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Every Woody Harrelson Movie Ranked Worst To Best

Woody Harrelson, whose full name is Woodrow Tracy Harrelson, is a unique actor with a bevy of memorable roles under his belt. Whether in a lead or a supporting part, or whether he's a hero or a villain, Harrelson always brings a sense of natural charm and charisma to his characters. Harrelson often works in comedy or contributes an element of humor to dramatic situations, but has never limited himself to any one particular genre. He even manages to bounce between massive blockbuster productions and smaller independent films.

Though this list will only be ranking his film roles, Harrelson has also had a number of prominent television roles. His big break was on the TV show "Cheers," a show that earned him five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and brought home one win. Harrelson has periodically returned to television throughout his career, such as with the first season of "True Detective," which he also executive produced. "True Detective" earned Harrelson his two most recent Emmy nominations, one for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and one for Outstanding Drama Series, which he shared with the other executive producers.

Harrelson is no stranger to awards attention in the world of film either. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and a BAFTA, alongside numerous other awards. We'll dig into these awards in more detail as the nominated films pop up on the list. This list will be ranking Harrelson's body of work from worst to best based on each movie's aggregate critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. We've also trimmed the list to his most prominent roles, since listing all 70 feature films the prolific Harrelson has been in would be a daunting task. Without further ado, let's get ranking.

42. She Hate Me

Woody Harrelson's lowest-ranking movie is the 2004 Spike Lee joint "She Hate Me." Spike Lee has made plenty of highly acclaimed films like "Malcolm X," "Do the Right Thing," and "BlacKkKlansman," but he has been behind a few critically reviled films as well, such as "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus," "Miracle at St. Anna," and his remake of the South Korean film "Oldboy." Unfortunately, "She Hate Me" lands in the negative category. In fact, "She Hate Me" is not just Woody Harrelson's lowest-rated major movie but also Spike Lee's lowest-rated movie as a director. 

The real star of the film is Anthony Mackie as Jack Armstrong, a high-paid executive at a biotechnology company. Armstrong is a whistleblower, much to the chagrin of his evil boss, Leland Powell (Harrelson), who has him fired on trumped-up charges of securities fraud. Out of a job, Armstrong takes up a questionable new profession: impregnating wealthy lesbians for $10,000 each—including Armstrong's former fiancée, who, since the end of their relationship, has come out. The premise of "She Hate Me" was flawed from the very beginning. Reviewers were too busy pillorying Lee to give marks to Harrelson's performance. 

41. Money Train

Some audiences may have been excited for "Money Train" ahead of its release as it brought back together Woody Harrelson with co-star Wesley Snipes. The two had made for a charismatic duo in the earlier "White Men Can't Jump," which was an early breakout role for Harrelson. Those with high hopes for "Money Train" were in for a disappointment, however. Harrelson and Snipes play a pair of New York City cops who also happen to be foster brothers. When one foster brother decides to rob a trainload of money after losing his job, it's up to the other to keep him safe when things go sideways.

Most critics agreed that "Money Train" was not the finest moment for anyone involved in the production, landing the movie a bottom-of-the-barrel rotten ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. Not all critics disliked the film, however. New York Times film critic Stephen Holden was a fan and declared the film to be better than both "Speed" and "Die Hard With a Vengeance," two popular action films from around the same time. Most critics landed more in line with Brian Lowry of Variety, who wrote that the film "bounces along with a lame script and inconsistent pace."

40. Semi-Pro

"Semi-Pro" was another poorly received Woody Harrelson movie. Harrelson and André Benjamin, AKA André 3000, play Monix and Clarence "Coffee" Brown, two supporting roles to Will Ferrell's leading character, Jackie Moon. This sports spoof set in the 1970s, follows the Flint Michigan Tropics, an ABA basketball team with dreams of merging with the NBA. Clarence is the team's best player, but Monix is no slouch himself, having previously played at a professional level for the Boston Celtics before winding up in Flint to stay close to Lynn (Maura Tierney).

Critics and audiences alike on Rotten Tomatoes agreed that "Semi-Pro" was a weak comedy at best and flat-out bad at worst. However, most negative reviews even conceded that the film had at least a couple of laughs within its overall messy package. "Semi-Pro's" greatest accolade was winning the 2008 ESPY for Best Sports Movie. (If you've never heard of the ESPYs, it's a sports-focused awards show committed to honoring "Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly.") 

39. Seven Pounds

"Seven Pounds" divided critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics largely derided the film as pretentious, nonsensical, and irritating, and criticized its emphasis on faith over logic. General audiences, on the other hand, enjoyed "Seven Pounds" far more. Both parties mostly agreed that the performances—particularly those of Will Smith and Rosario Dawson—are the highlights of the film. Some outlets, however, such as The New York Post, were less kind to the performances, suggesting that Dawson and Smith deserved Razzie awards. 

