New Line Cinema: A Retrospective

RT picks our 25 favorite studio classics!

New Line Cinema: Thanks for giving us a great horror icon, for helping subversive filmmakers bubble up to the mainstream, and for getting some beloved fantasy books the big-screen treatment they deserved. Today, Rotten Tomatoes celebrates four decades of independent existence (they're now part of WB) by proffering our 25 studio favorites, sifting through a legacy spanning from Pink Flamingos to The Golden Compass, and all the Freddy Kruegers, Austin Powerses, and cute Hobbit children you can stuff in-between.

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25. Harold and Kumar Go to
White Castle

Tomatometer: 71%
White Castle is vintage New Line: a bold serving of race relations, bongs, and twentysomething wish fulfillment. The sequel just racked up major box office, so what better time than now to celebrate the studio that began by distributing John Waters flicks and pushing Reefer Madness onto 1960s college campuses?
24. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

Tomatometer: 71%
Like any horror series, A Nightmare on Elm Street started out strong before flaming out with endless mediocre sequels. But there were a few safe places on Elm Street: Dream Warriors, for example, snuck in good scares and compelling characters (with super powers!) without turning Freddy into self-parody.



David Chung

#24 is a Dirty Girl kind of picture. Muchacha sucia...

Me like the TMNT inclusion - great movie with people in animal costumes, no easy task.

May 7 - 04:56 PM


Henry Ham

John Cho is my hero. Just like you Mr. Vo.

May 7 - 04:57 PM

Some guy you dont know

Bruce Campbell

Evil Dead should be at 1.

May 7 - 05:23 PM


Brandon R

What about Rush Hour? And Wedding Crashers? Vince Vaughn is the master at ad-libbing.

May 7 - 06:18 PM

The Red Devil

Zach Simonson

The Fellowship definitely deserves to be #1. A masterpiece.

May 7 - 06:26 PM

John Z. Delorean

John Street

TMNT all day! Sid and Nancy should've been number 1 tho.

May 7 - 06:34 PM


jack giroux

Dark City is Ausome! I cant wait til the blu ray directors cut in july!

May 7 - 08:04 PM


jack giroux

Also cool to see Boogie Nights and Magnolia up there, P.T.Anderson is so ausome.

May 7 - 08:07 PM


Jesse Rodgers

I'm so glad Fellowship topped this list. It truly is the best film of the LotR trilogy and the second best film of all time after "The Empire Strikes Back". Glad that you and the AFI recognize its greatness.

May 7 - 08:39 PM

CoUcH ToMaToE DoUgIe

Shawn Amoroso

Great List, it brings me great sadness to see such an

important Company leave us. But boy did they leave us quite a collection...

Also, I'm sorta conflicted with the number choice though. Most believe the

last one or even the second Lord of the Rings movie is better but as one

of my personal rules, of always loving the original the most, I can

understand why it was put so high. Although, I do disagree with having any of

the LoTR series out of the top ten. Still, I am so happy memorable, yet

not fresh movies, are on the list. One of my fondest memories was seeing

the first Turtles movie and its a shame most critics couldn't see that.

New Line Cinema, I thank you for all the fond memories you have given me

and countless other over your remarkable run!! you will be missed but clearly

not forgotten

May 8 - 12:03 AM



the list is just ok imo.i would take out harold and kumar,hairspray,gummo,new nightmare,new world,dark city,sea inside,american splendor,and the player.not sayin these movies are bad,but not better than some of the ones i listed below.

and swith them out with american history x,blade 2,bolier room,final destination,friday,hoop dreams,king of kong,menace II society,the notebook,pump up the volume,rush hour,and wedding crashers.

May 8 - 12:39 AM


James Ford

Okay. BLADE II is twice the movie BLADE could ever hope to be and resurrected a lame character, made him cool, gave wesley snipes a legacy and proved that david goyer can't write (BATMAN BEGINS is culled from great source material and DARK CITY has three credited writers). Anybody want to defend him and I'll make you watch DEATH WARRANT, DEMONIC TOYS, BLADE TRINITY, JUMPER, CROW II CITY OF ANGELS, KICKBOXER 2 and NICK FURY AGENT OF SHIELD and we can have this talk again.

And then I get to MAGNOLIA. Are you frickin' kidding me? HARD EIGHT and BOOGIE NIGHTS are genius. MAGNOLIA and PUNCH DRUNK LOVE are just proof that style is no substitute for talent. As for MAGNOLIA, if you're going to string fifteen interesting characters in interesting situations together and call it movie you may want to have a common theme... otherwise you have BABEL. It's like serving lobster and grilled cheese... why the hell are these on the same plate. Instead of an underlying connective tissue like BIG CHILL, GRAND CANYON, CRASH, TRAFFIC, SHORT CUTS, NASHVILLE and CRADLE WILL ROCK have, you end up with a dozen really good vinettes that have nothing to do with each other. MAGNOLIA never adds up to the sum of its parts.

In his defense, I have THERE WILL BE BLOOD at home and haven't watched it yet so the verdict is out.

