(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / © Marvel / courtesy Everett Collection)

All Brie Larson Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Before she landed at the forefront of comic-book movies with Captain Marvel, Brie Larson stood out in another superhero movie of a more hipster variety: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. That Edgar Wright-directed, Michael Cera-starring, would-be blockbuster had a cast like a who’s who of up-and-coming actors, career momentum that Larson transferred into an impressive run of Certified Fresh hits. These include 21 Jump Street, Short Term 12, Kong: Skull Island, and, of course, Room, which led Larson to a Best Actress Oscar win.

Between Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, she directed her first feature Unicorn Store. Larson’s latest is Just Mercy, co-starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx: See where it places in when we rank all Brie Larson movies by Tomatometer!

#24
#24
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During the summer of 1999, a group of teenagers, through interconnected narratives, live through their last day of high school... [More]
Directed By: Jess Manafort

#23

Basmati Blues (2017)
10%

#23
Adjusted Score: 10864%
Critics Consensus: Like the genetically modified grain at the center of its story, Basmati Blues is probably best locked in storage and saved for cases of cinematic famine.
Synopsis: When a young scientist learns she has unwittingly aided a destructive plan against the Indian farmers she was supposedly sent... [More]
Directed By: Dan Baron

#22

Sleepover (2004)
15%

#22
Adjusted Score: 17175%
Critics Consensus: 'Tween girls will enjoy this sugar coated fluff, but others will find Sleepover a snooze.
Synopsis: In the summer before starting high school, Julie (Alexa Vega) and her best friends, Hannah (Mika Boorem), Yancy (Kallie Flynn... [More]
Directed By: Joe Nussbaum

#21

Tanner Hall (2009)
16%

#21
Adjusted Score: 12278%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A manipulative childhood acquaintance (Georgia King) worms her way into a teenager's (Rooney Mara) circle of friends at an all-girls... [More]

#20

Hoot (2006)
26%

#20
Adjusted Score: 29745%
Critics Consensus: Lacking energy and humor, Hoot is a ho-hum story of eco-awareness that falls flat as a pancake.
Synopsis: Roy Eberhardt (Logan Lerman) has moved so often he has lost track of how many times he has changed schools.... [More]
Directed By: Wil Shriner

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 26596%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An emotionally inert 35-year-old (Michael C. Hall) finds his life opening up when he begins a relationship with a former... [More]
Directed By: Michael Knowles

#18

The Gambler (2014)
44%

#18
Adjusted Score: 48455%
Critics Consensus: Well-paced and reasonably entertaining in its own right, The Gambler still suffers from comparisons to the James Caan classic that inspired it.
Synopsis: Literature professor Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) leads a secret life as a high-stakes gambler. Always a risk-taker, Bennett bets it... [More]
Directed By: Rupert Wyatt

#17

The Glass Castle (2017)
52%

#17
Adjusted Score: 62946%
Critics Consensus: The Glass Castle has an affecting real-life story and a hard-working cast in its corner, but they aren't enough to outweigh a fundamentally misguided approach to the material.
Synopsis: Based on a memoir, four siblings must learn to take care of themselves as their responsibility-averse, free-spirit parents both inspire... [More]
Directed By: Destin Daniel Cretton

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 69928%
Critics Consensus: It'll be best enjoyed by audiences with a high tolerance for colorful whimsy, but Unicorn Store is easy to like -- and it suggests Brie Larson has a future behind the camera.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Brie Larson

#15

Digging for Fire (2015)
64%

#15
Adjusted Score: 66137%
Critics Consensus: Digging for Fire finds director/co-writer Joe Swanberg working from a familiar palette, but in ways that suggest he's taking new and exciting strides as a filmmaker.
Synopsis: A house sitter (Jake Johnson) becomes an amateur sleuth after finding a bone and a gun on the property.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Swanberg

#14

Free Fire (2016)
70%

#14
Adjusted Score: 86685%
Critics Consensus: Free Fire aims squarely for genre thrills, and hits its target repeatedly and with great gusto -- albeit with something less than pure cinematic grace.
Synopsis: When a black-market arms deal goes outrageously wrong, Justine finds herself caught in the crossfire, forced to navigate through a... [More]
Directed By: Ben Wheatley

