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The 22 most beloved best-picture nominees that got robbed of their Oscars


brokeback mountain focus features

The Oscars are supposed to determine the best in filmmaking. But do they really?

Often, best picture winners don't line up with the most beloved or popular movie of the year by fans, or even critics. 

Although many of the most iconic movies in American cinema have been nominated for best picture, some didn't win. But they're loved so much and held in such high regard that you might assume they won Oscar gold. 

To be fair, some years were extremely competitive. That's why "There Will Be Blood" lost the best picture win to "No Country for Old Men." More recently, 2018's winner, "The Shape of Water," was fine, but it beat a few of the most exceptional films of the year and the decade like "Call Me by Your Name,""Lady Bird," and "Get Out."

Other times, votes made by the Academy don't make much sense. A best picture winner may have been a movie you've never heard of or it was a movie that's now considered terrible. The biggest example of this may be 2005 when "Crash" was awarded best picture instead of "Brokeback Mountain."

Here are the most beloved best picture nominees that didn't actually win:

Carrie Witmer contributed to an earlier version of this post.

SEE ALSO: All 91 Oscar best-picture winners, ranked from worst to best by movie critics

"The Wizard of Oz"

Year: 1940, at the 12th Academy Awards

What beat it:"Gone With the Wind"

"Gone With the Wind" is critically loved, but Judy Garland's role as the Kansas girl trying to get home from Oz not only has better reviews, but is also universally known. You can head to shore points and casinos and see games based off of Dorothy, the Tin Man, and more. Nearly 100 years later, you're not seeing too many slot machines base games off of Victor Fleming's classic.

"Citizen Kane"

Year: 1942, at the 14th Academy Awards

What beat it:"How Green Was My Valley"

"Citizen Kane," even to those who have not seen it, is one of the most recognizable films of all time, and it didn't even win best picture. A film doesn't have to have "best picture winner" next to its name in order to be iconic, and this movie is a great example. 

"To Kill a Mockingbird"

Year: 1963, at the 35th Academy Awards

What beat it:"Lawrence of Arabia"

David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" is critically beloved, but Robert Mulligan's "To Kill A Mockingbird" has stood the test of time, often becoming a must-watch by school children, for its depiction and handling of racism in a courtroom.

"The Graduate"

Year: 1968, at the 40th Academy Awards

What beat it: "In the Heat of the Night"

"The Graduate" is one of the most iconic films in American cinema. From the Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack, to the cinematography, to its performances, it quickly became one of those movies that is studied in film class, and is still quoted today. 

"All the President's Men"

Year: 1977, at the 49th Academy Awards

What beat it: "Rocky"

Sure, "Rocky" is a classic. But "All the President's Men" is a thrilling inside look at the reporting of the Watergate Scandal that resulted in President Nixon's resignation, and it came out only a couple years after it happened in real life. 

"Star Wars"

Year: 1978, at the 50th Academy Awards

What beat it: "Annie Hall"

"Star Wars" was unlike any other movie that had come before it. Director George Lucas was so certain the movie would be a disaster that he went on vacation during the film's opening weekend and tuned out in case everyone hated it. During a Tribeca Film Festival conversation in 2015, Lucas said most of his friends, other than Steven Spielberg, and even Fox thought it would be a bust. 

Not only was that false, but it became one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons. Lucas himself said he didn't know it was a hit until he received a call while vacationing in Hawaii.

"Apocalypse Now"

Year: 1980, at the 52nd Academy Awards

What beat it: "Kramer vs Kramer"

"Apocalypse Now" is one of the most important films ever made. Instead of glorifying war, it fearlessly depicted its many, many horrors. It hasn't aged. If you're rewatching it, or seeing it for the first time, it feels like it could've come out today and been just as innovative as it was decades ago. 

"Raging Bull"

Year: 1981, at the 53rd Academy Awards

What beat it:"Ordinary People"

"Raging Bull" is director Martin Scorsese's masterpiece. In the film, Scorsese explores the madness of boxer Jake LaMotta, played by Robert De Niro in his best performance ever. 


Year: 1983, at the 55th Academy Awards

What beat it:"Ghandi"

Arguably, one of Steven Spielberg's most influential films, "E.T." is a classic staple of every childhood. More than 30 years later, how many people can honestly say they've sat down to watch "Ghandi"?


Year: 1988, at the 60th Academy Awards

What beat it: "The Last Emperor"

"Moonstruck" is the best romantic comedy ever made, and has incredible performances from Cher and Nicolas Cage. It being a comedy (and a romantic one) was its downfall at the Oscars, since comedies are taken way less seriously than dramas. 


Year: 1991, at the 63rd Academy Awards

What beat it: "Dances With Wolves"

Another Scorsese masterpiece that is addictively rewatchable, and is arguably the best mafia movie ever made, lost to Kevin Costner hanging out with wolves. 

"Pulp Fiction"

Year: 1995, at the 67th Academy Awards

What beat it: "Forrest Gump"

"Forrest Gump" is a fine movie, but it epitomizes Oscar bait, and wasn't particularly unique. "Pulp Fiction" was like nothing anyone had ever seen before, and opened up a whole new way of filmmaking that paved the way for many filmmakers. 


Year: 1997, at the 69th Academy Awards 

What beat it: "The English Patient"

Masterfully made by the Coen Brothers with the help of legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, "Fargo" is a hilarious and violent story about people in the Midwest, who are often not represented in film or television. The film is so iconic that it inspired FX's anthology series based on its world. "The English Patient," which is about a dramatic love affair, hasn't been made into an anthology series.

"Saving Private Ryan"

Year: 1999, at the 71st Academy Awards

What beat it: "Shakespeare in Love"

Steven Spielberg's riveting look at the horrors of World War II will go down in history as one of the greatest war movies ever made. Even if you haven't seen it in years, you probably still think about it, and can think of images from the movie, one of Spielberg's best. You definitely can't say the same for "Shakespeare in Love."

"The Sixth Sense"

Year: 2000, at the 72nd Academy Awards

What beat it: "American Beauty"

M. Night Shyamalan's most memorable movie had a twist ending that caught everyone off guard and made audiences fall in love with Haley Joel Osment. Honestly, Kevin Spacey's "American Beauty" is kind of a snooze and doesn't age very well.

"Gangs of New York"

Year: 2003, at the 75th Academy Awards

What beat it: "Chicago"

The performances and songs in "Chicago" are catchy, but Daniel Day-Lewis delivers another Oscar-worthy performance in Martin Scorsese's movie about two warring gangs. The movie was nominated for 10 Oscars.

"Brokeback Mountain"

Year: 2006, at the 78th Academy Awards

What beat it: "Crash"

Many speculate that the subject matter in "Brokeback Mountain" (men falling in love) made Academy voters, who were mostly older men at the time, uncomfortable. So the great movie lost the best picture win to "Crash," an emotionally manipulative ensemble drama that examines racism and sexism among residents of Los Angeles. 

"There Will Be Blood"

Year: 2008, at the 80th Academy Awards

What beat it: "No Country for Old Men"

Ok. "No Country for Old Men" is just as good as "There Will Be Blood." Both of these movies are masterpieces, and it was an impossible choice. But this is and probably always will be director Paul Thomas Anderson's best film ever, so it's a little disappointing that it came out in such a competitive year that its loss makes sense. 

"The Social Network"

Year: 2011, at the 83rd Academy Awards

What beat it: "The King's Speech"

A lot of people rolled their eyes when they found out there was a Facebook movie. But David Fincher turned the story about the founding of Facebook into a dramatic thriller that is Fincher's best movie to date. "The King's Speech" was good, but it didn't really bring anything new to the table, besides Colin Firth's excellent performance. 

"The Tree of Life"

Year: 2012, at the 84th Academy Awards

What beat it: "The Artist"

Who talks about "The Artist" these days? While "The Artist" was an homage to silent films and not much more, "The Tree of Life" completely reinvented what a movie can be. It's visually stunning, and is one of director Terrence Malick's best films to date. 

"Call Me by Your Name"

Year: 2018, at the 90th Academy Awards

What beat it: "The Shape of Water"

"The Shape of Water" isn't a bad movie. It tells a sweet story, and expertly weaves a fairy tale into its 60s setting. But of all the movies in the best picture lineup, it wasn't the most deserving for the highest honor. "Call Me by Your Name" had the two best performances in recent memory with Timothée Chalamet's leading performance and Michael Stuhlbarg's stunning supporting one.

"Get Out"

Year: 2018, at the 90th Academy Awards

What beat it: "The Shape of Water"

"Get Out" created its own genre by satirizing horror while providing social commentary. Its subject matter fit into the cultural narrative, and made a lot of people think about how they treat people of color. Its box office success proved that ambition and diversity actually works.

Every single Justin Timberlake movie, ranked


justin timberlake movie ranking

  • Justin Timberlake is a world-renowned musician who transitioned to acting in the early 2000s. 
  • The actor's best films include critical hits like "The Social Network" (2010) and "Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids" (2016). 
  • However, critics also panned movies such as "Runner Runner" (2013) and "Edison Force" (2006).
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

After becoming the break-out star of NSYNC, singer Justin Timberlake dabbled with movies and TV shows.  

Over the years, he has redefined himself as a formidable actor, starring in big films such as "The Social Network" (2010) and "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013) — but not all of his projects have been a hit. 

Here's a ranking of the movies Timberlake has been in, based on critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes.

Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change. Films without critic scores were not included on this list. 

Timberlake starred as Pollack in "Edison Force" (2006).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

Summary: In the suspense-filled drama "Edison Force," Timberlake stars as burgeoning journalist Joshua Pollack, who tries to expose corruption on the Edison police force. But as Pollack gets closer to cracking the case, the cops launch a personal attack against him.

The actor played Richie Furst in "Runner Runner" (2013).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 8%

Summary: "Runner Runner" is a drama centered around Princeton college student Richie Furst (Timberlake), who keeps his elite education funded through online gambling.

When Richie is swindled out of his money, he travels to Costa Rica to confront his adversary Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). 

He voiced Boo Boo in the animated comedy "Yogi Bear" (2010).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 13%

Summary: In the cinematic retelling of the classic cartoon, the animated comedy "Yogi Bear" follows Yogi (Dan Aykroyd) and Boo Boo (Justin Timberlake) as they save their beloved Jellystone Park from being sold by Mayor Brown (Andrew Daly).

He was Jacques Grande in the comedy "The Love Guru" (2008).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 14%

Summary: In the comedy "The Love Guru," a self-proclaimed guru of romantic love named Pitka (Mike Myers) finds his reputation on the brink when his estranged wife starts dating LA Kings celeb Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake).

Timberlake was a makeup artist in "On the Line" (2001).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 19%

Summary: In the romantic comedy "On the Line," Kevin Gibbons (Lance Bass) falls in love at first sight with a girl (Emmanuelle Chriqui) but fails to ask for her name or number.

Thus begins Kevin's quest to find her by enlisting the help of Chicago through a series of lost-connection posters. 

Timberlake had a small, uncredited role as a makeup artist in "On the Line."

In "The Open Road" (2009) he played Carlton Garrett.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 29%

Summary: After his mother (Mary Steenburgen) falls ill, Carlton Garrett (Timberlake) hits the road in search of his estranged father Kyle (Jeff Bridges), who happens to be a famous sports star.

He was Mickey in the drama "Wonder Wheel" (2017).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 31%

Summary: The drama "Wonder Wheel" takes place in Coney Island, New York, in the 1950s and focuses on the entangled lives of former actress Ginny (Kate Winslet), carousel operator Humpty (Jim Belushi), his daughter Carolina (Juno Temple), and aspiring playwright Mickey (Timberlake). 

Timberlake starred as Will Salas in the thriller "In Time" (2011).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 37%

Summary: The dystopian science-fiction thriller "In Time" is set in an alternate future where money buys the wealthy a longer life span and drains the poor of time.

In the film, Will Salas (Timberlake) and Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried) gamble for more time as they race against the clock to live another day. 

In "Southland Tales" (2007) he played a pilot.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 38%

Summary: In "Southland Tales," the lives of three players overlap during a Fourth of July summer celebration: action star Boxer Santaros (Dwayne Johnson), adult-film star Krysta Now (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and police officer Roland Taverner (Seann William Scott). 

Timberlake had a supporting role in the film as Abilene. 

He voiced Arthur "Artie" Pendragon in "Shrek the Third" (2007).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 41%

Summary: The third "Shrek" film follows the kingdom's scramble to find a fitting new ruler when Shrek's father-in-law King Harold unexpectedly passes away.

While looking for a new king, Shrek (Mike Myers), Donkey (Eddie Murphy), and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) find hope in young Artie Pendragon (Timberlake). 

He was Scott Delacorte in the comedy "Bad Teacher" (2011).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 44%

Summary: In the comedy "Bad Teacher," Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz) is counting the days until she can get out of her miserable day job as a teacher.

But when a wealthy substitute teacher named Scott Delacorte (Timberlake) catches her eye, Elizabeth and her colleague Amy (Lucy Punch) compete for his affections.

He played Johnny in "Trouble With the Curve" (2012).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 51%

Summary: In the sports drama "Trouble With the Curve," aging baseball scout Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) and his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) head on a work trip to North Carolina.

Along the way, Gus reconnects with Johnny Flanagan (Timberlake), a former player he once scouted, and Johnny begins to fall for Mickey. 

Timberlake was Frankie Ballenbacher in "Alpha Dog" (2007).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 54%

Summary: In the drama "Alpha Dog," Los Angeles drug dealer Frankie Ballenbacher (Timberlake) kidnaps his friend's younger brother as punishment for welching on a drug debt.

But things quickly go from bad to worse while they have the 15-year-old in their care. 

Timberlake was Ronnie in "Black Snake Moan" (2007).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 66%

Summary: In the drama "Black Snake Moan," former blues musician Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) finds a sex-addicted young woman named Rae (Christina Ricci) and attempts to save her soul.

Matters grow complicated when Rae's boyfriend Ronnie (Timberlake) turns up out of the blue. 

He starred opposite Mila Kunis in "Friends With Benefits" (2011).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 68%

Summary: Sick of relationships, Dylan (Timberlake) and Jamie (Mila Kunis) decide to add sex to their friendship and skip the romantic drama involved in dating.

But despite their best efforts to stay distant, the two start to catch feelings for each other.

He voiced Branch in the animated movie "Trolls" (2016).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%

Summary: In the animated comedy "Trolls," plucky Poppy (Anna Kendrick) joins morose Branch (Timberlake) on a mismatched journey to rescue their friends after the Bergens invade the Troll Village. 

Timberlake played musician Jim Berkey in "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Summary: Set in the music scene of New York's Greenwich Village in 1961, the drama is about folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he couch surfs through the city and struggles to find his way into the spotlight.

Timberlake had a supporting role in the film as folk musician Jim Berkey, who offers Davis a part on his new track "Please Mr. Kennedy." 

He portrayed Sean Parker in "The Social Network" (2010).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Summary: Based on the meteoric rise of social-media founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), "The Social Network" examines his transition from precocious college student to Facebook mogul, through the help of friends like Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and influencers like Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake).

He performed in the concert documentary "Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids" (2016).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Summary: The concert documentary "Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids" highlights Timberlake's talent as a global star as he finishes off the last stop of his 20/20 Experience World Tour in Las Vegas.

Read More:

Bankrupt MoviePass says it's under 'pending' investigation by the FTC, SEC, 4 California DAs, and the New York AG



  • MoviePass declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Wednesday, according documents filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • In the filing, MoviePass listed four "pending" investigations into the company.
  • MoviePass said it was being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Attorney General, and four California District Attorneys. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

MoviePass has shut down, but its story might not be over yet.

On Wednesday, the defunct movie-ticket-subscription service declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according documents filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The filing followed the shuttering of the service in September.

Bankruptcy might seem like the final chapter for the service — which captivated Hollywood when it gained millions of subscribers, burning hundreds of millions of dollars in the process — but in the filing, MoviePass listed four investigations into the company as "pending."

MoviePass said it was being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Attorney General, and four California District Attorneys (Contra Costa County, San Joaquin County, Sonoma County, and Ventura County).

During Business Insider's four-month investigation into the company's practices, which was published in August, sources said MoviePass used various tactics to try to keep the service afloat as it ran out of money, including locking some subscribers out of their accounts.

MoviePass' parent company, Helios and Matheson, which also filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Wednesday, listed the same investigations in its filing.

Read our four-month investigation on the rise and fall of MoviePass on Business Insider Prime.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal

Every single Christian Bale movie, ranked


Christian Bale

  • Christian Bale is perhaps best known for playing Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. 
  • The actor's highest-rated films include "The Dark Knight" (2008), "American Hustle" (2013), and "Henry V" (1989).
  • Critics didn't share as much love for movies like "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (2001) and "Exodus: Gods and Kings" (2014).
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Christian Bale has made his mark on a variety of genres, from Shakespearean dramas to action-heavy superhero films.

Seeing as he has such a long and storied film career, it's no surprise that Bale's works have been met with varying degrees of criticism over the years. 

Here is every movie Bale has been in, ranked according to critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes

Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change. Films without critical ratings were not included.

Bale played Mandras in "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (2001).

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28%

Synopsis: An Italian officer (Nicolas Cage) is torn between loyalty to his country and his love for a local fisherman's fiancé (Penélope Cruz) as he occupies a Greek island during World War II. 

Bale appears in the film as Mandras, the fisherman who leaves his love behind to fight the war on the mainland.

Bale portrayed Moses in "Exodus: Gods and Kings" (2014).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 31%

Synopsis: In Ridley Scott's retelling of biblical mythology, Moses (Bale) defiantly rises up against the tyrannical rule of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) as he plans to release thousands of slaves and lead them to freedom.

He was John Connor in "Terminator Salvation" (2009).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 33%

Synopsis: The fourth installment in the "Terminator" franchise takes place in 2018 as John Connor (Bale) tries to assemble a human resistance strong enough to overpower the machines that have taken over the world.

In "Newsies" (1992) Bale played Jack Kelly.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 39%

Synopsis: Set in 1899, the movie-musical centers around a band of young boys who go on strike against newspaper titan Joseph Pulitizer. Led by their fearless leader Jack Kelly (Bale), the newsboys of New York unionize to protect their rights and secure fair wages.

He starred as John Preston in the drama "Equilibrium" (2002).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 40%

Synopsis: Citizens live in the peaceful nation of Libria where any expression of emotion can result in arrest. John Preston (Bale) never questioned the system, until he skips a dose of the government-mandated drug that reduces emotion and finally realizes what he's been missing.

Bale played John Miller in "The Flowers of War" (2011).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 41%

Synopsis: In 1937, a war between China and Japan ensues and the Imperial Army overruns the capital city of China. As the battle rages on, American John Miller (Bale), a group of school children, and 13 courtesans hide in a church in an attempt to survive.

Bale was Quinn Abercromby in "Reign of Fire" (2002).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 42%

Synopsis: Quinn Abercromby (Bale) works as a fire chief in a desolate future where fire-breathing beasts roam the earth and prey on the few people left alive. It's his job to keep the city safe until Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey) arrives with an incredible plan to kill the beasts. 

In "The Portrait of a Lady" (1996) he played Edward Rosier.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 45%

Synopsis: In the adaptation of the classic novel by Henry James, a young American woman named Isabel Archer (Nicole Kidman) is sent to England to live with distant relatives after the death of her parents. 

Bale appears in the film as Edward Rosier, a young art collector who wishes to marry Isabel's friend Pansy.

