Will Ferrell has starred in some of Hollywood's most hilarious and iconic films. He's also starred in some of its biggest flops. In celebration of Will's 53rd birthday on July 16, 2020, Wonderwall.com is ranking his movies from the worst to the best. Keep reading to get started…
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No. 42: "The Suburbans"
The 1999 comedy "The Suburbans" tells the story of the eponymous one-hit wonder band as they attempt to re-enter the spotlight. In the film — which also stars Jennifer Love Hewitt, Donal Lardner Ward, Craig Bierko and Tony Guma — Will plays Gil, The Suburbans' bass player. Not all films are destined to be box office darlings: "The Suburbans" was released on just 11 screens and grossed only $11,130.
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No. 41: "Holmes & Watson"
In 2018, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly joined forces again to star in the buddy comedy "Holmes & Watson." Will played Sherlock Holmes while John channeled Dr. Watson — two pals tasked with finding the person behind a dangerous threat to Buckingham Palace. Despite their comedic chops, it was a box office bomb, grossing $41 million worldwide on a $42 million budget.
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No. 40: "The Ladies Man"
Coming in at No. 37 is "The Ladies Man." Will starred as Lance DeLune in this "Saturday Night Live" sketch-turned-movie disaster. The comedy, which starred Tim Meadows as the titular player, was released in 2000 and was a critical and financial flop that Will probably should have avoided.
No. 39: "A Night at the Roxbury"
"A Night at the Roxbury" was another movie based on a long-running "Saturday Night Live" skit that did not transfer over to the big screen very well. The 1998 comedy co-starring Chris Kattan was heavily panned by critics and audiences alike and only earned $30.3 million worldwide. Yikes.
No. 38: "Daddy's Home 2"
"Daddy's Home 2" might have grossed more than $180 million worldwide on a $69 million budget, but it is not a good movie. Will Ferrell starred alongside Mel Gibson, John Lithgow and Mark Wahlberg, yet the A-list cast couldn't make up for the stale jokes and unoriginal plot line (sorry, Will!).
No. 37: "The House"
Great concept, crappy movie. Will Ferrell starred as a father who — along with his wife — opens an underground casino in their friend's house in order to pay for their daughter's college tuition. Co-starring Amy Poehler, "The House" sounds like it should be funny, but the story just didn't translate very well. The 2017 movie was universally panned and only grossed $34 million worldwide against a $40 million budget.
No. 36: "Semi-Pro"
In "Semi-Pro," Will Ferrell starred as Jackie Moon, the owner, player and coach of the failing Flint Tropics. In addition to being a basketball triple threat, Jackie was also famous for the aging disco hit "Love Me Sexy." Unfortunately, the character fell flat. "Semi-Pro" is considered to be one of Will's least funny movies, grossing $43 million against a $55 million budget.
No. 35: "Zoolander 2"
We so wish this sequel was as funny as the original! "Zoolander 2," released 15 years after the original "Zoolander," was, unfortunately, a flop. The movie — in which Will Ferrell reprised his role as diabolical fashion designer Jacobim Mugatu — was panned by critics for its heavy use of celebrity cameos and unmemorable gags, and audiences seemed to agree. "Zoolander 2" only earned $56 million against a $55 million budget. Ouch.
No. 34: "A Deadly Adoption"
Will Ferrell starred alongside Kristen Wiig in the 2015 thriller "A Deadly Adoption." The film, which was inspired by a true story, focused on a successful couple who takes care of a pregnant woman (Jessica Lowndes) with the hope of adopting her child. Will played Robert Benson, a successful author, financial guru and husband to Sarah Benson (Kristen). "A Deadly Adoption" premiered on the Lifetime television network and scored just a 14% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
No. 33: "Bewitched"
"Bewitched" was the remake nobody asked for. Will Ferrell starred as Jack Wyatt, an actor playing Darrin Stephens in a TV reboot of the hit TV show. Nicole Kidman starred as Will's love interest, Isabel Bigelow, but not even she could redeem this film. The 2005 movie was a critical and commercial failure, earning only $63 million on an $85 million budget.
No. 32: "Land of the Lost"
Dinosaurs, time travel and a Matt Lauer cameo — what could wrong? "Land of the Lost" was created as parody of a 1970s TV show, but the Will Ferrell film lacked the satire needed to make it funny. The movie was a box office bomb, earning $68.8 million on a $100 million budget. It also won a dreaded Golden Raspberry Award.
No. 31: "Get Hard"
Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart starred in 2015's "Get Hard." The movie was actually a big commercial success that grossed over $111 million, but the story was unoriginal and flat. How many times have we seen a cool guy teach an awkward, goofy character how to be "hard"? Too many to count! Critics seemed to agree, panning the movie for what one called its "tired and offensive gags."
