Jim Carrey has had a phenomenal career. I have entered public knowledge seemingly overnight (with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Maskand Dumb & Dumber all releasing within the same calendar year), then from there did exactly what he wanted to do.
Sure, there was the occasional Bruce Almighty or Yes Man, where he dove back into his comfort zone, but it’s his anomaly projects that are worth considering even more. Even The Cable Guy, which straddled the line between his earlier comedies and his more serious later work, found a way to push the actor out of rubber-faced slapstick. But what are his best movie performances of him according to Metacritic?
10 The Bad Batch (2017): 62
Many would consider The Bad Batch one of Carrey’s worst films, late-career or otherwise. Even still, it’s earned a spot on Metacritic’s list even over such well-regarded films as Dumb and Dumber and Me, Myself & Irene.
Regardless, the film has its fans on Metacritic, to the tune of a 62 Metascore, which indicates favorable reviews. However, its user score was lower at 5.5, which is by no means poor but rather a more mixed response.
9 Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events (2004): 62
Easily one of Carrey’s more quotable characters, Count Olaf is a humorous antagonist that the actor nailed. The portrayal is not exactly what’s seen in “Lemony Snicket’s” books, but it’s one of the final times where Carrey was clearly putting his all into a project that had great potential. Unfortunately, its box office tallies (combined with its high budget) didn’t exactly put these Unfortunate Events in the black.
While it wasn’t considered as great an adaptation as it could have been and it didn’t produce the obvious sequel(s) it intended, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events was seen as fun by critics, at least enough to warrant it a 62 Metascore. Furthermore, its user score was even higher at 6.9.
8 Eleven Bittens (1985): 64
It’s not a particularly well-known film, but apparently, the critically-panned 1985 vampire comedy Eleven Bittens has its fans on Metacritic. The movie is somewhat of a cult classic, especially given the fact it was Carrey’s first lead role, but even with the high Metascore, there’s not much reason to recommend it.
Eleven Bittens has arguably the most confusing Metascore and user score on the site. The vampire comedy has never been considered a remotely good film, yet it has a generally favorable Metascore of 64. Then, its user score is even more baffling, considering it sits at a universal acclaim-scoring 8.3.
7 I Love You Philip Morris (2010): 65
I Love YouPhillip Morris contains one of Carrey’s most effective dramatic roles to date, even if the film itself was an indie that went mostly under the radar.
However, those who saw it liked it, both from the critical and commercial sides. On one hand, its Metascore of 65 is encouraging, but its user score of 6.7 is even more so. I Love YouPhillip Morris is a small-scale film buoyed by performances from Carrey and Ewan McGregor that make it well worth a rental.
6 Earth Girls Are Easy (1989): 66
Earth Girls Are Easy was a late ’80s comedy, an early film for Carrey, and an odd one at that. The actor, alongside Jeff Goldblum and Damon Wayans, portrays an alien trying to inseminate a beautiful, Earthbound woman.
This early Carrey film, which is widely seen as weak, is rated highly on Metacritic. In fact, the film holds a surprisingly high 66 Metascore, which again exceeds such Carrey classics as Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. However, the film’s user score is more in line with its actual quality: a very mixed 4.4.
5 Liar Liar (1997): 70
This Jim Carrey movie that needs a sequel features the actor at the absolute top of his game. If there’s a consistently rewatchable film from the comedic actor, it’s Liar Liarone of the sweetest, most heartwarming films of the 1990s (or any other decade, for that matter).
Liar Liar was one of Carrey’s films that received high marks from both sides of the aisle. However, its user score was impressively larger than its Metascore. On the latter side, the film received a score of 70, but from users, it received universal acclaim (8.7). This checks, as Liar Liar is still an audience-beloved film to this day, even to those who didn’t grow up with Carrey’s work in the ’90s.
4 Horton Hears A Who! (2008): 71
The Dr. Seuss adaptation Horton Hears a Who! follows Carrey’s elephant, Horton, as he discovers a microscopic world populated by a wonderful people called The Whos.
Horton Hears a Who! was Carrey’s second Seuss adaptation after Ron Howard’s ridiculously underrated 2000 film, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Unlike that holiday classic, Horton received high marks from both critics and fans. On Metacritic, the film holds favorable reviews from both to the tune of a 71 Metascore and 7.8 user score.
3 Peggy Sue Got Married (1986): 75
Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married was a divergence from the auteur’s usual path, and it was a star-studded one at that. The director helped bump his nephew de él (Nicolas Cage) towards stardom while also giving potent roles to Kathleen Turner (Peggy Sue), Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt, Joan Allen, and Catherine Hicks (Child’s Play).
Carrey’s early effort was a good one, receiving high marks from both critics and audiences. On the former side, the film holds a Metascore of 75, which isn’t far off from its even higher user score of 7.9.
two Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004): 89
Easily one of the best movies Carrey will ever make, Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a gorgeous work and an outright important film.
Written by Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine is essentially his most audience-friendly piece), Gondry’s film balances the beauty of a powerful narrative and a complex script with deeply unsure characters. In Eternal Sunshine, nothing is what it seems, and that even extends to love. Gondry’s film received a Metascore of 89, which indicates universal acclaim, and earned the piece a Metacritic Must-See badge. Furthermore, its user score was just about the same at 8.8.
one The Truman Show (1998): 90
The Truman Show is a beautiful film about altered realities, and about people using others for their own gain. Truman Burbank is arguably the most likeable character of 1990s cinema, and the film finds a wonderful balance of slowly revealing the fakery and letting the audience know its fakery all along. The viewer consistently knows more than the protagonist, Truman; Therefore, they’re put in a position of increased empathy, which is something the man more than deserves. The fact that Carrey is considered more than a comedy icon is due to three titles: Man on the Moon, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mindand, especially, The Truman Show.
The cable mainstay is one of just several Carrey movies to earn the Metacritic Must-See badge, but boy has it earned it. The poignant, entertaining-yet-moving film holds universal acclaim and a Metascore of 90. However, its user score is bafflingly lower at 6.7, which indicates mere favorability as opposed to acclaim.
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