In the romantic-drama "Knight of Cups" (2016), Bale starred as Rick.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 47%

Synopsis: Wandering soul and writer Rick (Bale) travels through Los Angeles and Las Vegas as he searches for a sense of self through the eyes of six women he meets along the way. 

He played Jim Luther Davis in "Harsh Times" (2006).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 48%

Synopsis: Gulf War-veteran Jim Luther Davis (Bale) transitions his war tactics to the streets of Los Angeles as he attempts to join the police department. But he soon finds himself accepting a position with the Department of Homeland Security instead. 

Bale played Stevie in "Joseph Conrad's 'The Secret Agent'" (1996).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%

Synopsis: Joseph Conrad's story takes place in late-19th century London as Verloc (Bob Hoskins), a man who owns a pornography shop and secretly aids the Russian government. 

Bale plays a supporting role in the film as Verloc's stepson Stevie.

In the romantic drama "The Promise" (2017) he played Chris Myers.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%

Synopsis: In World War I, medical student Mikael (Oscar Isaac) moves to Constantinople and vies for Ana's (Charlotte Le Bon) affections. However, he is unaware that her boyfriend Chris (Bale) is a famous political photojournalist who has already captured her heart.

Bale voiced Bagheera in "Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle" (2018).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%

Synopsis: This adaptation of "The Jungle Book" depicts a dark take on Mowgli's (Rohan Chand) journey toward self-discovery as he struggles to find a place between the animals of the jungle and the world of men. 

In the film, Bale voiced Bagheera the panther alongside the voice talents of Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Andy Serkis.

He was Thomas Berger in "Swing Kids" (1993).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 53%

Synopsis: Forced to join the Hitler Youth of Germany in 1939, young university students Peter (Robert Sean Leonard) and Thomas (Bale) rebel against the tyrannical reign of the Nazi regime.

In "Out of the Furnace" (2013) he played Russell Baze.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 54%

Synopsis: Russell Baze (Bale) must balance caring for his dying father with his job at the steel mill. Life grows more complicated when his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns home from serving overseas and immediately disappears without a trace.

Bale voiced Thomas in the Disney animated film "Pocahontas" (1995).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 55%

Synopsis: Spirited Pocahontas (Irene Bedard) is set to marry a man she doesn't love at her father's behest. But when European settlers arrive led by John Smith (Mel Gibson), Pocahontas takes an interest in the adventurer. 

Bale voices Thomas, John Smith's young friend and fellow settler.

He was Arthur Stuart in "Velvet Goldmine" (1998).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%

Synopsis: The world of 1970s glam rock is explored through the eyes of Arthur Stuart (Bale) as he interviews once-famous musician Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) for an article. Stuart unravels the ghosts of Slade's past to discover how the rock star came to fame. 

He played John Rolfe in "The New World" (2005).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 62%

Synopsis: This retelling of the story of Pocahontas explores the legend of John Smith (Colin Farrell) and Pocahontas (Q'Orianka Kilcher) during the Jamestown Settlement of 1607. 

Bale appeared in the film as John Rolfe, a settler who falls for Pocahontas.

In the comedic drama "Metroland" (1999), Bale starred as Chris.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%

Synopsis: In 1977, Chris (Bale) and Marion (Emily Watson) live where the tube line ends at the edge of London.

Chris is beginning to feel bored with married-life when an old friend Toni invites him to travel with him and relive the days of their carefree youth. This brings turbulence to Chris and Marion's marriage as he begins to question his life choices. 

He was Bobby Platt in "All the Little Animals" (1999).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 65%

Synopsis: After being house-bound for nearly his entire life, Bobby (Bale) flees to the countryside following an explosive fight with his abusive stepfather.

While he's on the run, he makes friends with a fellow hermit (John Hurt) who teaches him about the wonders of nature — until his stepfather catches up with him. 

Bale portrayed Dick Cheney in "Vice" (2018).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 66%

Synopsis: The somewhat biographical film follows the ambitious life and turbulent career of former US Vice President Dick Cheney (Bale) in the country's lead-up to the war in Iraq.

He was Demetrius in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1999).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 67%

Synopsis: Adapted from the classic play by William Shakespeare, Michael Hoffman's retelling follows star-crossed lovers Demetrius (Bale), Helena (Calista Flockhart), Lysander (Dominic West), and Hermia (Anna Friel) as they wander a forest thick with fairies.

He played Walter Wade Jr. in the action movie "Shaft" (2000).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 67%

Synopsis: Detective John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) investigates a racially-motivated murder at the hands of Walter Wade Jr. (Bale) — the son of a wealthy New York City construction owner.

Bale was FBI agent Melvin Purvis in "Public Enemies" (2009).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 68%

Synopsis: FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Bale) tails infamous bank robber John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) throughout the 1930s in this retelling of Bryan Burrough's novel.

He played Sam in "Laurel Canyon" (2003).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 68%

Synopsis: A young couple from the East Coast, played by Bale and Kate Beckinsale, relocates to the West Coast and becomes enveloped in a more relaxed, carefree lifestyle as they camp out at Sam's mother's (Frances McDormand's) house.

Bale starred as Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" (2000).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 68%

Synopsis: Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the dark comedic thriller centers on ambitious Wall Street-elite Patrick Bateman (Bale) as he tries to preserve the appearance of a perfect life while keeping his murderous alter ego in check.

He was Captain Joseph J. Blocker in "Hostiles" (2018).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 71%

Synopsis: In 1982, Army Captain Joseph J. Blocker (Bale) accompanies a dying Cheyenne war chief named Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) back to his tribal lands.

Bale played Jim "Jamie" Graham in "Empire of the Sun" (1987), and this was his first big role.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 75%

Synopsis: In the adaption from the memoir by J.G. Ballard, a young British boy named Jamie (Bale) lives with his family in Shanghai.

When the Japanese invade, Jamie becomes separated from his parents and relies on the help of a lone soldier (John Malkovich) to survive.

In the drama "The Prestige" (2006) he played Alfred Borden.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%

Synopsis: Two magicians — Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Bale) —  try and one-up each other to extreme lengths to secure their legacy as legendary showmen.

He was Trevor Reznik in "The Machinist" (2004).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 77%

Synopsis: Factory worker Trevor Reznik (Bale) suffers from crippling insomnia that begins to warp his mental and physical health until he becomes haunted by hallucinations.

Bale played Jack Rollins in the drama "I'm Not There" (2007).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 77%

Synopsis: In the musical drama, various incarnations of Bob Dylan are shown through the lives of six characters: Jack Rollins (Bale), Robbie Clark (Heath Ledger), Woody Guthrie (Marcus Carl Franklin), Billy the Kid (Richard Gere), Arthur Rimbaud (Ben Whishaw), and Jude Quinn (Cate Blanchett).

He originated his depiction of Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins" (2005).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 84%

Synopsis: The first installment of Christopher Nolan's gritty, superhero trilogy explores the origin story of Bruce Wayne (Bale), a philanthropist who transforms into a vigilante to prey on the villains that prowl the dark streets of Gotham City.

He completed his role as Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Synopsis: The final installment of the highly-praised trilogy finds Bruce Wayne (Bale) facing off against his most ruthless villain yet: a looming terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy).

He played Michael Burry in "The Big Short" (2015).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%

Synopsis: The US housing crisis is depicted through the lens of hedge-fund managers Michael Burry (Bale) and Mark Baum (Steve Carell) in this retelling of the book by Michael Lewis. 

Bale was Dan Evans in the western "3:10 to Yuma" (2007).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Synopsis: Veteran rancher Ben Evans (Bale) seeks revenge on the outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) after he ambushes his family on the road out west in the remake of the 1957 film.

In "Rescue Dawn" (2007) he depicted Dieter Dengler.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Synopsis: Based on a true story, the military-drama tells the tale of American pilot Dieter Dengler (Bale) and five other captives who must escape a prisoner of war camp in the Laotian jungle during the Vietnam War.

He played Dicky Eklund in "The Fighter" (2010).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Synopsis: Former boxer Ducky Eklund (Bale) trains his half-brother Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) to compete for the World Boxing Union's Intercontinental Lightweight title.

Bale portrayed Laurie in "Little Women" (1994).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Synopsis: The 1994 adaption of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel follows the lives of four sisters — Meg (Trini Alvarado), Jo (Winona Ryder), Amy (Kirsten Dunst), and Beth (Claire Danes) — as they grow up in New England in the midst of the American Civil War. 

Bale plays Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, a young boy who vies for Jo's affections.

He appeared in the documentary "Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction" (2017).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Synopsis: Joe Berlinger's haunting documentary catalogs the devastating tragedy and impact of the Armenian Genocide by order of the Turks of the Ottoman Empire, which occurred in the early 1910s. 

Bale and his "The Promise" co-star Oscar Isaac both appeared in the doc to provide historical context.

He played Ken Miles in "Ford v Ferrari" (2019).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Synopsis: Based on a true story, this action-drama follows American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British driver Ken Miles (Bale) as they build a cutting-edge race car for the Ford Motor Company to compete in an international race against the highly-successful Ferrari cars.

In "American Hustle" (2013) Bale starred as Irving Rosenfield.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Synopsis: Con-artists Irving Rosenfield (Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are forced to cooperate with FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) as they descend into the dark world of mafia dealings.

He returned as Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight" (2008).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Synopsis: Bruce Wayne (Bale) returns to grapple with a gleefully-dangerous adversary, known as Joker (Heath Ledger), who seeks to plunge Gotham City into pure chaos.

Bale played Sir John Falstaff's luggage-boy in "Henry V" (1989), his highest-rated film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Synopsis: The Shakespearean tragedy portrays the plight of young King Henry V (Kenneth Branagh) as an argument with King Charles of France (Paul Scofield) escalates to full-blown war. 

Bale had a small appearance in the film as Robin, an apprentice to Sir John Falstaff (Robbie Coltrane).

Read more:

The director of 'The Rhythm Section' explains the challenges of making an anti-James Bond thriller, and gives details on star Blake Lively's injury that halted production for 6 months


The Rhythm Section Reed Morano Paramount Pictures

  • "The Rhythm Section" director Reed Morano talked to Business Insider about making her gritty thriller.
  • Though the movie has a lot of action, it also examines the trauma that comes with having to take a life. Morano said that was important for her to have in the movie.
  • Morano also spoke about the on-set injury of the movie's star, Blake Lively, that led to production going on hiatus for 6 months.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

When it was announced that Barbara Broccoli — the producer known best for overseeing the beloved James Bond franchise — would adapt a book about a young woman who becomes an assassin to avenge the death of her family, many in Hollywood assumed they would get a flashy, 007-like story.

Boy, were they wrong.

Thanks to the talents of its director, Reed Morano, "The Rhythm Section" (in theaters Friday) is a gritty and raw introspective tale of a young woman named Stephanie Patrick (played by a barely recognizable Blake Lively with an impressive English accent) who dives head first into the world of spies and contract killing.

No well-tailored outfits. No martinis. And Morano wouldn't want it any other way.

"Everything we do in the movie is coming from the reality of who that character is," Morano told Business Insider while meeting at a hotel in Lower Manhattan.

Morano, who got her start as one of the most sought-after cinematographers in the independent film world ("Frozen River,""The Skeleton Twins,""Beyoncé: Lemonade"), transitioned to directing with the Olivia Wilde-starrer "Meadowland" in 2015, and then found her big break when she directed the first three episodes of Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale." Her work on the show earned her an Emmy.

"The Rhythm Section," based on the 2011 book by Mark Burnell, who also wrote the screenplay, instantly drew in Morano because of its grounded material and because she felt she had a willing star who would take it to the edge with her in Lively. Broccoli was also interested in the tone Morano wanted.

"She was on board with it being raw, gritty, and realistic," Morano said. "I think it's what bonded us when we first talked."

Paramount bought the rights to the movie and Morano was off and running with a budget of around $50 million.

Though that doesn't sound like a whole lot for a studio action thriller, for Morano it was enough to work with, as she wasn't looking for constant explosions but to concentrate more on the character dynamic. At the start of the movie we see Stephanie bottomed out, smoking crack and engaging in prostitution. Then she learns about the people behind the plane explosion that killed her entire family and becomes fueled by revenge.

"There were just certain things where I was like if she did them, even if she was super driven, there would be nothing that would prepare her for how hard it would be to pull the trigger," Morano said.

The Rhythm Section 2 Paramount PicturesThough action movies about hired guns almost always feature a main character who can take out any adversary with little to no effort (Jams Bond movies, "La Femme Nikita,""John Wick" movies, "Atomic Blonde"), what makes Stephanie unique is she has trouble on her assignments. It drives home the foundation Morano wanted for the movie: that it is really hard to kill someone, both the physical act and the psychological.

"I'm close with someone who went through the CIA program and ended up having a lot of PTSD because in a situation where part of your job is you having to take a life, there are not a lot of people who can compartmentalize it, it takes over their life," Morano said.

So in many of the sequences where Stephanie is on a job, the audience is on the edge of their seats because it's possible she might not survive it.

That raw storytelling also went into how it was shot. Morano had her cinematographer, Sean Bobbitt ("12 Years a Slave,""Widows"), shoot the movie with a handheld feel and tight shots, to give you the sense that you are right there with Stephanie. It led to a visually stunning car chase sequence in which the camera stays in the car with Stephanie throughout in one continuous shot. There's also a sequence where Stephanie is training to become an assassin with former MI6 agent Boyd (Jude Law) that got a little too real.

"Blake ended up injuring her hand and it was in that kitchen scene," Morano said, adding that it led to the movie going on a six-month hiatus. "But a ton of thought was put into how to work the injury into the story realistically, especially by Blake. That's where the scene came of her hand getting smashed into this glass and cutting her hand."

Though the movie likely won't be breaking any box-office records, it is destined to build a cult following because of its unique storytelling in a genre that rarely gets it. And Morano, who has been linked to everything from "Star Wars" to a superhero movie, feels "The Rhythm Section" is exactly the kind of movie she wants to continue making.

"I really love intimate movies, but I also enjoy doing stunts and action on this level," she said. "I would say it's not about size it's about continuing to find stories to tell in a way that feels new so I can have something to say. I'll know it when I read it."


SEE ALSO: Barstool and Penn National execs share new details about their blockbuster $163 million deal, from the first meeting in July to plans for a new betting platform

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NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal

Tiffany & Co. just closed its iconic Blue Box Cafe for a year. The restaurant was known for a 30-day waitlist, but I landed a reservation weeks before it shut down.


domgolightly Breakfast at Tiffany

  • I went to the Blue Box Cafe to have "breakfast at Tiffany's" just a few weeks before the iconic cafe closed.
  • The restaurant was located inside of the Tiffany & Co. store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, which will relocate to Sixth Avenue while the store undergoes renovations. 
  • The cafe will reopen in 2021 when Tiffany & Co. returns to Fifth Avenue.
  • Reservations at the Blue Box Cafe were notoriously hard to get, with a waitlist of more than 30 days, Page Six reported.
  • The aesthetics of the cafe were stunning, with walls painted in Tiffany blue and tables adorned with Tiffany silver. The food was also not bad, but there were a few misses on the menu. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Not even Holly Golightly could get a reservation to have "Breakfast at Tiffany's".  

To do so, the fictional character would have to download a reservation app on her phone and wait for a notification that a seat was available at the Blue Box Cafe — the resturant inside of the Fifth Avenue Tiffany & Co. store in New York City, inspired by Truman Capote's 1985 novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's," which later spawned the 1961 movie of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn.

The restaurant was known for a 30-day wait. My friend Sarah and I decided to wait it out, and eventually lucked out in December 2019, when we found a table at a reasonable time on a reasonable day — 10:45 am on a Sunday.

We were both excited, but perhaps I was a bit more so. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was my favorite novella — a story I've read, and a movie I've watched, every December for the past 10 years. The moment was even more important as I realized it could be my first and last time ever going to the Blue Box Cafe. And not just because reservations are hard to get.

A few days after Sarah secured our reservation, Page Six reported that the Fifth Avenue store would be shutting down for two years for renovations. Earlier this month, the store relocated to Sixth Avenue. The renovations are set to last a year, during which the Blue Box Cafe will not be open. Those hoping to visit the cafe can go to a new location in London, where a Blue Box will open in February.

I was not shy to hide my excitement. And yes, I wore a black dress and looked at the expensive jewelry tucked behind glass cases, just like Hepburn did in the film with George Pleppard before they settled on engraving a ring from a box of Cracker Jack. I, on the other hand, settled for a buttermilk waffle and black coffee. 

Keep reading to see what it's like to have "Breakfast at Tiffany's" right before the famed Blue Box closed its doors. 

SEE ALSO: Tiffany & Co. was just acquired by LVMH in a massive, $16.2 billion deal. Here's how the iconic jewelry chain became one of America's most beloved luxury brands.

DON'T MISS: The CEO of Tiffany said customers 'don't care' who owns the brand just days before the company agreed to be bought by luxury giant LVMH

The Blue Box Cafe was located on the fourth floor of the flagship Tiffany & Co. jewelry store, which is on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

I never thought that one day I would be able to have "breakfast at Tiffany's"— especially after hearing how hard reservations were to get. I figured my proximity would be sequestered to the book, or the movie.

But my friend Sarah stalked the reservation website for weeks and grabbed a good brunch time at the famed cafe: 10:45 am on a Sunday in December.

Tiffany & Co. is perhaps the most known American luxury jewelry retailer. It became iconic after the 1961 film 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' based on Truman Capote's 1958 novella of the same name.

We made our reservation three weeks in advance, mostly because Sarah checked reservation app Resy every single day so she could be the first to snag the table when it became available. 

The morning of, I did everything I could to make this a dream come true. I wore a black dress with nice heels and put on some Tiffany charms. I even hailed a cab and said "Tiffany's on 5th, please," like I was in a remake of the film. 

In 2017, Tiffany opened the Blue Box Cafe, allowing people to literally have 'breakfast at Tiffany's.'

When the cafe first opened, it accepted walk-ins which resulted in lines that wrapped around the store and wait times as long as two hours. The venue began accepting reservations, but it always seemed booked. Page Six reported that there was a 30-day wait for the cafe.

Resy told Business Insider that the Blue Box was their most in-demand restaurant of 2019. 

"It was the most searched for, booked solid, and had the highest amount of [notifications] sent of any Resy restaurant last year, often five times what the restaurant could accommodate in a shift," a Resy representative said. 

I arrived before my friend and took the elevators up to the fourth floor, where the accessories were sold.

As I walked around the "Everyday Objects" area of the fourth floor, I thought of the chaos that followed the cafe's opening. Today, the store was much calmer, which made me think of a piece written in the New Yorker by Hannah Goldfield.

"Tuesday morning, I, too, tried to have breakfast at Tiffany's,"she wrote. "Two men of incredible poise, both in suits and one with a posh British accent, told me calmly what they must have told dozens of hopefuls before me: in fact, people had begun to line up at midnight."

Goldfield eventually crossed the street in search of a pastry and cup of coffee. 


Once my friend arrived, we were seated in the back near the kitchen. The cafe was medium sized, and the noise level was tolerable.

The cafe was rather small. The walls were painted the famous shade of Tiffany blue and windows lined the back walls, bringing in lots of natural sunlight and views of the Fifth Avenue. 

Both of us had dressed up a bit for the occasion, and the whole time I couldn't even believe I was there. I just kept thinking about the book, thinking about what Golightly would say. Gosh, would Truman Capote brunch here? 

"I want to still be me when I wake up one fine morning and have breakfast at Tiffany's," Golightly says in the book. 

