The List: The definitive ranking of Bill Murray performances
This week, Bilmuri will celebrate the release of its new album, Taco, with a concert at Big Room Bar. With that in mind, we thought we'd rank Bill Murray's film performances (not the films themselves — that would be a different list entirely). Buckle up.
N/A “Garfield: The Movie”
Murray lazily voiced the equally lazy cartoon cat, later revealing in a Reddit chat that he signed on because he thought the screenwriter was Joel Coen of Coen Brothers fame. (It was actually Joel Cohen, writer of “Daddy Day Camp,” among other similarly terrible films.)
Key line: N/A
It's just a cameo, but Murray nearly steals the film, playing himself as one of the human survivors of a zombie apocalypse.
Key line: Little Rock to Murray: “So do you have any regrets?” Murray: “‘Garfield, maybe.”
8. “Broken Flowers”
Murray stars as Don Johnston in this 2005 Jim Jarmusch film, employing his essential Bill Murray-ness (mainly the ability to remain calm amid absurdity) in a winding road film. Plus the soundtrack, heavy on Ethiopian jazz, rips.
Key line: Murray: “Wanna get a drink?” Carmen: “No, I don't drink.” Murray: “Later, get something to eat?” Carmen: “I don't … eat.”
Easily the best adaptation of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol,” largely due to the way Murray embodies his character's overnight change of heart.
Key line: “We're gonna need champagne for 250 people, and send the stuff that you send to me. Don't send the stuff that I send to other people.”
Probably my least favorite of Murray's “classic” comedy roles, as well as the one that feels increasingly less impactful as more time passes. Maybe it's the gopher effect?
Key line: “This crowd has gone deadly silent. A Cinderella story outta nowhere. Former greenskeeper. And now about to become the Masters champion.”
Young Murray was perfectly cast as the rebellious slob in this fish-out-of-water tale about a cab driver who lands in the U.S. armed forces.
Key line: “You got something in a low-rise bikini? Mesh, if possible.”
The rare special effects-driven film that would work equally well as a radio play, owing in part to Murray's impeccably delivered dialogue.
Key line:“Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown.”
Sure, it might seem like heresy to rank Murray's “Kingpin” performance ahead of the aforementioned, more celebrated trio, but go watch it again. Murray is a delight as the sorta-villainous con man/bowling champ.
Key line: “Was I talking out loud? Was I? Sorry. Good luck.”
Maybe the best balance of silliness and sincerity in Murray's deep film catalog.
Key line: “Mmm, I'm a little bit lonely these days.”
1. “Lost in Translation”
Murray absolutely deserved an Oscar for this role. He's sad, sweet and funny, and his karaoke version of Roxy Music's “More Than This” makes the heart swell.
Key line: Murray, leaning in and whispering in Scarlett Johansson's ear: [unintelligible].