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Val Kilmer’s heartfelt new documentary “Val” premiered on Amazon Prime on Friday, and apart from tugging at your heartstrings, the film will stir up nostalgic memories of the 61-year-old actor’s filmography. To help with your next movie marathon, we comprised a list of 10 of Kilmer’s best films along with links to where you can stream them.
For more perspective on Kilmer’s life story, you might want to take a deep dive into Kilmer’s memoir, “I’m Your Huckleberry.” Below, find a list of great movies in his film catalog. For more binging options be sure to see our picks for movies by Christopher Nolan, Michael Keaton, and Al Pacino.
There’s no debating “Heat” is a cinematic masterpiece. Pacino and Robert De Niro collide in the brilliant crime drama written and directed by Michael Mann. The larger plot centers around a fictitious criminal mastermind named Neil McCauley (De Niro), who is trying to keep his crew in order. Meanwhile, the detective trailing him (played by De Niro) has his own issues to deal with while trying to catch McCauley. “Heat” features an all-star cast that includes Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, Dennis Haysbert, and Danny Trejo.
After starring in “Batman” and “Batman Returns,” Michael Keaton passed the proverbial baton to Kilmer. The Joel Schumacher film featured Jim Carrey as the Riddler, and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face. Of course, playing “Batman” isn’t as easy as it looks. The suit was so heavy that Kilmer could barely walk. Nonetheless, he still managed to pull off a solid entry into the “Batman” film franchise.
The story of Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and Doc Holiday (Kilmer) comes to life in this beloved western directed by George P. Cosmatos. Released on Christmas Day in 1993, “Tombstone” follows Earp and his brother as they abandon their gun-slinging ways to start a new life in Tombstone, Arizona. Things don’t go as smoothly as planned, but the large plot is about the friendship between the Earp and Holiday.
Kilmer took on one of his most poignant and challenging rolls as Jim Morrison in “The Doors.” He lived in character for a year and admitted to needing therapy after filming the 1991 biopic directed by Oliver Stone. “The Doors” also features Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley, Kathleen Quinlan, and Kevin Dillon.
Ron Howard directed the 1988 fantasy drama produced by George Lucas. “Willow” takes place in a mythical land and follows a farmer-turned-reluctant hero on a quest to save a baby from the evil queen out to take over the world. Warwick Davis stars as Willow, and Kilmer plays the sword-slinging Madmartigan. Kilmer met his ex-wife, Joanne Whalley, on the film (Whalley played Sorsha, a warrior turned love interest of Madmartigan).
Another cult classic, “Top Gun,” revolves around a weapons school where navel fighters train in aerial combat. Tom Cruise stars as Maverick, a reckless and cocky hotshot fighter who clashes with fellow student LT. Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Kilmer). Also included in the cast are Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, and Kelly McGillis.
When you think of Kilmer’s film catalog, “Real Genius” might not be the first movie that comes to mind but it’s worth a watch. This ‘80s comedy is about a crew of teenage geniuses who are unknowingly developing a high-powered laser for what they think is a university project but it’s actually a part of a secret project commissioned by the CIA.
“The Island of Dr. Moreau” was one of Marlon Brando’s final starring film roles and a bit of a disaster on many fronts. Based on the novel of the same name, the John Frankenheimer-directed film centers around a mad scientist (played by Brando) who is secretly creating animal-human hybrids on a remote island. Kilmer replaced Bruce Willis in the role of Dr. Montgomery, an ex-neurosurgeon and rule enforcer on the island. The film production was riddled with issues making for an all-around disastrous production, some of which Kilmer captured on his personal home videos featured in his new documentary. “The Island of Dr. Moreau” was panned by critics and audiences alike. Kilmer even earned a Razzie nomination (for Worst Supporting Actor). Still, “The Island of Dr. Moreau” is pretty much a cult classic in its own right and a pretty decent ’90s movie.
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Switching gears , “At First Sight” is a romantic drama. Mira Sorvino plays Amy, a New York City architect who takes a much-needed spa day and falls hard for a blind message therapist (Kilmer). The movie was inspired by the story of Shirl Jennings who was one of a shortlist of people who regained sight after a lifetime of blindness.
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. star in the 2005 murder mystery “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” The film is about a crook who lands a role in a Hollywood film while on the run from police. During a 2017 Reddit AMA, Kilmer opened up about working with Downey and director Shane Black. “We had so much fun,” he recalled. “You can tell if you watch the behind-the-scenes footage. I ruin so many takes cause Downey has me howling that he actually gets upset and demands I ‘keep going keep going…’ And Shane is just the best. So unusual. So clever.”