(Photo by Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)

All Viola Davis Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

After a decade of bit parts, many of them within the gainful employ of Steven Soderbergh’s production company, Viola Davis broke into the mainstream with a movie-stealing turn – and from Meryl Streep! – in 2008’s Catholic Church child abuse drama Doubt. Davis has all of 10 minutes of screen time in Doubt but earned an Oscar nomination for her work, joining the likes of Ruby Dee for American Gangster or Ned Beatty for Network of Oscar nominees who made the most out of their single-scene appearances. Yet, Davis forms Doubt’s emotional pillar, powerfully delivering social and cultural history that further obfuscates the film’s central mystery.

Davis has been releasing multiple movies a year ever since, frequently playing women of power or high up in their professions, in the likes of Law Abiding Citizen, Knight & Day, Ender’s Game, and Suicide Squad, as Amanda Waller, one of that movie’s rare bright spots. And Davis has frequently reached the same heights as Doubt in Certified Fresh films like Widows, The Help (receiving a Lead Actress nomination), and Fences, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. Davis got another Lead Actress nom for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and she returned as Waler for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. And now, we’re ranking all Viola Davis movies by Tomatometer!

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 31373%
Critics Consensus: Unnecessarily violent and unflinchingly absurd, Law Abiding Citizen is plagued by subpar acting and a story that defies reason.
Synopsis: Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is an honorable family man, until the day his wife and daughter are murdered in a... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#24

Suicide Squad (2016)
26%

#24
Adjusted Score: 50932%
Critics Consensus: Suicide Squad boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they aren't enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing.
Synopsis: Figuring they're all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

#23
Adjusted Score: 29367%
Critics Consensus: Divided between sincere melodrama and populist comedy, Madea Goes to Jail fails to provide enough laughs -- or screen time -- for its titular heroine.
Synopsis: After a high-speed car chase, Madea (Tyler Perry) winds up behind bars because her quick temper gets the best of... [More]
Directed By: Tyler Perry

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 35053%
Critics Consensus: Derivative and schmaltzy, Nicholas Sparks' Nights in Rodanthe is strongly mottled by contrivances that even the charisma of stars Diane Lane and Richard Gere can't repair.
Synopsis: When Adrienne Willis (Diane Lane) arrives at the coastal town of Rodanthe, N.C., her life is in chaos. There, she... [More]
Directed By: George C. Wolfe

#21

Blackhat (2015)
32%

#21
Adjusted Score: 39561%
Critics Consensus: Thematically timely but dramatically inert, Blackhat strands Chris Hemsworth in a muddled misfire from director Michael Mann.
Synopsis: After a Hong Kong nuclear plant and the Mercantile Trade Exchange in Chicago are hacked by unknown perpetrators, a federal... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#20

Won't Back Down (2012)
35%

#20
Adjusted Score: 38042%
Critics Consensus: Despite the best efforts of its talented leads, Won't Back Down fails to lend sufficient dramatic heft or sophistication to the hot-button issue of education reform.
Synopsis: Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and Nona Alberts (Viola Davis) are two women from opposites sides of the social and economic... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Barnz

#19

Eat Pray Love (2010)
36%

#19
Adjusted Score: 43828%
Critics Consensus: The scenery is nice to look at, and Julia Roberts is as luminous as ever, but without the spiritual and emotional weight of the book that inspired it, Eat Pray Love is too shallow to resonate.
Synopsis: Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) thought she had everything she wanted in life: a home, a husband and a successful career.... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Murphy

#18

Lila & Eve (2015)
40%

#18
Adjusted Score: 40793%
Critics Consensus: Lila & Eve gets some mileage out of its formidable stars, with Viola Davis in particular proving that she will commandingly commit to any material, but this is a revenge flick served stale due to a lackluster script.
Synopsis: After the senseless murder of her son (Aml Ameen), a grief-stricken mother (Viola Davis) joins forces with another woman (Jennifer... [More]
Directed By: Charles Stone III

#17
Adjusted Score: 52947%
Critics Consensus: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close has a story worth telling, but it deserves better than the treacly and pretentious treatment director Stephen Daldry gives it.
Synopsis: Oskar (Thomas Horn), who lost his father (Tom Hanks) in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, is convinced... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Daldry

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 54228%
Critics Consensus: Charming romantic leads and esteemed supporting cast aside, Beautiful Creatures is a plodding YA novel adaptation that feels watered down for the Twilight set.
Synopsis: In the small town of Gatlin, S.C., teenage Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) sees his static world shaken by the arrival... [More]
Directed By: Richard LaGravenese

#15

Knight and Day (2010)
52%

#15
Adjusted Score: 61800%
Critics Consensus: It's pure formula, but thanks to its breezy pace and a pair of charming performances from Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Knight and Day offers some agreeably middle-of-the-road summer action.
Synopsis: June Havens (Cameron Diaz) chats up her charming seatmate on a flight out of Kansas, but she doesn't realize that... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#14
Adjusted Score: 62870%
Critics Consensus: It's amiable, and it does a surprisingly good job of sidestepping psych ward comedy cliches, but given its talented cast and directors, It's Kind of a Funny Story should be more than just mildly entertaining.
Synopsis: Stressed by adolescence, 16-year-old Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist) checks himself into a mental-health clinic. Unfortunately, the youth wing is closed,... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#13

Ender's Game (2013)
62%

#13
Adjusted Score: 71284%
Critics Consensus: If it isn't quite as thought-provoking as the book, Ender's Game still manages to offer a commendable number of well-acted, solidly written sci-fi thrills.
Synopsis: When hostile aliens called the Formics attack Earth, only the legendary heroics of Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) manage to attain... [More]
Directed By: Gavin Hood

#12
Adjusted Score: 68368%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is a hauntingly original rumination on love and loss.
Synopsis: Following the death of their child, a woman (Jessica Chastain) leaves her husband (James McAvoy) and flees to the suburban... [More]
Directed By: Ned Benson

#11

Troop Zero (2019)
68%

#11
Adjusted Score: 70828%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a charming cast and infectious energy, Troop Zero is more than the sum of its instantly familiar parts.
Synopsis: Misfit Birdie Scouts enter a national competition.... [More]
Directed By: Bert & Bertie

#10

The Help (2011)
76%

#10
Adjusted Score: 85991%
Critics Consensus: Though it fails to fully engage with its racial themes, The Help rises on the strength of its cast -- particularly Viola Davis, whose performance is powerful enough to carry the film on its own.
Synopsis: In 1960s Mississippi, Southern society girl Skeeter (Emma Stone) returns from college with dreams of being a writer. She turns... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#9

Trust (2010)
79%

#9
Adjusted Score: 79843%
Critics Consensus: Director David Schwimmer gets some gut-wrenching performances out of his actors but he still lacks the chops to fully ratchet up story tension.
Synopsis: A man (Clive Owen) has difficulty coping with the knowledge that his 14-year-daughter (Liana Liberato) was assaulted by a sexual... [More]
Directed By: David Schwimmer

#8

Doubt (2008)
79%

#8
Adjusted Score: 89180%
Critics Consensus: Doubt succeeds on the strength of its top-notch cast, who successfully guide the film through the occasional narrative lull.
Synopsis: In 1964 the winds of change are sweeping through Sister Aloysius' (Meryl Streep) St. Nicholas school. Father Flynn (Philip Seymour... [More]
Directed By: John Patrick Shanley

#7

Get On Up (2014)
80%

#7
Adjusted Score: 87130%
Critics Consensus: With an unforgettable Chadwick Boseman in the starring role, Get On Up offers the Godfather of Soul a fittingly dynamic homage.
Synopsis: James Brown (Chadwick Boseman) was born in extreme poverty in 1933 South Carolina and survived abandonment, abuse and jail to... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#6

Prisoners (2013)
81%

#6
Adjusted Score: 90373%
Critics Consensus: Prisoners has an emotional complexity and a sense of dread that makes for absorbing (and disturbing) viewing.
Synopsis: Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) faces a parent's worst nightmare when his 6-year-old daughter, Anna, and her friend go missing. The... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#5

State of Play (2009)
84%

#5
Adjusted Score: 93108%
Critics Consensus: A taut, well-acted political thriller, State of Play overcomes some unsubtle plot twists with an intelligent script and swift direction.
Synopsis: Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is a rising star in Washington; handsome, unflappable and seemingly honorable, he's seen as his... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 110199%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths.
Synopsis: Welcome to hell--a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#3

Widows (2018)
91%

#3
Adjusted Score: 116965%
Critics Consensus: Widows rounds up a stellar ensemble for a heist thriller that mixes popcorn entertainment with a message - and marks another artistic leap for director Steve McQueen.
Synopsis: A police shootout leaves four thieves dead during an explosive armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their widows -- Veronica, Linda,... [More]
Directed By: Steve McQueen

#2

Fences (2016)
92%

#2
Adjusted Score: 107968%
Critics Consensus: From its reunited Broadway stars to its screenplay, the solidly crafted Fences finds its Pulitzer-winning source material fundamentally unchanged -- and still just as powerful.
Synopsis: Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a... [More]
Directed By: Denzel Washington

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 118333%
Critics Consensus: Framed by a pair of powerhouse performances, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom pays affectionate tribute to a blues legend -- and Black culture at large.
Synopsis: Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians... [More]
Directed By: George C. Wolfe

(Photo by Marvel Studios / Disney, 20th Century Fox, Miramax, TriStar)

For their bravery, wit, general badassery, and unbroken spirit in the face of enormous challenges (be they gender discrimination or acid-hissing aliens), we pay tribute to 87 Fearless Movie Women Who Inspire Us.

How did we arrive at our top 87? With the help of a fearless panel of women critics made up of some of the best writers in the industry, including a few on the Rotten Tomatoes staff. Starting with a long list of candidates, they whittled down the list to an initial set of 72 amazingly heroic characters and ordered them, crowning the most fearless woman movie hero in the process. Want to know more about the ladies who voted? We included their bios at the end! Then, in addition to their contributions, which make up the bulk of the list, we also added a handful of more recent entries chosen by the RT staff.

The final list (you can watch every movie in a special FandangoNOW collection) gives compelling insight into which heroes have resonated through the years, women whose big-screen impact remains even as the times change. We have the usual suspects along with plenty of surprises (Working Girl, your day has come!), and the only way to discover them all is reading on for the 87 fearless women movie heroes — and groups of heroes — who inspire us!


ALIEN, Sigourney Weaver, 1979, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

 

Alien (1979) 98%

#1One of the appeals of science-fiction is the luxury to comment on modern issues and social mores, or even eschew them completely. Take a look at the diverse space crews in Star Trek, Sunshine, or Alien, where people are hired based on nothing but competence, and none have proven their competence under extreme pressure as well as Ellen Ripley. She’s tough, pragmatic, and cunning in Alien. Journey with Ripley into Aliens and we get to see her in a new light: mothering and nurturing with hints of deep empathy (Sigourney Weaver was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for this performance), which only makes the Xenomorph-stomping side of her even more badass.


WORKING GIRL, Melanie Griffith, 1988 (20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

 

Working Girl (1988) 84%

#2And on the other side of the Sigourney spectrum, Weaver here plays Katharine, a particular kind of woman who’s nasty to the competition: other women. The object of her scorn is her secretary, Tess McGill (played by Melanie Griffith), who has her great ideas stolen by Katharine. The plucky Tess in turn pretends to be her boss’s colleague, and proceeds to shake things up in this corporate Cinderella story. Who doesn’t dream of one day suddenly arriving in a higher echelon of society? Of course, it’s what you do once you get there that’s important, and the glowing and tenacious Tess makes the most of it.


Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel)

 

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) 93%

#3Hard-drinking, ass-kicking Valkyrie makes no apologies for her choices and draws solid boundaries. Sure, she’s flawed, but that’s what makes her successes so sweet. That she’s played by Tessa Thompson doubles the fun.


Letitia Wright as Shuri (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

(Photo by Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

 

Black Panther (2018) 96%

#4Letitia Wright proved that a sister doesn’t have to sit in the shadow of her sibling simply because he’s king. Her Shuri has the smarts and the sass to cut her own path, making her technical genius essential not only to the Kingdom of Wakanda, but also the Avengers’ recent efforts to take down the tyrant Thanos.


Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures (Fox 2000 Pictures)

(Photo by Fox 2000 Pictures)

 

Hidden Figures (2016) 93%

#5Don’t ask us to choose a favorite among Hidden Figures’ Space Race heroines: Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson. The Oscar-nominated drama tells the story of a real-life team of female African-American mathematicians crucial to NASA’s early space program.


Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road (Jasin Boland/Warner Bros)

(Photo by )

 

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 97%

#6As Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron blazed a trail for enslaved post-apocalyptic cult wives in skimpy clothing – literally. With an assist from Max (Tom Hardy), soldier Furiosa set the road on fire to rescue her charges from madman Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), leader of the Citadel.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Daisy Ridley as Rey (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd)

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) 91%

#7Daisy Ridley gave girls everywhere – and full-grown women, in truth – a fresh new hero to adore when she debuted in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Of humble origins, scrappy Rey overcomes her circumstances living as an orphan in a harsh environment to become an essential component in the Resistance. It helps, of course, that The Force is with her.


 

WONDER WOMAN, Gal Gadot (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(Photo by Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

Wonder Woman (2017) 93%

#8Despite her superpowers and privileged background, Gal Gadot as Diana – princess of Themyscira and the Amazons, daughter of Queen Hippolyta and King of the Gods Zeus – retains her humility and a genuine care for humanity. She’s also the most rock solid member of DC’s boys club of Justice League superheroes.


Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Carrie Fisher as Leia (20th Century Fox)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

 

Star Wars: Episode VI -- Return of the Jedi (1983) 82%

#9Come on…she’s Princess Leia. She leads the Rebel Alliance. She saves the galaxy again and again (with a little help from Luke, and Han, and Chewy). She eventually becomes a revered general, but from the very start – when she first confronts Darth Vader at the beginning of Episode IV – A New Hope – she shows a defiant, fiery nature that never dims. In her defining film role, Carrie Fisher brings impeccable comic timing to this cosmic princess.


Jennifer Lawrence as Ree, Winters Bone (Roadside Attractions)

(Photo by Roadside Attractions)

 

Winter's Bone (2010) 94%

#10Before she was Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence was Ree, the role that made her a star and earned her the first of four Oscar nominations. A no-nonsense teenager, Ree dares to brave the dangers lurking within the Ozark Mountains to track down her drug-dealing father and protect her siblings and their home. With each quietly treacherous encounter, she shows depth and instincts beyond her years, and a willingness to fight for what matters.


 

Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster as Clarice (Orion Pictures Corporation)

(Photo by )

 

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 96%

#11You can’t have any fear when you’re going up against Hannibal Lecter – or at least you can’t show it. He’ll sniff it out from a mile away. But what’s exciting about Jodie Foster’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the young FBI cadet is the way she works through her fear, harnessing that nervous energy alongside her powerful intellect and dogged determination. Clarice Starling is a hero for every little girl who thought she wasn’t good enough.


Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich (Universal Pictures)

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

 

Erin Brockovich (2000) 85%

#12Julia Roberts won a best-actress Oscar for her charismatic portrayal of this larger-than-life, real-life figure. Erin Brockovich is repeatedly underestimated because of the flashy way she dresses and the brash way she carries herself. But as a single mom who becomes an unlikely environmental advocate, she’s a steely fighter. What she lacks in book smarts, she more than makes up for with heart. Steven Soderbergh’s film is an inspiring underdog story.


BROADCAST NEWS, Holly Hunter (20th Century Fox)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

 

Broadcast News (1987) 98%

#13Jane Craig is the toughest, sharpest, most prepared woman in the newsroom at all times, but she isn’t afraid to cry to let it all out when the pressure gets too great. Writer-director James L. Brooks created this feminist heroine, this workplace goddess, but Holly Hunter brilliantly brings her to life. She’s just so vibrant. Even when she’s sitting still (which isn’t often), you can feel her thinking. And while two men compete for her attention, no man could ever define her.


FARGO, Frances McDormand (MGM Studios)

(Photo by MGM Studios)

 

Fargo (1996) 94%

#14It would be easy to underestimate Marge Gunderson. Sure, she’s in a position of power as the Brainerd, Minnesota, police chief. But with her folksy manner – and the fact that she’s so pregnant, she’s about to burst – she’s not exactly the most intimidating figure. But in the hands of the brilliant Frances McDormand, she’s consistently the smartest and most fearless person in the room, and she remains one of the Coen brothers’ most enduring characters. You betcha.


AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, Danai Gurira as Okoye (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)

(Photo by Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)

 

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 85%

#15Danai Gurira plays Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje who specializes in spear fighting and strategic wig flipping. Of late, Okoye has been seen keeping company with Avengers.


Bridget Jones's Diary, Renée Zellweger (Miramax Films)

(Photo by Miramax Films)

 

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

#16Things Bridget Jones is prone to: accidents, fantasizing about sexy coworkers, worrying about her weight, and running mad into the snow wearing tiger-print underwear. All totally relatable things, so it’s no surprise she’s the highest-ranked romcom heroine on this list. It also doesn’t hurt that, at their best, Bridget’s movies are what romantic comedies aspire to: They’re fun, cute, and just when it feels like everything’s about to fall apart, there’s the exhilarating little twist at the end that leaves watchers feel like they’re floating on air.


CLUELESS, Alicia Silverstone as Cher (Paramount Pictures)

(Photo by Paramount Pictures)

 

Clueless (1995) 81%

#17It’s true that Cher is a little oblivious to the world at large, but she’s just so earnest and she tries so hard. She discovers a passion for doing good after successfully matchmaking a pair of teachers, and after a series of difficult lessons learned, she makes an honest effort to escape her privileged bubble and become a better person. Like we all should.


THELMA & LOUISE, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis (MGM Studios)

(Photo by MGM Studios)

 

Thelma & Louise (1991) 85%

#18Thelma and Louise, best friends who stick by each other no matter what. And when their girls’ getaway weekend quickly turns from frivolous to frightening, they find even deeper levels of loyalty to each other. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon have an effortless chemistry with each other, and Ridley Scott’s intimate and thrilling film never judges these women for the decisions they make — or for the lengths to which they’ll go in the name of freedom.


THE COLOR PURPLE, Whoopi Goldberg (Warner Brothers)

(Photo by Warner Brothers)

 

The Color Purple (1985) 81%

#19Enduring racism, misogyny, and emotional, physical, and sexual violence, Celie (Whoopi Goldberg in her film debut) transcends her traumatic life in the rural South, finding friends, strength, and her own voice.


A FANTASTIC WOMAN, (UNA MUJER FANTASTICA), Daniela Vega (Sony Pictures Classics)

(Photo by Sony Pictures Classics)

 

A Fantastic Woman (2017) 94%

#20As a transgender waitress, Marina constantly endures cruelty and confusion from the ignorant people around her. When the one man who loves her for who she truly is dies unexpectedly, she finds herself in the midst of an even more emotional, personal fight. Transgender actress Daniela Vega initially was hired as a consultant on Sebastian Lelio’s film; instead, she became its star, and A Fantastic Woman deservedly won this year’s foreign-language Oscar.


Terminator 2, Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor (TriStar Pictures)

(Photo by TriStar Pictures)

 

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 93%

#21Sarah Connor makes many want to be a better mother – or at least get to the gym and work on our triceps. The once-timid waitress crafts herself into a force of nature, a fearsome and visceral manifestation of pure maternal instinct. Played most memorably by Linda Hamilton in the first two Terminator movies, Sarah may seem unhinged, but she’s got laser-like focus when it comes to protecting her son, John, from the many threats coming his way.


Jackie Brown, Pam Grier (Miramax Films)

(Photo by Miramax Films)

 

Jackie Brown (1997) 87%

#22The return of blaxploitation queen, Pam Grier! What’s not to love? Especially in Quentin Tarantino’s killer love letter to South Bay Los Angeles. As Jackie Brown, Grier exudes classic cool with a tough exterior.


Zero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain (Richard Olley/Columbia Pictures)

(Photo by Richard Olley/Columbia Pictures)

 

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) 91%

#23Jessica Chastain has made a career of playing quick-witted characters with nerves of steel. Nowhere is this truer than in her starring role in Kathryn Bigelow’s thrilling depiction of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Maya is obsessively focused in her pursuit of the al Qaeda leader. She’s a confident woman who has to be extra prepared to survive in a man’s world. But when the mission is over and she finally allows some emotion to shine through, it’s cathartic for us all.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner Brothers/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Warner Brothers/ Everett Collection)

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 90%

#24She’s the smartest kid in the class, regardless of the subject. The hardest worker, too. And she’s proud of those qualities, making her an excellent role model for girls out there with an interest in math and science. But Hermione isn’t all about the books. Over the eight Harry Potter films, in Emma Watson’s increasingly confident hands, Hermione reveals her resourcefulness, loyalty, and grace. She’s a great student but an even better friend.


Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection)

 

His Girl Friday (1940) 99%

#25Howard Hawks’ celebrated screwball comedy benefited from a not-so-small change to the stage play it was based on: In the original The Front Page, Hildy Johnson was a male. But thanks to Rosalind Russell’s lively performance, as well as a few script changes she personally insisted upon, the character blossomed into an early icon of the independent working woman who’s not only just as effective at her job as her male counterparts, but also equally adept with a witty comeback.


The Incredibles (Walt Disney/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Walt Disney/ Everett Collection)

 

The Incredibles (2004) 97%

#26Elastigirl takes on all the trials of motherhood: She’s got hyper kids, a bored husband, and has to witness certain parts of her body unperkify. Elastigirl also just happens to be a superhero, with the fate of the world resting on her shoulders.


Gina Torres in Serenity (Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Serenity (2005) 82%

#27Fans of the short-lived but beloved Fox sci-fi series Firefly were already familiar with Gina Torres‘ badassery as Zoe Washburne in Serenity. A veteran of the Unification War and second in command of the ship, Zoe is a strong and loyal ally who rarely pulls punches, whether she’s stating a controversial opinion or engaged in a literal fistfight. With her free spirit and deadly skills, it’s no wonder she became a fan favorite.


Dolly Parton in 9 to 5 (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

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

 

9 to 5 (1980) 83%

#28Dolly Parton is a national treasure, and 9 to 5 allows her to light up the screen with her sparkling, charismatic personality. But while Doralee may seem like a sweet Southern gal, she’s got a stiff backbone and a sharp tongue, and she isn’t afraid to use them when she’s crossed. When she finally stands up to her sexist bully of a boss alongside co-workers Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, it’s nothing short of a revolution – one that remains sadly relevant today.


Geena Davis in A Legaue of Their Own (Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

A League of Their Own (1992) 80%

#29The story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is one that deserves to be told, and it’s Geena Davis Dottie Hinson who grounds this fictional account. She’s a talented local player who becomes the star of the Rockford Peaches, and it’s her quick thinking that brings publicity to the sport. When her decision to play in the World Series leads to a spectacular finish, she also demonstrates a very human vulnerability, making her a strong but relatable heroine.


Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice (Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Pride & Prejudice (2005) 86%

#30Jane Austen’s classic heroine Elizabeth Bennet jumps off the page in the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley, who gives audiences an intelligent, down-to-Earth, sometimes literally dirty, but uncompromisingly steadfast leading lady.


Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde (courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Everett Collection)

 

Legally Blonde (2001) 70%

#31Never underestimate a sorority girl. They are organized and they know how to get what the want. In the case of Elle Woods, she goes after her law school goals with a smile on her face, a spring in her step, and an impeccably coordinated wardrobe. Reese Witherspoon is impossibly adorable in the role, with a potent combination of smarts and heart to shut down the naysayers who are foolish enough to judge her simply by her looks.


Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow (©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 91%

#32Talk brashly and carry a big sword. As Tom Cruise’s character unravels a complex time travel sci-fi story, a constant in his fluctuating world is Rita Vrataski aka the killer Angel of Verdun. But Emily Blunt gives life to Rita beyond burgeoning love interest. She takes the lead and makes the movie just as much her’s.


Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

 

Captain Marvel (2019) 79%

#33When Nick Fury sent that mysterious intergalactic text message right before disappearing into dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, eager fans knew what was in store. As played by Brie Larson, Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU — if not THE most powerful — and she’s in such high demand that she spends most of her time battling evil on other planets. She shows up when it counts, though, and she can rock a mowhawk like nobody’s business.


Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds in A Quiet Place (Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)

 

A Quiet Place (2018) 96%

#34Though hit hard by tragedy and seemingly insurmountable odds of surviving an alien invasion, mother and daughter duo Evelin and Regan Abbott prove their mettle in A Quiet Place.


Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek: The Motion Picture Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

(Photo by Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

 

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) 44%

#35Played first in film by the groundbreaking star of the Star Trek TV series, Nichelle Nichols, the role was passed on to Zoe Saldana in the 2009 reboot film. Uhura, the USS Enterprise chief communications officer, was a critical crew member throughout the franchise in both TV and film.


Dafne Keen in Logan (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

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

 

Logan (2017) 94%

#36Who can stand up to Hugh Jackman’s fierce Wolverine without flinching? His cloned daughter X-23. Dafne Keen imbued the preteen mutant, a.k.a. “Laura,” with a volatile mix of anger, despondency, obstinance, and hope – that we would very much like to see more of.


Kristy Swanson in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

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

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) 36%

#37She’s Buffy. She slays vampires while juggling cheerleading and the SATs. But while Kristy Swanson gives the character a satricial bent, it’s the legendary TV adaptation that gives this character a lasting legacy. But the movie ain’t a bad place to start.

(Photo by Universal/ courtesy Everett Collection)

The 115 Best Black Movies of the 21st Century

Rotten Tomatoes is celebrating the work of Black filmmakers and performers and the stories they have brought to our theaters over the past 20-plus years. In this guide to the best-reviewed African American movies of the 21st Century – that’s from 2000 all the way to now – you’ll find some of the most incredible voices working in movies today, and some of the most game-changing, industry-shaking films to hit theaters in decades. Think titles like Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time at the U.S. box office. Or Gina Prince-Bythewood’s seminal star-making romance, Love and Basketball. Or Moonlight, which made history as the first film with an all-black cast to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2017. Or Ava DuVernay’s Selma, one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time.

Alongside the work of longtime industry veterans like Spike Lee, you’ll find incredible debut features, like Dee Rees’ Pariah, Justin Simien’s Dear White People, Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You, Phillip Youmens’ Burning Cane, which he directed while still in high school, and, of course, Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning social thriller Get Out and his follow-up, Us. You’ll also discover documentaries that have stirred the national conversation – DuVernay’s 13th, Ezra Edelman’s O.J.: Made In America – alongside recent mega hits that, like Black Panther, alerted Hollywood’s decision-makers to the fact that there was a huge audience for stories made by Black filmmakers, featuring Black actors, telling Black stories: Malcolm D. Lee’s Girls Trip, F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton.

