- Steve Carell may be best known for his role as Michael Scott on “The Office,” but he’s also had a successful film career.
- According to critics, Carell’s lowest-rated movies are “Curly Sue” (1991) and “Sleepover” (2004).
- On the other hand, reviewers loved “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) and “Too Funny to Fail” (2017).
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Steve Carell is best known for his comedic performance as Michael Scott on NBC’s “The Office.”
However, he’s also had a successful, genre-spanning film career.
Here’s every movie in Carell’s filmography, ranked from worst to best according to critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change. Films without critical scores were not included.
His lowest-rated movie is “Curly Sue” (1991).
Critic score: 13%
Carell’s first film role was as the waiter Tesio in John Hughes’“Curly Sue.”
He didn’t have any lines and wasn’t on screen for very long, but it was the first of a long line of comedic film roles to follow.
Most critics panned the movie for being far too corny, especially since it was made by a renowned writer/director like Hughes.
Carell had a supporting role in “Sleepover” (2004).
Critic score: 15%
“Sleepover” is a film about teenage girls competing in a high-stakes scavenger hunt.
Carell played their nemesis, a security guard named Sherman, who tries to bust the rambunctious teens throughout the night.
Critics panned the movie for its unoriginal script and dated central message.
The actor starred in “Evan Almighty” (2007).
Critic score: 23%
Carell played Congressman Evan Baxter in “Evan Almighty,” the spin-off sequel to “Bruce Almighty.”
In the film, God tells Evan Baxter to build an ark to save himself and animals from a flood.
In “Bewitched” (2005), Carell played Uncle Arthur.
Critic score: 25%
“Bewitched,” a 2005 rom-com based on the TV series of the same name, is about an actor (Will Ferrell) who discovers that his costar is actually a witch (Nicole Kidman).
The film, in which Carell played Uncle Arthur, didn’t win over many critics, who called the remake “drab” and “phony.”
He starred in “Welcome to Marwen” (2018).
Critic score: 34%
The film was a little off-putting, according to some critics.
The actor played the lead in the star-studded film “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” (2013).
Critic score: 37%
In the 2013 comedy, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” Carell played Vegas magician Burt Wonderstone, who has to save his act after his partner quits.
Although the comedy starred Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, and Jim Carrey, the strong cast couldn’t completely save “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” in critics’ opinions.
In “Irresistible” (2020), he played Gary Zimmer.
Critic score: 40%
In “Irresistible,”Carell starred as Gary Zimmer, a man who is running for mayor in a small, Midwestern town with the help of Democratic strategist Faith Brewster, played by Rose Byrne.
Critics weren’t blown away by the political comedy, which was written by comedian Jon Stewart.
He was Barry in the comedy “Dinner for Schmucks” (2010).
Critic score: 41%
Carell played Barry, a man who makes dioramas with taxidermied mice, in the 2010 film “Dinner for Schmucks.”
Many critics thought that “Dinner for Schmucks” suffered from its endless cheap jokes, though Rudd and Carell’s likability saved it from being a total bust.
The actor played an extra in “Homegrown” (1998).
Critic score: 44%
The thriller/comedy “Homegrown,” centres on Californian pot farmers who get caught up in an extensive crime web.
Carell appeared briefly as an extra in one of the film’s party scenes.
Although some reviewers found the film amusing, many agreed that it tried to do too much by mixing comedy, mystery, and drama.
He originated his role as Evan in “Bruce Almighty” (2003).
Critic score: 48%
In the 2003 comedy “Bruce Almighty,” Carell originated his role as Evan Baxter, a news reporter who would go on to become a Congressman.
Though the film wasn’t incredibly high-scoring, it was significantly better than “Evan Almighty,” according to critics.
The actor played Steven Goldstein in “Freeheld” (2015).
Critic score: 49%
The 2015 drama “Freeheld” is about Laurel (Julianne Moore), a police lieutenant who gets diagnosed with cancer and tries to leave her pension to her domestic partner (Ellen Page).
Carell played Steven Goldstein, the founder of Garden State Equality, in the film.
The drama received some praise for its well-intentioned story, but several critics docked it for centering the story arc of the leading man in a movie that was supposed to be about women.
He starred alongside Anne Hathaway in “Get Smart” (2008).
Critic score: 50%
Carell starred as socially awkward spy Maxwell Smart alongside Agent 99, played by Anne Hathaway.
The remake split critics, with some praising the performances of the leading cast, and others saying their work wasn’t enough to save the unfunny comedy.
