16 Dennis Quaid Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

Dennis Quaid is one of those actors that everyone has seen in at least one or two films. For the past few decades, he's proved himself a versatile actor who can handle just about any genre and subject matter. On one hand, he's conquered the world of romantic comedy with films like "The Parent Trap," "Playing For Keeps," and "What to Expect When You're Expecting." On the other hand, he's also shown himself to be adept at tackling more dramatic roles in crime thrillers like "The Big Easy," "The Intruder," "D.O.A.," and "Flesh and Bone." Quaid has even taken on a few roles in period films like "Far From Heaven" and "The Long Riders" (via IMDb).

After an acting career that spans more than four decades, it should come as no surprise that Quaid isn't always churning out critically-acclaimed hits. According to Metacritic, his average movie score is smack dab in the middle at 50. And, while he has appeared in some critical smash hits, he's also been at the helm of a few cinematic disasters. Trying to sort the good from the bad when it comes to Quaid isn't always easy. Here is our ranking of 16 Dennis Quaid movies from worst to best.

The 2005 Dennis Quaid movie 'Yours, Mine and Ours' was a box office flop

While Dennis Quaid often takes on quite sophisticated roles in dramas and thrillers, he's not afraid to tackle roles in children's movies, too. In 2005, he played Frank Beardsley in "Yours, Mine & Ours." A remake of a 1960s classic, the movie follows two widows, one a strict Navy man and the other an airy hippie, each with their own families, who get together and create one mismatched super family. Naturally, chaos and slapstick humor ensue (via Variety).

While the movie is definitely fun, especially for families, it's also very, very far from being Quaid's greatest work. On Metacritic, the film has a dismal score of 38, with Empire calling it "a movie that somehow manages to be both irritatingly familiar and instantly forgettable." The movie relies heavily on chaotic, juvenile humor, and silliness — think lots of bathroom jokes and getting covered in gross substances.

Even Quaid, himself, knew that this film was pretty silly. In an interview for the movie, he discussed one scene where he ended up falling headfirst into green slime. "It's something a lot of people aspire to — be slimed," he said sarcastically.

Dennis Quaid's 2019 film 'A Dog's Journey' is sweet but overly sentimental

The 2019 film "A Dog's Journey" saw Dennis Quaid reprise his role as Ethan, the owner of a loveable dog named Bailey. In this sequel, Bailey is reincarnated in numerous new dogs — the goal being to leave the audience moved to tears. As most critics agreed, this film relies heavily on emotional manipulation. There's a lot of soaring music, long-lost love, and, of course, adorable dogs. As The Globe and Mail put it, "Heartstrings are pulled like a puppy's leash; nothing much unpredictable happens." The New York Times was even more scathing, calling it "insufferable." Essentially, unless you're after a film with a lot of emotion and little substance, you should probably avoid this schmaltzy sequel.

For Quaid, however, the series was moving. In fact, as he told iNews, he initially took the role because the story made him cry. Plus, he liked that the movie wasn't too demanding for him in terms of the work. "I'm not necessarily playing the leads anymore and it's great for me," he said. It sounds like Quaid doesn't have a problem with appearing in the odd soppy movie — especially if it's a supporting role to a lovable canine!

'The Day After Tomorrow' with Dennis Quaid received a lukewarm reception in 2004

In the 2004 disaster movie "The Day After Tomorrow," Dennis Quaid plays a scientist during an extreme global storm caused by climate change. While the movie had the potential to be both moving and sobering, most critics thought it was over the top and poorly done. The Los Angeles Times called it "silly" and "woefully underwritten," while Rolling Stone actually advised people not to see it (via Metacritic).

For Quaid, the film was an exciting project because it was his first turn in a big Blockbuster film. "It's the biggest movie I've ever been in," he told ScreenSlam on the red carpet. He went on to explain that he was a huge fan of the director, which excited him to make the film.

As director Roland Emmerich told Tribute, Quaid was the perfect actor for the role. When Emmerich saw Quaid in "The Rookie," he "fell in love" with him as an actor. Even though the film wasn't a critical success, Quaid was certainly perfect for the part.

