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Ranking All Of Director Ron Howard’s Movies

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

We took all of the movies directed by Ron Howard 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 Ron Howard



30 ) Cotton Candy (1978)

Cotton Candy (1978)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 28
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 28
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 22
  • Letterboxd User Score: 28

1970’s made-for-TV movies about high school teens embroiled in rock band drama have formed a sub-genre that holds immeasurable hypnotic powers over a lot of my generation. Worn copies of these types of movies are often traded amongst fans like rare gold (or drugs). One rarely seen example in that particular library is Cotton Candy. The film spins the pimple-ridden rhapsody of a group of high school misfits who form a good-time bubblegum rock band, named Cotton Candy, and are thrown into direct, vicious competition with the “cool kids” crowd; their classmate’s popular hard rock act Rapid Fire. The awkward-years war reaches it’s apex during a “battle of the bands” competition, sponsored by a local mall on a Saturday afternoon, in scenes filled with screaming high school girls in designer jeans and winged-hair (perhaps the first concert film footage alternated with cutaway shots of Orange Julius and Spencer Gifts signage). (cont. http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/03/ronhowardscot.html)



29 ) The Dilemma (2011)

The Dilemma (2011)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 24
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 27
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 19
  • IMDB User Review Score: 29
  • Letterboxd User Score: 27

Longtime friends Ronny and Nick are partners in an auto-design firm. They are hard at work on a presentation for a dream project that would really launch their company. Then Ronny spots Nick’s wife out with another man, and in the process of investigating the possible affair, he learns that Nick has a few secrets of his own. As the presentation nears, Ronny agonizes over what might happen if the truth gets out.



28 ) Grand Theft Auto (1977)

Grand Theft Auto (1977)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 26
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 24
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 28
  • Letterboxd User Score: 20

A rich girl steals her dad’s Rolls Royce and heads off to Las Vegas to get married. However, her angry parents, a jealous suitor, and a bunch of reward seekers are determined to stop her.



26 ) Through the Magic Pyramid (1981)

Through the Magic Pyramid (1981)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 28
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 28
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 11
  • Letterboxd User Score: 28

A lad finds himself magically sent back to ancient Egypt where he and the young King Tut team up to stop their evil and overly ambitious elders.



26 ) Inferno (2016)

Inferno (2016)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 26
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 23
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 20
  • IMDB User Review Score: 22
  • Letterboxd User Score: 26

After waking up in a hospital with amnesia, professor Robert Langdon and a doctor must race against time to foil a deadly global plot.



25 ) Skyward (1980)

Skyward (1980)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 28
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 28
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 1
  • Letterboxd User Score: 28

An aging Bette Davis is a flight instructor at an old Texas airport. When a young girl in a wheelchair finds the airport by watching gliders fly, she decides she wants to learn how to fly. Davis teaches her to fly with some special controls compensating for her handicap. Howard Hessman is a aircraft repair service trying desperately to get an old airplane back in the air. The three, together, put the young girl and the old plane up in the air.



24 ) Jay-Z: Made in America (2013)

Jay-Z: Made in America (2013)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 16
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 25
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 30
  • Letterboxd User Score: 10

Hip-hop artist Jay-Z organizes the “Budweiser Made In America” music festival.



23 ) The Da Vinci Code (2006)

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 24
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 17
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 18
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 20

A murder in Paris’ Louvre Museum and cryptic clues in some of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery. For 2,000 years a secret society closely guards information that — should it come to light — could rock the very foundations of Christianity.



22 ) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 18
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 19
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 16
  • Metacritic User Score: 15
  • IMDB User Review Score: 26
  • Letterboxd User Score: 16

Inside a snowflake exists the magical land of Whoville. In Whoville, live the Whos, an almost mutated sort of Munchkin-like people. All the Whos love Christmas, yet just outside of their beloved Whoville lives the Grinch. The Grinch is a nasty creature that hates Christmas, and plots to steal it away from the Whos, whom he equally abhors. Yet a small child, Cindy Lou Who, decides to try befriending the Grinch.



21 ) Angels & Demons (2009)

Angels & Demons (2009)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 22
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 17
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 18
  • Metacritic User Score: 16
  • IMDB User Review Score: 13
  • Letterboxd User Score: 20

Harvard symbologist, Robert Langdon investigates a mysterious symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. He discovers evidence of the rebirth of the ancient secret brotherhood of The Illuminati—the most powerful underground organisation ever to walk the earth.



20 ) Gung Ho (1986)

Gung Ho (1986)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 23
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 22
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 6
  • Metacritic User Score: 10
  • IMDB User Review Score: 22
  • Letterboxd User Score: 20

When a western Pennsylvania auto plant is acquired by a Japanese company, brokering auto worker Hunt Stevenson faces the tricky challenge of mediating the assimilation of two clashing corporate cultures. At one end is the Japanese plant manager and the sycophant who is angling for his position. At the other, a number of disgruntled long-time union members struggle with the new exigencies of Japanese quality control.



