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The Best Michael Shannon Movies 

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Updated September 22, 2019 787 votes 170 voters 9.2k views 52 items

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

List of the best Michael Shannon movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Michael Shannon'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 Shannon movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Michael Shannon movies will be at the top of the list. Michael Shannon has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Michael Shannon movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Michael Shannon films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Michael Shannon role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Michael Shannon performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

Items here include everything from Take Shelter to Man of Steel.

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

Michael Bay and Joel Schumacher have both worked with Michael Shannon over the years, as have plenty of other well-known directors.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
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1
Take Shelter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon, Katy Mixon

Released: 2011

Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Take Shelter is a 2011 American drama-thriller film written and directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young ...more

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2
The Iceman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
James Franco, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans

Released: 2012

Directed by: Ariel Vromen

The Iceman is an American crime thriller film based on the true story of longtime notorious hitman Richard Kuklinski. Released in 2013 at the Venice Film Festival, the film was directed by Ariel ...more

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3
8 Mile is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Eminem, Kim Basinger, Brittany Murphy

Released: 2002

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

8 Mile is a 2002 American hip-hop biopic film written by Scott Silver, directed by Curtis Hanson, and starring Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Michael Shannon and Kim Basinger. The film ...more

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4
Bug is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Bug Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick

Released: 2006

Directed by: William Friedkin

Bug is a 2006 American psychological horror film directed by William Friedkin. It stars Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon and Harry Connick, Jr.. The screenplay by Tracy Letts is based on his 1996 ...more

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5
Revolutionary Road is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates

Released: 2008

Directed by: Sam Mendes

Revolutionary Road is a 2008 American-British drama film, based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Richard Yates, directed by Sam Mendes. This is the second collaboration between Leonardo ...more

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6
Man of Steel is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon

Released: 2013

Directed by: Zack Snyder

Man of Steel is a 2013 superhero film directed by Zack Snyder, based on the DC Comics character. Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), one of the last of an extinguished race disguised as an unremarkable ...more

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7
My Son, My Son, What Hav... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Willem Dafoe, Dave Bautista, Chloë Sevigny

Released: 2009

Directed by: Werner Herzog

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? is a 2009 film directed by Werner Herzog and produced by David Lynch, inspired by the story of murderer Mark Yavorsky. Herzog describes the film as "a ...more
8
Groundhog Day is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Michael Shannon

Released: 1993

Directed by: Harold Ramis

Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliott. It was written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, based on a story ...more

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9
Mud is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Paulson

Released: 2012

Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Mud is a 2012 American drama film directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, and Reese Witherspoon. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film
10
Shotgun Stories is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Michael Shannon, Natalie Canerday, Michael Abbott Jr.

Released: 2008

Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Shotgun Stories is a 2007 drama film about a feud between two sets of half-brothers following the death of their father in rural Arkansas. The film was written and directed by Jeff Nichols, and ...more
11
The Shape of Water is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

The Shape of Water is a 2017 American fantasy romance film directed by Guillermo del Toro. Lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation until she discovers a secret ...more

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12
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Marisa Tomei, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Released: 2007

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

This film is a 2007 drama film directed by Sidney Lumet. The film was written by Kelly Masterson, and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei and Albert Finney. The film unfolds ...more

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13
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Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer

Released: 2009

Directed by: Werner Herzog

After Katrina, police sergeant Terence McDonagh rescues a prisoner, hurts his back in the process and earns a promotion to lieutenant plus an addiction. His drug-using prostitute girlfriend, his ...more

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14
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Nicolas Cage, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello

Released: 2006

Directed by: Oliver Stone

World Trade Center is a 2006 disaster drama film directed by Oliver Stone and based on the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center. It stars Nicolas Cage, Maria Bello, Michael ...more

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15
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Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Tatum O'Neal

Released: 2010

Directed by: Floria Sigismondi

The Runaways is a 2010 American drama film about the 1970s all-girl rock band of the same name written and directed by Floria Sigismondi. It is based on the book Neon Angel: A Memoir of a ...more

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16
Midnight Special is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Kirsten Dunst, Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton

Released: 2015

Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Midnight Special is an upcoming American science fiction film written and directed by Jeff Nichols. The film stars Adam Driver, Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, and Joel Edgerton. It is Nichols' ...more

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17
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Kate Beckinsale, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck

Released: 2001

Directed by: Michael Bay

Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American war film with romance and action elements directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and written by Randall Wallace. It features an ensemble cast, ...more

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18
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jamie Chung, Dania Ramirez

Released: 2012

Directed by: David Koepp

Premium Rush is a 2012 American action-thriller film directed by David Koepp and written by Koepp and John Kamps. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez and Jamie ...more

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19
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Jack Black, Holly Hunter, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1999

Directed by: Alison Maclean

Jesus' Son is a 1999 drama film that was adapted from a collection of short stories of the same name by Denis Johnson. It stars Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Holly Hunter, Dennis Hopper, Denis ...more
20
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Maggie Gyllenhaal, Melanie Griffith, Alicia Witt

Released: 2000

Directed by: John Waters

Cecil B. Demented is a 2000 American black comedy film written and directed by John Waters. The film stars Melanie Griffith as a snobby A-list Hollywood actress who is taken by a band of ...more
21
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Water Idina Menzel, Michael Shannon, Larry Pine

Released: 2004

Directed by: Jennifer Houlton

Water is a 2004 crime fiction film written and directed by Jennifer Houlton.
22
Nocturnal Animals is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon

Released: 2016

Directed by: Tom Ford

Nocturnal Animals is a 2016 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Tom Ford, based on the 1993 novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. A divorced art gallery owner (Amy Adams) ...more

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23
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Michael Shannon, Amy Ryan, Merritt Wever

Released: 2009

Directed by: Noah Buschel

The Missing Person is a 2008 comedy-drama mystery film written and directed by American independent filmmaker Noah Buschel and starring Michael Shannon and Amy Ryan. It was first released at the ...more
24
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Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz

Released: 2001

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

Vanilla Sky is a 2001 American science fiction thriller film directed, written, and co-produced by Cameron Crowe. It is an English-language remake of Alejandro Amenábar's 1997 Spanish ...more

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25
What They Had is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Michael Shannon Movies
Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Robert Forster

Released: 2018

Directed by: Elizabeth Chomko

What They Had is a 2018 American drama film directed by Elizabeth Chomko. When her Alzheimer's-suffering mother wanders into a blizzard on Christmas Eve, Bridget Ertz (Hilary Swank) travels back ...more