(Photo by 20th Century Fox/ courtesy Everett Collection)

All Matt Damon Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Before his breakout with Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon was already something of an actor to watch, showing versatility as a gaunt military medic in Courage Under Fire and as a determined law school grad in The Rainmaker. But looking to take creative control of his own career, he and partner-in-crime Ben Affleck wrote Good Will Hunting, earning the two a Best Original Screenplay Oscar, and an acting nom for Damon. After that, it was off to the races, working with the likes of Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan), Kevin Smith (Dogma, though he already had a previous cameo in Chasing Amy), Anthony Minghella (The Talented Mr. Ripley), and Martin Scorsese (The Departed).

Damon worked with Gus Van Sant a few more times (Finding Forrester, Gerry) before finding a truly kindred creative partner in Steven Soderbergh. Together, along with another regular cast of collaborators, he’s starred in three Ocean’s movies, Contagion, The Informant!, and Behind the Candelabra, with small cameos in Soderbergh’s Che Guevara biopics. Around the same time as Ocean’s Eleven, Damon came into the Bourne series, whose first trilogy (Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum) would rewrite the book on action cinema in the 21st century, with its intimate shaky-cam presentation and intricate plotting and character work.

The 2010s were a big decade for science-fiction and Damon got in on the action, with work representing some of his best movies, and certainly among the most well-known: The Adjustment Bureau, Elysium, The Zero Theorem, Interstellar, and The Martian.

After a rough 2017 where he starred in only Rotten movies (The Great Wall, Suburbicon, Downsizing), and remaining off-screen for 2018, he made a late 2019 appearance with Ford v Ferrari, the high-octane true story co-starring Christian Bale, and directed by James Mangold. Next, he’ll be in The Last Duel, directed by Ridley Scott. Now, we’re ranking all of Matt Damon’s movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#50

Suburbicon (2017)
28%

#50
Adjusted Score: 46527%
Critics Consensus: A disappointing misfire for director George Clooney, Suburbicon attempts to juggle social satire, racial commentary, and murder mystery -- and ends up making a mess of all three.
Synopsis: Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic, suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns -- the perfect place to raise a... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 40977%
Critics Consensus: Its intentions are noble and its cast is impressive, but neither can compensate for The Monuments Men's stiffly nostalgic tone and curiously slack narrative.
Synopsis: During World War II, the Nazis steal countless pieces of art and hide them away. Some over-the-hill art scholars, historians,... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 34475%
Critics Consensus: This adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel comes off as rather flat and uninvolving. Scenes feel rushed and done in shorthand, and the romance between Damon and Cruz has no sparks.
Synopsis: The year is 1949. A young Texan named John Grady finds himself without a home after his mother sells the... [More]
Directed By: Billy Bob Thornton

#47

The Great Wall (2016)
35%

#47
Adjusted Score: 52763%
Critics Consensus: For a Yimou Zhang film featuring Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe battling ancient monsters, The Great Wall is neither as exciting nor as entertainingly bonkers as one might hope.
Synopsis: When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within the Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the... [More]
Directed By: Zhang Yimou

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 44179%
Critics Consensus: The Brothers Grimm is full of beautiful imagery, but the story is labored and less than enchanting.
Synopsis: The Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm (Matt Damon) and Jacob (Heath Ledger), are dysfunctional schemers who go from town to town putting... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#45

The Majestic (2001)
42%

#45
Adjusted Score: 46415%
Critics Consensus: Ponderous and overlong, The Majestic drowns in forced sentimentality and resembles a mish-mash of other, better films.
Synopsis: Rising Hollywood screenwriter Peter Appleton (Jim Carrey) is blacklisted in the early 1950s Red Scare. Following a drunken car accident,... [More]
Directed By: Frank Darabont

#44
Adjusted Score: 47760%
Critics Consensus: Despite the talent involved in The Legend of Bagger Vance, performances are hindered by an inadequate screenplay full of flat characters and bad dialogue. Also, not much happens, and some critics are offended by how the film glosses over issues of racism.
Synopsis: During the Great Depression, Georgia socialite Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron) announces a publicity-garnering high-stakes match at her struggling family golf... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#43

Happy Feet Two (2011)
45%

#43
Adjusted Score: 49213%
Critics Consensus: The animation is as eye-popping as ever, but Happy Feet Two's narrative is too noisily incoherent to recapture the Oscar-winning charm of its predecessor.
Synopsis: Mumble (Elijah Wood) the penguin, now called the Master of Tap, has an unusual problem: Erik, his son, is reluctant... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#42

Hereafter (2010)
47%

#42
Adjusted Score: 55018%
Critics Consensus: Despite a thought-provoking premise and Clint Eastwood's typical flair as director, Hereafter fails to generate much compelling drama, straddling the line between poignant sentimentality and hokey tedium.
Synopsis: Three people set out on a spiritual journey after death touches their lives in different ways. George (Matt Damon) is... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#41

Downsizing (2017)
47%

#41
Adjusted Score: 68672%
Critics Consensus: Downsizing assembles a talented cast in pursuit of some truly interesting ideas -- which may be enough for some audiences to forgive the final product's frustrating shortcomings.
Synopsis: Mild-mannered therapist Paul Safranek and his wife, Audrey, decide to undergo a process in which scientists shrink people down to... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Payne

#40
Adjusted Score: 48035%
Critics Consensus: Geronimo: An American Legend fails to stir the soul, though its sweeping visuals and historical ambitions mark an intelligent change of pace for director Walter Hill.
Synopsis: Following the expansion of the United States into the Southwest, the Apache Indians are forced onto a reservation to live... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#39

The Zero Theorem (2013)
48%

#39
Adjusted Score: 53176%
Critics Consensus: Fans of director Terry Gilliam's trademark visual aesthetic will find everything they've bargained for, but for the unconverted, The Zero Theorem may prove too muddled to enjoy.
Synopsis: Hired to crack a theorem, reclusive computer genius Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) begins to make headway until his controlled world... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#38

Titan A.E. (2000)
50%

#38
Adjusted Score: 53564%
Critics Consensus: Great visuals, but the story feels like a cut-and-paste job of other sci-fi movies.
Synopsis: A science-fiction film that combines traditional animation with computer generated images, "Titan A.E." takes place in the distant future, after... [More]
Directed By: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

#37

Promised Land (2012)
53%

#37
Adjusted Score: 57988%
Critics Consensus: The earnest and well-intentioned Promised Land sports a likable cast, but it also suffers from oversimplified characterizations and a frustrating final act.
Synopsis: Corporate sales partners Steve Butler (Matt Damon) and Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand) arrive in a small town to secure drilling... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#36

Green Zone (2010)
53%

#36
Adjusted Score: 60065%
Critics Consensus: Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass return to the propulsive action and visceral editing of the Bourne films -- but a cliched script and stock characters keep those methods from being as effective this time around.
Synopsis: Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) and his team of inspectors are on a mission in 2003 to find... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#35

Ocean's Twelve (2004)
54%

#35
Adjusted Score: 60689%
Critics Consensus: While some have found the latest star-studded heist flick to be a fun, glossy star vehicle, others declare it's lazy, self-satisfied and illogical.
Synopsis: After successfully robbing five casinos in one night, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his crew of thieves have big problems.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#34

