(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.

#40
Adjusted Score: 7.032%
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: High profile lawyer, Mark Hunter has an impeccable record putting criminals behind bars and is a shoo-in for governor in... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

#39

And So It Goes (2014)
18%

#39
Adjusted Score: 20.96%
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: There are a million reasons not to like realtor Oren Little (Michael Douglas), and that's just the way he likes... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 25.603%
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: A man is being driven crazy by his shiftless best friend, just as the layabout starts making nice with his... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#37

Don't Say a Word (2001)
24%

#37
Adjusted Score: 27.398%
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: This psychological thriller from screenwriter Patrick Smith Kelly reunites him with his A Perfect Murder (1998) star Michael Douglas. Dr.... [More]
Directed By: Gary Fleder

#36

Unlocked (2017)
26%

#36
Adjusted Score: 27.6%
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 (Noomi... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted

#35
Adjusted Score: 32.305%
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: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past -- the Mark S. Waters-directed fusion of A Christmas Carol with a traditional romantic comedy --... [More]
Starring:
Directed By:

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 31.328%
Critics Consensus: Despite its gimmick casting, the movie ultimately goes nowhere.
Synopsis: A family takes on the difficult task of learning how to get along with one another in this emotional comedy... [More]
Directed By: Fred Schepisi

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 36.051%
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: The debut project from co-star Michael Douglas' production company Further Films, this comic crime caper uses the narrative devices of... [More]
Directed By: Harald Zwart

#32

The In-Laws (2003)
33%

#32
Adjusted Score: 36.572%
Critics Consensus: Bigger and slicker than the original, but not necessarily better.
Synopsis: When prospective fathers-in-law Steve Tobias and Jerry Peyser meet for the first time to celebrate their children's upcoming marriage, the... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Fleming

#31

The Sentinel (2006)
35%

#31
Adjusted Score: 39.275%
Critics Consensus: The Sentinel starts off well enough but quickly wears thin with too many plot holes and conventional action sequences.
Synopsis: Pete Garrison, a U.S. Secret Service agent who heads the First Lady's detail, is being framed as traitor in a... [More]
Directed By: Clark Johnson

#30

Beyond The Reach (2015)
37%

#30
Adjusted Score: 38.872%
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: A high-rolling corporate shark (Michael Douglas) and his impoverished young guide (Jeremy Irvine) play the most dangerous game during a... [More]

#29

A Chorus Line (1985)
40%

#29
Adjusted Score: 42.06%
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: Broadway's celebratory musical about rejection makes it to the screen in a fizzless adaptation by Richard Attenborough that misses the... [More]
Directed By: Richard Attenborough

#28

Shining Through (1992)
44%

#28
Adjusted Score: 44.379%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Kewpie-doll voiced Melanie Griffith does a sexed-up Nancy Drew turn in David Seltzer's adaptation of Susan Issacs' novel Shining Through.... [More]
Directed By: David Seltzer

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 47.273%
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: The Jewel of the Nile takes up where Romancing the Stone left off, with romance novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner)... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Teague

#26
Adjusted Score: 51.3%
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: In this old-fashioned jungle adventure, a British engineer, Colonel John Patterson is sent to the Tsavo River deep in the... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Hopkins

#25

Black Rain (1989)
50%

#25
Adjusted Score: 51.005%
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: An unconventional New York cop is assigned to escort a Japanese criminal back to his home country in this stylish... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#24

Basic Instinct (1992)
54%

#24
Adjusted Score: 58.774%
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: Michael Douglas stars with red-hot Sharon Stone in this groundbreaking and controversial film that redefined the genre of the sexy... [More]
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

#23

A Perfect Murder (1998)
57%

#23
Adjusted Score: 59.404%
Critics Consensus: A slick little thriller that relies a bit too much on surprise events to generate suspense.
Synopsis: A Perfect Murder is based on Frederick Knott's play Dial M for Murder, filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1954. Married... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Davis

