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(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! Alex Vo

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 9481%
Critics Consensus: A sequel to a remake, Cheaper 2 wastes its solid cast in scenes of over-the-top, predictable humor.
Synopsis: Tom Baker (Steve Martin) and his wife, Kate (Bonnie Hunt), take their children for what they hope will be a... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

#36

Mixed Nuts (1994)
13%

#36
Adjusted Score: 13422%
Critics Consensus: Mixed Nuts may provoke strong allergic reactions in all but the most undemanding filmgoers -- and the most forgiving Steve Martin fans.
Synopsis: Philip (Steve Martin) manages a suicide-prevention hotline called Lifesavers, assisted by Mrs. Munchnik (Madeline Kahn) and Catherine (Rita Wilson). On... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron

#35
Adjusted Score: 11301%
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: This musical, set to late-period Beatles hits, recounts the story of Sgt. Pepper's famed musical group, which found success during... [More]
Directed By: Michael Schultz

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 17380%
Critics Consensus: Underutilizing its talented cast, The Pink Panther 2 is little more than a series of lame slapstick gags.
Synopsis: When the world's greatest treasures, including the Pink Panther diamond, are stolen, only one man can solve the mystery: Clouseau... [More]
Directed By: Harald Zwart

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 28080%
Critics Consensus: In this family of twelve children, much chaos ensues, but little hilarity.
Synopsis: Tom (Steve Martin) and Kate Baker (Bonnie Hunt) have compromised their careers to raise 12 children. Tom coaches a high-school... [More]
Directed By: Shawn Levy

#32

Sgt. Bilko (1996)
31%

#32
Adjusted Score: 32742%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When not trafficking in contraband, Sgt. Bilko (Steve Martin) oversees his base's gambling operations and occasionally runs a little con... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Lynn

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 38340%
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: Lawyer Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) wants to dive back into dating after his divorce and has a hard time meeting... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

#30

Housesitter (1992)
36%

#30
Adjusted Score: 36032%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Architect Newton Davis (Steve Martin) is distraught when his girlfriend, Becky (Dana Delany), spurns his proposal and refuses to move... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#29

Novocaine (2001)
38%

#29
Adjusted Score: 41912%
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: Steve Martin is a prosperous dentist, secure in his neatly ordered existence and happily engaged to his ambitious dental hygienist... [More]
Directed By: David Atkins

#28

The Big Year (2011)
42%

#28
Adjusted Score: 45666%
Critics Consensus: Though made with care and affection for its characters, The Big Year plods along, rarely reaching any comedic heights.
Synopsis: Three men find that they have come to a turning point. Stu (Steve Martin) faces a late-life crisis, Kenny (Owen... [More]
Directed By: David Frankel

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 37031%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Small-town recluse Michael McCann (Steve Martin) lives an isolated existence until unusual events pull him out of his shell. After... [More]
Directed By: Gillies MacKinnon

#26
Adjusted Score: 53014%
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: Nineteen-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn), along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#25

Three Amigos! (1986)
45%

#25
Adjusted Score: 48488%
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 cowboy movie stars from the silent era -- Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase), Lucky Day (Steve Martin) and Ned Nederlander... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#24

The Lonely Guy (1984)
48%

#24
Adjusted Score: 48752%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Larry Hubbard (Steve Martin), who pens greeting cards for a living, is lonely after his longtime girlfriend's infidelity leads to... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Hiller

#23
Adjusted Score: 52108%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Just when George Banks (Steve Martin) has gotten used to his daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams), being married, she announces that... [More]
Directed By: Charles Shyer

#22

Home (2015)
52%

#22
Adjusted Score: 57342%
Critics Consensus: Colorful, silly, and utterly benign, Home is a passable diversion, but there's no shortage of superior animated alternatives.
Synopsis: After a hive-minded alien race called the Boov conquer the Earth, they relocate the planet's human population -- all except... [More]
Directed By: Tim Johnson

#21
Adjusted Score: 61752%
Critics Consensus: The plot is a nonsensical, hyperactive jumble and the gags are relatively uninspired compared to the classic Looney Tunes cartoons.
Synopsis: Sick of ceding the spotlight to Bugs Bunny (Joe Alaskey), Daffy Duck is unceremoniously fired by studio boss Kate Houghton... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#20

It's Complicated (2009)
58%

#20
Adjusted Score: 65585%
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 (Meryl Streep), a successful restaurateur, has been divorced from Jake (Alec Baldwin) for many years, although they remain friends.... [More]
Directed By: Nancy Meyers

