Is there a more popular actor in Hollywood right now than Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? It sure doesn’t seem like it as his movies coming out on a regular basis and he has no shortage of movies that are going to be making their way to theaters in the near future.
Whether he’s relying on his butt kicking ability, his comedic timing, or both, there are plenty of roles that Johnson would be proud to bring over for movie night.
Myself would be included if you look at people who are fans of Johnson, but that doesn’t mean I (or yourself) should ignore some of the terrible movies that he’s done.
In fact, one movie on here is so bad it literally made him change his agent. We’ll then round out our list with a look at one upcoming super movie we can’t wait for, and another that we’re sure you’re also probably afraid is going to ruin part of your childhood.
But when it does ruin your childhood, at least you’ll have all these movies of Johnson to help remind why you love him.
15. Worst – Planet 51
Dwayne Johnson may have only lent his voice to the movie Planet 51 but that doesn’t make it any less forgivable when we’re looking at the worst movies he’s made. We understand wanting to make some kid-friendly films, we’re just glad he got his sh*t together enough to get offered Moana!
Planet 51, on the other hand, was forgotten almost as soon as it entered theaters, earning 21% on RottenTomatoes and earning only $42.2 million.
14. Best – Moana
As an actor, there aren’t many companies that you’d be excited to work with more than Disney. Whether it’s pumping out live-action movies that make billions, or animated movies…that make billions, the track record is seriously impressive.
So naturally, one of the most successful companies in the world would also want to team up with one of the most successful actors.
Especially when you consider Moana also allows us to hear Johnson’s fantastic singing voice which his WWE fans are familiar with.
13. Worst – Faster
If Dwayne Johnson did not have an acting career, he would probably have been able to put the blame on the 2010 movie Faster. Prior to this point, Johnson had only 1 critical success to his name (The Rundown) and one financial big hit with Get Smart (though you can put that also on Carrel and Hathaway).
Faster which saw Johnson take on the leading role of another badass bombed, earning only $23.3 million at the box office and critics weren’t a big fan either pegging it with 43%.
12. Best – Fast And Furious 5, 6 And 7
While it’d be easy to break the Fast and the Furious franchise into several different entries on our list, we find it perhaps the fairest to Johnson and his fans to combine them for one entry.
There may not be a movie set with more testosterone than any of the F&F movies and Johnson helps bring his own level of energy that has helped elevate the series to new heights.
While they could be passed off as just being popcorn fodder, Johnson’s movies have done quite well with critics with Fast 5 earning 77% (and making over $620 million), Fast 6 69% (making over $750 million) and Fast 7 coming in with 79%. The last one brought in an astonishing $1.516 billion, which is understandably enough incentive to keep going with the franchise.
11. Worst – Southland Tales
If you have no idea what the movie Southland Tales is, you definitely wouldn’t be the only one. The movie was only released in 63 venues and made under $500,000 at the box office.
It was a mess from the beginning, including the writer and director Richard Kelly making significant edits to the piece after it was bought by Sony Pictures.
Only 36% of critics enjoyed their time which is made all the more disappointing when you learn that the movie also starred Sean William Scott who Johnson was outstanding with for The Rundown and not so much in Planet 51.
10. Best – The Rundown
When Dwayne Johnson was starting to make a name for himself as an actor, one of his original successes came in 2003 with The Rundown.
The movie didn’t do as well as they had hoped at the box office (earning $81 million on a budget of $85 million), but it was well-received with critics who praised Johnson and gave the movie a score of 71% on RottenTomatoes.
You can imagine that praise was influential in Johnson being able to establish a career.
While the original was held together by the hilarious Sean William Scott, director Peter Berg has come out and said he’s written a script and would start working on it tomorrow if it was feasible.
Only condition? They want Jonah Hill to star opposite Johnson!
9. Worst – The Game Plan
While everyone recognizes the name Dwayne Johnson now, when Johnson was first breaking into Hollywood he would go by ‘The Rock’. That all changed for him after he appeared in the movie The Game Plan.
While it’s not clear on if the terrible quality of the movie (29% on RottenTomatoes) is what led to him dropping ‘The Rock’ as his billing name or not, it’s still an interesting tidbit.
The movie followed Johnson who played an NFL quarterback but then discovered he has a daughter leading to what are at least supposed to be hilarious situations as he tries to juggle his professional and personal life.
