(Photo by Marvel Studios / Disney, 20th Century Fox, Miramax, TriStar)

For their bravery, wit, general badassery, and unbroken spirit in the face of enormous challenges (be they gender discrimination or acid-hissing aliens), we pay tribute to 87 Fearless Movie Women Who Inspire Us.

How did we arrive at our top 87? With the help of a fearless panel of women critics made up of some of the best writers in the industry, including a few on the Rotten Tomatoes staff. Starting with a long list of candidates, they whittled down the list to an initial set of 72 amazingly heroic characters and ordered them, crowning the most fearless woman movie hero in the process. Want to know more about the ladies who voted? We included their bios at the end! Then, in addition to their contributions, which make up the bulk of the list, we also added a handful of more recent entries chosen by the RT staff.

The final list (you can watch every movie in a special FandangoNOW collection) gives compelling insight into which heroes have resonated through the years, women whose big-screen impact remains even as the times change. We have the usual suspects along with plenty of surprises (Working Girl, your day has come!), and the only way to discover them all is reading on for the 87 fearless women movie heroes — and groups of heroes — who inspire us!


ALIEN, Sigourney Weaver, 1979, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

 

Alien (1979) 98%

#1One of the appeals of science-fiction is the luxury to comment on modern issues and social mores, or even eschew them completely. Take a look at the diverse space crews in Star Trek, Sunshine, or Alien, where people are hired based on nothing but competence, and none have proven their competence under extreme pressure as well as Ellen Ripley. She’s tough, pragmatic, and cunning in Alien. Journey with Ripley into Aliens and we get to see her in a new light: mothering and nurturing with hints of deep empathy (Sigourney Weaver was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for this performance), which only makes the Xenomorph-stomping side of her even more badass.


WORKING GIRL, Melanie Griffith, 1988 (20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

 

Working Girl (1988) 84%

#2And on the other side of the Sigourney spectrum, Weaver here plays Katharine, a particular kind of woman who’s nasty to the competition: other women. The object of her scorn is her secretary, Tess McGill (played by Melanie Griffith), who has her great ideas stolen by Katharine. The plucky Tess in turn pretends to be her boss’s colleague, and proceeds to shake things up in this corporate Cinderella story. Who doesn’t dream of one day suddenly arriving in a higher echelon of society? Of course, it’s what you do once you get there that’s important, and the glowing and tenacious Tess makes the most of it.


Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Marvel)

 

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) 93%

#3Hard-drinking, ass-kicking Valkyrie makes no apologies for her choices and draws solid boundaries. Sure, she’s flawed, but that’s what makes her successes so sweet. That she’s played by Tessa Thompson doubles the fun.


Letitia Wright as Shuri (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

(Photo by Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

 

Black Panther (2018) 96%

#4Letitia Wright proved that a sister doesn’t have to sit in the shadow of her sibling simply because he’s king. Her Shuri has the smarts and the sass to cut her own path, making her technical genius essential not only to the Kingdom of Wakanda, but also the Avengers’ recent efforts to take down the tyrant Thanos.


Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures (Fox 2000 Pictures)

(Photo by Fox 2000 Pictures)

 

Hidden Figures (2016) 93%

#5Don’t ask us to choose a favorite among Hidden Figures’ Space Race heroines: Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson. The Oscar-nominated drama tells the story of a real-life team of female African-American mathematicians crucial to NASA’s early space program.


Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road (Jasin Boland/Warner Bros)

(Photo by )

 

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 97%

#6As Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron blazed a trail for enslaved post-apocalyptic cult wives in skimpy clothing – literally. With an assist from Max (Tom Hardy), soldier Furiosa set the road on fire to rescue her charges from madman Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), leader of the Citadel.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Daisy Ridley as Rey (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd)

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd)

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) 91%

#7Daisy Ridley gave girls everywhere – and full-grown women, in truth – a fresh new hero to adore when she debuted in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Of humble origins, scrappy Rey overcomes her circumstances living as an orphan in a harsh environment to become an essential component in the Resistance. It helps, of course, that The Force is with her.


 

WONDER WOMAN, Gal Gadot (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(Photo by Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

Wonder Woman (2017) 93%

#8Despite her superpowers and privileged background, Gal Gadot as Diana – princess of Themyscira and the Amazons, daughter of Queen Hippolyta and King of the Gods Zeus – retains her humility and a genuine care for humanity. She’s also the most rock solid member of DC’s boys club of Justice League superheroes.


Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Carrie Fisher as Leia (20th Century Fox)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

 

Star Wars: Episode VI -- Return of the Jedi (1983) 82%

#9Come on…she’s Princess Leia. She leads the Rebel Alliance. She saves the galaxy again and again (with a little help from Luke, and Han, and Chewy). She eventually becomes a revered general, but from the very start – when she first confronts Darth Vader at the beginning of Episode IV – A New Hope – she shows a defiant, fiery nature that never dims. In her defining film role, Carrie Fisher brings impeccable comic timing to this cosmic princess.


Jennifer Lawrence as Ree, Winters Bone (Roadside Attractions)

(Photo by Roadside Attractions)

 

Winter's Bone (2010) 94%

#10Before she was Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence was Ree, the role that made her a star and earned her the first of four Oscar nominations. A no-nonsense teenager, Ree dares to brave the dangers lurking within the Ozark Mountains to track down her drug-dealing father and protect her siblings and their home. With each quietly treacherous encounter, she shows depth and instincts beyond her years, and a willingness to fight for what matters.


 

Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster as Clarice (Orion Pictures Corporation)

(Photo by )

 

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 96%

#11You can’t have any fear when you’re going up against Hannibal Lecter – or at least you can’t show it. He’ll sniff it out from a mile away. But what’s exciting about Jodie Foster’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the young FBI cadet is the way she works through her fear, harnessing that nervous energy alongside her powerful intellect and dogged determination. Clarice Starling is a hero for every little girl who thought she wasn’t good enough.


Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich (Universal Pictures)

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

 

Erin Brockovich (2000) 85%

#12Julia Roberts won a best-actress Oscar for her charismatic portrayal of this larger-than-life, real-life figure. Erin Brockovich is repeatedly underestimated because of the flashy way she dresses and the brash way she carries herself. But as a single mom who becomes an unlikely environmental advocate, she’s a steely fighter. What she lacks in book smarts, she more than makes up for with heart. Steven Soderbergh’s film is an inspiring underdog story.


BROADCAST NEWS, Holly Hunter (20th Century Fox)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

 

Broadcast News (1987) 98%

#13Jane Craig is the toughest, sharpest, most prepared woman in the newsroom at all times, but she isn’t afraid to cry to let it all out when the pressure gets too great. Writer-director James L. Brooks created this feminist heroine, this workplace goddess, but Holly Hunter brilliantly brings her to life. She’s just so vibrant. Even when she’s sitting still (which isn’t often), you can feel her thinking. And while two men compete for her attention, no man could ever define her.


FARGO, Frances McDormand (MGM Studios)

(Photo by MGM Studios)

 

Fargo (1996) 94%

#14It would be easy to underestimate Marge Gunderson. Sure, she’s in a position of power as the Brainerd, Minnesota, police chief. But with her folksy manner – and the fact that she’s so pregnant, she’s about to burst – she’s not exactly the most intimidating figure. But in the hands of the brilliant Frances McDormand, she’s consistently the smartest and most fearless person in the room, and she remains one of the Coen brothers’ most enduring characters. You betcha.


AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, Danai Gurira as Okoye (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)

(Photo by Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)

 

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 85%

#15Danai Gurira plays Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje who specializes in spear fighting and strategic wig flipping. Of late, Okoye has been seen keeping company with Avengers.


Bridget Jones's Diary, Renée Zellweger (Miramax Films)

(Photo by Miramax Films)

 

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

#16Things Bridget Jones is prone to: accidents, fantasizing about sexy coworkers, worrying about her weight, and running mad into the snow wearing tiger-print underwear. All totally relatable things, so it’s no surprise she’s the highest-ranked romcom heroine on this list. It also doesn’t hurt that, at their best, Bridget’s movies are what romantic comedies aspire to: They’re fun, cute, and just when it feels like everything’s about to fall apart, there’s the exhilarating little twist at the end that leaves watchers feel like they’re floating on air.


CLUELESS, Alicia Silverstone as Cher (Paramount Pictures)

(Photo by Paramount Pictures)

 

Clueless (1995) 81%

#17It’s true that Cher is a little oblivious to the world at large, but she’s just so earnest and she tries so hard. She discovers a passion for doing good after successfully matchmaking a pair of teachers, and after a series of difficult lessons learned, she makes an honest effort to escape her privileged bubble and become a better person. Like we all should.


THELMA & LOUISE, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis (MGM Studios)

(Photo by MGM Studios)

 

Thelma & Louise (1991) 85%

#18Thelma and Louise, best friends who stick by each other no matter what. And when their girls’ getaway weekend quickly turns from frivolous to frightening, they find even deeper levels of loyalty to each other. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon have an effortless chemistry with each other, and Ridley Scott’s intimate and thrilling film never judges these women for the decisions they make — or for the lengths to which they’ll go in the name of freedom.


THE COLOR PURPLE, Whoopi Goldberg (Warner Brothers)

(Photo by Warner Brothers)

 

The Color Purple (1985) 81%

#19Enduring racism, misogyny, and emotional, physical, and sexual violence, Celie (Whoopi Goldberg in her film debut) transcends her traumatic life in the rural South, finding friends, strength, and her own voice.


A FANTASTIC WOMAN, (UNA MUJER FANTASTICA), Daniela Vega (Sony Pictures Classics)

(Photo by Sony Pictures Classics)

 

A Fantastic Woman (2017) 94%

#20As a transgender waitress, Marina constantly endures cruelty and confusion from the ignorant people around her. When the one man who loves her for who she truly is dies unexpectedly, she finds herself in the midst of an even more emotional, personal fight. Transgender actress Daniela Vega initially was hired as a consultant on Sebastian Lelio’s film; instead, she became its star, and A Fantastic Woman deservedly won this year’s foreign-language Oscar.


Terminator 2, Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor (TriStar Pictures)

(Photo by TriStar Pictures)

 

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 93%

#21Sarah Connor makes many want to be a better mother – or at least get to the gym and work on our triceps. The once-timid waitress crafts herself into a force of nature, a fearsome and visceral manifestation of pure maternal instinct. Played most memorably by Linda Hamilton in the first two Terminator movies, Sarah may seem unhinged, but she’s got laser-like focus when it comes to protecting her son, John, from the many threats coming his way.


Jackie Brown, Pam Grier (Miramax Films)

(Photo by Miramax Films)

 

Jackie Brown (1997) 87%

#22The return of blaxploitation queen, Pam Grier! What’s not to love? Especially in Quentin Tarantino’s killer love letter to South Bay Los Angeles. As Jackie Brown, Grier exudes classic cool with a tough exterior.


Zero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain (Richard Olley/Columbia Pictures)

(Photo by Richard Olley/Columbia Pictures)

 

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) 91%

#23Jessica Chastain has made a career of playing quick-witted characters with nerves of steel. Nowhere is this truer than in her starring role in Kathryn Bigelow’s thrilling depiction of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Maya is obsessively focused in her pursuit of the al Qaeda leader. She’s a confident woman who has to be extra prepared to survive in a man’s world. But when the mission is over and she finally allows some emotion to shine through, it’s cathartic for us all.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner Brothers/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Warner Brothers/ Everett Collection)

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 90%

#24She’s the smartest kid in the class, regardless of the subject. The hardest worker, too. And she’s proud of those qualities, making her an excellent role model for girls out there with an interest in math and science. But Hermione isn’t all about the books. Over the eight Harry Potter films, in Emma Watson’s increasingly confident hands, Hermione reveals her resourcefulness, loyalty, and grace. She’s a great student but an even better friend.


Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/ Everett Collection)

 

His Girl Friday (1940) 99%

#25Howard Hawks’ celebrated screwball comedy benefited from a not-so-small change to the stage play it was based on: In the original The Front Page, Hildy Johnson was a male. But thanks to Rosalind Russell’s lively performance, as well as a few script changes she personally insisted upon, the character blossomed into an early icon of the independent working woman who’s not only just as effective at her job as her male counterparts, but also equally adept with a witty comeback.


The Incredibles (Walt Disney/ Everett Collection)

(Photo by Walt Disney/ Everett Collection)

 

The Incredibles (2004) 97%

#26Elastigirl takes on all the trials of motherhood: She’s got hyper kids, a bored husband, and has to witness certain parts of her body unperkify. Elastigirl also just happens to be a superhero, with the fate of the world resting on her shoulders.


Gina Torres in Serenity (Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Serenity (2005) 82%

#27Fans of the short-lived but beloved Fox sci-fi series Firefly were already familiar with Gina Torres‘ badassery as Zoe Washburne in Serenity. A veteran of the Unification War and second in command of the ship, Zoe is a strong and loyal ally who rarely pulls punches, whether she’s stating a controversial opinion or engaged in a literal fistfight. With her free spirit and deadly skills, it’s no wonder she became a fan favorite.


Dolly Parton in 9 to 5 (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

 

9 to 5 (1980) 83%

#28Dolly Parton is a national treasure, and 9 to 5 allows her to light up the screen with her sparkling, charismatic personality. But while Doralee may seem like a sweet Southern gal, she’s got a stiff backbone and a sharp tongue, and she isn’t afraid to use them when she’s crossed. When she finally stands up to her sexist bully of a boss alongside co-workers Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, it’s nothing short of a revolution – one that remains sadly relevant today.


Geena Davis in A Legaue of Their Own (Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

A League of Their Own (1992) 80%

#29The story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is one that deserves to be told, and it’s Geena Davis Dottie Hinson who grounds this fictional account. She’s a talented local player who becomes the star of the Rockford Peaches, and it’s her quick thinking that brings publicity to the sport. When her decision to play in the World Series leads to a spectacular finish, she also demonstrates a very human vulnerability, making her a strong but relatable heroine.


Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice (Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Pride & Prejudice (2005) 86%

#30Jane Austen’s classic heroine Elizabeth Bennet jumps off the page in the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley, who gives audiences an intelligent, down-to-Earth, sometimes literally dirty, but uncompromisingly steadfast leading lady.


Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde (courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Everett Collection)

 

Legally Blonde (2001) 70%

#31Never underestimate a sorority girl. They are organized and they know how to get what the want. In the case of Elle Woods, she goes after her law school goals with a smile on her face, a spring in her step, and an impeccably coordinated wardrobe. Reese Witherspoon is impossibly adorable in the role, with a potent combination of smarts and heart to shut down the naysayers who are foolish enough to judge her simply by her looks.


Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow (©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 91%

#32Talk brashly and carry a big sword. As Tom Cruise’s character unravels a complex time travel sci-fi story, a constant in his fluctuating world is Rita Vrataski aka the killer Angel of Verdun. But Emily Blunt gives life to Rita beyond burgeoning love interest. She takes the lead and makes the movie just as much her’s.


Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

 

Captain Marvel (2019) 79%

#33When Nick Fury sent that mysterious intergalactic text message right before disappearing into dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, eager fans knew what was in store. As played by Brie Larson, Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU — if not THE most powerful — and she’s in such high demand that she spends most of her time battling evil on other planets. She shows up when it counts, though, and she can rock a mowhawk like nobody’s business.


Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds in A Quiet Place (Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Paramount /Courtesy Everett Collection)

 

A Quiet Place (2018) 96%

#34Though hit hard by tragedy and seemingly insurmountable odds of surviving an alien invasion, mother and daughter duo Evelin and Regan Abbott prove their mettle in A Quiet Place.


Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek: The Motion Picture Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

(Photo by Paramount Pictures / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

 

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) 44%

#35Played first in film by the groundbreaking star of the Star Trek TV series, Nichelle Nichols, the role was passed on to Zoe Saldana in the 2009 reboot film. Uhura, the USS Enterprise chief communications officer, was a critical crew member throughout the franchise in both TV and film.


Dafne Keen in Logan (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Logan (2017) 94%

#36Who can stand up to Hugh Jackman’s fierce Wolverine without flinching? His cloned daughter X-23. Dafne Keen imbued the preteen mutant, a.k.a. “Laura,” with a volatile mix of anger, despondency, obstinance, and hope – that we would very much like to see more of.


Kristy Swanson in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection)

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) 36%

#37She’s Buffy. She slays vampires while juggling cheerleading and the SATs. But while Kristy Swanson gives the character a satricial bent, it’s the legendary TV adaptation that gives this character a lasting legacy. But the movie ain’t a bad place to start.

The Night Before

(Photo by Sarah Shatz/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

50 Movies With Epic Parties To Stream Right Now

In these days of six-feet-apart distancing, the idea of throwing/attending/completely humiliating yourself at a wild party is out of the question – no matter how much you might currently be fantasizing about doing just that. We here at Rotten Tomatoes have been feeling the itch for company of late too, and with that in mind decided to help bring the party home to you – with the help of some of the most out-of-control gatherings ever committed to screen. Start streaming one of the films below and – voila – you’ll be surrounded by booze, music, and friends. (Bonus: Your friends might include Kirsten Dunst, Seth Rogen, and Dave Chappelle.)

There’s something for everyone here: a ton of house parties for those looking for a Solo cup vibe; decadent bacchanals for those who want to live fancy (Romeo + JulietThe Great GatsbyMarie Antoinette); office parties for those missing their colleagues (The ApartmentOffice Christmas Party); and a sci-fi rave (The Matrix: Reloaded), a period ball (Pride and Prejudice), and some kink (Eyes Wide Shut) for good measure. (Note: We decided to leave some epic parties out, because, well, we didn’t like how the ended – looking at you Carrie and Scream.)

With that said, it’s now time to do our hair, grab something from mom’s liquor cabinet, and call an Uber – er, we mean, plonk ourselves on the couch. Party’s about to start and you don’t want to be unfashionably late.

Let us know your favorite movie party in the comments – and which movie characters you’d have on your party guest list. To see where to stream each movie, click into the title for more details. 

#46

200 Cigarettes (1999)
30%

#46
Adjusted Score: 31473%
Critics Consensus: A clumsy and scattered comedy with a poorly executed script.
Synopsis: This ensemble comedy follows an array of young people in New York City on New Year's Eve. Among the numerous... [More]
Directed By: Risa Bramon Garcia

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 95932%
Critics Consensus: Nostalgic in the best sense, Everybody Wants Some!! finds Richard Linklater ambling through the past with a talented cast, a sweetly meandering story, and a killer classic rock soundtrack.
Synopsis: In 1980 Texas, a college freshman (Blake Jenner) meets his new baseball teammates (Will Brittain, Ryan Guzman), an unruly group... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#14

Superbad (2007)
88%

#14
Adjusted Score: 97117%
Critics Consensus: Deftly balancing vulgarity and sincerity while placing its protagonists in excessive situations, Superbad is an authentic take on friendship and the overarching awkwardness of the high school experience.
Synopsis: High-school seniors Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) have high hopes for a graduation party: The co-dependent teens plan... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#13

Adventureland (2009)
89%

#13
Adjusted Score: 98911%
Critics Consensus: Full of humor and nostalgia, Adventureland is a sweet, insightful coming-of-age comedy that will resonate with teens and adults alike.
Synopsis: It's the summer of 1987, and recent college grad James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) can't wait to begin his long-anticipated dream... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#12

Almost Famous (2000)
89%

#12
Adjusted Score: 95938%
Critics Consensus: Almost Famous, with its great ensemble performances and story, is a well-crafted, warm-hearted movie that successfully draws you into its era.
Synopsis: Set in 1973, it chronicles the funny and often poignant coming of age of 15-year-old William, an unabashed music fan... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#45
Adjusted Score: 37930%
Critics Consensus: It has an amusing enough premise, but Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead will just leave viewers pining for the madcap hijinks promised by the title.
Synopsis: Sue Ellen Crandell (Christina Applegate) is a teenager eagerly awaiting her mother's (Concetta Tomei) summer-long absence. While the babysitter (Eda... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Herek

#44

Beerfest (2006)
41%

#44
Adjusted Score: 44146%
Critics Consensus: Beerfest features some laugh-inducing gags, but is too long and the pacing too uneven to form a coherent, functioning comedy.
Synopsis: Two brothers (Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter) from America happen upon a secret and centuries-old beer-games competition during a visit to... [More]
Directed By: Jay Chandrasekhar

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 51300%
Critics Consensus: Its cast of gifted comics is good for a handful of laughs, but Office Christmas Party's overstuffed plot ultimately proves roughly as disappointing as its clichéd gags and forced sentimentality.
Synopsis: When the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother's (T.J. Miller) branch, he and his chief technical officer... [More]
Directed By: Josh Gordon, Will Speck

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 44579%
Critics Consensus: Occasionally clever and moderately intelligent, Can't Hardly Wait also contains too many cheap laughs, recycled plotting, and flat characters.
Synopsis: School's out, and an entire graduating class -- from football stars and cool girls to complete nerds -- gathers at... [More]

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 47931%
Critics Consensus: A tiresome movie about unsympathetic college kids engaging in self-destructive behaviors.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, "Rules" centers around Partrick Bateman's younger brother and his college friends bizarre... [More]
Directed By: Roger Avary

#2
Adjusted Score: 76486%
Critics Consensus: Romy and Michele's High School Reunion has an admittedly slight premise, but it's elevated by ample heart, an infectiously playful spirit, and the buoyant chemistry of Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino.
Synopsis: Ten years after their high school graduation, Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) haven't exactly accomplished everything that they... [More]
Directed By: David Mirkin

#1

Say Anything... (1989)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100654%
Critics Consensus: One of the definitive Generation X movies, Say Anything... is equally funny and heartfelt -- and it established John Cusack as an icon for left-of-center types everywhere.
Synopsis: In a charming, critically acclaimed tale of first love, Lloyd (John Cusack), an eternal optimist, seeks to capture the heart... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#40

P.C.U. (1994)
44%

#40
Adjusted Score: 43267%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Nervous high school senior Tom Lawrence (Chris Young) visits Port Chester University, where he gets a taste of politically correct... [More]
Directed By: Hart Bochner

#39

The Great Gatsby (2013)
48%

#39
Adjusted Score: 59803%
Critics Consensus: While certainly ambitious -- and every bit as visually dazzling as one might expect -- Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby emphasizes visual splendor at the expense of its source material's vibrant heart.
Synopsis: Midwest native Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) arrives in 1922 New York in search of the American dream. Nick, a would-be... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#30

Spring Breakers (2012)
67%

#30
Adjusted Score: 73777%
Critics Consensus: Spring Breakers blends stinging social commentary with bikini cheesecake and a bravura James Franco performance.
Synopsis: College students Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) are short of the cash... [More]
Directed By: Harmony Korine

#29
Adjusted Score: 72388%
Critics Consensus: Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger add strong performances to an unexpectedly clever script, elevating 10 Things (slightly) above typical teen fare.
Synopsis: Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is beautiful, smart and quite abrasive to most of her fellow teens, meaning that she doesn't... [More]
Directed By: Gil Junger

