Joaquin Phoenix is one of the most talented and respected actors of his generation. He has been praised for his ability to portray complex characters with depth and nuance, and has won numerous awards and nominations for his work.

Phoenix has starred in a wide range of films, from independent dramas to big-budget blockbusters, and has consistently delivered powerful performances that have left a lasting impact on audiences.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best Joaquin Phoenix movies, highlighting some of his most memorable performances and showcasing the range of his talent as an actor.

Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies

Phoenix has played a variety of roles throughout his career, from troubled loners to larger-than-life characters, and each performance has demonstrated his skill and versatility as a performer.

1. Joker (I) (2019)

“Joker” is a psychological thriller film released in 2019, directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz. The movie is a standalone origin story of the DC Comics supervillain, the Joker, and is not part of the wider DC Extended Universe.

The plot of the movie follows Arthur Fleck (played by Phoenix), a failed stand-up comedian who descends into madness and becomes the Joker, a violent and chaotic criminal who wreaks havoc on Gotham City.

The film explores themes of mental illness, social inequality, and the nature of evil, and is notable for its dark and unsettling tone.

“Joker” is known for Phoenix’s powerful and transformative performance as the Joker, which earned him critical acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Actor.

The movie also received widespread praise for its direction, cinematography, and score, and was a commercial success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide.

While the movie proved controversial for its portrayal of violence and mental illness, it has become a cultural phenomenon and is widely regarded as one of the greatest comic book movies ever made.

Joker
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz (Actors)
  • Todd Phillips (Director) - Todd Phillips (Writer) - Todd Phillips (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

2. Gladiator (2000)

“Gladiator” is a 2000 epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, and Richard Harris. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Crowe, and Best Visual Effects.

The story takes place in ancient Rome and follows Maximus Decimus Meridius (played by Crowe), a general in the Roman army who is betrayed and left for dead by the corrupt and power-hungry new Emperor Commodus (played by Phoenix).

Maximus is forced to become a gladiator in order to seek revenge against Commodus and restore honor to himself and his family.

   

As Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena, he becomes a symbol of hope and resistance for the oppressed people of Rome.

Along the way, he forms alliances with other gladiators, including the loyal and wise Juba (played by Djimon Hounsou), and falls in love with the beautiful and strong-willed Lucilla (played by Nielsen), who is also Commodus’ sister.

“Gladiator” is known for its stunning visuals, epic battle sequences, and powerful performances, particularly from Crowe and Phoenix. The film also explores themes of honor, loyalty, and the corrupting influence of power.

Overall, “Gladiator” is a cinematic masterpiece that continues to captivate audiences with its thrilling action, engaging characters, and unforgettable story.

Gladiator (2000)
  • Various (Actor)
  • Various (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)

3. Signs (2002)

“Signs” is a science fiction thriller film released in 2002, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film stars Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, and Rory Culkin in leading roles.

Plot:

“Signs” follows the story of a former priest, Graham Hess (played by Mel Gibson), who lives on a remote farm in Pennsylvania with his two children, Morgan (played by Rory Culkin) and Bo (played by Abigail Breslin), and his younger brother Merrill (played by Joaquin Phoenix).

The family is grieving the death of Graham’s wife and their mother, who was killed in a car accident.

Mysterious crop circles start appearing in their cornfields, and strange occurrences begin happening around their farm, leading Graham and his family to believe that they may be experiencing an extraterrestrial phenomenon.

As the signs become more frequent and menacing, Graham must confront his own doubts about his faith and grapple with the possibility that Earth is being invaded by aliens.

As the situation escalates and the family’s farm becomes a battleground, Graham and Merrill must protect their family and find a way to survive the unknown threat.

Along the way, they are joined by a local police officer, Officer Paski (played by Cherry Jones), and Merrill’s friend, Ray Reddy (played by M. Night Shyamalan), as they try to unravel the mystery of the signs and come to terms with the events unfolding around them.

“Signs” is known for its suspenseful atmosphere, with a sense of impending danger and tension throughout the film.

It explores themes of faith, family, and the unknown, as the characters grapple with their beliefs and face an unknown and potentially extraterrestrial threat. The film also touches on the idea of finding hope and strength in the face of adversity and loss.

The performances in “Signs” are notable, with Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix delivering strong performances as the central characters.

The film also features talented young actors Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin as Graham’s children. M. Night Shyamalan’s direction and screenplay create a sense of mystery and intrigue, with a mix of suspense, drama, and supernatural elements.

