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Ranking All Of Director Richard Linklater’s Movies

“What are Richard Linklater’s Best Movies?” We looked at all of Linklater’s directed filmography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the movies directed by Richard Linklater and looked at their Rotten Tomato Critic, Rotten Tomato User, Metacritic, Metacritic User, IMDB, and Letterboxd scores, ranking them against one another to see which movies came out on top. The movies are ranked in our list below based on which movies have the highest overall score between all 6 review sites in comparison with all of the other movies by the same director. The process is all very scientific with no flaws at all.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Viewing!



The Top Film’s Of Richard Linklater



21 ) It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988)

 It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 19
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 20
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 18
  • Metacritic User Score: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 20
  • Letterboxd User Score: 17

A nameless young character travels to the country, meeting some acquaintances and strangers, having banal conversations, and dedicating his existence to daily mundane activities.



20 ) Up to Speed (2012)

 Up to Speed (2012)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 19
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 21
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 18
  • Metacritic User Score: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 13
  • Letterboxd User Score: 21

Up to Speed is a six-part miniseries hosted by New York tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch who takes viewers on a “magical history tour” in order to “hang out and empathize with the inner psyches of famous landmarks and visit with the monumentally ignored monuments.”



19 ) The Newton Boys (1998)

 The Newton Boys (1998)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 16
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 18
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 18
  • Metacritic User Score: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 19
  • Letterboxd User Score: 19

Four Newton brothers are a poor farmer family in the 1920s. The oldest of them, Willis, one day realizes that there’s no future in the fields and offers his brothers to become a bank robbers. Soon the family agrees. They become very famous robbers, and five years later execute the greatest train robbery in American history.



18 ) Bad News Bears (2005)

 Bad News Bears (2005)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 18
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 17
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 14
  • Metacritic User Score: 14
  • IMDB User Review Score: 21
  • Letterboxd User Score: 20

Morris Buttermaker is a burned-out minor league baseball player who loves to drink and can’t keep his hands to himself. His long-suffering lawyer arranges for him to manage a local Little League team, and Buttermaker soon finds himself the head of a rag-tag group of misfit players. Through unconventional team-building exercises and his offbeat coaching style, Buttermaker helps his hapless Bears prepare to meet their rivals, the Yankees.



17 ) Fast Food Nation (2006)

 Fast Food Nation (2006)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 17
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 16
  • Metacritic User Score: 15
  • IMDB User Review Score: 18
  • Letterboxd User Score: 18

Inspired by author Eric Schlosser’s New York Times best-seller of the same name, director Richard Linklater’s ensemble drama examines the health issues and social consequences of America’s love affair with fast food and features an all-star cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Ethan Hawke, Kris Kristofferson, Patricia Arquette, and Luis Guzman.



16 ) Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach (2008)

 Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach (2008)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 19
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 16
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 18
  • Metacritic User Score: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 17
  • Letterboxd User Score: 15

A profile of University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido, the winningest coach in NCAA history.



15 ) SubUrbia (1996)

 SubUrbia (1996)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 15
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 13
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 17
  • Metacritic User Score: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 13
  • Letterboxd User Score: 14

A group of suburban teenagers try to support each other through the difficult task of becoming adults.



14 ) Me and Orson Welles (2009)

 Me and Orson Welles (2009)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 15
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 10
  • Metacritic User Score: 10
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 15

New York, 1937. A teenager hired to star in Orson Welles’ production of Julius Caesar becomes attracted to a career-driven production assistant.



13 ) Last Flag Flying (2017)

 Last Flag Flying (2017)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 12
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 11
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 14
  • Metacritic User Score: 11
  • IMDB User Review Score: 12
  • Letterboxd User Score: 13

Thirty years after serving together in the Vietnam War, Larry “Doc” Shepherd, Sal Nealon and the Rev. Richard Mueller reunite for a different type of mission: to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in Iraq. Forgoing burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Doc and his old buddies take the casket on a bittersweet trip up the coast to New Hampshire. Along the way, the three men find themselves reminiscing and coming to terms with the shared memories of a war that continues to shape their lives.



12 ) Tape (2001)

 Tape (2001)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 12
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 8
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 12
  • Metacritic User Score: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 7
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

A three-character ensemble piece set within the confines of a tawdry motor lodge in Lansing, Michigan. After 10 years apart, three disparate people come together to play out the unresolved drama of their final days in high school. Intrigued, we watch as layers of denial are slowly peeled away. Suspense builds as each character is provoked into revealing his or her true nature and motivation. Mesmerized, we are drawn into their lives as they choose which cards to play and which cards to hold.



11 ) Bernie (2012)

 Bernie (2012)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 10
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 9
  • Metacritic User Score: 11
  • IMDB User Review Score: 13
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

In small-town Texas, affable and popular mortician Bernie Tiede strikes up a friendship with Marjorie Nugent, a wealthy widow well known for her sour attitude. When she becomes controlling and abusive, Bernie goes to great lengths to remove himself from her grasp.



10 ) A Scanner Darkly (2006)

 A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 9
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 10
  • Metacritic User Score: 8
  • IMDB User Review Score: 8
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.