#28

The Night Before (2015)
69%

#28
Adjusted Score: 74215%
Critics Consensus: The Night Before provokes enough belly laughs to qualify as a worthwhile addition to the list of Christmas comedies worth revisiting, even if it isn't quite as consistent as the classics.
Synopsis: For the last 10 years, lifelong buddies Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have gathered on... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 71990%
Critics Consensus: Undeniably lowbrow but surprisingly sly, Revenge of the Nerds has enough big laughs to qualify as a minor classic in the slobs-vs.-snobs subgenre.
Synopsis: Geeky college students Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) and Lewis (Robert Carradine) are evicted from their dormitory when the Alpha Betas --... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Kanew

#26
Adjusted Score: 76776%
Critics Consensus: Baz Luhrmann's visual aesthetic is as divisive as it is fresh and inventive.
Synopsis: Baz Luhrmann helped adapt this classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy for the screen, updating the setting to a post-modern city named... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#25

Neighbors (2014)
73%

#25
Adjusted Score: 81567%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of bawdy humor evenly spread between its well-matched stars, Neighbors earns its R rating -- and filmgoers' laughs.
Synopsis: New parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) move to the suburbs when they welcome an infant daughter into... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 81663%
Critics Consensus: Though its heady themes are a departure from its predecessor, The Matrix Reloaded is a worthy sequel packed with popcorn-friendly thrills.
Synopsis: Freedom fighters Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) continue to lead the revolt against the Machine... [More]

#23

Wedding Crashers (2005)
76%

#23
Adjusted Score: 82402%
Critics Consensus: Wedding Crashers is both raunchy and sweet, and features top-notch comic performances from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
Synopsis: Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) and John (Owen Wilson) are divorce mediators who spend their free time crashing wedding receptions. For the... [More]
Directed By: David Dobkin

#22

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
76%

#22
Adjusted Score: 82227%
Critics Consensus: Kubrick's intense study of the human psyche yields an impressive cinematic work.
Synopsis: After Dr. Bill Hartford's (Tom Cruise) wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met,... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 32080%
Critics Consensus: It has a charming sweetness about it, but Take Me Home Tonight is neither funny nor original enough to live up to the comedies it evokes.
Synopsis: Recent MIT grad Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) should be well on his way to a successful career at a Fortune... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dowse

#47

Project X (2012)
28%

#47
Adjusted Score: 34053%
Critics Consensus: Unoriginal, unfunny, and all-around unattractive, Project X mines the depths of the teen movie and found-footage genres for 87 minutes of predictably mean-spirited debauchery.
Synopsis: Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper) and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) are three anonymous high-school seniors who are determined to... [More]
Directed By: Nima Nourizadeh

#33

American Pie (1999)
61%

#33
Adjusted Score: 66633%
Critics Consensus: So embarrassing it's believable, American Pie succeeds in bringing back the teen movie genre.
Synopsis: A riotous and raunchy exploration of the most eagerly anticipated -- and most humiliating -- rite of adulthood, known as... [More]
Directed By: Paul Weitz

#32
Adjusted Score: 75833%
Critics Consensus: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising may not be strictly necessary, but it still wrings a surprising amount of humor from a recycled premise with a distaff twist.
Synopsis: Life is good for Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and pregnant wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) until the unruly sisters of Kappa... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#38

Bachelor Party (1984)
54%

#38
Adjusted Score: 54867%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On the eve of his wedding to his longtime girlfriend, Debbie (Tawny Kitaen), unassuming nice guy Rick (Tom Hanks) is... [More]
Directed By: Neal Israel

#34

Old School (2003)
60%

#34
Adjusted Score: 66702%
Critics Consensus: While not consistently funny, the movie does have its moments.
Synopsis: After discovering his girlfriend (Juliette Lewis) has been participating in group sex, attorney Mitch (Luke Wilson) feels his world come... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 71041%
Critics Consensus: Its flagrantly silly script -- and immensely likable cast -- make up for most of its flaws.
Synopsis: Four pals are stuck in a rut in adulthood: Adam (John Cusack) has just been dumped, Lou (Rob Corddry) is... [More]
Directed By: Steve Pink

#6

The Apartment (1960)
93%

#6
Adjusted Score: 101914%
Critics Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.
Synopsis: Insurance worker C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lends his Upper West Side apartment to company bosses to use for extramarital affairs.... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#5

Boogie Nights (1997)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 97831%
Critics Consensus: Grounded in strong characters, bold themes, and subtle storytelling, Boogie Nights is a groundbreaking film both for director P.T. Anderson and star Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: In the San Fernando Valley in 1977, teenage busboy Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) gets discovered by porn director Jack Horner... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#21

Clueless (1995)
81%

#21
Adjusted Score: 89305%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
Synopsis: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school's pecking scale.... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#20

The Party (1968)
83%

#20
Adjusted Score: 84419%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While trying to tie his shoe, bumbling extra Hrundi V. Bakshi (Peter Sellers) unwittingly triggers explosives that destroy the set... [More]
Directed By: Blake Edwards

#19

This Is the End (2013)
83%

#19
Adjusted Score: 91205%
Critics Consensus: Energetic, self-deprecating performances and enough guffaw-inducing humor make up for the flaws in This Is the End loosely written script.
Synopsis: In Hollywood, actor James Franco is throwing a party with a slew of celebrity pals. Among those in attendance are... [More]
Directed By: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

#4

Risky Business (1983)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 95187%
Critics Consensus: Featuring one of Tom Cruise's best early performances, Risky Business is a sharp, funny examination of teen angst that doesn't stop short of exploring dark themes.
Synopsis: Ecstatic when his parents leave on vacation for a few days, high school senior Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise) cuts loose... [More]
Directed By: Paul Brickman

#3

Booksmart (2019)
96%

#3
Adjusted Score: 119724%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and fresh, Booksmart does the seemingly impossible by adding a smart new spin to the coming-of-age comedy.
Synopsis: Academic overachievers Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high... [More]
Directed By: Olivia Wilde

#18

Blockers (2018)
84%

#18
Adjusted Score: 96703%
Critics Consensus: Blockers puts a gender-swapped spin on the teen sex comedy -- one elevated by strong performances, a smartly funny script, and a surprisingly enlightened perspective.
Synopsis: Julie, Kayla and Sam are three high school seniors who make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night.... [More]
Directed By: Kay Cannon

#17

Sixteen Candles (1984)
84%

#17
Adjusted Score: 86085%
Critics Consensus: Significantly more mature than the teen raunch comedies that defined the era, Sixteen Candles is shot with compassion and clear respect for its characters and their hang-ups.
Synopsis: With the occasion all but overshadowed by her sister's upcoming wedding, angst-ridden Samantha (Molly Ringwald) faces her 16th birthday with... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 93150%
Critics Consensus: Sure, it's another adaptation of cinema's fave Jane Austen novel, but key performances and a modern filmmaking sensibility make this familiar period piece fresh and enjoyable.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved novel, Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) lives with her mother, father and sisters in... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#50
Adjusted Score: 20715%
Critics Consensus: A derivative gross-out comedy that's short on laughs.
Synopsis: He's the biggest man on campus. He's the boss with the sauce. He's the guy all the girls want and... [More]
Directed By: Walt Becker

#49

21 and Over (2013)
27%

#49
Adjusted Score: 29975%
Critics Consensus: Though it strives to mimic The Hangover, 21 and Over is too predictable, too unabashedly profane, and too inconsistently funny to carry the torch.
Synopsis: Straight-A college student Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) has always done what's been expected of him. But when his two best... [More]
Directed By: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore

#11
Adjusted Score: 95402%
Critics Consensus: The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live's irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.
Synopsis: When they arrive at college, socially inept freshmen Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst) attempt to pledge the snooty... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 96005%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Synopsis: This coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 120986%
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

#37

Weird Science (1985)
57%

#37
Adjusted Score: 58606%
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

#36

Marie Antoinette (2006)
57%

#36
Adjusted Score: 65329%
Critics Consensus: Lavish imagery and a daring soundtrack set this film apart from most period dramas; in fact, style completely takes precedence over plot and character development in Coppola's vision of the doomed queen.
Synopsis: An Austrian teenager (Kirsten Dunst) marries the Dauphin (Jason Schwartzman) of France and becomes that country's queen following the death... [More]
Directed By: Sofia Coppola

#35

Sisters (2015)
60%

#35
Adjusted Score: 66984%
Critics Consensus: Sisters' sharp blend of pathos and vulgarity, along with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's effervescent chemistry, are more than enough to make up for the handful of laughs this coming-of-age comedy leaves on the table.
Synopsis: When their parents decide to sell their home, siblings Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate (Tina Fey) learn that they have... [More]
Directed By: Jason Moore

#8
Adjusted Score: 97099%
Critics Consensus: Dave Chappelle's Block Party is a raucous return to the spotlight for the comic, buoyed by witty, infectious humor and outstanding musical performances.
Synopsis: Actor, writer and comic Dave Chappelle loads up a bus with residents of his Ohio hometown and takes them to... [More]
Starring: Dave Chappelle
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#7

House Party (1990)
93%

#7
Adjusted Score: 94796%
Critics Consensus: House Party is a light, entertaining teen comedy with an infectious energy.
Synopsis: Play's parents are out of town, and he's planning the house party to end all house parties. His best friend,... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

(Photo by Roadside Attractions/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Jane Austen Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Jane Austen books may have been around for centuries now, but in the movie world she’s as popular as she’s ever been. Austen’s mastery of irony combined with her scintillating insight and ability to mine for humor in relationships has made her novels resonate well past her lifetime and into the cinematic medium that would rise 100 years after her death.

The first significant (and surviving) adaptation was 1940’s Pride and Prejudice, starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, with the screenplay co-written by Aldous Huxley. Pride has been adapted the most out of Austen’s books, including as the Bollywood-style Bride & Prejudice, and most recently in 2005 with Keira Knightley. Sense & Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Lady Susan – a.k.a. Love & Friendship – have had one theatrical movie adaptation each. Meanwhile, Emma has had two direct adaptations: The 1996 version starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and this week’s Emma., starring Anya Taylor-Joy.

Before we see where Emma. (note the period) lands on our Tomatometer on Monday, we’ve ranked all Jane Austen movies by their score.

You won’t find the famous BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice in this list – we’re sticking strictly to theatrically releases. But we are opening it up to modernizations and looser adaptations, including Clueless (based on Emma), Material Girls and From Prada to Nada (both borne out of Sense and Sensibility), and Bridget Jones’s Diary (based on Pride and Prejudice). And because Austen fandom has evolved into a lifestyle and state of mind, we’re including movies like Austenland, The Jane Austen Book Club, and Becoming Jane.

So, get ready to dive into a world of sharp tongues and full hearts with our guide to every Jane Austen movie, ranked by Tomatometer.

