Barry Levinson - Rotten Tomatoes

Barry Levinson

Highest Rated:   100% Homicide: The Movie (2000)
Lowest Rated:   8% Envy (2004)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Baltimore, Maryland
One of the more versatile American filmmakers of his generation, Barry Levinson's movies showcased subjects as diverse as the immigrant experience, mob intrigue, and political satire. He earned particular acclaim for his semi-autobiographical portraits of life in 1950s Baltimore, a topic that he explored to great effect in Diner, his 1982 directorial debut.Born in Baltimore on June 2, 1942, Levinson was the son of a warehouse manager. Initially intent on a career in the media, he studied Broadcast Journalism in college but didn't remain there long enough to earn a degree. He instead switched his interests to acting and standup comedy, and, after serving a stint as a staff writer on The Carol Burnett Show, he was hired by producer Mel Brooks. The first film to carry a screenwriter credit for Levinson (in the company of several other writers) was Silent Movie (1976); this was followed by Brooks' High Anxiety (1977), which also featured Levinson as a vengeful bellboy in the film's celebrated Psycho-parody scene.Levinson's first directorial job was the low-budget Diner (1982), the first installment of his "Baltimore trilogy" (the others were Tin Men (1987) and Avalon (1990)); Diner served to showcase several stars-to-be, among them Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Daniel Stern, Paul Reiser, and Michael Tucker. A poignant, critically acclaimed, coming-of-age story, the film helped to establish Levinson as a bankable director; this status was further solidified with such purely commercial projects as The Natural (1984) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). In 1988, Levinson tackled one of his most ambitious projects in Rain Man, the remarkable saga of a disaffected yuppie's deepening relationship with his autistic savant brother. An all-around success, the film won numerous Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman).Levinson had little difficulty imposing his own personal stamp on such star-oriented films as Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), starring Robin Williams, and Bugsy (1991), starring Warren Beatty. Although he has made few missteps in his career, Levinson suffered an intensely personal defeat with Toys (1992), a morality tale acted out in a toy manufacturing company. The film had been a pet project of Levinson's for nearly 20 years, and, when finally completed, it proved to be a complete turkey. Similarly disappointing was the director's Jimmy Hollywood (1994); a comedy starring Joe Pesci as a struggling actor, it sank at the box office. He had greater luck with Sleepers (1996), the disturbing tale of four lifelong friends seeking retribution for torture and sexual abuse they suffered as young boys at a reform school. The following year proved to be a banner one, as Levinson had two critically acclaimed hits, one as the producer of Donnie Brasco, starring Johnny Depp as an undercover cop who develops a dangerous friendship with mobster Al Pacino, and the other as the producer/director of the sharp political satire Wag the Dog, starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. Following a semi-disastrous foray into science fiction with Sphere (1998), Levinson literally and figuratively returned to his home turf in 1999 with Liberty Heights. The story of two Jewish boys growing up in Baltimore in the '50s, it featured the familiar Levinson themes of family ties, ethnic tension, Cold War anxiety, and the growing pains of a changing society.The 21st century started off in a less than stellar way for Levinson as his comedy An Everlasting Piece struggled to get a release in the United States. He oversaw the end of his highly respected television series Homicide by executive producing a TV-movie in 2000 that helped bring some major storylines to a close. The next year he made the quirky comedy Bandits featuring a love triangle between Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, and Cate Blanchett. That film was a mild success, but the same could not b

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Wizard of Lies
  • Executive Producer
  • Director
2017
9% Rock the Kasbah
  • Director
2015
No Score Yet Gotti: Three Generations
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2015
51% The Humbling
  • Director
  • Producer
2015
38% Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
  • Potter Stewart
2013
49% Phil Spector
  • Executive Producer
2013
77% The Bay
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
2012
92% Side by Side
  • Barry Levinson
2012
No Score Yet You Don't Know Jack
  • Director
  • Executive Producer
2010
No Score Yet Poliwood
  • Director
2009
51% What Just Happened?
  • Producer
  • Director
2008
51% Bee Movie
  • Martin Benson
2007
21% Man of the Year
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2006
69% The Outsider
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet View From the Bridge
  • Director
2006
8% Envy
  • Director
2004
44% Deliver Us From Eva
  • Executive Producer
2003
27% Analyze That
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
2002
65% Possession
  • Producer
2002
64% Bandits
  • Director
  • Producer
2001
48% An Everlasting Piece
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2001
80% Shot in the Heart
  • Executive Producer
2001
47% The Perfect Storm
  • Executive Producer
2000
100% Homicide: The Movie
  • Executive Producer
2000
87% Liberty Heights
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1999
No Score Yet Homicide: Life on the Street - The Beginning
  • Director
1999
31% Home Fries
  • Producer
1998
12% Sphere
  • Producer
  • Director
1998
85% Wag the Dog
  • Director
  • Producer
1997
No Score Yet The Second Civil War
  • Executive Producer
1997
87% Donnie Brasco
  • Producer
1997
74% Sleepers
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1996
59% Disclosure
  • Producer
  • Director
1994
96% Quiz Show
  • Dave Garroway
1994
14% Jimmy Hollywood
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Director in Life Story
1994
25% Wilder Napalm
  • Producer
1993
26% Toys
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1992
85% Bugsy
  • Director
  • Producer
1991
83% Avalon
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1990
90% Rain Man
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Doctor
1988
89% Good Morning, Vietnam
  • Director
1987
79% Tin Men
  • Director
1987
No Score Yet Suspicion
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1987
No Score Yet Legends - Live at Montreux 1997
  • Director
1987
65% Young Sherlock Holmes
  • Director
1985
No Score Yet American Playhouse
  • Producer
1985
81% The Natural
  • Director
1984
20% Unfaithfully Yours
  • Screenwriter
1984
50% Best Friends
  • Screenwriter
1982
91% Diner
  • Screenwriter
1982
No Score Yet Inside Moves
  • Screenwriter
1982
62% History of the World---Part I
  • Column Salesman - The Roman Empire
1981
81% ...And Justice for All
  • Screenwriter
1979
75% High Anxiety
  • Screenwriter
  • Bellboy
1977
81% Silent Movie
  • Executive
  • Screenwriter
1976
No Score Yet Who?
  • Producer
1975
No Score Yet Street Girls
  • Screenwriter
1974
No Score Yet The Internecine Project
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1974
No Score Yet Catholics
  • Producer
1973
No Score Yet The Amazing Mr. Blunden
  • Producer
1972
No Score Yet First Love
  • Producer
1970
No Score Yet Brilliant
  • Director

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet 30 for 30
2009
  • Executive Producer
  • Director
80% Killing Fields
2016
  • Executive Producer
55% Shades of Blue
2016
  • Director
83% Copper
2012-2013
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
Oz
1997-2003
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer

Quotes from Barry Levinson's Characters