Most Popular Feature Films Released 1981-01-01 to 1981-12-31


1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
85 Metascore

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 738,366 | Gross: $248.16M

2. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
70 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 157,189 | Gross: $2.40M

3. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 74,969 | Gross: $30.57M

4. Excalibur (1981)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

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

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi

Votes: 50,297 | Gross: $34.97M

5. The Road Warrior (1981)

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

7.6
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76 Metascore

In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps

Votes: 145,886 | Gross: $12.47M

6. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 188,588 | Gross: $11.49M

7. Heavy Metal (1981)

R | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

6.7
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A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Directors: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, John Halas, Julian Harris, Jimmy T. Murakami, Barrie Nelson, Paul Sabella, Jack Stokes, Pino Van Lamsweerde, Harold Whitaker | Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks

Votes: 26,145

8. 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: 102,546 | Gross: $25.24M

9. For Your Eyes Only (1981)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

6.8
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54 Metascore

Agent 007 is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device and prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

Director: John Glen | Stars: Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson

Votes: 78,408 | Gross: $62.30M

10. Stripes (1981)

R | 106 min | Comedy, War

6.9
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68 Metascore

Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates

Votes: 53,729 | Gross: $85.30M

11. Porky's (1981)

R | 94 min | Comedy

6.2
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40 Metascore

In 1954, a group of Florida high schoolers seek out to help their buddy lose his virginity, which leads them to seek revenge on a sleazy nightclub owner and his redneck sheriff brother for harassing them.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Roger Wilson

Votes: 33,382 | Gross: $111.29M

12. The Cannonball Run (1981)

PG | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Sport

6.2
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28 Metascore

A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.

Director: Hal Needham | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise

Votes: 28,149 | Gross: $72.18M

13. Clash of the Titans (1981)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Family

6.9
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Perseus must battle both Medusa and the Kraken to save the Princess Andromeda.

Director: Desmond Davis | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith

Votes: 35,531 | Gross: $41.09M

14. Gallipoli (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.5
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65 Metascore

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins

Votes: 32,104 | Gross: $5.73M

15. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.4
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77 Metascore

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson

Votes: 25,549 | Gross: $24.06M

16. Mommie Dearest (1981)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

6.7
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55 Metascore

The abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is depicted.

Director: Frank Perry | Stars: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 12,130 | Gross: $19.03M

17. Endless Love (1981)

R | 116 min | Drama, Romance

4.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A high school student's love for a 15-year-old girl is thwarted by parental disapproval, circumstance and accident.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Brooke Shields, Martin Hewitt, Shirley Knight, Don Murray

Votes: 5,951 | Gross: $31.18M

18. Possession (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Horror

7.4
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A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Director: Andrzej Zulawski | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen, Heinz Bennent

Votes: 17,078 | Gross: $1.11M

19. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

7.3
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Two childhood friends find themselves forced to become enemies.

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, Jack Albertson

Votes: 70,543 | Gross: $63.46M

20. Time Bandits (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

7.0
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79 Metascore

A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 49,762 | Gross: $42.37M

21. History of the World: Part I (1981)

R | 92 min | Comedy, History

6.9
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Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn

Votes: 39,960 | Gross: $31.67M

22. Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.2
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78 Metascore

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson | Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers

Votes: 45,186 | Gross: $58.97M

23. On Golden Pond (1981)

PG | 109 min | Drama

7.7
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Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon

Votes: 23,459 | Gross: $119.29M

24. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.6
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The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.

Director: Bob Rafelson | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, John Colicos, Michael Lerner

Votes: 18,417 | Gross: $12.38M

25. Arthur (1981)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Romance

6.9
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69 Metascore

Arthur is a happy drunk with no pretensions at any ambition. He is also the heir to a vast fortune which he is told will only be his if he marries Susan. He does not love Susan, but she ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Gordon | Stars: Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, John Gielgud, Geraldine Fitzgerald

Votes: 22,840 | Gross: $95.46M

26. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.1
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Mrs. Voorhees is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place is stalked by an unknown assailant.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King

Votes: 45,881 | Gross: $21.72M

27. ...E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà (1981)

R | 87 min | Horror

6.9
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A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where, following a series of supernatural "accidents", she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.

Director: Lucio Fulci | Stars: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John

Votes: 16,575 | Gross: $0.12M

28. Quest for Fire (1981)

R | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.4
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This story takes place in prehistoric time when three tribesmen search for a new fire source.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Nicholas Kadi, Rae Dawn Chong

Votes: 17,808 | Gross: $20.96M

29. Ghost Story (1981)

R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

6.3
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Two generations of men find themselves haunted by the presence of a spectral woman. When the son of one of the elderly men returns to his hometown after his brother's mysterious death, they attempt to unravel her story.