#13

Rampart (2011)
74%

#13
Adjusted Score: 79016%
Critics Consensus: Rampart sends viewers plummeting into a nihilistic hell of its protagonist's creation, yet Woody Harrelson's performance in the central role is too magnetic to dismiss.
Synopsis: In 1999, Officer Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson), a 24-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, tends to follow his... [More]
Directed By: Oren Moverman

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 104536%
Critics Consensus: Offering exhilarating eye candy, solid acting, and a fast-paced story, Kong: Skull Island earns its spot in the movie monster's mythos without ever matching up to the classic original.
Synopsis: Scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. Cut off from everything they... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

#11

Greenberg (2010)
76%

#11
Adjusted Score: 83214%
Critics Consensus: Greenberg's title character is harder to like than most, but Ben Stiller's nuanced performance and a darkly funny script help take the misanthropic edge off.
Synopsis: Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller), a failed musician now making a living as a carpenter in New York, returns to Los... [More]
Directed By: Noah Baumbach

#10

Captain Marvel (2019)
79%

#10
Adjusted Score: 113649%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#9

Don Jon (2013)
80%

#9
Adjusted Score: 87415%
Critics Consensus: Don Jon proves to be an amiable directing debut for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and a vivacious showcase for his co-star, Scarlett Johansson.
Synopsis: New Jersey bartender Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) knows what's important: his friends, his family, his car, his church, his sexual... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

#8
Adjusted Score: 94277%
Critics Consensus: Its script may not be as dazzling as its eye-popping visuals, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is fast, funny, and inventive.
Synopsis: As bass guitarist for a garage-rock band, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has never had trouble getting a girlfriend; usually, the... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#7

Just Mercy (2019)
85%

#7
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

#6

Trainwreck (2015)
84%

#6
Adjusted Score: 94990%
Critics Consensus: Trainwreck drags commitment out of all but the most rom-com-phobic filmgoers with sharp humor, relatable characters, and hilarious work from Amy Schumer.
Synopsis: Ever since her father drilled into her head that monogamy isn't realistic, magazine writer Amy (Amy Schumer) has made promiscuity... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#5

21 Jump Street (2012)
85%

#5
Adjusted Score: 94467%
Critics Consensus: A smart, affectionate satire of '80s nostalgia and teen movie tropes, 21 Jump Street offers rowdy mainstream comedy with a surprisingly satisfying bite.
Synopsis: When cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) join the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances... [More]

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 98013%
Critics Consensus: The Spectacular Now is an adroit, sensitive film that avoids typical coming-of-age story trappings.
Synopsis: An innocent, bookish teenager (Shailene Woodley) begins dating the charming, freewheeling high-school senior (Miles Teller) who awoke on her lawn... [More]
Directed By: James Ponsoldt

#3

Room (2015)
93%

#3
Adjusted Score: 106210%
Critics Consensus: Led by incredible work from Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, Room makes for an unforgettably harrowing -- and undeniably rewarding -- experience.
Synopsis: Held captive for years in an enclosed space, a woman (Brie Larson) and her young son (Jacob Tremblay) finally gain... [More]
Directed By: Lenny Abrahamson

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 127912%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#1

Short Term 12 (2013)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 105223%
Critics Consensus: Short Term 12 is an emphatic, revealing drama that pulls audiences into the perspective of neglected youths.
Synopsis: A supervisor (Brie Larson) at a group home for at-risk teens connects with a new resident (Kaitlyn Dever) while facing... [More]
Directed By: Destin Daniel Cretton

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She’s got an Oscar on her mantel, Captain Marvel’s uniform in her closet, and this weekend, she’s back on the big screen in The Glass Castle. We’re talking, of course, about the one and only Brie Larson — and in honor of her latest trip to theaters, we decided now would be the perfect time to let the Tomatometer sort some of her best-reviewed movies, while inviting you to rank your own favorites in the bargain. It’s time for Total Recall!


