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Austin Butler’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Summary

  • Austin Butler has grown from a child actor to a Hollywood movie star, asserting himself as a vital portion of the films he’s in.
  • Butler’s early work involved television, but his passions lie in cinema, and he has landed roles in smaller movies as well.
  • Butler’s best films give insight into his capability as an actor, with notable performances in movies like “Elvis” where he gives a life-changing portrayal of the iconic singer.


Austin Butler has long been known as a film and television star, but as he establishes himself further as a serious actor, the number of quality movies he has been in has only increased. Though not always the lead in these films, Butler asserts himself as a vital portion of the film and always manages to steal the scenes he’s in. It’s easy to imagine that the list of great films he has participated in will grow as his career progresses.

Butler began his career quite young, doing background work for shows on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, slowly working his way up to recurring characters, and then progressing to starring roles in The Shannara Chronicles and The Carrie Diaries. Although much of his early work did involve television, he landed roles in smaller movies as well, and it’s clear that his passions lie in cinema rather than the small screen. With many exciting new projects on the horizon, Butler’s best films give an insight into what can be expected from the actor in his coming work.

Related

10 Best Austin Butler Movies & TV Shows

Throughout his career in various movies and TV shows, Austin Butler has grown from a show’s go-to love interest into a Hollywood movie star.


10 Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure (2011)

Directed by Michael Lembeck

A spin-off of the successful High School Musical film series, Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure features the character Sharpay (Ashely Tisdale) as she travels to New York City to make her big break. It’s there that she meets Peyton (Butler), and though they’re quite different, they form a bond as he helps her navigate the harsh realities of the city. This role is a continuation of Butler’s early work as a child actor, and though the story is tame, he still brings emotional weight to his role. He’s a sweet and boyish romantic lead, and it’s easy to see why Sharpay would feel so safe with him showing her around the city.

9 My Uncle Rafael (2012)

Directed by Mark Fusco

The poster for My Uncle Rafael featuring Austin Butler

In a comical blending of cultures and take down of reality TV, My Uncle Rafael introduces an Armenian man, Rafael (Vahik Pirhamzei) to an American family in need of help. The movie itself is bizarre and relies on corny jokes about cultural differences and misunderstandings, and Butler’s role is tiny. He plays Cody and is not part of the immediate family that Rafael joins, but the film is an important step for Butler. It featured more adult themes, and helped him break out of the made-for-TV Disney and Nick movies he had worked on in the past.

8 Yoga Hosers (2016)

Directed by Kevin Smith

Austin Butler and Tyler Posey in Yoga Hosers

Yoga Hosers

Release Date
September 2, 2016

Rating
r

Runtime
88minutes

Budget
$5million

Yoga Hosers is a horror-comedy that follows two teen girls in Canada who are obsessed with yoga and get embroiled in a Canadian Nazi scientist’s plot to destroy the world. There are parts of this film that would be better forgotten about, like the animated Nazi sausages that are hunting people. Fortunately, Butler’s small but charming role is not one of them.

He holds his own in the film and manages to hit the right comedic beats despite the outlandish plot points happening around him. As usual, his role as Hunter is the heartthrob that the girls can’t get enough of, and the object of great desire in the film. However, he has enough self-awareness to poke fun at this typecasting while still being a heartthrob anyway.

7 Aliens In The Attic (2009)

Directed by John Schultz

Austin Butler and Carter Jenkins in Aliens In The Attic

In Aliens In The Attic, Butler is somewhere in between his child-star years and the cusp of adulthood, making him perfectly equipped to handle the teen angst and the silly adventure of the film. He plays Jake, a member of the family whose lake house has been invaded by aliens. Of course, it’s up to the kids to stop this, and Jake teams up with his cousin Tom (Carter Jenkins) to spearhead the fight against the extraterrestrial visitors.

The film is a perfect adventure movie for kids, and it doesn’t ask much of its actors, besides having fun. Despite this, Butler and the cast still incorporate the subtleties of a family drama and the nuances of trying to find themselves while growing up. Though not the most memorable addition to his career, the film hints at Butler’s capability to handle leading a more challenging film.

6 The Intruders (2015)

Directed by Adam Massey

Austin Butler and Miranda Cosgrove in The Intruders

Reuniting with another former child star, Miranda Cosgrove, Butler plays an intriguing character in The Intruders. His role, Noah, befriends Cosgrove’s Rose after she moves into a new house following her mother’s death and starts to notice strange occurrences. Here, Butler is again placed as the love interest, but he does have a little more to do as he works to help Cosgrove uncover the truth about her circumstances. He’s ultimately ancillary to the main plot and serves more as a plot device and respite from Cosgrove’s difficult life. However, even in this limited role, he makes the audience interested in him and develops a connection with the viewers.

