Dwayne Johnson

(Photo by Universal/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail image: Sony Pictures, Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection.)

All Dwayne Johnson Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

If we had known that The Rock was indeed cooking a biggest-star-in-the-world movie career, we would’ve stuck our noses up in there a lot sooner. Yes, we would have sniffed up those early stinkers Doom and Be Cool, because at least nestled somewhere in there was The Rundown, which featured peak Seann William Scott and a cameo from Arnold Schwarzenegger passing the action torch to this upstart, the man who would be Dwayne Johnson. And indeed Johnson was the action man of the mid-aughts, tacking on the likes of Walking Tall to his brawny resume. And like his action forebears, he made a curve into family comedy, releasing The Game Plan, The Tooth Fairy, and Race to Witch Mountain to the delight, we assume, of some people. On a scale between Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot to Kindergarten Cop, we rate Johnson’s comedy career detour Top Dog.

But things turned around in 2010. That’s the year he jumped face first off a building into the pavement. And thus was born a new action/comedy classic: The Other Guys. Meanwhile, ’70s-style throwback Faster showed a leaner, meaner Johnson back in a hard-hitting groove. He was invited into the Fast & Furious family, helping turn Fast Five into the franchise’s first Certified Fresh entry and a global phenomenon. San Andreas, Rampage, and Skyscraper turned him into the master of disaster, while Moana and Fighting With My Family, which he also produced, are among his highest-rated movies.

Central Intelligence was the first collaboration Johnson had with Kevin Hart, which was merely the opening for the main course: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the unlikely reboot-sequel that connected with audiences and critics worldwide. He, Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan all came back for Jumanji: The Next Level, and we’re taking a look back on all of Dwayne Johnson’s movies ranked by Tomatometer! Alex Vo


Moana (2016)

Adjusted Score: 113472%
Critics Consensus: With a title character as three-dimensional as its lush animation and a story that adds fresh depth to Disney's time-tested formula, Moana is truly a family-friendly adventure for the ages.
Synopsis: An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty... [More]
Directed By: John Musker, Ron Clements

Adjusted Score: 107100%
Critics Consensus: Much like the sport it celebrates, Fighting with My Family muscles past clichés with a potent blend of energy and committed acting that should leave audiences cheering.
Synopsis: Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Merchant


Furious 7 (2015)

Adjusted Score: 92717%
Critics Consensus: Serving up a fresh round of over-the-top thrills while adding unexpected dramatic heft, Furious 7 keeps the franchise moving in more ways than one.
Synopsis: After defeating international terrorist Owen Shaw, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew... [More]
Directed By: James Wan


The Other Guys (2010)

Adjusted Score: 86372%
Critics Consensus: A clever parody of cop-buddy action-comedies, The Other Guys delivers several impressive action set pieces and lots of big laughs, thanks to the assured comic chemistry between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: Unlike their heroic counterparts on the force, desk-bound NYPD detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) garner no headlines... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay


Fast Five (2011)

Adjusted Score: 85272%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, loud, and over the top, Fast Five proudly embraces its brainless action thrills and injects new life into the franchise.
Synopsis: Ever since ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) broke her brother Dom (Vin Diesel) out of... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

Adjusted Score: 94284%
Critics Consensus: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle uses a charming cast and a humorous twist to offer an undemanding yet solidly entertaining update on its source material.
Synopsis: Four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming... [More]
Directed By: Jake Kasdan

Adjusted Score: 86363%
Critics Consensus: Like many classic games, Jumanji: The Next Level retains core components of what came before while adding enough fresh bits to keep things playable.
Synopsis: When Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring... [More]
Directed By: Jake Kasdan


Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

Adjusted Score: 78789%
Critics Consensus: With high-octane humor and terrific action scenes, Fast & Furious 6 builds upon the winning blockbuster formula that made Fast 5 a critical and commercial success.
Synopsis: Since Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian's (Paul Walker) heist in Rio left them and their crew very rich people, they've... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

Adjusted Score: 81842%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson make for well-matched comic foils, helping Central Intelligence overcome a script that coasts on their considerable chemistry.
Synopsis: Bullied as a teen for being overweight, Bob Stone (Dwayne Johnson) shows up to his high school reunion looking fit... [More]


The Rundown (2003)

Adjusted Score: 74388%
Critics Consensus: The Rundown doesn't break any new ground, but it's a smart, funny buddy action picture with terrific comic chemistry between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Seann William Scott.
Synopsis: Beck (The Rock) is a tight-lipped bounty hunter who doesn't like to use a gun and accepts any job without... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

Adjusted Score: 88723%
Critics Consensus: Hobbs & Shaw doesn't rev as high as the franchise's best installments, but gets decent mileage out of its well-matched stars and over-the-top action sequences.
Synopsis: Brixton Lorr is a cybernetically enhanced soldier who possesses superhuman strength, a brilliant mind and a lethal pathogen that could... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch

Adjusted Score: 90149%
Critics Consensus: The Fate of the Furious opens a new chapter in the franchise, fueled by the same infectious cast chemistry and over-the-top action fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: With Dom and Letty married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray


Jungle Cruise (2021)

Adjusted Score: 80530%
Critics Consensus: Its craft isn't quite as sturdy as some of the classic adventures it's indebted to, but Jungle Cruise remains a fun, family-friendly voyage.
Synopsis: Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE, a rollicking... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra


Hercules (2014)