Everything on the table followed the blue and white theme. The tables were decorated with merchandise, including the Tiffany sterling silver 'tin can' which retails for $1,025.

I took photos with my charm bracelets and of me wearing a black dress (not Givenchy).

"This is so going on Instagram later," I thought to myself. 

Source: Tiffany

There were a few different menus: Breakfast at Tiffany's for $32, The Ten Carat Breakfast for $100, Lunch for $42, and Tiffany Tea for $52.

Sarah and I chose the "Breakfast at Tiffany option," which came with a bowl of fruit, a croissant with various types of spreads: Nutella, honey butter or sour cherry-cranberry jam. Each entrée for "breakfast at Tiffany's" was served with a choice of tea or coffee. 

The coffee appeared to be unlimited which, for me, a coffee lover, was perfectly fine.

Unlimited coffee is what dreams are made of. Again, the cup went along with the blue-and-white theme of the cafe.

The fruit bowl was nice and the honey butter spread for the croissants was divine.

Going into this, I knew the cafe was probably going to be a bit overpriced for common food items.

The fruit was very fresh. The croissants were a bit messy, but very crunchy. I've had better croissants, but the spreads gave the pastry most of its flavor. My favorite was the honey-butter spread. The croissants also came with a Nutella spread and sour cherry-cranberry jam. 

Both paired well with the coffee, which I loved. I usually take my coffee black, rarely any sugar but I dropped in a small brown sugar cube to celebrate the sweet occasion. 


For the main meal, I ordered the waffle, which, at the time, I thought was the safest option.

It was between the waffle or the salmon and castle of bagels, but I imagined how my mother would react when she found out I technically spent $32 dollars on a salmon bagel castle (the smoked salmon and bagel stack, with truffle cream cheeses on the side for $4 extra dollars.) When I thought about it, the waffle was the best bet.

Sarah, on the other hand, got the Parmesan Polenta with white truffles from Alba and chicken sausage, which added $27 to the bill because the truffles.

"Are these truffles freshly shaved," Sarah asked the waitress. 

"Oh, absolutely."

There was a variety of people sitting around us. Some were tourists, some rather swanky people having mimosas at brunch, others celebrating events and birthdays.

"Its more about the ambiance, I heard," Sarah said. "This lighting was made for Instagram." 

My waffles weren't the best, but Sarah's white truffle polenta was really good.

I wasn't going to spend $60 dollars on the Polenta, so the only way I would have been able to try it is if Sarah got it — and, knowing Sarah's love for truffles, she did. It was actually quite good.

But Sarah said she wouldn't spend $60 on it again. "It doesn't scream truffleIt only whispers," she said. 

My waffles, on the other hand, were not the best buttermilk waffles I've ever had. They weren't very soft, and just didn't taste as good as I wanted them to. Maybe I should have gotten the $100 dollar "Ten Carat Breakfast"— Siberian Osserta Caviar (30g) over a buttermilk waffle with fresh lemon cream instead. 

The menu also offered olive oil poached Skuna Bay salmon with beluga lentils, edamame, broccoli, mustard-caper aioli, with the choice to add Siberian Osserta caviar to the salmon for $30.

I didn't come here expecting to be blown away. For me, I think the ambiance lived up to its expectations, but I was pretty disappointed that my waffle wasn't up to par. I'm sure other dishes were probably better. If ever given the chance to go back, I'm going to try the bagel castle. 

The desert menu looked really nice, but I was too full to try anything. It included a blueberry-topped coconut cake and a gilded chocolate mousse cake, both for $13.

The dessert menu also had croissant bread pudding for $13 and a "Blue Box Celebration Cake" for $59. Both Sarah and I decided not to get any dessert.

We ended up staying there for about two hours, and the hosts were really nice. I took my waffle home, and the to-go bag was right on theme.

The noise level was decent — we were probably the loudest ones there. The dishes were spaced out fine, and the hosts did not try to rush us as we talked. In the beginning, things appeared to be a bit slow, but that was only because they had just opened up. If anything, my coffee cup was never empty. 

Overall, the experience inside was quite nice, even if my waffle was not. I took my waffle home and, of course, the to-go bag was on theme. Though, I admit I did think that was a sticky note in the middle of the bag and promptly tried to tear it off before I realized it was not.

But would Holly Golightly like the Blue Box?

It would depend on the day, her mood. Maybe if were open for dinner, or threw nice soirées, but even then it would be a stretch. Fred in the books — or Paul in the movie — would do all he could to book her the reservation, but there's no telling she would show up. It would be  too much of a reality, a dream she's not ready to fulfill. 

Maybe in the movie she was less of an indecisive person, but in the book she was just a young girl trying to find herself. The book began when she was only 19 and followed her through her early 20s. She was somewhat of a high-end call girl, in contrast to the socialite figure Hepburn turned her into. 

Most importantly, she went to Tiffany, not necessarily because she loved the jewelry or the diamonds or the silver, but because there was something about it which settled the angst inside of her; the anxiety of life.

"I don't want to own anything until I know I've found the place where me and things belong together," she said in the book. "I'm not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it's like... it's like Tiffany's."

She couldn't really afford to buy anything there, but that perhaps was all part of the fantasy, not of the diamonds at Tiffany, but of the security she felt there, rather than in her own life.

In the book, Golightly said going to Tiffany always gave her peace, especially on the days when thinking of the future gave her anxiety. For her, jumping in a taxi and going to Tiffany was one way to settle her nerves. 

"It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets," she said. "If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany's then, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name."

As Sarah and I left the cafe, the elevator attendant told us we had to take a picture with Audrey Hepburn and she left us off on the second floor.

Sarah and I got off on the second floor and walked over to Audrey Hepburn's photo. In it, she wore the now iconic Givenchy gown — which sold in 2006 at an auction for $807,000. The photo meant so much to me growing up.

I found myself walking around, window shopping, looking at the nice diamond rings on display. I thought, even if I had a ring from a Cracker Jack box as Holly and Paul did in the movie, I'm not sure I would ask them to engrave it. And I doubt they still sell telephone dialers for $6.75 dollars anymore. What's a telephone dialer anyway? An old-school version of an iPhone pen?

Maybe one day I'll be able to go back to Tiffany for breakfast and finally try that salmon bagel castle.


13 of the best and 13 of the worst movies to be adapted from books


best and worst book movies

  • Through the years, thousands of books have found their way to the silver screen through film adaptations. 
  • Some adaptations like "The Godfather" (1972) and "Schindler's List" (1993) stand on their own as praise-worthy films. 
  • Other attempts at adapting books, like "The Scarlet Letter" (1995) and "The Cat in the Hat" (2003), fell short with critics. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Over the last century, countless books have been adapted into screenplays — but not every resulting film is a hit.

Here are 13 of the best and 13 of the worst movies that have been adapted from books, according to critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Note: Scores were accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change.

"The Godfather" (1972) is considered an iconic film by many critics.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Summary: Based on a series of crime novels by Mario Puzo — notably "The Godfather" and "The Sicilian"— the 1972 drama "The Godfather" centers around the powerful Corleone family and their involvement in a mafia battle in the heart of New York City during the aftermath of World War II. 

Often heralded as one of the best dramas of all time, "The Godfather" received praise for the acting prowess of the cast, the direction of Francis Ford Coppola, and the depth of the story. 

"'The Godfather' is overflowing with life, rich with all the grand emotions and vital juices of existence, up to and including blood," wrote Kenneth Turan in his review for the Los Angeles Times

"Sense and Sensibility" (1995) smoothly transitioned Jane Austen's words to the silver screen.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Summary: Based on the novel by Jane Austen, Ang Lee's cinematic adaptation of "Sense and Sensibility" focuses on Elinor (Emma Thompson) and Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet) and their attempts to find love and secure wealth for their family following their father's untimely death. 

Film critics praised the 1995 adaptation for retaining the warmth and wit of the original source material while bringing the words to life. 

"This movie, made with love and wit, reminds us how much charm, liveliness, passion, good sense — and sensibility — Jane Austen provides," wrote Chicago Tribune critic Michael Wilmington

Critics praised "Schindler's List" (1993) for its heart and intensity.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Summary: Adapted from the novel "Schindler's Ark" by novelist Thomas Keneally, Stephen Spielberg's "Schindler's List" relays the tale of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who rescued thousands of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by taking them under his care. 

Critics agreed that Spielberg pulled off a delicate balancing act by overlaying his unique directing style on the film, all while staying true to Keneally's story. 

"Spielberg ultimately remains Spielberg, finding his enduring themes within Thomas Keneally's novel and giving them the full Spielberg treatment," wrote Dave Kehr for the New York Daily News

Coupled with strong performances and a moving story, "The Hate U Give" (2018) stayed with critics.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Summary: Directed by George Tillman Jr. and based on the young-adult novel by Angie Thomas, the drama "The Hate U Give" centers around high schooler Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is thrust into the spotlight of activism after her close friend Khalil is killed by a police officer. 

Critics championed the film for touching on the profound issues raised by the book, and praised Stenberg for her central performance as Starr. 

"Ultimately, 'The Hate U Give' is an incredibly powerful character study, a crackling thriller, and even a shrewd editorial on the impact of violence in America,"wrote Jeff York for Creative Screenwriting. 

"Who Framed Roger Rabit?" (1988) was praised for bringing whimsy to the big screen.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Summary: Directed by Robert Zemeckis and based on Gary K. Wolf's book "Who Censored Roger Rabbit?," the cartoon-filled, live-action mystery follows Roger Rabbit (Charles Fleischer), who has been framed for murder. Throughout the film, private detective (Bob Hoskins) tries to help clear Roger's name while solving the crime. 

Critics praised the film for seamlessly blending animation and live-action bits into one delightful mystery. 

"More than a technological wonder, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is brilliantly funny, bracingly smart and surprisingly moving,"wrote Dave Kehr for the Chicago Tribune. 

Critics called "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991) a cutting and dynamic psychological thriller.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Summary: Based on the crime novel by Thomas Harris, "The Silence of the Lambs" is a psychological horror film directed by Jonathan Demme that focuses on the chilling rapport between FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and psychopathic cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). 

"The Silence of the Lambs" wowed critics with Hopkins' magnetic performance and the film's propulsive plot. 

"Jonathan Demme's hypnotic adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel has a seriousness and intensity that's been entirely lacking in horror movies lately," wrote John Hartl in his review for the Seattle Times

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" (2011) capped off a hit film series that was inspired by books.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Summary: Based on the fantasy novel by J.K. Rowling, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" is the highest-rated film that's been based on the famous book series.

This final adventure follows Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his fellow wizards as they face off in the final battle against Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

Critics praised this film for how it capped off an impressive series, adapting material from the book in a visually stunning way.

"For a grand finale to a truly epic, good-natured franchise, this is a perfect goodbye that's very hard to beat," wrote Ed Gibbs from the Sydney Morning Herald

Greta Gerwig's adaptation of "Little Women" (2019) was quickly recommended by critics.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Summary: The classic novel "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott centers around the March sisters over the course of seven years. The family includes compassionate Meg (Emma Watson), headstrong Jo (Saoirse Ronan), willful Amy (Florence Pugh), and sweet Beth (Eliza Scanlen). 

Critics called Greta Gerwig's adaptation of "Little Women" a refreshing take on the story that retained the novel's depth and charm. 

"About 20 minutes in, the characters cease to be characters; they are now flesh and blood, our sisters," wrote Paul Byrnes for the Sydney Morning Herald. "We feel their happiness and despond, their cold feet and warm hearts, their slights and loves. It's a masterful, passionate, all-in kind of adaptation."

Notably, some previous remakes of the book, from 1933 and 1944, and have also received high scores on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Critics praised "No Country for Old Men" (2007) for being a well-spun thriller.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Summary: Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, Joel and Ethan Coen's thriller "No Country for Old Men" follows Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) on his hunt for elusive hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). 

Fueled by the creative vision of the Coen brothers "No Country for Old Men" stunned critics with its style and suspense-filled story. 

"'No Country for Old Men' is a thoroughly compelling exercise in the cinema of suspense that proves the power of the old-school thriller remains undiminished," wrote Jim Schembri for the Age

"To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962) was heralded as a coming-of-age classic.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Summary: Robert Mulligan's 1962 adaptation of the Harper Lee novel centers around a racially-charged court case that shakes a community to its core. It's also a coming-of-age tale as it is told through the eyes of a young girl named Scout (Mary Badham). 

Critics celebrated the work for capturing the spirit of Lee's novel while transforming it into a cinematic spectacle that has endured through the decades. 

As Marc Lee wrote for the Daily Telegraph, "As Mulligan so deftly demonstrates, the story is in the characters, their failings and fragility, their heroism and nobility of spirit."

"Slumdog Millionaire" (2008) wowed critics with its visual style.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Summary: Danny Boyle's romantic drama "Slumdog Millionaire," based loosely on the book "Q & A" by Vikas Swarup, places its story on the shoulders of young Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) as he uses specific experiences from his upbringing to rise through the ranks of India's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" 

"Slumdog Millionaire"earned acclaim from critics for its winning cast and Boyle's eclectic energy as a director. 

"Boyle takes his wildly high-energy visual aesthetic and applies it to a story that, at its core, is rather sweet and traditionally crowd-pleasing,"Christy Lemire wrote for the State-Journal Register

Critics were won over by Peter Jackson's adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Summary: The first of three books adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's towering trilogy, Peter Jackson first tackled the iconic adventure saga with "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

In the initial installment, a young hobbit named Frodo (Elijah Wood) is saddled with the weight of saving his world from devastation as he joins a band of adventurers on an epic journey. 

"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" stood out as a memorable flick to many critics who felt that Jackson deftly bottled Tolkein's expansive mythology into an engaging first film. 

In her review for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Margaret McGurk described the movie as "dark, windswept, thrilling, funny and emotional."

"Jackie Brown" (1997) was called gritty and electric.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Summary: Based on the book "Rum Punch" by Elmore Leonard, Quentin Tarantino's explosive adaptation of the work starred Pam Grier as Jackie Brown, an airline stewardess who finds herself entangled in a criminal plot to smuggle money into the country for an arms dealer (Samuel L. Jackson). 

Critics liked "Jackie Brown" for its gritty tone and talented cast. Many also complimented Taratino's unique direction. 

"'Jackie Brown' may be the only Quentin Tarantino movie that gets noticeably better with each viewing," wrote Jason Bailey in his review for Vice

On the other hand, some critics felt "I Am Number Four" (2011) was a shallow cash-grab.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 33%

Summary: Adapted from the young-adult book series "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore, D.J. Caruso's take on the coming-of-age science-fiction story followed John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), a superhuman teen who is on the run from enemies intent on capturing him. 

Critics largely felt that this adaptation suffered from shallow characters and a lazy script. 

"The young 'Four' cast appears to have been plucked from an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue — which isn't an issue until you realize that the characters they're playing are about as thin as the pages in that Gen-Y fashion Bible," wrote Sean O'Connell in his cutting review for the Washington Post

Critics said the dark humor of "Running With Scissors" (2006) was lost in translation.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 31%

Summary: Based on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs, Ryan Murphy's adaptation tracks a fictionalized version of Augusten (Joseph Cross) and his life as he's sent away from his dysfunctional mother to live with her psychiatrist. 

Critics who loved the original novel were let down by the film adaptation, which they felt wholly misunderstood the underlying humor of the book. 

"The first half rolls along like an excitable child hoping to entertain with each new stunt," wrote Stuart McGurk for the London Paper. "But it loses the book's dark humour. 'Running with Scissors?' More like a stumble." 

"The Time Machine" (2002) was panned as a clunky re-working of a classic novel.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 29%

Summary: The 2002 film adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel "The Time Machine" tells the story of Alexander Hartdegen (Guy Pearce), a professor and inventor in New York City in 1895 who builds a time machine in an effort to save the love of his life from dying. 

Most critics felt that director Simon Wells missed the mark when adapting his great-grandfather's source material.  

"If H.G. Wells had a time machine and could take a look at his kin's reworked version, what would he say?" wrote Jeff Strickler for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "'It looks good, Sonny, but you missed the point.'"

The romantic drama "A Walk to Remember" (2002) didn't sit well with reviewers.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 27%

Summary: Based on the romantic drama by novelist Nicholas Sparks, "A Walk to Remember" centers around the love story between high-profile high school student Landon Carter (Shane West) and sweet, shy preacher's daughter Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), and the obstacles they overcome at a young age. 

Critics largely panned "A Walk to Remember" for it's heavy-handed messaging and saccharine script. 

"Adopts a breezy anti-cynicism as a pose, and then spends the rest of the time failing in the most spectacular way to competently execute it," wrote Tim Brayton for Alternate Ending

Some critics felt "Gulliver's Travels" (2010) lacked humor and sense.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 20%

Summary: Based on the beloved early novel by Jonathan Swift, Rob Letterman's "Gulliver's Travels" focuses on a mail clerk named Gulliver (Jack Black) who is sent to the Bermuda Triangle and finds himself washed ashore on an island of minuscule people. 

Derided as lazy in script and execution by a number of critics, the big-screen adaptation of "Gulliver's Travels" failed to capture the charm of the original story. 

"While nobody would seriously expect Hollywood to honour Jonathan Swift's satirical fantasy, we might at least have hoped for a few decent gags," wrote Anthony Quinn in his review for the Independent.

Critics said "Eragon" (2006) was a dull, thinly written slog.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 16%

Summary: Adapted from "The Inheritance Cycle" fantasy novels by Christopher Paolini, Stefen Fangmeier's "Eragon" traces the journey of young Eragon (Ed Speelers) from unknown farm boy to the realm's last defense against a powerful villain after he uncovers a rare dragon egg. 

Critics felt a disconnect between the rich mythology of the book and the film, saying that the adaptation lacked creativity and vision. 

"The title of Hollywood's latest fantasy epic is simply the word 'dragon' with one letter changed, and unfortunately, that's about the level of creativity you can expect from 'Eragon,'" wrote Kerry Lengel for the Arizona Republic.

"The Dark Tower" (2017) was described as a disservice to its epic source material.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 16%

Summary: Based on the expansive series by author Stephen King, Nikolaj Arcel's "The Dark Tower" follows Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) on his trek to stop Walter O'Dim (Matthew McConaughey) from throwing their world into chaos. 

A majority of critics had a tough time sitting through "The Dark Tower," saying that the film was so poor it wasn't even entertaining enough to make fun of. 

"Eight volumes, more than 4,000 pages, and a multitude of exotic settings and alternative realities entered by two near-mythic antagonists, are here transformed into turgid cinematic slop,"Kevin Maher wrote in his review for the Times

Some critics felt "Vampire Academy" (2014) came across as a cheap translation of a magical series.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 16%

Summary: Adapted from the young-adult fantasy series by Richelle Mead, Mark Waters' "Vampire Academy" centers around Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) and her attendance at an elite preparatory academy where vampires and half-vampires exist side-by-side. 

Critics felt that "Vampire Academy" didn't retain the integrity of the original book series and instead seemed like a weak attempt at replicating the success of the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" franchises. 

"[Mr. Waters] doesn't seem especially interested in the supernatural parts of 'Vampire Academy,' and he clearly didn't have the budget to make what little hocus-pocus there is magical," wrote Manohla Dargis for the New York Times

Ultimately critics felt like "Jumper" (2008) was a sleek, shiny mess.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 15%

Summary: Based on the science-fiction novel by Steven Gould, Doug Liman's "Jumper" takes place in a world where people can teleport at will using telekinetic abilities.

But when young teleporter David (Hayden Christensen) gains attention from Roland (Samuel L. Jackson), his adversary seeks to eliminate him for good. 

