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The Best Christopher Lloyd Movies, Ranked

The Best Christopher Lloyd Movies, Ranked

The legendary actor Christopher Lloyd is renowned for his eclectic and impressive acting resume, with a Hollywood career spanning nearly five decades. Having first gotten his start in theater productions and Broadway shows, the performer made his cinematic debut in the critically-acclaimed, Oscar-winning picture One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest before appearing in a slew of noteworthy cinematic treasures like Clue, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and The Addams Family. Lloyd also had a lucrative television career, winning two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Jim Ignatowski in the comedy series Taxi.

Lloyd has truly done it all, embracing every genre, character, and film and delivering a memorable and brilliant performance in the process. He has provided his voice in movies like DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp and Anastasia, played a supernatural murderer in the psychological horror flick I Am Not A Serial Killer, and appeared as the iconic Emmett “Doc” Brown alongside Marty McFly in the ‘80s beloved trilogy Back to the Future. These are some of the best Christopher Lloyd movies.


9 DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp

Based on the animated television series DuckTales, the 1990 fantasy adventure film DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp follows the journey of Scrooge McDuck as he travels to Egypt along with his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie in search of the lost treasure of Collie Baba and a magic lamp. On their quest, the characters become targeted by the nefarious and power-seeking sorcerer Merlock, who wants the lamp and the genie inside it for his own devious reasons; Christopher Lloyd memorably provided the voice for the scheming villain.

DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp was the first time Walt Disney Pictures distributed a movie that was not produced through their animation team, and though it underperformed at the box office, the animated spin-off garnered widespread praise from critics and fans alike.

8 Eight Men Out

Dramatizing the events surrounding the Major League Baseball’s Black Sox Scandal, the 1988 sports drama Eight Men Out chronicles the game-fixing controversy in which eight players of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for a pay-out by notorious racketeer and gambler Arnold Rothstein. For the fascinating flick, Christopher Lloyd appeared alongside gifted performers like a great John Cusack, Charlie Sheen, and John Mahoney, portraying MLB pitcher Bill Burns, who served as a middle-man between the players and Rothstein.

After reading the Eliot Asinof book of the same name, director John Sayles set out to write a screenplay for the picture despite having no previous experience doing so; the filmmaker told UPI that the sports drama showcases the end of America’s innocence, saying, “Nobody could pretend that we were that innocent a country anymore–even though we never had been.”

7 I Am Not A Serial Killer

Based on the Dan Wells novel of the same name, the 2016 psychological horror film I Am Not A Serial Killer stars Christopher Lloyd as supernatural serial killer Bill Crowley, who becomes the object of teenage sociopath John Wayne Cleaver’s obsession after he terrorizes the young man’s small Midwestern town. The thrilling flick features the additional talents of Max Records and Laura Fraser and was directed by Billy O’Brien, and had its worldwide premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

Related: Christopher Lloyd Joins The Mandalorian Season 3

Fans and critics alike raved about Lloyd’s wicked portrayal of the menacing murderer, for which the actor garnered a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In their review of the horror picture, Empire Magazine wrote, “O’Brien here both successfully reintroduces Max Records to the world, and elicits Christopher Lloyd’s best performance in a long time. His film deserves cult classic status at the very least.”

6 Anastasia

Inspired by the legend of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, the 1997 animated alternate historical musical Anastasia centers on the amnesiac eponymous eighteen-year-old as she attempts to discover where she came from and who her true identity is; she recruits the help of two con men in order to be reunited with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, unaware that the evil Rasputin will stop at nothing to see her dead.

With an A-list cast including Meg Ryan, John Cusack, and Christopher Lloyd, the underrated animated movie from Don Bluth chronicles the nefarious Rasputin’s crusade to see the Romanov family eliminated forever. Lloyd delivered a knockout performance as Grigori Rasputin, with co-director Gary Goldman choosing to make the Russian mystic the antagonist because of “all the different things they did to try to destroy Rasputin and what a horrible man he really was, the more it seemed appetizing to make him the villain.” Anastasia was a critical and commercial success, spawning multiple spin-offs, a stage musical and merchandise.

