Rob Reiner is a highly acclaimed American filmmaker known for his work in both film and television. With a career spanning over three decades, Reiner has established himself as a versatile and talented director, producer, and actor.
Reiner began his career as an actor on television, but it was his work behind the camera that truly cemented his place in Hollywood.
He is best known for directing a number of classic films, including the coming-of-age comedy-drama “Stand by Me” (1986), the romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally…” (1989), and the courtroom drama “A Few Good Men” (1992).
Reiner’s films are often marked by their compelling storytelling, memorable characters, and sharp wit.
He has a talent for bringing out strong performances from his actors and infusing his films with a sense of humanity and humor.
In addition to his work in film, Reiner has also had success as a television producer, with credits including the popular sitcom “All in the Family” and the political drama “The West Wing.”
Rob Reiner’s films are a testament to his skill as a storyteller and his ability to capture the human experience in all its complexity.
Best Rob Reiner Movies
His films continue to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and he remains a respected and influential figure in the entertainment industry.
1. The Princess Bride (1987)
“The Princess Bride” is a 1987 fantasy adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and based on the novel of the same name by William Goldman.
The film tells the story of a young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) who falls in love with a farmhand named Westley (Cary Elwes).
After Westley is thought to have been killed by pirates, Buttercup is forced to marry the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). However, Westley returns to rescue her with the help of a cast of colorful characters, including a swordsman named Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and a giant named Fezzik (Andre the Giant).
One of the key characteristics of “The Princess Bride” is its blend of humor, romance, and adventure.
The film is filled with witty dialogue, memorable characters, and exciting action sequences, all of which combine to create a magical and unforgettable cinematic experience.
Another notable feature of the film is its self-awareness and willingness to play with genre conventions, making it a favorite among fans of both fantasy and comedy.
“The Princess Bride” has become a beloved classic of modern cinema and has inspired countless imitations and homages over the years.
Its enduring popularity can be attributed in part to its timeless themes of love, honor, and friendship, as well as its ability to appeal to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
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2. Stand by Me (1986)
“Stand by Me” is a 1986 coming-of-age drama film directed by Rob Reiner, based on the novella “The Body” by Stephen King.
The film follows four young boys in a small town in Oregon who go on a journey to find the body of a missing boy, encountering various challenges and coming-of-age experiences along the way.
The film is notable for its poignant and authentic portrayal of childhood friendships, as well as its exploration of themes such as loss, grief, and the passage of time.
It is also known for its outstanding performances from its young cast, including River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell.
“Stand by Me” is a touching and heartfelt film that captures the essence of childhood and the challenges of growing up.
It is a testament to Rob Reiner’s skill as a director and storyteller, and remains a beloved classic of the coming-of-age genre.
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3. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
“This Is Spinal Tap” is a 1984 mockumentary film directed by Rob Reiner. The film follows the fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap and their struggles as they tour the United States promoting their latest album.
The film is a satire of the rock music industry and the excesses and absurdities of the heavy metal genre.
It features hilarious performances by the actors portraying the band members, including Michael McKean as lead vocalist David St. Hubbins, Christopher Guest as lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel, and Harry Shearer as bassist Derek Smalls.
“This Is Spinal Tap” has become a cult classic and is widely regarded as one of the funniest films ever made.
It is known for its clever writing, memorable characters, and hilarious set pieces, including the infamous “11” scene, where Nigel demonstrates his guitar amp that goes up to eleven.
The film has also had a significant influence on popular culture, with many real-life rock musicians citing it as a major inspiration. “This Is Spinal Tap” is a timeless comedy that continues to entertain audiences with its sharp wit and irreverent humor.
4. Misery (1990)
“Misery” is a psychological horror film directed by Rob Reiner and based on the novel by Stephen King.
The film was released in 1990 and stars James Caan as Paul Sheldon, a successful author who is held captive by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, played by Kathy Bates.
The story follows Sheldon as he finishes his latest novel in a remote cabin in the mountains. While driving back to civilization, he crashes his car during a snowstorm and is rescued by Wilkes, a former nurse who claims to be his biggest fan.
However, Sheldon soon realizes that he is being held captive and subjected to brutal torture at the hands of Wilkes, who is furious with the direction of Sheldon’s latest novel.
