The Night Before

(Photo by Sarah Shatz/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

50 Movies With Epic Parties To Stream Right Now

In these days of six-feet-apart distancing, the idea of throwing/attending/completely humiliating yourself at a wild party is out of the question – no matter how much you might currently be fantasizing about doing just that. We here at Rotten Tomatoes have been feeling the itch for company of late too, and with that in mind decided to help bring the party home to you – with the help of some of the most out-of-control gatherings ever committed to screen. Start streaming one of the films below and – voila – you’ll be surrounded by booze, music, and friends. (Bonus: Your friends might include Kirsten Dunst, Seth Rogen, and Dave Chappelle.)

There’s something for everyone here: a ton of house parties for those looking for a Solo cup vibe; decadent bacchanals for those who want to live fancy (Romeo + JulietThe Great GatsbyMarie Antoinette); office parties for those missing their colleagues (The ApartmentOffice Christmas Party); and a sci-fi rave (The Matrix: Reloaded), a period ball (Pride and Prejudice), and some kink (Eyes Wide Shut) for good measure. (Note: We decided to leave some epic parties out, because, well, we didn’t like how the ended – looking at you Carrie and Scream.)

With that said, it’s now time to do our hair, grab something from mom’s liquor cabinet, and call an Uber – er, we mean, plonk ourselves on the couch. Party’s about to start and you don’t want to be unfashionably late.

Let us know your favorite movie party in the comments – and which movie characters you’d have on your party guest list. To see where to stream each movie, click into the title for more details. 

#46

200 Cigarettes (1999)
30%

#46
Adjusted Score: 31291%
Critics Consensus: A clumsy and scattered comedy with a poorly executed script.
Synopsis: This ensemble comedy follows an array of young people in New York City on New Year's Eve. Among the numerous... [More]
Directed By: Risa Bramon Garcia

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 95938%
Critics Consensus: Nostalgic in the best sense, Everybody Wants Some!! finds Richard Linklater ambling through the past with a talented cast, a sweetly meandering story, and a killer classic rock soundtrack.
Synopsis: In 1980 Texas, a college freshman (Blake Jenner) meets his new baseball teammates (Will Brittain, Ryan Guzman), an unruly group... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#14

Superbad (2007)
88%

#14
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

#13

Adventureland (2009)
89%

#13
Adjusted Score: 96967%
Critics Consensus: Full of humor and nostalgia, Adventureland is a sweet, insightful coming-of-age comedy that will resonate with teens and adults alike.
Synopsis: It's the summer of 1987, and recent college grad James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) can't wait to begin his long-anticipated dream... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#12

Almost Famous (2000)
89%

#12
Adjusted Score: 95754%
Critics Consensus: Almost Famous, with its great ensemble performances and story, is a well-crafted, warm-hearted movie that successfully draws you into its era.
Synopsis: Set in 1973, it chronicles the funny and often poignant coming of age of 15-year-old William, an unabashed music fan... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#45
Adjusted Score: 37954%
Critics Consensus: It has an amusing enough premise, but Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead will just leave viewers pining for the madcap hijinks promised by the title.
Synopsis: Sue Ellen Crandell (Christina Applegate) is a teenager eagerly awaiting her mother's (Concetta Tomei) summer-long absence. While the babysitter (Eda... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Herek

#44

Beerfest (2006)
41%

#44
Adjusted Score: 44145%
Critics Consensus: Beerfest features some laugh-inducing gags, but is too long and the pacing too uneven to form a coherent, functioning comedy.
Synopsis: Two brothers (Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter) from America happen upon a secret and centuries-old beer-games competition during a visit to... [More]
Directed By: Jay Chandrasekhar

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 51303%
Critics Consensus: Its cast of gifted comics is good for a handful of laughs, but Office Christmas Party's overstuffed plot ultimately proves roughly as disappointing as its clichéd gags and forced sentimentality.
Synopsis: When the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother's (T.J. Miller) branch, he and his chief technical officer... [More]
Directed By: Josh Gordon, Will Speck

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 44074%
Critics Consensus: Occasionally clever and moderately intelligent, Can't Hardly Wait also contains too many cheap laughs, recycled plotting, and flat characters.
Synopsis: School's out, and an entire graduating class -- from football stars and cool girls to complete nerds -- gathers at... [More]

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 47346%
Critics Consensus: A tiresome movie about unsympathetic college kids engaging in self-destructive behaviors.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, "Rules" centers around Partrick Bateman's younger brother and his college friends bizarre... [More]
Directed By: Roger Avary

#2
Adjusted Score: 76486%
Critics Consensus: Romy and Michele's High School Reunion has an admittedly slight premise, but it's elevated by ample heart, an infectiously playful spirit, and the buoyant chemistry of Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino.
Synopsis: Ten years after their high school graduation, Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) haven't exactly accomplished everything that they... [More]
Directed By: David Mirkin

#1

Say Anything... (1989)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100657%
Critics Consensus: One of the definitive Generation X movies, Say Anything... is equally funny and heartfelt -- and it established John Cusack as an icon for left-of-center types everywhere.
Synopsis: In a charming, critically acclaimed tale of first love, Lloyd (John Cusack), an eternal optimist, seeks to capture the heart... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#40

P.C.U. (1994)
44%

#40
Adjusted Score: 43267%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Nervous high school senior Tom Lawrence (Chris Young) visits Port Chester University, where he gets a taste of politically correct... [More]
Directed By: Hart Bochner

#39

The Great Gatsby (2013)
48%

#39
Adjusted Score: 59514%
Critics Consensus: While certainly ambitious -- and every bit as visually dazzling as one might expect -- Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby emphasizes visual splendor at the expense of its source material's vibrant heart.
Synopsis: Midwest native Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) arrives in 1922 New York in search of the American dream. Nick, a would-be... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#30

Spring Breakers (2012)
67%

#30
Adjusted Score: 73776%
Critics Consensus: Spring Breakers blends stinging social commentary with bikini cheesecake and a bravura James Franco performance.
Synopsis: College students Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) are short of the cash... [More]
Directed By: Harmony Korine

#29
Adjusted Score: 72062%
Critics Consensus: Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger add strong performances to an unexpectedly clever script, elevating 10 Things (slightly) above typical teen fare.
Synopsis: Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is beautiful, smart and quite abrasive to most of her fellow teens, meaning that she doesn't... [More]
Directed By: Gil Junger

#28

The Night Before (2015)
69%

#28
Adjusted Score: 74217%
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

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 71994%
Critics Consensus: Undeniably lowbrow but surprisingly sly, Revenge of the Nerds has enough big laughs to qualify as a minor classic in the slobs-vs.-snobs subgenre.
Synopsis: Geeky college students Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) and Lewis (Robert Carradine) are evicted from their dormitory when the Alpha Betas --... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Kanew

#26
Adjusted Score: 76797%
Critics Consensus: Baz Luhrmann's visual aesthetic is as divisive as it is fresh and inventive.
Synopsis: Baz Luhrmann helped adapt this classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy for the screen, updating the setting to a post-modern city named... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#25