5 The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

Directed by Jim Jarmusch

The Dead Don’t Die

Release Date
June 14, 2019

Director
Jim Jarmusch

Cast
Tom Waits , Selena Gomez , Austin Butler , Adam Driver , Chloe Sevigny , Bill Murray , Danny Glover , Tilda Swinton , Steve Buscemi , Caleb Landry Jones , Iggy Pop

Rating
R

Runtime
103minutes

Writers
Jim Jarmusch

Studio(s)
Focus Features

Distributor(s)
Focus Features

Though The Dead Don’t Die does get frequent comparisons to other comedy-driven zombie flicks like Zombieland, it does have something interesting and different to say. Bill Murray and Adam Driver star as the two police officers who investigate the recent zombie outbreak. Butler plays Jack, a member of a trio of young adults that includes himself, Selena Gomez, and Luka Sabbat.

The overall cast is phenomenal, and the film has many elements that make up a great film, but it falls a little flat in execution. Outside the core players, the supporting cast doesn’t get to do much but die. Butler does a good job playing the classic young man in a zombie apocalypse, but there is an air that he, and his costars, could have had more to do.

4 Dude (2018)

Directed by Olivia Milch

Austin Butler in Dude

Dude tells the story of four high school girls navigating the tragedy of losing a loved one so close to the beginning of adulthood. Butler plays the deceased boy, Thomas, whose memory is scattered throughout the film, and who touches the lives of everyone he left behind. It’s a devastating story, and Butler’s kindness and excitement in his role only add to the sadness of losing a person so young before their life can start.

It’s a difficult role to play as he is not the one going through changes and development, he will remain the same in the memories of the other characters for the rest of their lives. If anything, it would be wonderful to have more of him in the film, but that’s not the fate of the character. Fortunately, Butler was more than up to the challenge and made for a touching addition to the film.

3 The Bling Ring (2011)

Directed by Michael Lembeck

Austin Butler and Spencer Locke in The Bling Ring

Before Sofia Coppola’s 2013 adaptation, the 2011 The Bling Ring was a made-for-TV Lifetime original following the lives and events of a real-life group of teens who robbed houses in California. Butler starred in the film as Zack, a boy who quickly becomes one of the ring leaders in the group of young criminals. It’s clear that Butler was cast for his charisma, as so many of the teens who join the group are easily won over once Butler does some convincing.

He also makes it easy to root for him and empathize with his reasons, even though what he’s doing is wrong. It’s one of his younger roles, and not as high profile, but still one of his best. He has a lot to do with the script and character, and he has the opportunity to do research and create a portrait of a real person from the ground up. This is a skill that would come in handy in his later work.

2 Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood (2019)

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Austin Butler Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Release Date
July 26, 2019

Cast
Tim Roth , Margot Robbie , Mike Moh , Timothy Olyphant , Al Pacino , Kurt Russell , Leonardo DiCaprio , Dakota Fanning , James Marsden , Brad Pitt , Luke Perry , Bruce Dern , Scoot McNairy , Michael Madsen , Margaret Qualley , Emile Hirsch

Rating
R

Runtime
159 minutes

Budget
$90 million

Studio(s)
Columbia Pictures , Heyday Films , Bona Film Group , Visiona Romantica

Distributor(s)
Sony Pictures Releasing

Austin Butler’s role in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood might be fictional, but it has elements of truth as with so many parts of the fantasy world of the film. In an interesting turn, Butler’s Tex is a chilling and violent man, different from his typical lovelorn heartthrob character. He plays a member of the Manson family and is one of the pivotal members of the group that commits terrifying acts of violence in the final moments of the film.

It’s a complex role because Butler is playing the part of Tex, but Tex is playing the part of the mystical and long-gone cowboy who’s been brainwashed by Charles Manson. Whoever Tex was before he joined the family is somewhere deep inside Butler’s performance. It’s a layered performance that doesn’t get too much screen time, but all of it is memorable.

1 Elvis (2022)

Directed by Baz Luhrmann

Elvis

Release Date
June 24, 2022

Cast
Austin Butler , Helen Thomson , Richard Roxburgh , Kelvin Harrison Jr. , Kodi Smit-McPhee , Natasha Bassett , Tom Hanks , David Wenham , Luke Bracey , Olivia DeJonge , Xavier Samuel

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
159 minutes

Writers
Jeremy Doner , Craig Pearce , Sam Bromell , Baz Luhrmann

Budget
$85 million

Studio(s)
Warner Bros. Pictures

Distributor(s)
Warner Bros. Pictures

Easily his greatest and most challenging role, Butler gives the titular life-changing performance of Elvis, in Elvis, the larger-than-life biopic about the iconic singer. Though Butler’s Elvis voice did receive flack, it serves as an example of how dedicated he was to the role, and why he was so successful in his portrayal of the figure. The film was long and arduous to shoot, and a lot of expected of Butler when taking on such a high-profile role. However, he captured the exhibition and sadness of the singer’s life in equal measure, making it possibly the best performance of his career.

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