Carell had a supporting role in “Melinda and Melinda” (2005).
Critic score: 52%
The 2005 film, “Melinda and Melinda,” follows two storylines that show different versions of how a woman named Melinda (Radha Mitchell) comes to terms with her divorce.
Carell played a character named Walt Wagner.
Many reviewers were fascinated by the movie’s main premise, but most agreed that it wasn’t a particularly moving film.
In “Minions” (2015), the actor voiced a younger version of Gru.
Critic score: 55%
In “Minions,” the 2015 film that follows three of the yellow minions from the “Despicable Me” franchise, Carell voiced young Gru.
Although the film didn’t do as well as the rest of the “Despicable Me” series, some critics still found it to be an entertaining family film.
Carell played Dodge in “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” (2012).
Critic score: 55%
In “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” Carell played Dodge, a man who goes looking for his high-school sweetheart after his wife leaves him right before the end of the world.
Carell acted alongside Keira Knightley and his wife, Nancy Carell, in the film.
Despite Carell and Knightley’s strong leading performances, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” left critics largely unsatisfied.
Carell returned as a the voice of Gru in “Despicable Me 3” (2017).
Critic score: 59%
The third instalment of the “Despicable Me” franchise, “Despicable Me 3,” follows Gru as he’s reunited with his uber-successful long-lost twin brother, Dru.
But their happy reunion is cut short when they have to take down the 1980s-loving supervillain Balthazar Bratt.
Although not as highly reviewed as the first or second films, “Despicable Me 3” was still reviewed as a likable instalment.
He played the dad in “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” (2014).
Critic score: 61%
Based on the children’s book by Judith Viorst,“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” centres on 11-year-old Alexander who us having the worst day of his life.
Carell played Alexander’s dad, Ben Cooper.
Although most critics took issue with the film’s cheesy ending, they also called it a “fun” and “charming” family flick.
In “Dan in Real Life” (2007), he starred as Dan.
Critic score: 64%
“Dan in Real Life” tells the story of Dan (Carell), a widowed single father who falls in love with a woman he met at a bookstore – until he finds out that she’s dating his brother.
The film failed to win over every critic, but most reviewers called “Dan in Real Life” entertaining and full of heart.
He played former US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld in “Vice” (2018).
Critic score: 65%
The 2018 biopic “Vice,” follows the life and career of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Carell portrayed Donald Rumsfeld, who was the US secretary of defence under President George W. Bush.
The film was widely nominated for awards and was praised as a “real” and “watchable” biopic, but some reviewers still found it to be off-putting.
He originated his role as Brick in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004).
Critic score: 66%
The film tells the story of Ferrell’s character Ron Burgundy, a 1970s San Diego news anchor who has to compete with a new anchor.
The goofy comedy won over many critics and is still widely quoted by fans today.
Carell starred alongside Tina Fey in”Date Night” (2010).
Critic score: 66%
Although some reviewers found the film gimmicky, most agreed that Carell and Fey’s leading performances saved it from being a real flop.
He had a bit part in “Tomorrow Night” (1998).
Critic score: 67%
In the 1998 absurdist comedy “Tomorrow Night,” Carell played “Mail Room Guy without Glasses.”
Despite the fact that the movie was certainly over-the-top, many reviewers still found it incredibly funny.
The actor starred as David in “Beautiful Boy” (2018).
Critic score: 67%
The plot follows how the family struggles and copes with the tragedy.
The emotional drama received plenty of glowing reviews from critics, who enjoyed the film’s deeply empathetic lens.
He had a supporting role in “Café Society” (2016).
Critic score: 71%
In “Café Society,” Carell played Phil Stern, the uncle of the film’s main character (Jesse Eisenberg).
The plot centres on the glamorous nightclub life of 1930s New York.
Although some critics found “Café Society” to be uninspired, others praised its visual aesthetics and leading cast members.
Carell made a cameo in “Neighbours” (2014).
Critic score: 73%
In the comedy “Neighbours,” a couple with a new baby moves next door to a frat house in a university town.
Carell made an uncredited cameo in the film as a TV newsman.
Many critics praised “Neighbours” as a well-rounded raunchy comedy.
He returned as Brick in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (2013).
Critic score: 74%
Carell reprised his role as Brick Tamland in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
According to critics, the sequel wasn’t as quotable as the first movie, but it was similarly hilarious.
He once again voiced Gru in “Despicable Me 2” (2013).