Jason Bourne (2016)
54%

#34
Adjusted Score: 73675%
Critics Consensus: Jason Bourne delivers fans of the franchise more of what they've come to expect -- which is this sequel's biggest selling point as well as its greatest flaw.
Synopsis: It's been 10 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) walked away from the agency that trained him to become a... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 62196%
Critics Consensus: Though ambitious and confidently directed by Robert De Niro, The Good Shepherd is ultimately a tedious drama that holds few surprises and succumbs to self-seriousness.
Synopsis: Discreet, idealistic and intensely loyal, Edward Wilson (Matt Damon) finds that service in the OSS and later as a founding... [More]
Directed By: Robert De Niro

#32

School Ties (1992)
60%

#32
Adjusted Score: 62876%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When David Greene (Brendan Fraser) receives a football scholarship to a prestigious prep school in the 1950s, he feels pressure... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mandel

#31

Gerry (2002)

#31
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Friends Gerry (Casey Affleck) and Gerry (Matt Damon) hike into Death Valley, but they stray so far from the trail... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#30

Stuck on You (2003)
61%

#30
Adjusted Score: 65204%
Critics Consensus: An unusually sweet and charming comedy by the Farrelly brothers. Fans may miss the distinct lack of bodily fluids though.
Synopsis: In Martha's Vineyard, Mass., conjoined twins Walt (Greg Kinnear) and Bob Tenor (Matt Damon) make the best of their handicap... [More]

#29

Rounders (1998)
65%

#29
Adjusted Score: 69238%
Critics Consensus: Richly atmospheric and colorful performances contributed to the movie's entertainment value.
Synopsis: Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) loses his money in a poker game against Russian gangster Teddy "KGB" (John Malkovich). Under pressure... [More]
Directed By: John Dahl

#28

We Bought a Zoo (2011)
65%

#28
Adjusted Score: 70410%
Critics Consensus: We Bought a Zoo is a transparently cloying effort by director Cameron Crowe, but Matt Damon makes for a sympathetic central character.
Synopsis: Following his wife's untimely death, Los Angeles journalist Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) decides to make a fresh start by quitting... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#27

Elysium (2013)
65%

#27
Adjusted Score: 74731%
Critics Consensus: After the heady sci-fi thrills of District 9, Elysium is a bit of a comedown for director Neill Blomkamp, but on its own terms, it delivers just often enough to satisfy.
Synopsis: In the year 2154, humanity is sharply divided between two classes of people: The ultrarich live aboard a luxurious space... [More]
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp

#26

Dogma (1999)
67%

#26
Adjusted Score: 72581%
Critics Consensus: Provocative and audacious, Dogma is an uneven but thoughtful religious satire that's both respectful and irreverent.
Synopsis: Two fallen angels who were ejected from paradise find themselves banned in Wisconsin. They are now headed for New Jersey... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#25
Adjusted Score: 72815%
Critics Consensus: A visually stunning film that may be too predictable and politically correct for adults, but should serve children well.
Synopsis: Follows the adventures of a wild and rambunctious mustang stallion as he journeys through the untamed American frontier. Encountering man... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook

#24

Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
69%

#24
Adjusted Score: 77665%
Critics Consensus: Ocean's Thirteen reverts to the formula of the first installment, and the result is another slick and entertaining heist film.
Synopsis: Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang hatch an ambitious plot for revenge after ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#23
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Just as he is on the brink of winning a Senate seat, politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets a ballerina... [More]
Directed By: George Nolfi

#22

Interstellar (2014)
72%

#22
Adjusted Score: 88274%
Critics Consensus: Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually resplendent filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan, even if its intellectual reach somewhat exceeds its grasp.
Synopsis: In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#21

Syriana (2005)
73%

#21
Adjusted Score: 79849%
Critics Consensus: Ambitious, complicated, intellectual, and demanding of its audience, Syriana is both a gripping geopolitical thriller and wake-up call to the complacent.
Synopsis: The Middle Eastern oil industry is the backdrop of this tense drama, which weaves together numerous story lines. Bennett Holiday... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Gaghan

#20

Margaret (2011)
74%

#20
Adjusted Score: 77351%
Critics Consensus: A surfeit of ideas contributes to Margaret's excessive run time, but Anna Paquin does a admirable job of guiding viewers through emotional hell.
Synopsis: New York high-school student Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin) inadvertently causes an accident in which a bus driver (Mark Ruffalo) runs... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Lonergan

#19

Stillwater (2021)
74%

#19
Adjusted Score: 83092%
Critics Consensus: Stillwater isn't perfect, but its thoughtful approach to intelligent themes -- and strong performances from its leads -- give this timely drama a steadily building power.
Synopsis: Unemployed roughneck Bill Baker (Academy Award® winner Matt Damon) travels from Oklahoma to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter Allison... [More]
Directed By: Tom McCarthy

#18

Invictus (2009)
76%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85438%
Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision by director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.
Synopsis: Following the fall of apartheid, newly elected President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) faces a South Africa that is racially and... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#17

The Informant! (2009)
79%

#17
Adjusted Score: 88604%
Critics Consensus: A charismatic turn by star Matt Damon and a consistently ironic tone boost this quietly funny satire about a corporate whistle-blower.
Synopsis: Though a rising star in the ranks of Archer Daniels Midland, Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) suddenly exposes a price-fixing conspiracy... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#16
Adjusted Score: 84798%
Critics Consensus: Invigorated by its talented cast and Francis Ford Coppola's strong direction, The Rainmaker is a satisfying legal drama -- and arguably the best of Hollywood's many John Grisham adaptations.
Synopsis: Struggling new attorney Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) resorts to working for a shady lawyer (Mickey Rourke), where he meets paralegal... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 88144%
Critics Consensus: A well-made sequel that delivers the thrills.
Synopsis: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is living in India when he is framed by Russian agent Kirill (Karl Urban) for the... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 88838%
Critics Consensus: With Matt Damon's unsettling performance offering a darkly twisted counterpoint to Anthony Minghella's glossy direction, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a suspense thriller that lingers.
Synopsis: To be young and carefree amid the blue waters and idyllic landscape of sun-drenched Italy in the late 1950s; that's... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Minghella

#13

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
83%

#13
Adjusted Score: 90209%
Critics Consensus: As fast-paced, witty, and entertaining as it is star-studded and coolly stylish, Ocean's Eleven offers a well-seasoned serving of popcorn entertainment.
Synopsis: Dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 89317%
Critics Consensus: Expertly blending genre formula with bursts of unexpected wit, The Bourne Identity is an action thriller that delivers -- and then some.
Synopsis: The story of a man (Matt Damon), salvaged, near death, from the ocean by an Italian fishing boat. When he... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 87920%
Critics Consensus: An emotional and intriguing tale of a military officer who must review the merits of a fallen officer while confronting his own war demons. Effectively depicts the terrors of war as well as its heartbreaking aftermath.
Synopsis: During the 1991 Gulf War, Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) accidentally caused a friendly fire incident, a mistake that... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#10

Contagion (2011)

#10
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minnesota from a Hong Kong business trip, she attributes the malaise she feels... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#9

The Departed (2006)
90%

#9
Adjusted Score: 102533%
Critics Consensus: Featuring outstanding work from an excellent cast, The Departed is a thoroughly engrossing gangster drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality we come to expect from Martin Scorsese.
Synopsis: South Boston cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) goes under cover to infiltrate the organization of gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#8

Ponyo (2008)

