Christopher Eugene O’Donnell is an American actor of German-Irish descent, a star who has given up on taking off. A talented artist with a charming appearance, he could have led a stellar life, enjoying worldwide fame.
However, the actor deliberately, in his own words, “put the brakes on” for love. In 1997 he married teacher Caroline, and never tried to combine a career and family, choosing the second.
However, he does not give up interesting roles and often pleases fans of his warming talent with good performances. We have collected the best films in which Chris O’Donnell participated in a short list, which we are happy to present to you.
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
- IMDB Rating – 6.5
- Drama, comedy, family
- Produced by: USA, Canada / 2008
- Budget: $10,000,000
- U.S. box office receipts: $17,655,201
- Director Patricia Rozema
- Starring: Abigail Breslin, Julia Ormond, Chris O’Donnell, Jane Krakowski, Wallace Shawn, Max Theriot, Willow Smith, Glenn Headley, Zach Mills, Kenneth Welsh
A kind, lighthearted and exciting family children’s detective story about a girl named Kit who dreams of becoming a reporter and conducting her own investigation. Kit lives in Cincinnati at the height of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Her father Jack Kittredge (Chris O’Donnell) has left for Chicago in search of work, and her mother is forced to let in lodgers.
Vagrants multiply in the state, and one of them, a boy named Will and his buddies, is introduced to Kit. She unsuccessfully tries to sell their story to the local newspaper, but at the same time a wave of robberies sweeps through the city, and it is Will who becomes the prime suspect. But Kit doesn’t believe her new friend could be involved and starts her own investigation.
The film is based on Valerie Tripp’s wonderful American Girl series of children’s books.
- IMDB Rating – 5.3
- Genre: Action, thriller, drama, crime, adventure
- Produced by USA, Canada / 2008
- Budget: $35,000,000
- World Box Office: $85,416,905
- Director John Moore
- Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Ludacris, Chris O’Donnell, Donal Logue, Amory Nolasco, Kate Burton, Olga Kurylenko, Rothaford Gray
Another interesting, albeit small, role is that of Chris O’Donnell. He embodied Jason Colvin, a member of the Ministry of Defense, whom Max takes hostage and interrogates.
The movie’s script is based on the plot of the popular shooter of the same name. Unjustly accused of murder, Max Payne (played by Mark Wahlberg) searches for those who shot his family while confronting gangsters and corrupt lawmen.
Sam Lake, the inspiration and one of the authors of the plot of the game “Max Payne”, participated in the creation of the film.
- IMDB Rating – 7.1
- Genre: Drama, melodrama, biography
- Production: USA, Germany / 2004
- Budget: $11,000,000
- World Box Office: $16,918,723
- Director: Bill Condon
- Starring: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O’Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Oliver Platt, Dylan Baker, Julianne Nicholson
Four years after The Vertical Limit no one had heard of Chris O’Donnell, but he returned to the screen in the highly successful film Kinsey as sexologist Wardell Pomeroy, Dr. Kinsey’s collaborator, played by Liam Neeson.
The film is based on the true story of the sexopathologist Alfred Kinsey, who conducted a large-scale study of Americans’ sexuality and began to apply the results of his research in medical practice. Kinsey was really persecuted by many media and the Catholic Church.
Before writing the script, Bill Condon talked to many colleagues and acquaintances of the real Alfred Kinsey.
- IMDB Rating – 5.9
- Genre: Action, thriller, drama, adventure
- Production: USA, Germany / 2000
- Budget: $75,000,000
- World Box Office: $215,663,859
- Director: Martin Campbell
- Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Bill Paxton, Robin Tunney, Scott Glenn, Isabella Scorupco, Temuera Morrison, Stuart Wilson, Roshan Seth, Ben Mendelson, Robert Taylor
“Vertical Limit” is a mountaineering drama starring Chris O’Donnell. After a high-altitude tragedy in which his father died, Peter Garrett stops climbing, but his sister Annie, on the other hand, becomes a famous mountaineer.
One day, wealthy industrialist Elliot Vaughn envisions conquering the Earth’s second highest peak, Mount Chogori, also called K2, and gathers a group of the toughest climbers, including Annie. At an altitude of 8,000 meters they find themselves in a death trap. And now, to save his sister, Peter has to overcome his fears and conquer another peak.
In the first weekend after the premiere, the film took second place in the rating of the most watched pictures.
- IMDB Rating – 5.0
- Genre: Melodrama, comedy
- Produced by USA / 1999
- Budget: $51,000,000
- World Box Office: $36,911,617
- Director: Gary Signore
- Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Renée Zellweger, Artie Lang, Edward Asner, Hal Holbrooke, James Cromwell, Marlee Shelton, Peter Ustinov, Catherine Towne, Rebecca Cross
A naughty melodrama starring Chris O’Donnell and Renee Zellweger. Jimmy Shannon’s carefree life ends overnight, along with the death of his beloved grandfather. Soon it turns out that the old man left his grandson a huge fortune, for which there is only one condition: Jimmy has to create a strong family.
The first thing the guy, of course, proposes marriage to his girlfriend Ann, but she is not going to marry the money. And then Jimmy starts going through past girls in the hope of finding one he can get along with.
