Total Recall: Best Movies Starring Clint Eastwood

We count down the best-reviewed work of the Trouble with the Curve star.

Clint Eastwood

He's done some pretty terrific work as a director -- in fact, we devoted a previous Total Recall to it -- but for our money, there's nothing quite like seeing Eastwood's complete filmography and growl in front of the camera, so when we saw that he'd be starring opposite Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake in this weekend's Trouble with the Curve, we knew what we needed to do. If you like your guns big, your action mean, and your protagonists strong and silent, this list is for you. Do you feel like Total Recall? Well, do ya, punk?


94%

10. Coogan's Bluff

The most resolutely deadpan of all fish-out-of-water films, 1968's Coogan's Bluff stars Eastwood as a backwoods deputy who travels to New York City to extradite a wanted man and ends up falling down a psychedelic rabbit hole of tough guys and hippie chicks. The first of five collaborations between Eastwood and director Don Siegel, Coogan's Bluff exploited its premise effectively enough to inspire the television cop drama McCloud -- and earn praise from critics like Don Druker of the Chicago Reader, who wrote, "Eastwood's performance as the flawed, headstrong superman has been terribly underrated, but he brings to the part of Coogan a sure knowledge of the man's obvious strengths and not so obvious failings."


94%

9. For a Few Dollars More

Italian audiences saw Eastwood's work in A Fistful of Dollars long before American ones -- and they made that movie such a hit that director Sergio Leone was ready to make a sequel before Eastwood had even seen the final cut of the original. The result, For a Few Dollars More, set Eastwood's Man With No Name against the Man in Black (Lee Van Cleef) in a gunslinging chase thriller that ended up drawing almost as much critical praise as its predecessor. In fact, Time Out's Geoff Andrew preferred it to Fistful of Dollars, writing that it was "A significant step forward" and lauding "the usual terrific compositions, Morricone score, and taciturn performances."

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94%

8. The Outlaw Josey Wales

By the time 1976's The Outlaw Josey Wales rolled around, Eastwood was on his fifth film as a director and his ninth as the star of a Western -- all of which is to say that Wales should have been pretty tired stuff, and it's all the more impressive that it ended up being so darn entertaining. A black comedy with plenty of action and loads of heart, Wales positions Eastwood as the central figure (and highly entertaining straight man) in a bumbling chase across the frontier. Observed Movieline's Joshua Mooney, "The truly impressive aspect of Eastwood's Wales is just how broad a range of emotions the actor conveys without forsaking his legendary economy of gesture, or ranging beyond his ultra-macho monotone growl."

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95%

7. Escape from Alcatraz

Most of today's action stars don't look rough enough to even be sent to jail, let alone escape from it -- but director Don Siegel rounded up a posse of convincing crooks for 1979's Escape from Alcatraz, and led the whole sorry bunch with a perfectly nasty Clint Eastwood. Playing real-life convict Frank Morris, Eastwood helped turn the fact-based Alcatraz into a gripping prison break thriller. "Siegel stages it all like a collection of haikus," enthused CinePassion's Fernando F. Croce, calling it "all grilled corners and hard camera pans, not a single wasted frame."

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95%

6. Dirty Harry

How do you write the perfect script for Clint Eastwood in the 1970s? Just imagine a no-nonsense cop with a giant gun and zero tolerance for the criminal element. Turning Eastwood loose in San Francisco and setting him in pursuit of a vicious serial killer calling himself "Scorpio" (Andy Robinson), Dirty Harry helped set the tone for the lone-vigilante cop flicks of the ensuing couple of decades -- and kicked off a series of hit films that would help keep him employed until the late 1980s. "Dirty Harry was the original rogue tough-guy cop film," observed Netflix's James Rocchi, "and while years of imitation, emulation and outright mockery have chipped away at the archetype, it's still fascinating to observe in its original form."

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Comments

Miroslav Maric

Miroslav Maric

Gran Torino ?
Mystic River ?

wtf

Sep 19 - 04:26 PM

Francisco Hernandez

Francisco Hernandez

agreed where's Gran Torino RT?

