Clint Eastwood is a timeless gem of cinema and one of the most renowned screen personalities of all time. The finest and most diversified career of any person working in the entertainment business belongs to the actor-turned-director-turned-producer. In addition to his roles in movies, he has a strong background in music and composition.
You’ll be shocked to know that the multitalented actor/director wasn’t particularly regarded as a sophisticated or competent actor; he was largely famous for his captivating physical attributes and stern demeanor. He gradually rectified that position by working hard and by making smart choices. Eastwood gained worldwide recognition owing to his Man With No Name character.
The Oscar-nominated actor first gained notoriety in a number of genre-defining western movies, and since then, he has used his subsequent movies to display his theatrical depth. He has managed to make hundreds of movies in the midst of all this. His work as a director has contributed to some of his best achievements. He was nominated for two Oscars for his acting—both as Best Actor—for the movies “Unforgiven” (1992) and “Million Dollar Baby” (2004).
We’ve combed through his extensive filmography and compared the best to put before you our top 10 list of Clint Eastwood’s best movies. As usual, if you feel we’ve missed off one of your favourites, do let us know in the comments below:
The truly innovative 1992 western movie is about a former cruel cowboy who seeks redemption while coping with the complicated aspects of his life that were obscured by his unquenchable thirst for power, ambition, and ferocious need for retribution.
The main character is William Munny, a former gunfighter who undertakes one more mission decades after abandoning and transitioning to farming. His violent, enigmatic past is expertly concealed in a brilliant piece of cinema, lending his performance a sense of dread and gloom.
The movie’s central theme is violence, which prompts viewers to consider and analyze the impact this can have. It demonstrates that romanticizing the past might not always be a wise move and can occasionally cause you to lose sight of reality. Eastwood deserves respect for directing such a groundbreaking movie.
Million Dollar Baby
Million Dollar Baby is a vividly fascinating and touching boxing movie. The plot revolves around an unusual mentor-disciple relationship between a boxing trainer and his sole female pupil. Morgan Freeman’s baritone commentary provides direction as the tale is narrated in gloomy tones.
Despite all the prestigious awards and recognitions, this is a tale of extraordinary human strength and courage in the darkest of times. The movie received widespread praise from critics and won four Oscars during the year it was released. The story develops in an ascending and descending arc, much like a classical tragedy, and indeed the conclusion fills the viewers with numbing melancholy.
In numerous of his movies, Eastwood has played characters with a similar demeanor. The characters in the movie are thoroughly developed and the big reveal in particular has a devastating effect.
The Oscar-winning crime infused with drama movie was adapted from Dennis Lehane’s book housing the same title. Clint Eastwood serves as both the director and the music composer for the 2003 movie. The plot revolves around three companions whose paths collide after one of them experiences a catastrophe in their family. The neo-noir murder thriller is a dark, meandering mystery that intensifies to a gloomy conclusion in which no one triumphs.
The movie is certainly one of the most beloved of the twenty-first century. The pace keeps it engaging, and the film takes its time with all the characters. Furthermore, the movie produces a compelling character study—the type we rarely encounter. An expert is being observed at work. Somebody who is utterly confident in and at ease with what they are doing.
The performances received the most accolades for the movie, and with valid reason. Tim Robbins and Sean Penn both received Academy Awards for their outstanding performances. Unfortunately, the direction is overlooked. This movie certainly offers a thorough introduction to Eastwood as a director.
Letters From Iwo Jima
Warfare has no winners; humanity is the only side that loses. Clint Eastwood reveals all in this account of the negative take on the highly regarded film Flags of Our Fathers. The surviving Imperial Japanese army prepares for its ultimate assault as World War II comes to an end and they realize they are going to lose to the US army. Critics praised it for accurately portraying the grief and despair on both sides.
This movie, which deals with death, is recounted from the viewpoint of the Japanese soldiers who participated in the Second World War’s Battle of Iwo Jima which happened between the United States and Imperial Japan. While it works very well as a standalone movie, you may watch “Flag of Our Fathers” to fully understand all of its parallels. This movie portrays the war’s heartbreaking humane element.
Undoubtedly this movie was a risky strategic move for Eastwood. Such a movie could only have been crafted by a director of his caliber. The movie demonstrates Eastwood’s astounding capacity to comprehend both the psychological makeup of people and how those touched by war feel. The impact of the movie is enhanced by the somber setting. The movie is a success owing to the writing, direction, and especially the cinematography.
High Plains Drifter
While Eastwood may be best known for movies like the timeless “Dollars” series, as well as the “Dirty Harry” series, the 1973 American western “High Plains Drifter”, which he both starred in and directed, is among the most subtle and underappreciated works in his impressive filmography. The movie had a limited amount of popularity when it was released, but owing to its innovative direction, which combined aspects of dread and paranormal activities with the traditional western fare, its brazen allure has only grown over the years.
