Paul Schrader: 10 Best Films, According To Rotten Tomatoes

Up there with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader is one of the best living American filmmakers. His career spans multiple decades and genres. Their styles and perspectives are so aligned that Schrader has written multiple screenplays for Scorsese films, including Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

RELATED: 10 Directors Whose Films Inspired Martin Scorsese

A Michigan native, Schrader is also an accomplished director in his own right, responsible for quite a few critically acclaimed features that highlight his gritty approach to cinematic storytelling. This list brings together Paul Schrader’s 10 best films – either as a screenwriter, director, or both – ranked according to their percentage score on Rotten Tomatoes.

10 Hardcore (1979) – 78%

One of Schrader’s earlier features, Hardcore is a shocking and engrossing thriller. Veteran actor George C. Scott plays a conservative businessman in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who finds out his estranged daughter is starring in pornographic movies.

Scott plays Jake Van Horn, who decides to infiltrate the world of late-’70s X-rated movies in order to find his daughter and bring her home. The movie is known for the tagline, “Oh my God, that’s my daughter.”

9 The Last Temptation Of Christ (1988) – 80%

Schrader wrote the screenplay for this contentious, experimental Scorcese film starring Willem Dafoe as Jesus Christ. Eschewing the canonical depictions of Christ, the movie humanizes and complicates the ill-fated man in his final weeks and days.

The Last Temptation of Christ was criticized for depicting a sexual relationship between Christ and Mary Magdalene, portrayed as hallucinations while Christ suffers on the cross. It features supporting performances from Harvey Keitel and Barbara Hershey.

8 Rolling Thunder (1977) – 86%

Schrader is responsible for this film’s screenplay. Rolling Thunder is directed by John Flynn, known for many taut thrillers. It stars William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones, and it focuses on post-Vietnam fallout, especially for soldiers returning home from combat.

RELATED: You Talkin’ To Me?: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Taxi Driver

Devane plays Major Charles Rane, a man who comes back to Texas, where he’s met with equal parts derision and love. Rane becomes the target of a local gang of thieves who hope to secure the valuable silver coins he brought over from Vietnam. Bloody and bleak, Rolling Thunder is a violent revenge drama.

7 Light Sleeper (1992) – 87%

Schrader directed and wrote the screenplay for this urban drug drama starring Willem Dafoe and Susan Sarandon. Dafoe plays a former addict and high-end Manhattan drug dealer named John Le Tour whose way of life is compromised after his boss, played by Sarandon, abandons the business.

Le Tour, reeling from the change, tries to reconnect with an old girlfriend, but she associates him with her drug-addled past and wants to keep her distance. After a wealthy woman is killed during a drug sale, Le Tour begins to believe he’s being trailed by the police, causing him to spiral out of control.

6 Affliction (1997) – 88%

This critically acclaimed family drama is based on a novel by Russel Banks. Schrader wrote the screenplay and directed Affliction, which stars Nick Nolte and James Coburn, the latter of whom won an Oscar for his performance in the movie.

RELATED: 10 Highest-Grossing Low-Budget Drama Movies Ever Made

Nolte plays the sheriff on a small New England town who has inherited the traumas and addictive tendencies passed down from his abusive father, played by Coburn. Nolte’s character repeats many of the same behaviors as an adult, but things come to a head after a rich businessman is killed in a suspicious hunting accident.

5 Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) – 89%

This artistic and visionary biopic about the life and death of revered 20th-century Japanese writer Yukio Mishima is likely Schrader’s most stunning and audacious feature. Ken Ogata plays Mishima, who attempted to overthrow the Japanese government and reinstate the emperor in 1970. After his coup failed and he was ridiculed, Mishima performed ritualistic suicide, known as seppuku.

Schrader’s movie digs into the complicated creative and personal life of Mishima while depicting famous scenes from his novels and plays. The sets for the sequences from Mishima’s writings were designed by Eiko, also known for her work on Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula and Tarsem Singh’s The Fall, and shot using vibrant and dreamlike colorizations.

4 First Reformed (2018) – 93%

First Reformed is Schrader’s latest feature, and it proves he hasn’t lost any of his stamina and ability as a filmmaker. Considered one of the best films of 2018, it stars Ethan Hawke as a troubled pastor in a small New York town who is questioning his faith.

RELATED: Ethan Hawke’s 10 Best Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

After he meets with the politically radical husband of a pregnant young parishioner played by Amanda Siegfried, the pastor comes face-to-face with the degradation of the environment and the ways corruption taint humanity’s spiritual purpose. Ignoring his own health issues, the pastor slides deeper and deeper into a dark, meditative haze brought on by these dismal revelations.

3 Raging Bull (1980) – 94%

Schrader wrote the screenplay for this iconic, near-perfect biopic focused on the life of boxer Jake LaMotta, which is directed by Scorsese. Robert De Niro plays LaMotta in this career-defining movie, which also stars Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty. Raging Bull is considered one of the best movies of all time, and it gave De Niro his second Oscar.

The movie traces the rise and fall of LaMotta, an explosive and angry New Yorker known for his ability to withstand intense beatings. As his career reaches its height in the 1940s, LaMotta sabotages his success as a result of his inner demons. He stops taking care of himself, and by the 1950s, his career seems completely over. However, LaMotta managed to make a comeback in the 1960s as a nightclub owner and local celebrity.

2 Taxi Driver (1976) – 97%

Contemporary American cinema was forever altered after the release of Taxi Driver, the first collaboration between Schrader as screenwriter and Scorsese as director. Schrader wrote the screenplay inspired by his own experiences in New York City, where the film takes place, as well as by the journals of Arthur Bremer, the man who shot presidential candidate George Wallace in 1972.

Robert De Niro stars as a lonely taxi driver who hatches an extreme plot to execute a presidential candidate as well as a local pimp played by Harvey Keitel. Taxi Driver paints a bleak portrait of the 1970s, one defined by excessive crime and complete moral corruption. The film was considered controversial for casting Jodie Foster, who was only 12-years-old at the time, as an underage sex worker.

1 Blue Collar (1978) – 100%

Schrader’s best film is also his first directorial feature. Set in his native Michigan, Blue Collar provides a grim look into the lives of Detroit’s autoworkers. Harvey Keitel and Richard Pryor star as assembly linemen living paycheck to paycheck, despite being represented by their local union.

After they come up with a plan to steal some quick cash from their local union office, they find evidence of corruption and deceit. Blue Collar exposes the racism and classicism that continue to keep society stratified.

NEXT: 10 Most Culturally Influential Movies Of The 1970s

2020-01-16 03:01:27

Megan Summers

The 10 Best Dolby Atmos Movies On Netflix (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

A great film needs more than just a great story, performances, and visuals – it needs great audio. This is where Dolby Atmos comes in. Dolby Atmos takes digital surround sound to the next level, producing audio effects from multiple directions (including above). This multi-directional audio output makes for a truly immersive viewing experience, virtually transporting audiences in and amongst the action of a film.

RELATED: The 10 Best Netflix Movies Of The Decade (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

Over the last few years, streaming giant Netflix has begun to add movies featuring Dolby Atmos to its ever-growing catalog of films, and below we have the 10 most highly rated films according to Rotten Tomatoes that feature this impressive audio playback technology.

10 The Ritual (2017) – 74%

The underrated horror gem The Ritual follows a group of old college buddies on a trek through the Scandinavian wilderness as a tribute to a recently deceased friend. Things quickly turn sinister as they suspect the forest is hiding an ancient monstrosity, causing the group to question their own sanity while trying to stay alive in the dense, dark environment they’ve found themselves in.

Right from the start, The Ritual brings up some heavy moral questions that captivate the audience, drawing them in to the horrors that lie ahead. A good horror movie uses sound and vision to terrify its viewers, and The Ritual has both in abundance. The film doesn’t rely on cheap audio cues to tell you when you should feel scared, but rather, its audio track is one that builds a sense of dread, perfectly complimenting the unnerving tone the film is going for.

