(Photo by Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection)

All Ben Affleck Movies Ranked

Ben Affleck chose the right friends early on: His first notable appearance was in 1992’s School Ties, which happened to co-star Matt Damon. The two would go on to become household names after co-writing and co-starring in the Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting. And a few years after School Ties, Affleck starred in Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy, and is now a regular fixture in Smith’s View Askewniverse. Damon, Smith, and Affleck would all work together in 1999’s iconoclastic Dogma.

Later on in his career, Affleck would pal around with Michael Bay, creating two bombastic feasts together: Armageddon and Pearl Harbor. He’s worked with some of the most legendary directors of their time, like John Woo (Paycheck), John Frankenhemier (Reindeer Games), Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused), and David Fincher (Gone Girl) — experiences we’re sure all went into Affleck’s own directing career, which culminated in the Best Picture-winning Argo.

Affleck’s recent stint in the DCEU has left his image relatively unscathed: His Batman was considered among the best things out of Batman v Superman and Justice League. And after some highly public personal issues and with his last directorial effort, Live By Night, a Rotten bomb, Affleck’s now on something of a comeback trail for 2020. The Last Thing He Wanted‘s single-digit Tomatometer was probably the last thing Affleck wanted at this point. But his 2020 sports drama The Way Back transcended the inspirational sports template, giving him a meaty role to sink his teeth into, and it impressed critics along the way. Next, he’ll be directing an adaptation of The Big Goodbye, which details the making of 1974’s Chinatown. Until then, we’re ranking all Ben Affleck movies by Tomatometer!

Adjusted Score: 8176%
Critics Consensus: It'll be the last thing most viewers want, too.
Synopsis: When she helps her father broker an arms deal, a reporter becomes involved in the story she's trying to break.... [More]
Directed By: Dee Rees


Gigli (2003)

Adjusted Score: 12859%
Critics Consensus: Bizarre and clumsily plotted, Gigli is a mess. As for its stars, Affleck and Lopez lack chemistry.
Synopsis: Gigli (Ben Affleck) is ordered to kidnap the psychologically challenged younger brother of a powerful federal prosecutor. When plans go... [More]
Directed By: Martin Brest

Adjusted Score: 11330%
Critics Consensus: Surviving Christmas is unpleasant characters attacking each other for 90 minutes before delivering a typical, hollow anti-consumerist message
Synopsis: A wealthy executive, Drew Latham (Ben Affleck) has no close relationships and becomes nostalgic for his childhood home as Christmas... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell


Runner Runner (2013)

Adjusted Score: 11662%
Critics Consensus: It has an impressive cast and an intriguing premise, but Runner Runner wastes them on a bland, haphazardly assembled thriller with very little payoff.
Synopsis: Believing that he has been swindled, Princeton grad student Richie (Justin Timberlake) goes to Costa Rica to confront online-gambling tycoon... [More]
Directed By: Brad Furman


Phantoms (1998)

Adjusted Score: 12950%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The resort town of Snowfield, Colo., is under attack by an evil spirit that almost wipes out the entire population,... [More]
Directed By: Joe Chappelle


Pearl Harbor (2001)

Adjusted Score: 30911%
Critics Consensus: Pearl Harbor tries to be the Titanic of war movies, but it's just a tedious romance filled with laughably bad dialogue. The 40 minute action sequence is spectacular though.
Synopsis: This sweeping drama, based on real historical events, follows American boyhood friends Rafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and Danny Walker (Josh... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay


Reindeer Games (2000)

Adjusted Score: 27857%
Critics Consensus: Despite a decent cast, subpar acting and a contrived plot disappointed reviewers.
Synopsis: Just released from prison, all Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) wants is to start a new life with Ashley (Charlize Theron),... [More]
Directed By: John Frankenheimer


Paycheck (2003)

Adjusted Score: 31561%
Critics Consensus: Though Dick's short story has an intriguing premise, Woo reduces it to a lot of meaningless chases, shoot-outs, and explosions.
Synopsis: Michael Jennings (Ben Affleck) is a top-notch reverse engineer. Corporations pay him to crack the secrets of their competitors' products.... [More]
Directed By: John Woo

Adjusted Score: 56783%
Critics Consensus: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice smothers a potentially powerful story -- and some of America's most iconic superheroes -- in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.
Synopsis: It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis.... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder


200 Cigarettes (1999)

Adjusted Score: 31012%
Critics Consensus: A clumsy and scattered comedy with a poorly executed script.
Synopsis: This ensemble comedy follows an array of young people in New York City on New Year's Eve. Among the numerous... [More]
Directed By: Risa Bramon Garcia


Smokin' Aces (2007)

Adjusted Score: 36861%
Critics Consensus: A violent mess of a movie, Smokin' Aces has some Quentin Tarantino's style but not much of his wit or humor.
Synopsis: Sleazy entertainer Buddy "Aces" Israel (Jeremy Piven) incurs the wrath of crime boss Primo Sparazza when he agrees to testify... [More]
Directed By: Joe Carnahan


The Third Wheel (2002)

Adjusted Score: 9097%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When Stanley met Diana, he hadn't been on a date in years. She was easily the most appealing woman he'd... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Brady


Live by Night (2016)

Adjusted Score: 52366%
Critics Consensus: Live by Night boasts visual style and an impressive cast, but they're lost in a would-be crime saga that finds producer, director, and star Ben Affleck revisiting familiar themes to diminishing effect.
Synopsis: It's the Roaring `20s and Prohibition hasn't stopped the flow of booze in an underground network of gangster-run speakeasies. The... [More]
Directed By: Ben Affleck


Man About Town (2006)

Adjusted Score: 14726%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Hollywood agent Jack Giamoro (Ben Affleck) has a ruthless dedication to his work and a tendency to neglect his wife,... [More]
Directed By: Mike Binder


Armageddon (1998)

