Jim Carrey is a well-known name and face in Hollywood, and has been for several years. The talented actor is most famous for his funny, quirky roles, though he has done his share of serious works. He’s also known as one of the most hard-working actors in the industry; at one point, he was in three very successful movies within a single year.
This versatile actor might not be very active in Hollywood now, but he’s recently published an interesting ‘semi-memoir’ about his life and acting career. True to his nature, this work promises to be an entertaining and eye-opening read. Before we read that book, however, it’s probably relevant to check out Carrey’s top movies so far:
1. Liar Liar (1997)
This film is one that’s been a favorite for many Jim Carrey fans. It’s said to be one of those works where Carrey was playing around with his role and fully engaging in his quirky antics. The premise of the movie is about a lawyer who has to work on his declining connection to his family. Inna strange turn of events, he is suddenly unable to lie; initially, this creates havoc in both his personal and professional life.
Apart from the story itself, viewers are entertained by the quintessential Carrey antics throughout the movie. It just might be worth watching for his facial expressions alone, though there is a moral lesson there along with some crazy antics.
2. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
This was Jim Carrey’s breakout role, where he becomes the pet detective by the name of Ace Ventura. Here, Carrey gave an almost cartoonish performance that both shocked and impressed international audiences.
The role of Ace Ventura was shaped by Carrey as being a personification of a tropical bird; much like Hannibal Lector (played by Anthony Hopkins) was inspired by the traits of a crocodile and tarantula. The similar methods gave the two stellar actors something in common; in fact, the two would share sentiments about their characters over dinner later on.
3. The Mask (1994)
No one can forget the utter freedom and wackiness that Jim Carrey displayed in his efforts to portray a proper cartoon character. He could exercise all his facial expressions, which were almost like rubber at some points. Plus, he showed audiences a wide range of different voices here, all inspired by classic cartoons.
‘The Mask’ is known to be the next big Jim Carrey movie right after his Ace Ventura role. Eventually, this would be his smooth roll into legendary status.
Unfortunately, the release of this movie also coincided with a very sad part of Jim Carrey’s personal life. His father, Percy Carrey, passed away just three weeks before ‘The Mask’ was released. While Carrey did get $10 million for the film, he put the check in the pocket of his father’s suit. The check was buried with Percy Carrey, a tribute from his son who always found support with him even as a struggling actor.
‘The Mask’ was inspired by a comic book series and would go on to a cartoon series adaptation. The film itself displays the range of Carrey’s Prowess as an actor, comedian, and performance artist. It was an amalgamation of all the crazy characters that he rehearsed in front of his father before he made it as an actor.
4. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)
This was the second instalment of Ace Ventura’s adventures, and probably the final one too. Here, the exuberant and brave character gets some more development. While this was one of the six movies that Carrey worked on between 1994 and 1995, audiences wouldn’t be able to detect any signs of lagging or exhaustion in the actor’s performances or demeanor. Overall, the film is a must-watch for comedy fans everywhere; it might even seem a bit familiar to new viewers due to being quoted and referenced so many times in pop culture now.
5. Man on the Moon (1999)
Let’s now look at a serious role by Jim Carrey. Here Carrey is giving his all in the anti-comedy character of Andy Kaufman. In order to do the film full justice, Carry got very deep in his preparations. He meant the movie to be a tribute to Kaufman, who also headed the production of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. The connection between actor and director was a very close one, with Carrey looking up to Kaufman and attributing some of his most famous antics to the late showman. Several actors who knew Kaufman would say that he actually lived through the actor Jim Carrey while making this great biopic.
6. Dumb and Dumber (1994)
This is yet another offering from the Carrey acting marathon during the mid-90s. Here, Carrey pairs up with Jeff Daniels, who is a well-known dramatic actor. The resulting performance has come lately ridiculous and very out of the normal offerings from Daniels.
The plot here needs no introduction; it’s about two nutty characters that have the best intentions at heart. Carrey plays Lloyd, who finds a briefcase left by a lady who he was driving to the airport. Daniels plays his friend, Harry, and the two go on a journey to return the case and possibly win the woman’s heart. Of course, the trip is made unnecessarily complicated and difficult, with the adventure getting even crazier when they discover what’s inside the briefcase. Overall, this might be among the very best comedy movies in history. It’s definitely one of the older movies that millennials need to watch or rewatch.
7. The Truman Show (1998)
This is one movie where everything just seems to go the right way. The premise is a startling and intriguing one, where Truman (played by Carrey) slowly realizes that he has been the unknowing star of a reality series that followed his life 24/7. Since the time of his birth, Truman has been viewed by people all over the country and has spent his life on a television set.
After this realization, the character (in more ways than one) tries to break free of the script he had been tricked into following as well as the show itself. Overall, the acting role was an honest and flexible one that allowed Carry to do what he did best. The result is a movie that’s reminiscent of Groundhog day, full of universal truths that offer both sincerity and eccentricity.
8. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
This relatively recent movie might be where we finally got Jim Carrey back. For several years, the actor has been lost in a combination of an off-putting persona and not much to show in terms of acting chops. However, ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ turned out to be an unlikely yet very much welcomed comeback. Here, Carrey actually plays the villain, Dr. Robotnik. His portrayal is very similar to the classic era of Jim Carrey movies; loud, monomaniacal, and very over the top. There are seven dance interludes that were probably totally unnecessary while also being one of the best parts of the movie. While the film itself might not be one of the absolute greatest movies of its time, it’s worth watching for the Carey performance. Some fans would say that the role showed Carrey falling in love with acting and his own talent again. There’s already a sequel in the works, so Jim Carrey fans can expect another treat coming very soon.
The Jim Carrey movies we’ve discussed above are not a comprehensive list. With so many movies under his belt, Carrey is an actor who’s hard to pin down. We can agree that his versatility is undeniable; even with very different roles; almost all of his movies are worth at least one viewing. Some could be really awful misfires, but others have proven to stand the test of time. The list above could help you select some Jim Carrey films for your next movie night. For more selections, check out these movies that have been adapted from comics.