(Photo by Peter Iovino/©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

All Anna Kendrick Movies Ranked

Anna Kendrick’s first film was 2003’s Camp, a musical set at a camp for performing artists in upstate New York, a fitting extension of Kendrick’s childhood start in theater around her birthplace of Portland, Maine. The first of many Certified Fresh awards came with her next movie, Rocket Science; being cast as Jessica in the Twilight franchise meant Kendrick would have a high-profile job waiting for her for years to come.

Her career would soon become defined by steady versatility, appearing in a wide range of films like End of Watch, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and Cake. Kendrick is particularly adept in comedy hybrids, as seen in in The Voices, A Simple Favor, 50/50, and Up in the Air, the last of which garnered her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nom. Meanwhile, she’s been one of the 2010s most reliable musical stars – just look at Into the WoodsTrolls and, of course, the Pitch Perfect series.

Her latest films were Stowaway and the Trolls sequel, World Tour. And now, we’re ranking all Anna Kendrick movies by Tomatometer!

#38

Get a Job (2016)
9%

#38
Adjusted Score: 8530%
Critics Consensus: Inauthentic and unfunny, Get a Job is paltry to the point that its long-delayed release feels purely the result of its wasted cast having been promoted to greater fame all these years later.
Synopsis: A young man (Miles Teller) and his girlfriend (Anna Kendrick) struggle to find desirable employment after graduating from college.... [More]
Directed By: Dylan Kidd

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 9315%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A limousine driver (Jason Schwartzman) who once starred in high-school musicals hopes to cut an album, despite constant reminders of... [More]
Directed By: Todd Louiso

#36
Adjusted Score: 27400%
Critics Consensus: The cast is stocked with likable performers, but What to Expect When You're Expecting is too disjointed -- and too reliant on stock rom-com cliches -- to live up to its distinguished literary namesake.
Synopsis: Challenges of impending parenthood turn the lives of five couples upside down. Two celebrities are unprepared for the surprise demands... [More]
Directed By: Kirk Jones

#35

Rapture-Palooza (2013)
24%

#35
Adjusted Score: 21627%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Left behind after the Rapture, a young woman (Anna Kendrick) and her boyfriend (John Francis Daley) set out to prevent... [More]
Directed By: Paul Middleditch

#34

Table 19 (2017)
25%

#34
Adjusted Score: 33265%
Critics Consensus: Table 19 is marginally more entertaining than actually sitting with a table full of strangers at a wedding -- although most screenings won't come with an open bar, which makes it a wash.
Synopsis: Ex-maid of honor Eloise - having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via... [More]
Directed By: Jeffrey Blitz

#33
Adjusted Score: 33133%
Critics Consensus: Slow, joyless, and loaded with unintentionally humorous moments, Breaking Dawn Part 1 may satisfy the Twilight faithful, but it's strictly for fans of the franchise.
Synopsis: At last, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are getting married. When Jacob (Taylor Lautner) finds out that Bella... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#32
Adjusted Score: 37542%
Critics Consensus: The Twilight Saga's second installment may satisfy hardcore fans of the series, but outsiders are likely to be turned off by its slow pace, relentlessly downcast tone, and excessive length.
Synopsis: After the abrupt departure of Edward (Robert Pattinson), her vampire love, Bella (Kristen Stewart) finds comfort in her deepening friendship... [More]
Directed By: Chris Weitz

#31

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
28%

#31
Adjusted Score: 38856%
Critics Consensus: Pitch Perfect 3 strains to recapture the magic that helped the original spawn a franchise, but ends up sending this increasingly unnecessary trilogy out on a low note.
Synopsis: After the highs of winning the world championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren't job prospects... [More]
Directed By: Trish Sie

#30
Adjusted Score: 47433%
Critics Consensus: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates benefits from the screwball premise and the efforts of a game cast, even if the sporadically hilarious results don't quite live up to either.
Synopsis: Mike and Dave Stangle are young, adventurous, fun-loving brothers who tend to get out of control at family gatherings. When... [More]
Directed By: Jake Szymanski

#29

Mr. Right (2015)
44%

#29
Adjusted Score: 46591%
Critics Consensus: Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick work well together, but Mr. Right is too much of a tonal jumble to take advantage of their chemistry.
Synopsis: A woman (Anna Kendrick) comes to a crossroad when she finds out that her new beau (Sam Rockwell) is a... [More]
Directed By: Paco Cabezas

#28

Life After Beth (2014)
45%

#28
Adjusted Score: 48558%
Critics Consensus: In spite of Aubrey Plaza's committed performance, Life After Beth remains a sketch-worthy idea that's been uncomfortably stretched to feature length.
Synopsis: A guy (Dane DeHaan) discovers that his girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) has returned from the dead, but his joy turns to... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Baena

#27

The Hollars (2016)
47%

#27
Adjusted Score: 51119%
Critics Consensus: The Hollars gathers an impressive assortment of talented stars; unfortunately, it's all in service of a story that's been played out more effectively in countless other indie dramedies.
Synopsis: A man (John Krasinski) returns home to his dysfunctional family after learning that his mother (Margo Martindale) has a brain... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

#26

Cake (2014)
49%

#26
Adjusted Score: 53910%
Critics Consensus: Cake finds Jennifer Aniston making the most of an overdue opportunity to test her dramatic chops, but it lacks sufficient depth or warmth to recommend for all but her most ardent fans.
Synopsis: After having visions of a member of her support group who killed herself, a woman (Jennifer Aniston) who also suffers... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Barnz

#25
Adjusted Score: 56839%
Critics Consensus: Stuffed with characters and overly reliant on uninspired dialogue, Eclipse won't win The Twilight Saga many new converts, despite an improved blend of romance and action fantasy.
Synopsis: Danger once again surrounds Bella (Kristen Stewart), as a string of mysterious killings terrorizes Seattle and a malicious vampire continues... [More]
Directed By: David Slade

#24

Twilight (2008)
49%

#24
Adjusted Score: 57043%
Critics Consensus: Having lost much of its bite transitioning to the big screen, Twilight will please its devoted fans, but do little for the uninitiated.
Synopsis: High-school student Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), always a bit of a misfit, doesn't expect life to change much when she... [More]
Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke

#23

The Accountant (2016)
52%

#23
Adjusted Score: 68957%
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

#22

Noelle (2019)
54%

#22
Adjusted Score: 54692%
Critics Consensus: The always charming Anna Kendrick does her best, but Noelle's progressive take on a timeless tale is unfortunately subdued.
Synopsis: Kris Kringle's daughter is full of Christmas spirit but wishes she could do something important like her brother Nick, who... [More]
Directed By: Marc Lawrence

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 57507%
Critics Consensus: The Company You Keep is a (frustratingly) slow-burning thriller about very contemporary issues.
Synopsis: Decades after an ill-fated robbery, a former member (Susan Sarandon) of the Weather Underground turns herself in to authorities. While... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 63701%
Critics Consensus: The Last Five Years hits a few awkward notes in its transition from stage to screen, but its freshness and sincere charm -- and well-matched stars -- offer their own rewards.
Synopsis: In New York, a struggling actress (Anna Kendrick) and a successful writer (Jeremy Jordan) sing about their failed marriage from... [More]
Directed By: Richard LaGravenese

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 69041%
Critics Consensus: Absurd yet anchored in knotty real-world themes, The Day Shall Come adds another bleakly funny satire to director/co-writer Christopher Morris' filmography.
Synopsis: An impoverished preacher who brings hope to the Miami projects is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He... [More]
Directed By: Chris Morris