To compile our list, we chose the top 100 Certified Fresh Black films, according to the Tomatometer, released in theaters since 2000. We defined Black films as those that centered on African American stories and African American characters, or – as in the case of Black Panther – were made by Black filmmakers and were embraced by African American audiences; there are instances of films here made by non-Black filmmakers (Django Unchained, Detroit, and Get On Up for example), but the top half of the list is dominated by Black writers and directors.

Finally, we ranked the movies using a weighted formula which takes into account each entry’s year of release and its number of reviews collected to weigh their Tomatometer ratings. And with 2020 releasing so many strong Certified Fresh contenders, expect plenty of movies from that year represented, including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Bad Boys For Life, One Night in Miami, Da 5 Bloods, Soul and more.

Below is the result of all that compiling: our guide to the best Black films of the century (so far!). It’s chock full of laughs, thrills, tears, and insight. Enjoy, and if you want to tell us what you think of the list, think we’ve missed a title, or want to celebrate a film that didn’t quite meet the Certified Fresh criteria, let us know in the comments.

#115

Antwone Fisher (2002)
78%

#115
Adjusted Score: 82727%
Critics Consensus: Washington's directing debut is a solidly crafted, emotionally touching work.
Synopsis: The touching story of a sailor (Derek Luke) who, prone to violent outbursts, is sent to a naval psychiatrist (Denzel... [More]
Directed By: Denzel Washington

#114

Drumline (2002)
82%

#114
Adjusted Score: 84565%
Critics Consensus: Essentially a sports movie with drums, the energetic Drumline somehow manages to make the familiar seem fresh.
Synopsis: Set against the high-energy, high-stakes world of show-style marching bands, "Drumline" is a fish-out-of-water comedy about a talented street drummer... [More]
Directed By: Charles Stone

#113

Fast Color (2018)
80%

#113
Adjusted Score: 84712%
Critics Consensus: A grounded superhero story with more on its mind than punching bad guys, Fast Color leaps over uneven execution with a singular Gugu Mbatha-Raw performance.
Synopsis: Hunted by mysterious forces, a young woman who has supernatural abilities must go on the run when her powers are... [More]
Directed By: Julia Hart

#112

Black Dynamite (2009)
83%

#112
Adjusted Score: 83793%
Critics Consensus: A loving and meticulous send-up of 1970s blaxsploitation movies, Black Dynamite is funny enough for the frat house and clever enough for film buffs.
Synopsis: After "The Man" kills his brother and poisons the neighborhood with tainted liquor, a kung fu fighter (Michael Jai White)... [More]
Directed By: Scott Sanders

#111

Keanu (2016)
78%

#111
Adjusted Score: 88037%
Critics Consensus: Keanu's absurd premise and compulsively watchable starring duo add up to an agreeably fast-paced comedy that hits more than enough targets to make up for the misses.
Synopsis: Recently dumped by his girlfriend, slacker Rell (Jordan Peele) finds some happiness when a cute kitten winds up on his... [More]
Directed By: Peter Atencio

#110

Dreamgirls (2006)
79%

#110
Adjusted Score: 86922%
Critics Consensus: Dreamgirls' simple characters and plot hardly detract from the movie's real feats: the electrifying performances and the dazzling musical numbers.
Synopsis: Deena (Beyoncé Knowles),Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose) form a music trio called the Dreamettes. When ambitious manager... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#109
#109
Adjusted Score: 86045%
Critics Consensus: Languid and melancholy, George Washington is a carefully observed rumination on adolescence and rural life.
Synopsis: Set in the landscape of a rural southern town, "George Washington" is a stunning portrait of how a group of... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#108

Marshall (2017)
81%

#108
Adjusted Score: 90698%
Critics Consensus: Marshall takes an illuminating, well-acted look at its real-life subject's early career that also delivers as an entertainingly old-fashioned courtroom drama.
Synopsis: Young Thurgood Marshall faces one of his greatest challenges while working as a lawyer for the NAACP. Marshall travels to... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#107

Ray (2004)
79%

#107
Adjusted Score: 86557%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing and energetic portrait of a great musician's achievements and foibles, Ray is anchored by Jamie Foxx's stunning performance as Ray Charles.
Synopsis: Legendary soul musician Ray Charles is portrayed by Jamie Foxx in this Oscar-winning biopic. Young Ray watches his 7-year-old brother... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

#106
#106
Adjusted Score: 86404%
Critics Consensus: Confident directing and acting deliver an insightful look at young athletes.
Synopsis: Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are two childhood friends who both aspire to be professional basketball players. Quincy,... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince

#105
Adjusted Score: 87142%
Critics Consensus: An innovative blend of samurai and gangster lifestyles.
Synopsis: Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) is a contract killer, a master of his trade who can whirl a gun at warp... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#104

Barbershop (2002)
83%

#104
Adjusted Score: 85777%
Critics Consensus: Besides bringing on the laughs, Barbershop displays a big heart and demonstrates the value of community.
Synopsis: A smart comedy about a day in the life of a barbershop on the south side of Chicago. Calvin (Ice... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story

#103

Get On Up (2014)
80%

#103
Adjusted Score: 87130%
Critics Consensus: With an unforgettable Chadwick Boseman in the starring role, Get On Up offers the Godfather of Soul a fittingly dynamic homage.
Synopsis: James Brown (Chadwick Boseman) was born in extreme poverty in 1933 South Carolina and survived abandonment, abuse and jail to... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#102

Rize (2005)
84%

#102
Adjusted Score: 86241%
Critics Consensus: The dances in Rize are electric even if the documentary doesn't go that deeply into the performers' lives.
Synopsis: Celebrated fashion photographer David LaChapelle makes his documentary filmmaking debut with a visually arresting film shot on the streets of... [More]
Starring: Tommy the Clown
Directed By: David LaChapelle

#101

Monsters and Men (2018)
84%

#101
Adjusted Score: 87246%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and visually stylish, Monsters and Men tells its timely story with enough compassion and complexity to make up for occasionally uneven execution.
Synopsis: Tensions rise when a young man records a police officer shooting a black motorist in a Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood.... [More]
Directed By: Reinaldo Marcus Green

#100
#100
Adjusted Score: 85366%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to smart direction and a powerhouse performance from Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Beyond the Lights transcends its formulaic storyline to deliver thoroughly entertaining drama.
Synopsis: Though she's been groomed for stardom all her life by an overbearing mother (Minnie Driver), singer Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince-Bythewood

#99

Chi-Raq (2015)
82%

#99
Adjusted Score: 90973%
Critics Consensus: Chi-Raq is as urgently topical and satisfyingly ambitious as it is wildly uneven -- and it contains some of Spike Lee's smartest, sharpest, and all-around entertaining late-period work.
Synopsis: The girlfriend (Teyonah Parris) of a Chicago gang leader (Nick Cannon) persuades other frustrated women to abstain from sex until... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#98
Adjusted Score: 88855%
Critics Consensus: The Gospel According to André offers an engaging overview of its fascinating subject, even if his accomplishments -- and outsize personality -- prove too expansive for a single film.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Kate Novack explores the life and career of fashion journalist André Leon Talley -- from his childhood in the... [More]
Directed By: Kate Novack

#97

Hustle & Flow (2005)
82%

#97
Adjusted Score: 88285%
Critics Consensus: Hustle & Flow is gritty and redemptive, with a profound sense of place and exciting music.
Synopsis: DJay (Terrence Howard) is a pimp living day to day on the tough streets of Memphis, Tennessee. Pushing 40, he's... [More]
Directed By: Craig Brewer

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 89289%
Critics Consensus: American Gangster is a gritty and entertaining throwback to classic gangster films, with its lead performers firing on all cylinders.
Synopsis: Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) earns his living as a chauffeur to one of Harlem's leading mobsters. After his boss dies,... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#95

42 (2013)
81%

#95
Adjusted Score: 87765%
Critics Consensus: 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon, though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some.
Synopsis: In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#94

Monster's Ball (2001)
85%

#94
Adjusted Score: 90370%
Critics Consensus: Somber and thought provoking, Monster's Ball has great performances all around.
Synopsis: Hank, an embittered racist prison guard working on death row, begins an unlikely, emotionally charged sexual relationship with Leticia, a... [More]
Directed By: Marc Forster

#93
#93
Adjusted Score: 94674%
Critics Consensus: Loaded up with action and a double helping of leading-man charisma, Bad Boys for Life reinvigorates this long-dormant franchise by playing squarely to its strengths.
Synopsis: The wife and son of a Mexican drug lord embark on a vengeful quest to kill all those involved in... [More]

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 89330%
Critics Consensus: Wise, compassionate, and beautifully acted, Middle of Nowhere offers an early testament to writer-director Ava DuVernay's startling talent.
Synopsis: A med student (Emayatzy Corinealdi) considers leaving her long-imprisoned husband (Omari Hardwick) for a charming bus driver (David Oyelowo).... [More]
Directed By: Ava DuVernay

#91
#91
Adjusted Score: 90923%
Critics Consensus: A warm, family-friendly underdog story, featuring terrific supporting performances from Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne, and Angela Bassett.
Synopsis: Akeelah, an 11-year-old girl living in South Los Angeles, discovers she has a talent for spelling, which she hopes will... [More]
Directed By: Doug Atchison

#90
#90
Adjusted Score: 90765%
Critics Consensus: This group of high school girls and their eccentric basketball coach easily win your heart with their unusual humanity and dynamism.
Synopsis: Filmed over a period of seven years, director Ward Serrill profiles Bill Resler, a university professor who coaches a basketball... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Ward Serrill

#89
Adjusted Score: 90394%
Critics Consensus: What Happened, Miss Simone? is a compelling -- albeit necessarily incomplete -- overview of its complex subject's singular artistic legacy and fascinating life.
Synopsis: Classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, black power icon and legendary recording artist Nina Simone lived a life of brutal honesty,... [More]
Directed By: Liz Garbus

#88
Adjusted Score: 91632%
Critics Consensus: This documentary focuses less on the music and more on the personality clashes and in-group tensions to great, compelling effect.
Synopsis: Actor Michael Rapaport examines the music of the 1990s hip-hop group as well as the conflicts that drove the band... [More]
Directed By: Michael Rapaport

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 93380%
Critics Consensus: The warmth of traditional Disney animation makes this occasionally lightweight fairy-tale update a lively and captivating confection for the holidays.
Synopsis: Hardworking and ambitious, Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) dreams of one day opening the finest restaurant in New Orleans. Her dream... [More]
Directed By: Ron Clements, John Musker

#86
Adjusted Score: 93642%
Critics Consensus: Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey celebrates the yuletide season with a holiday adventure whose exuberant spirit is matched by its uplifting message.
Synopsis: Decades after his apprentice betrays him, a once joyful toymaker finds new hope when his bright young granddaughter appears on... [More]
Directed By: David E. Talbert

#85
#85
Adjusted Score: 93082%
Critics Consensus: Presenting Princess Shaw works as a uniquely uplifting look at internet stardom -- and a compelling glimpse of an artist whose gifts transcend the medium.
Synopsis: The extraordinary story of New Orleans singing sensation Princess Shaw and her collaborator Kutiman, a musician in Israel who uses... [More]
Directed By: Ido Haar

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 93088%
Critics Consensus: A smart, well-acted, and refreshingly messy coming-of-age story, Selah and the Spades suggests a bright future for debuting writer-director Tayarisha Poe.
Synopsis: Five factions run the underground life of a prestigious east coast boarding school. The head of The Spades walks a... [More]
Directed By: Tayarisha Poe

#83

Our Song (2000)
91%

#83
Adjusted Score: 91437%
Critics Consensus: Graced with such a realistic feel that it resembles a documentary, Our Song is a sensitive portrayal of three teenage girls.
Synopsis: Follows three friends, Lanisha (Kerry Washington), Maria (Melissa Martinez) and Joycelyn (Anna Simpson), best friends and members of their school's... [More]
Directed By: Jim McKay

#82

Top Five (2014)
86%

#82
Adjusted Score: 92783%
Critics Consensus: As smart, funny, and trenchant as writer-director-star Chris Rock's best standup work, Top Five is a career highlight for its creator -- and one of the comedy standouts of 2014.
Synopsis: Though he began in stand-up comedy, Andre Allen (Chris Rock) hit the big-time as the star of a trilogy of... [More]
Directed By: Chris Rock

#81

Burning Cane (2019)
92%

#81
Adjusted Score: 93151%
Critics Consensus: Burning Cane is a compelling look at weighty themes -- and a remarkably assured debut from an impressively talented young filmmaker.
Synopsis: An aging mother who lives in cane fields of rural Louisiana, is torn between her religious convictions and the love... [More]
Directed By: Phillip Youmans

#80

Queen & Slim (2019)
83%

#80
Adjusted Score: 95703%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, provocative, and powerful, Queen & Slim tells a gripping fugitive story steeped in timely, thoughtful subtext.
Synopsis: Slim and Queen's first date takes an unexpected turn when a policeman pulls them over for a minor traffic violation.... [More]
Directed By: Melina Matsoukas

#79

Uncorked (2020)
91%

#79
Adjusted Score: 93414%
Critics Consensus: Like a good wine, once you let Uncorked breathe, its heartfelt tenderness will yield a sweet time.
Synopsis: A young man upsets his father when he pursues his dream of becoming a master sommelier instead of joining the... [More]
Directed By: Prentice Penny

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 92590%
Critics Consensus: Miss Sharon Jones! only captures a portion of its subject's power -- or her inspiring story -- but that's more than enough to offer absorbing, entertaining viewing for fans and newcomers alike.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Barbara Kopple follows rhythm and blues singer Sharon Jones as she tries to hold her band together while battling... [More]
Starring: Sharon Jones
Directed By: Barbara Kopple

