(Photo by DreamWorks Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

All George Clooney Movies Ranked

Having the #1 TV show to fall back on when starting a movie career was a good thing for George Clooney, especially when he was alternately starring in groovy, off-beat genre flicks (From Dusk till Dawn, Out of Sight) and helping destroy a comic book franchise (Batman & Robin). But by 1999, Clooney was ready to cut the cord on ER, paving the way for immediate movie breakthroughs in comedy (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), blockbusters (Ocean’s Eleven), and even as a director himself, with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which we’re including on this list because he also stars.

As seen beginning with Confessions, the cross-section of politics and media would be a driving concern for Clooney’s acting choices, such as Syriana, Michael Clayton, The Ides of March, Money Monster, and Good Night, and Good Luck. Yet he also switches to the broad buffoon with ease, especially with the Coen brothers, as in O Brother, Burn After Reading, and Hail, Caesar!. Somewhere in between this Bawdy George and Serious George, you’ll find material that has drawn Clooney some of his highest marks: Fantastic Mr. Fox, Up In the Air, and The Descendants, the latter two for which he was Best Actor Oscar-nominated.

Up until directing himself in 2020’s The Midnight Sky, Clooney hadn’t appeared in a narrative feature since 2016. Meanwhile, he got top billing in Grizzly II: Revenge, a film shot in 1983 that wasn’t completed and released until 2021. Will the movie finally restore Clooney’s rightful original career path as horror movie maven? We’ll just have to wait an see — until then, we’re looking back on all George Clooney movies, ranked by Tomatometer!

#36
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The insane Dr. Gangrene develops a new strain of violent vegetable in this sequel to the 1977 cult classic.... [More]
Directed By: John De Bello

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 8271%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: All hell breaks loose when a 15-ft grizzly bear, reacting to the slaughter of her cub by poachers, seeks revenge... [More]
Directed By: Andre Szots

#34

Batman & Robin (1997)
12%

#34
Adjusted Score: 17028%
Critics Consensus: Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for.
Synopsis: This superhero adventure finds Batman (George Clooney) and his partner, Robin (Chris O'Donnell), attempting to the foil the sinister schemes... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 40936%
Critics Consensus: Its intentions are noble and its cast is impressive, but neither can compensate for The Monuments Men's stiffly nostalgic tone and curiously slack narrative.
Synopsis: During World War II, the Nazis steal countless pieces of art and hide them away. Some over-the-hill art scholars, historians,... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#32

The Good German (2006)
34%

#32
Adjusted Score: 39241%
Critics Consensus: Though Steven Soderbergh succeeds in emulating the glossy look of 1940s noirs, The Good German ultimately ends up as a self-conscious exercise in style that forgets to develop compelling characters.
Synopsis: Jake Geismar (George Clooney), an Army correspondent, helps his former lover, Lena Brandt (Cate Blanchett), comb post-World War II Berlin... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 50982%
Critics Consensus: While the special effects are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers from any actual drama or characterization. The end result is a film that offers nifty eye-candy and nothing else.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, the film tells of the courageous men and women who risk their lives every working... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#30

Tomorrowland (2015)
50%

#30
Adjusted Score: 61476%
Critics Consensus: Ambitious and visually stunning, Tomorrowland is unfortunately weighted down by uneven storytelling.
Synopsis: Whenever Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) touches a lapel pin with the letter T on it, she finds herself transported to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#29

The Midnight Sky (2020)
50%

#29
Adjusted Score: 67215%
Critics Consensus: The Midnight Sky lacks the dramatic heft to match its narrative scale, but its flaws are often balanced by thoughtful themes and a poignant performance from director-star George Clooney.
Synopsis: A lone scientist in the Arctic races to contact a crew of astronauts returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#28
Adjusted Score: 58922%
Critics Consensus: Though The Men Who Stare at Goats is a mostly entertaining, farcical glimpse of men at war, some may find its satire and dark humor less than edgy.
Synopsis: Struggling reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) gets the scoop of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), who... [More]
Directed By: Grant Heslov

