One of the biggest names in Hollywood, George Clooney is an award-winning actor and filmmaker who is revered for his excellent portrayal of a wide range of characters in the films or TV series he has appeared in. Many of George Clooney movies have gone on to become highly successful, both critically and commercially.
Having began his career as an extra on the TV series Centennial (1978), the Kentucky-native took his time in learning the ropes of acting before going ahead to gain wide recognition for his performance in the medical drama series ER (1994-1999), where he played the two-time Primetime Emmy Award-nominated role of Dr. Doug Ross.
A flurry of movie roles began to come Clooney’s way as he became the darling of television in the late 90s. He was further able to translate his success in TV to movies, as a number of them went on to do very well in the box office. Some of Clooney’s most successful movies have also happened to have been either directed, produced, and/or written by the man himself, a testament to his ability and dedication to his craft.
In a career that has spanned over four decades, making him one of the highest-grossing actors of all time, George Clooney has so far received two Academy Awards, one BAFTA and three Golden Globe Awards, one of which is the 2015 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.
Below is a list of George Clooney movies ranked from best to worst. To do so, we have taken a look at their reception in the box office as well as how highly notable film critic bodies have rated them.
List of George Clooney Movies Ranked From Best To Worst
1. Gravity (2013)
Ratings – 7.7/10 IMDb, 96% Rotten Tomatoes, 96% Metacritic
Budget – $100 million; Box Office – $723.2 million
Critically and commercially, this is the best of all George Clooney movies. Gravity is a science fiction thriller film that tells the story of two American astronauts who are stranded in space following the destruction of their Space Shuttle on their return to Earth. The film was the eighth highest-grossing film of 2013 and it earned numerous accolades from numerous critics and guilds, including six BAFTA Awards.
2. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
Ratings – 7.5/10 IMDb, 93% Rotten Tomatoes, 80% Metacritic
Budget – $7 million; Box Office – $56.5 million
Good Night, and Good Luck is a historical drama film that portrays the conflict between veteran radio and television journalist Edward R. Murrow and U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. Like a number of movies that appear in this list, Clooney starred, directed, and co-wrote the script for the film that was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Clooney.
3. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Ratings – 7.8/10 IMDb, 82% Rotten Tomatoes, 74% Metacritic
Budget – $85 million; Box Office – $450.7 million
Ocean’s Eleven is a heist film that featured an ensemble cast that included George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Julia Roberts. The story unfolds as the movie’s main character, Danny Ocean, played by Clooney, orchestrates an operation to simultaneously rob three Las Vegas casinos; the Bellagio, The Mirage, and the MGM Grand. The film was the fifth highest-grossing film of 2001 and was highly rated by critics.
4. Up in the Air (2009)
Ratings – 7.4/10 IMDb, 91% Rotten Tomatoes
Budget – $25 million; Box Office – $166.8 million
Up in the Air is a comedy-drama film that follows the work of protagonist Ryan Bingham, a specialist in termination assistance and downsizing that travels across the United States to layoff and fire employees on behalf of employers. For his performance as Bingham, Clooney received widespread praise from critics who further named the movie as one of the best films in 2009.
5. The Descendants (2011)
Ratings – 7.3/10 IMDb, 89% Rotten Tomatoes
Budget – $20 million; Box Office – $177.2 million
Next up on our list of George Clooney movies is The Descendants, a tragicomedy film that is based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings. It follows the struggles of a Honolulu-based attorney and land baron named Matt King who battles with unexpected occurrences in his monotonous life. Clooney received a Golden Globe for Best Actor – Drama while the movie won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and a Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama.
6. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Ratings – 7.8/10 IMDb, 77% Rotten Tomatoes, 69% Metacritic
Budget – $26 million; Box Office – $72 million
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a crime comedy film set in 1937 rural Mississippi during the Great Depression. Loosely based on the epic poem, The Odyssey, the film follows the exploits of three convicts who escape from a chain gang with the purpose of locating buried treasure.
7. Michael Clayton (2007)
Ratings – 7.3/10 IMDb, 90% Rotten Tomatoes, 82% Metacritic
Budget – $25 million; Box Office – $92.9 million
Michael Clayton is a legal thriller film that chronicles the attempts by the titular character to fix the scandal surrounding a major client of his law firm who is being sued in a class-action case over the effects of toxic agrochemicals. Clayton, who is being played by Clooney, further has to cope with a colleague’s mental breakdown.
8. Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Ratings – 6.5/10 IMDb, 55% Rotten Tomatoes
Budget – $85 million; Box Office – $435 million
A sequel to Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve was a commercial success film, being the tenth highest-grossing film of 2004; however, it received mixed reviews from critics. In the film, the casino owner catches up with the eleven-man gang that stole from him. He demands his money back with interest, prompting the group to organize another heist in Europe.
9. Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
Ratings – 6.9/10 IMDb, 70% Rotten Tomatoes, 62% Metacritic
Budget – $85 million; Box Office – $398.7 million
Ocean’s Thirteen is the third and final film in the Ocean’s Trilogy. The movie, which was the sixteenth highest-grossing film of 2007, follows Danny Ocean and his gang as they ruin the opening night of a hotel on the Las Vegas strip in order for it not to win the prestigious Five Diamond Award.
10. From Dusk till Dawn (1996)
Ratings – 7.2/10 IMDb, 63% Rotten Tomatoes, 48% Metacritic
Budget – $19 million; Box Office – $59.3 million
George Clooney got his breakthrough in film acting after his performance in the action-horror film, From Dusk Till Dawn, which enjoyed financial success at the box office and has gone ahead to be regarded as a classic. This George Clooney movie follows fugitive bank robbers Seth and Richie Gecko who escape to Mexico in order to head to a sanctuary for fugitives. Their journey is, however, an eventful one as they come across a bunch of vampires.
11. Three Kings (1999)
Ratings – 7.1/10 IMDb, 94% Rotten Tomatoes, 82% Metacritic
Budget – $48 million; Box Office – $107.7 million
Three Kings is a war film that depicts how four American soldiers organize a gold heist during the 1991 uprisings in Iraq against Saddam Hussein following the end of the Gulf War.
12. The Perfect Storm (2000)
Ratings – 6.4/10 IMDb, 47% Rotten Tomatoes, 59% Metacritic
Budget – $120 million; Box Office – $328.7 million
Based on the 1997 non-fiction book of the same name by Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm is a biographical disaster drama film that tells the story of a commercial fishing vessel named the Andrea Gail which was lost at sea with all hands after being caught in the No-Name Storm of 1991. The film was a box office success, however, it received mixed reviews from critics.
13. Syriana (2005)
Ratings – 6.9/10 IMDb, 73% Rotten Tomatoes, 76% Metacritic
Budget – $50 million; Box Office – $94 million
Executive produced by George Clooney, Syriana is a geopolitical thriller movie that was loosely adapted from ex CIA operative Robert Baer’s memoir See No Evil. It shines a light on petroleum politics and the influence the oil industry has on the world at large.
14. Out of Sight (1998)
Ratings – 7/10 IMDb, 93% Rotten Tomatoes, 85% Metacritic
Budget – $48 million; Box Office – $77.7 million
Adapted from Elmore Leonard’s novel of the same name, Out of Sight is a crime comedy film that follows the escape of a bank robber and his friends from prison, and the subsequent chase and confusing romance between the robber and a U.S Marshall.
15. The American (2010)
Ratings – 6.3/10 IMDb, 65% Rotten Tomatoes, 61% Metacritic
Budget: $20 million, Box Office: $67.9 million
The American is an action thriller film that follows the activities of a gunsmith and contract killer named Jack who travels across Europe to evade being killed as he gets disillusioned with his life choices in the past. The movie is an adaptation of British novelist Martin Booth’s 1990 novel, A Very Private Gentleman.
16. Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind (2002)
Ratings – 7.1/10 IMDb, 79% Rotten Tomatoes
Budget – $30 million; Box Office – $33.1 million
Financially, George Clooney’s directorial debut was not one of his best efforts. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a biographical spy comedy film that depicts the fictional life of popular game show host Chuck Barris, who claimed to have been an assassin for the CIA. As expected with George Clooney movies, the film received respectable reviews from critics; however, it did not perform well at the box office.
17. Money Monster (2016)
Ratings – 6.5/10 IMDb, 58% Rotten Tomatoes, 55% Metacritic
Budget – $27.4 million; Box Office – $93.3 million
Money Monster is a thriller film that looks at the events surrounding TV personality Lee Gates, an adviser on financial investment and speculation on the New York stock markets. Following an advise that does not pay off, Gates is forcefully interrogated by a grief-stricken bankrupt viewer who lost all his money.
18. The Monuments Men (2014)
Ratings – 6.1/10 IMDb, 30% Rotten Tomatoes, 52% Metacritic
Budget – $70-$91 million; Box Office – $155 million
Directed, written, and produced by George Clooney, The Monuments Men, which features an ensemble cast includes Clooney himself, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett among others, is a war film that is loosely based on the book by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter titled The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.
19. Batman & Robin (1997)
Ratings – 3.7/10 IMDb, 11% Rotten Tomatoes, 28% Metacritic
Budget: $125 million, Box Office: $238.2 million
Often ranked among the worst films of all time, Batman & Robin is a superhero film based on the DC Comics characters Batman and Robin. The film, which was a critical failure, is the lowest-grossing live-action Batman film to date, George Clooney plays one of the titular characters – Bruce Wayne/Batman.
20. Tomorrowland (2015)
Ratings – 6.4/10 IMDb, 50% Rotten Tomatoes, 60% Metacritic
Budget – $180-$190 million; Box Office – $209.2 million
The worst of all George Clooney movies, Tomorrowland is a science-fiction mystery adventure film that follows the journey of a disillusioned genius inventor and a teenage science enthusiast. The movie garnered mixed reviews and on paper, appeared to have turned a profit from its budget, however, it is said that Walt Disney Pictures lost close to $140 million from the film when production and marketing costs are factored in.