In every field of human endeavors, there are a couple of names that strike a chord of recognition anytime they are mentioned. If you take the world of technologies, for example, technological magnates such as Steve Jobs and who have transformed the world with their products are some of the names that stand out. Also, in the world of films and make-believe, some names are hard to forget, and one of such is Gary Oldman. He is often regarded as one of the greatest actors of the 21st century with his versatile and highly expressive acting.
Best known for his roles in movies like True Romance (1993), The Fifth Element (1997), Air Force One (1997), Gary has successfully engraved his name in the hearts of movie lovers. He is very popular and has legacies some actors who started acting before him don’t have. In addition to being a film actor, he is also popular on television and he is also a filmmaker and a musician. A lot in one, you might agree. Like every actor or professional, Gary has had his highs and lows in his profession. The following list will examine Gary Oldman’s best movies and television shows down to his worst. The grading will be based on box office success and critics (and audience) ratings.
Gary Oldman Movies and Television Shows – Best To Worst
Léon: The Professional (1994)
This Gary Oldman movie stands out as one of his finest. With intriguing characters and apt delivery, it comes as no surprise that that is so. The movie was written and directed by Luc Besson. Besides Gary Oldman, other cast members include Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello, etc.
In the movie, Gary plays the role of a bad DEA agent who murders a drug trafficking family with the exception of their daughter. The enraged daughter seeks revenge by teaming up with a hitman who lived down the hall. Despite this movie’s critical acclaim and impressive audience reception, it didn’t do very well at the box office. It realized only $46.1 million in box office sales. However, it received 95% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.6-star rating on IMDb.
Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour (2017)
Another very successful movie on the list of Gary Oldman movies is the 2017 political and historical thriller, Darkest Hour. This movie won him a plethora of awards and got him nominated severally as well. It was creatively written by Anthony McCarten and directed by none other than an English film director, Joseph Wright.
Darkest Hour is set in May 1940 in England and revolves around the decisions the newly elected Prime Minister must take in order to keep the nation standing tall. He is faced with adversities from both within and without. The lead role, Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister was skillfully delivered by Gary Oldman.
The movie was a huge success at the box office with over $150 million to show for it. Also, it warmed its way into the hearts of a large portion of the audience and received excellent ratings. On Rotten Tomatoes, for instance, Darkest Hour was rated 82% by the audience and given a 7.4-star rating by IMDb.
True Romance (1993)
This 1993 movie was one of those that shot Gary Oldman’s career into the skies. It was so popular among the audience that it earned cult followership. Not many movies, even the high budget, high box office ones attain this status. Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott, True Romance is a fine combination of romance and violence. It cast the likes of Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, and Christopher Walken.
Gary Oldman plays the role of Drexl Spivey, whose cocaine is stolen in the movie. Despite the movies’ popularity, it had an abysmal fall at the box office. On the brighter side, it had positive ratings from both critics and audiences. On Rotten Tomatoes, it was rated 93% and received a 7.9-star rating on IMDb.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was the first movie that gave this eccentric actor his first shot at the Oscars, even though the nomination did not eventually end in a win for him -nevertheless, it was a great boost for his career. Written by Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan and directed by Tomas Alfredson, TTSS is arguably one of the most successful movies Gary has starred in. Some of the actors who were also in this movie include Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, and Mark Strong.
Gary bags the role of the lead character, George Smiley, a retired veteran, who is forced back to work to uncover a double agent working in MI6. As always, Gary delivered and for this role was given the Empire Awards for Best Actor. The movie made $80.1 million at the box office, which was regarded as poor but was otherwise successful critically. The audience gave it a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it was rated 7.1 stars on IMDb.
This thought-provoking and the captivating movie is regarded as one of the finest of Gary Oldman movies till date. JFK was scripted by Oliver Stone and Zachary Sklar. The former also took the wheel in directing. The producers cast Kevin Costner, Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Rooker and Jay O. Sanders who they believed could interpret the script deftly and indeed they did.
