Each year, as many as 600 Hollywood films debut in theaters across America. Add to this the ever-growing number of independent features, DVDs, Blu-rays, and online streaming services available to consumers, and choosing what to watch can feel overwhelming.
Thankfully, viewers can seek guidance from a number of resources. Websites such as Rotten Tomatoes offer aggregated film ratings from both critics and audiences, while the Internet Movie Database makes it simpler than ever to find a film’s accolades. Over the course of its prolific history, Relativity Media has garnered praise from both critics and audiences alike. To make your movie-night selection process a bit easier, the following are three of the studio’s most celebrated films:
This 2010 biographical drama focuses on the life of “Irish” Micky Ward, a boxer whose extraordinary comeback story calls to mind some of Hollywood’s most noteworthy fictional pugilists. The film stars Mark Wahlberg as Ward, who persevered against great odds to win the World Boxing Union light welterweight title. His unlikely rise to glory benefited from the guidance of his half-brother Dicky Eklund, a troubled former boxer (portrayed by Christian Bale in the film). Melissa Leo co-stars as Micky’s mother, Alice Ward, while Amy Adams plays his supportive girlfriend Charlene—their often conflicting influence is one of many challenges that Micky must face both in and out of the boxing ring.
Produced by Relativity Media and Wahlberg’s Closest to the Hole Productions, The Fighter earned praise for its lead actors’ performances, including compliments from the real Micky Ward. Both Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale spent a great deal of time with their off-screen counterparts to prepare for their roles, and both actors also underwent significant physical transformations: Wahlberg began his grueling workouts four years before stepping in front of the camera, and Bale dropped 30 pounds to accurately reflect Eklund’s struggles with substance abuse.
The Fighter also received commendation for David O. Russell, the Oscar-nominated director of films including Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and American Hustle (2013). Russell received a Best Achievement in Directing nomination for The Fighter, one of the film’s seven Academy Award nominations. These also included Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Film Editing, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Amy Adams. The movie also received nominations for the supporting performances of Melissa Leo and Christian Bale, both of whom won in their respective categories.
The Fighter has an incredible 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.9/10 on IMDB. Offering several excellent acting performances and an inspiring true story of family, adversity, determination, and redemption, The Fighter is certainly a film worth watching.
The Social Network has become something of a parable for the modern age, presenting the origin story of one of the world’s most influential digital companies while offering a meditation on business values, ambition, and the power of technology. Presented by Columbia Pictures in association with Relativity Media, The Social Network tells of the rise of Facebook, which evolved from a dorm room project into a social media network comprising nearly 2 billion users. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who left Harvard to develop one of the most prominent companies in Silicon Valley. Although his ambitions spur a revolution in online communications, his relationships with his once-trusted classmates become strained in the process.
Directed by two-time Oscar nominee David Fincher, The Social Network also stars Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Brenda Song, and Rooney Mara. One of many noteworthy films directed by two-time Oscar nominee David Fincher, who is also known for movies including Fight Club (1999) and Gone Girl (2014), The Social Network also features the quick-witted dialogue of critically acclaimed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who adapted the story from Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires.
Following its 2010 release, The Social Network grossed nearly $225 million at global box offices. The film received Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing, as well as Best Original Music, for its score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The Social Network has a 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 95 percent on Metacritic, and is a must-see for any movie enthusiast.
Limitless delves into intriguing questions regarding ambition and human ability, exploring what might happen if a single pill could massively expand the potential of the human mind. After a $19 million opening weekend in 2011, this action thriller brought in more than $161 million worldwide and garnered praise for offering a fun and innovative take on the typical Hollywood blockbuster.
Limitless currently holds a 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and—in an indication of its popularity among audiences—a 4.5/5 on Amazon. In addition to its intriguing concept, many critics also praised the visual style crafted by director Neil Burger, as well as the charismatic performance of four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper, also recognizable from films including Wet Hot American Summer (2001) and The Hangover (2009). Cooper plays struggling writer Eddie Morra, who—after a chance encounter with the experimental drug NZT—rapidly transforms from dejected and uninspired to confident, motivated, and brimming with ideas. Although Eddie’s pharmaceutically enhanced persona allows him to make a name for himself in the world of finance, it also attracts the attention of mysterious and dangerous individuals.
In addition to spurring national discussion about the plausibility and ethical soundness of a so-called “smart pill” like the fictional NZT, Limitless also spawned a television series on CBS, which starred Jake McDorman and featured guest appearances by executive producer Bradley Cooper.