#27

One Fine Day (1996)
51%

#27
Adjusted Score: 52506%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Melanie Parker (Michelle Pfeiffer) is an architect who needs to give a very important presentation. Jack Taylor (George Clooney) is... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#26

Leatherheads (2008)
52%

#26
Adjusted Score: 57622%
Critics Consensus: Despite a good premise and strong cast, this pro football romcom is half screwball and half fumble.
Synopsis: Dodge Connolly (George Clooney), captain of a 1920s football team, wants to give the sagging sport a boost and capture... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#25

Ocean's Twelve (2004)
54%

#25
Adjusted Score: 60689%
Critics Consensus: While some have found the latest star-studded heist flick to be a fun, glossy star vehicle, others declare it's lazy, self-satisfied and illogical.
Synopsis: After successfully robbing five casinos in one night, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his crew of thieves have big problems.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 56540%
Critics Consensus: Contains some funny moments, but it's still a very lightweight comedy.
Synopsis: Five hapless misfits from the hard-luck streets of Cleveland band together to try and pull off the greatest job they've... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#23

Money Monster (2016)
59%

#23
Adjusted Score: 77023%
Critics Consensus: Money Monster's strong cast and solidly written story ride a timely wave of socioeconomic anger that's powerful enough to overcome an occasionally muddled approach to its worthy themes.
Synopsis: Lee Gates is a Wall Street guru who picks hot stocks as host of the television show "Money Monster." Suddenly,... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 64581%
Critics Consensus: A pulpy crime drama/vampire film hybrid, From Dusk Till Dawn is an uneven but often deliriously enjoyable B-movie.
Synopsis: On the run from a bank robbery that left several police officers dead, Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and his paranoid,... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#21

The American (2010)
66%

#21
Adjusted Score: 73593%
Critics Consensus: As beautifully shot as it is emotionally restrained, The American is an unusually divisive spy thriller -- and one that rests on an unusually subdued performance from George Clooney.
Synopsis: When an assignment in Sweden ends badly, master assassin Jack (George Clooney) retreats to the Italian countryside with the intention... [More]
Directed By: Anton Corbijn

#20

Solaris (2002)
66%

#20
Adjusted Score: 72962%
Critics Consensus: Slow-moving, cerebral, and ambiguous, Solaris is not a movie for everyone, but it offers intriguing issues to ponder.
Synopsis: Based on the classic science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem, "Solaris" centers on a psychologist (George Clooney) sent to investigate... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#19

Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
69%

#19
Adjusted Score: 77666%
Critics Consensus: Ocean's Thirteen reverts to the formula of the first installment, and the result is another slick and entertaining heist film.
Synopsis: Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang hatch an ambitious plot for revenge after ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#18

Syriana (2005)
73%

#18
Adjusted Score: 79849%
Critics Consensus: Ambitious, complicated, intellectual, and demanding of its audience, Syriana is both a gripping geopolitical thriller and wake-up call to the complacent.
Synopsis: The Middle Eastern oil industry is the backdrop of this tense drama, which weaves together numerous story lines. Bennett Holiday... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Gaghan

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 81382%
Critics Consensus: Though more mainstream than other Coen films, there are still funny oddball touches, and Clooney and Zeta-Jones sizzle like old-time movie stars.
Synopsis: Miles Massey (George Clooney) is an exceptional divorce lawyer who specializes in saving cheating husbands from having to pay expensive... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 88209%
Critics Consensus: With Burn After Reading, the Coen Brothers have crafted another clever comedy/thriller with an outlandish plot and memorable characters.
Synopsis: When a disc containing memoirs of a former CIA analyst (John Malkovich) falls into the hands of Linda Litzke (Frances... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#15
Adjusted Score: 82824%
Critics Consensus: Though not as good as Coen brothers' classics such as Blood Simple, the delightfully loopy O Brother, Where Art Thou? is still a lot of fun.
Synopsis: Ulysses Everett McGill (George Clooney) is having difficulty adjusting to his hard-labor sentence in Mississippi. He scams his way off... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#14
Adjusted Score: 83261%
Critics Consensus: Rockwell is spot-on as Barris, and Clooney directs with entertaining style and flair.
Synopsis: Game show television producer Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) is at the height of his career. His creation, "The Dating Game,"... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 85726%
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