No. 30: "Daddy's Home"
"Daddy's Home" was almost as unfunny as its sequel. Will Ferrell starred as a boring, gentle stepfather who faces off against his wife's ex, a sexy manly man played by Mark Wahlberg, in the 2015 flick that was, surprisingly, his highest grossing live-action film ever. The movie lacked imagination but did provide a few laughs here and there.
No. 29: "Superstar"
"Superstar" is a "Saturday Night Live" sketch-based film that faired better than other "SNL"-inspired movies on this list. Will Ferrell played Catholic high school student Sky Corrigan in the 1999 movie starring Molly Shannon as socially inept schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher. "Superstar" isn't as funny as most of the movies on Will's resume, but it does have its moments.
No. 28: "Downhill"
In "Downhill," which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus starred as a married couple who reassess their lives and feelings for each other after a harrowing near-death experience on a family ski trip in the Alps. The dark comedy — a remake of the 2014 Swedish film "Force Majeure" — was deemed unmemorable and less successful than the original.
No. 27: "Winter Passing"
"Winter Passing" is a coming-of-age flick that saw Will Ferrell branch out from his typical slapstick comedy roles with a supporting part as a struggling musician. The movie, which co-starred Zooey Deschanel, Ed Harris and Amelia Warner, received mixed reviews from critics who appreciated its quirkiness but felt the movie wasn't unique enough to differentiate it from other indie films.
No. 26: "Kicking & Screaming"
"Kicking & Screaming" was a decent family-friendly sports-comedy film, but it lacked the script needed for Will Ferrell, who played a reluctant soccer coach in competition with his dad, to truly show his comedic abilities. The movie was a moderate success, grossing $56 million worldwide.
No. 25: "Casa de mi Padre"
Will Ferrell's first (and only) Spanish-language film, "Casa de mi Padre," had a limited release in 2012 but still earned $8 million worldwide. The movie — which is a spoof of Spanish telenovelas and Mexican westerns — was offbeat and humorous but still lacking.
No. 24: "The Producers"
Will Ferrell plays a Hitler-loving Nazi in "The Producers," but he still somehow delivered a performance that was lighthearted and funny. The movie — based on the successful Broadway musical — is more suited for the theater than the big screen yet was still entertaining for most moviegoers.
No. 23: "Melinda and Melinda"
"Melinda and Melinda" is a Woody Allen film that chronicles a woman's story in two ways — one comedic and one tragic. Will Ferrell starred in the comedic storyline and delivered the laughs needed to make this movie pretty good. "Melinda and Melinda" grossed $20.1 million worldwide in limited release.
No. 22: "Starsky & Hutch"
Will Ferrell had a small role in the movie "Starsky & Hutch" but still delivered the laughs to make his part memorable. This warm-hearted comedy remake of the 1970s TV show — which starred fellow Frat Pack members Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn — received positive reviews from critics and grossed $170 million on a $60 million budget.
No. 21: "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"
Will Ferrell did not have a major role in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" but his character was hilarious and the movie itself was great. The 2001 flick — which featured a number of cameos from famous actors and directors — grossed $33.8 million against a production budget of $22 million.
No. 20: "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga"
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams starred in the hilarious 2020 musical comedy "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga." The Netflix movie focuses on two Icelandic singers, Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdóttir, who are given the opportunity to represent Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest following a tragedy. While Will's comedic prowess shines in the film, Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com argued that Rachel was the true star: "Ferrell's skill with goofy man-children is well-documented but this comedy should remind people of the underrated range of Rachel McAdams, who once again just nails a comedy role."
No. 19: "The Campaign"
"The Campaign" is a political satire that exaggerates all the amusing things that happen on the campaign trail. The movie, co-starring funnyman Zach Galifianakis, delivered one of Will Ferrell's funnier roles and earned over $100 million worldwide. Impressive!
No. 18: "Step Brothers"
"Step Brothers" showed just how hilarious blended families can be. The movie starred Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as stepbrothers and man-children who won't grow up. Will and John were a hysterical duo that audiences truly enjoyed.
No. 17: "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"
Coming in at No. 17 is the "Austin Powers" sequel "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me." The 1999 movie was fun, entertaining and almost as funny as the original. Will Ferrell has a small role in the film as henchman Mustafa, but his ability to be "very badly" hurt over and over again was truly hilarious and made a lasting impression!
No. 16: "Curious George"
Who doesn't love a well-made, family-friendly cartoon movie? Will Ferrell played the loveable Man with the Yellow Hat in this big-screen adaption of the book "Curious George." The 2006 film was praised by one critic as a "bright, sweet and faithful" adaptation. It grossed $69.8 million on a $50 million budget.
No. 15: "Blades of Glory"
"We're gonna skate to one song and one song only." "Blades of Glory" comes in at No. 15 due to its hilarious characters, entertaining script and fabulous costume design. Will Ferrell starred as ice skater Chazz Michael Michaels — a character who now lives in infamy thanks to two samples of some of his best lines that were included in a popular JAY-Z and Kanye West song. "No one knows what it means, but it's provocative!"