“Signs” received generally positive reviews from critics upon its release, with praise for its performances, suspenseful atmosphere, and Shyamalan’s direction. It was also a commercial success, grossing over $408 million worldwide.

The film has since gained a following among science fiction and thriller fans for its unique take on the alien invasion genre and its exploration of faith and family in the face of the unknown.

Signs
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix (Actors)
  • M. Night Shyamalan (Director) - M. Night Shyamalan (Writer) - Frank Marshall (Producer)
  • Spanish, English (Playback Language)
  • Spanish, English (Subtitles)

4. The Village (2004)

“The Village” is a 2004 American psychological thriller film written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, and Sigourney Weaver.

The film is set in a small, isolated village in 19th-century Pennsylvania, where the residents live in fear of mysterious creatures that inhabit the surrounding woods.

The village is led by Edward Walker (William Hurt), who is desperate to protect his people from the creatures and maintain the community’s way of life.

   

When a young woman named Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard) is threatened by the creatures, her lover Lucius (Joaquin Phoenix) sets out to find help from the outside world.

“The Village” is known for its twist ending, which revealed that the village is actually a modern-day wildlife preserve created by the descendants of people who wanted to escape from the violence and chaos of modern society.

The film explores themes of fear, deception, and the desire for safety and security.

While “The Village” received mixed reviews from critics upon its release, it has since developed a cult following and is considered by some to be a misunderstood masterpiece.

The film’s atmospheric setting, strong performances, and thought-provoking themes have contributed to its lasting appeal.

The Village
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Howard, Adrien Brody (Actors)
  • M. Night Shyamalan (Director) - M. Night Shyamalan (Writer) - M. Night Shyamalan (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

5. Walk the Line (2005)

“Walk the Line” is a 2005 biographical drama film directed by James Mangold, starring Joaquin Phoenix as musician Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as his wife, June Carter Cash.

The film tells the story of Cash’s rise to fame, his struggles with addiction, and his tumultuous relationship with June.

The film is notable for its authentic portrayal of Cash and his music, with Joaquin Phoenix delivering a mesmerizing performance as the troubled country singer. Reese Witherspoon also shines in her role as June, bringing a strong sense of heart and humor to the film.

“Walk the Line” received critical acclaim upon its release, with many praising the performances of its lead actors and its faithful recreation of the music of Johnny Cash.

It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won the award for Best Actress for Reese Witherspoon’s performance. The film is a must-watch for fans of Johnny Cash and country music, as well as those interested in compelling biographical dramas.

Walk The Line
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Dallas Roberts (Actors)
  • James Mangold (Director) - Gill Dennis (Writer) - James Keach (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

6. Parenthood (1989)

Parenthood is a comedy-drama film directed by Ron Howard and released in 1989. It features an ensemble cast, including Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, and an early notable role for Keanu Reeves, alongside Morgan Freeman in a supporting role.

The film follows the Buckman family, headed by Gil (played by Steve Martin) and his wife Karen (played by Mary Steenburgen), as they navigate the joys and challenges of parenting their three children, as well as the ups and downs of their extended family members.

The film delves into the complexities of family life, exploring various themes such as parenting styles, sibling relationships, marital struggles, and generational differences.

Morgan Freeman plays a small but memorable role as a wise and calming character named Nathan, who serves as a confidant and mentor to Gil.

Nathan runs a vocational school for troubled youth, and his patient and insightful advice offers Gil a fresh perspective on his parenting struggles. Freeman’s performance brings warmth and wisdom to the character, adding depth to the film’s portrayal of family dynamics.

Parenthood is known for its realistic and heartfelt portrayal of the joys and challenges of parenthood, and the film strikes a balance between comedy and drama.

It offers a poignant and relatable exploration of the complexities of family life, with a talented cast delivering strong performances throughout.

Howard’s direction and the film’s screenplay by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel capture the intricacies of family relationships with sincerity and humor.

Parenthood was well-received by critics and remains a beloved film among audiences. It has been praised for its realistic portrayal of family dynamics, its humor, and its heartfelt performances.

Morgan Freeman’s role as Nathan adds a touch of wisdom and gravitas to the film, and his presence is a standout among the talented cast. Parenthood continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a heartwarming and relatable exploration of the joys and challenges of family life.

Parenthood
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest (Actors)
  • Ron Howard (Director) - Ron Howard (Writer) - Brian Grazer (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

7. Ladder 49 (2004)

“Ladder 49” is a 2004 drama film directed by Jay Russell, starring Joaquin Phoenix as firefighter Jack Morrison, who becomes trapped inside a burning building while his colleagues work to rescue him.