Adjusted Score: 43436%
Critics Consensus: Lovely to look at but about as intelligent as the asteroid that serves as the movie's antagonist, Armageddon slickly sums up the cinematic legacies of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay.
Synopsis: When an asteroid threatens to collide with Earth, NASA honcho Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton) determines the only way to... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay


Justice League (2017)

Adjusted Score: 70782%
Critics Consensus: Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

Adjusted Score: 48017%
Critics Consensus: Despite the best efforts of a talented cast, He's Just Not That Into You devotes too little time to each of its protagonists, thus reducing them to stereotypes.
Synopsis: Baltimore-based friends and lovers, all in their 20s and 30s, try to navigate their way through the complexities of modern... [More]
Directed By: Ken Kwapis


Jersey Girl (2004)

Adjusted Score: 49132%
Critics Consensus: A surprisingly conventional romantic comedy from Kevin Smith, Jersey Girl is warm but often overly sentimental.
Synopsis: Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck) is young and at the top of his game as a music promoter. He is both... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith


Daredevil (2003)

Adjusted Score: 51498%
Critics Consensus: While Ben Affleck fits the role and the story is sporadically interesting, Daredevil is ultimately a dull, brooding origin story that fails to bring anything new to the genre.
Synopsis: Attorney Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) is blind, but his other four senses function with superhuman sharpness. By day, Murdock represents... [More]
Directed By: Mark Steven Johnson


Forces of Nature (1999)

Adjusted Score: 47308%
Critics Consensus: A distinct lack of chemistry between Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock, coupled with a screwball sensibility that's a touch too screwy, scupper Forces of Nature's modest ambition to serve up romantic charm.
Synopsis: All Ben Holmes (Ben Affleck) wants to do is make it from New York to Savannah, Ga., in time for... [More]
Directed By: Bronwen Hughes


To the Wonder (2012)

Adjusted Score: 53211%
Critics Consensus: To the Wonder demonstrates Terrence Malick's gift for beautiful images, but its narrative is overly somber and emotionally unsatisfying.
Synopsis: A man (Ben Affleck) reconnects with a childhood sweetheart (Rachel McAdams) after problems arise in his relationship with the Frenchwoman... [More]
Directed By: Terrence Malick


Bounce (2000)

Adjusted Score: 55628%
Critics Consensus: Critics say Bounce is more of a thud. Plot turns feel cliched and contrived, and the romance between Paltrow and Affleck fails to engage.
Synopsis: Buddy is fearlessly confident and wildly charming, his clients love him, and thanks to his good looks, so do woman.... [More]
Directed By: Don Roos


The Accountant (2016)

Adjusted Score: 69602%
Critics Consensus: The Accountant writes off a committed performance from Ben Affleck, leaving viewers with a scattershot action thriller beset by an array of ill-advised deductions.
Synopsis: Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a mathematics savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Using a small-town CPA office... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

Adjusted Score: 57936%
Critics Consensus: Fans can expect a good laugh as the cast from Smith's previous films reunite for Jay and Silent Bob's last bow. The loose plotting and crude language may be too much for others though.
Synopsis: When Jay and Silent Bob learn that a "Bluntman and Chronic" movie is being made featuring their comic book counterparts,... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith


Mallrats (1995)

Adjusted Score: 59615%
Critics Consensus: Mallrats colorfully expands the View Askewniverse, even if its snootchie has lost a few of the bootchies boasted by its beloved predecessor.
Synopsis: T.S. (Jeremy London) and his best friend, Brodie (Jason Lee), take a trip to the mall after their girlfriends break... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith


School Ties (1992)

Adjusted Score: 62886%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When David Greene (Brendan Fraser) receives a football scholarship to a prestigious prep school in the 1950s, he feels pressure... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mandel


Extract (2009)

Adjusted Score: 69916%
Critics Consensus: Extract has some very funny moments and several fine performances, but the film feels slighter and more uneven than Mike Judge's previous work.
Synopsis: The owner of a factory that produces flavor extracts, Joel Reynold (Jason Bateman) seems to have it all, but really... [More]
Directed By: Mike Judge

Adjusted Score: 65783%
Critics Consensus: Fan-focused to a fault, Jay & Silent Bob Reboot tries to mock the same audience nostalgia it's mining -- and pulls it off often enough to satisfy the faithful.
Synopsis: Jay and Silent Bob embark on a cross-country mission to stop Hollywood from filming a reboot based on them.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith


Boiler Room (2000)

Adjusted Score: 68367%
Critics Consensus: Its ending is disappointingly tidy, but Boiler Room boasts just enough sharp writing and brisk pacing to make getting there worthwhile.
Synopsis: Welcome to the infamous "boiler room" -- where twenty something millionaires are made overnight. Here, in the inner sanctum of... [More]
Directed By: Ben Younger


Dogma (1999)

Adjusted Score: 72417%
Critics Consensus: Provocative and audacious, Dogma is an uneven but thoughtful religious satire that's both respectful and irreverent.
Synopsis: Two fallen angels who were ejected from paradise find themselves banned in Wisconsin. They are now headed for New Jersey... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith


The Company Men (2010)

Adjusted Score: 73682%
Critics Consensus: It might be hard for most viewers to identify with The Company Men's well-heeled protagonists, but writer/director John Wells uses their plight to make universally resonant points -- and gets the most out of his excellent cast.
Synopsis: A young executive at a shipping and manufacturing conglomerate, Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is on the fast track to the... [More]
Directed By: John Wells

Adjusted Score: 68550%
Critics Consensus: Its themes may feel overly familiar, but Going All the Way is set apart from other period coming-of-age films by the strength of its performances.
Synopsis: Korean War--era veterans and ex-classmates "Gunner" Casselman (Ben Affleck) and "Sonny" Burns (Jeremy Davies) reunite upon their return home. Gunner,... [More]
Directed By: Mark Pellington