#8
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During a forbidden excursion to see the surface world, a goldfish princess encounters a human boy named Sosuke, who gives... [More]
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki

#7

The Martian (2015)
91%

#7
Adjusted Score: 107214%
Critics Consensus: Smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny, The Martian offers a faithful adaptation of the bestselling book that brings out the best in leading man Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott.
Synopsis: When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#6
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) continues his international quest to uncover his true identity. From Russia to Europe to northern Africa... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#5

Ford v Ferrari (2019)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 114307%
Critics Consensus: Ford v Ferrari delivers all the polished auto action audiences will expect -- and balances it with enough gripping human drama to satisfy non-racing enthusiasts.
Synopsis: American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#4
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 97836%
Critics Consensus: Affectionate without sacrificing honesty, Behind the Candelabra couples award-worthy performances from Michael Douglas and Matt Damon with some typically sharp direction from Steven Soderbergh.
Synopsis: World-famous pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas) takes much-younger Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) as a lover, but the relationship deteriorates when Liberace... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#2

True Grit (2010)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 105673%
Critics Consensus: Girded by strong performances from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, and lifted by some of the Coens' most finely tuned, unaffected work, True Grit is a worthy companion to the Charles Portis book.
Synopsis: After an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) murders her father, feisty 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 101367%
Critics Consensus: It follows a predictable narrative arc, but Good Will Hunting adds enough quirks to the journey -- and is loaded with enough powerful performances -- that it remains an entertaining, emotionally rich drama.
Synopsis: Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

(Photo by Jonny Cournoyer / © Paramount Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection)

All Emily Blunt Movies Ranked

Emily Blunt‘s first two Rotten Tomatoes-rated movies were Certified Fresh: My Summer of Love, which you’ve never heard of, and The Devil Wears Prada, which you definitely have. The $124-million grossing and decidedly unromantic comedy paved a path for more female-led films and served as a launching vector for actresses like Anne Hathaway and Blunt. Her appearances in high-profile Charlie Wilson’s War, The Wolfman and The Muppets kept the momentum going, but it wasn’t until releasing Looper that Blunt got that most coveted of validations: internet fan cred. Following that up with Edge of Tomorrow and A Quiet Place has cemented her image of poise and natural radiant strength. She was Mary Poppins, y’all.She was even Tempest Shadow in My Little Pony: The Movie. That’s cross-generational.

In 2021, she set course with A Quiet Place Part II and Jungle Cruise. Wee where those two land as we rank Emily Blunt movies by Tomatometer!

#32
Adjusted Score: 32631%
Critics Consensus: The Huntsman: Winter's War is visually arresting and boasts a stellar cast, but neither are enough to recommend this entirely unnecessary sequel.
Synopsis: Betrayed by her evil sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron), heartbroken Freya (Emily Blunt) retreats to a northern kingdom to raise an... [More]
Directed By: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

#31

Arthur Newman (2012)
20%

#31
Adjusted Score: 20283%
Critics Consensus: Despite the natural charisma of its leads, Arthur Newman does little with its intriguing setup, and the result is bland and unconvincing.
Synopsis: Frustrated with his boring life, Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) fakes his own death and sets out to make a new... [More]
Directed By: Dante Ariola

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 23136%
Critics Consensus: Though Jack Black is back doing what he does best, Gulliver's Travels largely fails to do any justice to its source material, relying instead on juvenile humor and special effects.
Synopsis: Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) works in a mailroom at a city newspaper. While he is on an assignment in the... [More]
Directed By: Rob Letterman

#29

Sherlock Gnomes (2018)
27%

#29
Adjusted Score: 29305%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Gnomes is sadly, utterly stumped by the mystery of the reason for its own existence.
Synopsis: When Gnomeo and Juliet first arrive in London with their friends and family, their biggest concern is getting a new... [More]
Directed By: John Stevenson

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 33721%
Critics Consensus: Fatally undermined by dodgy accents and a questionable story, Wild Mountain Thyme is a baffling misfire for a talented filmmaker and impressive cast.
Synopsis: John Patrick Shanley, who created the classic MOONSTRUCK, brings his sweeping romantic vision to Ireland with Wild Mountain Thyme. The... [More]
Directed By: John Patrick Shanley

#27

Wild Target (2010)
33%

#27
Adjusted Score: 33335%
Critics Consensus: An ineptly staged farce that dishonors the original film and squanders the comedic potential of its fine actors.
Synopsis: Longing to get out of the assassination business, a hit man (Bill Nighy) decides not to follow through with his... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Lynn

#26

The Wolfman (2010)
34%

#26
Adjusted Score: 41436%
Critics Consensus: Suitably grand and special effects-laden, The Wolfman suffers from a suspense-deficient script and a surprising lack of genuine chills.
Synopsis: Though absent from his ancestral home of Blackmoor for many years, aristocrat Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns to find... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 63682%
Critics Consensus: Emily Blunt's outstanding performance isn't enough to keep The Girl on the Train from sliding sluggishly into exploitative melodrama.
Synopsis: Commuter Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 50181%
Critics Consensus: Charming and sweet, My Little Pony: The Movie will please its dedicated fanbase, even if it's unlikely to encourage non-devotees to gallop along for the ride.
Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity embark on an epic journey to save Ponyville from a... [More]
Directed By: Jayson Thiessen

#23

Wind Chill (2007)
46%

#23
Adjusted Score: 45148%
Critics Consensus: Wind Chill is a ghost story with a clunky and unpolished script that fails to keep viewers in suspense.
Synopsis: Just before their university campus goes quiet for the winter break, a young woman (Emily Blunt) asks a classmate (Ashton... [More]
Directed By: Gregory Jacobs

#22

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
55%

#22
Adjusted Score: 59557%
Critics Consensus: While it has moments of inspiration, Gnomeo and Juliet is often too self-referential for its own good.
Synopsis: In Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, Miss Capulet and Mr. Montague feud over whose garden is the better. Garden gnomes... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury

#21

Jungle Cruise (2021)
62%

#21
Adjusted Score: 79479%
Critics Consensus: Its craft isn't quite as sturdy as some of the classic adventures it's indebted to, but Jungle Cruise remains a fun, family-friendly voyage.
Synopsis: Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE, a rollicking... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 70426%
Critics Consensus: While certainly overlong, The Five-Year Engagement benefits from the easy chemistry of its leads and a funny, romantic script with surprising depth and intelligence.
Synopsis: On their one-year anniversary, sous chef Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) plans to surprise his girlfriend, Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt), with... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#19

Dan in Real Life (2007)
65%

#19
Adjusted Score: 71138%
Critics Consensus: The fine performances elevate Dan in Real Life beyond its sentimental plot.
Synopsis: Dan Burns (Steve Carell), a widower and advice columnist, meets a beautiful stranger (Juliette Binoche) in a bookstore and is... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hedges

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 70201%
Critics Consensus: Though at times formulaic and sentimental, Jane Austen Book Club succeeds on the strength of its likable ensemble cast. Even those not familiar with Jane Austen's work may find much to enjoy this lighthearted romance.
Synopsis: Six Californians (Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Emily Blunt) form a book club devoted to studying the works of the 19th-century... [More]
Directed By: Robin Swicord

#17
Adjusted Score: 72110%
Critics Consensus: Quirky and a little reserved, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is nonetheless a charming little romantic drama sold by some strong central performances.
Synopsis: Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is a fisheries scientist who one day receives an unusual request: A businesswoman named Harriet... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallström

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 74278%
Critics Consensus: By turns fluffy and biting, this show biz comedy is given girth by comic heavyweight John Malkovich and made all the more charming by Emily Blunt.
Synopsis: Defying his father and dropping out of law school, aspiring writer Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) looks for a way to... [More]
Directed By: Sean McGinly

#15

Into the Woods (2014)
71%

#15
Adjusted Score: 80576%
Critics Consensus: On the whole, this Disney adaptation of the Sondheim classic sits comfortably at the corner of Hollywood and Broadway -- even if it darkens to its detriment in the final act.
Synopsis: As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch (Meryl Streep), a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily... [More]
Directed By: Rob Marshall

#14
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Just as he is on the brink of winning a Senate seat, politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets a ballerina... [More]
Directed By: George Nolfi

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 81147%
Critics Consensus: Despite a sometimes overly familiar plot, Sunshine Cleaning benefits from the lively performances of its two stars.
Synopsis: Though they once seemed to have a bright future, life seems to be passing by the Norkowski sisters. Rose (Amy... [More]
Directed By: Christine Jeffs

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 83340%
Critics Consensus: A rare film that surpasses the quality of its source novel, this Devil is a witty expose of New York's fashion scene, with Meryl Streep in top form and Anne Hathaway more than holding her own.
Synopsis: Andy (Anne Hathaway) is a recent college graduate with big dreams. Upon landing a job at prestigious Runway magazine, she... [More]
Directed By: David Frankel

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As the only legitimate heir of England's King William, teenage Victoria (Emily Blunt) gets caught up in the political machinations... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallée

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 102226%
Critics Consensus: Mary Poppins Returns relies on the magic of its classic forebear to cast a familiar -- but still solidly effective -- family-friendly spell.
Synopsis: Now an adult with three children, bank teller Michael Banks learns that his house will be repossessed in five days... [More]
Directed By: Rob Marshall

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 89761%
Critics Consensus: Charlie Wilson's War manages to entertain and inform audiences, thanks to its witty script and talented cast of power players.
Synopsis: In the 1980s U.S.Rep. Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), Texas socialite Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) and CIA agent Gust Avrakotos (Philip... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 88826%
Critics Consensus: Superbly acted and satisfyingly engaging, Your Sister's Sister subverts rom-com conventions with sensitive direction, an unconventional screenplay, and a big heart.
Synopsis: A man (Mark Duplass) falls into bed with his best friend's (Emily Blunt) sister (Rosemarie DeWitt), leading to an unexpected... [More]
Directed By: Lynn Shelton

#7

The Wind Rises (2013)
88%

#7
Adjusted Score: 95367%
Critics Consensus: The Wind Rises is a fittingly bittersweet swan song for director Hayao Miyazaki.
Synopsis: A lifelong love of flight inspires Japanese aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, whose storied career includes the creation of the A-6M... [More]

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 93156%
Critics Consensus: My Summer of Love is a moody, bittersweet love story featuring outstanding performances from the leads.
Synopsis: When upper-class Tamsin (Emily Blunt) meets working-class Mona (Natalie Press) they are immediately drawn to each other. Although coming from... [More]
Directed By: Paul Pavlikovsky

#5

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
91%

#5
Adjusted Score: 104400%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller.
Synopsis: When Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them. Maj.... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 110589%
Critics Consensus: A nerve-wracking continuation of its predecessor, A Quiet Place Part II expands the terrifying world of the franchise without losing track of its heart.
Synopsis: Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

#3

Sicario (2015)
92%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102555%
Critics Consensus: Led by outstanding work from Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, Sicario is a taut, tightly wound thriller with much more on its mind than attention-getting set pieces.
Synopsis: After rising through the ranks of her male-dominated profession, idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) receives a top assignment.... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#2

Looper (2012)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103714%
Critics Consensus: As thought-provoking as it is thrilling, Looper delivers an uncommonly smart, bravely original blend of futuristic sci-fi and good old-fashioned action.
Synopsis: In a future society, time-travel exists, but it's only available to those with the means to pay for it on... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#1

A Quiet Place (2018)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 118868%
Critics Consensus: A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.
Synopsis: If they hear you, they hunt you. A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

She’s only been making movies for a little over a decade, but Emily Blunt has already managed to put together an impressive string of critical and commercial hits — and she looks to add to that list with this weekend’s The Girl on the Train. In honor of its arrival, we decided to take a fond look back at some of the brighter highlights from Ms. Blunt’s fast-growing filmography. It’s time for Total Recall!


10. Sunshine Cleaning (2008) 74%

sunshine-cleaning

If you’re going to film a quirky indie comedy about a cheerleader-turned-hardworking single mom who decides to clean crime scenes for a living so she can send her son to private school, you could hardly find a better person for the role than Amy Adams — and it would be just as hard to improve upon Emily Blunt as her not-so-sunny sister. While critics carped that the Christine Jeffs-directed Sunshine Cleaning was ultimately a little too burdened with quirky indie clichés to achieve its full potential, they had nothing but kind words to say about its stars. The Toronto Star’s Peter Howell  reflected the opinions of many of his peers when he wrote, “Adams and Blunt rise above the clunky premise and execution to once again demonstrate why they’ve become the go-to girls for any director seeking smart, versatile and warm-blooded talent.”


9. The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

adjustment-bureau

Star-crossed lovers are nothing new at the cinema, but The Adjustment Bureau — adapted from the 1954 Philip K. Dick short story “Adjustment Team” — adds a novel sci-fi twist by literally pitting its lovers against the agents of fate. Budding politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets a mysterious woman (Blunt) on the eve of his unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate, and becomes determined to find her after they share a kiss — a desire that only intensifies after he meets members of the “Adjustment Bureau” who inform him that he has to stay away from her in order to fulfill “the Plan.” It’s the type of loopy premise that can easily spin off into melodramatic gobbledygook, but according to most critics, Bureau stayed pleasantly grounded thanks to the palpable spark between its leads. As Peter Rainer wrote for the Christian Science Monitor, “Because the chemistry between Damon and Blunt is so strong, what might have been a jumble of Matrix-style oddments comes across instead as ardent.”


8. The Young Victoria (2009)

young-victoria

Blunt received a raft of award nominations — including one from the Golden Globes — for her work in the title role of this Jean-Marc Vallée period drama, which dramatizes the power struggle leading up to Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne as well as the contentious political atmosphere that surrounded her afterwards. Of course, political intrigue will only get you so far with a movie about a queen — you also need a good old-fashioned romance, and Victoria’s tale offered up a doozy in her courtship with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Rupert Friend), who sparked a real romance with the young monarch after being sent to the royal court as part of a would-be seduction ploy by his uncle, the King of Belgium. It all added up to just the sort of beautifully mounted period piece that tends to hit a reliable home run with critics and arthouse audiences, and The Young Victoria did pretty well on both fronts, with Blunt earning copious praise for her performance. “Blunt, her eyes sparking, her manner playful, smart, and proud, shines in the title role,” wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Steven Rea. “If the film itself isn’t brilliant, its star most definitely is.”