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 92727%
Critics Consensus: While not exactly exposing revelatory truths, The Ides of March is supremely well-acted drama that moves at a measured, confident clip.
Synopsis: As Ohio's Democratic primary nears, charming Gov. Mike Morris (George Clooney) seems a shoo-in for the nomination over his opponent,... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#11

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
83%

#11
Adjusted Score: 90209%
Critics Consensus: As fast-paced, witty, and entertaining as it is star-studded and coolly stylish, Ocean's Eleven offers a well-seasoned serving of popcorn entertainment.
Synopsis: Dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#10

Hail, Caesar! (2016)
85%

#10
Adjusted Score: 108008%
Critics Consensus: Packed with period detail and perfectly cast, Hail, Caesar! finds the Coen brothers delivering an agreeably lightweight love letter to post-war Hollywood.
Synopsis: In the early 1950s, Eddie Mannix is busy at work trying to solve all the problems of the actors and... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#9

The Descendants (2011)
87%

#9
Adjusted Score: 96589%
Critics Consensus: Funny, moving, and beautifully acted, The Descendants captures the unpredictable messiness of life with eloquence and uncommon grace.
Synopsis: Native islander Matt King (George Clooney) lives with his family in Hawaii. Their world shatters when a tragic accident leaves... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Payne

#8

Up in the Air (2009)
90%

#8
Adjusted Score: 102108%
Critics Consensus: Led by charismatic performances by its three leads, director Jason Reitman delivers a smart blend of humor and emotion with just enough edge for mainstream audiences.
Synopsis: An idea from a young, new co-worker (Anna Kendrick) would put an end to the constant travel of corporate downsizer... [More]
Directed By: Jason Reitman

#7

Michael Clayton (2007)
91%

#7
Adjusted Score: 98809%
Critics Consensus: Michael Clayton is one of the most sharply scripted films of 2007, with an engrossing premise and faultless acting. Director Tony Gilroy succeeds not only in capturing the audience's attention, but holding it until the credits roll.
Synopsis: Former prosecutor Michael Clayton (George Clooney) works as a "fixer" at the corporate law firm of Kenner, Bach and Ledeen,... [More]
Directed By: Tony Gilroy

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 102151%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Mr. Fox is a delightfully funny feast for the eyes with multi-generational appeal -- and it shows Wes Anderson has a knack for animation.
Synopsis: After 12 years of bucolic bliss, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) and raids... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#5
Adjusted Score: 102101%
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

#4

Out of Sight (1998)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 97885%
Critics Consensus: Steven Soderbergh's intelligently crafted adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel is witty, sexy, suprisingly entertaining, and a star-making turn for George Clooney.
Synopsis: Meet Jack Foley (George Clooney), the most successful bank robber in the country. On the day he busts out of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#3

Three Kings (1999)
94%

#3
Adjusted Score: 98635%
Critics Consensus: Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.
Synopsis: Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#2

Gravity (2013)
96%

#2
Adjusted Score: 109985%
Critics Consensus: Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity is an eerie, tense sci-fi thriller that's masterfully directed and visually stunning.
Synopsis: Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. Her commander is veteran astronaut Matt... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#1

Fail Safe (2000)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 22155%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During the 1960s, a computer error in Nebraska unwittingly sets off a perilous chain of events leading to a Cold... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

Maybe it’s because it’s the end of the year, and the assumption is that most of the gift-giving is done and over with, but this week brings us precious few choices in home video. First off, we’ve got the latest George Clooney vehicle, in which he plays a contemplative international operative. Then, we’ve got the latest in a popular video game-based franchise. To round things out, there are also a couple of poorly reviewed dramas, one starring a former WWE star and one from Joel Schumacher. The majority of the remaining choices are direct-to-dvd releases, so we limited our list to new titles. Have at it, and we’ll see you next year!



