Will Ferrell: His Ten Best Films

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Consider this a bit of an experiment today. Instead of doing something like what I used to do with the Spotlight on the Stars series, I’m going to try honoring an actor or a filmmaker with a personalized top ten list. We’ll start off with none other than Will Ferrell, who happens to have the new comedy Get Hard hitting theaters this weekend. This initial piece will look at the ten best movies he’s been in, as opposed to just his best performances, but those will be contained within this list too, of course, so fear not. Anyway, let’s give this a shot and see how it goes!

Here now, without any delay, are the ten best films that Ferrell has found himself a cast member in…

10. The Producers – Though a pale comparison to the original Mel Brooks movie (or the Broadway production), this remake of sorts does happen to be decently entertaining as well as feature Ferrell as one of its highlights. He scored his first Golden Globe nomination for this role in Best Supporting Actor, beating out some dramatic heavies for the nod too, so that’s something.

9. Melinda and Melinda – It’s lesser Woody Allen for sure, but an underrated title of his with Ferrell mostly doing a more serious than average version of an Allen impression. Ferrell happens to be one of the better parts of the flick, so that gives it a definite boost, helping it crack this list.

8. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back – I’m not as wild about this one as most Kevin Smith fans are (it’s second tier Smith to me), but when it’s funny…it’s hilarious. Ferrell might not be the highlight, but he’s a solid part of a really game to play ensemble. That’s something that he’s better at than a lot of people realize. He’s a showy comedian, but he also can blend pretty well too.

7. Everything Must Go – One of Ferrell’s best performances to date comes in this effectively low key dramedy. With none of his usual mannerisms, he’s really just inhabiting a character. The reason this movie works is his performance, plain and simple. He raises it up.

6. Elf – Easily one of the most likable roles for Ferrell is found within this charming little family comedy. There are times when it’s a little too cute for its own good, but there’s such warmth radiating from this film and performance that it’s almost impossible not to ultimately fall for.

5. Winter Passing – The film that first introduced the actor’s serious side is in this underrated dramedy. Zooey Deschanel is the highlight, but Ferrell got to play a straight man with no real jokes for the first time. It’s not awards worthy stuff, but it is quite a good performance.

4. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – A sort of surprise modern classic comedy, Ferrell created his most iconic character here. The plot is a throwaway, but watching Ferrell settle in and really become Ron Burgundy is a fun time for sure. I have this one a little lower than most, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile, since it very much is.

3. Old School – For my money, Ferrell has never been comedically better than in this supremely entertaining comedy. That might ruffle a few feathers, but I think this is where he shines brightest, comedy wise. No broad characters, just a lovable buffoon. It works wonders for his talents.

2. The LEGO Movie – Putting Ferrell into an animated villain (among other roles, which I won’t spoil) was a genius decision. He dives into his roles with aplomb, really committing to them with feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever been more surprised by the actor than I was with him here in this one.

1. Stranger Than Fiction – A nearly perfect romantic dramedy with Ferrell giving Oscar nomination worthy work (he did get his second Globe nom here) as an IRS agent who starts to hear his life being narrated as he lives it. The movie goes in some amazingly interesting directions and is a gem that I just adore. If any of you haven’t seen it, you’re really missing out. It’s not only Ferrell’s best performance, but the best film he’s been involved in to date, bar none.

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Honorable Mention: Wedding Crashers and Zoolander

Be sure to celebrate Will Ferrell this week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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