Critics complained that despite a few fun visuals, "Jumper" was a hard-to-watch, anticlimactic action-adventure flick.  

As Ebert & Roeper critic Richard Roeper wrote, "The disappointments and the inexplicable plot turns kept mounting until I finally surrendered and just admitted it: This was just a good-looking clunker."

"The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising" (2007) was accused of butchering the series' powerful story.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 14%

Summary: David L Cunningham's "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising" is a fantasy-filled action film based on the "Dark Is Rising" book series by author Susan Cooper.

The film depicts a cosmic struggle between the forces of good and evil as they come to rest on the shoulders of 11-year-old Will Stanton (Alexander Ludwig). 

Reception for "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising" was negative across the board, with reviews criticizing the film for poorly copying elements from better fantasy films. 

"By Americanising the hero and grotesquely distorting the plot, they can only alienate the fan-base and confuse the newcomer," wrote critic Robert Hanks for the Independent. 

Critics felt that "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" (2013) failed to build a believable world.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 14%

Summary: Adapted from the best-selling young-adult series by Cassandra Clare, Harald Zwart's "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" is a fantasy film about Clary (Lily Collins), a young woman who realizes that she is from a long line of demon-slaying ancestors with angel blood in their veins. 

Critics felt that the movie's biggest shortcoming sat with its tendency to put viewers through well-trodden cliches. 

"Every moviegoer will have his own breaking point, when 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' surpasses the mundane and enters the ridiculous," wrote Peter Hartlaub for the San Francisco Chronicle

Some felt "The Scarlet Letter" (1995) missed the novel's intention by a mile.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 13%

Summary: Based on a classic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Roland Joffé's 1995 adaptation of "The Scarlet Letter" portrays the unsettling circumstances of Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) as her Puritanical neighbors accuse her of adultery in her husband's absence. 

A number of critics felt that "The Scarlet Letter"did very little to keep the spark of Hawthorne's electrifying tale. 

"A very '90s take on a 1660s tale written in 1850, as a picture of early colonial life it's about as convincing as Pocahontas," said Todd McCarthy in his review for Variety

"The Cat in the Hat" (2003) seemed to butcher a beloved children's book.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 9%

Summary: Adapted from Dr. Suess's beloved 1957 book of the same name, "The Cat in the Hat" is about a whimsical cat (Mike Myers) who teaches two bored children how to have fun while their mother is away. 

Critics called the film messy and chaotic and overall felt that the movie didn't do justice to the material it was inspired by. 

"Part of the problem is the film confuses chaos with fun," wrote critic Rachel Wagner of Rachel's Reviews.

Read More:

'Avengers: Endgame' star Sebastian Stan reacted to Captain America and Winter Soldier's 'out-of-character' ending, and fans are loving it


sebastian stan the avengers steve rogers bucky barnes

  • 'Avengers: Endgame' star Sebastian Stan posted an Instagram Story that seemingly criticizes Steve Rogers/Captain America and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier's character endings in the film.
  • The actor shared a screenshot of a fan's response to a Marvel tweet about Rogers and Barnes' friendship in which they called their 'Endgame' arcs "out-of-character."
  • Many Marvel fans have also criticized the movie, saying that Captain America's arc was about learning to move on from the past.
  • "Star Wars" actor John Boyega, who also recently questioned his franchise's writing, jokingly tweeted to "welcome" Stan to the club.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

"Avengers: Endgame" star Sebastian Stan seemingly criticized how the movie handled Steve Rogers/Captain America and his character Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier's storylines via his Instagram Story on Thursday.

Stan posted a screenshot of a fan's response to a recent Marvel UK and Ireland tweet, which featured a video commemorating Steve and Bucky's friendship with the caption, "Together until the end of the line" (in reference to a recurring exchange between them in the movies).


Twitter user @TheNenya replied to Marvel's tweet, writing, "Together until the line. Or until bad, inconsistent, out-of-character writing turns Steve Rogers into his own anti-thesis. Shouldn't it be 'together until the end of the lie' now?"

Stan shared the entire exchange on his Instagram Story, adding a flushed face emoji.


This controversy refers to the ending of "Avengers: Endgame," in which Steve time traveled back to the 1940s so that he could spend his life with his lover, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). The character reappeared to Bucky and his friend Sam Wilson in the present as an old man, so that he could present Sam with his shield and name him as the next Captain America.

Although this scene sets up the upcoming Disney Plus series"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," some Marvel fans believed that Steve's decision was out of character. They argued that the character's "Phase Three" arc revolved around him letting go of his past and bonding with the Avengers.

steve rogers bucky barnes avengers endgame

"Star Wars" actor John Boyega, who recently received backlash for his tweets criticizing how "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" handled Rey's (Daisy Ridley) relationships with Finn (Boyega) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), posted a tweet playfully "welcoming" Stan to the club.

Many fans took to Twitter to express their delight at Stan's criticisms and Boyega's subsequent tweet, causing Stan's name to trend on the site.


"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" will premiere on Disney Plus in August 2020. "Avengers: Endgame" is available to stream on Disney Plus now.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Most maps of Louisiana aren't entirely right. Here's what the state really looks like.

'Contagion' is now one of the most popular movies on iTunes because of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Here's how it compares to reality.


contagion gweneth paltrow

  • A coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed at least 200 people and infected more than 9,700 since December.
  • In the weeks since public-health officials reported the first coronavirus case, many people have searched for and watched the 2011 movie "Contagion."
  • The film depicts a fictional worldwide pandemic that spreads from animals to people in Hong Kong, then kills tens of millions worldwide.
  • Here's how the pandemic from the movie "Contagion" differs from the current Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The 2011 film "Contagion" opens to the sound of a woman coughing. The universal sound of sickness, her cough is heavy and full of mucous. It comes from Beth Emhoff, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, who is patient zero in a pandemic that kills at least 26 million people worldwide in less than a month. 

The fictional pandemic in "Contagion," called MEV-1 in the movie, is a hybrid of influenza and the deadly Nipah virus that emerged in Malaysia in the late 1990s. 

But because of the real and growing coronavirus outbreak, Google searches for "Contagion" skyrocketed last week. The number of Twitter users mentioning the movie in relation to the current outbreak did as well, and on January 28, "Contagion" was on iTunes' top-10 list of rented movies.

There are many stark differences between the spread of MEV-1 in the movie and the current coronavirus outbreak. Importantly, the coronavirus isn't currently considered a pandemic, though the World Health Organization (WHO) did declare it a global public-health emergency on Thursday.

Since December 31, the coronavirus (whose scientific name is 2019-nCoV) has killed at least 200 people and infected more than 9,000 across 20 countries, including the US. 

Health officials have documented person-to-person transmission of the virus in China, Japan, and recently the United States, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says "the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low."

Still, there are a few notable parallels between the scenario in "Contagion" and current events. For one, the movie's MEV-1 virus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it jumped from animals to people. In the film, it spreads from a bat to a pig sold at an outdoor Chinese market, before hopping to Emhoff. According to experts, the novel coronavirus is also zoonotic disease that likely started in bats and infected people via an intermediary animal sold at a wet market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan

Here are all the ways "Contagion" differs from reality.

The movie's ending scene is revealed to be "day one" of the MEV-1 outbreak. It shows a logging company disturbing a bat, which flies out of the forest and into a pig farm, carrying a piece of banana.

The bat drops the fruit (presumably infected with the virus) and a piglet eats it. The pig is later sold to a wet market vendor, who then sells the butchered swine to a casino restaurant in Hong Kong. The chef prepares the pork before shaking hands with Emhoff, infecting her and kick-starting the pandemic.

This is very akin to the way the Nipah virus spread to people in Malaysia and India. 

The 2003 SARS epidemic, which killed 774 people, started in a similar manner. Chinese horseshoe bats passed the virus to civets sold at a wet market. People caught it from the civets.

In the case of the new coronavirus, the process was likely similar.

"There's an indication that it's a bat virus, spread in association with wet markets," Vincent Munster, a scientist at Rocky Mountain Laboratories, previously told Business Insider.

More research is needed in the case of coronavirus to determine which animal served as the virus' intermediary host. One group of scientists reported it could be snakes. 

The opening scenes of "Contagion" depict day two of the virus' spread. A man in Hong Kong, China is the first to die from the illness, but a man in Tokyo and a woman in London die, too.

By contrast, the first person to die of the new coronavirus, a 61-year-old Wuhan resident, didn't die until 11 days after the first case was reported. The virus also didn't spread outside of China until January 13, two weeks into the outbreak. 

Cases have been documented in 20 other countries beyond China.

By day 29 of the pandemic in the movie, 26 million people worldwide were dead. Thursday was day 29 of the coronavirus outbreak, and more than 210 people have died.

All of the people who have died from the coronavirus live in China. 

In "Contagion," Emhoff's husband, played by Matt Damon, survives the pandemic because he is immune to the fictional virus.

But the concept of individual immunity doesn't apply in the case of coronaviruses, Neil Ferguson, a disease outbreak scientist at Imperial College London, told The Telegraph

"[With the] flu virus you become immune, but there are lots of different viruses circulating," he said. "Coronaviruses don't evolve in the same way as flu with lots of different strains, but equally our body doesn't generate very good immunity."

In the movie, the MEV-1 virus is highly contagious between people.

Paltrow's character infects the Tokyo man who died on day two after blowing on dice he holds in his hands at a casino. She also passes it to a person who cleans up a glass she'd used and another who picks up her phone.

In the case of 2019-nCoV, the coronavirus can only survive on surfaces for "a range of hours," according to Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

"There is likely a very, very, very low, if any, risk of spread from products or packaging that is shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures," Messonier said in a press conference on Monday.

The coronavirus spreads via coughing, sneezing, or close contact between infected and healthy people.

In "Contagion," many infected patients experience seizures before dying. Wuhan coronavirus patients, by contrast, get coughs, fever, and pneumonialike symptoms.

MEV-1 affects everyone equally in the movie — it kills the Emhoffs' son as quickly as it kills Beth.

But a study of 41 Wuhan coronavirus cases reported that the median age of those who have died is around 75. Many of those individuals had other health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.

A second study of 99 coronavirus cases, published Thursday in the journal The Lancet, revealed that the average age of infected patients was 55.5. 


According to Chinese researchers in Hong Kong, one person with the new coronavirus can pass it to three to five others — a statistic called the virus' R0 value.

The researchers' study has not yet been peer-reviewed, however. Officials at the WHO, however, estimate that the coronavirus' R0 value is between 1.4 and 2.5 people. 

On day six of the movie's MEV-1 pandemic, doctors discuss what the virus' R0 value might be.

Fictional officials at the CDC and WHO in the movie are able to identify Emhoff as patient zero of the MEV-1 pandemic. But patient zero of the coronavirus outbreak has yet to be identified.

On December 31, Chinese officials alerted the WHO to several cases of an unknown pneumonia-like virus in Wuhan. By the next day, the number of cases had jumped to 41, so it's unclear which patient first contracted the virus.


No infected patients in "Contagion" recover from the disease. But so far, 143 people in China, Japan, and Australia have recovered from the coronavirus.

According to Todd Ellerin, a doctor and contributing writer at Harvard Health Publishing, "many people recover within a few days" from the coronavirus.

Adrian Hyzler, chief medical officer at Healix International, previously told Business Insider that children, elderly people, pregnant women, and those who are immuno-compromised are more susceptible to the coronavirus' most severe complications.

A fictional blogger in the movie, played by Jude Law, spreads misinformation, claiming that the MEV-1 virus was manufactured by drug companies to turn a profit.

One homeland-security agent in the movie also wonders whether the virus is a terrorist weapon. Neither of those theories turn out to hold water.

Misinformation has spread during the current outbreak as well — oregano oil will not cure it, nor will drinking bleach.

The scenes in "Contagion" in which doctors identify similarities between the MEV-1 virus' genetic code and DNA from bats and pigs are pretty realistic.

The genetic code of 2019-nCoV virus has been mapped by scientists in multiple countries. The new coronavirus shares 80% of its genome with the coronavirus that caused SARS and also overlaps with other coronaviruses found in bats. 

Chinese public-health experts worked to quickly share that genetic information with researchers around the globe so that scientists could analyze how the illness is spreading and mutating, and which animals it came from. 

Doctors in the movie say a mutated strain of the MEV-1 virus killed hundreds of thousands of people on the African continent.

So far, 2019-nCoV has not mutated like that, though health experts say the virus has the potential to mutate.

Currently, more than 50 million people across 16 Chinese cities are under some type of quarantine or travel restriction.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, said on January 22 that efforts to quarantine cities could help Chinese authorities control the virus' spread and "minimize the chances of this outbreak spreading internationally."

In "Contagion," the CDC attempts to quarantine the city of Chicago; the Emhoffs' home town of Edina, Minnesota; the Minnesota-Wisconsin border; and other places in the US.

In "Contagion," public-health officials trace the virus' movement between infected people and those with whom they had close contact. This method, called contact tracing, is real and used by epidemiologists to trace outbreaks.

The WHO defines contact tracing as the identification and follow-up of people who may have come into contact with a person infected with a virus.

The biggest inaccuracy in the movie "Contagion" is how quickly scientists are able to develop and produce a vaccine.

Researchers in "Contagion" are able to produce and distribute a small quantity of a vaccine in just 90 days.

But Munster said that "if Wuhan were to explode, a vaccine best-case scenario is three-quarters of a year, if not longer." 

Several companies, including Moderna, Novavax, and Inovio, have announced preliminary vaccine-development plans. But getting a vaccine to market has historically been an arduous, multi-year process (the Ebola vaccine took 20 years to make). None of the companies have provided expected timelines. 

14 of the most anticipated horror movies coming out in 2020


anticipated horror movies for 2020

  • There are a lot of long-anticipated horror films set to come in out in 2020.
  • A quasi-reboot of a horrifying Japanese film, "The Grudge" made its debut on January 3.
  • February welcomes the thriller "The Invisible Man," which will star Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. 
  • In March, you can see "A Quiet Place 2," which features the work of John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

As this very long year finally comes to an end, it's time to look ahead to 2020 and all of the promising horror films it will bring. 

So far, the upcoming year is filled with movies featuring big-name actors, legendary directors, and talented screenwriters.  

Here are some of the most anticipated horror films that you should have on your radar for 2020. 

"The Grudge"— directed by Nicolas Pesce

Release Date: January 3

This quasi-reboot to the 2004 remake of the 2002 Japanese film (both by Takashi Shimazu) has had a long road to the silver screen.

Early whispers of the project first came back in 2011 when all the internet heard was that Ghost House Pictures was working on the relaunch.

The story is by Jeff Buhler ("Midnight Meat Train") and the screenplay comes from director Nicolas Pesce ("The Eyes of My Mother").

The heavy-hitter is also produced by Sam Raimi ("The Evil Dead") and it stars Andrea Riseborough, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, and horror icon Lin Shaye.

"The Turning"— directed by Floria Sigismondi

Release Date: January 24

A modern take on the 19th-century novel "The Turning of the Screw" by Henry James, "The Turning" is directed by Floria Sigismondi ("The Runaways").

It stars Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, and Brooklynn Prince.

It's about an inexperienced nanny who takes a job watching two creepy kids in a huge, spooky house — and the script comes from "The Conjuring" writers Chad and Carey Hayes.


"The Lodge"— directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz

Release Date: February 7

Snowed in at an isolated cabin with her fiancé's children, Grace (Riley Keough) has to find a way to navigate the tricky new relationships while also facing off with threats from her dark past in "The Lodge."

Directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz ("Goodnight Mommy"), the film originally premiered at Sundance and was later picked up by Neon.

It was initially set to make its big debut in 2019, but now "The Lodge" is scheduled to release in the United States on February 7.

"The Invisible Man"— directed by Leigh Whannell

Release Date: February 28

A woman is stalked and tormented by her abusive ex, only no one can see him and no one believes that he is still alive.

Putting his spin on a character originally created by H.G. Wells, Leigh Whannell has written and directed "The Invisible Man," which stars Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. 

A tour-de-force in horror for over 15 years, Whannell is known primarily as the architect of the "Saw" and "Insidious" franchises.

"A Quiet Place 2"— directed by John Krasinski

Release Date: March 20

After the first film exceeded expectations at the box office, "A Quiet Place" screenwriters and director John Krasinski decided to return to the silent but deadly world. 

Krasinski is back to direct and Emily Blunt is also returning to reprise her role as Evelyn Abbott, a mother trying to protect her family in a world overrun by large creatures with hypersensitive hearing.

Others reportedly joining the cast include Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou. As with many films on this list, plot details are scarce.

That said, Krasinski has teased that the threat in "A Quiet Place" probably extended well beyond the borders of the Abbott family's property, but we'll have to wait and see just how widespread the chaos is.

Production wrapped on the sequel in September 2019 and the film is scheduled to hit theaters in March.

"Saint Maud"— directed by Rose Glass

Release Date: March 27

A psychological horror about a devout Christian nurse and her cancer-afflicted charge, "Saint Maud" premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2019, and made its US debut at Fantastic Fest down in Austin, Texas, a week later.

It is the feature-length film debut for Rose Glass and it stars Morfydd Clark as the titular Maud and Jennifer Ehle as the woman in her care that is in need of "saving."

Reactions from festivalgoers were positive, with several reviewers applauding the "unsettling" possession film for its "creeping dread" and its slow-paced, disturbing tone.

Following its debut, "Saint Maud" was acquired for North American distribution by A24. The studio tweeted that the film is "coming in 2020" but has not announced its plans for a theatrical release.

"Antlers"— directed by Scott Cooper

Release Date: April 17

Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons star in this Guillermo del Toro- and David Goyer-produced supernatural film about a small-town teacher, her sheriff brother, and a creepy local boy (Jeremy T. Thomas) who has something dangerous locked away in his home.

Directed by Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart,""Hostiles"), the horror film has a well-cut trailer that teases the scares and wide-eyed performances from Russell and Thomas, but doesn't fully reveal the creature.


"Antebellum"— directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz

Release Date: April 24

From the producers of hit films "Us" and "Get Out" comes a thriller about an author who finds herself seemingly trapped in a horrifying reality that's set in the past.

It stars Janelle Monaé, Marque Richardson II, Eric Lang, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, and Gabourey Sidibe.

Untitled "Saw" Project —  directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Release Date: May 15

When news broke that Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures were developing another "Saw" film based on an idea from comedian and actor Chris Rock, some thought it seemed like a joke.

But it's very real — and production wrapped in August 2019.

Direct by Darren Lynn Bousman ("Saw II, III, & IV"), the film will reportedly star Rock as a police detective and Samuel L. Jackson as his father, per Deadline


"Candyman"— directed by Nia DaCosta

Release Date: June 12

Described as a "spiritual sequel" to the 1992 movie, the upcoming "Candyman" is produced by Jordan Peele ("Get Out,""Us") and directed by Nia DaCosta ("Little Woods"). Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is set to star in the flick.

The original film and its subsequent sequels were about an urban legend; a murderous ghost with a hook for a hand who would appear if you said his name in the mirror five times.


"Last Night in Soho"— directed by Edgar Wright

Release Date: September 25

In an interview with Empire magazine, "Shaun of the Dead" director Edgar Wright said his upcoming psychological horror film "Last Night in Soho" will have some elements of time travel.

Set in 1960s London, the film stars Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy. The characters share a mysterious link inspired by Wright's obsession with the decade.

