Goodfella Money: 10 Highest-Grossing Ray Liotta Movies

Born Raymond Allen Liotta, but known to Hollywood and the world as Ray Liotta; his success in Hollywood is nothing short of a miracle, having been abandoned by his birth parents and adopted at the age of six by a couple of Italian and Scottish descent. After attending college and moving to New York City, he landed a role in the soap opera, Another World, before moving to Los Angeles for a film debut in 1983’s The Lonely Lady, where he starred beside Pia Zadora. He has also shared the screen with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, and Sylvester Stallone among others who you’ll learn of as we list 10 of Ray Liotta’s highest-grossing movies.


10 Hannibal

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Ray Liotta may be remembered for his outstanding performance as a Henry Hill in the 1990’s Mafia-inspired biographical crime film, Goodfellas, but there is much more than meets the eye of his violent bad boy persona. In 2001, he played the role of Justice Department official, Paul Krendler, in The Silence of The Lambs sequel, Hannibal. The fictional film follows the gruesome murders of the cannibalistic serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who escaped police custody in the first film series. While escaping, he paralyzes and distorts the face of a wealthy and influential child molester named Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) who is writhing with revenge for Hannibal. FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) is also hunting Hannibal and must find him before Verger does. In the end, Verger is eaten alive by wild boars, a trap intended for Lecter. Krendler, let’s just say, died a horrible, cannibalistic death. The film grossed $350.1 million, out-performing The Silence of The Lambs.


9 Bee Movie

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It seems all actors have, at one point or another in their careers, lent their voices to a lucrative box office animation movie. And in 2007, it was Ray Liotta’s turn to do so in the computer-animated comedy, Bee Movie. The film is enlightening and hilarious, centering on the life of a honey bee named Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld), who has the extraordinary ability to talk to humans. After graduating college, he goes to look for a job at the Honex Industries honey-making workforce but is dissatisfied with his options. He meets a human named Vanessa (Renee Zellweger) who he breaks the rules and speaks to. They have a mutual attraction, but Barry soon learns of the human’s exploitative relationship with bees for honey. He proceeds to sue the human race, and one of the people on trial is the “devilishly handsome” Ray Liotta. The slightly controversial movie grossed $287.5 million worldwide.


8 Wild Hogs

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No matter what movie genre he stars in, there’s no denying that Liotta plays a superb antagonist. He displayed this ability again in the 2007 comedy-adventure, Wild Hogs. Liotta’s character, Jack Blade, is the leader of a Del Fuegos biker gang, with an intimidating fifty-man crew. He meets the Wild Hogs members, which consists of Doug Madsen (Tim Allen), Woody Stevens (John Travolta), Bobby Davis (Martin Lawrence), and Dudley Frank (William H. Macy) – all middleaged men with personal issues who get together on weekends to escape their miserable lives. Jack Blade sees them as posers and steals Dudley’s bike, which Woody suggests they retrieve. They get revenge on the Del Fuego gang and take back Dudley’s bike, but they get hunted by Jack and his crew. Featuring a nice blend of characters, the film grossed $253.5 million at the box office.


7 Date Night

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Released in 2010, Date Night centers on Phil and Claire Foster (Steve Carell and Tina Fey) who are lacking passion and spark in their marriage and are desperate to reignite their love life as they want to avoid the option of divorce that their married friends, Brad and Haley (Mark Ruffalo and Kristen Wigg) so willingly embraced. So Phil decides to take his wife to an upscale Manhatten restaurant. The only problem is, they don’t have reservations. Being spontaneous, Phil steals a reservation from a no-show reservation belonging to the Tripplehorns. It turns out that the Tripplehorns stole a flash drive from mob boss Joe Miletto (Ray Liotta), and Joe has sent his muscle, Collins (Common), and Armstrong (Jimmi Simpson) to get it back. Their night is filled with excitement and danger as they try to locate the flash drive – just what they needed to get back on track. The film grossed $152.3 million against a $55 million budget.

RELATED: 15 Things You Never Knew About Goodfellas

6 John Q

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In a touching movie about the life of a working-class family, namely Denise and John Quincy Archibald (Kimberly Elise and Denzel Washington), and their son Michael (Daniel E. Smith), John Q did justice to shed light on the American healthcare system in 2002. After learning that their son needs a heart transplant to survive, they feverishly try to amass the money for the downpayment which is $75,000. The time draws near that the cardiologist, Dr. Raymond Turner (James Wood) is ready to release Michael to die peaceably at home, much to the dissatisfaction of Denise. Feeling cornered, John acts by holding Dr. Turner, as well as other patients in the hospital, at gunpoint, demanding a heart transplant. Liotta acts as Chief Gus Monroe, who attempts to end the standoff with a sniper to shoot John. Michael eventually gets his heart transplant and John does time in prison. Due to stellar acting on behalf of the actors, the film grossed $102.2 million.


