(Photo by Sony Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

All Guy Ritchie Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

Who had a more explosive directorial debut in the rollicking, post-Pulp Fiction ’90s than Guy Ritchie with his Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels? The stylish, gritty descent into the criminal underworld rocked both sides of the Atlantic, which then gave Ritchie the opportunity to give his style an even slicker, international sheen with Snatch.

So synonymous is Ritchie with this style and subject matter that no matter where his career takes him, whenever he returns to this topic it’s always celebrated as a back-to-basics comeback. RocknRolla, for example, helped sweep away the sour tastes of Swept Away and Revolver.

And now The Gentlemen and Wrath of Man have arrived as counterpoint to the blockbuster bombast of Aladdin and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. (Though certainly Sherlock Holmes and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. found a happy, kinetic medium between these two extremes.)

Which movies are his Freshest? Find out in our guide to every Guy Ritchie movie, ranked by Tomatometer!

#12

Swept Away (2002)
5%

#12
Adjusted Score: 6995%
Critics Consensus: Muddled and lacking the political context of the original, Swept Away offers further proof that Madonna can't act.
Synopsis: Imagine being shipwrecked on a beautiful island -- with someone you really can't stand. A young soldier (Adriano Giannini) is... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#11

Revolver (2005)
15%

#11
Adjusted Score: 16004%
Critics Consensus: In attempting to meld his successful previous formulas with philosophical musings, Guy Ritchie has produced an incoherent misfire.
Synopsis: Jake Green is a hotshot gambler, long on audacity and short on common sense. Jake served seven years in jail... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#10
Adjusted Score: 50749%
Critics Consensus: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword piles mounds of modern action flash on an age-old tale -- and wipes out much of what made it a classic story in the first place.
Synopsis: After the murder of his father, young Arthur's power-hungry uncle Vortigern seizes control of the crown. Robbed of his birthright,... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#9

Aladdin (2019)
57%

#9
Adjusted Score: 80018%
Critics Consensus: Aladdin retells its classic source material's story with sufficient spectacle and skill, even if it never approaches the dazzling splendor of the animated original.
Synopsis: Aladdin is a lovable street urchin who meets Princess Jasmine, the beautiful daughter of the sultan of Agrabah. While visiting... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#8
Adjusted Score: 67865%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original.
Synopsis: When Austria's crown prince is found dead, evidence seems to point to suicide. However, detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#7

RocknRolla (2008)
60%

#7
Adjusted Score: 64591%
Critics Consensus: Mixed reviews for Guy Ritchie's return to his London-based cockney wideboy gangster movie roots, but most agree, it's a step in the right direction following two major turkeys.
Synopsis: Old-school mobster Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) rules London's underworld with an iron fist and a score of well-greased palms. As... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#6

Wrath of Man (2021)
66%

#6
Adjusted Score: 79634%
Critics Consensus: Wrestling just enough stakes out of its thin plot, Wrath of Man sees Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham reunite for a fun, action-packed ride.
Synopsis: Mysterious and wild-eyed, a new security guard for a cash truck surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 79086%
Critics Consensus: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. tries to distract from an unremarkable story with charismatic stars and fizzy set pieces, adding up to an uneven action thriller with just enough style to overcome its lack of substance.
Synopsis: At the height of the Cold War, a mysterious criminal organization plans to use nuclear weapons and technology to upset... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#4

Sherlock Holmes (2009)
69%

#4
Adjusted Score: 79269%
Critics Consensus: Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr.
Synopsis: When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn't take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#3

Snatch (2000)
74%

#3
Adjusted Score: 78294%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps a case of style over substance, Guy Ritchie's second crime caper is full of snappy dialogue, dark comedy, and interesting characters.
Synopsis: Illegal boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham) convinces gangster Brick Top (Alan Ford) to offer bets on bare-knuckle boxer Mickey (Brad... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#2
Adjusted Score: 77269%
Critics Consensus: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is a grimy, twisted, and funny twist on the Tarantino hip gangster formula.
Synopsis: Eddy (Nick Moran) convinces three friends to pool funds for a high-stakes poker game against local crime boss Hatchet Harry... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#1

The Gentlemen (2020)
75%

#1
Adjusted Score: 93406%
Critics Consensus: It may not win writer-director Guy Ritchie many new converts, but for those already attuned to the filmmaker's brash wavelength, The Gentlemen stands tall.
Synopsis: Mickey Pearson is an American expatriate who became rich by building a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

Sherlock Holmes

(Photo by Warner Bros. Thumbnail: Netflix, BBC.)

The Best Sherlock Holmes Movies and TV Shows (and the Worst)

Nearly 100 years after 1922’s Sherlock Holmes, the watershed movie that proved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character a Hollywood leading man, the detective remains on the case! He’s been adapted to movies and TV countless times, and we’ve organized all of his works which got a Tomatometer score in chronological order. That includes films from Basil Rathbone’s defining decades-long run accessorized with the deerstalker hat, Robert Downey Jr.’s blockbuster take, and Sherlock‘s modern spin with Benedict Cumberbatch. To complete the picture, Holmes-adjacent works are included, including Gene Wilder’s The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective, and Netflix’s Enola Holmes, featuring Sherlock’s teenage sister as played by Millie Bobby Brown. Now let’s chase the thread through this study in scarlet tomatoes, as we reveal the best (and worst) Sherlock Holmes movies and series.

#23

Sherlock Holmes (1922)
78%

#23
Adjusted Score: 77821%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes (John Barrymore) is a master at solving the most impenetrable mysteries, but he has his work cut out... [More]
Directed By: Albert Parker

#22
Adjusted Score: 90250%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) is intrigued by a centuries-old legend in which every generation of the wealthy Baskerville family is... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lanfield

#21
Adjusted Score: 90972%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) square off against their archenemy, Professor Moriarty (George Zucco), who has... [More]
Directed By: Alfred L. Werker

#20

The Woman in Green (1945)
100%

#20
Adjusted Score: 100050%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a number of attractive women are found dead and with fingers missing, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson... [More]
Directed By: Roy William Neill

#19

Terror by Night (1946)
75%

#19
Adjusted Score: 75045%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In London, Lady Margaret Carstairs (Mary Forbes) and her son, Roland (Geoffrey Steele), engage renowned detective Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone)... [More]
Directed By: Roy William Neill

#18

Dressed to Kill (1946)
80%

#18
Adjusted Score: 51916%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Holmes and Watson hunt for three music boxes containing directions to the whereabouts of six valuable engraving plates stolen from... [More]
Directed By: Roy William Neill

#17
Adjusted Score: 64155%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) and Doctor Watson (Andre Morell) meet with a certain Dr. Mortimer (Francis De Wolff), who tells... [More]
Directed By: Terence Fisher

#16
Adjusted Score: 90255%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A bored Sherlock Holmes (Robert Stephens) meets Madame Petrova (Tamara Toumanova), a famed ballerina, who tries to seduce him, hoping... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#15
Adjusted Score: 53843%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sigerson Holmes (Gene Wilder) has something to prove as the lesser-known brother of famed detective Sherlock Holmes. When Sherlock and... [More]
Directed By: Gene Wilder

#14
Adjusted Score: 73682%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this bizarre twist on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective tales, Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) finds himself experiencing vivid... [More]
Directed By: Herbert Ross

