(Photo by Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Michael Douglas Movies Ranked

Three ways to start a movie star career: Have a famous actor father, produce a Best Picture winner, or be in a hit TV series for a while before making the leap. Uh, check, check, and check for Michael Douglas, son of Kirk, producer of One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest, and star of early ’70s procedural The Streets of San Francisco.

So by the time San Francisco ended in ’77, Douglas was ready to get plastered all over the silver screen, starring in Michael Crichton’s Coma. He put out a few more like-minded high-stakes adult thrillers (The China Syndrome, The Star Chamber) before being made as an ’80s man with Romancing the Stone. The cheeky globe-trotting adventure film, directed by Robert Zemeckis and co-starring Kathleen Turner, turned him into a sex symbol, with all the women (Fatal Attraction), money (Wall Street, a Best Actor Oscar winner), and power (Black Rain) that implies.

It all came to a head in the ’90s with the supremely watchable sleaze that is Basic Instinct, which left mouths wide open, among other things. Other movies of the decade, like Falling Down and David Fincher’s The Game, are still watched today, especially for their exploration of broken-down masculinity and power.

Douglas got another taste of Best Picture gold with 2000’s Traffic (nominated, but struck down by Gladiator). This marked Douglas’ first collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh: The two would reunite for Haywire and Behind the Candelabra. He was brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the famous Dr. Hank Pym for Ant-Man, a role he reprised for the Wasp sequel. Now, we’re ranking all Michael Douglas movies by Tomatometer!

#40
Adjusted Score: 7272%
Critics Consensus: Hackneyed and over dramatic, this undercooked courtroom drama suffers from bad dialogue and a twist ending you'll see from a distance.
Synopsis: District Attorney Mark Hunter (Michael Douglas) has an impressive record in securing convictions and is contemplating a run for governor.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

#39

And So It Goes (2014)
18%

#39
Adjusted Score: 20229%
Critics Consensus: And So It Goes aims for comedy, but with two talented stars stuck in a half-hearted effort from a once-mighty filmmaker, it ends in unintentional tragedy.
Synopsis: Nobody likes real-estate agent Oren Little (Michael Douglas), and he prefers it that way. He's deliberately mean to anyone who... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 27050%
Critics Consensus: A rather generic entry into the arrested development subgenre, with themes borrowed from other more successful and funnier films. Dupree wears out its welcome.
Synopsis: Newlyweds Carl (Matt Dillon) and Molly (Kate Hudson) are anxious to start their lives together, but the pair soon become... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#37

Don't Say a Word (2001)
24%

#37
Adjusted Score: 27112%
Critics Consensus: Don't Say A Word is slick and competently made, but the movie is routine and stretches believability with many eye rolling moments.
Synopsis: Ruthless crook Patrick Koster (Sean Bean) and his partner capture young Jessie Conrad (Skye McCole Bartusiak) and hold her for... [More]
Directed By: Gary Fleder

#36

Unlocked (2017)
26%

#36
Adjusted Score: 29479%
Critics Consensus: Unlocked strands an all-star cast in a spy thriller whose embrace of old-school formula might be refreshing if it weren't bogged down in genre clichés and a predictable plot.
Synopsis: After failing to apprehend the terrorist behind a Paris attack that claimed dozens of lives, CIA agent Alice Racine is... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted

#35
Adjusted Score: 32552%
Critics Consensus: A retread of A Christmas Carol, featuring Matthew McConaughey in a retread of his Dazed and Confused role, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past lacks originality, humor, and any semblance of charm.
Synopsis: Celebrity photographer Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) lives life in the fast lane, committed to bachelorhood and simultaneous relationships with multiple... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 31891%
Critics Consensus: Despite its gimmick casting, the movie ultimately goes nowhere.
Synopsis: Three generations of males -- grandfather Mitch Gromberg (Kirk Douglas), son Alex (Michael Douglas) and grandson Asher (Cameron Douglas) --... [More]
Directed By: Fred Schepisi

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 36709%
Critics Consensus: Critics say this blend of film noir and screwball comedy seems to think itself more clever and hip than it actually is. Also, the crucial femme fatale role needs a better, more mature actress than Tyler.
Synopsis: McCool's bar was hopping that night. Randy (Matt Dillon) worked there, tending bar. Lawyer Carl (Paul Reiser) was there until... [More]
Directed By: Harald Zwart

#32

The In-Laws (2003)
33%

#32
Adjusted Score: 37341%
Critics Consensus: Bigger and slicker than the original, but not necessarily better.
Synopsis: Dr. Jerry Peyser's (Albert Brooks) daughter, Melissa (Lindsay Sloane), is about to marry Mark Tobias (Ryan Reynolds). Things are going... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Fleming

