Paramount courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Paramount courtesy Everett Collection)

All Robert Downey Jr. Movies Ranked

Before he became synonymous with playing playboy millionaire rascal Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. was…a playboy millionaire rascal, but with an Oscar nomination! Born into minor Hollywood royalty, Downey spent his formative ’80s career as a Brat Pack honorary in films like Weird Science and The Pick-Up Artist. An Oscar nomination for playing the titular silent-era legend in Chaplin suggested a watershed moment for Downey and his future career.

Instead, he spent the rest of the ’90s in a maelstrom of wild parties and tabloid headlines as he publicly battled addiction. Early 2000s work in A Scanner Darkly, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Zodiac told the world he was still capable of intriguing work, though, and the marked the early stages of a career comeback.

His tumultuous decades seem like a lifetime ago, simply a precursor to his role today as the Man in the Iron Mark IV. Director Jon Favreau fought hard to get Downey in as star of the first Iron Man, with Marvel Studios literally put up as collateral, and the rest is modern history. Across nearly a dozen appearances in Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Downey has utterly owned the Tony Stark role, whose redemption arc mirrors the actor’s own in real life. Now, we ranking Robert Downey Jr. movies by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#1

Richard III (1995)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98848%
Critics Consensus: This re-imagining of Shakespeare's Crookback King relocates the story in 1930 and features an indelible star turn for Ian McKellen as the monstrous and magnetic King Richard.
Synopsis: A murderous lust for the British throne sees Richard III (Ian McKellen) descend into madness. Though the setting is transposed... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine

#2

Short Cuts (1993)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 98577%
Critics Consensus: Robert Altman's ensemble drama deftly integrates its disparate characters and episodes into a funny, poignant, emotionally satisfying whole.
Synopsis: Many loosely connected characters cross paths in this film, based on the stories of Raymond Carver. Waitress Doreen Piggot (Lily... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#3

True Believer (1989)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 95010%
Critics Consensus: A compelling mystery, social themes, and powerful performances from a pair of well-matched leads make True Believer a legal thriller that definitely passes the bar.
Synopsis: Jaded lawyer Eddie Dodd (James Woods), a well-regarded activist in the 1960s whose moment has long passed, now smokes marijuana... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Ruben

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 128441%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#5

Iron Man (2008)
94%

#5
Adjusted Score: 105228%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#6

Baby, It's You (1983)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 75803%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An aspiring lounge singer (Vincent Spano) romances a rich girl (Rosanna Arquette) in 1960s New Jersey.... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#7
Adjusted Score: 102878%
Critics Consensus: A passionate and concise cinematic civics lesson, Good Night, And Good Luck has plenty to say about today's political and cultural climate, and its ensemble cast is stellar.
Synopsis: When Senator Joseph McCarthy begins his foolhardy campaign to root out Communists in America, CBS News impresario Edward R. Murrow... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 121989%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 106746%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#10
Adjusted Score: 118242%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#11

Zodiac (2007)
90%

#11
Adjusted Score: 100749%
Critics Consensus: A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the '70s than he does on gory details of murder.
Synopsis: In the late 1960s and 1970s, fear grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer called Zodiac stalks... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#12

Chef (2014)
87%

#12
Adjusted Score: 94165%
Critics Consensus: Chef's charming cast and sharp, funny script add enough spice to make this feel-good comedy a flavorful -- if familiar -- treat.
Synopsis: After a controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman) pushes him too far, chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) quits his position at a... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 92854%
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

#14

Back to School (1986)
86%

#14
Adjusted Score: 86586%
Critics Consensus: Back to School gives Rodney Dangerfield plenty of room to riff -- and supports the freewheeling funnyman with enough of a story to keep things interesting between punchlines.
Synopsis: Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) is concerned that his son Jason (Keith Gordon) is unsure whether to go to college, so... [More]
Directed By: Alan Metter

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 115736%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#16

Tropic Thunder (2008)
82%

#16
Adjusted Score: 91907%
Critics Consensus: With biting satire, plenty of subversive humor, and an unforgettable turn by Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder is a triumphant late Summer comedy.
Synopsis: Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), pampered action superstar, sets out for Southeast Asia to take part in the biggest, most-expensive war... [More]
Directed By: Ben Stiller

#17

Wonder Boys (2000)
81%

#17
Adjusted Score: 84400%
Critics Consensus: Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire do wonders in this clever dark comedy.
Synopsis: Grady (Michael Douglas) is a 50-ish English professor who hasn't had a thing published in years -- not since he... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Hanson

#18

Bowfinger (1999)
81%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85564%
Critics Consensus: A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.
Synopsis: On the verge of bankruptcy and desperate for his big break, aspiring filmmaker Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) concocts a crazy... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#19

Iron Man 3 (2013)
79%

#19
Adjusted Score: 93270%
Critics Consensus: With the help of its charismatic lead, some impressive action sequences, and even a few surprises, Iron Man 3 is a witty, entertaining adventure and a strong addition to the Marvel canon.
Synopsis: Plagued with worry and insomnia since saving New York from destruction, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), now, is more dependent... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 91241%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#21
Adjusted Score: 78672%
Critics Consensus: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is a lively, powerful coming-of-age tale with winning performances and sharp direction from first-timer Dito Montiel.
Synopsis: Dito Montiel (Robert Downey Jr.), a successful author, receives a call from his long-suffering mother (Dianne Wiest), asking him to... [More]
Directed By: Dito Montiel

#22

Iron Man 2 (2010)
72%

#22
Adjusted Score: 83591%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#23

Soapdish (1991)
73%

#23
Adjusted Score: 75517%
Critics Consensus: Soapdish may not be as addictive as the serialized dramas it's spoofing, but a talented cast helps make this affectionate sendup feel fresh.
Synopsis: Celeste Talbert (Sally Field) is the star of the long-running soap opera "The Sun Also Sets." With the show's ratings... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#24

Restoration (1995)
71%

#24
Adjusted Score: 70545%
Critics Consensus: Restoration spins an engaging period yarn out of its bestselling source material, brought to life through the efforts of an eclectic ensemble cast led by Robert Downey Jr.
Synopsis: In order to keep one of his mistresses, Celia (Polly Walker), at arm's length, King Charles II (Sam Neill) asks... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#25

Sherlock Holmes (2009)
69%

#25
Adjusted Score: 79812%
Critics Consensus: Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr.
Synopsis: When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn't take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#26

A Scanner Darkly (2006)
68%

#26
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

#27

Chances Are (1989)
67%

#27
Adjusted Score: 67741%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man's love for his pregnant wife, Corinne Jeffries (Cybill Shepherd), is interrupted when a car accident sends him to... [More]
Directed By: Emile Ardolino

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 65297%
Critics Consensus: Much like a real-life visit Home for the Holidays, this Thanksgiving-set dramedy can get a little bumpy -- but it also has its share of fondly memorable moments.
Synopsis: When her teenage daughter opts out of Thanksgiving, single mother Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) travels alone to her childhood home... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#29

Chaplin (1992)
60%

#29
Adjusted Score: 62914%
Critics Consensus: Chaplin boasts a terrific performance from Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, but it isn't enough to overcome a formulaic biopic that pales in comparison to its subject's classic films.
Synopsis: Re-creation of the life of comic genius Charlie Chaplin, from his humble beginnings in south London through his early days... [More]
Directed By: Richard Attenborough

#30

Game 6 (2005)
60%

#30
Adjusted Score: 61079%
Critics Consensus: Though packed with Don DeLillo's witty dialogue and bolstered by strong performances, particularly by lead Michael Keaton, Game 6 also suffers from uneven direction and overwrought symbolism.
Synopsis: It's 1986, and New York playwright Nicky Rogan (Michael Keaton) faces a series of fears, but none more frightening than... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#31
Adjusted Score: 68409%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original.
Synopsis: When Austria's crown prince is found dead, evidence seems to point to suicide. However, detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 61068%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rick (Kenneth Branagh), a divorced lawyer, has what he thinks is going to be a one-night stand with the troubled... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 61004%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Serial pick-up artist and commitment-phobe Jack Jericho (Robert Downey Jr.) takes lessons in the art of seduction from aging player... [More]
Directed By: James Toback

#34

Charlie Bartlett (2007)
58%

#34
Adjusted Score: 62214%
Critics Consensus: With engaging performances marked by an inconsistent tone, Charlie Bartlett is a mixed bag of clever teen angst comedy and muddled storytelling.
Synopsis: Awkward teenager Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin) has trouble fitting in at a new high school. Charlie needs some friends fast,... [More]
Directed By: Jon Poll

