Elijah Wooden has been performing for 3 many years, however how do his movies rank from worst to greatest? With a vivid, boyish smile and massive blue eyes, Wooden has stolen his manner into the hearts of moviegoers in innumerable roles. From his little one performing days, to his penchant for gory midnight flicks, to his iconic flip as Frodo Baggins within the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Wooden has confirmed himself as an actor able to taking over many various and intriguing initiatives.
Wooden made his movie debut in a walk-on position in 1989’s Back to the Future: Part II. From there, he grew to become a celebrated little one actor, showing in movies comparable to Avalon, Paradise, Radio Flyer, and The Adventures of Huck Finn. His critically acclaimed performances transitioned seamlessly into extra mature teenage roles, which in flip segued into touchdown the position of a lifetime because the hobbit Frodo in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. Such iconic standing may need restricted actors, however Wooden has discovered a solution to embrace his expertise in Center-earth whereas parlaying it into a variety of thrilling initiatives post-Rings.
He is voiced Mumble, the penguin in Completely happy Toes, featured in critically acclaimed movies like The whole lot is Illuminated and Everlasting Sunshine of the Spotless Thoughts, and located himself in style oddities like Cooties, Maniac, and Grand Piano. By means of all of it, Wooden has remained a real and enthusiastic presence, his forever-young spirit remaining delightfully in tact. Listed below are his most main movies, ranked from worst to greatest.
40. North (1994)
Director Rob Reiner had one in all cinema’s most golden miracle runs from 1984 to 1994, directing such landmark movies as That is Spinal Faucet, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, and A Few Good Males. That every one got here crashing to a halt with this critically derided stinker a few boy who divorces his mother and father and goes around the globe trying to find their replacements. None of Reiner’s signature abilities are current right here. The movie is neither humorous nor heartwarming, settling for a type of crass twee-ness that elicited a overview from Roger Ebert which was removed from Ebert’s complimentary “two thumbs up,” containing the immortal phrases, “I hated this film. Hated hated hated hated hated this film.”
39. The Romantics (2011)
Seven faculty buddies reunite for the marriage of two of their very own, and the ensuing movie largely comes off as a couple-swapping little bit of fluff from writer-director Galt Niederhoffer. Katie Holmes is hardly the compelling main girl, and many of the romance comes off flaccid and undercooked, with not one of the ardour that may necessitate intense viewer curiosity in this sort of movie. Nonetheless, the MVP of the entire affair is undoubtedly Elijah Wooden, whose efficiency because the bride’s alcoholic youthful brother radiates with a refreshingly odd watchability.
38. Radio Flyer (1992)
Elijah Wooden performs the son of Lorraine Bracco and brother of Jurassic Park‘s Joseph Mazzello on this pretty reprehensible “household” film about two younger boys dealing with abuse by the hands of their mother’s new boyfriend. In a woefully dangerous selection of a screenwriting system, the kids use saccharine flights of fancy as a solution to escape this abuse, leading to a ridiculous climax the place Wooden flies off in a radio flyer to security. It is cringe-worthy, cloying, and simply downright irresponsible from starting to finish.
37. The Oxford Murders (2008)
The pairing of Elijah Wooden and John Harm in a Da Vinci Code-esque whodunit ought to elicit a type of goofy appeal. Nonetheless, Alex de la Iglesia’s convoluted movie about homicide and arithmetic neither surrenders to the inherent silliness of its plot nor creates an interesting sufficient thriller to hook viewers. Wooden is likable as ever, however he is wasted on this corny caper, which devolves into an embarrassing, Scooby Doo–esque ending.
36. The Final Witch Hunter (2015)
Vin Diesel has all the time been a film star with a singular type of gravitas to him, so it is no small marvel he discovered himself on the heart of a gargantuan fantasy movie impressed by Dungeons and Dragons. He is a good quantity of enjoyable, dishing out baddies and firing off motion film quips as solely he can, and it is gratifying to see his large stature paired with the small-framed Wooden. Sadly, The Final Witch Hunter is de facto just for Vin completists or style aficionados, with some followers clamoring for a Last Witch Hunter 2, even because it rapidly devolves right into a headache-inducing CGI fest that swallows its solid alive.