The film explores the brotherhood and sacrifices of firefighters and the toll that their dangerous profession can take on their personal lives.

Phoenix’s performance in “Ladder 49” is a standout, as he portrays Jack with a sense of bravery and vulnerability that adds depth to the character.

His interactions with his fellow firefighters create a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood, and his struggle to survive inside the burning building is both intense and emotional.

The film received positive reviews from critics and was a moderate box office success, grossing over $100 million worldwide.

“Ladder 49” is a poignant and powerful drama that showcases Phoenix’s talent as an actor, and highlights the bravery and sacrifices of firefighters in a way that is both respectful and moving.

Sale
Ladder 49 [Blu-ray]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett (Actors)
  • Jay Russell (Director) - Lewis Colick (Writer)
  • English, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

8. 8MM (1999)

“8MM” is a neo-noir crime thriller film released in 1999, directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, and James Gandolfini.

The movie follows the character of Tom Welles (played by Cage), a private investigator who is hired by a wealthy widow to investigate an 8mm film she found in her late husband’s safe, which appears to depict a real-life murder.

As Tom delves deeper into the case, he discovers a seedy underworld of pornography and violence, and is forced to confront his own moral and ethical boundaries as he pursues the truth.

The film is notable for its dark and gritty tone, as well as its exploration of themes of voyeurism, exploitation, and the nature of humanity.

“8MM” received mixed reviews from critics upon its release, with some praising its atmosphere and performances, and others criticizing its graphic violence and disturbing subject matter.

Nevertheless, the movie has since developed a cult following among fans of the crime thriller genre, who appreciate its tense and suspenseful plot, as well as its examination of the darker aspects of human nature.

Sale
8MM
  • Nicolas Cage, Chris Bauer, Joaquin Phoenix (Actors)
  • Joel Schumacher (Director) - Judy Hofflund (Producer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

9. We Own the Night (2007)

“We Own the Night” is a 2007 American crime drama film written and directed by James Gray. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, and Robert Duvall in lead roles.

Set in 1980s Brooklyn, the film follows a family of law enforcement officers – Bobby (played by Phoenix) and his father (played by Duvall).

who find themselves on opposite sides of the law when Bobby’s brother, Joseph (played by Wahlberg), becomes involved with a dangerous drug cartel.

As tensions between the family members rise, Bobby is forced to choose between his loyalty to his family and his duty as a police officer.

“We Own the Night” received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising the film’s tense and emotional performances, while others criticized the slow pacing and lack of originality in the plot. However, the film was a modest box office success and has since gained a cult following.

Overall, “We Own the Night” is a gripping and intense crime drama that explores the complexities of family, loyalty, and duty. The film features strong performances from its cast and is notable for its realistic and gritty portrayal of 1980s Brooklyn.

We Own the Night
  • We Own The Night - DVD Brand New
  • Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Eva Mendes (Actors)
  • James Gray (Director)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

10. Her (2013)

“Her” is a science fiction romance film released in 2013, written and directed by Spike Jonze. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson (voice), Amy Adams, and Rooney Mara in leading roles.

Plot:

“Her” is set in a near-future Los Angeles and follows the story of Theodore Twombly (played by Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely and introverted man who works as a writer.

Theodore is going through a divorce from his wife Catherine (played by Rooney Mara) and finds solace in his new operating system (OS) that he purchases, which is designed to be an artificially intelligent personal assistant.

The OS, named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), is highly advanced and possesses human-like qualities, including emotions and consciousness.

Theodore develops a deep connection with Samantha, and they form a unique relationship, despite the fact that Samantha exists only as a voice in his earpiece and on his devices.

As Theodore and Samantha’s relationship deepens, Theodore experiences a newfound sense of joy and fulfillment. Samantha helps Theodore navigate his personal life, provides emotional support, and encourages him to explore his creativity.

However, as their relationship evolves, Theodore also grapples with the challenges and ethical implications of being in love with an artificial intelligence, as well as the societal and emotional complexities of human-technology relationships.

Alongside his relationship with Samantha, Theodore also reconnects with his friend and neighbor, Amy (played by Amy Adams), who is also going through her own romantic challenges. Amy serves as a confidante for Theodore, and they share their thoughts and experiences as they navigate their respective relationships.