#35

The Soloist (2009)
57%

#35
Adjusted Score: 64819%
Critics Consensus: Though it features strong performances by its lead players, a lack of narrative focus prevents The Soloist from hitting its mark.
Synopsis: Los Angeles columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) has reached an impasse in his life. His marriage is on the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#36

Weird Science (1985)
56%

#36
Adjusted Score: 57254%
Critics Consensus: Hardly in the same league as John Hughes' other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.
Synopsis: Teen misfits Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) design their ideal woman on a computer, and a freak... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#37

Heart and Souls (1993)
55%

#37
Adjusted Score: 54093%
Critics Consensus: A charismatic array of character actors bring a lot of Heart to this supernatural comedy, but many will find that it heaps on the sentimentality where its Soul should be.
Synopsis: Harrison (Charles Grodin), Penny (Alfre Woodard), Julia (Kyra Sedgwick) and Milo (Tom Sizemore) die in 1959 when the bus they... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#38

1969 (1988)
55%

#38
Adjusted Score: 23491%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two rebellious youths, Ralph (Robert Downey Jr.) and Scott (Kiefer Sutherland), find themselves struggling with adulthood as the Vietnam War... [More]
Directed By: Ernest Thompson

#39

Only You (1994)
53%

#39
Adjusted Score: 52695%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A childhood incident has convinced Faith Corvatch (Marisa Tomei) that her true love is a guy named "Damon Bradley," but... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#40

Less Than Zero (1987)
50%

#40
Adjusted Score: 51427%
Critics Consensus: A couple of standout performances -- notably Robert Downey, Jr. and James Spader -- and a killer soundtrack can't quite elevate a somewhat superficial adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' story of drugged-out LA rich kids.
Synopsis: Clay (Andrew McCarthy) comes home to Los Angeles after his first semester of college and encounters some disturbing developments. His... [More]
Directed By: Marek Kanievska

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 52781%
Critics Consensus: Two Girls and a Guy has an intriguing premise and a talented trio of leads, but doesn't do quite enough with any of them to make the end result truly worth a watch.
Synopsis: Two women (Heather Graham, Natasha Gregson Wagner) confront their boyfriend (Robert Downey Jr.), a two-timing actor who professed eternal love... [More]
Directed By: James Toback

#42

The Judge (2014)
49%

#42
Adjusted Score: 56697%
Critics Consensus: Solidly cast and beautifully filmed but thoroughly clichéd, The Judge seems destined to preside over a large jurisdiction of the basic cable afternoon-viewing circuit.
Synopsis: Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.), a brilliant but shady attorney, returns to his Indiana hometown after learning that his mother... [More]
Directed By: David Dobkin

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 48976%
Critics Consensus: Natural Born Killers explodes off the screen with style, but its satire is too blunt to offer any fresh insight into celebrity or crime -- pummeling the audience with depravity until the effect becomes deadening.
Synopsis: Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis are two young, attractive serial killers who become tabloid-TV darlings, thanks to a sensationalistic press... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#44

Due Date (2010)
39%

#44
Adjusted Score: 46744%
Critics Consensus: Shamelessly derivative and only sporadically funny, Due Date doesn't live up to the possibilities suggested by its talented director and marvelously mismatched stars.
Synopsis: Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) will be a dad for the first time when his wife gives birth in five... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#45
#45
Adjusted Score: 41543%
Critics Consensus: Delightful performance from Robert Downey Jr. can't save The Singing Detective's transition from TV to the big screen.
Synopsis: Hospitalized for a severe skin disease, a bitter writer (Robert Downey Jr.) imagines he is the gumshoe from his novel.... [More]
Directed By: Keith Gordon

#46

Black and White (1999)
38%

#46
Adjusted Score: 40110%
Critics Consensus: The atmosphere is affecting, and the story, at times, is compelling, but with a lean script and limp direction, Black and White doesn't add up to much.
Synopsis: Rich Bower (Power) is an up-and-coming star in the hip-hop world. Everyone wants to be around him, including Raven (Gaby... [More]
Directed By: James Toback

#47

Firstborn (1984)
36%

#47
Adjusted Score: 35125%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A teen (Christopher Collet) protects his divorced mother (Teri Garr) from her boyfriend (Peter Weller), a drug dealer in a... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted

#48

Eros (2004)
34%

#48
Adjusted Score: 36240%
Critics Consensus: Though Wong's short lives up to the promise of the title, Antonioni's is a serious disappointment.
Synopsis: This anthology film features three different tales of passion. In "The Hand," young tailor Zhang (Chen Chang) is attracted to... [More]

#49
Adjusted Score: 36420%
Critics Consensus: This portrait of a groundbreaking photographer lacks the daring of its subject.
Synopsis: In 1958 New York Diane Arbus (Nicole Kidman) is a housewife and mother who works as an assistant to her... [More]
Directed By: Steven Shainberg

#50

One Night Stand (1997)
32%

#50
Adjusted Score: 33182%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In Los Angeles, Max Carlyle (Wesley Snipes) makes a good living directing commercials and has a happy home life with... [More]
Directed By: Mike Figgis

#51

Hugo Pool (1997)
29%

#51
Adjusted Score: 29198%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A disabled client (Patrick Dempsey) charms a lonely Los Angeles pool cleaner (Alyssa Milano) and her cynical helpers.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Downey Sr.

#52

Lucky You (2007)
28%

#52
Adjusted Score: 34016%
Critics Consensus: Lucky You tries to combine a romantic story with the high-stakes world of poker, but comes up with an empty hand.
Synopsis: Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) is a talented poker player who must balance an intense love affair with the feats he... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Hanson

#53

U.S. Marshals (1998)
26%

#53
Adjusted Score: 27316%
Critics Consensus: A rote albeit well-cast action thriller, U.S. Marshals suffers badly in comparison to the beloved blockbuster that preceded it.
Synopsis: An airplane bearing gruff U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) crashes in the wilderness. On board the same flight... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Baird

#54

The Shaggy Dog (2006)
26%

#54
Adjusted Score: 29128%
Critics Consensus: This Disney retread has neither inspiration nor originality, but may please moviegoers under the age of ten.
Synopsis: Deputy District Attorney Dave Douglas (Tim Allen) is a workaholic and frequently puts his job before his family. After taking... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#55

In Dreams (1999)
25%

#55
Adjusted Score: 26557%
Critics Consensus: Some interesting visuals, but the movie is as confusing as a dream.
Synopsis: After clairvoyant Claire Cooper (Annette Bening) has a disturbing dream about the murder of a young girl, her daughter, Rebecca... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#56

Tuff Turf (1985)
17%

#56
Adjusted Score: 6560%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The new guy (James Spader) in a Los Angeles high school does some singing and fights a hotshot (Paul Mones)... [More]
Directed By: Fritz Kiersch

#57

Dolittle (2020)
15%

#57
Adjusted Score: 31137%
Critics Consensus: Dolittle may be enough to entertain very young viewers, but they deserve better than this rote adaptation's jumbled story and stale humor.
Synopsis: Dr. John Dolittle lives in solitude behind the high walls of his lush manor in 19th-century England. His only companionship... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Gaghan

#58

Gothika (2003)
14%

#58
Adjusted Score: 20061%
Critics Consensus: Berry's acting talents can't save Gothika from its preposterous plot and bad dialogue.
Synopsis: The life of psychiatrist Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) is derailed after she nearly hits a girl with her car one... [More]
Directed By: Mathieu Kassovitz

#59

Too Much Sun (1991)
14%

#59
Adjusted Score: 4792%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: To cash in, the homosexual son (Eric Idle) and daughter (Andrea Martin) of a dying millionaire must somehow produce an... [More]
Directed By: Robert Downey

#60

Air America (1990)
13%

#60
Adjusted Score: 13241%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Despite having just had his Los Angeles pilot's license revoked, Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr.) is hired by Air America,... [More]
Directed By: Roger Spottiswoode

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 4512%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Ian (George Newbern) doesn't have the greatest relationship with his father, Richard (David Rasche). The problem is that Ian resents... [More]
Directed By: George Haas

#62

Johnny Be Good (1988)
0%

#62
Adjusted Score: 346%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: High-school quarterback Johnny Walker (Anthony Michael Hall) is being courted by elite colleges nationwide. To get the sports star to... [More]
Directed By: Bud S. Smith

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

(Photo by DreamWorks Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

All George Clooney Movies Ranked

Having the #1 TV show to fall back on when starting a movie career was a good thing for George Clooney, especially when he was alternately starring in groovy, off-beat genre flicks (From Dusk till Dawn, Out of Sight) and helping destroy a comic book franchise (Batman & Robin). But by 1999, Clooney was ready to cut the cord on ER, paving the way for immediate movie breakthroughs in comedy (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), blockbusters (Ocean’s Eleven), and even as a director himself, with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which we’re including on this list because he also stars.