Neighbors (2014)
73%

#25
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

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 81666%
Critics Consensus: Though its heady themes are a departure from its predecessor, The Matrix Reloaded is a worthy sequel packed with popcorn-friendly thrills.
Synopsis: Freedom fighters Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) continue to lead the revolt against the Machine... [More]

#23

Wedding Crashers (2005)
76%

#23
Adjusted Score: 82402%
Critics Consensus: Wedding Crashers is both raunchy and sweet, and features top-notch comic performances from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
Synopsis: Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) and John (Owen Wilson) are divorce mediators who spend their free time crashing wedding receptions. For the... [More]
Directed By: David Dobkin

#22

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
76%

#22
Adjusted Score: 82227%
Critics Consensus: Kubrick's intense study of the human psyche yields an impressive cinematic work.
Synopsis: After Dr. Bill Hartford's (Tom Cruise) wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met,... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 31911%
Critics Consensus: It has a charming sweetness about it, but Take Me Home Tonight is neither funny nor original enough to live up to the comedies it evokes.
Synopsis: Recent MIT grad Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) should be well on his way to a successful career at a Fortune... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dowse

#47

Project X (2012)
28%

#47
Adjusted Score: 33545%
Critics Consensus: Unoriginal, unfunny, and all-around unattractive, Project X mines the depths of the teen movie and found-footage genres for 87 minutes of predictably mean-spirited debauchery.
Synopsis: Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper) and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) are three anonymous high-school seniors who are determined to... [More]
Directed By: Nima Nourizadeh

#33

American Pie (1999)
61%

#33
Adjusted Score: 66633%
Critics Consensus: So embarrassing it's believable, American Pie succeeds in bringing back the teen movie genre.
Synopsis: A riotous and raunchy exploration of the most eagerly anticipated -- and most humiliating -- rite of adulthood, known as... [More]
Directed By: Paul Weitz

#32
Adjusted Score: 75833%
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

#38

Bachelor Party (1984)
54%

#38
Adjusted Score: 54662%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On the eve of his wedding to his longtime girlfriend, Debbie (Tawny Kitaen), unassuming nice guy Rick (Tom Hanks) is... [More]
Directed By: Neal Israel

#34

Old School (2003)
60%

#34
Adjusted Score: 65597%
Critics Consensus: While not consistently funny, the movie does have its moments.
Synopsis: After discovering his girlfriend (Juliette Lewis) has been participating in group sex, attorney Mitch (Luke Wilson) feels his world come... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 71041%
Critics Consensus: Its flagrantly silly script -- and immensely likable cast -- make up for most of its flaws.
Synopsis: Four pals are stuck in a rut in adulthood: Adam (John Cusack) has just been dumped, Lou (Rob Corddry) is... [More]
Directed By: Steve Pink

#6

The Apartment (1960)
93%

#6
Adjusted Score: 100882%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.
Synopsis: Insurance worker C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lends his Upper West Side apartment to company bosses to use for extramarital affairs.... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#5

Boogie Nights (1997)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 97458%
Critics Consensus: Grounded in strong characters, bold themes, and subtle storytelling, Boogie Nights is a groundbreaking film both for director P.T. Anderson and star Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: In the San Fernando Valley in 1977, teenage busboy Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) gets discovered by porn director Jack Horner... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#21

Clueless (1995)
81%

#21
Adjusted Score: 89087%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
Synopsis: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school's pecking scale.... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#20

The Party (1968)
83%

#20
Adjusted Score: 84036%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While trying to tie his shoe, bumbling extra Hrundi V. Bakshi (Peter Sellers) unwittingly triggers explosives that destroy the set... [More]
Directed By: Blake Edwards

#19

This Is the End (2013)
83%

#19
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

#4

Risky Business (1983)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 95187%
Critics Consensus: Featuring one of Tom Cruise's best early performances, Risky Business is a sharp, funny examination of teen angst that doesn't stop short of exploring dark themes.
Synopsis: Ecstatic when his parents leave on vacation for a few days, high school senior Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise) cuts loose... [More]
Directed By: Paul Brickman

#3

Booksmart (2019)
96%

#3
Adjusted Score: 119752%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and fresh, Booksmart does the seemingly impossible by adding a smart new spin to the coming-of-age comedy.
Synopsis: Academic overachievers Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high... [More]
Directed By: Olivia Wilde

#18

Blockers (2018)
84%

#18
Adjusted Score: 96713%
Critics Consensus: Blockers puts a gender-swapped spin on the teen sex comedy -- one elevated by strong performances, a smartly funny script, and a surprisingly enlightened perspective.
Synopsis: Julie, Kayla and Sam are three high school seniors who make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night.... [More]
Directed By: Kay Cannon

#17

Sixteen Candles (1984)
84%

#17
Adjusted Score: 86088%
Critics Consensus: Significantly more mature than the teen raunch comedies that defined the era, Sixteen Candles is shot with compassion and clear respect for its characters and their hang-ups.
Synopsis: With the occasion all but overshadowed by her sister's upcoming wedding, angst-ridden Samantha (Molly Ringwald) faces her 16th birthday with... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 93134%
Critics Consensus: Sure, it's another adaptation of cinema's fave Jane Austen novel, but key performances and a modern filmmaking sensibility make this familiar period piece fresh and enjoyable.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved novel, Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) lives with her mother, father and sisters in... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#50
Adjusted Score: 20714%
Critics Consensus: A derivative gross-out comedy that's short on laughs.
Synopsis: He's the biggest man on campus. He's the boss with the sauce. He's the guy all the girls want and... [More]
Directed By: Walt Becker

#49

21 and Over (2013)
27%

#49
Adjusted Score: 29878%
Critics Consensus: Though it strives to mimic The Hangover, 21 and Over is too predictable, too unabashedly profane, and too inconsistently funny to carry the torch.
Synopsis: Straight-A college student Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) has always done what's been expected of him. But when his two best... [More]
Directed By: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore

#11
Adjusted Score: 95016%
Critics Consensus: The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live's irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.
Synopsis: When they arrive at college, socially inept freshmen Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst) attempt to pledge the snooty... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 96009%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Synopsis: This coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 121011%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#37

Weird Science (1985)
57%

#37
Adjusted Score: 58606%
Critics Consensus: Hardly in the same league as John Hughes' other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.
Synopsis: Teen misfits Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) design their ideal woman on a computer, and a freak... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#36

Marie Antoinette (2006)
57%

#36
Adjusted Score: 65194%
Critics Consensus: Lavish imagery and a daring soundtrack set this film apart from most period dramas; in fact, style completely takes precedence over plot and character development in Coppola's vision of the doomed queen.
Synopsis: An Austrian teenager (Kirsten Dunst) marries the Dauphin (Jason Schwartzman) of France and becomes that country's queen following the death... [More]
Directed By: Sofia Coppola

#35

Sisters (2015)
60%

#35
Adjusted Score: 66979%
Critics Consensus: Sisters' sharp blend of pathos and vulgarity, along with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's effervescent chemistry, are more than enough to make up for the handful of laughs this coming-of-age comedy leaves on the table.
Synopsis: When their parents decide to sell their home, siblings Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate (Tina Fey) learn that they have... [More]
Directed By: Jason Moore