#13

Murder by Decree (1979)
85%

#13
Adjusted Score: 48945%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After learning of mass murderer Jack the Ripper's gruesome reign of terror, private detective Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer) decides to... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#12
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cook) and Dr. Watson (Dudley Moore) try to break a noble family's killer-dog curse.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Morrissey

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 64145%
Critics Consensus: Young Sherlock Holmes is a charming, if unnecessarily flashy, take on the master sleuth.
Synopsis: A teenage Sherlock Holmes (Nicholas Rowe) meets and befriends his future sidekick, the bemused and bespectacled John Watson (Alan Cox).... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 81714%
Critics Consensus: The Great Mouse Detective may not rank with Disney's classics, but it's an amiable, entertaining picture with some stylishly dark visuals.
Synopsis: Rodent supersleuth Basil and his bumbling partner must thwart evil Ratigan's plot to depose the Mouse Queen.... [More]

#9

Without a Clue (1988)
64%

#9
Adjusted Score: 62053%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Brilliant sleuth Dr. Watson (Ben Kingsley) solves a royal case with a third-rate actor paid to be Sherlock Holmes (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Thom Eberhardt

#8

Sherlock Holmes (2009)
69%

#8
Adjusted Score: 79269%
Critics Consensus: Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr.
Synopsis: When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn't take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

Sherlock (2010)
78%

#7
Synopsis: In this contemporary version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories, Dr. John Watson is a war vet just home... [More]
Directed By: Paul McGuigan

#6
Adjusted Score: 67865%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original.
Synopsis: When Austria's crown prince is found dead, evidence seems to point to suicide. However, detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

Elementary (2012)
95%

#5
Synopsis: This take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic character has Sherlock Holmes fleeing London for present-day Manhattan after a stint... [More]

#4

Mr. Holmes (2015)
88%

#4
Adjusted Score: 94425%
Critics Consensus: Mr. Holmes focuses on the man behind the mysteries, and while it may lack Baker Street thrills, it more than compensates with tenderly wrought, well-acted drama.
Synopsis: Long-retired and near the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) grapples with an unreliable memory and must rely... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#3

Holmes & Watson (2018)
10%

#3
Adjusted Score: 14076%
Critics Consensus: The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson than does Holmes and Watson.
Synopsis: Detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson join forces to investigate a mysterious murder at Buckingham Palace. It seems like... [More]
Directed By: Etan Cohen

Miss Sherlock (2018)
100%

#2
Synopsis: Two females, a surgeon and an investigative consultant, lead this bold interpretation of Sherlock Holmes.... [More]
Directed By: Junichi Mori

#1

Enola Holmes (2020)
91%

#1
Adjusted Score: 105154%
Critics Consensus: Enola Holmes brings a breath of fresh air to Baker Street -- and leaves plenty of room for Millie Bobby Brown to put her effervescent stamp on a franchise in waiting.
Synopsis: While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and... [More]
Directed By: Harry Bradbeer

Disney

(Photo by Disney)

All Jude Law Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Jude Law made his breakthrough splash in The Talented Mr. Ripley, though anyone who had been following his early career through Gattaca, Music From Another Room, and Wilde already knew what he was capable of by the time the world saw him in the Anthony Minghella thriller. Not too long after that, Law would be working with the likes of Steven Spielberg (he was the robot Gigolo Joe in A.I. Artificial Intelligence), taking lead roles (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Alfie), and showing off his dark side as nasty villains (Road to Perdition).

And sometimes it seems Law is at his best in large ensemble casts: Just check out Cold Mountain, I Heart Huckabees, Contagion, The Grand Budapest Hotel, or even Captain Marvel for proof. His latest film was The Rhythm Section, starring Blake Lively. See where it places as we rank all Jude Law movies by Tomatometer!

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 17574%
Critics Consensus: With a scenery-chewing performance from Sean Penn, an absence of political insight, and an overall lack of narrative cohesiveness, these Men give Oscar bait a bad name.
Synopsis: Charismatic Southern politician Willie Stark's (Sean Penn) idealism and good intentions give way to corruption after he becomes governor of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Zaillian

#44

360 (2011)
20%

#44
Adjusted Score: 22529%
Critics Consensus: Spreading itself thin across a sprawling narrative without a unifying focus, 360 just keeps running in circles.
Synopsis: A man (Anthony Hopkins) searches for his missing daughter in one of several vignettes dealing with issues of love, loss... [More]
Directed By: Fernando Meirelles

#43

Repo Men (2010)
22%

#43
Adjusted Score: 28336%
Critics Consensus: Repo Men has an intriguing premise, as well as a likable pair of leads, but they're wasted on a rote screenplay, indifferent direction, and mind-numbing gore.
Synopsis: In the future, medical technology has advanced to the point where people can buy artificial organs to extend their lives.... [More]
Directed By: Miguel Sapochnik

#42

Rage (2009)
38%

#42
Adjusted Score: 13450%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A blogger shoots interviews at a New York fashion house on his cell phone.... [More]
Directed By: Sally Potter

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 26630%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young man (Jonny Lee Miller) reminisces about how a childhood friend introduced him to the biggest gangster in London.... [More]
Directed By: Dominic Anciano

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 41431%
Critics Consensus: Blake Lively delivers an impressive lead performance, but The Rhythm Section plods predictably through a story that could have used some flashier riffs.
Synopsis: Stephanie Patrick veers down a path of self-destruction after a tragic plane crash kills her family. When Stephanie discovers it... [More]
Directed By: Reed Morano

#39
Adjusted Score: 50749%
Critics Consensus: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword piles mounds of modern action flash on an age-old tale -- and wipes out much of what made it a classic story in the first place.
Synopsis: After the murder of his father, young Arthur's power-hungry uncle Vortigern seizes control of the crown. Robbed of his birthright,... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 12806%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As a young boy, Danny (Jude Law) helped deliver his neighbor's infant daughter, Anna Swann. Despite his various relationships, Danny's... [More]
Directed By: Charlie Peters

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 38224%
Critics Consensus: This class warfare drama feels contrived and superficial: characters don't act logically as the movie manipulates them towards deconstructing various social issues.
Synopsis: Will (Jude Law), a landscape architect in London, is in the middle of a life crisis. His relationship with Liv... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Minghella

#36

Sleuth (2007)
36%

#36
Adjusted Score: 39515%
Critics Consensus: Sleuth is so obvious and coarse, rather than suspenseful and action-packed, that it does nothing to improve on the original version
Synopsis: Andrew Wyke (Michael Caine) is a highly successful mystery writer living in a beautiful and technologically advanced mansion in England.... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#35
Adjusted Score: 56399%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has glimmers of the magic familiar to Harry Potter fans, but the story's spell isn't as strong as earlier installments.
Synopsis: In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#34
Adjusted Score: 14954%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Daisy (Claire Danes) is a smart and pretty teen who attends a prestigious private academy. Despite her privileged upbringing, Daisy... [More]
Directed By: Billy Hopkins

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 49918%
Critics Consensus: Though well filmed, My Blueberry Nights is a mixed bag of dedicated performers working with thin material.
Synopsis: After her boyfriend of five years breaks up with her, Elizabeth (Norah Jones) consoles herself by consuming creamy confections at... [More]
Directed By: Kar Wai Wong

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 47229%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, but emotionally uninvolving.
Synopsis: After years of murdering single women for their blood, debonair vampire Steven Griscz (Jude Law) can no longer quench his... [More]
Directed By: Po-Chih Leong

