Pretty much all of Jim Carrey’s movies are watchable, laugh-inducing, memorable, and endearing.
But a few of his films rise above the rest, the types of movies that would be the utter highlight of another actor’s career, but for Carrey are just pieces in a long, illustrious career.
On the actor's 58th birthday (happy bday, Jim!), here are Carrey’s absolute best movies.
The Truman Show
Ranking among the more perfect movies to emerge from the ‘90s, “The Truman Show” perfectly combines Carrey’s comedy, honest introspection, acting chops, and enduring optimism. It doesn’t veer into zany inanity like his earlier movies or dour self-defeat like later ones. It is peak Jim Carrey.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Aaaaaaalrighty then. Ace Ventura is easily Jim Carrey’s greatest character creation. The pet detective’s adventure is endlessly rewatchable, and even produced a serviceable sequel. He hangs out with animals, he talks out of his butt, what’s not to love?
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
And let's not forget the "Ace Venture" where Ace conquers his fear of bats. "When Nature Calls" was the sequel to the first Ace film, bringing the pet detective back with his signature catch-phrases and endless new physical comedy bits that Carrey is perfect at.
Dumb and Dumber
Only Jim Carrey could play an annoying moron and make the character legitimately fun to watch. In retrospect, the pairing with Jeff Daniels is completely weird, but it totally works. Unlike “Ace Ventura,” however, the movie didn’t quite maintain its upward momentum in the sequel.
Earth Girls Are Easy
A deep-cut Jim Carrey fave, this was one of the actor’s breakout roles, even predating his time on “In Living Color.” The role, an alien (along with two extraterrestrial pals played by Jeff Goldblum and Damon Wayans) arriving on Earth in sunny California in 1988. The entire movie is pure ‘80s.
The physical comedy alone in “The Mask” qualifies it as one of the funniest films of Carrey’s ouvre, enough to overcome the clear lack of physical connection with Cameron Diaz. What every kid wouldn’t give for a Loki mask of their own.
Seared into the subconscious memories of every ‘90s kid, “Liar Liar” also takes advantage of Jim Carrey’s physical comedy abilities to great effect, and helped recast the actor as an adult leading man (well, an adult leading man-child).
Remember that time Jim Carrey was The Riddler? And also Val Kilmer was Batman? And also Academy Award-winning Tommy Lee Jones was Two Face? And also Nicole Kidman was there. Good times.
Everyone can agree Jim Carrey is already god, so seeing him with the powers of the almighty is obviously entertaining, especially when he unleashes those powers on Steve Carell. Try watching this movie and not spelling b-e-a-utiful in your head every time.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
It may be a disappointment to fans of Carrey’s comedy, but “Eternal Sunshine” consistently holds down spots on lists of “best movies you’ve never seen.” It’s about loss and a breakup and the human condition. Heavy stuff, but best piloted by a loveable figure like Carrey.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
It may not be his best role, but Carrey absolutely carries the live adaptation of the Christmasy Dr. Seuss cartoon. In terms of enduring cultural impact, this one actually ranks towards the top of the actor’s works.