"Imagine if you knew everything you know now, and went back," Wright said. "I'm taking a premise whereby you have a character who, in a sort of abstract way, gets to travel in time. And the reality of the decade is maybe not what she imagines."

"Halloween Kills"— directed by David Gordon Green

Release Date: October 16

Director David Gordon Green and his team recently wrapped production on "Halloween Kills," the first of two planned sequels to the 2018 rebootquel "Halloween."

Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, and others are reprising their roles from the 2018 film.

It has also been announced that Anthony Michael Hall is joining the cast as Tommy Doyle and that actress Kyle Richards will be reprising her role as Lindsey Wallace from the original 1978 film.

That said, it seems the filmmakers are keeping the plot details under wraps for long as they can.

"Army of the Dead"— directed by Zack and Deborah Snyder

Release Date: Winter 2020

Zack Snyder ("Justice League") is back in the director's chair after taking a short break from Hollywood in 2017.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Snyders directed and produced a Las Vegas-based zombie-apocalypse film for Netflix called "Army of the Dead."

The film will star Dave Bautista, Ana de la Reguera, and Ella Purnell. The final day of shooting was on October 19, 2019,  but the exact release date for the project has not yet been revealed.



An untitled documentary about the history of queer horror in film — directed by Sam Wineman

Release Date: TBD

The last slot goes to a long-awaited documentary from writer/director Sam Wineman ("The Quiet Room") and the producers of "Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror."

AMC's horror streaming service Shudder announced this past summer that the untitled documentary will explore the history of queer horror in film.

The project is expected to highlight pioneering LGBTQ voices in front of and behind the camera, while also touching on the often problematic subjects, themes, and depictions of queer characters in popular culture.

"Horror has spent a great deal of time telling our stories undercover, both intentionally and unintentionally. In order to fully understand the depth of how and why, you have to unpack the social context of what it is to be queer at the moment in history that coincides with the films themselves. That story is one that is long overdue, and I am honored to have the chance to share it,"Wineman told IndieWire

There is currently no release date set for the film but, according to Shudder, it is expected to premiere in 2020.

Read More:

10 of the most enlightening documentaries about celebrities that you can stream right now


demi lovato taylor swift beyonce documentaries

  • Taylor Swift's new Netflix documentary, "Miss Americana," tracks the singer's public political awakening and is the latest of many celebrity documentaries to reveal new sides of their well-known subjects.
  • Artists like Beyoncé and Lady Gaga have also released Netflix documentaries about their careers and personal lives, while other stars such as Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers have documentaries available to stream on YouTube and Amazon Prime.
  • Here are 10 enlightening celebrity documentaries that you can stream right now.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

In recent years, ever-present internet fandoms and social media have made A-list celebrities open to scrutiny in a way they've never been before, so it makes sense that many of these stars choose to hide their private lives and retreat behind carefully curated public personas.

Documentaries, however, can give audiences a peek behind the curtain (often coinciding with the release of a major new project) and are an increasingly popular mode of celebrity revelation — providing a look into their everyday lives and artistic processes, while generally promoting their work and shaping their star narratives as they see fit.

The latest of these movies, Lana Wilson's "Miss Americana," explores Taylor Swift's public political awakening and was released on Netflix on Friday.

To commemorate the release, here are 10 enlightening celebrity documentaries available to stream right now.

Beyoncé's 2019 concert documentary "Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé" gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at her historic "Beychella" shows.

Where to watch: Netflix

Beyoncé made history when she became the first black woman to headline Coachella 22 years after its inception, and "Homecoming" seamlessly intercuts between the singer's two 2018 performances there.

"Homecoming" gives audiences brief glimpses of the singer's personal life to which general viewers usually aren't privy. Beyoncé served as writer, director, and executive producer for the film, personally approving the dancers, lighting, choreography, and more. It's an impressive feat for any performer, let alone one who gave birth to twins less than a year earlier.

Like her previous films (such as 2016's "Lemonade"), she presents her intricate artistry in conversation with black American history — particularly through her celebration of historically black colleges and universities throughout the show.

"Above all, 'Homecoming' is about Beyoncé asserting, yet again, her power and control," wrote Aisha Harris for The New York Times. "It's Beyoncé exactly as she wants us to see her and has always wanted us to see her: as a perfectionist, and as the hardest-working person in show business." 

Netflix's new Taylor Swift documentary "Miss Americana" tracks the pop star's public political awakening, and the development of her album "Lover."

Where to watch: Netflix

One of the first things that Taylor Swift tells audiences in Emmy-winning director Lana Wilson's "Miss Americana" is that she feels a need to be liked, thanks to the "good girl" persona that she's felt pressured to maintain since the singer shot to fame at 16 —and how events unfathomable to the general public, like feeling as if she was getting booed when Kanye West interrupted her 2009 VMAs acceptance speech, felt devastating for a young Swift.

"Miss Americana" tracks the artist's emerging political advocacy (including her denouncement of Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn in 2018), reveals her history with an eating disorder and briefly touches on her private relationship with Joe Alwyn. By mixing personal, "relatable" footage with sobering reminders of Swift's staggering public persona, Wilson paints a portrait of a 30-year-old woman just beginning to reconcile with her reputation.

"'Miss Americana' emerges, ultimately, as a chronicle of Swift letting go of that need for approval, and growing into a woman more confident in her own voice,"wrote Angie Han for Mashable

HBO's 2016 documentary "Bright Lights" centers on the relationship between mother-daughter duo Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher.

Where to watch: HBO

For decades, Hollywood superstars Debbie Reynolds and her daughter, "Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher, had a symbiotic, bickering bond that lasted until the pair unexpectedly and suddenly passed away in December 2016.

Originally conceived by Fisher to pay tribute to Reynolds' long-lasting career, "Bright Lights" focuses on preserving the mother and daughter's legacies, taking viewers into the eccentric home they share together. Fisher's brash sense of humor is on full display, and she continues to be candid about her experiences with mental illness and addiction in the documentary.

"'Bright Lights' plucks [Fisher's] star and that of her mother down from distant heights and lets us gently hold them for a time, reassuring us that their brilliance and humanity was real, their mutual endearment unbreakable,"wrote Melanie McFarland for Salon.

Netflix's "Gaga: Five Foot Two" chronicles Lady Gaga's time recording her album "Joanne" and preparing to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Where to watch: Netflix

"Why is there a football game before the Lady Gaga show?" one of the singer's friends asks her near the end of the 2016 documentary.

The movie tends to take that view of the artist's Super Bowl performance (which bookends "Five Foot Two"), framing it as the latest culmination of Gaga's musical efforts, alongside her work on her 2017 album "Joanne."

In particular, the documentary further explains why she chose the name "Joanne" to commemorate her late aunt, who died of lupus at 19. Gaga and her family describe her as someone who "had a lot of talent, but she didn't have enough time," and are shown going through some of Joanne's old art work and poems.

"['Gaga: Five Foot Two'] manages to create a sense of intimacy and revelation, even as we sense that there is really no such thing as an unguarded moment for Lady Gaga,"wrote Peter Sobczynski for RogerEbert.com.

Released in full on YouTube, the 2017 documentary "Simply Complicated" features candid interviews with Demi Lovato about navigating childhood stardom and addiction.

Where to watch: YouTube

Released ahead of her 2017 album, "Tell Me You Love Me," the film intersperses footage of her recording the music with raw interviews about Lovato's experiences with bullying, drug addiction, and heartbreak.

"This fusion of commercial with contrition doesn't always work [in 'Simply Complicated'], but it's surprising how much brutal honesty we get,"wrote Associated Press critic Mark Kennedy.

Given Lovato's triumphant return to the stage at this year's Grammy Awards, the star's revelations only make her comeback performance more poignant.

"One Direction: This Is Us" is a nostalgic rendering of the boy band's explosive success in the early 2010s.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime (free with IMDb TV)

Released at the height of "Directioner" fever in 2013, "One Direction: This Is Us" follows the band on their 2012-2013 tour. This documentary is more unabashedly a promotional venture than many of the movies on this list, yet it remains a charming time capsule for those nostalgic for the One Direction days — particularly as its members, like Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, are currently releasing new solo albums.

"Unabashedly an upbeat, snazzily shot infomercial that accentuates and overdoes the positives of this well-scrubbed quintet, 'Us' still manages to capture the lads' refreshing ability to remain basically who they were while coping with life-altering changes,"wrote Stephen Schaefer for The Boston Herald.

The 2012 movie "Katy Perry: Part of Me" follows the pop singer on her yearlong California Dreams tour.

Where to watch: Tubi

Speaking of nostalgia, remember the days when Katy Perry's"California Girls" and "Firework" were constantly playing on the radio? The singer's immense popularity around the release of her 2010 album, "Teenage Dream," is immortalized in "Katy Perry: Part of Me," which takes place over her 124-show world tour.

"It's difficult to assess the authenticity of Perry's big-screen portrait, shaped by handlers, friends, family and gushing Katy Kats,"wrote Edna Gundersen for USA Today. "But her zeal, geeky enthusiasm and generous spirit feel genuine."


"Jonas Brothers: Chasing Happiness" is a 2019 documentary that follows the brothers' recent reunion as a band.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Before the release of the Jonas Brothers' 2019 album, "Happiness Begins," they reflected on the ebb and flow of their sibling-turned-bandmate relationships, and what led them to make music together again in their documentary, "Chasing Happiness."

Viewers might remember the "purity rings" that the brothers were mocked for back in their initial hayday, but the film provides more context for how their pastor father's church shaped their upbringing, and brings a slightly new perspective to cliché "price of fame" narratives by touching on how Disney stardom tested their familial ties.

"Chasing Happiness has a familiar and pleasing rise-and-fall-and-rise arc from ungodly success to grim disillusionment to triumphant rebirth,"wrote Mashable critic Rob Harvilla.

"Amy" includes rare home footage of the late Amy Winehouse, and won an Academy Award and BAFTA for best documentary in 2016.

Where to watch: Netflix

Unlike many of the stars on this list, the late British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse (who died from alcohol poisoning at 27) didn't play a role in shaping how she was perceived in her celebrity documentary. Instead, an array of exclusive home videos, voicemails, and interviews with her inner circle speak for themselves.

Directed by Asif Kapadia, "Amy" tells the story of the singer's early success and tragic substance abuse issues and death that is bolstered by Kapadia's initiative to not present Winehouse and the figures in her life as stark villains or victims.

"['Amy'] doesn't depart from the standard behind-the-music template, but it does deepen the format immeasurably, through the intimacy of its archival materials and the focus of its approach,"wrote Ty Burr for The Boston Globe.


Travis Scott's 2019 Netflix movie "Look Mom I Can Fly" offers snippets of the rapper's Houston roots, love of amusement parks, and love of the craft.

Where to watch: Netflix

Travis Scott might be one of the most well-known figures in hip-hop right now, but "Look Mom I Can Fly" takes pains to emphasize that he's just a kid from Houston who loves his family, his then-girlfriend Kylie Jenner, their daughter Stormi, and... amusement parks.

The 85-minute Netflix original jumps around dozens of moments in Scott's life sporadically, from the beginning of his career to the birth of his first child to the Grammys. Along the way, footage of his excitement at collaborating with names like Drake and Kanye West bolster the expected record studio footage that makes up most music documentaries.

"Moments of intense craftsmanship are countered by scenes displaying unbridled excitement, both for his own work and the way it intersects with others,"wrote Frazier Tharpe for Complex. "['Look Mom I Can Fly'] is far from a perfect documentary, but it excels when it gives us a rare look at Travis Scott' creative process."

Read more:

Taylor Swift drinks white wine with ice in 'Miss Americana' and fans feel so 'validated' by her choice of beverage

The moment Taylor Swift hugs boyfriend Joe Alwyn after a 'Reputation' concert in 'Miss Americana' will warm your whole heart

Taylor Swift talked about her eating disorder and how the press triggered her into starving herself

Taylor Swift reveals her mom has been diagnosed with a brain tumor amid her second battle with breast cancer

These 9 movie pairs are eerily similar, but here are the ones critics prefer


no strings attached and friends with benefits

  • "Twin movies" that share similar plots and release dates are not uncommon in Hollywood. 
  • Sometimes, movies released in different years, like "The Wild" (2006) and"Madagascar" (2005), also share similar plots. 
  • Other movies, like "First Daughter" (2004) nor "Chasing Liberty" (2004) were released shortly after each other and share almost identical plots. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Films like "No Strings Attached" and "Friends With Benefits" that share similar plots and release dates are known as "twin movies."

However, two films don't always need to be released in the same year for fans to pick up on the similarities between them. 

Here are movie pairings that will leave you seeing double, plus how critics felt about each flick. 

Note: The winner declared on each slide is based on which film had a higher critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change.

"Deep Impact" (1998) has higher critic scores than "Armageddon" (1998).

"Deep Impact" critic score: 45%

"Armageddon" critic score: 38%

The plot: A flaming space rock is heading toward Earth, and it's up to a team of astronauts to save the planet or die trying.

One of the most famous twin films in history, "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact" both premiered on the big screen midway through 1998 with star-studded casts.

Fans still debate about which is better, but "Deep Impact" took the prize for critics. 


For critics, "Dredd" (2012) hasn't fared as well as "The Raid: Redemption" (2011).

"The Raid: Redemption" critic score: 84%

"Dredd" critic score: 79%

The plot: Law-enforcement officials enter a multi-level apartment building to catch a criminal. An alarm alerts the other criminals in the building of their presence, so they have to fight their way to the top.

"The Raid: Redemption," an Indonesian martial-arts thriller directed by Gareth Edwards, was lucky to release first even though "Dredd" had an earlier production start-date.

Both films have reached cult status, but "Dredd" ended up with lower ratings and was a disappointment at the box office.

"A Fistful of Dollars" (1964) just barely edges out "Yojimbo" (1961).

"A Fistful of Dollars" critic score: 98%

"Yojimbo" critic score: 95%

The plot: Amidst conflict between two rival factions, a stranger with no name and expert weaponry skills arrives in town and pits both sides against each other in order to free the people from tyranny.

Sergio Leone's spaghetti Western "A Fistful of Dollars" has often been called a sort of "remake" of Akira Kurosawa's samurai film, "Yojimbo."

Swap out Toshirô Mifune's sword for Clint Eastwood's gun and the Japanese city for a desert town in Mexico, and you're basically watching the same film.

Although it seemingly took inspiration from its samurai counterpart, "A Fistful of Dollars" ended up getting reviews that were just a little higher than "Yojimbo."

Neither "First Daughter" (2004) nor "Chasing Liberty" (2004) wowed critics.

"Chasing Liberty" critic score: 18%

"First Daughter" critic score: 8%

The plot: The president of the United States' daughter, who just wants the chance to experience a normal life, ends up falling in love with a member of her father's security detail. 

Both released in 2004, "First Daughter" and "Chasing Liberty" start off the same — the daughter of a president is looking for some freedom.

The main difference is that "First Daughter" is about a girl (Katie Holmes) who wants to experience college life, and "Chasing Liberty" is about a girl (Mandy Moore) who runs off to travel around Europe.

Neither film did particularly well in critics' eyes, but Moore's received better reviews.  

"White House Down" (2013) and "Olympus Has Fallen" (2013) were released in the same year, but neither won critics' approval.

"White House Down" critic score: 51%

"Olympus Has Fallen" critic score: 49%

The plot: When a team of trained terrorists infiltrates and takes over the White House, it's up to one handsome and determined man to take on the bad guys and save the president of the United States.  

"Lone hero saves the day" is certainly not a new trope, nor is the endangerment of a government official, but what made the similarities between these movies more apparent is the fact that they hit theaters three months apart in the United States.

In "Olympus Has Fallen," the one-man army is a former Secret Service agent and presidential guard played by Gerard Butler. In "White House Down," Channing Tatum plays a regular cop who just happens to be on a White House tour with his daughter when disaster strikes.

Critics didn't like either film, but ultimately, "White House Down" received higher ratings.

"The Wild" (2006) doesn't come close to beating "Madagascar" (2005).

"Madagascar" critic score: 54%

"The Wild" critic score:19%

The plot: A group of daring animals experience what it's like to live in the wild after escaping from the New York Zoo. 

Disney's "The Wild" was released just one year after DreamWorks' "Madagascar" hit theaters.

Both films are packed to the brim with cheesy jokes and feature surprisingly star-studded casts, but "Madagascar" ultimately won out in the end.

The DreamWorks production went on to inspire a number of sequels and spin-offs while "The Wild" sort of faded into the background. 

"Observe and Report" (2009) won critics' approval over "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" (2009).

"Observe and Report" critic score: 51%

"Paul Blart Mall Cop" critic score: 33%

The plot: An average mall cop gets in over his head in an attempt to single-handedly save the mall.

There are not many original plots about mall cops out there, but the lead character's often ridiculed profession is not the only way these twin films are alike.

There's also the rivalry with another mall employee, the crush on the hot girl who is out of his league, and the betrayal by a friend.

It is worth mentioning, however, that "Paul Blart Mall Cop" is a PG-rated, family-friendly film and "Observe and Report" is an R-rated comedy, so they aren't as easy to compare as the other movie twins. 

In the end, critics preferred the more mature film over the slapstick comedy. 

"Friends With Benefits" (2011) and "No Strings Attached" (2011) have almost identical plots, but the former has better reviews.

"Friends With Benefits" critic score: 68%

"No Strings Attached" critic score:49%

The plot: A man and a woman agree to have consensual sex while remaining just friends, but they wind up falling in love.

Audiences were treated to a serious dose of déjà vu in 2011 when "Friends With Benefits" (starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis) was released just six months after "No Strings Attached" (starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman). 

Although these twin films' plots are essentially the same, "Friends With Benefits" received higher critic ratings than "No Strings Attached."

"Girls Trip" (2017) and "Rough Night" (2017) have drastically different critic reviews.

"Girls Trip" critic score: 91%

"Rough Night" critic score:44%

The plot: A group of college friends reunites after years apart for a fun vacation that goes completely off the rails.

As these two films progressed they became drastically different, but that didn't stop some critics from referring to "Rough Night" as "the white version" (plus Zoë Kravitz) of "Girls Trip."

"Rough Night" centers around a bachelorette weekend in Miami and the death of a male stripper, and "Girls Trip" finds its leads getting into shenanigans in New Orleans during a music festival.

Critics loved "Girls Trip," but "Rough Night" didn't receive many glowing reviews. 

How Netflix's Oscar-nominated 'Klaus' made 2D animation look 3D

  • "Klaus," Netflix's first animated film, is an origin story of Santa Claus.
  • The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
  • The animation team at The SPA Studios in Madrid developed new technology that adds details like lighting and texture to the characters that make them appear 3D. Director Sergio Pablos explains the process.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: When the animation process for Netflix's "Klaus" began, it looked something like this. It eventually started looking like a pretty impressive 2D film.

But then the animators went one step further to create a film that looked like this. Suddenly the characters looked three-dimensional. But unlike most animated movies these days, the characters in "Klaus" aren't CGI and can't even be considered 3D.

It's all just a trick of the light.

About 300 people, including 40 animators, worked on the movie "Klaus," which took over two years to make. And it was completed under the wire, just one month before it premiered on Netflix.

So, why did it take so many people and so much time?

To understand, we have to go back to 2010, long before "Klaus" was nominated for an Academy Award, to when director Sergio Pablos came up with the idea. Because his story was about the origin of Santa Claus, it appealed to nostalgia. And he thought a nostalgic, 2D animation style like we saw in the '90s Disney films would be a better fit for the story.

But he also wanted to advance the look, so his team at SPA Studios in Madrid added a few new crucial steps to the animation process.