9 Okja (2017) – 86%

This multilayered film from acclaimed director Bong Joon Ho follows a young girl on a rescue mission to save her genetically engineered animal best friend from the clutches of a multinational corporation, who intend to turn the animal into food. Her adventures will see her come across various groups of people with contrasting ideas on what to do with the animal.

RELATED: Bong Joon-Ho’s Movies Ranked From Worst to Best, According to Rotten Tomatoes

Bong Joon Ho’s Okja was the first film on Netflix to be released with Dolby Atmos output and is one of the more thought-provoking films on this list. The film takes viewers on an emotional, fun adventure that’s further enhanced with its absorbing audio effects and score.

8 The Great Hack (2019) – 88%

The Great Hack is a terrifying documentary film that recounts the story of the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal from a few years ago, featuring interviews with all the key players behind the scenes. The scary part about this documentary is the realization of just how easy it can be for companies to deceptively acquire an individual’s personal data in order to influence their political vote.

Real-life can often be scarier than any horror movie, and such is the case with the scandal brought to light in this film. It will have viewers thinking twice about what type of links they click and what forms they fill in online after watching it. It’s a suspenseful film that cleverly uses audio beats to instill a deep-rooted fear into its audience.

7 The Two Popes (2019) – 89%

Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce play two high-level Popes in this acclaimed Netflix film based on actual events. It chronicles the shift in power between the leadership of the world’s largest religion. The division between the Popes ultimately forces them to confront their issues and find common ground in order to lead their one billion followers into the future.

Full of drama and intrigue, The Two Popes takes audiences behind the Vatican walls as these high profile figures of the church face the challenges that come with leading an often scandalous creed. The audio in this film emphasizes the immense power these men hold over their followers, placing audiences right in the middle of these poignant deliberations.

6 El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) – 91%

Fans of the hit TV series Breaking Bad received a pleasant surprise in the form the feature-length film, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie which arrived exclusively on Netflix in 2019. It follows Jesse Pinkman’s (Aaron Paul) journey directly after the events of the Breaking Bad series finale, as he tries to make a new life for himself while on the run from the law. Naturally, he encounters some dangerous, shady figures along the way.

RELATED: 10 Great Neo-Westerns To Watch If You Loved El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

El Camino is essentially a quiet film, full of introspection, and one you wouldn’t consider being reliant on sound as much as other, more action-centric films. Like with Breaking Bad, the audio mix in El Camino focuses heavily on environmental sounds to help drive the narrative. This type of sound direction allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the story as if they’re in the same room as the characters, listening to all the anxiety-inducing sounds during the more tense scenes in the film.

5 Klaus (2019) – 93%

Christmas movies are a yearly staple in film releases and the Netflix original animation, Klaus, is the latest and greatest in this genre. It’s an original take on the Santa Claus myth that follows a postman who makes friends with a mysterious toymaker known as Klaus, and the two join forces in delivering gifts to their Antarctic town’s gloomy residents.

This charming film won the hearts of many animated Christmas movie lovers with its humor, stunning animation style, and heartfelt story. The film’s sound design includes many fantastical audio elements along with expertly captured voice recordings, making for an engrossing audio-visual viewing experience.

4 Roma (2018) – 96%

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma earned critical acclaim upon its release in 2018, winning three Oscars with its portrayal of family life in 1970s Mexico City. Centered around Cuarón’s own life experiences, the film pays homage to the women that raised him in this touching story about family drama amidst a political crisis.

Watching Roma and the first thing you’ll notice is the amazing cinematography (for which this film received one of its three Oscars). The film’s visuals are only part of the picture, however, with its sound design utilizing the best Dolby Atmos has to offer, converting this profound story into a truly intimate viewing experience.

3 The Irishman (2019) – 96%

The epic mob-movie, The Irishman, saw legendary actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci once again in roles they were seemingly born to play, under the direction of one of Hollywood’s greatest directors, Martin Scorsese. It charted the life of Frank Sheeran, a mafia hitman who befriends the famed union boss Jimmy Hoffa, only to be forced to assassinate him later on.

RELATED: I Heard You Paint Houses: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Irishman

The film featured some of the best digital de-aging technology we’ve yet to see in cinema, and its dialogue-heavy script required a complex audio mix to replicate the younger versions of these actors’ voices. Immersive sound, as subtle as it is here, is especially important in a three-hour-plus film that requires one-hundred percent of your attention.

2 Mudbound (2017) – 97%

Set in post-WWII Mississippi, Mudbound follows the story of two soldiers who return home from the war as comrades, only to arrive in a racially charged environment that will threaten their worldview. The veterans have to overcome bigotry and violence in their town while adjusting to regular life after the war.

This emotionally powerful film from director Dee Rees is hard to watch at times but is necessary viewing. The engaging sound design of this film allows the audience to feel the pain of these men along with them, and as awkward a feeling it may be, it makes for a visceral viewing experience that won’t be forgotten.

1 Dolemite Is My Name (2019) – 97%

After hitting superstardom in the 80s and 90s, actor-comedian Eddie Murphy’s career went into a nose-dive with flop after flop, until the actor came back in a big way with 2019’s Dolemite Is My Name. The film is based on the real-life story of entertainer Rudy Ray Moore, a prominent figure in 1970s Blaxploitation cinema. It charts his rise to stardom through sheer will and perseverance, told in a humorous fashion.

Set in the 60s and 70s, the Dolemite Is My Name sound designers use their expert skills to recreate the vibe of the era, transporting us right back into that point in time. The clever use of music and sound effects allows the audiences to experience all the highs and lows along with Rudy, making for an entertaining ride through the life of this iconic entertainer.

NEXT: Eddie Murphy’s 10 Best Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

2020-01-16 01:01:31

Nick Janks

Michael B. Jordan: 5 Best & 5 Worst Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

Michael B. Jordan has wowed critics and audiences with his talent, charisma, and geniality ever since he first appeared on the big screen at the age of 12, in the film Black and White. More than twenty years later, he’s as clever and affable as ever – except now he also has quite a few blockbuster film roles under his belt.

RELATED: Michael B. Jordan’s 10 Best Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

We’re going to be ranking both his career’s biggest hits and its biggest misses, at least according to review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

10 Best: Creed II (2018) – 84%

Many big-budget sequels, especially nowadays, seem unnecessary, while some even detract from the value of the original. Thankfully, Creed II is not one of those films. Starring Jordan as the versatile fighter Adonis Creed, this sports drama sequel showed audiences that the Rocky franchise can once again grow without becoming a nuisance – at least for now.

RELATED: Creed 3: 10 Things That Need To Happen

Critics, for the most part, found no issue with the film’s characters, performances, or direction – although some zeroed in on its formulaic, sometimes predictable nature as a negative element.

9 Worst: Fahrenheit 451 (2018) – 32%

Michael B.’s performance in the 2018 HBO film Fahrenheit 451, as a dystopian-era “fireman” responsible for burning banned books, was praised. Overall, however, the dystopian thriller failed to satisfy those surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes. The rare positive review would usually praise the film’s performances and story, stating that it did an adequate job of adapting its source material for a new generation.

Meanwhile, negative reviews focused on the film’s inability to equal its predecessors – across various mediums – and its attempts at cultural significance, which critics said would lead to it coming off as dated.

8 Best: Chronicle (2012) – 85%

The found footage genre, while currently rather stagnant, has led to some cinematic treats; the 2012 superhero film Chronicle is one of them. Instead of aiming for the horror-based tone the genre exemplifies, the film chronicles the adventures of three teens – played by Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, and Jordan – who each receive bizarre superpowers after coming in contact with a mysterious, gemlike object underground.

RELATED: 5 Found Footage Tropes That We Love (& 5 That We’re Sick Of)

The film became a resounding success, both with critics and at the box office – it made $126 million on a budget of just $12 million, and received widespread praise for its performances, acting, script, and direction.

7 Worst: Kin (2018) – 32%

Michael B. Jordan was the executive producer for Kin, a sci-fi drama; he also had a brief cameo towards the film’s climax. The story details the adventures of Eli and Jimmy, a sibling duo possessing a valuable superweapon decades ahead of its time. They’re chased by an elite squadron of futuristic soldiers (who are after the weapon), plus a crime lord who Jimmy owes money to.

