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The Best Michael Douglas Movies

Updated December 26, 2019 4.4k votes 987 voters 84.8k views53 items

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

Here are the best Michael Douglas movies, ranked best to worst, with movie trailers and clips. Michael Douglas has acted in some amazing films, but he also worked behind the scenes on several award-winning movies including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Michael Douglas'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 Michael Douglas movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Michael Douglas movies will be at the top of the list. 

When Michael Douglas first started acting in Hollywood, he was not considered a great actor, but Douglas proved everyone wrong after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as the money-hungry corporate raider Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street. Douglas then went on to star in box office hits Basic Instinct with Sharon Stone and Disclosure with Demi Moore. Thanks to his hugely successful and prolific career, Michael Douglas received both the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award and the AFI Life Achievement Award.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best Michael Douglas movies?," "What are the greatest Michael Douglas roles of all time?,"  and "How do Michael Douglas's recent movies compare to his first?" The greatest Michael Douglas performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand. Everything from Falling Down to The Game is included on this Michael Douglas filmography, but it's up to fans like you to decide upon the best. If you think the best Michael Douglas role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. 

If you love Michael Douglas's intensity, you might also enjoy our list of best Sean Penn movies and best Charlie Sheen movies.

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    Falling Down

    Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas

    Released1993

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    Falling Down is a 1993 drama film directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith. The film stars Michael Douglas in the lead role of William Foster, a divorcé and unemployed former defense...  more

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    #240 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies Of All Time#14 of 25 Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes

  • 2
    177
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    Wall Street

    Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas

    Released1987

    Directed byOliver Stone

    Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film, directed and co-written by Oliver Stone, which stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah and Martin Sheen. The film tells the story of Bud Fox, a...  more

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    #4 of 64 The Greatest Movies About Making Money#39 of 80 The Best Con Movies

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    Romancing the Stone

    Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito

    Released1984

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Romancing the Stone is a 1984 American action-adventure romantic comedy. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, it stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. The film was followed by a 1985...  more

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    #4 of 18 18 Underrated Action-Adventure Movies#10 of 197 The Best Adventure Movies

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    Basic Instinct

    Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas

    Released1992

    Directed byPaul Verhoeven

    Basic Instinct is a 1992 French-American neo-noir erotic thriller film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Joe Eszterhas, and starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone. The film is about a...  more

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    #47 of 53 The Best Movies Where The Bad Guy Wins#178 of 541 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

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    The Game

    Sean Penn, Michael Douglas

    Released1997

    Directed byDavid Fincher, Pedro Coutinho

    The Game is a 1997 American mystery thriller film directed by David Fincher, starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn, and produced by Propaganda Films and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. It tells the...  more

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    #15 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings#86 of 440 The Best Movies Of The 1990s

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    109
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    The American President

    Annette Bening, Michael J. Fox

    Released1995

    Directed byRob Reiner

    The American President is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin. The film stars Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox...  more

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    #8 of 62 The Funniest Movies About Politics#52 of 126 The Greatest Date Movies Of All Time

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    Traffic

    Salma Hayek, Catherine Zeta-Jones

    Released2000

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    Traffic is a 2000 American drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Stephen Gaghan. It explores the trade from a number of perspectives: a user, an enforcer, a politician and a...  more

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  • 8
    109
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    The War of the Roses

    Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito

    Released1989

    Directed byDanny DeVito, Thomas Lofaro

    This film is a 1989 American black comedy film based upon the 1981 novel of the same name by Warren Adler. The film follows a wealthy couple with a seemingly perfect marriage. When their marriage...  more

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    #299 of 1,141 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#382 of 924 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 9
    103
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    A Perfect Murder

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen

    Released1998

    Directed byAndrew Davis

    This film is a 1998 American thriller film directed by Andrew Davis and starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen. Loosely based on the play by Frederick Knott, the screenplay...  more

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    #12 of 44 The Best Cheating Wife Movies#11 of 38 Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs

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    The Jewel of the Nile

    Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito

    Released1985

    Directed byLewis Teague, David Teague

    The Jewel of the Nile is a 1985 action-adventure romantic comedy and a sequel to the 1984 film Romancing the Stone, with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito reprising their roles....  more