#18

Digging for Fire (2015)
64%

#18
Adjusted Score: 66134%
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

#17

Camp (2003)
64%

#17
Adjusted Score: 66241%
Critics Consensus: Campy comedy that squeaks by on its charms.
Synopsis: At Camp Ovation, kids of all ages spend their summer expressing themselves through dance, music and theater. Vlad (Daniel Letterle)... [More]
Directed By: Todd Graff

#16

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)
65%

#16
Adjusted Score: 73760%
Critics Consensus: Pitch Perfect 2 sings in sweet comedic harmony, even if it doesn't hit quite as many high notes as its predecessor.
Synopsis: It's been three years since the Barden Bellas (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson) became the first all-female group to win a... [More]
Directed By: Elizabeth Banks

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 81869%
Critics Consensus: A fun follow-up for fans of the original, Trolls World Tour offers a second helping of colorful animation, infectious energy, and sing-along songs.
Synopsis: Poppy and Branch discover that there are six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands. Each tribe is also... [More]
Directed By: Walt Dohrn

#14

Into the Woods (2014)
71%

#14
Adjusted Score: 80573%
Critics Consensus: On the whole, this Disney adaptation of the Sondheim classic sits comfortably at the corner of Hollywood and Broadway -- even if it darkens to its detriment in the final act.
Synopsis: As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch (Meryl Streep), a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily... [More]
Directed By: Rob Marshall

#13

The Voices (2014)
74%

#13
Adjusted Score: 77392%
Critics Consensus: The Voices gives Ryan Reynolds an opportunity to deliver a highlight-reel performance -- and offers an off-kilter treat for fans of black comedies.
Synopsis: A mentally unhinged factory worker (Ryan Reynolds) must decide whether to listen to his talking cat and become a killer,... [More]
Directed By: Marjane Satrapi

#12

Trolls (2016)
75%

#12
Adjusted Score: 84907%
Critics Consensus: Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents.
Synopsis: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Justin... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn

#11

Happy Christmas (2014)
75%

#11
Adjusted Score: 77759%
Critics Consensus: Intelligent, well-acted, and satisfyingly low-key, Happy Christmas marks another step in prolific filmmaker Joe Swanberg's creative evolution.
Synopsis: An immature party girl (Anna Kendrick) moves in with her brother's family to get over a breakup and throws their... [More]
Directed By: Joe Swanberg

#10

Stowaway (2021)
77%

#10
Adjusted Score: 82025%
Critics Consensus: Pacing problems prevent Stowaway from fully engaging, but it's distinguished by its thoughtful, well-acted approach to a story built on an excruciating moral dilemma.
Synopsis: A three-person crew on a mission to Mars faces an impossible choice when an unplanned passenger jeopardizes the lives of... [More]
Directed By: Joe Penna

#9

Pitch Perfect (2012)
81%

#9
Adjusted Score: 86241%
Critics Consensus: Pitch Perfect's plot is formulaic, but the performances are excellent and the musical numbers are toe-tapping as well.
Synopsis: College student Beca (Anna Kendrick) knows she does not want to be part of a clique, but that's exactly where... [More]
Directed By: Jason Moore

#8
Adjusted Score: 92604%
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

Rocket Science (2007)
84%

#7
Adjusted Score: 87020%
Critics Consensus: Though Rocket Science appears to be a typically quirky indie, the well-rounded performances and director Jeffrey Blitz's clear affection for his characters gives the film its proper human spark.
Synopsis: High-school student Hal Hefner's (Reece Daniel Thompson) life is falling down around him. His parents have split, his brother picks... [More]
Directed By: Jeffrey Blitz

#6

Drinking Buddies (2013)
84%

#6
Adjusted Score: 87463%
Critics Consensus: Smart, funny, and powered by fine performances from Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson, Drinking Buddies offers a bittersweet slice of observational comedy.
Synopsis: Although they're both dating other people, two co-workers (Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson) hang out together in bars and try to... [More]
Directed By: Joe Swanberg

#5

A Simple Favor (2018)
84%

#5
Adjusted Score: 99512%
Critics Consensus: Twisty, twisted, and above all simply fun, A Simple Favor casts a stylish mommy noir spell strengthened by potent performances from Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.
Synopsis: Stephanie is a widowed, single mother who works as a vlogger in Connecticut. Her best friend, Emily, seems to have... [More]
Directed By: Paul Feig

#4

End of Watch (2012)
85%

#4
Adjusted Score: 92516%
Critics Consensus: End of Watch has the energy, devotion to characters, and charismatic performances to overcome the familiar pitfalls of its genre and handheld format.
Synopsis: Longtime LAPD partners and friends, Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) patrol one of the most dangerous... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

#3

ParaNorman (2012)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 95751%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated and solidly scripted, ParaNorman will entertain (and frighten) older children while providing surprisingly thoughtful fare for their parents.
Synopsis: Young Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has the ability to speak with the dead -- and he often prefers their company... [More]
Directed By: Chris Butler, Sam Fell

#2

Up in the Air (2009)
90%

#2
Adjusted Score: 102087%
Critics Consensus: Led by charismatic performances by its three leads, director Jason Reitman delivers a smart blend of humor and emotion with just enough edge for mainstream audiences.
Synopsis: An idea from a young, new co-worker (Anna Kendrick) would put an end to the constant travel of corporate downsizer... [More]
Directed By: Jason Reitman

#1

50/50 (2011)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100616%
Critics Consensus: A good-hearted film about a difficult topic, 50/50 maneuvers between jokes and drama with surprising finesse.
Synopsis: Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has always tried to take good care of his health, so it comes as a cruel... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

In Bruges

(Photo by Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail image: New World/courtesy Everett Collection; Neon / courtesy Everett Collection.)

The 60 Best Black Comedies, Ranked By Tomatometer

Let’s say you’re the type to laugh while handling the darkest subject matters: Murder, doomsday, blackmail, and maybe even a lil’ tasty cannibalism. If so, twisted friend, you sure have arrived at the right spot to get your gallows guffaws: The 60 Best Dark Comedies, Ranked by Tomatometer!

All this dark material ranges in variation of glib macabre glee, different styles that we’ll touch upon in our selection of the best-reviewed funny black comedies. Most common are movies about murder and the subsequent covering-up, especially when the corpses have a habit of popping up at the most inconvenient times. Think Best Picture-winning Parasite, Fargo, Burn After Reading, and Hitchcock’s The Trouble With Harry.

Another style of the black comedy movie: Mining jokes out of political fallout when millions of lives are at stake, as seen in Dr. Strangelove, In the Loop, and The Producers. Or how about movies that get you on the serial killer’s side, like being on the ride for The Voices or Monsieur Verdoux. They twist you around enough to make you feel amusingly guilty hoping they’ll get away with it all.

The emergence of the black comedy movie seemed to come around in the 1940s, when filmmaking had evolved enough to artistically interpret real-world horrors (e.g. World War II) with mordant humor, as seen in To Be or Not to Be and Arsenic and Old Lace. Of course, how would they have known their groundbreaking path through the dark side would eventually come to the taboo of cannibalism, as seen in appetizing films like Delicatessen and Eating Raoul? And lest you assume we’re not in touch with our more subtle side when it comes to comedy of the damned, we’ve included philosophical destroyers Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?, Carnage, and the brilliant Withnail and I.

