Though not exactly a darling of the critics, Oscar-nominee Chris Columbus has created a number of box office hits throughout his 30 year career. But how many of his titles remain classics? In honor of his birthday, let’s take a look back at all 15 of his films, ranked worst to best.
Born in 1958, Columbus rose to prominence as a hot young screenwriter after penning such titles as “Gremlins” (1984), “The Goonies” (1985) and “Young Sherlock Holmes” (1985). He made his directorial debut when he was just 29-years-old with the teenage comedy “Adventures in Babysitting” (1987) before raking in the box office dollars with “Home Alone” (1990), “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993) and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001), to name but a few.
Though he’s seldom received awards recognition as a writer or director, Columbus has had success in that regard as a producer, earning an Oscar nomination in Best Picture for “The Help” (2011), for which he also competed at the PGA and BAFTA. He won the BAFTA Children’s Award for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004) and contended for that prize for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002). Both “Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Prisoner of Azkaban” also reaped bids for Best British Film. At the Independent Spirits, he received kudos in the Best First Feature race for helping get “Mediterranea” (2015) and “Patti Cakes” (2017) made.
Tour our photo gallery of all 15 of Columbus’s films, including some of the titles listed above, as well as “Only the Lonely” (1991), “Stepmom” (1998), “Rent” (2005) and more.
– Original text and gallery published in September 2019.