10 Underrated Jim Carrey Movies Fans Need to See
Jim Carrey proved a dozen of times that he isn't just about wacky faces and slapstick humor.
1. "The Cable Guy" (1996)
Remember the days of cable TV? Those were the days, huh? Well, this movie serves as a dark comedic cautionary tale. Carrey plays Chip, an overly enthusiastic and creepy cable installer. Steven Kovacs, a regular Joe, makes the fatal mistake of befriending him. Big mistake. Huge. Chip infiltrates every aspect of Steven's life, even ruining his romantic relationship.
The film gets so twisted that Chip organizes a medieval duel at a restaurant party. Critics didn't get it at the time, but it's worth a rewatch.
2. "The Majestic" (2001)
Set in the 1950s, Carrey plays Peter Appleton, a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter with amnesia. He stumbles into a small town and gets mistaken for Luke, a local war hero. He goes along with it, helping to restore a local cinema, The Majestic.
Peter finds love, community, and a newfound zest for life. Of course, the truth comes crashing down, but not before he defends himself at a Congressional hearing, a turnaround that gives the town and Peter a jolt of American pride.
3. "I Love You Phillip Morris" (2009)
This ain't your run-of-the-mill rom-com. Carrey's character, Steven Russell, is a con man who finds the love of his life, Phillip Morris, in jail. After escaping prison multiple times to be with Phillip, he even impersonates a lawyer to get him out.
This one flopped at the box office, grossing only $20.7 million against a $13 million budget despite Carrey & Ewan McGregor's talented duo. But it's an underrated gem showing Carrey's range in portraying a man so in love; he'd break all the laws to prove it.
4. "Man on the Moon" (1999)
Ever heard of Andy Kaufman? He was a comedy enigma, and Carrey captures his essence in this biopic. From wrestling women on "Saturday Night Live" to creating an obnoxious lounge singer persona named Tony Clifton, this film dives into Kaufman's unorthodox comedy career. The kicker? Carrey stayed in character as Kaufman even when the cameras were off.
Critics loved it, but the movie didn't hit it big commercially, which is a shame because it's a masterclass in acting.
5. "The Number 23" (2007)
What if a book you read started to mirror your life? That's what happens to Carrey's character, Walter Sparrow. He becomes obsessed with a book that seems to predict his life, down to the minutiae. As he dives deeper, he discovers the number 23 is intertwined with the story and possibly his destiny.
The movie culminates with a great plot twist (not going to spoil it here, though – trust me, you'll want to watch this one).
6. "Fun with Dick and Jane" (2005)
Sure, this one's a comedy, but it's not as mainstream as "Dumb and Dumber." Carrey plays Dick Harper, who's laid off from his cushy job, leading to all kinds of financial woes. So what do he and his wife Jane do? Turn to a life of crime, obviously.
The flick is hilarious and surprisingly thoughtful, highlighting the desperation many people felt during economic downturns. It even has a nice little twist where they go after the greedy CEO, played by Alec Baldwin, in the end.
7. "Yes Man" (2008)
What if you had to say "yes" to everything? That's the absurd premise of this comedy-drama. Carrey's character, Carl Allen, takes up a covenant to say yes to whatever comes his way, be it giving a homeless man a lift or learning Korean.
It's wacky but heartwarming, showing how embracing life's curveballs can bring about happiness and even love, as Carl finds in his quirky, free-spirited love interest, played by Zooey Deschanel.
8. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004)
Alright, so maybe this isn't "lesser-known," but you'd be surprised how many people haven't actually seen it. Carrey plays Joel, a guy who decides to erase memories of his ex-girlfriend Clementine, played by Kate Winslet. The film shows his memories in reverse order as they're being deleted, revealing the ups and downs of their relationship.
The film's a mind-bender and a tearjerker, showing a Carrey like you've never seen before.
9. "Earth Girls Are Easy" (1988)
You want to talk underrated? Here it is. This '80s comedy has Carrey as an alien named Wiploc who crashes into Earth with his buddies, played by Jeff Goldblum and Damon Wayans. These furry extraterrestrials befriend a valley girl, get makeovers, and explore Southern California culture.
It's bizarre, fun, and definitely proves Carrey's comedic talents before he hit it big.
10. "The Bad Batch" (2016)
This is Carrey like you've never seen him—literally. He's unrecognizable as a mute, homeless drifter in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. While not a leading role, his performance is haunting and adds gravitas to a film filled with limb-severing and cannibalism.
You might ask, "Is that really Jim Carrey?" Yup, it is, and it's fascinating to see him in such a dark, gritty setting.