#31

Alfie (2004)
48%

#31
Adjusted Score: 53405%
Critics Consensus: This unnecessary remake wants Alfie to have his cake and eat it, too, but a lack of sexual fizz and a sour performance by Jude Law conspire to deliver audiences a romantic comedy that isn't romantic or funny.
Synopsis: British-born ladies' man Alfie (Jude Law) exploits his job as a New York City limousine driver to meet and sleep... [More]
Directed By: Charles Shyer

#30
Adjusted Score: 51692%
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

#29

The Holiday (2006)
49%

#29
Adjusted Score: 55526%
Critics Consensus: While it's certainly sweet and even somewhat touching, The Holiday is so thoroughly predictable that audiences may end up opting for an early check-out time.
Synopsis: Two women, one (Cameron Diaz) from America and one (Kate Winslet) from Britain, swap homes at Christmastime after bad breakups... [More]
Directed By: Nancy Meyers

#28

Genius (2016)
52%

#28
Adjusted Score: 58381%
Critics Consensus: Genius seeks to honor worthy subjects, yet never gets close enough to the titular quality to make watching worth the effort.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Michael Grandage

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 58236%
Critics Consensus: Atmospheric and thrilling, Enemy at the Gates gets the look and feel of war right. However, the love story seems out of place.
Synopsis: Vassili (Jude Law) is a young Russian sharpshooter who becomes a legend when a savvy polical officer (Joseph Fiennes) makes... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Jacques Annaud

#26

Dom Hemingway (2013)
56%

#26
Adjusted Score: 61015%
Critics Consensus: Jude Law is clearly having fun in Dom Hemingway's title role, but viewers may find this purposely abrasive gangster dramedy isn't quite as enjoyable from the other side of the screen.
Synopsis: After serving 12 years in prison, a skilled safecracker (Jude Law) seeks payback and a chance to reconcile with his... [More]
Directed By: Richard Shepard

#25
Adjusted Score: 67865%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original.
Synopsis: When Austria's crown prince is found dead, evidence seems to point to suicide. However, detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#24

Vox Lux (2018)
62%

#24
Adjusted Score: 76191%
Critics Consensus: Intriguing albeit flawed, Vox Lux probes the allures and pitfalls of modern celebrity with intelligence, visual style, and an assured Natalie Portman performance.
Synopsis: Celeste is a 13-year-old music prodigy who survives a horrific school shooting in Staten Island, N.Y., in 1999. Her talent... [More]
Directed By: Brady Corbet

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 70058%
Critics Consensus: I Heart Huckabees certainly isn't for everyone, but audiences attuned to its quirky wavelength will find a singularly brainy screwball comedy that refuses to pander.
Synopsis: Environmentalist Albert (Jason Schwartzman) enlists the services of "existential detectives" Bernard (Dustin Hoffman) and Vivian (Lily Tomlin) to solve the... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#22

Anna Karenina (2012)
63%

#22
Adjusted Score: 70080%
Critics Consensus: Joe Wright's energetic adaptation of Tolstoy's classic romance is a bold, visually stylized work -- for both better and worse.
Synopsis: Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley), the wife of a Russian imperial minister (Jude Law), creates a high-society scandal by an affair... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#21
Adjusted Score: 70362%
Critics Consensus: Terry Gilliam remains as indulgent as ever, but The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus represents a return to the intoxicatingly imaginative, darkly beautiful power of his earlier work, with fine performances to match all the visual spectacle.
Synopsis: Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer), the leader of a traveling show, has a dark secret. Thousands of years ago he traded... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#20

Closer (2004)
68%

#20
Adjusted Score: 74764%
Critics Consensus: Closer's talented cast and Mike Nichols' typically assured direction help smooth a bumpy journey from stage to screen.
Synopsis: Alice (Natalie Portman), an American stripper who has moved to London, meets Dan (Jude Law) on the street. While looking... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#19

Sherlock Holmes (2009)
69%

#19
Adjusted Score: 79269%
Critics Consensus: Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr.
Synopsis: When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn't take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#18

Cold Mountain (2003)
70%

#18
Adjusted Score: 78116%
Critics Consensus: The well-crafted Cold Mountain has an epic sweep and captures the horror and brutal hardship of war.
Synopsis: In this classic story of love and devotion set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, a wounded Confederate... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Minghella

#17
Adjusted Score: 77757%
Critics Consensus: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is slim on plot and characterization, but the visuals more than make up for it.
Synopsis: When gigantic robots attack New York City, "Sky Captain" (Jude Law) uses his private air force to fight them off.... [More]
Directed By: Kerry Conran

#16

Wilde (1997)
72%

#16
Adjusted Score: 74234%
Critics Consensus: Wilde can't hope to communicate the entirety of its subject's fascinating life or outsize talent, but Stephen Fry's stellar performance offers abundant compensation.
Synopsis: Oscar Wilde (Stephen Fry) is a married writer who has occasionally indulged his weakness for male suitors. After much toil,... [More]
Directed By: Brian Gilbert

#15
Adjusted Score: 76694%
Critics Consensus: Although it softens the nasty edges of its source material, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a gothic visual treat, and it features a hilariously manic turn from Jim Carrey as the evil Count Olaf.
Synopsis: After the three young Baudelaire siblings are left orphaned by a fire in their mansion, they are carted off to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Silberling

#14

eXistenZ (1999)
74%

#14
Adjusted Score: 76805%
Critics Consensus: Gooey, slimy, grotesque fun.
Synopsis: Video game designer Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has created a virtual reality game called eXistenZ. After a crazed fan... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 80575%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department.
Synopsis: Generation after generation, immortal Guardians like Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla... [More]
Directed By: Peter Ramsey

#12
Adjusted Score: 81841%
Critics Consensus: A curious, not always seamless, amalgamation of Kubrick's chilly bleakness and Spielberg's warm-hearted optimism, A.I. is, in a word, fascinating.
Synopsis: A robotic boy, the first programmed to love, David (Haley Joel Osment) is adopted as a test case by a... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#11

Captain Marvel (2019)
79%

#11
Adjusted Score: 113655%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#10

Black Sea (2014)
80%

#10
Adjusted Score: 85268%
Critics Consensus: Black Sea may not be particularly deep, but thanks to Kevin Macdonald's judicious direction and a magnetic performance from Jude Law, it remains an efficiently well-crafted thriller.
Synopsis: Soon after losing his salvage job, former naval officer Robinson (Jude Law) assembles a misfit crew of unemployed sailors for... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 87152%
Critics Consensus: Somber, stately, and beautifully mounted, Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition is a well-crafted mob movie that explores the ties between fathers and sons.
Synopsis: Mike Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is an enforcer for powerful Depression-era Midwestern mobster John Rooney (Paul Newman). Rooney's son, Connor (Daniel... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#8

Gattaca (1997)
83%

#8
Adjusted Score: 85785%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.
Synopsis: Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) has always fantasized about traveling into outer space, but is grounded by his status as a... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Niccol

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 88875%
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

#6

Side Effects (2013)
81%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89985%
Critics Consensus: A smart, clever thriller with plenty of disquieting twists, Side Effects is yet another assured effort from director Steven Soderbergh.
Synopsis: For four years, Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) has awaited the release of her husband, Martin (Channing Tatum), from being imprisoned... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#5

Contagion (2011)
85%

#5
Adjusted Score: 94933%
Critics Consensus: Tense, tightly plotted, and bolstered by a stellar cast, Contagion is an exceptionally smart -- and scary -- disaster movie.
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