Adjusted Score: 62854%
Critics Consensus: Hercules has Brett Ratner behind the cameras and Dwayne Johnson rocking the loincloth -- and delivers exactly what any reasonable person reading that description might expect.
Synopsis: Though he is famous across the ancient world for his larger-than-life exploits, Hercules (Dwayne Johnson), the son of Zeus and... [More]
Directed By: Brett Ratner


Snitch (2013)

Adjusted Score: 62001%
Critics Consensus: Though it features one of Dwayne Johnson's more thoughtful performances, the presentation of Snitch's underlying message is muddled by lackluster storytelling and some tonal inconsistencies.
Synopsis: At 18 years old, Jason receives a mandatory 10-year prison sentence after being caught with a package that contained illegal... [More]
Directed By: Ric Roman Waugh


Rampage (2018)

Adjusted Score: 68461%
Critics Consensus: Rampage isn't as fun as its source material, but the movie's sheer button-mashing abandon might satisfy audiences in the mood for a brainless blockbuster.
Synopsis: Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unshakable bond with George, an extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla that's been in his care since... [More]
Directed By: Brad Peyton


Get Smart (2008)

Adjusted Score: 60495%
Critics Consensus: Get Smart rides Steve Carell's considerable charm for a few laughs, but ultimately proves to be a rather ordinary action comedy.
Synopsis: When members of the nefarious crime syndicate KAOS attack the U.S. spy agency Control, the Chief (Alan Arkin) has to... [More]
Directed By: Peter Segal


Pain & Gain (2013)

Adjusted Score: 58464%
Critics Consensus: It may be his most thought-provoking film to date, but Michael Bay's Pain & Gain ultimately loses its satirical edge in a stylized flurry of violent spectacle.
Synopsis: Danny Lupo (Mark Wahlberg), manager of the Sun Gym in 1990s Miami, decides that there is only one way to... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay


Skyscraper (2018)

Adjusted Score: 65115%
Critics Consensus: Well-cast yet derivative, Skyscraper isn't exactly a towering action thriller feat, but it's solidly constructed enough to stand among the genre's more mildly diverting features.
Synopsis: Will Sawyer is a former FBI agent and U.S. war veteran who now assesses security for skyscrapers. While he's on... [More]


San Andreas (2015)

Adjusted Score: 58571%
Critics Consensus: San Andreas has a great cast and outstanding special effects, but amidst all the senses-shattering destruction, the movie's characters and plot prove less than structurally sound.
Synopsis: A seemingly ideal day turns disastrous when California's notorious San Andreas fault triggers a devastating, magnitude 9 earthquake, the largest... [More]
Directed By: Brad Peyton

Adjusted Score: 51472%
Critics Consensus: In The Mummy Returns, the special effects are impressive, but the characters seem secondary to the computer generated imagery.
Synopsis: Ten years after the events of the first film, Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) O'Connell are settled in... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Sommers

Adjusted Score: 49455%
Critics Consensus: Aggressively unambitious, Journey 2 might thrill tween viewers, but most others will find it too intense for young audiences and too cartoonishly dull for adults.
Synopsis: Now 17, Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from an island where none should exist. Knowing that... [More]
Directed By: Brad Peyton

Adjusted Score: 48400%
Critics Consensus: Despite the best efforts of a talented cast, Race to Witch Mountain is a tepid reboot that lacks the magic of the original.
Synopsis: Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson), a Las Vegas taxi driver, is swept up in the adventure of a lifetime when he... [More]
Directed By: Andy Fickman


Faster (2010)

Adjusted Score: 45832%
Critics Consensus: It's good to see Dwayne Johnson back in full-throttle action mode, but Faster doesn't deliver enough of the high-octane thrills promised by its title.
Synopsis: Following a 10-year prison stint, Driver (Dwayne Johnson) sprints through the gates to take vengeance on those responsible for his... [More]
Directed By: George Tillman Jr.


Gridiron Gang (2006)

Adjusted Score: 45981%
Critics Consensus: The role of probation officer Sean Porter fits Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson like a glove; however, the execution is so cliched, the youths' stories (based on real events), fail to inspire.
Synopsis: A counselor (The Rock) at a juvenile detention facility decides to turn the young inmates in his charge into a... [More]
Directed By: Phil Joanou

Adjusted Score: 44421%
Critics Consensus: Action adventure doesn't get much cheesier than The Scorpion King.
Synopsis: Inspired by the legendary Egyptian warrior, "The Scorpion King" is set 5000 years ago in the notorious city of Gomorrah,... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Russell


Southland Tales (2006)

Adjusted Score: 43993%
Critics Consensus: Southland Tales, while offering an intriguing vision of the future, remains frustratingly incoherent and unpolished.
Synopsis: With the United States under the threat of nuclear attack, the lives of several people converge in a dystopian Los... [More]
Directed By: Richard Kelly


Red Notice (2021)

Adjusted Score: 44917%
Critics Consensus: Red Notice's big budget and A-list cast add up to a slickly competent action comedy whose gaudy ingredients only make the middling results more disappointing.
Synopsis: In the world of international crime, an Interpol agent attempts to hunt down and capture the world's most wanted art... [More]


Be Cool (2005)

Adjusted Score: 37268%
Critics Consensus: Be Cool is tepid, square, and lukewarm; as a parody of the music business, it has two left feet.
Synopsis: Having made the transition from gangster to movie producer, Chili Palmer (John Travolta) is ready for the next big move.... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