The Stranger, played by Clint Eastwood, rides and arrives in the tiny village of Lago in the old American Wild West, wherein the movie’s plot unfolds. As is customary in westerns, The Stranger engages in a gunfight with a few neighborhood goons, defeating them with ease and drawing the attention of the local populace. The residents of Lago constantly worry about three vicious criminals who are about to be freed from prison and have made plans to terrorize the village because of some unresolved matter. The town officials make a last-ditch effort to persuade The Stranger to aid them in stopping the brigands.
Besides being Eastwood’s debut Western, this is his second movie as a director. By lending this genre a horror movie vibe, the director took an innovative route. His ability to direct the movie further strengthened his reputation as a director. Aside from Eastwood himself, the movie’s narrative has contributed to its appeal. The audience is left with an emotional outburst by this moving storyline.
The Bridges Of Madison County
Clint Eastwood directed this 1995 romantic movie infused with drama. It explores the brief romance between an Italian wartime bride and a photojournalist for the National Geographic channel. The protagonist Robert Kincaid, who travels to Madison County to take pictures of its antique structures, meets Francesca Johnson, but their relationship is brief. The touching and heartwarming movie is based on reality but it is also aesthetically appealing.
Initially, not many people believed that this movie could be made, especially by a movie star like Clint Eastwood. But he somehow succeeded in proving everybody wrong. He demonstrated his ability to be stern when necessary, but also gentle and sensitive. The actor/director was fantastic, playing a role that was distinct from what we were used to seeing. The genuine triumph of the movie resides in the fact that not many people expected it to be this stunning. He also accomplished something rare by elevating the movie above the source material too.
In the movie, the protagonist Walt, a former grumpy auto worker, makes an effort to get over his biases after getting to know and like his young Hmong neighbor next door. With compelling characters and gripping themes, the movie unfolds like a recounting of a true story.
Walt’s tragic run-in with a neighborhood gang results in unforeseen connections, grave resentments, and heartbreaking separations. In addition to Eastwood, Bee Vang, Ahney Her, and Christopher Carley also appear in the movie.
According to critics, this movie would probably not rank among the top ten. The viewers rightfully comprehended what the naysayers did not. The relationship between the lead character and the younger performers defines the movie, although he portrays a gruff persona for which he has gained a reputation. The viewers enjoy the movie better since it makes us chuckle and, more notably, care about the characters. It moreover demonstrates Eastwood’s casting prowess. Even when he doesn’t use highly qualified performers, he still manages to pull the finest performance out of them. The movie is remarkable because it has a heartwarming effect.
One of the director’s best works is this most recent movie on our list. Yet again using a true story as his starting point, Eastwood was successful in delivering an engaging story. Additionally, it is backed by a solid supporting cast and Tom Hanks, who plays the lead role with his usual faithfulness. The movie manages to hold your curiosity even if you are aware of the incident that served as its inspiration.
The autobiographical movie is adapted from Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow’s book named, “Highest Duty”. Sullenberger, the pilot who performed a forced landing on the Hudson River, is the subject of the storyline. The incident provoked intense discussion and an inquiry into why the experienced pilot decided to land inside the river rather than fly to the closest airport, despite the fact that all the passengers – including members of the crew – were spared serious injury.
Although the film earned favorable reviews from audiences and reviewers, it managed to stir a debate by depicting the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as narrow-minded and prosecutorial. Additionally, it received an Oscar for outstanding sound editing.
In this western, Clint Eastwood plays the Preacher, who travels to a tiny village to defend a bunch of gold miners from the thugs of landowner Coy LaHood. LaHood attempts to communicate with the miners under Hull Barret’s leadership but they reject him since he desires to take away their region. LaHood then decides to dispatch Marshall Stockburn in order to get rid of everyone.
The movie’s title represents the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who are shown in the concluding chapter of the New Testament, “Revelation”, and whose rider represents Death. The movie, which was co-written by Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack, received favorable reviews from critics and went on to earn one of the 1980s’ biggest box office figures.
After quite a long absence, Eastwood returned to the Western, although this movie was different from his previous Westerns. The movie might be seen as ‘High Plains Drifter’s’ valuable addition in certain aspects. Eastwood does a good job of convincingly portraying a preacher in the piece. The actor displays his customary bravery, which, when combined with biblical elements, gives the narrative a new dimension.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Arguably Eastwood’s best movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a Western classic and a fantastic example of how to deliver an epic, sprawling storyline. Spread across 2 and a half hours, the movie depicts a treasure hunt, as three different men attempt to find a fortune of gold buried in a remote cemetery. When two of the men join together in an uneasy alliance, a race against time ensues.
While the stand-off at the end of the movie is the scene that’s most fondly remembered, there’s lots of other scenes in this that stand the test of time. Clint Eastwood stars in the role of Blondie, and his gravitas and charisma makes it an enthralling watch from start to finish.
And there we have it, our picks for our 10 favourite Clint Eastwood movies!
What do you think of our list? Have we included your favourites? Or have we missed any must-watch movies? We love to hear from you so do feel free to let us know in the comments below!