Major players in the realm of dark comedies include status quo-defecating John Waters (Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos), Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Todd Solondz (Happiness, Welcome to the Dollhouse), and the devilish Danny DeVito (The War of the Roses, Ruthless People). Our final stipulation for their movies and everything else on the list is that each had to be rated Fresh, and have at least 20 reviews, to ensure enough critics have shared in the gleeful discomfort.

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad (feel free to keep adding more) world out there these days: Grab life by the ruffled lapel and throw it into the wood chipper with The 60 Best Black Comedies, Ranked!

#60

Adam's Apples (2005)
70%

#60
Adjusted Score: 70571%
Critics Consensus: Good and evil collide with interesting results in Adam's Apples, a dark Biblical allegory that's alternatively funny and shocking.
Synopsis: Following a stint in jail, Adam (Ulrich Thomsen), a former neo-Nazi, is temporarily assigned to live in a religious enclave.... [More]
Directed By: Anders Thomas Jensen

#59

Carnage (2011)
70%

#59
Adjusted Score: 77315%
Critics Consensus: It isn't as compelling on the screen as it was on the stage, but Carnage makes up for its flaws with Polanski's smooth direction and assured performances from Winslet and Foster.
Synopsis: When some roughhousing between two 11-year-old boys named Zachary and Ethan erupts into real violence, Ethan loses two teeth. Zachary's... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#58

The Ref (1994)
72%

#58
Adjusted Score: 75276%
Critics Consensus: Undeniably uneven and too dark for some, The Ref nonetheless boasts strong turns from Denis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey, as well as a sharply funny script.
Synopsis: Bickering spouses (Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey) annoy the cat burglar (Denis Leary) who takes them hostage in their Connecticut home.... [More]
Directed By: Ted Demme

#57

The Voices (2014)
74%

#57
Adjusted Score: 77392%
Critics Consensus: The Voices gives Ryan Reynolds an opportunity to deliver a highlight-reel performance -- and offers an off-kilter treat for fans of black comedies.
Synopsis: A mentally unhinged factory worker (Ryan Reynolds) must decide whether to listen to his talking cat and become a killer,... [More]
Directed By: Marjane Satrapi

#56

Better Off Dead (1985)
76%

#56
Adjusted Score: 77438%
Critics Consensus: Better Off Dead is an anarchic mix of black humor and surreal comedy, anchored by John Cusack's winsome, charming performance.
Synopsis: Lane Meyer (John Cusack) is a teen with a peculiar family and a bizarre fixation with his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda... [More]
Directed By: Savage Steve Holland

#55

Used Cars (1980)
77%

#55
Adjusted Score: 78211%
Critics Consensus: Robert Zemeckis' pitch-black satire of American culture doesn't always hit the mark, but it's got enough manic comic energy to warrant a spin.
Synopsis: Rudy Russo (Kurt Russell) is an unscrupulous car salesman who aspires to become a politician. In the meantime, however, Rudy... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#54

Freeway (1996)
77%

#54
Adjusted Score: 78079%
Critics Consensus: A modern update on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Freeway is an audacious black comedy with a star-making performance from the young Reese Witherspoon.
Synopsis: Following the arrest of her mother, Ramona (Amanda Plummer), young Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon) decides to go in search of... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Bright

#53

Bad Santa (2003)
78%

#53
Adjusted Score: 85679%
Critics Consensus: A gloriously rude and gleefully offensive black comedy, Bad Santa isn't for everyone, but grinches will find it uproariously funny.
Synopsis: In this dark comedy, the crotchety Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and his partner (Tony Cox) reunite once a... [More]
Directed By: Terry Zwigoff

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: 88209%
Critics Consensus: With Burn After Reading, the Coen Brothers have crafted another clever comedy/thriller with an outlandish plot and memorable characters.
Synopsis: When a disc containing memoirs of a former CIA analyst (John Malkovich) falls into the hands of Linda Litzke (Frances... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#51

Catch-22 (1970)
79%

#51
Adjusted Score: 81496%
Critics Consensus: Catch-22 takes entertainingly chaotic aim at the insanity of armed conflict, supported by a terrific cast and smart, funny work from Buck Henry and Mike Nichols.
Synopsis: This scathing war satire follows Capt. John Yossarian (Alan Arkin), a pilot stationed in the Mediterranean who flies bombing missions... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#50

Killer Joe (2011)
80%

#50
Adjusted Score: 86092%
Critics Consensus: Violent, darkly comic, and full of strong performances, Killer Joe proves William Friedkin hasn't lost his touch, even if the plot may be too lurid for some.
Synopsis: A cop (Matthew McConaughey) who moonlights as a hit man agrees to kill the hated mother of a desperate drug... [More]
Directed By: William Friedkin

#49

Pink Flamingos (1972)
81%

#49
Adjusted Score: 85347%
Critics Consensus: Uproarious and appalling, Pink Flamingos is transgressive camp that proves as entertaining as it does shocking.
Synopsis: A bizarre fat woman (Divine) and her misfit family compete with a Baltimore couple (David Lochary, Mink Stole) to be... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 84385%
Critics Consensus: A high-concept high school reunion movie with an adroitly cast John Cusack and armed with a script of incisive wit.
Synopsis: After assassin Martin Blank (John Cusack) has trouble focusing on his work, resulting in a failed assignment, he returns to... [More]
Directed By: George Armitage

#47

Happiness (1998)
82%

#47
Adjusted Score: 83169%
Critics Consensus: Happiness is far from a cheerful viewing experience, but its grimly humorous script and fearless performances produce a perversely moving search for humanity within everyday depravity.
Synopsis: This dark ensemble-comedy is centered on the three Jordan sisters. Joy (Jane Adams) moves through lackluster jobs with no sense... [More]
Directed By: Todd Solondz

#46

T2 Trainspotting (2017)
81%

#46
Adjusted Score: 99786%
Critics Consensus: T2 Trainspotting adds an intoxicating, emotionally resonant postscript to its classic predecessor, even without fully recapturing the original's fresh, subversive thrill.
Synopsis: First there was an opportunity, then there was a betrayal. Twenty years later, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 91298%
Critics Consensus: Seven Psychopaths delivers sly cinematic commentary while serving up a heaping helping of sharp dialogue and gleeful violence.
Synopsis: Boozy writer Marty (Colin Farrell) is a man in search of a screenplay. He has a catchy title but no... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 85121%
Critics Consensus: The Brand New Testament takes a surreal, subversive, and funny look at Biblical themes through a modern -- and refreshingly original -- lens.
Synopsis: God is discovered living in Brussels with his daughter.... [More]
Directed By: Jaco Van Dormael

#43

Men & Chicken (2015)
84%

#43
Adjusted Score: 86857%
Critics Consensus: Men & Chicken's bizarre setup only skims the surface of a challenging, well-acted comedy with a warm heart to match its grotesque visuals and dark themes.
Synopsis: Two outcast brothers get to know their biological family and discover the horrible truth about themselves and their relatives.... [More]
Directed By: Anders Thomas Jensen

#42

Four Lions (2009)
83%

#42
Adjusted Score: 86988%
Critics Consensus: Its premise suggests brazenly tasteless humor, but Four Lions is actually a smart, pitch-black comedy that carries the unmistakable ring of truth.
Synopsis: A group of young Muslim men living in Sheffield decide to wage jihad, and they hatch an inept plan to... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Morris