#4

The Aviator (2004)
86%

#4
Adjusted Score: 93426%
Critics Consensus: With a rich sense of period detail, The Aviator succeeds thanks to typically assured direction from Martin Scorsese and a strong performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, who charts Howard Hughes' descent from eccentric billionaire to reclusive madman.
Synopsis: Billionaire and aviation tycoon Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a successful public figure: a director of big-budget Hollywood films such... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 104614%
Critics Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.
Synopsis: In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by concierge Gustave H. (Ralph... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#2

Hugo (2011)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 100995%
Critics Consensus: Hugo is an extravagant, elegant fantasy with an innocence lacking in many modern kids' movies, and one that emanates an unabashed love for the magic of cinema.
Synopsis: Orphaned and alone except for an uncle, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in the walls of a train station in... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#1

Spy (2015)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104595%
Critics Consensus: Simultaneously broad and progressive, Spy offers further proof that Melissa McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig bring out the best in one another -- and delivers scores of belly laughs along the way.
Synopsis: Despite having solid field training, CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) has spent her entire career as a desk jockey,... [More]
Directed By: Paul Feig

Paramount courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Paramount courtesy Everett Collection)

All Robert Downey Jr. Movies Ranked

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

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

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

#62

Johnny Be Good (1988)
0%

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

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

#60

Air America (1990)
13%

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

#59

Gothika (2003)
15%

#59
Adjusted Score: 19637%
Critics Consensus: Berry's acting talents can't save Gothika from its preposterous plot and bad dialogue.
Synopsis: The life of psychiatrist Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) is derailed after she nearly hits a girl with her car one... [More]
Directed By: Mathieu Kassovitz

#58

Tuff Turf (1985)
17%

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

#57

Dolittle (2020)
14%

#57
Adjusted Score: 30585%
Critics Consensus: Dolittle may be enough to entertain very young viewers, but they deserve better than this rote adaptation's jumbled story and stale humor.
Synopsis: Dr. John Dolittle lives in solitude behind the high walls of his lush manor in 19th-century England. His only companionship... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Gaghan

#56

Too Much Sun (1991)
14%

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

#55

In Dreams (1999)
25%

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

#54

U.S. Marshals (1998)
25%

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

#53

The Shaggy Dog (2006)
26%

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

#52

Lucky You (2007)
29%

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

#51

Hugo Pool (1997)
29%

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

#50

One Night Stand (1997)
32%

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

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

#48

Eros (2004)
34%

#48
Adjusted Score: 35038%
Critics Consensus: Though Wong's short lives up to the promise of the title, Antonioni's is a serious disappointment.
Synopsis: This anthology film features three different tales of passion. In "The Hand," young tailor Zhang (Chen Chang) is attracted to... [More]

#47

Firstborn (1984)
36%

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

#46

Black and White (1999)
39%

#46
Adjusted Score: 40144%
Critics Consensus: The atmosphere is affecting, and the story, at times, is compelling, but with a lean script and limp direction, Black and White doesn't add up to much.
Synopsis: Rich Bower (Power) is an up-and-coming star in the hip-hop world. Everyone wants to be around him, including Raven (Gaby... [More]
Directed By: James Toback

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 41243%
Critics Consensus: Delightful performance from Robert Downey Jr. can't save The Singing Detective's transition from TV to the big screen.
Synopsis: Hospitalized for a severe skin disease, a bitter writer (Robert Downey Jr.) imagines he is the gumshoe from his novel.... [More]
Directed By: Keith Gordon

#44

Due Date (2010)
39%

#44
Adjusted Score: 46288%
Critics Consensus: Shamelessly derivative and only sporadically funny, Due Date doesn't live up to the possibilities suggested by its talented director and marvelously mismatched stars.
Synopsis: Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) will be a dad for the first time when his wife gives birth in five... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 50247%
Critics Consensus: Natural Born Killers explodes off the screen with style, but its satire is too blunt to offer any fresh insight into celebrity or crime -- pummeling the audience with depravity until the effect becomes deadening.
Synopsis: Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis are two young, attractive serial killers who become tabloid-TV darlings, thanks to a sensationalistic press... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#42

The Judge (2014)
49%

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

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

#40

Less Than Zero (1987)
52%

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

#39

Only You (1994)
54%

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

#38

Weird Science (1985)
57%

#38
Adjusted Score: 58608%
Critics Consensus: Hardly in the same league as John Hughes' other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.
Synopsis: Teen misfits Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) design their ideal woman on a computer, and a freak... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#37

1969 (1988)
55%

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

#36

Heart and Souls (1993)
55%

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

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

#34

Charlie Bartlett (2007)
58%

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

#33

The Soloist (2009)
57%

#33
Adjusted Score: 64406%
Critics Consensus: Though it features strong performances by its lead players, a lack of narrative focus prevents The Soloist from hitting its mark.
Synopsis: Los Angeles columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) has reached an impasse in his life. His marriage is on the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

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

#31

Chaplin (1992)
60%

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

#30

Game 6 (2005)
62%

#30
Adjusted Score: 61876%
Critics Consensus: Though packed with Don DeLillo's witty dialogue and bolstered by strong performances, particularly by lead Michael Keaton, Game 6 also suffers from uneven direction and overwrought symbolism.
Synopsis: It's 1986, and New York playwright Nicky Rogan (Michael Keaton) faces a series of fears, but none more frightening than... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#29
Adjusted Score: 67865%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original.
Synopsis: When Austria's crown prince is found dead, evidence seems to point to suicide. However, detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 66884%
Critics Consensus: Much like a real-life visit Home for the Holidays, this Thanksgiving-set dramedy can get a little bumpy -- but it also has its share of fondly memorable moments.
Synopsis: When her teenage daughter opts out of Thanksgiving, single mother Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) travels alone to her childhood home... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#27

Chances Are (1989)
67%

#27
Adjusted Score: 67911%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man's love for his pregnant wife, Corinne Jeffries (Cybill Shepherd), is interrupted when a car accident sends him to... [More]
Directed By: Emile Ardolino

#26

A Scanner Darkly (2006)
68%

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

#25

Soapdish (1991)
71%

#25
Adjusted Score: 73406%
Critics Consensus: Soapdish may not be as addictive as the serialized dramas it's spoofing, but a talented cast helps make this affectionate sendup feel fresh.
Synopsis: Celeste Talbert (Sally Field) is the star of the long-running soap opera "The Sun Also Sets." With the show's ratings... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#24

Restoration (1995)
71%

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

#23

Sherlock Holmes (2009)
69%

#23
Adjusted Score: 79269%
Critics Consensus: Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr.
Synopsis: When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn't take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#22

Iron Man 2 (2010)
72%

#22
Adjusted Score: 83921%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

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

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

#19

Iron Man 3 (2013)
79%

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

#18

Bowfinger (1999)
81%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85764%
Critics Consensus: A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.
Synopsis: On the verge of bankruptcy and desperate for his big break, aspiring filmmaker Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) concocts a crazy... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#17

Tropic Thunder (2008)
82%

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

#16

Wonder Boys (2000)
81%

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

#15

Back to School (1986)
86%

#15
Adjusted Score: 89016%
Critics Consensus: Back to School gives Rodney Dangerfield plenty of room to riff -- and supports the freewheeling funnyman with enough of a story to keep things interesting between punchlines.
Synopsis: Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) is concerned that his son Jason (Keith Gordon) is unsure whether to go to college, so... [More]
Directed By: Alan Metter