#8
Adjusted Score: 97097%
Critics Consensus: Dave Chappelle's Block Party is a raucous return to the spotlight for the comic, buoyed by witty, infectious humor and outstanding musical performances.
Synopsis: Actor, writer and comic Dave Chappelle loads up a bus with residents of his Ohio hometown and takes them to... [More]
Starring: Dave Chappelle
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#7

House Party (1990)
93%

#7
Adjusted Score: 94522%
Critics Consensus: House Party is a light, entertaining teen comedy with an infectious energy.
Synopsis: Play's parents are out of town, and he's planning the house party to end all house parties. His best friend,... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

Buena Vista courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Buena Vista/ courtesy Everett Collection)

All John Cusack Movies Ranked

John Cusack pulled off the tricky act of being one of those It kids of the ’80s without having that distinction become an albatross hanging across his career once the decade ended. Cusack found breakthrough roles in just about every permutation of the teen comedy in the spandex and big-hair era: the hormonal-driven (One Crazy Summer), the bizarro creations (Better Off Dead), the rom-com (The Sure Thing). But Cusack had an erudite quality that separated him from his contemporaries, drawing him to name directors like John Sayles (Eight Men Out) and Cameron Crowe, the latter of whom he worked with to close out the decade with perhaps the best romantic-comedy in a decade full of classics: 1989’s Say Anything….

Cusack of the 1990s represented a maturation that allowed him to fit into just about any mold: drama (The Thin Red Line), comedy (Bullets Over Broadway, The Grifters, Being John Malkovich), romance (Pushing Tin), and even action (Con Air). Some movies combined all the genres, like 1997’s Grosse Pointe Blank (in which he plays a hitman attending his high school reunion), one of those high-concept Hollywood movies that endures for decades after release.

2000’s High Fidelity may have been the last we’ve seen of Cusack in classic rom-com leading man form, as in the ensuing years he’s been putting more work into genre fare, and playing shadowy figures and villains. Highlights from this ongoing period include 1408, 2012, and Grand Piano. Meanwhile, 2015’s Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy is just about as good as anything he’s done in his career. And now we’re taking a look back with all John Cusack movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#64

The Contract (2006)
0%

#64
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Frank Carden (Morgan Freeman), one of the world's greatest assassins, is handed a lucrative contract to kill a highly secretive... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Beresford

#63

The Prince (2014)
0%

#63
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A retired assassin is drawn back into his former life and a confrontation with an old rival when his daughter... [More]
Directed By: Brian A. Miller

#62

Reclaim (2014)
0%

#62
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Steven (Ryan Phillippe) and Shannon (Rachelle Lefevre) risk their lives to uncover the truth behind their newly adopted daughter's disappearance... [More]
Directed By: Alan White

#61

Arsenal (2017)
3%

#61
Adjusted Score: 4355%
Critics Consensus: Aside from an opportunity to watch a mustachioed Nicolas Cage acting from under a wig and behind a prosthetic nose, Arsenal has depressingly little to offer.
Synopsis: The Lindel brothers, Mikey and JP, only had each other to rely on growing up. As adults, JP finds success... [More]
Directed By: Steven C. Miller

#60

Shanghai (2010)
4%

#60
Adjusted Score: 4596%
Critics Consensus: Shanghai is crippled by a weak story and fatally undermined by clunky direction, making for a period political drama that lacks all of its key components.
Synopsis: In the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, an American intelligence official (John Cusack) investigates a friend's death in... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

#59

Drive Hard (2014)
8%

#59
Adjusted Score: 7222%
Critics Consensus: Hitting the pavement with an empty tank of inspiration, Drive Hard goes through its action beats in fits and starts before puttering out completely.
Synopsis: A driving instructor (Thomas Jane) who used to race autos is forced to drive a getaway car for a thief... [More]
Directed By: Brian Trenchard-Smith

#58

The Bag Man (2014)
11%

#58
Adjusted Score: 11162%
Critics Consensus: Busy with attitude and light on intrigue, The Bag Man is a mystery box with nothing surprising inside.
Synopsis: A criminal waits in a seedy motel and waits for his boss after killing several men to steal a bag.... [More]
Directed By: David Grovic

#57

Cell (2016)
11%

#57
Adjusted Score: 12657%
Critics Consensus: Shoddily crafted and devoid of suspense, Cell squanders a capable cast and Stephen King's once-prescient source material on a bland rehash of zombie cliches.
Synopsis: A graphic novelist (John Cusack) begins a desperate search for his estranged wife (Clark Sarullo) and son (Ethan Andrew Casto)... [More]
Directed By: Tod Williams

#56

Distorted (2018)
18%

#56
Adjusted Score: 12722%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lauren and Russell Curran decide to move away from the bustle of the city and into the peaceful oasis of... [More]
Directed By: Rob King

#55

The Raven (2012)
22%

#55
Adjusted Score: 26637%
Critics Consensus: Thinly scripted, unevenly acted, and overall preposterous, The Raven disgraces the legacy of Edgar Allen Poe with a rote murder mystery that's more silly than scary.
Synopsis: In 19th-century Baltimore, Detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) makes a horrifying discovery: The murders of a mother and daughter resemble... [More]
Directed By: James McTeigue

#54

River Runs Red (2018)
22%

#54
Adjusted Score: 12722%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A vengeful judge takes the law into his own hands when two cops kill his young son during a routine... [More]
Directed By: Wes Miller

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 29209%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Emerson, a disgraced CIA agent, guards Katherine, a code operator, in a top secret CIA installation in Britain. When heavily... [More]
Directed By: Kasper Barfoed

#52

War, Inc. (2008)
29%

#52
Adjusted Score: 31856%
Critics Consensus: War, Inc. attempts to satirize the military industrial complex, but more often than not it misses its target.
Synopsis: Assassin Brand Hauser is sent to Turaqistan to carry out a hit. Occupied by the US corporation Tamerlane, Turaqistan is... [More]
Directed By: Joshua Seftel

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 37550%
Critics Consensus: Despite its famous cast, the movie lacks sympathetic characters and is only funny in spurts.
Synopsis: For an awkward, self-conscious girl like Kiki (Julia Roberts), being the personal assistant to a beautiful megastar like Gwen (Catherine... [More]
Directed By: Joe Roth

#50

Martian Child (2007)
35%

#50
Adjusted Score: 38275%
Critics Consensus: Despite some charms, overt emotional manipulation and an inconsistent tone prevents Martian Child from being the heartfelt dramedy it aspires to be.
Synopsis: Wanting to experience fatherhood, a man (John Cusack) adopts a youngster (Bobby Coleman) who has an unusual crisis of identity,... [More]
Directed By: Menno Meyjes

#49

Must Love Dogs (2005)
36%

#49
Adjusted Score: 41748%
Critics Consensus: Despite good work from its likable leads, the romantic comedy Must Love Dogs is too predictable.
Synopsis: Sarah (Diane Lane), is 40 and recently divorced. Believing Sarah needs to date more, her sister, Carol (Elizabeth Perkins), creates... [More]
Directed By: Gary David Goldberg

