10 Best Jason Bateman Movies and TV Shows, According to Rotten Tomatoes


A child star turned acting, producing, and directing sensation, Jason Bateman is worth his weight in any genre gold. His acting career began with Little House on the Prairie, and as he got older, audiences recognized him from cult classics like Teen Wolf Too. He’s led iconic series like Arrested Development and forced gut laughter in theaters with movies like Horrible Bosses. When he’s not gracing the screen or taking a turn behind the camera, his humor is out in full force on his podcast Smartless, co-hosted with Will Arnett and Sean Hayes.

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Capable of leading a cast or stealing scenes with minimal screen time, Bateman is a cinematic treasure with a fan base obsessed with his sarcasm, signature flowing hair, and quick wit. Being a multi-genre, multi-medium star has earned him considerable praise throughout his career; many of Bateman’s movies and shows received high scores on the popular review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

10 ‘Ozark’ (2017-2022)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Image via Netflix

Bateman is truly a triple threat when it comes to his participation in this Netflix original. He stars, directs, and serves as executive producer throughout the show’s four seasons. As the Byrde family patriarch, Marty (Bateman) and his family must hide away in the Ozarks to launder money for a dangerous Mexican cartel, all the while embedding themselves in the political culture of their new home.

Directing a total of nine episodes of the series total of 44, Bateman is genuinely a whole other persona in the realm of Ozark. Audiences who hadn’t seen his comedic performances prior to this would probably never guess his roots. Ozark is a must-see, riveting drama and one of Bateman’s finest achievements in acting, directing, and producing.

Ozark TV Show Poster

Ozark

A financial advisor drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder money to appease a drug boss.

Release Date
July 21, 2017

Cast
Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner, Charlie Tahan, Lisa Emery, Janet McTeer, Tom Pelphrey

Main Genre
Drama

Rating
TV-MA

Seasons
4

Watch on Netflix

9 ‘The Family Fang’ (2015)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

the-family-fang-jason-bateman-2015

The Family Fang not only sees Bateman as its protagonist but as its director. In a movie about coming to terms with your family and childhood, Baxter (Bateman) and Annie Fang (Nicole Kidman) are two siblings trying to make sense of their unusual childhood with their infamous parents, who were known for creating public spectacles.

The film also features Christopher Walken, Kathryn Hahn, Maryann Plunkett, and Jason Butler Harner. Bateman’s second directorial feature — Bad Wordswas his first in 2014 — The Family Fang is explosively divisive as critics loved it and audiences disliked it at 47% rotten. However, this uncompromising nature allows it to explore fascinating issues through a decidedly strong and memorable lens.

The Family Fang
Release Date
April 16, 2016

Director
Jason Bateman

Cast
Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Christopher Walken, Marin Ireland, Harris Yulin

Rating
R

Runtime
105

Watch on Amazon Prime

8 ‘State of Play’ (2009)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

jason-bateman-russell-crowe-state-of-play

In this smaller role, Bateman channels his sardonic humor into a sleazy PR character with Dominic Foy. A foundational film in the investigative journalism genre, State of Play stars Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams as journalists digging into the murder investigation of a congressional aide in Washington, D.C.

State of Play received positive reviews for its tight, engrossing plot and the ensemble of actors at its center. Bateman shines in a small, reprehensible role, becoming a scene stealer throughout his screen time. Aided by intelligent directing that elevates a somewhat conventional screenplay, State of Play ranks among the 21st century’s best political thrillers.

State of Play
Release Date
April 17, 2009

Director
Kevin Macdonald

Cast
Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright, Jason Bateman

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
132

Watch on Netflix

7 ‘Game Night’ (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Jason Bateman as Max doing the hush sign and pointing at someone off-camera in Game Night
Image via Warner Bros.

One of Bateman’s highest-rated comedic performances, Game Night features pure, expected magic from the beloved actor. What’s a game night without staged kidnapping, dangerous gangsters, and a shrine dedicated to an ex-wife? All vying to win their regular game night, a group of friends becomes entangled in a real-life mystery where the stakes are higher than bragging rights.

The cast is led by Bateman and Rachel McAdams, playing a no-nonsense couple who take their games very seriously. Despite having a heavy-hitting comedic lead like Bateman, every character gets a chance to showcase their humor, making this film a true laugh-out-loud comedy. Game Night is a brilliant action comedy widely considered a modern comedic classic, thanks to a witty, hilarious, instantly memorable screenplay and the game performances of a truly incredible ensemble.

Game Night poster

Game Night
Release Date
February 22, 2018

Director
John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein

Cast
Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Sharon Horgan, Billy Magnussen, Lamorne Morris

Rating
R

Runtime
100

Rent on Apple TV+

6 ‘Up in the Air’ (2009)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Jason Bateman as Craig Greggory leaning back on his chair and looking at another man in Up in the Air.

Taking his turn as a boss, Bateman’s role in Up in the Air may be more minor, but still worth the watch. Living out of his suitcase as a daily routine, Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) travels around the country, firing people on behalf of their employers. The status quo of his enjoyable lifestyle is about to change when a potential love interest enters his life. Bateman is Craig Gregory, Ryan’s boss, who forces him to take on training the new hire (Anna Kendrick).