Director: John Irvin | Stars: Craig Wasson, Alice Krige, Fred Astaire, John Houseman

Votes: 6,312 | Gross: $23.37M

30. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

7.0
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64 Metascore

A film is being made of a story, set in 19th century England, about Charles, a biologist who's engaged to be married, but who falls in love with outcast Sarah, whose melancholy makes her ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Reisz | Stars: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae, Emily Morgan

Votes: 10,082 | Gross: $22.60M

31. The Howling (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

6.6
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After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone

Votes: 25,252 | Gross: $17.99M

32. Victory (1981)

PG | 116 min | Drama, Sport, War

6.6
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As allied POWs prepare for a soccer game against the German National Team to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris, the French Resistance and British officers are making plans for the team's escape.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Pelé, Bobby Moore

Votes: 23,015 | Gross: $10.85M

33. Scanners (1981)

R | 103 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

6.8
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60 Metascore

A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane

Votes: 39,564 | Gross: $14.23M

34. The Final Conflict (1981)

R | 108 min | Horror

5.6
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The now adult Antichrist plots to eliminate his future divine opponent while a cabal of monks plot to stop him.

Director: Graham Baker | Stars: Sam Neill, Rossano Brazzi, Don Gordon, Lisa Harrow

Votes: 15,421 | Gross: $20.47M

35. Outland (1981)

R | 112 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

6.6
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In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen, Peter Boyle, James Sikking

Votes: 23,431 | Gross: $17.37M

36. Blow Out (1981)

R | 107 min | Mystery, Thriller

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

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz

Votes: 32,520 | Gross: $13.75M

37. Dragonslayer (1981)

PG | 109 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

6.7
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A young wizarding apprentice is sent to kill a dragon which has been devouring girls from a nearby kingdom.

Director: Matthew Robbins | Stars: Peter MacNicol, Caitlin Clarke, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam

Votes: 12,022 | Gross: $14.11M

38. Roar (1981)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Thriller

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
65 Metascore

A family goes to Africa to meet their father who lives with wild lions.

Director: Noel Marshall | Stars: Tippi Hedren, Noel Marshall, Melanie Griffith, John Marshall

Votes: 1,821 | Gross: $2.00M

39. Tarzan the Ape Man (1981)

R | 115 min | Adventure, Drama

3.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

While on an African expedition with her father, Jane Parker meets Tarzan, and the two become fascinated by each other.

Director: John Derek | Stars: Bo Derek, Richard Harris, Miles O'Keeffe, John Phillip Law

Votes: 4,503 | Gross: $36.57M

40. Reds (1981)

PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
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76 Metascore

A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.

Director: Warren Beatty | Stars: Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Jerzy Kosinski

Votes: 17,898 | Gross: $40.38M

41. Christiane F. (1981)

R | 138 min | Biography, Drama

7.6
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This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14-year-old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-story... See full summary »

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Natja Brunckhorst, Eberhard Auriga, Peggy Bussieck, Lothar Chamski

Votes: 17,700

42. Taps (I) (1981)

PG | 126 min | Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
49 Metascore

Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.

Director: Harold Becker | Stars: George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn

Votes: 14,222 | Gross: $35.86M

43. The Burning (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

6.5
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A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam | Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua

Votes: 12,148

44. Thief (1981)

R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.4
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78 Metascore

Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, Jim Belushi

Votes: 18,928 | Gross: $11.49M

45. Halloween II (1981)

R | 92 min | Horror

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
40 Metascore

While Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis hunt for Michael Myers, a traumatized Laurie is rushed to hospital, and the serial killer is not far behind her.

Director: Rick Rosenthal | Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers, Jeffrey Kramer

Votes: 57,632 | Gross: $25.53M

46. Cannibal Ferox (1981)

Not Rated | 93 min | Adventure, Horror

5.2
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Three friends out to disprove cannibalism meet two men on the run who tortured and enslaved a cannibal tribe to find emeralds, and now the tribe is out for revenge.

Director: Umberto Lenzi | Stars: Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lorraine De Selle, Danilo Mattei, Zora Kerova

Votes: 7,599

47. My Bloody Valentine (1981)

R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
46 Metascore

A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.

Director: George Mihalka | Stars: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight

Votes: 13,994 | Gross: $5.67M

48. Southern Comfort (1981)

R | 106 min | Action, Thriller

7.2
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During a routine exercise, a team of National Guards are threatened by angry and violent locals.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe, Fred Ward, Franklyn Seales

Votes: 13,208 | Gross: $5.00M

49. Caveman (1981)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Romance

5.7
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A cave-man seeks revenge on a much larger competitor for the hand of a beautiful cave-woman.

Director: Carl Gottlieb | Stars: Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid, Shelley Long, Jack Gilford

Votes: 6,155 | Gross: $15.97M

50. Eye of the Needle (1981)

R | 112 min | Romance, Thriller, War

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Kate Nelligan, Stephen MacKenna, Philip Martin Brown

Votes: 7,862 | Gross: $17.58M