David Warner’s 10 Best Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

Content Warning: This article contains mention of rape.

David Warner sadly passed away on July 24th, 2022. His death marks the loss of a beloved English actor, and he leaves behind a legacy of unforgettable roles.

Known for his portrayals of villainous characters, David Warner’s magnetic on-screen presence was hard to beat. A highly capable actor, more than able to play a deeply sympathetic character, Warner worked with such distinguished directors as Sidney Lumet, Sam Peckinpah, and Joseph Losey. With a treasure trove of marvelous movies left behind, where should newcomers start? According to Rotten Tomatoes, these movies are his best.


10 Straw Dogs (1971) – 81%

Still shocking even 50 years after its release, Straw Dogs stars Dustin Hoffman as a young American who comes to England with his wife, only to face increasingly severe harassment from the locals. Whilst an annoyance at first, everyone has a breaking point.

Related: Every Sam Peckinpah Western Ranked By IMDb

Receiving an X rating and a ban in theaters in England upon its release for what was considered a glorification of extreme violence, which includes a disturbing rape scene, Straw Dogs is undoubtedly provocative. But it’s also an incredibly well-made movie, with excellent performances from the whole cast, and a sense of tension that constantly builds until it releases in hideous outbursts of violence.

9 Scream 2 (1997) – 81%

The first in a space of sequels to 1996’s scream, scream 2 returns audiences to the very unlucky life of Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell. The plot picks up two years after the original. As Sidney adjusts to college life, a new Ghostface begins a string of murders.

Warner appears as Gus Gold, the drama teacher, and delivers a typically great performance. Unlike many horror sequels, scream 2 does not succumb to the hype following the first movie, but it’s still a good time and the scream franchise is as meta as ever. Everyone is in the joke, which just makes the whole thing even better.

8 The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981) – 82%

With an all-star cast including Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, The French Lieutenant’s Woman is a world class drama. The narrative follows a movie within a movie; Anna and Mike (Streep & Irons) act in a film set in 19th century England where their two characters fall in love.

A fascinating character study, The French Lieutenant’s Woman is a lavish and beautifully acted picture. Warner appears as Murphy, a smaller but no doubt solid appearance. Streep and Irons are wonderful here and their performances really elevate an already marvelous picture to new heights.

7 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – 82%

The sixth picture in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country follows Captain Kirk and crew as he is charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and subsequently imprisoned. As a result, the USS Enterprise must stop an elaborate conspiracy and restore peace.

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Despite being the fifth sequel to the original picture, Star Trek VI is a highly entertaining movie and a worthwhile watch for all. The performances from William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are as iconic as ever, and the sci-fi worldbuilding is terrific. Inspiring countless sci-fi pictures since its release, the franchise has a strong entry in Star Trek VI and fans should be sure to check it out.

6 The League Of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse (2005) – 83%

A big-screen continuation of the cult classic British comedy series, The League Of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse follows the peculiar inhabitants of Royston Vasey. When the town comes under threat, the inhabitants are forced to leave, fast.

With the original writers returning to write the feature, the characters are as bizarre as they were on the small screen. Warner appears as Dr. Erasmus Pea, and the movie is as ridiculous as his name suggests. For those unfamiliar with the series, the movie is a low-budget explosion of absurdist dark comedy and sudden horror. What’s not to love?

5 The Omen (1976) – 86%

Still terrifying audiences even 45 years after its release, The Omen follows the American ambassador and his wife, who begin to experience odd happenings around them. As things get stranger and stranger, the ambassador turns on his young son, Damien: could he be the son of the Devil?

Warner appears as Jennings, a man who believes that Damien is the antichrist. Sadly for him, he’s right. Every performance is fantastic, particularly the young boy who plays Damien; his devilish smile will convince audiences he really is the Antichrist. With an utterly haunting and underrated horror movie soundtrack, The Omen will send shivers down the spine and definitely make horror fans reconsider having children.

4 Titanic (1997) – 87%

From the always audacious James Cameron, Titanic is a big-budget extravaganza with a tragic love story at its core. The plot follows Rose, a young aristocratic type, as she falls for Jack Dawson, a charismatic but dirt-poor young artist on the Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage.

Warner appears as Spicer Lovejoy, the assistant to Rose’s brutish fiance, and his performance is perfectly detestable. Audiences will no doubt hate his character, which just proves how good of a job he does. For moviegoers who (somehow) haven’t seen Titanicand haven’t had the chance to gawp at its unbelievable set-pieces, now’s the perfect time to change that.

3 Time After Time (1979) – 88%

A rather unique take on a classic HG Wells novel. Time After Time follows its author, played by the excellent Malcolm McDowell, as he pursues Jack The Ripper into the 20th century after the infamous serial killer uses the machine to escape his time period.

Warner gives an unforgettable performance as Jack The Ripper, lending his knack for being an actor somewhat typecast as the villain to this highly entertaining picture. The two actors commit fully to their roles, and their encounters are pure dynamite. The scenarios the characters are put into are inventive and oftentimes amusing. There’s little bad to say about this movie.

2 Time Bandits (1981) – 90%

From Terry Gilliam, director of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Time Bandits is a wacky adventure movie, perfect for fans of the director’s highly creative output. The plot follows a young boy who accidentally joins a band of time-traveling dwarves, and gallivant about looking for treasure.

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Co-written with his Monty Python troupe alumni Michael Palin, Time Bandits is a strange, oftentimes surreal movie, but it’s so much fun. It stars Sean Connery, formerly of James Bondand Shelley Duvall, who played Wendy in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The worlds they visit are bursting with ideas and creativity, and the journey just flies by.

1 The Ballad Of Cable Hogue (1970) – 94%

The Ballad Of Cable Hogue follows its titular character as he accidentally finds a water spring. With the help of his friend, he decides to start out in the water business and sets up a station in the middle of the desert.

With the impeccable direction of Peckinpah, The Ballad Of Cable Hogue is a beautiful western in the vein of the classics. The look is authentic, yet warm and inviting, and the cast delivers terrific performances (Warner included). While it may not be the most well-known of Warner’s pictures, it’s hailed as a masterful picture, and fans of both the actor and the American western should make sure to check it out.

Next: The 10 Best Western Movies Of The Decade According To Rotten Tomatoes

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