Owen Wilson has often been side-lined as a supporting actor in most movies. However, like a true artist, the actor has perfectly essayed his roles and en-captured the essence of his characters. Be it the hot headed “little-man” Jedediah in ‘The Night the Museum’ (2006) or the drug-busting cop Detective Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson in ‘Starsky & Hutch’ (2004), he has done it all. The movies are picked on the basis of his role in the film, and not the film’s merit itself. So, here is a list of top Owen Wilson movies selected from his vast filmography. You can watch some of these best Owen Wilson movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
12. Meet The Parents (2000)
Things are bound to go haywire when Stiller’s Gaylord “Greg” Focker, an amiable male nurse has to create a good impression over his fiancée’s father, a stubborn ex-CIA agent, i.e. Robert De Niro’s Jack Byrnes. Wilson plays the role of Kevin Rawly, the much problematic ex-fiancé of Pam – who unlike Greg, is adored and loved by Jack.
11. Zoolander (2001)
A satire on the fashion industry, ‘Zoolander’ stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell. The film is one of the master pieces in the genre of awkward comedy and is perfectly brought together by the three stars. The 2001 flick unapologetically tears apart the industry and in the process won the hearts of the audience.
10. Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)
Based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ is one of the stop motion animated films. Directed by Wes Anderson, the film holds the classic infusion of the child-like bliss and modern era seriousness. Although Wilson does not lend his voice to the star character, he acts as a perfect veteran in show-casing the equal importance to his character – Coach Skip, an albino river otter who leads the school’s Whack-Bat team.
9. Cars (2006)
‘Cars’ strikes the nail on point; with fast-paced cars, visually stunning graphics and a talented voice over star-cast. Directed by John Lasseter, it was nominated for two Academy Awards and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Owen Wilson essays the role of a hot-shot red-race-car named Lightning McQueen, who understands the true meaning of “life” and “friendship” through the course of the adrenaline rushing sport. Although some might say that the anthropomorphic car film does not have a firm hold like Pixar films, it is one of its highest grossing films, spawning two more sequels over time.
8. Night at the Museum (2006)
Meet Larry Daley, a divorced father whose life is in crumbles. Taking up a job as a night watchman at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History, he vows to be a role model for his son. Things seem well until he discovers that the exhibits, animated by a magical Egyptian artefact, come to life at night. The first of the commercially successful ‘Night at the Museum’ trilogy, the Ben Stiller flick deftly adapts such a silly and bizarre premise into an entertaining and fun movie. Although the film is unanimously praised for Stiller, Wilson makes a great impact on the rib-tickling comedy. Donning the role of Jedediah, a miniature cowboy figure, he completely bursts out humour and comedy. He forms a comedic duo with fellow miniature figure man Steve Coogan.
7. Starsky & Hutch (2004)
An adaptation of 1970 television series of the same name, ‘Starsky & Hutch’ stars Ben Stiller as David Starsky and Owen Wilson as Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson. The crime-action buddy cop comedy film is about the two astute undercover cops in the fictional city of Bay City, California who bust drug criminals with the help of underworld boss, Huggy Bear. The adaptation acts as a prequel and focuses on Starsky’s first alliance with Hutch. To add some freshness to it, the writers John O’Brien, Todd Phillips and Scot Armstrong switch the personalities of the characters. The film is packed with comedy and action, with excellent portrayals by the comedic duo of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
6. Bottle Rocket (1996)
The directorial debut of Wes Anderson, ‘Bottle Rocket’ put Wilson on the map. A crime comedy, the movie is about three friends who pull off a robbery. The film is quirky in nature, and employs subtle comic amusement. Starring the Wilson brothers – Owen and Luke; and co-written by the director and Owen Wilson; ‘Bottle Rocket’ is one the best films on this list.
Like any critically acclaimed feature, this too was a commercial failure. However, ‘Bottle Rocket’ is one of the best crime-comedies and has even starred in visionary director Martin Scorsese’s “top-ten favorite movies of the 1990s”.
5. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
This Wes Anderson flick challenges the team to balance both comedy and drama. The 2001 comedy-drama narrates the life of three gifted siblings – Chas, Margot, and Richie who experience great success in youth but all is nullified after their eccentric father leaves them in their adolescent years. Interestingly, the 2001 flick sees Wilson play a different role. Although he also acts in the movie, the actor looks on to master the writing along with Anderson. The film was a wave of change for the audience who often saw Stiller as a comedic actor. Debuting at the New York Film Festival, ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ received positive reviews and achieved the feat of being Anderson’s most commercially successful film till date.
4. Wedding Crashers (2005)
‘Wedding Crashers’ delightfully revives the dying genre of adult, R-rated comedies. The film is right up Wilson’s ally where he plays John Beckwith, a gentle man with a heart of gold. Wilson seems a perfect choice for the role who is masterfully supported by a terrific star-cast consisting of Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher and Bradley Cooper. As mentioned earlier, the film is brilliantly orchestrated and is a must watch for all the R-rated fans.
3. Shanghai Noon (2000)
What could go wrong in a movie starring the masters of martial arts and comedy in a martial arts western comedy? – Nothing. Set in 19th century Nevada, the film is an amalgamation of a western with a kung fu action film. A “buddy-cop” action comedy, the film is teeming with the supreme comic elements and is wonderfully put together by the duo Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.
2. Inherent Vice (2015)
Wilson hasn’t had an easy time among the critics lately, starring in flops such as ‘Are You Here’ (2013) and ‘She’s Funny That Way’ (2014). Other than this, he has several cameos which will be soon forgotten in the years coming. However, Paul Thomas Anderson helped revive Wilson’s career with ‘Inherent Vice’. Owen Wilson stars as Coy Harlingen, a man who has disappeared into the air. This prompts his wife to hire a private investigator to look into the matter. The film is masterfully written by Robert Elswit and justifies Thomas Pynchon’s book. Voted as one of that year’s best films by critics, ‘Inherent Vice’ is a must watch for neo-noir lovers.
1. Midnight In Paris (2011)
This Woody Allen directed movie is pure art in every sense. Exploring the themes of modernism and nostalgia, the movie, as the title suggests, is set in Paris. Following screenwriter Gil Pender – a man forced to confront his life’s shortcomings as he mysteriously finds himself going back the artistic era of the 1920s.
The 2011 masterpiece stars an ensemble cast of Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams and Michael Sheen, and is led by an outstanding performance by Owen Wilson. The movie has been admired for its creative and innate look into the art of filmmaking along with the classic Allen narrative and visual style. ‘Midnight In Paris’ is one of the best Wilson movies.