Sep 19 - 04:30 PM

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles

...At 80 percent on the Tomatometer, and thus below the cut.

Sep 19 - 04:33 PM

Kieran F.

Kieran Fraser

Gran Tarino is at %90....

Sep 20 - 07:21 AM

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles

At 90 percent with audiences, not critics -- and even then, it's below "Coogan's Bluff" at 94 percent.

Sep 20 - 08:04 AM

Bernt Andersen

Bernt Andersen

Come on! When "For a few dollars ..." came out, there were like 8 filmcritics in the whole world! Now there are millions. Of corse the average is going to be lower on the new films.

Sep 20 - 09:04 AM

Michael Patison

Michael Patison

For a Few Dollars More has been reviewed by 34 people I believe, so you can shut your mouth.

Sep 20 - 04:58 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Yes. The old days. Clint would pack up his new film on donkeyback and trudge 35 miles across the Dust Bowel just to get a screening at a steam-powered drive-in. You kids today have no appreciation for a real hard day's trudge. You just expect your old man racism streamed directly into your phone nipples. "Torino" is like oak-aged bourbon. Learn to sip it, junior. It's too rich for your eager child-fingers.

Sep 20 - 10:24 PM

Cole Jaeger

Cole Jaeger

Best movies STARRING Clint Eastwood. And it's sorted by tomato meter, so neither films are high enough anyway.

Sep 19 - 04:56 PM

nongshim

Nong Shim

agreed; although the RT scores are lower, i love both those movies.

Sep 19 - 05:26 PM

The Reaper

Iron Will

Starring roles only, bub. Christ, can you read? And, as has been stated, by t-meter.

Sep 20 - 06:21 AM

George Patchell

George Patchell

Also this is films Eastwood has starred in. He didn't star in Mystic River he just directed it.

Sep 20 - 12:30 PM

akatz5

Andrew Katz

He didn't star in Mystic River.

Sep 20 - 02:34 PM

Steven Voll

Steven Voll

Gran Torino is pretty bad.

Sep 21 - 08:27 AM

Gregory Hermes

Gregory Hermes

He didn't lead, but what about 'A Perfect World'?

Sep 21 - 08:59 AM

Prashanth Mjj

Prashanth Mjj

yep..A perfect world was a great flick!Definitely his top 10,wonder why it is so under-appreciated!

Sep 25 - 06:20 PM

Sandman1968

First Last

And it's "starring Eastwood", hence no "Mystic River"

Sep 23 - 04:01 PM

Matheus Alpino

Matheus Alpino

Wtf are you on? Did you really think an actor as hailed and as old as clint wouldnt have 10 movies better than Torino? All movies in this list are vastly superior than Torino.

Sep 25 - 10:16 AM

Danny Hall

Danny Hall

Clint Eastwood is easily one of the most prolific and talented actors of all time and maybe even the greatest actor of all time in the western genre.

Sep 19 - 04:26 PM

Dwayne Roberts

Dwayne Roberts

I was blown away by The Outlaw Josie Wales. Surprisingly strong story.

Sep 19 - 04:27 PM

Francisco Hernandez

Francisco Hernandez

agreed where's Gran Torino RT?

Sep 19 - 04:30 PM

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles

...At 80 percent on the Tomatometer, and thus below the cut.

Sep 19 - 04:33 PM

Kieran F.

Kieran Fraser

Gran Tarino is at %90....

Sep 20 - 07:21 AM

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles

At 90 percent with audiences, not critics -- and even then, it's below "Coogan's Bluff" at 94 percent.

Sep 20 - 08:04 AM

Bernt Andersen

Bernt Andersen

Come on! When "For a few dollars ..." came out, there were like 8 filmcritics in the whole world! Now there are millions. Of corse the average is going to be lower on the new films.

Sep 20 - 09:04 AM

Michael Patison

Michael Patison

For a Few Dollars More has been reviewed by 34 people I believe, so you can shut your mouth.