As the days pass, Sheldon desperately tries to escape from Wilkes, who becomes increasingly unstable and violent. Along the way, he discovers the dark secrets of her past and realizes that he may not survive his ordeal.
The film was critically acclaimed for its suspenseful storytelling and excellent performances, particularly by Bates, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Wilkes. “Misery” remains a classic of the horror genre and a masterful adaptation of King’s novel.
5. A Few Good Men (1992)
“A Few Good Men” is a legal drama film released in 1992, directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin. The film is based on Sorkin’s 1989 play of the same name and stars Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson.
The story follows a young lawyer, Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise), who defends two US Marines accused of murdering a fellow Marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.
As Kaffee and his colleagues investigate the case, they uncover a high-level conspiracy that puts their own lives in danger.
The film received critical acclaim for its performances, writing, and direction, and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
6. Flipped (I) (2010)
“Flipped” is a 2010 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and based on the novel of the same name by Wendelin Van Draanen. The film follows the story of Bryce and Juli, two young neighbors who first meet when they are in second grade.
Juli (Madeline Carroll) is immediately smitten with Bryce (Callan McAuliffe), but Bryce finds Juli to be annoying and tries to avoid her.
Over the course of the film, the story is told from both Bryce and Juli’s perspectives as they grow up and navigate their relationship with each other.
The film received mixed reviews from critics but has gained a cult following over the years. It features a strong ensemble cast, including Aidan Quinn, Penelope Ann Miller, Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, and Rebecca De Mornay. “Flipped” is known for its nostalgic 1960s setting and its portrayal of young love and coming of age.
7. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
“When Harry Met Sally…” is a romantic comedy film released in 1989 and directed by Rob Reiner. The film stars Billy Crystal as Harry Burns and Meg Ryan as Sally Albright.
The story follows Harry and Sally, who meet in college and later become friends in New York City.
They maintain a platonic relationship for years, but eventually begin to wonder if they could be more than just friends. However, they fear that a romantic relationship would ruin their friendship.
The film is famous for its iconic scene where Sally fakes an orgasm in a deli, and Harry comments that women “fake it” all the time.
The movie also features several memorable quotes, such as Harry’s line, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
“When Harry Met Sally…” was a critical and commercial success and is widely regarded as one of the best romantic comedies of all time.
It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and has since become a cultural touchstone, with its influence being felt in countless other romantic comedies that followed.
8. The Bucket List (2007)
“The Bucket List” is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.
The movie tells the story of two terminally ill men, Edward Cole (Nicholson) and Carter Chambers (Freeman), who meet in a hospital and decide to escape and embark on a road trip to complete a list of things they want to do before they “kick the bucket” (i.e. die).
The list includes things like skydiving, driving race cars, visiting the Taj Mahal, and more. As they travel, they bond over their shared experiences and reflect on their lives, learning valuable lessons along the way about love, friendship, and the importance of living life to the fullest.
The film was well-received by critics and audiences alike for its heartwarming story, strong performances by its lead actors, and its exploration of themes such as mortality, regrets, and the pursuit of happiness.
9. 8 (2012 TV Movie)
“8” is a 2012 television movie that was directed by Rob Reiner and written by Dustin Lance Black.
The film is a dramatization of the legal proceedings that took place in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in 2010, where Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California, was challenged.
The film stars a number of high-profile actors, including Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Martin Sheen, and Kevin Bacon, among others, who portray various roles in the courtroom drama.
The film was produced by the American Foundation for Equal Rights and was broadcast on YouTube to raise awareness about the case and the issue of marriage equality.
10. The Sure Thing (1985)
“The Sure Thing” is a romantic comedy film directed by Rob Reiner and released in 1985. The movie stars John Cusack as Walter “Gib” Gibson, a college student who is looking for a sure thing when it comes to romance.
The story follows Gib as he sets off on a road trip to California to visit a friend and attend a “sure thing” party, where he hopes to meet a girl who is guaranteed to be his perfect match.
Along the way, he meets Alison Bradbury, played by Daphne Zuniga, a fellow student who is also traveling to California to visit her boyfriend.
Despite their initial dislike of each other, Gib and Alison end up traveling together and developing a close bond.