9 ) Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

 Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 12
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 4
  • Metacritic User Score: 13
  • IMDB User Review Score: 11
  • Letterboxd User Score: 7

A comedy that follows a group of friends as they navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.



8 ) Slacker (1991)

 Slacker (1991)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 9
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 7
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 13
  • Metacritic User Score: 4
  • IMDB User Review Score: 8
  • Letterboxd User Score: 7

Austin, Texas, is an Eden for the young and unambitious, from the enthusiastically eccentric to the dangerously apathetic. Here, the nobly lazy can eschew responsibility in favor of nursing their esoteric obsessions. The locals include a backseat philosopher who passionately expounds on his dream theories to a seemingly comatose cabbie, a young woman who tries to hawk Madonna’s Pap test to anyone who will listen and a kindly old anarchist looking for recruits.



7 ) School of Rock (2003)

 School of Rock (2003)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 5
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 14
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 5
  • Metacritic User Score: 3
  • IMDB User Review Score: 8
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

Fired from his band and hard up for cash, guitarist and vocalist Dewey Finn finagles his way into a job as a fifth-grade substitute teacher at a private school, where he secretly begins teaching his students the finer points of rock ‘n’ roll. The school’s hard-nosed principal is rightly suspicious of Finn’s activities. But Finn’s roommate remains in the dark about what he’s doing.



6 ) Waking Life (2001)

 Waking Life (2001)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 11
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 4
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 5
  • Metacritic User Score: 7
  • IMDB User Review Score: 5
  • Letterboxd User Score: 6

Waking Life is about a young man in a persistent lucid dream-like state. The film follows its protagonist as he initially observes and later participates in philosophical discussions that weave together issues like reality, free will, our relationships with others, and the meaning of life.



5 ) Dazed and Confused (1993)

 Dazed and Confused (1993)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 5
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 3
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 7
  • Metacritic User Score: 6
  • IMDB User Review Score: 6
  • Letterboxd User Score: 4

The adventures of a group of Texas teens on their last day of school in 1976, centering on student Randall Floyd, who moves easily among stoners, jocks and geeks. Floyd is a star athlete, but he also likes smoking weed, which presents a conundrum when his football coach demands he sign a “no drugs” pledge.



4 ) Boyhood (2014)

 Boyhood (2014)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 2
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 6
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 1
  • Metacritic User Score: 8
  • IMDB User Review Score: 3
  • Letterboxd User Score: 5

The film tells a story of a divorced couple trying to raise their young son. The story follows the boy for twelve years, from first grade at age 6 through 12th grade at age 17-18, and examines his relationship with his parents as he grows.



3 ) Before Midnight (2013)

 Before Midnight (2013)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 2
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 5
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 2
  • Metacritic User Score: 4
  • IMDB User Review Score: 3
  • Letterboxd User Score: 3

We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.



1 ) Before Sunrise (1995)

 Before Sunrise (1995)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 1
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 8
  • Metacritic User Score: 1
  • IMDB User Review Score: 1
  • Letterboxd User Score: 1

On his way to Vienna, American Jesse meets Céline, a student returning to Paris. After long conversations forge a surprising connection between them, Jesse convinces Celine to get off the train with him in Vienna. Since his flight to the U.S. departs the next morning and he has no money for lodging, they wander the city together, taking in the experiences of Vienna and each other.



1 ) Before Sunset (2004)

 Before Sunset (2004)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 4
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 2
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 3
  • Metacritic User Score: 2
  • IMDB User Review Score: 1
  • Letterboxd User Score: 1

Nine years ago two strangers met by chance and spent a night in Vienna that ended before sunrise. They are about to meet for the first time since. Now they have one afternoon to find out if they belong together.



Richard Linklater’s Best Movies



Richard Linklater Review Website Filmography Rankings

FilmRT CriticRT UserMC CriticMC UserIMDBLetterboxdOveral Rank
Before Sunrise (1995) 1 1 8 1 1 1 1
Before Sunset (2004) 4 2 3 2 1 1 1
Before Midnight (2013) 2 5 2 4 3 3 3
Boyhood (2014) 2 6 1 8 3 5 4
Dazed and Confused (1993) 5 3 7 6 6 4 5
Waking Life (2001) 11 4 5 7 5 6 6
School of Rock (2003) 5 14 5 3 8 9 7
Slacker (1991) 9 7 13 4 8 7 8
Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) 8 12 4 13 11 7 9
A Scanner Darkly (2006) 14 9 10 8 8 9 10
Bernie (2012) 7 10 9 11 13 9 11
Tape (2001) 12 8 12 16 7 9 12
Last Flag Flying (2017) 12 11 14 11 12 13 13
Me and Orson Welles (2009) 10 15 10 10 16 15 14
SubUrbia (1996) 15 13 17 16 13 14 15
Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach (2008) 19 16 18 16 17 15 16
Fast Food Nation (2006) 17 19 16 15 18 18 17
Bad News Bears (2005) 18 17 14 14 21 20 18
The Newton Boys (1998) 16 18 18 16 19 19 19
Up to Speed (2012) 19 21 18 16 13 21 20
It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988) 19 20 18 16 20 17 21

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