(Photo by New Line/ courtesy Everett Collection)

25 Fresh Robert Altman Movies and Series

Directors know they’ve made an indelible mark on cinema when their last name becomes a descriptive adjective, a shorthand to jazz up any review or conversation. In Robert Altman’s case, “Altmanesque” can describe a few different kinds of moods and movies. There’s those sprawling stories with a multitude of characters tied with perhaps the loosest of narrative threads, like in The Player or Short Cuts. “Altmanesque” can point out roving, restless cameras that capture spontaneous and improvised performances, as featured in The Company and Gosford Park. The term is also used to paint deep-fried slices of Americana with a satirical sizzle, which Altman served up in McCabe & Mrs. Miller and A Prairie Home Companion. His magnum opus, 1975’s Nashville, represents a cross-section of all of these.

Though Altman’s prime period was during the 1970s, kick-starting the decade with Best Picture-nominated M*A*S*H, he typically isn’t bundled together with the other mavericks of the era (Spielberg, Scorsese, Friedkin, Coppola, and so on), having broken into the industry much earlier by working in television since the ’50s. Because of his experience, Altman was able to set up productions at a much faster pace than the young upstarts. Dig just beneath the masterpieces and you’ll immediately discover classics like The Long Goodbye, California Split, 3 Women, Thieves Like Us, and more.

The ’80s were considered a relatively dry decade for Altman, necessitating the narrative of a comeback film. That would arrive in the acerbic Hollywood insider comedy The Player, in 1993. Player would deliver Altman one of his five Best Director Oscar nominations, with the last nom in 2001 for Gosford Park. In March 2006, the Academy gave Altman the Honorary Award, eight months before his death.

Visit and celebrate the works of a true American directing icon with these 25 Fresh Robert Altman movies!

#25

The Player (1992)
98%

#25
Adjusted Score: 103328%
Critics Consensus: Bitingly cynical without succumbing to bitterness, The Player is one of the all-time great Hollywood satires -- and an ensemble-driven highlight of the Altman oeuvre.
Synopsis: Certain that the anonymous threats he's been receiving are the work of David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), producer Griffin Mill (Tim... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#24

Short Cuts (1993)
95%

#24
Adjusted Score: 98586%
Critics Consensus: Robert Altman's ensemble drama deftly integrates its disparate characters and episodes into a funny, poignant, emotionally satisfying whole.
Synopsis: Many loosely connected characters cross paths in this film, based on the stories of Raymond Carver. Waitress Doreen Piggot (Lily... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#23

3 Women (1977)
94%

#23
Adjusted Score: 93517%
Critics Consensus: 3 Women is a strange, eerie portrait of late-'70s womanhood that upends and then defies all expectations.
Synopsis: Writer/director Robert Altman claimed this impressionistic film came to him in a dream. Millie Lammoreaux (Shelley Duvall) considers herself irresistible... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#22

The Long Goodbye (1973)
94%

#22
Adjusted Score: 98519%
Critics Consensus: An ice-cold noir that retains Robert Altman's idiosyncratic sensibilities, The Long Goodbye ranks among the smartest and most satisfying Marlowe mysteries.
Synopsis: Private detective Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is asked by his old buddy Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton) for a ride to... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#21

Nashville (1975)
92%

#21
Adjusted Score: 97508%
Critics Consensus: Robert Altman captures the bravado and cynicism of the American dream in Nashville, a sprawling epic bursting with vivid performances and an unforgettable soundtrack.
Synopsis: In this acclaimed Robert Altman drama, the lives of numerous people in the Tennessee capital intersect in unpredictable ways. Delbert... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#20

Vincent and Theo (1990)
89%

#20
Adjusted Score: 89228%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh (Tim Roth) has no greater champion of his work than his devoted brother, Theo... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#19