Up in the Air is a sharp and funny exploration of human nature and connection with three stellar performances and a familiar yet thoughtful narrative despite a somewhat abrupt ending. Bateman’s role is short but pivotal, effectively kickstarting the plot; the actor delivers a cold, precise portrayal of corporate interests that forsakes his traditional funny antics for a guarded, clinical approach. Despite earning six Oscar nominations, Up in the Air failed to take home any wins.

up in the air poster

Up In The Air
Release Date
September 5, 2009

Director
Jason Reitman

Cast
George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Amy Morton, Melanie Lynskey

Rating
R

Runtime
109

Watch on Netflix

5 ‘The Outsider’ (2020)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Jason Bateman in The Outsider, blood all over his mouth.
Image via HBO 

In this single-season HBO series, Bateman added his name to the list of stars working on Stephen King adaptations. The Outsider is a dark thriller about a team of investigators attempting to piece together the brutal murder of a child and the man they believed did it. Co-starring alongside Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo, Bateman is Terry Maitland, the man suspected of committing the murder.

Dark, brooding, and occasionally shocking, The Outsider is a worthy addition to the all-time best Stephen King adaptations. Of the ten episodes within the series, Terry appears in just four. Unfortunately, HBO subsequently canceled The Outsider, citing a lack of solid storytelling direction for season two.

The Outsider
Release Date
2020-00-00

Cast
Ben Mendelsohn, Bill Camp, Mare Winningham, Paddy Considine, Julianne Nicholson, Yul Vazquez, Jeremy Bobb

Main Genre
Miniseries

Seasons
0

Watch on Max

4 ‘The Gift’ (2015)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Jason Bateman looking angry in the 2015 film The Gift

Yes, Jason Bateman can play a villain. The Gift was all the foreshadowing audiences needed to believe that Bateman could pull off dark roles before Ozark. In this thriller written and directed by Joel Edgerton, Simon (Bateman) runs into an old classmate, Gordo (Edgerton), who begins to drop by unannounced, always with a gift. After it’s revealed that Simon used to bully Gordo, things take a dark turn.

In a rare instance, Bateman is a character audiences are not supposed to like. The tension and friction between Simon and Gordo are palpable as Edgerton and Bateman masterfully play off each other. This is the perfect performance to break away from the comedic and rom-com genres Bateman usually finds success in, making The Gift an eerie and rewarding psychological thriller.

The Gift
Release Date
July 30, 2015

Director
Joel Edgerton

Cast
Joel Edgerton, Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, David Denman, Busy Philipps, Allison Tolman

Rating
R

Runtime
108

Watch on Amazon Prime

3 ‘Air’ (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Jason Bateman as Rob Strasser in an office talking to a group of men in Air
Image Via Warner Bros.

With his signature locks more tousled than usual, Bateman produces an all-star performance in the Nike story. Directed by Ben Affleck, Air tells the story of Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) and his convincing pursuit with Nike to partner with relatively unknown basketball rookie Michael Jordan for the inception of the iconic Air Jordans.

Even with a strong supporting cast, Bateman’s performance is in a league of its own as Nike’s then-director of marketing, Rob Strasser. Despite being well-equipped with his signature dry, sarcastic humor, Bateman is able to reproduce his dramatic, emotional range, which may earn him critical acclaim come awards season. Air is a fun crowd-pleaser that offers a vivid, inspiring depiction of its real-life events while further cementing Affleck’s directing talents.

Air 2023 Movie Poster

Air
Release Date
April 5, 2023

Director
Ben Affleck

Cast
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Viola Davis, Gustaf Skarsgård, Chris Messina

Rating
R

Runtime
112 minutes

Watch on Amazon Prime

2 ‘Juno’ (2007)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Jason Bateman and Elliot Page as Mark and Juno talking while sitting on the couch in Juno.

This critically acclaimed feature remains one of the all-time best coming-of-age movies. High school student Juno (Elliot Page) is faced with an unplanned pregnancy and must choose whether to become a teen mother or give the baby up for adoption. Bateman stars alongside Jennifer Garner as Mark and Vanessa Loring, the couple wanting to adopt the baby after Juno gives birth. As Mark gets to know Juno, he confesses he’s not quite ready for fatherhood and appears to develop feelings for her.

Bateman’s arc in Juno is a career-best. The actor portrays an unsympathetic character earnestly, effortlessly balancing immaturity and appeal to create a complete character who is as interesting as he’s unlikable. Juno is a modern triumph, an instantly witty and iconic movie that will stand the test of time.

Juno
Release Date
December 5, 2007

Director
Jason Reitman

Cast
elliot page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
92

Watch on YouTube

1 ‘Zootopia’ (2016)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Nick talking to Judy in Zootopia

Pure perfection, the voice and persona behind Nick Wilde is undeniably Bateman’s. Starring opposite Ginnifer Goodwin in Disney’s Oscar-winning animated feature, Zootopia is a buddy cop movie where rookie officer Judy Hopps (Goodwin) teams up with con artist Nick Wilde to solve the mystery of why predator species in Zootopia are becoming mysteriously aggressive.

Zootopia balanced social commentary with lighthearted humor and visual spectacle to create a modern animated classic. A match made in animated heaven, Nick Wilde is a performance by Bateman that the whole family can enjoy. His quick wit blended seamlessly with Disney’s intentional placement of « adult » jokes that sail over younger audiences’ heads but land perfectly in the lap of viewing adults.

Zootopia
Release Date
February 11, 2016

Director
Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

Cast
Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt

Rating
PG

Runtime
108

Watch on Disney+

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