Hollywoodland (2006)

Adjusted Score: 76039%
Critics Consensus: More than a movie star murder mystery, Hollywoodland takes it slow in order to reveal the intriguing details of the rise and fall of superstar fame.
Synopsis: A detective (Adrien Brody) uncovers unexpected links to his own personal life as he probes the mysterious death of "Superman"... [More]
Directed By: Allen Coulter


Triple Frontier (2019)

Adjusted Score: 78145%
Critics Consensus: An outstanding cast and ambitious story help Triple Frontier overcome an uneven narrative -- and elevate the end result above a crowded field of grim and gritty heist thrillers.
Synopsis: Former Special Forces operatives reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the... [More]
Directed By: J.C. Chandor

Adjusted Score: 87586%
Critics Consensus: Zack Snyder's Justice League lives up to its title with a sprawling cut that expands to fit the director's vision -- and should satisfy the fans who willed it into existence.
Synopsis: In ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder


Changing Lanes (2002)

Adjusted Score: 81983%
Critics Consensus: Though some may find its conclusion unsatisfying, Changing Lanes is a tense, well-crafted exploration of meaty ethical dilemmas.
Synopsis: A rush-hour fender-bender on New York City's crowded FDR Drive, under most circumstances, wouldn't set off a chain reaction that... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell


The Way Back (2020)

Adjusted Score: 98320%
Critics Consensus: The Way Back's occasionally frustrating treatment of a formulaic story is often outweighed by Ben Affleck's outstanding work in the central role.
Synopsis: Jack Cunningham was a high school basketball superstar who suddenly walked away from the game for unknown reasons. Years later,... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor


State of Play (2009)

Adjusted Score: 93246%
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


Daddy and Them (2001)

Adjusted Score: 27312%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Welcome to America's Heartland, home of hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves... and Claude (Billy Bob Thornton) and Ruby (Laura Dern) Montgomery.... [More]
Directed By: Billy Bob Thornton


Chasing Amy (1997)

Adjusted Score: 91201%
Critics Consensus: Although Chasing Amy's depiction of queer sexuality is frustratingly clumsy, it handles an array of thorny themes with a mixture of sensitivity, raw honesty, and writer-director Kevin Smith's signature raunchy humor.
Synopsis: Holden and Banky are best friends and authors of a popular comic book. Holden falls in love with Alyssa, who... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith


Gone Girl (2014)

Adjusted Score: 103617%
Critics Consensus: Dark, intelligent, and stylish to a fault, Gone Girl plays to director David Fincher's sick strengths while bringing the best out of stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.
Synopsis: In Carthage, Mo., former New York-based writer Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his glamorous wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) present a... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

Adjusted Score: 95765%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Synopsis: This coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

Adjusted Score: 99594%
Critics Consensus: Endlessly witty, visually rapturous, and sweetly romantic, Shakespeare in Love is a delightful romantic comedy that succeeds on nearly every level.
Synopsis: "Shakespeare in Love" is a romantic comedy for the 1990s set in the 1590s. It imaginatively unfolds the witty, sexy... [More]
Directed By: John Madden


The Town (2010)

Adjusted Score: 100588%
Critics Consensus: Tense, smartly written, and wonderfully cast, The Town proves that Ben Affleck has rediscovered his muse -- and that he's a director to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) leads a band of ruthless bank robbers and has no real attachments except for James (Jeremy... [More]
Directed By: Ben Affleck


Argo (2012)

Adjusted Score: 111593%
Critics Consensus: Tense, exciting, and often darkly comic, Argo recreates a historical event with vivid attention to detail and finely wrought characters.
Synopsis: On Nov. 4, 1979, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, taking 66 American hostages. Amid the chaos, six... [More]
Directed By: Ben Affleck

Adjusted Score: 100062%
Critics Consensus: It follows a predictable narrative arc, but Good Will Hunting adds enough quirks to the journey -- and is loaded with enough powerful performances -- that it remains an entertaining, emotionally rich drama.
Synopsis: Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

(Photo by Universal / courtesy Everett Collection)

20 Movies To Watch If You Loved Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese followed his Best Picture and Director-winning The Departed with his most directly entertaining, plot twist-heavy movie, a psychological thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio investigating a remote asylum with a missing patient. Of course, it’s apparent from the beginning things aren’t as they seem…

If you’re looking for more movies like Shutter Island, why not start with the grandaddy of unreliable narrator movies: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It may be 100 (!) years old, but it still has the power to spook and captivate.

Part of Shutter Island‘s fun is that it encourages viewers to participate in solving the mystery, poke holes in the movie’s established reality, and look for the actual truth. It requires filmmaking mastery to create these puzzle boxes, so it’s not surprising some of our most beloved directors built their reputation on these: Alfred Hitchcock (Rebecca, Vertigo), David Fincher (The Game, Gone Girl), Christopher Nolan (Inception, Memento), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), and David Lynch (Mulholland Drive).

Movies like Shutter Island are all about building paranoia, like the hero has tapped into something true and sinister that nobody else is taking seriously. And frequently they’re told from a female perspective: Along with the already mentioned Black Swan, there’s also The Girl on the Train, the classic Diabolique, and Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie, who’s convinced the missing son the police have returned to her is not her boy.

Psychological thrillers like Shutter Island differ from typical mysteries in that the nature of the film itself is the central mystery, as opposed to, say, figuring out who the murderer is. Movies in this vein include Open Your Eyes (remade as Vanilla Sky), John Frankenheimer’s Seconds (which helped drive Brian Wilson over the edge in real life), the sci-fi noir Dark City, the relentlessly scary Jacob’s Ladder, and A Scanner Darkly, arguably Keanu Reeves’ best movie made in that period between The Matrix and the Keanussance.

And if you’re looking for something more basic and primal, check out Identity or Secret Window. Not too taxing on the mind, but they’ll still give it a good twist.