Many critics were less than amicable in regards to the film’s story and direction; trying a more good-natured approach, Rotten Tomatoes suggested the production would have worked better as a TV pilot.

6 Best: Fruitvale Station (2013) – 94%

2013’s Fruitvale Station sees Michael B. take on an extremely challenging role while successfully avoiding the various mistakes less versatile actors could easily make. The film tells the true story of Oscar Grant (Jordan), a young African-American man shot and killed by a police officer on New Year’s Day 2009. Masterfully handling its sensitive subject, it acts to educate its audience without overly blurring the facts or taking a confrontational tone – much like Jordan’s recent effort Just Mercy.

It’s passionate, though subtle storytelling method isn’t the only factor that hooked critics on this biographic drama, with several noting the performances, direction, and tone as pluses.

5 Worst: That Awkward Moment (2014) – 23%

The 2014 romantic comedy That Awkward Moment stars Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan as a trio of friends who pledge to devote their lives to putting entertainment first, leaving them with unlimited freedom and no commitments to others. However, one by one, they each find themselves in serious relationships.

Critics couldn’t find the “com” in this fairly insignificant rom-com; while many argued there was obvious talent put into the film’s production, others said its premise was too mimetic to be impactful.

4 Best: Creed (2016) – 95%

In the years since Carl Weathers and Sylvester Stallone first squared off, all the way back in 1976, the Rocky franchise seemed to be getting worse with every film. By the time Rocky V came out in 1990, many critics were saying it was time for the series to end.

RELATED: Top 10 Iconic Rocky Franchise Moments

After 2006’s Rocky Balboa became an unexpected success, however, Michael B. Jordan stepped into the ring, starring in Creed – which follows the training regime and boxing career of Apollo Creed’s son Adonis. Critics have praised the film’s acting, characters, direction, and story. A common praise was that it fit within the saga without being overly derivative of its predecessors.

3 Worst: Hotel Noir (2012) – 13%

Michael B. has a brief appearance in the 2012 neo-noir thriller Hotel Noir, which takes place in 1958. The film ties together the stories of those occupying a seemingly nonchalant hotel during a single night of secrets being revealed and blood being shed.

While its casting did receive some praise, most critics had trouble swallowing some of the film’s more bizarre plot elements; meanwhile, many were weary of what they perceived as low production quality present throughout.

2 Best: Black Panther (2018) – 97%

The MCU mega-hit Black Panther features one of Jordan’s greatest performances, as the supervillain Killmonger; the titular character’s cousin and rival for the Wakandan throne. Becoming the first superhero film ever to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar isn’t a feat that should be ignored, and that achievement is just one of the many things serving to distinguish Black Panther from Marvel’s more trite cinematic fares.

Critics praised it as witty, poignant, and relevant, while not taking itself too seriously; many named it one of the best films of 2018.

1 Worst: Fantastic Four (2015) – 9%

While Michael B. Jordan starred in one of the all-time greatest superhero movies, he also starred in one of the all-time worst. 2015’s Fantastic Four was seen by critics as a terrible film based on a hit-and-miss property; the majority were unhappy with its tone, humor, and characters, and with a critical consensus score of just 9%, it’s the lowest-rated Marvel movie on Rotten Tomatoes.

In terms of awards, the film snagged five nominations and three wins at the Razzies, which honor the worst in cinema.

NEXT: Michael B. Jordan’s 10 Best Movies (According To IMDb)

2020-01-14 01:01:06

Izak Bulten

10 Best Tommy Lee Jones Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

Tommy Lee Jones is one of those actors who is always compelling any time he is on-screen. He can chew the scenery with the best of them but is also capable of giving extremely subtle and quiet performances, drawing the audience in with his calm delivery.

RELATED: 10 Best Michael Douglas Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

In comedies, Jones has a wonderful dry wit and expert timing. In dramas, he can be powerful and intense. He can carry a film as a lead or stand out as part of an ensemble. He can play the dashing hero or the deranged villain. He is one of the most versatile  actors around with many superb films to his name. Here are Tommy Lee Jones’ best movies, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

10 A Prairie Home Companion (2006) – 82%

Robert Altman is a director known for creating some of the best ensemble films of all time, and his talents as a filmmaker attracted plenty of incredible actors. A Prairie Home Companion is one of his most impressive ensembles that features the likes of Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson and Kevin Kline in the fictional story of the titular and iconic radio show during its farewell performance. Jones plays a businessman who is purchasing the theater.

The movie is a charming, sweet and funny look behind the scenes of this unique and dysfunctional show. The musical numbers are entertaining, and the cast seems to be having a ball with the clever dialogue and charming characters.

9 JFK (1991) – 84%

Oliver Stone is a controversial director who is nonetheless responsible for some very intriguing films based on difficult real-life stories. JFK is set in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and follows a New Orleans district attorney (Kevin Costner) who begins his own investigation. Jones plays a man at the center of the conspiracy.

RELATED: 10 Most Needlesly Convoluted Conspiracies From Famous Thrillers

Like most of Stone’s film, JFK was subject to controversy for playing fast and loose with history. However, the movie is still a star-studded work that holds your attention the entire time as it digs deeper into one of the great mysteries in American history.

8 Ad Astra (2019) – 84%

Ad Astra is Jones’ most recent film, and one of the most underrated films of 2019. Brad Pitt stars as an astronaut who is chosen for a top-secret mission to locate his father (Jones), an astronaut who was presumed to have gone missing during a deep space mission years ago.

The slow-burn approach to the science-fiction movie might not be for everyone, but there is certainly a lot to like about this film. From its haunting tone to Pitt’s stunning performance to the powerful themes, Ad Astra is a unique space adventure worth seeking out.

7 The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) – 85%

Aside from his impressive career as an actor, Jones has proven his talents behind the camera as well. His first theatrical film as director was The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, a neo-Western in which he stars as a ranch hand who sets out to fulfill his promise to bury his deceased friend in his hometown in Mexico.

Jones’ lead performance is predictably solid as the quiet yet determined man. However, he is perhaps even more impressive behind the camera, creating a powerful and emotional Western that tackles heavier themes than are usually seen in the genre.

6 Rolling Thunder (1977) – 86%

Rolling Thunder was one of the first films in which Jones truly got a chance to shine, and he impressed a lot of people. The movie stars William Devane as a man who returns home from Vietnam scarred from his experiences, and sets out on a violent quest for revenge against local criminals. Jones plays his fellow veteran who helps hunt them down.

The film is a bleak and dark look at violence and what it does to people. This is not a revenge story you really cheer for but one you cannot look away from. The acting is superb with Jones standing out in a supporting role.

5 Lincoln (2012) – 89%

Jones has had the chance of working with some of the most celebrated filmmakers in Hollywood. Lincoln was his first time working with Steven Spielberg in the story of Abraham Lincoln’s attempt to pass the Emancipation Proclamation. Jones is excellent as a senator fiercely dedicated to seeing slavery abolished.

RELATED: 10 Best U.S. President Biopics, Ranked

Under Spielberg’s confident direction, the movie tells the story of one of the most important events in American history. The cast is excellent, with Daniel Day-Lewis leading the film as Lincoln. It is an engrossing and emotional courtroom drama.

4 Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) – 89%

Coal Miner’s Daughter is a musical biopic that tells the story of Loretta Lynn (Sissy Spacek), who grew up from an impoverished life in a small coal-mining town to becoming one of the biggest and most influential stars in country music. Jones stars as Lynn’s husband with whom she shared a tumultuous relationship.

Spacek and Jones each give brilliant performance that carries the film. It makes for a charming and entertaining story of an unlikely rise to fame. The music and the heart at its center make it a real winner.

3 Men In Black (1997) – 92%

Though you’re more likely to see Jones in smaller dramas, he has been known to join the occasional big-budget film. One of his most successful films of this kind was the sci-fi action-comedy, Men in Black. The film partners Jones with Will Smith as two agents working for a mysterious organization that monitors aliens on Earth.