#48

Dragon Blade (2015)
35%

#48
Adjusted Score: 36152%
Critics Consensus: Dragon Blade is beautifully staged and choreographed, but between the battles, its talented cast is overwhelmed by a dull story and choppy editing.
Synopsis: An exiled Chinese general (Jackie Chan) offers shelter to a renegade Roman (John Cusack) and his legion, then becomes involved... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Lee

#47

Igor (2008)
39%

#47
Adjusted Score: 41160%
Critics Consensus: With an animation style that apes Tim Burton, and a slew of cultural references that aren't clear enough to reach the crowds, Igor's patched together antics make it hard to see who the film is trying to please.
Synopsis: Lab assistant Igor (John Cusack) dreams of becoming a mad scientist like his master, Dr. Glickenstein. When the doctor runs... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Leondis

#46

2012 (2009)
39%

#46
Adjusted Score: 49242%
Critics Consensus: Roland Emmerich's 2012 provides plenty of visual thrills, but lacks a strong enough script to support its massive scope and inflated length.
Synopsis: Earth's billions of inhabitants are unaware that the planet has an expiration date. With the warnings of an American scientist... [More]
Directed By: Roland Emmerich

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 41346%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A staunch advocate of healthy living, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (Anthony Hopkins) opens a sanitarium that promotes his progressive, if... [More]
Directed By: Alan Parker

#44

The Paperboy (2012)
45%

#44
Adjusted Score: 49537%
Critics Consensus: Trashy and melodramatic, The Paperboy is enlivened by a strong cast and a steamy, sordid plot, but it's uneven and often veers into camp.
Synopsis: In 1969 Florida, reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) returns to his hometown to write a story about death-row inmate Hillary... [More]
Directed By: Lee Daniels

#43

True Colors (1991)
47%

#43
Adjusted Score: 46343%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: College roommates Tim Gerrity (James Spader) and Peter Burton (John Cusack) seem as if they'll be friends forever despite their... [More]
Directed By: Herbert Ross

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 47845%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Assigned to oversee the development of the atomic bomb, Gen. Leslie Groves (Paul Newman) is a stern military man determined... [More]
Directed By: Roland Joffé

#41

The Ice Harvest (2005)
47%

#41
Adjusted Score: 51989%
Critics Consensus: The Ice Harvest offers a couple of laughs, but considering the people involved, it should be a lot funnier.
Synopsis: As the attorney for a mobster (Randy Quaid), Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) has access to some not-so-clean money, which he... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#40

Pushing Tin (1999)
48%

#40
Adjusted Score: 49446%
Critics Consensus: Solid performances by the leads, but the generic ending needs help.
Synopsis: Two air traffic controllers (John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton) who thrive on living dangerously compete to outdo each other on... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell

#39
Adjusted Score: 51691%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's spare directorial style proves an ill fit for this Southern potboiler, which dutifully trudges through its mystery while remaining disinterested in the cultural flourishes that gave its source material its sense of intrigue.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of John Berendt's book, a young journalist, John Kelso (John Cusack), travels to Savannah, Ga., to cover... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#38

Shadows and Fog (1992)
52%

#38
Adjusted Score: 52615%
Critics Consensus: Shadows and Fog recreates the chiaroscuro aesthetic of German Expressionism, but Woody Allen's rambling screenplay retreads the director's neurotic obsessions with derivative results.
Synopsis: A serial strangler is on the loose, and a mob of neighborhood vigilantes is on the hunt. When several neighbors... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#37

Blood Money (2017)
50%

#37
Adjusted Score: 31403%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Three friends on a wilderness excursion find a fortune stashed in the woods. Now they must outrun the white collar... [More]
Directed By: Lucky McKee

#36

Adult World (2013)
56%

#36
Adjusted Score: 55691%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An aspiring poet (Emma Roberts) takes a job as a clerk at an adult bookstore and tries to make her... [More]
Directed By: Scott Coffey

#35

Con Air (1997)
56%

#35
Adjusted Score: 59935%
Critics Consensus: Con Air won't win any awards for believability - and all involved seem cheerfully aware of it, making some of this blockbuster action outing's biggest flaws fairly easy to forgive.
Synopsis: Just-paroled army ranger Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) is headed back to his wife (Monica Potter), but must fly home aboard... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#34

Chicago Cab (1998)
56%

#34
Adjusted Score: 32009%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A nameless Chicago cab driver (Paul Dillon) picks up more than 30 different passengers over the course of a typical... [More]

#33

One Crazy Summer (1986)
45%

#33
Adjusted Score: 46169%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After graduating from high school, art school hopeful Hoops McCann (John Cusack) struggles to complete his application to the Rhode... [More]
Directed By: Savage Steve Holland

#32

City Hall (1996)
56%

#32
Adjusted Score: 56791%
Critics Consensus: City Hall explores political corruption with commendable intelligence, but this web of scandal struggles to coalesce into satisfying drama.
Synopsis: Tragedy strikes when a child is caught in the crossfire between a cop and a mobster on the streets of... [More]
Directed By: Harold Becker

#31

Serendipity (2001)
59%

#31
Adjusted Score: 64370%
Critics Consensus: Light and charming, Serendipity could benefit from less contrivances.
Synopsis: On a magical night when they are in in their 20s, Jonathan (John Cusack) meets Sara (Kate Beckinsale). He finds... [More]
Directed By: Peter Chelsom

#30

Tapeheads (1988)
60%

#30
Adjusted Score: 60343%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Unemployed pals Ivan (John Cusack) and Josh (Tim Robbins) decide to start Video Aces, a company that produces music videos.... [More]
Directed By: Bill Fishman

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 62552%
Critics Consensus: Though this by-the-numbers true procedural seems basic, The Frozen Ground presents a welcome return for Nicolas Cage in a solid performance.
Synopsis: A teenage escapee (Vanessa Hudgens) provides a critical break in the case, as an Alaskan detective (Nicolas Cage) hunts a... [More]
Directed By: Scott Walker

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 67126%
Critics Consensus: Narratively unwieldy and tonally jumbled, Maps to the Stars still has enough bite to satisfy David Cronenberg fans in need of a coolly acidic fix.
Synopsis: Driven by an intense need for fame and validation, members of a dysfunctional Hollywood dynasty have lives as dramatic as... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#27

Grace Is Gone (2007)
62%

#27
Adjusted Score: 64310%
Critics Consensus: A refreshing departure from the current crop of Iraq war dramas, Grace is Gone is a heartfelt, finely acted portrayal of grief and healing.
Synopsis: Stanley Phillips (John Cusack) receives the kind of news that every spouse of a soldier dreads: His wife, Grace, has... [More]
Directed By: James C. Strouse

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 71041%
Critics Consensus: Its flagrantly silly script -- and immensely likable cast -- make up for most of its flaws.
Synopsis: Four pals are stuck in a rut in adulthood: Adam (John Cusack) has just been dumped, Lou (Rob Corddry) is... [More]
Directed By: Steve Pink

#25

Cradle Will Rock (1999)
65%

#25
Adjusted Score: 66805%
Critics Consensus: Witty and provocative.
Synopsis: As labor strikes break out throughout the country, New York is alive with cultural revolution. Nelson Rockefeller (John Cusack) commissions... [More]
Directed By: Tim Robbins

