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The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated October 7, 2019 2.2k votes 568 voters 33.9k views 36 items

List Rules Vote 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?"


Joaquin Phoenix is no stranger to working with popular directors, including Ron Howard, M. Night Shyamalan and Joel Schumacher. Movie fans who love Joaquin Phoenix have also been known to enjoy films starring Ben Stiller and Paul Rudd.

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Return to Paradise is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, Jada Pinkett Smith

Released: 1998

Directed by: Joseph Ruben

Return to Paradise is a 1998 drama-thriller film directed by Joseph Ruben, written by Wesley Strick and Bruce Robinson, and starring Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche and Joaquin Phoenix. Return to ...more
Irrational Man is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Joe Stapleton

Released: 2015

Directed by: Woody Allen

Don't Worry, He Won't Ge... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill

Released: 2018

Directed by: Gus 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) ...more
The Yards is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix

Released: 2000

Directed by: James Gray

The Yards is a 2000 American crime film directed by James Gray. It was written by Gray and Matt Reeves, and stars Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron and James Caan. The setting is ...more

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It's All About Love is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Sean Penn, Claire Danes, Joaquin Phoenix

Released: 2003

Directed by: Thomas 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 ...more
Kids Don't Tell is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Kids Don't Tell Joaquin Phoenix, JoBeth Williams, Judith Barsi

Released: 1985

Directed by: Sam 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
U Turn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Jennifer Lopez, Sean Penn, Claire Danes

Released: 1997

Directed by: Oliver Stone

U Turn is a 1997 American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Powers Boothe, Joaquin Phoenix, Claire ...more
Russkies is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Joaquin Phoenix, Carole King, Peter Billingsley

Released: 1987

Directed by: Rick Rosenthal

Russkies is a 1987 American drama film starring Whip Hubley and Leaf Phoenix, directed by Rick Rosenthal with cinematography by Reed Smoot.
Mary Magdalene is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Released: 2018

Directed by: Garth 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
Backwards: The Riddle of... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Joaquin Phoenix Movies
Joaquin Phoenix, River Phoenix, Madge Sinclair

Released: 1984

Directed by: Alex Grasshoff

Backwards: The Riddle Of Dyslexia is a 1984 ABC Afterschool Special about dyslexia. It stars 13 year old River Phoenix in "one of his first major roles" as Brian Ellsworth. Joaquin ...more
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Kate Hudson, Ryan Gosling, Joaquin Phoenix

Released: 2005

Directed by: Lauren Lazin

Brings to life the diaries of young people who witnessed first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust. Through an emotional montage of archival footage, personal photos, and text from the diaries ...more