Slackers, Stoners and Scanners: Richard Linklater's Films, Ranked

In honor of his epic 'Boyhood' hitting theaters, we rank all of this pioneering indie filmmaker's work from worst to best

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'Me and Orson Welles' (2008)

Maximum Film Distribution/Courtesy Everett Collection

An impressionable high schooler (Zac Efron) lands a dream job working at the Mercury Theater on the eve of Orson Welles's legendary 1937 modern-dress production of Julius Caesar, which turned Shakespeare's play into an allegory about fascism. It's a fascinating premise, seeing a classic moment of theater (and auterist myth-making) from the eyes of a bystander, except the frivolous, skin-deep treatment Linklater gives it slowly deflates the film's promise. The film does contain one genuinely brilliant performance – Christian McKay doing a wonderfully charismatic and spot-on Welles. But Efron has almost no presence as the lead; indeed, the movie seems to cut around him at times, compounding a sense of emptiness at its center.

 

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