7. The Devil Wears Prada (2006) 75%

devil-wears-prada

Two years after making arthouse audiences swoon with My Summer of Love, Blunt made her second trip to the big screen — and scored her first blockbuster success. Of course, The Devil Wears Prada‘s $300 million-plus gross had a lot more to do with Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway’s names on the marquee, but Blunt’s supporting appearance proved she could hold her own with those talented ladies (and displayed a gift for comedy she hadn’t necessarily had a chance to display with her first film). Starring Streep as fashion magazine editor and all-around hellish boss Miranda Priestly, Hathaway as Priestly’s fresh-out-of-college new assistant, and Blunt as Hathaway’s far more experienced co-worker, Prada poked fun at the fashion industry while unabashedly embracing its glamour — and the gambit worked with critics as well as audiences. “The Devil Wears Prada is a movie that revels in pleasure,” wrote Slate’s Dana Stevens. “The pleasure of fashion, of luxury, of power and ambition. It’s also a tremendous pleasure to watch.”


6. Charlie Wilson's War (2007) 82%

charlie-wilsons-war

Sign up for a movie whose cast includes Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Ned Beatty, and you probably aren’t going to come anywhere near top billing. But even if her supporting turn in Charlie Wilson’s War isn’t one of Blunt’s biggest roles, it rates a mention for a few reasons — it put her in some magnificent closing-credits company, for one thing, and for another, whatever her screentime lacked in quantity, it made up in memorability. Most of all, this Mike Nichols-directed period dramedy about a real-life U.S. Congressman (Hanks) who works with the CIA to try and tilt the balance of the Afghan-Soviet War is pretty all-around entertaining; as Rene Rodriguez wrote for the Miami Herald, “It is so much fun watching these actors enjoy bouncing off each other, it’s almost too easy to forget the importance of the story being told.”


5. Your Sister's Sister (2011) 83%

your-sisters-sister

Ah, the love triangle — always good for a bit of drama. That’s exactly what you get out of Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister, an absorbingly low-key drama starring Mark Duplass as a guy who borrows a cabin from his deceased brother’s ex-girlfriend (Blunt), only to show up and find her sister (Rosemarie DeWitt). Questions of grief, unspoken feelings, and sexual identity soon follow — as well as a generous helping of the well-rounded characters and naturalistic dialogue fans of the filmmaker have come to expect. “Even when the storyline tries to wrench the characters in a certain direction, they keep returning to something real and honest,” wrote Deadspin’s Will Leitch. “I want these people to be my friends.”


4. My Summer of Love (2004) 90%

my-summer-of-love

After acclaimed early performances on the stage and on television, Blunt continued her winning streak with her big-screen debut, 2004’s My Summer of Love, in which she played an upper-class British teen who embarks on a seemingly star-crossed relationship with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Although it wasn’t a huge commercial hit, Love was consistently acclaimed — Blunt and co-star Natalie Press shared an  Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer — and it led directly into more high-profile roles, something predicted by more than a few critics. “Remember these names,” wrote Moira MacDonald for the Seattle Times. “Remember this strange, lovely movie.”


3. Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 91%

edge-of-tomorrow

By the time Edge of Tomorrow arrived in theaters, we’d all seen Tom Cruise play action hero countless times — and he’d even helped save the world from an alien invasion, as his character was called upon to do in this Doug Liman-directed sci-fi flick. But Tomorrow came with a couple of fairly nifty twists: one in the form of a timeloop plot device that sent Cruise plummeting back into the same chaotic day on the battlefield until he could manage to get it right, and the second with a story that made Cruise an unwilling and borderline incompetent hero who needed to be trained to fight by the movie’s true badass, played by Blunt. The end result, as critics were fond of pointing out, was a little like Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day, and all kinds of blockbuster fun. As Kenneth Turan put it for the Los Angeles Times, “It’s a star-driven mass-market entertainment that’s smart, exciting and unexpected while not stinting on genre satisfactions.”


2. Looper (2012) 93%

looper

On a superficial (and wholly enjoyable) level, Rian Johnson’s 2012 sci-fi hit Looper is about one man’s life-or-death struggle against his future self. But underneath all the twisty time travel narrative and cool set pieces, it’s really a surprisingly tender drama about a mother’s love — and one grounded by the flinty yet vulnerable performance delivered by Blunt, who plays a homesteading single mom determined to protect her young son at all costs (and maybe unwittingly change the world for the better in the bargain). “That first hour cooks,” marveled the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips. “And the second hour brings Emily Blunt into the story, which is a fine thing for any second half to offer.”


1. Sicario (2015) 92%

sicario

Some pretty powerful films have been made about the international drug trade, and at this point, if you’re going to throw your cinematic hat in the ring, you’d better be prepared to add a singular statement to the genre. Director Denis Villeneuve managed to pull it off with 2015’s Sicario, starring Blunt as an FBI agent who teams up with a pair of CIA operatives (Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro) to bring down a Mexican cartel. In terms of plot outline, it’s boilerplate stuff — but in Villeneuve and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan’s hands, and through the stellar efforts of the well-chosen cast, the end results are elevated considerably. “Far from being just another crime story,” wrote the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Calvin Wilson, “Sicario is cinema at its most ambitious.”

Philip K. Dick was born 1928 and died 1982, just months before the first movie based on a novel he wrote, Blade Runner, would be released, changing the film landscape forever.

In his 52 years, Dick wrote 44 novels and over 100 short stories, mainly within his adopted literary realm of science fiction. At a time when sci-fi was disrespected and stereotyped with martian invaders and zap guns, Dick turned the genre inward, obsessing over themes of identity, humanity, the nature of reality, religion, and drug abuse.

Since 1982, and especially after the release of 1990’s Total Recall, Hollywood has trawled the Dick library for movie ideas. Television has also been getting into the game, with Fox premiering Minority Report in September (Rotten at 29%), and Amazon releasing all 10 episodes today of The Man in the High Castle (Certified Fresh at 97%), an alternate history series that explores life in America if the Axis powers had won World War II.

Now, Rotten Tomatoes explores the history of Philip K. Dick stories on the big screen and how they compare to their literary sources.


Blade Runner (1982) 89%, based on the 1966 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

In a world… ravaged and emptied after World War III, people are lured into outer space where human cyborgs perform all manual labor. Physically superior to their creators, these replicants are banned from Earth. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a blade runner, a detective/bounty hunter whose latest assignment is to track down and “retire” four replicants.

What went right: Blade Runner eschews the book’s nuttier elements (the world is obsessed with religions and owning animals as status symbols) and transforms itself into hard-boiled neo-noir, full of high-contrast lighting and architectural wonder. The movie is a slow burn for sure, and it doesn’t draw you in so much as smother you with world-building and detail. The 2007 Final Cut is when the film finally came together after existing for decades in various forms of refinement; this version cleans up effects and clarifies dialogue, turning Blade Runner at last into an immaculate timeless nightmare.


Total Recall (1990) 82%, based on the 1966 short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”

In a world… of implanted memories that feel just like the real thing, Douglas Quaid dreams of shedding his humdrum life and becoming a superspy. Quaid goes to Rekall to sidestep reality but when the procedure goes awry, he realizes he was a spy — his identity had been erased and life as he knows it is a forgery.

What went right: A hyper-violent classic! If Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero was a parody of meathead action movies of the ’80s and ’90s, Total Recall delivers the same goods with a straight face. It’s got everything: guns, sex, plot twists, foot and car chases, and Arnie getting hit in the junk half a dozen times. The short story Total Recall is based on plays it straight: the main character goes to Rekall and realizes he was a spy in a previous life and his dreams of Mars were repressed memories coming to surface. The power of Total Recall is that it finds an extra layer that Dick didn’t conceive: What if everything that happens to Quaid is a dream? The movie plays out so conveniently to Quaid’s fantasies that it’s impossible to tell whether it’s actually happening or if he’s still strapped to a chair at Rekall having a psychotic episode. Such existential ruminations represent Dick’s themes at its most fun.