#19

Shopgirl (2005)
61%

#19
Adjusted Score: 66469%
Critics Consensus: Shopgirl is precariously slight, but it has some intriguing moments, and Danes is luminous.
Synopsis: Struggling artist Mirabelle (Claire Danes) works a modest sales job at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, Calif., and dates... [More]
Directed By: Anand Tucker

#18

Leap of Faith (1992)
64%

#18
Adjusted Score: 64128%
Critics Consensus: Steve Martin's layered performance transcends the somewhat undercooked narrative of Leap of Faith.
Synopsis: Touring Christian evangelist Jonas Nightengale (Steve Martin) and his cohorts tend to put on their bogus faith-healing revivals in major... [More]
Directed By: Richard Pearce

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 72763%
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: George Banks (Steve Martin) and his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton), are the proud parents of Annie (Kimberly Williams), but when... [More]
Directed By: Charles Shyer

#16

My Blue Heaven (1990)
70%

#16
Adjusted Score: 70648%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Vinnie Antonelli (Steve Martin) trades the mob for the witness protection program and moves to a small suburb in California.... [More]
Directed By: Herbert Ross

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 78180%
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: When brilliant brain surgeon Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin) accidentally hits gold-digger Dolores Benedict (Kathleen Turner) with his car, he... [More]
Directed By: Carl Reiner

#14

Grand Canyon (1991)
78%

#14
Adjusted Score: 79080%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A diverse group of characters are thrown together through chance encounters while coping with urban chaos in L.A. The main... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 76253%
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: When a famous cheese maker dies in a freak car crash, his daughter (Rachel Ward) is convinced that it was... [More]
Directed By: Carl Reiner

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 84461%
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: In this animated retelling of the Book of Exodus, Egyptian Prince Moses (Val Kilmer), upon discovering his roots as a... [More]

#11

Bowfinger (1999)
81%

#11
Adjusted Score: 85584%
Critics Consensus: A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.
Synopsis: On the verge of bankruptcy and desperate for his big break, aspiring filmmaker Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) concocts a crazy... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 83457%
Critics Consensus: A complicated little musical, Pennies from Heaven is a dazzling, tragic spectacle.
Synopsis: This heavily stylized production with lip-synched musical numbers follows Arthur Parker (Steve Martin), a Depression-era sheet-music salesman with big dreams.... [More]
Directed By: Herbert Ross

#9

The Jerk (1979)
83%

#9
Adjusted Score: 85993%
Critics Consensus: Crude, crass, and oh so quotable, The Jerk is nothing short of an all-out comedic showcase for Steve Martin.
Synopsis: Navin (Steve Martin) believes he was born a poor black child in Mississippi. He is, however, actually white. Upon figuring... [More]
Directed By: Carl Reiner

#8

All of Me (1984)
85%

#8
Adjusted Score: 85757%
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: While on her deathbed, the rich Edwina Cutwater (Lily Tomlin) has her lawyer Roger Cobb (Steve Martin) add the odd... [More]
Directed By: Carl Reiner

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 90020%
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: Con artist Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) is a longtime resident of a luxurious coastal resort, where he enjoys the fruits... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#6

Roxanne (1987)
88%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89570%
Critics Consensus: Though its sweetness borders on sappiness, Roxanne is an unabashedly romantic comedy that remains one of Steve Martin's funniest films.
Synopsis: In this modern take on Edmond Rostand's classic play "Cyrano de Bergerac," C. D. Bales (Steve Martin) is the witty,... [More]
Directed By: Fred Schepisi

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 90763%
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: Everything changes for rising corporate star Joe Ross (Campbell Scott) when he meets the wealthy and mysterious Jimmy Dell (Steve... [More]
Directed By: David Mamet

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 94449%
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: Meek flower shop assistant Seymour (Rick Moranis) pines for co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene). During a total eclipse, he discovers an... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#3

Parenthood (1989)
92%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96333%
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: Perfectionist Gil Buckman (Steve Martin) struggles with the deficiencies of his children, thinking they reflect poorly on his parenting --... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#2
Adjusted Score: 96659%
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: Easily excitable Neal Page (Steve Martin) is somewhat of a control freak. Trying to get home to Chicago to spend... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#1

L.A. Story (1991)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 95678%
Critics Consensus: A romantic comedy that doubles as a love letter to the titular city, L.A. Story is Steve Martin at his silly, sweetly soulful best.
Synopsis: Harris K. Telemacher (Steve Martin) has the easiest job in the world: he's a TV weatherman in Los Angeles, where... [More]
Directed By: Mick Jackson