35. Day Zero (2007)
Wooden co-stars with Chris Klein and Jon Bernthal on this futuristic depiction of a world so ravaged by international terrorism that America should reinstate the draft. Whereas relating anxieties felt by residents within the wake of the September 11 assaults, Robert Malkani’s screenplay by no means rises above baseline “penalties of warfare” fare, nor does he handle to create flesh-and-blood characters. The result’s a sluggish and boring movie that squanders three exceptionally proficient actors.
34. The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1999)
Elijah Wooden is his traditional great, heat self on this achingly honest however finally confused drama from director Martin Huffy. He performs a younger man named Barney Snow, who wakes up in a hospital with no reminiscence of why he is there. Inevitably, he befriends a number of different younger individuals with terminal diseases, which might be maudlin sufficient had been it not for the movie’s eleventh hour sci-fi twist.
33. Cooties (2014)
This 2014 comedy-horror movie, which also stars Jack McBrayer, has a terrific premise: elementary faculty lecturers must defend themselves in opposition to a bunch of youngsters who flip into monsters after consuming contaminated rooster nuggets. Alas, whereas Wooden’s clean-cut look and love for all issues grindhouse are match for the movie, it by no means transcends its one-joke premise. There was quite a lot of room for midnight film inventiveness right here, however with no wit available Cooties simply winds up settling for uber-violent ugliness.
32. Inexperienced Avenue Hooligans (2005)
Wooden is serviceable and Charlie Hunnam sinks on this totally pointless drama about an American journalism scholar who falls wherein a bunch of soccer hooligans in London. Even wanting previous Hunnam’s cringeworthy Cockney accent, this can be a Combat Membership knockoff with not a satirical bone in its physique.
31. Bobby (2006)
Wooden is however one cog within the sprawling ensemble of this Emilio Estevez movie about varied interconnected lives within the wake of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. Estevez goals for an Altman-esque epic, however regardless of some stable performances (a post–Hannibal Anthony Hopkins, William H. Macy, and Sharon Stone are all available), these characters by no means transcend their thinly drawn trappings, and the depiction of Bobby Kennedy as an uncomplicated messianic determine solely serves to make the movie duller.
30. Perpetually Younger (1992)
Wooden performs a younger boy who by accident frees a cryogenically frozen Mel Gibson from 53 years of slumber on this damp weeper from director Steve Miner. Wooden is loads endearing, however that is The Gibson and Jamie Lee Curtis Present all the best way. With out their stable performances, the movie would simply be a sappy little bit of fluff.
29. Set Hearth to the Stars (2014)
This staid biopic about poet John Brinnin’s makes an attempt to detoxify Dylan Thomas in Fifties New York and Connecticut is a largely glum affair. Wooden is stable as Brinnin, however he cedes the highlight to his costar, Celyn Jones, whose peformance as Thomas is the movie’s important asset.
28. The Warfare (1994)
Critics weren’t eager to reward The Warfare, and for honest purpose. Its most fascinating component is the connection between Yellowstone‘s Kevin Costner and Elijah Wooden, because the father-son duo on the coronary heart of its story. Alas, director Jon Avnet and author Kathy McWorter pile on the subplots and schmaltz, burying a doubtlessly fascinating human story in a great deal of overwrought cliché. There is not any denying Wooden’s efficiency, nonetheless, which cemented him as one of the vital soulful younger actors of his era.
27. The Good Son (1993)
Maybe no different movie topped Wooden as a baby star to observe than The Good Son, which pairs him and Macauley Culkin in a creepy gender-bent replace on The Dangerous Seed. Culkin, coming off the success of House Alone, will get the juicier position, because the sociopathic child Wooden has to hang around with following the dying of his mother and father. As improbable as Elijah is, the movie would arguably be infinitely higher if he and Culkin switched elements. Whereas he is perfect on American Horror Story, at this age Macauley was unable to subvert his film star appeal into one thing really scary, and thus the movie suffers.