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

This weekend’s Ghost in the Shell brings the beloved manga and classic anime to live-action life — and gives Scarlett Johansson another opportunity to play an impossibly lethal femme fatale. In honor of her most recent action extravaganza, we decided now would be a terrific time to reassess Johansson’s filmography by revisiting some of its brightest critical highlights, and we turned up a more eclectic collection than her blockbuster résumé might lead one to suspect.


Use the up and down arrows to rank ScarJo’s movies, or click here to see her top 10 movies ranked by Tomatometer!

A race-swinging horror movie directed by a guy known for his sketch comedy…and it’s getting rave reviews? Get out! No, really, it’s Get Out, the directorial debut of Jordan Peele, one-half of comedy duo Key & Peele. It’s no secret many stars harbor dreams of one day directing. Few get to do it, fewer are any good at it. In this week’s gallery, here’s 24 Certified Fresh movies directed by actors on their first try!

At the ripe old age of 35, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is already a grizzled Hollywood veteran, having made his film debut nearly 25 years ago in the slobbery family comedy Beethoven. And he’s a busy guy, too — although this weekend’s Snowden marks his first trip to theaters in 2016, he also juggles a variety of responsibilities to his online collaborative HitRecord. Clearly, the time has come for us to take a fresh look at the critical highlights from Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s growing filmography, and you know what that means: It’s time for Total Recall!


10. Don Jon (2013) 80%

He’s a preening lunkhead and she’s obsessed with romantic comedies, but as portrayed by Scarlett Johansson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Barbara Sugarman and Jon Martello are far from the empty cinematic stereotypes they might seem like on paper — and their story (written and helmed by Gordon-Levitt in his feature-length directing debut) has much more on its mind than your average boy-meets-girl picture. In fact, as many critics saw it, Don Jon managed to impart some thought-provoking messages about addiction, technology, and the difficulties of modern relationships while also providing an effortlessly entertaining showcase for its appealing young stars; the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr, for one, believed it accomplished the former so well that “R rating aside, it should be required viewing for every 15-year-old boy on the planet.”

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9. Mysterious Skin (2004) 85%

mysterious-skin

Gordon-Levitt raised a lot of eyebrows with 2005’s Brick, but he started erasing memories of Third Rock from the Sun the year before, with this bleak drama from Doom Generation director Gregg Araki. A favorite on the festival circuit, Mysterious Skin delves into the harrowing aftermath of sexual abuse, following the struggles of two teen boys (Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet) to come to grips with the actions of an emotionally disturbed baseball coach (Bill Sage). Understandably not a huge box office draw, Skin was still appreciated by critics such as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Steven Rea, who applauded what he saw as a film that “manages to deal with its raw, awful subject matter in ways that are both challenging and illuminating.”

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8. The Walk (2015) 83%

the-walk

Real-life daredevil Philippe Petit’s death-defying tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers made headlines in 1974 — and astonished viewers all over again when documentarian James Marsh offered an inside look at the story with his 2008 release Man on Wire. Sensing untapped cinematic potential in the tale, director Robert Zemeckis decided to dramatize it with 2015’s The Walk, casting Gordon-Levitt as Petit and bringing the latest and greatest IMAX 3D technology to bear on dazzling scenes depicting the stunt. That technical wizardry rightly received a ton of attention, but some of the film’s charms are decidedly old-fashioned: “Gordon-Levitt beguilingly captures Petit’s irresistible charisma,” wrote Calvin Wilson for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “in a performance that completes his transition from indie-film favorite to big-budget star.”

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7. Inception (2010) 87%

inception

Yeah, you knew this one would be here. Gordon-Levitt was almost an afterthought in Inception, but that had everything to do with the fact that it was a Christopher Nolan joint, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and nothing to do with his own performance as Arthur, DiCaprio’s partner in high-tech corporate espionage. A rare opportunity for Gordon-Levitt to play with choreographed stunts, trippy special effects, and blockbuster expectations, Inception earned four Academy Awards against eight nominations — not to mention more than $825 million in box office receipts, as well as praise from critics like Amy Biancolli of the Houston Chronicle, who called it “only the latest indication that Christopher Nolan might be the slyest narrative tactician making movies today.”