Will Smith stars as Ben Thomas, a mysterious man full of secrets. Ben is a mission to change the lives of seven strangers for reasons that remain elusive for much of the film. Woody Harrelson plays one of the seven strangers, Ezra. "Seven Pounds" saw Will Smith reunite with Italian director Gabriele Muccino. The two made the film "The Pursuit of Happiness" together two years earlier, which was more warmly received by both critics and audiences.

38. Shock and Awe

"Shock and Awe" had a solid premise and a good team behind it, but just didn't come together as a worthwhile end result. This 2017 film is set in 2003 during the presidency of George W. Bush as the U.S. military is gearing up to invade the Middle East in search of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. Woody Harrelson stars as Jonathan Landay, a journalist suspicious of the motives behind the invasion and doubting the existence of the supposed WMDs. James Marsden, Tommy Lee Jones, Jessica Biel, and Milla Jovovich flesh out the rest of the main cast.

In addition to starring in the film, Reiner also directed the film and served as the producer. Reiner directed many critically acclaimed movies in the early stages of his filmmaking career, such as "Misery," "When Harry Met Sally," "Stand By Me," "This is Spinal Tap," and "A Few Good Men" amongst others, but the quality of his filmography dipped considerably in the latter half, as noted in IndieWire. "Shock and Awe" is one of his lowest-rated films as a director on Rotten Tomatoes and also his most recent feature film to date. At least, as Rolling Stone makes clear, the film's failure can't be pinned on Woody

37. Indecent Proposal

"Indecent Proposal" was poorly received by critics but was nonetheless a box-office smash hit. The film brought in a massive return of over $260 million at the domestic and foreign box office against its budget of $38 million (via The Numbers). Some critics, including the one and only Roger Ebert, gave the film positive reviews, but most Rotten Tomatoes critics found the film silly and hard to believe, if not outright insulting.

The story of this evocative romance-thriller centers around billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford), who makes an indecent proposal to David and Diana, a young married couple played by Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore. John offers $1 million in exchange for spending the night with Diana. Accepting the proposal leads to a test of their love and the strength of their relationship. The story was adapted from the novel of the same name by Jack Engelhard, while Oscar-nominated director Adrian Lyne (of "Fatal Attraction" fame) took the helm behind the camera. 

36. Now You See Me 2

This 2016 sequel to 2013's "Now You See Me" picks up one year after the first film ended. The same cast of magicians, known as the Four Horsemen, return to pull off another extravagant heist. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman all reprise their roles from the original film. For the sequel, Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan join the main cast.

Even though the first film already received a mixed critical reception, "Now You See Me 2" fared even worse with critics and audiences alike. Robert Kojder from Flickering Myth pointed out, "Even the title of this movie is a failure for not going with the obvious 'Now You Don't.'" Despite the tepid critical reaction, "Now You See Me 2" was still a huge financial success. The movie brought in more than $330 million at the box office, with most of its earnings from the international market (via Box Office Mojo).

35. 2012

Roland Emmerich's blockbuster disaster film "2012" capitalized on the real-world hysteria surrounding the widespread theory that the world might come to an end on December 21st, 2012. The fear developed from a multitude of sources, such as rumored planetary alignments and the fated end of the Mayan calendar. Of course, none of this was true, but the panic over the world ending in 2012 was common enough that even the official NASA website published an article debunking the doomsday theories and comparing the hysteria to Y2K. 

The movie "2012," which was released in 2009 at the peak of the hysteria, stars John Cusack as a father attempting to save his family while the world falls apart around him. This disaster film ran the gamut from massive floods to city-wide earthquakes and everything in between. Woody Harrelson plays a small but memorable role as a crackpot conspiracy theorist named Charlie Frost. The film was made for the huge budget of $200 million but succeeded in bringing home a massive return on investment, with over $750 million grossed at the domestic and foreign box offices (via The Numbers).

34. Anger Management

2003's "Anger Management" was another movie that divided critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes to a degree. The critics weren't too kind to this Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson comedy, like David Ansen's review in Newsweek, which called the film unfunny and juvenile: "Unless you're 15 at heart, you may need anger management yourself after sitting through this aggressively crass comedy, which alternates between mean-spirited slapstick and arbitrary uplift." Like many of Adam Sandler's comedies, general audience members tended to like "Anger Management" considerably more than the critics.

Adam Sandler plays Dave Buznik, a timid New York City businessman who works for a company that makes clothing for pets. A misconstrued altercation on a flight winds up getting Dave forced into a court-mandated anger-management program run by the seemingly psychotic Dr. Buddy Rydell, played by Jack Nicholson. Woody Harrelson plays an over-the-top supporting role as a security guard named Gary who goes by the name Galaxia when working as a prostitute in drag.

33. Kate

"Kate" was a recent Netflix original movie added to the streaming service in 2021. The film was a "John Wick"-esque action vehicle for the talented Mary Elizabeth Winstead, but it didn't manage to connect too strongly with critics or audiences. The story follows an efficient assassin—the titular Kate—operating in Tokyo, Japan. After she is secretly inflicted with radiation poisoning, Kate has just 24 hours to uncover who is responsible and take her revenge. Miku Patricia Martineau plays Ani, a young girl who gets mixed up in Kate's revenge mission without realizing she is responsible for her father's death. Woody Harrelson plays Varrick, Kate's assassin handler, mentor, and unwitting potential adversary.