5 Blow

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Adapted from Bruce Porter’s 1993 book, Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with The Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All, Blow was released in 2001 and featured an awesome assembly of actors. The film’s focus is on the life of George Jung (Johnny Depp), the son of Fred and Ermine Jung (Ray Liotta and Rachel Griffiths). After going to jail for getting caught attempting to import 660 pounds of marijuana from Mexico, he meets Diego Delgado (Jordi Molla) who is plugged into the Medellin cartel. Once out of prison, George and Diego receive the cocaine, but Diego is soon arrested again. George then travels to Columbia where he meets with Pablo Escobar, who becomes a business partner. George then marries Mirtha (Penelope Cruz) and they have a daughter. But the drug business is shady, and George gets set up by the FBI and DEA and ends up doing 60 years in a New York prison. Blow grossed $83.2 million at the global box office.


4 Identity

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Receiving critical acclaim for its originality and ingenious film writing, 2003’s Identity was a box office success, grossing $82.1 million at the global box office. The thriller centers around the life of a homicidal maniac named Malcolm Rivers who is facing execution for several murders that took place in an apartment building. Simultaneously, ten strangers are locked in a Nevada motel during a storm. The company consists of ex-cop, Ed Dakota (John Cusack), Officer Rhodes (Ray Liotta), Paris Nevada (Amanda Peet), Ginny Virginia (Clea DuVall), Alice York (Leila Kenzle), Alice’s husband, George York (John C. McGinley), and their son Timmy (Bret Loehr). The film switches between Rivers’ execution and the motel. Eventually, Rivers pleads insanity and is ordered to be placed under the supervision of his psychiatrist, Dr. Malick (Alfred Molina), ending the execution. He proceeds to strangle Dr. Malick. The suspenseful film grossed $82.1 million globally.


3 Muppets Most Wanted

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It can be refreshing to see someone as notoriously rough and tough as Ray Liotta cast in a goofy musical crime comedy film like Muppets Most Wanted. Although he only made a cameo as Big Daddy in the jail that Kermit is sent to. Kermit was deceived after a man named Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) offers to be their manager while they tour in Europe. However, this was a plot by Constantine (Matt Vogel) to steal the British Crown Jewels. Constantine switched faces with Kermit, which he why Kermit is in jail and is why Miss Piggy (Eric Jacobson) thinks Constantine is Kermit. Kermit escapes jail and must now save Miss Piggy and his friends from the imposter. The family film grossed $79.3 million worldwide and also saw cameo appearances by Lady Gaga, Danny Trejo, Tom Hiddleson, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Celine Dion.


2 Field Of Dreams

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Released in 1989, Field of Dreams was one of Ray Liotta’s first major acting roles that marked the start of his professional career. Starring alongside Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella, Liotta makes an appearance as the ghost of baseball legend, Shoeless Joe Jackson. Ray is a farmer who lives on a cornfield with his wife Annie (Amy Madigan) and daughter Karin (Gaby Hoffman). However, Ray realizes he is getting older and fear he will do nothing meaningful with his life. He is visited by the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson who encourages him to build a baseball field. Although he is urged to sell the land by Mark (Timothy Busfield), he believes in the words of Joe Jackson that the field will attract visitors. Other casts include James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster. The sports fantasy film grossed $64.4 million at the global box office.


1 Heartbreakers

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Divorce settlements are big business in marriages nowadays, and it’s the reason why the rate of divorce is so high these days. There probably isn’t a movie that depicts this better than the 2001 romantic crime comedy, Heartbreakers. A mother and daughter con team including Max and Page Conners (Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt) have grown wealthy by marriages wealthy men, setting them up to be caught cheating, and immediately divorcing them, leaving with a huge divorce settlement. But they meet their match with Dean Cummano (Ray Liotta), who catches onto their scheme and hunts Max down for his divorce settlement money. Page, who targets Jack Withrowe (Jason Lee), a beachfront bartender worth $3 million, develops feelings for him, and they end up together. Dean and Max also reconcile, and they go on a con of their own! The lighthearted movie earned a total of $57.7 million at the worldwide box office.

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Sources: Independent, Roger Ebert, FilmiBeat, 

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