As seen beginning with Confessions, the cross-section of politics and media would be a driving concern for Clooney’s acting choices, such as Syriana, Michael Clayton, The Ides of March, Money Monster, and Good Night, and Good Luck. Yet he also switches to the broad buffoon with ease, especially with the Coen brothers, as in O Brother, Burn After Reading, and Hail, Caesar!. Somewhere in between this Bawdy George and Serious George, you’ll find material that has drawn Clooney some of his highest marks: Fantastic Mr. Fox, Up In the Air, and The Descendants, the latter two for which he was Best Actor Oscar-nominated.

Up until directing himself in 2020’s The Midnight Sky, Clooney hadn’t appeared in a narrative feature since 2016. Meanwhile, he got top billing in Grizzly II: Revenge, a film shot in 1983 that wasn’t completed and released until 2021. Will the movie finally restore Clooney’s rightful original career path as horror movie maven? We’ll just have to wait an see — until then, we’re looking back on all George Clooney movies, ranked by Tomatometer!

#1

Gravity (2013)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 110608%
Critics Consensus: Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity is an eerie, tense sci-fi thriller that's masterfully directed and visually stunning.
Synopsis: Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. Her commander is veteran astronaut Matt... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#2

Three Kings (1999)
94%

#2
Adjusted Score: 98465%
Critics Consensus: Three Kings successfully blends elements of action, drama, and comedy into a thoughtful, exciting movie on the Gulf War.
Synopsis: Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 102622%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Mr. Fox is a delightfully funny feast for the eyes with multi-generational appeal -- and it shows Wes Anderson has a knack for animation.
Synopsis: After 12 years of bucolic bliss, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) and raids... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#4
Adjusted Score: 102878%
Critics Consensus: A passionate and concise cinematic civics lesson, Good Night, And Good Luck has plenty to say about today's political and cultural climate, and its ensemble cast is stellar.
Synopsis: When Senator Joseph McCarthy begins his foolhardy campaign to root out Communists in America, CBS News impresario Edward R. Murrow... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#5

Out of Sight (1998)
94%

#5
Adjusted Score: 98032%
Critics Consensus: Steven Soderbergh's intelligently crafted adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel is witty, sexy, suprisingly entertaining, and a star-making turn for George Clooney.
Synopsis: Meet Jack Foley (George Clooney), the most successful bank robber in the country. On the day he busts out of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#6

Michael Clayton (2007)
91%

#6
Adjusted Score: 99189%
Critics Consensus: Michael Clayton is one of the most sharply scripted films of 2007, with an engrossing premise and faultless acting. Director Tony Gilroy succeeds not only in capturing the audience's attention, but holding it until the credits roll.
Synopsis: Former prosecutor Michael Clayton (George Clooney) works as a "fixer" at the corporate law firm of Kenner, Bach and Ledeen,... [More]
Directed By: Tony Gilroy

#7

Up in the Air (2009)
90%

#7
Adjusted Score: 102660%
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

#8

The Descendants (2011)
87%

#8
Adjusted Score: 97233%
Critics Consensus: Funny, moving, and beautifully acted, The Descendants captures the unpredictable messiness of life with eloquence and uncommon grace.
Synopsis: Native islander Matt King (George Clooney) lives with his family in Hawaii. Their world shatters when a tragic accident leaves... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Payne

#9

Hail, Caesar! (2016)
86%

#9
Adjusted Score: 108588%
Critics Consensus: Packed with period detail and perfectly cast, Hail, Caesar! finds the Coen brothers delivering an agreeably lightweight love letter to post-war Hollywood.
Synopsis: In the early 1950s, Eddie Mannix is busy at work trying to solve all the problems of the actors and... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 93318%
Critics Consensus: While not exactly exposing revelatory truths, The Ides of March is supremely well-acted drama that moves at a measured, confident clip.
Synopsis: As Ohio's Democratic primary nears, charming Gov. Mike Morris (George Clooney) seems a shoo-in for the nomination over his opponent,... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#11

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
83%

#11
Adjusted Score: 89357%
Critics Consensus: As fast-paced, witty, and entertaining as it is star-studded and coolly stylish, Ocean's Eleven offers a well-seasoned serving of popcorn entertainment.
Synopsis: Dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 85401%
Critics Consensus: The Thin Red Line is a daringly philosophical World War II film with an enormous cast of eager stars.
Synopsis: In 1942, Private Witt (Jim Caviezel) is a U.S. Army absconder living peacefully with the locals of a small South... [More]
Directed By: Terrence Malick

#13
Adjusted Score: 84458%
Critics Consensus: Rockwell is spot-on as Barris, and Clooney directs with entertaining style and flair.
Synopsis: Game show television producer Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) is at the height of his career. His creation, "The Dating Game,"... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 87676%
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

#15
Adjusted Score: 83557%
Critics Consensus: Though not as good as Coen brothers' classics such as Blood Simple, the delightfully loopy O Brother, Where Art Thou? is still a lot of fun.
Synopsis: Ulysses Everett McGill (George Clooney) is having difficulty adjusting to his hard-labor sentence in Mississippi. He scams his way off... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 81863%
Critics Consensus: Though more mainstream than other Coen films, there are still funny oddball touches, and Clooney and Zeta-Jones sizzle like old-time movie stars.
Synopsis: Miles Massey (George Clooney) is an exceptional divorce lawyer who specializes in saving cheating husbands from having to pay expensive... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen

#17

Syriana (2005)
73%

#17
Adjusted Score: 80575%
Critics Consensus: Ambitious, complicated, intellectual, and demanding of its audience, Syriana is both a gripping geopolitical thriller and wake-up call to the complacent.
Synopsis: The Middle Eastern oil industry is the backdrop of this tense drama, which weaves together numerous story lines. Bennett Holiday... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Gaghan

#18

Fail Safe (2000)
100%

#18
Adjusted Score: 24878%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During the 1960s, a computer error in Nebraska unwittingly sets off a perilous chain of events leading to a Cold... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#19

Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
70%

#19
Adjusted Score: 77950%
Critics Consensus: Ocean's Thirteen reverts to the formula of the first installment, and the result is another slick and entertaining heist film.
Synopsis: Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang hatch an ambitious plot for revenge after ruthless casino owner Willy Bank (Al... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#20

The American (2010)
65%

#20
Adjusted Score: 74139%
Critics Consensus: As beautifully shot as it is emotionally restrained, The American is an unusually divisive spy thriller -- and one that rests on an unusually subdued performance from George Clooney.
Synopsis: When an assignment in Sweden ends badly, master assassin Jack (George Clooney) retreats to the Italian countryside with the intention... [More]
Directed By: Anton Corbijn

#21

Solaris (2002)
66%

#21
Adjusted Score: 72238%
Critics Consensus: Slow-moving, cerebral, and ambiguous, Solaris is not a movie for everyone, but it offers intriguing issues to ponder.
Synopsis: Based on the classic science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem, "Solaris" centers on a psychologist (George Clooney) sent to investigate... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 64550%
Critics Consensus: A pulpy crime drama/vampire film hybrid, From Dusk Till Dawn is an uneven but often deliriously enjoyable B-movie.
Synopsis: On the run from a bank robbery that left several police officers dead, Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and his paranoid,... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#23

Money Monster (2016)
59%

#23
Adjusted Score: 76606%
Critics Consensus: Money Monster's strong cast and solidly written story ride a timely wave of socioeconomic anger that's powerful enough to overcome an occasionally muddled approach to its worthy themes.
Synopsis: Lee Gates is a Wall Street guru who picks hot stocks as host of the television show "Money Monster." Suddenly,... [More]
Directed By: Jodie Foster

#24

Ocean's Twelve (2004)
54%

#24
Adjusted Score: 61456%
Critics Consensus: While some have found the latest star-studded heist flick to be a fun, glossy star vehicle, others declare it's lazy, self-satisfied and illogical.
Synopsis: After successfully robbing five casinos in one night, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his crew of thieves have big problems.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 56651%
Critics Consensus: Contains some funny moments, but it's still a very lightweight comedy.
Synopsis: Five hapless misfits from the hard-luck streets of Cleveland band together to try and pull off the greatest job they've... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#26

One Fine Day (1996)
53%

#26
Adjusted Score: 53556%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Melanie Parker (Michelle Pfeiffer) is an architect who needs to give a very important presentation. Jack Taylor (George Clooney) is... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#27