#41

Harold and Maude (1971)
85%

#41
Adjusted Score: 89691%
Critics Consensus: Hal Ashby's comedy is too dark and twisted for some, and occasionally oversteps its bounds, but there's no denying the film's warm humor and big heart.
Synopsis: Cult classic pairs Cort as a dead-pan disillusioned 20-year-old obsessed with suicide and a loveable Gordon as a fun-loving 80-year-old... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 92896%
Critics Consensus: The Art of Self-Defense grapples compellingly with modern American masculinity -- and serves as an outstanding calling card for writer-director Riley Stearns.
Synopsis: After getting attacked on the street, Casey enlists in a local dojo that's led by a charismatic and mysterious sensei.... [More]
Directed By: Riley Stearns

#39

In Bruges (2008)
84%

#39
Adjusted Score: 91012%
Critics Consensus: Featuring witty dialogue and deft performances, In Bruges is an effective mix of dark comedy and crime thriller elements.
Synopsis: After a particularly difficult job, hit men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) head to Belgium to hide out... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 87883%
Critics Consensus: The War of the Roses is a black comedy made even funnier by hanging onto its caustic convictions -- and further distinguished by Danny DeVito's stylish direction.
Synopsis: After 17 years of marriage, Barbara (Kathleen Turner) and Oliver Rose (Michael Douglas) want out. The trouble is, neither one... [More]
Directed By: Danny DeVito

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 92176%
Critics Consensus: Tongue-in-cheek satire blends well with entertaining action and spot-on performances in this dark, eclectic neo-noir homage.
Synopsis: Two-bit crook Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an audition for a mystery film while on the run from... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#36

Game Night (2018)
85%

#36
Adjusted Score: 99575%
Critics Consensus: With a talented cast turned loose on a loaded premise -- and a sharp script loaded with dark comedy and unexpected twists -- Game Night might be more fun than the real thing.
Synopsis: Max and Annie's weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max's brother Brooks arranges a murder mystery party... [More]

#35

Eating Raoul (1982)
86%

#35
Adjusted Score: 86133%
Critics Consensus: Eating Raoul serves up its spectacularly lurid tale with a healthy heaping of pitch-black humor and anarchic vigor.
Synopsis: The absurd Blands (Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov) lure swingers home to be conked by a skillet, robbed and removed by... [More]
Directed By: Paul Bartel

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 89320%
Critics Consensus: In Order of Disappearance's black comedy doesn't always hit its targets, but on the whole, it still adds up to a sly, entertaining revenge thriller.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Hans Petter Moland

#33

Ingrid Goes West (2017)
86%

#33
Adjusted Score: 99466%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen, Ingrid Goes West delivers smart, topical humor underlined by timely social observations.
Synopsis: Following the death of her mother and a series of self-inflicted setbacks, young Ingrid Thorburn escapes a humdrum existence by... [More]
Directed By: Matt Spicer

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 85403%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Writer and notorious marriage detractor Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) falls for girl-next-door Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane), and they tie the... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra

#31

Female Trouble (1975)
88%

#31
Adjusted Score: 89820%
Critics Consensus: Director John Waters' affection for camp brings texture to societal transgression in Female Trouble, a brazenly subversive dive into celebrity and mayhem.
Synopsis: An obese woman (Divine) gives birth to an obnoxious child and embarks upon a bizarre and violent life of crime.... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#30

Cheap Thrills (2013)
88%

#30
Adjusted Score: 91699%
Critics Consensus: Gleefully nasty and darkly hilarious, Cheap Thrills lives down to its title in the best possible way.
Synopsis: A series of escalating bets pits recently reunited friends against each other.... [More]
Directed By: E.L. Katz

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 92407%
Critics Consensus: World's Greatest Dad is a risky, deadpan, dark comedy that effectively explores the nature of posthumous cults of celebrity.
Synopsis: When the son of high school English teacher Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) accidentally kills himself, Clayton writes a fake suicide... [More]
Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait

#28

The Lobster (2015)
87%

#28
Adjusted Score: 102614%
Critics Consensus: As strange as it is thrillingly ambitious, The Lobster is definitely an acquired taste -- but for viewers with the fortitude to crack through Yorgos Lanthimos' offbeat sensibilities, it should prove a savory cinematic treat.
Synopsis: In a dystopian society, single people must find a mate within 45 days or be transformed into an animal of... [More]
Directed By: Yorgos Lanthimos

#27

After Hours (1985)
89%

#27
Adjusted Score: 93558%
Critics Consensus: Bursting with frantic energy and tinged with black humor, After Hours is a masterful -- and often overlooked -- detour in Martin Scorsese's filmography.
Synopsis: In a Manhattan cafe, word processor Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) meets and talks literature with Marcy (Rosanna Arquette). Later that... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#26

Delicatessen (1991)
89%

#26
Adjusted Score: 92930%
Critics Consensus: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet deftly combines horror, sci-fi, and humor in Delicatessen, a morbid comedy set in a visually ravishing futuristic dystopia.
Synopsis: Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is a butcher who owns a run-down apartment building in post-apocalyptic France. The building is in constant... [More]

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 92962%
Critics Consensus: An outstanding sophomore feature, Welcome to the Dollhouse sees writer-director Todd Solondz mining suburban teen angst for black, biting comedy.
Synopsis: Middle-school student Dawn Weiner (Heather Matarazzo) faces degradation at school -- where she is teased constantly -- and at home.... [More]
Directed By: Todd Solondz

#24

The Producers (1968)
90%

#24
Adjusted Score: 98636%
Critics Consensus: A hilarious satire of the business side of Hollywood, The Producers is one of Mel Brooks' finest, as well as funniest films, featuring standout performances by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel.
Synopsis: Down and out producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel), who was once the toast of Broadway, trades sexual favors with old... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#23

A Serious Man (2009)
89%

#23
Adjusted Score: 97606%
Critics Consensus: Blending dark humor with profoundly personal themes, the Coen brothers deliver what might be their most mature -- if not their best -- film to date.
Synopsis: Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a physics professor at a 1960s university, but his life is coming apart at the... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#22
Adjusted Score: 121113%
Critics Consensus: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri deftly balances black comedy against searing drama -- and draws unforgettable performances from its veteran cast along the way.
Synopsis: After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 88598%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a local man's corpse appears on a nearby hillside, no one is quite sure what happened to him. Many... [More]
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

#20

Polyester (1981)
93%

#20
Adjusted Score: 93582%
Critics Consensus: As proudly tacky as its titular fabric, Polyester finds writer-director John Waters moving ever so slightly into the mainstream without losing any of his subversive charm.
Synopsis: A frustrated housewife, Francine Fishpaw (Divine), tries to maintain her sanity while taking care of her dysfunctional household. Elmer (David... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 90214%
Critics Consensus: The Firemen's Ball is an uproarious comedy of incompetence, mining laughs and sharp satire from an allegory that is amusing and distressing in equal measure.
Synopsis: In Milos Forman's satire on Communism set in a small Czechoslovakian town in the 1960s, the local firemen decide to... [More]
Directed By: Milos Forman

#18

Trainspotting (1996)
91%

#18
Adjusted Score: 95293%
Critics Consensus: A brutal, often times funny, other times terrifying portrayal of drug addiction in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth viewing as a realistic and entertaining reminder of the horrors of drug use.
Synopsis: Heroin addict Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) stumbles through bad ideas and sobriety attempts with his unreliable friends -- Sick Boy... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#17
Adjusted Score: 105954%
Critics Consensus: A thrilling leap forward for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase powered by a layered story and outstanding performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.
Synopsis: Former cinema superhero Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is mounting an ambitious Broadway production that he hopes will breathe new life... [More]

