Mandatory Staff Picks: The Best Joel Schumacher Movies (RIP)
Director Joel Schumacher died last month at the age of 80. His decades-long career spanned several genres, from romantic comedies, courtroom dramas, and bloody thrillers to a vampire flick and a war movie. While his features have been hit or miss where criticism is concerned, there’s no denying his influence in the filmmaking world. Whether you’re intimately familiar with Schumacher’s oeuvre or aren’t sure you’ve seen any of his films (spoiler alert: you probably have), we’ve done the viewing for you and have selected his 10 best movies. What better way to honor the accomplished director than a binge-watch?
Cover Photo: Warner Bros.
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10. 'Batman Forever'
We hate to put Batman at the bottom of the list, but the reviews of this installment of the franchise were terrible, despite a stellar cast that included Val Kilmer, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Chris O'Donnell, and Tommy Lee Jones. Our affinity for the Caped Crusader demands he remain on the list, even if this depiction of his story was something of a dud.
9. 'The Flatliners'
After her sister's death, medical student (Ellen Page) experiments with having her heart stopped and her brain recorded to see if she can tap into the afterlife. While the movie was sort of "meh" overall, the cast gave impressive performances.
8. 'St. Elmo's Fire'
Seven friends graduate college and must grapple with love, life, and career dilemmas in this iconic '80s drama that features baby-faced actors Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, and Demi Moore.
7. 'Veronica Guerin'
Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchett) was a real-life journalist willing to risk her life to get to the bottom (make that the seedy underbelly) of the Irish drug trade in this heart-thumping crime drama.
6. 'A Time to Kill'
This award-winning film was based on the debut novel of the same name by John Grisham in which Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson) calls on inexperienced attorney Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) to defend him after he shoots his daughter's rapists.
5. 'The Client'
In yet another John Grisham adaptation, 11-year-old Mark Sway (Brad Renfro) comes across information about a murder that incriminates powerful people. Seeking protection, he sidles up to Reggie Love, a lawyer played to perfection by Susan Sarandon.
Photo: Warner Bros.
4. 'Phone Booth'
This high-octane thriller finds Colin Farrell playing a publicist who answers a ringing pay phone and gets sucked into a sniper's sinister plot.
3. 'Falling Down'
While a movie about a white man losing his shit and shooting people up wouldn't fly today, back in 1993 it was all the, um, rage. Watch it for the stellar performance by Michael Douglas, but keep your eyes open to all the racist tropes therein.
Schumacher's take on the Vietnam War was perhaps his best-reviewed film. The story centers on Private Bozz (Colin Farrell), who decides to go AWOL in his final week of infantry training.
1. 'The Lost Boys'
This cult-favorite flick follows two teen brothers (Jason Patric and Corey Haim) who must escape a vampire gang in northern California. It's not high art but it is trashy entertainment at its best.
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