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Hugh Jackman’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Summary

  • Hugh Jackman is synonymous with his role as Wolverine in the X-Men films, which launched him into superstardom and made him one of the most beloved movie stars of his era.
  • The Greatest Showman showcases Jackman’s roots as a theatre performer and his vibrant, charming performance as P.T. Barnum, despite mixed reception.
  • Logan, while considered the perfect send-off for the Wolverine character, is a gritty, mature superhero film that showcases Jackman’s award-worthy and powerful performance.


Hugh Jackman is one of the most iconic movie stars of the 21st century, and some films stand out as his best work. The actor began his career in the late ’90s with Australian television and theatre acting before earning international acclaim for his performance in the musical Oklahoma! and its film version. Musicals have remained a staple of Jackman’s career, but he’s become best known for playing Wolverine in the X-Men films, a role that launched him into superstardom. Hugh Jackman has never won an Academy Award, but he’s still one of his era’s most beloved movie stars.

Superhero roles are highly coveted in contemporary pop culture, and Hugh Jackman has become synonymous with his comic book character. Pre-dating the MCU and the mass popularity of comic book media, Jackman stood out for playing a superhero in several different projects, from team-up X-Men movies to solo Wolverine backstory films. He once held the Guinness World Record for the “longest career as a live-action Marvel character,” which he’ll earn back in one of the most-anticipated movies of 2024, Deadpool 3, where he’ll reprise the role for the first time in seven years.


10 The Greatest Showman (2017)

Directed by Michael Gracey

Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman.

Hugh Jackman fully embraces his roots as a theatre performer in the musical The Greatest Showman. Co-starring alongside Zac Efron and Zendaya, Jackman’s performance as P.T. Barnum stands out due to his vibrant, charming performance. While the 2017 film doesn’t have a great reception on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s perfectly suited for lovers of feel-good musicals with singing, dancing, and spirited acting. The film earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, though it isn’t one of Jackman’s.

9 Eddie The Eagle (2016)

Directed by Dexter Fletcher

Hugh Jackman as Bronson Peary in Eddie the Eagle
Hugh Jackman as Bronson Peary in Eddie the Eagle

Eddie The Eagle

Release Date
February 26, 2016

Director
Dexter Fletcher

Cast
Ania Sowinski , Christopher Walken , Edvin Endre , Tim McInnerny , Mads Sjøgård Pettersen , Taron Egerton , Jo Hartley , Daniel Ings , Hugh Jackman , Rune Temte

The 2016 film Eddie the Eagle is one of the most unique entries to Hugh Jackman’s filmography. The biographical sports film mixes elements of comedy, a genre Jackman has scarcely ventured into. Still, he’s hilarious in the heart-warming film. While he’s typically played emotionally complex, physically imposing characters, Eddie the Eagle is a pleasant breath of fresh air. The movie also has some of his most positive scores on both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.

8 X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

Directed by Bryan Singer

Wolverine looking pensive in X-Men Days of Future Past

Tying the prequel era films with the original heroes, X-Men: Days Of Future Past allowed the original X-Men cast to reunite. The ambitious concept certainly paid off, as it’s incredibly fun to see Wolverine interact with the younger versions of familiar characters. Hugh Jackman brings his usual excellence to the Wolverine character, but the 2014 movie’s best quality is its enormous, star-studded ensemble cast.

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Wolverine’s 12 Most Impressive Displays Of Power In All 8 Hugh Jackman X-Men Movies

Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is one of the most impressive X-Men for a reason, and their are multiple examples featured across his 8 movie appearances.

7 X2 (2003)

Directed by Bryan Singer

Fox's X-Men in promo for X2

X2: X-Men United

Release Date
May 2, 2003

Director
Bryan Singer

Runtime
134 Minutes

Bryan Singer’s X2 is one of the best X-Men movies from the 20th Century Fox series, and it’s the best of the team-up films in the saga. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is on babysitting duty during the film, making for some fun dynamics with him and the young students and showing vital growth for his character. X2 is packed with phenomenal superhero action sequences like the Nightcrawler White House fight and the military raid on X-Mansion. The sequel also importantly examines Wolverine’s past, giving Hugh Jackman plenty to work with.