#77
#77
Adjusted Score: 93903%
Critics Consensus: Madeline's Madeline proves experimental cinema is alive and well -- and serves as a powerful calling card for Helena Howard in her big-screen debut.
Synopsis: Madeline has become an integral part of a prestigious physical theater troupe. When the workshop's ambitious director pushes the teenager... [More]
Directed By: Josephine Decker

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 93301%
Critics Consensus: Not just a powerful telling of the journey of exiled Sudanese boys, God Grew Tired of Us is also a poignant account of the determination of the human spirit.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Christopher Quinn observes the ordeal of three Sudanese refugees -- Jon Bul Dau, Daniel Abul Pach and Panther Bior... [More]
Starring: Nicole Kidman
Directed By: Christopher Quinn

#75
Adjusted Score: 93283%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Swedish journalists document the black power movement in America.... [More]
Directed By: Göran Olsson

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 95185%
Critics Consensus: Heartfelt, thought-provoking, and above all funny, Barbershop: The Next Cut is the rare belated sequel that more than lives up to the standard set by its predecessors.
Synopsis: To survive harsh economic times, Calvin and Angie have merged the barbershop and beauty salon into one business. The days... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

#73

Inside Man (2006)
86%

#73
Adjusted Score: 95728%
Critics Consensus: Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller is a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill.
Synopsis: A tough detective (Denzel Washington) matches wits with a cunning bank robber (Clive Owen), as a tense hostage crisis is... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#72
Adjusted Score: 93528%
Critics Consensus: A toe-tapping tribute to the band that gave Motown its sound.
Synopsis: This documentary mixes performances, interviews and reenactments to celebrate the Funk Brothers, the 1960s soul hitmakers. As the musicians behind... [More]
Directed By: Paul Justman

#71

Premature (2019)
93%

#71
Adjusted Score: 95227%
Critics Consensus: Premature transcends its familiar trappings with sharp dialogue and a strong sense of setting that further establish Rashaad Ernesto Green as a gifted filmmaker.
Synopsis: On a summer night in Harlem during her last months at home before starting college, 17-year-old poet Ayanna begins a... [More]
Directed By: Rashaad Ernesto Green

#70
Adjusted Score: 93742%
Critics Consensus: Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fantastical, emotionally powerful journey and a strong case of filmmaking that values imagination over money.
Synopsis: Six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) lives with her father, Wink (Dwight Henry), in a remote Delta community. Wink is a stern... [More]
Directed By: Benh Zeitlin

#69

Baadasssss! (2003)
91%

#69
Adjusted Score: 93280%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining and intriguing tribute to a father from his son.
Synopsis: Director Mario Van Peebles chronicles the complicated production of his father Melvin's classic 1971 film, "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song." Playing... [More]
Directed By: Mario Van Peebles

#68
Adjusted Score: 95322%
Critics Consensus: The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution offers a fascinating -- if somewhat rudimentary -- introduction to a movement, and an era, that remains soberingly relevant today.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Stanley Nelson examines the rise of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and its impact on civil rights... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Nelson

#67
Adjusted Score: 93874%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining for longtime fans as well as casually interested viewers, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool burnishes the legacy of a brilliant artist.
Synopsis: An exploration of the musician's archival photos and home movies.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Stanley Nelson

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 94443%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Filmmakers Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon examine a 1989 case of five teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of... [More]

#65

Waves (2019)
84%

#65
Adjusted Score: 99658%
Critics Consensus: An up-close look at one family's emotional ups and downs, Waves captures complicated dynamics with tenderness and grace.
Synopsis: The epic emotional journey of a suburban African American family as they navigate love, forgiveness and coming together in the... [More]
Directed By: Trey Edward Shults

#64

Whitney (2018)
88%

#64
Adjusted Score: 96529%
Critics Consensus: Whitney shifts from soaring highs to heartbreaking lows with palpable emotion and grace befitting its singular subject.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Kevin Macdonald examines the life and career of singer Whitney Houston. Features never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive recordings, rare performances... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#63

Dope (2015)
88%

#63
Adjusted Score: 94208%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a starmaking performance from Shameik Moore and a refreshingly original point of view from writer-director Rick Famuyiwa, Dope is smart, insightful entertainment.
Synopsis: High-school senior Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) bond over '90s hip-hop culture,... [More]
Directed By: Rick Famuyiwa

#62

Detroit (2017)
82%

#62
Adjusted Score: 104866%
Critics Consensus: Detroit delivers a gut-wrenching -- and essential -- dramatization of a tragic chapter from America's past that draws distressing parallels to the present.
Synopsis: In the summer of 1967, rioting and civil unrest starts to tear apart the city of Detroit. Two days later,... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 96053%
Critics Consensus: Dear White People adds a welcome new voice to cinema's oft-neglected discussion of race, tackling its timely themes with intelligence, honesty, and gratifyingly sharp wit.
Synopsis: A campus culture war between blacks and whites at a predominantly white school comes to a head when the staff... [More]
Directed By: Justin Simien

#60
Adjusted Score: 97099%
Critics Consensus: Dave Chappelle's Block Party is a raucous return to the spotlight for the comic, buoyed by witty, infectious humor and outstanding musical performances.
Synopsis: Actor, writer and comic Dave Chappelle loads up a bus with residents of his Ohio hometown and takes them to... [More]
Starring: Dave Chappelle
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#59

Creed II (2018)
83%

#59
Adjusted Score: 101839%
Critics Consensus: Creed II's adherence to franchise formula adds up to a sequel with few true surprises, but its time-tested generational themes still pack a solid punch.
Synopsis: In 1985, Russian boxer Ivan Drago killed former U.S. champion Apollo Creed in a tragic match that stunned the world.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Caple Jr.

#58

Sylvie's Love (2020)
93%

#58
Adjusted Score: 100132%
Critics Consensus: A romance for the ages, Sylvie's Love wraps audiences in the sweet embrace of its old-fashioned romance and celebration of Black love.
Synopsis: In Sylvie’s Love, the jazz is smooth and the air sultry in the hot New York summer of 1957. Robert... [More]
Directed By: Eugene Ashe

#57

Luce (2019)
90%

#57
Adjusted Score: 99623%
Critics Consensus: Luce brings a stellar ensemble to bear on a satisfyingly complex story that addresses its timely themes in thought-provoking fashion.
Synopsis: A liberal-minded couple are forced to reconsider their image of their adopted son after he writes a disturbing essay for... [More]
Directed By: Julius Onah

#56

Black Is King (2020)
94%

#56
Adjusted Score: 96811%
Critics Consensus: Beyoncé is King.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring: Beyoncé
Directed By: Beyoncé

#55

Good Hair (2009)
95%

#55
Adjusted Score: 97565%
Critics Consensus: Funny, informative, and occasionally sad, Good Hair is a provocative look at the complex relationship between African Americans and their hair.
Synopsis: Prompted by a question from his young daughter, comic Chris Rock sets out to explore the importance of hair in... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Stilson

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 100023%
Critics Consensus: Support the Girls handles serious themes with wit and humor, and provides a strong showcase for Regina Hall and a talented ensemble cast.
Synopsis: Lisa is the general manager of Double Whammies, a sports bar that features skimpily dressed waitresses. Always nurturing and protective... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Bujalski

#53

Just Mercy (2019)
85%

#53
Adjusted Score: 105705%
Critics Consensus: Just Mercy dramatizes a real-life injustice with solid performances, a steady directorial hand, and enough urgency to overcome a certain degree of earnest advocacy.
Synopsis: After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation.... [More]
Directed By: Destin Daniel Cretton

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 106164%
Critics Consensus: It Comes at Night makes lethally effective use of its bare-bones trappings while proving once again that what's left unseen can be just as horrifying as anything on the screen.
Synopsis: After a mysterious apocalypse leaves the world with few survivors, two families are forced to share a home in an... [More]
Directed By: Trey Edward Shults

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 100781%
Critics Consensus: Southside With You looks back on a fateful real-life date with strong performances and engaging dialogue, adding up to a romance that makes for a pretty good date movie in its own right.
Synopsis: Future U.S. President Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and lawyer Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) go on a fateful first date in... [More]
Directed By: Richard Tanne

#50

Clemency (2019)
91%

#50
Adjusted Score: 99968%
Critics Consensus: Clemency mines serious social issues for gripping drama, brought to life by an outstanding cast led by Alfre Woodard.
Synopsis: Years of carrying out death row executions are taking a toll on Warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares for another... [More]
Directed By: Chinonye Chukwu

#49

Girls Trip (2017)
92%

#49
Adjusted Score: 103938%
Critics Consensus: Girls Trip is the rare R-rated comedy that pushes boundaries to truly comedic effect -- and anchors its laughs in compelling characters brought to life by a brilliantly assembled cast.
Synopsis: Best friends Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina are in for the adventure of a lifetime when they travel to New... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

#48

Django Unchained (2012)
86%

#48
Adjusted Score: 98858%
Critics Consensus: Bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, Django Unchained is another incendiary masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino.
Synopsis: Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#47

Pariah (2011)
95%

#47
Adjusted Score: 99796%
Critics Consensus: Pulsing with authenticity and led by a stirring lead performance from Adepero Oduye, Pariah is a powerful coming out/coming-of-age film that signals the arrival of a fresh new talent in writer/director Dee Rees.
Synopsis: Teenage Alike (Adepero Oduye) lives in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood with her parents (Charles Parnell, Kim Wayans) and younger sister... [More]
Directed By: Dee Rees

#46
#46
Adjusted Score: 98270%
Critics Consensus: It's far more conventional than the life it honors, but John Lewis: Good Trouble remains a worthy tribute to an inspiring activist and public servant.
Synopsis: Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) fights for civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform and immigration.... [More]
Starring: John Lewis
Directed By: Dawn Porter

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 98065%
Critics Consensus: Straight Outta Compton is a biopic that's built to last, thanks to F. Gary Gray's confident direction and engaging performances from a solid cast.
Synopsis: In 1988, a groundbreaking new group revolutionizes music and pop culture, changing and influencing hip-hop forever. N.W.A's first studio album,... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 97927%
Critics Consensus: Offering keen observations and infectious warmth, Keep On Keepin' On is a joy for jazz buffs and novices alike.
Synopsis: Legendary jazz musician Clark Terry, who taught Quincy Jones and mentored Miles Davis, becomes the mentor of a blind 23-year-old... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Alan Hicks

#43
Adjusted Score: 100433%
Critics Consensus: Intimate in scope yet thematically expansive, Hale County This Morning, This Evening draws extraordinary insights out of seemingly ordinary moments.
Synopsis: Filmmaker RaMell Ross captures small, but nevertheless precious, moments in black lives.... [More]
Starring: RaMell Ross
Directed By: RaMell Ross

#42

Night Comes On (2018)
98%

#42
Adjusted Score: 100534%
Critics Consensus: Steadily drawing viewers into its harrowing tale with equal parts grim intensity and startling compassion, Night Comes On heralds the arrivals of debuting director Jordan Spiro and her magnetic young stars.
Synopsis: Released from juvenile detention, a teen and her 10-year-old sister embark on a quest to avenge the death of their... [More]
Directed By: Jordana Spiro

#41

Loving (2016)
88%

#41
Adjusted Score: 106614%
Critics Consensus: Loving takes an understated approach to telling a painful -- and still relevant -- real-life tale, with sensitive performances breathing additional life into a superlative historical drama.
Synopsis: Interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving fell in love and were married in 1958. They grew up in Central Point,... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Nichols

#40

Step (2017)
96%

#40
Adjusted Score: 103085%
Critics Consensus: Step tells an irresistibly crowd-pleasing story in a thoroughly absorbing way -- and while smartly incorporating a variety of timely themes.
Synopsis: The senior year of a girls' high school step team in inner-city Baltimore is documented, as they try to become... [More]
Starring: Blessin Giraldo
Directed By: Amanda Lipitz

#39
Adjusted Score: 102447%
Critics Consensus: Precious is a grim yet ultimately triumphant film about abuse and inner-city life, largely bolstered by exceptional performances from its cast.
Synopsis: Pregnant by her own father for the second time, 16-year-old Claireece "Precious" Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) can neither read nor write... [More]
Directed By: Lee Daniels

#38

Farewell Amor (2020)
97%

#38
Adjusted Score: 101264%
Critics Consensus: A striking debut feature for writer-director Ekwa Msangi, Farewell Amor movingly captures the fallout from a long-separated family's reunion.
Synopsis: After 17 years apart, Angolan immigrant Walter is joined in the U.S. by his wife and teen daughter. Now absolute... [More]
Directed By: Ekwa Msangi

#37

13TH (2016)
97%

#37
Adjusted Score: 104636%
Critics Consensus: 13th strikes at the heart of America's tangled racial history, offering observations as incendiary as they are calmly controlled.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's... [More]
Directed By: Ava DuVernay

#36
Adjusted Score: 104589%
Critics Consensus: An affecting story powerfully told, The Last Black Man in San Francisco immediately establishes director Joe Talbot as a filmmaker to watch.
Synopsis: Jimmie and his best friend Mont try to reclaim the house built by Jimmie's grandfather, launching them on a poignant... [More]
Directed By: Joe Talbot

#35
Adjusted Score: 102697%
Critics Consensus: Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am honors its acclaimed subject with a comprehensive, illuminating, and fittingly profound overview of her life and work.
Synopsis: Author Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, history, America and... [More]