#16

Heathers (1989)
93%

#16
Adjusted Score: 96433%
Critics Consensus: Dark, cynical, and subversive, Heathers gently applies a chainsaw to the conventions of the high school movie -- changing the game for teen comedies to follow.
Synopsis: Veronica (Winona Ryder) is part of the most popular clique at her high school, but she disapproves of the other... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#15

Fargo (1996)
94%

#15
Adjusted Score: 100375%
Critics Consensus: Violent, quirky, and darkly funny, Fargo delivers an original crime story and a wonderful performance by McDormand.
Synopsis: "Fargo" is a reality-based crime drama set in Minnesota in 1987. Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is a car salesman... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#14

Withnail and I (1987)
94%

#14
Adjusted Score: 94625%
Critics Consensus: Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann prove irresistibly hilarious as two misanthropic slackers in Withnail and I, a biting examination of artists living on the fringes of prosperity and good taste.
Synopsis: Two out-of-work actors -- the anxious, luckless Marwood (Paul McGann) and his acerbic, alcoholic friend, Withnail (Richard E. Grant) --... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Robinson

#13

Ruthless People (1986)
93%

#13
Adjusted Score: 96663%
Critics Consensus: It's sometimes crude and tasteless, but Ruthless People wrings acid-soaked laughs out of its dark premise and gleefully misanthropic characters.
Synopsis: Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) hates his wife, Barbara (Bette Midler), so much that he wants her dead. He's ecstatic when... [More]

#12

In the Loop (2009)
94%

#12
Adjusted Score: 99608%
Critics Consensus: In the Loop is an uncommonly funny political satire that blends Dr. Strangelove with Spinal Tap for the Iraq war era.
Synopsis: During an interview, British Cabinet Minister Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) delivers an off-the-cuff remark that war in the Middle East... [More]
Directed By: Armando Iannucci

#11
Adjusted Score: 100088%
Critics Consensus: Led by a volcanic performance from Elizabeth Taylor, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a scathing adaptation of the Edward Albee play that serves as a brilliant calling card for debuting director Mike Nichols.
Synopsis: History professor George (Richard Burton) and his boozy wife, Martha (Elizabeth Taylor), return late one Saturday night from a cocktail... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 108998%
Critics Consensus: The Death of Stalin finds director/co-writer Arnando Iannucci in riotous form, bringing his scabrous political humor to bear on a chapter in history with painfully timely parallels.
Synopsis: When tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin dies in 1953, his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to become... [More]
Directed By: Armando Iannucci

#9

Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
97%

#9
Adjusted Score: 102023%
Critics Consensus: Charles Chaplin adds an undercurrent of malice to his comedic persona in Monsieur Verdoux, an unsettling satire that subverts the tramp's image to perversely amusing effect.
Synopsis: Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin) is a dapper Parisian family man who loses his job as a bank clerk. In order... [More]
Directed By: Charles Chaplin

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 100310%
Critics Consensus: A complex and timely satire with as much darkness as slapstick, Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not To Be delicately balances humor and ethics.
Synopsis: Acting couple Joseph (Jack Benny) and Maria Tura (Carole Lombard) are managing a theatrical troupe when the Nazis invade Poland.... [More]
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

#7

Brazil (1985)
98%

#7
Adjusted Score: 100778%
Critics Consensus: Brazil, Terry Gilliam's visionary Orwellian fantasy, is an audacious dark comedy, filled with strange, imaginative visuals.
Synopsis: Low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) escapes the monotony of his day-to-day life through a recurring daydream of himself as... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#6
Adjusted Score: 106043%
Critics Consensus: Stanley Kubrick's brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.
Synopsis: A film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and it played the situation... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#5

Parasite (2019)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 127431%
Critics Consensus: An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft.
Synopsis: Greed and class discrimination threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan.... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon-ho

#4

Multiple Maniacs (1970)
100%

#4
Adjusted Score: 101532%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling freak-show, is a front for a band of psychotic kidnappers and murderers.... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#3

The Ladykillers (1955)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102466%
Critics Consensus: The Ladykillers is a macabre slow-burn with quirky performances of even quirkier characters.
Synopsis: Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) likes to report suspicious behavior to the police. Unaware of her reputation, the dapper thief Professor... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Mackendrick

#2

A New Leaf (1971)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103262%
Critics Consensus: Elaine May is a comedic dynamo both behind and in front of the camera in this viciously funny screwball farce, with able support provided by Walter Matthau.
Synopsis: A spoiled and self-absorbed man who has squandered his inheritance, Henry Graham (Walter Matthau) is desperate to find a way... [More]
Directed By: Elaine May

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 104434%
Critics Consensus: Performed with chameleonic brio by Alec Guinness, Kind Hearts and Coronets is a triumphant farce.
Synopsis: When his mother eloped with an Italian opera singer, Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) was cut off from her aristocratic family.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Hamer

Ryan Reynolds returns to foul-mouthed, fourth-wall-breaking superhero action with Deadpool 2 this weekend — and if early critical returns are any indication, this could be one of the rare sequels that doesn’t offer a case study in diminishing returns. In honor of the occasion, we decided to take a fond look back at some of the best and brightest moments from Mr. Reynolds’ film career, offering you an opportunity 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 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates uses real-life events as the loose inspiration for some R-rated fun with a pair of clueless bros and the hard-partying women who hoodwink them into a date to their little sister’s nuptials. And since one of the young ladies in question is played by the ever-charming Anna Kendrick, we decided this would be a great time to take a fond look back at some of the brightest critical highlights from her career thus far. Hold on to your cups — it’s time for Total Recall!


Into the Woods (2014) 71%

Stephen Sondheim fans were concerned when word got out that Disney was bringing his Tony-winning musical Into the Woods to the big screen — chiefly because it seemed likely that the studio would lop off the less family-friendly elements of its twisted fairy tale story. Like any adaptation, the film version wasn’t exactly the same as its source material, but happily for Sondheim enthusiasts — and those who like a little dark fantasy mixed in with their musicals — Woods survived its journey to theaters largely intact. As Cinderella, Kendrick upped the superstar quotient of the robust ensemble assembled by director Rob Marshall, which also included Meryl Streep as a witch, Emily Blunt as a woman desperate to undo her curse, and Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf. “Some of the musical’s superfans will feel shortchanged by the movie no matter what, but you have to give credit where it’s due,” warned the Washington Post’s Stephanie Merry. “The adaptation is pretty faithful to the original — for better and worse.”

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The Voices (2014) 74%

For most films, making your main protagonist an employee at a bathtub factory would more than fulfill the weirdness quotient. But for 2015’s The Voices, that’s just the beginning of a surreal odyssey into bloody violence and black comedy — oh, and talking pets. Directed by acclaimed graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi by a script from Paranormal Activity 2 co-writer Michael R. Perry, The Voices stars Ryan Reynolds as an unhinged loner with some very dark secrets to hide — and Kendrick as a potential love interest who stands to make some disturbing discoveries. While its main character’s warped descent into a bleak, chaotic psychological abyss definitely isn’t for all viewers, those with a taste for the strange have found the end results intoxicating; as Sara Stewart wrote for the New York Post, it adds up to a “tonally wild indie, which is nearly too horrifying to be funny — but not quite.”