Adjusted Score: 35397%
Critics Consensus: Though arguably superior to its predecessor, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is overwhelmed by its nonstop action and too nonsensical and vapid to leave a lasting impression.
Synopsis: In the continuing adventures of the G.I. Joe team, Duke (Channing Tatum), second-in-command Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), and the rest of... [More]
Directed By: Jon M. Chu


The Game Plan (2007)

Adjusted Score: 33125%
Critics Consensus: Despite The Rock's abundant charisma, The Game Plan is just another run-of-the-mill Disney comedy.
Synopsis: Bachelor football star Joe Kingman (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) seems to have it all. He is wealthy and carefree, and... [More]
Directed By: Andy Fickman


Walking Tall (2004)

Adjusted Score: 30250%
Critics Consensus: The Rock makes a competent hero, but the movie is content to let a 2x4 do all the talking.
Synopsis: When decorated military officer Chris Vaughn (The Rock) returns to his hometown in the state of Washington to find work,... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Bray


Planet 51 (2009)

Adjusted Score: 26217%
Critics Consensus: Planet 51 squanders an interesting premise with an overly familiar storyline, stock characters, and humor that alternates between curious and potentially offensive.
Synopsis: When astronaut Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker lands on Planet 51, he thinks he is the first life form to set... [More]
Directed By: Jorge Blanco


Doom (2005)

Adjusted Score: 22627%
Critics Consensus: The FPS sections are sure to please fans of the video game, but lacking in plot and originality to please other moviegoers.
Synopsis: A team of space marines known as the Rapid Response Tactical Squad, led by Sarge (The Rock), is sent to... [More]
Directed By: Andrzej Bartkowiak


Baywatch (2017)

Adjusted Score: 35768%
Critics Consensus: Baywatch takes its source material's jiggle factor to R-rated levels, but lacks the original's campy charm -- and leaves its charming stars flailing in the shallows.
Synopsis: When a dangerous crime wave hits the beach, the legendary Mitch Buchannon leads his elite squad of lifeguards on a... [More]
Directed By: Seth Gordon


Tooth Fairy (2010)

Adjusted Score: 21204%
Critics Consensus: Dwayne Johnson brings the full force of his charm (and his appropriately pale chompers) to the title role, but flat direction and a committee-written script render The Tooth Fairy unacceptably dull.
Synopsis: Rough-and-tumble hockey player Derek Thompson (Dwayne Johnson) is a terror on the ice, earning the nickname "Tooth Fairy" by separating... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lembeck

From the football field to the professional wrestling arena to the big screen, Dwayne Johnson has dominated every field he’s entered — and with his latest outing, the big-screen adaptation of the arcade classic Rampage, roaring its way into cineplexes this weekend, we figured now would be a pretty good time to honor that success by taking a fond look back at what he’s been cooking at theaters since breaking into the movie business. Oil up those pecs, because it’s time for Total Recall!

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

New this week to streaming video, we’ve got a horror film with an unusual take on the found footage format and an indie dramedy about pregnancy. Then, on Netflix and Fandor, we’ve got a wide variety of choices, ranging from thrillers (The Guest, Cure) to coming-of-age films (Ratcatcher, Emporte-moi) to true stories (24 Days, An Angel at My Table) and more. Read on for the full list:

Available for Purchase

Unfriended (2014) 61%

On the anniversary of a classmate’s death, a group of high schools are being hunted — via Skype — by her malevolent spirit in this found-footage horror film.

Available now on: iTunes

Unexpected (2015) 66%

Cobie Smulders stars in a dramedy about a high school teacher and a student who bond over their unplanned pregnancies.

Available now on: iTunes


New on Netflix

Teacher of the Year (2014) 100%

This mockumentary centers on a small, newer California high school with an eccentric staff whose English teacher (Matt Letscher) wins the titular award.

Available now on: Netflix

The Guest (2014) 92%

Dan Stevens stars in a Certified Fresh sci-fi thriller about a recently discharged soldier who moves in with the family of an old Army buddy and proceeds to turn their worlds upside down.

Available now on: Netflix

Zero Motivation (2014) 88%

This dramedy about a group of female Israeli soldiers and their monotonous professional responsibilities was a big box office hit in its native land and a critical hit abroad.

Available now on: Netflix

24 Days (2014) 79%

This French drama is based on the true story of a man who was held for ransom by religiously-motivated kidnappers.

Available now on: Netflix

Dial a Prayer (2015) 67%

Brittany Snow and William H. Macy star in this faith-based dramedy about a troubled woman who finds redemption working at a prayer call center.

Available now on: Netflix

Hercules (2014) 58%

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Herc, who, after completing his fabled labors, assembles a crew of fighters to topple a bloodthirsty megalomaniac.

Available now on: Netflix

New on Fandor

Cure (1997) 93%

In this Japanese crime thriller, a detective investigates a series of bizarre murders perpetrated by killers exhibiting signs of amnesia.

Available now on: Fandor

An Angel at My Table (1990) 95%

Jane Campion’s biographical drama is based on the three autobiographies of Janet Frame, who grew up in a poor, rural family and spent time in a mental institution before becoming a writer.

Available now on: Fandor

Before the Rain (1994) 92%

Nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1994, this Macedonian drama uses three interlocking storylines to explore the horrors of the Balkan conflict.