#16

Material Girls (2006)
4%

#16
Adjusted Score: 4572%
Critics Consensus: Plagued by paper-thin characterizations and a hackneyed script, Material Girls fails to live up to even the minimum standards of its genre.
Synopsis: Two sibling cosmetics heiresses (Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff) must grow up quickly when a company scandal leaves them penniless. Though... [More]
Directed By: Martha Coolidge

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 20010%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Spoiled sisters Nora (Camilla Belle) and Mary (Alexa Vega) Dominguez have a life of wealth and privilege in Beverly Hills.... [More]
Directed By: Angel Gracia

#14

Austenland (2013)
32%

#14
Adjusted Score: 35357%
Critics Consensus: Despite an intriguing premise and fine performances from a talented cast, Austenland succumbs to outworn romcom cliches and slapstick gags.
Synopsis: Socially awkward Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) is obsessed with the works of Jane Austen and fantasizes about the character of... [More]
Directed By: Jerusha Hess

#13
Adjusted Score: 57977%
Critics Consensus: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies manages to wring a few fun moments out of its premise, but never delivers the thoroughly kooky mashup its title suggests.
Synopsis: In the 19th century, a mysterious plague turns the English countryside into a war zone. No one is safe as... [More]
Directed By: Burr Steers

#12

Becoming Jane (2007)
58%

#12
Adjusted Score: 62277%
Critics Consensus: Although Becoming Jane is a well-crafted period piece, it lacks fresh insight into the life and works of Jane Austen. The film focuses too much on wardrobe and not enough on Austen's achievements.
Synopsis: Though Jane Austen's (Anne Hathaway) financially strapped parents (James Cromwell, Julie Walters) expect her to marry the nephew of wealthy... [More]
Directed By: Julian Jarrold

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 69291%
Critics Consensus: A colorful and energetic adaptation of Austen's classic.
Synopsis: With four beautiful daughters of marrying age, Manorama (Nadira Babbar) and Chaman Bakshi (Anupam Kher) frantically seek out the perfect... [More]
Directed By: Gurinder Chadha

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 65139%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this modern take on the Jane Austen classic, Elizabeth (Kam Heskin), an earnest college student at Brigham Young University,... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Black

#9
Adjusted Score: 70201%
Critics Consensus: Though at times formulaic and sentimental, Jane Austen Book Club succeeds on the strength of its likable ensemble cast. Even those not familiar with Jane Austen's work may find much to enjoy this lighthearted romance.
Synopsis: Six Californians (Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Emily Blunt) form a book club devoted to studying the works of the 19th-century... [More]
Directed By: Robin Swicord

#8

Mansfield Park (1999)
77%

#8
Adjusted Score: 78627%
Critics Consensus: Solid performances, bold direction.
Synopsis: Fanny (Frances O'Connor), born into a poor family, is sent away to live with wealthy uncle Sir Thomas (Harold Pinter),... [More]
Directed By: Patricia Rozema

#7

Clueless (1995)
81%

#7
Adjusted Score: 89305%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
Synopsis: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school's pecking scale.... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 86333%
Critics Consensus: Though there was controversy over the choice of casting, Zellweger's Bridget Jones is a sympathetic, likable, funny character, giving this romantic comedy a lot of charm.
Synopsis: At the start of the New Year, 32-year-old Bridget (Renée Zellweger) decides it's time to take control of her life... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#5

Emma (1996)
85%

#5
Adjusted Score: 86735%
Critics Consensus: Emma marks an auspicious debut for writer-director Douglas McGrath, making the most of its Jane Austen source material -- and a charming performance from Gwyneth Paltrow.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel, pretty socialite Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) entertains herself by playing matchmaker for... [More]
Directed By: Douglas McGrath

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 93150%
Critics Consensus: Sure, it's another adaptation of cinema's fave Jane Austen novel, but key performances and a modern filmmaking sensibility make this familiar period piece fresh and enjoyable.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved novel, Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) lives with her mother, father and sisters in... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 109335%
Critics Consensus: Love & Friendship finds director Whit Stillman bringing his talents to bear on a Jane Austen adaptation -- with a thoroughly delightful period drama as the result.
Synopsis: In the 18th century, the seductive and manipulative Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale) uses devious tactics to win the heart of... [More]
Directed By: Whit Stillman

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 99970%
Critics Consensus: Sense and Sensibility is an uncommonly deft, very funny Jane Austen adaptation, marked by Emma Thompson's finely tuned performance.
Synopsis: When Elinor Dashwood's (Emma Thompson) father dies, her family's finances are crippled. After the Dashwoods move to a cottage in... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 100399%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the early 19th century in the English village of Meryton, the arrival of wealthy bachelors, most notably Mr. Darcy... [More]
Directed By: Robert Z. Leonard

It’s the first streaming column of the month, and you know what that means: subscription services have rolled out a ton of new selections. With that in mind, as usual, we’ve pared the list down to just the Certified Fresh options. Read on for the full list.


New on Netflix

 

Marguerite (2015) 95%

This French period drama follows a well-to-do woman with ambitions of becoming a famous singer despite a near-total lack of musical talent.

Available now on: Netflix


Once Upon a Time in the West (1969) 95%

Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, and Jason Robards headline an ensemble cast in Sergio Leone’s epic western about a pair of outcasts who help defend a recent widow from a greedy railroad baron and his sadistic thugs.

Available now on: Netflix


Patton (1970) 94%

George C. Scott delivers an iconic Oscar-winning performance as the titular general, who goes toe-to-toe with a British field marshal while working together to thwart German forces in World War II.

Available now on: Netflix


Quiz Show (1994) 96%

Based on true events, this Robert Redford drama set in the late 1950s centers on the scandals that emerged when it was discovered that a popular television quiz show had rigged its results.

Available now on: Netflix


Unforgiven (1992) 96%

In this Best Picture-winning western, Clint Eastwood stars as an aging gunslinger whose soul has been irrevocably stained by the violence of his past; Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman lend sturdy support.

Available now on: Netflix


Dazed and Confused (1993) 92%

Richard Linklater’s affectionately nostalgic look at the 1970s centers on a group of high school friends in Texas as they celebrate the last days of the school year.

Available now on: Netflix


Three Kings (1999) 94%

George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube star in David O. Russell’s Certified Fresh war satire about a trio of Gulf War soldiers who embark on a gold heist and end up witnessing the repercussions of the war firsthand.

Available now on: Netflix


Grizzly Man (2005) 92%

Werner Herzog’s engrossing documentary tells the strange, fascinating, and ultimately ill-fated story of adventurer and amateur bear expert Timothy Treadwell.

Available now on: Netflix


Barton Fink (1991) 90%

John Turturro and John Goodman star in the Coen brothers’ dark comedy about a playwright with writer’s block who moves into a Los Angeles hotel that may not be all it seems.

Available now on: Netflix


The Imitation Game (2014) 89%

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this Oscar-winning drama about pioneering scientist Alan Turing, who is recruited by the British government to help break a Nazi code during World War II.

Available now on: Netflix


Dheepan (2015) 87%

This Palme d’Or-winning drama follows a Sri Lankan refugee who experiences difficulty acclimating to Paris.

Available now on: Netflix


Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) 89%

Arguably the most celebrated — surely the most widely recognized — Audrey Hepburn film. We just prefer to pretend all the Mickey Rooney stuff doesn’t exist.

Available now on: Netflix


The Commitments (1991) 89%

This musical comedy based on the novel of the same name tells the story of a group of working-class musicians in Ireland who decide to form a soul band.

Available now on: Netflix


Titanic (1997) 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 teaches her how to spit.

Available now on: Netflix


Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010) 88%

This Certified Fresh documentary from Werner Herzog depicts everyday life in a village in Siberia.

Available now on: Netflix


Ghost Town (2008) 85%

Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear star in this comedy about a man who wakes up from a near-death experience and discovers he can see ghosts… all of whom want a favor from him.

Available now on: Netflix


Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) 81%

Matthew Broderick stars in John Hughes’ 1980s classic about a teenage iconoclast who takes his best pal on a wild tour of Chicago in an effort to cheer him up.

Available now on: Netflix


Viva (2015) 80%

This drama centers on a Cuban drag performer who clashes with his estranged boxer father when he returns from a 15-year absence.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime

 

Chinatown (1974) 99%

Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway star in this classic Roman Polanski noir about a private detective who stumbles into a vast conspiracy involving the privatization of water rights in California.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The Last Waltz (1978) 98%

Martin Scorsese’s music documentary focuses on the 1976 farewell concert for The Band, where artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell all performed.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Let the Right One In (2008) 98%

This 2008 thriller from Sweden gave the seemingly tired vampire genre a much needed shot in the arm by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Bowling for Columbine (2002) 95%

Michael Moore’s provocative documentary is a pointed examination of America’s rocky relationship with firearms.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Before Sunset (2004) 94%

The second entry in Richard Linklater’s painfully romantic Before trilogy, Sunset catches up with Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) nine years after the two first met and spent a night together in Vienna.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The Host (2006) 93%

A breakout film for South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, this sci-fi monster flick that combines scares, laughs, and satire in service of a popcorn flick as entertaining as it is intellectually satisfying.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Timecrimes (2007) 89%

This sci-fi thriller centers on a man who finds himself in a time loop when he inadvertently witnesses the death of a woman outside his new country home.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Roger Dodger (2002) 88%

Campbell Scott and Jesse Eisenberg star in this dramedy about a proud womanizer who takes his teenage nephew under his wing, only to discover they are nothing alike.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Pride & Prejudice (2005) 86%

Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFayden star in this adaptation of the Jane Austen novel about a woman struggling to choose between a number of suitors.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Lethal Weapon (1987) 80%

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover star as mismatched partners in this comedy about a pair of cops trying to take down a dangerous drug dealer.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Trollhunter (2010) 82%

This Norwegian found footage horror comedy follows a group of college students in pursuit of a suspected bear poacher who instead stumble upon an unexpected discovery.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


I Saw the Devil (2010) 81%

This dark thriller from South Korean director Kim Jee-woon centers on a desperate man on the hunt for his daughter’s murderer.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on Hulu

 

Carrie (1976) 93%

Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, and John Travolta star in Brian DePalma’s horror classic, the tale of a lonely teenager with telekinetic powers.

Available now on: Hulu


The Blair Witch Project (1999) 86%

Full of creepy campfire scares, this mock-doc keeps audiences in the dark about its titular villain — thus proving that imagination can be as scary as anything onscreen.

Available now on: Hulu


Available to Purchase

 

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) 97%

Sam Neill and Julian Dennison star in Taika Waititi’s dramedy about a 13-year-old and his curmudgeonly uncle who are forced to flee the authorities and hide out in the woods.

Available now on: Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes

Lily Collins was born into fame — her dad, Phil, could bang a drum and write a hit tune or two — but she found her own way into an acting career, performing in stage productions as a kid before working as a teenage Hollywood reporter and scoring small roles in movies like The Blind Side. This week she steps into the limelight as the star of Mirror Mirror, director Tarsem’s visually energetic remix of the Snow White fairytale — the first, and likely funniest, of this year’s adaptations of the classic story. As the fairest of them all, Collins dazzles in the late, great Eiko Ishioka’s exquisite costumes, while getting to put Julia Roberts’ evil queen in her place and sharing her first kiss with Prince Winkelvoss, er, Charming, played with a degree of good sportsmanship by Armie Hammer.

We sat down with the English-born Collins recently in her adopted home of Los Angeles, where she talked about the movie, working with Tarsem and her thoughts on Kristen Stewart’s not-really-a-rival take on Snow. First up, she talked us through her five favorite films.

Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003; 63% Tomatometer)



These are so raw — this is who I am, these movies. [Laughs] They’re very girly. In no particular order… Love Actually. Most of these movies have British accents in them, because, being from England, there’s something about films that I watch that have a British accent that I just feel so at home with. That film I can watch any day and it makes me smile; and I love Christmas, so it kind of matches perfectly.

Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2005; 86% Tomatometer)



Pride and Prejudice. I love sweeping British drama period pieces and I hope that one day I can do one just like that, because, to me, I love old English literature. And I’m a big Keira Knightley fan. It’s just so beautiful aesthetically and in terms of story.

Harry Potter series (Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, David Yates; 2001-11; 78-96% Tomatometers)


Harry Potter. All of them. [Laughs]

That’s cheating. Do you have a particular favorite?