Confessions d'un Barjo (Confessions of a Crap Artist) (1992) , based on the 1959 novel Confessions of a Crap Artist

In a world… where people are horrible to each other. Yeah, not a stretch of the imagination with this one. The crap artist in question is Jack (Hippolyte Girardot), a collector of useless junk and absurd ideas who is invited by his sister to live on her estate with her abusive husband.

What went right: Dick wrote a series of non-science fiction novels before the 1960s, all of which were rejected by book houses. The only one to be eventually published during his lifetime was Confessions, written in 1959 and released in 1975, during a dry spell as Dick dealt with personal issues and labored over A Scanner Darkly. Ostensibly, Crap is a comedic look at the social mores and increasing wealth of California life during the 1950s, though its film adaptation transports this setting to modern France. The movie version of Jack is softer and more accessible as an anti-hero than in the novel, and his observations on the hypocritical nature of family and community translate well, despite this upheaval in setting. Human nature, it seems, transcends time and space.


Screamers (1995) 29%, based on the 1953 short story “Second Variety”

In a world… where man has colonized the planets, war is being waged by two factions (the New Economic Block and the Alliance insurgents) over a precious radioactive mineral. The Alliance has developed “screamers” — autonomous robots that burrow through the ground to fight for them. But the screamers have evolved, developing new varieties that look and act like humans.

What went wrong: The opposing forces in the short story are Americans against Russians with the fate of mankind at stake. In the movie, it’s essentially a war over commercial interests, which drastically reduces the scope and weight of the action. The screamers themselves are not particularly menacing, especially in the wake of Edge of Tomorrow, which nailed the look of fluid cybernetic monsters. Screamers‘ dialogue can be effective and there are some scary moments, but the last 20 minutes are laughable and stupid.


Impostor (2001) 24%, based on the 1953 short story “Impostor”

In a world… where a hostile civilization from Alpha Centauri is waging relentless war on Earth, the aliens have introduced a new weapon: replicants. These replicants arrive, kill their target human and assume its identity — all the while equipped with an internal nuclear device that can blow at any second. Spencer Olham (Gary Sinise) is a government scientist developing humanity’s own secret weapon when he’s arrested with a serious charge: the real Spencer is dead and he is, in fact, a ticking timebomb replicant.

What went wrong: Toss this one onto the pile of Dick adaptations that doesn’t do anything particularly wrong, but also nothing exemplary. Impostor seems to have been something of a passion project for Sinise (who gets a rare producer credit), selling himself as a credible action star with plenty of moments running around shirtless and sneaking in a shower butt shot. But the visuals lack creative spark and the sets are drab and monotone, while the movie’s middle section is essentially a single chase sequence with a few jumps to other locations and not much plot development. Impostor was originally shot as a 40-minute film to be packaged with Mimic (which also became a feature film) and Danny Boyle’s Alien Love Triangle. It works better as a short. Kudos, though, for Impostor retaining the short story’s challenging ending.


Minority Report (2002) 90%, based on the 1956 short story “The Minority Report”

In a world… that has zero murders, thanks to PreCrime wielding mutant predictions to accuse and arrest individuals before their bad deeds get committed, Captain John Anderton goes on the run as the “precogs” accuse him murdering a stranger in 36 hours.

What went right: Some of Dick’s stories lack much action (like this, or “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”), existing more as existential inquiries. That’s a boon for filmmakers as it provides a great groundwork which visionary directors can build upon and overload with imagination.  Along with Blade Runner, Minority Report presents the most “complete” worlds: these movies feel lived-in and the technology is logical. In Minority’s case, it predicted total societal integration with electronics before it happened to us in real life. The action is some of Steven Spielberg‘s best, frequently fused with black humor, though I still take umbrage with the movie’s improbably upbeat ending.


Paycheck (2003) 27%, based on the 1952 short story “Paycheck”

In a world… where your memory is erased after finishing a job, engineer Michael Jennings (Ben Affleck) has just completed a majorly lucrative two-year contract. When emerging with his employment memories wiped, Jennings discovers his past self has inexplicably forfeited the paycheck in favor of an envelope of useless everyday trinkets. Soon afterwards, he’s targeted for assassination and goes on the run.

What went wrong: “Paycheck” was one of Dick’s earliest published stories and, as such, pure 1950s pulp. The screenwriters update the setting and remove the lame original ending, though its replacement isn’t much improvement. The plot hook (that the envelope’s contents rescue Jennings at seemingly random life-threatening moments) is pretty weak. Being aware Jennings will escape every hairy situation with a paper clip or some lederhosen drains all tension from the action as we wait for the envelope to deplete itself, and in the movie that doesn’t happen until there’s 20 minutes before credits. Until then, our hero runs sweatily around clutching a bag of convenient dei ex machina. Uma Thurman plays the love interest, Aaron Eckhart is the evil talking chin, and there’s a motorcycle chase that recalls director John Woo‘s early career but, otherwise, this is forgettable stuff. No need for a memory wipe after watching Paycheck: you won’t remember it the next day.


A Scanner Darkly (2006) 68%, based on the 1977 novel A Scanner Darkly

In a world… of widespread drug addiction, Americans are hooked on mind-altering Substance D. The government responds with heavy policing and ubiquitous surveillance, creating a black job market of narcs who spy and report anonymously on their friends and neighbors. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is one such narc, a Sub D addict keeping tabs on his chums for local police. Things are hunky dory until Arctor receives his next surveillance assignment: himself.

What went right: Dick’s masterpiece in the hands of a master filmmaker (Richard Linklater). The book is a howlingly funny, anguished eulogy to tripped-out hedonists whose major crime is hoping the Summer of Love would last forever, based on Dick’s own experiences as his friends succumbed to hard drugs during the 1970s. Linklater rotoscoped this adaptation, slathering a layer of animation over his live actors which emphasizes the story’s theme of disconnection — mentally and physically — as Arctor loses track of his multiple personas. The casting is perfect, especially Robert Downey Jr. as one of Arctor’s asshole pals. This is also the most faithful of the PKD movies, and in a way reminds me of No Country For Old Men: both strive for such fidelity to the book they develop an un-movielike pace and rhythm, to the point of being unsettling. Though Linklater’s film ups the paranoia and loses a chunk of the book’s humor, this is as good an adaptation it’ll ever get.


Next (2007) 28%, based on the 1954 short story “The Golden Man”

In a world… where one man can see two minutes into the future and its myriad of possibilities, Nicolas Cage is Cris Johnson, a clairvoyant relentlessly pursued by an FBI agent (Julianne Moore) who wants to use his ability to track down a nuke.

What went wrong: In the short story, mutants are common and they’re rounded up to be studied then euthanized, while the Cris Johnson character can see 30 minutes into the future as opposed to two. Also, Cris is a sex object, covered gold head to toe. So yeah, the movie strays far from the source, though that’s no crime if the filmmakers come up with something better. They don’t. Next‘s plot has the depth of a weekly CBS procedural as it pushes Cage around, who wears an ugly jacket with a bad haircut during the runtime. Then there’s loads of CGI, none of which looks convincing. And the ending — wow, a total copout. Place it somewhere between “It was all a dream!” and “Turns out you were crazy the whole time!”


