Eastwood next directed Jersey Boys (2014), a musical biography based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. The film told the story of the musical group The Four Seasons. Eastwood directed American Sniper (also 2014), a film adaptation of Chris Kyle's eponymous memoir, following Steven Spielberg's departure from the project. The film was released on December 25, 2014. American Sniper grossed more than $350 million domestically and over $547 million globally, making it one of Eastwood's biggest movies commercially. His next film, Sully, starred Tom Hanks as Chesley Sullenberger, who successfully landed the US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in an emergency landing, keeping all passengers on board alive. Released in the United States in September 2016, it became another commercial success for Eastwood, grossing over $238 million worldwide. He directed the biographical thriller The 15:17 to Paris (2018), which saw previously non-professional actors Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos playing themselves as they stop the 2015 Thalys train attack. The film received a generally negative reception from critics, who were largely critical of the acting by the three leads. Eastwood next starred in and directed The Mule, which was released in December 2018. He played Earl Stone, an elderly drug smuggler based on Leo Sharp, Eastwood's first acting role since Trouble with the Curve in 2012.
Eastwood's 30th directorial outing came with Invictus (2009), a film based on the story of the South African team at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, Matt Damon as rugby team captain François Pienaar and Grant L. Roberts as Ruben Kruger. The film met with generally positive reviews; Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars and described it as a "very good film... with moments evoking great emotion," while Variety's Todd McCarthy wrote, "Inspirational on the face of it, Clint Eastwood's film has a predictable trajectory, but every scene brims with surprising details that accumulate into a rich fabric of history, cultural impressions and emotion." For the film Eastwood was nominated for Best Director at the 67th Golden Globe Awards.More Info
Eastwood directed and starred in Space Cowboys (2000) alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner. Eastwood played one of a group of veteran ex-test pilots sent into space to repair an old Soviet satellite. The original music score was composed by Eastwood and Lennie Niehaus. Space Cowboys was critically well-received and holds a 79 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes, although Roger Ebert wrote that the film was, "too secure within its traditional story structure to make much seem at risk." The film grossed more than $90 million in its United States release, more than Eastwood's two previous films combined. Eastwood played an ex-FBI agent chasing a sadistic killer (Jeff Daniels) in the thriller Blood Work (2002), loosely based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Michael Connelly. The film was a commercial failure, grossing just $26.2 million on an estimated budget of $50 million and received mixed reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes describing it as, "well-made but marred by lethargic pacing". Eastwood did, however, win the Future Film Festival Digital Award at the Venice Film Festival for the film.More Info
In the Eastwood-directed Hereafter (2010), he again worked with Matt Damon, who portrayed a psychic. The film had its world premiere on September 12, 2010 at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and had a limited release later in October. Hereafter received mixed reviews from critics, with the consensus at Rotten Tomatoes being, "Despite a thought-provoking premise and Clint Eastwood's typical flair as director, Hereafter fails to generate much compelling drama, straddling the line between poignant sentimentality and hokey tedium." Around the same time, Eastwood served as executive producer for a Turner Classic Movies (TCM) documentary about jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way (also 2010), to commemorate Brubeck's 90th birthday.More Info
Eastwood began working on smaller, more personal projects and experienced a lull in his career between 1988 and 1992. Always interested in jazz, he directed Bird (1988), a biopic starring Forest Whitaker as jazz musician Charlie "Bird" Parker. Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean and Spike Lee, son of jazz bassist Bill Lee and a long time critic of Eastwood, criticized the characterization of Charlie Parker remarking that it did not capture his true essence and sense of humor. Eastwood received two Golden Globes for the film, the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his lifelong contribution, and the Best Director award. However, Bird was a commercial failure, earning just $11 million, which Eastwood attributed to the declining interest in jazz among black people. Carrey would appear with Eastwood again in the poorly-received comedy Pink Cadillac (1989). The film is about a bounty hunter and a group of white supremacists chasing an innocent woman (Bernadette Peters) who tries to outrun everyone in her husband's prized pink Cadillac. The film failed both critically and commercially, earning barely more than Bird and marking a low point in Eastwood's career.More Info
The following year Eastwood found further critical acclaim with Million Dollar Baby. The boxing drama won four Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Hilary Swank) and Best Supporting Actor (Morgan Freeman). At age 74 Eastwood became the oldest of eighteen directors to have directed two or more Best Picture winners. He also received a nomination for Best Actor, as well as a Grammy nomination for his score, and won a Golden Globe for Best Director, which was presented to him by daughter Kathryn, who was Miss Golden Globe at the 2005 ceremony. A. O. Scott of The New York Times lauded the film as a "masterpiece" and the best film of the year.More Info
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