Most Rotten Tomatoes critics agreed that Winstead was good in the lead role, and the action sequences garnered some degree of praise, but that the story was unoriginal and bland, and the overall film landed in the middle of the road or skewed toward the more negative end of the spectrum. If you don't mind an overly familiar action plot with a couple of good fight scenes, "Kate" might not disappoint if you go in with low expectations.

32. Natural Born Killers

There is quite a huge disparity between the audience and critic response to "Natural Born Killers" on Rotten Tomatoes. Even amongst critics, this is a little bit of a "love it or loathe it" type of movie, as many cult movies are. Some outlets found little of value in the film, like The Washington Post, which called it an "empty, manic meditation on society's glorification of violence." Other major outlets, like the one and only Peter Travers with Rolling Stone, leveled the highest praise upon the film, saying, "This is one of my all time favorite movies, and it put Oliver Stone on my list of 'Best Directors Ever'."

Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis star as Mickey and Mallory, a pair of lovestruck, deranged killers who are cast in a major spotlight by the news media. Quentin Tarantino wrote the original screenplay, which was subsequently re-written by the trio of David Veloz, Richard Rutowski, and director Oliver Stone. Tarantino infamously hated what was done with his story, as reported in IndieWire.

31. Kingpin

1996's "Kingpin" was met with a middle-of-the-road reaction from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, though audiences enjoyed it a little bit more. This bowling comedy was the second movie made by the Farrelly brothers after their successful debut "Dumb and Dumber." Woody Harrelson stars as Roy Munson, a man with the potential to be the world's best bowler until he's attacked and left one-handed. Munson teams up with an Amish man named Ishmael, played by Randy Quaid, and sets about training him to pass the torch and take down the villainous Ernie McCracken, played by Bill Murray. Harrelson turned in a solid performance but was outdone by Bill Murray's scene-stealing, over-the-top role. 

Made for approximately $25 million, "Kingpin" just barely managed to make its budget back at the box office (via The Numbers), and the film was considered a major financial disappointment. After the smash-hit success of "Dumb and Dumber," "Kingpin" was a significant blow to the budding career of the Farrelly brothers, as they lamented in a retrospective interview. Bobby Farrelly said of "Kingpin" 20 years after the fact, "It was not a box office hit. So Pete and I did have a feeling at that time that our career may be in trouble.... We had a big hit and now we don't.' And we were wondering if we'd ever get another movie. We weren't entirely sure."

30. Now You See Me

The original "Now You See Me" from 2013 fared quite a bit better with critics than its sequel, but still landed a rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes. This flashy magician crime film aimed to be a crowd-pleasing blockbuster, and to its credit, the film did fare much better with general audiences. Some critics were wowed by the spectacle of the production and the big-name cast, which starred the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mélanie Laurent, Common, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman alongside Woody Harrelson. Other critics, however, found the film to be convoluted, shallow, and marred by some substantial plot holes. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said that "this heist caper is badly botched" and called the plot "overcooked, overcomplicated, and underinteresting."

The plot revolves around an FBI agent attempting to catch a collective of magicians known as the Four Horsemen who have a penchant for robbing banks as part of their Las Vegas magic act. The plot is full of major twists and reveals that may prove effective for some viewers, but left many critics balking at their absurdity.

29. Out of the Furnace

"Out of the Furnace" is a crime drama from director Scott Cooper, whose first movie, "Crazy Heart," won two Academy Awards. As his sophomore effort, "Out of the Furnace" wasn't met with anywhere near the same level of critical acclaim. Though there weren't many Rotten Tomatoes critics who called the film out-and-out awful, many thought it didn't excel or do anything worthwhile that hadn't been seen before in similar movies.

The story follows two brothers, played by Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, who struggle to get by in their poor, rust-belt town. They both aspire to move away to a better place but inadvertently get on the bad side of a violent crime boss, played by Woody Harrelson in a memorable villain role. "Out of the Furnace" is a dark and depressing film with little hope to be found once things go bad. The A-list cast is the clear highlight of the film despite its shortcomings. Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Forest Whitaker, and Willem Dafoe round out the impressive roster of actors.

28. Triple 9

Director John Hillcoat's "Triple 9" fared marginally better with critics than with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, though the film still didn't quite make it into fresh territory. "Triple 9" is the most recent feature film from Hillcoat, whose previous work includes the post-apocalyptic movie "The Road," and the westerns "The Proposition" and "Lawless," along with dozens of music videos. "Triple 9" was the first produced feature film for screenwriter Matt Crook, who would go on to pen "The Duel," "Patriots' Day," and "Angel Has Fallen."

The story of "Triple 9" finds corrupt cops and criminals teaming up for a brazen heist that involves the premeditated murder of another police officer. Local gangs and the Russian Mob all wind up getting involved in this violent crime film. Woody Harrelson plays one of the police officers as part of a large cast that also includes the likes of Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Aaron Paul, Gal Gadot, Anthony Mackie, Norman Reedus, Michael K. Williams, and Clifton Collins Jr.