The movie is a big and energetic ride featuring big laughs and exciting action. Smith and Jones make a wonderful pair with top-notch chemistry. While the sequels and reboot never recaptured the magic, there’s no denying the fun of the original.

2 No Country For Old Men (2007) – 93%

Jones seems right at home in the Western genre, so he was the perfect fit for the Coen Brothers’ epic neo-Western, No Country for Old Men. The movie is set in the 1980s and stars Josh Brolin as a man who finds a suitcase of money in the desert. Soon he finds himself hunted by an unrelenting killer (Javier Bardem) and a dedicated sheriff (Jones).

RELATED: 10 Best Coen Brothers Movies, According To IMDb

The movie is a bleak and violent film that keeps the tension extremely high throughout. Bardem creates an unforgettable villain while Jones serves as the moral center of the movie as a lawman unable to comprehend the violence he has encountered.

1 The Fugitive (1993) – 96%

Jones won his first Oscar for his scene-stealing role in this highly entertaining action-adventure. The Fugitive stars Harrison Ford as a man wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. After escaping custody, he tries to find the man responsible while being hunting by a U.S. Marshal (Jones).

Ford makes for a great hero, a determined man who is out of his element. Jones is having a ball as an equally determined lawman who is only interested in doing his job. Add in some iconic action sequences and a pulse-pounding plot and it makes for a wild ride.

NEXT: Harrison Ford’s 10 Best Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

2020-01-13 01:01:22

Colin McCormick

Alexander Payne: 10 Best Films, Ranked According To Rotten Tomatoes

Over the years, director/producer Alexander Payne has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most distinctive filmmakers. He was offered the chance to direct his film by Miramax back in 1996 after his university thesis from UCLA was screened for audiences at the Sundance Film Festival. From there, he has gone on to direct and produce over a dozen films.

RELATED: 10 Movies You Never Knew Started Out As Short Films

Payne always prefers to always have total control over his movies. He always does the casting himself and also writes or oversees the script. A few recurrent things have been noted about his work as well. He mostly films in Nebraska and always shoots a few scenes at history museums. This isn’t surprising given that he also majored in History. Payne is also known to use ordinary citizens in minor roles. Amazing! According to Rotten Tomatoes, these are his best films.

10 Downsizing (2017) -48%

Though it has an impressive cast that includes Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz, Downsizing is widely considered the least impressive film in Alexander Payne’s body of work. It also made losses at the box office, grossing just $55 million yet it cost $69 million to make. It is also important to note that Waltz hasn’t impressed critics since his performance as Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained. What’s wrong Waltz?

In Downsizing, scientists come up with a groundbreaking discovery on how to shrink human beings to a mere five inches tall in order to tackle the overpopulation crisis. Paul and his wife Audrey decide to undergo the procedure in order to escape their current ‘grown’ challenges but Audrey backs out at the last minute. The two end up divorcing, leaving Paul with more problems than the ones he had initially wished to flee from.

9 The Assassination Of Richard Nixon – 67%

Who killed Richard Nixon? Actually, nobody did but this film tells the story of a man who considered doing it. When Sam Bicke learns about a government program meant to boost small businesses by giving them loans, he applies for it. When he is denied the loan, he becomes angry and feels that Nixon only cares about war and not the welfare of the citizens. He thus sets himself on a mission to assassinate the president.

The Assassination Of Richard Nixon is based on the real-life story of Samuel Joseph Byck who attempted to hijack a commercial plane in 1974 so that he could crash it into the White House and kill President Nixon. Delusional? Pretty much. The title still doesn’t feel right. Killing Nixon would have been a better choice.

8 Citizen Ruth (1996) – 81%

Focussing mainly on the theme of abortion, Citizen Ruth is a clever political satire that does a great job of discussing both pro-choice and pro-life angles. This first-ever film by Payne follows Ruth, an unemployed woman who finds herself pregnant for the fifth consecutive time. When she gets arrested for drug abuse, she is given a condition stating that she will only get a lesser sentence if she aborts her baby.

RELATED: 10 Actors To Watch In The 2020s

Ruth initially agrees but then she bumps into a group of activists who are pro-life. Unknown to her, they plan to use her to further their agenda by publicizing her case. When she discovers this, she feels betrayed and ends up joining a pro-choice group. Soon, she finds herself at the center of a battle between the two groups.

7 About Schmidt (2002) – 85%

Payne was also able to convince the great, elusive Jack Nicholson to star in his film. In About Shmidt, the Hollywood veteran plays Warren Schmidt, an elderly retired insurance salesman, who is content with staying at home all day and doing nothing.

However, he hates everything his wife does. He also doesn’t think his daughter’s fiance is the right man for her. When his wife suddenly dies, he postpones his daughter’s planned wedding. Thinking he has found peace, he ends up discovering weird secrets about himself and his late wife, secrets that throw him into a state of turmoil.

6 Cedar Rapids (2011) – 86%

Do you love R-rated comedies? Then you are in for a treat here. Your child might turn into a total juvenile delinquent if you let them catch a glimpse of Cedar Rapids. Okay, maybe that might not happen but it really is an explicit film. Go to bed kids. Daddy’s gotta watch TV.

Cedar Rapids follows Tim, an insurance agent who has never set foot out of his hometown. When he is sent to represent his company at an insurance convention in Iowa, he gets overwhelmed. The fact that he meets three wild party lovers who are keen on making him push his boundaries doesn’t help. Payne is the film’s creator and executive producer though Phil Johnson directs it.

5 Paris, Je t’aime (2006)

Paris, Je t’aime is not the kind of film we see every day. The best way to understand it is to think of it as an anthology book. In it, twenty different directors contribute five minutes of footage that revolves around the city of Paris. There is also one recurring character who is involved in all the short films.

Paris, Je t’aime was widely praised by critics. Audiences? Not so much. It’s not an easy film to understand but if you pay close attention, you just might understand what’s going on. It was also the first film in Europe to be filmed in ^K resolution.

4 The Savages (2007) – 89%

The Savages is about Wendy and Jon, two adult siblings who never get along. Wendy is a struggling playwright who enjoys stealing essential office supplies. She’s also having an affair with her married neighbor. Jon is an author and college professor who still can’t commit to his long-term girlfriend despite her love for him.

The two siblings soon learn that their father is seriously ill and has no one else to take care of him. They thus ave to put their chaotic lives on hold and come together to care for their father. Soon, they learn that there’s more to being an adult than just mindless sibling rivalry. Alexander Payne also served as executive producer for the film.

3 The Descendants (2011) – 89%

The Descendants has a lot going in it. Attorney Matt King (George Clooney) is finding life very difficult. His dear wife Elizabeth was involved in a boating accident and now she is lying on a hospital bed in a coma. On the other hand, his daughter Scottie is being unruly so Matt is forced to be tough on her.

Matt is also in charge of a trust that owns a huge chunk of land. The land is being sought by developers and Matt isn’t sure whether to sell it. Soon, he learns that his wife Elizabeth was cheating and she was even planning on leaving him. He decides to look for the man and confront him but doubts still linger in his mind.

2 Nebraska (2014) – 91%

Shot entirely in black and white, Nebraska follows a middle-class Missouri father who is quite convinced that he is the winner of a million dollars in a magazine sweepstake competition. He asks his son to go on a road trip with him to Nebraska so that he can claim his money. Okay. let’s go, dad. Or should we? It turns out its a scam.

RELATED: 10 Best Modern Movies Shot In Black-And-White

Nebraska received six Academy Award nominations. Sadly, it didn’t win any. The American Film Institute also included it in its ‘Best Movies Of The Year’ list. It was also the final film that the once-popular Paramount Vintage Company distributed before it closed shop.

1 Sideways (2004) – 97%

Sideways is a movie about two friends called Jack and Miles who decide to take a road trip to the prestigious wine country in Santa Barbara County to celebrate Jack’s upcoming wedding. Jack is a struggling actor while Miles is a writer who has found very little success. Payne really loves the idea of road trips, doesn’t he?

