The 20 Best George Clooney Movies

Movies Lists George Clooney
The 20 Best George Clooney Movies

George Clooney has made himself relatively scarce in recent years, especially in front of the camera. He’s starred in just a couple of movies and directed some forgettable ones; put together, this makes it easy to forget just how sterling his overall track record has been.

While his directing career has favored middle-of-the-road throwbacks, occasionally successful (Good Night, and Good Luck) and often turgid (The Monuments Men), Clooney’s big-screen acting career—essentially restarted, in the wake of ER, when he starred in From Dusk Till Dawn in 1996—has been a model of combining movie-star charisma with serious-actor ambition. He has long-term collaborations with real-deal geniuses (the Coen Brothers; Steven Soderbergh); one-off work with an eclectic mix of auteurs (Alexander Payne, Anton Corbijn, Alfonso Cuarón) and occasional dashes of voiceover or cameo whimsy. Though he obviously has a weakness for middlebrow old-school respectability and has sometimes been overshadowed by younger co-stars like Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, it’s also arguable that guys like Damon and Pitt have essentially been emulating Clooney’s circa-1998 career reset in their loyalty to major artists and avoidance of superhero tentpoles. (Clooney himself can’t ever stop talking about what a bad job he did in Batman & Robin, but that movie’s flop probably helped keep at least a handful of superstars out of franchise nightmares for upwards of a decade.)

Accordingly, Clooney’s best movies can probably stand up to just about any contemporary star—and he’s the only one who played the president in the Spy Kids universe. So let’s take a tour of Clooney’s best and appreciate his 21st-century ability to summon gravitas, and then undermine it for a laugh when necessary.

Here are the 20 best George Clooney movies:

20. The DescendantsYear: 2011
Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster
Rating: R
Runtime 115 minutes

Alexander Payne’s dramedies usually have a funnier, more satirical edge; his adaptation of the Kaui Hart Hemmings novel is somehow both rougher and less lacerating, because its characters are a bit more forthright in their grief and anger, making fewer fumbling attempts at social niceties. This puts Clooney’s performance as Matt King, the trustee of a land-owning Hawaiian family coping with his wife’s impending death, front and center. He’s supported by an eclectic ensemble that includes Shailene Woodley, Robert Forster, Matthew Lillard, Beau Bridges and Judy Greer, but the camera is never far from Clooney’s face, searching for a way through the emotional mess in front of him. Payne uses Clooney’s authority and confidence beautifully: Matt spends much of the movie trying to figure out the practical logistics of improving himself as a father and a man, because it seems like his chance to improve as a husband is about to pass.—Jesse Hassenger


19. The Americanthe-american-movie-poster.jpgYear: 2010
Director: Anton Corbijn
Stars: George Clooney, Johan Leysen, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten, Paolo Bonacelli, Irina Björklund, Filippo Timi
Rating: R
Runtime: 105 minutes

The American casts George Clooney’s stolid hermit as a symbol of Anton Corbijn’s America. Or, at least, of a successful America: ultra-stylized, disciplined, über-masculine, totally humorless. This is super-serious Clooney, Michael Clayton without the swagger. He’s tattooed as if his skin is his dress uniform, he works out the same way daily, visits the same prostitute, has sex at the same inexorable pace, never smiles—in these patterns he conditions every fiber of his being to act excluded from everything around him. He’s like Alain Delon in Le Samourai or Ghost Dog in Ghost Dog, a shadow of a shadow of some deeply inscribed archetype that may or may not be American, but definitely represents that to which America aspires. And he’s a hitman. Or he’s just really good with guns, and by default good at killing people. We’re never really told which is which. Which is how murder works in The American: with the utilitarian grace of someone who lists it on his resume, right alongside “building guns,” which we learn is what Clooney’s character is doing as his final “job,” and which he treats as sacredly as a samurai treats respect, ritual and tradition. The gun is definitely this man’s tool of choice, and wrapped up in the movie’s long scenes of a scowling George Clooney meticulously crafting a weapon, brow leaden with concentration, is the all-American phallus, penetrating the frontier, toughness and vigilance and solitude one’s only means of survival. He spends a lot of time seemingly doing nothing, and we surmise he’s waiting for something to happen. No wonder Corbijn cites Sergio Leone as a major influence, even directly referencing him inside the film; Corbijn’s movie is as starkly stylized, hushed and palled with dread as any of Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns. Clooney’s American is entirely boring and ordinary outside of his inhuman precision. He’s macho impulse and mechanized calculation, and that’s pretty much it. Similarly boring assassins try to kill him. (What kind of elite assassin drives a Ford Focus hatchback?) Maybe he feels that life can be lived no other way for a man like him; in a godless universe he finds form within chaos and survives. But it’s a shallow and stupid way of living, especially for such a supposedly, deeply intelligent character. And as a movie ready to fit itself into a discussion of America’s epic machismo on an international scale, The American is a deeply singular meditation on the total uselessness of the kind of ego it takes to be a really lonely human being. —Dom Sinacola


18. Ocean’s Twelveoceans-twelve-poster.jpgYear: 2004
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy García, Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 125 minutes

The least-loved of the Steven Soderbergh Ocean’s trilogy may catch some flak for some vacation-video smugness, like it’s a big-budget version of one of those patented George Clooney pranks that get talked up during the promotional rounds. But on the other hand, if your vacation videos looked this great, wouldn’t you want plenty of people to see them? The real problem with this intentionally convoluted, self-referential sequel is that the group mechanics aren’t quite as well-calibrated as in the movies that came before or after, awkwardly sidelining chunks of the gang seemingly on a whim. With his comedy-of-remarriage material behind him, Clooney is more ringmaster here than debonair star, but that’s part of the movie’s subversive charm—as is the running gag about Matt Damon, at this point a bona fide Jason Bourne superstar, begging for a better role and getting treated like the annoying kid brother. Ocean’s Twelve came at the end of a four-year period when almost all of Clooney’s starring roles were either goony comedy for the Coen Brothers, or genre-hopping experiments with Soderbergh, so it’s appropriate that this is the closest his controlled Soderbergh movies ever got to Coens-comedy-style anarchy.—Jesse Hassenger


17. Intolerable Crueltyintolerable-cruelty.jpgYear: 2003
Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Geoffrey Rush, Cedric the Entertainer, Edward Herrmann, Paul Adelstein, Richard Jenkins, Billy Bob Thornton
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 100 minutes

Though often dismissed as a minor work in the Coen Brothers canon (perhaps because it marked the first time the two accepted a “writers-for-hire” job), Intolerable Cruelty nevertheless yields enough of the filmmaking team’s trademark incisive wit and colorful characters to make it well worth a viewing. A more modern take on the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s, the film stars George Clooney as an esteemed, albeit highly neurotic, divorce attorney who finds himself romantically intertwined with the estranged wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) of one of his clients. Boasting a flurry of sexy, Tracy/Hepburn-esque banter and enough surrealist flourishes to scratch the Coens’ arthouse itch (recurring scenes of Clooney visiting his firm’s sickly senior partner are a major highlight), Intolerable Cruelty proves that, even when the brothers aren’t quite firing on all cylinders, they can still produce exemplary work.—Mark Rozeman


16. Burn After Readingburn-after-reading.jpgYear: 2008
Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich
Rating: R
Runtime: 96 minutes

This Coen Brothers favorite has an unsurprisingly incredible cast, but can we take a moment to give all of the awards and props to Frances McDormand? Her Linda Litzke is one of the strangest, most hilariously bizarre characters to ever appear in a film, and yet there’s something completely familiar about her. She’s pursuing her own version of the American Dream, and the mess she leaves in her wake makes up the crux of this very black, very funny comedy. That she does so while all the other members of this ensemble do the same, and manage to entangle their own personal dramas with hers, makes this movie an entertaining way to spend an evening. Along with McDormand, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton and Richard Jenkins (who plays the tragically adorable Ted) all give fantastic turns—unrecognizable, in many ways, from their typical fare which makes the story all the more enthralling.—Garrett Martin


15. Michael Claytonmichael-clayton.jpgYear: 2007
Director: Tony Gilroy
Stars: George Clooney, Tom Wilkenson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack, Michael O’Keefe, Merritt Wever
Rating: R
Runtime: 119 minutes

The parade of high-profile business scandals in the 21st century make the central thesis of Tony Gilroy’s directorial debut all the more discomforting to accept: that even those callous corporate masterminds and their big-shot lawyers have conflicts of conscience, too. Gilroy introduces his three leads in short order, each one a pawn in a $3 billion class-action lawsuit against fictional agrochemical giant U/North: Attorney Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) gets reduced to a manic-depressive wreck. Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton), U/North’s lead counsel, internalizes her anxiety, masking it with carefully constructed appearance and well-rehearsed press responses. Then there’s Michael Clayton himself, played with world-weary resolve by George Clooney, who must face a series of moral dilemmas in which his corporate instinct for self-preservation collides with his sense of humanity. Gilroy maintains a fine balance as he portrays the lives of these three lonely souls while keeping his intricately crafted plot in constant motion. Blending elements of crime drama, paralegal thriller, and a dash of the espionage action he perfected while working on the Bourne trilogy, Gilroy delivers a script that reflects his rare ability to pose complex moral questions while simultaneously drawing his audience deeper and deeper into the action. Shot against the cold, hive-like palaces of Manhattan’s Corporate Row, Michael Clayton deftly portrays the bewilderment of the people who find themselves trapped within the corporate culture. It’s scary to think that the mega-conglomerates that dominate America’s economy are heartless machines, but even scarier to imagine that they just might be human after all. —Jeremy Goldmeier


14. Hail, Caesar!hail-caesar.jpgYear: 2016
Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Alden Ehrenreich, Christopher Lambert, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 106 minutes

The period zaniness of Joel and Ethan Coen’s Hail, Caesar! is an ode to old Hollywood—and much more—as only they can do, tracing the efforts of James Brolin’s studio scandal fixer through a parade of 1950s soundstages, back lots and actors. His latest potential headline concerns the abduction of a Biblically epic movie star—George Clooney having a helluva good time doing his best Chuck Heston/Kirk Douglas amalgam—by what turns out to be a tea sandwich-serving think tank of communists. Other subplots have Scarlett Johansson’s starlet plotting out her unwed motherhood in the public eye and the screen makeover of an unsophisticated cowboy by Ralph Fiennes’ debonairly enunciating director, Laurence Laurentz. There are dueling gossip columnist twins (Tilda Swinton pulling double duty), a hapless film editor (Frances McDormand) and scattered movies-within-the-movie, which even pauses midway through for a thoroughly enchanting—and cheeky—Gene Kelly-styled song-and-dance number starring Channing Tatum as a heavily made-up matinee star with controversial extracurricular activities. Most of the main characters/performances take blatant inspiration from Hollywood legends of yore, and the cast seems to have as much fun as the Coens. Hail, Caesar! is by no means their best work, but it’s characteristically gorgeous, spiritedly acted and rife with political, religious and creative (sub)text for moviegoers as thoughtful and dorky as Joel and Ethan themselves. —Amanda Schurr


13./12. Spy Kids/Spy Kids 3D: Game Overspy-kids-poster.jpgYear: 2001, 2003
Directors: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Elijah Wood, Ricardo Montalbán, Holland Taylor, Mike Judge, Salma Hayek, Matt O’Leary, Emily Osment, Cheech Marin, Bobby Edner, Courtney Jines, Robert Vito, Ryan Pinkston, Danny Trejo, Alan Cumming, Tony Shalhoub, Sylvester Stallone
Rating: PG
Runtime: 88 minutes, 84 minutes

Admittedly, George Clooney’s work as Devlin, a higher-up overseeing the espionage exploits of the whimsically talented Cortez family (Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa PenaVega, Daryl Sabara), is more symbolic than anything: Of Clooney’s Hollywood-royalty status, of his loyalty to director Robert Rodriguez, who directed him in his first real movie-star turn, and of the happy-familia vibes of Rodriguez’s enormously likable and entertaining trilogy of family films. Devlin may not have a character arc beyond his ascent from head spy to the U.S. presidency somewhere between the first and third movies (he sits out the wonderful Spy Kids 2, arguably the best of the series), but it speaks well of Rodriguez’s ability to make his work feel warmly handmade that he could recruit Clooney for repeated family reunions.—Jesse Hassenger


11. Ocean’s Thirteenoceans-thirteen-poster.jpgYear: 2007
Directors: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy García, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Ellen Barkin, Al Pacino
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 122 minutes

Surely one of history’s finer threequels, Ocean’s Thirteen is stolen by Matt Damon’s Linus and his insistence on using a prosthetic nose (“the nose plays!”)—though in true Ocean’s fashion, it really is a group effort. The gang’s return to Vegas after the European vacation of Ocean’s Twelve recaptures both the first-movie magic and the second-movie silliness; it’s also notable as one of the few times Clooney entered into the big summer-movie sweepstakes rather than his usual Oscar-season sweepstakes. On top of that, Thirteen functions as a bittersweet farewell to the Clooney/Soderbergh partnership, at least as of now; they collaborated on six movies together, but while they’ve flirted with a reunion several times, they have yet to make another one. (And who has now notched more Soderbergh collaborations than Clooney? None other than Matt Damon.)—Jesse Hassenger


10. Solarissolaris-soderbergh-poster.jpgYear: 2002
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Natascha McElhone
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 98 minutes

Probably unfairly maligned for remaking Andrei Tarkovsky’s monolithic sci-fi masterpiece, Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris is a different kind of experience entirely. Drawing equally from Stanislaw Lem’s novel and from Tarkovsky’s whole “sculpting in time” aesthetic, Soderbergh crafted a hybrid that should be considered a benchmark for what our modern reboot can attempt to capture when paying due to the medium’s masters. Focusing almost methodically on the dissolution and subsequent suicide of Chris Kelvin’s (George Clooney) wife, Reia (Natasha McElhone), as the quantum power behind the arrival of “Visitors”—living, physical manifestations of the memories of the people subjected to the strange power of Solaris, the planet around which the film orbits—Soderbergh’s vision both attempts to unpack the science Tarkovsky would rather avoid, while muddying the moral trajectory of the man at the heart of the phantasmagoria. The film’s special effects are at times breathtaking, and Cliff Martinez’s score finds a sweet spot between dread and majesty, but, while both films end in similarly liminal places, Soderbergh’s finds visceral melancholy where Tarkovsky discovered endless philosophical space. —Dom Sinacola


9. Gravitygravity.jpgYear: 2013
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 91 minutes

Gravity is a revelatory, stunning cinematic experience. Cuarón has proved himself to be one of our most successful, fluid filmmakers, crafting a surprisingly thoughtful erotic drama with Y Tu Mamá También, producing a deeply dark sci-fi thriller in Children of Men and being responsible for the strongest installment of the Harry Potter franchise (Prisoner of Azkaban). His ability to meld accessibility with personal vision has been consistently rewarding and exciting, and for much of Gravity, he once again delivers muscular mainstream filmmaking with a poetic sensibility. Claustrophobic, transporting and unbearably tense, Gravity is a new high-water mark for effects-driven cinema. The worst you can say about the movie is that it’s so grand it spoils you into expecting even more.—Tim Grierson


8. Confessions of a Dangerous MindConfessions_of_a_dangerous_mind.jpgYear: 2002
Director: George Clooney
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney
Rating: R
Runtime: 113 minutes

Chuck Barris was probably full of shit when he claimed to be a covert CIA op in his autobiography. Hosting The Gong Show doesn’t fit the profile for a real-life James Bond. The mixture of fact and fiction found in his memoir makes for a fun dark comedy, though, especially with Barris being played by the fantastic Sam Rockwell, in one of his best performances. Moving back and forth between period piece recreations of ‘60s and ‘70s junk TV nostalgia and tense, violent spy jobs gives the movie a schizophrenic vibe that perfectly fits its subject and source material.—Garrett Martin


7. The Thin Red Linethe-thin-red-line-poster.jpgYear: 1998
Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Adrien Brody, George Clooney, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Jared Leto, John C. Reilly, John Travolta
Rating: R
Runtime: 170 minutes

It seems unbelievable now that even an auteur as legendary as Terrence Malick actually secured financing to make poetry on the scale of The Thin Red Line. Pitched up on lush location in Australia and armed with a cast bursting with talent, Malick returned from moviemaking hibernation in 1998 with author James Jones’ story of a company of GIs battling Japanese forces in the paradise of Guadalcanal, all refracted through his own glorious lens. The result was an abstract and relentlessly contemplative epic, awash with gorgeous cutaways to jungle and beast, and—atypically for a filmmaker whose main fixation has always been the environment his characters reside in—chock-full of great acting. (The performances are faultless to a man, but a terrifically zen Jim Caviezel and a perpetually enraged Nick Nolte take the prize.) Hardly ever can a film sustain that aching feeling of raw emotion across its entire running time; this almost three-hour masterpiece does.—Brogan Morris


6. From Dusk Till Dawnfrom-dusk-till-dawn-poster.jpgYear: 1996
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Cheech Marin, Fred Williamson, Salma Hayek
Rating: R
Runtime: 107 minutes

I can’t help but wonder, watching From Dusk Till Dawn, what the film might have looked like if Robert Rodriguez wrote it as well, rather than Quentin Tarantino. Would the Mexican vampire element have been introduced before the halfway mark? Probably. But there’s Tarantino for you, not content to tell one story—instead, he delivers what almost becomes two entirely separate movies starring the same characters. In the first half we get a crime dramedy about a pair of sociopathic brothers on the lam, taking hostages down the Mexico. When they finally get there, the switch flips and it turns into a gory vampire western. Both halves are entertaining in their own way, although genre purists who went in expecting a vampire film were probably perplexed by the lead-in to the payoff. That payoff is satisfyingly pulpy, though, and there’s a certain pleasure in going back to see the earlier era of George Clooney, when he thought the idea of fighting Mexican vampires seemed like a good career move. We never get all that much background on the vampires themselves, except the suggestion that they’ve been around for a good long while, just waiting for a chance to go up against Tom Savini wielding a codpiece gun. —Jim Vorel


5. Fantastic Mr. Foxfantastic-mr-fox-movie-poster.jpgYear: 2009
Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Jason Schwartzman
Rating: PG
Runtime: 86 minutes

Wes Anderson’s trademark ironic eccentricity and Roald Dahl’s vaguely menacing but entirely lighthearted surrealism combine to form Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson’s first animated effort, which uses the same maddeningly traditional stop-motion techniques as Isle of Dogs. It’s ostensibly a children’s film (Mr. Fox and his family and friends try to outrun the mean farmers), but rather transparently aimed at their parents, who likely read Dahl’s books in grade school, remember stop-motion when it didn’t feel vintage and have followed Anderson’s work for years. But Fantastic Mr. Fox is broader and more straightforward than any of Anderson’s other films. The tale has been greatly expanded from the Dahl original to cover familiar Anderson themes of family, rivalry and feeling different. And with its lush autumnal palette and hijinks worthy of Max Fischer or Dignan, the result is a film that only Wes Anderson could have made.—Alisa Wilkinson


4. Ocean’s Elevenoceans-11.jpgYear: 2002
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy García, Bernie Mac, Julia Roberts
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 116 minutes

Steven Soderbergh’s remake of the 1960 Rat Pack classic Ocean’s 11 just about perfected the heist movie genre. The amazing ensemble cast extends beyond leads Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Julia Roberts to the rest of the gang of specialized thieves, including Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac and Casey Affleck. Danny Ocean (Clooney) conceived the perfect crime, and rarely in film has it been more fun to root for the criminals as they outsmart casino mogul Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) at every turn.—Josh Jackson


3. O Brother, Where Art Thou?o-brother-where-art-thou-poster.jpgYear: 2000
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 107 minutes

T-Bone Burnett’s soundtrack got all the attention, but this twist on Homer’s Odyssey—set in Depression Era Mississippi—had all the effortless storytelling, imaginative characters and quotable lines we’ve come to love from the Coen Brothers’ best comedies, with George Clooney joining a celebrated list of Coen comic leads. Holly Hunter and John Goodman basically reprise their hilarious Raising Arizona roles, only with more kids. And an eye-patch. —Josh Jackson


2. Three Kingsthree-kings.jpgYear: 1999
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze
Rating: R
Runtime: 115 minutes

Three Kings is a war movie which, as it moves ever less-casually along, attempts to figure out what a war movie even is anymore. Set at the butt-end of the Gulf War, the film begins as an odd bacchanalia of boredom, contorting through a handful of genres and Desert Storm misadventures to arrive, inevitably, at the conclusion that, Oh, yeah, Actually, it turns out that war can’t be boring. Director David O. Russell has his faults—and even a cursory reading into this movie’s production will give you plenty of anecdotes about how much of a heel he is—but he’s not too naïve to claim he can sum up that conflict and the U.S.’s role by portraying its participants as hedonists and potential career criminals, partying and plundering their way through a passive desert land with nothing better to do. So, as four soldiers (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Spike Jonze and Ice Cube) embark on a Kuwaiti gold heist based on information found within an ass map—a map protruding from an Iraqi POW’s ass—Russell explores what the responsibilities of these men could be when their only responsibilities (occupying, killing, standing around) are no longer all that urgent. Camaraderie, brotherhood, moral fortitude: all of it gone from Russell’s wonky post-war flick, replaced with a refreshing sense of surprise all but extinct from most movies dealing with the same moral gray of modern capitalist violence. —Dom Sinacola


1. Out of Sightout-of-sight-poster.jpgYear: 1998
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Dennis Farina, Nancy Allen, Steve Zahn, Catherine Keener, Albert Brooks
Rating: R
Runtime: 123 minutes

As through Jim Jarmusch’s eyes in Only Lovers Left Alive, Detroit via Steven Soderbergh is a metropolis equal parts romance and history, both a place where people can escape their typical lives for a time and a place that people want to escape to leave behind the suffocating weight of centuries of human industry. Though he photographs the city in the cobalt blues of cold temperatures and the biting grays of colorless winter, Soderbergh seems to revel in the weird sprawl of Metro Detroit, fascinated by how the violence of boxing matches at the State Theater can so quickly—as if it were only a matter of changing a green screen—lapse into the wealthy compounds of Bloomfield Hills or the crystalline hotel rooms of the Renaissance Center, where you can eat a $25 burger listening to gun shots in the street below. Out of Sight is by far the best Elmore Leonard adaptation, the only one to truly embrace Leonard’s hometown as a place far more magical—far more dangerous and upsetting and beautiful and enchanting—than any director has ever admitted before. The rollicking yarn about a bank robber and consummate prisoner Jack Foley (George Clooney) who meets U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) mid-prison-break and then entertains dreams of going clean to weirdly woo her, the film’s dedicated to its Michigan metropolis because no other locale has similarly, best and marvelously charmed its way to the bottom. —Dom Sinacola

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