The 20 greatest movies with Clint Eastwood in a role

by drystyx | last updated - 24 Aug 2012 | Public

He's been in so many movies, that there must be 20 good ones. After a lot of looking, I found them.

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1. Hang 'Em High (1968)

M | 114 min | Western

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When an innocent man barely survives a lynching, he returns as a lawman determined to bring the vigilantes to justice.

Director: Ted Post | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens, Pat Hingle, Ed Begley

Votes: 28,293

Simply his best film, the one with the most three dimensional characters for sure, and undeniably his greatest Western, although it isn't self righteous enough for most imdb posters.

2. Tarantula (1955)

Approved | 80 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

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

A spider escapes from an isolated desert laboratory experimenting in giantism and grows to tremendous size as it wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.

Director: Jack Arnold | Stars: John Agar, Mara Corday, Leo G. Carroll, Nestor Paiva

Votes: 7,067 | Gross: $1.10M

Okay, he only appears at the end, but it's his second best movie, as you know. A classic science fiction thriller, the ultimate in Horror.

3. Dirty Harry (1971)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.8
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When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni

Votes: 123,242

The product of an era, in response to a society leaning too far in one direction. This police investigator serves as "observor" to the horrors of playing footsie with homicidal maniacs.

4. Magnum Force (1973)

R | 124 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

7.2
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Dirty Harry is on the trail of vigilante cops who are not above going beyond the law to kill the city's undesirables.

Director: Ted Post | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan, David Soul

Votes: 47,153

A complete turnabout of the same character of Dirty Harry. So much so, that it has to be viewed as hypocrisy. Still, this is excellent at what it does. Great thriller.

5. Joe Kidd (1972)

PG | 88 min | Western

6.5
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52 Metascore

An ex-bounty hunter reluctantly helps a wealthy landowner and his henchmen track down a Mexican revolutionary leader.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon, Don Stroud

Votes: 13,696

This is what Clint does best. Just a hard nosed ruffian. The great supporting characters make this a top Western.

6. Pale Rider (1985)

R | 115 min | Western

7.3
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61 Metascore

A mysterious preacher protects a humble prospector village from a greedy mining company trying to encroach on their land.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress, Sydney Penny

Votes: 43,536 | Gross: $41.41M

The ghost rider even looks better in comparison to the debacle of High Plains Drifter, a total embarressment for all involved. This one had characters you could care about and follow.

7. Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

R | 130 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

6.8
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A hard-nosed, hard-living Marine gunnery sergeant clashes with his superiors and his ex-wife as he takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill, Moses Gunn

Votes: 33,266 | Gross: $42.72M

Again, Eastwood is a ruffian, so his one dimensional, one expression, one emotion style doesn't hurt the plot about a group of soldiers out to prove their value.

8. Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)

GP | 116 min | Adventure, Romance, War

7.0
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Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, Manolo Fábregas, Alberto Morin

Votes: 19,017

Just a fun little Western. At this point, we're reaching into mediocrity. After all, these are Eastwood movies.

9. In the Line of Fire (1993)

R | 128 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.2
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74 Metascore

Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott

Votes: 79,282 | Gross: $102.31M

An over the top villain, and some silliness, but a few good bits of drama in this story about stopping an assassin.

10. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

8.2
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85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

Votes: 308,032 | Gross: $101.16M

How you rate this depends on if you like a movie, or if you like to force others to like a movie. It's a directorial accomplishment, meaning it's what most directors like to do. Take a terrible script, with a character you would normally hate, and try to force you to like the script and character. It fools the feeble minded only. Still, while the story is one of the worst, the direction is what he wanted.

11. Gran Torino (2008)

R | 116 min | Drama

8.2
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72 Metascore

Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley, Ahney Her

Votes: 616,512 | Gross: $148.10M

A little more thought went into this than most of Eastwood movies.

12. Every Which Way But Loose (1978)

PG | 114 min | Action, Comedy

6.3
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The San Fernando Valley adventures of trucker turned prize-fighter Philo Beddoe and his pet orangutan Clyde.

Director: James Fargo | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis, Beverly D'Angelo

Votes: 19,078 | Gross: $106.00M

Just mindlessless. Barely watchable, but chicks like it.

13. Absolute Power (1997)

R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.7
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52 Metascore

A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Laura Linney

Votes: 42,820 | Gross: $50.01M

Everything about this movie goes "against the grain" of Eastwood's usual movies. I think it was his attempt to be iconoclastic.

14. Space Cowboys (2000)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.4
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73 Metascore

When a retired engineer is called upon to rescue a failing satellite, he insists that his equally old teammates accompany him into space.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, James Garner

Votes: 64,209 | Gross: $90.46M

Just a bit of fun, really.

15. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

R | 178 min | Western

8.9
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90 Metascore

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè

Votes: 558,594 | Gross: $6.10M

Okay, it isn't a good movie, but Eli Wallach almost saves this piece of hate mongering, and I'm being generous to the beavis and butthead spaghetti fans.

16. Revenge of the Creature (1955)

Approved | 82 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

5.6
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Men capture the creature from the Black Lagoon and make him an aquarium attraction, from which he escapes.

Director: Jack Arnold | Stars: John Agar, Lori Nelson, John Bromfield, Nestor Paiva

Votes: 4,287

Pretty decent sci fi, would rank higher if not almost forgotten

17. The Enemy Below (1957)

Approved | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.6
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During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are experts, and so begins a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Director: Dick Powell | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Curd Jürgens, David Hedison, Theodore Bikel

Votes: 8,200

Another that would rank higher if it were shown more.

18. Francis in the Navy (1955)

80 min | Comedy, Fantasy

5.9
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A story following Lt. Peter Stirling and his dream being in the navy.

Director: Arthur Lubin | Stars: Donald O'Connor, Martha Hyer, Richard Erdman, Jim Backus

Votes: 475

A bit of mindless fun

19. White Hunter Black Heart (1990)

PG | 112 min | Adventure, Drama

6.7
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A thinly fictionalized account of a legendary movie director, whose desire to hunt down an animal turns into a grim situation with his movie crew in Africa.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Fahey, Charlotte Cornwell, Norman Lumsden

Votes: 9,365 | Gross: $2.32M

Actually has a story line. Plods, but best of what's left

20. Away All Boats (1956)

Approved | 114 min | Drama, War

6.3
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The story of a U.S. naval ship and its crew in the Pacific, 1943-1945.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: Jeff Chandler, George Nader, Lex Barker, Julie Adams

Votes: 1,028

Almost watchable, which makes it number 20 on the list.