California Split (1974)
86%

#19
Adjusted Score: 88292%
Critics Consensus: Aimless yet amiable, California Split is minor but rewarding Altman, elevated by the chemistry between leads Elliott Gould and George Segal.
Synopsis: Carefree single guy Charlie Waters (Elliott Gould) rooms with two lovely prostitutes, Barbara Miller (Ann Prentiss) and Susan Peters (Gwen... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#18

Gosford Park (2001)
87%

#18
Adjusted Score: 93433%
Critics Consensus: A mixture of Upstairs, Downstairs, Clue, and perceptive social commentary, Gosford Park ranks among director Altman's best.
Synopsis: Robert Altman, one of America's most distinctive filmmakers, journeys to England for the first time to create a unique film... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#17

Cookie's Fortune (1999)
86%

#17
Adjusted Score: 87907%
Critics Consensus: Robert Altman's gift for diffuse storytelling is employed to breezily enjoyable effect in Cookie's Fortune, a mirthful caper that layers on a generous helping of Southern charm.
Synopsis: After learning that her aunt, an elderly Mississippi widow (Patricia Neal), has taken her own life, Camille (Glenn Close) hatches... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#16

Brewster McCloud (1970)
86%

#16
Adjusted Score: 87555%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Brewster McCloud (Bud Cort) isn't your normal sort of boy. He resides in a nuclear fallout shelter in the Houston... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 88538%
Critics Consensus: McCabe & Mrs. Miller offers revisionist Western fans a landmark early addition to the genre while marking an early apogee for director Robert Altman.
Synopsis: Charismatic gambler John McCabe (Warren Beatty) arrives in a mining community and decides to open a brothel. The local residents... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#14

M*A*S*H (1970)
84%

#14
Adjusted Score: 88504%
Critics Consensus: Bold, timely, subversive, and above all funny, M*A*S*H remains a high point in Robert Altman's distinguished filmography.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Richard Hooker, "M*A*S*H" follows a group of Mobile Army Surgical Hospital officers at they perform... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#13

Thieves Like Us (1974)
82%

#13
Adjusted Score: 82497%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this Robert Altman period drama, Bowie (Keith Carradine) is an escaped convict who embarks on a crime spree with... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 88726%
Critics Consensus: The final film by the great Robert Altman, A Prairie Home Companion, the big screen adaptation of Garrison Keillor's radio broadcast showcases plenty of the director's strengths: it's got a gigantic cast and plenty of quirky acting and dialogue.
Synopsis: A private investigator (Kevin Kline) keeps tabs on the proceedings as guests, cast and crew (Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Woody... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#11
Adjusted Score: 18299%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Members (Sandy Dennis, Cher, Karen Black) of a Texas James Dean fan club reunite 20 years after his death.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#10

Fool for Love (1985)
79%

#10
Adjusted Score: 50191%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Forbidden lovers (Sam Shepard, Kim Basinger) meet at a Western motel in a version of Sam Shepard's play.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#9

Secret Honor (1984)
77%

#9
Adjusted Score: 45413%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In his New Jersey study, Richard Nixon (Philip Baker Hall) retraces the missteps of his political career, attempting to absolve... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#8

A Wedding (1978)
73%

#8
Adjusted Score: 72289%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Friends and family of the bride (Amy Stryker) and groom (Desi Arnaz Jr.) carry on at a mansion before, during... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#7

The Company (2003)
71%

#7
Adjusted Score: 75585%
Critics Consensus: Its deliberately unfocused narrative may frustrate some viewers, but The Company finds Altman gracefully applying his distinctive eye to the world of dance.
Synopsis: Loretta "Ry" Ryan (Neve Campbell) is an aspiring ballerina performing with the renowned Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. As she struggles... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#6

Images (1972)
71%

#6
Adjusted Score: 71683%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A schizophrenic (Susannah York) confuses her husband (Rene Auberjonois) with her lovers and her self.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#5
Adjusted Score: 68744%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: By 1885, beloved cavalryman Buffalo Bill Cody (Paul Newman) has hired a publicist and producer to help shape and promote... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman


#3

Kansas City (1996)
62%

#3
Adjusted Score: 62776%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Aspiring thief Johnny (Dermot Mulroney) messes with the wrong man when he attempts to steal from Seldom Seen (Harry Belafonte),... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#2

Popeye (1980)
57%

#2
Adjusted Score: 60146%
Critics Consensus: Altman's take on the iconic cartoon is messy and wildly uneven, but its robust humor and manic charm are hard to resist.
Synopsis: Looking for the father (Ray Walston) who deserted him as a baby, a sailor named Popeye (Robin Williams) journeys to... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#1

Streamers (1983)
60%

#1
Adjusted Score: 26966%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: During the Vietnam War, four fresh-faced Army recruits are stuck waiting for their assignments in a vacant barracks. The pressures... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

Tag Cloud

RT History mob foreign elevated horror First Look Valentine's Day cancelled TV shows Super Bowl Star Trek spinoff TruTV ratings Tubi Pixar 93rd Oscars rotten movies we love Video Games Grammys Stephen King james bond cops GIFs batman nature Tags: Comedy royal family japan Cannes news all-time CW Seed MTV See It Skip It unscripted Endgame The Academy olympics TV movies Star Wars Lifetime Christmas movies 94th Oscars travel spider-man docudrama Western fresh Turner festival ITV critic resources Fargo name the review Exclusive Video dogs Captain marvel dark Disney Channel sequels feel good comics cooking black Red Carpet Box Office slasher Ellie Kemper Image Comics superman anime TCA toy story kong parents justice league hispanic prank DGA boxoffice mockumentary dc Rocky 1990s finale canceled TV shows BET Awards Lucasfilm Lifetime aapi Action Certified Fresh Hallmark Christmas movies halloween HBO YouTube Red cults debate Election deadpool BAFTA Shudder high school Best Picture Trailer Sundance TV comic Mary Tyler Moore 79th Golden Globes Awards live event biography south america franchise Acorn TV Podcast Paramount Syfy 2021 Amazon target Wes Anderson Discovery Channel television documentary Funimation scary movies composers 2016 Marvel Studios Sony Pictures miniseries target scene in color 007 posters NBC archives reboot Best Actress Netflix Oscar Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt strong female leads robots zombies cars PlayStation Comedy President Holiday San Diego Comic-Con South by Southwest Film Festival golden globes films king arthur Fantasy popular American Society of Cinematographers TCA Winter 2020 sports directors CBS All Access Native wonder woman critics zero dark thirty classics teaser Infographic Best and Worst natural history blockbusters Emmys OneApp sag awards based on movie Quiz Mudbound adventure Pop jamie lee curtis zombie Extras adaptation hispanic heritage month 2018 E3 Calendar blockbuster Apple TV Plus dceu women stand-up comedy Tokyo Olympics versus FX Legendary spain Musical DC streaming service Holidays El Rey Mary Poppins Returns TV Land rt archives Best Actor Paramount Pictures Logo binge Disney Plus 45 tv talk mutant Pop TV cartoon war transformers Classic Film ABC Family BET Neflix Black History Month nbcuniversal genre X-Men Country 21st Century Fox AMC Plus period drama interviews Creative Arts Emmys 72 Emmy Awards CNN Tarantino Mary poppins Comic Book legend japanese Netflix Christmas movies GLAAD new zealand CMT die hard E! VH1 universal monsters trophy Awards Tour saw TV renewals remakes laika YA Polls and Games rt labs critics edition live action The Walking Dead rotten Winners Dark Horse Comics a nightmare on elm street best Disney+ Disney Plus psycho National Geographic streaming TCM ABC Signature concert halloween tv true crime Amazon Prime Video scene in color film series 73rd Emmy Awards FX on Hulu razzies cancelled spy thriller dreamworks Character Guide mission: impossible romantic comedy renewed TV shows Sundance Now summer preview Nominations know your critic sopranos New York Comic Con what to watch golden globe awards History Chernobyl IMDb TV indie screen actors guild action-comedy Television Academy dramedy Universal Pictures police drama crime drama Black Mirror Animation dragons free movies hist Photos worst movies witnail Superheroe international doctor who Bravo technology Musicals cats worst MGM TCA 2017 Marathons italian spanish scene in color Apple thriller Disney streaming service Reality A&E talk show vampires Christmas RT21 USA Network Thanksgiving crime thriller slashers TBS biopic diversity Winter TV PBS Oscars comic books Baby Yoda Countdown NBA 2020 serial killer Hollywood Foreign Press Association crime blaxploitation WGN The CW Fox News latino Trophy Talk The Walt Disney Company Alien Instagram Live 99% Biopics BBC One Nat Geo heist movie lord of the rings new york Hear Us Out singing competition adenture Britbox criterion Reality Competition ViacomCBS Sneak Peek obituary kids Spring TV HFPA animated Lionsgate Toys Broadway Freeform satire Rom-Com cancelled TV series OWN Pet Sematary harry potter Adult Swim theme song scene in color series Anna Paquin Marvel Superheroes screenings 4/20 YouTube Walt Disney Pictures Tumblr SXSW 2022 breaking bad spanish language mcc Focus Features festivals Binge Guide Turner Classic Movies Interview sequel obi wan TIFF SDCC Opinion video PaleyFest emmy awards Trivia IFC historical drama space werewolf book adaptation DC Comics BBC romance Ghostbusters Set visit Starz chucky award winner ID Esquire Prime Video cancelled television Comedy Central A24 pirates of the caribbean movie revenge rt labs Paramount Network Sony HBO Max joker Premiere Dates Arrowverse king kong political drama 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards basketball Pride Month summer TV boxing Teen APB gangster australia AMC reviews Mindy Kaling 2019 Television Critics Association FXX BBC America MCU HBO Go Hallmark supernatural Rocketman football politics Elton John quibi fast and furious The Witch kaiju Heroines hidden camera dexter movies spider-verse stop motion young adult Fox Searchlight Family disaster toronto godzilla LGBTQ broadcast video on demand richard e. Grant CBS comedies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hollywood VOD Emmy Nominations TNT documentaries Drama DirecTV Crunchyroll DC Universe crossover SundanceTV Amazon Studios scorecard game of thrones 24 frames Peacock vs. Avengers LGBT NYCC Music french ABC christmas movies Disney TV One TV art house canceled IFC Films The Purge comic book movie Showtime Comics on TV black comedy medical drama Spectrum Originals superhero USA Schedule The Arrangement Warner Bros. psychological thriller Film monster movies First Reviews ghosts book science fiction stoner Mystery twilight Hulu comiccon green book Writers Guild of America Tomatazos streamig 90s Spike Indigenous child's play Columbia Pictures Women's History Month TLC Geeked Week Amazon Prime MSNBC Travel Channel TCA Awards cinemax Film Festival ESPN aliens discovery trailers Paramount Plus independent scary 2017 streaming movies VICE Star Wars Celebration Fall TV Universal FOX Cartoon Network WarnerMedia Epix rom-coms Rock children's TV Apple TV+ Crackle Sci-Fi Cosplay SXSW Horror marvel cinematic universe docuseries 20th Century Fox Awards telelvision Year in Review Ovation 71st Emmy Awards asian-american nfl Brie Larson social media jurassic park YouTube Premium Song of Ice and Fire facebook venice Summer suspense Watching Series marvel comics game show Vudu Academy Awards series Pirates sitcom GoT Shondaland Nickelodeon Comic-Con@Home 2021 new star wars movies Kids & Family Marvel Television 2015 leaderboard Sundance comic book movies casting indiana jones Best Director Martial Arts anthology summer TV preview Food Network Pacific Islander Masterpiece