5 Clue

The 1985 black comedy mystery Clue is based on the popular board game of the same name, and features an impressive ensemble cast of Hollywood elite like Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry and Christopher Lloyd, with the actors taking on the roles of the iconic board game characters. For the hilarious adaptation, Lloyd portrays Professor Plum, a disgraced former psychiatrist who now works for the World Health Organization and is invited to the secluded New England mansion after receiving a mysterious invitation along with the others.

Despite earning a mixed response upon its initial release, Clue went on to attract a devoted following due to its home media releases and syndication on television, and has since become a beloved ‘80s cult classic. The dark comedy is famous for having three different endings (an homage to the style of the game), with the concept having been thought up by comedy filmmaker and Clue storywriter John Landis.

4 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Regarded by many as one of the greatest films ever made, the 1975 psychological comedy drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is adapted from the Ken Kesey novel and follows the defiant and rebellious Randle McMurphy as he becomes a patient at a mental institution, going head-to-head with the oppressive tyrant Nurse Ratched, one of the most evil characters in movies. The Oscar-winning picture was the first big-screen role for Christopher Lloyd, who appeared as the belligerent patient Max Taber, with the actor starring alongside cinematic greats like Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito (who he’d later work with on Taxi).

When discussing the unusual audition process, Lloyd revealed how he had to create a character on the spot, showcasing his improvisational skills to director Milos Forman. In a joint interview with DeVito for The New York Times, Lloyd revealed they shot at an actual Oregon mental hospital, saying, “We rehearsed by doing real group therapy sessions with some real patients. I remember somebody on the staff commenting that it was hard to tell the fact from the fiction.”

3 The Addams Family

Focusing on the misadventures of the delightfully bizarre, macabre titular family, the 1991 supernatural black comedy The Addams Family centers on the kooky clan as they are reunited with whom they believe to be a long-lost relative, Gomez’s beloved brother Fester, not realizing he is a a man named Gordon and part of a con to steal their immense fortune. Appearing alongside Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, and Christina Ricci, Christopher Lloyd was outstanding in his portrayal of Uncle Fester, brilliantly capturing the zany essence of the bald, devious character with a secret heart-of-gold.

On portraying the famed cartoon creation in the big screen adaptation, Lloyd has stated, “I loved doing that. And it was such a great cast. I mean we were like a family after a while… I felt it was very true to the original cartoons.” The success of the picture led to the equally-lauded 1993 follow-up, The Addams Family Values, in which Lloyd reprised the role alongside the main cast.

2 Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Robert Zemeckis directed the 1988 live-action animated comedy Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which takes place in 1947 Hollywood where cartoon characters known as toons exist alongside real people, with the famed flick chronicling the efforts of private investigator Eddia Valiant as he attempts to exonerate Roger Rabbit. In the visually stunning and ambitious picture, Christopher Lloyd portrays the cruel and highly-feared villain Judge Doom, who is later revealed to be the evil mastermind behind the framing of the titular rabbit.

Related: Best Movies That Mix Animation with Live Action, Ranked

Lloyd beat out noteworthy stars like Tim Curry, John Cleese and Roddy McDowall for the role, being cast after having previously worked with Zemeckis on Back to the Future. The dynamic performer shaved his hair for the surprisingly frightening character and avoided blinking his eyes during filming, expressing that, “I just felt a toon doesn’t have to blink their eyes to remoisten their eyeballs. They’re not human, so I just felt Judge Doom should never blink. It makes him even more ominous, scarier if he’s just looking like that.”

1 Back to the Future Trilogy

The beloved 1980s sci-fi comedy franchise Back to the Future depicts the thrilling exploits of high school student Marty McFly and his close friend, the wild and eccentric scientist Doctor Emmett “Doc” Brown, chronicling the duo as they travel to both the future and the past in a series of wild and exciting adventures. Director Robert Zemeckis developed the picture with his frequent collaborator Bob Gale, wanting to create a film about time travel that centered on the past being immutable while demonstrating how it can be changed and therefore cause the present to be impacted.

Christopher Lloyd famously headlined Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox, with the pair’s dazzling chemistry attributing to the immense success of the trilogy. The character Doc Brown’s wild white hair was famously inspired by Albert Einstein and conductor Leopold Stokowski; Lloyd was initially hesitant to take on the zany white-haired role and considered doing an off-Broadway play instead, but a friend convinced the actor to take on the iconic part and the rest is history.

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