#31

The Sentinel (2006)
35%

#31
Adjusted Score: 39431%
Critics Consensus: The Sentinel starts off well enough but quickly wears thin with too many plot holes and conventional action sequences.
Synopsis: Secret Service agent Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) investigates a colleague's murder and subsequently becomes a suspect due to the machinations... [More]
Directed By: Clark Johnson

#30

Beyond the Reach (2014)
37%

#30
Adjusted Score: 38047%
Critics Consensus: Beyond the Reach promises goofy genre pleasures, but fails to deliver, losing the viewer -- and a villainous turn from Michael Douglas -- in a misguided story that stumbles to the finish.
Synopsis: In the Mojave Desert, a naked and unarmed hunting guide (Jeremy Irvine) runs from a wealthy hunter (Michael Douglas) who... [More]

#29

A Chorus Line (1985)
40%

#29
Adjusted Score: 42419%
Critics Consensus: On stage, A Chorus Line pulled back the curtain to reveal the hopes and fears of showbiz strivers, but that energy and urgency is lost in the transition to the big screen.
Synopsis: Hundreds of hopefuls congregate at a cattle call for Broadway dancers. A sour director, Zach (Michael Douglas), and his brusque... [More]
Directed By: Richard Attenborough

#28

Shining Through (1992)
41%

#28
Adjusted Score: 31139%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Spirited New Yorker Linda Voss (Melanie Griffith) goes to work for international lawyer and secret Office of Strategic Services operative... [More]
Directed By: David Seltzer

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 47535%
Critics Consensus: The sense of romantic spark has waned and the prevalence of stereotypes has grown in Jewel of the Nile, although there is still plenty of swooning action for fans of the first adventure.
Synopsis: Novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) is living with adventurer boyfriend Jack Colton (Michael Douglas) on his yacht. But she leaves... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#26

Black Rain (1989)
50%

#26
Adjusted Score: 51134%
Critics Consensus: Black Rain has its fair share of Ridley Scott's directorial flair, but its paint-by-numbers story never rises above genre conventions.
Synopsis: New York City policemen Nick (Michael Douglas) and Charlie (Andy Garcia) witness a murder in a bar and quickly apprehend... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#25
Adjusted Score: 52580%
Critics Consensus: The Ghost and the Darkness hits its target as a suspenseful adventure, but it falls into a trap of its own making whenever it reaches for supernatural profundity.
Synopsis: Sir Robert Beaumont (Tom Wilkinson) is behind schedule on a railroad in Africa. Enlisting noted engineer John Henry Patterson (Val... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Hopkins

#24

Basic Instinct (1992)
55%

#24
Adjusted Score: 60687%
Critics Consensus: Unevenly echoing the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Basic Instinct contains a star-making performance from Sharon Stone but is ultimately undone by its problematic, overly lurid plot.
Synopsis: The mysterious Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), a beautiful crime novelist, becomes a suspect when she is linked to the brutal... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#23
Adjusted Score: 64116%
Critics Consensus: It's more entertaining than many sequels, but with Oliver Stone directing, a terrific cast, and a timely storyline that picks up where the original left off, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps should be better.
Synopsis: Following a long prison term for insider trading, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) finds himself on the outside looking in at... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#22

A Perfect Murder (1998)
57%

#22
Adjusted Score: 58428%
Critics Consensus: A slick little thriller that relies a bit too much on surprise events to generate suspense.
Synopsis: Wall Street baron Steven Taylor (Michael Douglas) discovers that his pretty young wife, Emily (Gwyneth Paltrow), is cheating on him.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Davis

#21

Disclosure (1994)
59%

#21
Adjusted Score: 62561%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this Michael Crichton adaptation, Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas) is a senior executive at a cutting-edge technology corporation on the... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 64206%
Critics Consensus: A quirky and often touching comedy about a mature teenager and her manic depressive father, King of California is a charming tale of familial relations and treasure hunting.
Synopsis: Charlie (Michael Douglas) gets released from an insane asylum and moves in with Miranda (Evan Rachel Wood), the young daughter... [More]
Directed By: Mike Cahill

#19

Animal World (2018)
69%

#19
Adjusted Score: 57633%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Backed into a corner by mounting debts, a youth agrees to submit himself to a high stakes game of chance... [More]
Directed By: Yan Han

#18

The Star Chamber (1983)
71%

#18
Adjusted Score: 71483%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Judge Steven Hardin (Michael Douglas) is discouraged by the failures of the legal system after seeing hardened criminals go free... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

#17

Falling Down (1993)
73%

#17
Adjusted Score: 77428%
Critics Consensus: Falling Down's popcorn-friendly take on its complex themes proves disquieting -- and ultimately fitting for a bleakly entertaining picture of one man's angry break with reality.
Synopsis: A middle-aged man dealing with both unemployment and divorce, William Foster (Michael Douglas) is having a bad day. When his... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#16

