CG-animated adaptation of the classic children’s book lumber to a pachyderm-sized $297 million gross — at least partially erasing the sour aftertaste left by Carrey’s last Seuss-inspired trip to the cineplex, 2000’s garish How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Critics enjoyed the new spin on Horton almost as much as audiences, certifying it Fresh behind a slew of reviews echoing the sentiments of the Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt, who called it “a delight, brimming with colorful, elastic characters and bountiful wit.”

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5. The Spiderwick Chronicles

Since the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies started raking in incredible amounts of money at the box office, just about every studio in Hollywood has tried to set up its own kid-wiz franchise, and though most would-be sequel machines have missed their goal — The Golden Compass, anyone? — some of them, like The Spiderwick Chronicles, have deserved better than being lumped in with The Bridge to Terabithia and limping to $70 million in receipts. In any case, you can hardly fault Spiderwick‘s underwhelming theatrical run on its cast, which included a much-praised starring turn from Freddie Highmore and voicework from Nick Nolte, Martin Short, and — of course — Seth Rogen as the eructative hobgoblin known as Hogsqueal. Director Mark Waters’ adaptation of the popular novels by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi didn’t exactly catch on with moviegoers, but critics appreciated its dark overtones and powerful emotional core; the New York Observer’s Rex Reed, for instance, praised it for “[holding] the interest without unbalancing the I.Q.”


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4. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The R-rated comedy went through some lean years in the ’90s and early ’00s, but by the middle of the decade, studios were willing to bet on grown-ups wanting to laugh again, and Judd Apatow — and, in turn, Seth Rogen — gave them plenty to laugh at, starting with 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Rogen plays second fiddle here, appearing as a pot-smoking friend and co-worker to Steve Carell’s titular paragon of chastity, but this is no ordinary supporting role — not only does he get some of the movie’s most memorable lines (including a particularly quote-friendly exchange with Paul Rudd’s character), but he earned a production credit on the film, showing some of the behind-the-scenes acumen that has helped make him more of a budding mogul than your average 26-year-old movie star. Whether or not people went to see it for Rogen, The 40-Year-Old Virgin was a huge hit, making more than $175 million at the box office, and critics enjoyed it too: The Globe and Mail’s Jason Anderson spoke for many of his peers when he wrote, “If only losing it was so good for everybody.”


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3. Superbad

It isn’t at all uncommon for high school buddies to daydream about growing up and making it big together — or for aspiring screenwriters to pen their first scripts before they’re old enough to vote. Most of them don’t have the patience to nurture an idea for over a decade, or the luck necessary to take your idea to the box office — but that’s exactly what Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg did with Superbad. Of course, it didn’t hurt having a pair of leads as buzz-friendly as Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, or being able to introduce Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the one and only McLovin — but Superbad‘s real strength lies in the way Rogen and Goldberg’s sweetly funny script blends honest moments with gross-out gags and absurdist humor (including a surreal extended cameo from Rogen and Bill Hader as a pair of spectacularly incompetent police officers). At 87 percent on the Tomatometer, Superbad received no shortage of love from critics like Roger Ebert, who pronounced it “A four-letter raunch-a-rama with a heart.”

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2. Kung Fu Panda

While it may not have collected quite as many critical palm fronds — or inspired the sort of impassioned political debate — as Pixar’s WALL-E, DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda did just fine for itself, earning over $600 million in worldwide grosses and a very respectable 89 percent on the Tomatometer, thanks to reviews from the likes of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle, who credited it with “[getting] across important and inevitable plot information in ways that are novel and unexpected.” It was yet another link in an increasingly impressive chain of well-chosen projects for Rogen, who lent his voice to Master Mantis, one of the quintet of talking creatures trained to protect the Valley of Peace threatened by the villainous leopard Tai Lung. While voicing the diminutive martial arts master may not have given Rogen as much of the spotlight as some of his other recent projects, it put him in excellent company — including Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Ian McShane, and Jack Black, just to name a few — and provided a guaranteed paycheck for the inevitable sequel, scheduled to arrive in 2011.


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1. Knocked Up

Two years after helping Steve Carell break a 40-year streak of sexual inactivity, Seth Rogen played a character on the verge of a different sort of threshold — namely, fatherhood — in Knocked Up. The movie also presented a career Rubicon of sorts for Rogen; after playing a secondary character in Virgin, he moved into the ranks of unconventional comedic leading men with Knocked Up, starring opposite Katherine Heigl as the ambition-deficient half of a couple thrown together by the unplanned results of a one-night stand. It was Rogen’s fourth project with Judd Apatow, and the basic, seemingly effortless likability that the director had seen in his star since their Freaks and Geeks days resonated with audiences — to the tune of nearly $220 million in box office receipts — and helped earn Knocked Up some of the best reviews of the year. Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek was one of the many critics who found it Fresh, praising what she saw as “a picture that refuses to fetishize either the ability to conceive or the significance of our place in the universe once we’ve done so.”


Don’t forget to check out out Seth Rogen’s complete filmography, and see the rest of our Total Recall archives.

Finally, we take you back to where it all began, with Rogen’s audition for Freaks and Geeks:

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