Critics found Dennis Quaid's 2018 film 'I Can Only Imagine' a bit preachy

The 2018 film "I Can Only Imagine" stars Dennis Quaid as Arthur, the father of Mercy Me's Bart. The film was based on the true story of the Christian band. While the movie was promising, many critics found it to be a little sappy and super preachy. The movie has a low Metacritic score of 30, thanks to reviews that criticized the blandness of the script and the predictability of the story. Even though the film wasn't well received, Quaid still stood out for his performance. As The Guardian wrote, "Even with a now ravaged visage [Quaid] is still just as dangerous, compelling and sexy as ever" — so there may still be a reason to give this movie a go.

Plus, not everyone will find this movie overly sanctimonious. Quaid, himself, thought the film was brilliant. It even changed his perspective on faith. "It's a renewal of faith for me. Not just as an actor but as a person in life," he told Behind the Lens. Who knows, maybe this movie will do the same for you, even if it didn't for the critics.

In 1987, Dennis Quaid teamed up with Cher in 'Suspect' for a mix of mystery and romance

"Suspect" is something of a classic. Made in 1987 and starring Cher, Liam Neeson, and, of course, Dennis Quaid, this film has a lot to offer. It follows Quaid as a lobbyist who serves on a jury and believes that the defendant is innocent. What follows is a gripping whodunnit. The film is far from Quaid's best work, but it's definitely an enjoyable watch. Some critics enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot, while others complained about the lack of plausibility from the ludicrous story. On Metacritic, the movie has a mediocre score of 53. If you're in the mood for an over-the-top thriller, this might be the perfect Dennis Quaid film for you.

For Quaid, playing a young lobbyist in "Suspect" was an exciting opportunity. He told The Morning Call, "They're usually big, fat cats with a cigar and a drink in one hand and contract sticking out of their pocket ... It was kind of a lesson about what lobbyists actually do and how important they really are to the running of the government." Apparently, Quaid even spent a whole month with lobbyists preparing for the role!

'Dinner with Friends' is a fun, old-school rom-com with Dennis Quaid from 2001

With its all-star cast of Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Toni Colette, and Greg Kinnear, "Dinner with Friends" is definitely one of Quaid's most iconic films. The made-for-TV movie is based on a famous play by Donald Margulies about a couple who start to question their marriage after their good friend announces her divorce.

Critics were generally quite positive about the film even if it didn't blow them away. And Quaid, in particular, stood out. Entertainment Weekly said, "Quaid and MacDowell artfully flesh out their characters," while Empire wrote, "The players get to enjoy some meaty roles — especially Quaid, nicely underplaying one of the least showiest roles he's had in years." It sounds like this is the perfect choice for Quaid fans who want to see him take on a more realistic, underplayed role — a side of him we don't get to see very often.

The 1989 biopic 'Great Balls of Fire!' shows Dennis Quaid in a whole new light

"Great Balls of Fire!" stars Dennis Quaid as the 1950s musician Jerry Lee Lewis. In this film, you can see him singing and performing, complete with Lewis' bleach blonde hair. That in itself might be enough to tempt you to pick this movie. However, while the film definitely sounds like fun, most critics were underwhelmed. On Metacritic, the movie has a score of just 49. While some critics felt that the music and atmosphere were enough to make the movie worth watching, others thought the movie was overly simplistic and even silly.

For Quaid, the film was definitely an unforgettable moment in his career. In an interview with Larry King, he said, "It was a task, but I was lucky enough for that that I had an entire year to prepare for it." Apparently, the actor spent the year learning the piano. He would spend 12 hours a day trying to learn, even getting lessons from Jerry Lee Lewis, himself!

The 1990 Dennis Quaid film 'Postcards from the Edge' delves into addiction and fame

In the 1990 film "Postcards from the Edge," Dennis Quaid plays Jack Faulkner, the love interest of Meryl Streep's character Suzanne. Shirley MacLaine plays Suzanne's mother in this film based on the novel by Carrie Fisher. While Quaid is certainly a charming bad boy in the film, the real focus is on the mother-daughter relationship.

