Robin Williams

5 Robin Williams Movies That Don’t Get Nearly Enough Credit

Though there are a few rotten apples in his film basket, some Robin Williams movies were clearly underrated.

Robin McLaurin Williams, God rest his soul, was an American actor, perhaps best known for his comedic film roles. Blessed with the skill to improvise and create characters on the spur of the moment, Williams starred in the highly-rated films Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Aladdin (1992), The Birdcage (1996), and Good Will Hunting (1997). He even won the Best Supporting Actor Award for the film Good Will Hunting and held five Grammy Awards and six Golden Globe Awards before his demise.

Williams’s career started in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where he performed stand-up comedies. He caught his break in 1978 when he played the role of Mork in ABC’s sitcom Mork & Mindy, which ran from 1978 to 1982. Henceforth, his career soared, becoming one of the best-known comedy actors. Though there are a few rotten apples in his film basket, some Robin Williams movies don’t get enough credit. Here are a few examples

5/5Bicentennial Man (1999)

Robin Williams as Andrew Martin in Bicentennial Man (1999)
Touchstone Pictures

Chris Columbus’s Bicentennial Man portrays Andrew Martin (Williams) as an immortal NDR robot introduced into the Martin family household to be a servant. The film takes us through Andrew’s challenging journey to achieve his desire to become a human. Eventually, Andrew fulfills his dream, happily accepting to grow old with Portia (Embeth Davidtz), a member of the Martin family. Though critically bashed and becoming a box office bomb, the film helps viewers empathize with freedom, love, sex, mortality, and immortality.

4/5Hook (1991)

robin williams as peter pan with the lost boys in hook

Hook is an adventure film that stars Robin Williams as Peter Banning, an all-grown Peter Pan. Banning is a workaholic lawyer who barely has time for his family. He’s even forgotten that he is Peter Pan, but his past catches up to him when Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), kidnaps his children. Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) sends Banning to Neverland to save them, where he reclaims his memory, proficiency as a swordsman, and ability to fly. The film had mixed critic reviews, including the director’s (Steven Spielberg) lack of confidence during production, but was well-received by viewers.

3/5What Dreams May Come (1998)

Robin Williams as Chris Nielsen in What Dreams May Come (1998)
Interscope Communications

What Dreams May Come follows the story of Chris Nielsen (Robin Williams), a pediatrician happily married to Annie Collins (Annabella Sciorra). They are blessed with a son, Ian (Josh Paddock), and a daughter, Marie (Jessica Brooks Grant). Unfortunately, the children die in a car accident, and Chris suffers the same fate four years later, leaving Annie in inconsolable sorrow. When Chris dies, he doesn’t realize what has happened, and he lingers on Earth for a while, confused, before he decides to move on to Heaven.

While in Heaven, Annie commits suicide, only for her to go to Hell. Chris makes it his mission to save Annie despite being warned that no one has ever succeeded. Eventually, he succeeds, and they are reincarnated. Critics bashed the film, but viewers appreciated it, giving it a more than 80% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film even won the Best Visual Effects Academy Award. Robin Williams delivered a memorable performance, capturing viewers’ empathy and attention, which is perhaps the reason for the high score.

2/5Jumanji (1995)

Robin Williams as Alan Parrish in Jumanji (1995)
TriStar Pictures

Directed by Joe Johnston, Jumanji is the first of its franchise. The American fantasy adventure takes us on a journey where a supernatural board game materializes wild animals and other jungle-based deathtraps with each player’s turn. Judy Shepherd (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter Shepherd (Bradley Pierce) discover the game when they move into a new home. Intrigued, they give it a go, not knowing the harm they’ll bring to the town of Brantford. They also set free Alan Parrish (Robin Williams), who had been trapped in the game for 26 years while playing with Sarah Whittle (Bonnie Hunt). Parrish tracks down and reunites with Sarah, so the four can finish the game and reverse the destruction they brought to the town.

Regardless of the mixed critic reviews, Jumanji was a box office hit that grossed $263 million worldwide, earning a spot in the top 10 highest-grossing films of 1995.

1/5Death to Smoochy (2002)

Robin Williams as Randolph Smiley in Death to Smoochy (2002)

The film stars Robin Williams, who plays the role of “Rainbow” Randolph Smiley, the host of a successful children’s television show. He appears to be a sincere and friendly person on the show, but in reality, he’s an alcoholic and criminal. The law catches up with him, and he’s arrested. Randolph loses his job and home, and his show is canceled. When Sheldon Mopes (Edward Norton), playing the character Smoochy the Rhino on The Smoochy Show, is hired to replace him, Randolph does everything earthly possible to sabotage Mopes and the character Smoochy the Rhino.

Death to Smoochy had a few good critic reviews, but generally, the majority were negative. The movie became a box office bomb that only grossed $8.3 million worldwide against a $50 million budget. The film has, however, been gathering positive viewer ratings over the years and currently sits on a 66% audience score rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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