187 voters

The Best Tom Waits Movies

Updated September 23, 2019 1.1k votes 187 voters 19.3k views32 items

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

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

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

Items on this list include Paradise Alley and Cold Feet.

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


  • 1

    Seven Psychopaths

    Colin Farrell, Olga Kurylenko


    Directed byMartin McDonagh

    Seven Psychopaths is a 2012 comedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh....  more

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  • 2

    Bram Stoker's Dracula

    Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves


    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1897 Gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker. Count Dracula (Gary Oldman), a 15th-century...  more

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  • 3

    Wristcutters: A Love Story

    Tom Waits, Leslie Bibb


    Directed byGoran Dukić

    Wristcutters: A Love Story is a 2006 American black comedy romance road movie written and directed by Goran Dukić, starring Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, and Shannyn Sossamon. Its premise is set...  more


    #32 of 76 50+ Quirky Romance Movies That Are Unique in Their Own Way#15 of 24 The Funniest Movies About Death & Dying

  • 4

    Down by Law

    Tom Waits, Ellen Barkin


    Directed byJim Jarmusch

    Down by Law is a 1986 black-and-white independent film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It stars Tom Waits, John Lurie, and Roberto Benigni. The film centers on the arrest, incarceration, and...  more

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    #550 of 924 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#208 of 290 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

  • 5


    Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep


    Directed byHéctor Babenco

    Ironweed is a 1987 American drama film directed by Héctor Babenco. It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning homonymous novel by William Kennedy, who also wrote the screenplay. It stars Jack...  more
  • 6

    The Outsiders

    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage


    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen Misakian,...  more

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  • 7

    The Cotton Club

    Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane


    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Cotton Club is a 1984 drama music film written by William Kennedy, Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo and Jim Haskins and directed by Francis Ford Coppola....  more

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  • 8

    The Fisher King

    Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges


    Directed byTerry Gilliam

    The Fisher King is a 1991 American comedy-drama film written by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Terry Gilliam. It stars Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges, with Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer, and...  more

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  • 9

    Coffee and Cigarettes

    Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray


    Directed byJim Jarmusch

    Coffee and Cigarettes is the title of three short films and a 2003 feature film by independent director Jim Jarmusch. The film consists of 11 short stories which share coffee and cigarettes as a...  more

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  • 10
  • 11

    Short Cuts

    Robert Downey Jr., Julianne Moore


    Directed byRobert Altman

    Short Cuts is a 1993 American drama film directed by Robert Altman. Filmed from a screenplay by Altman and Frank Barhydt, it is inspired by nine short stories and a poem by Raymond Carver....  more

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  • 12

    Rumble Fish

    Nicolas Cage, Mickey Rourke


    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Rumble Fish is an American 1983 drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is based on the novel Rumble Fish by S. E. Hinton, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The film centers on the...  more

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    #356 of 386 The Best Movies Based On Books#7 of 36 30+ Great Movies About Juvenile Delinquents

  • 13

    Until the End of the World

    Tom Waits, William Hurt


    Directed byWim Wenders

    Until the End of the World is a 1991 drama science fiction film by the German film director Wim Wenders; the screenplay was written by Wenders and Peter Carey, from a story by Wenders and Solveig...  more

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  • 14

    Mystery Train

    Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits


    Directed byJim Jarmusch

    Mystery Train is a 1989 independent anthology film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and set in Memphis, Tennessee. The film comprises a triptych of stories involving foreign protagonists...  more
  • 15

    The Two Jakes

    Jack Nicholson, Tom Waits


    Directed byJack Nicholson

    The Two Jakes is a 1990 American Neo-noir mystery film, and the sequel to the 1974 film Chinatown. Directed by and starring Jack Nicholson, it also features Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe,...  more
  • 16

    Big Time

    Big Time is a 1988 documentary music film written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan and directed by Chris Blum....  more
  • 17


    Directed byTerry Gilliam

    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009 fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam and Charles McKeown. The film follows a travelling theatre troupe whose leader, having made...  more

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  • 18
    Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night is a 1988 TV film directed by Tony Mitchell....  more
  • 19

    Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California

    Iggy Pop, Tom Waits


    Directed byJim Jarmusch

    Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California is a 1993 black-and-white short film directed by writer/director Jim Jarmusch shot in Northern California. The film consists primarily of a conversation...  more
  • 20

    The Book of Eli

    Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis


    Directed byAlbert Hughes, Allen Hughes

    The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic neo-Western and action film directed by the Hughes brothers. A lone man sets off to fight his way across America in order to protect a sacred book...  more

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    #81 of 232 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#586 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 21

    Mystery Men

    Ben Stiller, Tom Waits


    Directed byKinka Usher

    Mystery Men is a 1999 American superhero comedy film directed by Kinka Usher and written by Neil Cuthbert and Bob Burden, loosely based on Burden's Flaming Carrot Comics, and starring Hank Azaria,...  more

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  • 22

    At Play in the Fields of the Lord

    Kathy Bates, John Lithgow


    Directed byHéctor Babenco

    At Play in the Fields of the Lord is a 1991 adventure drama film directed by Héctor Babenco, adapted from the 1965 novel of the same name by American author Peter Matthiessen. The screenplay was...  more

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  • 23

    The Monster of Nix

    Tom Waits, Terry Gilliam


    Directed byRosto

    The Monster of Nix is a 2011 animated short film written and directed by Rosto....  more
  • 24
    Idiots and Angels is a 2008 animated film directed by Bill Plympton....  more
  • 25

    Candy Mountain

    Tom Waits, Jim Jarmusch


    Directed byRobert Frank, Rudolph Wurlitzer

    Candy Mountain is a 1988 drama film directed by Robert Frank. It was shot in New York City and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia....  more