#24

Floundering (1994)
67%

#24
Adjusted Score: 62714%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An out-of-work loser (James LeGros) is driven to action by the IRS, his girlfriend and the characters who cross his... [More]
Directed By: Peter McCarthy

#23

Max (2002)
69%

#23
Adjusted Score: 71248%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted in the execution of its provocative "what-if?" premise.
Synopsis: This is the story of a young artist named Adolf Hitler (Noah Taylor) and his relationship with a Jewish art... [More]
Directed By: Menno Meyjes

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 78994%
Critics Consensus: Gut-wrenching and emotionally affecting, Lee Daniels' The Butler overcomes an uneven narrative thanks to strong performances from an all-star cast.
Synopsis: After leaving the South as a young man and finding employment at an elite hotel in Washington, D.C., Cecil Gaines... [More]
Directed By: Lee Daniels

#21

Runaway Jury (2003)
73%

#21
Adjusted Score: 78361%
Critics Consensus: An implausible but entertaining legal thriller.
Synopsis: After a workplace shooting in New Orleans, a trial against the gun manufacturer pits lawyer Wendell Rohr (Dustin Hoffman) against... [More]
Directed By: Gary Fleder

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 75811%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fiona Flynn (Moya Farrelly) and Kieran O'Day (Aidan Quinn) cross the class divide to find love in 1930s Ireland. Fiona... [More]
Directed By: Paul Quinn

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 79228%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In an Arctic village in 1931, British mapmaker Walter Russell (Patrick Bergin) selects 12-year-old Eskimo Avik (Robert Joamie) as his... [More]
Directed By: Vincent Ward

#18

Better Off Dead (1985)
76%

#18
Adjusted Score: 77438%
Critics Consensus: Better Off Dead is an anarchic mix of black humor and surreal comedy, anchored by John Cusack's winsome, charming performance.
Synopsis: Lane Meyer (John Cusack) is a teen with a peculiar family and a bizarre fixation with his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda... [More]
Directed By: Savage Steve Holland

#17

Grand Piano (2013)
79%

#17
Adjusted Score: 81430%
Critics Consensus: Grand Piano is so tense in its best moments -- and appealingly strange overall -- that it remains rewarding in spite of its flaws.
Synopsis: A concert pianist who has stage fright finds a threatening note written on his sheet music just moments before a... [More]
Directed By: Eugenio Mira

#16

The Jack Bull (1999)
80%

#16
Adjusted Score: 20580%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Wyoming horse trader (John Cusack) clashes with a rancher (L.Q. Jones) who abused his horses and their Indian caretaker.... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 84383%
Critics Consensus: A high-concept high school reunion movie with an adroitly cast John Cusack and armed with a script of incisive wit.
Synopsis: After assassin Martin Blank (John Cusack) has trouble focusing on his work, resulting in a failed assignment, he returns to... [More]
Directed By: George Armitage

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 85725%
Critics Consensus: The Thin Red Line is a daringly philosophical World War II film with an enormous cast of eager stars.
Synopsis: In 1942, Private Witt (Jim Caviezel) is a U.S. Army absconder living peacefully with the locals of a small South... [More]
Directed By: Terrence Malick

#13

1408 (2007)
79%

#13
Adjusted Score: 86378%
Critics Consensus: Relying on psychological tension rather than overt violence and gore, 1408 is a genuinely creepy thriller with a strong lead performance by John Cusack.
Synopsis: Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a successful author who enjoys worldwide acclaim debunking supernatural phenomena -- before he checks into... [More]
Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

#12

Chi-Raq (2015)
82%

#12
Adjusted Score: 90976%
Critics Consensus: Chi-Raq is as urgently topical and satisfyingly ambitious as it is wildly uneven -- and it contains some of Spike Lee's smartest, sharpest, and all-around entertaining late-period work.
Synopsis: The girlfriend (Teyonah Parris) of a Chicago gang leader (Nick Cannon) persuades other frustrated women to abstain from sex until... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 23722%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Factory worker Joe (John Doe) leaves Los Angeles and embarks on a road trip through the desert on his vintage... [More]
Directed By: Abbe Wool

#10

The Sure Thing (1985)
86%

#10
Adjusted Score: 88509%
Critics Consensus: Though its final outcome is predictable, The Sure Thing is a charming, smartly written, and mature teen comedy featuring a breakout role for John Cusack.
Synopsis: Gib (John Cusack), a college freshman, keeps striking out with women. When he learns that a beautiful Californian (Nicollette Sheridan)... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#9

Anastasia (1997)
86%

#9
Adjusted Score: 88171%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful animation, an affable take on Russian history, and strong voice performances make Anastasia a winning first film from Fox animation studios.
Synopsis: The evil wizard Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) puts a hex on the royal Romanovs and young Anastasia (Meg Ryan) disappears when... [More]
Directed By: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

#8

Eight Men Out (1988)
86%

#8
Adjusted Score: 89569%
Critics Consensus: Perhaps less than absorbing for non-baseball fans, but nevertheless underpinned by strong performances from the cast and John Sayles' solid direction.
Synopsis: The Chicago White Sox, who are set to play the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series of 1919, are at... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#7
Adjusted Score: 92119%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Warm-hearted family tale of a girl's cross-country trek to find her father, set during the bleak days of the Depression... [More]
Directed By: Jeremy Kagan

#6

Never Grow Old (2019)
90%

#6
Adjusted Score: 90378%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A once-peaceful frontier town becomes a den of vice after vicious outlaw Dutch Albert and his gang arrive and begin... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Kavanagh

#5

The Grifters (1990)
91%

#5
Adjusted Score: 92740%
Critics Consensus: Coolly collected and confidently performed, The Grifters is a stylish caper that puts the artistry in con.
Synopsis: Hard-as-nails Lily Dillon (Anjelica Huston) works as a swindler for dangerous bookie Bobo (Pat Hingle), probably the only man she... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#4

Love & Mercy (2014)
89%

#4
Adjusted Score: 97817%
Critics Consensus: As unconventional and unwieldy as the life and legacy it honors, Love & Mercy should prove moving for Brian Wilson fans while still satisfying neophytes.
Synopsis: In the late 1960s, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson stops touring, produces "Pet Sounds" and begins to lose his grip... [More]
Directed By: Bill Pohlad

#3

High Fidelity (2000)
91%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96311%
Critics Consensus: The deft hand of director Stephen Frears and strong performances by the ensemble cast combine to tell an entertaining story with a rock-solid soundtrack.
Synopsis: Rob Gordon (John Cusack) is the owner of a failing record store in Chicago, where he sells music the old-fashioned... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 99672%
Critics Consensus: A gleefully entertaining backstage comedy, Bullets Over Broadway features some of Woody Allen's sharpest, most inspired late-period writing and direction.
Synopsis: Struggling 1920s playwright David Shayne (John Cusack), having failed to secure financing for his latest work, reluctantly makes a deal... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#1

Say Anything... (1989)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100657%
Critics Consensus: One of the definitive Generation X movies, Say Anything... is equally funny and heartfelt -- and it established John Cusack as an icon for left-of-center types everywhere.
Synopsis: In a charming, critically acclaimed tale of first love, Lloyd (John Cusack), an eternal optimist, seeks to capture the heart... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

 Traveling through time is all the rage right now. A trio of new time-travel series hit this TV season — NBC’s Timeless, which just had its season 1 finale, as well as recent premieres Making History on Fox and Time After Time on ABC — and a big part of the fun in watching is seeing how each series sends its characters hurtling through the years.

