Best John Carpenter Movies

by UndiesStyle | last updated - 04 Jan 2013 | Public

In the order they came to be.

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1. Dark Star (1974)

G | 83 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
66 Metascore

In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Dan O'Bannon, Dre Pahich, Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm

Votes: 18,621

2. Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
89 Metascore

A police sergeant and an unlikely band of criminals defend a closing LA precinct office on New Years Eve against an army of gang members.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer, Martin West

Votes: 35,168

3. Someone's Watching Me! (1978 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 97 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.7
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A woman is being watched in her apartment by a stranger, who also calls and torments her. A cat-and-mouse game begins.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Lauren Hutton, David Birney, Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Cyphers

Votes: 2,447

4. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

7.8
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78 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 176,570 | Gross: $47.00M

5. Elvis (I) (1979 TV Movie)

150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.1
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Biographical movie about the famous rock singer Elvis Presley.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Shelley Winters, Bing Russell, Robert Gray

Votes: 2,674

6. The Fog (1980)

R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller

6.8
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52 Metascore

Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers, which no one believes. On the eve of the town's centennial, many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, John Houseman

Votes: 51,416 | Gross: $21.38M

7. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Sci-Fi

7.2
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76 Metascore

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 101,737 | Gross: $25.24M

8. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

8.2
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57 Metascore

A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur

Votes: 292,817 | Gross: $13.78M

9. Christine (1983)

R | 110 min | Horror

6.7
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57 Metascore

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky

Votes: 56,251 | Gross: $21.20M

10. Starman (1984)

PG | 115 min | Romance, Sci-Fi

7.0
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71 Metascore

An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Jaeckel

Votes: 36,103 | Gross: $28.70M

11. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

PG-13 | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

7.3
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53 Metascore

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong

Votes: 102,986 | Gross: $11.10M

12. Prince of Darkness (1987)

R | 102 min | Horror

6.7
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50 Metascore

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong

Votes: 28,558 | Gross: $14.18M

13. They Live (1988)

R | 94 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.3
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52 Metascore

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George 'Buck' Flower

Votes: 84,902 | Gross: $13.01M

14. Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi

5.9
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48 Metascore

After a freak accident, a yuppie turns invisible and runs from a treacherous CIA official, while trying to cope with his new life.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill, Michael McKean

Votes: 18,836 | Gross: $14.36M

15. Body Bags (1993 TV Movie)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

6.1
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Three short stories in the horror genre. The first about a serial killer. The second about a hair transplant gone wrong. The third about a baseball player.

Directors: John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Larry Sulkis | Stars: John Carpenter, Tom Arnold, Tobe Hooper, Robert Carradine

Votes: 5,963

16. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

R | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

7.2
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53 Metascore

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, David Warner

Votes: 48,241 | Gross: $8.95M

17. Village of the Damned (1995)

R | 99 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

5.6
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41 Metascore

A small town's women give birth to unfriendly alien children posing as humans.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Paré

Votes: 23,844 | Gross: $9.42M

18. Escape from L.A. (1996)

R | 101 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

5.7
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54 Metascore

Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach, Peter Fonda

Votes: 59,202 | Gross: $25.48M

19. Vampires (1998)

R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

6.1
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42 Metascore

Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, Thomas Ian Griffith

Votes: 45,809 | Gross: $20.24M

20. Ghosts of Mars (2001)

R | 98 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

4.9
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35 Metascore

In 2176, a Martian police unit is sent to pick up a highly dangerous criminal at a remote mining post. Upon arrival, the cops find that the post has become a charnel house.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Pam Grier, Jason Statham

Votes: 45,613 | Gross: $8.43M

21. Masters of Horror (2005–2007)
Episode: John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns (2005)

TV-MA | 59 min | Horror

7.7
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With a torrid past that haunts him, a movie theatre owner is hired to search for the only existing print of a film so notorious that its single screening caused the viewers to become homicidally insane.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Norman Reedus, Colin Foo, Udo Kier, Christopher Redman

Votes: 7,839

22. Masters of Horror (2005–2007)
Episode: Pro-Life (2006)

TV-MA | 57 min | Horror

5.6
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Determined to "rescue" his pregnant daughter from an abortion clinic, a religious fanatic and his sons plan a violent firearm assault just as the doctors suspect her pregnancy might not be of this world.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Caitlin Wachs, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Mark Feuerstein, Biski Gugushe

Votes: 2,793

23. The Ward (2010)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

5.6
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38 Metascore

An institutionalized young woman becomes terrorized by a ghost.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker, Laura-Leigh Claire

Votes: 36,201