27. LBJ

Similar to the aforementioned "Shock and Awe," "LBJ" is a collaboration between star Woody Harrelson, writer Joey Hartstone, and director Rob Reiner. This earlier collaboration fared a bit better with both critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, but still landed more on the negative end of the spectrum with both parties. Woody Harrelson plays Lyndon B. Johnson, the man who succeeded John F. Kennedy after he was assassinated. The film begins before the assassination and deals primarily with the event and its aftermath, though it also covers other ground, including LBJ's dealings with the 1960s civil rights movement.

Filling the role of JFK was Jeffrey Donovan, and his brother Bobby Kennedy was played by Michael Stahl-David. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays LBJ's wife, Lady Bird Johnson, and Richard Jenkins and Bill Pullman play a pair of important senators. Some critics considered "LBJ" to be worth a watch despite its flaws, such as Rex Reed with The Observer, who considered Harrelson miscast in the title role but conceded that he had "enough spice to keep the viewer alert and attentive." Other critics gave the film considerably less leeway, such as Robert Abele with The Wrap, who wrote about the film's direction: "Reiner's more like an efficient ride operator, unconcerned about the clankiness of the machinery but certain you'll enjoy the stuff that's supposed to work."

26. The Highwaymen

"The Highwaymen" was a Netflix original movie released in 2019. The film is a true story tackling the familiar history of the Bonnie and Clyde criminal duo, but from a different perspective. Rather than following the love-struck criminals as the main characters, "The Highwayman" tells the story from the other side of the law. Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner star as Maney Gault and Frank Hamer, the two detectives who put an end to Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree.

The iconic figures of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are played by Emily Brobst and Edward Bossert this time around, but they have a relatively minor presence in this telling. More prominent roles are held by the likes of John Carroll Lynch and Kathy Bates as Lee Simmons and Ma Ferguson respectively. "The Highwaymen" was directed by John Lee Hancock, who previously made the sports dramas "The Rookie" and "The Blind Side," and the true-story biopics "Saving Mr. Banks" and "The Founder."

25. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

"Venom: Let There Be Carnage" is a direct sequel to 2018's "Venom" and managed to perform better with both critics and audiences than its predecessor, though it still landed a marginally rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes. Tom Hardy stars as Eddie Brock/Venom in a dual role, as does Woody Harrelson, who plays Cletus Kasady/Carnage. This is Harrelson's most recent film to date. Harrelson appeared briefly in the same role in the first "Venom" film before becoming the main villain of the sequel.

Critics noted a vast improvement with this sequel over the original, like Charlotte O'Sullivan with the London Evening Standard, who wrote, "Where the first 'Venom' was toxically dull, 'Venom 2,' at its best, is intoxicating." Increased emphasis on humor was a frequently highlighted strength by critics. Ruth Maramis with FlixChatter said that "'Venom's' premise is inherently goofy, but Andy Serkis + the terrific cast embrace its silliness and elevate it into a riotous good time."

24. EDtv

"EDtv" is the first Woody Harrelson film on this list so far to land a fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, though audiences didn't share in the warm reception for this one. Matthew McConaughey stars as the titular Ed, a normal man who has his life turned into a television production when he agrees to let a camera team record him 24/7 for a proto-reality-TV series. Woody Harrelson plays Ed's buff but dimwitted brother Ray, who wants the spotlight bestowed upon Ed for himself.

Given the similarity in premise and themes, it is easy to draw parallels between "EDtv" and the Jim Carrey-led "The Truman Show" from one year earlier in 1998. "EDtv" failed to earn back its $55 million budget and was largely trapped in the shadow of "The Truman Show" (via Bomb Report), though the two films employ drastically different tones, with "EDtv" skewing more toward comedy. Ron Howard directed "EDtv" in between making the 1996 Mel Gibson crime-thriller "Ransom" and the 2000 Christmas movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

23. Doc Hollywood

"Doc Hollywood" was an early movie in Woody Harrelson's career while he was still appearing on "Cheers." The film stars Michael J. Fox as Ben Stone, a young doctor on his way to interview for a flashy job as a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills when he gets in a car accident and winds up stranded in a tiny town instead. Julie Warner plays Lou, Ben's love interest, who might keep him around the small town instead of heading off to Beverly Hills. Woody Harrelson costars as Hank Gordon, a local resident who also has romantic feelings for Lou.

The screenplay for "Doc Hollywood" was adapted from the book "What? Dead Again?" by Neil B. Shulman, who was a doctor in real life and pulled from his own experiences in the medical field when writing the book. Similar to "EDtv," "Doc Hollywood" was another film that critics enjoyed more than audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.

22. A Scanner Darkly

Adapted from the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, "A Scanner Darkly" is a bizarre science fiction film presented through the use of rotoscope animation, in which live-action footage is animated. Philip K. Dick is the same sci-fi mastermind behind many book-to-movie properties like "The Minority Report," which was turned into the Tom-Cruise starring Steven Spielberg film; "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," which served as the source material for Paul Verhoeven's "Total Recall;" and "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" which was adapted into Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner."

In "A Scanner Darkly," Keanu Reeves plays an undercover cop leading a double life who gets caught up in a conspiracy and loses his sense of identity while a mind-bending new drug has a meteoric rise in popularity. Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jr. both have major supporting roles as addicts of the new drug who spend the entire film tripping out and having plenty of memorable comedic moments. Harrelson turned in decent work, but Rolling Stone reserved particular praise for Downey Jr.'s "most ferociously entertaining performance." Director Richard Linklater previously employed rotoscope animation for his film "Waking Life." The animation style was refined between the two productions, with the painstaking process taking as long as 500 hours for a single minute of animated material, as estimated by Linklater in an interview with Animation World Network.

21. Zombieland: Double Tap

This long-awaited sequel to "Zombieland" didn't fare quite as well with critics on Rotten Tomatoes as the original, but it still landed a fresh score and audiences rated it even more highly than the first film. The entire main quartet of actors returned: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin. High-profile newcomers to the cast of the sequel included Luke Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, and Thomas Middleditch.

"Zombieland: Double Tap" switched up the road trip for a Washington, D.C. setting, with the quartet of survivors taking up residence in the White House. The zombies from the first film remain a plague on humanity, but now there are more dangerous "evolved" zombies to deal with as well. A full decade passed between the two "Zombieland" films, but the series wasn't entirely silent. A TV version of "Zombieland" was attempted by Amazon in 2013, but the potential series never went beyond the pilot.

20. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

As the first half of the two-part finale to the series, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1" is tied for the lowest-rated entry in the franchise on Rotten Tomatoes. As the title implies, "Mockingjay, Part 1" serves as the setup and opening of the final chapter without telling a complete story. The final book in the "Hunger Games" trilogy was split in two for the big-screen adaptation. Though "Mockingjay, Part 1" brought in slightly less revenue than its "Catching Fire" predecessor, the film still set the box office record for 2014 (via The Washington Post).

Woody Harrelson reprises his role as cynical, burnt-out, alcoholic trainer Haymitch Abernathy, along with the rest of the returning cast, which includes the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright, and the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. Joining the cast for this penultimate chapter is Julianne Moore as the succeeding President Alma Coin, Natalie Dormer as Cressida, a filmmaker who joins the rebellion, and Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Katniss's personal bodyguard.

19. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

With a near-identical critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2" was met with a similar reaction as "Part 1," though audiences liked it marginally less. The climactic entry in the series was a success, even though the box office return continued its downward slope started by the previous entry. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, "Mockingjay, Part 2" had the lowest box office opening results out of any film in the "Hunger Games" series. Despite the decline, this series finale still brought in over $100 million and was a major success, per Variety.

Released one year after "Part 1," the climactic chapter picks up right where the previous film left off and wraps up the final efforts of the rebels from District 13 led by Katniss. It also resolves the long-running love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. "Mockingjay, Part 2" was the final film of Philip Seymour Hoffman and was released posthumously. Though Katniss's story came to a close, Suzanne Collins, author of the source material, returned to the franchise with a new prequel book in 2020 titled "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes." As reported by Insider, an adaptation of the prequel has been greenlit by Lionsgate.

18. Solo: A Star Wars Story

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" is, as the subtitle implies, a side adventure set within the broader "Star Wars" universe. The film is a prequel looking back at the early days of Han Solo. The story explores the origins of many of Han Solo's trademarks while revolving primarily around a dangerous heist mission. Ron Howard took over the directing duties after the unceremonious departure of previously attached directing team Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Filling the boots and vest of Harrison Ford's iconic character this time around is Alden Ehrenreich. Other familiar characters like Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca are played by Donald Glover and Joonas Suotamo. Woody Harrelson plays Tobias Beckett, a member of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate who becomes something of a mentor figure to Han Solo. It's the type of gruff, fatherly role that suits Harrelson well. Also joining the cast were Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Emilia Clarke, Paul Bettany, and Thandiwe Newton.

17. Defendor

"Defendor" is an off-beat entry into the canon of superhero movies. Audiences didn't take to the movie, but Rotten Tomatoes critics found a lot worthwhile in this indie film. Woody Harrelson stars as Arthur Poppington, who adopts the persona of Defendor when he goes out at night to fight crime. The somewhat delusional Defendor lacks any superpowers, leaving him closer to being a vigilante than a superhero than he would like to admit. It is easy to draw a comparison between the premise of "Defendor" and the James Gunn film "Super," in which Rainn Wilson plays a somewhat delusional man devoid of superpowers who adopts a superhero/vigilante persona to fight crime. "Defendor" beat "Super" to release by a year, reaching audiences in 2009.

Critics applauded Harrelson's solid performance for holding the movie together. Elias Koteas, Kat Dennings, Sandra Oh, and Michael Kelly round out the cast of "Defendor." The movie was the feature-length debut of writer, director Peter Stebbings, who has continued directing primarily in the realm of television. 

16. Rampart

2011's "Rampart" is a case of a rather extreme disparity between the audience and critical reception of a film. It is the first Woody Harrelson movie on this so far to receive the coveted "certified fresh" badge on Rotten Tomatoes, but more than 10,000 audiences ratings have left the film with a rotten audience score in the 30% range. Harrelson stars as David Douglas Brown, a deplorable officer with the Rampart division of the LAPD in 1999. There are no depths that Brown won't sink to as he scrambles for personal survival. The tagline for the film even declared Brown to be "the most corrupt cop you've ever seen on screen." The film had its issues, but no one can deny that Harrelson delivered an "arresting" (pun intended, we guess?) performance. 

Supporting Harrelson in the cast are the likes of Ben Foster, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon, Jon Bernthal, Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi, and Brie Larson. "Rampart" was the second collaboration between stars Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster and director/co-writer Oren Moverman, with the first being "The Messenger."

15. White Men Can't Jump

1992's "White Men Can't Jump" is another certified fresh Woody Harrelson movie, and this time, audiences rated it positively on Rotten Tomatoes too. Harrelson plays Billy Hoyle, a skilled basketball player who relies on other players underestimating his abilities as a white man to hustle them out of their money. Snipes plays Sidney Deane, one of Billy's marks, who winds up partnering with him to take the hustle to the next level. Harrelson and Snipes made for a good duo with strong chemistry in this street basketball comedy. The film also gets a little bit of romance into the mix with a love interest played by Rosie Perez.

"White Men Can't Jump" wasn't the only sports-centric movie that writer/director Ron Shelton made. He also wrote and directed "Bull Durham," "Cobb," "Hound Dogs," "Tin Cup," and "Play It to the Bone," which saw him collaborating again with Woody Harrelson in 1999.

14. A Prairie Home Companion

"A Prairie Home Companion" was another Woody Harrelson movie that critics liked a whole more than general audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was directed by Robert Altman, and, in typical Altman fashion, it makes use of a massive ensemble cast full of talented actors. Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly, Lily Tomlin, Virginia Madsen, and more all share the spotlight. Harrelson and Reilly play two cowboy musicians with a bawdy sense of humor. 

The story centers around the final broadcast of a popular radio program as the times change, a fitting subject matter given that the film served as the swan song of its creator. This was the final movie from director Robert Altman. He passed away within months of the film's release at the age of 81, via The New York Times. As described in the book "Robert Altman: The Oral Biography" by Mitchell Zuckoff, Altman's advanced age at the time of making the film led to troubles securing insurance for the production. To land an insurance deal, fellow filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson came aboard the production as a "standby director" in case Altman's health worsened before the film was finished.

13. The Thin Red Line

"The Thin Red Line" is a World War II movie from acclaimed filmmaker Terrence Malick. Malick's screenplay was adapted from the novel of the same name written by James Jones. The real-life war experiences of Jones laid the foundation for his writing, and "The Thin Red Line" is actually the middle book in Jones's trilogy of WWII novels, which began with "From Here to Eternity" and concluded with "Whistle." The book and film both center around the WWII battle of Guadalcanal and jump between the perspectives of various soldiers.

Malick's "The Thin Red Line" production was notorious for shooting an abundance of footage and taking an extremely long time in the editing room; almost two full years. The two-hour, fifty-minute theatrical release of the movie saw a number of high-profile actors cut from the film or having their roles drastically reduced from an initial cut that clocked in at a much longer runtime. Woody Harrelson as Sgt. Keck was one of the actors to make it through the arduous editing process intact.

12. Seven Psychopaths

"Seven Psychopaths" was the sophomore effort from Irish writer/director Martin McDonagh, after his impressive debut with the hitman vacation comedy "In Bruges." "Seven Psychopaths" shifts to a Los Angeles setting while keeping the same sense of black humor and the same leading man in Colin Farrell as "In Bruges." Farrell plays a screenwriter struggling with writer's block named Marty (a vastly fictionalized version of McDonagh). Marty's morally dubious pals Hans and Billy Bickel—played by Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell—run a dognapping scheme that lands all of them in trouble with the local gang boss—played by Woody Harrelson—when they unwittingly abduct his beloved pet Shih Tzu.

Tom Waits and Linda Bright Clay give memorable supporting performances, and Harry Dean Stanton leaves a lasting impression in his small role without uttering a single word. Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson both returned for Martin McDonagh's next film, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri," which became his most acclaimed movie to date.

11. The Hunger Games

The first "The Hunger Games" movie kicked the series off with a massive financial success right off the bat in 2012, bringing in almost $700 million off of a budget of around $78 million (via Box Office Mojo). This dystopian action-adventure movie was adapted from the young adult novel of the same name written by Suzanne Collins. Collins contributed to the screenplay along with Billy Ray and Gary Ross, the latter of whom also directed the film, his first since "Seabiscuit" nine years earlier.

"The Hunger Games" establishes the dystopic world of the series, known as Panem, and the 12 districts that divide it. Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss, a young woman who takes her sister's place in the titular "Hunger Games," a televised battle royale fight to the death for the entertainment of Panem's upper-class society. Woody Harrelson makes his first appearance in the series as Haymitch Abernathy, a past winner of the Hunger Games who plots to overthrow the ruling class via organized rebellion. Harrelson's convincing in the role and arguably one of the best parts of the film. 

10. Wag the Dog

"Wag the Dog" is a political satire about a coverup attempt that gets wildly out of hand. After the sitting president becomes embroiled in a sex scandal ahead of reelection, a movie producer, played by Dustin Hoffman, teams up with a political spin doctor, played by Robert De Niro, to create a smokescreen to distract from the scandal. Their big diversion plan is to fabricate a new war out of thin air, and the news media eats it up. Woody Harrelson plays Sgt. Schumann, one of the military personnel involved in the made-up war.

The film was based on the book "American Hero" written by Larry Beinhart. Acclaimed screenwriter and playwright David Mamet handled the adaptation alongside Hilary Henkin. "Wag the Dog" was directed by Barry Levinson, who previously made Oscar-nominated and -winning films like "Good Morning Vietnam" and "Rain Man." "Wag the Dog" was also nominated for two Academy Awards, one for the script and one for Dustin Hoffman for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

9. The People vs. Larry Flynt

Woody Harrelson earned his first of three Oscar nominations for "The People vs. Larry Flynt." A Best Director Oscar nomination was also given to Milos Forman, a Czech filmmaker who previously won the Best Director Academy Award for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in 1975 and again in 1984 for "Amadeus." Forman also directed the musical "Hair," and the Jim Carrey-led Andy Kaufman biopic "Man on the Moon." 

Harrelson stars as the titular Larry Flynt in this biopic on the real-life pornography tycoon behind Hustler magazine, who became a major free-speech defender after coming under fire for supposedly breaking decency and obscenity laws. Edward Norton, Crispin Glover, James Cromwell, and Courtney Love all co-star. Also in a prominent role is Brett Harrelson, brother of Woody Harrelson. Brett Harrelson hasn't acted in too many films, though he did serve on the crew of two other films starring his brother: "Kingpin" and "Now You See Me."

8. Zombieland

The first "Zombieland" ranks considerably higher with critics on Rotten Tomatoes than its sequel. This zombie comedy brought fresh ideas and a strong sense of style to the often supersaturated genre. Harrelson stars as the twinkie-hunting Tallahassee alongside Jesse Eisenberg as a nebbishy, rule-making college student, and a pair of stick-up artist sisters in Emma Stone and "Little Miss Sunshine" star Abigail Breslin. The quartet of zombie-killers shifts from adversaries to allies as they cross the post-apocalyptic U.S.

Screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick returned for the ill-fated "Zombieland" television pilot and the sequel, "Zombieland: Double Tap." The writing duo also wrote the screenplays for both "Deadpool" movies, with star Ryan Reynolds contributing to the script of the sequel. Director Ruben Fleischer also returned for the "Zombieland" sequel after directing movies like "Gangster Squad" and "Venom" in the interim. The action and zombie gore components are well executed, but it's the humor that makes "Zombieland" work as well as it does. Harrelson's "loose, loopy" take on Tallahassee is totally engrossing, and the extended Bill Murray cameo as himself is hilarious and unforgettable.

7. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

As the second film in the series, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is both the highest-rated and the highest-grossing film of the entire "Hunger Games" franchise, pulling in more than $865 million at the domestic and international box offices, via Box Office Mojo. After Gary Ross directed the first "Hunger Games" film, Austrian filmmaker Francis Lawrence took over the directing duties for the remainder of the series. Lawrence also made films like "I Am Legend" and "Water for Elephants," along with directing dozens of music videos.

"Catching Fire" picks up about a year after the events of the first film, which concluded with Katniss and Peeta winning the "Hunger Games." The rebellion against the ruling class begins despite President Snow's warning to Katniss to quell the public's agitation. Many critics highlighted a notable jump in the quality of filmmaking between the first film and this sequel, such as Debbie Lynn Elias with Behind the Lens, who wrote, "Bigger, darker and more allegorical than ever, with 'Catching Fire,' Francis Lawrence excels with visual splendor."

6. The Messenger

"The Messenger" was the first collaboration between director Oren Moverman and stars Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster (the second was "Rampart" two years later). This was Moverman's first film as a director, though he had previously written and produced movies like "Jesus' Son" and "I'm Not There." Moverman's screenplay for "The Messenger," which he co-wrote with Alessandro Camon, was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award, and Woody Harrelson earned his second of three Oscar nominations for portraying the role of Captain Stone.

The story follows Harrelson and Foster as a pair of soldiers within the Casualty Notification Team, whose job is to inform the relatives of deployed soldiers who are killed in action. Foster's character, SSG Montgomery, has no training or experience in this line of work, while Harrelson plays the more experienced half of the team who takes Montgomery under his wing to offer guidance. Samantha Morton plays the recently widowed wife of one of the deceased soldiers, who begins an ethically dubious relationship with Montgomery. Robert Ebert called Harrelson's performance here "penetrating." 

5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Both Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson returned from "Seven Psychopaths" for writer/director Martin McDonagh's next film, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri." The film follows a mother, played by Frances McDormand, who makes hell for the local police when they fail to find and arrest her daughter's murderer even after an extended period of time. Harrelson plays the put-upon chief of police, Willoughby, while Rockwell plays his racist subordinate, Dixon. Peter Dinklage, Lucas Hedges, Caleb Landry Jones, and John Hawkes all have memorable supporting roles.

Rockwell and Harrelson were both nominated in the same Oscars category for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and Rockwell won. Frances McDormand also won an Oscar for her work on the film, and the overall film received additional Academy Award nominations in the editing, screenplay, music, and Best Picture categories. Martin McDonagh's trademark dark sense of humor still shines in "Three Billboards," but the film also reaches deeper into the dramatic and emotional moments of its characters than his previous work.

4. Transsiberian

"Transsiberian" is a mystery thriller from 2008 set on a train as it passes through a wintry landscape between China and Russia. Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer play an unsuspecting couple who get swept up in a dangerous conflict involving the other strangers met along the journey. Ben Kingsley, Kate Mara, Thomas Kretschmann, and Eduardo Noriega flesh out a supporting cast of possibly suspicious travelers.

The film was directed by Brad Anderson, who also co-wrote the script alongside Will Conroy. Anderson previously directed films like "The Machinist" and "Session 9," as well as episodes of television shows like "The Wire," "Fringe," and "Boardwalk Empire." "Transsiberian" wasn't received quite as well by general audiences as critics took to it on Rotten Tomatoes, but they liked it enough to land the film fresh scores from both parties. Gary Wolcott of the Tri-City Herald called the film a "dark and absorbing," and said that, "nice plot twists here and there anchor a slow-moving cross-country thriller." Critics were divided on Harrelson's performance, with some saying that he overplayed it to the point of parody.  

3. No Country for Old Men

Cormac McCarthy's 2005 novel of the same name served as the source material for "No Country for Old Men." The border between Texas and Mexico in the 1980s is the setting for this suspenseful crime thriller where criminals, investigators, and average people all get wrapped up in the violent pursuit of a case loaded with millions of dollars. Woody Harrelson plays Carson Wells, a man who comes close to coming out on top over the force of nature that is Anton Chigurh—played brilliantly by Javier Bardem, who won an Oscar for the role—but ultimately falls short. Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, and Kelly Macdonald fill out the rest of the main cast.

The Coen Brothers wrote the adapted screenplay for "No Country for Old Men," directed the film, and even edited the movie under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes. The fictional editor received an Oscar nomination for his work on the film, as did Roger Deakins for Best Achievement in Cinematography, and the entire post-production sound team for the sound mixing and editing Oscars. The Coen Brothers won Oscars in the adapted screenplay, directing, and Best Picture categories.

2. The Edge of Seventeen

"The Edge of Seventeen" is a coming-of-age comedy about awkward high-schooler Nadine, played by Hailee Steinfeld. Her brother dating her best friend serves to exacerbate the troubles of her junior year. Woody Harrelson plays her most prominent school teacher, Mr. Bruner, who serves as something of a mentor despite his rough edges (just the type of role Harrelson excels at). Kyra Sedgwick, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, and Hayden Szeto flesh out the rest of the main cast.

As Hailee Steinfeld discussed on The Today Show, she and Woody Harrelson improvised some of their dialogue on set under the supervision of writer and director Kelly Fremon Craig. "The Edge of Seventeen" was Fremon Craig's first film as a director, though she previously wrote the 2009 romantic comedy "Post Grad." As covered by The Hollywood Reporter, a TV mini-series version of "The Edge of Seventeen" was commissioned as a YouTube Red original in 2018. However, the plug was pulled on the potential series after YouTube shut down its scripted series department, via SlashFilm.

1. War for the Planet of the Apes

Woody Harrelson's highest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes is "War for the Planet of the Apes." This was the third entry in the modern "Planet of the Apes" trilogy, which pulled inspiration from Pierre Boulle's original novel and the 1968 Charlton Heston film. Woody Harrelson plays The Colonel, a ruthless new character introduced in the third film who leads the human army in the war against the apes. Some have said it is one of the "best, most nuanced" performances of his career. Andy Serkis reprises his motion-captured role as Caesar alongside other returning cast members like Karin Konoval, Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer, and Terry Notary. Steve Zahn as Bad Ape is another notable new addition to the cast alongside Harrelson.

The groundbreaking special effects that defined the modern take on "Planet of the Apes" were pushed even further in the climactic entry in the trilogy (via The Verge.) Director Matt Reeves returned after making "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" in 2014. His take on the Caped Crusader in "The Batman" is releasing later this year.