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The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies

Updated October 7, 2019 3.0k votes 639 voters 36.6k views36 items

List RulesVote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best Joaquin Phoenix movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Joaquin Phoenix's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Joaquin Phoenix movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Joaquin Phoenix movies will be at the top of the list. Joaquin Phoenix has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Joaquin Phoenix movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Joaquin Phoenix films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Joaquin Phoenix role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Joaquin Phoenix performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand. He has also starred in several James Gray movies such as We Own the Night, The Yards, and The Immigrant.

Items on this list include Her and Inherent Vice.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Joaquin Phoenix movies?" and "What are the greatest Joaquin Phoenix roles of all time?"

 

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    Joker

    Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro

    Released2019

    Directed byTodd Phillips

    Joker is a 2019 American crime drama film directed by Todd Phillips, based on the DC Comics character. In 1981, a failed stand-up comedian (Joaquin Phoenix) is driven insane, turning to a life of...  more
  • 2
    202
    52

    Walk the Line

    Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2005

    Directed byJames Mangold

    Walk the Line is a 2005 American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold and based on the early life and career of country music artist Johnny Cash. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Reese...  more

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    #312 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies#6 of 302 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 3
    170
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    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek...  more

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    12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From ‘Gladiator’#37 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

  • 4
    143
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    Her

    Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde

    Released2013

    Directed bySpike Jonze

    Her is a 2013 American romantic science fiction comedy-drama film written, directed, and produced by Spike Jonze. The film's musical score was composed by Arcade Fire, with the cinematography...  more

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  • 5
    138
    37

    The Master

    Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2012

    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

    The Master is a 2012 American drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. It tells the story of Freddie...  more
  • 6
    104
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    Hotel Rwanda

    Nick Nolte, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2004

    Directed byTerry George

    Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 American historical drama film directed by Terry George. It was adapted from a screenplay written by both George and Keir Pearson. It stars Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo as...  more

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    #5 of 174 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#12 of 139 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

  • 7
    71
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    To Die For

    Nicole Kidman, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released1995

    Directed byGus Van Sant

    This film is a 1995 American comedy-drama film, made in a mockumentary format, directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Buck Henry, based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, which in turn...  more

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    #22 of 44 The Best Cheating Wife Movies#294 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s

  • 8
    74
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    Parenthood

    Keanu Reeves, Steve Martin

    Released1989

    Directed byRon Howard

    Parenthood is a 1989 comedy-drama film with an ensemble cast that includes Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, and...  more

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  • 9
    54
    9

    You Were Never Really Here

    Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov

    Released2017

    Directed byLynne Ramsay

    You Were Never Really Here is a 2017 thriller film directed by Lynne Ramsay, based on the novella by Jonathan Ames. A traumatized veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who tracks down missing girls for a living...  more
  • 10
    73
    31

    Signs

    Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2002

    Directed byM. Night Shyamalan

    Signs is a 2002 American science fiction thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Executive producers for the film comprised Shyamalan, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Sam...  more

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  • 11
    60
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    Inventing the Abbotts

    Jennifer Connelly, Liv Tyler

    Released1997

    Directed byPat O'Connor

    Inventing the Abbotts is a 1997 coming-of-age film directed by Patric O'Connor, starring Liv Tyler, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly, as well as Joanna Going. The screenplay by Ken...  more

    More 

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  • 12
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    Inherent Vice

    Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin

    Released2014

    Directed byPaul Thomas Anderson

    Inherent Vice is a 2014 American neo-noir comedy-drama film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon. In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator Larry "Doc"...  more
  • 13
    53
    16

    Reservation Road

    Jennifer Connelly, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2007

    Directed byTerry George

    Reservation Road is a 2007 American drama film directed by Terry George and based on the book of the same title by John Burnham Schwartz, who, along with George, adapted the novel for the screenplay....  more
  • 14
    50
    15

    The Sisters Brothers

    John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2018

    Directed byJacques Audiard

    The Sisters Brothers is a 2018 western dark comedy directed by Jacques Audiard, based on the novel by Patrick deWitt. In 1850s Oregon, a gold prospector (Jake Gyllenhaal) is chased by the infamous...  more

    More 

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  • 15
    44
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    Irrational Man

    Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone

    Released2015

    Directed byWoody Allen

    Irrational Man is a 2015 American crime mystery drama film directed by Woody Allen. A tormented philosophy professor finds a will to live when he commits an existential act....  more
  • 16
    32
    12

    Kids Don't Tell

    Joaquin Phoenix, JoBeth Williams

    Released1985

    Directed bySam O'Steen

    Kids Don't Tell is a CBS television movie about child molestation starring Michael Ontkean and JoBeth Williams. The docudrama, which was directed by Oscar-nominated film editor Sam O'Steen, was...  more
  • 17
    37
    18

    It's All About Love

    Sean Penn, Claire Danes

    Released2003

    Directed byThomas Vinterberg

    It's All About Love is a 2003 romance-drama film written and directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Its narrative can be classified as apocalyptic science fiction, but Vinterberg prefers to call it "a...  more
  • 18
    42
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    We Own the Night

    Eva Mendes, Mark Wahlberg

    Released2007

    Directed byJames Gray

    We Own the Night is a 2007 American drama film written and directed by James Gray and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes and Robert Duvall. It is the third film directed by Gray, and...  more
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    47
    31

    The Village

    Bryce Dallas Howard, Sigourney Weaver

    Released2004

    Directed byM. Night Shyamalan

    The Village is a 2004 American psychological thriller film, written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt and...  more

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  • 20
    32
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    I'm Still Here

    Joaquin Phoenix, Antony Langdon

    Released2010

    Directed byCasey Affleck

    I'm Still Here is a 2010 documentary film directed by Casey Affleck. Joaquin Phoenix plans to retire from acting and concentrate on a new career as a hip-hop musician....  more

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    The Immigrant

    Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2013

    Directed byJames Gray

    The Immigrant is a 2013 American drama film co-written, produced and directed by James Gray. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival....  more
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    10

    Buffalo Soldiers

    Anna Paquin, Idris Elba

    Released2001

    Directed byGregor Jordan

    Buffalo Soldiers is a 2001 satire film, based on the 1993 novel by Robert O'Connor, which follows the rogue activities of a group of US soldiers based in West Germany during 1989 when the fall of the...  more
  • 23
    23
    13

    Russkies

    Joaquin Phoenix, Carole King

    Released1987

    Directed byRick Rosenthal

    Russkies is a 1987 American drama film starring Whip Hubley and Leaf Phoenix, directed by Rick Rosenthal with cinematography by Reed Smoot....  more
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    20
    11

    Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

    Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara

    Released2018

    Directed byGus Van Sant

    Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot is a 2018 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, based on the memoir by John Callahan. After nearly losing his life, a slacker (Joaquin Phoenix) discovers...  more
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    18
    10

    Mary Magdalene

    Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2018

    Directed byGarth Davis

    Mary Magdalene is a 2018 biblical drama film directed by Garth Davis. Constricted by the hierarchies of the day, Mary (Rooney Mara), a young woman in search of a new way of living, defies her...  more