#34

Whose Streets? (2017)
98%

#34
Adjusted Score: 102842%
Critics Consensus: Whose Streets? takes a close-up look at the civil unrest that erupted after a shocking act of violence in Ferguson, Missouri - and the decades of simmering tension leading up to it.
Synopsis: An account of the Ferguson uprising as told by the people who lived it. The filmmakers look at how the... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Sabaah Folayan

#33

Blindspotting (2018)
94%

#33
Adjusted Score: 104300%
Critics Consensus: As timely as it is overall impactful, Blindspotting blends buddy comedy with seething social commentary, and rises on the strength of Daveed Diggs' powerful performance.
Synopsis: Collin must make it through his final three days of probation for a chance at a new beginning in his... [More]
Directed By: Carlos López Estrada

#32

Strong Island (2017)
100%

#32
Adjusted Score: 102779%
Critics Consensus: Strong Island uses one family's heartbreaking tragedy to offer a sobering picture of racial injustice in modern America.
Synopsis: When filmmaker Yance Ford investigates the 1992 murder of a young black man, it becomes an achingly personal journey since... [More]
Directed By: Yance Ford

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 102551%
Critics Consensus: O.J.: Made in America paints a balanced and thorough portrait of the American dream juxtaposed with tragedy and executed with power and skill.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring: O.J. Simpson
Directed By: Ezra Edelman

#30

Tangerine (2015)
96%

#30
Adjusted Score: 102170%
Critics Consensus: Tangerine shatters casting conventions and its filmmaking techniques are up-to-the-minute, but it's an old-fashioned comedy at heart -- and a pretty wonderful one at that.
Synopsis: After hearing that her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail, a hooker and her best friend set... [More]
Directed By: Sean Baker

#29
Adjusted Score: 103900%
Critics Consensus: All In: The Fight for Democracy lives up to its title as a galvanizing rallying cry for voters to exercise -- and preserve -- their right to be heard.
Synopsis: Filmmakers Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes examine the history of voter suppression and the activists who fight for the rights... [More]
Starring: Stacey Abrams
Directed By: Lisa Cortes, Liz Garbus

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 101643%
Critics Consensus: Passionate and powerfully acted, Fruitvale Station serves as a celebration of life, a condemnation of death, and a triumph for star Michael B. Jordan.
Synopsis: Though he once spent time in San Quentin, 22-year-old black man Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) is now trying hard... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#27

Time (2020)
98%

#27
Adjusted Score: 105200%
Critics Consensus: Time delivers a powerful broadside against the flaws of the American justice system -- and chronicles one family's refusal to give up against all odds.
Synopsis: Entrepreneur Fox Rich spends the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Garrett Bradley

#26

Fences (2016)
92%

#26
Adjusted Score: 107968%
Critics Consensus: From its reunited Broadway stars to its screenplay, the solidly crafted Fences finds its Pulitzer-winning source material fundamentally unchanged -- and still just as powerful.
Synopsis: Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a... [More]
Directed By: Denzel Washington

#25
Adjusted Score: 106721%
Critics Consensus: The Forty-Year-Old Version opens a compelling window into the ebbs and flows of the artist's life -- and announces writer-director-star Radha Blank as a major filmmaking talent with her feature debut.
Synopsis: A struggling New York City playwright finds inspiration by reinventing herself as a rapper.... [More]
Directed By: Radha Blank

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 104032%
Critics Consensus: Rich, insightful, and occasionally heartbreaking, 20 Feet From Stardom is an energetic tribute to the passion, talent, and hard work of backup singers.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Morgan Neville shines a long-overdue spotlight on the hit-making contributions of longtime backup singers like Darlene Love and Merry... [More]
Directed By: Morgan Neville

#23

Miss Juneteenth (2020)
99%

#23
Adjusted Score: 108687%
Critics Consensus: Like a pageant winner walking across the stage, Miss Juneteenth follows a familiar path -- but does so with charm and grace.
Synopsis: A former beauty queen and single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the "Miss Juneteenth" pageant.... [More]

#22

Mudbound (2017)
97%

#22
Adjusted Score: 111702%
Critics Consensus: Mudbound offers a well-acted, finely detailed snapshot of American history whose scenes of rural class struggle resonate far beyond their period setting.
Synopsis: Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees' Mudbound is an epic story of two families... [More]
Directed By: Dee Rees

#21

Da 5 Bloods (2020)
92%

#21
Adjusted Score: 112559%
Critics Consensus: Fierce energy and ambition course through Da 5 Bloods, coming together to fuel one of Spike Lee's most urgent and impactful films.
Synopsis: Four African American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#20

Amazing Grace (2018)
99%

#20
Adjusted Score: 108279%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly capturing a remarkable performer near the peak of her prodigious power, Amazing Grace is a thrilling must-watch documentary for Aretha Franklin fans.
Synopsis: Singer Aretha Franklin performs gospel songs at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972.... [More]
Starring: Aretha Franklin
Directed By: Alan Elliott

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 111972%
Critics Consensus: Fearlessly ambitious, scathingly funny, and thoroughly original, Sorry to Bother You loudly heralds the arrival of a fresh filmmaking talent in writer-director Boots Riley.
Synopsis: In an alternate reality of present-day Oakland, Calif., telemarketer Cassius Green finds himself in a macabre universe after he discovers... [More]
Directed By: Boots Riley

#18

The Hate U Give (2018)
97%

#18
Adjusted Score: 109456%
Critics Consensus: Led by a breakout turn from Amandla Stenberg, the hard-hitting The Hate U Give emphatically proves the YA genre has room for much more than magic and romance.
Synopsis: Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds -- the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy,... [More]
Directed By: George Tillman Jr.

#17

Hidden Figures (2016)
93%

#17
Adjusted Score: 117264%
Critics Consensus: In heartwarming, crowd-pleasing fashion, Hidden Figures celebrates overlooked -- and crucial -- contributions from a pivotal moment in American history.
Synopsis: Three brilliant African American women at NASA -- Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson -- serve as the brains... [More]
Directed By: Theodore Melfi

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 110295%
Critics Consensus: In dramatizing Rudy Ray Moore's stranger-than-fiction story, Eddie Murphy makes Dolemite Is My Name just as bold, brash, and ultimately hard to resist as its subject.
Synopsis: Performer Rudy Ray Moore develops an outrageous character named Dolemite, who becomes an underground sensation and star of a kung-fu,... [More]
Directed By: Craig Brewer

#15

Creed (2015)
95%

#15
Adjusted Score: 106940%
Critics Consensus: Creed brings the Rocky franchise off the mat for a surprisingly effective seventh round that extends the boxer's saga in interesting new directions while staying true to its classic predecessors' roots.
Synopsis: Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, boxing champion Apollo Creed, who died before Adonis was born.... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 113487%
Critics Consensus: I Am Not Your Negro offers an incendiary snapshot of James Baldwin's crucial observations on American race relations -- and a sobering reminder of how far we've yet to go.
Synopsis: In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book... [More]
Directed By: Raoul Peck

#13

Widows (2018)
91%

#13
Adjusted Score: 116965%
Critics Consensus: Widows rounds up a stellar ensemble for a heist thriller that mixes popcorn entertainment with a message - and marks another artistic leap for director Steve McQueen.
Synopsis: A police shootout leaves four thieves dead during an explosive armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their widows -- Veronica, Linda,... [More]
Directed By: Steve McQueen

#12

Soul (2020)
95%

#12
Adjusted Score: 119461%
Critics Consensus: A film as beautiful to contemplate as it is to behold, Soul proves Pixar's power to deliver outstanding all-ages entertainment remains undimmed.
Synopsis: Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn't quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 118333%
Critics Consensus: Framed by a pair of powerhouse performances, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom pays affectionate tribute to a blues legend -- and Black culture at large.
Synopsis: Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians... [More]
Directed By: George C. Wolfe

#10

12 Years a Slave (2013)
95%

#10
Adjusted Score: 110647%
Critics Consensus: It's far from comfortable viewing, but 12 Years a Slave's unflinchingly brutal look at American slavery is also brilliant -- and quite possibly essential -- cinema.
Synopsis: In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is... [More]
Directed By: Steve McQueen

#9
Adjusted Score: 116306%
Critics Consensus: If Beale Street Could Talk honors its source material with a beautifully filmed adaptation that finds director Barry Jenkins further strengthening his visual and narrative craft.
Synopsis: In early 1970s Harlem, daughter and wife-to-be Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and... [More]
Directed By: Barry Jenkins

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 116771%
Critics Consensus: A hauntingly powerful reflection on larger-than-life figures, One Night in Miami finds Regina King in command of her craft in her feature directorial debut.
Synopsis: On one incredible night in 1964, four icons of sports, music, and activism gathered to celebrate one of the biggest... [More]
Directed By: Regina King

#7

Selma (2014)
99%

#7
Adjusted Score: 111027%
Critics Consensus: Fueled by a gripping performance from David Oyelowo, Selma draws inspiration and dramatic power from the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- but doesn't ignore how far we remain from the ideals his work embodied.
Synopsis: Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it... [More]
Directed By: Ava DuVernay

#6

Moonlight (2016)
98%

#6
Adjusted Score: 123153%
Critics Consensus: Moonlight uses one man's story to offer a remarkable and brilliantly crafted look at lives too rarely seen in cinema.
Synopsis: A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His... [More]
Directed By: Barry Jenkins

#5
Adjusted Score: 121250%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

#4

Get Out (2017)
98%

#4
Adjusted Score: 128227%
Critics Consensus: Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.
Synopsis: Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Peele

#3

BlacKkKlansman (2018)
96%

#3
Adjusted Score: 122724%
Critics Consensus: BlacKkKlansman uses history to offer bitingly trenchant commentary on current events -- and brings out some of Spike Lee's hardest-hitting work in decades along the way.
Synopsis: Ron Stallworth is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#2

Us (2019)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 127262%
Critics Consensus: With Jordan Peele's second inventive, ambitious horror film, we have seen how to beat the sophomore jinx, and it is Us.
Synopsis: Accompanied by her husband, son and daughter, Adelaide Wilson returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Peele

#1

Black Panther (2018)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 128714%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
Synopsis: After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

(Photo by Universal/ courtesy Everett Collection)

11 Fresh Cicely Tyson Movies and Series

Discovered at age 30 while working as a typist in New York, Cicely Tyson transformed what was an already unlikely, late-blooming modeling stint into a full-blown acting career, and would become a trailblazer for Black artists across film, TV, and theater from the 1950s and well into the 21st century. Tyson’s versatility across stage and screen meant easy occupancy in roles worthy of her dignity and attention, with appearances in I Spy and Mission: Impossible, a co-starring part in kitchen sink TV drama East Side/West Side, and films like The Comedians and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.

The Civil Rights era signaled a dramatic societal shift, not just in American civics but in arts and entertainment. This opened the path for Tyson’s creative peaks, starting with 1972’s Sounder, the deeply humanistic Depression-era drama. For her role as a mother whose husband has been incarcerated and is left to care for their only son (along with a runaway dog), Tyson received her sole Best Actress Oscar nomination. (She would become an Honorary Award recipient in 2019.)

Television emerged as a daring storytelling force during the ’70s, thanks to films and miniseries like 1974’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Tyson portrayed Pittman across 90 years of her character’s life, from a child born into slavery to becoming a figurehead of 1960s’ social justice. Tyson won the Best Lead Actress in a Drama Emmy, and the TV-movie would go on to take Outstanding Special. Tyson would make history again as Kunta Kinte’s mother in the first section of the 1977’s legendary miniseries Roots, which garnered a Emmy nomination for her.

Tyson would ultimately be nominated for at least one Emmy every decade afterwards, including a late-career surge starting with 2014’s The Trip to Bountiful, and a stunning five-nomination run into 2020 for How to Get Away with Murder, playing Annalise’s (Viola Davis) mother, Ophelia.

Two days before her death in January 2021, Tyson published her memoir: Just As I AmWe look back on her life and career in film (including Fried Green Tomatoes and The Help), TV (Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman), and series, including Cherish the Day, created by Ava DuVernay. Here are 10 Fresh movies and series starring the legendary Cicely Tyson.

#11
Adjusted Score: 100187%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of the Carson McCullers novel, John Singer (Alan Arkin), who is deaf and mute, tries to help... [More]
Directed By: Robert Ellis Miller

#10

Sounder (1972)
90%

#10
Adjusted Score: 91612%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Morgans, a family of poor black sharecroppers in the Depression-plagued South, struggle to find enough to eat despite the... [More]
Directed By: Martin Ritt

#9
Adjusted Score: 88049%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Beginning during the racial turmoil of 1960s Louisiana, 110-year-old ex-slave Jane Pittman (Cicely Tyson) grants an interview to a persistent... [More]
Directed By: John Korty

Synopsis: Annalise Keating (Oscar- and Tony-winning actress Viola Davis), a brilliant, charismatic and seductive professor of defense law, teaches a class... [More]

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 20586%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Grant Wiggins (Don Cheadle) is an African-American schoolteacher in the pre-Civil Rights Movement South who feels conflicted about his status... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Sargent

Cherish the Day (2020)
78%

#6
Synopsis: The stirring romance of a couple is told in segments of a single day.... [More]

Roots (1977)
76%

#5
Synopsis: A 1977 miniseries based on Alex Haley's book tells the story of African teen Kunta Kinte, brought to America to... [More]

#4

Last Flag Flying (2017)
77%

#4
Adjusted Score: 92193%
Critics Consensus: Last Flag Flying balances raw drama against refreshing moments of humor in an impeccably cast film that wrestles with questions of patriotism, family, and grief.
Synopsis: Thirty years after serving together in the Vietnam War, Larry "Doc" Shepherd, Sal Nealon and the Rev. Richard Mueller reunite... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#3

The Help (2011)
76%

#3
Adjusted Score: 85991%
Critics Consensus: Though it fails to fully engage with its racial themes, The Help rises on the strength of its cast -- particularly Viola Davis, whose performance is powerful enough to carry the film on its own.
Synopsis: In 1960s Mississippi, Southern society girl Skeeter (Emma Stone) returns from college with dreams of being a writer. She turns... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 76096%
Critics Consensus: Fried Green Tomatoes' tearjerking drama is undeniably manipulative, but in the hands of a skilled cast that includes Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates, it's also powerfully effective.
Synopsis: On one of trapped housewife Evelyn Couch's (Kathy Bates) Wednesday nursing home visits, she encounters Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy), a... [More]
Directed By: Jon Avnet

#1

Bustin' Loose (1981)
60%

#1
Adjusted Score: 31050%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Parole officer Donald (Robert Christian) compels his foul-mouthed ex-con charge Joe Braxton (Richard Pryor) to escort a bus full of... [More]
Directed By: Oz Scott

Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

All Jessica Chastain Movies Ranked

How many times now have we seen the fanfare of an “And Introducing…” in the credits of a movie, only to never hear of that person ever again? If you can’t think of any examples, that’s exactly the point.