Leatherheads (2008)
52%

#27
Adjusted Score: 58002%
Critics Consensus: Despite a good premise and strong cast, this pro football romcom is half screwball and half fumble.
Synopsis: Dodge Connolly (George Clooney), captain of a 1920s football team, wants to give the sagging sport a boost and capture... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#28
Adjusted Score: 59341%
Critics Consensus: Though The Men Who Stare at Goats is a mostly entertaining, farcical glimpse of men at war, some may find its satire and dark humor less than edgy.
Synopsis: Struggling reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) gets the scoop of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), who... [More]
Directed By: Grant Heslov

#29

Tomorrowland (2015)
50%

#29
Adjusted Score: 61857%
Critics Consensus: Ambitious and visually stunning, Tomorrowland is unfortunately weighted down by uneven storytelling.
Synopsis: Whenever Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) touches a lapel pin with the letter T on it, she finds herself transported to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#30

The Midnight Sky (2020)
49%

#30
Adjusted Score: 66826%
Critics Consensus: The Midnight Sky lacks the dramatic heft to match its narrative scale, but its flaws are often balanced by thoughtful themes and a poignant performance from director-star George Clooney.
Synopsis: A lone scientist in the Arctic races to contact a crew of astronauts returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 50785%
Critics Consensus: While the special effects are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers from any actual drama or characterization. The end result is a film that offers nifty eye-candy and nothing else.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, the film tells of the courageous men and women who risk their lives every working... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#32

The Good German (2006)
34%

#32
Adjusted Score: 39474%
Critics Consensus: Though Steven Soderbergh succeeds in emulating the glossy look of 1940s noirs, The Good German ultimately ends up as a self-conscious exercise in style that forgets to develop compelling characters.
Synopsis: Jake Geismar (George Clooney), an Army correspondent, helps his former lover, Lena Brandt (Cate Blanchett), comb post-World War II Berlin... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 41289%
Critics Consensus: Its intentions are noble and its cast is impressive, but neither can compensate for The Monuments Men's stiffly nostalgic tone and curiously slack narrative.
Synopsis: During World War II, the Nazis steal countless pieces of art and hide them away. Some over-the-hill art scholars, historians,... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#34

Batman & Robin (1997)
12%

#34
Adjusted Score: 16547%
Critics Consensus: Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for.
Synopsis: This superhero adventure finds Batman (George Clooney) and his partner, Robin (Chris O'Donnell), attempting to the foil the sinister schemes... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 8171%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: All hell breaks loose when a 15-ft grizzly bear, reacting to the slaughter of her cub by poachers, seeks revenge... [More]
Directed By: Andre Szots

#36
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The insane Dr. Gangrene develops a new strain of violent vegetable in this sequel to the 1977 cult classic.... [More]
Directed By: John De Bello

Get your hot patty of 1950s Americana this Friday with The Founder, starring Michael Keaton as the entrepreneur who transformed McDonald’s from a San Bernardino local joint into the global food megalith during the baby boomer decade. Founder inspires this week’s completely cool, multi-purpose gallery: true stories (all Fresh!) enlightening our values, fears, and triumphs of the ’50s.

Always an actor first and celebrity second, Jeff Daniels has appeared in scores of films over the last three decades and change without ever commanding a superstar level of attention — but as even a cursory glance at his filmography makes clear, he has a marvelous knack for choosing projects, one that extends to his work on the stage (where he’s earned a Tony nomination) and the small screen (where he won an Emmy for his work on The Newsroom). This weekend, Daniels reunites with his old pal Jim Carrey for the Dumb and Dumber sequel Dumb and Dumber To, and to celebrate, we’ve decided to turn our attention to his most critically beloved efforts. It’s time for Total Recall!


10. Fly Away Home 88%

Little kids and animals often trigger Cuteness Overload warnings for filmgoers over the PG-13 age barrier, and that can be especially true for sun-dappled dramas starring grizzled Hollywood veterans playing emotionally broken parents fumbling to reconnect with their children while also racing against time to solve some critical little kid/animal dilemma. Pretty much all of those boxes are ticked in 1996’s Fly Away Home, but the end result is affecting enough to tug a few strings in all but the hardest of hearts — due in large part to a pair of top-shelf performances from Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin, starring here as a father-daughter duo who move beyond their painful past in order to save a flock of geese. Saying that the movie’s “tender beauty… goes well beyond what might be expected from a movie about things that hatch,” Janet Maslin of the New York Times applauded director Carroll Ballard for turning “a potentially treacly children’s film into an exhilarating ’90s fable” and added, “See it and you will never look at a down comforter in quite the same way.”

Watch Trailer

9. The Lookout 87%

Out of Sight and Get Shorty screenwriter Scott Frank made his directorial debut with The Lookout, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt — then just beginning to demonstrate the knack for picking scripts that had helped him earn raves for Brick two years before — as a callow high school athlete whose foolishness leads to a catastrophic accident that turns his entire life upside down…and puts him in the path of a group of bad people who want to use him for their own nefarious ends. Co-starring Daniels as Gordon-Levitt’s blind roommate and Isla Fisher as the seductive, memorably named Luvlee Lemons, The Lookout didn’t have much of an impact at the box office, but it earned plenty of praise from critics like the AV Club’s Scott Tobias, who wrote that its “thriller elements could stand to be more surprising, but they’re ultimately in service of a better understanding of the characters. Usually, it’s the other way around.”

Watch Trailer

8. Something Wild 91%

It’s refreshing whenever an actor plays against type, but there’s also something to be said for a script that lets a star sit directly in his or her wheelhouse; for example, here’s Something Wild, in which Daniels plays a buttoned-down stockbroker who makes the fateful decision to accept a ride home from a vivacious stranger (Melanie Griffith), thus setting off a chain of events that finds him an unwilling participant in all manner of ill-advised hijinks — including fending off her enraged husband (Ray Liotta). Subversive, willfully quirky, and thoroughly well-acted, Wild earned applause for its stars as well as for director Jonathan Demme; as James Kendrick wrote for Q Network Film Desk, “The tones shift rampantly, which for some viewers can be disorienting and off-putting. But, if you’re in tune with Demme’s aesthetic, which usually runs counter to our cinematic intuition, it is a wild ride indeed.”

Watch Trailer

7. Terms of Endearment 82%

Daniels made his cinematic debut in Milos Forman’s 1981 epic Ragtime, but he got his first big break two years later in Terms of Endearment. Writer-director James L. Brooks, working from Larry McMurtry’s novel about the complicated lives and relationships of a mother (Shirley MacLaine) and daughter (Debra Winger), fashioned a critical and commercial sensation that grossed more than $100 million and picked up 11 Oscar nominations (winning five). While none of those trophies went to Daniels, he did earn positive notice for his supporting role as Winger’s rather scummy (and ridiculously named) husband, Flap Horton, and he was hardly alone among an almost uniformly praised cast; as John Ferguson so succinctly put it for Radio Times, “This is American mainstream movie-making at its best.”

Watch Trailer

6. The Purple Rose of Cairo 93%

After catching Hollywood’s eye in Terms of Endearment, Daniels wasted no time racking up further accolades, picking up a starring (and Golden Globe-nominated) role in Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo. Starring Mia Farrow as a mousy waitress toiling her way through a fairly dismal marriage to a rough-tempered drunk (Danny Aiello), the movie offers its heroine an unexpected boost in the form of a movie character (Daniels) who steps out of the screen and into her life. (As she tells her sister, “I just met a wonderful man. He’s fictional, but you can’t have everything.”) Critics were similarly smitten. “To be blunt about it, The Purple Rose of Cairo is pure enchantment,” gushed Vincent Canby of the New York Times. “It’s a sweet, lyrically funny, multi- layered work that again demonstrates that Woody Allen is our premier film maker who, standing something over 5 feet tall in his sneakers, towers above all others.”

Watch Trailer

5. Arachnophobia 93%

Frank Marshall (backed here by his longtime production partner Steven Spielberg) made his directorial debut with this affectionate, cheerfully creepy tribute to classic Hollywood creature features, in which a deadly breed of spider terrorizes a small town whose residents include a lunatic exterminator (John Goodman) and, of course, a doctor with the titular phobia (Jeff Daniels). “That sound you hear in the background is the ‘ugh!’ heard round the world,” chuckled Janet Maslin of the New York Times, adding, “luckily, Arachnophobia will also be generating its share of boisterous, nervous laughter.”

Watch Trailer

4. Speed 94%

After Die Hard blew up at the box office, action movies where the setting served as a sort of co-star became a wildly popular trend — to the point where, when Keanu Reeves starred in 1994’s Speed as an LAPD officer trapped on a moving bus that a maniac (Dennis Hopper) has loaded with explosives, it seemed safe to assume that it was just one more of the “Die Hard on a _____” movies that had clogged the cineplex for the past several years. Happily, this one proved a sleekly thrilling exception to the rule, both at the box office — where it racked up more than $350 million worldwide — and among critics, who applauded director Jan de Bont’s lean production, the movie’s uncommonly intelligent screenplay (given an instrumental polish by Joss Whedon), and a terrific cast that also included Sandra Bullock, Alan Ruck, and as Keanu’s steadfast partner, Jeff Daniels. Calling it “clean, delirious, and, yes, speedy,” the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane deemed it “the best big-vehicle-in-peril movie since Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear.”

