(Photo by Universal / courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Steve Martin Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

At the height of his wild and crazy stand-up fame in the late 1970s, Steve Martin called it quits, took off for Los Angeles, and funneled his routine and material into his debut starring movie. A savvy career move, you might call it, because that movie turned out to be 1979’s The Jerk, a classic comedy of sweetly stupid anarchy, and a box office smash that counted Stanley Kubrick among its most ardent fans. Martin and director Carl Reiner would team up three additional times in the ’80s, for Dead Man Don’t Wear Plaid, The Man with Two Brains, and All of Me.

Though Martin has no problem showing off his sinister, cynical side (like in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and David Mamet’s The Spanish Prisoner, or as a memorably sadistic dentist in Little Shop of Horrors), it’s in sincerely reaching for audience sympathy where he’s produced some of his most memorable characters. You root for Navin Johnson, The Jerk‘s underdog idiot hero, just like you do for his characters in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Roxanne, and L.A. Story.

Martin’s last starring Certified Fresh film was 1999’s filmmaking send-up Bowfinger. With his recent output spotty at best (including a few remakes of The Pink Panther and Cheaper by the Dozen), he has maintained goodwill with a pivot to writing novels, recording bluegrass, and publicly maintaining his friendship with Martin Short through live shows. Whatever he pursues next, we’re looking back with all Steve Martin movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 8.621%
Critics Consensus: A sequel to a remake, Cheaper 2 wastes its solid cast in scenes of over-the-top, predictable humor.
Synopsis: The jumbo-sized Baker family are back in this sequel to the 2003 box-office hit Cheaper by the Dozen. College football... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

#36

Mixed Nuts (1994)
10%

#36
Adjusted Score: 11.287%
Critics Consensus: Mixed Nuts may provoke strong allergic reactions in all but the most undemanding filmgoers -- and the most forgiving Steve Martin fans.
Synopsis: A holiday comedy with dark overtones, Mixed Nuts presents a supposedly humorous look at the behind-the-scenes events at a crisis... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron

#35
Adjusted Score: 14.123%
Critics Consensus: I thought you might like to know that the Beatles (aka the act you've known for all these years) are ill-served by this kitschy, aggressively whimsical fantasy film that's most certainly not a thrill.
Synopsis: Rock promoter Robert Stigwood produced this musical pastiche of Beatles songs, based on their seminal rock album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely... [More]
Directed By: Michael Schultz

#34

Pink Panther 2 (2009)
12%

#34
Adjusted Score: 16.039%
Critics Consensus: Underutilizing its talented cast, The Pink Panther 2 is little more than a series of lame slapstick gags.
Synopsis: Hollywood funnyman Steve Martin returns to the role made famous by Peter Sellers in this high-concept sequel to the 2006... [More]
Directed By: Harald Zwart

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 27.022%
Critics Consensus: In this family of twelve children, much chaos ensues, but little hilarity.
Synopsis: In modern America, where the average family has 1.87 children, Tom Baker and wife Kate have decided that life is... [More]
Directed By: Shawn Levy

#32

Sgt. Bilko (1996)
31%

#32
Adjusted Score: 32.625%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The classic 1955-59 sitcom The Phil Silvers Show (also known as "You'll Never Get Rich" in its first few episodes)... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Lynn

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 38.062%
Critics Consensus: Though the cast shines, they can't save this comedy, which is overly contrived and filled with outdated and offensive racial jokes.
Synopsis: A man looking for a woman just like himself ends up with someone quite different in this farcical comedy. Peter... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

#30

Housesitter (1992)
40%

#30
Adjusted Score: 40.727%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Housesitter is a lightweight comedy about an architect (Steve Martin) who builds a dream house for his girlfriend (Dana Delany),... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#29

Novocaine (2001)
38%

#29
Adjusted Score: 41.125%
Critics Consensus: The quirky Novocaine flirts with both dark comedy and noir suspense, but the result is a jarring mix of tones which never quite mesh.
Synopsis: In this darkly comic film noir from writer/director David Atkins, Steve Martin revisits dentistry -- an occupation he'd explored 15... [More]
Directed By: David Atkins