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 Happy Christmas (2014) 75%

Kendrick reunited with Drinking Buddies writer-director Joe Swanberg for 2014’s Happy Christmas, in which a young woman at an emotional crossroads decides to crash with her older brother — and her arrival triggers an uncomfortable upheaval in his life of domestic bliss. Like a lot of Swanberg pictures, Christmas coalesces around a series of low-key, largely improvised moments, but with enough of a dramatic throughline to elevate the proceedings beyond their familiar narrative underpinnings. “All in all,” wrote the Los Angeles Times’ Betsy Sharkey, “Happy Christmas is a good deal like cartoon Charlie Brown’s classic tree — scraggly, plenty of heart and much to enjoy, especially if you prefer your presents homemade.”

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Pitch Perfect (2012) 81%

Anna Kendrick can make a hundred movies, but for many filmgoers, she’ll probably always be most strongly identified with the Pitch Perfect series, and it’s easy to understand why. The fizzy charm of the 2012 original, starring Kendrick as a reluctant college freshman who stumbles into harmony with a campus a cappella group, exploded into a surprise $115 million hit — not only at the box office, but on the pop charts, where she scored a Top 10 single with “Cups,” her cover of the Carter Family classic “When I’m Gone.” The 2015 sequel (which added Hailee Steinfeld to an ace ensemble that already included Rebel Wilson) more than doubled its predecessor’s theatrical gross, and a third installment is already scheduled for 2017. Most critics have shared the audience’s evident enthusiasm for the franchise; as Connie Ogle wrote in her review of the original for the Miami Herald, “If you’re not grinning by the end of this light, funny crowd-pleaser, consider yourself tone deaf.”

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) 82%

After catching Hollywood’s eye in Up in the Air — and while she was still popping up in the Twilight franchise — Kendrick played the sister of the title character in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Edgar Wright’s adaptation of the Bryan Lee O’Malley graphic novels about a bass player (Michael Cera) who has to battle, video game style, past his new lady love’s exes in order to win her affection. Stuffed with fun pop culture nods and stacked with a cast that also included Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brie Larson, and Aubrey Plaza, Pilgrim opened to surprising critical indifference, but it earned the affection of critics like Slate’s Dana Stevens, who called it “A package of cinematic Pop Rocks, a neon-hued, defiantly non-nutritive confection that nonetheless makes you laugh at its sheer bold novelty.”

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Drinking Buddies (2013) 84%

The first of several films Kendrick’s made with the incredibly prolific Joe Swanberg, Drinking Buddies centers on the professional and romantic travails of a young Chicago foursome (rounded out by Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, and Ron Livingston), two of whom are co-workers at a local brewery. It might sound like a slim nail on which to hang a rom-com, but most critics thought it added up to some pretty engaging stuff — particularly since, as per Swanberg custom, the actors improvised their dialogue around the outline of the story. Filmed in a real working brewery (by actors drinking real beer), Drinking Buddies won over critics who’d already seen enough rom-coms for several lifetimes; as Moira MacDonald wrote for the Seattle Times, it “Sneaks up on you…you think it’s going in one direction, and suddenly it goes somewhere much more interesting.”

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Rocket Science (2007) 84%

You’ve probably watched more coming-of-age stories than you can count, but in the right hands, it’s a formula that can pay powerful dividends. Case in point: 2007’s Rocket Science, a teen dramedy about a high school student (Reece Thompson) whose stuttering makes it difficult to feel like he fits in — until he meets the star of the school’s debate team (Kendrick), who convinces him to sign up. Kendrick earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her work, which offered an intriguing prelude to the bigger-budget work looming in her future; calling the results “Self-consciously quirky on the outside,” Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek wrote, “this gentle teenage fable has an affecting, openhearted core.”

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End of Watch (2012) 85%

Cops versus gangbangers on the mean city streets! It’s a story Hollywood’s told countless times, but with End of Watch, director David Ayer still found a way to make it feel somewhat new. His success is due in no small part to this 2012 crime drama’s terrific cast, led by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as LAPD partners working the South Central beat. Kendrick, as Gyllenhaal’s significant other, has more of a stock part, but — like her castmates — she infused what could have been a two-dimensional character with new life. “End of Watch is one thriller where the adrenaline rush, considerable as it is, is almost always put in the service of character,” observed NPR’s Bob Mondello. “Happily, the character on display turns out to be considerable, too.”

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Up in the Air (2009) 90%

Kendrick earned an Academy Award nomination for her work in this Jason Reitman dramedy, which put its finger on the pulse of the Great Recession with a story about a corporate downsizer (George Clooney) whose unencumbered, jet-setting lifestyle is thrown off its axis by the arrival of a new HR consultant (Kendrick) whose plans for the company threaten to make him obsolete. Its themes cut uncomfortably close for a number of viewers in uncertain economic times, but Up in the Air leavened the gloom with intelligent observations on modern culture — and even a bit of hope. “Timeliness can be tricky to pull off convincingly in movies,” wrote Claudia Puig for USA Today. “It’s tough to capture an era while it’s still happening, yet Up in the Air does so brilliantly, with wit and humanity.”

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50/50 (2011) 93%

Although Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were unquestionably the leads in 50/50, this 2011 “cancer comedy” — starring Gordon-Levitt as a guy who gets through his cancer diagnosis with a lot of help from his best buddy Rogen — was really rounded out by a pretty stellar ensemble. Kendrick joined the cast as Katherine, a medical therapist who develops a deeply personal relationship with Gordon-Levitt’s character, winsomely lowering the bro quotient in a deceptively thoughtful look at disease that earned nearly universal critical acclaim. “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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After years of fan outcry, Ryan Reynolds finally gets the chance to topline a solo Deadpool movie this weekend — and if early critical returns are any indication, it was well worth the wait. In honor of the occasion, we decided to take a fond look back at some of the best and brightest moments from Mr. Reynolds’ film and TV career, and the results add up to a list that includes big box-office hits and left-field choices from across the spectrum. It’s time for Total Recall!


Two Guys and a Girl (1998-2001)

TwoGuysAndAGirl

After getting his first big break in the Canadian soap Hillside, Reynolds picked up a handful of TV appearances (including a gig on Sabrina the Teenage Witch) before landing a co-starring role on the ABC sitcom Two Guys and a Girl, which lingered on the network’s lineup for an 81-episode run between 1998-2001. Initially part of a Wednesday comedy block that included The Drew Carey Show, the series was initially something of a midsized hit, but it was eventually doomed by a move to the Saturday TV graveyard — not to mention a glut of Friends-inspired shows about the travails of twentysomething urbanites. Still, for fans wanting an early glimpse of Reynolds (not to mention a pre-Firefly Nathan Fillion), it’s worth a look.


National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2002) 18%

VanWilder

There’s no denying that Ryan Reynolds is genetically well-qualified to play feckless, handsome charmers — or that, by 2002, the world was ready for a fresh take on the slobs-vs.-snobs story that National Lampoon perfected into an art form with Animal House — so National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, starring Reynolds as a legendarily shiftless college student scrambling to preserve his cushy lifestyle after being cut off by his dad, could have been a lot of fun. The problem, as most critics saw it, was that instead of being a schlubby, disadvantaged outsider with an axe to grind against the Man, Reynolds’ character was simply lazy, and thus inherently hard to root for. Still, it gave him an early chance to carry a film, and it’s become something of a cult comedy classic — which is just fine with John Patterson of the L.A. Weekly, who called it “An effervescent campus gross-out comedy that’s true to the amoral, anarchic spirit of Lampoon founder-editor and screenwriter Doug Kenney.”