But not so for Jessica Chastain. She would not fall casualty to this Madden cover curse of star billing, after her “And Introducing…” leading debut of 2008’s Jolene. The movie only got 48%, so it didn’t set the world on fire, but Chastain came back two years later with Stolen…which got 0%. Improbably, this only set the stage for a wild 5-movie Certified Fresh streak that would launch her career, featuring Coriolanus, The Tree of Life, The Help, The Debt, and Take Shelter.

Almost hard to believe Chastain has only been active on-screen for just over a decade, but she’s capitalized on her early Certified Fresh windfall. The Help got her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nom, and the next year she upgraded to competing in the Best Actress field for Zero Dark Thirty, which would go on to win Best Picture. Interstellar and The Martian made her synonymous with deep space hijinks (as if Tree of Life didn’t already), while Miss Sloane and Molly’s Game exhibits her style of high-level intensity.

And now Chastain is in the sequel to the highest-grossing horror movie ever, It Chapter Two, as grown-up Bev. As she’s chased on-screen by all manner of murder clowns and transformative terrors, we’re ranking all Jessica Chastain’s best movies (and her worst — hi, Dark Phoenix!) by Tomatometer!

#28

Stolen (2009)
0%

#28
Critics Consensus: With plot points Stolen from countless superior films, this would-be thriller squanders a solid cast on overly serious and suspense-free storytelling.
Synopsis: A detective (Jon Hamm) becomes obsessed with solving a child's 50-year-old murder, uncovering striking similarities between the case and his... [More]
Directed By: Anders Anderson

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 3970%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Memories of the past -- from his first sexual encounter to a tragic loss -- haunt poet C.K. Williams as... [More]

#26
Adjusted Score: 32631%
Critics Consensus: The Huntsman: Winter's War is visually arresting and boasts a stellar cast, but neither are enough to recommend this entirely unnecessary sequel.
Synopsis: Betrayed by her evil sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron), heartbroken Freya (Emily Blunt) retreats to a northern kingdom to raise an... [More]
Directed By: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

#25

Dark Phoenix (2019)
22%

#25
Adjusted Score: 45011%
Critics Consensus: Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc -- with deeply disappointing results.
Synopsis: The X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe when one of their own, Jean Grey, starts to spiral out... [More]
Directed By: Simon Kinberg

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 37166%
Critics Consensus: Texas Killing Fields is a competent boilerplate crime thriller, brewing up characters and plots used in better films.
Synopsis: After a familiar girl goes missing, two detectives (Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan) race against time before a serial killer... [More]
Directed By: Ami Canaan Mann

#23

Jolene (2008)
48%

#23
Adjusted Score: 44253%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A teenage orphan spends ten years traveling to experience life.... [More]
Directed By: Dan Ireland

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 61892%
Critics Consensus: Woman Walks Ahead gets some extra mileage out of watchable work from Jessica Chastain and Michael Greyeyes, but uneven pacing and two-dimensional characters undermine their efforts.
Synopsis: A headstrong New York painter embarks on a dangerous journey to meet Sitting Bull but must face off with an... [More]
Directed By: Susanna White

#21

Miss Julie (2014)
52%

#21
Adjusted Score: 52421%
Critics Consensus: Miss Julie definitely gives Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell room to shine, but neglects to leave them a solid enough setting to augment their efforts.
Synopsis: A baron's frustrated daughter (Jessica Chastain) courts scandal and more when she tries to seduce her father's valet (Colin Farrell).... [More]
Directed By: Liv Ullmann

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 77201%
Critics Consensus: The Zookeeper's Wife has noble intentions, but is ultimately unable to bring its fact-based story to life with quite as much impact as it deserves.
Synopsis: The time is 1939 and the place is Poland, homeland of Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski. The... [More]
Directed By: Niki Caro

#19

Mama (2013)
63%

#19
Adjusted Score: 69432%
Critics Consensus: If you're into old-school scares over cheap gore, you'll be able to get over Mama's confusing script and contrived plot devices.
Synopsis: On the day that their parents die, sisters Lilly and Victoria vanish in the woods, prompting a frantic search by... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

#18

It: Chapter Two (2019)
62%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85811%
Critics Consensus: It: Chapter Two proves bigger doesn't always mean scarier for horror sequels, but a fine cast and faithful approach to the source material keep this follow-up afloat.
Synopsis: Defeated by members of the Losers' Club, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to terrorize the town of... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

#17
Adjusted Score: 68368%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is a hauntingly original rumination on love and loss.
Synopsis: Following the death of their child, a woman (Jessica Chastain) leaves her husband (James McAvoy) and flees to the suburban... [More]
Directed By: Ned Benson

#16

Lawless (2012)
66%

#16
Adjusted Score: 75552%
Critics Consensus: Grim, bloody, and utterly flawed, Lawless doesn't quite achieve the epic status it strains for, but it's too beautifully filmed and powerfully acted to dismiss.
Synopsis: In 1931, the Bondurant brothers of Franklin County, Va., run a multipurpose backwoods establishment that hides their true business, bootlegging.... [More]
Directed By: John Hillcoat

#15

Interstellar (2014)
72%

#15
Adjusted Score: 88274%
Critics Consensus: Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually resplendent filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan, even if its intellectual reach somewhat exceeds its grasp.
Synopsis: In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#14

Crimson Peak (2015)
72%

#14
Adjusted Score: 83689%
Critics Consensus: Crimson Peak offers an engaging -- albeit somewhat slight -- diversion driven by a delightfully creepy atmosphere and director Guillermo del Toro's brilliant knack for unforgettable visuals.
Synopsis: After marrying the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharpe, young Edith (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself swept away to his remote... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#13

The Help (2011)
76%

#13
Adjusted Score: 85991%
Critics Consensus: Though it fails to fully engage with its racial themes, The Help rises on the strength of its cast -- particularly Viola Davis, whose performance is powerful enough to carry the film on its own.
Synopsis: In 1960s Mississippi, Southern society girl Skeeter (Emma Stone) returns from college with dreams of being a writer. She turns... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#12

Miss Sloane (2016)
76%

#12
Adjusted Score: 88043%
Critics Consensus: Miss Sloane sits squarely on the shoulders of Jessica Chastain's performance -- and she responds with awards-worthy work that single-handedly elevates the film.
Synopsis: Willing to bend the rules for her clients, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) remains one of the most sought-after lobbyists in... [More]
Directed By: John Madden

#11

The Debt (2010)
77%

#11
Adjusted Score: 83026%
Critics Consensus: Its time-shifting narrative creates distracting casting problems, but ultimately, The Debt is a smart, well-acted entry in a genre that could use more like it.
Synopsis: In 1965, young Mossad agent Rachel Singer (Jessica Chastain) and two comrades (Sam Worthington, Marton Csokas) are involved in a... [More]
Directed By: John Madden

#10
Adjusted Score: 83312%
Critics Consensus: Dazzlingly colorful and frenetic, Madagascar 3 is silly enough for young kids, but boasts enough surprising smarts to engage parents along the way.
Synopsis: Animal pals Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) are still trying to... [More]

#9

Wilde Salomé (2011)
80%

#9
Adjusted Score: 53729%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Al Pacino takes viewers on a journey as he unravels Oscar Wilde's once banned and most controversial work "Salomé."... [More]
Directed By: Al Pacino

#8

Molly's Game (2017)
82%

#8
Adjusted Score: 99841%
Critics Consensus: Powered by an intriguing story and a pair of outstanding performances from Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, Molly's Game marks a solid debut for writer-director Aaron Sorkin.
Synopsis: The true story of Molly Bloom, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game... [More]
Directed By: Aaron Sorkin

#7

The Tree of Life (2011)
84%

#7
Adjusted Score: 98301%
Critics Consensus: Terrence Malick's singularly deliberate style may prove unrewarding for some, but for patient viewers, Tree of Life is an emotional as well as visual treat.
Synopsis: In this highly philosophical film by acclaimed director Terrence Malick, young Jack (Hunter McCracken) is one of three brothers growing... [More]
Directed By: Terrence Malick

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 98400%
Critics Consensus: Gritty, gripping, and weighted with thought-provoking heft, A Most Violent Year represents another strong entry in writer-director J.C. Chandor's impressive filmography.
Synopsis: In 1981 New York, a fuel supplier (Oscar Isaac) tries to adhere to his own moral compass amid the rampant... [More]
Directed By: J.C. Chandor

#5

The Martian (2015)
91%

#5
Adjusted Score: 107214%
Critics Consensus: Smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny, The Martian offers a faithful adaptation of the bestselling book that brings out the best in leading man Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott.
Synopsis: When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#4

Coriolanus (2011)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 97348%
Critics Consensus: Visceral and visually striking, Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus proves Shakespeare can still be both electrifying and relevant in a modern context.
Synopsis: Caius Martius, aka Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes), is an arrogant and fearsome general who has built a career on protecting Rome... [More]
Directed By: Ralph Fiennes

#3

Take Shelter (2011)
92%

#3
Adjusted Score: 99423%
Critics Consensus: Michael Shannon gives a powerhouse performance and the purposefully subtle filmmaking creates a perfect blend of drama, terror, and dread.
Synopsis: Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) lives in a small Ohio town with his loving wife (Jessica Chastain) and hearing-impaired daughter (Tova... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Nichols

#2

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
91%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103590%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, suspenseful, and brilliantly crafted, Zero Dark Thirty dramatizes the hunt for Osama bin Laden with intelligence and an eye for detail.
Synopsis: Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden becomes one of the most-wanted men on the planet.... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#1

Salomé (2013)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 22374%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: At a birthday feast for King Herod, his stepdaughter, Princess Salomé, discovers the imprisoned John the Baptist and is immediately... [More]
Directed By: Al Pacino

She’s yet to celebrate her 30th birthday, but Emma Stone has already been wooed by Jonah Hill, battled zombies, and smooched Spider-Man — and this weekend, she faces off against Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes, so now seems like a pretty good time to take a look back at some of the brighter critical highlights from her growing list of film credits, while inviting you to rank your own favorites in the bargain. We’re romancing the Stone, Total Recall style!


Use the up and down arrows to rank the movies, or click here to see them ranked by Tomatometer!

NBC’s Saturday Night Live was back after a three-week hiatus and quickly incorporated the week’s top news. The show’s No. 1 moment wasn’t a full sketch, however, but a joke sprinkled throughout the 90-minute block. Host Octavia Spencer scored in her monologue, and SNL vets skewered Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway for her latest flub, embattled U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on his ties to Russia, and even some of the show’s own current and former cast members.


1. KATE COVERS KELLYANNE KNEELING

A photo of Kellyanne Conway kneeling on the Oval Office sofa with her cell phone circulated on social media last week. It turned out she was trying to get all the attendees of a historic meeting of leaders from black colleges in a single photo. Her pose will probably last longer than the historic photo she took, and SNL’s resident Conway Kate McKinnon made three kneeling appearances on the show. You couldn’t miss her in Weekend Update, but some astute fans spotted the other two!

You can barely tell which one is which!


2. TBD: THE MOVIE!

A digital short shot movie trailer style teased an “inspiring political drama” in which one Republican lawmaker stands up to President Donald Trump against his own party. Saturday Night Live produced the video with the Republican unidentified and his inspiring statements “TBD.”


3. HIDDEN FENCE LIGHT

During her monologue, host Octavia Spencer made some jokes about the three African-American–themed films at the Oscars this year. Her mashup, Hidden Fence Light, was a combination of Hidden Figures, Fences, and Moonlight, but it could also have been a jab at Michael Keaton’s Golden Globes flub, calling Spencer’s movie Hidden Fences.


4. FATHER JOHN MISTY CONFUSED PEOPLE

Many viewers heard Father John Misty for the first time on SNL. Many did not know what to make of him, but his die-hard fans understood. Perhaps lyrics about “sacred texts written by women-hating epileptics” are not for everyone. Here are some of the viewer reactions.


5. JEFF SESSIONS’ LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES

In a blast from the past, Forrest Gump made an appearance in the cold open, but it was McKinnon as Jeff Sessions as the beloved film and literary figure. The real photo of kneeling Conway  stands in as Forrest’s legless Lt. Dan. Topless Putin also showed up, and host Spencer reprised her Oscar-winning role as Minny in The Help and brings Gump-Sessions-McKinnon one of her famous pies. From one southern literary character to another: You are what you eat!