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

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 114162%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#12

Chef (2014)
87%

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

#11

Zodiac (2007)
89%

#11
Adjusted Score: 100385%
Critics Consensus: A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the '70s than he does on gory details of murder.
Synopsis: In the late 1960s and 1970s, fear grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer called Zodiac stalks... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#10
Adjusted Score: 117398%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 106031%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 121042%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#7
Adjusted Score: 102097%
Critics Consensus: A passionate and concise cinematic civics lesson, Good Night, And Good Luck has plenty to say about today's political and cultural climate, and its ensemble cast is stellar.
Synopsis: When Senator Joseph McCarthy begins his foolhardy campaign to root out Communists in America, CBS News impresario Edward R. Murrow... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#6

Iron Man (2008)
94%

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

#5

Baby, It's You (1983)
94%

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

#4

Richard III (1995)
96%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98884%
Critics Consensus: This re-imagining of Shakespeare's Crookback King relocates the story in 1930 and features an indelible star turn for Ian McKellen as the monstrous and magnetic King Richard.
Synopsis: A murderous lust for the British throne sees Richard III (Ian McKellen) descend into madness. Though the setting is transposed... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine

#3

True Believer (1989)
95%

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

#2

Short Cuts (1993)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 98622%
Critics Consensus: Robert Altman's ensemble drama deftly integrates its disparate characters and episodes into a funny, poignant, emotionally satisfying whole.
Synopsis: Many loosely connected characters cross paths in this film, based on the stories of Raymond Carver. Waitress Doreen Piggot (Lily... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 127918%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

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This week on home video, we’ve got action, we’ve got comedy, we’ve got drama, and we’ve got suspense. On top of that, we’ve got three older films with bright, shiny Criterion makeovers that should make fans of those movies dribble at the mouth just a little bit. See below for the full list!



Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

59%

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective has inspired several iterations on both television and the big screen, and when Guy Ritchie (Snatch) unleashed his version of the character upon the world in 2009, starring a suitably neurotic Robert Downey Jr. in the title role, he scored a hit. 2011 featured the follow-up, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, in which Holmes finally faces off against his legendary arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), who Holmes believes has orchestrated the apparent suicide of the Crown Prince of Austria. RDJ displayed great chemistry with his Dr. Watson, Jude Law, in the first film, and the critics felt they were just as good here, but they also didn’t think the second story quite measured up to the first. At 61%, A Game of Shadows should still make for an entertaining rental.



Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

18%

In this sequel to the widely panned 2007 film Ghost Rider, Nicolas Cage once again dons the leather jacket and fiery skull to play the Marvel anti-hero. After having defeated the son of the Devil, Johnny Blaze (Cage) is hiding out in Europe, afraid the dark power within him may be too destructive. When a priest (Idris Elba) comes calling to ask Johnny for help rescuing a unique boy and his mother from the Devil’s mercenaries, Johnny agrees, but only if the priest will exorcise “The Rider” from within him. Directorial duties for Spirit of Vengeance went to the team of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank, Jonah Hex), and they succeeded in earning an even lower Tomatometer score than the first film (18% vs. Ghost Rider‘s 26%). We’ll just leave it at that.



Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds

36%

No one can deny that Tyler Perry is one hardworking man; unfortunately, most of his movies have been critical bombs, even as they’ve found a niche audience. All but one of his directorial efforts are Rotten, and his latest, Good Deeds, fails to beat the trend. Trading in his Madea shtick for a suit and tie, Perry here plays Wesley Deeds, a businessman with a picture-perfect life who is shaken out of his routine by a chance encounter with a single mother (Thandie Newton) on the janitorial staff of his building. The pair hit it off, and soon Deeds must decide if this is the life he was always meant to have. At 32%, Good Deeds earned some praise for Perry’s continuing growth in directorial prowess, but most critics were turned off by its tedious melodrama.



A Little Bit of Heaven

4%

Kate Hudson hasn’t starred in a Fresh film since 2000’s Almost Famous, and the average Tomatometer for all of the movies she’s made since that breakout performance is right around 26%. A Little Bit of Heaven is apparently far worse than that. Hudson stars as a flighty advertising exec who finds out she’s contracted terminal colon cancer, then impresses her doctor (Gael Garcia Bernal) so much with her carefree attitude that the two end up falling in love. Packed with familiar rom-com clichés and, according to critics, more than a little disrespectful in its tone to anyone who has ever lost a loved one to cancer, A Little Bit of Heaven earned a mere 4% on the Tomatometer, the lowest of Hudson’s career. The negative reviews for this film might be more entertaining than the film itself.



In Darkness

88%

If the title of this film sounds familiar, it’s probably because you watched the Oscars this year; In Darkness, representing Poland, was one of the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Based on true events, it tells the story of Leopold Socha, a maintenance worker in Lvov, Poland during Nazi occupation who helped shelter a group of Jews in the sewer system below the city. While the opportunistic Socha at first takes money for his services, he soon forms a bond with the refugees that his conscience cannot ignore. Powerful and expertly crafted, In Darkness isn’t “just another Holocaust movie,” it’s an effective character piece and a harrowing survival story, and it’s Certified Fresh at 90%.



Harold and Maude – Criterion Collection

85%

It’s possible to argue that the typically quirky indie comedies of today owe a debt to Hal Ashby and his 1971 film Harold and Maude. The story centers around a young man named Harold (Bud Cort) who is so obsessed with death that he drives a hearse, stages fake suicides, and attends funerals for people he doesn’t know. At one such funeral, Harold runs into Maude (Ruth Gordon), a free-spirited 79-year-old with a cheerful zest for life that equals his own morbid fascinations, and an unlikely friendship — and later, romance — blossoms. This week sees the release of a new Criterion edition of this classic dark comedy, including a new commentary track, illustrated audio excerpts from seminars by Ashby, and a new interview with songwriter Cat Stevens.



Shallow Grave – Criterion Collection

70%

The second of three new Criterion releases this week, Shallow Grave marks the introduction of several talents all at once. It was the feature debut of director Danny Boyle, screenwriter John Hodge, and producer Andrew Macdonald, who would go on to work together again on films like Trainspotting and A Life Less Ordinary, both of which also starred one of Shallow Grave‘s three leads, a young and unknown Ewan McGregor. In this thriller, McGregor and co-stars Kerry Fox and Christopher Eccleston play a trio of self-absorbed yuppie flatmates seeking a fourth living companion; when their new tenant overdoses in his room with a large stash of money, the three friends decide to keep the money and dispose of the body, leading to unforeseen consequences. The extras here include two commentary tracks, a new interview with McGregor, Eccleston, and Fox, and a documentary on the making of the film.



The Gold Rush – Criterion Collection

100%

Lastly from Criterion, we have another bona fide classic in every sense of the word. Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush is one of the great silent era films we most remember him for (as was his wish), featuring Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” character as he prospects for gold in the harsh Yukon territory. The film includes some of Chaplin’s most famous gags, including the shoe-eating scene and the “Dance of the Rolls.” Criterion was kind enough to include not only the original 1925 version of the film, newly restored, but also the 1942 sound version, which includes a few edits, new music, and a narration by Chaplin himself. The extras include a new commentary by Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance, four trailers, and four making-of segments chronicling different aspects of the film. If the Criterion editions of Modern Times and The Great Dictator are any indication, this should be a superb pick-up for any Chaplin fan.