For that, Hollywood has turned to a quirky variety of devices and charmed objects to facilitate time travel on television and in the movies — from straightforward DIY time machines to phone booths, DeLoreans, and even a hot tub. Here are some of the coolest, weirdest, most inventive, and sometimes highly unreliable devices used to wander through time.

Don’t see your favorite time-travel gadget below? Tell us in the comments.



Back for its fifth season, the newly branded American Horror Story: Hotel takes place at the fictional and haunted Cortez in Los Angeles, a place where the guests check in but they don’t check out. But at least Lady Gaga’s here! Anyways, it’s inspiring this week’s 24 Frames gallery, a look at some of the bloodiest and crappiest hotels from movie and TV history.

This week on home video, our choices range from the most innocent kids’ fare to some bleak foreign cinema, with plenty of choices in between, so hopefully there will be something for everyone here. There’s outrageous comedy and macho ’80s action, a martial arts epic starring Jet Li and a fantasy epic starring, well, the byproduct of a human/Greek god coupling. Not your cup of tea? How about a classic spy thriller from Carol Reed, the man who would bring us The Third Man just a few years later? Does that seem like a healthy enough variety of choices? We hope so, because it’s the best of what home video had to offer this week.



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Hot Tub Time Machine

In Spanish speaking nations, Hot Tub Time Machine goes by the name “Jacuzzi to the Past” (in Spanish, of course). While limiting, this title is more accurate. This long anticipated 80’s nostalgia porn bangs together a longing for the “good old days” of high school and the “good old days” of raucous comedy, with a ton of pithy meta casting to keep you engaged. Four friends on a ski-weekend getaway drink too heavily in a hot tub and wake up in their heavy-metal-hair heydays, where they get to live out all the Risky Business they’ve been missing since they signed up for “adulthood.” The Blu-Ray promises to offer an uncensored version of Lane Myers Day Off, complete with deleted scenes, theatrical trailer, promo spots, and a couple shorts: “Acting like Idiots,” “Chevy Chase: The Nicest Guy in Hollywood,” “Totally Radical Outfits: Dayna Pink,” and “Crispin Glover: One Armed Bellhop Digital copy.”



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Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

It seems like everyone is trying to establish the next Harry Potter-esque box office behemoth, and Hollywood is turning to all sorts of young adult fantasy novels to do it. One of the most recent adaptations is this year’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, based on a series of books by Rick Riordan. The Percy Jackson saga begins here, when an average high-schooler learns he’s the love child of Greek god Poseidon and a human woman, which means he possesses powers beyond any normal teen. It comes to light that Zeus’s lightning bolt, a powerfully destructive weapon, has been stolen, and Percy is the chief suspect; accordingly, it’s up to Percy to retrieve the weapon and return it to its rightful owner before a war of the gods breaks out. Despite a stunning cast that included Sean Bean, Catherine Keener, Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, and Steve Coogan, among others, as well as the Harry Potter franchise’s own Chris Columbus in the director’s chair, The Lightning Thief failed to garner high praise from critics, effectively splitting them right down the middle at 50% on the Tomatometer. Still, many felt it was a fun take on ancient mythology, and its speedy plot helped to move it along at a nice pace. It’s available on DVD and Blu-Ray this week.



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The Crazies

Horror remakes haven’t fared so well in recent times, with films like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween drawing jeers from critics and fans alike. So it came as quite a shock when the 2010 remake of zombie god George Romero’s The Crazies elicited mostly positive reviews, earning a 72% on the Tomatometer. Similarly to the 1973 original, The Crazies focuses on a group of small town neighbors attempting to survive in the wake of a plane crash that spills a biochemical toxin into the water supply and subsequently begins turning the townspeople on each other. Though Romero himself has struggled a bit with his most recent projects, it shouldn’t be forgotten that his films were once as much poignant social commentaries as they were chilling fright flicks, and this remake retains that spirit, according to the critics. On top of that, The Crazies maintains tension effectively and employs some artful cinematography to enhance the film, so the final word is that this is one horror remake worth checking out.



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The White Ribbon

Michael Haneke, like his Austrian brethren, is known for making pretty films with painful implications, but usually his troublesome antics happen to moneyed or otherwise envy-inspiring people. In The White Ribbon, the principle characters are the farmers and workers under the custody of a basically kindly landlord at the turn of the century. What’s beautiful in this film isn’t the people (who are either monsters or innocents slowly changing into monsters) or the pageantry of the place that’s half agrarian and half contemporary, it’s the craftsmanship. The black and white cinematography is as evocative as it is austere-the whole production looks like something that would have swept the Oscars in 1987, when “Oscar Bait” looked timeless and touched on obviously highbrow ideas like “the root of evil.” While it’s swoon-worthy and one to study it wasn’t the biggest success in the theaters, which is part of why the DVD will matter; fans didn’t have a chance to repeat view with the prints breezing out of theaters like it did. Previews, a theatrical trailer, a short biopic by Haneke (keeper!) and a making-of featurette adorn the Blu-Ray, along with interviews and footage of the film’s Cannes Premiere.



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The Warlords

Remember when Jet Li somewhat ambiguously declared in 2006 that Fearless would be his last martial arts film? Remember when he later clarified that he was simply retiring from the very specific genre of the Chinese wushu epic? A lot of his fans outside of China had some trouble deciphering exactly what he meant, but for better or for worse, it hasn’t slowed down his output. In 2007, Li starred in another historical epic, The Warlords, in which he plays one of three warrior “blood” brothers who find themselves at odds over political and romantic interests during the Qing Dynasty. The film made its rounds before finally hitting US theaters in limited release at the beginning of April, and it’s now available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Though critics generally looked favorably upon the film (63% on the Tomatometer), some felt that the impressively rendered battle sequences failed to make up for heavy-handed melodrama and a sense of self-importance. Nevertheless, most agreed that watching Li alongside two other international superstars (Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro) was enough to get them from one grand battle to the next.



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Everlasting Moments – Criterion Collection

In our continuing efforts to shed some light on notable films that you may not have seen or possibly even heard of, we bring you the Criterion release of a 2009 Swedish film called Everlasting Moments. Directed by Jan Troell, a Swedish writer-director-cinematographer best known for his work during the 1970s (The Emigrants, The New Land), Everlasting Moments focuses on the true story of Maria Larsson (played here by Maria Heiskanen), an abused working class woman in early 20th Century Sweden who takes up photography as a hobby and finds personal enlightenment in the midst of her bleak existence. Larsson’s newfound confidence inspires her to defy her husband, even at the threat of death, and pursue her passion alongside the pawn shop owner who first convinced her not to sell the camera that would become her greatest asset. Troell brilliantly recreates the aesthetic of the period, and critics felt the film succeeded as an elegant and intimate look at European life during the early 1900s, rewarding it with a Certified Fresh 90% on the Tomatometer. Though it opened in limited release back in March of ’09, hardly anyone saw it, so now’s your chance to check out this gem from an established European auteur.