Along the way, they face a number of challenges and obstacles, including car trouble, inclement weather, and the revelation that Alison’s boyfriend is not as perfect as she had thought.
As their journey continues, Gib and Alison begin to realize that their initial attraction to each other may be more than just a passing fancy.
In the end, they must decide whether to pursue their feelings for each other or stick to their original plans.
“The Sure Thing” was well-received by audiences and critics alike for its charming performances, witty dialogue, and heartwarming story.
It has since become a cult classic and a beloved example of the romantic comedy genre.
11. The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)
“The Magic of Belle Isle” is a comedy-drama film released in 2012, directed by Rob Reiner and starring Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, and Emma Fuhrmann.
The story follows a wheelchair-bound writer named Monte Wildhorn (played by Morgan Freeman) who moves to the small town of Belle Isle for the summer to find inspiration for his writing.
There, he befriends a single mother (played by Virginia Madsen) and her three daughters, who help him rediscover his passion for writing and life in general.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the performances of the cast but criticism for the predictable storyline.
12. The American President (1995)
“The American President” is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin.
The film stars Michael Douglas as Andrew Shepherd, the President of the United States, and Annette Bening as Sydney Ellen Wade, a lobbyist who becomes involved with him.
The story follows President Shepherd as he balances the responsibilities of leading the country with his personal life, including his budding relationship with Sydney.
Along the way, he faces political opposition from Senator Bob Rumson (Richard Dreyfuss), who is running against him in the upcoming election.
“The American President” received positive reviews from critics and was a box office success. The film is known for its witty dialogue, strong performances, and its portrayal of the inner workings of the White House.
It also earned several award nominations, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.
13. Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)
“Ghosts of Mississippi” is a 1996 American drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, and James Woods.
The film is based on the true story of the 1994 trial of Byron De La Beckwith, a white supremacist who was charged with the murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963.
The story follows the efforts of Bobby DeLaughter (Baldwin), a district attorney in Jackson, Mississippi, who decides to reopen the Evers case and bring Beckwith (Woods) to trial.
He is aided in his efforts by Evers’ widow, Myrlie (Goldberg), who has been fighting for justice for her husband’s murder for over 30 years.
As the trial progresses, DeLaughter and Myrlie face numerous obstacles, including racism, corruption, and threats to their safety.
Despite these challenges, they are determined to see justice done and to bring Beckwith to justice for his crimes.
“Ghosts of Mississippi” received mixed reviews from critics, but Baldwin’s performance was widely praised.
The film was also notable for its portrayal of the long struggle for civil rights in the United States and for its depiction of the ongoing impact of racism in American society.
14. LBJ (2016)
“LBJ” is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Woody Harrelson in the title role.
The movie depicts the political career of Lyndon B. Johnson, who became the 36th President of the United States after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963.
The film focuses on the period of Johnson’s life from his time as the Vice President to Kennedy, through his first year in office as President, and his efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The movie also explores Johnson’s complex personality and relationships with his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, and his political advisor, Jack Valenti.
“LBJ” received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for Harrelson’s performance and the film’s historical accuracy, but criticism for its pacing and lack of depth in exploring Johnson’s life beyond his presidency.
Despite the mixed reviews, the film was generally considered to be a solid biopic and an interesting portrayal of one of America’s most complex and controversial presidents.
15. Being Charlie (2015)
“Being Charlie” is a 2015 drama film directed by Rob Reiner and written by Matt Elisofon and Nick Reiner.
The film stars Nick Robinson as Charlie, a young man who struggles with drug addiction and the strained relationship with his father (played by Cary Elwes), who is running for governor of California.
The film explores Charlie’s journey as he goes through various rehab facilities, meets a fellow patient (played by Morgan Saylor) who becomes his love interest, and attempts to reconnect with his father.
The story is loosely based on Nick Reiner’s own experiences with addiction, and the film was produced by his father, Rob Reiner.
“Being Charlie” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 and received generally positive reviews from critics. The film was praised for its honest portrayal of addiction and strong performances by its cast.
