10 Best Jim Carrey Movies

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

The 10 Best Jim Carrey movies

Who is Jim Carrey? Is he an actor, a comedian, an artist or a philanthropist? All of the above? For some reason, Jim Carrey has always been primarily labeled as a “comedic” actor. It makes sense, at first glance. Nobody provided more laughs in the 90’s than Jim Carrey. It seemed like every character Carrey touched became an instant classic. Whether he was rocking a mask, a Hawaiin shirt, a suit or spandex, Carrey and his brand of slapstick physical humor endeared him to moviegoers who could rest assured that they would be leaving one of his films with a smile on their face. Turns out, however, that there is more to Jim Carrey than just an elastic face and a catchphrase. Carrey has proven himself to be a formidable dramatic actor as well, surprising audiences with his roles in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Man on the Moon, The Number 23 and more.

10) Bruce Almighty (2003)

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

We’re starting off with Jim Carrey’s biggest role, at least in a spiritual sense. Not content with being one of the funniest men in the world, it was in Bruce Almighty that Carrey truly became a god. Or, THE God, we guess. After having a really bad day, Bruce calls out God, begging for a break and daring the Lord to “Smite [him], oh Mighty Smiter.” This film, like many of Carrey’s films, is played for laughs but has a much deeper meaning. It asks the question of what we would do if we could, quite literally, play God. It’s a fun role for Carrey, who takes over as God after Morgan Freeman’s version decides to take a break. There are laughs, of course, but there’s also a lot of heart and these are the roles in which Carrey shines brightest.

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9) Yes Man (2008)

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

It’s a unique premise; one that definitely works better in the movies than in real life. What would happen if, one day, you just decided to say ‘yes’ to everything? This is the situation that Jim Carrey finds himself in, in Yes Man. Since his divorce, Carl Allen has become a bit of a recluse. Instead of going out with his friends on the weekend, Carl prefers to stay home, watching movies he rented from Blockbuster. For some reason, this is seen as a bad thing, so he finds himself at a Tony Robbins-esque workshop based on one thing — the power of the word ‘yes.’ Allen agrees to say yes to any situation asking for it, which leads to all sorts of shenanigans, including a romantic tryst with Zooey Deschanel.

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8) Batman Forever (1995)

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

Riddle me this, riddle me that: what was the best part of Schumacher’s bat? Jim Carrey as The Riddler, of course! While Tommy Lee Jones may not sanction Carrey’s buffoonery, we certainly do. Admittedly, this version of The Riddler was not as sinister or intellectual as the version from the comics. Still, it was Jim Carrey, as a bad guy, in a Batman film. Essentially, Carrey played the role as if it was Ace Ventura, but evil. Still, Riddler was better than a boring Batman, a 40-year-old Boy Wonder, or The Joker as played by Two-Face. This wasn’t a great Batman movie, but Carrey should be proud of his role in it. It’s something that he can carry with him…wait for it…forever.

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7) Liar Liar (1997)

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

Imagine a scenario in which a lawyer cannot lie. Now, imagine that lawyer being played by Jim Carrey. That is the premise of Liar Liar, a 1997 movie that sees Carrey playing Fletcher Reed — a lawyer trying to prove his love for his son, despite his penchant for, well, lying. Fletcher lies about everything, it seems. This includes making and breaking plans with his son, Max. Growing tired of his dad’s flakiness, Max makes a birthday wish that for one whole day, his dad cannot lie. This wish comes true and Fletcher must make it through a whole work day telling the truth, which proves to be quite the insurmountable task. This is a great role for Carrey, who gets to act as whacky as he wants.

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6) The Truman Show (1998)

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

Shakespeare said that “all the world is a stage.” In the case of The Truman Show, this is taken quite literally. Truman Burbank, played by Carrey, is just a normal guy living a normal life. The problem, however, is that millions of viewers are watching that normal life on television. Thanks to a myriad of hidden cameras, actors, and written “scenes,” Truman’s life is a reality show that the entire nation is transfixed by. He doesn’t know it, but his every move is part of a “television show.” Similar in premise, but executed much better than Ed TV, The Truman Show was one of Carrey’s first dramedy roles and it showed the world that he can make us laugh, sure. But he can also make us empathize with him, even in a situation as unique as the one in The Truman Show.

