From quirky comedies to poignant dramas, Bill Murray has solidified his place as a cinematic icon over the decades. Blending unparalleled charisma with distinctive versatility, Murray has graced the big screen in roles that have both warmed our hearts and tickled our funny bones. Drawing from IMDb scores, audience popularity, and critical acclaim, we present the definitive list of the best Bill Murray movies of all time.
Whether you’re a die-hard Murray fan or looking to dive into some of his most treasured performances, this list promises a delightful journey through his illustrious career. From the spook-chasing antics in ‘Ghostbusters’ to the poetic solitude of ‘Lost in Translation,’ get ready to relive the magic of Bill Murray‘s silver screen legacy.
10 ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ (2001)
IMDb: 7.6/10 306K | Popularity: 1810 | Metascore:
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston
Wes Anderson’s ensemble masterpiece, ‘The Royal Tenenbaums,’ wouldn’t be the same without the brilliance of Bill Murray. As Raleigh St. Clair, Murray presents a character that perfectly blends the quirks typical of Anderson’s world with the relatable human touch the actor is renowned for.
In a film packed with eccentric personalities, Raleigh stands out with his quiet complexity. Amidst a backdrop of dramatic family escapades, he offers moments of genuine, understated emotion that resonate with many. This brilliance is a testament to Murray’s unparalleled versatility, a quality that has cemented his status as a cinematic legend.
Recent buzz around Murray’s upcoming projects brings to light the depth and range of roles he’s undertaken, from the comedic genius in ‘Ghostbusters’ to the reflective loner in ‘Lost in Translation.’ But as Raleigh St. Clair, he showcases a blend of these facets, making ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ a must-watch for every film enthusiast.
With a legacy spanning decades and a relevance that never fades, diving into Bill Murray‘s role in this Wes Anderson classic is more than nostalgia—it’s a celebration of timeless cinema.
9 ‘Zombieland’ (2009)
IMDb: 7.6/10 603K | Popularity: 1238 | Metascore:
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson
There’s no denying the unique charm of 2009’s ‘Zombieland.’ A mix of action-packed sequences, rib-tickling humor, and unexpected horror, this film is unforgettable for many reasons – one of them being Bill Murray‘s legendary cameo.
Ever wonder how a brief cameo could steal the show in a film already packed with stars?
Ruben Fleischer‘s directorial marvel, which features Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Woody Harrelson in leading roles, offers a refreshing take on the zombie apocalypse genre. But it’s Murray’s surprise appearance that remains etched in the memories of fans worldwide. Posing as a zombie to navigate the undead-infested world, his character’s antics provide one of the movie’s most humorous and iconic moments.
In recent times, with the zombie genre making a massive comeback in pop culture, it’s worth looking back at ‘Zombieland’ as one of the trailblazers. The film, while having its fair share of scares and action, leverages comedy in a manner few others have managed, and Bill Murray‘s role embodies this blend to perfection.
For newcomers to the film or long-time fans revisiting this classic, Bill Murray‘s contribution to ‘Zombieland’ is a masterclass in how a short screen time can leave a long-lasting impact. As Hollywood buzzes with rumors of potential new projects from the actor, it’s an ideal time to revisit this gem from his illustrious career.
8 ‘Lost in Translation’ (2003)
IMDb: 7.7/10 473K | Popularity: 462 | Metascore:
Director: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi
Sofia Coppola‘s evocative tale from 2003 stands out as one of the most introspective films of the 21st century. Set against the neon-lit streets and tranquil temples of Tokyo, this movie explores the serendipitous connection between two souls seeking meaning and companionship.
Bill Murray, in one of his most nuanced performances, portrays Bob Harris – a fading movie star grappling with mid-life ennui. His portrayal seamlessly captures the complexities of feeling adrift in a foreign land and in one’s own life. Opposite Scarlett Johansson‘s Charlotte, a young woman undergoing her own existential reflections, the duo’s on-screen chemistry is electric, filled with moments of vulnerability, humor, and tenderness.
The film’s recent anniversary celebrations have reignited interest in this masterpiece, making it a trending topic among film aficionados and new viewers alike. The resonance of ‘Lost in Translation’ lies not just in its mesmerizing visuals or evocative soundtrack but primarily in Murray’s profound ability to convey deep emotion with subtle gestures and expressions.
As talks circulate about Bill Murray‘s latest ventures, reflecting on ‘Lost in Translation’ is a testament to the actor’s versatility. His portrayal of Bob Harris reminds us of the quiet power Murray brings to the silver screen, making this film an essential watch for those keen to witness cinematic excellence.