#28

The Big Year (2011)
42%

#28
Adjusted Score: 44.686%
Critics Consensus: Though made with care and affection for its characters, The Big Year plods along, rarely reaching any comedic heights.
Synopsis: Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are at a crossroads -- one is experiencing a mid-life crisis, another a... [More]
Directed By: David Frankel

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 43.601%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Steve Martin adapted George Elliot's classic novel Silas Marner into an updated (and infrequently funny) account of a recluse who... [More]
Directed By: Gillies MacKinnon

#26
Adjusted Score: 49.759%
Critics Consensus: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk has noble goals, but lacks a strong enough screenplay to achieve them -- and its visual innovations are often merely distracting.
Synopsis: The film is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn, who, along with his fellow soldiers... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#25

Three Amigos! (1986)
45%

#25
Adjusted Score: 48.234%
Critics Consensus: Three Amigos! stars a trio of gifted comedians and has an agreeably silly sense of humor, but they're often adrift in a dawdling story with too few laugh-out-loud moments.
Synopsis: Three silent movie actors known as the "Three Amigos" travel to a small Mexican town for what they think is... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#24
Adjusted Score: 50.681%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this sequel, George Banks is going to be a grandpa, and he's not sure he likes the idea. Rather... [More]
Directed By: Charles Shyer

#23

The Lonely Guy (1984)
48%

#23
Adjusted Score: 48.942%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In a comedy as flat as the cardboard cut-outs of movie stars that appear in one scene, Steve Martin plays... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Hiller

#22

Home (2015)
51%

#22
Adjusted Score: 55.799%
Critics Consensus: Colorful, silly, and utterly benign, Home is a passable diversion, but there's no shortage of superior animated alternatives.
Synopsis: When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own... [More]
Directed By: Tim Johnson

#21
Adjusted Score: 59.626%
Critics Consensus: The plot is a nonsensical, hyperactive jumble and the gags are relatively uninspired compared to the classic Looney Tunes cartoons.
Synopsis: In a land where cartoon characters and flesh-and-blood people work side by side, one little black duck lands in a... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#20

It's Complicated (2009)
58%

#20
Adjusted Score: 63.73%
Critics Consensus: Despite fine work by an appealing cast, It's Complicated is predictable romantic comedy fare, going for broad laughs instead of subtlety and nuance.
Synopsis: Jane is the mother of three grown kids, owns a thriving Santa Barbara bakery/restaurant and has -- after a decade... [More]
Directed By: Nancy Meyers

#19

Shopgirl (2005)
60%

#19
Adjusted Score: 64.932%
Critics Consensus: Shopgirl is precariously slight, but it has some intriguing moments, and Danes is luminous.
Synopsis: Based on Steve Martin's bestselling novella, 'Shopgirl' is a funny and poignant story of love in the modern age. The... [More]
Directed By: Anand Tucker

#18

Leap of Faith (1992)
64%

#18
Adjusted Score: 64.9%
Critics Consensus: Steve Martin's layered performance transcends the somewhat undercooked narrative of Leap of Faith.
Synopsis: Richard Pearce's comedy-drama stars Steve Martin as Jonas Nightengale, a con artist whose latest scheme has him posing as a... [More]
Directed By: Richard Pearce

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 72.846%
Critics Consensus: While it doesn't quite hit the heights of the original, this remake of the 1950 classic is pleasantly enjoyable, thanks in large part to winning performances from Steve Martin and Martin Short.
Synopsis: Steve Martin stars in this remake of the 1950 Vincente Minnelli classic as shoe executive George Banks, whose happily married... [More]
Directed By: Charles Shyer

#16

My Blue Heaven (1990)
71%

#16
Adjusted Score: 71.417%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Herbert Ross directed this Nora Ephron-scripted buddy comedy starring Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, and Joan Cusack. Steve Martin plays Vinnie... [More]
Directed By: Herbert Ross

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 77.167%
Critics Consensus: As spastically uneven as its zany title suggests, The Man with Two Brains isn't peak Steve Martin -- but it's still often close enough to enjoy.
Synopsis: Steve Martin and Carl Reiner concoct one of Martin's best comic vehicles with Martin playing the world's top brain surgeon,... [More]
Directed By: Carl Reiner