Is it cheating? [Laughs] It’s hard to pick. I wouldn’t necessarily know which. I mean, I love the Goblet of Fire. I don’t know. Maybe the Goblet of Fire. I read those books so quickly when I was a kid, because that whole world was so, like… it took me out of my reality. And I just love magic and I loved that whole world, the creatures, and just how you felt so friendly with all the characters. The way they translated that into movies, I thought was genius. You know when they take a book, and they make it a movie, and you hope that it’s gonna be everything that you hope for and more? To me they just succeeded. I don’t know, I just love them so much. Every time I’m sick I’ll watch a marathon of them and I can repeat all the words.

Hopefully you’re sick for a while… I mean, so you can watch them all.

[Laughs] I know, they’re so long. I just had laryngitis, so…

The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985; 91% Tomatometer)



Breakfast Club. I was actually having trouble because I would say Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club, but that would be three. Of all three, Breakfast Club is my favorite. But those John Hughes films, with Molly Ringwald and the Brat Pack, those are my favorite grouped films. They’re just so… they’re timeless. I feel like, even when you’re watching them now, they’re so modern, and the characters are so real. They’re just so appealing to me. I watched them with my mom when I was really young. I always would watch things with my mom that maybe other moms wouldn’t allow their kids to watch. I associated with them right away. I just really, really love John Hughes.

Who’s your favorite character in the movie?

I love Molly Ringwald. But I also love the basket case, Ally Sheedy — you know, with the pixie sticks and the crunching of the sandwich. She’s so fantastic.

Sabrina (Billy Wilder, 1954; 91% Tomatometer)



Sabrina, with Audrey Hepburn. I actually spent my New Year’s this year watching Sabrina, and as it turned midnight I paused it and it was just her face on screen, smiling. I was like, “What a cool way to start the New Year.” She is just someone I’ve always admired. She says so much without saying anything at all. And back then they didn’t do such fast cuts in films; they stayed on a character’s face long enough for them to go from one emotion to another, and for the audience to really feel the emotion with each character — and she in that movie just goes from so many endearing moments to moments of sadness and laughter. It’s just such a classic, and I love black and white. So, that’s my list!

Next, Collins on playing Snow White in Mirror Mirror, what she thinks of Kristen Stewart’s take, and her favorite song by her dad.

 

I noticed you’re nostalgic for a kind of idealized English home, but you moved here when you were quite young, right?

Lily Collins: Yeah, I moved here when I was about six.

So you went back and forth between LA and England?

I did. I used to go for every summer, for like two-and-a-half to three months. The last two summers I haven’t been able to because I’ve been working — no complaining — but I haven’t been able to go in the summer. But I’ve been going at Christmas time. And I can put the accent on. I auditioned for this film, Mirror Mirror, with an English accent, but they went in a different directions. I mean, I did it in both accents. I can turn it on really quickly. There’s something at times that feels more just, natural when I have a British accent. It just feels very me.

Your mom is American?

Yeah, my mom is here and my dad, obviously, is English. I pick up things when I go back, and I still say things like “the car boot,” or “the loo,” or “the bin.” It’s just so beautiful over there. It’s something, like — ’cause I go out in the countryside, so it’s not the hustle and bustle of London. And LA compared to the countryside, I just relax right away. I just love going out in the garden and walking and reading and not answering my phone; just being and talking to people. You know, it’s like all these revolutionary ideas that you just don’t do in the big city. It’s a slower pace way of life. I love it. [Pauses to look out over the Santa Monica beach] I say that as we’re here with the lovely ocean — you don’t get that out in London. [Laughs]

Let’s talk about Mirror Mirror. Were you worried at all about playing an icon like Snow White?

I was more excited, I think, than anything. I was one of those little girls that created their own fairy tales in their head, growing up, and I know that every young girl has their own version of what a fairy tale princess is and should be. So I wasn’t really worried about making sure that I felt like I was everyone’s version of a Snow White — I just wanted to be a young girl that people, you know, that young girls as well as adult women could relate to. I felt like everyone has a little bit of Snow in them. So I wanted to be someone that people thought, “She could be a friend of mine.” Not a caricature of a fairy tale princess, because the [Disney] cartoon does enough justice. The cartoon is the cartoon, and the animation does what it does; it serves its purpose and it’s amazing. You don’t wanna just take that and make it a real-live person. You wanna take something different about it and modernize it and make it more real. My concern is that I wanted to make sure that she was a real girl.

You’ve worked with Sandra Bullock and now Julia Roberts — two of “America’s sweethearts” — and yet, in this movie, Julia is so awful to you.

She was horrible!

I trust she was more civil between takes.

Oh, she’s so cool. The second they yelled “cut” she’s all apologizing, and so sweet.

Is it true that she ripped some of your hair out?

Yes! In one of the scenes, because my shoe got caught in my dress, and I wasn’t as close to her as I was in the rehearsal. But we didn’t stop shooting, because my dress was so big and no one knew, and I wasn’t about to stop the scene. She leans over to do the hair pull, and had to pull me a bit further and harder, and so she pulled my hair out. I was like, “Okay, I’m not gonna react because they’ll probably use this,” and they ended up using that take in the movie, where she ripped it. They yelled “cut” and she goes “I’m so sorry!” So she totally was cool, when we weren’t filming. Even when we were filming, I was having so many moments in my head where I’m looking at her being mean to me and I’m beaming inside and so excited, but I’m not supposed to be smiling — so it taught me a lot about how to mute out everything else you’re thinking but what’s in the scene. If I was showing what I was feeling, Snow White would have been smiling from the get-go.

And yet she’s smiling at you, even while she’s spitting out the nastiest remarks.

I know, right? It’s like in high school when someone’s saying, “Oh I just love your sweater, it’s so cute…”

And they’re really thinking, “I’m gonna kill you…”

Exactly. It’s scary. You don’t know if you love her or hate her.

 

Have you talked to Kristen Stewart about her Snow White, and is there any competition between you two?

It’s funny, we’ve actually laughed about the fact that we’re apparently rivals — because we’re so not.

So you’re friends?

Yeah. She’s so cool, and I’m very excited for the other film. It could not be more different. They’re polar opposites. I think the advertising campaigns prove to everyone how different they are: everything from the tone to the rating to the costumes; everything. She and I, we’re very, very different characters and we just have laughed about it. I’m happy for her, she’s happy for me. I think there’s definitely room for both.

Tell me about working with Tarsem. He seems pretty out there, in a good way.

[Laughs] He’s so cool. He’s lovely. He’s definitely got an interesting sense of humor: you either understand it or you don’t. I totally get it, but things can be taken out of context. But he is — visually, he’s a visionary genius. He’s so… he’s a wizard when it comes to the aesthetic of a film. And also, when it comes to actors, he is all about, “Do you feel comfortable, do you feel confident? How are you feeling? What do you think? Let’s collaborate.” It’s so nice to work with somebody that truly has your best interests at heart and wants you to forget about all the nonsense or politics and just really focus in on your moment: “This is now, here — how do you feel, and let’s work on this together.” It was a really nice environment to be in when you’re taking on this kind of a role; when you’re fighting and you’re hot and you’re tired but you have a director who really believes in you. And from day one he really believed in me, and he never made me feel any different.

I’m compelled to ask this, because I’m an idiot: Does your dad sing “Lily, don’t you lose my number” to you?

[Laughs] Well he used to sing to me all the time.

Do you have a favorite song?

A favorite of my dad’s songs? It’s funny because everyone will probably go, “Really? Not one of the classics?” But I think, because of the sentimentality of it, the song from Tarzan: “You’ll Be In My Heart.” I was there throughout that entire process of creating Tarzan and the songs and everything. I was there for the process of each song, and the animation. Part of that song was written as a lullaby to me, so it’s such a personal song. I just see him as dad. Obviously I know everything he’s accomplished, but when I think of his songs I think of what touches me the most — and that song for sure is one of them.


Mirror Mirror opens in theaters this week.

Coming out of Sundance this year, one name rang out as a talent to watch. Carey Mulligan made her big-screen debut in Joe Wright‘s 2005 Pride & Prejudice adaption, but as she premiered An Education and The Greatest in Park City, Utah, tongues started wagging about her obvious talent. Now RT profiles a name you’re likely to hear a lot in 2009.

Carey Mulligan - Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com

It was a letter to Julian Fellowes asking for advice that led to Carey Mulligan’s big-screen acting debut as the youngest Bennet in Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice in 2005. She’s barely stopped since then and the 23 year-old actress has no fewer than four projects on her slate for release this year. Two of them premiered at Sundance in January to stellar reviews, with Park City audiences celebrating Mulligan as one of the festival’s finest performers. She presented an award at the BAFTAs, announced intentions to star in The Electric Slide alongside Ewan McGregor and travelled to the Berlin Film Festival to represent Britain in the Shooting Stars programme — all this month.

A ferocious appetite for acting seems to inspire Mulligan to work so hard, and it’s clearly paying off. This year her co-stars include Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan. And all indications are that she holds her own alongside such seasoned thesps, delivering performances that belie her short CV.

It’s April 2008, and RT has come to the West London set of An Education to meet Mulligan. Her passion for her craft is immediately obvious – when we arrive she has her head buried in a script, emerging occasionally to seek advice from her director and co-stars and laugh and joke with the whole crew. She has the good sense to enjoy what she’s doing, and that seems to give her the necessary confidence to deliver as a performer. Most would be intimidated by the starry names around them — Mulligan seems to be thrilled by the opportunity to learn from them. “I had a dream day working with Emma Thompson last week,” she gushes when we finally sit down with her. “I have literally dreamed about getting to do stuff like that.”

An Education
Mulligan plays Jenny in Lone Scherfig’s An Education, from a script by Nick Hornby.

It’s not without irony that she’s decked out in period school uniform on the day we visit — the eager student surrounded by masters – though the costume is having a rather odd effect on the crew. “They’ve started talking to me differently,” she laughs. “I feel 16 again! The first day of filming in the school I kept falling asleep on set because I was in a classroom. It was some kind of psychological thing, as soon as I was put in a classroom I started nodding off. I was on all sorts of caffeine pills trying to stay awake!”

As her 2009 releases start unspooling for audiences, what’s clear is that while she may be keen to keep improving her skill, there’s plenty of natural talent already present. Salon claimed her performance in An Education was full of “Audrey Hepburn-esque starmaking intensity,” while Collider calls her “outstanding … she allows us to watch her become a woman onscreen, the resulting portrayal intimate and lovingly crafted.” Todd McCarthy writes in Variety that her performance in The Greatest is “a revelation … [she brings] a bracing resilience to a teenager for whom one night changed the rest of her life.”

The Greatest
As Rose in The Greatest with Aaron Johnson.

It’s clear that she’s won over the critics, but with Michael Mann‘s Public Enemies due out in July, Jim Sheridan‘s Brothers in October and The Greatest and An Education expected before the end of the year, Mulligan is ready to make her mark with audiences. That she balances enormous talent as an actor with a classical, natural beauty and beguiling charisma should ensure that impact is wide indeed.

Read RT’s report from the set of An Education right here and join us again soon when we’ll be profiling more fresh talent.

An EducationThere’s a general impression of the British film industry that if we’re not producing cockney gangster flicks or sweeping romantic period pieces then we’re working on a yet another quirky rom-com. In the affluent suburb of Acton in London, RT has come to the set of An Education, a film that dares to be different. While the script bursts with humour, this is a film that’s decidedly deeper than the usual Richard Curtis fare, daring to explore topics as controversial today as they’ve ever been and to challenge preconceptions about the journey out of adolescence.

It’s no surprise to learn that it comes from the pen of one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary novelists, Nick Hornby. Like High Fidelity, About a Boy and Fever Pitch, An Education sings with a certain tone unique to Hornby’s material and is populated with interesting, real and engaging characters. It’s no wonder Variety had it on their list of the best unproduced British screenplays in 2007.

