Best Buddy Movies - Part 10

Posted on 1 Mar 00:00

There are multitudes of films available, thanks to the movie industry that is forever fast-growing. Movies are available in different genres, cutting across science, fiction, romance, sports, biography, family, and comedy, among other themes. Every film has a plot, including murder, friendship, betrayal, theft, education, culture, and a wide range of others. Many people love 'buddy' films, the allure is in the name, 'buddy'. This article, lists seven examples of the best buddy movies discussed at length.

1)  Rush Hour (1998)

Plot: A diplomat’s daughter is abducted in Los Angeles. It marks the beginning of the partnership of two mismatched police officers who must work together to find the girl. Hong Kong detective Inspector Lee must work under lead of a wisecracking detective, James Carter. Lee and Carter find it difficult to work together and they constantly clash. They come to realize that the FBI and the police have abandoned them, and they must work together to accomplish the mission.

Director: Brett Ratner.

Main Cast: Jackie Chan (as Detective Inspector Yan Naing Lee) and Chris Tucker as Detective James Carter.

Critical Reception: 'Rush Hour' was a box office hit and a tremendous commercial success, grossing $244.4 million on a $33-35 million budget. Its critical reception was fairly good. Rotten Tomatoes used 73 reviews to review the movie, earning it a 60% approval rating and a 6/10 average rating, with the site’s consensus describing the movie as ‘a kick-ass addition to the cop-buddy film genre.’ Based on Metacritic’s 23 reviews, the film earned a 60/100 weighted average rating. The Cinema Score audiences also reviewed the film, giving it an 'A' on the scale of A to F. The Washington Post’s Michael O'Sullivan defined the movie as ‘A misbegotten marriage of sweet and sour’ and added that, ‘The problem is it can’t make up its mind and, unlike Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, the sharply contrasting flavors of these ingredients only leave a bad taste in the customer's mouth.’ Michael added that Tucker is miscast, the screenplay is ‘perfunctory and sloppy,' and the general direction is ‘limp and lethargic.’

Awards and Nominations: 'Rush Hour' was a critical success, garnering many awards and nominations. It won the ALMA Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film (Elizabeth Peña), BMI Film and TV Awards – the BMI Film Music Award (Lalo Schifrin), Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Favorite Duo- Action/Adventure (Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker), Boggy Award in Silver, and Golden Screen.

2.  The Guard (2011)

Plot: This film features two officers in the line of duty, a straight-laced, no-nonsense FBI agent who must deal with an irreverent and vulgar Irish cop while traveling together to a small Irish town to take down a drug trafficking ring.

Director:  John Michael McDonagh.

Main Cast: Brendan Gleeson (as Sergeant Gerry Boyle), Don Cheadle (as FBI Agent Wendell Everett), and Mark Strong (as Clive Cornell).

Critical Reception: 'The Guard' was a box office hit. It grossed $21 million on a  $6 million budget. 'The Guard' turned out to be the most successful independent Irish film of all time when it comes to Irish box-office receipts. The new hit overtook 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley' (2006), which had been holding the position previously. In reviewing the film, Rotten Tomatoes used 134 critics to report a 94% approval rating and an average rating of 7.65/10. The site’s consensus reads, ‘A violent, crackerjack comedy with a strong Irish flavor and an eminently likable Brendan Gleeson in the main role.’ Metacritic reviewed the movie based on 29 critics and awarded it a 78/100 average rating, suggesting ‘generally favorable reviews.’

Awards and Nominations: Besides the wonderful critical reviews, 'The Guard' garnered many awards and nominations, including Black Reel Best Supporting Actor Award (Don Cheadle), Berlin International Film Festival Best Debut Film - Honorable Mention, Dinard British Film Festival Audience Award for John Michael McDonagh, Reprisal Films, Coup de Coeur, Kodak Award for Best Cinematography for Larry Smith (Reprisal Films), and the Silver Hitchcock Award among other awards. The film also received several nominations, including Irish Film and Television Award’s Best Film (Chris Clark, Flora Fernandez Marengo, Ed Guiney, and Andrew Lowe), Best Director – Film (John Michael McDonagh), Best Script – Film (John Michael McDonagh), Best Supporting Actress – Film (Fionnula Flanagan), Best Actor – Film (Brendan Gleeson), among other nominations. Out of the nine Irish Film and Television Awards, 'The Guard' won six awards.

3.  Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

Plot: This film depicts a friendship that thrives between two criminals, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. While trying to make an escape, legendary thief Lightfoot crosses paths with the free-spirited drifter Thunderbolt while he is in the process stealing a car. The two meet up with Red and Eddie who are Thunderbolt's old partners in crime, and who believe that Thunderbolt intentionally double-crossed them while committing a bank robbery. Thunderbolt pleads with them, explaining his innocence to the duo who forgive him. Lightfoot joins the trio, and the quad rob the same bank the trio had robbed several years ago.

Director: Michael Cimino.

Main Cast: Clint Eastwood (as Thunderbolt), Jeff Bridges (as Lightfoot), George Kennedy (as Red Leary), and Geoffrey Lewis (as Eddie Goody).

