Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnesssecond chapter MCU dedicated to the supreme sorcerer of Benedict Cumberbatchmarked the return behind the camera of Sam Raimi 9 years after the previous job, The great and mighty Oz. We therefore decided to retrace a legendary career of one of the cornerstones of a certain particular type of cinema. So here is our ranking of all his works, ranked in order of quality.
The ranking of Sam Raimi’s films: the criteria
Ranking the works of an author as important and long-lived as Sam Raimi it is certainly not easy and, above all, there are no objective criteria to be used. So for this type of work we decided to look at the film components with a detached and analytical eye as well as evaluate the importance of films in the history of cinema. However, we obviously could not avoid being guided by our personal taste. So feel free to tell us what you would have changed in the comments.
Having made this quick but necessary premise, let’s get started.
15) Game of Love, 1999
Let’s start with the only film of the whole ranking that, with the cinema of Sam Raimi, it has very little to do. If in all the others, in fact, successful or not, you can see the hand of the Michigan filmmaker, in this one Game of Love there is not a single moment in which you will be able to observe the stylistic features of such a particular and penetrating cinema.
The film in fact runs slowly over the 5 years of the life of our protagonist, played by Kevin Costnerdancing between his tormented love affair with his Jane, played by the mourned woman Kelly Preston and his last pro game in baseball. Although the moments in the diamond are of an excellent level, shot with skill and taste and manage to entertain even those who do not know the rules, the rest of the film is unnecessarily wordy and dramatic. A work that tries at all times to create empathy between the viewer and the two tormented lovers but that does nothing but bore him.
Furthermore Raimi he decides to shoot everything in a scholastic way, without virtuosity of any kind, without his brilliant and dazzling camera movements, without insights worthy of him. His choice is to resume what is happening and little more. Leaving aside, as mentioned, some excellent moments of the game where his hand tries to come out, although not quite succeeding, in the rest of the film Game of Love it could be directed by anyone. Which you will never ever hear us say for any other film by Sam Raimi. Bland like no other work on this list.
14) Spider-Man 3, 2007
No need to gild the pill. After the incredible wonder that had been the second chapter, the hype in view of the third in which he would arrive in the franchise Venom they were sky high. And, while it continues to be a good action movie that can entertain even today, it is beyond question that it is the worst film in the saga and one of the least successful works of Sam Raimi.
While some of the trilogy’s signature canons continue to exist, the film lacks bite, epicness, and visually and narratively remarkable moments. Even the fights, which had made our eyes shine so much in previous chapters, are lofty and forgettable. The “evil” Peter possessed by the symbiote is far too caricatured and terribly out of place with the atmosphere that so wisely Raimi he had created in the other works. Even the same Venomdefinitely too little on stage, fails to capture the audience as they did the Green Goblin before and Doc Ock then.
However, honorable mention for the character of the Sandman, perfectly interpreted by Thomas Haden Church. This is deep, intense, with a moving and satisfying story arc for the viewer. Of course, for some reason Raimi has decided to upset what is known about Uncle Ben’s death to give even more strength to the character and make Peter’s forgiveness even more powerful. A risky choice that paid off very little in terms of public response. However theSand Man which should have been only a secondary villain behind the much more popular Venom, turns out to be perhaps the only valid reason to review this film which in the end is really too approximate and not really a penetrating cinema like that of Sam Raimi.
13) The two craziest criminals in the world, 1985
4 years after the crackling debut made with The House, Sam Raimi returns, in a film written in 6 hands with the brothers Coen, with a bright, funny and hilarious comedy. The film is deliberately exaggerated, at times macchiest and has no desire to take itself seriously. The characters, like that of the inevitable Bruce Campbell, they are all characterized so much over the top that they are hilarious. In every single frame the director’s desire to have fun and entertain is evident.