Set in the early 60s, the film tells the tale of Jenny (Carey Mulligan), a sharp 16-year-old with sights set on entry to Oxford at the encouragement of her father Jack (Alfred Molina). She meets a handsome older man named David (Peter Sarsgaard), whose position on the social ladder and passion for high-class enjoyment enraptures both her and her parents and is the catalyst for a budding romance.

The story is based on a piece of memoir written by Observer journalist Lynn Barber about her experiences growing up. “I was fascinated to read the story initially just because Lynn Barber usually writes about other people, not autobiographically,” Hornby explains. “I finished it and said to Amanda, ‘I think there’s a film in this.'”

An Education
Jenny (Carey Mulligan) enjoys a post-coital cigarette with David (Peter Sarsgaard) in An Education.

Producer Amanda Posey, Hornby’s wife, brought the story to Finola Dwyer, and the pair started to seek writers for the project. Ultimately they came back to Hornby, who signed on to write his first screenplay not adapted from his own work. With Danish director Lone Scherfig at the helm, and with Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams, Dominic Cooper and Emma Thompson rounding off the cast list, An Education began production in mid-March.

For the film’s Jenny, 22 year-old Carey Mulligan, whose previous experience includes roles as Kitty Bennet in Joe Wright‘s 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice, and Ada Clare in the BBC’s adaptation of Dickens’ Bleak House, An Education is an opportunity to showcase her talent and clear propensity for strong material. “The script is brilliant and so funny,” she tells RT, “I hadn’t realised how funny until the read-through, because there are bits that come out in the reading of it. Nick writes such wonderful female characters. Jenny is so well written and so specifically 16 in the 60s and it’s so much fun to play.”

Today, as the production films a variety of shots outside a period school building that’ll be slotted throughout the film, the crew are battling against the British weather, as film crews are wont to do in this country. But rather than waiting for gaps in the rain, they’re waiting for clouds to move over the sun and have watered down everything in shot. Just when you want rain, and dull, grey skies, Britain decides to let the sun shine.

An Education
Behind the scenes, screenwriter Nick Hornby and director Lone Scherfig watch the action on the set of An Education.

It’s a far cry from the Dogme ’95 roots of director Scherfig who’s used to strict rules against artificiality in filmmaking, but she’s clearly enjoying herself and seems to have set a standard on set for calm that’s making our visit a much more pleasurable one than we’re used to from the usual bustle of a film set. Faith in the material seems to have inspired everyone here to relax and enjoy their work.

“It’s much easier to shoot a good script than a not-so-good script,” says Scherfig when she takes a break to speak to RT. “It makes my work a lot easier, that Nick has been so thorough and detailed and psychologically sensitive. It has much depth and much detail and humour and it’s quite moving. I feel comfortable in this kind of genre, even if I’m not English and it’s a very English world the film takes place in.”

Sarsgaard, who’s tackling an impressive and specifically dated British accent for the film and sticks with it as he sits down with RT, was won over by the secrets David keeps. “It’s the oldest cheat in the world,” he laughs, “especially if the audience learns that I have a secret. It makes me seem rather deep even if I’m rather shallow! It at least gives me two dimensions! Being an American playing a British person who is pretending to be another person, I mean, I’m already doing it. I’m doing it the moment I start speaking. It’s such an easy role, in the greatest sense of that word. Sometimes I go home and I wonder if I’m doing a good job because it doesn’t feel difficult.”

Like the rest of the script, the period setting strives to set itself apart from most depictions of life in 60s Britain. This is not the primary-coloured pop-art age of partying as parodied in the likes of Austin Powers. “It’s a clash of two eras,” explains Scherfig, “It’s more the very early elements that we sneak in here and there of a period that is going to explode the way Jenny’s adult life will develop.”

An Education
Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan on the set of An Education.

David, and his two friends Danny (Cooper) and Helen (Pike), represent what’s to come. “They represent the fun and freedom Jenny will experience. It’s pre-Beatles first album and pre-psychedelia, but there’s a little touch of those things here and there. In the music as well – as you know Nick Hornby is very music-conscious and there are a lot of musical cues in the script.”

“Come 1964, 1965,” adds Sarsgaard, “I think they’ll find they’ll fit right in! You can picture them on the Isle of Wight listening to Jimi Hendrix a few years after the film is set.”

From schoolgirl to woman, the time Jenny spends with David, Danny and Helen shapes her path into adulthood and towards that environment. Of course, on set they’ve been shooting out of order. “In the last two weeks we’ve been shooting everything with Rosamund Pike and Dominic Cooper, all the stuff in which Jenny goes through her transformation,” says Mulligan. “And now we’re back shooting the school days stuff. I’m back in school uniform and weirdly the crew have started talking to me differently! I’m 22, but I feel 16!”

An Education
Alfred Molina plays Jack, Jenny’s father, in An Education.

As passionate as everyone is about the material – even if they are treating Mulligan like a teenager in the process – for Hornby, simply getting as far as assembling of a crew of people to make the film is a pleasure. “Everything’s a long shot when you’re writing a screenplay,” he says. “At this stage of my career, if I write a novel to the best of my ability I would say there’s a 100% chance of it being published. But if I write a screenplay to the best of my ability I would say there’s a 10% chance of the film being made. That’s an enormous difference in terms of your own psychology and your ability to get yourself up for each draft!”

Still, Hornby’s novels usually arrive mostly fully-formed after the first draft, he says, and the extra time to refine the screenplay has proved invaluable. Mulligan has followed the changes. “I read the first draft in November 2006 and it has changed so much since then,” she says. “And I got the part in September last year and it’s changed even from then. It’s been such a long time coming that it feels surreal we’re doing it!”

An Education is released next year and we’ll have more on the film, including full interviews with Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Nick Hornby and more closer to the time. You can find more exclusive images from the set of An Education right here.

Scottish actor James McAvoy has shot several films in the last few years (Becoming Jane, The Last King of Scotland, and the eagerly anticipated Wanted) but so far remains most associated with Mr. Tumnus, his hairy role as the faun in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. But if early Oscar buzz can be trusted, his name may also be synonymous with Oscar nominee.

In his latest film, Atonement, McAvoy plays Robbie Turner, a groundskeeper whose entire life is irrevocably changed when he is falsely accused of a crime. Based on the novel by Ian McEwan, McAvoy joins a talented crew including Brenda Blethyn, Vanessa Redgrave, and the Pride and Prejudice team of director Joe Wright and actress Keira Knightley. Atonement opens this Friday in limited release. RT met up with McAvoy in San Francisco to chat about the challenges of playing a “perfect” character, the cost of training for Wanted, and why he might be taking a break from acting.

In Atonement, there is an incredible very long tracking shot on the beach, involving lots of extras. How did you rehearse for that?

James McAvoy: We wanted to be very particular, so we spent a whole day rehearsing. I think with something as daunting as that, most directors would say, “F–k it, we’ve got so many extras, we’ll just shoot all day and get 20 takes and one of them might work. And if they don’t all work, we’ll edit.” But Joe just decided that we would rehearse all day and get it perfect. And then when the light was just right, and we only had half an hour, we did three takes. Two of the takes didn’t work, so we were on the third take and it felt really good. So we went back to view it on the monitors and, of course, the monitors decided to f–king blow up, so we didn’t know if we had it. But we found out two days later when we got the footage back that it worked and it was all good.

How many extras were involved in that scene?

JM: There were 1500 people. Any one of them could have royally screwed up at any point, so it was a miracle that it worked. I always think that particular scene is a microcosm of what making a film is. It really is a miracle of people collaborating and it was interesting because it’s very rare that something is that free, and that the actor is the person that helps make the shot. Usually you’re told to stand somewhere and the cameras move all around you. It this scene, it was much more along the lines that the camera may be anywhere. It would never be in the same place twice because a horse would walk past me, so I would be like, “F–k, the camera’s over there!” The actors were creating the shots as much as they could, which was so enjoyable but also high pressure.

What is it about Joe Wright’s directorial style that brings out such praised performances?

JM: He grew up in the theater. His mother and father were both puppeteers and owned a puppet theater. His mother still owns one called The Angel. I think he loves actors, and that’s a big thing because not every director likes actors. A lot of directors feel like actors just f–k up their films. But Joe loves actors. He cares about them and tries to make them better. Having a director that is confident in you and cares about you makes you suddenly feel free. You feel safe to take risks and that alone is big. He understands every job on a film set, which I don’t think a lot of directors do. He appreciates everybody on set. He’s a proper f–king amazing über-director.

You mentioned that Joe Wright has a theater background. Since the cast lived together while filming Atonement was this a theater-like experience?

JM: I didn’t live together, I stayed separate. Partly because I went to college and couldn’t be asked about s–t anymore, and partly because my character is separate from all of them. It kind of helped that all of the actors that lived in the house with Joe and the crew were all quite posh. They were all quite upper class. Lovely people, and some of them are now really good friends of mine, but they were all quite posh and I’m not really. I’m not from that background. It was useful for me as my character to kind of stay away.

So when I’d go up there for my dinner or something like that, I’d go once or twice a week. I could have gone up any night I wanted, and I was always welcome, but in my head and my imagination, I was only going up when I was invited. It was also kind of just me doing a little bit of make believe. I’m not a method actor, but I just kept myself a wee bit separate.

Your character goes through many stages throughout the film — including age and going from being quite naïve to very jaded. How did you take on that challenge?

JM: I like playing a variety of characters. I feel like I’ve been able to play different kinds of characters — I’ve done a lot of period pieces — but I’ve never had to play the same type of character too much. Getting to play two different types of characters in one film was quite interesting.

I found him quite difficult to play and believe in to begin with, because he’s quite a perfect type of person and I found that strange. I didn’t know if I could play it convincingly because I wasn’t sure if I believed that people like that exist. And then it got easier as we went along because I started to believe that he could. People like that might not exist for real, but it’s what we should be. The type of person that he became halfway through the film after something bad happens to him is somebody that I’m much more used to playing. He’s somebody who is very conflicted and suicidal, and strangely because of that, much more human.

He doesn’t really know who he is anymore. I don’t think he can quite remember who he was, because he is so different. The only person who knows who is his and can make him feel like he can even remember the person he used to be is [Keira Knightley’s character] Cecilia Tallis. If it wasn’t for the fact that she still cared for him, still loved him, or that she’s even alive, I think he’d kill himself because who he was would be completely lost. I think that’s just such an amazing place to start of playing a character. It’s hard to make a nice character seem interesting. How did you approach that for the first half of Atonement?

JM: Badly, I think. I kept trying to make him interesting — conflicted, tainted, restless, passionate, and angry — and I had to stop doing that because it was not working in rehearsals. It was just bad. I just had to trust that the most boring person in the world is interesting, because we’re all interesting. We’re all miracles as well, that we’re even here.

I don’t know why we’re not interested in seeing good people. I think we like seeing good people, but only if bad things happen to them. Which is weird, isn’t it? It’s like the whole thing with Jesus Christ. F–king hell, it’s an amazing story. Whether you’re Christian or not, it’s an incredible story because he’s the best person that ever existed on the planet, and we crucify him. So there’s something in our nature that enjoys stories where good people get royally f–ked up.

In the novel, there are many different descriptions of Robbie. Although there is a lot of dialogue, much of his character is internal. How did you take that from the novel and apply in to your portrayal of Robbie?