After reaching Santa Barbara, they meet a gorgeous wine pourer called Stephanie who is played by Sandra Oh. This role is actually one of Oh’s best-ever performances. Eventually, Jack falls for Stephanie and ends up sleeping with her. Not cool Jack. Sideways won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar at the 2004 Academy Awards.

NEXT: Top 10 Hollywood Directors And Their Signature Styles

2020-01-09 01:01:19

Philip Etemesi

Sandra Oh: 10 Best Roles, Ranked According To Rotten Tomatoes

Canadian-American actress Sandra Oh has recently become one of the most common faces in Hollywood. Sandra who rose to prominence as Cristina in Grey’s Anatomy has recently had a great run in the espionage drama Killing Eve. Her performances have earned her two Golden Globe awards. She has also received four Emmy nominations throughout her career.

RELATED: Grey’s Anatomy: 5 Times Cristina Was A Good Friend (& 5 Times She Was The Worst)

As a TV and movie actor, Oh has appeared in a string of impressive film and television productions since the 90s. But which are some of the best roles she has taken? She was personally quoted saying Sideways and The Diary of Evelyn La are her best movies. However, according to Rotten Tomatoes, these are Oh’s best roles.

10 Six Feet Under (2001) – 83%

The HBO show is as crazy as HBO shows get. Six Feet Under revolves around the Fisher family who own a funeral home called Fisher & Sons in Lose Angeles. Widely regarded as one of the best TV shows of all time, Six Feet Under scooped a whopping nine Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards throughout its run.

Each episode of the show usually began with a death that was explored to the most minute of details. Sandra starred in a single episode as a close friend of recently deceased adult film star Vivica St. John. The episode’s Oh-My-God moment comes when Sandra’s character complements the management of the funeral home for making her friend’s breasts looked bigger than they had been in years. Jesus!

9 Last Night (1998) – 84%

Isn’t it great to play a character with your actual name? In this film, there is an incoming calamity that is set to cause the end of the world. Families and friends are coming together to prepare for it. A widower called Patrick meets with his extended family to have a final dinner before leaving for his apartment.

While on his way, he meets a lady called Sandra (Sandra Oh), who wants to meet her husband but is stranded in the city’s commotion. Patrick invites Sandra to his house so that he can help her look for her husband. The two end up developing a weird bond as the apocalypse looms.

8 Rabbit Hole (2010) – 86%

Rabbit Hole has a stellar cast that includes Miles Teller, Nicole Kidman, and Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad. After being filmed for the first time at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, the film received a standing ovation. Kidman also received several nominations for her role.

RELATED: Nicole Kidman’s 10 Best Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

The plot is about a young married couple that struggles to move on after the death of their son. Sandra stars as Gabby a member of a group therapy session that the couple is attending to clear their minds and find some relief. She tries to get the couple to take the sessions seriously but they are too stubborn and stressed out to listen.

7 Guinevere (1999) – 86%

Oh wasn’t a major star yet so she only had a minor role, playing a lady called Cindy. Despite limited screen time, she still possessed the same screen presence that she does today. Guinevere has an impressive supporting cast that also includes Gedde Watanabe. and Paul Dooley.

The film follows. Harper a young woman who often feels ignored in her family. While attending her sister’s wedding reception, she meets an older guy called Connie who has been hired to take photos. They flirt and soon, the begin to see each other. However, she soon realizes that Connie has a history of brief flings with younger women who he doesn’t take seriously at all.

6 Meditation Park (2017) – 89%

Meditation Park is a perfect film that explores independence and infidelity in marriages. In it, a 60-year-old woman called Maria Wang (Maria (Cheng Pei Pei) finds female undergarments in the pockets of her husband’s trousers, throwing her into a state of jealousy and worry.

She follows her husband around the city and discovers that her fears are indeed true. However, she doesn’t confront her cheating husband. Her daughter Ava (Sandra Oh) encourages her to be dependent so that she won’t have to be treated poorly by her husband. She thus embarks on getting a job and making her own money.

5 Window Horses (2016) – 91%

In this animated film, Sandra Oh voices Rosie Ming, a young and talented Canadian poet who gets an invite to showcase her skills at a major poetry festival in the Iranian city of Shiraz. However, she isn’t too thrilled about the opportunity. Rosie prefers to go to cooler places like Paris.

RELATED: 10 Animated Films That Are Artistic Masterpieces

She goes anyway and makes friends with other poets who influence her to explore her past and look for her long lost Iranian father as well. The film was produced by Oh herself in partnership with Stickgirl Productions. At the 2017 RiverRun International Film Festival, Window Horse was given the Human Rights Award.

4 Sideways (2004) – 94%

Sideways follows two forty-something men as they take a trip to the wine country in Santa Barbara County to celebrate a wedding. Jack, an actor who is past his prime, is finally getting married.  His friend Miles Raymond,  played by Paul Giamatti from Billions, is an unsuccessful writer.

In the wine country, the duo meets a wine pourer named Stephanie (Sandra Oh), who Jack ends up having an affair with. The film won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. It also received a Best Picture nomination. It was also named the Movie Of The Year at the American Film Institute Awards.

3 Killing Eve (2018) – 94%

Sandra Oh has won four Best Actress awards from different bodies for her performance in this series. She has also received over a dozen nominations. Her performances in Greys Anatomy were legendary but it feels like this was the role that she was born for.

Killing Eve revolves around an MI5 security officer called Eve (Sandra Oh) who hates her desk job and harbors the desires of being a field spy. The other major character is Villanelle, a talented assassin who enjoys her job. The two end up being obsessed with each other in a manner that will be both beneficial and detrimental to them.

2 She-Ra And The Princesses of Power (2019) – 96%

The animated series follows an orphaned teenager called Adora, who gains special powers after finding a magic sword in the woods. She thus becomes She-Ra the princess of power. She then teams up with other princesses to defeat the villains on her planet.

RELATED: 10 Current Netflix Cartoon Series That Adults Love Just As Much As Kids

Sandra Oh voices a sorceress called Castaspella who has the power to create great feats of magic. Her name is a creative take on ‘cast a spell.’ Castaspella is also a member of a group called The Great Rebellion

1 American Crime (2015) – 97%

In American Crime, Sandra gave a stellar performance as a social worker called Abby Tanaka, who ran a special shelter for victims of domestic abuse. The ABC series, which is not to be confused with American Crime Story focusses on different plots each season.

In the first season, the story revolves around the U.S. criminal justice system as it tries to handle a California home invasion incident that left a former soldier dead and his wife seriously wounded. The second season which is set in Indianapolis focuses on sexual misconduct accusations involving two teenagers. And the third season which is set in North Carolina revolves around drugs, forced labor, and sex trafficking.

NEXT: 10 Shows To Watch If You Like Killing Eve

2020-01-08 01:01:12

Philip Etemesi

10 Best Movie Parodies, According To Rotten Tomatoes | ScreenRant

Parody movies give us something that normal comedies don’t necessarily bother with. They take things we’re familiar with, even respectable, revered subjects, and pokes fun through imitation, subversion, and referential jabs. The best of them stand alone as excellent movies you don’t necessarily need to know their inspirations to fully enjoy watching them.

RELATED: Ranking The Top 10 Underrated Comedy Sequels

A lot of these eclipse their sources of inspiration entirely, so you might have to do a double-take when you realize that an amazing scene isn’t originally from the comedy we love so much. Also, gonna be some double-dipping in this list, just because there are simply too many greats that deserve to make it. So more bang for your buck!

10 Sausage Party 83%

The raunchiest food-based movie this side of well, it’s a niche genre, to begin with. Between Deadpool and Joker cementing the R-Rated movie as a box-office force again, this surprisingly intelligent ‘Capital R’ romp used what we’d come to expect from CGI animated films to parody them.

There are elements of the Toy Story series all over this thing, except where that series accesses our childhood ideals this one hits at our adolescent yearnings. Drugs, sex, and a surprising amount of graphic food dismemberment are the meat betwixt this tasty animation’s buns. You haven’t seen anything if you haven’t seen the ending of this food four-letter fest.