Available now on: Fandor

Ratcatcher (1999) 85%

Lynne Ramsay’s (We Need to Talk about Kevin) feature debut follows the life of a 12-year-old boy growing up in a poor Scottish neighborhood whose residents are slowly being relocated.

Available now on: Fandor

The Double Life of Veronique (1991) 83%

Polish auteur Krzysztof Kieslowski’s drama follows two women (both played by Irène Jacob) who were born on the same day — one in France and the other in Poland — and ended up living eerily similar and metaphysically interconnected lives.

Available now on: Fandor

Taste of Cherry (1997) 82%

Abbas Kiarostami garnered worldwide acclaim for this spare, haunting tale of a man who seeks help in burying his body after taking his own life.

Available now on: Fandor

Rhymes for Young Ghouls (2013) 83%

Set in 1976 on an Indian reservation, this thriller centers on a teenage drug dealer who runs afoul of a thuggish local government agent when her money is stolen and she is unable to pay him off.

Available now on: Fandor

Set Me Free (1999) 83%

This period drama from Canada follows a young girl coming of age in 1960s Quebec who becomes infatuated with one of her teachers.

Available now on: Fandor

Canopy (2013) 75%

This minimalist World War II drama tells the tense story of a pilot who’s been shot down in enemy territory.

Available now on: Fandor




Ep. 073 – Big Hero 6, Interstellar, The Newsroom, The Comeback

Editor in Chief Matt Atchity and Senior Editor Grae Drake kick off this week’s show with two major releases – Big Hero 6 and Interstellar. Senior Editor Tim Ryan shares critics’ reactions to the films, and Grae shares interviews with Interstellar director Christopher Nolan and stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain. Editor Ryan Fujitani then steps in to talk about this week’s new DVD/Blu-ray releases Maleficent and Hercules. Lastly, TV Editor Sarah Ricard shares the critics’ reaction the season premieres of The Newsroom and The Comeback, and she introduces a new 70s-era spy series on BBC America called The Game.

This week on home video, we’ve got a little something for everyone, whether you’re looking for some fantastical drama, a bit of sword-and-sandal action, a dash of spy intrigue, or just something to babysit the kids for an hour and a half. Plus, there’s a few smaller releases also worth mentioning, as well as a couple of notable series sets of fan favorite TV shows. Read on for details:



Disney’s Maleficent had a few things going for it: a charismatic, larger-than-life A-lister in the lead role, an intriguing twist on a familiar tale, and a Disney-sized budget for some wild special effects. The only thing it could have used, apparently, was a bit more help in the writer’s room. Angelina Jolie stars as the titular sorceress from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, a fairy once betrayed by the man she loved whose actions are motivated by vengeance. Unfortunately, for every critic who felt it was a novel retelling of the story, there was another who didn’t think there was enough substance to justify the film, despite a winning performance from Jolie and a fair amount of visual spectacle. Maleficent ultimately split critics down the middle, earning a 49 percent Tomatometer score. Bonus features include a handful of short making-of docs and five deleted scenes.



As long as we’re talking about fantastical tales, we might as well mention Hercules, Brett Ratner’s (After the Sunset, Tower Heist) take on the tale of the legendary demi-god. Dwayne Johnson (The Tooth Fairy) dons the armor here, aided by a misfit gang of mercenaries and his nephew, Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), whose job it is to spread (embellished) word of Hercules’s exploits. When Hercules is hired to train the armies of Thrace to defend against the attack of an invading warlord, he finds himself in the middle of a complicated power struggle. Johnson is almost always fun to watch, and surrounded by the likes of Ian McShane, John Hurt, and Rufus Sewell, among others, he gave most critics what they were expecting, especially in a Brett Ratner film. At 59 percent on the Tomatomter, Hercules performed about as well as anyone could have predicted. Special features include featurettes on the characters, the weapons, and special effects, as well as some deleted and extended scenes, plus more.

Planes: Fire and Rescue


In case you missed it, Disney’s direct-to-video studio, Disneytoon, made a Cars spinoff called Planes last year and released it in theaters, and though most grown-ups saw it for what it was — a fairly standard money grab intended to capitalize on the immense kid-popularity of the Pixar property — most kids saw it for what it also was, namely, “Ooh, talking planes!” No surprise, then, that we got a sequel this year, though it is somewhat surprising that it was actually better-received than the original (and only four percentage points below Maleficent on the Tomatometer). Dane Cook reprises his role as the voice of Dusty the ambitious cropduster-turned-racing plane, who inadvertently sets an airport on fire and subsequently decides to take on a new career as a firefighter. This isn’t top notch animated entertainment or particularly inventive storytelling, agree most critics, but it’s a pleasantly agreeable enough diversion for the kids, if you’re in the market for that. Extras include a handful of animated shorts, a look at some of the real vehicles that inspired the characters, and a few other items, all kid-friendly.

A Most Wanted Man


Depending on what you think of the franchise, it’s almost a little disappointing that the final two screen appearances of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman — an extremely gifted, versatile Oscar-winner — will come in the form of a supporting role in a blockbuster YA series, even if it is The Hunger Games. Thankfully, he also recently starred in a smaller thriller that arguably made much better use of his talents. In the John le Carré adaptation A Most Wanted Man, Hoffman plays Gunther Bachmann, a German intelligence agent on the trail of a Chechen refugee he suspects is a terrorist with ties to Al Qaeda. Following up on a separate lead, Bachmann teams up with another German official and an American diplomat to infiltrate a local network and analyze the threat. A Most Wanted Man is Certified Fresh at 90 percent on the Tomatometer, with critics calling it a smart, thoughtfully told thriller that builds suspense as it moves along. There are only two bonus features: a standard making-of featurette, and a 9-minute interview with le Carré discussing his personal history in intelligence.