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5) Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

People either love or hate Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, as well as its sequel Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. It’s certainly not for everybody and it’s probably one of the biggest reasons why Carrey was typecast for so long. This film is pure Carrey. He is outlandish, irreverent, and extremely animated. His over-the-top manic performance at times can feel like an animated character come to life. Full of catchphrases and oddball humor, Ace Ventura was the breakout role that Carrey needed and it would be, quite possibly, the role he was most identified with.

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4) The Mask (1994)

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

Stanley Ipkiss is a hapless nice guy living in a mean world. He’s timid, shy and, well, pretty boring. He goes to work and then he goes home to his dog. Then, one night, everything changes. He finds a magical mask, inhabited by Loki, the God of Mischief (not Tom Hiddleston). As any of us would do after finding a dirty mask in a dirtier river, Stanley puts the mask on and turns into The Mask — a charming, arrogant, magical, supernatural playboy with a penchant for loud suits and louder props. He also happens to have a bulbous green head with enormous teeth. This seems to be what women want, however, as Stanley finds himself pursuing and being pursued by a plethora of women, including Tina (played by Cameron Diaz), a nightclub singer with a pretty face, an exceptional voice and, a psycho boyfriend. Hijinx ensue. This is the perfect vehicle for Carrey, as it allows him to be as animated as he wants to be. There is no subtlety in this performance, and the film is better for it.

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3) Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

1994 was a good year for Jim Carrey. With hits like Ace Ventura and The Mask already earning rave reviews, Carrey would not be content until he scored a Hat Trick. He did just that with Dumb and Dumber, a road trip flick that focuses on the friendship between Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunn (heh). Carrey plays Christmas and Jeff Daniels portrays Dunn and their chemistry is off the charts. This is, arguably, the funniest movie ever made. Inarguably, it’s the funniest movie Jim Carrey has ever made. With a thousand quotable lines, a story that is outlandish but somehow relatable, and equally-impressive performances from the side characters (including future Carrey-beau, Lauren Holly), Dumb and Dumber is the comedy of the 90’s. Though this film was released 25ish years ago, it is still as funny as ever and it was truly Carrey’s breakout role and the role he was most identified with (we promise this time).

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2) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

Relationships are hard and breakups are harder. Anybody that has ever loved and lost can attest to this. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind explores the lengths one goes to in order to forget about those whom they loved. After a particularly volatile relationship and an especially painful breakup, Clementine (played by Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure that erases all memories of her relationship with Joel (played by Carrey). When Joel runs into her months later, she has no idea who he is. After doing some digging, Joel finds out what Clementine did and he wants to do the same thing, no matter the cost. It’s a phenomenal premise and it’s played to perfection by Carrey and Winslet. This was the movie that really showed how well Carrey could act. There are very few jokes, but there are a lot of moments that rip your heart out. This is the movie that everybody watches after a breakup. It’s more than a movie. It’s a form of catharsis.

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1)  Man on the Moon (1999)

Somebody Stop Me- 10 Best Jim Carrey Performances

This movie is not so much Jim Carrey playing Andy Kaufman as it is Andy Kaufman playing Jim Carrey playing Andy Kaufman. Kaufman was a performer from the 80’s that was as enigmatic and Jim Carrey gives everything he has and more to his portrayal of Kaufman, as well as that of Tony Clifton, the Vegas lounge singer that may or may not be Kaufman’s alter-ego. Man on the Moon is Jim Carrey’s finest movie, with his best performance. But if you ask Carrey himself, he’ll tell you that it wasn’t him doing the performing — it was Andy. This is something we can’t disagree with, as anybody who watched Kaufman perform saw in Carrey the things that were so special about Andy.

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Weekend: Sep. 19, 2019, Sep. 22, 2019

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