Adjusted Score: 64246%
Critics Consensus: Emily Blunt's outstanding performance isn't enough to keep The Girl on the Train from sliding sluggishly into exploitative melodrama.
Synopsis: Commuter Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor


Secret Window (2004)

Adjusted Score: 51445%
Critics Consensus: Depp is quirkily entertaining, but the movie runs out of steam by the end.
Synopsis: While in the process of an ugly divorce from his wife (Maria Bello), writer Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) relocates to... [More]
Directed By: David Koepp


Changeling (2008)

Adjusted Score: 69886%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully shot and well-acted, Changeling is a compelling story that unfortunately gives in to convention too often.
Synopsis: In 1928 Los Angeles, single mother Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) arrives home to find her son, Walter, gone. Five months... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood


Identity (2003)

Adjusted Score: 68187%
Critics Consensus: Identity is a film that will divide audiences -- the twists of its plot will either impress or exasperate you.
Synopsis: When a vicious storm breaks out in the Nevada desert, 10 people seek refuge in an isolated motel. At the... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold


A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Adjusted Score: 76230%
Critics Consensus: A faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel, A Scanner Darkly takes the viewer on a visual and mind-blowing journey into the author's conception of a drug-addled and politically unstable world.
Synopsis: In the near future, as America virtually loses the war on drugs, Robert Arctor, a narcotics cop in Orange County,... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater


Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Adjusted Score: 77535%
Critics Consensus: Even with its disorienting leaps of logic and structure, Jacob's Ladder is an engrossing, nerve-shattering experience.
Synopsis: After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations... [More]
Directed By: Adrian Lyne


The Game (1997)

Adjusted Score: 78820%
Critics Consensus: The ending could use a little work but this is otherwise another sterling example of David Fincher's iron grip on atmosphere and storytelling.
Synopsis: Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is a successful banker who keeps mostly to himself. When his estranged brother Conrad (Sean... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher


Dark City (1998)

Adjusted Score: 79186%
Critics Consensus: Stylishly gloomy, Dark City offers a polarizing whirl of arresting visuals and noirish action.
Synopsis: John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he is wanted for a series of... [More]
Directed By: Alex Proyas


The Machinist (2004)

Adjusted Score: 81528%
Critics Consensus: Brad Anderson's dark psychological thriller about a sleepless factory worker is elevated by Christian Bale astonishingly committed performance.
Synopsis: Factory worker Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) suffers from insomnia so severe that his condition has taken its toll on his... [More]
Directed By: Brad Anderson


Mulholland Dr. (2001)

Adjusted Score: 91498%
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's dreamlike and mysterious Mulholland Drive is a twisty neo-noir with an unconventional structure that features a mesmirizing performance from Naomi Watts as a woman on the dark fringes of Hollywood.
Synopsis: A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles... [More]
Directed By: David Lynch


Black Swan (2010)

Adjusted Score: 97225%
Critics Consensus: Bracingly intense, passionate, and wildly melodramatic, Black Swan glides on Darren Aronofsky's bold direction -- and a bravura performance from Natalie Portman.
Synopsis: Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When the company's... [More]
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky


Open Your Eyes (1997)

Adjusted Score: 88168%
Critics Consensus: Director Alejandro Amenábar tackles some heady issues with finesse and clarity in Open Your Eyes, a gripping exploration of existentialism and the human spirit.
Synopsis: Handsome 25-year-old Cesar (Eduardo Noriega) had it all -- a successful career, expensive cars, a swank bachelor's pad, and an... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Amenábar


Gone Girl (2014)

Adjusted Score: 103617%
Critics Consensus: Dark, intelligent, and stylish to a fault, Gone Girl plays to director David Fincher's sick strengths while bringing the best out of stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.
Synopsis: In Carthage, Mo., former New York-based writer Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his glamorous wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) present a... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher


Inception (2010)

Adjusted Score: 101194%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Synopsis: Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people's dreams and steal their secrets from... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan


Seconds (1966)

Adjusted Score: 85391%
Critics Consensus: Featuring dazzling, disorienting cinematography from the great James Wong Howe and a strong lead performance by Rock Hudson, Seconds is a compellingly paranoid take on the legend of Faust.
Synopsis: Banker Arthur Hamilton (John Randolph) gets a call one day from a friend he thought was dead. It turns out... [More]
Directed By: John Frankenheimer


Memento (2000)

Adjusted Score: 99670%
Critics Consensus: Christopher Nolan skillfully guides the audience through Memento's fractured narrative, seeping his film in existential dread.
Synopsis: Leonard (Guy Pearce) is tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The difficulty, however, of locating his... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan


Vertigo (1958)

Adjusted Score: 104008%
Critics Consensus: An unpredictable scary thriller that doubles as a mournful meditation on love, loss, and human comfort.
Synopsis: Hitchcock's romantic story of obsession, manipulation and fear. A detective is forced to retire after his fear of heights causes... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock


Diabolique (1955)

Adjusted Score: 101196%
Critics Consensus: Cruel, dark, but undeniably effective, Diabolique is a suspense thriller as effective as Hitchcock's best work and with a brilliant twist ending.
Synopsis: In this classic of French suspense, the cruel and abusive headmaster of a boarding school, Michel Delassalle (Paul Meurisse), becomes... [More]
Directed By: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Adjusted Score: 115195%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the first true horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari set a brilliantly high bar for the genre -- and remains terrifying nearly a century after it first stalked the screen.
Synopsis: At a carnival in Germany, Francis (Friedrich Feher) and his friend Alan (Rudolf Lettinger) encounter the crazed Dr. Caligari (Werner... [More]
Directed By: Robert Wiene


Rebecca (1940)

Adjusted Score: 110806%
Critics Consensus: Hitchcock's first American film (and his only Best Picture winner), Rebecca is a masterpiece of haunting atmosphere, Gothic thrills, and gripping suspense.
Synopsis: Story of a young woman who marries a fascinating widower only to find out that she must live in the... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

The Screen Actors Guild Awards held their annual ceremony on Sunday, Januray 25 in a televised event at Los Angeles’s Shrine Auditorium. Birdman took home another trophy — for Best Ensemble — though The Theory of Everything‘s Eddie Redmayne beat Michael Keaton for Best Actor, while Netflix’s Orange is the New Black came away with a couple of big wins. Read on for the full list.

