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Best and worst Jennifer Lopez movies

  • Best and worst Jennifer Lopez movies

    The dream of a crossover star has long fascinated the public. Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Tupac, Will Smith, and, most recently, Lady Gaga, have jumped from the recording studio to the silver screen and back again. Born in the Bronx, Jennifer Lopez took a slightly different path to crossover stardom, beginning her career as a dancer on “In Living Color” before breaking into acting with her first major film role in 1995's “My Family.” By 1997, Lopez was becoming a full-blown movie star, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Mexican-American singer Selena. That same year, she starred in big-budget action movie “Anaconda” and, in 1998, she and George Clooney gave star-making performances in Steven Soderbergh's “Out of Sight.”

    Incredibly, it wasn't until the summer of 1999 that Lopez made her music debut, putting out “On the 6” which hit #8 on Billboard's Hot 100. The album included iconic Latin pop songs like “Waiting for Tonight” and made Lopez a megastar. Lopez timed her second album drop—2001's “J.Lo”—to the release of “The Wedding Planner,” meaning she was simultaneously the star of a $100 million-grossing rom-com and a singer with the #1 album in the world.

    In a negative review of “On the 6,” Entertainment Weekly critic David Browne wrote: “In the year 2020, this album will be part of someone's doctoral thesis on the dangers of crossover.” Clearly, with Lopez still releasing music, movies, television shows, and dominating the tabloid section of grocery stores across the country, Browne was wrong. Lopez became a hugely bankable star in both fields.

    Now, does that mean all her movies are good? Absolutely not. But even through the very public cinematic disaster that was “Gigli” (and very public love affair with co-star Ben Affleck), Jenny from the Block soldiered on. Unfortunately, her films rarely approached the greatness of those early few; in fact, those that followed hued closer to “Anaconda” than “Out of Sight.” But during the almost three decades since Lopez appeared as a dancer on “In Living Color,” she's kept on making movies and releasing hit records.

    In honor of Jennifer Lopez's 50th birthday July 24, here are her best and worst movies, ranked from 31 to 1 by their IMDb scores.

    You may also like: 100 best John Wayne movies

  • #31. Gigli

    - IMDb user rating: 2.4
    - IMDb user votes: 44,592
    - Metascore: 18
    - Runtime: 121 min
    - Director: Martin Brest

    The worst film of Jennifer Lopez's career is considered by many to be the worst film of any actor's career. The comedy by director Martin Brest (“Midnight Run,” “Scent of a Woman”) cost $75.6 million to make and made only $7.2 million at the box office (Ben Affleck and Lopez were each paid more than the total gross revenue). The film tells the story loanshark Larry Gigli (Affleck) who is forced to work with Lopez in the kidnapping of an intellectually disabled younger brother of a federal prosecutor (Justin Bartha). The film came at the height of Bennifer tabloid news in 2003, though even the extra press couldn't help this film. 

  • #30. Feel the Noise

    - IMDb user rating: 2.8
    - IMDb user votes: 3,520
    - Metascore: 36
    - Runtime: 86 min
    - Director: Alejandro Chomski

    Though Jennifer Lopez only appears in a cameo in "Feel the Noise," her fingerprints are all over it. She produced the 2007 film, which tells the story of an up-and-coming Bronx rapper (Omarion Grandberry) who is forced to go into hiding in his father's native Puerto Rico. Once there, the rapper finds Reggaeton which launches him to even more stardom. This film was disliked by critics and audiences alike. It was a derivative story and Grandberry of boy band B2K fame wasn't the star to keep people interested.

  • #29. The Boy Next Door

    - IMDb user rating: 4.7
    - IMDb user votes: 34,904
    - Metascore: 30
    - Runtime: 91 min
    - Director: Rob Cohen

    A psychological stalker thriller from the director of the original “Fast and the Furious” film seems like a slam dunk, but “The Boy Next Door” barely even hit the rim. Jennifer Lopez stars as Claire Peterson, a teacher who is seduced by a handsome 19-year-old (Ryan Guzman) who's just transferred to her school. One critic compared the film to Dana Carvey's disastrous “Master of Disguise” and another called it “one of the stupidest films ever made”—they were not alone in loathing it.

