Jeff Goldblum is more than just the eccentric Jeff Goldblum. The actor, who is now 68 years old, has a career that spans close to fifty years. Over those years he has found himself in some very good movies. Some you may know, some you may not. But if you’re a fan, you may want to check out a few, if not all, of these.
These are the best Jeff Goldblum movies and they’re all must-sees.
A SMALL PART IN THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 8.65/10
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a 2014 ensemble piece from writer/director Wes Anderson. You either like his movies or you don’t. Goldblum’s part is not a large one in this comedic, thoughtful murder mystery. He plays a lawyer to the madame who has mysteriously died and announces a codicil to her will that changes everything as it bequeaths a priceless Renaissance painting called Boy with Apple, to Gustave (played by Ralph Fiennes), the Grand Budapest’s concierge.
We were hesitant to include this, especially at number one, on the list but his role, albeit small, is significant as it is a table-setter for a very highly rated movie.
JEFF GOLDBLUM IN THOR: RAGNAROK
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 8.6/10
Jeff Goldblum’s role as Grandmaster (which he also played in the closing credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) in this 2017 Marvel superhero movie is immediately funny, setting the tone for a fun adventure. He was given carte blanche by Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, who said he didn’t want to turn Goldblum blue like the comic book character because he didn’t want the color to distract from his performance.
Jeff Goldblum himself spoke about his character via Empire, “He’s a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker,” said Goldblum, “an enjoyer of life and tastes and smells. I thought, ‘I can do that, I’ll bet!’ I’m working on my part every day. I’m a sponge, researching.” He loved how Waititi allowed him to “Goldblum” his role. “[Taika Waititi] is encouraging me to improvise and make it my own, and that’s what I’m trying to do. I hope he doesn’t throw me out on the first day!” Fans are thrilled Goldblum didn’t get tossed.
AS IAN MALCOLM IN JURASSIC PARK
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 8.6/10
Jurassic Park might be the movie where Jeff Goldblum began to become the Jeff Goldblum of today. He always had that strange delivery of a line or a look, but 1993’s Jurassic Park really began to show the true nature of the actor.
We all know the story. Dinosaurs are brought back to life in an amusement park setting and things go horribly wrong. Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm, along with Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), arrive at Isla Nublar to hopefully give John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) the thumbs up so he can bring visitors to his island. Things don’t go according to plan.
Jeff Goldblum plays Malcolm with great wit and ego and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. In total, Goldblum has played Malcolm three times with a fourth on its way in the upcoming sequel Jurassic World: Dominion, which will also see his character reunite with Grant and Sattler.
JEFF GOLBLUM TRANSFORMS IN THE FLY
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 8.4/10
If you love science fiction, gore, and controversial director David Cronenberg (Rabid, Videodrome), then this is your movie. The Fly, a 1986 remake of the 1958 movie of the same name, has Goldblum front and center. It tells the story of eccentric scientist Seth Brundle working on a major find in his home laboratory. His invention is a telepod, a device that allows for instantaneous transportation from one pod to the other. As he begins his experiment, the telepods are able to transport inanimate objects but live tissue not so well. It becomes mutilated, which is shown graphically when Seth tries to transport a baboon. After more experiments, Seth is finally able to make live tissue transport.
After a fight with his girlfriend, Seth decides to test the telepod on himself, unaware that a regular housefly has entered the telepod with him. But the device works and Seth emerges showing increased strength and stamina, which means he can “go all night”. He thinks this is all because the telepod purified him. With his strength increasing (he causes a compound fracture to a man he arm wrestles) things also begin to deteriorate. He also notices he is growing bristly hairs all over his body. Jeff Goldblum is slowly turning into the fly that joined him in the telepod. This movie is a must-see for horror fans and lovers of gore, a staple of Cronenberg movies.
JEFF GOLDBLUM IN INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 8.35/10
The pod people. “They’re coming! You’ll be next!” This is the warning given during the first part of the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The movie starred Donald Sutherland, Leonard Nimoy, Brooke Adams, and Jeff Goldblum.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers tells the story of aliens who come to Earth and have the ability to duplicate humans in order to take over the world. Goldblum plays Sutherland’s friend, who at first is skeptical of what is happening until he discovers a near duplicate of his wife’s body. From then on, the group is on the run from the aliens who are already taking over the city.
This is a good remake of the cheesy 1958 movie, one that keeps you guessing up until the end not knowing if your favorite character has been duplicated or not.
AS MAX ARLOT IN BETWEEN THE LINES
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 8.0/10
Between The Lines came early in Jeff Goldblum’s career. The 1977 film tells the story of Max Arloft, a music critic for a small, underground, Boston newspaper. Their work environment is carefree, positive, open-minded. But things change when big business steps in. The owner of a major publishing company decides to buy the underground newspaper, infusing them with more money, but more changes, ones that don’t sit well.
Between The Lines also stars John Heard (Home Alone) and Lindsay Crouse (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
WITH LAURENCE FISHBURNE IN DEEP COVER
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 7.55/10
Jeff Goldblum plays it straight in this 1992 crime thriller which also stars Laurence Fishburne. Goldblum plays an attorney, who also traffics drugs. He is on the wrong side of the law as he tries to bring Fishburne’s undercover cop Stevens into the fold.
Goldblum changes sides halfway through, teaming up with Fishburne as he goes after the big fish. It is a solid film that shows Jef Goldblum’s comedic side while also showcasing his skills as a villain.
JEFF GOLDBLUM IN SILVERADO
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 7.4/10
Silverado is an addictive, 1985 western where Jeff Goldblum has a small but central to the story role. He plays a card shark, Calvin “Slick” Stanhope, who arrives more than halfway through the picture and it is his “relationship” to a central character’s sister (Lynn Whitfield) that pushes things over the edge.
The movie stars Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Scott Glenn, Brian Dennehy, Linda Hunt, and in one of his earliest roles, Kevin Costner. The story follows the injustice in a small town and the band of misfits who reluctantly come together to fight it. Check out this movie, you won’t be disappointed.
JEFF GOLDBLUM IN THE BIG CHILL
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 7.0/10
The Big Chill is a classic that probably deserves a higher score than our mathematical formulas ended up giving it. Jeff Goldblum is but one in an ensemble cast which includes Tom Berringer, Glenn Close, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, JoBeth Williams, Meg Tilly, and Mary Kay Place and tells of a group of former college friends who reunite for a weekend after the death of one of their collegemates.
For modern movie goers this plot probably sounds like Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups. This one, though, is much better . The ensemble is put to good use in the story written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who incidentally, brought Kline and Goldblum back for Silverado.
FIGHTING ALIENS IN INDEPENDENCE DAY
GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE: 6.85/10
This 1996 movie is an alien invasion story on a big budget. Independence Day stars Will Smith, Judd Hirsch, Bill Pullman, Mary McDonnell, and Jeff Goldblum. This time Jeff stars as another brainiac (ala Ian Malcolm) who has decoded the invading alien fleet’s signal. He then takes his father (Hirsch) to DC so he can warn his ex-friend the president (Pullman) of the impending doom. The warning doesn’t come soon enough as the aliens begin to destroy large cities across the globe. The world tries to fight back but can’t get past the alien’s security defenses. But maybe the world can. And maybe they can do it on Independence Day.
The GIANT FREAKIN MOVIE SCORE is calculated using rating averages from Rotten Tomatoes and the Internet Movie Database.