6. SNL CAST MEMBERS MOCK THEIR ALUMNI

The cast of SNL are gifted impressionists, but they rarely turn their skills on each other. Dana Carvey once did Dennis Miller sitting next to the real Miller, but Saturday night was a free-for-all of current and legendary cast members. In a voiceover studio for a Zootopia knockoff, Kenan Thompson did Tracy Morgan, and Melissa Villasenor did both Kristen Wiig and McKinnon. McKinnon was too busy kneeling in the background to rebut her.

This year marks the 38th anniversary of the People’s Choice Awards, and you, the fans, have voted for all of your favorites!


Favorite Movie

Bridesmaids

90%

Winner!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

96%

The Help

76%

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

33%

Transformers: Dark of the Moon


35%


Favorite Action Movie

Fast Five

Winner! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Thor

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

X-Men: First Class

Favorite Comedy Movie

Bad Teacher

Winner! Bridesmaids

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Friends with Benefits

The Hangover Part II

Favorite Drama Movie

The Adjustment Bureau

The Help

Limitless

Moneyball

Winner! Water for Elephants

Favorite Book Adaptation

Winner! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

The Help

I am Number Four

Soul Surfer

Water for Elephants

Favorite Ensemble Movie Cast

Bridesmaids

The Hangover Part II

Winner! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

X-Men: First Class

Favorite Movie Actor

Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Hugh Jackman, Real Steel

Winner! Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Robert Pattinson, Water for Elephants

Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern, The Change-Up

Favorite Movie Actress

Anne Hathaway, One Day

Winner! Emma Stone, The Help, Crazy, Stupid, Love

Jennifer Aniston, Just Go With It, Horrible Bosses

Julia Roberts, Larry Crowne

Reese Witherspoon, Water for Elephants

Favorite Action Movie Star

Winner! Hugh Jackman, Real Steel

Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern

Shia LaBeouf, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Taylor Lautner, Abduction

Vin Diesel, Fast Five

Favorite Movie Superhero

Chris Evans, Captain America: The First Avenger

Chris Hemsworth, Thor

James McAvoy, X-Men: First Class

Jennifer Lawrence, X-Men: First Class

Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern

Favorite Comedic Movie Actor

Winner! Adam Sandler, Just Go With It

Ashton Kutcher, No Strings Attached

Bradley Cooper, The Hangover Part II

Ryan Reynolds, The Change-Up

Steve Carrell, Crazy, Stupid, Love

Favorite Comedic Movie Actress

Cameron Diaz, Bad Teacher

Winner! Emma Stone, Crazy, Stupid, Love

Jennifer Aniston, Just Go With It, Horrible Bosses

Mila Kunis, Friends with Benefits

Natalie Portman, No Strings Attached

Favorite Movie Star Under 25

Winner! Chloe Grace Moretz, Hugo

Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Rupert Grint, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Tom Felton, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Favorite Movie Icon

George Clooney

Harrison Ford

Winner! Morgan Freeman

Robert De Niro

Tom Hanks

This week on home video, we’ve got a handful of big releases that came out earlier this year; while a couple of them did surprisingly well, a couple of them fell far below expectations, and another one pretty much turned out the way we all thought it would. First up is the Emma Stone and Viola Davis-powered drama about race relations, followed by a sci-fi genre mash-up that should have been better than it was. Then, we’ve got a children’s film starring Jim Carrey, a smart retro spy thriller, and the sequel to a wildly popular comedy from a couple years back. In the reissue department, we’ve got a new Criterion Blu-ray for a Hitchcock classic, a popular franchise box set, and a Blu-ray for an historical WWII epic. See below for the full list!



The Help

76%

What seemed on its surface to be another schmaltzy, pandering examination of race relations turned out to be one of the surprise hits of the year, thanks mostly to the efforts of its terrific cast. Based on the novel of the same name by Kathryn Stockett, The Help stars Emma Stone as Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, an intrepid young journalist during Civil Rights era America who decides to write a surely controversial novel about the experiences of black maids from the maids’ perspectives. During the course of her interviews, Skeeter befriends her subjects and an unlikely bond develops, lending Skeeter’s project a new sense of import and purpose. Though some critics felt the film somewhat glossed over its racial themes, the power of the performances, including superb turns by co-stars Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, helped to elevate the picture to a Certified Fresh 75%. The Help may not quite be the grand lesson in race relations some might want it to be, but it’s a moving look at the era and a worthy adaptation of its source material.



Cowboys & Aliens

44%

Tell anyone you’ve got an alien invasion movie set in the old west, starring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, and Olivia Wilde, and directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), and chances are that you’ll have the listener’s full attention. Too bad, then, that the actual film this describes turned out to be a flop. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Cowboys & Aliens is exactly the kind of genre mash-up that contemporary audiences eat up heartily; 007 himself (Craig) plays a wandering stranger with no memory who stumbles into the New Mexico town of Absolution, only to find that the town’s residents don’t take too kindly to strangers. However, when a mysterious otherworldly menace begins an assault on the town, the stranger must team up with the local lawman (Harrison Ford) to battle for humankind’s survival. So what was the major problem here? Critics felt that, despite appealing performances from Craig and Ford, the film simply shifted its tone too abruptly and too often, never quite settling into a comfortable and effective groove. At 44% on the Tomatometer, Cowboys & Aliens isn’t the awesome genre action flick it could have been, but it may still satisfy those in dire need of a fix.



The Hangover Part II

34%

Back in 2009, Warner Bros. had a surprise hit of their own with the raucous bromantic comedy The Hangover, and it was immediately expected that a sequel would follow. Sure enough, two years later, audiences were treated to a second outing with the “Wolf Pack,” namely Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), and Doug (Justin Bartha). If you’ve heard or read anything about the movie, you know that the typical summary offered is “It’s pretty much the same as the first one, except that it takes place in Thailand.” This time around, it’s Stu who’s getting married, so the gang travels back to his fiancee’s homeland for the festivities, and again, it’s Alan who inadvertently brings about another forgotten night of mayhem that the fellas must piece together the day after. What the first movie had going for it — namely, the element of surprise and a sense of joyful mayhem — is largely missing from this sequel, which sports raunchier jokes and a much darker tone. If you don’t mind a sense of déjà vu, feel free to dive right in.



Mr. Popper’s Penguins

47%

Look, it can’t be denied: penguins are adorable. With that in mind, it’s quite understandable why there have been so many films in recent years, from documentaries to CGI-animated tales, centered around our most cuddly, flightless friends. And, of course, as demonstrated by other entries in this week’s list, adaptations of books are a Hollywood favorite as well, which brings us to Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Jim Carrey stars as the titular Mr. Popper, a divorced realtor whose globetrotting father leaves him with crates full of penguins upon his death. Popper decides not to turn the penguins over to the zoo when he observes how much his children love them, and in caring for his new feathered friends, he not only mends his personal relationships, but also succeeds in landing an important and sentimental real estate deal. Based on a children’s book from 1938, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is pretty standard stuff, which means the plot points are predictable, and there are enough “aww shucks” moments for the kids. The film, however, fails to transcend cliché and become something more, and for that, it sports just a 47% on the Tomatometer.



The Debt

77%

Have room for one more unoriginal story? A remake of the 2007 Israeli film of the same name, The Debt at least does a good job of adapting the original for a new audience. Flashing back and forth between two eras, The Debt tells the story of three Mossad agents who, in 1966, undertook a mission that made them national heroes… But did they really complete their mission, or is there more to the story? Three decades later, having enjoyed a life of some notoriety, the agents must decide whether or not to follow up on their original task, and as more details are revealed, the path becomes more treacherous for all involved. Though the shifts in time may be a little problematic for some at first, critics largely found much to praise in The Debt‘s smartly executed script and impressive acting. With a Certified Fresh 76% and stars like Tom Wilkinson, Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Ciaran Hinds, and Marton Csokas filling out the bill, you can be assured this is one thriller that will engage you from start to finish.



The Lady Vanishes – Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

98%

Two years before leaving his native Britain for Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock made The Lady Vanishes, a deft blend of thrills and laughs that established a formula the master would utilize in his American films. On a train ride from a fictional Central European country to her native England, Iris (Margaret Lockwood) becomes acquainted with an elderly fellow traveler — who proceeds to seemingly vanish into midair. With the help of musicologist Gilbert (Michael Redgrave), Iris tries desperately to find the old lady, and to prove she’s not crazy. Filled with eccentric supporting characters (including Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford, whose characters Charters and Caldicott became a favorite of British audiences) and plenty of suspenseful twists and turns, The Lady Vanishes finds Hitchcock at an early peak. A new Critierion Blu-ray features a fresh transfer of the film, plus a making-of video essay, audio excerpts of a 1962 Hitchcock interview by Francois Truffaut, and Crook’s Tour, a 1941 film that re-teamed Charters and Caldicott.



Tora! Tora! Tora! – Blu-ray

55%

A troubled production and a flop at the box office, Tora! Tora! Tora! certainly can’t count lack of ambition as one of its faults. A history lesson come to life, the film dramatized the attack on Pearl Harbor from both the American and Japanese perspectives; while many praised its commitment to historical accuracy, others felt the film lacked dramatic heft. The American scenes were directed by Hollywood pro Richard Fleischer, but it was the Japanese scenes that caused headaches for the producers; originally, Akira Kurosawa (!) was to direct, but he backed out, only to be replaced by action director Toshio Masuda and future Battle Royale helmer Kinji Fukasaku (!!). With a cast that includes Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, and Jason Robards, as well as Kurosawa and Ozu players So Yamamura and Eijiro Tono, the new Tora! Tora! Tora! Blu-ray is a great stocking stuffer for military buffs on your holiday shopping list; special features include featurettes on the film, behind-the-scenes photos, and commentary from Fleischer.



Mission: Impossible Extreme Blu-Ray Trilogy

For those looking to get primed and ready for the upcoming fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, Paramount is releasing a gift set of all three previous films in the Mission: Impossible Extreme Blu-Ray Trilogy. Most will be inclined to debate on whether the first or third installments were the best, while the John Woo-helmed second film is widely regarded as the worst of the three, but for those looking for a bit of globetrotting spy intrigue, they all pretty much serve their purpose. The three disc set comes with dedicated bonus features for each film, most of which have been previously released on earlier editions, so the big draw here is getting all three together for a pretty decent price. This could make for a pretty decent gift for a fan of the series who has yet to upgrade their collection to hi-def.

Since her acting debut in Signs (at age six) and Oscar nomination for Little Miss Sunshine (at age 10), Abigail Breslin has taken an unpredictable path in her film roles, appearing in everything from family movies to heartstring-heavy dramas to unabashed horror-comedy — as Zombieland‘s gun-toting scamp Little Rock, she got to indulge in what few of her young peers are allowed; namely, blowing away hordes of the undead. This year, Breslin’s already lent her voice to probably the best, and certainly the most original American animated feature, Rango, and she’ll soon appear (alongside practically everyone else in Hollywood) in the romantic comedy New Year’s Eve; while next year brings a transition to teenage roles — including a high school murderess in the very Heavenly Creatures-sounding Innocence. In this week’s Janie Jones, Breslin plays the title character, a 13-year-old girl set adrift from her single mother to reconnects with her boozy rock-n-roll dad, played by Alessandro Nivola. We sat down with the young actress to talk about the movie and her music, where she sees her career headed, and her Five Favorite Films (with a little assist from her mom).

Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944; 100% Tomatometer)


One would probably be Meet Me in St. Louis, which I love. Meet Me in St. Louis I love because I love Margaret O’Brien, and I actually got to meet her in person — she was so sweet and so cool. She was my favorite. So I love that movie.

Insidious (James Wan, 2011; 67% Tomatometer)



I guess I’ll have to do one horror movie because it’s my thing; I love horror movies. So my favorite horror movie would be… [pauses] I guess I’ll just go with a recent one that I really like right now, which was Insidious. I actually really liked that. It was kind of like, in some ways kind of campy, but it was so fun the way it was done. I loved the storyline of it all, and the ending was really cool.

The Help (Tate Taylor, 2011; 74% Tomatometer)



A recent movie that I really liked was The Help. I thought The Help was really, really good. And I love all the actors in it, who I thought were just amazing. I love Jessica Chastain, and Viola Davis and, you know, Emma Stone too, ’cause I worked with her. And Octavia Spencer. I thought they were all amazing.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962; 89% Tomatometer)



Oh, the Bette Davis one — What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? I really like… I really love that movie. She’s kind of like really crazy and creepy. It’s one of the most — it’s not really a horror movie, but it’s so eerie and creepy.
.

Prancer (John D. Hancock, 1989; 69% Tomatometer)



And then finally I love… [long pause] Can I think about the last one? [Breslin’s mother intervenes: “For sentimental reasons the one you always loved was Prancer,” she suggests, laughing.] Oh yeah, I loved Prancer. Oh my god. [Laughs] I actually, really— okay, yeah, I’ll put that. So that movie, for sentimental reasons, and just because I still love it. It still has to be watched every Christmas. [Mom laughs in the background. ]

How many times have you seen it?

Oh, probably over a hundred. Especially when I was younger, I watched it like every day.

Do you know I’ve never seen it?

Oh my gosh, shame on you! Now you must.

Next, Breslin talks about Janie Jones, starting her music career, and her mini-obsession with Little Rock.

 

So, Janie Jones. I was impressed that you did all your own singing and playing in the movie. Was that something that attracted you to the part, or were you already performing music?

