Total Recall

Wednesday, Feb. 17 2010, 06:09 PM

Busting out of the cheapie horror sequel and/or TV sitcom ghetto can be done -- just ask George Clooney, who has a Killer Tomatoes sequel and a pile of Facts of Life episodes on his resume -- but it isn't easy; when Leonardo DiCaprio surfaced in Critters 3 and the rapidly aging Growing Pains in 1991, it seemed safe to assume he was destined for a brief, direct-to-video career. Nineteen years, multiple Academy Award nominations, and over a billion dollars in box office grosses later, ihe's one of the biggest names in the business. In honor of his achievements -- and his fourth collaboration with Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island, arriving in theaters this week -- we decided now would be the perfect time to take a look back at Mr. DiCaprio's best-reviewed films.

Tuesday, Feb. 09 2010, 04:02 PM

Some actors struggle with typecasting for their entire careers -- and some, like Anthony Hopkins, get to do pretty much whatever they want. Since making his film debut in 1968, Hopkins has dabbled in everything from Merchant Ivory period dramas to horror, moving from television to film -- and picking up an Academy Award, and several nominations, along the way. He's battled a bear in The Edge, walked away unscathed from the misery of Joel Schumacher's Bad Company, and even survived Freejack, but he's never been given the Rotten Tomatoes Total Recall treatment -- so in honor of his supporting turn in The Wolfman, we decided now would be the perfect time to look back at the 10 best-reviewed films in his distinguished career.

Wednesday, Feb. 03 2010, 01:43 PM

Not even a family tree full of dramatic DNA automatically adds up to the kind of talent Jeff Bridges has displayed over the course of his nearly 40-year career. Bridges has gone on to score five Oscar nods -- his most recent nomination, for Crazy Heart, was awarded just this week -- all while assembling one of the more interesting, and critically successful, filmographies in the business. So successful, in fact, that Bridges' top six films all boast Tomatometers above 90 percent -- which is a roundabout way of saying that you can't have a Jeff Bridges Top 10 without leaving out plenty of good stuff -- in the interest of getting the chorus of groans out of the way up front, you won't find The Big Lebowski, Tron, or The Contender here. So what does that leave? Let's spin the dials on the Tomatometer and find out!

Thursday, Jan. 28 2010, 05:44 AM

Eight years is an eternity in Hollywood. Why, in 2002, Pierce Brosnan was still James Bond, Nia Vardalos was a budding film mogul, and Ryan Reynolds was still just that guy from National Lampoon's Van Wilder. It was also the year Mel Gibson starred in M. Night Shyamalan's Signs, an eventual $400 million hit -- and the beginning of an unexpectedly long absence for one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Aside from an appearance in The Singing Detective the following year, Gibson has been uncharacteristically camera-shy for almost a decade now, but all that ends this week, with his starring turn in Martin Campbell's Edge of Darkness. Seeing Mel return to his action roots has us in a celebratory mood -- and what better way to celebrate than a look back at his best-reviewed films? Yes, folks, it's Total Recall time!

Wednesday, Jan. 20 2010, 04:24 PM

He may not be quite the box office draw he once was, but don't cry for Harrison Ford: Over the last 35 years or so, he's amassed a lifetime gross in excess of $3.4 billion -- and more importantly, he's kicked bad-guy tail as some of the most memorable cinematic heroes in history, including Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Jack Ryan. He's made a whole bunch of great movies along the way, too -- and with his latest effort, the medical drama Extraordinary Measures, opening this Friday, we thought now would be the perfect time to take a look back at some of the critical highlights of Ford's illustrious filmography.

Wednesday, Jan. 06 2010, 03:01 PM

Ten years ago, the only people that knew who Amy Adams was were either members of her family or folks who spent too much time reading the Drop Dead Gorgeous credits. Today? She's one of Hollywood's fastest rising stars, with a pair of Oscar nominations under her belt and a growing reputation for enlivening even the most pedestrian fare. If you've ever seen one of Adams' movies, the reasons for her speedy ascent should be obvious: With dramatic chops, sharp comic timing, and looks that work equally well for character roles and glamorous leads, she's a casting director's dream. And if you haven't seen any of her films, don't fret -- with her latest, the romantic comedy Leap Year, reaching theaters this weekend, we thought now would be a great time to look back on her filmography, Total Recall style!

Tuesday, Dec. 29 2009, 03:40 PM

Tradition holds that the only thing we're supposed to watch on New Year's Eve is an assortment of minor celebrities doing their best to entertain us before the ball drops in Times Square -- but as any self-respecting film buff knows, there are any number of movies whose plots revolve in some way around the changing of the calendar year, and quite a few of them are a lot more entertaining than any "New Year's Rockin' Eve." (Sorry, Dick Clark.) For this week's Total Recall, we decided to take a cross-section sampling of New Year's flicks from various genres, touching on some classics and a few surprises along the way. Break out the bubbly, because 2010 is almost here, and we're celebrating Total Recall style!

