Jim Carrey has been one of the most celebrated actors in Hollywood for many decades now, delivering performances that have wowed audiences in both comedy and more dramatic roles. He has carved out a definite niche as one of the most versatile comic actors and in the 1990s was involved in some of the most successful comedy films of the era including the likes of Ace Ventura; pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber.
But there’s a lot more to Carrey’s filmography than just slapstick humour – he has over many years delivered some stunning performances that have brought real dramatic tension to the screens, from The Truman Show to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind opposite Kate Winslet.
Here, we countdown seven of the very best Jim Carrey movie performances from his career. If you are more of a fan of watching countdown lists rather than reading them, we recommend you press play on the video below. However, we also have a written version fr you too. I mean, you couldn’t get much better service, right!?
So, if you are ready – let us begin our journey into the best movies of Jim Carrey…
Perhaps it was only a matter of time before the king of comic cinematic performances moved up to the next level and in 2003, Carrey did just that when he took on the powers given to him by God. A dissatisfied TV anchor, Bruce Nolan, is contacted by God (played by Morgan Freeman) and given the chance to have all the power in the world. But as Bruce finds after using the awesome powers for selfish means, there’s a lot more to life than looking after number one. A smart comedy that really gave Carrey a high concept setting in which to explore his comedy genius.
The Cable Guy
Showing a darker side to the comic performances of Carrey, The Cable Guy is certainly more than just a laugh-out-loud slapstick journey (although it does have plenty of moments to keep fans interested). In this film from 1996, Carrey plays Chip Douglas, the titular cable guy, who tries to develop a friendship with a client (played by Matthew Broderick) by offering him free cable. When he gets knocked back, Douglas turns from eccentric to scary and dangerous as carnage is unleashed in a film that blends laughs with the chills.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
This 1994 movie came at the beginning of a huge run of box office hits for Carrey and was a film that put the actor front and centre on the world stage for comedic film performances. In this movie we see almost every part of Carrey’s extraordinary range as an actor and comedian as he exudes energy on screen like almost no other performer in Hollywood. When the Miami Dolphin’s mascot and players begin to go missing, there is only one person to call, someone who can get results even if they are in unorthodox ways. Yep, it’s time for Ace Ventura.
This 1997 movie shows just what a brilliantly versatile actor Jim Carrey can be. Yes, it’s a comedy but at the centre of it is a truly fabulous turn from Carrey who has to not only make you laugh, but share his frustration throughout. A top lawyer, Fletcher Reede (Carrey) has got to the top by being liberal with the truth, but it’s affecting his family. One day his son wishes that his dad would stop lying for a day, and just like that, it is so. What follows is an excruciating 24 hours where Fletcher must attempt to win the biggest case of his life and tell the truth. It’s just brilliant.
Dumb and Dumber
Another movie from the golden era of Carrey comedies, Dumb and Dumber was released in 1994 and still remains one of the best-loved comedies starring the actor. If you have somehow managed to not see this classic, it tells the story of Lloyd Christmas (played by Carrey) and his best friend Harry Dunne (played by Jeff Daniels) as they get mixed up in a kidnap and ransom plot and then end up being tracked across the country by gangsters and police as they leave an inadvertent trail of disaster everywhere they go.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
When Carrey took on the role of Joel Barish in Charlie Kaufman’s moody and atmospheric movie opposite Kate Winslet, it’s fair to say that many hadn’t seen Carrey perform in such a nuanced role before, and he certainly didn’t disappoint in a brilliant film and one of the roles of his life. He was apparently cast deliberately against type for this role of a man that goes on a journey to explore the volatile relationship with his ex partner Clementine after she and then he erase their memories of one another.
The Truman Show
A film that took the world by storm when it was released in 1998, The Truman Show sees Carrey’s character Truman Burbank at the centre of a completely fictionalised world where everyone is an actor in a show – except him. A beautifully put together sci-fi with plenty of satire and humour, the film sees Carrey develop his central character from naive and obedient to curious and angry with the way he has been treated. The film and the performance at the heart of it are first class and more than twenty years later continue to delight audiences who watch and rewatch this movie.