Also available this week:

  • The Dog (94 percent), a Certified Fresh documentary about John Wojtowicz, the man whose fascinating story inspired Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon.
  • The Discoverers (88 percent), starring Griffin Dunne in a road trip comedy about a professor en route to a conference with his kids who takes a detour when he learns his father has gone missing.
  • The One I Love (80 percent), starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss in a dramedy about a struggling married couple who retreat to a remote cabin to rekindle their love, only to discover the guest house holds a bizarre, mysterious secret.
  • Frontera (54 percent), starring Ed Harris and Michael Pena in a drama about a Mexican immigrant who is suspected of murdering an Arizona sheriff’s wife.
  • Premature (41 percent), a coming-of-age comedy about a high school senior who discovers he relives the same day over and over again… every time he has an orgasm.
  • Season two of HBO’s The Newsroom (69 percent), starring Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer, is available on DVD and Blu-ray, ahead of its season three premiere this weekend.
  • Universal is releasing a Complete Series set of the popular NBC show Quantum Leap, which stars Scott Bakula as a quantum physicist whose consciousness jumps through time, temporarily inhabiting the bodies of different people.
  • Fans of the BBC’s Sherlock might be interested in the Sherlock Limited Edition Gift Set, which includes all three seasons of the series to date on DVD/Blu-ray combo discs, new bonus features, collectible busts of both Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Watson, and a couple of art cards.

Scarlett Johansson’s brains beat Dwayne Johnson’s brawn in a head-to-head showdown between star-driven summer action films. The sci-fi thriller Lucy attracted a larger crowd and captured the number one spot while the epic adventure Hercules enjoyed a fine debut in the runner-up spot connecting with its own fan base. Overall ticket sales were about even with last week, but fell below last year’s levels for the seventh consecutive weekend.

Universal scored a number one debut with Lucy which opened ahead of expectations to an estimated $44M from 3,173 theaters for a potent $13,875 average. It was especially impressive given that there was no 3D to boost grosses, no brand with a built-in audience to tap into, and no track record of Johansson ever anchoring an action movie on her own before. Plus reviews were not that strong either for the R-rated pic.

The actress has built herself up as an action hero over the years playing Black Widow in a handful of Marvel films in a supporting role. Last April’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier featured her prominently in the film – and marketing – making moviegoers ready to see her headline her own action vehicle. Johansson’s appeal is broad and the film’s concept was sold effectively in slick trailers and TV spots which engaged audiences.

Lucy‘s broad appeal was evident in the demographic breakdown. Studio research showed that males and females were evenly split 50/50 (that’s a big female share for the action genre) and turnout across all races was strong. 65% was non-white. Age-wise it skewed older with a very high 65% being over 25. Angelina Jolie has been the only woman in Hollywood who consistently was bankable as an action lead in all projects. ScarJo sells and is now ready to take the baton.

As strong as the opening weekend was, Lucy should have a troubling road ahead. Paying audiences were not entirely satisfied as the CinemaScore grade was a discouraging C+. And Marvel, the very company that made her an action star, will attack the box office this Thursday night with guns blazing as it unleashes its next comic property Guardians of the Galaxy which it is investing heavily into as the company prepares to launch what it hopes will be a lucrative new franchise. Guardians reviews are sensational so far.

Still, budgeted at only $40M, Lucy has a good chance of breaking $100M in domestic sales. Set in many cities across the globe including Taipei and Paris, the Luc Besson-directed hit should enjoy a healthy international run as well. No release date has been secured for China yet and with the country’s quota system for imported movies, and the film’s prominent setting in Taiwan, it is not guaranteed to be allowed into the mainland.

Opening in second place with respectable results was the historical epic Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson with an estimated $29M. The PG-13 pic averaged a good $8,067 from 3,595 locations and was helped by 3D and IMAX ticket prices. Not surprisingly, adult men made up the bulk of the crowd as studio data showed that the audience was 58% male and 64% over 25. The CinemaScore grade was a decent B+ and $4M of the take came from IMAX screens.

It was more than triple the size of the other film this year about this muscle man. January’s The Legend of Hercules starring Kellan Lutz bowed to a weak $8.9M on its way to a puny $18.8M final. The Rock’s new movie made more than that in its first two days alone. Among films the wrestler-actor has anchored solo, Hercules scored his second best opening ever after the $36.1M of 2002’s The Scorpion King which was his first starring vehicle.

Hercules launched in 25 markets overseas this weekend and captured an estimated $28.7M with Russia’s huge $12M debut accounting for a massive share of the gross. Budgeted at about $100M, the Brett Ratner-directed adventure film earned mixed reviews.

With two new action vehicles entering the marketplace, two-time champ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took a tumble and fell 55% to an estimated $16.4M pushing the new cume up to a solid $172.1M – just $4.7M shy of its predecessor’s domestic final. 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes had little competition in its third lap that summer following two weeks at number one and slipped only 42% in the third frame. Dawn still seems on track for a final North American take of around $215M.