Tuesday, Dec. 22 2009, 04:15 PM

Over the course of a filmography spanning 20 years and dozens of movies, Jude Law has become one of the most successful actors of his generation -- in fact, just a few years ago, he made the industry's "top 10 most bankable" list. Ten years ago this Christmas, Law scored one of his earliest high-profile roles with The Talented Mr. Ripley; this weekend, Law caps off a decade in the spotlight with Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, co-starring with Robert Downey, Jr. (who earned his own Total Recall a few weeks ago -- click here to check it out). To celebrate, we decided to take the opportunity to pay tribute to some of Mr. Law's biggest critical hits. Of course, given his propensity for smaller parts, we had to prune a few entries from the upper reaches of Law's Tomatometer; his roles in films like The Aviator and Lemony Snicket weren't quite substantial enough to make the grade. Still, we think you'll find plenty to love in this week's list. Without further ado... Jude Law's best movies!

Wednesday, Dec. 16 2009, 02:58 PM

He got his start as a miniature model maker at Roger Corman Studios, and promptly went on to establish himself as one of the biggest directors in Hollywood -- both in terms of his staggering box office grosses ($3.5 billion worldwide and counting) and his seemingly limitless appetite for epic storytelling. Like a lot of filmmakers, James Cameron's imagination has often outpaced the available technology -- but unlike most of his peers, when confronted with those limits, he simply spurs the invention of new technology to get around them. Cameron's latest effort, Avatar, required the development of a whole new 3-D camera, and rode the bleeding edge of CGI's outer limits. After years of buildup, Avatar is finally here -- but before we witness what's being hyped as the future of filmmaking, why don't we look back at James Cameron's past?

Tuesday, Dec. 08 2009, 03:20 PM

You may not know his name, but you almost certainly recognize his face -- and you might even know his voice too: Since the early 1980s, Keith David has been one of the most prolific actors in the business, scoring roles in a dizzying array of films, lending his voice to cartoons and videogames, and even singing when he feels like it. Heck, he even popped up on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood during the 1980s, appearing as Keith the Southwood Carpenter. You've heard of "that guy" status for actors? That's Keith David in a nutshell -- and since you'll be hearing his voice in The Princess and the Frog this weekend, we thought now would be the perfect time to give this ubiquitous thespian the Total Recall treatment!

Tuesday, Dec. 01 2009, 10:30 AM

Child actors are notorious for fizzling out once their prepubescent charms disappear during adolescence, or once they discover the various vices of the adult world, and it seems to be the rare case when a young starlet can overcome these hurdles and transition successfully into a career of grownup roles. Natalie Portman is one such success story: after making her debut as a 12-year-old in Luc Besson's Leon The Professional, Portman gradually took on more adult roles until she was playing everything from a young, widowed mother (Cold Mountain) to an emotionally manipulative stripper (Closer). This week, she stars alongside Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal in the family drama Brothers, so we felt it was the right time to take a look back at the extensive filmography of this young star to determine Natalie Portman's Best Movies.

Monday, Nov. 23 2009, 04:01 PM

Some actors are lucky enough to make the jump from television to film stardom. Some are lucky enough to get their careers back on track after falling off the A-list. But how many stars have been able to do both -- and walk away virtually unscathed from the flaming wreckage of Battlefield Earth in the bargain? Only John Travolta, ladies and gentlemen. Travolta buddies up with Robin Williams in this weekend's Old Dogs, which inspired us to take a look back at a filmography far more varied than you might remember. Dramas? Comedies? Thrillers? Cartoons? Heck, Travolta's done 'em all -- and he's been doing it for more than 30 years, too. It's high time he got the Total Recall treatment, wouldn't you say?

Thursday, Nov. 19 2009, 04:20 PM

A big part of the cinema's appeal is its ability to take us places we've never been -- but to really work, that escapism has to be grounded to universal themes, and like the Good Book says, the greatest of these is love. As any Twilight fan could tell you, nothing ratchets up the drama like star-crossed love, and to celebrate the imminent release of the franchise's second installment, New Moon, we've put together a list of some of Hollywood's most noteworthy -- and most persistent -- couples. We couldn't cover them all, of course, but if you've ever shed tears for the injustice of an onscreen love unfairly denied, you're sure to swoon over this week's Total Recall!