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The Nines (2007) 65%

TheNines

Whatever problems The Nines might have, lack of ambition isn’t one of them. This heady sci-fi fantasy, which marked the feature directorial debut of screenwriter John August, stars Reynolds in a triple role as three men struggling to understand the truth behind unusual occurrences in their lives — lives that occasionally intersect — while in the midst of fraught encounters with mysterious women (all played by Hope Davis, in another triple role). It’s the type of trippy metaphysical drama that demands a viewer’s complete concentration, and even then, the answers to the questions it poses are open to interpretation. Still, if you’re in the mood for a less-than-straightforward film, you could do far worse. “Confusing? Yes, and intentionally so,” wrote Christy Lemire for the Associated Press. “But it’s never boring.”

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Definitely, Maybe (2008) 70%

DefinitelyMaybe

A romantic comedy with a twist, Definitely, Maybe finds its protagonist looking back on the love affair that led to marriage and a child — by telling the story to his young daughter, with some names changed and facts adjusted, while in the midst of a divorce. Thanks in part to those narrative curveballs, most critics applauded Maybe — and even if it still ultimately traced a rather familiar arc, it was difficult to find too much fault with a resolutely charming production that made smart use of a likable ensemble cast that included Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, and Rachel Weisz. “As the movie is about a character’s growing into his own truth rather than discovering some preordained truth, Definitely, Maybe is hard to outguess,” wrote Mick LaSalle for the San Francisco Chronicle. “For once in a romantic comedy, you won’t be able to tell after five minutes who will end up together.”

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The Proposal (2009) 45%

Proposal1

It’s a special occasion when critics really go nuts for a romantic comedy — or when rom-com fans care enough about critics’ opinions to stay away from the cineplex even when a new entry in the genre is supposed to be subpar. For proof, look no further than 2009’s The Proposal, which endured a heap of critical brickbats on its way to theaters, yet still managed to roll up an impressive $300 million-plus gross — thanks in no small part to the chemistry between stars Sandra Bullock (as a publishing company’s abrasive editor-in-chief) and Reynolds (as the hapless assistant who’s browbeaten into marrying her to keep her from being deported). It definitely isn’t revolutionary stuff, and you know exactly where the movie’s taking the relationship, but that formula is a big part of the romantic comedy’s appeal. “The Proposal is just a good old-fashioned romance, one in which people actually bring out the best in one another rather than the worst,” wrote Betsy Sharkey for the Los Angeles Times. “How novel is that?”

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Buried (2010) 87%

Buried

It takes a special kind of creativity and filmmaking discipline — to say nothing of actorly chutzpah — to pull off a film centered around a single person in a single space, and when Reynolds read the script for 2010’s Buried, he had to know he was facing an immense challenge. Both he and director Rodrigo Cortés deserve a ton of credit, then, for making the most out of screenwriter Chris Sparling’s tightly focused story about a military contractor who wakes up imprisoned in a coffin, and turning its seemingly limited premise into a 95-minute white-knuckle race against time. As Rex Reed argued for the New York Observer, “Nothing this underrated actor has done previously measures up to the emotional diversity, focus and self-control required of him in a one-man exercise in underground suspense that Alfred Hitchcock would envy.”

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Safe House (2012) 53%

SafeHouse

Reynolds got the chance to go toe-to-toe with Denzel Washington in 2012’s Safe House, an action thriller from director Daniel Espinosa about a rogue CIA operative (Washington) whose interrogation is interrupted by a team of mercenaries that attacks and sends him back into the wind with a low-level field agent (Reynolds). It’s a premise rich with possibilities for cool set pieces and odd-couple bickering, but Safe House never really takes full advantage of those possibilities, settling instead for frenetic editing that can’t quite move fast enough to mask the clichéd plot developments along the way. Still, when the movie gets going, it does have its pleasures; as Colin Covert wrote for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “I won’t deny that the movie hooked me with sheer brute energy and dragged me along with it most of the way.”

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The Voices (2014) 74%

Voices

For most films, making your main protagonist an employee at a bathtub factory would more than fulfill the weirdness quotient. But for 2015’s The Voices, that’s just the beginning of a surreal odyssey into bloody violence and black comedy — oh, and talking pets. Directed by acclaimed graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi by a script from Paranormal Activity 2 co-writer Michael R. Perry, The Voices gives Reynolds free rein to indulge in all manner of strange behavior, but for the most part, critics agreed that the movie stays on the right side of the line between refreshingly different and quirky for quirky’s sake, and while its main character’s warped descent into a bleak, chaotic psychological abyss definitely isn’t for all viewers, those with a taste for the strange might find the end results intoxicating. As Sara Stewart wrote for the New York Post, “Ryan Reynolds is chillingly perfect as a nice-guy factory worker struggling with schizophrenia and murderous impulses in this tonally wild indie, which is nearly too horrifying to be funny — but not quite.”

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Woman in Gold (2015) 57%

WomanInGold

Woman in Gold has an awful lot going for it, including a fascinating real-life story and a talented cast topped off by the mighty Helen Mirren. Unfortunately, while there’s plenty of drama to be wrought from the tale of a Jewish refugee battling the Austrian government for ownership of a Gustav Klimt painting of her aunt, much of it went missing on its journey to the big screen. Although critics were quick to praise Mirren’s work, and had kind words for Reynolds’ portrayal of a rookie lawyer enlisted to help win back the painting, many critics felt Woman in Gold lacked the depth and dramatic pull its story deserved — which is not to say the movie didn’t have its fans. “Sometimes you know a movie is going to work in about the first three scenes,” wrote Wesley Morris for Grantland. “This one really works.”

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Mississippi Grind (2015) 91%

MississippiGrind

A number of his more successful films have found him playing characters that might be described as blandly pretty, so the idea of Ryan Reynolds playing an emotionally stunted drifter with a gambling problem might seem like a bit of a stretch. With his work in Mississippi Grind, however, Reynolds offered an excellent reminder that when given the right script, he’s more than capable of delivering a finely layered performance — and going toe-to-toe with Ben Mendelsohn in a melancholy road movie about a pair of aging losers who can’t quite seem to grow up no matter how many chances they’re given. “Mendelsohn plays Gerry as a stringy, sweaty hunk of pure desperation,” wrote Mike D’Angelo for the A.V. Club, “while Reynolds, as the ostensibly more stable partner, demonstrates yet again that he’s much more than a ridiculously pretty face.”

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Whether you’re looking for a few quick laughs, a few spine-tingling chills, some heavy drama, or a touch of classic cinema, the streaming services have got you covered. Read on for details on titles ranging from popular TV comedies to horror films from the silent era:


New on Amazon Prime

 

Goodnight Mommy (2014) 85%

This creepy, Certified Fresh horror film centers on twin boys who suspect that the woman who returned to their house after facial surgery isn’t really their mother.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The Voices (2014) 74%

Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, and Anna Kendrick star in this pitch-black comedy about an oddball factory worker with a collection of severed heads in his freezer.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on Netflix

 

Pumping Iron (1977) 91%

Robert Fiore and George Butler’s fascinating look at the 1975 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition introduced a pair of future stars who’d trade in heavily on their physiques: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Hulu

 

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 10 (2015) 100%

Now that season eleven has officially premiered, you slackers who forgot to stay tuned to The Gang at Paddy’s Pub can catch up on season ten on Hulu.

Available now on: Hulu


New Girl: Season 5 (2016) 100%

Also, if you missed the season five premiere of New Girl, you can catch that on Hulu, too.

Available now on: Hulu


American Idol: Season 15 (2016) 91%

And lastly, tune in to all the tone deaf hijinks of the final season of American Idol, which promises to crown yet another quickly forgotten pop star amid a sea of deluded wannabes.

