HOLLYWOOD CLIQUES, RANKED
You know when you're making pizza and you change it and experiment every time depending on what toppings you're in the mood for, but the basic ingredients (dough, olive oil, marinara sauce, mozz) stay the same? Hollywood is totally like that. Here's a rundown of some specific, super-full-of-white-men director/actor groups I've noticed and ranked.
- 17.The Adam Sandler PackOkay so I haven't seen most of these movies or frankly wanted to see them but I feel like not including these dudes (and Drew Barrymore) would be a pretty glaring omission. So. Here they are!!
- 16.The David O Russell PartyHi sorry to fans but I really dislike these movies and I'm super tired of seeing JLaw, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, and Robert De Niro together. It's not even that I'm biased, I go into everything really wanting to love it — Silver Linings Playbook, Joy, American Hustle — but I find them so boring and disappointing. I did love I Heart Huckabees back in the day but I haven't seen it since I was 16 so. A lot of people love these but every year I'm like Oscar noms??? Again???? I don't get it!!
- 15.The Richard Linklater Co-opDazed and Confused feels more separate to me from his other movies, and it will forever be a favorite of mine. But if you're watching a weird movie that seems to be making a big philosophical point about life and it has Ethan Hawke in it, you're probably watching a Richard Linklater movie. Or Gattaca. I did love Waking Life though!! And Boyhood was an incredible and ambitious project totally unlike anything other directors are doing.
- 14.The Quentin Tarantino ContingentJust like look at this picture omfg it's all you need to know about Tarantino's crew. I'm much more into the more recent actors (Christoph Waltz!!!) he's been re-casting than the first generation (John Travolta, Uma Thurman), and it's been interesting to see his work change and (imo) grow from Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill to Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Luckily Samuel L is a constant. Is Tarantino a mean guy? I feel like he is but I can't remember.
- 13.The Tim Burton CastWhelp, this group probably would have ranked a lot higher if I'd made this list a few years ago, before all the Johnny Depp abuse came to light and before Tim Burton was asked why he doesn't cast people of color and he was like "um excuse me there's one black person in Miss Peregrine" ????? Like??? Luckily, nothing either of them do will ever detract from the majesty of HB(i)C and her many wonderful roles, and gosh is Big Fish a perfect movie.
- 12.The Woody Allen EliteHis movies are wonderful and star-studded, always ambitious, and usually successful. But it's impossible to separate Woody Allen & the allegations of sexual molestation against him from his work. I love his movies — Midnight in Paris, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Match Point, Melinda and Melinda — but I automatically have reservations about any actors that work with him (and they're usually the most talented people in Hollywood) considering his super creepy and inappropriate history. Sorry, ScarJo.
- 11.The Martin Scorsese MafiaWe're all getting a little tired of this crew of white dudes, but they're still making pretty killer movies. From De Niro to DiCaprio, when Scorsese finds someone he gels with, apparently he makes like a dozen movies with them. Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Gangs of New York, The Departed...these gentlemen are Oscar bait
- 10.The Coen Brothers CrewThe Coen Brothers have put out some truly unique and entertaining movies: Fargo! The Big Lebowski! O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?!!!! True Grit!! They're genius and weird and wonderful, and the faces that appear again and again are a delight — Frances McDormand, John Goodman, George Clooney, William H Macy, Steve Buscemi, John Turturo, Jeff Bridges, the list goes on. Unfortunately I find they're pretty hit or miss, but hey, these bros began the rise of Oscar Isaac, so we owe them a great debt
- 9.The AvengersSorry, I couldn't not.
- 8.The Mel Brooks BonanzaClassic and timelessly funny, movies like Young Frankenstein and Robin Hood: Men in Tights have earned Mel Brooks (and many of the people he worked with multiple times) eternal star power. From Gene Wilder to Rick Moranis to Brooks himself, these irreverent movie makers gave us some of film's funniest moments. (Freshly Dead, anyone?)
- 7.The Tina Fey - Amy Poehler Power SquadYou know them and you (obviously) love them. SNL, 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, and a whole slew of movies have this special kind of endearing quality and ability to laugh at themselves. Not to mention they challenge the idea that "women aren't funny" time and time again. These babes and their frequent collaborators have absolutely changed American television for the better.
- 6.The Lin-Manuel Miranda RevolutionYo we are lucky to be witnessing the beginning of this clique as it starts to transition from Broadway to Hollywood, and DAMN if I can't wait to see what projects LMM pulls Chris Jackson, Jasmine Cephas, Anthony Ramos, & co into as his star keeps rising. If Moana is any indication, there is some ridiculously good music on our horizon.
- 5.The Judd Apatow BrigadeThese goofballs have certainly wormed their way into our good graces with some seriously funny work dating all the way back to Freaks & Geeks. Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, James Franco, Bill Hader, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, John C Reilly. Not always my thing with their v lewd humor, but when you're watchin this crew you're gonna laugh. A lot.
- 4.The Wes Anderson SocietyAre Wes Anderson movies a little pretentious? Def. But boy if they're not beautiful. Rushmore, Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic, Darjeeling Limited, etc have all made names for themselves as staples of modern cinema. And a host of beloved actors return again and again to make something weird and fun: Luke and Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzmann, Angelica Huston, Edward Norton, and more. Ambitious and witty and super aesthetically pleasing.
- 3.The Joss Whedon Scoobie GangSome of the best sci-fi and fantasy series of the last two decades have catapulted Whedon's work into a special place in my heart. Buffy, SHIELD, Firefly, the Avengers, Dr Horrible — you've gotta love at least one part of the Whedonverse, and all the returning actors speak pretty highly of Joss's reputation as a director and showrunner. Eliza Dushku, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman...what a group.
- 2.The Christopher Guest TroupeIs there a weirder or more charming group of wacky people & movies? From the folk singers in A Mighty Wind to the unbelievable dog owners in Best in Show, Christopher Guest movies continually nail a kind of comedy unlike any other, thanks to Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Ed Begley Jr, Parker Posey, Jane Lynch, and Jennifer Coolidge, to name just a few. PLUS many of these awesome stars crossover with the next and BEST clique:
- 1.The Rob Thomas ExperienceVeronica Mars. Party Down. iZombie?!!!???? All three shows are a constant rotation of familiar faces (Kristen Bell, Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen, Joey Lauren Adams, Daran Norris, for starters) and make this hands down the best crew on this list. Every episode is just an amazing and awesome party of jokes about Rob Thomas not being the singer and you can just tell they're all friends having so much fun. I just wanna hang out with them. Number one, no question!!!!!!!