Movie Awards


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Television Awards


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series

The Oscar nominees were announced last Thursday, and we here at Rotten Tomatoes have been pretty fortunate to sit down and chat with a whole lot of them. If you’re still unsure who to root for in the Best Picture race, or you’d just like a little more info on the films being honored on February 22, check out our various interviews with the casts and filmmakers of Selma, The Theory of Everything, Nightcrawler, American Sniper, The Hobbit, and more.



Actor Chris Pine, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and directors Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams announced today the nominations for all 24 Oscar categories at a live news conference at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Read through for the full list of nominees.



ACTOR in a Leading Role

ACTRESS in a Leading Role

ACTOR in a Supporting Role

ACTRESS in a Supporting Role








MUSIC – Original Score

MUSIC – Original Song

  • “Everything Is Awesome”; Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson from The Lego Movie
  • “Glory”; Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn from Selma
  • “Grateful”; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren from Beyond the Lights
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”; Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond from Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me
  • “Lost Stars”; Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois from Begin Again


  • Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration) for The Imitation Game
  • Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration) for Interstellar
  • Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) for Into the Woods
  • Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration) for Mr. Turner



  • John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin for American Sniper
  • Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga for Birdman
  • Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten for Interstellar
  • Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee for Unbroken
  • Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley for Whiplash


WRITING – Adapted Screenplay

WRITING – Original Screenplay

    • Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo for Birdman
    • Written by Richard Linklater for Boyhood
    • Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman for Foxcatcher
    • Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness for The Grand Budapest Hotel
    • Written by Dan Gilroy

      for Nightcrawler



SHORT FILM – Animated

SHORT FILM – Live Action

This week on home video, we’ve got David Fincher’s latest blockbuster thriller, Liam Neeson’s latest tough-guy role, an acclaimed romance, and a musical biopic, as well as a bunch of noteworthy indies. Then, on TV, we’ve got the final season of a popular HBO series, as well as the most recent seasons of a number of other cable shows. Read on for the full list:

Gone Girl


Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, David Fincher’s latest thriller scored well with critics and even sparked a little bit of awards season buzz. Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, a former journalist who moves back to his hometown with his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) in order to take care of his sick mother. When Amy disappears on the day of their fifth anniversary, a very public search begins, and Nick soon becomes the prime suspect. But not everything is as it seems, and troubling details emerge about both Nick and Amy, complicating the investigation. Critics praised Fincher’s typically dark and stylish work on Gone Girl, which was aided by an intelligent script and strong performances from Affleck and Pike, and rewarded the film with a Certified Fresh 89 percent on the Tomatometer. The only extra on the release is an audio commentary with David Fincher, but it’s a twisty, sometimes unpredictable yarn that should make for solid viewing if you haven’t seen it.

A Walk Among the Tombstones


Liam Neeson continues his late career action renaissance with A Walk Among the Tombstones, another film based on an eponymous novel (by Lawrence Block). This time, Neeson is Matthew Scudder, a former NYPD officer-turned-private detective who’s battling alcoholism. When his services are enlisted to track down a man who has killed his client?s brother’s wife, Scudder becomes entangled in a conspiracy involving drug traffickers, the DEA, and a pair of killers with a grisly M.O. Though Tombstones relies on some familiar genre clichés, critics did find that Liam Neeson got to flex a bit more dramatic muscle here than, say, in the Taken films, and that was enough to earn the film a 65 percent on the Tomatometer. Bonus features include a discussion of the Matt Scudder character between Block and writer/director Scott Frank, as well as a look at the different characters in the film.

Love Is Strange


Several years ago, it might have been a stretch to imagine that the year’s most critically acclaimed romantic drama would star Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as a same-sex couple, but that’s exactly what happened in 2014, as Love Is Strange won the Golden Tomato Award for the best-reviewed romance. Directed by Ira Sachs, the film stars Molina and Lithgow as George and Ben, a gay couple living in New York who are finally able to marry after forty years together. When George loses his job, however, the newlyweds are forced to live apart from each other temporarily, and George and Ben must deal both with the separation itself and with the complicated family dynamics of their new living situations. Bolstered by powerful performances from the two leads and poignant, graceful treatment of its subject matter, Love Is Strange earned a Certified Fresh 94 percent on the Tomatometer. Extras include an audio commentary with Sachs, Lithgow, and Molina, a making-of doc, and a Q&A session from the LA Film Festival.

Jimi: All Is By My Side


John Ridley won an Oscar for penning the script for 12 Years a Slave last year, and he followed that up by writing and directing a biopic of iconic rock star Jimi Hendrix starring OutKast’s Andre Benjamin. One of the big stories surrounding the film was the Hendrix estate’s refusal to allow any of Hendrix’s music in the film, and although that did put a damper on things, most critics felt the film was a solid effort. The story centers on the year Hendrix spent in London before the release of his seminal album Are You Experienced, focusing on his rise to stardom and his early relationships during that period, including the time he spent with Kathy Etchingham (Hayley Atwell) and Linda Keith (Imogen Poots). Though some critics felt the narrative was a bit uneven and bemoaned the lack of classic Hendrix tunes, most appreciated the look at a lesser known period of Hendrix’s life and praised Benjamin for his uncanny portrayal of the legendary guitarist, leading to a 67 percent Tomatometer score.