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6. (500) Days of Summer (2009) 85%

500-days-of-summer

Indie boy meets indie girl at their quirky office (a greeting card company, for goodness’ sake) and they start an adorably star-crossed relationship. It’s the kind of thing, at least in its bare outline form, that we’ve seen countless times before — so why was (500) Days of Summer such a hit with critics and audiences? Well, partly because it boasts a smarter, more sensible script than your average Hollywood romance — and partly because Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel had enough soulful chemistry to inspire the New Republic’s Christopher Orr to write that it “Captures with such immediacy the elation and anxiety of new love, the tingle and the terror, the profound sense that you have never been more alive and the occasional wish that you could die on the spot.”

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5. The Lookout (2007) 87%

the-lookout

A little like Memento without a riddle sitting in the middle of the plot, writer/director Scott Frank’s The Lookout revolves around a brain-damaged protagonist (Gordon-Levitt) haunted by a troubled past — and whose friends and/or enemies might not be everything they seem. As a former homecoming king whose shattered life has led him into a dead-end job that makes him a natural target for a gang of unscrupulous ne’er-do-wells, Levitt brought a melancholy heart to what might have been a fairly ordinary heist flick; as Jack Mathews observed for the New York Daily News, “Though The Lookout is eventually a genre film, with a tense, bang-up ending, it is also a thoughtful study of a young man trying to make sense of a world that he is having to learn all over again.”

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4. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) 87%

dark-knight-rises

Trilogy-concluding sequels don’t come much more highly anticipated than 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, which put Christian Bale’s gravel-voiced Batman on a backbreaking collision course with the nefarious Bane (Tom Hardy) while setting up the cataclysmic conflict that brought the story Christopher Nolan started with Batman Begins to an appropriately senses-shattering conclusion — and introducing audiences to the upstanding young cop (Gordon-Levitt) who just might become the next Dark Knight. Although Rises couldn’t quite match its predecessor’s critical standing, it still did pretty well for itself, racking up over a billion dollars in worldwide box office while amassing an impressive number of accolades from the likes of the Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan, who called it “A disturbing experience we live through as much as a film we watch” and added, “This dazzling conclusion to director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is more than an exceptional superhero movie, it is masterful filmmaking by any standard.”

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3. Lincoln (2012) 89%

lincoln

He presided over the most tumultuous time in our nation’s history, accomplished great things while in office, and ended his administration — and his life — in violent tragedy. Needless to say, Abraham Lincoln’s life is the stuff that Oscar-winning films are made of — and with Steven Spielberg at the helm, directing a stellar cast that included Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, Sally Field, and an almost unrecognizable Daniel Day-Lewis as the man himself, Lincoln was a virtual shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination even before it arrived in theaters. Of course, it helped that the finished product was one of 2012’s best-reviewed films thanks to critics like Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, who wrote, “It blends cinematic Americana with something grubbier and more interesting than Americana, and it does not look, act or behave like the usual perception of a Spielberg epic.”

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2. Looper (2012) 93%

looper

Plenty of people would love to take the opportunity to travel back in time and see our younger selves, but Rian Johnson’s Looper takes this premise and adds a nasty twist. When a hit man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) realizes his latest quarry is his older self (Bruce Willis) — an event known among his peers as “closing the loop” — he muffs the job, allowing him(self) to escape and setting in motion a high-stakes pursuit that puts a widening circle of people in danger. Tense, funny, and surprisingly heartfelt, Looper may suffer from some of the same scientific story flaws as other time travel movies, but it also manages to turn its by-now-familiar basic ingredients into an uncommonly affecting and thought-provoking sci-fi drama. “Looper imagines a world just near enough to look familiar,” mused Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum, “and just futuristic enough to be chillingly askew.”

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1. 50/50 (2011) 93%

50-50

Cancer, generally speaking, isn’t all that funny. So kudos to screenwriter Will Reiser for finding the humor in his own diagnosis — and then using the experience as the grist for 50/50, a dramedy about a pair of best pals (played by Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen) whose relationship is irrevocably altered after one of them learns he has cancer. Director Jonathan Levine’s deft handling of the story’s tonal shifts keeps the movie from straining for laughs or straying into mawkish territory, while Rogen offers able support for Gordon-Levitt as the best friend of a guy who’s fighting for his life. “What ensues is Beaches meets Pineapple Express,” wrote Mary Elizabeth Williams for Salon. “Which, I’ve got to tell you, is pretty much what living with cancer is like.”

