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MFF Special: The Collegiate Degrees of Kevin Bacon’s Cinematic Characters

December 2, 2018

TREMORS, Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, 1990

In honor of Kevin Bacon and his illustrious career, I decided to look into his filmography to see if his movies are better when his characters have collegiate degrees. Why? Everyone loves the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game so I decided to take it a step further and see if his movies had better Tomatometer scores when his characters were highly educated. As always, please don’t expect correlation, causation or world changing calculations. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the dumb data about smart Kevin Bacon characters.

The data set includes 51 movies (37 total degrees) and I did my best to make sure no degree, certificate or certification went unnoticed. Since a lot of these characters are fictional, and the movies don’t spend a lot of time on his collegiate (or beyond) education, I had to make educated guesses for several movies like Crazy, Stupid, Love, Cop Car, The River Wild and The Darkness. The good news is I’m very happy with my conclusions and went into the data gathering with no assumptions or theories, which means I didn’t try to pepper my Bacon results with unwarranted collegiate degrees.

Here are the results!

Kevin Bacon movies where he has 0 degrees

  • Tomatometer Score – 58%
  • Domestic Box Office (inflated) – $85 million

There are 26 movies in this section and features Bacon as a student (Footloose), criminal (Murder in the First) or handy man who is great at battling subterranean monsters (Tremors).  The 58% overall score isn’t bad, with movies like JFK (83%), Animal House (91%) and The Woodsman (88%) doing the heavy lifting.

The most notable aspect of this category is his history of villainous characters or convicts. Movies like The River Wild, Sleepers, Super, Trapped, JFK, Murder in the First showcase the various ways Bacon can play squirrely and you need to check out James Gunn’s Super, because he makes some interesting decisions.

Also, if you get a chance check out Jayne Mansfield’s Car. Billy Bob Thornton directed it and it stars Bacon, Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Robert Patrick, Ray Stevenson and Frances O’Conner. The movie got zero theatrical play but there is enough in it to make a watch worthwhile.

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Kevin Bacon movies where he has 1 degree

  • Tomatometer Score – 43%
  • Domestic Box Office (inflated) – $50 million

This category has the lowest Tomatometer average of the three because of R.I.P.D., Death Sentence, Quicksilver, The Air Up There, The Darkness and Criminal Law. None of these movies have a critical score above 31% and if it wasn’t for Frost/Nixon, Cop Car and Mystic River the overall score would’ve been much worse.

This category helped me realize that Kevin Bacon has played a lot of cops, detectives or FBI agents throughout his storied filmography. If you get a chance check out Cop Car because Bacon is fantastic in it and I loved every second of him running around like a maniac. Also, I think his Mystic River performance is underrated and didn’t get enough respect because everyone focused on the scenery chewers around him.

 

Kevin Bacon movies where he has 2 or more degrees

  • Tomatometer average – 64%
  • Domestic Box Office (inflated) – $177 million

This section has the highest Tomatometer score and box office because of Apollo 13 (95%), A Few Good Men (82%), Patriot’s Day (81%), X-Men: First Class (86%) and Black Mass (73%). Bacon isn’t the main character in any of them, but having him around certainly helps because he has no problem holding his own alongside Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp or Tom Hanks.

I love that his two twisted scientist characters in Hollow Man and X-Men: First Class are named Sebastian. If you are going to watch one of them, stay away from Hollow Man because it isn’t Paul Verhoeven’s best and there is nothing likable about Bacon’s character. I tried to watch it again for research, but I couldn’t make it all the way through because the movie has not aged well.

If you get a chance check out Taking Chance. It features a very understated performance from Bacon and is worth a watch.

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The more degrees the better! There are outliers like Tremors and The Woodsman, but the data proves that Kevin Bacon movies featuring him with multiple degrees are appreciated more by critics. You are welcome world.

If you like this article make sure to check out my other data pieces!

  1. Jet Ski Action Scenes Are the Worst
  2. Analyzing the Unsuccessful Trap in Predators
  3. How Far Did the Shark Travel in Jaws: The Revenge?
  4. The Dolph Lundgren Front Kick Spectacular
  5. How Far Did the Creature From It Follows Travel?
  6. How Many Bullets Missed John Matrix in Commando?
  7. How Fast Does the Great White Swim in Shark Night?
  8. Zara the Assistant and Jurassic World Had a Bad Day
  9. A Look at Elektra’s sandbag trainer in Daredevil
  10. How Far Did Nic Cage Run While Dressed as a Bear In The Wicker Man Remake?
  11. Breaking Down The Mariner vs. Sea Beast Battle in Waterworld
  12. How Long Did it Take The Joker to Setup the Weapon Circle in Suicide Squad?
  13. Michael Myers Hates Blinkers
  14. Jason Voorhees Can’t Teleport?
  15. Michael Myers Loves Laundry
  16. How Far Did the Merman Travel in The Cabin in the Woods?
  17. How Far Did Matthew McConaughey Jump in Reign of Fire?
  18. How Fast can Leatherface Run?
  19. Deep Blue Sea and Stellan Skarsgard
  20. How Far Did Michael Myers Drive in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
  21. How Did the Geologist Get Lost in Prometheus?
  22. People Love a Bearded Kurt Russell
  23. A Closer Look at Movies That Feature the Words Great, Good, Best, Perfect and Fantastic
  24. An In-Depth Look At Movies That Feature Pencils Used as Weapons
  25. Cinematic Foghat Data
  26. Explosions and Movie Posters
  27. The Fast & Furious & Corona
  28. Nicolas Sparks Movie Posters Are Weird
  29. How Do You Make the Perfect Kevin Smith Movie?
  30. Predicting the RT score of Baywatch
  31. The Cinematic Dumb Data Podcast
  32. What is the best horror movie franchise?
  33. How Fast Can the Fisherman Clean a Trunk in I Know What You Did Last Summer?
  34. It’s Expensive to Feature Characters Being Eaten Alive and Surviving Without a Scratch
  35. How Long Does it Take Your Favorite Horror Movie Characters to Travel From NYC to San Francisco?
  36. What was the Guy’s Blood Pressure in Dawn of the Dead?
  37. Why Were There So Many Lemons in National Treasure?
  38. How Far Does The Rock Jump in the Skyscraper Poster?
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