“Her” is known for its thought-provoking exploration of human emotions, intimacy, and the nature of love in the context of human-technology relationships.

The film delves into themes such as loneliness, connection, and the impact of technology on human relationships and society.

The performances in the film, particularly Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Theodore and Scarlett Johansson’s voice acting as Samantha, are widely acclaimed, as is Spike Jonze’s direction and screenplay.

“Her” received critical acclaim upon its release, with praise for its originality, writing, performances, and direction.

The film was nominated for multiple awards, including five Academy Awards, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. “Her” has been lauded for its poignant storytelling and its thought-provoking exploration of human emotions in the age of technology.

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11. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

“Hotel Rwanda” is a 2004 drama film directed by Terry George and starring Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, and Nick Nolte.

The film is based on the true story of hotelier Paul Rusesabagina, who saved the lives of more than a thousand refugees during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The film follows Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), a Hutu man who manages the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda.

When ethnic tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples escalate into violence, Rusesabagina uses his position and resources to protect his family and shelter more than a thousand refugees who seek refuge at his hotel.

As the situation worsens and the hotel becomes a target for attack, Rusesabagina must use all his wit and diplomacy to keep his guests safe and to negotiate with the militias and the United Nations for help.

“Hotel Rwanda” is known for its powerful depiction of the atrocities committed during the Rwandan genocide, as well as for Don Cheadle’s powerful performance as Paul Rusesabagina.

The film received critical acclaim and was nominated for numerous awards, including three Academy Awards. It has been praised for its portrayal of heroism and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

Hotel Rwanda
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix (Actors)
  • Terry George (Director) - Terry George (Writer) - Terry George (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

12. The Master (2012)

“The Master” is a 2012 drama film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams.

The film is set in the 1950s and tells the story of Freddie Quell (played by Joaquin Phoenix), a troubled World War II veteran who becomes involved with a charismatic leader named Lancaster Dodd (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his movement known as “The Cause.”

As Freddie becomes more involved with The Cause, he begins to question the teachings and methods of Dodd, leading to a tense and often volatile relationship between the two men.

The film explores themes of power, manipulation, and the search for meaning in a world that often feels chaotic and uncertain.

“The Master” is known for its bold and challenging storytelling, with Anderson’s direction creating a dreamlike and surreal atmosphere that immerses the viewer in the world of the film.

The performances of Phoenix and Hoffman are particularly noteworthy, with both actors delivering complex and nuanced portrayals of their characters.

While “The Master” may not be for everyone, it is a thought-provoking and visually stunning film that offers a unique and compelling perspective on the human experience.

The Master
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams (Actors)
  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Director) - Paul Thomas Anderson (Writer) - JoAnne Sellar (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

13. Irrational Man (2015)

Irrational Man is a comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen, released in 2015. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, and Parker Posey, with Morgan Freeman making a brief appearance in a supporting role.

In Irrational Man, Joaquin Phoenix plays Abe Lucas, a disillusioned philosophy professor who is going through a midlife crisis.

He finds new purpose in life when he becomes involved with one of his students, played by Emma Stone. Morgan Freeman plays a respected colleague of Abe’s, who provides guidance and advice to both Abe and his love interest.

While Freeman’s role in Irrational Man is relatively small, he brings his characteristic gravitas and wisdom to the character.

His performance adds depth to the film, and his scenes with Phoenix provide an intriguing dynamic between two professors with differing perspectives on life and morality.

Irrational Man touches on philosophical and existential themes, as well as exploring the complexities of relationships, morality, and the human condition.

Allen’s trademark wit and humor are present throughout the film, while also delving into darker and more thought-provoking territory.

Despite mixed reviews from critics, Irrational Man is notable for its strong performances, including Morgan Freeman’s brief but impactful role.

The film offers an introspective and philosophical examination of life’s uncertainties and moral dilemmas, with Freeman’s presence adding depth to the overall narrative.

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14. To Die For (1995)

Jimmy Emmett, a young man who becomes involved with a manipulative television personality named Suzanne Stone (Nicole Kidman). The film is a satirical commentary on the obsession with fame and the lengths people will go to achieve it.

Phoenix’s performance in “To Die For” is a standout, as he portrays Jimmy with a sense of innocence and naivete that makes his character sympathetic and likable.

His interactions with Kidman’s character create a sense of tension and intrigue, as he becomes increasingly caught up in her web of lies and deceit.