Boardwalk Empire – Season Five

Another acclaimed HBO series came to a close in 2014 after five Certified Fresh seasons, and though its final year wasn’t without its flaws, fans will no doubt miss the shady exploits of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi). Boardwalk Empire‘s farewell season ran for an abbreviated eight episodes and extensively employed a flashback structure to provide more context for Nucky’s rise and inevitable fall, and while some critics were put off by the constant glimpses into Nucky’s past, most agreed that they made the series ending more rewarding. In addition, season five brought closure for several of the show’s other beloved characters, including Eli Thompson (Shea Whigham), Chalky White (Michael K. Williams), Gillian Darmody (Gretchen Mol), Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon), Al Capone (Stephen Graham), and of course, Margaret (Kelly Macdonald). The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray comes with four commentary tracks and eight behind-the-scenes pieces focusing on the shooting locations of the series.

Also available this week:

  • Certified Fresh German import Wetlands (91 percent), an irreverent coming-of-age dramedy about an 18-year-old who copes with her parents’ divorce by breaking social taboos.

  • Hossein Amini’s The Two Faces of January (82 percent), starring Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst in a thriller about a pair of tourists who become fugitives with a con artist when a murder is discovered at their hotel.

  • Honeymoon (70 percent), starring Rose Leslie in a thriller about a young couple vacationing in the woods when the wife goes missing and returns… changed.

  • Bird People (59 percent), starring Josh Charles in a drama about a man who forsakes his wife and job to hole up in a hotel in Paris, only to bond with a young maid and discover something otherworldly.

  • Young Ones (40 percent), starring Michael Shannon and Elle Fanning in a dystopian thriller set in a future where water is scarce and precious, about a man defending his land from bandits.

  • Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children (31 percent), starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner in an ensemble dramedy about a group of high schoolers and their parents and their tricky relationships with modern technology.

  • Jessabelle (26 percent), a horror film about a woman who returns to her childhood home after a car accident and discovers a malicious spirit has been waiting for her.

  • The Identical (7 percent), a faith-infused drama about identical twins who are separated at birth; while one becomes an Elvis-like star, the other seeks to emulate his success.

  • One new Criterion release this week: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1972 drama The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (80 percent), about the relationship between a fashion designer, her S&M lover, and one of her models.

  • Season three of TNT’s new Dallas (70 percent) is available on DVD.

  • Season one of FX’s Middle East drama Tyrant (60 percent) is available on DVD.

  • Season three of Showtime’s Matt LeBlanc comedy Episodes (57 percent) is also available on DVD.

  • And the third season of another Showtime series, House of Lies is available on DVD.

The People’s Choice Awards opened the season of award shows on the evening of Jan 7th at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Check out the list below to find out who the fan favorites were in 2014.



Favorite Movie Actress

Favorite Action Movie

Favorite Comedic Movie

Favorite Dramatic Movie

Favorite Family Movie

Favorite Thriller Movie

Favorite Movie Duo

Favorite Action Movie Actor

Favorite Action Movie Actress

Favorite Comedic Movie Actor

Favorite Comedic Movie Actress

Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor

Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress

The full list of nominees for the People’s Choice Awards 2015 was announced today by Anna Faris and Allison Janney at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles. The contenders were entirely chosen by fans, who cast over 70 million votes in the past few weeks.

Read through for the full list of movies and TV nominations, and don’t forget to visit the People’s Choice Awards website to help choose the winners.



Favorite TV Show

Favorite New TV Comedy

Favorite New TV Drama

Favorite Network TV Comedy

Favorite Network TV Drama

Favorite Cable TV Comedy

Favorite Cable TV Drama

Favorite TV Crime Drama

Favorite Network Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show

Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show

Favorite Dramedy

Favorite Animated TV Show

Favorite Comedic TV Actor

Favorite Comedic TV Actress

Favorite Dramatic TV Actor

Favorite Dramatic TV Actress

Favorite Cable TV Actor

Favorite Cable TV Actress

Favorite Crime Drama TV Actor

Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress

Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor

Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress

Favorite Competition TV Show

Favorite Daytime TV Host(s)

Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host

Favorite TV Icon

Favorite TV Duo

Favorite TV Character We Miss Most

Favorite Actor In A New TV Series

Favorite Actress In A New TV Series

Favorite Sketch Comedy TV Show

On Wednesday, Januray 7, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) released their list of nominees for their annual WGA Awards, honoring outstanding writing in film, television, radio, and new media. The ceremony itself will take place on Saturday, February 7 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, but you can check out a select list of the nominees below:


Original Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay

Documentary Screenplay

Drama Series

Comedy Series

New Series

Awards season is on, and with everything that is going on from December through February, it’s difficult to keep track of who is getting what. To help you with that, we created the Awards Leaderboard, a ranking of movies by the number of awards won and their respective categories. Read on to find out where your favorite movies stand, and who is leading the pack.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) 91%

49 wins

Boyhood (2014) 97%

49 wins

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) 92%

25 wins

Whiplash (2014) 94%

24 wins

Citizenfour (2014) 96%

11 wins

The LEGO Movie (2014) 96%

11 wins

  • BAFTA – Animated Film
  • PGA – Animated Picture
  • Critics Choice – Best Animated Feature
  • Golden Tomato – Best-Reviewed Animation
  • CFCA – Best Animated Feature
  • SFFCC – Best Animated Feature
  • NYFCO – Best Animated Feature
  • WAFCA – Best Animated Feature
  • NBR – Original Screenplay
  • NYFCC – Best Animated Film
  • LVFCS – Best Animated Film

Still Alice (2014) 85%

11 wins

Ida (2013) 96%

9 wins

The Theory of Everything (2014) 80%

8 wins

Life Itself (2014) 98%

7 wins

Hollywood’s lucrative holiday movie season kicked off with two event films which both connected with their respective audiences delivering a potent one-two punch driving the box office to its best sales in three months. Disney’s animated action-comedy Big Hero 6 opened at number one with an estimated $56.2M from 3,761 locations for a muscular $14,943 average.