19 ) The Missing (2003)

The Missing (2003)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 16
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 21
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 15
  • Metacritic User Score: 14
  • IMDB User Review Score: 20
  • Letterboxd User Score: 16

When rancher and single mother of two Maggie Gilkeson sees her teenage daughter, Lily, kidnapped by Apache rebels, she reluctantly accepts the help of her estranged father, Samuel, in tracking down the kidnappers. Along the way, the two must learn to reconcile the past and work together if they are going to have any hope of getting Lily back before she is taken over the border and forced to become a prostitute.



17 ) In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 21
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 20
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 14
  • Metacritic User Score: 13
  • IMDB User Review Score: 11
  • Letterboxd User Score: 16

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. But that told only half the story. “Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.



17 ) Edtv (1999)

Edtv (1999)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 15
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 26
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 1
  • Metacritic User Score: 2
  • IMDB User Review Score: 26
  • Letterboxd User Score: 25

Video store clerk Ed agrees to have his life filmed by a camera crew for a tv network.



16 ) Splash (1984)

Splash (1984)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 6
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 16
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 12
  • Metacritic User Score: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 22
  • Letterboxd User Score: 16

A successful businessman falls in love with the girl of his dreams. There’s one big complication though; he’s fallen hook, line and sinker for a mermaid.



15 ) Ransom (1996)

Ransom (1996)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 11
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 12
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 21
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 10

When a rich man’s son is kidnapped, he cooperates with the police at first but then tries a unique tactic against the criminals.



14 ) Far and Away (1992)

Far and Away (1992)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 20
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 12
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 9
  • Metacritic User Score: 12
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 20

A young man leaves Ireland with his landlord’s daughter after some trouble with her father, and they dream of owning land at the big giveaway in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When they get to the new land, they find jobs and begin saving money. The man becomes a local barehands boxer, and rides in glory until he is beaten, then his employers steal all the couple’s money and they must fight off starvation in the winter, and try to keep their dream of owning land alive. Meanwhile, the woman’s parents find out where she has gone and have come to America to find her and take her back.



12 ) Cocoon (1985)

Cocoon (1985)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 15
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 17
  • Metacritic User Score: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 13
  • Letterboxd User Score: 10

When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigor.



12 ) Night Shift (1982)

Night Shift (1982)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 5
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 12
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 18
  • Metacritic User Score: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 20
  • Letterboxd User Score: 10

A nebbish of a morgue attendant gets shunted back to the night shift where he is shackled with an obnoxious neophyte partner who dreams of the “one great idea” for success. His life takes a bizarre turn when a prostitute neighbour complains about the loss of her pimp. His partner, upon hearing the situation, suggests that they fill that opening themselves using the morgue at night .



11 ) The Paper (1994)

The Paper (1994)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 8
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 10
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 21
  • Metacritic User Score: 22
  • IMDB User Review Score: 16
  • Letterboxd User Score: 9

Henry Hackett is the editor of a New York City tabloid. He is a workaholic who loves his job, but the long hours and low pay are leading to discontent. Also, publisher Bernie White faces financial straits, and has hatchetman Alicia Clark, Henry’s nemesis, impose unpopular cutbacks.



10 ) Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 14
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 11
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 18
  • Metacritic User Score: 17
  • IMDB User Review Score: 9
  • Letterboxd User Score: 10

Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian.



9 ) Backdraft (1991)

Backdraft (1991)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 12
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 8
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 3
  • Metacritic User Score: 5
  • IMDB User Review Score: 13
  • Letterboxd User Score: 10

They say a blast of flames can take a life … and hide a secret. But now firemen brothers Brian and Stephen McCaffrey are battling each other over past slights while trying to stop an arsonist with a diabolical agenda from torching Chicago.



8 ) Willow (1988)

Willow (1988)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 19
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 7
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 1
  • Metacritic User Score: 2
  • IMDB User Review Score: 8
  • Letterboxd User Score: 8

Fearful of a prophecy stating that a girl child will be born to bring about her downfall, the evil Queen Bavmorda imprisons all pregnant women within the formidable stronghold of Nockmaar. A child, Elora Danan, is born in the Nockmaar dungeons and identified as the prophesied child by a birthmark on her arm. However, before the black sorceress arrives to claim the child, Elora’s mother convinces her reluctant midwife to escape with the baby. Willow, a timid farmer and aspiring sorcerer, is entrusted with delivering the royal infant from evil.