  • #28. Anaconda

    - IMDb user rating: 4.7
    - IMDb user votes: 87,465
    - Metascore: 37
    - Runtime: 89 min
    - Director: Luis Llosa

    A classic of 1990s monster schlock, “Anaconda” tells the story of a documentary film crew hoping to shoot the Amazon's Shirishama Indians and instead finding a 40-foot killer snake. Jennifer Lopez stars alongside Ice Cube, Jon Voight, and a truly unimpressive animatronic reptile. Still, though this far from high-cinema, “Anaconda” is considered entertaining and fun, in a B-movie sort of way.

  • #27. Maid in Manhattan

    - IMDb user rating: 5.2
    - IMDb user votes: 78,920
    - Metascore: 45
    - Runtime: 105 min
    - Director: Wayne Wang

    A 2003 rom-com starring Jennifer Lopez with Stanley Tucci and Amy Sedaris in supporting roles is the stuff of dreams. Unfortunately, Ralph Fiennes as Lopez's romantic foil never connects, which keeps the film about an aspiring politician who mistakes a maid for a socialite from the rom-com pantheon. Director Wayne Wang first made his name in Hollywood with 1993's “The Joy Luck Club.”

  • #26. The Wedding Planner

    - IMDb user rating: 5.3
    - IMDb user votes: 71,121
    - Metascore: 33
    - Runtime: 103 min
    - Director: Adam Shankman

    A renaissance means a rebirth which is why Matthew McConaughey's career rebirth was dubbed the McConaissance. But of course, a renaissance inherently means a return from a low-point and smack dab in the middle of McConaughey's Dark Ages was 2001's “The Wedding Planner.” In the rom-com, Lopez stars as Mary Fiore, a San Francisco-based wedding planner who falls for McConaughey before learning that she's been hired by his fiancé to plan their wedding. The plot is familiar to the point of cliché, but Lopez and McConaughey are as charming as ever.

  • #25. The Back-up Plan

    - IMDb user rating: 5.4
    - IMDb user votes: 46,215
    - Metascore: 34
    - Runtime: 104 min
    - Director: Alan Poul

    This 2010 rom-com was a return to the genre for Jennifer Lopez after a five-year hiatus. Unfortunately, neither critics nor audiences fell in love with the 2010 Lopez vehicle. In the film, Lopez plays a career-minded woman who decides to have twins by artificial insemination, only to meet her dream man (Alex O'Loughlin) right after she conceives. The film hits all the expected beats, but critics suggest “The Back-up Plan” falls flat because O'Loughlin and Lopez don't click on screen.

  • #24. El cantante

    - IMDb user rating: 5.5
    - IMDb user votes: 4,483
    - Metascore: 46
    - Runtime: 106 min
    - Director: Leon Ichaso

    This 2007 music-industry biopic teams Jennifer Lopez up with her then-husband Marc Anthony. Anthony plays Puerto Rican salsa legend Héctor Lavoe and Lopez plays his wife Puchi, also the film's narrator. Lavoe's story is a fascinating one—he created the genre of salsa and brought it to New York before struggling with addiction and then dying of AIDS—but some believe the film does not do it justice.

  • #23. Monster-in-Law

    - IMDb user rating: 5.5
    - IMDb user votes: 52,425
    - Metascore: 31
    - Runtime: 101 min
    - Director: Robert Luketic

    Though “Monster-in-Law” was not loved by critics, it did well at the box office, bringing in $83 million, which is second only to “Maid in Manhattan” in Jennifer Lopez's live-action career. But the rom-com, which pits Lopez against Jane Fonda, her overprotective and insane future mother-in-law, is a missed opportunity more than anything else. This was Fonda's return to acting after 15 years away and she is kinetic in the role, but the performance is undone by the lack of attention-to-detail or narrative weight in the script. As Roger Ebert wrote in 2005: “‘Monster-in-Law' fails the Gene Siskel Test: ‘Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?'”

  • #22. Angel Eyes

    - IMDb user rating: 5.6
    - IMDb user votes: 21,326
    - Metascore: 39
    - Runtime: 102 min
    - Director: Luis Mandoki

    “Angel Eyes” is a gritty drama that casts Jennifer Lopez as a cop with a dark past who finds love and a partner-in-melancholy in Catch Lambert (Jim Caviezel), a sad good-deeds man who saves her life. Terrence Howard plays Lopez's partner in this film by director Luis Mandoki. Critics disliked the film but had good things to say about Lopez's performance.