9 Deadpool 85%/Deadpool 2, 84%

Following Ryan Reynolds’ career was frustrating for a while, knowing how funny he could be and seeing him held back. This movie finally married the actor to the right role and Reynolds executed the motor-mouthed mercenary to the satisfaction of all.

RELATED: 5 Comedic Actors Who Did Amazing Dramatic Roles (& 5 Dramatic Actors Who Did Amazing In Comedies)

Along with that, he skewered the current slew of superhero films while remaining part of them. The tightrope act paid off big, and the sequel was on par with laughs and references too.

8 The Naked Gun 87%

Not Leslie Nielson’s last appearance on this list, because he’s one of the masters of this genre. One of the most quotable comedies of all time and everyone playing it straight as an arrow for maximum laughs. The incompetent cop bumbling his way through a life-or-death investigation offers constant opportunities to mock other cop films beyond repair.

The absurdity they manage to fit into the plot to assassinate The Queen deserves all the laughs it thoroughly earns. Try to watch a girl climb a ladder and not quote from this movie. Lines like “We would’ve come earlier but your husband wasn’t dead then” are so stupid and clever you’ll likely miss the next three jokes for laughing at the first one.

7 Galaxy Quest 89%

By Grabthar’s Hammer…. what a movie! A Star Trek parody that is so beloved it’s counted as canon by more than a few Trekkies. A ridiculously talented cast is brought together for this examination of both faded fame, nostalgia, space adventures, con-culture, all wrapped in classic Star Trek tropes. Tim Allen’s best turn when he’s not voicing Buzz Lightyear.

RELATED: 10 Comedies From The 1960s That Are Still Just As Funny Today

Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell, Tony Shalhoub, Justin Long, Rainn Wilson, all are among the recognizable names and faces, and all get big laughs. However, the inimitable Alan Rickman as Shakespearean misanthrope Alexander Dane deserves every plaudit you can find. Never give up! Never surrender!

6 Blazing Saddles 91%

The movie is routinely lamented as ‘it couldn’t be made today’ and that’s despite being preserved in the National Film Registry. Walking right past the language that nowadays couldn’t pass muster, the human cartoon that is Sheriff Bart, played by Cleavon Little, is as close to Bugs Bunny as an actor could get. Every facet of old western cinema is mocked for all they’re worth.

All the archetypes are present, from the evil tycoon, to the famed, alcoholic gunslinger, to the brutish enforcer, and the seductive honey-pot. Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn help ensure the comedy is delightful as well as uproarious throughout, and as frequent collaborators of film-maker Mel Brooks, not their last appearance on this list either.

5 Shaun Of The Dead 92%/Hot Fuzz 91%

Put Edgar Wright with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and there’s every chance you’re onto a hit. Edgar Wright bit into the zombie and romantic comedy genres with Shaun Of The Dead. They played with every romantic comedy trope with hilarious results in the first half of the movie, then just when you’re invested in their intermingling lives, a zombie apocalypse breaks out and they play with all of that too. The oblivious one-shot repeat is among the best moments in cinema, and it’s one among many in this infinitely rewatchable movie. Hot Fuzz refines Wright’s art to a fine point, arguably more so.

RELATED: 5 Comedies We’re Looking Forward To In 2020 (5 We’re Not)

Taking a Michael Bay ‘Bad Boys‘ approach to a little English village is sheer genius. From the action montages focusing on paperwork to the convoluted real-estate red herring plot being just about petty vanity, Hot Fuzz has layers upon layers to enjoy. Action blockbusters could learn from this flicks intricate scripting, excellent use of foreshadowing, and satisfying payoffs. The fact that it’s all that and hilarious from bell-to-bell is astounding. A pair of marvels.

4 Young Frankenstein 94%

Mel Brooks most lauded comedy when it comes to pure laughs. Gene Wilder was again instrumental and Madeline Kahn is a supremely funny foil, but they aren’t alone. Marty Feldman’s Igor is amazingly funny. Cloris Leachman, Peter Boyle, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, Gene Hackman! Every one of them gets not just laughs, but side-splitting scenes funnier than some entire comedies can muster.

The gags range from the silliest to profoundly sophisticated and you’ll definitely catch even more the second and third times you rewatch it because you will. An ageless classic from a timeless tale.

3 What We Do In The Shadows 96%/Spinal Tap 95%

The mockumentary genre has two kingpin’s and these are them. The amount of comedic savants in both casts is an embarrassment of riches past and present. Spinal Tap cut through the rock god facade portraying a band of simplistic goofs who don’t know they’re already past their brief peak. ‘Shadows‘ takes the lens of looking into insular, reclusive groups and makes it absurd as we meet a group of Kiwi Vampires who are struggling with modern life just the same as the rest of us, but also there’s blood. And Werewolves.

RELATED: 10 Great Comedies To Watch If You Love Superbad

Also, the best ‘E-Bay’ joke of all time. Not to be outdone, Spinal Tap also has the best speaker setting joke ever, which is a tough market to top. Whichever one you watch next, be prepared to have both subject matters never appear quite as untouchable again.

2 Monty Python And The Holy Grail 97%/Life Of Brian 95%

This pair is so funny that in all the years since there has never been a funnier movie about either subject or setting. If you want medieval nonsense ‘Holy Grail‘ is the Hol…. a very good option. If you want Biblical times to be the setting and fanatical regimes and their acolytes to be the brunt of the joke, it’s ‘Life Of Brian‘. The Monty Python lads remain the lords of making the self-serious into a farce and forty-odd years later these two remain untouchable works of silly genius.

Much like the Black Night, Monty Python is invincible and so far ‘none have surpassed’. Routinely swapping the top spots in ‘greatest comedies of all time’ lists.

1 Airplane! 97%

Not when Airplane! is unloading in the White Zone. And don’t call us Shirley! The original big ‘spoof’ that literally took most of its script from an existing film (Zero Hour!) and turned everything on its head. The preceding decade’s obsession with plane disaster movies got lovingly parodied like never before, including revitalizing serious actor Leslie Nielson’s career in the process.

There are so many legendary bits in this movie that we can only jot down a few or this entry will never end. Ted Striker’s drinking problem. The mirror gag. Otto The Auto-Pilot. Roger, Roger, Oveur, Over. The wrong week to quit ‘lots of things’. Air Traffic Controller Johnny. Stayin’ Alive. It’s practically endless. Whenever you go for another ride, good luck. We’re all counting on you.

NEXT: 10 Most Underrated Comedy Films From The Past 5 Years

2020-01-05 01:01:32

Mik Rona

Cats: Judi Dench’s 5 Best & 5 Worst Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

While Judi Dench is a theater actress first and foremost, throughout her entertainment career she has appeared in a wide variety of feature films. She is best known for her twenty-year-long tenure as M in the James Bond franchise and her numerous appearances in cinematic adaptations of stage plays (particularly those based on the works of Shakespeare).

RELATED: The Cast Of Murder On The Orient Express: Where Are They Now?

She’s been nominated for seven Academy Awards and is considered by many to be one of the greatest dramatic performers of the last hundred years, but that’s not to say her career hasn’t occasionally been marked by the stain of a critically-panned misfire. Today, we’ll be using Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus score to rank the biggest hits and worst flops of Dench’s career.

10 Worst: Rage (2009) – 29%

Films trying to introduce their viewers to original, never-before-seen concepts will usually either achieve massive success or be huge failures. There’s rarely a middle ground. 2009’s Rage is a satirical art film that falls in the latter category.

It follows Michelangelo, an unseen young blogger who films interviews on his cell phone with several New York fashionistas and celebrities, including a fault-finding pundit played by Dench, as they confide in him their true, unadulterated feelings and opinions. When a model is murdered, his amateur celebrity dialogues are the only substantial evidence. The first film in cinema history to debut on mobile phones, it didn’t bode well with critics, many of whom were less than enthralled with what they saw as an incredulous, overly long story mixed with below-average performances; although others praised the film’s web-series-like style.