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Resident Evil: Afterlife

Resident Evil has proven to be one of the more successful video game-based film franchises, spawning something of a cult following for its horror-infused action extravaganzas. Earlier this year, director Paul W.S. Anderson and stars Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter returned for the fourth installment of the series, Resident Evil: Afterlife, which boasted the use of 3D technology developed by James Cameron. This purported final chapter sees Jovovich’s heroine, Alice, teaming up once again with Larter’s Claire Redfield to lead a band of survivors to a mobile safe haven known as Arcadia. Now, none of the previous Resident Evil films has received anything higher than a 34% Tomatometer score, and Afterlife continues this trend, but chances are, if you’re a fan of the series, you’re probably not going to care what the critics said about it anyway. Expect nothing more than plenty of zombie-killing and big, spectacular action set pieces and you’re probably sure to find enough to enjoy.



[tomatometer]MovieId=771202361[/tomatometer]

The American

If you go into The American expecting a fast-paced, action-packed spy thriller, prepare to be disappointed. If, however, you’re in the market for an ennui-laden, moody character study – the kind that Michelangelo Antonioni made in his prime – you might find The American to be a cool, intelligent throwback. George Clooney stars as an assassin who decamps in rural Italy after a particularly gruesome hit. There, he befriends a kindly priest and romances a mysterious woman – but can he really hide from his past? Though Fresh, The American drew mixed notices from critics, who admired director Anton Corbijn’s sleek aesthetics and atmospherics, but decried the film’s slow pace. The DVD contains a featurette on the making of the film, plus audio commentary and deleted scenes.



[tomatometer]MovieId=771201796[/tomatometer]

Legendary

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson capitalized on the star power he amassed in the WWE to embark on a successful film career, so it’s only natural that some of his former colleagues might attempt to do the same. Unfortunately, John Cena hasn’t been able to achieve quite the same level of success that Johnson has, starring mostly in poorly-reviewed action flicks. Enter Legendary, a more “serious” film whose story somewhat mirrors that of recent hit The Fighter. Cena plays Mike Chetley, a former wrestling champ who’s become estranged from his widowed mother and younger brother after a car accident claims the life of his father. In an attempt to pull his family back together, the younger sibling, Cal (Devon Graye), joins his high school wrestling team, hoping that Mike will return to train him. Though the film boasts the talents of Patricia Clarkson and Danny Glover in supporting roles, critics were so unimpressed by the heavily formulaic story that it managed to earn only a paltry 17% Tomatometer score. Not the best showing for all involved, but for better or for worse, it’s available on home video this week.



[tomatometer]MovieId=770807479[/tomatometer]

Twelve

Joel Schumacher is something of an enigma as a director. He’s helmed a couple of nostalgic ’80s classics like St. Elmo’s Fire and The Lost Boys, a couple of decently-reviewed John Grisham adaptations, thrillers like Falling Down, and even a version of The Phantom of the Opera… And then there’s the oft-criticized entries in the Batman franchise, which are so infamous for being terrible that they’ve virtually overshadowed all his past successes. Well, don’t expect that to change with Twelve, a bleak look at the lives of privileged high schoolers in New York that critics found so shallow and soulless that they saw fit to reward it with a paltry 4% on the Tomatometer. Chace Crawford is White Mike, son of a wealthy restauranteur who spends his free time dealing drugs to his classmates, and Emma Roberts plays Mike’s gal pal from the poorer side of town; they’re surrounded by a bevy of rich ne’er-do-wells who engage in all the shockingly naughty activities we’ve come to expect from films like this. Unfortunately, Twelve, based on a novel by Nick McDonell, suffers from comparisons to films adapted from Bret Easton Ellis novels (Less than Zero, American Psycho) and ultimately falls flat in its efforts to present a thoughtful look at teenage delinquency.