6 The Fountain (2006)

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky is one of the most fascinating film directors of the 21st century, and The Fountain is one of his most surreal, philosophical explorations. It’s a movie that prompts the audience to question its meaning, with a non-linear narrative taking place at multiple points in time. Hugh Jackman plays a different character in each parallel timeline, impressively showing his versatility. The Fountain has an unfairly low score on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes that isn’t representative of its fantastic musical score, stunning and unique visuals, and stellar lead performance from Jackman.

Related

10 Movies You’ll Find Yourself Asking “What Does It All Mean?”

Movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Mulholland Drive leave audiences with profound ideas to contemplate long after you’re done watching.

5 Bad Education (2019)

Directed by Cory Finley

Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney in Bad Education

Bad Education

Release Date
September 8, 2019

Director
Cory Finley

Runtime
109minutes

The 2019 film Bad Education is one of the quieter successes of Hugh Jackman’s career. Despite being one of his most underseen movies, it has his highest Rotten Tomatoes score with a 94%, and sees Jackman in one of his most unique roles. Based on a true story of corruption in the education system, Jackman plays a charismatic superintendent who’s caught embezzling money from the school system. Jackman demonstrates his ability to play a morally complex character in a contemporary setting, which is rare in his career filled with superhero movies and period pieces.

4 Les Misérables (2012)

Directed by Tom Hooper

The musical Les Misérables has been remade several times, but the 2012 version will likely resonate best with modern audiences as it’s filled with familiar stars. Hugh Jackman leads alongside Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, and more. Les Misérables is the only film Hugh Jackman has been nominated for an Academy Award for, and it’s the best demonstration of his musical theater prowess. Jackman is a powerful singer, and he gives an emotionally charged performance as Jean Valjean.

3 Logan (2017)

Directed by James Mangold

Logan

Release Date
March 3, 2017

Runtime
137 Minutes

Before it was announced that Hugh Jackman would be returning to the Wolverine character for Deadpool 3, the 2017 film Logan seemed like the perfect send-off for the character. In one of James Mangold’s best movies, Wolverine is forced into one of the harshest dystopian environments ever depicted in comic book films. Like The Dark Knight before it, Logan set the gold standard for a gritty, mature superhero film. In the R-rated superhero movie, Hugh Jackman delivers an award-worthy performance and the most powerful in his run as Wolverine.

2 Prisoners (2013)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Prisoners Hugh jackman Jake Gyllenhaal

Prisoners

Release Date
September 20, 2013

Runtime
153 minutes

In terms of a raw, intense performance, Hugh Jackman is at his best in Prisoners. Playing a father who takes matters into his own hands when his daughter goes missing, Jackman’s character grows increasingly desperate as the situation strays farther from his control. His performance is physical, morally complex, and it’s heightened by his contrast with Paul Dano’s character. Denis Villeneuve’s crime thriller is riveting, thought-provoking, and contains one of Hugh Jackman’s most impressive performances.

1 The Prestige (2006)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Hugh Jackman in The Prestige

The Prestige

Release Date
October 20, 2006

Runtime
130 minutes

While Hugh Jackman’s performance in The Prestige isn’t as potent as his role in Prisoners, it’s still his best film. The thriller is one of Christopher Nolan’s best movies and Jackman is incredibly charismatic in the riveting drama, facing off against Christian Bale as competing, cutthroat magicians. The Prestige is evocative and exciting and has one of the most satisfying plot twists in 21st-century movies. Out of Hugh Jackman’s filmography, The Prestige deservedly has the highest IMDb score and has been critically acclaimed as a suspenseful masterpiece.

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