Watch Trailer

3. The Squid and the Whale 92%

Round up all the characters in every Noah Baumbach movie, and you’d have yourself a room full of some fairly messed up individuals. Case in point: 2005’s The Squid and the Whale, starring Daniels and Laura Linney as a husband and wife whose messily splintering marriage throws shards that wound their two sons (played by Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline) — not that either of the parents seem willing or able to put a stop to their selfish behavior. Like many of Baumbach’s films, Squid puts the viewer in the company of narcissists and misanthropes, but it’s also a piercingly honest look at the ways in which we deal with disappointment when our lives — and our loved ones — let us down. As Roger Ebert put it, “The Squid and the Whale is essentially about how we grow up by absorbing what is useful in our parents and forgiving what is not.”

Watch Trailer

2. Good Night, and Good Luck 93%

For his directorial follow-up to Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, George Clooney decided to dramatize Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt — specifically from the viewpoint of CBS News, where legendary anchor Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) engaged in a public war of wills against McCarthy while trying to temper the mass hysteria wrought by his adversary’s rabid insistence that all levels of American life had been infiltrated by the Red Menace. Rounded out by a stellar supporting cast (including Daniels as CBS News director Sig Mickelson), Good Night, and Good Luck. earned an impressive six Academy Award nominations — as well as our own Golden Tomato for Best Reviewed Film of 2005 in Limited Release. “By its end,” enthused Movie Mezzanine’s Sam Fragoso, “Good Night, and Good Luck evolves into a prophetic vision of how television and film can be used to illuminate or insulate, educate or entertain.”

Watch Trailer

1. Looper 93%

A large part of Jeff Daniels’ considerable screen appeal has always been his ability to project an unassuming everyman aura, but acting opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to bring out the oddball in him: After stealing every scene he was in as Gordon-Levitt’s roommate in The Lookout, Daniels proceeded to do the same in Looper, injecting writer-director Rian Johnson’s thought-provoking sci-fi thriller with a madcap blast of energy as the sociopathic (and perversely likable) mob boss who orders Levitt’s hit man character to kill…well, we don’t want to spoil the fun if you haven’t already seen the movie. Point is, Looper is a lot of fun, not least because of Daniels’ performance, as well as what Deadspin’s Will Leitch called “A wildly entertaining film that isn’t content with science and cinematic tricks. It desires, and achieves, much more.”

Watch Trailer

Finally, here’s Daniels putting in a plug for his home state:


This week at the movies, we’ve got gridiron giggles (Leatherheads, starring George Clooney and Renée Zellweger), isle imagination (Nim’s Island, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin), and archeological anxiety (The Ruins, starring Shawn Ashmore and Jena Malone). What do the critics have to say?

George Clooney gets compared to Cary Grant all the time, so it’s only natural he would try his hand at Grant’s prime métier — the screwball comedy. Unfortunately, critics say the football laffer Leatherheads, in which Clooney stars and directs, is something of a mixed bag. Set in the early days of pro-pigskin (in the days when college was king), Leatherheads tells the tale of the struggling, ragtag Duluth squad, which has scored a major coup by tapping a college gridiron hero (played by John Krasinski) to team with aging pro Dodge Connolly (Clooney); however, the team is also under fire from an aggressive beat reporter (Renée Zellweger). The pundits say Leatherheads is a funny, amiable affair, but it could take some pointers from the no-huddle offense, which, like screwball comedy, emphasizes quick thinking, deft interaction, and risk. At 54 percent on the Tomatometer, Leatherheads is being thrown for a loss. And it’s Clooney’s worst-reviewed directorial effort to date — well below Good Night and Good Luck‘s 94 percent. (Check out our interview with George Clooney here.)


“Look, we’re running a flea flicker, and that’s final! Do I look like I’m negotiating?

A sort of Swiss Family Robinson crossed with Indiana Jones, the critics say Nim’s Island is solid family fare — with the pros and cons that implies. Abigail Breslin stars as Nim, a precocious girl who lives on a South Pacific island with her father (Gerard Butler), a scientist; when he goes missing, Nim turns to the hero of her favorite book (also played by Butler) — and the tome’s author (Jodie Foster) — for help. Critics say Nim’s Island has an old-fashioned sense of wonder and adventure — as well as a healthy dose of girl power — that makes for an above-average kids’ adventure. But they also note the movie offers a predictable storyline and some hackneyed slapstick. Nim’s Island currently stands at 48 percent on the Tomatomenter. (Take a look at a clip from the film here.)


Abigail Breslin won’t be so joyous when she realizes she’ll need to eat grubs and berries to survive.

It appears the folks behind The Ruins feared its critical reputation would be left in ruins, since it was barely screened before its release. Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, and Shawn Ashmore star in this tale of a group of tourists who find danger lurking at a remote archaeological site — an obvious oversight by the Lonely Planet people. Kids, take your noses out of that atlas and guess the Tomatometer!


“We should have brought a tent!”

Also opening this week in limited release:

The French import Water Lilies, a delicate coming-of-age drama involving a trio of middle school girls, is at 90 percent (check out our take from Cannes here);

Jellyfish, which follows three Israeli women as their lives intersect at a wedding reception, is at 87 percent;

Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese‘s document of the Rolling Stones live (with special guests like Jack White and Christina Aguilera), is at 82 percent (check out this week’s Total Recall for a look at some of Scorsese’s lesser-known work);

Flight of the Red Balloon, Hou Hsiao-hsien‘s remake of the French classic starring Juliette Binoche, is at 69 percent;

Wong Kar-Wai‘s latest, My Blueberry Nights starring Norah Jones, Jude Law, and Natalie Portman, is at 49 percent (check out our take here, and our interview with Jones here);

And Sex and Death 101, a black comedy starring Winona Ryder and Simon Baker, is at 40 percent.


“While I’ve got you guys here, I wanted to talk about my vision for Freejack 2…”

And finally, props to Grendel-san for correctly guessing Superhero Movie‘s 17 percent Tomatometer, presumably while doing battle with Beowulf-san. One question for ya, G.S: is it hard to type with only one arm?

Recent Jodie Foster Movies:
———————————–
43% — The Brave One (2007)
87% — Inside Man (2006)
38% — Flightplan (2005)
77% — A Very Long Engagement (2004)
77% — The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

Recent George Clooney Movies:
—————————————–
91% — Michael Clayton (2007)
70% — Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
33% — The Good German (2006)
73% — Syriana (2005)
94% — Good Night and Good Luck (2005)

George Clooney

After nabbing Oscar notice for recent dramas like Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Michael Clayton, it was time George Clooney lightened things up. This week’s Leatherheads does just that; a 1920s period piece about the early days of football, the sports comedy — produced by, directed by, and starring Clooney himself — also strives to recall the golden age of the feisty, fast-talking screwball comedy.

Clooney’s debt to the likes of Preston Sturges and Howard Hawks is both apparent and considerable, as he acknowledged recently at a press day in Los Angeles. What he jokingly admits to as “stealing” is quite obviously homage, as the central romance in Leatherheads — actually, a love triangle between Clooney’s huckster footballer, Renee Zellweger‘s sassy reporter, and John Krasinski‘s star athlete — often gives way to lively Tommy gun patter resembling classics like His Girl Friday and Bringing Up Baby.

Read on for more with George Clooney on being on both sides of the camera in Leatherheads, the limitations of the screwball comedy in modern movies, paying homage to the classics, and completing his trifecta of idiots in the next Coen brothers film.

Leatherheads pays tribute to the classic screwball comedy in a big way. Were you going for a Hawks-Sturges kind of tempo?

George Clooney: I stole from Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges in a big way. I stole a scene. Wait, homage. I homaged the s— out of Howard Hawkes and Preston Sturges and early George Stevens. There’s a film called The More the Merrier that we were trying to rip off a lot.

How does George Clooney the director work with George Clooney the actor?

GC: Of the three films I directed, the other two (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Good Night, and Good Luck) I had parts in but I wasn’t the lead. It’s tricky, because there is an enormous amount of narcissism that comes into play. You’re breaking the trust between two actors, particularly if you’re in the lead. If you and I are doing a scene together, I’m not supposed to be judging you as an actor — now, a lot of actors do, and they’ll tell you what to do, but in general you’re not supposed to break the trust; the director is. As an actor, it’s easy, because I know specifically, precisely what I need in the scene, so I cut out one step. But it’s embarrassing when…you’re sitting across from Renee [Zellweger] and she’s doing a tremendous job in a scene, and you can feel the camera is in too close, too soon, and you just go, “OK, cut. Let’s try that again.” It’s a weird, awkward thing but you just acknowledge it off the bat and get over it.


