Jim Carrey's Best Movies

In this week's Total Recall, we count down the best-reviewed work of the Kick-Ass 2 star.

Jim Carrey

He earned his first real success by tapping into America's unquenchable thirst for broad slapstick comedy, but Jim Carrey always had bigger ambitions than anyone could have guessed by watching Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and he's proven it repeatedly by choosing projects beyond the scope of Farrelly-friendly laffers. His reach has occasionally exceeded his grasp, but few careers can boast a range extending from Dumb and Dumber to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And with his appearance as the Colonel in Kick-Ass 2 bowing this weekend, we decided there was no time like the present to take a look at the best-reviewed films of Jim Carrey's career!


63%

10. Man on the Moon

For most of the 1980s and 1990s, Andy Kaufman was a little-remembered comic, mostly known for his portrayal of dimwitted immigrant mechanic Latka Gravas on the ABC sitcom Taxi -- but the late 1990s witnessed a resurgence in interest surrounding Kaufman's often pioneering work, thanks to a pair of biographies, a handful of DVD reissues, and the R.E.M.-referencing Man on the Moon. Carrey continued his 1990s run of prestige pictures with Moon, subsuming himself so completely into the role of the inscrutable Kaufman that most critics were willing to forgive the movie's fuzzy, weightless middle, its fudging of certain facts, and a few fumble-fingered attempts at going meta. Although many scribes were quick to point out the movie's flaws -- and Kaufman's all-too-apparent flaws as a protagonist -- praise for Moon's star was all but universal, typified by Jeffrey M. Anderson of Combustible Celluloid, who applauded, "Carrey gets inside Kaufman's skin."

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64%

9. Dumb and Dumber

Sea Bass! Part of Carrey's 1994 trilogy of broad-as-a-barn, occasionally revolting comedies, Dumb and Dumber paired the rising star with Jeff Daniels as a couple of well-meaning dimwits who stumble into a cross-country adventure involving Lauren Holly and a briefcase full of cash. While not quite the across-the-board smash that There's Something About Mary turned out to be a few years later, Dumb and Dumber still managed to include enough charm between the goofy jokes to reach 64 percent on the Tomatometer. It didn't win any points for smarts, obviously, but that was beside the point -- as recognized by writers such as Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman, who noted that "Carrey...does literal-minded doofdom with peerless enthusiasm."

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65%

8. Earth Girls Are Easy

You might be surprised to find this late-night cable mainstay on a list that includes cult favorites like The Cable Guy and box-office champs like Bruce Almighty, but the Tomatometer does not lie, and critics cheered loudly enough to send this 1989 cult classic all the way up to 65 percent. Although quite a few scribes sniffed at at Earth Girls are Easy's low ambitions and thick layer of cheese, a greater number were able to grin and bear Julien Temple's brightly colored send-up of hokey sci-fi and 1980s life in the San Fernando Valley. As a furry red alien named Wiploc, Carrey received one of his first major chunks of screen time here, and although his efforts were rewarded with minimal box-office success, he did get to trade lines with Geena Davis and Julie Brown -- and help earn some delightfully backhanded praise from the likes of Luke Y. Thompson of the New Times, who declared the film to be "stupid but wonderful."

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72%

7. I Love You Phillip Morris

Between Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in 2004 and the end of the decade, Jim Carrey had a pretty rough go of it, vacillating between rehashed broad comedies like Yes Man and ill-advised dramatic fare like The Number 23 -- and the best live-action project he booked during that span, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's I Love You Phillip Morris, ended up gathering dust in the studio vaults for years. Given that it dramatizes the real-life, stranger-than-fiction love affair between a cop-turned-con man (Carrey) and his charismatic prison cellmate (Ewan McGregor), it's unsurprising (but still disappointing) that Morris would have a hard time finding a spot on the release schedule -- and the minimal box office returns generated by its limited theatrical run seemed to reinforce Hollywood's belief that audiences weren't ready for a darkly comic dramedy about a homosexual love affair. Morris resonated with most critics, however -- particularly Carrey's work, lauded by Stephen Holden of the New York Times when he wrote, "With his manic glare, ferociously eager smile, hyperkinetic body language and talent for instant self-transformation, Mr. Carrey has rarely been more charismatic on the screen."

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72%

6. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

It was a bit of a non-starter at the box office, failing to recoup its $140 million budget with its domestic receipts, but few roles in the history of children's fiction have ever been better-suited to an actor than the villainous master of disguise known as Count Olaf and his on-screen counterpart, Jim Carrey. Although A Series of Unfortunate Events drew the ire of some fans of the books for softening their frequently nasty edges, it remains a visual feast, as well as a tour de force for Carrey, who was able to take advantage of his manic energy in a way not seen since his mid 1990s heyday. A sequel remains in development limbo, but don't let Hollywood's cold feet keep you from giving Unfortunate a rental -- as the Reno Gazette-Journal's Forrest Hartman put it, "not many children's movies center on recently orphaned children delivered to the home of a homicidal thespian. Then again, not many children's movies are as good as this one."

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Comments

Negro  W.

Negro Wilson

A great comedian. Living legend. Even in his bad stuff he was still the best.

Aug 14 - 04:42 PM

Brent Taylor

Brent Taylor

Agreed. At IMBD the list just goes on and on -- easy dozen and a half very watchable movies to see repeatedly.