It was the second best toon opening of the year trailing only the $69.1M bow of February’s The LEGO Movie which finished its domestic run with about 3.75 times that amount. The PG-rated Hero was based on a lesser-known Marvel property and came into the marketplace as a crowd-pleaser that could play to many audiences. Reviews were very good and paying audiences also were quite pleased as the CinemaScore grade was a sturdy A.

Families made up the bulk of the audience at 72%. Given the comic-based nature of the source material, and that the new sci-fi pic Interstellar lured away fanboys this weekend, Big Hero 6 could branch out in the weeks to come to non-family moviegoers. Baymax and pals had broad appeal as the male/female split was dead even. Studios love to open toon tentpoles in early November for the long runs that could follow boosted by school holidays this month like Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Breaking $200M domestic is certainly possible. Hero opened a few notches ahead of the $49M debut weekend of Wreck-It Ralph, another fanboy-type toon unleashed in early November. Saturday’s healthy 52% boost indicates good word-of-mouth.

Globally, Big Hero 6 will take its time to roll out with many key territories waiting for the Christmas season or even January for its openings. Russia launched two weeks before the U.S. to capitalize on local school holidays and has grossed a solid $18.2M to date. Japan opens December 20 and should be one of the top-grossing territories since Disney toons do gangbusters there plus Hero has many Japanese influences in the film. China has not yet been dated.

Opening in second place was Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi epic Interstellar with Paramount reporting a weekend estimate of $50M over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Early shows on IMAX screens and film prints began on Tuesday night putting the cume at $52.2M. Playing in 3,561 locations, including 368 IMAX screens, the PG-13 saga averaged a robust $14,041 per theater over the weekend period. Reviews were generally good, but were not positive across the board.

The $50M weekend figure reported by Paramount was an aggressive number. It includes a very optimistic 21% decline for Sunday which is much lower than what all other studios are reporting for their wide releases this weekend. Other live-action pics are all projecting Sunday drops of 35-50%. Even animated films which normally hold up well Saturday-to-Sunday are projecting larger Sunday declines. And on this same weekend last year, even with Monday being a holiday, all live-action films in the top ten suffered Sunday declines of 32% or higher. Mathematically and historically speaking, it would be extremely unusual for Interstellar at this time of year to post a Sunday drop in the neighborhood of 21%.

However, that low drop does conveniently make the weekend estimate a nice and even round number which looks better in news reports than something in the $40M range. Should Interstellar‘s Sunday drop like most other live-action films do at this time of year, the weekend gross would actually be closer to $48M. Fall films have football to compete with on Sundays which are especially distracting for movies that appeal to older men. Plus schools are in session on Monday so comparing Interstellar to summer films would not give a true picture.

Opening weekend Sunday drops for other live-action films in the October-November corridor include 35% for Captain Phillips, 34% for Gravity, 31% for 2012, and 29% for Skyfall which had an observed holiday Monday for Veterans Day. Since all box office numbers reported on Sundays are just “estimates,” the final grosses to be reported on Monday will indicate the true performance. Many industry insiders questioned Paramount’s reporting earlier this year for the opening weekend of its high-profile sequel Transformers: Age of Extinction. Most with access to the same data pegged the weekend at roughly $98M (still a great number) but the studio reported an even $100M.

Despite what final numbers will show, Interstellar still opened with muscle especially for an original 2D film that runs nearly three hours. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine, the space travel saga skewed older as expected with studio research showing that 75% of the crowd was over 25. Cross-gender appeal was strong – especially for this genre – as the male/female split was 52/48. Interstellar drew upon the starpower of the cast as well as the brand name of Nolan who ranks today as among the top directors in Hollywood.

Compared to other sci-fi films, Interstellar opened a bit below Gravity‘s $55.8M and the $51.1M of Prometheus. Both of those benefitted from 3D surcharges, especially the Sandra Bullock hit which made the bulk of its cash from 3D screens. So it can be argued that Interstellar and Gravity both attracted roughly the same amount of people on opening weekend. Gravity was about half as long of a film, but with multiplexes having more flexibility in early November to offer multiple screens, there were plenty of showtimes to absorb demand for Interstellar. Nolan’s last film The Dark Knight Rises had the same length as Interstellar but still opened to a massive $160.9M. Avatar, an original sci-fi film from a beloved director, also had a similar length and opened to $77M. It had 3D surcharges, but also lower 2009 prices, half as many IMAX screens, plus a major blizzard shutting down many theaters. Long movies can still open huge.

The wide release kicked off on Friday with $17M but Saturday increased by only 8% to $18.4M. And this is with some of that upfront demand being taken away by the special midweek showings. Gravity saw a much better 32% Saturday boost. Add in Interstellar‘s so-so B+ CinemaScore and it becomes unclear what future weeks will have in store. The sci-fi pic has generated a wide variety of opinions from those who have seen it. Luckily, it has only mild competition on its second weekend.

More than one third of the weekend gross for Interstellar came from higher-priced premium large format screens. 368 IMAX screens grossed $13.4M for 26% of the total while other PLF screens collected $5.2M, or 10.5%. Nolan has long used IMAX cameras to film parts of his movies.

Overseas, Interstellar commanded a terrific $80M opening weekend from 62 markets for a worldwide launch of $132.2M. All key territories opened day and date this weekend except for China which launches Wednesday and Japan which opens on November 22. Korea easily led the international markets with $14.1M. IMAX delivered a hot $7.2M from 206 screens which will be joined later this week by over 170 additional screens in China. Budgeted at $165M, Interstellar looks well on its way to grossing north of $500M worldwide which is a tough stratosphere to reach for a non-franchise film.