Is the sort of rapid-fire dialogue and timing in Leatherheads unnatural for a modern actor?

GC: We called it front-foot acting. The tendency, probably since Montgomery Clift came on the scene, is to internalize. That’s great, and it has made for some of the most amazing work ever, but what gets lost in that is that ability to…almost answer just as if you couldn’t have heard the question. It has to be that quick. The difference is, you can’t do it exactly like Rosalind Russell. She was brilliant, but if you took that performance and put that into a modern film…it would just be like an impersonation. So with someone like John, or someone like Renee — they’re actors who don’t feel contemporary, which is important. There are a lot of actors who just feel like it’s 2008 no matter what you do.

We had the same problem with Good Night, and Good Luck. You had to have actors that didn’t fill everything with, “You know,” and both [Krasinsky and Zellweger] are very crisp, clean actors. We’d rehearse the scene as if we’d heard it all. And I’d go, “Ok now, faster, faster, faster,” to the point where it’s too fast then we’d slow it down. You have to understand that it’s a rollercoaster and it’ll go really quick and slow down. That finds itself when you rehearse it a few times on the set.

The Coen brothers did something similar with The Hudsucker Proxy. Did you talk to them about that?

GC: No, but I certainly watched Hudsucker Proxy…because, you know, I’ve stolen — homaged – the hell out of those guys over the years. And certainly there were things on this film that I was using that were from other films they’ve done. But Hudsucker I loved; I know people love to smash that film, but I really love that movie. But you have to be careful that it doesn’t leak into an impersonation of any kind.


Why make Leatherheads right after your Oscar-nominated role in Michael Clayton?

GC: Right after Good Night, and Good Luck and Syriana, everything that was coming to me was an issue film. They were happy to let me direct, but they were going to be the Richard Clark book — “We’re gonna do the big Valerie Plame story” — whatever it was, it was going to be something political. And I had a great fear of being the “issues” director. Because the issues change. And I have a much bigger interest in being a director. So I thought, “I want to do something that’s completely away from this,” and I like screwing with different genres. This is a world I knew a little bit of. So I spent a summer stealing — homaging — from Philadelphia Story, those films. The thing I came up with, it’s horrible, really, was the whole John Kerry-swiftboat thing; the idea that he’s holding a secret. Not that I thought that John Kerry wasn’t [a war hero]! It’s just that I thought, well what if he wasn’t really a war hero, and if there was an innocent way to do it where you didn’t make him a bad guy?

Renee’s character seems to be a throwback to the old heroines of screwball comedies, like Rosalind Russell and Katherine Hepburn…

GC: In the original draft of the film, John’s character and Lexie were boyfriend and girlfriend in college, and they came out together. She wasn’t active, she had nothing to do. And, I was now too old to be stealing the college girl [laughs]. So it felt as if it needed to be changed and she needed to have something to do. Really, it was more about…there weren’t women sportswriters in 1925; they’re fighting to do it now, even. So it felt like that was a great ballsy thing to be. But it wasn’t a comment on the press, I was just having fun.

What kind of idiot are you playing in the next Coen Brothers film?

GC: Well, first of all, I’m playing this character, Harry Pfarrer in Burn After Reading. I’ve now leaped heads and shoulders over the other idiots I’ve played; this is my trilogy of idiots with the Coen brothers. That one’s gonna be fun. I had to go and do an extra shot yesterday, I grew a beard back for half a day’s work, and they showed me little bits of it and I was like, “Turn it off, I don’t want to see it!” It’s so…big. The only thing that makes me feel good is that Brad [Pitt] is an even bigger idiot than I am in it, so that makes me feel safe.

Leatherheads is in theaters this week and currently has a Tomatometer of 45 percent.

Movie studios are offering something for every age group over the Columbus Day holiday weekend. Mature adults will go undercover with Martin Scorsese‘s cop thriller "The Departed," twentysomethings looking for a scare get the horror prequel "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning," while teenagers have a chance to laugh with the new comedy "Employee of the Month."

Meanwhile, last weekend’s number one film – the animated comedy "Open Season" – will continue to play to young children during a frame when a large percentage of students will have no class on Monday. The top ten will try to crack the $100M mark for the first time in nearly two months thanks to the variety of good product.

Ranking dead last among Hollywood’s big six studios in year-to-date market share, Warner Bros. has a lot of catching up to do in the fourth quarter if it wants to prevent snapping its five-year streak of billion-dollar-plus box office years. So this weekend, it hands the ball off to Scorsese who delivers what critics are calling one of his best films ever with "The Departed." The R-rated picture stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and Martin Sheen. Overflowing with starpower, the Boston-set film is an American remake of the award-winning Hong Kong blockbuster "Infernal Affairs" which finds an Irish cop going undercover into the underworld and a mob mole infiltrating the police department.

After rejecting a seemingly endless line of period dramas including "Hollywoodland," "The Black Dahlia," "Flyboys," and "All the King’s Men," adult audiences should be ready to throw its support behind a modern-day action thriller juiced up with major stars worth paying top dollar for. If the cast isn’t enough to seal the deal, glowing reviews from critics across the board should have a big impact on driving in traffic. In fact, reviews are among the best of any wide release hitting theaters this year. DiCaprio and Damon appeal to a wide age group so expect strong numbers from young adults. And Jack is that rare star who can flirt with age 70 but still be relevant to the iPod generation. With $100M blockbusters in each of the last four decades, the Oscar-winner is a perennial favorite and his films are
events.

Warner Bros. has backed "The Departed" with a solid marketing campaign which is effectively exciting ticket buyers. No R-rated film has hit the $30M mark on opening weekend in nearly a year so that could once again be the ceiling on this film’s short-term potential. Appeal to both men and women is substantial, although as is typical at this time of year, business from males may be affected by football and the baseball playoffs. But word-of-mouth is likely to be very positive so look for the pic to remain a contender for weeks to come. With a colossal amount of starpower, sensational reviews, and a Monday holiday helping Sunday night sales,
the Leo vs. Matt flick should be able to generate plenty of excitement with audiences this weekend. "The Departed" opens in 3,017 theaters on Friday and could gross about $27M over the frame.

Leo DiCaprio, ‘lending a hand’ in Martin Scorsese’s "The Departed."

Moviegoers that don’t get starstruck, but instead want some gore and violence in their weekend entertainment, can opt for "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning." The prequel to the 2003 remake of the 1974 horror classic is an R-rated tale with Jordana Brewster ("The Fast and the Furious", "Annapolis") as its only star. Horror remakes usually do not rely on stars anyway, but on the brand name of a popular terrorfest. Budgets are relatively low with most of the money going towards production values rather than talent. Three years ago, the previous "Massacre" posted powerful numbers bowing to $28.1M in mid-October on its way to a brutal $80.1M. It opened the door to many other moneymaking remake hits like "Dawn of the Dead," "The Amityville Horror," and "The Omen" which each went on to gross over $50M.

"Beginning" will play to hardcore genre fans that are older teens and young adults. But look for some older horror aficionados to take a curious peek too. The marketplace is primed and ready for its arrival as there has not been a major horror hit since June’s "Omen" pic hit cinemas. Add in the fact that Halloween is around the corner prompting audience demand for the genre to rise and a large turnout should be expected. Excitement does not seem to be reaching the same height that this installment’s predecessor had, so an opening in the high 20s may not result. Plus Leo, Matt, and even bad boy Jack will be drawing away many twentysomethings this weekend. Buzzing through victims in over 2,800 theaters, "The Texas Chainsaw Massace: The Beginning" could scare up around $19M this weekend.

More teens in trouble in the latest "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" film.

The classic love triangle storyline is set in a Walmart-like super store in the new Lionsgate comedy "Employee of the Month." The PG-13 pic stars Dane Cook and Dax Shepard as co-workers competing for the attention of the hot new sales clerk, played by Jessica Simpson, who only dates those who win the coveted employee prize. The comedy should play to a teen and young adult audience and with the weekend’s other new films being R flicks, Month could score some points with the under-17 crowd. Teenage girls have especially been neglected this fall. Why would they care about 1940s murder mysteries, moronic stunt films, or Sean Penn as a flamboyant politician? Two hunky young dudes fighting over the former Daisy Duke could make for the most interesting film to grab their attention since "Step Up."