Aug 16 - 03:00 PM

Janet M.

Janet Maximus

I work at Home with Google. It's by-far the nicest job I have had. I've made $64,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. I've made such great money. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it. Here is what I do, Bling6.com

Aug 24 - 02:36 PM

Sebastian Mendo

Sebastian Mendo

Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, love that movie

Aug 19 - 06:06 AM

Bryan Loberg

Bryan Loberg

Me, Myself and Irene. :)

Aug 14 - 04:49 PM

JUDGE D.

JUDGE DREDD

Glad someone else appreciates that film! Only Jim Carrey can convincingly beat himself up like that then throw himself out of a moving car. Its pure talent!

Aug 14 - 06:52 PM

Gabriel Zisk

Gabriel Zisk

Sentence: Hilarious

Aug 17 - 01:30 PM

scifimark

scifi mark

I love that movie. Own it on blu-ray.

Aug 15 - 12:46 PM

Brent Taylor

Brent Taylor

Yeah... and Yes Man, D&D, Cable Guy, two Ace movies... and playing the Riddler.

Aug 16 - 03:01 PM

Alex Buxton

Alex Buxton

Just watched him as the Riddler, haha. Not a fan of the movie much, but i was in a Batman mood. Jim Carrey is actually pretty good in it.

Aug 18 - 09:05 PM

Ste Turton

Ste Turton

No Ace Ventura is pure snobbery shite.

Aug 14 - 04:59 PM

Daniel Roberts

Daniel Roberts

It's just based on the overall RT score. Blame the critics.

Aug 14 - 08:09 PM

King  S.

King Simba

It may have been the role that got him famous, but I don't think Ace Ventura is one of his better films. Too often it seems to think that just because something is disgusting that makes it funny.

Aug 15 - 12:24 AM

Brent Taylor

Brent Taylor

Meant to comment on my Top 10 that Ace has to be included -- it launched super stardom and was foundational to character acting through most of his movies.

Aug 16 - 03:03 PM

Gwen Aldrich

Gwen Aldrich

I liked the Grinch

Aug 14 - 05:02 PM

Raymond Heaney

Raymond Heaney

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is in my Top 3 movies

Aug 14 - 05:24 PM

Dave J

Dave J

This is one of few times which the users list is similar to the RT list!

Aug 14 - 05:26 PM

Charles Pulman

Charles Pulman

At least the RT users got it right.

Aug 14 - 05:31 PM

King  S.

King Simba

The both have their plusses and minuses. On the one hand, I think Dumb and Dumber is rated way too low by critics. On the other hand, how did Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls get a higher rating than The Mask? Half the jokes in that film were the same ones from the first, even those that weren't funny the first time.

Aug 15 - 12:44 AM

Geeskater

Jamie Rogers

of course we'd want Ace Ventura and Bruce Almighty and co. to be up there but truth is, those movies aren't great, it's just Carrey that makes them, but in all round well made films, these are his best.

Aug 14 - 05:56 PM

Brent Taylor

Brent Taylor

Bruce Almighty is the best of "God intervenes with man" movies -- Freeman is great (better than Burns). Lost count of how many times I've seen it. And yes, while not one of Carrey's three Oscar type roles and movies, of the rest it is the best, funniest and most poignant. And he is the lead man of humor with a warm, fuzzy point.

Aug 16 - 03:07 PM

JUDGE D.

JUDGE DREDD

Jim Carrey is a living legend! The Jerry Lewis of our time.
My favorites are Me myself and Irene, Man on the Moon and Cable Guy. Those are his most underrated films. But Ace Ventura and D&D, the Mask, Truman show, etc.. all works of mad genius! I can't wait to see D&D-2. And Kick-Ass2. Hope one day we get a Vera de Milo movie.

Aug 14 - 06:50 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

I have exorciiiiiiized the demon!

Aug 14 - 06:51 PM

JUDGE D.

JUDGE DREDD

Glad someone else appreciates that film! Only Jim Carrey can convincingly beat himself up like that then throw himself out of a moving car. Its pure talent!

Aug 14 - 06:52 PM

Gabriel Zisk

Gabriel Zisk

Sentence: Hilarious

Aug 17 - 01:30 PM

Greg Dinskisk

Greg Dinskisk

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is phenomenal. I guess I just have a soft spot for love stories like it, though... I dunno. I just love it.

Aug 14 - 07:26 PM

Christian F.

Christian Flores

I'm not a big fan of Carrey, but I absolutely loved him in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. That movie, like most movies Kate Winslet's in, was mind blowing and made me think for a very long time afterward. I don't see how Jim Carrey didn't get nominated for his role; then again, that's Oscar politics for ya.

Aug 16 - 06:48 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Personally, I loved him in Bruce Almighty.

Aug 14 - 07:57 PM

Daniel Roberts

Daniel Roberts

The Truman Show is one of my top 3 favorite films of all time. Eternal Sunshine is a favorite as well.

Aug 14 - 08:02 PM

Daniel Roberts

Daniel Roberts

It's just based on the overall RT score. Blame the critics.

Aug 14 - 08:09 PM

Joshua Copperman

Joshua Copperman

Oh yeah, Truman rocks.

Aug 14 - 08:36 PM

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