Critic score: 75%
Carell returned as the voice of Gru for “Despicable Me 2,” which follows the ex-villain as he joins the Anti-Villain League and meets special agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig).
The animated sequel was largely applauded by critics, who found it to be a smart and funny children’s movie.
In “Hope Springs” (2012), he played a couples counselor.
Critic score: 75%
The movie follows the story of a middle-aged couple who embark on a full week of marriage counseling to save their 30-year relationship.
Despite a somewhat lack-lustre script, “Hope Springs” is worth it for Streep and Jones’ earnest performances alone, according to critics.
The actor voiced Hammy the Squirrel in “Over the Hedge” (2006).
Critic score: 75%
In the 2006 animated movie “Over the Hedge,” Carell voiced Hammy the Squirrel.
The film’s other voice actors included Bruce Willis, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, and Nick Nolte.
Critics cheered for the film’s slapstick humour, even if the plot wasn’t entirely memorable.
Carell starred in “Last Flying Flag” (2017).
Critic score: 78%
In the Amazon Prime original movie “Last Flag Flying,” Carell played Vietnam veteran Larry Shepherd, who’s mourning the loss of his son who died in Iraq.
Though this is one of his more serious films, “Last Flag Flying” still scored well with critics, who found it mature and moving.
Carell played Cal in the ensemble rom-com “Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011).
Critic score: 79%
In the romantic comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” Carell played Cal Weaver, a man who tries to get his swagger back after his wife cheats on him.
The leading cast also included Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Moore.
Critics found “Crazy, Stupid, Love” to be a fresh take on the classic rom-com formula.
Carell voiced the mayor in “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!” (2008).
Critic score: 79%
Carell voiced the mayor of Whoville in the 2008 animated movie “Horton Hears a Who!” alongside comedy greats like Carrey, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, and Seth Rogen.
The animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ source material was largely praised by critics, who found it to be a funny and good-natured production.
He originated his iconic voice role in “Despicable Me” (2010).
Critic score: 81%
As in the other films in the franchise, Carell voiced criminal mastermind Gru, whose life is flipped upside down when he adopts three orphaned girls, in “Despicable Me.”
Although some critics couldn’t help but compare the film to a Pixar animation, the original “Despicable Me” is the highest-scoring instalment of the beloved series.
In “The Way, Way Back” (2013), Carell played Trent.
Critic score: 84%
The well-received dramedy “The Way, Way Back,” tells the story of a teenager who spends the summer with his mum and her boyfriend, Trent (Carell).
The coming-of-age film was a hit with critics, who called it “fresh” and “brutally honest.”
He starred alongside Stone in “Battle of the Sexes” (2017).
Critic score: 85%
Both Carell and Stone were nominated for Golden Globes for their roles in the film, and their performances also earned plenty of praise from critics.
The actor starred in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005).
Critic score: 85%
Before “The Office” really took off, Carell was best known for his role as Andy Stitzer in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
Carell also cowrote the comedy with director Judd Apatow.
Critics applauded “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” calling it a sweet, yet risqué, comedy.
In “Foxcatcher” (2014), he portrayed John du Pont.
Critic score: 87%
In the 2014 film “Foxcatcher,”Carell played millionaire John du Pont.
The film tells the true story of two US Olympic wrestling champions and their attempt to train for the 1988 games in Korea.
Critics found a lot to love about the historical sports drama, including the strong leading performances.
Carell starred in “The Big Short” (2015).
Critic score: 88%
In “The Big Short,” Carell starred as Mark Baum.
Critics praised “The Big Short” for injecting genuine humour into the tragic drama.
Carell made a brief cameo in “Knocked Up” (2007).
Critic score: 90%
“Knocked Up,” a 2007 comedy about a one night stand that results in a pregnancy, was a big hit with critics.
Carell isn’t credited in the film, but he makes a brief cameo.
Reviewers said the comedy was full of genuine laughs and endearing characters.
He played Frank in “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006).
Critic score: 91%
In 2006, Carell played Frank Ginsberg in the cult-classic dramedy “Little Miss Sunshine.”
The film is about a family who travels across California so their daughter can compete in a statewide beauty pageant.
The indie-comedy was praised by critics for being honest, gratifying, and quirky.
Carell was interviewed for the documentary “Too Funny to Fail” (2017) — his highest-rated film.
Critic score: 100%
Carell’s highest-ranking film, “Too Funny to Fail,” is a documentary about the history of NBC’s failed comedy, “The Dana Carvey Show.”
The documentary won critics over with its light-hearted attitude toward the panned series.
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