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Predator (Ultimate Hunter Edition) Blu-Ray

With the Robert Rodriguez-produced, Nimrod Antal-directed Predators set to hit theaters next week, what better way to get psyched for it than to revisit the original that spawned the franchise? Back in ’87, during the height of the Governator’s action stardom, Arnold Schwarzenegger stood center stage as the leader of a group of commandos commissioned with rescuing a presidential cabinet member from guerillas occupying a fictional South American country. The plot thickens when it turns out the soldiers themselves are being hunted by an alien with wicked dreads and an even more wicked penchant for ripping the spines out of its human prey. Though the film is already available in Blu-Ray, that release featured hardly any bonus material; what we’re looking at here is much more robust, collecting the special content found on the 2-disc DVD plus a couple of new items tailored to the release of the new film. These include a piece titled “Evolution of a Species — Hunters of Extreme Perfection,” in which Rodriguez and Antal talk about their first impressions of the original film, and a sneak peek at their new film. Predator has amassed a cult following, thanks in large part to Schwarzenegger’s presence, as well as the over-the-top violence and genuine thrills, and it’s earned a 77% on the Tomatometer. If you’re a fan, like many others, this is one worth picking up.



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The Leopard – Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

After an era of playing bad-asses with gentle tendencies, Burt Lancaster stars in this opulent look into the world of the threatened bourgeois in Sicily during the 1800s. Lancaster plays an aging aristocrat who longs for the more secure times before the Risorgimento (Italy’s transitions into democratic nationhood), just as his hot nephew and soon to be niece (Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale) demonstrate their reckless flirtation and the new middle classes erect a revolution outside his estate. Directed by one of the heavy-weights of Italian neo-realism, Luchino Visconti, The Leopard is a Technirama spectacle, and the 185-minutes drama is presented in both the original Italian and the dubbed English. Word has it, this HD transfer is more beautiful but not terribly different from the Criterion edition put out in 2004. The DVD includes a the hour long doc “A Dying Breed: The Making of The Leopard,” a number of worthy interviews with cast, crew and scholars, and a 16-page, full-color booklet features an astute essay on by film historian Michael Wood.


Night Train to Munich – Criterion Collection

Before he helmed his masterpiece The Third Man, Carol Reed paired up with screenwriters Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder (the writing team behind Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes just two years prior) for the 1940 espionage thriller Night Train to Munich. Set during contemporary times, the story revolves around a scientist (James Harcourt) and his attempts to escape Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia with his daughter (Margaret Lockwood). After an unsuccessful first attempt, after which both are captured and sent back to Germany, the pair manages to deceive their captors with the help of a couple of outside agents, just in time for a thrilling climax involving a cable car and dozens of bullets. Though not one of Reed’s most famous or most celebrated films, Night Train to Munich displayed his skill with a suspenseful plot and foreshadowed the success he would find with The Third Man. Though many believed this to be an unofficial sequel to The Lady Vanishes, what with the same lead actress (Lockwood), the train setting, and the return of two characters from Hitchcock’s film, Night Train was really meant to be taken as a separate film, and operates as an entertaining piece of cinema on its own. The Criterion Collection releases their enhanced edition of the film tomorrow.


Leave It to Beaver – The Complete Series

Though it’s fallen off a bit in popularity during recent years, Leave It to Beaver was an iconic US television sitcom that first aired from the late 1950s to the early 1960s and continued to be popular via reruns and syndication well through the 1980s and ’90s. The show centered around the title character, young Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, who was apt to get into all kinds of trouble and usually learned a lesson or two from his misadventures. The show was notable for portraying life from the child’s perspective, as opposed to that of the parents, and depicted a wholesome, domestic middle-class America. It was so popular that it ultimately prompted a reunion show in 1983, followed by The New Leave It to Beaver series in the mid-’80s, as well as a feature film adaptation (with different actors) as late as 1997. This week, the entire series is available in one collection spanning 37 (yes, 37) discs, with over 100 hours of material for you to check out. The special features are also quite nice, ranging from a fold-out replica of the Beaver board game to a 74-minute-long featurette titled “Forever the Beaver: The Cleavers Look Back,” featuring the cast members reminiscing about the show and offering interesting tidbits about its history. For anyone who ever gleaned childhood wisdom from The Beav, this is a must-have collector’s piece.

Written by Ryan Fujitani and Sara Maria Vizcarrondo

This week at the movies, we’ve got aerial adventure (How to Train Your Dragon, starring Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson) and an ’80s flashback (Hot Tub Time Machine, starring John Cusack and Rob Corddry). What do the critics have to say?



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How to Train Your Dragon

In the world of CGI animation, DreamWorks has long played second fiddle to Pixar. However, critics say that if How to Train Your Dragon is any indication, the gap between the studios may be narrowing. Dragon tells the tale of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), a scrawny Viking who wants to kill dragons, just like his old man (Gerard Butler). However, after a chance encounter with a friendly dragon, he begins to rethink past prejudices — while soaring above the clouds on the monster’s back. The pundits say the Certified Fresh How to Train Your Dragon‘s visuals are awe-inspiring, utilizing the 3-D effects to the fullest — and if the plot’s not quite as strong, the voice cast is game and the script is mercifully free of vulgarity. (Speaking of vulgarity, check out Dragon star Craig Fergusen’s Five Favorite Films here.)



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Hot Tub Time Machine

Hot Tub Time Machine boasts one of the funniest titles in recent memory. And critics say the movie’s pretty good, too — it’s a throwback to 1980s raunch-fests that’s elevated by an excellent cast. John Cusack stars as a recently-dumped guy who joins his friends for some wild debauchery at a ski resort. The next morning, the gang wakes up in 1986 — how’s that for a hangover? — and tries to save their future selves from misery. The pundits say Hot Tub Time Machine is indifferently crafted and occasionally overdoses on kitschy 1980s references — but it’s also audaciously funny much of the time, thanks to strong performances and a go-for-broke sense of energy. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some of our favorite cinematic time machines.)


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Bluebeard, Catherine Breillat’s take on the classic serial-killer tale, is at 100 percent.

  • Waking Sleeping Beauty, a documentary about Disney’s late-1980s and early-1990s animation renaissance, is at 91 percent.

  • The Eclipse, an Italian comedy about a middle-aged man tasked with entertaining his grandmother and her feisty friends, is at 86 percent.

  • Chloe, starring Amanda Seyfried and Liam Neeson in an erotic thriller about a young woman who is enlisted to test a straying husband, is at 49 percent.

Hot Tub Time Machine

The concept of time travel has fascinated people for generations, contributing to the storylines of classic fiction in all formats — including, of course, the movies, where filmgoers have watched centuries vanish in the blink of an eye. Protagonists have used all sorts of methods to leave the present, from the outlandish to the relatively mundane; this Friday, for example, John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke will travel back to the 1980s in a Hot Tub Time Machine. To celebrate Hollywood’s latest temporal journey, we decided to take our own trip into the past, and have a look at some of our favorite movie time machines!

