(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 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. Davis got another Lead Actress nom for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and she returned as Waler for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. And now, we’re ranking all Viola Davis movies by Tomatometer!

Adjusted Score: 30624%
Critics Consensus: Unnecessarily violent and unflinchingly absurd, Law Abiding Citizen is plagued by subpar acting and a story that defies reason.
Synopsis: Ten years after his wife and child die in a home invasion, a man (Gerard Butler) carries out an elaborate... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray


Suicide Squad (2016)

Adjusted Score: 44985%
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: Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and other armed supervillains unite to battle a mysterious... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

Adjusted Score: 29126%
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: After a high-speed car chase and anger-management issues land Madea (Tyler Perry) behind bars, she befriends a young prostitute (Keshia... [More]
Directed By: Tyler Perry

Adjusted Score: 35451%
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: Two troubled souls (Richard Gere, Diane Lane) find comfort and a life-changing romance during a stormy weekend at a North... [More]
Directed By: George C. Wolfe


Blackhat (2015)

Adjusted Score: 40691%
Critics Consensus: Thematically timely but dramatically inert, Blackhat strands Chris Hemsworth in a muddled misfire from director Michael Mann.
Synopsis: A convicted hacker (Chris Hemsworth) is released from prison and joins forces with American and Chinese partners to track down... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann


Won't Back Down (2012)

Adjusted Score: 38309%
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: Two women (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis) contend with a powerful bureaucracy and a system mired in traditional thinking in order... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Barnz


Eat Pray Love (2010)

Adjusted Score: 43272%
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: Facing a crossroads in her life, a divorcee (Julia Roberts) travels to Italy, India and Bali on a quest to... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Murphy


Lila & Eve (2015)

Adjusted Score: 41030%
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: After the senseless murder of her son (Aml Ameen), a grief-stricken mother (Viola Davis) joins forces with another woman (Jennifer... [More]
Directed By: Charles Stone III

Adjusted Score: 53516%
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: Convinced that his late father (Tom Hanks) left a final message for him somewhere in New York City, a boy... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Daldry

Adjusted Score: 55488%
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: Teens (Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert) in a backwater Southern town encounter a history of family secrets and a curse that... [More]
Directed By: Richard LaGravenese


Knight and Day (2010)

Adjusted Score: 59271%
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 woman (Cameron Diaz) gets ensnared in a deadly, global adventure when she becomes the reluctant partner of a fugitive... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

Adjusted Score: 61475%
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: A depressed teenager (Keir Gilchrist) checks himself into a psychiatric facility and winds up in the adult ward, where a... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck


Ender's Game (2013)

Adjusted Score: 72603%
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: A youth (Asa Butterfield) exhibits an unusual gift that gets him selected for advanced military training to lead Earth's forces... [More]
Directed By: Gavin Hood

Adjusted Score: 68929%
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: Following the death of their child, a woman (Jessica Chastain) leaves her husband (James McAvoy) and flees to the suburban... [More]
Directed By: Ned Benson


Troop Zero (2019)

Adjusted Score: 69759%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a charming cast and infectious energy, Troop Zero is more than the sum of its instantly familiar parts.
Synopsis: Misfit Birdie Scouts enter a national competition.... [More]
Directed By: Bert & Bertie


The Help (2011)

Adjusted Score: 84817%
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: Determined to become a writer, a 1960s Mississippi society girl (Emma Stone) turns her small town on its ear by... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor


Trust (2010)

Adjusted Score: 79817%
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: A man (Clive Owen) has difficulty coping with the knowledge that his 14-year-daughter (Liana Liberato) was assaulted by a sexual... [More]
Directed By: David Schwimmer


Doubt (2008)

Adjusted Score: 88512%
Critics Consensus: Doubt succeeds on the strength of its top-notch cast, who successfully guide the film through the occasional narrative lull.
Synopsis: Suspicions of child abuse fuel a traditionalist nun's (Meryl Streep) personal crusade against a popular priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who... [More]
Directed By: John Patrick Shanley


Get On Up (2014)

Adjusted Score: 88117%
Critics Consensus: With an unforgettable Chadwick Boseman in the starring role, Get On Up offers the Godfather of Soul a fittingly dynamic homage.
Synopsis: James Brown (Chadwick Boseman) rises from extreme poverty, abuse and jail to become the Godfather of Soul and one of... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor


Prisoners (2013)

Adjusted Score: 92046%
Critics Consensus: Prisoners has an emotional complexity and a sense of dread that makes for absorbing (and disturbing) viewing.
Synopsis: When police have to release their only suspect, a desperate man (Hugh Jackman) takes the law into his own hands... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve


State of Play (2009)

Adjusted Score: 91870%
Critics Consensus: A taut, well-acted political thriller, State of Play overcomes some unsubtle plot twists with an intelligent script and swift direction.
Synopsis: An investigative journalist (Russell Crowe) stumbles into a cover-up of gigantic proportions as he and his partner probe the murder... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

Adjusted Score: 112401%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths.
Synopsis: The government sends the most dangerous supervillains in the world to the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Armed with... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn


Widows (2018)

Adjusted Score: 113701%
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: A police shootout leaves four thieves dead during an explosive armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their indebted widows must now... [More]
Directed By: Steve McQueen


Fences (2016)

Adjusted Score: 103943%
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: Now working as a garbage collector in 1950s Pittsburgh, a former baseball star (Denzel Washington) creates tension in his family... [More]
Directed By: Denzel Washington

Adjusted Score: 112532%
Critics Consensus: Framed by a pair of powerhouse performances, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom pays affectionate tribute to a blues legend -- and Black culture at large.
Synopsis: Tensions rise when trailblazing blues singer Ma Rainey and her band gather at a recording studio in Chicago in 1927.... [More]
Directed By: George C. Wolfe

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