26. Paradise (1991)
It is a working theme that, in his little one star days, Wooden was typically one of the best a part of some really unmemorable movies. That is actually the case with this treacly, cloying drama a few married couple torn aside by grief. Right here, he performs a younger boy despatched to stay with the couple who finally helps them reconnect. Nonetheless, Paradise would’ve been an eminently extra watchable movie had it targeted fully on his character, as his chemistry with Thora Birch offers the movie its solely true sparks.
25. Open Home windows (2014)
A thriller that unfolds virtually fully by way of the voyeuristic lens of laptop screens, telephones, and safety cameras, Open Home windows predated Looking out and had each proper to be a twenty first century Rear Window. Elijah Wooden is well-cast as a “good man” stalker who achieves limitless entry to his favourite actress by way of his laptop display. Director Nacho Vigalondo is endlessly ingenious along with his visible storytelling, however one needs that his script matched the movie’s technical experience. The ending spins wildly off the rails, finally rendering the movie a failure, however an fascinating one nonetheless.
24. The Belief (2016)
Earlier than Elijah Wooden would produce Nicolas Cage in gonzo choices like Mandy and Colour Out of House, the 2 shared the display on this rote however gratifying heist flick. Wooden is probably not essentially the most plausible as a womanizer with a drug dependancy, however his chemistry with Cage is loads of enjoyable. Cage himself is the actual star right here, along with his outrageous depth and singular line readings reminding audiences why there really is not anybody else like him.
23. Completely happy Toes Two (2011)
This bomb of a sequel from Mad Max helmer George Miller did not precisely recapture the lightning-in-a-bottle phenomenon of its predecessor, which was in and of itself fairly a weird success story. Completely happy Toes Two adjustments the main target from Mumble (Elijah Wooden), now dubbed The Grasp of Faucet, to his son Erik. There’s the predictable quantity of cute penguins, however much less stellar manufacturing numbers and extra basic weirdness. Coming from Miller, who gave audiences demented masterpieces like Mad Max: Fury Road and Babe: Pig within the Metropolis, the oddness should not come as a shock.
22. Come to Daddy (2019)
This Elijah-led little bit of midnight insanity begins intriguingly with Wooden’s privileged man-child Norval Greenwood arriving on the coastal dwelling of his estranged father. There’s rigidity, thriller, and a macabre humorousness to their first exchanges. Nonetheless, as questions grow to be answered the movie loses its enjoyable and devolves into a very violent piece of nastiness that not even Wooden’s centered main efficiency can rescue.
21. The Hobbit: An Sudden Journey (2012)
One of many first issues audiences realized upon seeing the primary of Peter Jackson’s three Hobbit films is how Elijah Wooden hasn’t modified a bit. His everlasting youth is on show for each second of his temporary position right here, and his pointless however welcome look serves as a pleasant bridge between the tales of Frodo and Bilbo . The Hobbit motion pictures devolved into nonsense as they continued, however there’s little of that on show on this first entry. Whereas by no means reaching the heights of Jackson’s authentic trilogy, An Sudden Journey comes the closest to marrying the whimsical appeal of the supply materials with the director’s intent to create a correct prequel to The Lord of the Rings.
20. Celeste and Jesse Perpetually (2012)
Rashida Jones absolutely arrived as a display star with this heat and lovable romantic comedy, enjoying the lead and likewise co-writing the movie’s screenplay. Wooden is stable as her work associate, Scott, however that is largely a showcase for the pure likability of Jones and Brooklyn 99′s Andy Samberg. Their chemistry brings to thoughts rom-com greats and strikes an ideal steadiness of heat fuzzy appeal and keenly noticed realism.
19. The School (1998)
A kitschy late ’90s style providing from Robert Rodriguez, The School mashes up the highschool film with a loving throwback to movies like The Factor and Invasion of the Physique Snatchers. Eminently watchable in its personal kitschy manner, the movie largely cruises on Rodriguez’s zesty camerawork and the charms of its ensemble, which except for Wooden additionally options Josh Hartnett, Clea Duvall, and Quick and the Livid’ Jordana Brewster. Not even a lackluster finale can spoil the enjoyable.
18. 9 (2009)
Elijah Wooden lends his vocal abilities to the titular position of 9, a rag doll creature who awakens in a dystopian world devoid of people and prowling with malevolent machines. The story could also be by-product, largely of Coraline and The Matrix. It is also much less textured than one may hope, however the animation, character, and world design are endlessly imaginative, making 9 a worthwhile look ahead to animation aficionados.