Written by Ryan Fujitani and Tim Ryan

This weekend, the summer movie season closed quietly as the top ten slumped to its worst performance of 2010 with audiences finding other ways to spend their Labor Day holiday weekend. Two of the three new releases — George Clooney’s assassin pic The American and Robert Rodriguez’s violent revenge actioner Machete — met with moderate bows while Drew Barrymore’s romantic comedy Going the Distance failed to attract business. The top ten films tumbled to less than $75M (over the Friday-to-Sunday period) making for the lowest performance in nearly one year giving the marketplace very little momentum going into the fall season.

For the first time in his career, George Clooney anchored a number one hit movie all by himself as the Focus release The American shot to the top with an estimated $16.4M in ticket sales over the four-day Friday-to-Monday holiday frame. The R-rated drama averaged a decent $5,808 from 2,823 theaters over four days and has grossed $19.5M in the six days since its Wednesday launch. The Oscar-winning actor has reached the top spot numerous times but always when surrounded by other major stars like with the Ocean’s series or The Perfect Storm. The Friday-to-Sunday gross for the modest $20M production was $13.1M for a $4,650 average.



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With the box office filled with films catering to teens and young adults, The American scored by playing to a more mature crowd. Autumn releases typically skew older so the Italy-set film was the appropriate choice to end off summer and welcome in the fall. The last time the chart was topped by such a low gross was Labor Day 2009 and the last film to open at number one with a smaller gross was Bangkok Dangerous with $7.8M two years ago over the September 5-7 session.

After winning the box office race on Friday, Fox’s Mexploitation actioner Machete finished in second place over the long four-day weekend with an estimated $14M. Robert Rodriguez’s Danny Trejo-led action-comedy played in 2,670 sites and averaged a mediocre $5,243 per location over the long weekend. Over three days, the gross was $11.4M while the average was $4,279. The performance was almost identical to the $11.6M opening and $4,419 average of 2007’s Grindhouse which featured a fake trailer for Machete which became the inspiration for the campy feature film.



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Holding up relatively well in its second weekend, the crime thriller Takers dropped to third with an estimated $13.5M falling 47% from its top spot debut when comparing the three-day periods. Sony’s PG-13 offering has taken in a better-than-expected $40M in its first 11 days of release and could be looking at a final take of around $60M.

Tumbling 64% from its impressive debut last weekend, the fright flick The Last Exorcism took fourth place with an estimated $8.8M in ticket sales. Lionsgate has scared up a solid $33.6M in 11 days and looks headed for a $42-45M finish.



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Audiences showed no interest in Drew Barrymore’s latest romantic comedy Going the Distance which opened poorly in fifth place with an estimated $8.6M over four days. The R-rated pic about a couple trying to make a long distance relationship work averaged a weak $2,842 from 3,030 theaters. Co-starring Justin Long, the Warner Bros. release enjoyed the most theaters of any new release over the past two weeks, but also suffered the worst debut. Reviews were generally negative and the strict rating kept out younger teens. The Friday-to-Sunday take was only $6.9M.

The rest of the top ten was filled with holdovers that moviegoers were busy catching up on after a long hot summer. All dropped by 30% or less when comparing Friday-to-Sunday sessions. Lionsgate’s The Expendables grossed an estimated $8.5M, off 30%, raising the cume to $94.1M. Sony followed with its pair of late summer star-driven hits The Other Guys and Eat Pray Love which took in estimates of $6.7M and $6.3M, respectively. The Will Ferrell action-comedy dipped only 16% lifting the total to $108.1M while the Julia Roberts travel journal fell 30% and has banked $70.4M to date.



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Summer’s biggest non-sequel Inception eased by a scant 7% to an estimated $5.9M and has collected $278.4M thus far for Warner Bros. Rounding out the top ten was Universal’s family comedy Nanny McPhee Returns Returns with an estimated $4.7M, down 26%, and a disappointing $23.5M overall.