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There are only a few new choices to mention on streaming video this week, but all three are notable for different reasons, including with an Oscar-nominated sci-fi romance from Spike Jonze, a fairly disastrous supernatural bomb, and a surprisingly accomplished directorial debut from a rising star actor. Read on for details:


Her
94%

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore Twombly, a lovelorn writer who falls in love with OS1, his computer’s highly intelligent operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


I, Frankenstein
5%

Aaron Eckhart stars as Dr. Frankenstein’s creation, an immortal being that gets sucked into a brutal conflict between demons and gargoyles.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Don Jon
80%

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Jon, a skilled pickup artist who falls head over heels for Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a beautiful woman with more traditional views on romance. Soon, however, Jon’s porn addiction threatens to derail his real-life relationship.

Available now on: Netflix

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s well-received directorial debut highlights another thin week for home video releases — unsurprising, considering it’s the week after Christmas and most folks are done spending money on gifts for now. The other notable items this week are a dud of a rock biopic and a ho-hum horror comedy. Read on for details.



Don Jon

80%

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so hot right now. We’re all familiar with his impressive acting chops, but the young star made his directorial debut back in September with a fresh but unusual take on the romantic comedy. JGL stars in Don Jon as the titular lothario, an old-fashioned womanizer who loves to pump iron and watch porn. When Jon meets a beautiful girl (Scarlett Johansson) whose own love of rom-coms has instilled an entirely different set of romantic hang-ups, the pair attempt to navigate a real relationship without succumbing to the false expectations they’ve built for themselves. Critics were pretty impressed with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial prowess, which also allowed Johansson to shine in her role. Certified Fresh at 81%, Don Jon is a solid behind-the-camera debut for its young star and a keenly observed comedy about modern relationships.



CBGB

7%

How does a club whose name advertises country, bluegrass, and blues end up becoming one of the most celebrated music venues for punk and new wave? According to critics, you may not want to look to Randall Miller’s film CBGB for answers. Frequent Miller collaborator Alan Rickman plays eccentric CBGB founder Hilly Kristal, while a number of actors (including Harry Potter alum Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome) offer their best impressions of Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, David Byrne, and the like. The film centers primarily on Kristal, both as the founder of the legendary club and a mythic, somewhat inscrutable figure. Unfortunately, critics say the film plays it a little too safe, and it substitutes hip costumes and a period-perfect aesthetic for any sort of narrative momentum. At 8% on the Tomatometer, CBGB looks the part, but that’s about it.

Also available this week:

  • Hell Baby (34%), starring Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb in a horror comedy about an expectant couple who move into a haunted new house.

This week in streaming video, we’ve got a boy band rockumentary, a gripping true story thriller, and a dark road trip comedy, as well as a doomed romance and a couple of recent films from acclaimed directors. Read on to see what’s available to watch right now.


Don Jon
80%

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Jon, a skilled pickup artist who falls head over heels for Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a beautiful woman with more traditional views on romance. Soon, however, Jon’s porn addiction threatens to derail his real-life relationship.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Riddick
57%

Riddick (Vin Diesel) finds himself trapped on an inhospitable planet crawling with aliens. So he sends out a distress signal to the bounty hunters on his trail, with the hope of commandeering a craft and escaping to a safer place in the universe.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


The Spectacular Now
91%

Miles Teller stars as Sutter, a party-hearty high school senior who has a chance meeting with Aimee (Shailene Woodley), an eccentric, thoughtful classmate; as the two develop a romantic bond, Sutter begins to reflect on his impulsive ways.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu


20 Feet from Stardom
99%

Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and many more pay tribute to some of rock’s finest backup singers in this Certified Fresh documentary.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes


The Lone Ranger
30%

Tonto (Johnny Depp) narrates the tale of the Lone Ranger (Arnie Hammer), a lawyer-cum-masked vigilante who vows revenge after a murderous psychopath kills his brother; what follows is a series of shootouts and chases against the picturesque backdrop of the old West.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu


Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
77%

Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck star in this period drama about an imprisoned bank robber and the woman and child he left behind.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes

In Don Jon, the directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the star plays a dude whose ferocious addiction to online pornography threatens his burgeoning relationship with new girl Scarlett Johansson. To mark the release, we thought we’d take a look at some other notable “mainstream” movies that dealt with the once-taboo world of pornography. (Slightly NSFW — if you work in the 1950s and somehow have access to the Internet.)