The film received positive reviews from critics and was a moderate box office success. “To Die For” is a darkly funny and insightful satire that showcases Phoenix’s talent as an actor, and highlights the dangers of an obsessive pursuit of fame and success.

To Die For [1995] [DVD]
  • Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk has English audio.

15. Quills (2000)

“Quills” is a period drama film released in 2000, directed by Philip Kaufman and starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, and Joaquin Phoenix.

The movie is loosely based on the life of the Marquis de Sade, a French aristocrat and writer known for his controversial and sexually explicit works.

The plot of the movie follows the Marquis de Sade (played by Rush) as he is imprisoned in the Charenton Asylum in France, where he continues to write his scandalous works despite attempts by the authorities to suppress them.

The film explores themes of censorship, freedom of expression, and the power of art, and is notable for its dark humor and provocative subject matter.

“Quills” received critical acclaim upon its release, with particular praise being directed at Rush’s performance as the Marquis de Sade, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

The movie also received nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design, and has since been regarded as a cult classic of the period drama genre.

While the movie is not for everyone due to its explicit content, it is a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of the relationship between art and society.

Quills
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Geoffrey Rush, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Malahide (Actors)
  • Philip Kaufman (Director) - Doug Wright (Writer) - Mark Huffam (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

16. Two Lovers (2008)

“Two Lovers” is a 2008 American romantic drama film directed by James Gray and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Vinessa Shaw.

The film tells the story of a young man named Leonard (played by Phoenix), who is torn between two women – the emotionally unstable Michelle (played by Paltrow) and the sweet and stable Sandra (played by Shaw).

Set in Brooklyn, the film explores themes of love, desire, and the complexities of human relationships.

Leonard, a sensitive and troubled young man, must navigate his feelings for Michelle, an alluring but self-destructive woman, and Sandra, a kind and understanding woman who offers him stability and a chance at a normal life.

The film received critical acclaim upon its release, with many praising Phoenix’s nuanced and heartfelt performance, as well as Gray’s subtle and atmospheric direction.

The film was also notable for its evocative and moody cinematography, which captures the gritty beauty of Brooklyn and the emotional turmoil of its characters.

Overall, “Two Lovers” is a poignant and affecting romantic drama that explores the complexities of human relationships with sensitivity and insight. The film is a showcase for Phoenix’s talent as an actor and is a testament to Gray’s skill as a director.

Two Lovers
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw (Actors)
  • James Gray (Director) - James Gray (Writer) - Marc Butan (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

17. Inherent Vice (2014)

“Inherent Vice” is a crime comedy-drama film released in 2014, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, and others in leading roles.

Plot:

Set in 1970 in Los Angeles, “Inherent Vice” follows the story of Larry “Doc” Sportello (played by Joaquin Phoenix), a private investigator and a marijuana enthusiast.

Doc is approached by his ex-girlfriend, Shasta Fay Hepworth (played by Katherine Waterston), who asks for his help in investigating the disappearance of her current boyfriend, a wealthy real estate developer named Mickey Wolfmann (played by Eric Roberts).

As Doc delves into the case, he encounters a colorful cast of characters, including a mysterious government informant named “Golden Fang,” a tough LAPD detective named Christian F. “Bigfoot” Bjornsen (played by Josh Brolin), and various other eccentric individuals.

Doc’s investigation takes him on a wild and surreal journey through the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles, filled with conspiracy theories, drug deals, and shady dealings.

As Doc tries to unravel the mystery of Mickey Wolfmann’s disappearance, he encounters numerous obstacles, including the LAPD, drug cartels, and a complex web of interconnected events and characters.

Along the way, Doc revisits his past relationships, confronts his own demons, and navigates the hazy and unpredictable world of 1970s Los Angeles.

“Inherent Vice” is known for its complex plot, dark humor, and distinctive style, which blends elements of crime, comedy, and drama.

The film explores themes such as paranoia, corruption, and the counterculture of the 1970s. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a standout performance as Doc, capturing the character’s laid-back demeanor, wit, and vulnerability.

The film also features strong performances from the supporting cast, including Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, and Katherine Waterston.

While “Inherent Vice” polarized audiences and received mixed reviews upon its release, it has gained a cult following over the years for its unique and unconventional storytelling, memorable characters, and striking visuals.

The film is often praised for its intricate plot, rich atmosphere, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s distinct directorial style.

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18. The Sisters Brothers (2018)

“The Sisters Brothers” is a 2018 Western dark comedy film directed by Jacques Audiard and starring John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Riz Ahmed. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Patrick deWitt.