The Adjustment Bureau (2011) , based on the 1954 short story “Adjustment Team”

In a world… where your fate is controlled by angelic bureaucratic agents, Matt Damon dares to defy the odds. Damon plays David Norris, a Senate hopeful who meets Elise, the woman of his dreams (Emily Blunt), on the campaign trail. After accidentally seeing the Adjustment Bureau at work behind the scenes, they warn David he risks everything (including death) in pursuing her.

What went right: The short story is a fairly low-stakes affair, so the movie does right by putting David’s possible candidacy for POTUS on the line. Dick wrote about women a lot but he was not particularly sensuous about it, so it’s refreshing to see a sweeping romance effectively seared into a story of his. And Bureau simply looks great: the colors are lush, deep, and the lines and angles that make up a majority of the backgrounds are wonderful (they’re subtly used to guide the eye around the frame, in the same way these characters are guided by the agents). The movie sets up a lot of rules about this universe and threatens to collapse under their weight; sagely, the story concludes before this occurs.


Total Recall (2012) 31%

What went wrong: Sometimes when Hollywood remakes a classic, producers will claim that their version is going to be closer to the book (see:True Grit). Not so in this case. The remake, directed by Underworld‘s Len Wiseman, doesn’t mine any additional story elements from “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” and instead works completely off the template laid by Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 version. Wiseman is a better director of action scenes than Verhoeven, who’s always been enchanted with gore and sleaze (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and his camera work here is fluid and kinetic. Likewise, the city landscapes and gadget designs are out of this world. But the main characters (this time played by Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel) undergo zero development and all the story beats were done better the first time around. For lightweight spectacle, you could do worse, but this overall is a redundant and bloodless trip down memory lane.


Radio Free Albemuth (2010) 33%, based on the 1976 novel Radio Free Albemuth

In a world… where a fascist president has ruled over America for 15 years, record store clerk Nicolas Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) begins receiving messages in his dreams from a far away galactic supreme being called VALIS. Under its direction, Brady moves his family to Los Angeles, takes up a position at a music label, and awaits the appearance of a songwriter named Silvia (Alanis Morissette) who will help him overthrow the president.

What went wrong: Albemuth is clearly a labor of love but not of particular talent, resulting in a poorly lit film with crap framing, hokey CG, and scenes jammed together without grace. If I hadn’t read the novel beforehand, I would’ve had a tough time following the plot or even understanding what the title meant. The 1970s were a tumultuous decade for Dick: he was questioned by the FBI, his house was burgled (with Dick believing it was the government trying to spook him), and he had a deep religious awakening, all of which are described in this work, where the author himself is a major character. Written as a sci-fi confessional and introduction to his new gnostic viewpoint, Dick’s book is something of a noble failure, beautiful but flat, and it’s crazy somebody thought a movie could be made out of it on such a low budget.

The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulcast live nationally on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. (ET)/5 p.m. (PT) from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. An encore performance will air immediately following on TNT at 10 p.m. (ET)/7 p.m. (PT). Recipients of the stunt ensemble honors will be announced from the SAG Awards red carpet during the TNT.tv and TBS.com live pre-show webcasts, which begin at 6 p.m. (ET)/ 3 p.m. (PT).


Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

The Artist


Bridesmaids


The Descendants

87%
Winner!
The Help


Midight in Paris


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role


Demian Bichir

A Better Life

George Clooney

The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio

J. Edgar
Winner!
Jean Dujardin

The Artist

Brad Pitt

Moneyball


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role


Glenn Close

Albert Nobbs
Winner!
Viola Davis

The Help

Meryl Streep

The Iron Lady

Tilda Swinton

We Need to Talk About Kevin
Michelle Williams

My Week with Marilyn


Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role


Kenneth Branagh

My Week With Marilyn

Armie Hammer

J. Edgar
Jonah Hill

Moneyball

Nick Nolte

Warrior
Winner!
Christopher Plummer

Beginners


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Bernice Bejo

The Artist

Jessica Chastain

The Help

Melissa McCarthy

Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer

Albert Nobbs
Winner!
Octavia Spencer

The Help


Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

The Adjustment Bureau

Cowboys & Aliens

Winner!Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

X-Men: First Class

This week on home video, we’ve got an interesting variety of new releases, ranging from a thought-provoking thriller to a children’s film to a historical action-adventure movie. Then, there’s also a Certified Fresh comedy that flew under the radar, a Liam Neeson mystery, a quirky indie comedy from a TV star, and a few others, including a new Criterion release. So take a look and decide if any are worthy of your collection.



The Adjustment Bureau

After writing the scripts for movies like Ocean’s Twelve and The Bourne Ultimatum, George Nolfi made his directorial debut earlier this year with a cerebral thriller, reuniting with Matt Damon for The Adjustment Bureau. Damon plays David Norris, a politician on the rise who falls for a ballet dancer named Elise (Emily Blunt). However, he soon realizes that greater powers are at work, and Elise is not meant to be part of his successful future. Will David defy the powers that be and risk his future by staying with Elise, or will he accept his fate and let her go? Critics found The Adjustment Bureau just a tad uneven in spots, but enjoyed the chemistry between its stars, which made the film worthwhile. At 72% on the Tomatometer, it sits just shy of being Certified Fresh, and its twisty plot, based on a Philip K. Dick short story, should satisfy both science fiction enthusiasts and fans of action thrillers.



Unknown

55%

Liam Neeson has been busy lately, and ever since he starred in the sleeper hit Taken, audiences are looking to see more of the veteran Irish actor in gritty thriller fare. Unknown looked as though it could be the one, featuring an experienced cast (Diane Kruger, Frank Langella, Bruno Ganz) and an interesting premise. Unfortunately, critics say that, while Neeson does give it his all and the ideas are indeed intriguing, the film is simply too derivative and implausible. The story focuses on Dr. Martin Harris (Neeson), who gets into an auto accident with his wife (January Jones) while in Berlin and wakes up to find that his wife no longer recognizes him and another man has taken his identity. Sometimes thrillers work, even when a great suspension of disbelief is required, and at 55% on the Tomatometer, Unknown wasn’t a bad time for everyone who saw it. This could make for a decent throwaway rental, or you might find yourself in line with those critics who thought it was engaging enough.



Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

47%

Children’s books have been Hollywood fodder for decades, but it seems lately that studios are looking to bank on franchises, rather than one-off films. Last year’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid was based on a bestselling illustrated novel, and while it didn’t wow every critic or bowl over audiences, it apparently did well enough to warrant a sequel, so earlier this year, we were given Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. This time around, Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) enters the 7th grade and must deal with his parents’ attempts to get him and his older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) to bond. Critics felt that the film, witty at times and decently acted, was tame enough to appeal to the same audiences the first film won over. That said, it’s more of the same, and if you weren’t the target audience of the first, you probably won’t find much here for you either.



Cedar Rapids

86%

At first glance, Cedar Rapids looks like just another fish-out-of-water comedy about the naiveté and simplicity of the folks who live in the flyover states. But look again: this Certified Fresh comedy has a pretty unbelievable cast, including Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Rob Corddry, and Sigourney Weaver, among others. And critics say it’s a charming, heartfelt tale that’s also raunchy and hilarious. Helms stars as a small-town guy who’s sent to a big regional insurance sales convention, and soon, this babe in the woods is awestruck by the bright lights of the big city — and the carnal pleasures it offers. The Cedar Rapids: Super Awesome Edition offers deleted scenes, featurettes, a gag reel, and other funny supplementary stuff.