With the season coming to an end, the following are the top ten blockbusters of Summer 2010: Toy Story 3 ($408.8M), Iron Man 2 ($312.1M), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($298.8M), Inception ($278.4M), Despicable Me ($241.3M), Shrek Forever After ($238.4M), The Karate Kid ($175.9M), Grown Ups ($159.4M), The Last Airbender ($131.1M), and Salt ($115.6M).

The top ten films grossed an estimated $93.2M over four days which was off 3% from the long Labor Day weekend last year when The Final Destination remained in the top spot with $15.3M; but up 9% from 2008’s holiday which fell a week earlier when Tropic Thunder stayed at number one for the third week in a row with $14.6M.

Written by Gitesh Pandya of Box Office Guru.

This week at the movies, we’ve got one tough Mexican (Machete, starring Danny Trejo and Jessica Alba), long-distance lovers (Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long), and a lonely assassin (The American, starring George Clooney and Thekla Reuten). What do the critics have to say?



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Machete

Machete started as a trailer for a fake movie, then became a real movie. It’s a curious route to the multiplex, but critics say this old-school exploitation flick largely delivers – if you’re in the mood some sleazy fun with zero pretense. Danny Trejo stars as the title character, a migrant worker who’s enlisted to assassinate a firebrand politician before being double-crossed. Will he get the women? Will he kill the bad guys? The pundits say Robert Rodriguez’ latest excursion into grindhouse territory isn’t particularly profound, but it’s a trashy good time, loaded with wildly violent action and gloriously disreputable kicks.



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Going the Distance

It’s a modern conundrum that many face: what do you do when you meet the person of your dreams — right before they relocate to a new city? It’s a concept that Going the Distance attempts to address, but unfortunately, critics say this so-so romantic comedy is light on substance and relies too heavily on the natural charm of its leads. Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star as two thirtysomethings on the verge of couplehood, but with a major stumbling block – she’s on the verge of moving to San Francisco. Can true love triumph over geographic obstacles? The pundits say Going the Distance benefits greatly from the charm of Barrymore and Long, but it’s bogged down by raunchy dialogue and pop-culture references that undercuts the basic sweetness of the story. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down Barrymore’s best-reviewed movies.)



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The American

For good or ill, The American is certainly not your typical tale of international intrigue. Critics say you shouldn’t go into this tale of a lone-wolf contract killer expecting a slam-bang action-fest — it’s a minimalist, existential spy picture, at once beautifully shot and emotionally remote. George Clooney stars as a skilled assassin who sequesters himself in the Italian countryside; soon he’s sharing friendship with a local priest – and romance with a mysterious woman. But do such entanglements violate the assassin’s code? The pundits say that while The American is sophisticated and well-acted, it’s also likely to divide audiences: some will find its languid pace to be tense and hypnotic, while others may be bored stiff.


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Last Train Home, a documentary on the plight of the nearly 130 million migrant workers in China, is at 100 percent.

  • Our Beloved Month of August, a mix of documentary and narrative filmmaking that finds a director shooting footage at music festivals while attempting to make feature film, is at 100 percent.

  • Prince of Broadway, which follows the trials and tribulations of two men trying to hustle a living in New York City’s wholesale fashion district, is at 100 percent.

  • My Dog Tulip, an animated film that chronicles the 14-year relationship between a man and his dog, is at 91 percent.

  • Mesrine: Public Enemy #1, the second installment of a two-part biopic of the legendary French criminal, is Certified Fresh at 81 percent.

  • Max Manus, a biopic about a Norwegian World War II resistance fighter, is at 72 percent.

  • White Wedding, a comedy about the misadventures of a groom attempting to get to his wedding on time, is at 50 percent.

  • The Winning Season, starring Sam Rockwell and Emma Roberts in the tale of a down-on-his luck guy who becomes a girls’ high school basketball coach, is at 50 percent.

  • Zhang Yimou’s A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop, a remake of the Coens’ Blood Simple set in China, is at 36 percent.

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