17. Flipper (1996)
This agreeably cute household movie is precisely the form of fare ’90s youngsters had been raised on. Wooden performs a younger man who strikes up a strong friendship with a dolphin when he spends the summer time along with his uncle in a seaside city. It isn’t precisely Free Willy, however it’s acquired loads of buoyant appeal, largely on account of Wooden’s profitable efficiency.
16. Chain of Fools (2000)
This completely foolish indie black comedy is elevated from a discount bin oddity to a movie price watching by Wooden’s efficiency as a 17-year-old hitman. Totally fascinating, wickedly humorous, and likewise (in a uncommon flip) scary, he singlehandedly elevates each second he is onscreen. For Wooden completists, this can be a must-see.
15. The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993)
Elijah Wooden was one of the vital beloved little one stars of the ’90s, so it was solely a matter of time earlier than he performed that staple of younger boy literature, Huckleberry Finn himself. That is an unavoidable, but practically pitch-perfect Disney retelling, directed by future Mummy and Van Helsing helmer Stephen Sommers. Wooden holds the movie collectively remarkably properly, by no means straying into cutesy territory and charting younger Huck’s change of coronary heart like an previous professional.
14. Completely happy Toes (2006)
George Miller’s faucet dancing penguin film is actually a complete lot odder than its mainstream success and subsequent Oscar win for Greatest Animated Characteristic may counsel. It is a weird jumble of animated Nationwide Geographic particular, Chosen One mythology, local weather change treatise, and Glee episode. Fortunately, not one of the chaos diminishes the sweeping likability of Completely happy Toes, notably every time Wooden’s Mumble busts out the strikes throughout a few of the greatest manufacturing numbers in a film of the twenty first century.
13. Maniac (2012)
There has arguably by no means been a extra scary subversion of Elijah Wooden’s forever-young appeal than in his efficiency as serial killer Frank Zito. Franck Khalfoun’s movie, itself a remake of the controversial 1980 movie of the identical identify, is usually shot from the angle of the killer, with Wooden’s face solely seen in reflections. The result’s a grimier tackle one thing like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. It is actually not for everybody, however Khalfoun’s idea makes positive the movie by no means settles for reasonable brutality. Quite the opposite, Maniac‘s capability to implicate the viewer in Zito’s gory murders makes for a troubling movie about misogyny and and voyeurism.
12. Deep Influence (1998)
On the time of its launch, Deep Influence was in contrast unfavorably to the phenomenon of Armageddon. The comparability is not essentially honest; this catastrophe film concerning the impending doom of a comet heading to Earth is infinitely extra targeted on the micro than the macro, threading collectively a big swath of intimate, private tales. One of the crucial efficient is Wooden’s, wherein he and his highschool girlfriend (Leelee Sobieski) determine to go away their mother and father for useless and retreat to an underground bunker. Surprisingly fatalistic for a giant blockbuster from the ’90s, Deep Impact may have lost to Armageddon, however it is an infinitely extra intriguing and human catastrophe flick than critics gave it credit score for on the time.
11. Sin Metropolis (2005)
Robert Rodriguez’s remarkably devoted adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel stormed onto the scene pre-300 and actually modified the sport by way of how comedian books may very well be translated to the display. The overwhelming model of the movie, which tosses the novel practically panel by panel up on the display, dousing it with a neo-noir glow, is the chief enchantment right here. The actors are having loads of enjoyable, most notably Wooden as mute serial killer Kevin, however this can be a movie which values aesthetics over character. Nonetheless, it is a pulpy good time and an fascinating development within the journey of comedian books to the massive display.
