Steven Soderbergh frequently claims he’s retiring from directing movies, but fortunately these protests never seem to last very long. His current return from the cinematic grave is Logan Lucky, which opens this weekend; our film staff says the movie proves that Soderbergh is as great as ever. He’s had quite an illustrious film career, ever since his debut Sex, Lies & Videotape wowed audiences at Cannes in 1989. His peak (so far) was likely 2001, when he was Oscar-nominated for directing both Traffic and Erin Brockovich (winning for Traffic). There have been various ups and downs along the way, like Magic Mike, Solaris, the Ocean’s trilogy, The Limey, Bubble, The Girlfriend Experience… the list goes on.
On to about 20-some movies, which is why not one but two sites this week (that we know of) took it upon themselves to rank all of Soderbergh’s movies from worst to best. Curiously, The Ringer listed 28 to Vulture’s 26, and Vulture included Logan Lucky, while Ringer did not. The Ringer did include the outstanding but TV-bound movie Behind The Candelabra, though.
Both lists, though, are fairly similar: Full Frontal, Kafka, and The Good German hang out near the bottom of the list, while The Limey and Magic Mike hover near the top. It’s an interesting look at the considerable breadth and versatility of Soderbergh’s work throughout his career. But topping both lists is the same movie: 1998’s Out Of Sight, an Elmore Leonard adaptation that resulted in Jennifer Lopez’s best-ever performance, and launched George Clooney into the prestige level of movie stardom. Our own film editor A.A. Dowd would no doubt approve of this choice; it’s one of his favorites as well.