Sergio Pablos: I never looked at 3D as an evolution of 2D. I looked at it as a split, like there's a new way of making animation now.

Narrator: First, they storyboarded the script and made a cut using temporary voices for the characters. They swapped these out later once the real cast was recorded.

The next step was layout, where the team designed backgrounds and figured out the placement of the cameras.

Animating the characters and coloring the backgrounds happened simultaneously. The end goal was to have both blend together seamlessly and look like they're part of the same world.

The characters were all hand drawn using digital tablets and a program called Harmony by Toon Boom. The animators used live-action reference videos of themselves as a guide. The initial sketches were very rough, as you can see here. But there was a cleanup stage in which artists refined the drawings with crisp, bold lines.

Then they painted the characters with basic flat colors. Here, everything still looks very 2D, but they will soon bring the characters to life with a very important addition usually reserved for 3D animation: lighting.

His team tested out a new method of lighting 2D characters and released a two-minute, 30-second-long proof-of-concept teaser back in 2015. The proof of concept looked good and secured them a deal with Netflix, but the process was too labor intensive. So they partnered with a French company called Les Films du Poisson Rouge to help advance the technology, which they called KLaS, short for Klaus Light and Shadow.

Poisson Rouge was able to make the tool much more efficient and easier for the artists to work with. The KLaS tool allows the artists to paint with light using a number of different types of lighting in various combinations, like "key light" and "ambient light." With 3D CGI, light is added automatically to objects, but it's trickier with 2D.

Pablos: Well, with the lines, with drawings, the computer needs a certain level of AI to even understand that this line corresponds to this line and this hand is also this hand.

Narrator: The software tracks movement of the characters so the light and shadows will move with it. The program takes a very educated guess, but it's not 100% accurate, so the artists can go in and fine-tune it by hand.

Painting with light allowed the artists to get creative with details down to the tiniest reflections in their eyes, as you can see here. The team used lighting not only to make the characters feel more real, but also to help tell the story.

For example, when Jesper is handing out papers to the kids like a drug dealer, he's always standing in the dark to illustrate his shady behavior. And when he's exposed at the end of the film by his father, he's the only one standing in the light, while the others are in the dark.

Inspiration for detailed lighting techniques came from movies and TV shows, like using just a sliver of light to illuminate a character similar to this scene in "Apocalypse Now." And this scene, when Jesper confronts the bully, was inspired by "Breaking Bad."

It's important that the backgrounds also look three-dimensional and follow the same lighting pattern as the characters, so they used "color keys" as a guide.

Pablos: They're quick doodles, you know, they don't have a lot of detail, but they tell you exactly what the light direction is and how it's gonna affect both characters and backgrounds.

Narrator: For example, this color keys shows how Jesper and Alva will be backlit by the sun coming through the window. And this one shows a progression of how the light will change on Alva as she steps towards Jesper.

To make the backgrounds pop and appear 3D like the characters, the animators used several different techniques, such as multiplanes, where you have layers on top of layers to give the illusion of depth. The team created a total of 3,160 scenic layouts for the movie.

After they'd merged the characters with the backgrounds, they used a second major step that really gave the 3D characters that intricate detail to bring them to life: texture.

With another tracking tool, they used contour, lighting, and motion to add various effects to specific parts of a character.

Pablos: So now you could say, well, I don't want a lot of roughness on the skin, but I want the coat to feel rougher.

Narrator: For example, they can make them look like an oil painting or a watercolor. These textures are subtle, but if you look closely, you can notice the difference. In the end, the characters looked much more 3D and like a part of their environment, as opposed to looking like stickers on top of an elaborate painting.

Pablos: And that's what throws people off when they say, "This is 3D," because it's volume and it's moving and it has texture. But it's really a combination of the light and the texture that makes that illusion.

Narrator: The final stage is final composition, in which any last-minute details are added to the image, like particles. While the majority of the film followed the 2D process, the animators did use 3D models for some characters and objects and combined the two seamlessly. And even though these were created using CGI, they were lit the same way as the 2D characters were: by hand.

Pablos: There's things that benefit from being drawn because they feel more organic, and there's, you know, things that are not supposed to look organic. There's things that are supposed to look solid, like wagons and doors and props, and it's really hard to make it feel consistent and solid through drawing.

Narrator: If you look closely, Jesper's wagon is 3D, and so are some of the reindeer.

Pablos: Whenever the reindeers had to do something, it was particularly challenging for 3D to look right with the 2D. We just animate the reindeers in 2D, and sometimes we would animate one reindeer in 2D and the rest in the shot in 3D.

Narrator: Scenes like this chase scene at the end of the film so seamlessly combine 2D and 3D elements that it can be difficult to tell which is which.

Pablos: There was a shot where Jesper lifts a plate cover at one point, and I commented on how good the integration of that 3D plate cover looked with the 2D actor, and they said, "Oh, no, no, that's actually 2D, we just painted it to look like metal."

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'Bad Boys for Life' tops the box office for an incredible third-straight weekend and becomes the franchise's highest-grosser in just 17 days


bad boys for life sony

  • Sony's "Bad Boys for Life" won the domestic box office for a third-straight weekend with $17.7 million.
  • The movie is now the highest-grossing title in the franchise. Its domestic total to date is $148 million.
  • Paramount's "The Rhythm Section" has the worst opening for a wide release in 2020 so far, as it only brought in $2.8 million on 3,000 screens.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It may still be very early, but there can be no dispute: Sony is dominating the early days of 2020.

Multiplexes at the moment are filled with titles from the studio that can satisfy all audiences. From Oscar nominated titles like "Little Women" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood," to blockbuster fare like "Jumanji: The Next Level" and "Bad Boys for Life." 

And the latter is the shining jewel of the movie biz at the moment as it has scored the rare third-straight weekend box office win.

The movie, teaming Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as wise-cracking Miami detectives 17 years after the release of "Bad Boys II," topped the domestic box office with an estimated $17.7 million. That now brings its domestic total to $148 million, which tops "Bad Boys II" and makes "Bad Boys for Life" the highest-grosser of the franchise. And it set that feat in just 17 days in theaters.

You can chalk up the success of the movie to the creatives behind it, especially the producer who oversees the franchise, Jerry Bruckheimer, who for years had to navigate a revolving door of directors, screenwriters, as well as numerous release date changes, and appeasing his temperamental stars to finally get the third movie in the can. But you also have to give credit to the executives at Sony, who found the perfect release for the movie to have time for the word of mouth to build.

The January release, in a time of year where there is zero competition outside of the Oscar contenders — which is only attractive to a select audience — opened the door for a big opening and consecutive weeks to build up its box office coin as titles like "Dolittle" and "The Turning" didn't find any interest from audiences.

"Bad Boys for Life" will most likely be dethroned next Friday when Warner Bros. opens its DC Comics title "Birds of Prey" on a record-breaking number of screens for the month of February (4,100), but Sony certainly used its time well at the number one spot.

The Rhythm Section 2 Paramount Pictures

Box-office highlights:

  • This weekend wasn't a good one for Paramount. Its gritty revenge movie starring Blake Lively, "The Rhythm Section," only brought in $2.8 million on around 3,000 screens, well below the studio's projection of a $4 million to $7 million first weekend. It's also the worst opening in 2020 by a movie in wide release.
  • Horror movies usually are dud-proof, but Orion's "Gretel & Hansel" follows Universal's "The Turning" last weekend as a pair of scary movies that didn't attract audiences. "Gretel & Hansel" did better than "The Rhythm Section," bringing in $6.1 million on 3,000 screens over the weekend, but that's still a disappointing figure as it didn't even have enough to top "Dolittle" (which brought in $7.7 million).

SEE ALSO: How 2 filmmakers got FBI agents to reveal the details of a $24 million McDonald's Monopoly game fraud scheme run by the Mafia

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal

'Top Gun' and 'Top Gun: Maverick' are based on a super-elite US Navy training program, and fighter pilots say the films are pretty spot on


top gun

  • "Top Gun" is an iconic 1980s film about Navy fighter pilots, and its sequel — "Top Gun: Maverick"— is set to come out 34 years after the original in June 2020. 
  • Top Gun is the nickname for the elite Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor school that opened in 1969. The film is a fictionalized depiction of the life of fighter pilots at the Top Gun training program, and it brought fame and recognition to the elite training.
  • Like the program depicted in the film, Top Gun is highly competitive. It's only for the best of the best naval aviators in the country.
  • Retired Top Gun instructors say that both "Top Gun" and the trailer for "Top Gun: Maverick" are incredibly realistic. 
  • This is because film producers worked with the US military to utilize real military grounds and equipment. The 1986 movie proved itself to be a recruiting dream for a generation of naval aviators. 
  • Star Tom Cruise also shadowed Top Gun's elite fighter pilots to prepare for his role in the 1986 film, and actor Kelly McGillis shadowed Christine Fox, the civilian employee that her character was based on. 
  • Take a look at the similarities and differences between the movie "Top Gun" and the real-life training. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. 

"Top Gun" was the no. 1 movie at domestic and international box offices when it came out in 1986.

Source: Box Office Mojo, The Numbers

The iconic 80s movie about pilots in the US Navy's elite Fighter Weapons School known as Top Gun follows Maverick's journey through the rigorous program, which is complete with love, loss, and loads of discipline.

Source: Amazon

Three decades later, the sequel titled "Top Gun: Maverick" comes out in June 2020.

Source: Business Insider

At the end of "Top Gun," Maverick could have had any job he wanted, and he chose to be an instructor at Top Gun.

Source: Amazon

While the film is fiction, the prestigious fighter pilot program 
the film is based on is not.

Source: US Navy

The Top Gun program in the film is based on an actual program that's currently at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada.

Source: US Navy

The program is called the Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, but it has gone by the nickname "Top Gun" since long before the film.

Source: US Navy

Like the program in the film, Top Gun is only for the elite. Only the top 1% of naval aviators get the chance to work through this 12-week program.

Source: US Navy

The program is unique because it's not only about learning the information, strategies, and techniques, it's also about being able to share the knowledge with other pilots.

Source: US Navy

"One of the points here at Top Gun isn't just to make the guys good in the jet," a Top Gun instructor told the US Navy. "It's to make them effective teachers. It's not an evaluation course; it's a course of teaching."

Source: US Navy

The program was created to change the way pilots flew and fought after a 1968 study determined that US pilots needed better training during the Vietnam War.

Source: US Navy

"The Top Gun course, while challenging, is rewarding," another Top Gun instructor told the US Navy. "You learn how to become a better instructor and you learn how to fly the aircraft in ways you've never done before."

Source: US Navy

Dan Pedersen is known as the "godfather" of Top Gun. He was one of nine pilots who started the program in 1969.

Source: TIME

While he made it clear that the program feels much more serious than it does in the movie, Pedersen told TIME just how true-to-life the film really is.

Source: TIME

"The flying was superb, probably some of the best camera photography of tactical airplanes that's ever been done," Pedersen told TIME.

Source: TIME

But "Top Gun's" realistic depiction of Top Gun didn't come without help from the US military.

Source: TIME

According to TIME, producers paid the US military a total of $1.8 million for the use of the real US Naval Air station …

Source: TIME

... real aircraft carriers ...

Source: TIME

… real planes, and the flying services of real pilots — which cost producers a total of $7,600 an hour.

Source: TIME

And it didn't stop there — Tom Cruise shadowed pilots at Top Gun in preparation for his role.

Source: TIME

And Kelly McGillis — who played Maverick's civilian instructor and love interest — shadowed Christine Fox, the woman who inspired the role.

Source: TIME

When the first film was being made, Fox was a civilian employee at the Center for Naval Analyses, but in 2013 she became the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in the Department of Defense.

Source: TIME

While much of her position at the Center for Naval Analyses was classified, she describes it as knowing "a lot about the guy in the backseat" of the plane.

Source: People

Ultimately, "Top Gun" showed us what being an elite navy pilot looks like, and it inspired a new generation of people to enlist.

Source: Business Insider

Former Top Gun instructor Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass told Insider that he saw "Top Gun" when he was 10, and it inspired him to become a Navy pilot.

Source: Business Insider

And he wasn't the only one. David Berke is another retired Top Gun pilot that said he was inspired by the film.

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider

Berke says that what he learned at Top Gun is taught at all elite organizations — there is no such thing as perfection.

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider

Snodgrass told Insider that the trailer for "Top Gun: Maverick" reminds him of his time teaching at Top Gun.

Source: Business Insider

Snodgrass told Insider that during his time at Top Gun, he "performed all the maneuvers the new trailer shows and then some."

Source: Business Insider

Snodgrass told Insider that the first film was as realistic as it could be, and "It's reassuring to know that they're taking the exact same approach with this movie."

Source: Business Insider

But the original movie didn't get everything right. Pedersen told TIME that there was no beach volleyball. In reality, Pedersen said Top Gun pilots play racquetball to relieve stress.

Source: TIME

Digital Spy found some technical issues with the flight scenes in "Top Gun," too. According to the site, some of Maverick's daring moves would have ended in a plane crash in real life.

Source: Digital Spy

Ultimately, Snodgrass told Insider that the most realistic thing about the trailer for "Top Gun: Maverick" wasn't the aviation — it was the importance of teamwork.

Source: Business Insider

The genius of Adam Sandler, explained

  • Adam Sandler's earlier works were what shaped the '90s as the golden age of Hollywood comedy and helped define the genre for years to come.
  • The secret to his popularity lies in his distinct on-screen persona of a man-child.
  • The history of using a child-like persona for comedic effect is as long as the history of comedy in film, going back as far as the Chaplin era.
  • Sandler's career took a downturn when he outgrew the innocence he could portray.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Billy Madison: I leave the hair silky and smooth! Oh, really, fool? Really!

Narrator: There's a reason why some people find this funny.

Billy: Stop looking at me, swan! Narrator: And the answer lies in the genius of Adam Sandler.

If you're a fan of comedy, chances are you've seen at least one Adam Sandler movie. And it's not just because he's made a lot of them. Whether you love him or you hate him, Sandler has had a profound impact on the genre. And until recently, he was one of the most consistent and reliable comedians working in Hollywood. His earlier works shaped the '90s as the golden age of Hollywood comedy and helped define the genre for years to come.

And although it can be said that a majority of his films aren't exactly great, it's hard to argue that Sandler isn't watchable. In fact, it's what draws us to his films. Not the story, but his almost suspiciously charming performances.

The reason behind his charm, I think, lies in Sandler's distinct on-screen persona. Of course, every actor has a unique way in which they portray themselves on screen, but none are more exaggerated than in the genre of comedy. From Jim Carrey's physically goofy performances to Bill Murray's dry, nonchalant wit.

Rita: I studied 19th century French poetry.

Phil: [laughs] What a waste of time.

Narrator: Comedians rely on their signature persona perhaps more than any other actors. It's the reason why it's so shocking to see them in more serious roles that we're not familiar with.

Adam Sandler is no exception. Over the years, Sandler has played almost every conceivable role, from the son of Satan to an ex-military hairstylist, but they all share the same personality that he has honed for ages: the persona of a child.

Sandler's performance as an irresponsible and emotionally immature man-child has more or less become his trademark. It's a persona that can be traced all the way back to the beginning of his career on "Saturday Night Live," where he played a famous recurring character known as Canteen Boy, an innocent and naive scoutmaster who often became the target of ridicule.

Mr. MacEntire: Hey, Canteen Boy, shouldn't you ask your mother before you buy something for the house?

Canteen Boy: Thanks for asking, Mr. MacEntire. Actually, I've been given carte blanche to furnish my room as I see fit.

Stan: Wow!

Narrator: It was this character, among many others, that jump-started Sandler's career and made him popular among younger audiences, eventually leading him to his first breakout film, "Billy Madison" in 1995, where he played a spoiled, rich man-child who had to repeat grades one through 12 to prove his maturity and inherit his father's business.

In a lot of ways, "Billy Madison" was a film made for Adam Sandler, written by himself and screenwriter Tim Herlihy, whom Sandler had collaborated with in his years at "SNL." The two understood the unique charm and humor of the childlike persona that Sandler was great at portraying. And it was their constant collaboration that led to some of Sandler's best works, such as "Happy Gilmore,""The Wedding Singer,""The Waterboy," and "Big Daddy."

But the genius of Sandler's performance is not his man-child persona alone. After all, he's not the only modern comedian to consistently play this type of character. It's also his unique ability of portraying innocence. And to understand it, we have to go all the way back to where comedy began. The history of using a childlike persona for comedic effect is as long as the history of comedy in film. The king of comedy, Charlie Chaplin, understood that a certain amount of empathy was necessary to achieve good comedy. It's why his films often dealt with real-world problems and issues relevant to his time. Chaplin understood that while laughing at someone experiencing a series of misfortune might be sadistic, there is comedy in watching it happen to someone who doesn't quite see or comprehend it as tragedy. This is what made his persona of The Tramp so popular and timeless. It showed that tragedy can be interpreted as comedy, depending on the angle from which we view it.

It's the same philosophy that makes Sandler's performances so charming. The ridiculous situations that Sandler's characters find themselves in more often than not stem from real-life problems, like his grandmother's eviction notice in "Happy Gilmore" or the abandonment of a child in "Big Daddy," which, by the way, was clearly inspired by Chaplin's debut feature, "The Kid." But the characters Sandler portrays never see these issues as misfortunes, simply because they're unable to comprehend them the way we do.

Happy Gilmore: But she's an old lady. I mean, look at her. She's old.

Narrator: In all his films, Sandler is essentially a child thrown into an adult's world that he cannot understand. Nor do the real adults try to understand him, a force of innocence that refuses to change despite the obstacles he faces. Interestingly enough, it's the reason why children are featured so heavily in his films. In fact, quite often, children are really the only ones who understand him, and it's around children where he feels most at home.

There are a lot of ways Sandler portrays innocence, but I think it's best exemplified in moments like this.

Robbie: Well, I have a microphone, and you don't. So you will listen to every d--- word I have to say!

Narrator: These almost random, violent outbursts are, I think, what makes Sandler's persona so distinct. Although they seem completely irrational, the anger that he performs is always directed at people or things that he finds unreasonable and unjust. More often than not, it's not anger, but frustration at his inability to understand and accept the realities around him. I think it's moments like these that make critics describe his performances as earnest. Playing a childlike character disables any filters on his emotions, words, and actions, and we see the characters for who they are, warts and all.

And although comedy is Sandler's forte, it's this quality that makes him great in more dramatic films like the highly underrated "Reign Over Me" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Punch-Drunk Love," which many still regard as Sandler's best work. PTA understood Sandler's unique ability to capture this innocence and created a work that showcased a sense of vulnerability that came with it.

Barry: I don't like myself sometimes. Can you help me?

Narrator: Once you begin to understand the genius of Adam Sandler, it's easy to see why his career turned out the way it did. The biggest problem, I think, stems from the fact that Sandler has simply outgrown his innocence. His films portray the same real problems that they once did.

Jack: We can't lose Dunkin' Donuts, they're our biggest client! We're gonna go bankrupt, buddy. And we have 200 employees relying on us.

Narrator: But it's no longer through the lens of a child, but an adult.

The humor that once originated from his childlike innocence began turning into more strangely political and racist jokes.

Jill: I love how nice we are to this homeless man, a person we don't even know who probably is pretending to be homeless! You don't look homeless to me! You're fat! You're al-Qaida!

Narrator: And without any of his former innocence, the outbursts simply come off as rude and obnoxious.

Jack: It's not, it's not, it's not, it's not, all right?