When is a 67% plunge good news? When you are the horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy and your predecessor fell 76% in its sophomore session. The Universal title held up better thanks in part to weaker competition – last year’s Purge faced in its second weekend the monster $116.6M opening of Man of Steel. With an estimated $9.9M weekend and $51.3M total to date, Anarchy looks likely to finish with around $65-70M which is a great take for a $9M-budgeted sequel with a marketing tab that was not outrageous. Plus it will be slightly better than the $64.5M final of last year’s installment.

Disney’s animated sequel Planes: Fire and Rescue declined by 47% to an estimated $9.3M in its second flight and lifted its sum to $35.1M. Look for a $55-60M final. Animation has been the weakest sector at this summer’s box office as the season’s toons to date have grossed only $201M which is down an alarming 72% from the $725M at this same point last summer. That’s a whopping $524M of less spending on toons this summer. With Pixar sitting it out for the first time in nine summers, and nobody really filling that void, this genre has been a main factor in this summer’s alarming deficit from last year with total box office down about 20%.

The Cameron Diaz film Sex Tape dropped by a hefty 59% after a weak debut with only $6M this weekend, according to estimates. With a lackluster $26.9M so far, the Sony title should end its run with a lackluster $40M or so.

Plunging 53%, Transformers: Age of Extinction nabbed an estimated $4.6M giving Paramount $236.4M to date from the franchise’s increasingly less important market of North America. Overseas, the China total broke the $300M barrier, the first film to ever do that – Chinese or American. The international cume rose to a staggering $730M pushing the worldwide haul up to $966.4M with the billion dollar mark ready to be smashed in the coming days. With Japan and Spain still to open, Extinction’s overseas gross is still on track to end up in the same neighborhood as the $895M of The Avengers.

The Michael Douglas-Diane Keaton comedy And So It Goes was the latest clunker for director Rob Reiner opening in eighth place with a lousy $4.6M, according to estimates. The Clarius release averaged a wimpy $2,583 from 1,762 locations and never generated much interest – or awareness – in the marketplace. Reviews were dreadful, though the CinemaScore was a decent B+.

Warner Bros. collected an estimated $3.4M for Tammy, off 54%, for a new cume of $78.1M. Opening well in tenth place was the new spy thriller A Most Wanted Man starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman with an estimated $2.7M from only 361 locations for a solid $7,526 average. The German-set suspense film earned stellar reviews for Roadside Attractions and played to an upscale audience of older adults. It was the type of film Focus often released in late August targeting the same crowd.

The most-talked-about film in the indie world, Richard Linklater’s critical darling Boyhood, expanded again in its third weekend going from 34 to 107 locations grossing an estimated $1.7M, up 47% from last weekend. The average for the IFC Films release was a solid $16,121 and more cities will open next weekend. Cume is $4.1M.

New domestic totals for summer’s recent blockbusters dropping out of the top ten include $232.1M for Maleficent, $231.3M for X-Men: Days of Future Past, $185.7M for 22 Jump Street, $165.6M for How to Train Your Dragon 2, and $122.7M for The Fault In Our Stars.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $129.9M which was down 14% from last year when The Wolverine opened at number one with $53.1M; but up 5% from 2012 when The Dark Knight Rises stayed on top with $62.1M.

Follow Gitesh on Twitter!


SDCC 2014 Ep. 1 – Benedict Cumberbatch, Jack Black, & More!

It’s a special, extended podcast from San Diego Comic-con. After covering the Tomatometers for this week’s movies, Team Tomato shares interviews with Benedict Cumberbatch, Rob Letterman & Jack Black for Goosebumps, Ian Ziering & Tara Reid for Sharknado 2, Doug Jones, Orlando Jones, directors Jen & Sylvia Soska, Key & Peele, Peter Atencio, and Kaya Scodelario & Will Poulter for The Maze Runner.

This week at the movies, we’ve got a legendary warrior (Hercules, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Joseph Fiennes), a brainy heroine (Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman), and a curmudgeonly guardian (And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton). What do the critics have to say?



He was the son of a god. He had bulging biceps. He battled all manner of oversized, multi-headed mythological beast. Hercules was essentially an action hero two millennia before the birth of cinema, and critics say much of the fun of Hercules is in its commitment to swashbuckling escapism — this may not be the brainiest flick on the block, but at least it never feels like a dull classics lecture. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Herc, who, after completing his fabled labors, assembles a crew of fighters to topple a bloodthirsty megalomaniac. The pundits say Hercules isn’t particularly deep, but it never takes itself too seriously, either, and the result is a surprisingly hearty sword-and-sandal popcorn movie. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Johnson’s best-reviewed films.)



Luc Besson, the director of such cult favorites as Léon: The Professional and The Fifth Element, has never been one for subtlety or nuance. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though critics say his latest, Lucy, works a lot better as a stylishly eccentric thrill-ride than as a heady sci-fi trip. Scarlett Johansson stars as a student who’s kidnapped and forced to act as a drug mule. When she unintentionally consumes the drug, she quickly morphs into a hyper intelligent, telekinetic killing machine. The pundits say Lucy is short on logic and well-developed characters, but it’s slick, briskly-paced, and often quite entertaining.

