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The Best Tom Waits Movies

Updated September 23, 2019 981 votes 180 voters 19.0k 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?"

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  • 1
    Seven Psychopaths
    62
    7

    Seven Psychopaths

    Colin Farrell, Olga Kurylenko

    Released2012

    Directed byMartin McDonagh

    Seven Psychopaths is a 2012 comedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh.
  • 2
    Mystery Train
    48
    3

    Mystery Train

    Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits

    Released1989

    Directed byJim Jarmusch

    Mystery Train is a 1989 independent anthology film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Rumble Fish
    58
    12

    Rumble Fish

    Nicolas Cage, Mickey Rourke

    Released1983

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Rumble Fish is an American 1983 drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is based on... more on Wikipedia

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    #176 of 261 The Best Ensemble Movies#8 of 36 30+ Great Movies About Juvenile Delinquents

  • 4
    Down by Law
    45
    7

    Down by Law

    Tom Waits, Ellen Barkin

    Released1986

    Directed byJim Jarmusch

    Down by Law is a 1986 black-and-white independent film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch.... more on Wikipedia

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    #592 of 926 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#172 of 224 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

  • 5
    The Outsiders
    44
    6

    The Outsiders

    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage

    Released1983

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of... more on Wikipedia

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    #75 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry#75 of 149 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 6
    Coffee and Cigarettes
    30
    6

    Coffee and Cigarettes

    Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray

    Released2003

    Directed byJim Jarmusch

    Coffee and Cigarettes is the title of three short films and a 2003 feature film by independent... more on Wikipedia

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    #15 of 18 18 Performances That Prove Cate Blanchett Is The Most Versatile Actor Of Her Generation#14 of 37 The Best Modern Black & White Movies

  • 7
    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
    27
    7

    Released2009

    Directed byTerry Gilliam

    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009 fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and... more on Wikipedia

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    #453 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#19 of 97 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms

  • 8
    Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California
    24
    6

    Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California

    Iggy Pop, Tom Waits

    Released1995

    Directed byJim Jarmusch

    Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California is a 1993 black-and-white short film directed... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 9
    Bukowski: Born into This
    Amazon_watch buy button
  • 10
    The Fisher King
    24
    11

    The Fisher King

    Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges

    Released1991

    Directed byTerry Gilliam

    The Fisher King is a 1991 American comedy-drama film written by Richard LaGravenese and... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night
    Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night is a 1988 TV film directed by Tony Mitchell.Amazon_watch buy button
  • 12
    Until the End of the World
    21
    10

    Until the End of the World

    Tom Waits, William Hurt

    Released1991

    Directed byWim Wenders

    Until the End of the World is a 1991 drama science fiction film by the German film director... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Short Cuts
    21
    11

    Short Cuts

    Robert Downey Jr., Julianne Moore

    Released1993

    Directed byRobert Altman

    Short Cuts is a 1993 American drama film directed by Robert Altman. Filmed from a screenplay... more on Wikipedia

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    #252 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies#419 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • 14
    The Two Jakes
    19
    10

    The Two Jakes

    Jack Nicholson, Tom Waits

    Released1990

    Directed byJack Nicholson

    The Two Jakes is a 1990 American Neo-noir mystery film, and the sequel to the 1974 film... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Big Time
    15
    7

    Big Time

    Big Time is a 1988 documentary music film written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan and... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 16
    Ironweed
    13
    4

    Ironweed

    Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep

    Released1987

    Directed byHéctor Babenco

    Ironweed is a 1987 American drama film directed by Héctor Babenco. It is based on the Pulitzer... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Bram Stoker's Dracula
    25
    21

    Bram Stoker's Dracula

    Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves

    Released1992

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Bram Stoker's Dracula is a 1992 American horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford... more on Wikipedia

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    16 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’#128 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • 18
    Wristcutters: A Love Story
    18
    13

    Wristcutters: A Love Story

    Tom Waits, Leslie Bibb

    Released2006

    Directed byGoran Dukić

    Wristcutters: A Love Story is a 2006 American black comedy romance road movie written and... more on Wikipedia

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    #31 of 75 50+ Quirky Romance Movies That Are Unique in Their Own Way#14 of 80 The Best Movies About Depression

  • 19
    The Book of Eli
    14
    13

    The Book of Eli

    Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis

    Released2010

    Directed byAlbert Hughes, Allen Hughes

    The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic neo-Western and action film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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    #83 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#528 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 20
    Paradise Alley
    14
    15

    Paradise Alley

    Sylvester Stallone, Tom Waits

    Released1978

    Directed bySylvester Stallone

    Paradise Alley is a 1978 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone in... more on Wikipedia

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    #192 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs#443 of 553 The Best '70s Movies

  • 21
    Mystery Men
    16
    18

    Mystery Men

    Ben Stiller, Tom Waits

    Released1999

    Directed byKinka Usher

    Mystery Men is a 1999 American superhero comedy film directed by Kinka Usher and written by... more on Wikipedia

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    #58 of 97 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made#447 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • 22
    The Cotton Club
    11
    14

    The Cotton Club

    Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane

    Released1984

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Cotton Club is a 1984 drama music film written by William Kennedy, Francis Ford Coppola,... more on Wikipedia

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    #65 of 123 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time#53 of 101 The Best Nicolas Cage Movies

  • 23
    At Play in the Fields of the Lord
    9
    11

    At Play in the Fields of the Lord

    Kathy Bates, John Lithgow

    Released1991

    Directed byHéctor Babenco

    At Play in the Fields of the Lord is a 1991 adventure drama film directed by Héctor Babenco,... more on Wikipedia

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    #447 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#42 of 43 The Best Adventure Movies That Take Place in the Jungle

  • 24
    Idiots and Angels
    Idiots and Angels is a 2008 animated film directed by Bill Plympton.Amazon_watch buy button
  • 25
    Candy Mountain
    9
    12

    Candy Mountain

    Tom Waits, Jim Jarmusch

    Released1987

    Directed byRobert Frank, Rudolph Wurlitzer

    Candy Mountain is a 1988 drama film directed by Robert Frank. It was shot in New York City and... more on Wikipedia