This week at the movies, we’ve got racing rivals (Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl); ravenous food (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, with voice performances from Bill Hader and Anna Faris); a lovestruck lothario (Don Jon, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson); and a desperate flight attendant (Baggage Claim, starring Paula Patton and Djimon Hounsou). What do the critics have to say?



Rush

89%

The best sports movies are about more than winning or losing — they’re about the inner workings of the people that play the games. Critics say director Ron Howard‘s Rush excels both on and off the track — the racing scenes are incredibly tense, but it’s the human drama and outstanding performances that push this film into the winner’s circle. James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) are rival drivers with markedly different personalities and a shared history. As they battle it out for the 1976 Formula One championship, both drivers deal with personal traumas — and find a measure of mutual respect. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Rush is full of visual fireworks, but its nuanced portrait of two fierce competitors is what ultimately resonates. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Howard’s best-reviewed films.)



Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

71%

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a funny, exuberant surprise, so Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 was probably inevitable. Still, the critics say that while this sequel lacks the freshness of the original, it’s an energetic, visually inventive family movie. After dealing with torrents of raining food in the first film, the residents of Swallow Falls now have a mess of leftovers to clean up. But Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader), Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), and the rest of the town have bigger concerns than spoilage when a veritable army of food/animal hybrids start wreaking havoc. The pundits say Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 should please the little ones, and their parents will be reasonably satisfied as well. (Watch our video interviews with the cast, and click through our gallery of the worst movie meals.)



Don Jon

80%

It’s an old adage that what every actor really wants to do is direct. However, critics say that few thespians have the natural talent behind the camera that Joseph Gordon-Levitt displays in Don Jon, a funny, insightful romantic comedy that handles tricky material with aplomb. Gordon-Levitt stars as Jon, a skilled pickup artist who falls head over heels for Barbara, a beautiful woman with more traditional views on romance. Soon, however, Jon’s porn addiction threatens to derail his real-life relationship. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Don Jon is a strong debut for Gordon-Levitt — his film is witty, visually stylish, and well acted.



Baggage Claim

15%

Some material is so flimsy that even the most experienced actors prove unable to bring it to life. Unfortunately, critics say that’s the case with Baggage Claim, a romantic comedy that’s too contrived and clichéd to make much of an impression. Paula Patton stars as a flight attendant who wants to find Mr. Right before her sister ties the knot, so she hatches a plan to use her job to meet up with her exes and determine if they’re marriage material. The pundits say Baggage Claim hits the same notes as a number of successful romantic comedies without establishing much personality of its own.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • On the Job, a thriller about a pair of prison inmates who are enlisted to commit contract killings in exchange for reduced sentences, is at 100 percent.
  • Muscle Shoals, a rockumentary about the legendary Alabama recording studio, is at 100 percent.
  • Inequality For All, a documentary about the gap in income between the rich and poor, is at 96 percent.
  • Metallica Through the Never, starring Dane DeHaan in a thriller about a young roadie who encounters a variety of strange situations and people while on a mission for the band, is at 90 percent.
  • We Are What We Are, a horror film about a family with a controlling patriarch and a dark secret, is at 88 percent.
  • Shepard & Dark, a doc about the friendship between playwright Sam Shepard and bohemian Johnny Dark, is at 71 percent.
  • Out in the Dark, a drama about a love affair between a Palestinian student and an Israeli lawyer, is at 69 percent.
  • Dark Touch, a horror film about an 11-year-old outcast with telekinetic powers, is at 60 percent.
  • Morning, starring Leland Orser and Jeanne Tripplehorn in a drama about a couple who have just experienced the death of their child, is at 50 percent.
  • As I Lay Dying, starring James Franco and Danny McBride in an adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel about a family traveling through Mississippi to bury its recently deceased matriarch, is at 42 percent.

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