The Eagle

47%

There have been some attempts to rewrite historical events as genre spectacles (Valhalla Rising, Centurion), and The Eagle follows in that mold, telling the story of the famed disappearance of the Roman Ninth Legion from the perspective of a soldier who embarks on a journey to discover the truth. Channing Tatum stars as Roman soldier Marcus Aquila, son to the commander who led the Ninth Legion, and Jamie Bell is Marcus’s slave Esca, upon whom Marcus must rely as he traverses Caledonia in search of his father. Critics felt that the film had all the trappings to be a rousing action-adventure, but Kevin Macdonald’s (State of Play, The Last King of Scotland) directorial effort left them cold, and Channing Tatum fails to stir emotion as the lead. If you’re looking for a stylish sword-and-sandal adventure, this might fulfill your craving, but don’t be surprised if the film overall leaves you feeling a bit empty and unsatisfied.



happythankyoumoreplease

42%

Josh Radnor is best known as Ted Mosby, lead character on the wildly popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother, but the actor has also had a successful stage career, and earlier this year, he made his feature film directorial (and writing) debut with happythankyoumoreplease. Also starring Radnor as aspiring writer Sam Wexler, happythankyoumoreplease focuses on the relationships and young adult struggles of a handful of twenty-somethings and features other up-and-comers like Kate Mara, Zoe Kazan, and Malin Akerman. Unfortunately for Radnor, critics didn’t take to the film all that well, decrying its sitcommy feel and superficial ruminations on the nature of true happiness. Those who did like the film felt it had enough charm — and a couple of decent performances — to keep it watchable, but at 39% on the Tomatometer, it probably isn’t the breakout big screen hit for Radnor that it could have been.



Elektra Luxx

24%

Possibly the most telling thing that one might notice if one were to do a little bit of research before watching Elektra Luxx is that its director, Sebastian Gutierrez, has never been involved with a film project that earned any higher than a 45% on the Tomatometer… and that score was for his 1998 directorial debut. This film, unfortunately, does nothing to break that trend. Starring Carla Gugino as the title character, Elektra Luxx is a sex comedy about a retired (and pregnant) adult film star-turned-sex ed teacher who’s commissioned to seduce an old acquaintance’s fiance in exchange for some lyrics stolen from her baby’s daddy, a late rock star. Sound convoluted to you? Well, yes, it is, and critics noted this as one of their criticisms of the film, which they found just a little too muddled in subplots and a little less funny than they had hoped. Still, the supporting cast is decent (Joseph Gordon Levitt, Timothy Olyphant, Emmanuelle Chriqui), so it might induce a chuckle or two for some.



Ceremony

39%

Uma Thurman is not quite the star she used to be, and she hasn’t made a Fresh film since her collaborations with Quentin Tarantino in the Kill Bill films, but that isn’t to say she doesn’t still have something left to offer Hollywood. In Ceremony, Thurman plays a famous filmmaker’s fiance who once indulged in a May-December fling with a young man (Michael Angarano). Now, however, that young man is stalking her at her fiance’s beachside estate, with plans to sweep her away from her impending wedding. First time writer/director Max Winkler’s (yes, son of “The Fonz”) dramedy didn’t quite resonate with critics, who thought it was derivative and wasteful of its stars’ talents, and it earned a mediocre 36% on the Tomatomter. Don’t expect to be blown away by this one, but if you’re a fan of Thurman and you tend to like these quirky romances, this might be your thing.



Kiss Me Deadly – Criterion Collection

98%

Remember the mysterious glowing briefcase in Pulp Fiction? Quentin Tarantino got the idea for that from Robert Aldrich’s tough-as-nails noir Kiss Me Deadly, which finds Mickey Spillane’s legendary private dick Mike Hammer up to his neck in Cold War intrigue. Ralph Meejer stars as Hammer, who’s often as amoral and violent as the crooks he investigates. One night, he picks up a woman hitchhiking (Cloris Leachman, in her debut), and soon he’s battling sinister forces in the search for a mysterious box. The new Criterion disc is loaded with bonus stuff, including a video tribute from Alex Cox, a couple documentaries, an alternate ending, and an essay from Village Voice critic J. Hoberman.

This week at the movies, we’ve got a leapin’ lizard (Rango, with voice work from Johnny Depp and Abigail Breslin); a fateful romance (The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt); a night to remember (Take Me Home Tonight, starring Topher Grace and Anna Faris); and some ugly love (Beastly, starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens). What do the critics have to say?



Rango

In an animation landscape dominated creatively and commercially by Pixar, it’s rare that a CGI feature brings much originality to the table. However, critics say that’s the case with Rango, which they say is a manic, wildly inventive, very funny homage/parody of spaghetti Westerns. Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) is a pet chameleon who finds himself in a town without pity, populated by various desert animals who act like supporting players in an old oater. With delusions of grandeur, Rango installs himself as the town’s sheriff, and hilarity ensues. The pundits say Rango is probably a little to earthy for little kids, but older children and adults will delight in the movie’s irrepressible energy and irreverent pop-cultural references.



The Adjustment Bureau

The works of Philip K. Dick have been adapted to the screen many times (Blade Runner and Total Recall are probably the best-known examples), and it seems that Dick’s paranoid, thought-provoking worldview never goes out of style. The latest Dick adaptation is The Adjustment Bureau, which critics say is a sleek, romantic romance that benefits greatly from the chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Damon plays a politician who encounters Blunt, the woman of his dreams. However, a shadowy organization is conspiring to keep them apart – but why? The pundits say The Adjustment Bureau doesn’t always make sense, and the ending is a letdown, but Damon and Blunt sizzle, and the film moves along at a brisk, confident pace.



Take Me Home Tonight

28%

The 1980s are all the rage these days, what with the recent revival of several action classics from the decade, so it isn’t surprising to see the John Hughes-esque young adult comedy Take Me Home Tonight hitting theaters. Unfortunately, critics say that despite sporting a certain sweetness, the film fails either to be original or sufficiently funny. Topher Grace stars as a recent MIT grad who, much to the chagrin of his family, takes up employment at a local video store. When his high school crush strolls in and invites him to the summer party to end all parties, he embarks on the wildest night of his life. Critics say Take Me Home Tonight is too derivative of the movies it presumes to emulate, and though its affection for nostalgia is charming, it teeters too perilously between homage and parody with unimpressive comic results. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down the biggest box office hits of 1988, as well as Grace’s Five Favorite Films.)



Beastly

Hollywood is in the habit of updating fairy tales to modern times, so it was probably only a matter of time until we got an emo-era Beauty and the Beast. However, critics find that the Twilight-aping Beastly misses the depth of the original tale by a wide margin; this update is a little too sappy — and poorly scripted — to get much freshness out of its beauty’s-only-skin-deep moral. Alex Pettyfer stars as a vain, cruel bully who gets his comeuppance after a girl he’s tormented casts a spell on him and turns his face to a mess of scars. Will this self-centered jerk learn to treat others better? The pundits say Beastly features groan-worthy dialogue and soapy melodramatics, and the result is a dumbed-down, middling adaptation.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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