(Photo by Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)

All Viola Davis Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

After a decade of bit parts, many of them within the gainful employ of Steven Soderbergh’s production company, Viola Davis broke into the mainstream with a movie-stealing turn – and from Meryl Streep! – in 2008’s Catholic Church child abuse drama Doubt. Davis has all of 10 minutes of screen time in Doubt but earned an Oscar nomination for her work, joining the likes of Ruby Dee for American Gangster or Ned Beatty for Network of Oscar nominees who made the most out of their single-scene appearances. Yet, Davis forms Doubt’s emotional pillar, powerfully delivering social and cultural history that further obfuscates the film’s central mystery.

Davis has been releasing multiple movies a year ever since, frequently playing women of power or high up in their professions, in the likes of Law Abiding Citizen, Knight & Day, Ender’s Game, and Suicide Squad, as Amanda Waller, one of that movie’s rare bright spots. And Davis has frequently reached the same heights as Doubt in Certified Fresh films like Widows, The Help (receiving a Lead Actress nomination), and Fences, for which she won a second Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. Most recently she was in the scouting comedy Troop Zero, and will return for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Until then, we’re ranking all Viola Davis movies by Tomatometer!

Adjusted Score: 30.976%
Critics Consensus: Unnecessarily violent and unflinchingly absurd, Law Abiding Citizen is plagued by subpar acting and a story that defies reason.
Synopsis: Jamie Foxx stars as an assistant DA who finds himself at the mercy of a spiteful vigilante (Gerard Butler) hell-bent... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

Adjusted Score: 29.918%
Critics Consensus: Divided between sincere melodrama and populist comedy, Madea Goes to Jail fails to provide enough laughs -- or screen time -- for its titular heroine.
Synopsis: Tyler Perry transitions another one of his hit plays to the big screen with this adaptation of Madea Goes to... [More]
Directed By: Tyler Perry


Suicide Squad (2016)

Adjusted Score: 41.412%
Critics Consensus: Suicide Squad boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they aren't enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing.
Synopsis: From director David Ayer ("Fury," "End of Watch") comes "Suicide Squad," starring Oscar nominee Will Smith ("Ali," "The Pursuit of... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

Adjusted Score: 34.766%
Critics Consensus: Derivative and schmaltzy, Nicholas Sparks' Nights in Rodanthe is strongly mottled by contrivances that even the charisma of stars Diane Lane and Richard Gere can't repair.
Synopsis: Adapted from author Nicholas Sparks' popular romance novel, director George C. Wolfe's Nights in Rodanthe tells the tale of a... [More]
Directed By: George C. Wolfe


Blackhat (2015)

Adjusted Score: 39.031%
Critics Consensus: Thematically timely but dramatically inert, Blackhat strands Chris Hemsworth in a muddled misfire from director Michael Mann.
Synopsis: Set within the world of global cybercrime, Legendary's Blackhat follows a furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners as... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann


Won't Back Down (2012)

Adjusted Score: 38.429%
Critics Consensus: Despite the best efforts of its talented leads, Won't Back Down fails to lend sufficient dramatic heft or sophistication to the hot-button issue of education reform.
Synopsis: Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis play two determined mothers, one a teacher, who will stop at nothing to transform their... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Barnz


Eat Pray Love (2010)

Adjusted Score: 42.074%
Critics Consensus: The scenery is nice to look at, and Julia Roberts is as luminous as ever, but without the spiritual and emotional weight of the book that inspired it, Eat Pray Love is too shallow to resonate.
Synopsis: Liz Gilbert had everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having -- a husband, a house, a successful... [More]
Directed By:


Lila & Eve (2015)

Adjusted Score: 40.691%
Critics Consensus: Lila & Eve gets some mileage out of its formidable stars, with Viola Davis in particular proving that she will commandingly commit to any material, but this is a revenge flick served stale due to a lackluster script.
Synopsis: A tense and exciting film, LILA AND EVE is directed by Charles Stone III (DRUMLINE), and tells the story of... [More]
Directed By: Charles Stone III

Adjusted Score: 51.94%
Critics Consensus: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close has a story worth telling, but it deserves better than the treacly and pretentious treatment director Stephen Daldry gives it.
Synopsis: Oskar (Thomas Horn) is convinced that his father (Tom Hanks), who died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade... [More]
Starring: James Gandolfini
Directed By:

Adjusted Score: 53.897%
Critics Consensus: Charming romantic leads and esteemed supporting cast aside, Beautiful Creatures is a plodding YA novel adaptation that feels watered down for the Twilight set.
Synopsis: A supernatural love story set in the South, "Beautiful Creatures" tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich),... [More]
Directed By: Richard LaGravenese


Knight & Day (2010)

Adjusted Score: 59.01%
Critics Consensus: It's pure formula, but thanks to its breezy pace and a pair of charming performances from Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Knight and Day offers some agreeably middle-of-the-road summer action.
Synopsis: A single girl en route to a family wedding gets swept up in a fight between a rogue government agent... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

Adjusted Score: 61.75%
Critics Consensus: It's amiable, and it does a surprisingly good job of sidestepping psych ward comedy cliches, but given its talented cast and directors, It's Kind of a Funny Story should be more than just mildly entertaining.
Synopsis: It's 5 a.m. on a Sunday in Brooklyn. Craig Gilner is bicycling up to the entrance of a mental health... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck


Ender's Game (2013)

Adjusted Score: 70.667%
Critics Consensus: If it isn't quite as thought-provoking as the book, Ender's Game still manages to offer a commendable number of well-acted, solidly written sci-fi thrills.
Synopsis: In the near future, a hostile alien race (called the Formics) have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics... [More]
Directed By: Gavin Hood

Adjusted Score: 68.046%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is a hauntingly original rumination on love and loss.
Synopsis: With his unique vision, writer/director Ned Benson ambitiously captures a complete picture of a relationship in the beautifully relatable portrait... [More]
Directed By: Ned Benson


Troop Zero (2020)

Adjusted Score: 70.072%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a charming cast and infectious energy, Troop Zero is more than the sum of its instantly familiar parts.
Synopsis: In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl (Mckenna Grace) dreams of life in outer space. When a national competition offers... [More]
Directed By: Bert & Bertie


The Help (2011)

Adjusted Score: 83.24%
Critics Consensus: Though it fails to fully engage with its racial themes, The Help rises on the strength of its cast -- particularly Viola Davis, whose performance is powerful enough to carry the film on its own.
Synopsis: The Help stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny-three very different, extraordinary women... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor


Trust (2011)

Adjusted Score: 80.365%
Critics Consensus: Director David Schwimmer gets some gut-wrenching performances out of his actors but he still lacks the chops to fully ratchet up story tension.
Synopsis: When Annie, a 14-year-old girl, is seduced by a 41-year-old internet predator she knows only as "Charlie," it tears apart... [More]
Directed By: David Schwimmer


Get On Up (2014)

Adjusted Score: 86.52%
Critics Consensus: With an unforgettable Chadwick Boseman in the starring role, Get On Up offers the Godfather of Soul a fittingly dynamic homage.
Synopsis: In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award (R)-nominated blockbuster The Help, Tate Taylor directs 42's Chadwick Boseman as James... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor


Doubt (2008)

Adjusted Score: 87.397%
Critics Consensus: Doubt succeeds on the strength of its top-notch cast, who successfully guide the film through the occasional narrative lull.
Synopsis: When the principal (Meryl Streep) of a Bronx Catholic High School accuses a popular priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of pedophilia,... [More]
Directed By: John Patrick Shanley


Prisoners (2013)

Adjusted Score: 90.918%
Critics Consensus: Prisoners has an emotional complexity and a sense of dread that makes for absorbing (and disturbing) viewing.
Synopsis: PRISONERS, from Oscar (R)-nominated director Denis Villeneuve, stars Oscar (R) nominees Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in a story that... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve


State of Play (2009)

Adjusted Score: 91.005%
Critics Consensus: A taut, well-acted political thriller, State of Play overcomes some unsubtle plot twists with an intelligent script and swift direction.
Synopsis: Handsome, unflappable U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins is the future of his political party--an honorable appointee who serves as the chairman... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald


Widows (2018)

Adjusted Score: 109.216%
Critics Consensus: Widows rounds up a stellar ensemble for a heist thriller that mixes popcorn entertainment with a message - and marks another artistic leap for director Steve McQueen.
Synopsis: From Academy Award (R)-winning director Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn ("Gone Girl")... [More]
Directed By: Steve McQueen (III)


Fences (2016)

Adjusted Score: 102.454%
Critics Consensus: From its reunited Broadway stars to its screenplay, the solidly crafted Fences finds its Pulitzer-winning source material fundamentally unchanged -- and still just as powerful.
Synopsis: Denzel Washington directed and stars in this adaptation of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which centers on a black garbage... [More]
Directed By: Denzel Washington

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