James Spader - Rotten Tomatoes

James Spader

Highest Rated:   100% The Music of Chance (1993)
Lowest Rated:   10% The Watcher (2000)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Often noted for his comment that he enjoys working in all of his films -- as long as he doesn't have to see any of them -- actor James Spader (born February 2nd, 1960) may have missed out on seeing a few good performances in some pretty memorable films.Though descended from a long line of scholars and professors, Spader, in ironic contrast to his theatrical image as the definitive terminal yuppie, dropped out of Phillips Andover prep school to pursue a career as an actor. Forsaking his formal education, Spader instead decided to focus his attention on acting by studying at the Michael Chekhov school in New York, while also working a variety of odd jobs to support himself until he found success as a thespian. Making his debut in the 1978 comedy Team Mates, Spader began the slow process of gaining more frequent work with roles of increasing substance. Spader's first role came in Franco Zeffirelli's soft-core teen melodrama Endless Love (1981) (also notable as the debut of another young unknown actor named Tom Cruise. After a brief, mid-'80s stint in teen exploitation including Tuff Turf and The New Kids (both 1985), Spader gained mainstream recognition with his first fore in yuppiedom as Molly Ringwald's insincere suitor in Pretty in Pink (1986). Over the course of the next few years, Spader would refine his slimy persona to perfection in Wall Street (1987) and Less Than Zero (1987), and take an interesting turn as a possible serial killer in the Jack the Ripper thriller Jack's Back (1988), but it was the end of the decade that brought the defining role in Spader's career.Though his role in independent filmmaker Steven Soderbergh's voyeurism-obsessed sex, lies and videotape did little to propel his persona into more likeable territories, it showed an actor with considerable talent who wasn't afraid to take risks, winning him the Best Actor award at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. Spader's dark portrayal of the ominously seductive videophile struck a chord in audiences and critics alike and turned him into a household name. The '90s found Spader expanding his yuppie image into more sympathetic territory with roles in White Palace and Bad Influence (both 1990), and he continued his likeable trend in the first of the mega-budget Dean Devlin/Roland Emmerich collaborations, Stargate (1994), before reverting back as Jack Nicholson's manipulative lycanthropic rival in Mike Nichols' imaginative satire Wolf (1994). Controversy soon followed with David Cronenberg's widely panned study of fetishistic alienation Crash (1996), and Spader has worked steadily since, with roles in Supernova (2000) and Speaking of Sex (2001). With the release of Secretary (2002), Spader once again found himself in the favor of art house audiences for his portrayal of a demanding lawyer who hires a recently released mental patient for the eponimous duty.Spader found success on the small screen once again for his work on Boston Legal from 2004 to 2008 as the character of Alan Shore, a vehemently moral attorney who resorts to unethical methods during his pursuit of justice (a role that would win the actor two Emmys). Spader made a guest appearance on an episode of The Office, and returned to the sitcom in 2011 as part of the main cast. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
75% Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ultron
$429.2M 2015
81% The Homesman
  • Aloysius Duffy
2014
90% Lincoln
  • W.N. Bilbo
$129.5M 2012
45% Shorts: The Adventures of the Wishing Rock
  • Mr. Black
$20.9M 2009
No Score Yet Discovery Atlas
  • Narrator
2006
No Score Yet Shadow of Fear
  • William Ashbury
2004
No Score Yet Alien Hunter
  • Julien Rome
2003
No Score Yet I Witness
  • Douglas Draper
2003
No Score Yet Speaking of Sex
  • Dr. Klink
2003
No Score Yet The Pentagon Papers
  • Daniel Ellsberg
2003
No Score Yet The Stickup
  • Parker
2002
76% Secretary
  • Mr. Grey
$3.9M 2002
10% The Watcher
  • Joel Campbell
$28.6M 2000
11% Slow Burn
  • Marcus
2000
No Score Yet Curtain Call
  • Stevenson Lowe
2000
10% Supernova
  • Nick Vanzant
2000
59% Critical Care
  • Dr. Werner Ernst
1997
No Score Yet Driftwood
  • The Man
1997
59% 2 Days in the Valley
  • Lee Woods
1996
13% Keys to Tulsa
  • Ronnie Stover
1996
58% Crash
  • James Ballard
$3.2M 1996
60% Wolf
  • Stewart Swinton
1994
57% Dream Lover
  • Ray Reardon
1994
100% The Music of Chance
  • Jack Pozzi
1993
100% Bob Roberts
  • News Anchor Chuck Marin
1992
60% Storyville
  • Cray Fowler
1992
47% True Colors
  • Tim Gerrity
1991
56% White Palace
  • Max Baron
1990
71% Bad Influence
  • Michael Boll
1990
98% Sex, Lies, and Videotape
  • Graham Dalton
1989
40% The Rachel Papers
  • DeForrest
1989
60% Jack's Back
  • John/Rick Westford
1988
78% Wall Street
  • Roger Barnes
1987
54% Less Than Zero
  • Rip
1987
76% Baby Boom
  • Ken
1987
22% Mannequin
  • Richards
1987
80% Pretty in Pink
  • Steff McKee
1986
20% Tuff Turf
  • Morgan Hiller
1985
No Score Yet The New Kids
  • Dutra
1985
No Score Yet Starcrossed
  • Joey Callaghan
1985
No Score Yet Family Secrets
  • Lowell Everall
1984
No Score Yet Cocaine: One Man's Seduction
  • Buddy Gant
1983
25% Endless Love
  • Keith
1981

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
2013
  • Guest
  • 2017
No Score Yet Late Night With Seth Meyers
2014
  • Guest
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
No Score Yet The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
2014
  • Guest
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
85% The Blacklist
2013
  • Producer
  • Raymond "Red" Reddington
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
91% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
2015
  • Guest
  • 2016
No Score Yet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
2009-2014
  • Guest
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
1992-2014
  • Guest
  • 2013
  • 2012
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
No Score Yet The Office
2005-2013
  • Robert California
  • 2012
  • 2011
No Score Yet Boston Legal
2004-2008
  • Alan Shore
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
No Score Yet The Practice
1997-2004
  • Alan Shore
  • 2004
  • 2003
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
1999-2015
  • Guest
  • 2003
No Score Yet Seinfeld
1989-1998
  • Actor
  • 1997
No Score Yet Frasier
1993-2004
  • Voice of Steven
  • 1994

Quotes from James Spader's Characters