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16. Shock and Awe (2017)
“Shock and Awe” is a political drama film directed by Rob Reiner and released in 2017. The movie tells the story of a group of journalists who investigate the reasons behind the United States’ decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
The film is based on the true story of Knight Ridder reporters Jonathan Landay, Warren Strobel, and their editor, John Walcott, who were among the few journalists who questioned the Bush administration’s claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Despite facing criticism and skepticism from other news outlets, the reporters persist in their investigation and ultimately uncover the truth about the flawed intelligence that led to the war.
The film stars Woody Harrelson as Walcott, James Marsden as Strobel, and Rob Reiner as their boss, Knight Ridder editor John Walcott.
Other notable actors in the film include Tommy Lee Jones as a military veteran who supports the journalists’ investigation, and Jessica Biel as a war correspondent who provides additional insight into the situation in Iraq.
“Shock and Awe” received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising its performances and timely message, while others criticized its heavy-handed approach to storytelling.
Despite its mixed reception, the film serves as a reminder of the importance of investigative journalism and the need for accountability in government.
17. I Am Your Child (1997 TV Movie)
“I Am Your Child” is a television movie that was first aired in 1997. The documentary-style film was directed by Rob Reiner and presented by actor/director and child advocate, Christopher Reeve.
The movie aims to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood development and to promote the idea that investing in children in their early years can have a significant impact on their future success. T
he film features interviews with child development experts, parents, and celebrities, including Halle Berry, Rosie O’Donnell, and Will Smith, who share their experiences and insights on child-rearing.
The movie received positive reviews for its informative and persuasive message and its ability to reach a wide audience.
18. The Story of Us (1999)
“The Story of Us” is a 1999 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer as a married couple going through a rough patch in their relationship.
The film follows Ben and Katie Jordan as they struggle to reconnect after 15 years of marriage and the challenges of raising two children.
The story is told through a series of flashbacks, as the couple reflects on the ups and downs of their relationship, including the good times and the arguments that have driven them apart.
Throughout the film, they both contemplate whether to stay together or to separate and start a new life.
“The Story of Us” received mixed reviews from critics but was praised for its honest portrayal of the ups and downs of marriage.
The film also features a strong supporting cast, including Rob Reiner, Rita Wilson, and Tim Matheson. The film’s soundtrack, featuring songs by artists like Bruce Springsteen and Carly Simon, was also well-received.
19. Everyday Life (2004 TV Movie)
“Everyday Life” is a 2004 TV movie directed by Richard Jobson. The film follows the lives of four interconnected characters living in Edinburgh, Scotland. The main characters are a struggling writer, a waitress, a single father, and a troubled teenage girl.
The film explores their struggles and triumphs as they navigate the challenges of everyday life. The writer, played by Kevin McKidd, is trying to finish his first novel while dealing with personal issues, including a strained relationship with his girlfriend.
The waitress, played by Shirley Henderson, is dealing with the aftermath of an abusive relationship and is trying to rebuild her life.
The single father, played by Gary McCormack, is trying to be a good dad to his son while dealing with his own personal demons. The teenage girl, played by Kelly Macdonald, is struggling with drug addiction and a dysfunctional home life.
Throughout the film, the characters cross paths and influence each other’s lives in unexpected ways. Despite their different backgrounds and challenges, they find a common humanity and a shared struggle to find meaning and happiness in their everyday lives.
“Everyday Life” received mixed reviews from critics, but was praised for its realistic portrayal of working-class life in Scotland and for its strong performances from the cast. The film was also notable for its exploration of themes such as addiction, domestic violence, and mental health.
20. And So It Goes (2014)
“And So It Goes” is a 2014 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton.
The movie tells the story of a selfish and cranky real estate agent named Oren Little (Douglas) who unexpectedly becomes the guardian of his granddaughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), when his estranged son drops her off at his doorstep.
Oren initially struggles with the responsibility of caring for a child, but with the help of his kind-hearted neighbor, Leah (Keaton), he learns to embrace his new role and build a relationship with his granddaughter.
Along the way, Oren and Leah also develop feelings for each other, but face obstacles and past regrets that threaten to keep them apart.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the performances of Douglas and Keaton, but criticism for the predictable plot and lack of depth in character development.
Despite the mixed reviews, “And So It Goes” was generally considered to be an enjoyable and heartwarming romantic comedy with strong chemistry between its lead actors.
21. Alex & Emma (2003)
“Alex & Emma” is a 2003 romantic comedy film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Kate Hudson and Luke Wilson.
The film follows the story of Alex Sheldon, a struggling writer who is given 30 days to finish his latest novel by his publisher. When his computer crashes, he hires Emma Dinsmore, a stenographer, to help him transcribe his handwritten manuscript.
As Alex dictates his story to Emma, the film cuts back and forth between the present day and the fictional world he is creating.
In the story, a young woman named Polina Delacroix (also played by Kate Hudson) falls in love with a handsome Russian soldier named Adam (played by Luke Wilson), but their romance is threatened by various obstacles.
As the deadline for his novel approaches, Alex begins to develop feelings for Emma, who also begins to see him in a different light.
The film was generally panned by critics, with many criticizing the script and the chemistry between Hudson and Wilson. However, some critics praised the film’s lightheartedness and Reiner’s direction.
22. Rumor Has It… (2005)
“Rumor Has It…” is a romantic comedy film released in 2005, directed by Rob Reiner and starring Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, and Mark Ruffalo.
The story follows a young woman named Sarah (played by Jennifer Aniston), who returns to her family’s hometown in California to attend her younger sister’s wedding.
While there, she discovers a family secret that suggests her grandmother’s life and the events of the movie “The Graduate” were the inspiration for the novel and subsequent film.
As Sarah delves into her family’s history, she must confront her own relationships and decisions about love and commitment.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the performances of the cast, particularly Aniston’s, and others criticizing the predictable storyline and lack of chemistry between the lead characters.3 Characteristics of Rob Reiner Films
Focus on character development: Rob Reiner films often place a strong emphasis on character development, with a particular focus on the relationships between characters.
This is seen in films such as “When Harry Met Sally” and “The Princess Bride,” where the characters’ personal growth and relationships are at the forefront of the story.
Blend of comedy and drama: Reiner’s films often blend elements of comedy and drama to create a unique and engaging tone.
This is evident in movies such as “Stand By Me,” “A Few Good Men,” and “The Bucket List,” where humorous moments are interspersed with serious themes and emotional moments.
Exploration of societal issues: Reiner’s films often explore societal issues, such as discrimination, mental health, and political corruption.
He often uses his platform to address important topics and provoke thought and discussion, as seen in films such as “Misery,” “Ghosts of Mississippi,” and “LBJ.”
3 Reasons Why You Should Watch Rob Reiner Films
Diverse Range of Genres: Rob Reiner is known for directing films in a variety of genres, including romantic comedies, dramas, thrillers, and even horror. This means that there is likely a Rob Reiner film out there for everyone, regardless of their taste in movies.
Strong Characters and Performances: Reiner has a talent for creating well-rounded, relatable characters and getting strong performances out of his actors.
Whether it’s Michael Douglas as the President of the United States in “The American President,” or Rob Reiner himself as the beloved character Meathead in “All in the Family,” Reiner’s films are known for their memorable characters and top-notch acting.
Timeless Themes and Messages: Many of Reiner’s films deal with timeless themes and messages that are still relevant today.
For example, “The Princess Bride” is a classic fairy tale adventure that emphasizes the power of love, while “Stand by Me” explores the themes of friendship and coming of age.
Even films like “Misery,” which is a horror-thriller, deal with universal themes like obsession and the power of art.
Overall, Rob Reiner’s films offer a mix of entertainment, relatable characters, and timeless themes that make them worth watching for anyone who loves movies.
Best Rob Reiner Films – Wrapping Up
Rob Reiner has had a long and successful career as a filmmaker, with a diverse body of work that includes classic comedies, powerful dramas, and thought-provoking social commentary. Here are some of his most popular and critically acclaimed films:
“This Is Spinal Tap” (1984)
“Stand by Me” (1986)
“The Princess Bride” (1987)
“When Harry Met Sally…” (1989)
“A Few Good Men” (1992)
“The American President” (1995)
“Ghosts of Mississippi” (1996)
“The Bucket List” (2007)
These films showcase Reiner’s talent for creating engaging characters, crafting memorable stories, and exploring a wide range of themes and genres.
Whether he is making audiences laugh or moving them to tears, Reiner’s films have had a lasting impact on cinema and continue to entertain and inspire audiences around the world.