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MFF Special: Analyzing the Critical/Audience Scores of Kurt Russell’s Movies

July 12, 2017

We here at MFF are big Kurt Russell fans and if you’ve been following us for a while you’ve probably read a lot of Russell posts and know he is a constant topic in our podcast. In my quest to put together the most random compilation of weird data-centric posts I had to include Russell’s films. I recently took a deep dive into his filmography and collected all the critical/audience scores for all of his films since 1980. I wanted to know which Russell films audiences (IMDb) and critics (RT) love most. Do they like mustachioed/bearded Russell? Do they like sleeveless shirt Russell? Are they fans of Elvis Russell? Of course, there is zero correlation or causation in regards to whether or not a bearded Russell will make a film better. This post simply points out random facts and gives you something to talk about at the water cooler.

Before we move along with the post here are my top five Russell flicks. You need to watch them

  1. Big Trouble in Little ChinaJack Burton is the best action hero ever
  2. The Thing – Perfect horror film
  3. Tombstone – Great mustache
  4. Escape From New York – Snake is the best
  5. Miracle – Dude can act.

I decided to go with his films dating back from 1980 because the majority of his pre-1980 movies don’t have Rotten Tomatoes scores. My random data needs actual data to be so random! Take a look at his IMDb page to see which films are included on the list.

Take a look at Russell’s top 10 films according to critic/audience combined averages.

  • 10. Swing Shift/Tombstone – 75.5
  • 9. The Hateful Eight – 76
  • 8. Furious 7  – 76
  • 7. Miracle – 77.5
  • 6. Big Trouble in Little China – 77.5
  • 5. Deepwater Horizon – 78
  • 4. Escape From New York – 78.5
  • 3. Bone Tomahawk – 80.5
  • 2. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 – 81
  • 1. The Thing – 82

There are some great films on the list and they led me to a startling conclusion (somewhat hyperbole). Movies that feature a bearded/mustachioed Russell have the highest combined average score (78.8). The Thing, Bone Tomahawk. Deepwater Horizon, The Hateful Eight, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Tombstone all feature Russell crushing some sweet facial hair.


Here is a breakdown of the various sub-genres of Russell films.

  1. Beard/Mustache Russell – 78.8% (Deepwater Horizon, The Thing, The Hateful Eight, Bone Tomahawk, Tombstone)
  2. Superhero Dad Russell – 74.25% (Guardians 2, Sky High)
  3. Period Piece Russell – 70.5% (Bone Tomahawk, Winter People, The Swing Shift, Tombstone, Miracle, The Hateful Eight)
  4. Science Fiction/Fantasy Russell – 70.25% (The Thing, Guardians 2, Soldier, Escape From L.A./New York, Big Trouble in Little China, Stargate, Sky High)
  5. Car Russell – 70% (Used Cars, Fast 7 & 8, Deathproof)
  6. Coach Russell – 64.5% (Miracle, Touchback)
  7. Stuntman Russell –  60.75% (Deathproof, The Art of the Steal)
  8. Law Enforcement/Soldier/Fire Fighter Russell  – 60.7% (Backdraft, Bone Tomahawk, Soldier, Dark Blue, Tango & Cash,  Stargate, Tombstone, Hateful Eight)
  9. Sleeveless T-shirt Russell- 59.9%  (Captain Ron, Tango & Cash, Escape From New York/L.A., Overboard, Big Trouble in Little China)
  10. Elvis Russell- 58.25%  (3,000 Miles to Graceland, Forrest Gump)
  11. Water Russell – 54.3% –   (Captain Ron, Deepwater Horizon, Poseidon)

I am still certain that Russell’s mustache in The Hateful Eight helped form the jacket he wears throughout the movie.

I can’t say with 100% certainty that the facial hair didn’t make a difference. I can say that it helps working with Quentin Tarantino, Peter Berg and John Carpenter.  I  thought that his sleeveless shirt movies (Captain Ron, Tango & Cash, Escape From New York/L.A., Overboard, Big Trouble in Little China) would have the highest average but they were hindered by the really bad scores of Captain Ron and Tango & Cash. I am happy that Superhero Dad Russell took second place. If you haven’t watched Sky High and want to see Bruce Campbell and Kurt Russell in a film together do it now.

The bottom line is that Kurt Russell is the best. The guy has been making great films for a long time and I love that between The Fate of the Furious and Guardians Vol. 2 he has starred in two of the biggest 2017 films. If you want to start somewhere I totally recommend checking out The Thing because it is perfection.

If you liked this post make sure to check out my series featuring random data and useless numbers. Start with my groundbreaking posts about a Merman’s murderous journeyLeatherface sprinting,  Deep Blue Sea and Stellan Skarsgard, I Know What You Did Last Summer trunk cleaning and Michael Myer’s Halloween H20 driving then work your way down the list!

  1. Jet Ski Action Scenes Are the Worst
  2. A Closer Look at Movies That Feature the Words Great, Good, Best, Perfect and Fantastic
  3. An In-Depth Look At Movies That Feature Pencils Used as Weapons
  4. Cinematic Foghat Data
  5. Explosions and Movie Posters
  6. The Fast & Furious & Corona
  7. Nicolas Sparks Movie Posters Are Weird
  8. Predicting the RT score of Baywatch
  9. The Cinematic Dumb Data Podcast
  10. What is the best horror movie franchise?
  11. How fast can the fisherman clean a trunk in I Know What You Did Last Summer?
  12. It’s expensive to feature characters being eaten alive and surviving without a scratch
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