13 Best Michael Douglas Movies You Must See

December 20, 2017
10 min read

“Greed is Good” earned him an Academy Award. Michael Douglas over the years has continuously proven his acting reinventing talents with massive cinematic work.

Rising in the ranks with ‘The Streets of San Francisco’ (1972-1976), the actor slowly grasped the cinematic universe. With the passage of time, Douglas’ production nuances helped the actor understand and comprehend the art of movie making, earning him his first breakthrough in Robert Zemeckis’ ‘Romancing the Stone’.

Since then the actor has amassed couple of brilliant performances to establish him as one of the leading men in Hollywood. Here is the list of top 13 Michael Douglas Movies.


13. Basic Instinct (1992)

A violent, suspended police detective investigates a brutal murder, in which a manipulative and seductive woman could be involved. ‘Basic Instinct’ is famous for Sharon Stone’s leg-crossing scene, but that doesn’t mean that the film itself is not good. Without going too overboard, let’s just say that the film keeps you hooked till its climax (that’s masterfully left open-ended). And yes it is still regarded as one of the iconic sex movies that has a phenomenal performance from Douglas.


12. Fatal Attraction (1987)

A massive box office hit, ‘Fatal Attraction’ stars Michael Douglas as Dan Gallagher, whose one-night stand comes back to haunt him when his lover, Glenn Close’s psychotic Alex Forrest, begins to stalk him and his family.

While both Glenn Close as the adulteress and Anne Archer as the suspicious wife are phenomenal, Douglas quietly shapes the plot with his morally choked character that’s extinguished in a cat and mouse like situation.

Directed by Adrian Lyne, Dan Gallagher’s character is divided with two distinctive positions – a cheating husband and a man shadowed by a psychopath.


11. King of California (2007)

With a limited release, ‘King of California’ has gone quite unnoticed. Michael Douglas stars as Charlie, a mentally unstable father who after getting out of a mental institution is convinced of a Spanish gold buried somewhere under suburbia. Douglas’ performance is brimming with an inspirational essence. He excels at portraying the emotional vulnerability which makes his so susceptible to the outer world. The actor showcases maturity in grasping the expressive emotionalism with a fatherly principle.


10. Falling Down (1993)

A commercial entertainer, Michael Douglas stars as William Foster, an unemployed defence worker, who upon being frustrated with the corrupt in the society, takes the law in his own hands and begins to psychically and brutally lash out against them.

Directed by Joel Schumacher, this 1993 thriller deals with poverty, the economy and commercialism, and Douglas transcends the thematic allegory into a tangible concertizing element.  The actor brought out sadness and an uncertainty, which is embroiled in the mind’s menace.


9. The American President (1995)

‘The American President’ built its foundation on a brilliant amalgamation of Rob Reiner’s politically influenced direction and a classic Aaron Sorkin character writing.

Starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening as the romantic leads, the film is the story is about a widowed U.S. President played by Douglas, who falls in love with a pretty and charming lobbyist, essayed by Bening. Things seem merry and cherry until the president has to answer to his duties in the messy world of politics and his relationship becomes the bone of contention in the election campaign.

The aforementioned screenplay established the actors’ prowess and uses it to his writing capabilities. The director, famous for his political adaption works with Sorkin’s sharp script and adds a layer of emotionalism and sophistication to Douglas’ Andrew Shepherd.

Douglas’ holds his ground with confident maturity, standing out in a cast consisting of the talents of Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox and Richard Dreyfuss.  Considered among one of the most endearing love stories, the film was quite successful at the box office, with Douglas’ performance being specially appreciated. The actor’s efforts earned him quite the critical praise. Among its several nominations, the engaging chemistry of Douglas and Bening earned the film a spot in American Film Institute’s “100 Years… 100 Passions.”


8. Romancing the Stone (1984)

Working with the “one of the greatest visual storytellers in filmmaking” Robert Zemeckis, stardom had to come.

The film which propelled Michael Douglas into star recognition, ‘Romancing the Stone’ introduces us to American exotic bird smuggler Jack T. Colton, who lends hand in a lonely romance writer,  Joan Wilder played by Kathleen Turner and her dangerous adventure in Colombia save her kidnapped sister, and deal with a barrel of life threatening problems.

Considered among the best films of 1984, much of its credit goes to Douglas’ point portrayal of the character. While Turner swept away critics with her agility, Douglas held his own and kept up to the pace with absolute ease. While Douglas did not earn any accolades for his efforts, ‘Romancing the Stone’ elevated his star power and acted as a podium for the yet to come success.


7. The War Of The Roses (1989)

A perceptively well written black comedy, ‘The War of The Roses’ draws the image of a seemingly happily married couple who are willing to go to extreme lengths to have each other leave the house in a rancorous divorce battle.

Adapted from Warren Adler’s novel of the same name, the film bases itself of the narrative development of the characters. Directed by the brilliant Danny DeVito, this 1989 black comedy introduces us to a shrewdly hilarious and violent Oliver Rose who, like his wife, tries to sabotage her in every way possible. The actor balances the subjectivity of human emotion with ripeness. While Rose showcases the beauty of marital bliss in the beginning, he slowly transcends into a disturbing darkness reflecting the failing marriage.

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