Jim Carrey's Best Movies, Ranked by Metacritic

For 'Liar Liar's' 25th anniversary, Metacritic looks back at Jim Carrey's best films, ranked by Metascore.
by Taylor Freitas — 

Jim Carrey

Rich Fury / Getty Images

Since rising to mainstream fame in the mid-1990s, Jim Carrey has proven himself to be one of the elite comedic actors of his generation. But even though he primarily appears in comedies, Carrey has also had success in several other genres, including kids' movies, psychological dramas, and biographical films.

As a teenager, the Canada-born Carrey began performing stand-up comedy routines at open-mic nights around Toronto, eventually working his way up to paid gigs. After a series of late-show performances and a few unsuccessful Saturday Night Live auditions, Carrey made the transition to film, making one of his earliest appearances in the 1985 teen comedy Once Bitten. He received steady work over the next few years, landing supporting roles in '80s comedies Peggy Sue Got Married and Earth Girls Are Easy.

Everything changed in 1994, though, when Carrey starred in three of his career-defining movies: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber. He became an instant star and, two years later, took home a record-setting $20 million for his role in The Cable Guy — a move that prompted many other actors to demand a higher paycheck.

Since then, Carrey has played the lead in many box-office hits, including Batman Forever, Liar Liar, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Bruce Almighty. These four films alone grossed nearly $900 million in domestic box office sales — and they represent just a small piece of his filmography.

Whether you're a fan of Carrey's slapstick comedy or his more dramatic performances, there's plenty to enjoy in his catalog. Here, Metacritic highlights Carrey's top 10 movies, ranked by Metascore.

The Truman Show

Metascore: 90
Best for: Fans of psychological dramas
Where to watch: 

Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu  
Runtime: 103 minutes

In The Truman Show, Carrey stars as Truman Burbank, an insurance salesman who lives a regular life until he finds out that he's the subject of a popular reality show. When he starts to uncover the truth, chaos ensues behind the scenes and on set. The thought-provoking film, which was released in 1998, served as an exploration of privacy, reality TV, and existentialism (among other themes). The Truman Show received a number of major awards, including Best Screenplay at the BAFTA Awards. For his performance, Carrey won Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama at the Golden Globes.

"A gemlike picture crafted with rare and immaculate precision." — Todd McCarthy, Variety

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Metascore: 89
Best for: Fans of romantic dramas
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, , Vudu 
Runtime: 108 minutes

When her relationship appears to be coming to an end, New Yorker Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase all memories with her boyfriend, Joel Barish (Carrey) — who eventually decides to do the same. In the process, Joel re-lives the couple's best moments together and realizes that he may be making a mistake. In addition to Carrey and Winslet, the movie's ensemble cast also features Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst, and Mark Ruffalo. Both Carrey and Winslet received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for their performances, while Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth accepted the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. 

"A masterpiece? Probably. Ingenious? Absolutely! Unforgettable? I'll see you at the 10th-year anniversary." — Jack Mathews, New York Daily News

Under the Sea 3D

Metascore: 77
Best for: Documentary fans, wildlife lovers
Where to watch: 

Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 40 minutes

Under the Sea 3D is an IMAX film that takes audiences into the fascinating and diverse ocean regions of Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Carrey serves as the movie's narrator, introducing viewers to some of the world's most unique underwater creatures. At the same time, Under the Sea 3D also explores how global warming has impacted these important ecosystems — and how climate change could shape their future. Although this family-friendly flick came out in 2009, it's still screened at theaters around the country, including the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

"It's all a treat to behold, and, at least where the turtle and the jellyfish are concerned, it's transcendently beautiful, too." — Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond — Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton

Metascore: 77
Best for: Comedy fans, documentary lovers
Where to watch: Netflix
Runtime: 94 minutes

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of 1999's Man On the Moon, in which Carrey starred as comedian and performer Andy Kaufman. Directed by Chris Smith, the documentary relies on footage from the making of the movie, focusing on Carrey's unwavering commitment to staying in character — even when that film's cameras weren't rolling. It also features modern-day interviews with Carrey as he reflects on his performance and the parallels between his and Kaufman's lives. Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond was released on Netflix in 2017 and earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination the following year.