Jill: All right, then why are you getting so angry?

Jack: Why are you so annoying?

Narrator: It's even sadder because we all know that Sandler is capable of putting on a good performance. His recent works like "The Meyerowitz Stories" and "Uncut Gems" are proof of it. And as a fan, I miss Sandler's better comedic works, the ones that let you sit back and simply enjoy with your friends. Because as much as what differentiates Sandler might be in his ability to portray innocence, the true genius of Adam Sandler might be in creating a work that genuinely wants you to have a good time. [both laughing]

Join the conversation about this story »

8 films that don't really deserve their Oscar nominations, according to critics


oscar nominations that critics dont like

The 2020 Oscar nominations were announced on Monday, but not every movie that made the cut was a smash hit with film critics. 

Here are films nominated for the Academy Awards that earned negative or mixed praise from critics. 

Note: The scores from Rotten Tomatoes were accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change.

"Joker" (2019) was nominated for 11 Oscars even though it received mixed reviews.

A dark origin story and gritty take on Batman's infamous arch-rival, the movie "Joker" earned 11 Oscar nominations, a sweeping number for a film that left critics split down the middle. 

Choice nominations for the film include best picture, directing, cinematography, film editing, writing for an adapted screenplay, and actor in a leading role for Joaquin Phoenix's depiction of Arthur Fleck. 

Compared to its fellow best-picture nominees, "Joker" sits on the lower end of the spectrum of critical acclaim and currently has a 69% score on Rotten Tomatoes

By and large, critics were impressed by the film's gritty cinematography and Phoenix's immersive approach to the role. But a slew of other critics accused the film of imitating thrillers of the past without being a memorable or strong film in its own right. 

"If you're feeling insufficiently anxious in your life, 'Joker' could be just the ticket," joked Joe Morgenstern for the Wall Street Journal. "If not, look elsewhere to be entertained."

Critic Richard Brody of The New Yorker also left the theater disappointed, writing, "A movie of a cynicism so vast and pervasive as to render the viewing experience even emptier than its slapdash aesthetic does." 

"Bombshell" (2019) earned three nominations but didn't impress a number of critics.

"Bombshell" is a film about gender, politics, and the entertainment industry, and it centers around the recent Fox News sexual-harassment scandals. 

"Bombshell" has three Oscar nominations under its belt: makeup and hairstyling, actress in a leading role for Charlize Theron's portrayal of Megyn Kelly, and actress in a supporting role for Margot Robbie's performance as Kayla Pospisil.

The drama was highly anticipated before it hit theaters but left some critics feeling burned — and this mixed reception led to a 67% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes for the film. 

Some critics praised the performances of the central cast and the delicate way the film handled its sensitive subject matter but others were disappointed, citing a messy script and unsympathetic characters when leaving negative reviews.

"'Bombshell' fails to be either smart satire or incisive political drama, which makes it just offensively banal," wrote Joel Mayward for Cinemayward

Karen M. Peterson for Awards Circuit agreed, writing that "'Bombshell' settles for being voyeuristic when it could have been smart and powerful. It is a missed opportunity."

"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" (2019) was nominated for its impressive makeup and hairstyling, but it's hard to ignore the flick's poor reviews.

This sequel to the 2014 fantasy film"Maleficent" once again starred Angelina Jolie as the titular character, but critics largely said this was a needless retread of a film. 

The action-adventure movie earned a single Oscar nomination in makeup and hairstyling for stylists Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten, and David White. 

Sure, the positive reviews noted the stunning visuals and the performances of the lead actresses, but many critics couldn't get on board with"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," leaving it with a low critical score of 40% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Many reviewers lamented the unnecessary nature of the film, as Jake Coyle wrote for the Associated Press: "Sadly, such fun is not to be had in 'Mistress of Evil,' a needless sequel to the 2014 'Sleeping Beauty' riff that fails to fully value the entire of appeal of these films: Jolie's Maleficent."

Vital Thrills critic Joshua Starnes was on the same page, writing that "'Mistress of Evil' is simultaneously overdone and undercooked, with a lot of the customary mistakes of giant studio entertainment."

"Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker" (2019) earned three nominations despite its rather poor critical reception,

The final installment in the "Star Wars" franchise's third trilogy, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" follows Rey, Finn, and Poe as they race to defend the galaxy from ultimate evil. 

The science-fiction film was nominated for three Oscar awards: sound editing, visual effects, and music (original score) for composer John Williams. 

Compared to "The Force Awakens" (2015) and "The Last Jedi" (2017), this installment has the lowest critical rating, earning just 53% on Rotten Tomatoes

Some rave reviews praised the film's nostalgic iconography and breathless pace, but many critics felt like "Rise of Skywalker" failed to end on the high note that the series deserved. 

"It's hard to believe, at the culmination of 42 years and nine movies, that the last three would be essentially improvisational exercises by all directors concerned," wrote Pete Vonder Haar for Houston Press

In addition, MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Filosopher wrote that "Rise of Skywalker" forgot to fulfill what was great about the franchise in the first place. 

"Kudos to J.J. Abrams for doing something extraordinary: he has made me not care about 'Star Wars' for the first time ever," wrote Johanson. "I'm kind of relieved that it's over, because it has stopped being fun."

Kathy Bates earned a single nomination for "Richard Jewell" (2019), a drama that hasn't entirely won critics over.

"Richard Jewell" is a drama that unravels the true story behind the bomb scare at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and the media circus that followed. 

The film was nominated for Kathy Bates' riveting performance as Bobi Jewell, the mother of the titular character. 

The drama currently has a critical rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, and although it has its fair share of positive reviews, it failed to win critics over entirely and some critics couldn't look past Clint Eastwood's sleepy direction and slanted messaging. 

"[Eastwood's] lack of directorial flair and the flimsiness of its finale ultimately means 'Richard Jewell' doesn't make the impact it could and really should have made," wrote Gregory Wakeman for the National

Likewise, Di Golding of Dear Cast and Crew gave the film a negative rating and listed Hauser's performance as Richard Jewell to be one of the film's only redeeming qualities.

"Paul Walter Hauser is the only reason to see this film," she wrote. "What we are witnessing with Hauser is the emergence of a riveting actor who dominates every scene he's in, not with force, but with sheer, unadulterated talent."

"The Lion King" (2019) was nominated for its impressive visual effects, but the movie wasn't much of an overall hit with critics.

Disney's remake of "The Lion King" re-tells the classic 1994 animated tale with updated computer-generated imagery and it was nominated in the visual effects category.

The remake divided critics, leading to a definitively rotten score of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Critics who gave the picture positive reviews defended it as a massive undertaking and a sight to behold. However, an overwhelming amount of critics met the remake with a sense of exhaustion. 

"Despite the superstar talent of the cast and the stunning presentation, it misses some of the heart that placed the original securely in the pop culture canon," wrote Ashlie D. Stevens for Salon

Anthony Lane of The New Yorker added that there was little to explore in the re-telling, questioning why a remake was needed when director Jon Favreau failed to say anything new. 

"Rarely has brand recognition soared to such fetishistic heights, and I regret to inform you that, aside from the updating of the vocal cast, the most blatant discrepancy between the old and the new is a very slight increase in the comedy of flatulence," joked Lane for The New Yorker

"Frozen II" (2019) earned one nomination, even though some critics felt this film fell short of the original.

Disney's "Frozen" (2013) sequel "Frozen II" received one Oscar nomination for the song "Into the Unknown," which was written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. 

Although the majority of critics enjoyed "Frozen II," the animated picture failed to achieve the same level of critical success as its predecessor — the first film has a certified fresh score of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and the sequel currently has just 78%.

Positive reception for the film highlighted the movie's dazzling visual design, charming musical interludes, and the return of likable characters. 

However, dissenting critics said that the movie did not effectively build upon the world established in the first film and instead felt like a by-the-numbers sequel with a serviceable plot. 

"It makes the world of 'Frozen' feel infinite, even if the characters and the story make it feel like it's a small world after all," wrote Damian Levy for the Jamaica Gleaner. "Perhaps I should just let it go."

In his review for Escribiendocine, Rolando Gallego agreed, writing, "With no surprises, without looking for its female characters stand out, 'Frozen II' disappoints, and misrepresents the magical sense that the first installment had."

The drama "Breakthrough" (2019) was nominated for original song, even though the entire movie was ripped apart by critics.

In the faith-based drama "Breakthrough," a mother stands at her son's side after a terrible accident, never giving up on the hope that he will miraculously recover.

The drama, which is based on a true story, received one Oscar nomination in the music (original song) category for the Diane Warren tune "I'm Standing With You."

The drama has a 61% on Rotten Tomatoes, which just barely ekes it over the edge of a negative score.

Positive reviews said that the film's strengths lay with its talented cast, particularly noting the performance of actress Chrissy Metz.

But the negative ones were rife with cynicism towards the movie's low-production values, heavy-handed messaging, and made-for-TV-movie tone. 

"At each and every crossroad, it feels as if you hit a brick wall with a red neon message scrolled before you just in case you missed what was happening,"Pamela Powell wrote for the Daily Journal. "With contrived and sometimes stilted situations, the film lost its verve."

Additionally, Johnny Oleksinski did not hold back in his review for the New York Post when he described the movie as "insipid junk."

Read More:

The 14 biggest moments from the 2020 BAFTAs you might have missed


rebel and daisy

The 73rd EE British Academy Film Awards — or BAFTAs — took place at London's Royal Albert Hall on Sunday night. 

While the ceremony honored the finest films in the industry ("1917" sweeped most of the awards including best film) it also saw presenters and winners joke about the most controversial topics of 2020 so far. 

From poking fun at Brexit to the spread of coronavirus and even a few swipes at the royals, no topic was off the table.

Here's a look at the biggest moments you might have missed.

Red carpet hosts Edith Bowman and Dermot O'Leary gave out candy to celebrities.

Celebrities on the red carpet were in for a literal treat when hosts Edith Bowman and Dermot O'Leary gave them a much-needed sugar hit as they were being interviewed. 

Margot Robbie said: "Oh, I'm not mad about that!" when she was told she'd be receiving some vegan candy.

The BAFTAs food menu this year included plant-based substitutes. 

When Bowman asked Robbie whether she was vegan, she said that while she wasn't, she "very much encouraged the notion."

"I couldn't lie right now, there's too many pictures of me getting papped eating hamburgers, I can't lie," Robbie joked. 

Zoe Kravitz was dressed like an Oscar.

Zoe Kravitz resembled an Oscar statue as she shone on the BAFTAs red carpet in a sleek gold sequined gown. 

The body-hugging dress featured a high neckline and a high slit at the back.

Kravitz's dazzling look also adhered to this year's sustainability dress code, as she borrowed the custom creation by Anthony Vaccarello for Yves Saint Laurent. 

Roman Griffin Davis' interview was interrupted by his "Jojo Rabbit" composer.

"Jojo Rabbit" star Roman Griffin Davis, 12, was one of the youngest people to walk down the red carpet. 

He couldn't contain his excitement when "Jojo Rabbit" composer Michael Giacchino slipped into his BBC One interview. 

The two embraced in an affectionate hug with Griffin Davis saying he was "the most, cleverest guy in film history." 

Showing the respect is mutual, Giacchino called the 12-year-0ld "the greatest guy in the world."

"Rocketman" star Taron Egerton brought both his mom and girlfriend.

Egerton took his two favorite ladies to the BAFTAs— his mom Christine Egerton and longtime girlfriend Emily Thomas. 

The "Rocketman" star, who previously took both his leading ladies to the Golden Globes, was one of the first to walk down the red carpet.

Florence Pugh resembled Little Pink Riding Hood.

"Little Women" star Florence Pugh appeared to take inspiration from another classic story as she channelled "Little Red Riding Hood" on the red carpet.

The supporting actress nominee wore the cape-like Dries Van Noten gown over a Barbie pink minidress. She complemented her bold look with black platform heels and bright red lipstick. 

Beauty YouTuber Tanya Burr turned up.

Social media star Tanya Burr recieved an invite to Britain's most prestigious film awards. 

Burr matched the red carpet as she wore a bright high-neck Badgley Mischka gown which had a slit on one side.

The British beauty blogger has been posting makeup and fashion videos to her YouTube channel since 2009 and also has over three million Instagram followers.

Kate Middleton rewore a gown from 2012 in an effort to stick to the sustainable dress code.

Celebrities were encouraged to re-wear something they'd worn before, hire a gown, wear vintage, or invest in as sustainable designer like Stella McCartney. 

Even the Duchess of Cambridge donned a custom Alexander McQueen dress which she previously wore to a state dinner in Malaysia in 2012.

Jude Law's lookalike son Rafferty hit the red carpet.

Jude Law's lookalike son Rafferty made an appearance at the BAFTAs without his famous dad.

The 23-year old, who is following in his father's footseps after landing the lead role in a modern-day adaption of "Oliver Twist," wore a slick Joshua Kane suit. 

Rafftery has previously modelled for Dolce & Gabana and Timberland and is reportedly dating 29-year-old singer Rita Ora.

Taika Waititi took a swipe at Britain's colonial history while accepting his BAFTA for "Jojo Rabbit."

"Jojo Rabbit" director Taika Waititi took not one but two political swipes at the UK when he brought up both imperialism and Brexit.

After thanking his mother during his BAFTA acceptance speech for best adapted screenplay, the New Zealander said it was "very cool" to receive the award "coming from the colonies."

"We know it's been a hard week for you guys. It's very nice to take a bit of your gold back home, where it belongs," Waititi joked. 

Andy Serkis collected his BAFTA while using diamond-encrusted crutches.

Andy Serkis sported a pair of diamond-encrusted crutches while walking the red carpet and also when accepting his BAFTA for outstanding contribution to British cinema. 

According to the BBC, Serkis is on crutches following a ski accident on New Year's Day. 

Serkis told Insider he hasn't found a place to keep his BAFTA just yet, but may display it next to the One Ring he kept from "The Lord of the Rings."

Brad Pitt joked about Prince Harry leaving the UK — and the royals reacted.

Best supporting actor winner Brad Pitt joked about Prince Harry leaving the UK in his BAFTA acceptance speech— and Kate Middleton and Prince William were caught on camera laughing. 

Pitt, who wasn't able to attend the ceremony due to a "family obligation," asked his "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" costar Margot Robbie to accept the award on his behalf. 

"He is going to name this [award] Harry because he is really excited about bringing it back to the States with him," Robbie said while reading his speech.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge didn't appear to take the joke to heart.

Daisy Ridley and Olivia Colman had priceless reactions to a Cirque du Soleil performance.

Cirque de Soleil performers amazed audience members, but none so much as Olivia Colman and Daisy Ridley.

When cameras panned to the crowd, Ridley covered her face in shock, while a wide-eyed Colman couldn't keep still with her hands in the air. 

Rebel Wilson suggested the BAFTA statues made "great" coronavirus masks.

During Rebel Wilson's humor-filled speech while presenting the award for best director, she joked that the mask-shaped BAFTAs handed out to winners would be a "great way to stop yourself getting coronavirus."

The comedian then proceeded to demonstrate said BAFTA face mask to audience members. 

Elsewhere in her speech she awkwardly brought up Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, and last year's flop "Cats," in which she had a starring role.

Hugh Grant and Renée Zellweger had an iconic "Bridget Jones's Diary" reunion.

Hugh Grant congratulated Renée Zellweger's best actress BAFTA win by throwing it back to 2001 — quoting the movie the starred in together, "Bridget Jones's Diary."

Grant began his presentation for best film by saying, "Well, first of all, well done, Jones," before adding: "That was a very, very silly little dress I thought."

The audience members loved the throwback, as cameras caught Margot Robbie and Bradley Cooper laughing along.

Just moments before, the former costars hugged off-stage after Zellweger accepted her award.

Danny DeVito has been in over 90 movies. Here are his 10 best and 10 worst ones.


danny devito movie ranking

  • Danny DeVito is an actor best known for movies like "Matilda" (1996) and his recurring role on FX's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." 
  • DeVito has earned critical acclaim for numerous performances, like his role in the crime drama "L.A. Confidential" (1997). 
  • Other films DeVito has starred in, such as "Look Who's Talking Now" (1993) and "Head Office" (1986), didn't get as much love from critics. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Although he's mostly known for his comedic work on FX's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,"Danny DeVito has proven himself as a film actor with an impressive range.

With an extensive career that spans nearly 50 years, DeVito's work has been met with varying degrees of critical reception.

Here are 10 of the best and 10 of the worst films in DeVito's filmography, according to critical scores on Rotten Tomatoes.

Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change.

Danny DeVito's best film is "L.A. Confidential" (1997).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Summary: Set in Los Angeles during the early 1950s, the dramatic thriller "L.A. Confidential" explores the dark side of the police force in the Hollywood hills.

As Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) heads the corrupt LAPD, Bud White (Russell Crowe) struggles to hide his violent side, and Sid Hudgeons (DeVito) gets rich off of Hollywood scandals. 

Critics hailed "L.A. Confidential" as a thrilling film noir with a compelling central cast. 

As critic Jay Boyar of the Orlando Sentinel wrote: "Spicy and boiling-hot, this sensational early-'50s crime drama is a morality play disguised as pulp fiction — a sprawling saga of corruption and redemption set against a flashy West Coast backdrop."

DeVito played Martini in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Summary: In the stirring drama "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) pleads insanity to avoid jail time and is shipped off to a mental hospital.

Shocked by the oppressive nature of the asylum, McMurphy grows close to his fellow inmates, including Chief Bromden (Will Sampson), Billy (Brad Dourif) and Martini (DeVito). 

Largely regarded by critics as a classic film in the world of cinema, reviews point to the movie's effortless direction and the talents of the cast assembled on screen. 

"With 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' Forman takes his rightful place as one of our most creative young directors," wrote Arthur Knight for The Hollywood Reporter. "His casting is inspired, his sense of milieu is assured, and he could probably wring Academy Award performances from a stone."

He was Sam Stone in "Ruthless People" (1986).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Summary: The comedy "Ruthless People" centers around Barbara (Bette Midler), a rich woman who is kidnapped and held for ransom by two amateur criminals (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater).

Barbara's bitter husband Sam (DeVito) refuses to pay up, causing Barbara to bond with her captors. 

Despite the broad comedic nature of "Ruthless People," critics found the film endearing and well-crafted. 

"Occasionally crude and tasteless, 'Ruthless People' is a comedy with a vitriolic twist," wrote critic Candice Russell of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "It's a comedy about people who love to hate, with actors who make it worth seeing."

The actor performed in, directed, and narrated "Matilda" (1996).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Summary: Raised amongst a volatile family that discourages her from learning and growing, Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson) realizes at a young age that she has supernatural abilities. Despite her parents' (Rhea Perlman and DeVito) attempts to squash her curiosity, Matilda uses her intelligence to help others. 

Critics had heaps of praise for the family film "Matilda," which was directed and narrated by DeVito. 

Film critic Roger Ebert wrote: "'Matilda' doesn't condescend to children, it doesn't sentimentalize, and as a result it feels heartfelt and sincere. It's funny, too."

In "Get Shorty" (1995) DeVito played Martin Weir.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Summary: In the comedy "Get Shorty," mobster Chili Palmer (John Travolta) travels to Los Angeles to collect a debt and he finds that the Hollywood industry doesn't differ too much from the world he knows in the mafia.

Along the way, Palmer's life becomes entangled with that of famous actor Martin Weir (DeVito) and gambler Leo Devoe (David Paymer). 

Reviews heralded the comedy "Get Shorty" as massively entertaining and inventive. 