The film is based on the 1925 silent romcom Seven Chances.
Batman Forever (1995), Batman & Robin (1997)
- IMDB Rating – 5.4
- Genre: Action, Adventure
- Production: USA, UK / 1995
- Budget: $100,000,000
- World Box Office: $336,529,144
- Director: Joel Schumacher
- Starring: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Chris O’Donnell, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Drew Barrymore, Debi Meyzar, Elizabeth Sanders
These two films are the final parts of the 1989-1997 tetralogy. After the second film, Tim Burton was replaced by Joel Schumacher, and his versions fell short of the popularity of the first two, despite the list of brilliant actors. But it is in parts 3 and 4 of this superhero franchise that Chris O’Donnell appears, reincarnated as Robin, Batman’s closest collaborator.
In Batman Forever, Bruce Wayne is confronted by 2 villains, Enigma and Two-Face. In “Batman and Robin” there are two antagonists again: Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy. It also better reveals the stories of Alfred the Butler and Robin himself.
In a 2012 interview, Chris O’Donnell revealed that the studio had planned to make a spin-off to Batman, a film about Robin and Nightwing. But due to the poor reception of Batman and Robin, those plans were abandoned.
- IMDB Rating – 6.0
- Genre: Thriller, drama, crime
- Produced by USA / 1996
- Budget: $50,000,000
- World box office receipts: $22 540 359
- Director James Foley
- Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway, Robert Prosky, Raymond J. Barry, Beau Jackson, Lela Roshon, David Marshall Grant, Nicholas Pryor, Harvey Presnell
Adam Hall (Chris O’Donnell) is a young progressive lawyer who takes on the defense of his condemned grandfather, Sam Cahill, accused of a 1967 crime in which racists burned down a Jewish man’s office, killing two young children.
Adam reveals the gruesome past of his ancestors, where Nazism was passed down from generation to generation, where the realization of the wrong way came too late, like his grandfather, who knew nothing good in life before meeting his grandson, like his father, who committed suicide because of unbearable guilt. Adam tries to soften the old man’s sentence…
The film features the actual gas chamber for the death penalty at Parchman Prison in Mississippi.
Circle of Friends
- IMDB Rating – 6.6
- Genre: Drama, melodrama
- Production: Ireland, USA, UK / 1995
- U.S. box office estimate: $23,389,975
- Director Pat O’Connor
- Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Minnie Driver, Geraldine O’Rowe, Saffron Burrows, Alan Cumming, Colin Firth, Aidan Gillen, Mick Lally, Britta Smith, John Cavanaugh.
Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver star in the Irish romantic tragicomedy “Circle of Friends.” Three childhood friends, Benny, Eve and Nan, attend Dublin University. Benny is friends with Jack (Chris O’Donnell), a medical student, and has fond feelings for him, without the certainty that it is mutual. The story is told from Benny’s point of view.
One day Nan, who dreams of finding a wealthy prince, gets pregnant by a rich man who immediately dumps her. The girl seduces Jack and then claims that he is the father of the child. However, Eve soon learns the truth and tells Jack…
Chris O’Donnell is slightly shorter than Minnie Driver, and in the walking scene the actress had to walk along a roadside gutter to appear smaller.
- IMDB Rating – 5.3
- Genre: Drama, melodrama, comedy
- US production / 1995
- U.S. box office receipts: $15,453,274
- Directed by Antonia Bird
- Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Drew Barrymore, Matthew Lillard, Richard Chaim, Robert Nadir, Joan Allen, Jude Ciccolella, Amy Sakasits, T.J. Lowther, Kevin Dunn
An ambiguous and heartfelt melodrama about a painful and self-absorbed love story starring Drew Barrymore and Chris O’Donnell, perhaps one of the actor’s best works.
Seattle teenager Matt Leland observes through a telescope a girl who lives across the lake and rides a jet ski at night. One day he meets her and falls in love with all the fervor of his enthusiastic youth. Their feelings are mutual, but their happiness is short-lived.
Casey is prone to severe depressions and has tried to commit suicide more than once. Her parents place the girl in a mental hospital, but at her request Matt kidnaps Casey. Together, the lovers escape to Mexico, but the girl’s problem doesn’t go away, only can the young guy deal with it?
Leonardo DiCaprio turned down the role of Matt, but then regretted it.
- IMDB Rating – 6.4
- Genre: Drama, melodrama
- Produced by USA / 1991
- Budget: $16,000,000
- U.S. box office receipts: $3,359,465
- Directed by Tony Richardson
- Starring: Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones, Powers Booth, Carrie Snodgress, Amy Lokane, Chris O’Donnell, Mitchell Ryan, Dale Day, Timothy Scott, Annie Ross
Major Hank Marshall is responsible for the safety of underground nuclear testing and demands too many restrictions, becoming a real bone in the throat of Colonel Vince Johnson, who is not used to reckoning with the risks in developing new weapons.
He tries to get rid of Hank by forcing his hysterical wife Carly to sign papers placing the major in an insane asylum. However, Hank’s daughter Alex, and Johnson’s son Glenn (Chris O’Donnell) discover Johnson’s real reasons, and soon Carly learns of them and begins to fight for her husband.