The story revolves around the plot, conspiracy, and later assassination of former US president, John F. Kennedy. Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) is accused of murder and shot to death. However, skeptical of this blame of guilt, a district attorney conducts her own private investigation into the case.
This political thriller was one of the favorites of the critics and the audience too. On IMDb, it earned 8 stars and an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also did well commercially as it raked in the sum of $205.4 million at the box office from a budget of $40 million.
The Scarlet Letter (1995)
This film is a poor adaptation of the novel with the same name written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was written by Douglas Day Stewart and directed by Roland Joffé. Its cast includes stars like Demi Moore, Robert Duvall, Robert Prosky, Edward Hardwicke, and Joan Plowright.
The movie is centered on an illicit romance between a married woman and a pastor. The romance was based on the probability that her husband was killed by Indians. Little did she know that he was still and alive and will come back to see the son she had out of adultery. The movie was not only a commercial debacle but also a critical one. At the box office, it managed to garner $10.3 million in worldwide sales from a $46 million budget. It fared poorly with a 41% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.3-star rating on IMDb.
Not all scripts should make it past the screening stage, nothing proves this statement better than the 2013 movie, Paranoia. The movie was written by Barry L. Levy and Jason Hall and directed by Robert Luketic. It failed to live up to expectations even with the likes of Gary Oldman, Amber Heard, Harrison Ford, Lucas Till, Embeth Davidtz, Julian McMahon, and Josh Holloway on set.
The movie follows the story of an employee at a high technological company who must do dirty to obtain his boss’s favor and a large office. It was a box office flop, grossing only $16.3 million on sales against a budget of $35 million. Also, it received a dismal audience approval rating of 35% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.7-star rating on IMDb. These ratings qualify the movie for a critical failure.
Gary Oldman in The Unborn (2009)
Have you ever watched a movie and wondered what the producers were thinking when they made it? Sadly, poorly thought out movies like the horror drama The Unborn will leave you asking this question. The movie was written and directed by David S. Goyer. Its cast includes Odette Yustman, Meagan Good, Cam Gigandet, James Remar, Jane Alexander, and Idris Alba. Yes, you read right, some of Hollywood’s finest indeed.
The story of this horror movie is about an ancient curse that plagued the life of a young lady through ghosts and spirits’ dreams and visitations which pushes her to seek help at the hands of a spiritual adviser, Sandak (Gary Oldman). It recorded low commercial success with only $76.5 million in box office sales. Described as been filled with “cheap thrills and scares bordered on silliness”, it did abysmally on Rotten Tomatoes with a 30% audience rating and on IMDb, it managed to fetch 4.8 stars.
Lost In Space (1988)
What was meant to be a science-fiction movie ended up being a poorly produced and directed film, a far cry from the drama series of whose name it bears. Lost In Space is a movie written by Akiva Goldsman and directed by Stephen Hopkins.
The movie revolves around the battle for the salvation of Earth. The burden to do so lies on the shoulders of an American family who travel to space to look for a new planet to colonize but get lost in space and have to face vicious villains. Although the movie covered its budget, grossing $136 million in worldwide sales, it was still regarded as a flop. It met with a lot of negative reviews also and its audience approval rating as recorded on Rotten Tomatoes was 24%. On IMDb, it did modestly with a 5.2-star rating.
Gary Oldman in Tiptoes (2003)
This film stands as one of Gary Oldman’s failed experiments in the field of acting. The movie was scripted by Bill Weiner and directed by Matthew Bright. Appearing as cast included Matthew McConaughey, Kate Beckinsale, and Patricia Arquette.
A story of a love triangle, two brothers – one a dwarf and the other of regular height – and a lady with Gary Oldman playing the role of Steve, the dwarf. There has been no documented record of the budget or box office scores of this movie. However, records show that it had a poor audience and critical reception and this is evident in the 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the 4.6-star rating on IMDb.