#22
Adjusted Score: 62.216%
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: Ambitious young investment banker Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) discovers that greed is still the name of the game when he... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#21

Disclosure (1994)
59%

#21
Adjusted Score: 62.647%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Michael Douglas runs afoul of a treacherous supervisor in this film version of Michael Crichton's novel. Douglas plays Tom Sanders,... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 64.571%
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: At the age of 16, Miranda has already had to live with her share of disappointments. Abandoned by her mother,... [More]
Directed By: Mike Cahill

#19

Animal World (2018)
69%

#19
Adjusted Score: 41.349%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Drifting aimlessly through life, Kaisi (Li Yi Feng: Hundred Flowers Winner Mr. Six, Guilty of Mind) has racked up debts... [More]
Directed By: Han Yan

#18

The Star Chamber (1983)
71%

#18
Adjusted Score: 71.42%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fed up with watching vicious criminals walk on technicalities and loopholes, judge Michael Douglas accepts his older colleague Hal Holbrook's... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hyams

#17

The Game (1997)
75%

#17
Adjusted Score: 78.369%
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: Director David Fincher followed the success of his dark and atmospheric crime thriller Seven (1995) with another exercise in stylish... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#16

Falling Down (1993)
73%

#16
Adjusted Score: 77.057%
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: It's just not William Foster's (Michael Douglas) day. Laid off from his defense job, Foster gets stuck in the middle... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#15

Fatal Attraction (1987)
76%

#15
Adjusted Score: 80.05%
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: "Fatal attraction" has become a household term for love turned to murderous obsession, thanks to the success of Adrian Lyne's... [More]
Directed By: Adrian Lyne

#14

Wall Street (1987)
79%

#14
Adjusted Score: 83.237%
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: "Greed is Good." This is the credo of the aptly named Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), the antihero of Oliver Stone's... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#13

Solitary Man (2010)
78%

#13
Adjusted Score: 80.432%
Critics Consensus: Built around a singularly unpleasant main character, Solitary Man needed a flawless central performance to succeed -- and Michael Douglas delivers.
Synopsis: A once successful Manhattan mogul who owned a chain of car dealerships finds himself on the brink of a fantastic... [More]

#12

Coma (1978)
81%

#12
Adjusted Score: 83.105%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A feisty, feminist intern uncovers a medical conspiracy in this icy thriller about mysterious goings-on at Boston Memorial Hospital. When... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#11

Haywire (2012)
80%

#11
Adjusted Score: 87.316%
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: This dynamic action-thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh boasts a talented cast that includes Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Antonio... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#10

Wonder Boys (2000)
81%

#10
Adjusted Score: 85.279%
Critics Consensus: Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire do wonders in this clever dark comedy.
Synopsis: Grady Tripp is a professor/writer living in Pittsburgh who is struggling with writer's block. Whilst doing this, he also manages... [More]
Directed By: Curtis Hanson

#9

The Rainmaker (1997)
82%

#9
Adjusted Score: 84.581%
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: A broke, inexperienced law-school grad takes on a huge Insurance company to fight for a woman whose son has terminal... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#8

Ant-Man (2015)
82%

#8
Adjusted Score: 94.978%
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: The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 88.63%
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 true nailbiter, The China Syndrome is a potent harbinger of the potential devastation that can be wrought when humans... [More]
Directed By: James Bridges

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 87.645%
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: Divorce lawyer Danny De Vito warns his prospective client that the story he's about to tell isn't a pretty one,... [More]
Directed By: Danny DeVito

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 88.851%
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: In this film, adventure writer Kathleen Turner learns that her sister is being held prisoner by evil art dealers in... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 106.006%
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: From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink: "Ant-Man and The... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 94.313%
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: How does the widowed leader of the free world balance his many obligations to his country with the ordinary demands... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#2

Traffic (2000)
92%

#2
Adjusted Score: 97.775%
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 patchwork of stories that evokes the high-stakes, high-risk world of the drug trade, as seen through a series of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 97.617%
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: Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace: virtuoso pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

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