And So It Goes


Not every summer movie has to be a pulse-pounding explosion-fest, but a little energy is always nice. Unfortunately, critics say the combined talents of director Rob Reiner and stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton can’t do much to elevate And So It Goes‘ predictable script and slack pacing. Douglas stars as a misanthropic realtor who is suddenly tasked with caring for a granddaughter he never knew existed. Eventually, our hero takes a shine to the tot — and develops a kinship with his charming neighbor (Keaton). The pundits say And So It Goes feels more like a sitcom than a film, and only the stars’ considerable talents keep it from being a complete waste of time. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of dysfunctional movie families.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Dwayne Johnson, formerly known as “The Rock,” will now be known as Hercules. Grae Drake speaks to him about how different the movie could have been without his lion hat, as well as how he exuded so much masculinity in so little clothes. She chats with director Brett Ratner about the genesis of the project, and finaly…how Dwayne got to be so…big.

The Rock

From the football field to the professional wrestling arena to the big screen, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has dominated every field he’s entered — and with his latest action outing, Brett Ratner’s Hercules, flexing its way into cineplexes this weekend, we figured now would be a pretty good time to honor that success by taking a fond look back at what he’s been cooking at theaters since breaking into the movie business. Oil up those pecs, because it’s time for Total Recall!


10. Gridiron Gang

When Dwayne Johnson moved out of the wrestling ring and into family-friendly filmmaking, many of the roles available to him tended toward the excessively kiddie end of the spectrum, a la 2010’s Tooth Fairy. But at least in terms of its outline, 2006’s Gridiron Gang would seem to have offered the best of both worlds — a wholesomely uplifting drama about a tough-as-nails probation officer who lifts L.A. kids out of their lives of juvie crime by offering them a strong example of positive male leadership. Alas, most critics felt that this Gang didn’t flash enough of the right signs during its time on the screen; although few writers argued against the movie’s undeniably admirable aims, they felt screenwriter Jeff Maguire’s script did a poor job of bringing dramatic life to a real-life situation that deserved more depth. Still, for some scribes, the ends justified the means; as Claudia Puig wrote for USA Today, “Gridiron entertains and makes a powerful point about the faults inherent in the penal system, particularly for youths with hopes of rehabilitation.”


9. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

As acting gigs go, the prospect of taking over the reins of an effects-driven franchise from Brendan Fraser probably don’t rank high on many movie stars’ wish lists — but after Journey to the Center of the Earth made more than $240 million in 2008, a sequel was pretty much a foregone conclusion, and by securing the services of Johnson and Vanessa Hudgens to round out the cast with returning young lead Josh Hutcherson, the producers of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island probably felt like they had the makings of an all-ages blockbuster waiting to happen. In financial terms, they were right — Journey 2 broke the $300 million mark — but critically speaking, the results proved a letdown, with many writers questioning the clunky mishmash of dopey plotting and Hudgens cleavage shots. For others, though, those were minor missteps worth looking past to see a good old-fashioned adventure; Beliefnet’s Nell Minow, for example, called it “A well-paced and highly entertaining family film made with good humor, panache, and imagination.”


8. Faster

Dwayne Johnson against Billy Bob Thornton in an action thriller about an ex-con out to avenge his brother’s death while on the lam from an aging lawman and psychotic hitman? By all rights, 2010’s Faster should have been exactly the sort of out-and-out smash that makes absolutely no bones about playing squarely to each of its participants’ strengths — especially given that it saw Johnson’s return to R-rated action after an uneven stretch of family-friendly fare. Sadly, most critics felt Faster failed to live up to its title, and audiences seemed to agree, sending the film to an ignominious $35 million total at the box office. Once again, however, our star’s work was singled out as a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing movie: “Johnson’s performance is one of seething rage camouflaging emotional scars as ugly as the physical ones,” wrote Gary Dowell of the Dallas Morning News, calling Johnson’s Driver “a grim, single-minded figure straight out of a Jim Thompson or Richard Stark novel.”


7. Race to Witch Mountain

For viewers of a certain age, Disney’s Witch Mountain movies — adapted from Alexander Key’s classic novels — rank among the studio’s better live-action efforts, although it would be hard to argue the notion that the films’ acting and/or special effects offered room for improvement. So when director Andy Fickman took the helm for a franchise reboot in 2009, with Johnson attached to play a cab driver who ends up acting as reluctant protector for a pair of mysterious kids (AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig) on the run from a cruel Defense Department goon (Ciarán Hinds), it didn’t seem altogether out of the question that they might produce compelling results. Unfortunately, Race to Witch Mountain wasn’t quite the sequel-starter the studio seemed to be hoping for; although it did decent business, racking up more than $145 million in worldwide grosses, many critics were let down by the movie’s lack of depth and reluctance to explore the poignant, intelligent themes in Key’s books. As tends to be the case with even his worst-reviewed films, however, Johnson earned praise for his charismatic performance. “The star of this movie universe is undeniably Dwayne. His cinematic charisma is as big as his biceps,” wrote Film.com’s Christine Champ. “Hard and soft in all the right spots, he’s a badass hero with heart, armed with world-weary one-liners and wicked comic timing.”


6. Pain & Gain

Michael Bay movies are frequently derided for their general insensitivity — to character development, to all notions of filmmaking subtlety, to the art of storytelling, to viewers’ eardrums — but if ever a movie seemed like it might call for that treatment, it should have been Pain & Gain, which adapts the true-life story of a group of Miami gym rats (Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Anthony Mackie) whose thirst for wealth leads them to make a series of spectacularly ill-advised decisions, including kidnapping, theft, and murder. Unfortunately, Bay’s insensitivity hampered him here, too; in the eyes of many critics, his decision to treat the story as a sort of gaudy action comedy felt wrong, given that it’s a movie about horrible things that happened to real people. Set that aside, however, and you might just enjoy Pain & Gain on its own merits: “Might this be the best Michael Bay film ever?” asked Tara Brady for the Irish Times. “We know what you’re thinking. But we mean it in a good way.”