Although there is no pathos of any kind and the story flows smoothly towards the obvious happy ending, the development is rhythmic in an excellent way and the “action” and slapstick scenes entertain and amuse in all their characterizations. From the troubles combined by the two classic not very cunning thugs to the hilarious final chase: each sequence presents at least one moment in which you cannot help but smile heartily. All guided by the usual skill of Raimi who stages every situation in the most convincing way possible, showing the versatility that will then be the trademark of his future cinema.
In short, a very light, funny film that has no ambition other than to entertain all viewers in its duration. And in this he succeeds perfectly.
12) The Great and Powerful Oz, 2013
If you need to reinterpret the tale of the Wizard of Oz with a film of good feelings and bright colors, you usually don’t rely on a director like Sam Raimi. However Disney decide to hire the Michigan author for this project and he responds present. The filmmaker brings to port a visually truly beautiful film, with truly remarkable moments, such as the balloon ride at the beginning or the splendid finale.
The texture does not have any kind of jolt and runs smoothly to the end. It is still a film aimed at a very, very young audience Raimi therefore he immediately discovers the cards, giving the spectator the opportunity to enjoy every frame. The actors are excellently directed e James Francowith his natural boastful face with a good heart, is perfect for taking on the role of the crook Oscar who turns into the Big and Powerful Oz.
A film that probably, in the hands of a less talented director, could have been dull, boring and not appreciated by a more adult audience but that instead manages to entertain people with a few more years on their shoulders. The magic of the kingdom of Oz, thanks to a lit photography and a skilful use of wide-field shots alternating with close-up details, manages to enter the heart of the beholder. A work that flows very sweet until the end where the shock of the great final trick of Ozstaged with superb mastery by the director, will make this film a little gem to watch and relive.
11) The Gift (2000)
In 2000 Sam Raimi throws himself headlong into a genre little explored in his career: the thriller. In fact, with the exception of Dirty Money which we will see later, this type of storytelling is not too popular with the Michigan filmmaker. However this The Gift it differs in a fundamental characteristic from Raimi’s other similar work: the otherworldly component. In fact, the film revolves around the gift, precisely, that the protagonist played by Cate Blanchett owns. She is a psychic, able to predict, albeit in a confused way, the future and to have visions of past events.
The plot is quite compelling, although the mystery component of the film soon loses its bite as the dynamics governing the narrative are evident not long after the beginning. However, the directorial insights of Raimiespecially in the dreamlike scenes that represent the glue of the whole film, together with a truly level interpretation of the protagonists, manage to keep the viewer’s attention high.
The director probably tried to play soft, not forcing his hand too much in the indeed reduced action scenes where violence never explodes completely, trying to give strength to the narrative structure which, however, is not solid enough. In any case, it is an extremely pleasant film, with a pace that is not excessively fast but which in any case does not present obvious drops. The classic shots of the cinema of Raimimade of steadycam and wide angles are obviously present and visually The Gift it is really well done for both photography and make up. However, a confusing and quite banal ending does not make it shine. A vision is, in any case, a must.
10) Drag Me To Hell (2009)
If it is true that the Trilogy de The House is the ideological manifesto of the cinema of Sam Raimiit is equally undeniable that Drag Me to Hell be the cusp of his modern filmography. Everything that the Michigan chef has loved and built over the years he pours into this hilarious film. We are obviously not talking about a perfect work, also because otherwise it would make no sense to even put it in tenth place. However hardly, walking away from Ash Williams and associates, you will find a Raimi hallmarked work better than this.
The film dances, as the filmmaker has often accustomed us to between horror and comedy, widening the gap and exasperating both characteristics. The comic-grotesque sequences are in fact exaggerated as well as the strictly horror moments impress and not a little. From Mrs. Ganush’s distressing design of creepy eyes of different colors and dentures to the distressing talking goat during the séance. This is, in each frame, a film of Sam Raimi. The exaggerated wide angles, exaggerated action and close-ups with the typical narrative function of the Michigan director’s cinema. And personal taste takes a back seat in front of such authorship.
Do you want a single moment to convince yourself of these words? Watch the sequence of the graveyard in the rain. Probably the apotheosis of everything we have said so far. Seeing is believing.