Critical Reception: based on Rotten Tomatoes’ 29critics, the film earned a 90% approval rating, with the site’s consensus reading, ‘This likable buddy/road picture deftly mixes action and comedy, and features excellent work from stars Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges and first-time director Michael Cimino.’ The Monthly Film Bulletin’s John Raisbeck remarked this about the film, ‘John Milius’ collaborator on the screenplay for Magnum Force. Michael Cimino makes his directorial debut with Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, a film as interestingly idiosyncratic if not as controlled as Milius’ Dillinger. The script, also by Cimino, is packed with excellent moments, but somehow the whole never amounts to more than the sum of its parts.’ The movie has since gained a cult following.

Awards and Nominations: the film received only a single nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges).

4.  The Adventures of Bob and Dug Mackenzie: Strange Brew (1983)

This Canadian film's title was shortened to 'Strange Brew'.

Plot: When Bob and Doug McKenzie, Canada's most popular hosers, get employment at the Elsinore Brewery, they are thrilled. Little do they know that something is very wrong with the company, and uncover a sinister plot.

Director: Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas

Main Cast: Dave Thomas (as Doug McKenzie), Rick Moranis (as Bob McKenzie), Max von Sydow (as Brewmeister Smith).

Critical Reception:  'Strange Brew' was a modest commercial success that grossed $8.5 million on a budget of $4million. From Rotten Tomatoes’ 24 critics, 'Strange Brew' earned a 75% approval rating and a corresponding 6.70/10 average rating. The New York Times's Janet Maslin commented about the movie, saying, 'Anyone who's partial to the McKenzies’ humor doubtless has a fondness for beer. The price of a ticket could buy enough beer for an experience at least as memorable as this one.’ The Globe and Mail also reviewed the film, with Jay Scott, its critic, saying this, 'What's terrific about the McKenzie Brothers is their offhand depiction of two English-Canadian working-class dimwits ... and what's terrific about the movie is its equally offhand surrealism.’

Awards and Nominations: In 1984, the film’s soundtrack album won the Canadian Juno Award for Best Comedy Album.

5.  A Better Tomorrow (1986)

Plot: This film depicts two brothers who struggle to reconnect, a Hong Kong ex-gangster and an estranged police officer. The ex-gangster realizes that the corrupt ties he has are worst than he imagined, and breaking them will require a herculean effort.

Director: John Woo

Main Cast: Ti Lung (as Sung Tse-Ho), Leslie Cheung (as Sung Tse-Kit), Chow Yun-fat (as Mark Lee), and Emily Chu (as Jackie, the girlfriend of Kit).

Awards and Nominations: This film was a landmark for Hong Kong action and Hollywood, spanning the bloodshed genre. It broke Hong Kong's box office record and went on to become one of Asia’s blockbusters. 'A Better Tomorrow' is highly recognized, as it ranks #2 in the Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures. Because of its success, the sequels A Better Tomorrow II, directed by John Woo, and A Better Tomorrow 3: Love & Death in Saigon, directed by Tsui Hark, came up. It grossed HK $34.7 million/US $4.8 million on a tight budget. The film appears on the Hong Kong Film Awards list of the Top 100 Chinese Films.

6.  Friday (1995)

Plot: This movie's plot is two friends who struggle to repay a drug dealer his debt by Friday. The drug dealer has given them an ultimatum, and failure to abide by it may mean that the duo will lose its life. Their efforts resort in hilarious mayhem.

Director:  F. Gary Gray.

Main Cast:  Ice Cube (as Craig Jones) and Chris Tucker (Smokey).

Critical Reception: 'Friday' was a tremendous commercial success and a box office hit, grossing $27.5 million on a budget of $3.5 million budget. It also received positive critical reviews. Rotten Tomatoes used 27 critics to review the film, yielding a 78% approval rating and a 6.20/10 average rating. Its site's consensus reads, 'What Friday might lack in taut construction or directorial flair, it more than makes up with its vibrant (albeit consistently crass) humor and the charming, energetic performances of its leads.' Metacritic awarded the film 'mixed or average reviews from its 9 critics which awarded the film a 54/100 average rating.

Awards and Nominations: At the Al Def Movie Awards, 'Friday' won the Best Bad Mu#&a Award (Tom Lister Jr.) and was nominated for the Best Bad Mu#&a Award (Faizon Love).

7.  Scarecrow (1973)

Plot: This plot depicts the story of two men, a gruff ex-con, and an ex-seaman, who hitchhike across California to start and run a business in Pittsburgh. In the course of traveling together, the duo encounter many people and events, and learn a lot about life.

Director:  Jerry Schatzberg.

Main Cast:  Gene Hackman (as Max Millan) and Al Pacino (as Francis Lionel ‘Lion’ Delbuchi).

Critical Reception:  Commercially, the film did poorly but later gained a cult following. It proved to be a box office bomb grossing only $4 million. Chicago Sun-Times’ Roger Ebert awarded the movie three out of four stars. Ebert compared the 'Of Mice and Men' and 'Midnight Cowboy’s' story to the movie, giving it positive reviews because of Pacino and Hackman's performance, the screenplay, and the setting.  The New York Times's Vincent Canby described Max and Lion as ‘classic drifters’ and ‘marvelously realized characters.’

Awards and Nominations: 'Scarecrow' tied for greatest honor at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film, which was the interim equivalent of the Palme d'Or. At the 1974 Bodil Awards, it was awarded the Best Non-European Film at Denmark's 1974 Bodil Awards.


These are all examples of excellent buddy films from which to choose. They range from family viewing to the bizarre, providing something for everyone.

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