Still, "Employee of the Month" will have its work cut out for it. Many older teens and young adults will be drawn away by "Departed" and "Chainsaw" and Ashton Kutcher fans are still checking out "The Guardian." Starpower is not too high, but teenagers in need of a laugh will not have many other options. Opening in 2,579 theaters, "Employee of the Month" could debut with around $10M.

Dane Cook, in his first leading role in "Employee of the Month."

Sony’s animated comedy "Open Season" enjoyed a healthy start to its run last weekend and will face no new competition during the sophomore frame. Plus with the Columbus Day school holiday, the Martin Lawrence – Ashton Kutcher toon should remain a popular (and only) option for young children. A 30% drop would give "Season" about $16M over the weekend and a sturdy ten-day cume of $46M.

Buena Vista’s Coast Guard adventure "The Guardian" did moderately well in its debut last weekend, but adult audiences will be pulled away by the starpower of "The Departed" this weekend. The studio has been reporting strong exit polls so word-of-mouth could prevent a large falloff. A 40% decline would give "Guardian" about $11M for the weekend and $34M in ten days.

"Jackass: Number Two" will face some stiff competition from the weekend’s two new R-rated films so a 45% drop could be in order. That would leave the Paramount hit with $8M and an impressive 17-day total of $64M allowing the comedy sequel to surpass the gross of the 2002 original in under three weeks.

LAST YEAR: New films invaded the box office over the Columbus Day frame taking four of the top five slots. Leading the way was the acclaimed claymation pic "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" with a $16M debut. The DreamWorks film enjoyed good legs and ended up with $56.1M domestically plus the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Jodie Foster‘s two-time chart-topper "Flightplan" held up well in its third weekend grossing $10.8M for Buena Vista. Cameron Diaz opened her new comedy "In Her Shoes" in third place with $10M on its way to $32.9M for Fox. Universal followed with the sports betting film "Two For the Money" with a $8.7M bow and Sony opened its drama "The Gospel" in fifth with $7.5M. Final grosses reached $22.9M and $15.8M, respectively. Lions Gate saw its new comedy "Waiting" launch in seventh place with just $6M leading to a $16.1M final. Opening with strong results in limited release were the acclaimed dramas "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "The Squid and the Whale" which both earned rave reviews and kudos during awards season. Their domestic grosses reached $31.6M and $7.4M, respectively.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Lost in the shadow of the weekend’s Oscar coverage was the annual Independent Spirit Awards presentation, which is where you’ll find … a lot of accolades similar to the Academy Award winners.

Best Feature: "Brokeback Mountain"

Best Director: Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain"

Best Screenplay: Dan Futterman, "Capote"

Best First Feature
: Paul Haggis, "Crash"

Best First Screenplay
: Duncan Tucker, "Transamerica"

John Cassavetes Award
: "Conventioneers" (For the Best Feature made for under $500,000) Director: Mora Stephens

Best Supporting Female: Amy Adams, "Junebug"

Best Supporting Male: Matt Dillon, "Crash"

Best Female Lead
: Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica"

Best Male Lead: Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"

Best Cinematography: Robert Elswit, "Good Night, and Good Luck"

Best Foreign Film
: "Paradise Now" Director: Hany Abu-Assad

Best Documentary
: "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" Director: Alex Gibney

AMC/American Express Producers Award: Caroline Baron, "Capote", "Monsoon Wedding" ($25,000 unrestricted grant — honors producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality independent films.)

IFC/Acura Someone To Watch Award
: Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana, "Cavite" ($25,000 unrestricted — honors a director of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.)

Truer Than Fiction Award: Ian Olds and Garrett Scott, "Occupation: Dreamland" ($25,000 unrestricted — presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features.)

For more on the Independent Spirit Awards, check out the report at Indiewire / Yahoo!

Like most pathetic movie geeks, I was up at the crack of dawn (ok, 8:30am eastern time) to see how my nomination prediction ballot would measure up. (I was perfect on all 20 acting nods and all 10 screenwriting nods, but I erroneously predicted that “Walk the Line” would get nominated over “Capote” for Best Picture, and I picked Croneberg for director over Benett Miller.) Anyhow, here are the nominations for us to rant and rave about for the next five weeks…

BEST PICTURE
Brokeback Mountain
Capote
Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Munich

BEST DIRECTOR
George Clooney – Good Night, and Good Luck.
Paul Haggis – Crash
Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain
Bennett Miller – Capote
Steven Spielberg – Munich

BEST ACTOR

Philip Seymour Hoffman – Capote
Terrence HowardHustle & Flow
Heath Ledger – Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin PhoenixWalk the Line
David Strathairn – Good Night, and Good Luck.

BEST ACTRESS
Judi DenchMrs. Henderson Presents
Felicity HuffmanTransamerica
Keira KnightleyPride & Prejudice
Charlize TheronNorth Country
Reese Witherspoon – Walk the Line

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Matt Dillon – Crash
George Clooney – Syriana
Paul GiamattiCinderella Man
Jake Gyllenhaal – Brokeback Mountain
William HurtA History of Violence

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy AdamsJunebug
Catherine Keener – Capote
Frances McDormand – North Country
Rachel WeiszThe Constant Gardener
Michelle Williams – Brokeback Mountain

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Match PointWoody Allen
The Squid & the WhaleNoah Baumbach
Good Night, and Good Luck. – George Clooney & Grant Heslov
Syriana – Stephen Gaghan
Crash – Paul Haggis & Robert Moresco

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Constant Gardener – Jeffrey Caine
Capote – Dan Futterman
Munich – Tony Kushner & Eric Roth
Brokeback Mountain – Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana
A History of Violence – Josh Olson

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Don’t Tell (La Bestia nel Cuore) – Italy
Joyeux Noel – France
Paradise Now – Palestine
Sophie Scholl – Germany
Tsotsi – South Africa

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Darwin’s Nightmare
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
March of the Penguins
Murderball
Street Fight

ANIMATED FILM
Corpse Bride
Howl’s Moving Casle
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

ART DIRECTION

Good Night, and Good Luck.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Pride & Prejudice

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Batman Begins
Brokeback Mountain
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Memoirs of a Geisha
The New World

COSTUME DESIGN

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Memoirs of a Geisha
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Pride & Prejudice
Walk the Line

FILM EDITING

Cinderella Man
The Constant Gardener
Crash
Munich
Walk the Line

MAKEUP
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Cinderella Man
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

SCORE

Brokeback Mountain
The Constant Gardener
Memoirs of a Geisha
Munich
Pride & Prejudice

SONG
“In The Deep” – Crash
“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” – Hustle & Flow
“Travelin’ Thru” – Transamerica

SOUND EDITING

King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
War of the Worlds

SOUND MIXING

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Walk the Line
War of the Worlds

VISUAL EFFECTS
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong
War of the Worlds

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of The Bang Bang Club
God Sleeps in Rwanda
The Mushroom Club
A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

Ausreisser (The Runaway)
Cashback
The Last Farm
Our Time Is Up
Six Shooter

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Badgered
The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
9
One Man Band

I hate to sound like a geek (actually, no I don’t), but how was Episode III not nominated for best FX? And would it have been so hard for the Academy to throw some small amount of love towards Sin City?

And how the hell was Serenity not nominated for Best Picture???

Movie geeks all over the place have admired character actor David Strathairn for several years now, but with his mega-praised performance in "Good Night, and Good Luck." in plain view, it looks the the guy will be getting some meatier roles sometime soon. First up: a New Line legal thriller entitled "Fracture."

Says The Hollywood Reporter: "David Strathairn, currently receiving accolades for his work in "Good Night, and Good Luck," has come aboard "Fracture," a thriller being directed by Gregory Hoblit for Castle Rock Entertainment and New Line Cinema.

Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins already have been cast in the story that follows an assistant district attorney (Gosling) who plays a cat-and-mouse game with a man (Hopkins) who tried to kill his wife but was set free on a series of technicalities.

Strathairn plays the district attorney, Gosling’s boss."

(My favorite Strathairn performance is still that of White Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte in John Sayles’ "Eight Men Out.")

If you didn’t watch tonight’s Golden Globes Awards, you missed out on two big winners, a few personal triumphs, and (surprisingly) few fire-your-stylist fashion faux pas. Read on for the entire list of winners from the television and film honorees (here’s a hint: the Hollywood Foreign Press sure like those cowboys)!

Leading the Golden Globes with seven nominations, Ang Lee’s cowboy love story “Brokeback Mountain” emerged victorious with four awards for Best Picture (Drama), Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Song (“A Love That Will Never Grow Old”).

Also winning multiple honors, the Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” took home three awards in the Musical or Comedy category, including Best Picture. Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix, who star as June and Johnny Cash, each won Golden Globes for their performances.