Abigail Breslin: Well I’d never really done music before, except for, you know, church Christmas parties and stuff like that. I’d never sung that much before, so it was definitely nerve-racking to come in — especially with Alessandro, who was such a good guitar player and singer. So that was definitely nerve-racking, but at the same time it was a lot of fun and it kind of inspired me to learn more. I taught myself guitar and took more vocal lessons, and now I actually have my own band; so that’s kind of cool.

How’s that going?

It’s going well. The band’s going good. It’s called CABB, with two “b”s, and actually our first song is coming out today and it’s called “Well Wishes.”

What kind of music do you play? “Who are your influences?”

[Laughs] Who are my influences! I kind of like… I love Adele, I love Foster the People, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, The Vaccines. And then my best friend, who’s also in the band, she kind of likes different stuff, like Lady Gaga; so it’s kind of like a merger of the two.

Is music something you might consider pursuing as well as acting?

Yeah, I mean definitely. We’re working on an album right now. It’s definitely something that I love doing and can hopefully, you know, do both.

You and Alessandro kind of have a bond on screen — did you become close off-screen to get that dynamic?

Well, I mean, the first time we met was on set — except, actually my brother Spencer did a movie with Alessandro’s wife, Emily, so we met when I was three. [Laughs] I don’t think we “met.” So when we first met on set, one of the first scenes we did was a very awkward and uncomfortable “first meeting” scene, and it kind of worked out well — as we got to know each other, as the characters got to know each other, we got to know each other in real life. So that was kind of cool.

You first meet him in Little Rock. Was that a coincidence, or did you have that written into the script?

[Laughs] No! Because of my character in Zombieland?

Yeah.

Well, what’s interesting is that while I was filming Zombieland I was reading this script, and my character was “Little Rock,” so… [laughs] I actually really like the city Little Rock in real life.

You need to find a way to work this into all of your films.

[Laughs] Exactly. I need to find a way. It’ll be like a thing. Every movie that you see of mine will have, like, “Little Rock Dry Cleaning” or something like that.

And then you’ll know it’s an “Abigail Breslin Film.”

Then you’ll know — you will know. [Laughs]

You can go back into your old films and have it digitally inserted.

Yeah, I know! [Laughs] I need to go back into all of them. You’ll see Little Miss Sunshine and instead of it being at, like, Redondo Beach, it’ll say “Welcome to Little Rock” in a really cheesy voiceover. It’ll sound really bad, but it’ll work!

Looking at your film choices since your Oscar nomination, you seem to be taking pretty varied roles — from Zombieland to character work in Rango and now this — is there a plan to it?

I don’t really have a set plan of what I feel like I should do, but I definitely like to play characters that I’ve never played before, and do different ones. I just feel like I’d get bored playing the same character over and over again. So I do try and do different roles, but there’s no set plan. I just go script-by-script, and if I like the character and the story, and if it’s a character that I’d want to know in real life, then that’s sort of why I do it.


Janie Jones is released in theaters and on VOD this week.

Showing incredible longevity, The Help was the most popular film in North America for the third weekend in a row beating out a trio of new releases to top the long Friday-to-Monday Labor Day holiday frame. The spy drama The Debt debuted to impressive results in second place while the critically-panned thrillers Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D followed with modest openings. Older adults came out to multiplexes in larger numbers than teens as overall ticket sales were about even with the holiday from the past two years.

Still pulling in ticket buyers in its fourth weekend, The Help led the way with an estimated $19M over the long four-day span with the Friday-to-Sunday portion seeing a slight uptick from last weekend. The Mississippi-set drama became the first film since Inception to rank number one for three weekends. Averaging a strong $6,683 over four days, the Disney release boosted its stellar cume to $123.4M on its way to what should be at least $160M. The Help continues to benefit from solid buzz and audience expansion reaching people now who had no interest on opening weekend. It has now surpassed Green Lantern and is on course to outgross bigger summer action films like X-Men: First Class and Super 8.

Leading the way among new titles was the older-skewing espionage thriller The Debt which bowed to an estimated $12.6M over the Friday-to-Monday period. The Focus release averaged a healthy $6,873 from only 1,826 locations as it played to a more sophisticated adult crowd. Reviews were good for the Helen Mirren film and with its Wednesday start the six-day gross was $14.5M. The performance was especially impressive given how well The Help (with 1,000 extra theaters) continues to do with adult women and the fact that films opening on Labor Day weekend rarely average more than $6,000 over four days. A healthy run ahead for The Debt could result.

There was a tight race among the frame’s two other new releases for the bronze medal. The outer space thriller Apollo 18 claimed a slim lead over with an estimated $10.7M debut from a very wide 3,328 theaters resulting in an awful $3,215 four-day average. The Weinstein Co. release tried to intrigue sci-fi audiences with its found-footage format but few turned out. Those that did rejected what they saw as the CinemaScore grade came in as a dismal D. Grosses will evaporate quickly. Luckily for the distributor, Apollo carried a tiny $5M production budget.

Opening behind in fourth place was the fourth horror film in as many weeks, Shark Night 3D with an estimated $10.3M. Released by Relativity Media, the PG-13 pic averaged a weak $3,671 from 2,806 despite including 3D surcharges. It was the third fright flick in a row that failed to break double digit millions on its Friday-to-Sunday opening weekend following the $8.5M of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and the $7.7M of Fright Night which was in 3D. Shark scared up $8.4M over three days. Produced for roughly $25M, Shark Night scored a disappointing C grade from CinemaScore. Females made up 52% of the audience, 57% was under 25, and a very high 56% was Latino. Although there were 300+ runs in 2D, Shark Night truly pushed the extra dimensional thrills as a very high 86% of the sales came from 3D screens.

Fox’s summer hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes collected an estimated $10.3M raising the impressive sum to $162.5M. The Zoe Saldana revenge thriller Colombiana dropped a reasonable amount in its second weekend to an estimated $9.4M pushing the 11 day total to $24M for Sony.

With a four-day take that matched its three-day debut, the raunchy comedy Our Idiot Brother from The Weinstein Co. grossed an estimated $7M. The Paul Rudd pic has taken in a modest $17.3M in 11 days. The distributor’s Spy Kids: All the Time in the World collected an estimated $6.6M in its third round boosting the total to $31M.

Suffering the largest decline in the top ten was the horror entry Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark which fell to an estimated $6.1M over four days. FilmDistrict has scared up $17.6M to date and the three-day decline was 40%. The Smurfs took in an estimated $5.6M for a mighty $133.6M domestic haul. The Sony smash continues to shine overseas with its international total rising to $295.8M and the global gross hitting a sturdy $428M.

With the summer movie season just about over, sequels pulled in the most business dominating the marketplace. The top five summer films were: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($375.5M), Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($350.5M), The Hangover Part II ($254.3M), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($240.5M), and Fast Five ($209.8M) which opened at the end of April but truly kicked off the busy moviegoing season. The top non-sequels were – Thor ($181M), Captain America ($172.1M), and Bridesmaids ($168.5M) which was one of the biggest surprise smashes of the season. The Help may eventually reach this same vicinity.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $97.6M which was up 5% from last year’s four-day holiday when The American opened in the top spot with $16.7M; and up 1% from 2009’s holiday when The Final Destination stayed at number one with $15.3M.

Written by Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

The North American box office slumped to its second lowest point of the year thanks to the lack of a breakout new hit plus a devastating hurricane wiping out plenty of business on the east coast. With tens of millions of people forced to stay home and many theaters shutting down for a day or two, moviegoing took a major hit across a large part of the country. But with films trying to pick up Saturday’s lost business on Sunday, and the weather event hitting at a time when the marketplace is generally weak anyway, the overall impact was not incredibly severe.

Topping the chart for a second straight weekend was the sleeper hit The Help which slipped only 28% to an estimated $14.3M. After 19 days of release, the Disney release has collected a sturdy $96.6M and will break through the $100M mark this week. The Viola Davis starrer averaged $5,159 which was impressive for the third weekend of a non-tentpole film.

The weak marketplace saw consumers spend just over $85M on the Top 20 films. Only the Super Bowl frame in early February was worse this year with $82M. Box office prospects over the next couple of weeks also look grim with few films hitting theaters that are truly exciting ticket buyers.

The revenge thriller Colombiana led the new releases with an opening weekend score of $10.3M, according to estimates. The Sony release about an assassin hunting down her parents’ killers averaged $3,940 from 2,614 locations which was respectable for a late summer film with a hurricane eating into east coast business. Starring Zoe Saldana and produced by Luc Besson, Columbiana did not fare too well with critics, but did connect moderately well with adult women. Studio research showed that 57% of the audience for the PG-13 pic was female and 65% was 25 or older.

The horror film Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark attracted a soft debut in third with an estimated $8.7M. Averaging a lackluster $3,148 per site from 2,760 theaters, the R-rated remake suffered from stiff competition being the third fright film in as many weeks to hit the multiplexes. FilmDistrict marketed the thriller as being from producer Guillermo del Toro who has a fan following of his own, but overall interest was not too strong.

Fox’s sci-fi prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes ranked fourth with an estimated $8.7M as well, down 46% in its fourth frame. The action hit now stands at $148.5M on its way to $170M+.

The Paul Rudd comedy Our Idiot Brother debuted poorly in fifth place with an estimated $6.6M from 2,555 locations for a wimpy $2,578 average. The summer’s latest R-rated comedy earned decent reviews for The Weinstein Co. (which acquired the hot pic at this year’s Sundace Film Festival) but lacked the must-see buzz that so many other raunchy comedies earlier this summer had. Often times films work at more specialized events like Sundance or Comic Con, but fail to make much of a mark during a commercial release across 50 states.

A pair of 3D kidpics followed. In its second weekend, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World fell 51% to an estimated $5.7M for The Weinstein Co. With $21.7M in ten days, the PG-rated fourquel should finish with around $35M making it the lowest-grossing installment by far. Faring much better with families, The Smurfs slipped only 39% to an estimated $4.8M giving Sony a hefty $126M to date. The Smurfette pic has been the dominant choice for kids in the second half of summer.

The 3D remake Conan the Barbarian collapsed by 69% in its second weekend to an estimated $3.1M for a weak $16.6M sum in ten days. The big-budget actioner looks to end its weak run with only $20-23M. Fellow sophomore 80s redo Fright Night also fell sharply tumbling 61% to an estimated $3M for a dull $14.2M total. Look for the 3D Disney release to finish up with only $20M. Rounding out the top ten was the hit divorce comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love with an estimated $2.9M, off 39%, for a $69.5M cume. The Warner Bros. film may reach $80M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $68.1M which was down 22% from last year when Takers opened with $20.5M; and down 35% from 2009 when The Final Destination debuted on top with $27.4M.

Written by Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

This weekend, the sleeper hit The Help ruled the North American box office in its second weekend climbing into the number one spot beating out four new releases which all stumbled in their debuts. The book-based drama grossed an estimated $20.5M slipping a mere 21% in its sophomore session setting up what will be a long-lasting run into blockbuster territory. The Disney release averaged a stellar $7,613 from only 2,690 theaters and raised its 12-day cume to a solid $71.8M. Help should have no problem making its way to $130M and could even soar much higher beating out many of this summer’s big-budget action offerings. Great reviews and strong word-of-mouth have made it into an event film for adults and appeal has been expanding beyond older females with more demographics discovering the story.

After two weekends on top, Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes dropped down to second place with an estimated $16.3M. Off 41%, the sci-fi pic upped its total to $133.8M.

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Leading the four-pack of new wide releases was the only kid-friendly one, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, which generated an estimated $12M from 3,295 theaters for a $3,648 average. Presented in 4D (a 3D film with scratch-n-sniff cards that give off story-related aromas, the PG-rated film played to a family audience but was met with dismal reviews which turned many parents off. Plus the core fan base for the first three films which were released from 2001 to 2003 has grown too old to care anymore so targeting a new generation proved too difficult for the Robert Rodriguez pic.

Another new 3D film not exciting moviegoers was Conan the Barbarian which debuted in fourth with an estimated $10M from 3,015 locations for a not-so-muscular $3,317 average. The R-rated remake was the summer’s 13th action film and audiences did not feel that the expensive production was worth the money in the late days of summer. 3D screens did account for a good 61% of the gross for the Lionsgate release though.

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Another piece of 1980s nostalgia followed as the horror remake Fright Night did little to attract fans of scary movies opening to an estimated $8.3M. The Disney release invaded an aggressive 3,114 theaters but averaged a weak $2,665 per site. 61% of the gross came from 3D screens which was the one bit of good news. Reviews were mostly favorable, but competition for horror fans came from Final Destination 5 which just bowed last week with its own style of branded 3D chills.

Sony’s The Smurfs grossed an estimated $8M, down 42%, boosting the hit film’s cume to $117.7M. The horror sequel Final Destination 5 followed by falling 57% to an estimated $7.7M giving Warner Bros. $32.3M in ten days. A $45-50M final seems likely. 30 Minutes or Less dropped by 53% in its second weekend taking in an estimated $6.3M. With a ten-day sum of $25.8M, look for a $40M final for Sony.

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The fourth and final new wide release of the weekend, the Anne Hathaway drama One Day, failed to make much of a dent with women debuting to only $5.1M, according to estimates. The Focus release averaged a mild $2,980 from 1,721 theaters and faced intense direct competition from The Help which has much more must-see buzz surrounding it. Reviews were very negative too.

Rounding out the top ten was the comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love with an estimated $5M, off just 30%, for a $64.4M cume.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $99.2M which was down 3% from last year when The Expendables remained in the top spot with $17M; and off 7% from 2009 when Inglourious Basterds debuted at number one with $38.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

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