Set in the 1850s, the film tells the story of two brothers, Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix), who work as hired guns for a wealthy and powerful man known as the Commodore.

The brothers are sent on a mission to track down and kill a man named Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed), who has invented a chemical formula that can detect gold in rivers.

As the brothers pursue Warm, they are followed by a detective named John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is working for the Commodore and has been tasked with finding Warm and the formula.

Along the way, the characters confront their own personal demons and must make difficult choices about their loyalty and their own desires.

“The Sisters Brothers” received positive reviews from critics, who praised the film’s performances, direction, and script.

It was noted for its unique blend of humor, violence, and melancholy, as well as for its exploration of complex themes such as brotherhood, greed, and the nature of violence.

The film was nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Actor for John C. Reilly.

The Sisters Brothers
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (Actor)
  • Jacques Audiard (Director) - Rosa Attab (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

19. Mary Magdalene (2018)

“Mary Magdalene” is a 2018 biographical drama film directed by Garth Davis, starring Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus of Nazareth.

The film tells the story of Mary, a young woman who becomes one of Jesus’s disciples and witnesses his crucifixion and resurrection.

The film portrays Mary Magdalene as a strong and independent woman who challenges traditional gender roles and societal expectations. It explores themes of faith, spirituality, and the role of women in religious history.

“Mary Magdalene” received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the performances of Mara and Phoenix, as well as the film’s attempt to give a fresh perspective on the biblical story. However, others criticized the film for its slow pace and lack of dramatic tension.

Despite the mixed critical reception, “Mary Magdalene” is worth watching for those interested in exploring the story of Jesus from a different perspective and for those who appreciate thoughtful and reflective cinema.

Mary Magdalene
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Philippa Goslett, Helen Edmundson (Actors)
  • Garth Davis (Director) - Helen Edmundson (Writer) - Katherine Bridle (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

20. SpaceCamp (1986)

SpaceCamp is a science fiction adventure film released in 1986, directed by Harry Winer. The film features a young cast including Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, and a supporting role for Morgan Freeman.

The film follows a group of teenagers who attend SpaceCamp, a NASA-sponsored summer camp designed to educate and inspire young people about space exploration.

During a routine training mission, the group finds themselves accidentally launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, where they must work together to figure out how to return safely to Earth.

Morgan Freeman plays the role of a NASA flight director named Dr. Jerry O’Neill, who works with the teenagers and their instructors to coordinate the rescue efforts from Mission Control.

Freeman’s performance brings a calm and authoritative presence to the film, as he works alongside the young characters to find a solution to the crisis.

SpaceCamp is known for its family-friendly adventure and science fiction themes, with a mix of action, drama, and humor.

The film captures the excitement and wonder of space exploration, while also emphasizing teamwork, problem-solving, and the importance of STEM education. Freeman’s role as Dr. O’Neill provides a steady and reassuring presence amidst the challenges faced by the young characters.

While SpaceCamp was not a commercial success at the box office upon its release, it has since gained a cult following and is remembered for its entertaining and educational aspects.

Freeman’s performance as Dr. O’Neill adds to the film’s appeal, showcasing his versatility as an actor in a supportive role that complements the youthful energy of the main cast.

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Space Camp [DVD]
  • Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston (Actors)
  • Harry Winer (Director)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies – Wrap Up

Joaquin Phoenix is a versatile actor known for his intense and nuanced performances in a variety of roles. Throughout his career, he has played everything from troubled loners to iconic villains, and has received critical acclaim for his work in a number of different genres.

Some of the best Joaquin Phoenix movies include:

“Joker” (2019) – Phoenix’s performance as the iconic Batman villain earned him widespread critical acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Actor.

“Walk the Line” (2005) – In this biographical drama, Phoenix portrays country music legend Johnny Cash, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

“The Master” (2012) – Phoenix plays a troubled World War II veteran who becomes involved in a cult-like organization led by a charismatic leader played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

“Gladiator” (2000) – Phoenix plays the villainous Emperor Commodus in this epic historical drama, earning widespread praise for his chilling portrayal of the power-hungry ruler.

“Her” (2013) – In this futuristic romance, Phoenix plays a lonely man who falls in love with an artificial intelligence system voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Other notable Joaquin Phoenix movies include “Inherent Vice” (2014), “You Were Never Really Here” (2017), and “The Immigrant” (2013). Phoenix’s versatility as an actor and his ability to inhabit a wide range of characters make him one of the most talented performers working in Hollywood today.