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Before achieving huge fame with the cult TV show Arrested Development, Jason Bateman starred in and directed some of Hollywood’s most popular comedies. From Horrible Bosses to Game Night, his dry humor and deadpan delivery made him a natural fit for roles.

The actor also demonstrated his directorial prowess with movies like Bad Words and wowed audiences with dramatic performances in films such as The Gift and Ozark.

1. Ozark

Before he started starring on and directing Ozark, he was a regular in TV shows like NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Showtime’s Mad Men. He also played a small but important role in Mike Judge’s cult hit Office Space.

In this movie, Bateman stars with Vince Vaughn and Kristen Bell. He plays a man who moves to Los Angeles with his wife and meets his old high school classmate, Gordon, who seems nice but is actually a murderer. The movie shows that there is always more to a person than they let on.

This repelisplus film is another one that showcases Bateman’s sly sense of humor. It’s about a convicted felon and former stockbroker who goes into business with his brother-in-law in an attempt to clean up their respective messes. He is accompanied by a group of funny characters that makes this a movie to watch.

2. Bad Words

Although it doesn’t reach the acidic, appealing heights of other recent R-rated comedies like Bad Santa, this is a good showcase for Jason Bateman’s acting and directing skills. He delivers the lines with a certain edginess that is akin to his character’s demeanor, and he also manages to pull off the more tender scenes of the film.

While Juno isn’t the most successful movie of its genre, it is a touching, smart, and moving drama that contains some of the best work from Jason Bateman to date. He is particularly good as Mark Loring, the protective adoptive father of Juno’s soon-to-be born child. He shows off his range as an actor and is backed by an excellent ensemble cast.

3. The Gift

Mike Judge’s office comedy is a must-see for fans of the actor. While it may not be his best work, it is still an entertaining film. Bateman stars alongside Ryan Reynolds as a businessman who finds himself in a strange situation after his son is bullied at school. As a result, he and Reynolds switch bodies, leading to some hilarious chaos.

While most people know him as a straight-faced character, Jason Bateman is an amazing comedic actor. He proves this in Horrible Bosses, where he co-stars with Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as three employees who hate their bosses. They eventually hatch a plan to get rid of them for good. Although some critics have called the movie a mess, it is an entertaining watch nonetheless.

4. The Family Fang

Admirers of Bateman’s oeuvre will detect the occasional echoes of Arrested Development in this tale of parents and kids at open war, but the movie takes itself far more seriously than that premise implies. Bateman and co-star Nicole Kidman bring great energy to their performances as the siblings, and they manage to convey that their parents really f-cked them up.

Like Ozark, The Family Fang deftly straddles the line between comedy and drama with great ease. The film’s satirical undercurrent makes it even more effective, and the characters are both likable and deeply unsettling. Bateman’s direction is also a major plus, eschewing the self-indulgent excess of his usual persona for a more restrained register that delivers quietly aching moments in the film’s final stretch.

5. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Disconnect is another well-rounded film that showcases Bateman’s acting skills. He plays a character that’s both smarmy and cold-cutting, and he does a fantastic job of portraying this type of role. The movie is also directed by Peter Billingsley, who has helmed other movies like The Family Fang and Bad Santa.

As you can see, there are plenty of good movies that feature Jason Bateman. He’s a talented actor who can play both comedic and dramatic roles. So be sure to check out some of these movies next time you’re in the mood for a movie. You won’t regret it! Also, be sure to join us for this weekend’s screening of The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford. We’ll be showing it in the main theater of the Chazen Museum of Art on Sunday at 2pm.

By Tony

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