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Tommy Lee Jones calls one of his most divisive movies “noble failure”

Tommy Lee Jones is thinking back on his career as one of the best actors, and despite the challenges, he believes this divisive movie was a noble failure.

Tommy Lee Jones as Ed Tom Bell in No Country For Old Men

Tommy Lee Jones has an impressive resume. As for Tommy Lee Jonesbest movies, we’re partial to classics like The Coen Brothers‘ No Country for Old Men, and when it comes to his new movies, Ad Astra was astounding. The actor has his own opinions, of course, and he thinks his most divisive movie was “a noble failure”.


Speaking recently about his work as one of the best actors of all time, he made reference to a ’90s war drama, which isn’t particularly highly rated and was also, sadly, a major box office flop.

We’ll get into what he had to say about JFK and Natural Born Killers too, but the film Jones characterized as a dignified defeat was 1993’s Heaven and Earth, an American biopic written and directed by Oliver Stone.

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Heaven and Earth is one of three movies (Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July) Stone made about the Vietnam War, which he experienced first-hand. Jones told Entertainment Weekly  ”I’ll call it a noble failure, a film that was born of Stone’s deepest feelings about his Vietnam experience.”

It was a box office failure earning only $5.9 million on a budget of $33 million, making it one of the least successful of Jones’ career. It seems he doesn’t think of it too harshly, however, acknowledging the motivations behind making such a film and the heart that went into it. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 43% critic score and a more favorable 71% audience score.

Some other notable things he said were about Natural Born Killers, which Jones called “a daring film”, and JFK, which was also directed by Oliver Stone, “It would have been so easy to play Clay Shaw as a straight villain, but Oliver Stone let me inject some strong elements of humor and shyness into the role.”

Jones is often one of the great parts of whatever he’s in, and he, of course, shows up in some way or form in our genre lists of the best drama movies and best thriller movies, but we also have a story about how he was in one of the best Westerns with Robert Duvall. Or, you can learn about the time he fired his daughter.