Available now on: Hulu


New on Fandor

 

The Young and the Passionate (1953) 100%

Oh, not in the mood for frivolous pop culture TV, you say? How about some classic films, beginning with this little gem from Federico Fellini, a semi-autobiographical snapshot of the lives of five young Italian men? No? Well then, read on for more.

Available now on: Fandor


Purple Noon (1960) 95%

Maybe try René Clément’s adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, starring perennial cool dude Alain Delon as Tom Ripley and Maurice Ronet as Philippe Greenleaf, the young playboy Ripley tries to convince to return to San Francisco.

Available now on: Fandor


White Nights (1957) 88%

Or how about Luchino Visconti’s adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s short story of the same name? This one stars Marcello Mastroianni and Maria Schell in a romance about a lonely man who falls in love with a woman whose heart belongs to another.

Available now on: Fandor


8 1/2 (1963) 98%

Marcello Mastroianni also stars in this masterpiece by Federico Fellini, another semi-autobiographical tale about a film director struggling to complete his latest work who retreats into his memories and personal fantasies for solace.

Available now on: Fandor


Nosferatu (1922) 97%

In the mood for something spooky instead? F.W. Murnau’s legendary vampire film from the silent era stars Max Schrek as a menacing Transylvanian count with a penchant for blood. Sound familiar?

Available now on: Fandor


The Road (1954) 98%

Need even more Fellini in your life? Who doesn’t? This drama stars Fellini’s wife, Giulietta Masina, as a woman sold into service of a traveling strongman who mistreats her, until a high-wire artist presents an opportunity for escape.

Available now on: Fandor


Faust (1926) 91%

Another silent era wonder from F.W. Murnau, Faust retells the classic story of an alchemist who sells his soul to a tricky demon for the promise of power and youth.

Available now on: Fandor


Juliet of the Spirits (1965) 79%

And lastly, one more from Fellini: the Italian master’s first color feature, also starring Giulietta Masina, about a woman married to a philandering husband who slowly comes to terms with her life.

Available now on: Fandor


Available to Purchase

 

Black Mass (2015) 73%

This Certified Fresh drama profiles the life of notorious Irish mobster Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp), who collaborates with the FBI to bring down the Italian mafia.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes, Vudu


Goosebumps (2015) 78%

Jack Black stars in this fantasy adventure as author R.L. Stine, whose various Goosebumps creations come to life and terrorize his town. He must team up with his daughter (Odeya Rush) and next door neighbor (Dylan Minnette) to stop the madness.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu

 

Marjane Satrapi’s dark comedy starring Ryan Reynolds is the only brand new release available to stream this week, but the entire Star Wars series is also newly available, as well as some choice selections on Netflix, like The Big Lebowski, Gladiator, and American Psycho, just to name a few. Read on for the full list.


Star Wars: The Digital Movie Collection

If you’re looking forward to the new chapter in the Star Wars saga coming this year, you might be interested in rewatching all six previous installments. And now you can, thanks to a few streaming providers. (Available beginning on April 10.)

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play


The Voices
74%

Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, and Anna Kendrick star in this pitch-black comedy about an oddball factory worker with a collection of severed heads in his freezer.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu, Google Play


Louie: Season Four

In this quasi-autobiographical FX series, Louis CK plays himself, a stand-up comedian and single dad living in New York City.

Available now on: Netflix


Titanic
89%

In James Cameron’s multiple Oscar-winning romance, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet play star-crossed lovers who meet aboard the ill-fated ocean liner. He teachers her how to spit.

Available now on: Netflix


The Big Lebowski
83%

Sometimes, there’s a movie. And I’m talkin’ about The Big Lebowski here. Sometimes, there’s a movie, well, it’s the movie for its time and place. It fits right in there.

Available now on: Netflix


Space Cowboys
78%

Clint Eastwood directed himself and a crew of other grizzled old men like Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner, and Donald Sutherland in this drama about grizzled old astronauts heading into space to repair a satellite.

Available now on: Netflix


Gladiator
77%

Are you not entertained?! Russell Crowe stars in Ridley Scott’s Best Picture-winning sword-and-sandal epic.

Available now on: Netflix


Starry Eyes
74%

This sci-fi horror hybrid tells the tale of an ambitious actress who is unwittingly enlisted by a sinister organization for a strange performance.

Available now on: Netflix


Unbreakable
70%

Hey man, remember when Shymalan was good? Remember Unbreakable, man? Bruce Willis as a pseudo superhero and Samuel L. Jackson as the dude with, like, really bad osteoporosis?

Available now on: Netflix


American Psycho
69%

You like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too new wave for my taste, but when Sports came out in ’83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically.

Available now on: Netflix


Wolfcop
65%

He’s a wolf. But he’s also a Cop. Also, he’s Canadian.

Available now on: Netflix


The Last Samurai
66%

Ed Zwick’s period drama has everything you want in a samurai film: swords, honor, kimonos, redemption, ritual suicide, and Tom Cruise.

Available now on: Netflix


The Crazy Ones: Season One

Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar star in this sitcom about a wild advertising executive and his pragmatic daughter.

Available now on: Netflix

We’ve got a couple of acclaimed dramas to headline this week’s choices on home video, including J.C. Chandor’s gritty crime drama and a Cannes-winning film starring Marion Cotillard. Then, we’ve got a few interesting selections you may not have had the chance to see in theaters. Read on for details:


A Most Violent Year (2015) 90%

Early on, A Most Violent Year was thought to be a contender for a handful of Academy Awards, due in large part to its pedigree, which included Oscar-nominated writer-director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All Is Lost) and a pair of fast-rising stars — Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac — who have amassed their own share of critical acclaim. Though the film ultimately didn’t net any nominations, critics still rated it Certified Fresh at 90 percent. The early ’80s-set thriller centers on an immigrant couple (Chastain and Isaac) who run a heating oil company and their attempts to make good on the American dream amid the rampant violent crime of New York City. It’s a heavy, slow burner of a drama full of strong performances — including supporting turns from David Oyelowo, Albert Brooks, and Alessandro Nivola — that probably deserves a watch.


The Immigrant (2014) 87%

Speaking of impressive casts, director James Gray lined up quite an ensemble for his own immigrant story, aptly titled The Immigrant. All three of his leads boast Academy Award nominations, and the film’s star, Marion Cotillard, earned a nod just this year for her work on Two Days, One Night. Cotillard plays Ewa Cybulski, a Polish immigrant who arrives at Ellis Island in 1921 and faces deportation, only to be saved by a charming schemer (Joaquin Phoenix) who forces her into prostitution. When the man’s magician cousin (Jeremy Renner) comes into her life, Ewa sees hope for the first time. Certified Fresh at 87 percent, The Immigrant won the Palmes d’Or at Cannes and earned praise for Cotillard’s performance, Gray’s sure-handed direction, and its stunning cinematography. If drama is your thing, this is a good week.


 

ALSO AVAILABLE THIS WEEK:

Happy Valley (2014) (88 percent), Amier Bar-Lev’s documentary profile of the football culture and recent controversy surrounding Penn State University.
Killers (2014) (86 percent), a Japanese-Indonesian thriller about a serial killer and the journalist thousands of miles away he inspires to become a killer himself.
The Voices (2015) (73 percent), starring Ryan Reynolds and Anna Kendrick in Marjane Satrapi’s (Persepolis) dark comedy about a seemingly normal man who suffers from hallucinations that influence him to kill.

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