5. Get Smart

By 2008, Steve Carell’s work as Michael Scott on NBC’s The Office had elevated him to the ranks of comedy’s preeminent doofuses, so he was a natural choice to step into Don Adams’ hallowed shoe phones when Warner Bros. decided to put together a modernized film adaptation of the classic 1960s TV spy comedy Get Smart. Alas, in spite of Carell’s suitably bumbling turn as clueless spy Maxwell Smart — and the presence of a strong supporting cast that included Alan Arkin as Smart’s exasperated chief, Anne Hathaway as the inexplicably amorous Agent 99, and Dwayne Johnson as the impossibly smooth Agent 23 — Smart left many critics cold. For others, the key to enjoyment was lowered expectations; as Susan Tavernetti argued for Palo Alto Weekly, “You’ll have a better time if you don’t expect this re-imagined work to resemble the original. The phone shoe does fit Carell, and he wears it well.”


4. Snitch

It’s got a one-word title and a tough-lookin’ Dwayne Johnson behind the wheel of a truck, but Snitch isn’t your average Rock action thriller. Directed by Ric Roman Waugh, it’s actually something of a message movie, starring Johnson as the anguished father of a boy (Rafi Gavron) whose trumped-up drug-dealing charges could send him to prison for at least 10 years — unless Dad follows through on a hastily struck deal with the US Attorney’s office, the terms of which require him to infiltrate a local drug kingpin with no support from law enforcement. With Johnson in the lead, the temptation to turn Snitch into a typically overdriven action flick had to have been high, and it’s to Waugh’s credit that he actually practices a modicum of restraint; unfortunately, many critics felt that left the movie stranded in a rather dull no-man’s-land between thoughtful drama and brainless thrills. Still, it wasn’t without its admirers; as Tom Russo wrote for the Boston Globe, “Nobody is going to confuse a Dwayne Johnson movie with Les Misérables. But Snitch gets a decent amount of drama (and action, of course) out of the argument that there’s paying for a crime, and then there’s overpaying.”


3. Fast & Furious 6

Retooled into an action franchise that just happened to include lots of cars, the Fast & Furious series roared into its sixth installment with a lot more momentum than most similarly persistent film properties, and although the reviews for Fast & Furious 6 weren’t quite as kind as they’d been for Fast Five, critics were still generally on board for another round of Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Paul Walker wreaking extralegal mayhem in order to bring down a truly nasty bad guy. The heavy this time around is Shaw (Luke Evans), whose nefarious plot stretches beyond your average multi-national criminal ring; in fact, he’s gone and — you guessed it — made things personal for our heroes. “Some of the action sequences are insane,” enthused the Denver Post’s Lisa Kennedy. “No, really. Absurd, impossible, physics defying, triage-required stuff. No matter. That’s the foolish rush of a franchise that must go faster and faster and furiouser and furiouser.”


2. The Rundown

It’s a formula as old as film: Take a big, strong guy, give him a more averagely built comedic foil, and stand back while the laff-a-minute hijinks fly. Kind of a cheap cinematic trick, but one that still tends to work pretty well; why, just take a look at The Rundown, which throws Johnson and Seann William Scott together in an action caper about a retiring bounty hunter (Johnson) who’s wheedled into hunting down his boss’s twerpy wayward son (Scott) in a Brazilian rainforest where he’s managed to tick off an unscrupulous mining kingpin (Christopher Walken) while pursuing some treasure. It’s the kind of movie that delivers the expected beats at the expected moments, but thrives on the charisma of its stars; as James Berardinelli wrote for ReelViews, “The Rundown offers everything a good movie of this sort should: plenty of suspenseful action, a few good laughs, and a share of obligatory ‘reluctant buddy’ bonding.”


1. Fast Five

The Fast and the Furious franchise seemed to be petering out after 2006’s Tokyo Drift, but things got back on track with 2009’s The Fast and the Furious — which in turn set up 2011’s Fast Five, the fifth installment that turned the series into the sequel-churning heist thriller factory it’s become. Aside from jump-starting FF‘s creative prospects, Five also gave Johnson the part he may have been born to play: government agent Luke Hobbs, the bounty hunter-turned-U.S. Marshal who goes bicep-for-bicep against series mainstays Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. This time around, even critics — who’d always been notoriously recalcitrant where the Fast and Furious movies were concerned — climbed on board, including Connie Ogle of the Miami Herald, who applauded it as “Embarrassingly fun, the sort of speedy, senseless, violence-crammed action flick that virtually defines the summer season, with superheroes who aren’t gods or crusaders in tights but guys in T-shirts and jeans who can drive cars really fast.”

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

1. Fast & Furious — 84%

2. Gridiron Gang — 82%

3. Fast Five — 82%

4. The Game Plan — 70%

5. Get Smart — 67%

6. The Rundown — 67%

7. Snitch — 62%

8. Walking Tall — 61%

9. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island — 60%

10. G.I. Joe: Retaliation — 49%

Take a look through Johnson’s complete filmography, as well as the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don’t forget to check out the reviews for Hercules.

Finally, here’s Mr. Johnson’s famous catch phrase: