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The best George Clooney movies

Yes he's a Hollywood heartthrob, but there's lots of great films to choose from when picking the best George Clooney movies, from rom coms to sci fi thrillers.

The best George Clooney movies: George Clooney in Burn After Reading

What are the best George Clooney movies? Of all the leading men in Hollywood, there are just a handful who stand out as having a truly unique presence. Tom Cruise, Joaquin Phoenix, Timothée Chalamet, and John Goodman, for example.

And then there’s George Clooney. One of the best actors of his generation, and the face of some of the best rom-coms. Or, maybe you have nightmares about his calamitous turn as a Batman actor. Truth is, Clooney has enjoyed a long and expansive career.

He didn’t really come to prominence until the ’90s though, but from there on out Clooney established himself as a bona fide A-list star, starring in some of the best thriller movies, comedy movies, and so much more. With all those credits to his name, we figured it was time to take on the task of listing the best George Clooney movies of all time.

The best George Clooney movies are:

  • Gravity
  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • The Ides of March
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats
  • Burn After Reading
  • From Dusk Till Dawn
  • Fantastic Mr Fox
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • The Midnight Sky

The best George Clooney movies: Sandra Bullock in Gravity

Gravity (2013)

George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in space? Say less. This epic science fiction movie was a commercial and critical success, raking in over $723 million at the box-office and sweeping seven Academy Awards.

Gravity is widely lauded as a technical triumph, with incredible visuals and sound design. The film is anchored by the two lead performances, and with nothing but the vastness of space around them, it’s crucial they deliver. Would you expect anything less from Clooney and Bullock?

The best George Clooney movies: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Elliott Gould, and Don Cheadle in Ocean's Eleven

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

You just can’t beat an original. Well, a remake of the original, at least. Revamping the 1960 thriller movie of the same name, Steven Soderbergh assembled an immense roster of talent for his version of Ocean’s Eleven, with George Clooney leading the pack.

Clooney and the gang got three bites at the cherry, and more recently, Clooney’s frequent collaborator Sandra Bullock led her own team in Ocean’s 8. Nevertheless, the magic of that first outing has been hard to top; it’s probably one of the best movies of all time, with a genre-defining influence still felt to this day.

The best George Clooney movies; Ryan Gosling and George Clooney in The Ides of March

The Ides of March (2011)

Political drama movies can be hit and miss, but luckily The Ides of March has the might of both George Clooney and Ryan Gosling to make it work. In fact, the cast for this flick is totally stacked with talent, with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, and Evan Rachel Wood also featuring.

The Ides of March is also directed by Clooney himself, showcasing his range as a filmmaker and performer. It’s the only one of his directorial efforts to make this list, so read into that what you will.

The best George Clooney movies: George Clooney and Ewan McGregor in The Men Who Stare at Goats

The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

This movie based on a book finds the funny in the bizarre idea that psychic powers can be used to win wars. We told you Clooney wasn’t just good for romantic stories, and this darkly comic war movie certainly proves that.

Clooney really leans into the ludicrous nature of the story, and offers fantastic chemistry with Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor on this truly wild journey.

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Burn After Reading (2008)

The previous entry is funny, but Burn After Reading is downright hilarious and a fine example of the comedy movie genius from the filmmaking minds of the Coen Brothers.

Sure, Brad Pitt may steal the show in Burn After Reading, but Clooney brings all his usual charm, wit, and theatrics to the role of Harry Pfarrer. It’s not easy to stand out with a cast containing the likes of John Malkovich and Frances McDormand, but Clooney manages it.

The best George Clooney movies: George Clooney in From Dusk Till Dawn

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

The last place you’d expect to see George Clooney is in a horror movie. While From Dusk Till Dawn might not be the most scary film of all time, a creative decision halfway through definitely changes everything and makes this an unusual project for someone like Clooney.

This ‘90s movie is written by and co-stars Quentin Tarantino, along with Harvey Keitel and Salma Hayek. If that wasn’t enough, From Dusk Till Dawn also contains one of the most thrilling plot twists of all time, which makes it a great viewing for first time watchers.

The best George Clooney movies: Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

Clooney may be at his best when audiences can see his face, but his voice work on the animated movie Fantastic Mr Fox is exceptional, bringing to life an iconic childhood story for this Wes Anderson feature.

With breath-taking stop-motion, a hilarious and heart-warming story for all ages, and Anderson’s trademark flair, Fantastic Mr Fox is a fantastic family movie and one of Clooney’s finest.

The best George Clooney movies: John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, and George Clooney in O Brother Where Art Thou?

O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000)

George Clooney clearly loves working with the Coen Brothers, and it’s easy to see why. His first collaboration with the filmmaking duo comes in this 2000s movie about three convicts on the run. While that may sound heavy, O Brother Where Art Thou? is actually side-splittingly funny and incredibly entertaining.

Part adventure movie, part musical, Clooney and his co-stars (John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson) are on top form here. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be able to get the ‘Constant Sorrow’ melody out of your head for days after watching this film.

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The Midnight Sky (2020)

One of the most divisive George Clooney movies on this list, The Midnight Sky is an ambitious and bold, if uneven, science fiction movie with a lot going for it. It has some incredible visual effects, and a small-but-impressive cast which includes Star Trek‘s Ethan Peck and Tim Russ.

Above all though, it places George Clooney front and center which is never a bad thing. He plays it gruff (a nice change of pace), and who could say no to that beard? The movie is currently sitting pretty on Netflix, and is definitely worth a watch so you can make your own mind up.

Well, there you have it folks, those are the best George Clooney movies. If you’re furious that we didn’t include Batman and Robin, check out our list of the Batman movies in order to help soften the blow. Or, for more actor lists, take a look at our rundown of the best Emily Blunt movies. We’ve also got a list of all the new movies coming out in 2023 for you to enjoy, and you can take a look at what’s new on Netflix if you still want more.