This weekend, three big Hollywood sequels led the North American box office pumping in some badly needed new content but that didn’t stop the overall marketplace from suffering double digit losses over last year and the year before. Studios are hoping that audiences are just busy right now with holiday shopping and end-of-year activities and that their films will be well-positioned to take advantage of the extra free time people will soon have in the days ahead.

Doing what its predecessor couldn’t, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows debuted at number one with an estimated $40M from 3,703 theaters for a solid $10,807 average. The $145M-budgeted Warner Bros. sequel debuted 36% below the $62.3M of the first Holmes which launched in second place behind Avatar on the Christmas frame two years ago over what was the largest weekend in box office history. Since audiences are historically less available in mid-December, the follow-up was never expected to open at the same heights. Shadows earned good reviews from critics and an encouraging A- grade from moviegoers polled by CinemaScore. Sales on Saturday, however, showed virtually no growth over Friday’s opening day. The marketplace for adults will get crowded very quickly in the days ahead so early positive buzz will be crucial as audiences start making up their decisions for what to see over the upcoming holiday break.

Sherlock entered only six international markets day and date with domestic and grossed an estimated $14.7M from 2,113 screens including $5.8M in the United Kingdom where it ranked number one by a wide margin. Italy was close behind with $5M while Korea and Germany open later this week.

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Opening in second place was Fox’s kidpic threequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked which took in an estimated $23.5M from 3,723 locations for a $6,312 average. It was well below the debuts of its two predecessors as the first Alvin gave families something new and fresh on the same weekend of 2007 with a $44.3M debut while the second installment launched over the lucrative Christmas frame with $48.9M in 2009. Chipwrecked opened while kids were still in school and parents were busy with holiday shopping so it was expected to have a softer bow. And aside from a cruise ship storyline, Chipwrecked offered almost nothing new to the table. Last year this weekend Yogi Bear bowed to $16.4M and finished with over six times that amount after playing through the holidays.

But while the start was slower, the road ahead looks promising since most films rolling into theaters this holiday season are aimed at adults and there are no new G-rated films for kids opening for the rest of the year. Fox is hoping to capture the family crowd as more children get out of school and more parents get time off to take trips to the multiplexes for some holiday fun. PG-rated competitors will include Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin which is based on a brand that is less familiar to American kids and Matt Damon’s We Bought a Zoo which is less zany for kids looking for laughs. Studio research showed that females made up 54% of the crowd and the film earned a good B+ overall grade from CinemaScore.

Chipwrecked opened overseas on 3,800 screens in 38 markets and grossed an estimated $14.5M with only a handful of the major markets debuting like the United Kingdom, Korea, and Spain.

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Paramount found itself in third place with a unique limited release of its action tentpole Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol which grossed an estimated $13M from only 425 locations which included about 300 IMAX venues plus other large-format sites. The $145M-budgeted Tom Cruise spy flick averaged a sensational $30,588 per location helped by the higher ticket prices. Including the first shows on Thursday evening starting at 6:00pm, the total was $13.6M. It was a sensational start for an unorthodox move designed to showcase the action film with limited availability in only the biggest possible screens in hopes of sparking strong word-of-mouth that would fuel interest for the film’s regular nationwide run which begins this Wednesday. Adding to the grosses was the special prologue for the Warner Bros. tentpole The Dark Knight Rises which played on selected full large-screen IMAX sites.

The tactic was needed for three reasons. First, the franchise is old having been around for over 15 years with the last installment underperforming in 2006. This helps to eventize the film adding to the excitement. Second, Cruise has suffered from serious popularity issues over the last several years with many moviegoers being repelled just by his name alone. He is not the box office draw that he used to be and this special IMAX release allows action fans to focus on the high-octane entertainment and thrills they get and shifts attention away from the star. Indeed, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol earned the best reviews of any action film this year. And third, the marketplace for grown-up fare will be super-competitive this holiday season so this release aims to get buzz going so audiences choose it first instead of other franchise offerings flooding theaters.

The studio’s $13M weekend estimate was quite aggressive as it includes a projected dip of only 13% on Sunday. That is unusually low especially for an action film during the football season when adult males become less available on Sundays. Last weekend, the smallest Saturday-to-Sunday drop in the top ten was 36%. The limited nature of the release has led to sell-outs which would cause more business than usual to spill over into Sunday, however the final gross to be reported on Monday could very well see this figure go down and closer to $12M. The resulting average would still be north of $28,000 and incredibly impressive.

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Overseas results were spectacular with the new Mission: Impossible ruling the international box office with an opening of an estimated $68.2M from 6,079 theaters across 36 markets with many seeing the IMAX version open a few days ahead of conventional screens. Leading the way was Korea with a stellar $11.1M, Japan with $9M, Russia with $6.1M, and India with $4M. Cruise and company have been on a worldwide tour hosting premieres and generating plenty of publicity to help drive in business. Much of Latin America will see openings this coming week including Mexico and Brazil.

With box office down once again versus last year, 3D became a much smaller part of the picture this year. Last year, four of the top five films this weekend enjoyed 3D surcharges. But this frame, the top seven films were all presented in 2D only and just one new opener for the rest of the year will be a 3D one – Tintin.

Dropping from first place was the star-packed holiday comedy New Year’s Eve which fell a reasonable 43% to an estimated $7.4M giving Warner Bros. a mere $24.8M in ten days. A final gross near the $50M mark seems likely. Fellow underperforming sophomore comedy The Sitter tumbled 55% to an estimated $4.4M bumping its ten-day take to only $17.7M. Look for Fox to end its run with the Jonah Hill pic at $30M. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 followed with an estimated $4.3M, off 45%, putting Summit’s total at $266.4M.

Four films each squeezed into the $3-4M range filling up the rest of the slots in the top ten with estimates that were within $200,000 of each other. Final grosses to be reported on Monday should show a change in the chart positions.

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Taking seventh place, for now, was the Charlize Theron film Young Adult with an estimated $3.7M while expanding nationwide from eight to 986 theaters in its second weekend. Averaging a dull $3,702 per site, the $12M-budgeted Paramount release fell below the wide breaks of past end-of-year expansions for director Jason Reitman. His last film Up in the Air, also released by Paramount, fared much better with $11.3M and $5,947 average from 1,895 theaters over the Christmas holiday frame in 2009 while 2007’s Juno did $10.6M and a $10,436 average on the session in between Christmas and New Year’s. Both widened later in their runs in their fourth round. Paramount reported a projected 17% Saturday-to-Sunday decline for Young Adult which was very modest so the final gross and chart position may come out lower. Total stands at $4.1M including the limited run and a wider release is planned for January 13.

The studio’s acclaimed Martin Scorsese film Hugo, which earned three Golden Globe nominations including Best Picture and Best Director, dropped 40% to an estimated $3.6M giving the pricey train station saga $39.1M to date. With chipmunks stealing away kids, Arthur Christmas fell by its largest amount yet falling 45% to an estimated $3.6M giving Sony only $38.5M so far. The 3D toon grossed an additional $9.7M overseas this weekend to raise the international sum to $72.8M and global tally to $111.3M. Rounding out the top ten was Disney’s The Muppets with an estimated $3.5M, down 51%, for a $70.9M total.