Fatal Attraction (1987)
76%

#16
Adjusted Score: 79187%
Critics Consensus: A potboiler in the finest sense, Fatal Attraction is a sultry, juicy thriller that's hard to look away from once it gets going.
Synopsis: For Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas), life is good. He is on the rise at his New York law firm, is... [More]
Directed By: Adrian Lyne

#15

The Game (1997)
76%

#15
Adjusted Score: 79710%
Critics Consensus: The ending could use a little work but this is otherwise another sterling example of David Fincher's iron grip on atmosphere and storytelling.
Synopsis: Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is a successful banker who keeps mostly to himself. When his estranged brother Conrad (Sean... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#14

Solitary Man (2009)
78%

#14
Adjusted Score: 80208%
Critics Consensus: Built around a singularly unpleasant main character, Solitary Man needed a flawless central performance to succeed -- and Michael Douglas delivers.
Synopsis: A series of bad decisions upends car dealer Ben Kalmen's (Michael Douglas) business, his wandering eye costs him his marriage... [More]

#13

Wall Street (1987)
79%

#13
Adjusted Score: 82377%
Critics Consensus: With Wall Street, Oliver Stone delivers a blunt but effective -- and thoroughly well-acted -- jeremiad against its era's veneration of greed as a means to its own end.
Synopsis: On the Wall Street of the 1980s, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is a stockbroker full of ambition, doing whatever he... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#12

Haywire (2011)
80%

#12
Adjusted Score: 87362%
Critics Consensus: MMA star and first-time actress Gina Carano displays ample action-movie chops in Haywire, a fast-paced thriller with a top-notch cast and outstanding direction from Steven Soderbergh.
Synopsis: Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is a highly trained operative for a government security contractor. Her missions take her to the... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#11

Coma (1978)
81%

#11
Adjusted Score: 83135%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Boston medical resident Susan Wheeler (Geneviève Bujold) becomes suspicious when her friend (Lois Chiles) is left in an irreversible coma... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#10

Wonder Boys (2000)
81%

#10
Adjusted Score: 85627%
Critics Consensus: Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire do wonders in this clever dark comedy.
Synopsis: Grady (Michael Douglas) is a 50-ish English professor who hasn't had a thing published in years -- not since he... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Hanson

#9
Adjusted Score: 84813%
Critics Consensus: Invigorated by its talented cast and Francis Ford Coppola's strong direction, The Rainmaker is a satisfying legal drama -- and arguably the best of Hollywood's many John Grisham adaptations.
Synopsis: Struggling new attorney Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) resorts to working for a shady lawyer (Mickey Rourke), where he meets paralegal... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#8

Ant-Man (2015)
83%

#8
Adjusted Score: 96058%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Synopsis: Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 87883%
Critics Consensus: The War of the Roses is a black comedy made even funnier by hanging onto its caustic convictions -- and further distinguished by Danny DeVito's stylish direction.
Synopsis: After 17 years of marriage, Barbara (Kathleen Turner) and Oliver Rose (Michael Douglas) want out. The trouble is, neither one... [More]
Directed By: Danny DeVito

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 88042%
Critics Consensus: Romancing the Stone reaches back to the classic Saturday morning serials of old with an action-filled adventure enlivened by the sparkling chemistry between its well-matched leads.
Synopsis: A dowdy romantic-adventure writer is hurled into a real-life adventure in the Colombian jungle in order to save her sister,... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 88869%
Critics Consensus: With gripping themes and a stellar cast, The China Syndrome is the rare thriller that's as thought-provoking as it is tense.
Synopsis: A news reporter (Jane Fonda) and her cameraman (Michael Douglas) are unintentional witnesses to a SCRAM incident, an emergency core... [More]
Directed By: James Bridges

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 105674%
Critics Consensus: A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.
Synopsis: Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 94428%
Critics Consensus: A charming romantic comedy with political bite, Rob Reiner's American President features strong lead performances and some poignant observations of politics and media in the 1990s.
Synopsis: With the end of his first term in sight, widowed U.S. President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) knows that overwhelming public... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#2

Traffic (2000)
92%

#2
Adjusted Score: 98222%
Critics Consensus: Soderbergh successfully pulls off the highly ambitious Traffic, a movie with three different stories and a very large cast. The issues of ethics are gray rather than black-and-white, with no clear-cut good guys. Terrific acting all around.
Synopsis: A contemporary thriller set in the world of drug trafficking. Traffic evokes the high stakes and high risks of the... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 97836%
Critics Consensus: Affectionate without sacrificing honesty, Behind the Candelabra couples award-worthy performances from Michael Douglas and Matt Damon with some typically sharp direction from Steven Soderbergh.
Synopsis: World-famous pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas) takes much-younger Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) as a lover, but the relationship deteriorates when Liberace... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

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