10. The whole lot Is Illuminated (2005)
Wooden’s massive, blue eyes have by no means been put to higher use than because the eyes of Jonathan on this Liev Schreiber-directed adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s hilarious and shattering debut novel. Spotlight actor Schreiber considerably disappointingly excises quite a lot of the magical realism flashbacks that give the novel a extra elevated sense of scope and whimsy, selecting to focus wholeheartedly on Jonathan’s journey into the Ukraine to find secrets and techniques about what occurred to his grandfather throughout World Warfare II. That is finally the appropriate selection, as Jonathan’s companions, a rap-obsessed tour information named Alex (hysterically performed by Eugene Hutz), his surly grandfather (Boris Leskin), and a canine named Sammy Davis Jr. give the movie greater than sufficient levity. Schreiber then delicately shifts gears to a reflective last act which is overwhelming in its emotional energy.
9. Grand Piano (2013)
Earlier than he stormed onto the scene with 2014’s Whiplash and won Best Director for La La Land, Damien Chazelle penned this darkly gratifying thriller a few pianist returning for a comeback efficiency, solely to be focused by a sniper who will kill him if he performs one unsuitable observe. Director Eugenio Mira brings simply the correct quantity of operatic swagger to the proceedings, reworking the movie right into a gleefully sick marriage of pulp and excessive artwork. Wooden is dedicated at each flip to the movie’s doubtlessly goofy plot, and along with co-stars John Cusack (because the sniper) and Invoice and Ted‘s Alex Winter (as his assistant), they elevate schlock right into a tense dance between predator and would-be prey.
8. Avalon (1990)
Wooden basically performs a younger Barry Levinson within the third (and most emotionally affecting) of the writer-director’s odes to his Baltimore youth. The plot basically considerations Levinson’s Russian immigrant household within the Forties and ’50s, and the tradition conflict between the older and youthful generations. There are career-best performances right here from Elizabeth Perkins, Joan Plowright, and Aidan Quinn. Nonetheless, the true beating coronary heart of Avalon rests within the relationship between Wooden’s Michael and Armin Mueller-Stahl as his grandfather Sam.
7. I Do not Really feel at House In This World Anymore (2016)
Jeremy Saulnier’s (Blue Damage, Green Room) muse Macon Blair made his directorial debut with this backwoods indie comedy a few lady (Melanie Lynskey) who turns into so disillusioned with the egocentric cruelty of humanity that she turns into her personal anti-a**gap vigilante. Her team-up with Wooden’s Tony, who sports activities a rat-tail hairdo and loves martial arts and heavy metallic, offers the movie most of its enjoyable. Wooden is splendidly bizarre, and despite the fact that the movie stumbles a bit within the homestretch, his chemistry with Lynskey grounds a film that, at its greatest, combines components of a darkish thriller with some amusing social commentary.
6. No Man of God (2021)
Elijah Wooden’s newest is likely one of the greatest performances of his profession. Primarily based on actual life transcripts from conversations between FBI analyst Invoice Hagmaier and serial killer Ted Bundy, No Man of God is likely one of the most chillingly disturbing ventures into the thoughts of a assassin since The Silence of the Lambs. Director Amber Sealey retains issues extremely spare, however Package Lesser’s razor-sharp screenplay, mixed with Wooden’s efficiency as Hagmaier and Luke Kirby’s awards-worthy flip as Bundy, does not want a lot additional aptitude to make an influence. The true horror of the movie is the transformation of Hagmaier’s and Bundy’s conversations into one thing resembling a traditional friendship, a metamorphosis that turns into sickeningly reversed when, in one of the vital visceral scenes of the yr, Bundy offers Hagmaier a window into his insanity.
5. The Ice Storm (1997)
This refreshingly gripping grownup drama movie from Ang Lee chronicles the dysfunctions of a seemingly healthful household and the way they arrive to a head throughout one dramatic Thanksgiving break within the Nineteen Seventies. Kevin Kline performs Ben, a disillusioned man who cheats on his spouse (Joan Allen) along with his neighbor Janey (Sigourney Weaver, in one in all her most underrated performances). This exploration quickly trickles right down to Ben’s daughter, Wendy (Christina Ricci), who begins to experiment with Janey’s son Mikey (Wooden). The scenes between Ricci and Wooden, Nixon masks and all, rank as a few of the most true-to-life depictions of the awkwardness of teenage sexuality and discovery.