7 ‘Ed Wood’ (1994)
IMDb: 7.8/10 181K | Popularity: 3212 | Metascore:
Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker
Tim Burton‘s 1994 biographical film, ‘Ed Wood,’ stands as a testament to the eccentricities and passion of Hollywood’s most infamous director, Edward D. Wood Jr. Known for its perfect blend of humor, drama, and true-to-life narrative, the film boasts a cast that brings these real-life characters to the screen with absolute conviction.
Among the ensemble is Bill Murray, who portrays John “Bunny” Breckinridge, a frequent collaborator of Wood’s. In a film filled with standout performances, especially Johnny Depp‘s portrayal of the titular character, Murray’s role as the flamboyant Breckinridge is both memorable and nuanced. He brings depth and complexity to a character that could have been easily overshadowed, delivering lines with impeccable timing and genuine emotion.
With the recent resurgence in interest in classic cinema and retrospective analyses of 90s films, ‘Ed Wood’ finds itself back in discussions, often highlighting Murray’s underappreciated role. It’s a movie that illustrates how, even in supporting roles, Murray’s distinct charm and versatility can elevate a film’s narrative.
For those diving into the rich tapestry of 90s cinema or Bill Murray‘s expansive filmography, ‘Ed Wood’ is a not-to-be-missed gem. Murray’s performance as Breckinridge, among his many iconic roles, offers yet another facet to this legendary actor’s range and talent.
6 ‘Isle of Dogs’ (2018)
IMDb: 7.8/10 183K | Popularity: 2304 | Metascore:
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton
2018’s ‘Isle of Dogs’ is yet another gem in Wes Anderson‘s collection, showcasing a vibrant and uniquely styled stop-motion world. Set in a dystopian future Japan, where dogs are exiled to a remote island due to a canine flu, the narrative is both an adventure and a poignant reflection on loyalty and friendship.
Among the pack of talented voice actors, Bill Murray stands out as the voice of Boss, a former baseball team mascot turned island inhabitant. With his signature comedic tone and earnestness, Murray infuses Boss with a distinct charm that resonates deeply with audiences. It’s this characteristic Murray magic that makes Boss one of the film’s most memorable canines, highlighting the actor’s adaptability across different mediums and genres.
Recent features on stop-motion animation and Anderson’s unique storytelling techniques have brought ‘Isle of Dogs’ back into the limelight, with many singling out the contributions of its stellar voice cast. It’s no surprise that among such discussions, Murray’s portrayal of Boss emerges as a focal point.
For those curious about the evolution of animated films or looking to explore Bill Murray‘s diverse roles beyond live-action cinema, ‘Isle of Dogs’ is an absolute treat. Once again, Murray’s vocal performance showcases his unparalleled ability to leave an indelible mark, irrespective of the medium.
5 ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ (2012)
IMDb: 7.8/10 361K | Popularity: 1446 | Metascore:
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis
Wes Anderson‘s 2012 film, ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ is a whimsical journey into the world of childhood romance, adventure, and imagination. Set on the fictional New England island of New Penzance, the film unravels the story of two young lovers, Sam (Gilman) and Suzy (Hayward), who decide to run away together, leading to a quirky island-wide search.
Bill Murray, a frequent collaborator of Anderson, delivers another compelling performance as Mr. Bishop, Suzy’s father. With the picturesque backdrop of the island and Anderson’s signature stylized visuals, Murray’s portrayal stands out as a distraught father navigating complex emotions. His nuanced display of concern, confusion, and eventual understanding of his daughter’s rebellious phase adds layers to the film’s central narrative.
As retrospective looks at the past decade in cinema gain momentum, ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ with its tale of innocent love and family dynamics, is receiving renewed attention. Discussions around the film often highlight Murray’s ability to effortlessly weave humor and depth into his character, reinforcing his position as a versatile powerhouse.
For both seasoned film enthusiasts and those newly discovering Wes Anderson‘s oeuvre, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ remains a standout. Murray’s portrayal of Mr. Bishop serves as a gentle reminder of the actor’s talent in portraying intricate human emotions amidst comedic undertones.
4 ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984)
IMDb: 7.8/10 431K | Popularity: 287 | Metascore:
Director: Ivan Reitman
Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
In the pantheon of 80s cinema, few films resonate as loudly and enduringly as 1984’s ‘Ghostbusters.’ Under the directorial prowess of Ivan Reitman, the film masterfully blends action, comedy, and fantasy to deliver a ghost-hunting adventure that has transcended generations.
At the heart of its success is Bill Murray‘s portrayal of Dr. Peter Venkman, a parapsychologist turned ghostbuster. Murray’s unique brand of humor—sarcastic yet endearing—turned Venkman into an icon of 80s pop culture. His effortless charm, coupled with impeccable comedic timing, made lines like “He slimed me!” eternally quotable.