9 Best: Mrs. Brown (1997) – 92%

The 1997 drama film Mrs. Brown stars Dench as Queen Victoria and details the complicated, controversial real-life relationship between her and her long-time personal attendant John Brown (Billy Connolly) – although it definitely takes some liberties with the actual history.

However, audiences didn’t seem to mind the film’s various creative liberties, as Mrs. Brown became a surprise commercial success. Critics were also basically unfazed by the film’s more factually inaccurate elements, with many praising the film for Dench and Connolly’s chemistry and acting ability, as well as the nuanced, subtle writing.

8 Worst: The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) – 29%

Vin Diesel stars in The Chronicles of Riddick, a 2004 sci-fi flop that follows the titular antihero as he is being pursued by bounty hunters as a result of his actions in the franchise’s previous installments. Meanwhile, Riddick must save the world from a ruthless group of warriors converting others to their religion by force.

Dench plays Aereon, an elder who guides Riddick on his quest. While a sci-fi film is definitely an odd addition to her filmography, Dench’s performance was solid. Unfortunately, the film’s other elements weren’t as well-received, with its most blatant critics claiming it failed as both a follow-up to a successful sleeper hit and an action film, noting the lack of emotional elements and the overly formulaic sci-fi style.

7 Best: Hamlet (1996) – 95%

One of the most famous of director Kenneth Branagh’s numerous Shakespearian adaptations, 1996’s Hamlet is the definitive film version of its source material, running for four hours and including a bevy of well-known, prolific actors. Dench took on the role of the mythological Troy queen Hecuba, appearing in flashback, as a member of a theater troupe recites a monologue based on her life story to Hamlet.

RELATED: The 10 Best Shakespeare Film Adaptations

Despite becoming a somewhat large box-office bomb, Branagh’s cinematic magnum opus earned positive reviews and received four Oscar nominations among a vast collection of accolades.

6 Worst: Cats (2019) – 20%

Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical of the same name, Cats follows a clan of the titular mammals as they must make the annual choice of which of them will ascend to the strange, unseen world known as the Heaviside Layer and begin a new life. It received a good deal of hype up until the time of its release, though not for the right reasons. Its trailer went viral as an example of poorly-crafted CGI, which the animators used to merge human and cat characteristics.

RELATED: 10 Hilarious Memes About Cats (2019) That Will Make You Laugh

Once the film was released, many other issues were discovered by critics; editing, tone, script, and direction being foremost among them. While many of the performances, including Dench’s portrayal of the wise Old Deuteronomy, were praised, the film will likely go down in history as a poorly-executed train wreck.

5 Best: Casino Royale (2006) – 95%

Daniel Craig’s debut as James Bond in Casino Royale drew audiences in and, for a time, was the highest-grossing film of its franchise. It follows the newly-licensed-to-kill secret agent as he tries to bankrupt a notorious funder of terrorist organizations by defeating the liquid strategical genius in a high-stakes poker game.

Dench’s performance as M, the brash but caring head of MI6, was very well-received, and Craig’s performance was also praised, being hailed as a new take on the famed lead character. Many of the film’s other important details such as plot, characters, direction, and cinematography also met with near-universal acclaim.

4 Worst: Tulip Fever (2017) – 10%

The 2017 historical rom-com Tulip Fever follows two lovers – Sophia, a married noblewoman, and Jan, a painter – as their star-crossed relationship faces numerous difficulties. Told against the backdrop of “tulip mania,” a period in history during which prices for the famed flower hit an all-time high, the film was very poorly-reviewed. Despite its lengthy production history, the movie was accused of being bland and uninspired.

While faults in Dench’s acting are very difficult to spot (she delivers a smart and well-executed performance, as an abbess who gifts Jan with tulip bulbs after recognizing his ambition), we still question her judgment in taking this role, even if the film’s missteps weren’t her fault.

3 Best: A Room With a View (1985) – 100%

The romantic drama A Room with a View, based on a 1908 novel of the same name, follows Lucy Honeychurch, a young woman who learns to recognize her desires and ambitions, despite the Edwardian culture she’s been raised in.

This is a result of her meeting the romantic and youthful George Emerson while on vacation in Italy. Becoming the breakthrough performance for now-famous screen starlet Helena Bonham Carter and featuring one of Dench’s first major film appearances (as a romance novelist), the film was universally praised for its characters, emotion, humor, and wittiness.

2 Worst: Doogal (2006) – 8%

The Weinstein Company’s 2006 animated film Doogal is a bit of an oddity; many critics claimed it blew much of its $20 million dollar budget on its all-star voice cast, leaving many of its other elements lacking. Based on the classic television program The Magic Roundabout, the film follows a group of animals who live in a peaceful utopia under the protection of Zebedee, a red wizard. Unbeknownst to them, Zebedee’s evil counterpart Zeebad has a dastardly plan for their village.

The film was criticized for its premise, characters, visuals, and direction, as well as its lack of traditional film qualities in favor of a more kid-oriented approach. Even Dench’s high-quality narration couldn’t save this animated disaster.

1 Best: Henry V (1989) – 100%

Kenneth Branagh’s obsession with the works of Shakespeare was clearly accentuated in his directorial debut Henry V, an adaptation of the play of the same name. The story follows the titular King of England (played by Branagh) as he goes on numerous adventures, defeating the French army against all odds, stopping a conspiracy to remove him from the throne, and finding love.

Branagh’s unwavering devotion to the source material shines in this oft-praised cinematic masterpiece, and Dench’s performance as the signature Shakespearian innkeeper Mistress Quickly is just as amazing as should be expected from the theater titan.

NEXT: Cats: 10 Best Songs In The Musical, Ranked

2019-12-31 03:12:29

Izak Bulten

James Corden’s 10 Best Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

Though James Corden is perhaps known best as the host of The Late Late Show on CBS, the TV personality has also had a successful film career taking on both small cameos and starring roles. Though his most recent movie, Cats, might not be getting much applause from critics, we thought we’d give a little love to his more highly rated projects. To do this, we’ll be stacking up his best films based on their Rotten Tomatoes scores.

RELATED: 10 Best Talk Show Hosts From US & UK

The review aggregation website has assigned a Tomatometer score to every one of Corden’s feature films. This number is based on the negative and positive reviews of critics. Before we get started, it’s worth noting that we won’t be including documentaries in the lineup. With the logistics out of the way, it’s time to blast through movie past; Here are James Corden’s best films to date, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

10 The History Boys (66%)

Far before Corden was hosting a late-night show, he was appearing in the 2006 comedy-drama known as The History Boys.

Set in the ‘80s, this film tells of a group of students who hope to go to school at the United Kingdom’s Oxbridge. In order to successfully gain entry into the institution, the boys receive help from a determined teacher. However, they soon start to wonder if there are things more important than being at the top of their class. Corden played one of the students at the school named Tony.

9 Into The Woods (71%)

This musical fantasy, adapted from the 1986 Broadway show of the same name, tells of a group of fairytale characters who are forced to face the dark sides of their “happy endings.”

RELATED: Cats: 10 Best Songs In The Musical, Ranked

The film centers on the Baker and his wife, who hope to bear a child but are unable to due to a curse put on them by a witch. In order to reverse this, they are asked to make a potion using a white cow, a red cape, a strand of yellow hair, and a golden slipper. The couple sets out to find these items, encountering Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack along the way. Corden stars as the Baker while Emily Blunt plays his wife.

8 Trolls (76%)

This computer-animated musical comedy tells of the cheerful trolls who are forced to escape the ugly, mean Bergens who hope to eat them. Though the trolls successfully escape once, they are forced to do so again twenty years later after Poppy throws a party to celebrate their earlier escape. The hoopla attracts the attention of the Bergens all over again.

Anna Kendrick stars as Poppy and Justin Timberlake backs her up as Branch, meanwhile, James Corden voices a large troll named Biggie.

7 Smallfoot (76%)

Smallfoot stomped its way into theaters in 2018. This computer-animated comedy tells of a sweet Yeti named Migo who learns that the mythical creatures known as humans are actually real. Though the rest of his village believes he is bluffing, Migo decides to prove them wrong by bringing back one of the people he has found.