Leading the fall leftovers was the unstoppable David Fincher thriller Gone Girl which slipped only 28% in its sixth weekend to an estimated $6.1M. The Fox release has now amassed an impressive $145.4M which is the best ever for the director and now third highest in Ben Affleck’s career after his big-budget Michael Bay flicks Armageddon ($201.6M in 1998) and Pearl Harbor ($198.5M in 2001). Two-time chart-topper Ouija followed with an estimated $6M, off 44%, for a new total of $43.5M for Universal.

Well-reviewed indie pics with wide distribution followed. St. Vincent dipped only 21% to an estimated $5.7M while Nightcrawler fell 47% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $5.5M. New sums are $27.4M for The Weinstein Co. and $19.8M for Open Road.

Some top Hollywood stars took the next few slots. Brad Pitt’s tank drama Fury grossed an estimated $5.5M, down 38%, putting Sony at $69.3M to date. The Keanu Reeves actioner John Wick dropped 49% to an estimated $4.1M giving Lionsgate $34.7M so far.

Kidpics rounded out the top ten. The Steve Carell hit Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day declined by 47% to an estimated $3.5M for a $59.2M total for Disney. Fox’s toon The Book of Life tumbled 66% with Baymax stealing away kids this weekend. The estimated $2.8M take lifted the cume to $45.2M.

Another Oscar hopeful saw a successful platform launch as the Stephen Hawking drama The Theory of Everything bowed to an estimated $207,000 from only five locations in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto for a scorching $41,400 average. Earning good but not great reviews, the Focus release will slowly expand in the weeks ahead. Eddie Redmayne is currently seen as one of the front-runners in the Best Actor race this awards season.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $145.4M which was down 8% from last year when Thor: The Dark World opened at number one with $85.7M; and down 9% from 2012 when Skyfall debuted in the top spot with $88.4M.

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Brad Pitt’s World War II tank film Fury topped the North American box office charts opening to an estimated $23.5M for Sony. The brutal R-rated drama averaged a sturdy $7,406 from 3,173 locations and opened in between the $22M of George Clooney’s The Monuments Men from February and the $25.7M of Tom Hanks’ Captain Phillips from this same month last year. All skewed to an older adult audience using an A-list actor as the anchor.

Fury< scored good reviews from critics and pleased paying audiences too as evidenced by its good A- CinemaScore grade. Studio research showed that the crowd was, not surprisingly, 60% male and 51% over 35. Connecting with older men at this time of year is often difficult due to sports competition from NFL and college football plus the baseball playoffs. While Fury< did not score one of top ten opening weekends of Pitt's career, its older skew, good buzz and light competition over the next two weeks should allow the $68M production to build nicely. And overseas potential is solid given the star's drawing power and the Germany-set story.

Despite competition from Brad and the other new releases, two-time champ Gone Girl held up quite well in its third round slipping only 33% to an estimated $17.8M and joining the century club in the process. This fall’s biggest hit has now banked $107.1M and could find its way to the vicinity of $150M from North America. Only five September/October releases have ever climbed to that level before. Girl cost $61M to produce and may reach a global gross five times that amount.

The new animated offering The Book of Life premiered in third place with an estimated $17M from 3,071 sites for a good $5,536 average. That was about even with the recent toon The Boxtrolls which bowed to $17.3M and a $4,987 average in late September. Both were non-sequels offering a unique visual style for family audiences. Fox’s PG-rated Book had Mexican influences from its director, producer and source material and 30% of the audience was Latino. Overall demos showed the crowd to be 57% female and 54% under 25. 3D screens made up 31% of the gross, a low figure but common nowadays for toons. Book of Life features voices from Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, and Cheech Marin plus earned positive reviews.

The best weekend gross among the sophomore titles was an estimated $12M for Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Off only 34%, the Steve Carell comedy has collected a sturdy $36.9M to date and could be headed for the neighborhood of $70M.

Author Nicholas Sparks suffered his worst opening weekend ever for a film based on his novels as the romance The Best of Me opened in fifth to an estimated $10.2M from 2,936 locations for a mild $3,474 average. It was the ninth movie adapted from his books but audiences did not show up. Reviews were terrible and starpower was low with Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden anchoring. The PG-13 entry was released by Relativity which has not yet opened a film north of $13M this year.

The effects-heavy thriller Dracula Untold fell 58% in its second weekend to an estimated $9.9M boosting the cume to $40.7M for Universal. A solid $95.7M from overseas markets during these pre-Halloween weeks has raised the global gross to $136.4M.

Fellow sophomore The Judge held up moderately well with an estimated $7.9M, off 40%. The Warner Bros. release has grossed a modest $26.8M and looks headed for about $45M. The studio’s horror hit Annabelle dropped 50% to an estimated $7.9M as well for $74.1M to date making it 2014’s highest grossing fright film. A final of close to $90M seems likely.

A pair of September hits rounded out the top ten. Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer grossed an estimated $5.5M, down 44%, for a $89.2M cume for Sony. Fox’s The Maze Runner fell 40% to an estimated $4.5M banking $90.8M to date. Both will reach nine digits.

Oscar hopeful Birdman got off to a thunderous start in platform release debuting to an estimated $415,000 from only four locations in New York and Los Angeles for an eye-popping $103,750 average. That was the second highest opening weekend average of any film over the past two years. Only Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel fared better when it bowed last March to a $202,792 average. Both were released in four theaters on the first weekend by Fox Searchlight.

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts and earned sensational reviews. The R-rated film is eyed as a major contender in the picture, director, cinematography, and acting races. Searchlight will expand Birdman on Friday into 18 new markets for a total of about 50 theaters and continue to roll the awards contender out into November.

Also faring very well in its limited release debut was the race relations satire Dear White People which grossed an estimated $344,000 from 11 playdates for a strong $31,273 average. The Roadside Attractions release has earned great reviews across the board and also took home a Special Jury Award from Sundance last winter.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $116.3M which was up 28% from last year when Gravity remained at number one with $30M; and even with 2012 when Paranormal Activity 4 opened on top with $29M.

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