8. Best – Hercules
When it comes to casting a lead actor for the movie Hercules, do you think the studio really wanted anyone to step into that role more than Dwayne Johnson?
I mean the dude is absolutely massive as is, and his dedication to acting has been well-founded. When talking about the training process to transform into the mythical legend, Johnson said,
“Three and a half hours every morning. So I would get up at half three and then I would eat and train again, as I had to train twice a day for the role, and then I would go and sit in hair and makeup for three and a half hours for the transformation.”
Want to know just how dedicated he is? Johnson used yak testicle hair to help create an authentic looking beard. Thankfully it was worth it, as the movie turned up a score of 60% on RottenTomatoes and made close to $250 million at the box office.
7. Worst – Walking Tall
It makes sense why Hollywood wanted to try their luck at doing Walking Tall again. The original in 1973 led to a few sequels and even a television show.
Sadly, however, the movie failed to find a proper audience and despite Johnson’s leading efforts, the movie earned a score of 25% on RottenTomatoes.
Though when you consider the other lead actor was Johnny Knoxville who can definitely be hit or miss (when not getting hit!), you may agree that it was an uphill battle for Johnson.
6. Best – Central Intelligence
Dwayne Johnson can be an outstanding actor even when he is asked to carry a large part of the comedic chops, so when you combine him with Kevin Hart, you know you’re bound to find yourself having a pretty entertaining 108 minutes.
Central Intelligence was released back in 2016 and grossed over $200 million at the box office. Praise for Hart and Johnson is also clear when you look at the critical consensus on RottenTomatoes which reads,
“Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson make for well-matched comic foils, helping Central Intelligence overcome a script that coasts on their considerable chemistry.”
5. Worst – Doom
Nobody would argue with casting Dwayne Johnson in the lead role of an action movie, but as you’re going to learn with this list that definitely isn’t a full-proof plan to find success.
One of the biggest misses in Hollywood came with the 2005 movie Doom. Video game adaptions are rarely successful and unfortunately for Johnson, his acting also earned him Razzie award nomination for Worst Actor of the year.
The movie earned 19% with critics and in 2009, Johnson admitted,
4. Best – Get Smart
Dwayne Johnson is hilarious on the big-screen, but he definitely had some help when you consider he got to star alongside some of the best in the business like Steve Carell in Get Smart.
The movie came out in 2008 and earned over $200 million at the box office and while critics only pegged it with 51% on RottenTomatoes, that’s still not too bad especially considering it’s a comedy.
The movie also requires Johnson to lock lips with Carell, something he was (of course!) interviewed about.
“It was like, you ever have warm apple pie with cold ice cream too, and you find that balance where you’re oh, uhhh [laughter]. Um. Hey, you know, it was great, it was great. Not too many men can say that, have a nice big lip lock with Steve Carell,” said Johnson.
3. Worst – Tooth Fairy
There are movies out there that could have perhaps earned our #1 spot because it did worse for Johnson with critics or at the box office, but it was 1 movie that was so bad in his eyes, that he realized he needed to change his agent.
That movie? The 2011 forgettable “comedy” The Tooth Fairy. Johnson opened up about the decision to move away from his agent in a past interview saying,
“It was incredibly difficult because you develop a friendship over the years. But it just dawned on me: Change has to happen.”
2. Best – Fate Of The Furious
Whether or not you feel there is a need to continue making Fast and the Furious movies, they’re probably not slowing down anytime soon. And when you consider you learned above that they’re doing pretty well with critics, and explode at the box office, why stop now?
Johnson is expected to play an even bigger role in The Fate of the Furious which releases on April 14th. While it’s a little too early to tell, the first batch of critics has pegged the movie at around 72% which seems to be about what they could have expected.
1. Best And Worst (Potential) – Shazam! And Jumanji
As we circle into our number one entry, we need to take a moment to look at the upcoming films of Dwayne Johnson. In doing so we have selected the one movie that has the biggest chance of success, and perhaps his biggest potential failure.
On the positive side of the spectrum, Dwayne Johnson as a superhero? Now that’s something we can get behind. He’s taking on the role of Black Adam in Shazam! and even though DC movies have a rough track record, I have full faith in Johnson.
The flip side, he’s doing a reboot of Jumanji that won’t even feature a board game. While it’s possible it ends up being a good decision, we’re sure we aren’t the only ones who are nervous about seeing a part of our childhood get unnecessarily rebooted. Even if it is in Johnson’s hands!