JM: I did it as faithfully as possible. I think it was clear to me that Joe was trying to make a very faithful adaptation of the film. Whereas when I did The Last King of Scotland, the adaptation of the film was very different. With that, it almost became a burden and a barrier to be too attached to the book, because the character was so different. But with Atonement, it was so faithful [because] the book was just an amazing source. If you wanted to know something about Robbie’s history, you didn’t just have to make it up. Which I’ve done before, where I think, “F–k, I want to know what his relationship with his dad is like.” So then you spend five minutes inventing a history with his dad. But with this film, you don’t have to do that because it’s written for you. There’s something about the fact that it’s already been done that means your imagination and ego can’t taint the character’s history. There are hard facts that you may not like about the character, but you have to deal with it and there’s something quite nice about that, because it means you can’t have it all your own way as an actor.

You’ve done Band of Brothers and Atonement. Is there something that draws you to the World War II period?

JM: No, I don’t think so. To be honest with you, none of the films that I have done in the last two years I have chosen to do. I’ve auditioned for them all. I could have been drawn to doing them, but it didn’t mean I was going to get them. The jobs that I got were the jobs they decided to cast me in. I don’t know why I get cast in a lot of period pieces. Stephen Fry told me that I had a face for period, that I look like someone from 1920. But I definitely do like that period of the two World Wars. They were such defining moments for British history and world history. They really helped shape the modern world — the bravery, the loss, the waste.

Doing the action scenes for Wanted must have been a completely different experience for you.

JM: Totally different than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. The 16-year-old boy in me was like, “Woo-hoo!” But after about three weeks, the 16-year-old boy just wanted to stay in bed, and the adult’s going, “Oh, my back hurts so much. I don’t want to go to the gym.” The trainer who you used to really like is like, “C’mon, we’ve got to do some more weights.” And you’re just like, “May you burn in hell, you bastard!” [Laughs.]

But I’m really lucky. I’ve never really been pigeonholed as an actor and I’ve been able to play many different roles, so it was a chance to explore a different avenue. There’s also a lot of comedy in it, and I love doing comedy. It was really quite a departure, and I think the thing that elevated it was the director, Timur Bekmambetov. [He’s] mad as a box of snakes! He’s just crazy, in a good way, in the best possible way, and and I’m really interested to see what he’s done with it because I think he’s really special.

Is it true that you’re going to take a break from acting?

JM: I think I am. I’ve been saying that for a long time. But things are shaping up for next year, and maybe I’ll be working again in March.

You’ve done a lot of films recently.

JM: Yeah, you’ve got to. And that’s good because I’m young and that’s the time for work, isn’t it? You chill out when you get older. That’s apart from the fact that I think people get sick of the sight of your face. It’s probably a good idea to chill out. Also, if you’re an actor, your job is to pretend to be a real person, to recreate reality. You’ve got to have a bit of a life from which to draw upon. If you don’t live in the real world because all you do is spend all day on film sets, you become such a weirdo. Film sets are a strange place, but an exciting place. I do love my work, I really enjoy going to work. But if you just spend all your time on film sets or even on stage, you can become a Michael Jackson figure, living in your own little universe.

Keira Knightley - Jeff Vespa/WireImage.comAt just 22 Keira Knightley has done more than most actresses have in a lifetime. She took the jump from indie thesp to worldwide star by landing the role of Elizabeth Swann in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie and spent much of the promotion for that film twiddling her thumbs as a bunch of hardened journalists stayed away, convinced it was going to come of nothing.

Such is the power of her celebrity that it can be easy to forget she acts too, but when an Oscar nomination beckoned for her role as another Elizabeth – Bennet – in Joe Wright‘s take on Austen’s classic Pride & Prejudice she became the third youngest woman ever to get a Best Actress nod and those who’d sat on the fence in the past began to take her seriously as a true acting talent.

These days, sitting down with the young actress one-on-one is a rare occurrence restricted to journo heavyweights for high-profile magazines and newspapers – Knightley always rates the cover and no-doubt pushes circulations up – so when Rotten Tomatoes was offered the opportunity to do just that, we leapt at it, excited as we were to grille her on perhaps her finest performance to date, reteaming with Wright for his adaptation of Ian McEwan‘s wartime bestseller, Atonement.

Had you read Atonement before you took the film?

Keira Knightley: Not before I took the film, no, but before I started filming, yes. I actually read the script first and cried, and I think anything that makes you cry is definitely worth pursuing. So then I read the book and I think it’s a bit of a dream for any actress to be able to play those characters; I think Ian McEwan draws his characters so brilliantly. It’s like a blueprint and really all I had to do was follow it.

What was it about Cecilia that grabbed you?

KK: I don’t know, I just fell in love with her completely. I think very often in films you either get these very good or very bad characters and I was interested that she’s not particularly nice at the beginning of it. I don’t think that means she’s a nasty person, I think she’s probably a very good person, I think she’s just having one of those days where she’s being ratty with everyone and everything is annoying her.

I was sort-of interested in playing this person who is, I think, emotionally rather repressed. She’s got a lot of things bubbling around inside her and she’s sort-of like a pressure cooker, but she doesn’t really know why. She’s from this incredibly privileged background but she’s directionless. I just thought it was fascinating, completely fascinating.

Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley talks to Rotten Tomatoes by a lake. A real lake. Not a studio, we swear.

It’s also a challenging role for any actress; when you take on a challenge like that does it help to have a history with your director, as you have with Joe?

KK: Yes, I think it does, I think he’s a brilliant director. I think the fact that he’s a mate of mine and that he creates a really lovely atmosphere on set is personally what I like; I like working like that, I like working in a relaxed atmosphere. For me personally it’s sort-of conducive to better work, or to feeling that you can explore more. Or to not feeling so self-conscious! So yeah, it did help, definitely.

Is there more room for creativity on a project of this scale by comparison to Pirates?

KK: Of course. Of course there is. I think Pirates of the Caribbean is wonderful, it’s pure entertainment, it’s like a glass of champagne. And it’s totally fabulous escapism and totally relevant for that fact. This is something that’s quite different. It’s really trying to provoke emotional responses from people. It is really trying to take out your heart and trample all over it, really.

And, you know, creatively, on something like Pirates, it’s about the spectacle of the entire thing; it’s about the explosions, it’s about the fight sequences. As it should be. But you’re not really having huge conversations about exactly what, emotionally, we’re going through here. It’s not the point of it. It is the point of this, and so it did mean that it was… I sound like such a wanker saying this, but it was creatively really, really wonderful and really exciting. And hugely rewarding, as well.

Keira Knightley
With co-star James McAvoy in a scene from Atonement.

Are these the sorts of roles that are interesting you as your career develops?

KK: I think entertainment is important; everyone wants that glass of champagne occasionally, and that’s great in a movie and it shouldn’t be taken away. Escapism is wonderful. At that particularly point, yeah, maybe I wanted to do this as an antidote to Pirates – I’d been on it so long that I wanted to explore something else. But if you can possibly do both – if you’re lucky enough to be able to do both – then obviously that’s the best of both worlds.

The Edge of Love is shaping up to be an interesting film; how has it been to have had the opportunity to perform your mother’s screenplay?

KK: It’s absolutely amazing; completely amazing. Her work is something that I’ve grown up with; it’s always been a part of everything in my life. To be able to perform it was completely, completely extraordinary. And fingers crossed it’ll make a good film!

Do you feel a bit of added pressure when you’re dealing with her words?

KK: No, you know what, her script was completely wonderful. You never know what’s going to work; you can have the best script, the best director and the best cast and still, for some reason, it’s just not going to gel. Hopefully this one has, I think she’s done a tremendous job on the screenplay. And yes, I am biased, but really I wouldn’t have done it if I’d have thought it was crap and, really, we’ve got a fighting chance of making a really good film and that’s all anyone’s got. You can’t ask for more than that.

Can you tell us briefly what it’s about?

KK: It’s about a friendship group that implodes and a situation that leads to an act of violence…

Cryptic!

KK: Yes, indeed! It’ll make sense when you’ve seen the film! [laughs]

The last time he performed in a musically themed role, he won an Academy Award for his trouble, and one good biopic deserves another, so Jamie Foxx has just signed on to star in The Soloist, a film about a prodigy whose career is derailed by the onset of schizophrenia.

The prodigy in question, Nathaniel Ayers, started showing symptoms of the disease during his second season at Julliard, and ended up on the streets of Los Angeles, where he plays violin and cello for passersby under what he believes to be the protection of the spirit of Beethoven. Ayers got the public’s attention through the work of an LA Times reporter named Steve Lopez, whose columns (and upcoming book) formed part of the basis for the movie’s script — which was written, according to Variety, by Erin Brockovich screenwriter Susannah Grant.

The article also mentions that the film will be directed by Joe Wright, previously known for directing the Keira Knightley projects Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. Foxx is already studying stringed instruments under the direction of a cellist from the L.A. Philharmonic. The star, who will turn 40 in December, will need to undergo a bit of a transformation to play a second-year Julliard student, as well as that same student more than 30 years later, but he’s certainly got the dramatic chops to pull it off. To read one of Lopez’s columns about Ayers, follow the second link below.

Source: Variety
Source: LA Times

This weekend, multiplexes hope to cram in lots of moviegoers thanks to a wide selection of new films. Six movies open or expand nationally on Friday making for what will be one of the most competitive weekends of the holiday season.

Adult audiences looking for a laugh can see Will Ferrell in a more mature role in "Stranger Than Fiction." The female vote will be split with daughters going for a scare with Sarah Michelle Gellar in "The Return" while their mothers can spend the evening with Russell Crowe in the romantic comedy "A Good Year." The action flick "Harsh Times" rounds out the menu of new releases targeting young men.

In addition, the cross-continent drama "Babel" expands across the country after two weeks of stellar results in limited release. Despite all the new opponents entering the field, reigning box office incumbent "Borat" will go fully national in an attempt to be re-elected for a second term as commander-in-chief. Rarely does a November weekend have so many new offerings. The fight for screens and moviegoer attention will be fierce. Not every film will survive so some casualties will be left behind on the battlefield by the end of the frame.

After battling Sacha Baron Cohen with race cars last summer in "Talladega Nights," Will Ferrell once again takes on the British comedian at the box office with "Stranger Than Fiction" which will try to stop the seemingly unstoppable "Borat" machine. In the PG-13 film, the funnyman plays an agent with the IRS who begins to hear a voice narrating his life and his every move. Emma Thompson provides the voice while Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, and Queen Latifah co-star. Directed by Marc Forster ("Finding Neverland," "Monster’s Ball"), "Stranger" takes an A-list comedian and puts him in a more mature and serious film that still has some comedic elements. That means that the 14-year-old boys who powered "Talladega Nights" to a $47M opening will take a pass this time around.

When Jim Carrey went arthouse, he saw "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" open to $8.2M with a $6,042 average and "Man on the Moon" bow to $7.5M with a $3,615 average. Adam Sandler‘s "Spanglish" debuted to $8.8M and a $3,617 average. It can often be a tough sell to take a comedian known mostly for mainstream comedies and put him into a more mature film, even if it still has laughs. "Stranger Than Fiction" might find it difficult to pull in teens and young adults, but mature adults will have interest. Reviews have been generally good and the concept makes the film stand out in the current marketplace. Competition for adults will come from both "Babel" and "A Good Year" while "Borat" will continue to steal away millions of moviegoers looking for a good laugh. Launching in 2,264 theaters, "Stranger Than Fiction" might open with roughly $16M.


Will Ferrell screaming at a bus in "Stranger Than Fiction."