#14

Grand Canyon (1991)
77%

#14
Adjusted Score: 79.059%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Director Lawrence Kasdan's Grand Canyon is a gathering of random events, uniting the film's wildly divergent protagonists. Driving home from... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 80.524%
Critics Consensus: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is more eleaborate pastiche than uproarious comedy, but the farce works thanks to the sly lampooning of Hollywood noir and Steve Martin's performance as a goofy gumshoe.
Synopsis: Affectionately spoofing 1940s film noir and detective dramas, this comedy follows a private investigator's attempts to solve the murder of... [More]
Directed By: Carl Reiner

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 84.664%
Critics Consensus: The Prince of Egypt's stunning visuals and first-rate voice cast more than compensate for the fact that it's better crafted than it is emotionally involving.
Synopsis: "My son, I have nothing I can give, but this chance that you may live." With these words, Yocheved, a... [More]

#11

The Jerk (1979)
81%

#11
Adjusted Score: 83.762%
Critics Consensus: Crude, crass, and oh so quotable, The Jerk is nothing short of an all-out comedic showcase for Steve Martin.
Synopsis: Carl Reiner directs Steve Martin (who co-wrote the script with Carl Gottlieb) in this gag-laden comedy about an idiotic white... [More]
Directed By: Carl Reiner

#10

Bowfinger (1999)
81%

#10
Adjusted Score: 85.68%
Critics Consensus: A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.
Synopsis: Bobby Bowfinger is a shameless wannabe film producer, who is desperate to break into the Hollywood big-time in spite of... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 83.602%
Critics Consensus: A complicated little musical, Pennies from Heaven is a dazzling, tragic spectacle.
Synopsis: Adapted from Dennis Potter's landmark British TV miniseries and relocated to the United States during the Depression, Pennies from Heaven... [More]
Directed By: Herbert Ross

#8

All of Me (1984)
85%

#8
Adjusted Score: 87.791%
Critics Consensus: A high-concept farce carried by Carl Reiner's deft direction and the precise timing of its leads, All of Me is a body-swap comedy worth holding onto.
Synopsis: On her deathbed, mean-spirited millionairess Lily Tomlin has her will amended so that her soul will pass into the body... [More]
Directed By: Carl Reiner

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 91.223%
Critics Consensus: A buoyant, clever update of the conman flick Bedtime Story, with plenty of comedic jousting resulting from a winning chemistry between Michael Caine and Steve Martin.
Synopsis: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a remake of the 1964 film farce Bedtime Story. Steve Martin and Michael Caine take over... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 92.375%
Critics Consensus: The Spanish Prisoner delivers just what fans of writer-director David Mamet expect: a smart, solidly constructed drama that keeps viewers guessing... and entertained along the way.
Synopsis: A gentler, kinder David Mamet ventures into Hitchcock country with this amiable brain-twister about an electronics whiz whose invention gets... [More]
Directed By: David Mamet

#5

Roxanne (1987)
88%

#5
Adjusted Score: 90.751%
Critics Consensus: Though its sweetness borders on sappiness, Roxanne is an unabashedly romantic comedy that remains one of Steve Martin's funniest films.
Synopsis: This modernization of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac casts Steve Martin as C. D. Bales, the fearless, quick-witted fire chief... [More]
Directed By: Fred Schepisi

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 94.398%
Critics Consensus: Remixing Roger Corman's B-movie by way of the Off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors offers camp, horror and catchy tunes in equal measure -- plus some inspired cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: It started as a 1960 Roger Corman horror comedy, filmed in two days; it then inspired a lavish 1982 Broadway... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#3

Parenthood (1989)
91%

#3
Adjusted Score: 95.168%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by a delightful cast, Parenthood is a funny and thoughtfully crafted look at the best and worst moments of family life that resonates broadly.
Synopsis: This feel-good ensemble comedy tracks a quartet of suburban siblings and their families over the course of a single summer.... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#2
Adjusted Score: 95.439%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to the impeccable chemistry between Steve Martin and John Candy, as well as a deft mix of humor and heart, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a hilarious, heartfelt holiday classic.
Synopsis: Were it not for its profanity-laden opening scenes, John Hughes' Planes, Trains and Automobiles might have been suitable family entertainment:... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#1

L.A. Story (1991)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 96.147%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Steve Martin wrote and stars in this look at the promise and dreamtime of Los Angeles culture. Martin stars as... [More]
Directed By: Mick Jackson

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