May 8 - 05:26 AM


Daniel Klein

Decent list, though my personal feeling is New Nightmare committed the sin of taking a [for that time] brilliantly novel premise of evil existing outside the movie and absolutely wasting it in the end on cheap sets and lame conclusion... very sad.

Dark City was actually a bit of a disappointment, too, in that I thought the pervasive, unrelenting darkness ended up overwhelming the story and the characters. The commercial itself should be on this list or at least on a list of top 25 coolest commercials (are you listening, RT? Good list idea!)

Finally, I would've added Mortal Kombat. Yeah, corny video game adaptation, but compared to the failures of Super Mario Bros, Double Dragon and Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat was Citizen Kane. Cool cast, well-choreographed fights, passable VFX and a SLAMMIN' angry techno soundtrack. This one, they did right.

The sequel? That they f#cked up.

May 8 - 07:46 AM


Matthew Weerts

A fine list, and everyone will have a fave that is not ranked, or ranked high enough, or a director someone hates. But we are celebrating a company that had enough balls to make a 300 million dollar trilogy with a director who mostly made horror comedies (and one critically acclaimed drama). Look what a payoff that had for them, and us! I still don't understand why they got absorbed, they should have made enough on LOTR to last a lifetime! Maybe RT should dig in on that and do a feature about what happened! Anyway, many thanks New Line, you will be missed.

May 8 - 09:04 AM

Alex Vo

Alex Vo

The original concept of the New Line retrospective was going to be this wild, five-part feature, with one part going up every weekday (including a dissection of the rise and fall of New Line). Time and resources were an issue, but regardless I'm super happy how this list came out. Glad you guys are cool with it too.

May 8 - 11:35 AM


joe shmo

people saying 'blade II' was all that need to check themselves. the first one was solid, the second, mediocre and the the third... well, let's not even go there.

i get what you guys were trying to do with rating 'magnolia' higher than 'boogie nights.' it came afterwards and represented anderson's ascension among the ranks of top american filmmakers. but really, 'boogie nights' is the superior film.

it's epic in scope and scale (chronicling entire decades), has one of the best soundtracks of all time, broke mark wahlberg, revived burt reynold's career and is pretty amazing from a technical standpoint. The tracking shots are staggering in terms of their complexity, and the art direction reflects a painstaking attention to detail.

as was said above, 'magnolia' never really pays off or comes together in a meaningful way and the frogs kind of ruined the ending for me. i know there was some deeper allegorical meaning behind them (i still don't quite know what that is, so if someone's aware, please let me know), but for me, the frogs just kind of falsified the whole world anderson had created. it meant that this world we kept thinking was too wierd to be real, in fact, was.

i will concur with others on awarding props for the inclusion of 'turtles,' especially at 44%. critics just didn't get it, but they also didn't watch the animated series every day after school or read the original comics in which the turtles were vicious gangbusters and all wore red instead of individual colors.

the guys who invented the turtles were from my home town, so i was naturally obsessed. i even met the woman that april o'neil is based on (the co-creator's ex-wife, who still lives there, and parties) and it turns out she's now a coke-snorting middle-aged single mom with rage issues. go figure.

oh, and you guys got the LOTR order just right: 1, 3, 2. once a year i bust out my extended trilogy and hunker down for a weekend. The twelve hours always fly by, but the first installment has the most classic appeal (and less comic "relief" from gimly).

good list.

May 8 - 09:18 AM


Daniel Klooster

Good list. Too many movies to argue about, and we could all argue ordering, but I like the movies that they chose.

My opinion is that Blade II is much better than Blade I. I'm not a fan of the Blade movies, but love Snipes in the role.

LOTR Fellowship is probably the only one I'd put in a top 'whatever' list of movies. The quality of the first one is just superior and the other two movies make too many errors that are insulting to the source material (Yes fellowship also has errors, but forgivable ones).

I wouldn't put Mortal Kombat on the list.

Wedding Crashers is one that I'd consider.

May 8 - 10:28 AM

Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato


May 8 - 11:33 AM

CoUcH ToMaToE DoUgIe

Shawn Amoroso

Jen Yamato is a totally radical ;) great to see such

love for one of my, along with many others, fave movie, Tenage mutant Ninja

Turtles. this list definitely deserves a high fiving cowabunga!!!

May 8 - 07:27 PM

Alex Vo

Alex Vo

The original concept of the New Line retrospective was going to be this wild, five-part feature, with one part going up every weekday (including a dissection of the rise and fall of New Line). Time and resources were an issue, but regardless I'm super happy how this list came out. Glad you guys are cool with it too.

May 8 - 11:35 AM


Jesse Rodgers

Fellowship just gets everything right. It's the broadest in scope, goes the most places visually and emotionally, is the most colorful, the most tragic, and the most varying in its action (meaning that the second two films had just battles), and the balance between the time spent with all the characters is pitch perfect. Every single one of the characters is well-developed. The second two movies get kind of sloppy and the balance of the story shifts too heavily toward the humans.

May 8 - 11:39 AM


Endri Caraj

Blade is sick.

May 8 - 11:43 AM

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