Of all of Quaid's films, "Postcards from the Edge" is one of the most acclaimed. It has a Metacritic score of 71, with reviewers commenting on the witty script and Streep's entertaining performance. We recommend watching this film if you're in the mood for a dark comedy — as long as you don't mind watching Quaid as a less-savory character. "Everything that my character says in this movie is a lie — even to himself," he said in an interview. While the character might not be all that likeable, Quaid certainly pulls it off, and it's actually nice to see him showing off his more sinister side.

2002's 'The Rookie' is a must-see Dennis Quaid film for sports fans

Most fans of Dennis Quaid are probably familiar with "The Rookie," since it's one of the best-loved sports movies ever. Quaid plays real-life baseball coach Jim Morris, who inspired a team of high school players. The movie has everything you could want from a family sports film — an inspirational coach, kids coming of age, and a moving, wholly-satisfying ending. Plus, this family-friendly movie was also a hit with critics. On Metacritic, "The Rookie" scored an impressive 72. The New York Times even said it was better than classic baseball flicks like "Field of Dreams" and "The Natural." The Wall Street Journal also praised Quaid's performance. For fans of Dennis Quaid, we'd say this movie is a must-see.

Quaid also has nothing but good memories of making the movie. As he told Den of Geek, he had to work hard to prepare, as he hadn't played baseball since he was a kid. However, once he got into the (literal!) swing of it, he was swept up by the emotion of the movie. In fact, filming the famous scene when Morris plays in the big league was, what he called, "one of the most incredible moments" of his life.

'D.O.A.' from 1998 delivers the perfect mix of film-noir, romance, and, of course, Dennis Quaid

"D.O.A." hasn't exactly gone down in history as one of Dennis Quaid's most memorable movies, but it does have one major claim to fame — it was on the set of this film that Quaid fell in love with his second wife, Meg Ryan (via CNN), with whom Quaid has a son, Jack – the couple eventually divorced, however, after Ryan's affair with actor Russell Crowe became known. The film follows a college professor who, after realizing he has one day to live, has just 24 hours to track down his killer. He teams up with Ryan, who plays a young student and, ultimately, his love interest.

For the most part, critics enjoyed the tense film. Roger Ebert called it "a witty and literate thriller, with a lot of irony to cut the violence," while calling Quaid "convincing." Not exactly high praise, but it definitely sounds like a good Quaid film to add to the list — especially for fans of the actor who are curious to see sparks fly between him and Ryan in a good old-fashioned film-noir tale.

Dennis Quaid plays the bad guy in the 2000 critically-acclaimed film 'Traffic'

The 2000 film "Traffic" is another drug trafficking thriller that sees Dennis Quaid doing what he does best. Although Quaid doesn't have a central role in the film, he does stand out. As The New York Times noted, Quaid plays a scheming lawyer who tries to rob his client after he goes to jail. If you're keen to see Quaid playing the bad boy, look no further. With a score of 86 on Metacritic, it's safe to say that this film was a hit with the critics. It even won four Oscars.

As the director Steven Soderbergh said in an interview, the film was made with a documentary feel and with understated performances in order to make it feel as real as possible. And, when it comes to films about the complexities of drug trafficking, "Traffic" is one of the best. Even Soderbergh learned a lot from his own film. "My feelings about this issue are more complicated now than they were ... when we started on this," he said. Whether you're a fan of Quaid or not, this film is definitely worth watching.

In 'Far From Heaven,' Dennis Quaid stars in a classic period film about interracial relationships

"Far From Heaven" is probably one of Dennis Quaid's best-reviewed films. In fact, it was even nominated for four Oscars (via Independent). With renowned actors like Julianne Moore and Dennis Haysbert as his co-stars and a director like Todd Haynes, it's easy to see why this film was such a success. It follows Quaid and Moore as a 1950s couple whose marriage falls apart when Quaid's character reveals he is gay and is forced to undergo conversion therapy. It's pretty heavy subject matter for Quaid, but he handled it perfectly. The Chicago Tribune called his performance "excellent," and the Los Angeles Times called him "extraordinary" (via Metacritic). If you want to see Quaid at his best, this film might be the place to start.