Tuesday, Nov. 10 2009, 01:40 PM

For much of the 1980s, John Cusack was one of Hollywood's most dependable go-to guys for affable leads in teen romantic comedies -- typecasting that led to some great films (Better Off Dead, Say Anything...) as well as some rather forgettable efforts (Hot Pursuit, One Crazy Summer). But beneath that guy-next-door exterior lurked the heart of a thespian, and over the last 20 years, Cusack has assembled one of the more eclectic filmographies in the biz, starring in action flicks (Con Air), quirky dramas (Being John Malkovich), and even dabbling in horror (1408). With his starring turn in Roland Emmerich's latest big-budget disaster epic, 2012, arriving in theaters this weekend, could there be a better time to give Mr. Cusack's collected works the Total Recall treatment?

Tuesday, Nov. 03 2009, 04:41 PM

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. We hear it all the time, but George Clooney is living proof that perseverance pays off: Despite the inauspicious beginnings of a career that threatened to pigeonhole him as a Ted McGinley-style supporting player on fading sitcoms, he's risen to the ranks of Hollywood's highest-paid actors, and has appeared in some of the last decade's most critically and commercially successful films. This fall, Clooney surfaces in three major releases: Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, and The Men Who Stare at Goats, opening this weekend. If that kind of star power doesn't deserve the Total Recall treatment, what does?

Monday, Oct. 26 2009, 03:37 PM

Rock music has been a big part of the movies since Blackboard Jungle made Bill Haley a legend in 1955, and although the marriage of the two mediums hasn't always been a happy one (see: Elvis Presley in Harum Scarum and Paul McCartney's Give My Regards to Broad Street -- or better yet, don't), it's also produced some cinematic classics. With Pirate Radio hitting theaters, we thought it would be a good time to share our staff's favorite rock 'n' roll movies -- flicks that will get your toes tapping and your hands strumming the old air guitar. Hey, RT users, what are your faves?

Monday, Oct. 19 2009, 04:01 PM

For more than two decades now, Joel and Ethan Coen have been thrilling critics -- and, here and there, audiences -- with their distinctive blend of dark humor, colorful violence, and singular visual flair. Not all of the Coens' films have been critical darlings (alas, poor Ladykillers), but with lifetime Tomatometers above 80 percent, the brothers are easily two (or is that one?) of the most respected directors in the business. Their latest effort, A Serious Man, is another winner, currently riding high with 86 percent on the Tomatometer, and to celebrate, we've freshened up our previous look at their filmography, Total Recall style! After branching out into broad espionage comedy with Burn After Reading, the Coens went back to their roots for A Serious Man -- quite literally, in fact: It takes place in an ordinary Jewish home in the suburban Midwest of the late 1960s, leading many critics to proclaim Serious the brothers' most personal film to date.

Monday, Oct. 12 2009, 02:04 PM

We at Rotten Tomatoes abhor violence -- in the real world, anyway. However, expertly-staged gunplay is one of the reasons we love going to the movies -- there's nothing like the catharsis of cinematic shootouts. Thus, we've compiled a list of our favorite movie gunfights -- scenes that left our ears ringing and our pulses quickened. However, these are just our faves -- this list is by no means definitive. RT users, chime in -- what are your favorites?

Wednesday, Oct. 07 2009, 02:45 PM

Vegas, martinis, and the words "baby" and "money" helped launch Vince Vaughn's film career -- and helped established him as an extraordinarily compelling cinematic scoundrel, a role he's played repeatedly over the last decade and change. But that isn't all Vaughn can do, as he's proven while assembling an admirably eclectic filmography, moving from comedy to horror to action thrillers and back again, and sharing screens with everyone from Richard Attenborough to Jennifer Lopez in the process. This weekend, Vaughn reunites with his old partner Jon Favreau in Couples Retreat, and to celebrate, we decided to revisit his best-reviewed films, Total Recall style! As always, we let the Tomatometer do the sorting for us, and although it did the easy work, tossing out the obvious rotten flicks (bye bye, The Break-Up), we still had to make a few judgment calls on roles that, though memorable, still amounted to cameos (adieu, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Into the Wild, and Anchorman).

Wednesday, Sep. 23 2009, 08:30 AM

How lucky is Bruce Willis? Not only did he go, seemingly overnight, from tending bar to starring in ABC's hit Moonlighting, marrying Demi Moore, and scoring a Top 10 single, but he also made the transition to movie megastardom -- and then survived the Great Action Hero Purge of the 1990s, jumping to smart indie features (and the occasional blockbuster) while the Stallones and Schwarzeneggers of the industry were left grasping at past glories. And if all that weren't enough, the Planet Hollywood co-founder -- and star of Jonathan Mostow's sci-fi thriller Surrogates -- is also the subject of this week's Total Recall! As always, we left our personal biases out of the mix and simply set the Tomatometer for "awesome," letting the world's greatest film critics do the heavy lifting for us. By limiting our list to only the 10 best-reviewed movies from Willis' extensive filmography, we're undoubtedly courting controversy (sorry, fans of The Player and Grindhouse -- cameos don't count), but hey -- sorting that stuff out is what the comment section is for, isn't it? Let's get the countdown started!


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