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    #288 of 783 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#150 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

    Released1975

    Directed byMiloš Forman

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman and directed by Miloš Forman. A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where...  more

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    #40 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#41 of 139 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

  • 12
    41
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    Ant-Man

    Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas

    Released2015

    Directed byPeyton Reed

    Ant-Man is a 2015 American superhero film directed by Peyton Reed, based on the Marvel Comics character. Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in...  more

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    The Best Easter Eggs And References Hidden In 'Ant-Man'#462 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

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    The Ghost and the Darkness

    Val Kilmer, Michael Douglas

    Released1996

    Directed byStephen Hopkins

    The Ghost and the Darkness is a 1996 historical adventure film starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas set in Africa at the end of the 19th century. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins and the...  more
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    26
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    Starman

    Jeff Bridges, John Carpenter

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

    Starman is a 1984 American romantic science fiction film, directed by John Carpenter, that tells the story of an alien who has come to Earth in response to the invitation found on the gold phonograph...  more

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    #232 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#75 of 186 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

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    34
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    Disclosure

    Demi Moore, Michael Douglas

    Released1994

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    Disclosure is a 1994 thriller film directed by Barry Levinson, starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. It is based on Michael Crichton's novel Disclosure. The cast also includes Donald Sutherland,...  more

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    The China Syndrome

    Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas

    Released1979

    Directed byJames Bridges

    The China Syndrome is a 1979 American thriller film that tells the story of a television reporter and her cameraman who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. It stars Jane Fonda, Jack...  more

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    #162 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#44 of 318 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

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    39
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    Behind the Candelabra

    Matt Damon, Michael Douglas

    Released2013

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    Behind the Candelabra is a 2013 American drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh. It dramatizes the last ten years in the life of pianist Liberace and the relationship he had with Scott Thorson. It...  more

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    #158 of 196 The Best Movies About Music#104 of 125 The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s

  • 18
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    Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

    Charlie Sheen, Shia LaBeouf

    Released2010

    Directed byOliver Stone

    Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a 2010 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone, a sequel to Wall Street. The film takes place in New York, 23 years after the original and revolves around the...  more
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    The Star Chamber

    Michael Douglas, Hal Holbrook

    Released1983

    Directed byPeter Hyams

    The Star Chamber is a 1983 American thriller film written by Roderick Taylor and directed by Peter Hyams. It stars Michael Douglas and Hal Holbrook. Its title is taken from the name of the notorious...  more
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    Hail, Hero!

    Michael Douglas, Teresa Wright

    Released1969

    Directed byDavid Miller

    Hail, Hero! is a 1969 film directed by David Miller, starring Michael Douglas, Deborah Winters and Peter Strauss. David Manber wrote the screenplay based on the novel by John Weston. The picture was...  more
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    Adam at 6 A.M.

    Michael Douglas, Joe Don Baker

    Released1970

    Directed byRobert Scheerer

    Adam at 6 A.M. is a 1970 American film directed by Robert Scheerer. The film did not receive much attention when it was released, but was the second starring role for Michael Douglas. The movie was...  more
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    The Rainmaker

    Matt Damon, Claire Danes

    Released1997

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Rainmaker is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Matt Damon, based on the 1995 novel of the same name by John Grisham. Danny DeVito, Danny Glover,...  more

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    Summertree

    Michael Douglas, Teri Garr

    Released1971

    Directed byAnthony Newley

    Summertree is a 1971 film directed by Anthony Newley. The screenplay was written by Edward Hume and Stephen Yafa, based on the 1967 play of the same name by Ron Cowen....  more
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    Don't Say a Word

    Famke Janssen, Michael Douglas

    Released2001

    Directed byGary Fleder

    Don't Say a Word is a 2001 psychological thriller film starring Michael Douglas, Brittany Murphy and Sean Bean based on the novel of the same title by Andrew Klavan. Don't Say a Word was directed by...  more

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    #95 of 232 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#35 of 248 The Best Whodunit Movies

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    Black Rain

    Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia

    Released1989

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Black Rain is a 1989 American action thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Michael Douglas, Andy García, Ken Takakura, Kate Capshaw and Yusaku Matsuda. The story centers on two New York...  more