With moviegoers about to get extended breaks from work and school this week, the marketplace is about to get awful crowded, awful fast. Studios are hoping to mine the riches as weekday sales will soon start to get stronger with an assortment of high-profile films hitting theaters in the coming days. Wednesday will see Sony release The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 2,800 locations while Paramount debuts Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin in 3,000 houses and expands Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol into a full wide release in 3,400 total sites. On Friday, Fox opens the Matt Damon starrer We Bought a Zoo in 3,000 theaters which will be followed on Sunday by the Christmas Day bows of Spielberg’s other offering War Horse from Disney in 2,300 and Summit’s suspense thriller The Darkest Hour in 2,200 locations. Plus, many awards contenders will open or expand throughout the next two weeks.

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Opening to good but not stellar results in platform release was the Sony Classics release Carnage with an estimated $86,000 from five houses for a $17,139 average. Based on the hit play about two sets of parents dealing with trouble between their kids, the Roman Polanski film starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, and Christoph Waltz earned good reviews but has not been a major player during awards season outside of its recent double Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress – Comedy or Musical for Foster and Winslet.

Other indie films continued to expand. The Focus thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy widened from four to 16 theaters and grossed an estimated $452,000 for a strong $28,250 average and $852,000 cume. The Artist, which led all films with six Globe nods, expanded slightly from 16 to 17 sites and collected an estimated $287,000 with a $16,882 average. The Weinstein Co. has taken in $1.3M so far.

David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method took in an estimated $159,000 from 17 playdates for a $9,353 average while the Michael Fassbender drama Shame averaged $5,980 with an estimated $305,000 from 51 locations. Totals stand at $728,000 and $1.2M, respectively.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $107M which was down 14% from last year when TRON: Legacy opened in the top spot with $44M; and down 15% from 2009 when Avatar debuted at number one with $77M.

This week at the movies, we’ve got a brilliant detective (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law), secret agents (Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, starring Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg), singing rodents (Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, starring Jason Lee and David Cross), and a prodigal daughter (Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt). What do the critics have to say?



Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

59%

Purists griped about the first Sherlock Holmes, but audiences didn’t seem to mind the famously logical detective in full on action mode. Critics say you’ll get more of the same with A Game of Shadows, a muscular, bombastic adventure that benefits greatly from a strong cast. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are back as Holmes and Watson, and this time they face their most formidable opponent: the nefarious Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), who spins a conspiracy to profit from political chaos. The pundits say A Game of Shadows is bigger but not necessarily better than the first movie, but it looks terrific, and Downey and Law make for a splendid odd couple at the center. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down producer Joel Silver’s best-reviewed films, as well as our gallery of Sherlock Holmes movies through the years.)



Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

93%

It appears that Pixar wizard Brad Bird has done the impossible, or at least the unlikely: critics say Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is not only the best entry in the franchise, it’s one of the finest blockbusters of the year, filled with exhilarating action sequences and memorable characters. The Impossible Missions Force has been falsely accused of bombing the Kremlin, so it’s up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his crew to go rogue and clear the organization of any wrongdoing — preferably while scaling skyscrapers in Dubai. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is light on plot, but the stunning set pieces and brisk pacing more than compensate.



Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

12%

Another year, another Alvin and the Chipmunks movie — and critics say Chipwrecked is as middling as its two predecessors, though the wee ones probably won’t mind. This time out, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore join David Seville (Jason Lee) and the Chipettes on a luxury cruise, where they make enough mischief to get themselves shipwrecked on a desert island that’s not as empty as it first appears. The pundits say Chipwrecked is a reasonably safe bet for undiscriminating children, but parents are unlikely to find much amusement in this juvenilia.



Young Adult

80%

Four years after the whip-smart, quirky Juno, director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody are back with the pitch-black Young Adult, and critics say it’s a sharp and occasionally painfully astute comedy. Charlize Theron stars as a former high school queen bee who, now pushing 40, returns to her hometown to get back together with an old flame (Patrick Wilson). Unfortunately for her, he’s happily married, though our heroine does end up bonding with another former classmate (Patton Oswalt) — one she treated badly despite his massive crush on her. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Young Adult is an intelligent and often very funny character study, one that’s so honest that it may make you cringe from time to time.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Joel Silver

This weekend, Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law return to theaters in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, reuniting the duo that sleuthed up more than $520 million in worldwide box office receipts during their 2009 debut. But it isn’t just Robert and Jude who deserve credit for all this blockbuster detecting — there’s a whole team behind Hollywood’s latest incarnation of Holmes and Watson, including director Guy Ritchie and screenwriters Kieran and Michele Mulroney (not to mention the characters’ creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). But today, we’re here to pay tribute to someone else: Joel Silver, a co-producer on the Holmes franchise and someone whose instinct for developing major movie hits has made him one of the industry’s most sought-after talents for the last 30 years. You know his name, you’ve seen it on the credits of countless films, and now it’s time to take a look at some of the most critically successful of the bunch. It’s time for Total Recall!


69%

10. Sherlock Holmes

Over 100 years after he made his debut on the printed page, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective got the big budget Joel Silver treatment in the aptly titled Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey, Jr. as the intrepid sleuth and Jude Law as his faithful sidekick Watson. Joined by Rachel McAdams as the mysterious Irene Adler and assisted by Guy Ritchie’s action-heavy direction, Holmes made solving 19th-century mysteries cool again — and entertained critics such as Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic, who wrote, “Playing literature’s greatest detective as a sort of self-loathing action hero, Downey has an absolute blast. And thanks to his performance in Sherlock Holmes, so do we.”


73%

9. V for Vendetta

The famously cantankerous Alan Moore disavowed the Hollywood version of his graphic novel, taking issue with the way the Wachowski-produced V for Vendetta used the political subtext of the book — which was written in the 1980s — to frame an argument against neoconservatism. And Moore probably had a point, too — but as hard as it is to begrudge an author his criticism of an adaptation of his work, it’s also easy to understand why the gripping, stylish Vendetta was a critical and commercial hit when it reached theaters in early 2006. James McTeigue’s direction is at its most thrilling here, and the Wachowskis’ script manages to incorporate thought-provoking themes with good old-fashioned action. And then there was Natalie Portman, who had her head shaved on camera for her role as Evey Hammond, the ordinary citizen driven to vigilantism by a totalitarian political regime (as well as some remarkably persuasive speeches from a masked, yet still utterly charismatic, Hugo Weaving). V for Vendetta was so dark, and so unapologetically political, that it’s still a little hard to believe it was a $100 million-plus hit — but it certainly didn’t hurt that it provoked eloquent praise from critics like Jonathan R. Perry of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, who wrote, “V screams loudly and long, with visceral, kinetic fury and with style to burn. It’s so brazen, it’s kind of brilliant.”


73%

8. The Matrix Reloaded

Four years after The Matrix earned $463 million at the box office, Silver and the Wachowskis got the band back together for The Matrix Reloaded, in which Neo (Keanu Reeves) starts getting to the bottom of the conspiracy that has enslaved humanity — and introduces audiences to the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) and Persephone (Monica Bellucci). Though it didn’t offer quite as many paradigm-shifting thrills as the original, Reloaded outgrossed the first installment by a few hundred million — and impressed critics like Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who wrote, “For sheer exhilarating spectacle, The Matrix Reloaded is the film to beat this year.”