Of course, movies about time travel don’t necessarily contain time machines. Sometimes, this distinction is easy to make — think Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time — and sometimes it’s a little trickier. For example, you won’t find the Tardis from the mid-1960s Dr. Who movies, since those were basically just expanded TV episodes. In addition, we disqualified the Starship Enterprise, for instance; it may have skipped across the space-time continuum on occasion, but those trips were the result of special circumstances. Likewise the spaceship from The Planet of the Apes… and, undoubtedly, one or two of your own personal favorites. So which ones made the cut? It’s, uh, time to find out!


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The remote, Click

Okay, so there’s nothing particularly noteworthy about Click‘s weak Tomatometer, but still — who wouldn’t love to have a remote he could use to pause, rewind, and fast-forward through time? We might ask for a sharper script once we got our hands on the gizmo, but would you complain if you befriended a permed, bow-tied Christopher Walken? Yeah, didn’t think so.

PROS: Battery-powered, pocket-sized, covered in cool buttons

CONS: Malfunctions often, excessive unfavorable comparisons to It’s a Wonderful Life, heightened risk of Hasselhoff


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The TDE, The Terminator movies

It’s hard not to be a little ticked off at Skynet’s Time Displacement Equipment — after all, it allows our future machine overlords to continue sending ever-more-sophisticated death robots into the past, thus making the last two Terminator sequels possible — but as time machines go, it’s really pretty neat, at least if you appreciate lightning-covered bubbles and gratuitous nudity.

PROS: Allows for stylish entrances, seems to gives users access to an endless series of quotable quips

CONS: Mandatory nudity makes cold weather problematic; machine was created by a Skynet, which is bent on the destruction of the human race


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Time machine car thing, Timecop

On one hand, the Timecop time machine was sort of lame — it only went back in time, for one thing, and then there was the fact that if things didn’t work just right, the driver ended up zooming into a giant wall. But on the other hand, how many time machines are simple enough for Jean-Claude Van Damme to use, let alone allow him to go back in time and team up with a younger version of himself to reduce Ron Silver to a quivering mound of goo?

PROS: No steering required, machine conveniently disappears after each journey, that whole Ron Silver thing

CONS: Future off-limits, looming possibility of death, risk of multiple Van Dammes


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The time-turner, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Most of the time travel devices on our list are big enough for the user to sit or stand in, but we’re willing to make an exception for the nifty pendant used by Hermione in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Sure, her original use of the Time-Turner was predictably square — she used it for nothing more exciting than fitting more classes into her schedule — but it was eventually instrumental in saving Sirius and Buckbeak. And besides, who couldn’t use a time machine that fits on a pendant?

PROS: Extremely portable, easy to use, matches most outfits

CONS: Very fragile, doesn’t allow user to alter events, mildly Flavor Flav-ish


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The Omega 13, Galaxy Quest

Thirteen seconds might not seem like a terribly long period of time, but when you’re talking about a device capable of pushing a reset button on the universe, it’s worth owning regardless of the limitations — just ask General Sarris, the reptilian nasty who blew up a planet to get at the Omega 13. Or, for that matter, ask the Galaxy Quest crew, which ultimately used the Omega’s brief rewind to get the drop on Sarris and save the universe. Now if we could only get a sequel — and a device powerful enough to erase Tim Allen’s involvement in Crazy on the Outside

PROS: Cool name, nifty glowing blue lights, zero risk of getting marooned in the distant past or future

CONS: Attractive to alien overlords, inability to prevent planetary destruction or Sigourney Weaver bleach jobs

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The box, Primer

Unlike most cinematic time machines, Primer‘s time-warping device doesn’t come with any cool lights, levers, or gull-wing doors — it’s just a box, albeit one with all sorts of intricate circuitry inside. It might look less impressive than most time machines, but the implications of its use are far more complicated than anything H.G. Wells dreamed up; in fact, it’s probably safe to say that most people that have seen Primer haven’t really understood it. It isn’t as exciting as taking a DeLorean to 88, in other words, but if time travel is ever really invented, it’ll probably be just as confusing and dangerous as it seems here.

PROS: Doesn’t need nuclear waste or alien technology to work, can easily be hidden in ordinary business park environment

CONS: Quickly destroys friendships, causes comas, weaves plotlines so tangled that viewers may weep in frustration


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The “gizmo,” My Science Project

It might have looked suspiciously like something out of a Sharper Image catalog, but this extraterrestrial orb did more than just look cool — it enabled its users to wreak havoc on dimensional boundaries, turning the space-time continuum into little more than a plaything. Sadly, critics were less than impressed with My Science Project‘s power, but c’mon — where else can you witness the combined might of Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell, and Fisher Stevens?

PROS: Plugs into any available power outlet, vaporizes bothersome authority figures, also functions as dorm-worthy light source

CONS: Inconvenient tendency to attract inter-dimensional clutter and create scary, world-destroying vortices; can’t fix Dennis Hopper’s hair


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The time machine, The Time Machine

You can’t talk about time machines without mentioning the name H.G. Wells — and although the 2002 remake of The Time Machine boasted niftier special effects, not to mention direction from Wells’ great-grandson Simon, it still doesn’t hold a Morlock-banishing candle to George P�l’s 1960 original. And okay, so Wells’ design may have been a little clunky compared to some of the time machines that followed (including 1979’s Time After Time, which featured a similar contraption), but you have to admire the scope of his vision — where most travelers contented themselves with a journey of a few decades, Wells took his audience hundreds of thousands of years into the future.

PROS: Simple to operate, comfy padded chair, can travel seemingly infinite distances without refueling

CONS: No stereo, cup holders, or GPS; open design is inconvenient in inclement weather


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The phone booth, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

No matter how many features your smartphone has, it isn’t as cool as the old-fashioned phone booth. Bill S. Preston Esq. and Theodore “Ted” Logan used it to usher in an era of utopian peace and ensure their destinies as the world-famous leaders of the hard-rocking/vowel-confused Wyld Stallyns. Until the iTunes store includes an app that’ll put us in a room with Freud, Beethoven, and Genghis Khan, this booth will remain most excellent.

PROS: Big windows, slim design, excellent long-distance rates

CONS: No place to sit, lack of cool ringtones, poorly spelled graffiti


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The DeLorean, Back to the Future

Looking at the souped-up DeLorean that Emmett “Doc” Brown used to zip around more than a century of history, it’s hard not to wonder whether you’re looking at a time machine or a time capsule, but this plutonium-powered beauty did exactly what it was supposed to…most of the time, anyway, and whenever Doc and Marty found themselves in a pinch, all they needed to do was come up with 1.21 gigawatts of power to get the DeLorean moving again. Who doesn’t have a spare 1.21 gigawatts lying around?

PROS: 12,000-mile warranty, fiberglass underbody, heaps of retro chic

CONS: Low MPG, AM/FM cassette stereo system, lack of qualified mechanics


Take a look through the rest of our Total Recall archives, including our countdown of John Cusack’s best-reviewed movies. And don’t forget to check out the reviews for Hot Tub Time Machine.

Finally, for those who like some science with their science fiction, here’s a clip on the principles of time travel:

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