Recently, as the cultural cycle brings 80s nostalgia to the forefront, ‘Ghostbusters’ remains a hot topic, often regarded as a masterclass in blending genres. Amidst discussions about the era’s blockbuster cinema, Murray’s Venkman emerges consistently as a defining character, emblematic of the film’s lasting appeal.
For newcomers to 80s cinema or those reminiscing about the golden era of blockbusters, ‘Ghostbusters’ is mandatory viewing. Through Dr. Peter Venkman, Bill Murray affirmed his status as one of the era’s leading comedic actors, and his performance remains a touchstone of cinematic hilarity.
3 ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ (2009)
IMDb: 7.9/10 255K | Popularity: 806 | Metascore:
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray
In the realm of animated films, 2009’s ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ stands out as a charming and artistically ambitious adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s beloved children’s novel. With Wes Anderson‘s distinct direction and a stellar voice cast, the film offers a delightful mix of adventure and humor.
Among the ensemble, Bill Murray lends his voice to the character of Clive Badger, the titular character’s lawyer and confidant. Murray’s unparalleled comedic essence shines through even in animated form, making Badger one of the standout characters in a film filled with memorable personalities. His signature delivery and wit provide some of the movie’s most memorable moments, proving that Murray’s charisma isn’t confined to live-action roles.
The resurgence of interest in stop-motion animation, combined with recent discussions on adaptations of classic literature, places ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ in contemporary cinematic discourse. Murray’s role as Clive Badger is frequently highlighted for its contribution to the film’s ensemble dynamic and comedic flair.
For enthusiasts of both animation and classic literature adaptations, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ remains a masterstroke, with Bill Murray‘s performance exemplifying his vast range and consistent ability to captivate audiences.
2 ‘Groundhog Day’ (1993)
IMDb: 8.0/10 661K | Popularity: 1000 | Top 250: #233 | Metascore:
Director: Harold Ramis
Cast: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Few films can claim the unique blend of humor, heart, and philosophical depth found in 1993’s ‘Groundhog Day.’ Directed by the talented Harold Ramis, this comedy-drama has not only stood the test of time but has also permeated popular culture, becoming synonymous with the very idea of reliving a single day.
Bill Murray‘s portrayal of Phil Connors, a disgruntled weatherman caught in a time loop, is nothing short of cinematic brilliance. With each repeated day, Murray showcases a range of emotions, from disbelief and mischief to despair and enlightenment. It’s a role that demands versatility, and Murray delivers in spades. His journey of self-discovery and redemption is both hilarious and moving, offering viewers a chance to reflect on their own lives and choices.
With the ongoing allure of time travel and fantasy genres in the cinematic world, ‘Groundhog Day’ remains a cornerstone. Discussions about iconic performances of the 90s frequently spotlight Murray’s role, highlighting its depth and nuance amidst the comedic setting.
For cinephiles revisiting the 90s or those discovering the decade’s gems for the first time, ‘Groundhog Day’ is essential viewing. Bill Murray‘s portrayal of Phil Connors remains a masterclass in comedic acting, blending humor with profound emotional depth.
1 ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ (2014)
IMDb: 8.1/10 856K | Popularity: 329 | Top 250: #184 | Metascore:
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric
2014’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ directed by the inimitable Wes Anderson, emerges as a visual feast—a tale that intertwines adventure, comedy, and crime in a stylishly crafted narrative. With its pastel palettes, symmetric visuals, and zany characters, the movie is a prime example of Anderson’s unique cinematic touch.
In the midst of its ensemble cast, Bill Murray graces the screen with his unmistakable presence as M. Ivan, a member of the Society of the Crossed Keys. While his screen time might be brief, Murray’s role is pivotal, acting as a bridge in the film’s intricate plot. His subtle humor, combined with Anderson’s quirky storytelling, adds another layer of charm to this already captivating tale.
Given the film’s immense popularity, its position in IMDb’s Top 250, and discussions around Anderson’s unmistakable style, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ consistently garners attention. Among the ensemble, Murray’s portrayal of M. Ivan often emerges in discussions, cited as a testament to the actor’s ability to leave an impact, regardless of the size of his role.
For those venturing into Wes Anderson’s whimsical worlds or appreciators of modern cinema’s masterpieces, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ stands tall. Bill Murray‘s nuanced performance, albeit brief, remains a delightful aspect of this cinematic journey.
From surreal comedies to deep introspective tales, Bill Murray‘s cinematic journey is a testament to his unparalleled talent. His roles, diverse yet consistently mesmerizing, remind us of the power of genuine storytelling and the magic of cinema. As we anticipate more from this legendary actor, one thing is clear: Murray’s filmography will continue to be celebrated, discussed, and adored by generations to come.