The second collaboration between Jessica Lang (who won an Oscar for this film) and Chris O’Donnell after Men Don’t Leave.
The Three Musketeers
- IMDB Rating – 6.4
- Genre: Action, melodrama, comedy, adventure, family
- Production: UK, Austria, USA / 1993
- Budget: $30,000,000
- US box office estimate: $53,898,845
- Director: Stephen Jerek
- Starring: Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell, Oliver Platt, Tim Curry, Rebecca De Mornay, Gabriel Anwar, Michael Wincott, Paul McGann, Julie Delpy
In Disney’s The Three Musketeers, Chris O’Donnell played the role of D’Artagnan. He arrives in Paris to fulfill his childhood dream – to join a regiment of royal musketeers. However, it is at this time that the insidious Richelieu gives the order to disband the royal guard.
Only three Musketeers disobey the Cardinal’s order. They are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, who are joined by the young D’Artagnan and become their loyal friend. Soon the pals learn of Richelieu’s cruel plans and intend to thwart them.
Chris O’Donnell practiced fencing and horseback riding for six weeks before filming.
- IMDB Rating – 6.9
- Genre: Drama
- Production USA / 1992
- U.S. box office receipts: $14,715,067
- Directed by Robert Mandel
- Starring: Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O’Donnell, Randall Batinkoff, Andrew Lowry, Cole Howser, Ben Affleck, Anthony Rapp, Amy Lockane, Peter Donat
A teen drama film about the college life of David Greene, a young Jewish man living in the 1960s, who finds himself at an exclusive, elite school in Massachusetts.
Excellent grades and soccer talent helped Green end up at one of the state’s top schools, but his ancestral faith is a secret he hides from those around him because of the overt anti-Semitism at this school. Green’s only true friend is his roommate, Chris Reese (Chris O’Donnell), but he too admits to disliking Jews…
The story is based on the memoirs of producer and screenwriter Dick Wolf.
Scent of a Woman
- IMDB Rating – 8.0
- Genre: Drama
- Produced by USA / 1992
- Budget: $31,000,000
- Worldwide box office receipts: $134,095,253
- Director Martin Brest
- Starring: Al Pacino, Chris O’Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabriel Anwar, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Venture, Bradley Whitford, Rochelle Oliver, Margaret Edginton, Tom Reece Farrell
A cult film that could have been an incredible springboard for Chris O’Donnell, winning several awards and a nomination for his role as Charlie Simms, but the actor didn’t take the chance too diligently, eventually choosing his family over his career.
“Scent of a Woman” is Martin Brest’s hit starring Al Pacino. A blind veteran, Colonel Frank Slade, is hired by relatives to help a student, Charlie. However, Slade has already planned out the rest of his life: hot spots, vicious revelry, and quiet suicide. He drags Charlie along on his final trip through New York City, gradually becoming a good friend to him.
According to Chris O’Donnell, Plaza owner Donald Trump agreed to be filmed at the hotel if an episode with him and his future wife, Marla Maples, were included in the film. That scene was cut in post-production.
Fried Green Tomatoes
- IMDB Rating – 7.7
- Genre: Drama
- Produced by USA / 1991
- Budget: $11,000,000
- World Box Office: $119,418,501
- Director: John Evnet
- Starring: Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, Jessica Tandy, Cicely Tyson, Chris O’Donnell, Stan Shaw, Gaylard Sartain, Timothy Scott, Gary Basaraba
A little life-affirming story, one of the most significant films of the ’90s. Chris O’Donnell played here the cameo role of Buddy, the brother of one of the main characters who is killed by a train.
A middle-aged, tired of life Evelyn visits a relative of her husband in the nursing home and meets cheerful old lady Ninnie, who turns out to be an excellent storyteller. Her tales bring her friends Idgie and Ruth, the owners of the Half Stop Café, to life. Their complicated fate forces Evelyn to rethink her life.
The film was nominated for an Oscar for its screenplay, which, incidentally, was based on Fanny Flagg’s 1987 book.
Men Don’t Leave
- IMDB Rating – 6.6
- Genre: Drama, comedy
- US production / 1989
- U.S. grosses: $6,070,725
- Director Paul Brickman
- Starring: Jessica Lange, Arliss Howard, Joan Cusack, Chris O’Donnell, Kathy Bates, Tom Mason, Charlie Corsmo, Belita Moreno, Jim Haney, Corey Carrier
The full-length debut of 20-year-old Chris O’Donnell in the heartwarming family drama “Men Don’t Leave.” Jessica Lang plays Beth Macaulay, a happily married woman unexpectedly left a widow. She has two sons, teenage Chris (O’Donnell) and older Matt (Charlie Korsmo).
The family home is in the midst of a renovation that has the family in debt. Beth realizes that she will have to sell the house and all her possessions to stay afloat. She soon moves into a cheap apartment in Baltimore and tries to earn her children an education.
This film is a remake of the 1981 French drama “Life Goes On. By the way, Joan Cusack, one of the actresses of the film, is the native sister of the famous John Cusack.