Despite giving a stellar performance, Quaid didn't receive an Oscar nomination for the role. As he later told The Guardian, "I felt embarrassed and a little humiliated. But then I thought, it's silly putting my self-worth in any of this; this is not why I started doing it." Oscar or no Oscar, Quaid's acting really does speak for itself in "Far From Heaven."

'The Big Easy' from 1987 has everything from crime to romance to Dennis Quaid

If you're a Dennis Quaid fan who has never seen "The Big Easy," you should definitely give it a try. This sexy, sophisticated 1987 romantic thriller will keep you on your toes, and it's also an excellent film. It has a Metacritic score of 77, with most reviewers praising its exciting pace and its gripping energy. And, as the charming lead, Quaid gives a memorable and irresistible performance that certainly got people talking. The Los Angeles Times even compared the then-up-and-coming star to Jack Nicholson after his performance.

Even though Quaid looks to be his best self in this movie, the actor's personal life at the time, however, was another story. As he wrote in an article for Newsweek, he was struggling with a cocaine addiction. "By the time I was doing 'The Big Easy,' in the late 1980s," he wrote, "I was a mess. I was getting an hour of sleep a night." It sounds like making this film wasn't an easy time — but the result is still well-worth watching.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Dennis Quaid's early film 'Breaking Away' was a smash hit with critics in 1979

In the 1979 movie "Breaking Away," a very young Dennis Quaid plays a teenage boy who recently graduated high school. The film follows him and his friends as they figure out their futures. The successful film was actually one of Quaid's first movies and also one of his best — with Metacritic rating it an overall score of 91. Critics loved how the movie demonstrated the trials and tribulations of youth from the wonderful performances of its then-unknown cast. If you're curious to see what Quaid was like as a young actor, this film is the perfect choice for you.

In an interview with The Rich Eisen Show, Quaid spoke about the film. Apparently, he re-watched the movie in 2020 before reuniting with the cast. "That movie had such charm ... It's such a great ... Americana story," he said. It sounds like even Quaid is a big fan of this one!

'The Right Stuff' from 1983 shows off Dennis Quaid at his best

It would be pretty hard to be a Dennis Quaid fan and not know about "The Right Stuff." This 1983 film is easily one of his most successful. The film follows the astronauts aboard Mercury 7 and features an all-star cast made up of Ed Harris, Sam Shepard, and Barbara Hershey. Most critics agreed that the film was exceptional, with reviews calling it "magical," "exciting," and "vivid" and a stellar score of 91 on Metacritic. In addition to the outstanding acting, the film also boasts wonderful cinematography and excellent direction. Even if you don't consider yourself a fan of space movies, this Dennis Quaid film will not disappoint.

The author of the original novel, Tom Wolfe, even gave Quaid his stamp of approval. In an interview with Wired, he said, "Having Dennis Quaid play Gordon Cooper was a good stroke ... [Cooper] was an absolutely cool human being." And Quaid was, indeed, the perfect man for the job.

Dennis Quaid starred in 'The Parent Trap,' a classic remake, especially beloved by '90s kids

As anyone who grew up in the '90s will know, Dennis Quaid plays the father in the Disney film "The Parent Trap." The film stars a young Lindsay Lohan as twins separated at birth, while Quaid and Natasha Richardson — the late wife of Liam Neeson — play their estranged parents. This iconic kids' movie has become a total classic through the years. While it's not necessarily Quaid's finest acting work — it has a rating of 64 on Metacritic — the movie is one we could totally watch over and over again. In fact, there are many things about the movie you'd only notice now as an adult.

It seems like Quaid also has a real soft spot for the movie, too. As he told Today during a reunion in 2020, "It's just a story that endures," he said. "And you know, there's a lot of theories about it. It's sort of a kid-power movie where — especially in the age where there's so much divorce — kids have the power to put their parents back together again." It's clear that Quaid has good taste in movies — even his own!