RANKED! Jim Carrey’s Biggest and Best Movie Roles (Ahead of ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’)
By this point, Jim Carrey is one of the world’s most beloved and respected comedic performers. Despite this iconic status among the Hollywood elite, Carrey has kept a relatively low profile over the past few years. It may be hard to believe, but it’s been four long years since Carrey’s last film appearance (2016’s Dark Crimes), with his last major film role dating back six years ago (Dumb and Dumber To).
Fortunately, Carrey is looking to return to his roots in physical comedy by portraying the villainous Dr. Robotnik in the upcoming video game adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog. Will Carrey’s big return to Hollywood finally break the video game movie curse? Who cares! Any time to celebrate Jim Carrey’s impact on film is a good time. With that in mind, here are some of Jim Carrey’s biggest and best movie roles throughout his illustrious career!
Cover Photo: Paramount Pictures
10. ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a pretty bad movie, but Jim Carrey’s performance manages to single-handedly save it. Carrey plays a fictional magician that lampoons personalities like Criss Angel, and the actor hilariously commits to the part. While The Incredible Burt Wonderstone could arguably be his best performance of the 2010s, it's undoubtedly his biggest swing since the early part of his career.
9. ‘Batman Forever’
Speaking of big swings, Batman Forever is easily Carrey’s most manic and misunderstood performances. While this film often gets lumped in with the cinematic atrocity that is Batman & Robin, it’s actually a far more clever movie than it gets credit for, but that’s an argument for another day. Even though Batman Forever definitely belongs in the category of his most over-the-top performances, Jim Carrey is arguably the reason the movie is even rewatchable in the first place.
8. ‘Liar Liar’
As the second of three collaborations with director Tom Shadyac, Liar Liar is pretty much peak Jim Carrey. It perfectly captures Carrey’s inclinations a physical actor, while also allowing him to do what he does best – over-the-top performances infused with a ton of heart. Even 22 years after its release, Liar Liar still holds up relatively well, especially when you consider that it was Carrey’s last truly great comedic performance of the '90s.
7. ‘The Mask’
1994 was undoubtedly the year of Jim Carrey, who burst onto the film scene with three of his most essential roles over 12 months. While the other two films managed to make their own mark in different ways, The Mask proved that Carrey could be an international box office superstar. By perfectly playing Stanley Ipkiss as a lovable loser while portraying his smokin’ counterpart with tons of confidence and panache, Carrey was able to leverage the film’s family-friendly comedy to make himself a household name. Although The Mask still holds up pretty well by modern standards, there’s no doubt that it’s one of his most indelible roles.
6. ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’
As only one of the two Jim Carrey movies made in the last decade that are actually worth your time, I Love You Phillip Morris is one of the weirdest entries in his filmography. While the film certainly leans more toward a dramatic role for Carrey, it’s also a deeply effective black comedy. Carrey’s presence alone makes the film work on a fundamental level, but it also gives him the leeway to craft one of the most interesting performances of the year.
5. ‘Dumb and Dumber’
Although it’s unfair to call Dumb and Dumber a cult movie when it made $247 million at the box office in 1994, the film certainly has a devout following. Although part of this cultural longevity is due to the excellent chemistry between Carrey and Jeff Daniels, it’s also because his career was riding high after the success of The Mask. While the unfortunate prequel and sequel that would come in the years to follow may have slightly tarnished the legacy of Dumb and Dumber, it’s also a timeless comedy that still holds up to this day due to Carrey’s performance.
4. ‘Man on the Moon’
Man on the Moon is the only biopic of Jim Carrey’s career, but it also happens to be one of the best. Ironically enough, Milos Forman’s penultimate film would also end the string of late '90s box office successes for the actor. Despite being a commercial dud, the film is still an interesting biopic that perfectly captures a glimpse inside the insane mind of Andy Kaufman. While the Netflix documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond is arguably a more crucial look into the mindset of Carrey himself, Man on the Moon is still an essential biopic.
3. ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is undoubtedly the most special movie of Jim Carrey's entire filmography. While Michel Gondry is pretty much a genre onto himself, this fact alone easily makes it Carrey’s most challenging role to date. As one of the best films of the aughts, Carrey’s painfully honest performance serves as the emotional anchor of the film that probably wouldn’t work without him.
2. ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’
Although Ace Ventura may not be Jim Carrey’s best dramatic performance, it’s easily his most enduring comedic performance. No matter how many times you may watch it, there’s something endlessly rewatchable about Ace Ventura. It’s the type of film that is driven exclusively by a tour de force performance from Carrey. In other words, the movie doesn’t work without its leading performer’s wacky yet compelling energy. Aside from this, Ace Ventura remains an immensely rewatchable film that only ages like a fine wine.
1. ‘The Truman Show’
Even 22 years after its release, The Truman Show is still a prescient film. If anything, it’s more important now than it was when it was released in 1998. In terms of Jim Carrey’s abilities as a performer, The Truman Show is the perfect amalgamation of everything that he does so well. Aside from having an amazing script from Andrew Niccol, it’s the perfect role for a performer like Carrey to take. It captures the best of Jim Carrey’s dramatic and comedic sensibilities while also being completely accessible to the average moviegoer. Ultimately, The Truman Show is the best piece of acting that Carrey has contributed to cinema – at least for now.