7 ) Parenthood (1989)

Parenthood (1989)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 3
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 8
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 4
  • Metacritic User Score: 5
  • IMDB User Review Score: 9
  • Letterboxd User Score: 7

The story of the Buckman family and friends, attempting to bring up their children. They suffer/enjoy all the events that occur: estranged relatives, the “black sheep” of the family, the eccentrics, the skeletons in the closet, and the rebellious teenagers.



5 ) A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 12
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 1
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 10
  • Metacritic User Score: 8
  • IMDB User Review Score: 2
  • Letterboxd User Score: 1

John Nash is a brilliant but asocial mathematician fighting schizophrenia. After he accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.



5 ) Cinderella Man (2005)

Cinderella Man (2005)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 9
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 2
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 13
  • Metacritic User Score: 1
  • IMDB User Review Score: 4
  • Letterboxd User Score: 5

The true story of boxer, Jim Braddock who, in the 1920’s after his retirement, has a surprise comeback in order to get him and his family out of a socially poor state.



3 ) Frost/Nixon (2008)

Frost/Nixon (2008)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 3
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 4
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 5
  • Metacritic User Score: 10
  • IMDB User Review Score: 6
  • Letterboxd User Score: 5

For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans. Likewise, Frost’s team harboured doubts about their boss’s ability to hold his own. But as the cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted.



3 ) Apollo 13 (1995)

Apollo 13 (1995)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 2
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 6
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 7
  • Metacritic User Score: 8
  • IMDB User Review Score: 7
  • Letterboxd User Score: 3

The true story of technical troubles that scuttle the Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1971, risking the lives of astronaut Jim Lovell and his crew, with the failed journey turning into a thrilling saga of heroism. Drifting more than 200,000 miles from Earth, the astronauts work furiously with the ground crew to avert tragedy.



2 ) Rush (2013)

Rush (2013)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 7
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 4
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 8
  • Metacritic User Score: 4
  • IMDB User Review Score: 3
  • Letterboxd User Score: 3

A biographical drama centered on the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One motor-racing season.



1 ) The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (2016)

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (2016)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Rotten Tomatoes Critic: 1
  • Rotten Tomatoes Users: 3
  • Metacritc Critic Score: 10
  • Metacritic User Score: 5
  • IMDB User Review Score: 5
  • Letterboxd User Score: 1

The band stormed Europe in 1963, and, in 1964, they conquered America. Their groundbreaking world tours changed global youth culture forever and, arguably, invented mass entertainment as we know it today. All the while, the group were composing and recording a series of extraordinarily successful singles and albums. However the relentless pressure of such unprecedented fame, that in 1966 became uncontrollable turmoil, led to the decision to stop touring. In the ensuing years The Beatles were then free to focus on a series of albums that changed the face of recorded music.



Ron Howard’s Best Movies



Ron Howard Review Website Filmography Rankings

FilmRT CriticRT UserMC CriticMC UserIMDBLetterboxdOveral Rank
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (2016) 1 3 10 5 5 1 1
Rush (2013) 7 4 8 4 3 3 2
Frost/Nixon (2008) 3 4 5 10 6 5 3
Apollo 13 (1995) 2 6 7 8 7 3 3
A Beautiful Mind (2001) 12 1 10 8 2 1 5
Cinderella Man (2005) 9 2 13 1 4 5 5
Parenthood (1989) 3 8 4 5 9 7 7
Willow (1988) 19 7 1 2 8 8 8
Backdraft (1991) 12 8 3 5 13 10 9
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) 14 11 18 17 9 10 10
The Paper (1994) 8 10 21 22 16 9 11
Cocoon (1985) 10 15 17 22 13 10 12
Night Shift (1982) 5 12 18 22 20 10 12
Far and Away (1992) 20 12 9 12 16 20 14
Ransom (1996) 11 12 21 21 16 10 15
Splash (1984) 6 16 12 22 22 16 16
In the Heart of the Sea (2015) 21 20 14 13 11 16 17
Edtv (1999) 15 26 1 2 26 25 17
The Missing (2003) 16 21 15 14 20 16 19
Gung Ho (1986) 23 22 6 10 22 20 20
Angels & Demons (2009) 22 17 18 16 13 20 21
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) 18 19 16 15 26 16 22
The Da Vinci Code (2006) 24 17 21 18 16 20 23
Jay-Z: Made in America (2013) 16 25 21 22 30 10 24
Skyward (1980) 28 28 21 22 1 28 25
Through the Magic Pyramid (1981) 28 28 21 22 11 28 26
Inferno (2016) 26 23 21 20 22 26 26
Grand Theft Auto (1977) 26 24 21 22 28 20 28
The Dilemma (2011) 24 27 21 19 29 27 29
Cotton Candy (1978) 28 28 21 22 22 28 30

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