"Jim & Andy is instead a complexly layered and textured Cubist portrait, one that's been constructed from fragments of its two title subjects and their work." — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Peggy Sue Got Married

Metascore: 74
Best for: Fans of '80s comedies
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, , iTunes, Paramount+Vudu
Runtime: 103 minutes

When Peggy Sue Bodell (Kathleen Turner) faints at her 25-year high-school reunion, she's surprised to wake up in her senior year of school. As she relives her teen years, she must confront how her previous choices shaped her future and decide whether she wants to repeat them. Carrey makes a brief appearance in the film, playing a high-school friend of Peggy Sue's husband Charlie (Nicolas Cage). Released in 1986, Peggy Sue Got Married was one of his earliest movie roles, nearly a decade before he found mainstream success with titles like Dumb and Dumber and The Mask.

"Peggy Sue Got Married is a lot of things — a human comedy, a nostalgic memory, a love story — but there are times when it is just plain creepy, because it awakens such vivid memories in us." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

Metascore: 74
Best for: Fans of Robin Williams and documentaries
Where to watch: 

Google Play, HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 116 minutes

Released in 2018, four years after his death, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind is an HBO documentary that explores the life, career, and death of the titular comedian. The film highlights the ups and downs of Williams' eventful life through a combination of his work, archival footage, and interviews with fellow comics. Carrey, who had performed an impersonation of Williams in the early years of his career, appears in the film's archival footage. Numerous other comedians also appear throughout the documentary, including Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Steve Martin, and Whoopi Goldberg

"It's a sad, but satisfying, visit with a special man." — Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

Horton Hears a Who!

Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of Dr. Seuss and animated films
Where to watch: 

, , Google Play, , iTunes, Vudu 
Runtime: 86 minutes

Based on the classic children's book by Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who! is a 2008 computer-animated film directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino. Carrey voices the lovable and quirky elephant Horton, a teacher in the Jungle of Nool, who hears a subtle noise coming from a floating speck of dust. Eventually, he discovers that the dust particle holds a town called Whoville, the home of the microscopic Whos — and they need his help to save Whoville from destruction. Horton Hears a Who! was Carrey's second leading role in a Dr. Seuss film, following 2000's How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

"A delight, brimming with colorful, elastic characters and bountiful wit." — Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter

Liar Liar

Metascore: 70
Best for: Fans of fantasy comedies
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 86 minutes

In Liar Liar, Carrey stars as Fletcher Reede, a successful LA lawyer whose lying habit constantly disappoints his son Max (Justin Cooper). On his fifth birthday, Max blows out his candles and makes a wish for his dad to stop lying — which, unbeknownst to Fletcher, instantly comes true. After several embarrassing attempts to lie, Fletcher realizes he must break his habit in order to salvage his relationship with his son and redeem himself in his profession. For his performance, Carrey received a nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical at the 1998 Golden Globe Awards.

"It's a magnificent comic experience." — Desson Thomson, The Washington Post

Earth Girls Are Easy

Metascore: 66
Best for: Fans of science-fiction comedies
Where to watch: 

Google Play, iTunes, Pluto TV, Tubi, Vudu
Runtime: 100 minutes

Directed by Julien Temple, Earth Girls Are Easy is a 1988 sci-fi comedy about LA-based manicurist Valerie Gail (Geena Davis) who's unsatisfied with her love life — until she falls for an alien named Mac (Jeff Goldblum) whose spaceship crashes into her pool. Mac is joined by his travel companions Wiploc (Carrey) and Zeebo (Damon Wayans) as the three aliens learn to navigate life on earth. Earth Girls Are Easy, which is now viewed as a cult classic, stretches across several film genres, including science-fiction, fantasy, comedy, and musical. It was also a pivotal role in Carrey's journey from supporting to leading actor.

"A lighthearted and goofy musical comedy about a love affair between an extraterrestrial and a manicurist." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The Love We Make

Metascore: 65
Best for: Beatles fans, history buffs, and documentary lovers
Where to watch: 

Google Play
Runtime: 94 minutess

Filmed in the weeks after 9/11, The Love We Make follows Paul McCartney as he hits the streets of New York while planning for his October 2001 benefit event, The Concert for New York City. The documentary tags along with McCartney as he prepares for the high-profile event, which featured performances from musicians including Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, and Jay-Z, as well as comedy routines and speeches from a number of other celebrities. Carrey, who introduced McCartney at the concert, briefly appears in The Love We Make as he chats backstage with the former Beatle. 

"Captured mostly in gorgeous black and white, The Love We Make is alternately trite, touching, funny and fascinating." — Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times