Sep 20 - 04:58 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Yes. The old days. Clint would pack up his new film on donkeyback and trudge 35 miles across the Dust Bowel just to get a screening at a steam-powered drive-in. You kids today have no appreciation for a real hard day's trudge. You just expect your old man racism streamed directly into your phone nipples. "Torino" is like oak-aged bourbon. Learn to sip it, junior. It's too rich for your eager child-fingers.

Sep 20 - 10:24 PM

Alex Frieden

Alex Frieden

LMAO @ MST3K!!!

Sep 19 - 04:31 PM

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles

...At 80 percent on the Tomatometer, and thus below the cut.

Sep 19 - 04:33 PM

Kieran F.

Kieran Fraser

Gran Tarino is at %90....

Sep 20 - 07:21 AM

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles

At 90 percent with audiences, not critics -- and even then, it's below "Coogan's Bluff" at 94 percent.

Sep 20 - 08:04 AM

Gavin Miller

Gavin Miller

My three favorites are Unforgiven, Gran Torino, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! I also love Million Dollar Baby, In the Line of Fire, rest of the Dollars Trilogy, and pretty much all his other movies! Great actor/filmmaker!

Sep 19 - 04:42 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I love almost everything this guy has ever been in including "The Rookie", "Pink Cadillac", "Any Way You Can", "Thundrbolt and Lightfoot", "Heartbreak Ridge", "Three Mules For Sister Sara", "Kelly's Heroes" for there is only a few I haven't seen yet!

Sep 19 - 04:49 PM

Cole Jaeger

Cole Jaeger

Best movies STARRING Clint Eastwood. And it's sorted by tomato meter, so neither films are high enough anyway.

Sep 19 - 04:56 PM

nongshim

Nong Shim

agreed; although the RT scores are lower, i love both those movies.

Sep 19 - 05:26 PM

١r­ur Bj÷rnsson

١r­ur Bj÷rnsson

Unforgiven should be at the top.

Sep 19 - 07:12 PM

DooDoo Shrivel

DooDoo Shrivel

I would replace Coogan's Bluff (or Gran Torino) with Heartbreak Ridge. I'm an Eastwood connoisseur, and I'm sorry but Coogan's Bluff was kind of a little bit crap.

Sep 19 - 07:52 PM

Josh Daniels

Josh Daniels

While I like Heartbreak Ridge, it's a pretty standard formula and nothing special, not like the other films on this list.
The battle in Grenada really took the movie down a notch in my opinion.

Sep 20 - 06:19 AM

Dave J

Dave J

I agree while the overall experience of Heartbreak Ridge is standard, the comedic aspect of it between the character Eastwood plays and Mario Peebles as well as his unit consists of some of Eastwood's best humor in years!

Sep 20 - 01:33 PM

Sean Corbin

Sean Corbin

I actually really liked Coogan's bluff

Sep 20 - 07:01 AM

Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans

'Play Misty for Me' is a great movie also. It is one of his best non-Western movies.

Sep 20 - 07:54 AM

Dave J

Dave J

You may not think that Coogan's Bluff was very good but it did encouraged a syndicated television show called "McCloud"!

Sep 21 - 01:50 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Was really expecting to see Million Dollar Baby at least up there. I'm as big a fan of High Plains Drifter as the next guy, but as a movie it pales in comparison to MDB. Also a bit surprised to see Fistful of Dollars above The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Sep 19 - 07:57 PM

Gar Bercury

Gar Bercury

4 more years Mr. Eastwood...

Sep 19 - 09:04 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I don't have much of a problem with these rankings. I'd put "Josey Wales" in the top five, move "Good Bad and the Ugly" to #1 (greatest western ever!) followed by "Unforgiven". All his Leone films deserve to be here. I'd probably drop "Coogan" for "Magnum Force" though.

Sep 19 - 09:51 PM

Travis M.

Travis McKenzie

That scene in A Fistful of Dollars when he blows those 5 guys away at the start is so epic that there are not even words for it.

Sep 19 - 10:51 PM

Pavan Chowdary

Pavan Chowdary

Amazing actor and excellent director
Gran Torino should have been included in the list...

Sep 20 - 12:13 AM

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