Halloween may have passed but those in search of a scare, and were disappointed that "The Grudge 2" did not have Sarah Michelle Gellar in a full role, will have a chance to see their favorite vampire slayer in the new supernatural thriller "The Return." With a commercially friendly PG-13 rating, the spookfest finds Gellar playing a young businesswoman guided by mysterious forces to avenge her own death from a previous life. In the horror genre, Gellar is a bonafide star and can pull in teens and young adults. But with so many fright sequels cramming into theaters recently during the pre-pumpkin period, many genre fans might be all scared out by now. Luckily for "The Return," competition will not be too fierce as nothing else is exciting teenage girls at the moment. The marketing push has been decent, but in many ways it does not stand out as something special or unique that is worth seeing right away. Opening in 1,986 theaters, "The Return" might gross around $8M over the weekend.


Sarah Michelle Gellar, padding her horror credentials in "The Return."

Russell Crowe reteams with his "Gladiator" director Ridley Scott for a trip to a new genre (romantic comedy) in "A Good Year." The PG-13 film finds the former Maximus playing a financial guru who finds women and wine at a french vineyard he inherits. Talk about a tough sell. On paper, the Scott-Crowe combo is box office gold, only they chose to try out a type of film that will repel fans who spent $187.7M on the 2000 Best Picture Oscar winner. Plus the Fox release has no notable female star to boost its potential. Add to that the bad buzz that "Year" received at the Toronto Film Festival plus the mostly negative reviews from critics, and it surely will have its work cut out for it. Could this be "All the King’s Men" all over again?

"A Good Year" stands as that rare film which reunites an Oscar-caliber director with an Oscar-winning actor that earns bad reviews and lukewarm studio support. Crowe’s last film "Cinderella Man" bowed to $18.3M from 2,812 theaters for a $6,515 average in June of last year and was considered an underperformer. The actor’s latest picture lacks the Ron Howard film’s strong critical support, added starpower from Renee Zellweger, and sizable push from Universal. "A Good Year" should play mostly to adult female audiences as the male appeal is low. That makes "Babel" and "Stranger Than Fiction," which have better cross-gender appeal, direct competitors this weekend for mature couples. Opening in 2,066 theaters, "A Good Year" could find itself with about $8M this weekend and a rough road ahead.


Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott enter chick flick territory with "A Good Year."

Still in the top ten with "The Prestige," Christian Bale comes back for double duty in the new action thriller "Harsh Times" from MGM. The R-rated film from the writer of "Training Day" finds the Caped Crusader playing an ex-Army Ranger enlisting with the LAPD who still has ties into the crime world in South Central. "Harsh" will play to urban audiences and should skew male but will find the marketplace difficult to navigate with bigger titles like "Borat" and "Saw III" already doing strong business with that demo. Bale lacks the drawing power of Denzel Washington in his Oscar-winning role in "Training Day" so the grosses should not be in the same ballpark. A moderate national release in over 900 theaters will also limit the potential. "Harsh Times" will have to fight hard in order to crack the top ten and could finish the frame with around $3M.


Christian Bale as a psychopath in "Harsh Times."

Among holdovers, all eyes will be on "Borat" this weekend. Can the Kazakh superstar spend another weekend at number one? Following its robust $26.5M bow from 837 theaters, the Sacha Baron Cohen starrer has delivered solid midweek results grossing over $3M on both Monday and Tuesday. Now, Fox will expand the raunchy comedy on Friday by more than tripling the run to 2,565 theaters allowing everyone to have easy access to the most-talked-about film of the season. Word-of-mouth has been encouraging and "Borat" might even reach the Holy Grail of the box office – repeat business.

Last weekend’s potent average of $31,607 will certainly come crashing down since the film will be in more theaters and most of the hardcore fans have now already seen it. But the buzz is still hot and the Uzbekistan-hating TV journalist is now trying to crossover into new audience segments not initially sold on the concept last week. With the frame’s new films all a mixed bag without a surefire smash among them, "Borat" looks ready to retain its hold on the number one spot. A weekend gross of around $24M could result giving Fox a stellar $62M in only ten days.


"Kazakhstan is the greatest…"

Another cross-cultural film with a five-letter title starting with a B expanding over the weekend is "Babel" starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Paramount Vantage has attracted scorching results in limited release for two weeks and is now hoping that moviegoers nationwide are ready for the acclaimed drama. Last weekend, "Babel" popped into the Top 20 with a stellar $26,264 average from 35 locations. On Friday, the R-rated film expands to over 1,200 sites and should continue to play to an upscale adult audience.

"Babel" is likely to play to the same crowd that powered last December’s "Syriana" to a $11.7M bow from 1,752 theaters for a $6,699 average. That film had more theaters and a star, George Clooney, who is despised by many American moviegoers for his political beliefs. On the other hand, Pitt can cheat on his wife and father a baby with another woman, and the public still can’t get enough of him. That’s pure starpower. But "Babel" is not the type of commercial role that Pitt attracts large crowds to. Still, the average should be solid so given its level of distribution, "Babel" could gross about $10M this weekend.


Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, looking rather disheveled in "Babel."

Disney and Paramount went head to head last weekend with competing kidpics and split the family vote in half pretty evenly. "Flushed Away" is getting better word-of-mouth and is offering audiences something new so its decline might be smaller than that of "The Santa Clause 3." Kid movies opening in early November typically have good legs and enjoy strong second weekend holds. Sophomore drops for recent films of the genre include 21% for last year’s "Chicken Little," 29% for 2004’s "The Incredibles," 15% for 2003’s "Elf," and 15% for 2002’s "The Santa Clause 2." This weekend, "Clause 3" might drop by 25% and "Flushed" could wash away 20% leaving each with a three-day tally in the neighborhood of $15M. That would push ten-day cumes to roughly $39M a piece for the Mouse House pic and the rat toon.

LAST YEAR: Disney’s poultry toon "Chicken Little" stayed at number one for a second weekend with an impressive $31.7M. Three new releases followed within a tight range. Sony’s big-budget kidpic "Zathura" bowed in second with $13.4M on its way to a disappointing $28.2M. Jennifer Aniston was close behind with her thriller "Derailed" which opened to $12.2M. The Weinstein Co. release went on to gross a moderate $36M. Paramount’s urban action pic "Get Rich or Die Tryin’" debuted in fourth place with a $12M weekend and $17.7M over five days. The 50 Cent starrer finished its run with $31M. Rounding out the top five was the military drama "Jarhead" which tumbled 58% to $11.7M. Premiering to sensational results was the period film "Pride & Prejudice" which grossed $2.9M from only 215 theaters for a sizzling $13,326 average. The Focus release went on to become an awards contender and took in $38.4M making it the top-grossing pic among the weekend’s new films.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Are you between the ages of 13 and 19? Do you like … stuff? Then click right here and cast your votes for the 329th annual Teen Choice Awards, which is where you can tell the universe that Puffy is more illing than Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell is funnier than Brad Pitt, and Katie Holmes is cuter than Katey Sagal. Or something.

Click right here for the ballot, but don’t even think of voting if you’re older than 19. The Teen Choice Awards employ a bunch of enforcers who’ll come to your house and check your birth certificate.

I had to lie about my age to check out the nominees (don’t tell anyone), but the TCAs are poised to celebrate some of the following flicks:

Best Action Adventure:
"King Kong," "Mission Impossible 3," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," "Superman Returns," "V for Vendetta," "X-Men: The Last Stand"

Best Drama: "Flightplan," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Pride & Prejudice," "Take the Lead," "Goal!," "Walk the Line"

Best Chick Flick: "Failure to Launch," "Just Like Heaven," "Just My Luck," "Last Holiday," "Aquamarine," "The Lake House"

Best Comedy: "Click," "Nacho Libre," "Scary Movie 4," "She’s the Man," "The Benchwarmers," "The Break-Up"

Best Thriller: "An American Haunting," "Hostel," "Red Eye," "Saw 2," "Silent Hill," "The Omen"

They also have a bunch of actor’s categories, but the choices managed to somehow get even sillier. Click here to cast your votes, kids.

James McAvoy, last seen in Narnia, and Keira Knightley, last seen as Domino, will co-star in the potentially controversial British thriller Atonement, an "accused rapist" tale that’s based on the novel by Ian McEwan. The film is being directed by sophomore helmer Joe Wright, who made a pretty big splash last year with his Pride & Prejudice rendition.

From The Hollywood Reporter: "Rising Scottish star James McAvoy has joined the cast of Joe Wright’s Atonement, the filmmakers said Monday. McAvoy has signed to play Robbie Turner, a man accused of rape by a 16-year old, in the movie adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name. The Scot will star opposite Keira Knightley in the Working Title production, which is due to begin production in May this year. McAvoy has recently been seen as Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and is filming Becoming Jane opposite Anne Hathaway. Atonement is billed as a love story between Knightley and McAvoy’s characters, but also covers the struggles of class, war and emotional truth."

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s "Walk the Line" strutted into the top spot on both the DVD sales and rental charts the week ended March 5, easily beating a slate of high-profile competitors.

The film’s success — Fox reported 3 million copies were sold the first day alone — underscored the power of the "Oscar bounce," in which nominated films are released on DVD just before the Academy Awards in the hopes of a sales boost.

On VideoScan’s First Alert, the Oscar-lauded Walk the Line outsold second-ranked "Lady and the Tramp," from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, by a significant margin, while third-ranked "Pride & Prejudice," from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, sold a little more than a quarter as many copies as the Oscar-lauded Johnny Cash biopic its first week in stores.

The film also was a big hit in rental stores. "Walk the Line" generated an estimated $9.2 million in rental revenue its first week out, according to Home Media Retailing’s video rental chart. That’s nearly 50% more than second-ranked "Yours, Mine & Ours," a Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment comedy that came to video after a respectable $53.4 million theatrical run.

"Yours, Mine & Ours" debuted at No. 4 on the DVD sales chart, while the previous week’s top seller, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s "Rent, "slipped to No. 5.

Two other newcomers to the First Alert top 20: Universal’s "The Ice Harvest," a crime spoof that grossed just $8.8 million in theaters, bowed at No. 6, and the complete fourth season of "Charmed," from Paramount, debuted at No. 12.

Oscar buzz helped lift Lionsgate’s "Crash" back up to No. 13 from No. 18 the previous week, and that was before the drama’s surprise best picture win.

Author: Thomas K. Arnold, Home Media Retailing

The British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) held their annual awards presentation on February 21st, and they managed to dole out some love for an interesting variety of films and filmmakers — most of which have been on the receiving end of other awards already, but they’re good choices anyway, if it’s me you’re asking.

Best FilmBrokeback Mountain

The Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year — Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in their First Feature Film
Joe Wright, Pride & Prejudice

The David Lean Award for Achievement in DirectionAng Lee, Brokeback Mountain

Original ScreenplayPaul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, Crash

Adapted ScreenplayLarry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain

Film Not in the English LanguageThe Beat That My Heart Skipped

Actor in a Leading RolePhilip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

Actress in a Leading RoleReese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

Actor in a Supporting RoleJake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain

Actress in a Supporting Role
Thandie Newton, Crash

The Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music
John Williams, Memoirs of a Geisha

Cinematography
Dion Beebe, Memoirs of a Geisha

EditingClaire Simpson, The Consant Gardener

Production DesignStuart Craig, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Costume DesignColleen Atwood, Memoirs of a Geisha

Sound
— Walk the Line

Achievement in Special Visual EffectsKing Kong

Make-up & HairThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Short Animation Film — Fallen Art

Short Film — Antonio’s Breakfast

The Orange Rising Star AwardJames McAvoy

BAFTA is a charity with principal objects to promote and advance education through its events and to cultivate and improve public taste in the film, television and games industries. Its principal activities are the staging of UK and international awards ceremonies, special tribute evenings and an ever-expanding events and education programme. BAFTA has approximately 6,500 members worldwide.

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