(Photo by Ron Batzdorff/©Overture Films/Courtesy Everett Collectionn)
All Edward Norton Movies Ranked by Tomatometer
Primal Fear was notable for being a pretty crafty legal thriller and for introducing Edward Norton to the public sphere. Here was a 27-year-old no one’s ever heard of, going toe to toe with Richard Gere, still in the long afterglow of Pretty Woman, and coming out on top with Golden Globe and Oscar acting noms. That he was also in two Certified Fresh films (Everyone Says I Love You, The People Vs. Larry Flynt) the same year as Fear just about seals the deal for the most auspicious debut for an American actor.
The violent, intelligent, and complex performances in Best Actor-nominated American History X and Fight Club, made Norton, for better or worse, an icon of modern masculinity. Naturally, he followed it up with a rom-com: Keeping the Faith, also Norton’s directorial debut, and indicative of a filmmaker willing to power against expectation, behind and in front of the camera.
Norton then got to work with some heavyweights: Marlon Brando in his final film The Score, Robin Williams in Death to Smoochy, and Anthony Hopkins in Red Dragon. He infamously sneered through his contractually obligated role in The Italian Job, which only amplified the villain role.
Just a month after the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with Iron Man, Norton starred in The Incredible Hulk as Bruce Banner. He opted not to appear any further due to the multi-movie commitment required of the MCU, the role then going to Mark Ruffalo.
Norton struck a working partnership with Wes Anderson, who has been the source of most of his Certified Fresh movies in the past decade: Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs. His other Certified movies? Sausage Party, voicing Sammy Bagel Jr., and Birdman, where he satirizes his persnickety reputation, leading to this third acting Oscar nomination.
And Norton kept the faith on pulling double duty as actor and director – and writing the screenplay, too – with Motherless Brooklyn, released in 2019. And now, we’re looking back on all Edward Norton movies and ranking them by Tomatometer!
Adjusted Score: 20.901%
Critics Consensus: Well-meaning but fundamentally flawed, Collateral Beauty aims for uplift but collapses in unintentional hilarity.
When a successful New York advertising executive suffers a great tragedy he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try... [More]
Adjusted Score: 40.643%
Critics Consensus: Formulaic in its plotting and cliched in its dialogue, Pride and Glory does little to distinguish itself from other police procedurals.
Director Gavin O'Connor collaborates with Narc director/screenwriter Joe Carnahan on this family-focused police drama concerning an honest homicide detective (Edward... [More]
Adjusted Score: 45.313%
Critics Consensus: Although it's an objective and handsomely presented take on the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven lacks depth.
Kingdom of Heaven is an epic adventure about a common man who finds himself thrust into a decades-long war. A... [More]
Adjusted Score: 44.958%
Critics Consensus: The talent involved can't save a script that has nowhere to go with its promising premise.
Randolph Smiley has it all--as star of the highest rated kid's show on TV, "Rainbow Randolph" has a penthouse, a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 52.484%
Critics Consensus: Stone boasts a cast that includes Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Milla Jovovich, and it features strong dialogue, but it's ultimately undone by its heavy-handed symbolism and overabundant plot twists.
As parole officer Jack Mabry counts the days toward a quiet retirement, he is asked to review the case of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 54.941%
Critics Consensus: The premise of Old West clashing with modern suburbia is fresh and initially intriguing, but the second act degenerates into a clumsy jumble of events which strain credibility.
When Harlan Carruthers, a charismatic cowboy who seems as if he would be much more at home in Monument Valley... [More]
Adjusted Score: 63.633%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite as compelling as the earlier trilogy, but The Bourne Legacy proves the franchise has stories left to tell -- and benefits from Jeremy Renner's magnetic work in the starring role.
The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely... [More]
Adjusted Score: 61.311%
Critics Consensus: Edward Norton delivers one of his finest performances in Leaves of Grass, but he's overpowered by the movie's many jarring tonal shifts.
When Ivy League classics professor Bill Kincaid receives news of the murder of his estranged identical twin brother, Brady in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 72.07%
Critics Consensus: Motherless Brooklyn's imposing length requires patience, but strong performances and a unique perspective make this a mystery worth investigating.
Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, "Motherless Brooklyn" follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living... [More]
Adjusted Score: 69.153%
Critics Consensus: Richly atmospheric and colorful performances contributed to the movie's entertainment value.