4. Everlasting Sunshine of the Spotless Thoughts (2004)
Elijah Wooden performs a small however essential position in Everlasting Sunshine of the Spotless Thoughts, merely put among the finest movies of the twenty first century. Its Oscar-winning screenplay from Charlie Kaufman considerations a pair (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) who enlist the assistance of an experimental process to wipe one another from their respective recollections within the wake of an unpleasant breakup. Director Michel Gondry dives headfirst into the quirkiness of the fabric with a sequence of elaborate set items brimming with sensible results and admirably difficult digital camera setups, however he additionally proves an ideal match for what’s finally Kaufman’s most emotionally devastating and affecting work. Bolstered by career-best performances from Carrey and Winslet, with a chic under-celebrated flip from Kirsten Dunst, that is before everything a deeply true exploration of the ache of romance, a unprecedented paean to the truism that it’s higher to have cherished and misplaced than to have by no means cherished in any respect.
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Selecting between the Lord of the Rings movies is an all however inconceivable process. Suffice it to say, all of them rank as a few of the most extraordinary achievements in cinematic historical past, trendy masterpieces which have staked their place alongside traditional Hollywood epics like Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia. The Two Towers has the least Frodo and Sam, which may be a aid to some but in addition dulls the movie’s emotional backbone for a lot of its working time. With the Fellowship severed, all of our heroes off on their very own adventures, and with no correct starting or ending, Peter Jackson and his co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens had their work minimize out for them with the intention to trend this center chapter into its personal satisfying movie. Properly, they targeted their efforts on converging all paths to Helm’s Deep, the positioning of not solely one of the best battle in The Lord of the Rings, however arguably of all of cinema. It is a beautifully executed set piece with a Biblical finale that may be the proper cap to a stellar sequel had been it not instantly transcended by an emotional gut-punch of a last speech by Sean Astin’s Sam. As second installments of trilogies go, The Two Towers is tough to beat.
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
There’s arguably not been as red-blooded a Hollywood epic since The Return of the King noticed the Lord of the Rings trilogy safely dwelling in 2003, and made Oscar history within the course of. From starting to finish, Peter Jackson’s final swing for the fences is gargantuan, with a sweeping scope seldom seen earlier than or since. At occasions, this grand finale can really feel just like the goofiest of the three movies, with its ghost military and Mumakil stunts. Nonetheless, all that’s swept below the rug by a last hour and a half which ranks as one of the vital beautifully executed climaxes ever filmed. Frodo and Sam’s last climb to the height of Mount Doom and Aragorn’s defiant final stand on the Black Gate characterize a end result of not solely this masterful trilogy, but in addition of the sheer technical virtuosity of the movies’ components of craft. As Frodo stares down into the Crack of Doom, results, sound, rating, and enhancing coalesce into that rarest of issues: a climax that delivers. Haters of the movie’s “a number of” endings needn’t complain; it is there that Elijah Wooden does a few of the greatest work of his profession. For as a lot visible extra as Return of the King possesses, there’s nonetheless nothing as emotional as Frodo’s loving final take a look at his buddies earlier than crusing off into the west.
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Twenty years on from its launch, The Fellowship of the Ring feels as everlasting a fixture because the tattoos each of its actors got to commemorate the taking pictures expertise. It is nonetheless the gold customary for epic cinematic storytelling. An instantaneous traditional that has held its floor simply as absolutely as Gandalf did in opposition to the dreaded Balrog, Peter Jackson’s entry into the world of Center-earth is as instantly transporting because it was upon first viewing. Completely casted, beautifully designed, and tailored with love, financial system, and supreme emotion by Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens, Fellowship is a master-class within the introduction of a world, characters, and story. Almost each second of it has grow to be iconic, from Gandalf’s long-awaited return to the Shire underscored by Howard Shore’s Celtic Hobbit theme, to Aragorn’s standoff with the Ringwraiths on Weathertop, to the much-memed line “You shall not move.” Fellowship has lengthy since claimed standing as among the finest movies ever made, however none of it might’ve labored with out a completely solid Frodo. Elijah Wooden‘s unwavering purity and goodness give the viewers one thing to care about, and the Fellowship one thing to guard. At solely 18 years previous upon the start of manufacturing, the younger actor will need to have felt a burden akin to carrying the Ring itself. Fortunately, nobody may have dealt with it like Wooden.
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