All 55 of Bill Murray’s films ranked by a completely obsessed Murrayologist

10.24.15 2 years ago

Touchstone Pictures

Let's get one thing straight before we begin. Bill Murray is the King.

There are better actors. There are people who have better filmographies. There are even funnier people, although not many.

But Bill Murray is, all things, considered, the King. I've dedicated much of the last 45 years working this out scientifically, and I am prepared to finally share the findings with you, free of charge, right here at HitFix. Ostensibly, we're doing this because of this weekend's release of “Rock The Kasbah,” but that's just an excuse. The truth is that it's important that we rank all 55 of Bill Murray's film performances, with a special focus on the top 25.

We are not including his television work here. There are films on this list we have not seen, but not many. We decided to leave those films unranked, so here is that list:


“The Hat Act”
“Pass The Buck: Expo '74”
“B.C. Rock”

What? You haven't heard of any of those, either? That's because those can't possibly be real movies. I would know.

Because, after all, there are titles on his list that people also probably haven't heard of, but since I am, without question, the leading Murrayologist in the world today, I've tracked those down, and many of them without ever thinking about someday having to rank all of these titles.

So how are we doing it? We picked the top twenty-five to stand alone as a gallery, with larger explanations about why they land where they land on the list, and then we ranked the other thirty films in this article. That's a huge list, a huge body of work. So instead of trying to rank the films as a whole, we ranked them by Murray's work in the films. A lesser movie might be higher on the list if Murray is particularly good on it. I would never put “Space Jam” on any list voluntarily, but I am willing to admit that Bill Murray did exactly what they hired him to do in the film, and as a result, I grudgingly found it a place in the gallery. But there are movies that no one could have saved, like “Passion Play” or a “Garfield” sequel.

So here we are. The absolutely impossible to argue definitive scientific ranking of all of Bill Murray's films. Any questions or corrections should be sent by text message directly to Bill Murray's private cell phone. If you don't have that number, I'm sorry, but you're out of luck.

Without further ado…

The Definitive List Of The Great Bill Murray's Film Performances In Order From Great To Less Great (Because The Great Bill Murray Is, By Definition, Great)
by Drew McWeeny

Let's start at the very bottom, with the absolutely worst Bill Murray work in the worst Bill Murray film. These are presented largely without comment, but if anyone feels strongly that they need an explanation for a particular ranking, you can reach out to me in the comments below. There are some good films here, but remember… we're talking about both film AND performance when the ranking is taken into consideration.

55. “Loose Shoes” (1978)

Bad sketch comedy is bad sketch comedy, no matter who is in it.

54. “Speaking Of Sex” (2001)

53. “Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties” (2006)

52. “Garfield” (2004)

If you seriously buy Murray's “I thought it was the Coen Bros. story” about why he made the two awful “Garfield” movies, you are very gullible. You probably also liked these films. Yikes.

51. “A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III” (2012)

You do not have to do every favor a friend asks you to do.

50. “Passion Play” (2010)

You do not have to do every favor a friend asks you to do.

49. “Nothing Lasts Forever” (1984)

I like this weird, weird movie, but it's not a great use of Bill Murray at a time when Bill Murray could do no wrong.

48. “Rock The Kasbah” (2015)

47. “Aloha” (2015)

46. “Osmosis Jones” (2001)

45. “Hyde Park On The Hudson” (2012)

“Handjob In A Wheelchair” is my favorite Morrissey song.

44. “Get Smart” (2008)

Dwayne Johnson is funnier in this film than Bill Murray. That should not happen, no matter how much you like Dwayne Johnson.

43. “Shame Of The Jungle” (1974)

42. “St. Vincent” (2014)

If you squint your eyes so they can't focus completely, it looks just like “Rushmore.”

41. “The Lost City” (2005)

40. “City Of Ember” (2008)

39. “Hamlet” (2000)

38. “With Friends Like These…” (1998)

37. “The Razor's Edge” (1984)

At least we got “Ghostbusters” out of this.

36. “Where The Buffalo Roam” (1980)

35. “Dumb and Dumber To” (2014)

34. “Larger Than Life” (1996)

33. “The Limits Of Control” (2009)

32. “The Monuments Men” (2014)

31. “The Man Who Knew Too Little” (1997)

30. “Ghostbusters II” (1989)

29. “Cradle Will Rock” (1999)

28. “The Darjeeling Limited” (2007)

27. “Meatballs” (1979)

26. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014)

And for the top 25, including explanations, I want you to bask in the gallery below. Thanks to Emily Rome for helping me build the damn thing out, because a project of this magnitude requires a huge amount of revisiting of the work of Bill Murray. But I threw myself on that grenade for you, the reader.

Final note: if “Olive Kitteredge” was a theatrical film, it would have made it into the top 25, because it's a gorgeous piece of work by Murray.

“Rock The Kasbah” is in theaters now.

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