"How cool can a mere movie be? A perfect cast and great script, based on a hilariously witty best seller, are key elements," wrote David Hunter for The Hollywood Reporter. "When you add a talented director and let the magic of Hollywood take over, the result is 'Get Shorty.'"

He was Ralph in the adventure film "Romancing the Stone" (1984).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Summary: The adventure comedy "Romancing the Stone" tells the story of famed novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) as she ventures into a dangerous jungle in the hopes of rescuing her sister from art dealers (Zack Norman and DeVito).

Teaming up with exotic animal smuggler Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas), Joan tries to save her sister and seek out a hidden treasure before it's too late. 

"Romancing the Stone" was praised by critics for its fun, thrilling plot and the chemistry of its leads. 

"In this cracking jungle-set treasure hunt, director Robert Zemeckis spices up a deliberately old-fashioned matinée adventure with tongue-in-cheek gags, unpredictably clever touches and top-of-the-range action," wrote Alan Jones in his review for Radio Times.

In "War of the Roses" (1989) DeVito played lawyer Gavin D'Amato.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

Summary: In the comedy "War of the Roses," divorce lawyer Gavin D'Amato (DeVito) sits down with a prospective client and relays the tale of his last big case involving Oliver (Michael Douglas) and Barbara Rose (Kathleen Turner). As D'Amato tells the story, he reveals how the turbulent divorce proceedings between the Roses escalated out of control. 

Critics lauded the distinctive narrative style of "War of the Roses," which was also directed by DeVito. 

"Greatly amusing, but its lasting achievement is DeVito's atmospheric authority, shaping a genuine filmmaking triumph in style and mood that deserves a standing ovation," wrote film critic Orndorf

The actor voiced Phil in the Disney classic "Hercules" (1997).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 84%

Summary: In Disney's animated film"Hercules," the young titular hero (Tate Donovan) is a god raised alongside humans.

As he sets out in search of a path and seeks to prove himself as a hero, Hercules is taken under the wing of gutsy satyr Philotes (DeVito). 

Critics praised "Hercules" for infusing mythology and humor in a likable family film. 

"Kids will love Hercules," wrote film critic Carol Buckland for CNN. "It's fast-paced, it's funny, and it has a very positive message. Adults will enjoy it as well, thanks to its animated artistry and sly wit."

In "Terms of Endearment" (1983) DeVito was Vernon Dalhart.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 84%

Summary: A drama with comedic notes, "Terms of Endearment" traces the lives of two women — Aurora (Shirley MacLaine) and Emma Greenaway (Debra Winger) — across three decades.

As they grapple with love and loss, Aurora finds herself pursued by various suitors, including Garrett Breedlove (Jack Nicholson) and Vernon Dalhart (DeVito). 

"Terms of Endearment" was reviewed as a fully realized drama that hit home with well-earned dramatic turns. 

Variety reporter James Harwood wrote: "Brooks' dialog is wonderful throughout and all the characters carry off their assignments beautifully, even down to Danny De Vito and Norman Bennett as MacLaine's other suffering suitors."

He played Deck Shifflet in the legal drama "The Rainmaker" (1997).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%

Summary: "The Rainmaker" is a drama centered around a plucky law-school graduate Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) who takes on a legal battle with an insurance company on behalf of a young woman (Claire Danes) whose son is battling cancer.

With the help of Deck Shifflet (DeVito) the two set up a practice and attempt to form a strong defense. 

Critics praised "The Rainmaker" as an intelligent and nuanced legal drama with genuine heart. 

As Jack Matthews wrote for the Los Angeles Times: "Coppola has infused 'The Rainmaker' with enough humor, character, honest emotion and storytelling style to make it one of the year's most entertaining movies."

On the other end of the spectrum, he was Wayne in the comedy "The Oh in Ohio" (2006).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 22%

Summary: In the comedy "The Oh in Ohio," married couple Priscilla (Parker Posey) and Jack (Paul Rudd) experience sexual frustration in their marriage and seek satisfaction from other people. While Jack takes interest in one of his students (Mischa Barton), Priscilla finds comfort in Wayne the pool guy (DeVito). 

"The Oh in Ohio" was met with poor reception, with critics calling the comedy lifeless. 

"The script, which was co-written by director Billy Kent, has the forced 'raciness' of a mid-'70s dinner-theater sex comedy," wrote critic Eleanor Ringel Cater for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DeVito had a small role in "The World's Greatest Lover" (1977).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 17%

Summary: Set in the 1920s, "The World's Greatest Lover" is a comedy about a movie producer (Dom DeLuise) who is looking to cast an actor to portray Rudolph Valentino. Eager to prove himself, amateur actor Rudy Valentine (Gene Wilder) auditions for the part.

DeVito appeared in a small role as the assistant director on the fictional movie set. 

Critics wrote that "The World's Greatest Lover" came across as too silly and lacked consistency. 

"Despite Gene Wilder's undeniable personality, his work as an actor results inferior when he's directing himself," wrote Jesús Fernández Santos for El Pais. "His parodies lose rhythm and the structure of the script at times results confusing."

He played Al in the romantic comedy "When in Rome" (2010).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 17%

Summary: In the romantic comedy "When in Rome," Beth (Kristen Bell) swipes coins from a wishing fountain in Italy and finds herself being pursued by the very men who threw those coins in.

A few of her hopeful suitors include Gale (Dax Shepard), Antonio (Will Arnett), and Al (DeVito). 

Critics felt that "When in Rome" failed to introduce anything new to the well-trodden romantic-comedy genre. 

"'When in Rome' never delves deep into anything, but whisks us through the conventions of romantic comedies so quickly there's barely time to groan," wrote Sarah Sluis for Film Journal International

In "Hotel Noir" (2012) he appeared as Eugene Portland.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 13%

Summary: Set in 1950s Hollywood, "Hotel Noir" is a dramatic thriller about a detective who checks into a hotel to wait for his adversaries to catch up with him.

As various people come and go — like Hanna Click (Carla Gugino) and Eugene Portland (DeVito) — the story surrounding his fate begins to unravel.

"Hotel Noir" was met with raised eyebrows from critics, who were unsure how a film with such an impressive cast could yield a weak narrative. 

Time Out critic David Fear wrote: "You never lose the nagging sense that you're simply watching a high-school drama club's production of '40s fatalism chic."

DeVito was Grover Cleaver in "Screwed" (2000).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 13%

Summary: The broad comedy "Screwed" features Willard Fillmore (Norm MacDonald) as a chauffeur who tries to get back at his boss Mrs. Crock (Elaine Stritch) by stealing her treasured dog.

When things get out of hand, the police suspect that Willard himself has been kidnapped. In an attempt to throw off the police, Willard asks for mortician Grover Cleaver (DeVito) to help him find a dead body that can pass as him. 

Critics felt that the low production value of "Screwed" made it feel like a second-rate television movie more than a feature film.

Despite giving a negative review, critic Stephen Holden was at least won over by DeVito's performance in the film. "Danny DeVito is the only cast member who succeeds in making something out of the movie's nothing of a screenplay,"Holden wrote for the New York Times

In "Renaissance Man" (1994) the actor played Bill Rago.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 12%

Summary: In the comedy "Renaissance Man," DeVito stars as Bill Rago, a new teacher who tries to connect with the soldiers in his literacy class who have been deemed unteachable.

Tasked with only six weeks to teach them English and literature, Rago does his best to inspire his unconventional students. 

"Renaissance Man" was received as a pandering comedy with manipulative messaging by a majority of critics. 

However, The Washington Post critic Hal Hinson found a sliver of redemption in the film by praising DeVito's involvement.

"As strange as it sounds, DeVito's performance is about the only aspect of the film that isn't wholly fraudulent, if only because his typical feisty abrasiveness protects him from sinking to the level of Marshall's mawkishness," wrote Hinson. 

He played Max Fairbanks in "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" (2001).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 10%

Summary: Based on a novel, the crime comedy "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" tells the story of Kevin Caffery (Martin Lawrence), a thief who attempts to break into the mansion of Max Fairbanks (DeVito). After Max calls the police on Kevin and personally affronts him, Kevin vows to stop at nothing to get back at the billionaire. 

Critics largely panned "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" as incoherent, humorless, and forgettable. 

"The film isn't just lightweight, it's weightless," wrote Movie Metropolis critic John Puccio. "You don't forget it two minutes later; you forget it before it's over."

DeVito was Buddy Hall in "Deck the Halls" (2006).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 6%

Summary: In the comedy "Deck the Halls," the holiday season falls upon a suburban neighborhood, inciting an unexpected decoration battle between neighbors Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick) and Buddy Hall (DeVito).

As the escalating antics get out of hand, jealousy and rage get the better of the two men and threaten to spoil their Christmas cheer. 

Any pleasure critics derived from the film was wrought from unintentional humor, with many critics calling "Deck the Halls" messy and overstuffed holiday fare. 

"'My stupidity astounds me!' chortles Danny DeVito in 'Deck the Halls,' a line that pretty much sums up this tale of warring neighbours with very different ideas about celebrating Christmas,"joked Neil Smith in his review for the BBC

He played Stedman in the comedy "Head Office" (1986).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

Summary: The satirical black comedy "Head Office" focuses on Jack Issel (Judge Reinhold), a recent graduate from business school who stakes his claim within a large industrial company. As he climbs the corporate ladder he shakes hands and butts heads with Jane (Jane Seymour), Helms (Eddie Albert), and Stedman (DeVito). 

The comedy "Head Office" was raked through the coals by film critics who called it empty and lazily written. 

"The structure here is a bit like '50s social comedies but there's no satirical force, just chutzpah and energy," wrote Michael Wilmington for the Los Angeles Times. "The movie confuses iconoclasm with wit, and bile with guts; it's mostly thin and mean-spirited."

"Look Who's Talking Now" (1993) earned also a 0%.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

Summary: The third installment in the "Look Who's Talking" series, this comedy centers around two dogs with the ability to talk: Rocks (DeVito) and Daphne (Diane Keaton).

The two canines have to take action when the lives of their owners (John Travolta and Kirstie Alley) are put in danger. 

Critics felt "Look Who's Talking Now" was an unnecessary sequel with low-brow humor from a franchise that already wrung out its potential in earlier films. 

"Most of the way this is pretty cheesy stuff, too stupid for adults and too vulgar for children," wrote Chris Hicks for the Deseret News. "And it's even worse when it goes for cheap sentiment."

Read More:


The best Joaquin Phoenix movies to watch, according to fans


joaquin phoenix her joker you were never really here

  • Joaquin Phoenix is currently nominated for best performance by an actor in a leading role for playing Arthur Fleck in "Joker."
  • The actor is also known for movies like "Her" and "Inherent Vice."
  • Below are the movies that Phoenix has appeared in throughout his career, ranked by audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Joaquin Phoenix, who is currently an Oscar nominee for his lead performance in "Joker," went from being a child actor in movies like "Parenthood" to starring in well-received arthouse films such as "The Master" and "Her."

However, some of his roles have better received by viewers (and critics) than others.

Here are all of the movies that Phoenix has appeared in, ranked according to audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes

Note:All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change.

33. Joaquin Phoenix starred in the 2004 romance film "It's All About Love."

Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 27%

Synopsis: Phoenix played a man who is getting divorced from his wife (played by Claire Danes) as the planet's temperature drops to dangerous lows and threatens their survival. With society on the brink of collapse, the pair decide to re-evaluate their relationship.

23. He appeared as an aspiring rapper in the 2010 comedy "I'm Still Here."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 38%

Synopsis: Phoenix teamed up with his friend, Casey Affleck, for his mockumentary "I'm Still Here." In the film, he played himself, as he fictionally transitioned from a career in acting to a fledgling rapping career.

34. The actor had a role in the 1987 family drama "Russkies."

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 43%

SynopsisPhoenix plays one of three American boys who befriend a shipwrecked Russian sailor at the height of the Cold War and take him for a tour around Key West, Florida, during the Fourth of July. Seriously.

24. The actor starred alongside Emma Stone in the 2015 film "Irrational Man."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 46%

Synopsis: In "Irrational Man," the actor played a tormented philosophy professor who becomes involved with a student (Emma Stone) and finds a will to live through an existential act.

25. Phoenix played Jesus in the 2019 biblical drama "Mary Magdalene."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 49%

Synopsis: In "Mary Magdalene," the actor starred as Jesus Christ alongside his real-life partner, Rooney Mara, as Mary Magdalene.

29. He was part of an amateur space crew in the 1986 adventure film "SpaceCamp."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%

Synopsis: Phoenix plays one of the child attendees of a space camp, who are accidentally launched into orbit for real in "SpaceCamp."

28. Phoenix appeared alongside Mark Wahlberg in the 2000 crime movie "The Yards."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 51%

Synopsis: The actor played the friend of Mark Wahlberg's Leo in "The Yards," who is released from prison and begins working for his corrupt gangster uncle.

27. The actor starred in the 2007 drama "Reservation Road."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%

Synopsis: In "Reservation Road," he played a college professor who becomes entangled with the family who ran into his car, killing the professor's young son in the accident.

26. He appeared with Nicolas Cage in the 1999 crime mystery "8MM."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%

Synopsis: In this Nicolas Cage vehicle, Phoenix was a young video store employee who helps Cage's detective character investigate the world of illegal porn after a case involving a late man's "snuff film."

25. In the 1997 coming-of-age film "Inventing the Abbotts," the actor was one of two brothers courting the wealthy Abbott sisters.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%

Synopsis: The actor played one of two working-class brothers, who court the wealthy Abbott sisters living in their small town in "Inventing the Abbotts."

24. In the 2015 film "Inherent Vice," Phoenix played a private detective in 1970s Los Angeles.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%

Synopsis: In Phoenix's second collaboration with auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, the neo-noir comedy "Inherent Vice," he played a 1970s Los Angeles private investigator who looks into his former girlfriend's disappearance.

23. He and Gwyneth Paltrow costarred in the 2008 romantic drama "Two Lovers."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 59%

Synopsis: The Brooklyn-set romantic drama "Two Lovers" is about a bachelor (Joaquin Phoenix) torn between the family friend his parents attempt to set him up with, and his volatile new neighbor (Gwyneth Paltrow).

22. In the 2004 horror movie "The Village," the actor played a villager in a 19th-century Amish community attacked by humanoid creatures.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%

Synopsis: In director M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village," the actor was a villager in a small, isolated town attacked by humanoid creatures.

21. Phoenix and Marion Cotillard costarred in the 2014 historical drama "The Immigrant."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 60%

Synopsis: In "The Immigrant," Marion Cotillard stars as an immigrant woman trying to free her sister, who is being confined in Ellis Island.

Luckily for her, a magician played by Phoenix offers to help her.

20. In the 2012 psychological drama "The Master," the actor played a veteran who is seduced by a cult leader.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 61%

Synopsis: In "The Master," the actor was a volatile Navy veteran who is seduced by a charismatic cult leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in the aftermath of World War II.

19. He starred in the 2007 crime drama "We Own the Night."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 61%

Synopsis:"We Own the Night" follows a New York City nightclub manager (played by Phoenix) who attempts to save his brother and father from Russian Mafia hitmen.

18. The actor appeared with Jennifer Lopez in the 1997 drama "U Turn."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 62%

Synopsis: A man heading to Vegas to pay off his gambling debt before the Russian mafia kills him is forced to stop in an Arizona town where everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

17. The actor voiced an Inuit man who is transformed into a bear in the 2003 family film "Brother Bear."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%

Synopsis:"Brother Bear" followed an Inuit hunter (voiced by Joaquin Phoenix), who is magically changed into a bear after needlessly killing a bear, with only a young cub to help him change back into a human.

16. He played a troubled high schooler in the 1995 dramedy "To Die For."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 65%

Synopsis: The actor costarred along Nicole Kidman in a dark comedy where a TV personality (Kidman) interviews troubled high schoolers for her new documentary.

15. Phoenix was a veteran who tracks down missing girls in the 2018 movie "You Were Never Really Here."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 65%

Synopsis: In "You Were Never Really Here," Phoenix stars as Joe, a traumatized, reckless veteran who tracks down missing girls and violently apprehends their captors.

14. In the 1998 crime comedy "Clay Pigeons," Joaquin Phoenix played a young man who accidentally befriends a serial killer.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 67%

Synopsis: In the black comedy "Clay Pigeons," a man named Earl kills himself after discovering that his wife has slept with a man named Clay (Phoenix), framing Clay for his "murder."

13. The actor had a role in the 2002 science fiction horror film "Signs."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 67%

Synopsis: The actor played one member of a farming family who discovers a large, paranormal crop circle outside their home.

12. He appeared alongside John C. Reilly in the 2018 western comedy "The Sisters Brothers."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 68%

Synopsis: Phoenix and John C. Reilly were the titular "The Sisters Brothers": assassin duo Eli and Charles Sisters. In the movie, they pursue a gold prospector across 1850s Oregon. 

11. In the 2001 historical comedy "Buffalo Soldiers," the actor played an American Soldier in World War II.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 72%

Synopsis: The actor was one of several US soldiers stationed in West Germany just before the fall of the Berlin wall in "Buffalo Soldiers."

10. He had a role in the 1998 thriller "Return to Paradise."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%

Synopsis: In "Return to Paradise," the actor plays one of two friends trying to free their third friend, who was arrested in Malaysia for drug possession.

9. Joaquin Phoenix starred in the 2018 comedy "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 75%

Synopsis: In "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot," the actor portrayed a recovering alcoholic who finds solace through drawing controversial cartoons.

8. The actor had a small role in the 1989 family comedy "Parenthood."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%

Synopsis: One of the actor's first film appearances was a brief role in "Parenthood," a comedy about a midwestern family dealing with the stress of being a good parent amidst everyday chaos.

7. Phoenix appeared in the 2004 disaster movie "Ladder 49."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 81%

Synopsis: A firefighter played by Phoenix is injured and trapped in a burning building in "Ladder 49," and has flashbacks of his life as his fellow firefighters attempt to rescue him.

6. Phoenix starred alongside Scarlett Johansson in the 2013 sci-fi romance "Her."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Synopsis: In his highest-rated movie, the actor played a lonely writer who enters a romantic relationship with a Siri-like operating system named Samantha.

"Her" was widely hailed as an empathetic exploration of love and connection in the era of the internet.

5. Phoenix starred in the 2000 period film "Quills."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%

Synopsis:"Quills" is the only period drama that the actor has ever starred in, and follows the historical figure Marquis de Sade, who is imprisoned in an asylum for his progressive philosophies in the aftermath of France's Reign of Terror.

4. In the 2000 historical drama "Gladiator," the actor was a power-hungry emperor's son.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Synopsis: In "Gladiator," Phoenix played the conniving son of the well-known emperor Marcus Aurelius.

3. The actor received an Oscar nomination for his performance in the 2019 comic book drama film "Joker."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%

Synopsis: Phoenix nabbed an Oscar nomination for his leading role in "Joker." A grittier take on the iconic DC villain's origin story, the movie follows a troubled aspiring comedian who spirals into a life of crime and violence.

2. He was Johnny Cash in the 2005 film "Walk the Line."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Synopsis: Phoenix played country music icon Johnny Cash in "Walk the Line," which chronicles the singer's storied career.

1. Joaquin Phoenix's highest-rated film is the 2004 drama "Hotel Rwanda."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Synopsis:"Hotel Rwanda" mainly focuses on Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), a real-life hotel manager who hid over a thousand Tutsi refugees from the Hutu militia in Rwanda. The actor had a supporting role as a documentarian covering the event.