Channing Tatum voices Migo while James Corden acts as Percy Patterson, a British wildlife filmmaker who ends up befriending Migo.

6 Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman (79%)

This film tells of the famous British executioner Albert Pierrepoint. Though the story begins in 1932 when Pierrepoint first accepts the job as the country’s official hangman, it ends in 1956 when he chooses to resign.

Though Timothy Spall stars in the leading role, Corden plays a minor character named Kirky, who assists Pierrepoint.

5 Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (81%)

This 2008 movie, adapted from the play of the same name, explores the life of English record producer Joe Meek. While Meek appears successful on the outside, having released many ’60s hits, he battles depression and debt in private. Additionally, with homosexuality deemed illegal in the U.K. at the time, Meek is forced to keep his romantic life private.

RELATED: Cats: 9 Other Movies To Watch With The Main Cast

Corden appears in the film as Clem Cattini, a drummer for the rock and roll band the Tornados.

4 Begin Again (82%)

Begin Again relays the story of a struggling musician named Gretta who ends up in New York after her boyfriend lands a record deal. When he trades in their relationship for success, however, she is forced to start over. Gretta ends up meeting Dan, a once-great record exec, who decides to help her out on an album. As their professional relationship starts to fade into a romantic one, however, the two wonder how much their careers are worth.

Keira Knightley stars as Gretta while Mark Ruffalo portrays Dan. James Corden backs the pair up as Steve, a close friend of Gretta’s.

3 All Or Nothing (82%)

This 2002 British drama follows three working-class families in London who deal with the ups and downs of everyday life.

One family of four has the mother working as a supermarket cashier, the father as a driver, the daughter as a nursing home employee, and the son as a lazy eighteen-year-old who struggles to make himself a future. The last of these, Rory, is played by a youthful Corden.

2 The Lady In The Van (89%)

This 2015 comedy-drama, based on the memoir by Alan Bennet, tells of the elderly woman who temporarily parks in his driveway only to leave her van there for 15 years.

Though the story is led by Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings, Corden, alongside the rest of the main History Boys cast, appears in minor roles. Corden’s character is a street trader in London.

1 Starter For 10 (90%)

Topping off the list as Corden’s highest-scoring film to date is Starter for 10. This British comedy-drama tells of a college student who scores himself a spot on a quiz team that is to appear on the University Challenge television program in the ’80s. James McAvoy takes on the leading role while Corden supports as his not-quite-as-ambitious friend, Tone. The coming-of-age-tale was praised for its spirit and charm.

NEXT: Emily Blunt’s 10 Best Movies (According To IMDb)

2019-12-30 05:12:40

Brooke Bajgrowicz

John Krasinski’s 10 Best Movies (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

Though John Krasinski rose to popularity by starring as Jim on NBC’s The Office, the actor has been making a successful transition from the sitcom to the big screen over the past several years. To celebrate his film success, we thought it was time to look at his best movies to date. Rather thank picking our own favorites, however, we’ll be turning to Rotten Tomatoes for answers.

The review aggregation website has assigned every one of Krasinski’s films a Tomatometer rating. This score is based on the negative and positive reviews of critics, and it’s what we’ll be using to stack up his best. It’s additionally worth noting that we won’t be including documentaries in the list or anything Krasinski had an incredibly minor role in (like The Muppets).

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With the logistics out of the way, it’s time to blast through movie past; Here are John Krasinski’s best films to date, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

10 The Prophet (66%)

This animated drama film, adapted from Kahlil Gibran’s book of the same name, tells of a widowed mother, Kamila, who tends the home of a man under house arrest, Mustafa, in Lebanon during the Ottoman Empire. While Mustafa harbors secret feelings for Kamila, she is busy dealing with her daughter who constantly gets into trouble as a result of missing her dead father.

Krasinski voices Halim, the soldier that at first guards Mustafa and later helps him escape.

9 Away We Go (68%)

Krasinski and comedy legend Maya Rudolph teamed up to play a young couple who travel across America to find where they want to start a family in this 2009 drama. With a baby on the way, their time is limited. As they reconnect with family and friends from their past, they start to uncover the things in life that matter most to them.

RELATED: Emily Blunt’s 10 Best Movies (According To IMDb)

Though the film failed to recover its $17 million budget at the box office, it’s warmth and charm easily enchanted viewers.

8 Monsters Vs. Aliens (73%)

This computer-animated DreamWorks film tells of a woman named Susan who gets turned into a giant on her wedding day after getting struck by a meteor. Rather than continuing with the ceremony, Susan is locked away in a secret location alongside a series of other strange monsters. Though people might be afraid of them, they turn out to be the world’s only hope after an extraterrestrial robot begins wreaking havoc on the earth.

Krasinski plays a human named Cuthbert, whose date with his girlfriend Katie gets interrupted by the robot’s landing.

7 Big Miracle (75%)

Based on Tom Rose’s 1989 book Freeing the Whales, this 2012 family drama has a news reporter (Krasinski) and an activist (Drew Barrymore) teaming up to save a group of gray whales who are about to be harmed by ice that is forming in the Arctic Circle.

Though Krasinski’s Adam is at first tired of reporting in a small Alaskan town, he is soon given the big story he wants after learning of the whales’ crisis.

6 Dreamgirls (78%)

During Krasinski’s early film career he took on a minor role in Dreamgirls, a romantic comedy-drama adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name. It tells of a talented trio of singers who become support for a big star in the R&B music industry. Though life in the spotlight could be sweet, fame and pressure from their manager soon threaten the performers’ futures.

Though the main cast included Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé, Eddie Murphy, and Jennifer Hudson, Krasinski plays a screenwriter and director who hopes to cast Beyoncé’s character.

5 Monsters University (80%)

The prequel to Monsters Inc. zoomed in on Mike and Sulley’s college years. While Mike hopes to become the best scarer at his university, his success is threatened by Sulley, who possesses natural talent and a family legacy to prove it. After the pair’s rivalry leads them to be released from the top scare program, it’s up to the two (and a few friends) to team together and get back where they belong.

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Krasinski plays the monster who inspired Mike to pursue his dreams in the first place, Frank McCay.

4 Detroit (84%)

This 2017 crime drama tells the story of the racially charged Algiers Motel incident, which occurred in Detroit in 1967.

Krasinski plays lawyer Norman Lippitt, who comes to the defense of white police officers who murdered black teenagers. Playing a character with such a dark agenda was a noticeable shift for Krasinski, who in the past had taken on more lighthearted roles.

3 The Wind Rises (88%)

This Japanese historical drama fictionalizes the life of Jiro Horikoshi, who is famous for designing fighter aircraft used by his country during World War II.

Though the film was first released in Japan, it was later dubbed in English and brought to North America. Though Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the lead character, both John Krasinski and wife Emily Blunt back him up as Naoko Satomi and Kiro Honjo respectively. Krasinski’s Honjo is friends with Jiro, becoming employed at the same aircraft manufacturer early on.

2 Kinsey (90%)

Just before starring in The Office, John Krasinski took on a minor role in a biographical drama called Kinsey.

The story revolves around the life of Alfred Charles Kinsey, who is known for his work in sexology. He most famously wrote the Kinsey Reports in 1948 and 1953, which tried to scientifically understand human sexual behavior during a time in which it was rarely discussed.

Though Liam Neeson takes on the titular role, Krasinski plays a character named Ben who discusses his and his wife’s private life with Kinsey.

1 A Quiet Place (95%)

John Krasinski decided to put on multiple hats in order to write, star in, and direct A Quiet Place. Thankfully, his hard work paid off.

This sci-fi horror film tells of a family that lives in a post-apocalyptic world in which sound-sensitive monsters roam the land. If one of these extraterrestrial creatures hears a noise, they set out to attack the person or thing it came from. It is up to Krasinski’s Lee and his wife Evelyn to keep their children safe — especially with a baby on the way.

NEXT: 10 Things We Learned From A Quiet Place 2 Trailer

2019-12-30 03:12:07

Brooke Bajgrowicz