82%

7. Predator

Like any great blockbuster producer, Silver knows how to smell a hit — and during the 1980s, that scent was Eau de Schwarzenegger. Silver and Ahnuld teamed up twice during the decade, and the results — Commando and Predator — are among any action fan’s favorites from the era. Here, Schwarzenegger must lead a team of tough-as-nails soldiers into the jungle on what’s believed to be a rescue mission for prisoners of war — but which quickly turns out to be a bloody fight against a dreadlocked interstellar hunter (played to perfection by the late, lamented Kevin Peter Hall). Silver’s pictures from the period tended to follow a certain formula, but at this point, familiarity hadn’t yet bred contempt — and anyway, if Predator lacks a surplus of moving parts, it does what it’s supposed to with cool precision. “It achieves a sort of sublime purity,” sighed an appreciative Tim Brayton for Antagony & Ecstacy. “It is Action Movie, nothing more and nothing less.”


82%

6. Lethal Weapon 2

After the immense success of 1987’s Lethal Weapon, and the enduring popularity of the buddy cop genre it helped define, it came as no surprise to anyone when a sequel surfaced two years later. What was shocking, however, was just how much fun Lethal Weapon 2 turned out to be. Boasting further opportunities for Gibson to test the limits of action-hero funny business as nutty LAPD sergeant Martin Riggs, some of the nastiest bad guys in any late 1980s action thriller, and rapid-fire comic relief in the form of Joe Pesci, the second Weapon flew in the face of conventional wisdom by scoring with filmgoers and critics alike. In fact, some preferred it to the original — including scribes like Brian Orndorf, who called it “One of the finest examples of the genre, and, in my humble estimation, one of the greatest sequels put to film. Perhaps deranged hyperbole, but rarely does a follow-up outgun the original film as swiftly as Lethal 2 does.”


86%

5. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

There’s no surefire way for an actor to guarantee that any given project will be a hit at the box office, but having Joel Silver attached certainly doesn’t hurt a movie’s chances for success. As evidenced by most of the other entries on this list, Silver is mostly known for his commercial instincts — which is why 2005’s Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, a skewed noir comedy directed and adapted by Shane Black (The Last Boy Scout) came as such a pleasant surprise for critics. Downey, who worked with Silver on 2003’s Gothika, is squarely in his wheelhouse here, starring as a two-bit hood who repeatedly breaks the fourth wall as he stumbles from one circumstance (accidentally landing a movie role) to another (discovering a murder mystery) while trading quips with the private investigator (Val Kilmer) who’s helping him research his character. Kiss Kiss saw only limited release during its brief theatrical run, but it earned high praise from the likes of the Washington Post’s Desson Howe, who called it “the first movie since 1994’s Pulp Fiction not just to understand movie violence as a pop cultural form… but to play it like a virtuoso violinist.”

88%

4. The Matrix

At the unlikely intersection of sci-fi, noir, and “whoa,” The Matrix postulated a future world in which sentient machines harvest energy from people housed in vast pod farms, with only a remarkably adept kung fu student named Neo (Keanu Reeves) standing between the human race and indefinite servitude. Taken as a whole, the trilogy might be uneven, but the Matrix movies blended sleek futurism, messy cyberpunk, and good old-fashioned action thrills with an original audacity that hasn’t been seen since. “If there has to be a quintessential film for the end of the millennium,” wrote Kevin N. Laforest of the Montreal Film Journal, “this is it.”


80%

3. Lethal Weapon

Movies had been making cash out of the male buddy dynamic for decades before Lethal Weapon came along, so it would be a mistake to call it groundbreaking, but it was still one of the more influential (and successful) action flicks of the late ’80s. Of course, that influence was partially felt through turkeys like Tango & Cash — not to mention Weapon‘s three uneven sequels — but let us focus here on the positive: Gibson and Glover have the easy chemistry of two old friends, Richard Donner’s direction is at its sleekest, Shane Black’s script combines laughs and thrills in equal measure, and Gibson’s mullet was never more exquisite. The role of mentally unstable cop Martin Riggs wasn’t really anything new for Gibson (Time’s Richard Schickel cracked that the movie was “Mad Max meets The Cosby Show“), but it put him squarely in his wheelhouse, and introduced filmgoers to one of the more interesting and complex characters in the genre. “From a distance, Lethal Weapon might appear generic,” wrote James Berardinelli of ReelViews, “but a closer look reveals something special.”


93%

2. 48 Hrs.

The movie that launched Eddie Murphy’s film career, Silver’s box office reign, and arguably the entire “buddy cop” genre, Walter Hill’s 48 Hrs. overcame a stint in turnaround and countless rewrites to become one of 1982’s biggest hits. A number of Murphy’s most memorable silver screen bits are here, including his impassioned rendition of the Police’s “Roxanne” and the classic scene where he stuns a bar full of rhinestone cowboys into submission; in fact, you could argue that the template for his entire early film career — and the “classic” Murphy whose disappearance we bemoan so frequently — was molded from the impression left by the wisecracking Reggie Hammond. It’s temping to wonder what might have been if 48 Hrs. had been made as the Clint Eastwood/Richard Pryor vehicle it started out as, but as Roger Ebert noted, this is a film that transcends its rather limited set of ingredients because of its stars: “The movie’s story is nothing to write home about. It’s pretty routine. What makes the movie special is how it’s made. Nolte and Murphy are good, and their dialogue is good, too — quirky and funny.”


94%

1. Die Hard

Later installments in the series may have taken the title a little too seriously, but when Die Hard debuted in 1988, it represented a return to reality of sorts for the action thriller genre. Unlike increasingly bulbous action heroes like Stallone and Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis looked like a fairly average guy — and he acted pretty much the way you’d expect a good cop to act if he were trapped in a skyscraper with a pack of terrorists, which is to say he was bleeding, confused, and frightened for most of the movie. Audiences, meanwhile, were thoroughly entertained — and so were critics like the New York Times’ Caryn James, who wrote, “The scenes move with such relentless energy and smashing special-effects extravagance that Die Hard turns out to be everything action-genre fans, and Bruce Willis’s relieved investors, might have hoped for.”


In case you were wondering, here are Silver’s top 10 movies according RT users’ scores:

1. Die Hard — 91%
2. V for Vendetta — 88%
3. Predator — 83%
4. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang — 83%
5. The Matrix — 81%
6. Sherlock Holmes — 81%
7. Lethal Weapon — 81%
8. Lethal Weapon 2 — 75%
9. The Matrix Reloaded — 74%
10. RocknRolla — 72%


Take a look through Silver’s complete filmography, as well as the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don’t forget to check out the reviews for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Finally, here’s a star-studded tribute to Silver, who was named 1990 Producer of the Year by the National Association of Theater Owners:

2011’s been a wildcard for movies, hasn’t it? A Fast and Furious movie reached Certified Fresh status, Cars 2 broke Pixar’s 16-year fresh streak, a Woody Allen movie has been on the charts for 26 consecutive weeks, and somehow satin jackets became cool again.

And the year’s not over yet! The 2011 holiday season promises some big game changers, including the next in the Twilight phenomenon, Breaking Dawn – Part 1, two Steven Spielberg flicks, a crowd-pleasing black-and-white silent movie, and the return of Sherlock Holmes, Ethan Hunt, and the frickin’ Muppets!

So grab some popcorn and get close to the warming glow of the silver screen as Rotten Tomatoes takes you on a tour through the rest of the year with our 2011 Holiday Movie Preview!

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