No. 14: "Megamind"
Will Ferrell truly mastered his character in the animated film "Megamind." The 2010 movie about an extraterrestrial mastermind who turns from supervillain to superhero was praised for its strong visuals and cast performance. "Megamind" did face some criticism for unoriginality, but it still grossed over $321 million worldwide.
No. 13: "Dick"
"Dick" is a parody retelling of the Watergate scandal but it managed to stay clever and entertaining for the entire movie, unlike others of its ilk. Will Ferrell starred as iconic reporter Bob Woodward in the 1999 film and was praised, along with co-stars Kirsten Dunst and Dan Hedaya, for being hilarious and spot-on.
No. 12: "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy"
Ron Burgundy is one of Will Ferrell's most iconic roles. "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" helped established Will as one of the funniest actors ever and created a Ron fandom nationwide. The 2004 movie — which tells the story of a 1970s San Diego TV news anchor and his colleagues — also grossed over $90.6 million worldwide on a $26 million budget!
No. 11: "The Other Guys"
"The Other Guys" is a buddy-cop movie done right. The 2010 flick starred Will Ferrell as a mild-mannered forensic accountant who embarks on a crazy investigation after he's partnered up with an intense detective played by Mark Wahlberg. The movie was praised for its witty dialogue and over-the-top action and earned an impressive $170.4 million worldwide.
No. 10: "Old School"
We can relate to the 30-somethings in "Old School" now more than ever. The quintessential Frat Pack movie tells the story of three guys fed up with adulthood who decide to relive their college days and create a fraternity. "Old School" — in which Will Ferrell steals the show as Frank the Tank — gained an immense cult following after its 2003 release and is now considered a classic, must-watch comedy film.
No. 9: "Everything Must Go"
"Everything Must Go" was Will Ferrell's second career attempt at a dramatic film and he nearly perfected it. The actor starred as an alcoholic who must face life's trials and tribulations. Critics loved his performance and the movie, with reviewers calling it "magnetic" and "fresh." We have to agree.
No. 8: "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"
More Ron Burgundy? Yes, please! Will Ferrell's second take on Ron Burgundy was surprisingly more entertaining and more hilarious than the first (we didn't think it was possible!). The sequel earned rave reviews and was a huge box office success, grossing $173 million worldwide on a $50 million budget.
No. 7: "Zoolander"
The original "Zoolander" is definitely a classic and one of our all-time favorite comedies. Will Ferrell starred as eccentric designer Jacobim Mugatu in this fashion-industry satire that had audiences everywhere cracking up. It's really, really, really, ridiculously good.
No. 6: "Stranger Than Fiction"
"Stranger Than Fiction" was Will Ferrell's first attempt at drama and definitely his best. Will played Harold Crick, an IRS worker who begins hearing a disembodied voice narrating his life as it happens. The movie has been praised for its innovative storyline and strong performances from Will and co-stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dustin Hoffman.
No. 5: "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery"
The original "Austin Powers" — released in 1997 — comes in at No. 5 on our list thanks to its originality, hysterical script and pop culture significance. Will Ferrell had a small role in "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" as Mustafa, a fez-wearing assassin, but acted it to perfection, considering it was one of his first major movie roles.
No. 4: "Wedding Crashers"
Will Ferrell's uncredited appearance in 2005's "Wedding Crashers" happened during one of the movie's best and most pivotal scenes. Will played Chazz Reinhold, the man who passed along the rules of wedding-crashing to his protégé, Jeremy (played by Vince Vaughn), in 1993. When John (played by Owen Wilson) actually meets Chazz, he's revealed to be a lazy man-child who still lives with his mother. "Wedding Crashers" was a huge success that was loved by audiences and critics alike, grossing over $285 million on a $40 million budget.
No. 3: "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"
Talk about hilarious! Ricky Bobby is literally one of the funniest characters we've ever seen on screen. Will Ferrell starred as the titular race car driver alongside John C. Reilly and Amy Adams in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." The 2006 film was a box office success, grossing $163 million and receiving praise for its "satire, clever gags and excellent ensemble performances," noted one critic.
No. 2: "The Lego Movie"
Who knew a Lego movie could be so good? Will Ferrell voiced President Business in 2014's "The Lego Movie" and had us enjoying every second. The film was so good that it earned a Golden Globe nomination for best animated film and an Academy Award nomination for best original song for "Everything Is Awesome." "The Lego Movie" also dominated at the box office, earning $470 million on a $60 million budget!
No. 1: "Elf"
And now for our No. 1 pick… Will Ferrell as Buddy Hobbs in "Elf"! We absolutely loved everything about "Elf," from the fun songs to the creative costumes to the hilarious "real world" scenes to the spaghetti with chocolate syrup. It's the perfect Christmas movie and that's all thanks to Will's comedic acting as he brings lovable Buddy to life.