James Eugene Carrey, known on the red carpet as Jim Carrey, has enthralled comedy fans for decades. Incredibly, Jim started his early working career as a janitor but always knew he had a flair for humor. His stand-up comedy debut happened at the age of 15 and the rest is funny history. But if you also love Carrey’s serious side, check out our master list of this brilliant actor’s dramatic roles as well as his classic comedy films.
1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Based on the popular Dr Seuss tale, the Whos of Whoville are looking forward to celebrating the best Christmas yet. Six-year-old Cindy Lou Who nominates the Grinch as the “Holiday Cheermeister” enraging the mayor of Whoville, Augustus MayWho, who used to bully the Grinch when they were in school together. At the celebrations, he humiliates the Grinch who retaliates by nabbing all the townfolk’s presents and decorations.
After Christmas is stolen, the town of Whoville – and the Grinch – learn an unexpected lesson about the true meaning of the holiday.
2. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
In this dark comedy, Jim Carrey stars as the evil Count Olaf who desperately wants to get his hands on the Baudelaire children’s fortune. After their parents die in a mysterious fire, it becomes apparent that Olaf is a distant family member and the two sisters and their brother are entrusted into his care. When it’s discovered that he uses the kids to perform heavy chores, they are given to another relative.
But when all their foster parents are killed, the children have to battle a legal system that does not realize that Olaf is the mastermind behind all the strange deaths and that he is planning to rob them of their inheritance. They also follow the trail of a mysterious society linked to their parents.
3. Mr Popper’s Penguins (2011)
Tom Popper has it all; a successful position in real estate and prestige. But he is divorced and a borderline deadbeat father to his two children. One day, his father’s will leaves him a present and it turns out to be a bunch of penguins.
Hilarious chaos ensues as Popper tries to hide the birds from the building’s board (no pets allowed) while also juggling his job, his children’s growing love for the penguins and a deceitful zookeeper who wants them.
4. The Mask (1994)
Stanley Ipkiss is a bank employee and due to his timid nature, everyone takes advantage of him. One night, while depressed over his bad luck, Stanley visits the harbor where he finds an unusual wooden mask. Once he dons the artefact, he turns into a character called “The Mask” who is his complete opposite.
Now confident, slick and able to get back at his tormentors, Stanley’s alter ego robs the very bank where he works. Things get hairy when he becomes targeted by both the police and a gang who had originally planned to rob the same bank.
5. Batman Forever (1995)
In this chapter of the Batman saga, Jim Carrey plays Edward Nygma, an employee at Wayne Enterprises. After Bruce Wayne rejects his invention that can beam TV signals directly into the human brain, Nygma feels deeply betrayed and suffers a psychotic break. He turns into the Riddler and teams up with Batman’s old nemesis, Two-Face, and together they use Nygma’s invention to discover Batman’s real identity.
6. I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)
This movie is based on the true story of Steven Russell who, in the 1980s and 1990s, was a professional con artist and a multiple prison escapee. After he is sent to prison for the first time, he meets and falls in love with his cellmate, Phillip Morris. When he is released, Steven poses as a lawyer to spring Morris from prison and land them a lavish lifestyle by embezzling from a large medical company.
Steven is caught again and Morris, after being arrested as an accomplice, angrily breaks off their relationship. But Steven’s attempts to reunite with Morris is ingenious and never-ending, leading to his high-security lock-up and more plans of escape.
7. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
Based on the popular video game, Sonic the Hedgehog arrives on Earth after a bunch of echidnas try to steal his powers. He settles in Green Hills, Montana, and longing for friends he becomes fixated with the Sheriff and his wife. One night, while Sonic plays a supersonic game of baseball by himself, he accidentally triggers an electromagnetic pulse that blacks out the Pacific Northwest.
The United States Department of Defense hires Dr Robotnik (Carrey) to discover the cause. When Robotnik realizes the existence of Sonic and that his quills are a limitless power source, he hunts the blue critter with his crazy inventions. Sonic has to enlist the help of the Sheriff to overcome the mad doctor.
8. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Ace Ventura is an animal lover dedicated to finding missing pets. When Snowflake, a bottlenose dolphin and mascot to the Miami Dolphins, is kidnapped two weeks before the Super Bowl, Ventura jumps into action. When he discovers a piece of a class ring in the dolphin’s tank, Ventura realizes that someone on the 1984 Miami Dolphins team had kidnapped Snowflake.
But as he soon discovers, the police thinks he’s a joke which hampers the investigation and the person who stole the mascot is a worthy opponent hiding right under his nose.
9. The Cable Guy (1996)
When Steve Kovacs moves into a new apartment, he calls the cable company to set up his TV channels. He bribes the cable man, Chip (Carrey), to give him free channels and Chip happily complies. What Kovacs doesn’t realize is that Chip is a needy and lonely man obsessed with TV and having friends.
Soon, Chip worms his way into Kovacs life as the pal from hell. When Kovacs rejects him, the consequences are darkly comedic but it also reveals the truth about who Chip really is – a stalker with a sad past.
10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
New York City firm Lacuna erases bad memories. When their relationship goes south, Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski decide to wipe each other from their minds. While Clementine’s procedure goes smoothly, Joel starts to resist his treatment when he encounters flashbacks to happier times. After Joel’s mind is also cleaned, he runs into Clementine and unaware of their past, they fall in love again and go on a date.