Set against the backdrop of New York's high-stakes underground poker world. Mike McDermott, a master card player who trades the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 75.964%
Critics Consensus: The Incredible Hulk may not be quite the smashing success that fans of Marvel's raging behemoth might hope for, but it offers more than enough big green action to make up for its occasionally puny narrative.
Mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner has been traveling the globe in search of the antidote that will allow him to break... [More]
Adjusted Score: 73.32%
Critics Consensus: Competently made, but everything is a bit too familiar.
Ex-FBI agent Will Graham is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in the process... [More]
Adjusted Score: 72.92%
Critics Consensus: A dramedy featuring an unusual love triangle, Keeping the Faith is a perceptive look at how religion affects us in everyday life.
Actor Edward Norton debuts as a director with this comedy-drama about love, friendship, and faith. Priest Brian Finn (Norton) and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 76.932%
Critics Consensus: Though the movie treads familiar ground in the heist/caper genre, Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando make the movie worth watching.
Three generations of method acting giants unite for this crime thriller written by Kario Salem and directed by Frank Oz.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 78.136%
Critics Consensus: Despite some iffy plot elements, The Italian Job succeeds in delivering an entertaining modern take on the original 1969 heist film, thanks to a charismatic cast.
A team of high-class thieves avenge their mentor's death -- with the help of his own daughter -- in this... [More]
Adjusted Score: 78.62%
Critics Consensus: Visually, The Painted Veil has all the trappings of a stuffy period drama, but Norton's and Watts's deft portrayals of imperfect, complicated characters give the film a modern-day spark.
Set in the 1920s, this love story is about a young English couple (a doctor and a society girl) who... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.571%
Critics Consensus: The Illusionist is an engrossing, well-crafted story of mystery, magic and intrigue that is certain to enchant, if not hypnotize, audiences.
Set in early 20th-century Vienna, a stage magician uses his magic to win back the great love of his life... [More]
Adjusted Score: 78.027%
Critics Consensus: Primal Fear is a straightforward yet entertaining thriller elevated by a crackerjack performance from Edward Norton.
A high-profile slaying becomes the case of an ambitious attorney's career in this legal thriller based on the novel by... [More]
Adjusted Score: 79.256%
Critics Consensus: Frida is a passionate, visually striking biopic about the larger-than-life artist.
After being attached to a number of actors, directors, and producers, this long-gestating biography of one of Mexico's most prominent,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.901%
Critics Consensus: An intelligent and well-acted film despite the usual Spike Lee excesses.
The clock is ticking on Monty Brogan's freedom--in 24 hours he goes to prison for seven long years. Once a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80.892%
Critics Consensus: A likable, infectious musical, Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You is sometimes uneven but always toe-tapping and fun.
Featuring a soundtrack filled with beloved "standard" songs such as "Just You, Just Me" and "My Baby Just Cares for... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86.852%
Critics Consensus: Solid acting, amazing direction, and elaborate production design make Fight Club a wild ride.
In this darkly comic drama, Edward Norton stars as a depressed young man (named in the credits only as "Narrator")... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91.005%
Critics Consensus: Sausage Party is definitely offensive, but backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high laugh-to-gag ratio -- and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline.
A misplaced sausage and his savory friends embark on an existential adventure through the aisles of a massive supermarket in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 87.539%
Critics Consensus: American History X doesn't contend with its subject matter as fully as it could, but Edward Norton's performance gives this hard-hitting drama crucial weight.
Tony Kaye made his feature directorial debut with this dramatic exploration into the roots of race hatred in America. In... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90.834%
Critics Consensus: The People Vs. Larry Flynt pays entertaining tribute to an irascible iconoclast with a well-constructed biopic that openly acknowledges his troublesome flaws.
True story tale of Hustler magazine's creator Larry Flynt and his fight against the system when censorship mongors attempt to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.634%
Critics Consensus: The beautifully stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs finds Wes Anderson at his detail-oriented best while telling one of the director's most winsomely charming stories.
In this stop-motion-animated film from writer/director Wes Anderson, an outbreak of canine flu in Japan leads all dogs to be... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104.527%
Critics Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105.51%
Critics Consensus: A thrilling leap forward for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase powered by a layered story and outstanding performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.
BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103.973%
Critics Consensus: Warm, whimsical, and poignant, the immaculately framed and beautifully acted Moonrise Kingdom presents writer/director Wes Anderson at his idiosyncratic best.
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story... [More]