Adding to the gay-friendly honors of the night were Felicity Huffman, who nabbed Best Actress for her portrayal of a pre-operative transsexual in “TransAmerica,” and Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose spot-on personification of gay author Truman Capote in "Capote"won him a Best Actor trophy.

Two other front-runners for the Globes, George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck” and Woody Allen’s “Match Point,” came out empty-handed despite each having four nominations apiece (Clooney, at least, won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in "Syriana"). Meanwhile, the critical dud “Memoirs of a Geisha” (currently at 33 percent on the Tomatometer) came out a winner for Best Original Score, thanks to composer extraordinaire John Williams. And finally, Sir Anthony Hopkins Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award from his “Proof” co-star Gwyneth Paltrow.

In the realm of television, awards went to ABC’s “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” for Best Drama Series and Comedy Series, respectively, and HBO’s “Empire Falls” for Best Mini-Series or TV Movie. Read on for the complete list of television and film winners.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
"Brokeback Mountain"

Also nominated:
"The Constant Gardener"
"Good Night, and Good Luck"
"A History of Violence"
"Match Point"

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Drama
Felicity Huffman, "TransAmerica"

Also nominated:
Maria Bello, "A History of Violence"
Gwyneth Paltrow, "Proof"
Charlize Theron, "North Country"
Ziyi Zhang, "Memoirs of a Geisha"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Drama
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"

Also nominated:
Russell Crowe, "Cinderella Man"
Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"
Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain"
David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck"

Best Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy
"Walk the Line"

Also nominated:
"Mrs. Henderson Presents"
"Pride & Prejudice"
"The Producers"
"The Squid and the Whale"

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy
Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line"

Also nominated:
Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"
Keira Knightley, "Pride & Prejudice"
Laura Linney, "The Squid and the Whale"
Sarah Jessica Parker, "The Family Stone"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy
Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line"

Also nominated:
Pierce Brosnan, "The Matador"
Jeff Daniels, "The Squid and the Whale"
Johnny Depp, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
Nathan Lane, "The Producers"
Cillian Murphy, "Breakfast on Pluto"

Best Foreign Language Film
"Paradise Now" (Palestine)

Also nominated:
"Kung Fu Hustle" (China)
"Master of the Crimson Armor AKA The Promise" (China)
"Merry Christmas (Joyeaux Noel)" (France)
"Tsotsi" (South Africa)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
Rachel Weisz, "The Constant Gardener"

Also nominated:
Scarlett Johansson, "Match Point"
Shirley MacLaine, "In Her Shoes"
Frances McDormand, "North Country"
Michelle Williams, "Brokeback Mountain"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
George Clooney, "Syriana"

Also nominated:
Matt Dillon, "Crash"
Will Ferrell, "The Producers"
Paul Giamatti, "Cinderella Man"
Bob Hoskins, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"

Best Director – Motion Picture
Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain"

Also nominated:
Woody Allen, "Match Point"
George Clooney, "Good Night, and Good Luck"
Peter Jackson, "King Kong"
Fernando Meirelles, "The Constant Gardener"
Steven Spielberg, "Munich"

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, "Brokeback Mountain"

Also nominated:
Woody Allen, "Match Point"
George Clooney & Grant Heslov, "Good Night, and Good Luck"
Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, "Crash"
Tony Kushner & Eric Roth, "Munich"

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
John Williams, "Memoirs of a Geisha"

Also nominated:
Alexandre Desplat, "Syriana"
James Newton Howard, "King Kong"
Gustavo Santaolalla, "Brokeback Mountain"
Harry Gregson, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
"A Love That Will Never Grow Old" – "Brokeback Mountain"

Also nominated:
"Christmas In Love" – "Christmas In Love"
"There’s Nothing Like a Show on Broadway" – "The Producers"
"Travelin’ Thru" – "TransAmerica"
"Wunderkind" – "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"

Best Television Series – Drama
"Lost" (ABC)

Also nominated:
"Commander In Chief" (ABC)
"Grey’s Anatomy" (ABC)
"Prison Break" (FOX)
"Rome" (HBO)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Geena Davis, "Commander In Chief"

Also nominated:
Patricia Arquette, "Medium"
Glenn Close, "The Shield"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
Polly Walker, "Rome"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Hugh Laurie, "House"

Also nominated:
Patrick Dempsey, "Grey’s Anatomy"
Matthew Fox, "Lost"
Wentworth Miller, "Prison Break"
Kiefer Sutherland, "24"

Best Television Series – Musical Or Comedy
"Desperate Housewives" (ABC)

Also nominated:
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)
"Entourage" (HBO)
"Everybody Hates Chris" (UPN)
"My Name Is Earl" (NBC)
"Weeds" (Showtime)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Musical Or Comedy
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"

Also nominated:
Marcia Cross, "Desperate Housewives"
Teri Hatcher, "Desperate Housewives"
Felicity Huffman, "Desperate Housewives"
Eva Longoria, "Desperate Housewives"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Musical Or Comedy
Steve Carell, "The Office"

Also nominated:
Zach Braff, "Scrubs"
Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Jason Lee, "My Name Is Earl"
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men"

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
"Empire Falls" (HBO)

Also nominated:
"Into The West" (TNT)
"Lackawanna Blues" (HBO)
"Sleeper Cell" (Showtime)
"Viva Blackpool" (BBC America)
"Warm Springs" (HBO)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
S. Epatha Merkerson, "Lackawanna Blues"

Also nominated:
Halle Berry, "Their Eyes Were Watching God"
Kelly MacDonald, "The Girl in the Café"
Cynthia Nixon, "Warm Springs"
Mira Sorvino, "Human Trafficking"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, "Elvis"

Also nominated:
Kenneth Branagh, "Warm Springs"
Ed Harris, "Empire Falls"
Bill Nighy, "The Girl in the Café"
Donald Sutherland, "Human Trafficking"

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sandra Oh, "Grey’s Anatomy"

Also nominated:
Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal"
Camryn Manheim, "Elvis"
Elizabeth Perkins, "Weeds"
Joanne Woodward, "Empire Falls"

Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
Paul Newman, "Empire Falls"

Also nominated:
Naveen Andrews, "Lost"
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage"
Randy Quaid, "Elvis"
Donald Sutherland, "Commander In Chief"" accepted the

The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) cast their ballots over the holiday weekend in an effort to pick the group’s favorite flicks from 2005, and I think we did a pretty solid job, all things considered.

Best Picture

A History of Violence

Best Director

David Cronenberg, A History of Violence

Best Actor

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

Best Actress

Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

Best Supporting Actor

Mickey Rourke, Sin City

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bello, A History of Violence

Best Original Screenplay

George Clooney and Grant Heslov, Good Night, and Good Luck.

Best Adapted Screenplay


Larry McMurtry
& Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain

Best Cinematography

Robert Rodriguez, Sin City

Best Editing

Robert Rodriguez, Sin City

Best Score

Gustavo Santaolalla, Brokeback Mountain

Best Documentary

Grizzly Man

Best Foreign Language Film

Downfall

Best Animated Feature

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Breakthrough Filmmaker

Paul Haggis, Crash

Breakthrough Performer

Owen Kline, The Squid and the Whale

Founded in 1997, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) is the professional association for film journalists, scholars and historians who publish their reviews, interviews and essays exclusively or primarily in the online media. The mission of the society is to further the growth of an informed film audience through the online media and to promote awareness of the Internet as a viable media alternative.

Also, we really like movies based on dark graphic novels.

The film critics of Central Ohio have chimed in with their own year-end picks, and they came up with quite a few solid surprises, actually. How about "A History of Violence" as best film of the year?

Best Picture

A History of Violence
Runner up: Brokeback Mountain

Best Direction

David Cronenberg, A History of Violence
Runner up: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain

Best Lead Performance

Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
Runner up: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

Best Supporting Performance

Maria Bello, A History of Violence
Runner up: Amy Adams, Junebug

Actor of the Year

Heath Ledger — Brokeback Mountain, Casanova, Lords of Dogtown, The Brothers Grimm
Runner up: Terrence HowardCrash, Four Brothers, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Hustle & Flow

Best Ensemble

Munich
Runner up: Brokeback Mountain

Best Screenplay

Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain
Runner up: George Clooney and Grant Heslov, Good Night, and Good Luck

Best Formal Design

Sin City
Runner up: Brokeback Mountain

Best Sound Design

War of the Worlds
Runner up: Walk the Line

Breakthrough Film Artist

Amy Adams — Junebug
Runner up: Joe WrightPride & Prejudice

Top Ten Films

A History of Violence
Brokeback Mountain
Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Good Night, and Good Luck
Munich
Murderball
Crash
Sin City
Pride & Prejudice
Batman Begins

As always, we thank Movie City News for sharing all the lists.