When WWE superstars head over to the world of Hollywood, they rarely make a huge impression. For every Roddy Piper performance in They Live, there is a Roddy Piper performance in Hell Comes to Frogtown that killed all his momentum. With that said, the one former WWE superstar who not only succeeded in Hollywood but ended up becoming one of the biggest movie stars on the planet was The Rock — Dwayne Johnson.
While Johnson started out in action movies like most WWE superstars, he stretched his talents and worked in comedies, dramas and family flicks before finally finding his groove. With a career that includes billions of dollars in box office, here is a look at the Rock’s 10 best movies, ranked.
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10 THE GAME PLAN
After tearing it up in action movies, The Rock decided to try his hand at family fare for Disney. The movie was The Game Plan and had Rock play a football superstar who learned that he had an eight-year-old daughter that he never knew about. She shows up on his doorstep after her mother died and wants to develop a relationship with her dad.
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The movie gives Johnson a chance to really stretch his comedic muscles, playing side-by-side with the precocious child while also trying to maintain his machismo as a world-famous football star. In some interesting trivia, this was the last movie he was credited as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Over the years, The Rock has starred in some huge blockbuster movies with almost as much CGI as real acting. He has also been part of some video game movies, with his role in Doom in 2005 being one of his earliest critically derided films. However, in 2018 The Rock starred in another video game movie, one based on a classic arcade game.
Rampage had Rock teaming up with his genetically enhanced gorilla buddy George to battle a genetically enhanced wolf and crocodile and a corrupt corporation to save Chicago. It is loud dumb fun, but it is a hugely entertaining movie and The Rock is at the top of his game here.
8 JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
Possibly the most surprising hit for The Rock came in 2017 with the remake of Jumanji, titled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The cast was great, with Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan joining The Rock for the action, and it was just different enough from the original — taking the action inside the game instead of to the real world.
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While these classic remakes are hit and miss, with Baywatch a perfect example of a miss, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a massive success. It grossed over $962 million worldwide, one of the top movies of 2017.
7 FURIOUS 7
When it comes to the Fast and Furious franchise, it can be argued that The Rock helped revitalize the franchise when he arrived in Fast Five. By the time that Furious 7 came along, he was just as important to the series as the rest of Vin Diesel’s crew.
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While this movie doesn’t have the fun battle between Vin Diesel and The Rock that Fast Five had, it does include some great moments, including the arrival of both Kurt Russell and Jason Statham as bad guys, as well as the emotional end which sends off the late Paul Walker in style.
6 FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY
The Rock has worked hard to separate his acting career from his past in professional wrestling. While he is still The Rock in WWE, his credit in movies is now just Dwayne Johnson and he hasn’t really tried to bring anything from his former career into his movies outside of choreographed fighting. That changed in 2019 with Fighting With My Family.
The movie has been in the works for years and tells the story of WWE superstar Paige and her rise from a wrestling family in England to the big stages of WWE and the women’s championship. Johnson was not only in the movie, playing himself, but he was also the executive producer and spearheaded the move to make this film.
5 THE OTHER GUYS
The Rock was only in The Other Guys for a short time, but he and Samuel L. Jackson completely stole the show with their amazing performance. Directed by Adam McKay as a Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg vehicle, the movie started out with Rock and Jackson as super cops.
The scenes The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson were in had them involved in over-the-top stunts to catch villains, and while they destroyed parts of the city to do it, they were still worshipped as heroes. It was an homage to every big budget buddy cop movie ever made. Then, when they tried to top their biggest moments, they failed spectacularly in one of the craziest moments of a very funny film.
4 PAIN & GAIN
When one thinks of Michael Bay, giant action blockbusters come to mind. From Transformers and Armageddon to Bad Boys and The Rock, explosions, car chases, and testosterone rules the day. When it comes to his 2013 movie Pain & Gain, the testosterone is all that remains.
It is Bay’s lowest-key movie and possibly his strongest. Based on a true story, Mark Wahlberg, The Rock, and Anthony Mackie star as part of the Sun Gym Gang, who get involved in a kidnapping and extortion scheme that ends up with torture and murder. Fellow WWE superstar Kurt Angle also had a small role in the film.
3 THE RUNDOWN
While The Rock’s first Hollywood movies were in The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King, it was his first action movie that made him a star. The Rock starred as Beck in The Rundown, a bounty hunter sent to bring back Travis (Seann William Scott), the son of the man he collects debts for.
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Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) directed this buddy comedy action movie, with Scott providing the laughs and Johnson perfect as the straight man with swagger. Released in 2003, this still might be The Rock’s best straight action movie role and one of the best movies of his career.
The Rock is not only one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood today, but he also has one of the most instantly recognizable voices, as well. That makes him a perfect choice for voice work in animated movies, especially when the character fits his persona as well as Maui did in the Disney movie Moana.
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Not only was The Rock perfect as the demigod, but he also got a chance to sing some songs and knocked it out of the park. Moana is a great looking Disney movie with a great story and The Rock was a large part of making it entertaining as well.
1 FAST FIVE
The movie that really proved that The Rock was a superstar was Fast Five. Before this, he had been in some successful movies, but they were drifting toward family fare (Race to Witch Mountain), generic action flicks (Faster) or goofy comedies (Tooth Fairy).
With Fast Five, The Rock’s Luke Hobbs got to go man-to-man with Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto in a battle of testosterone and The Rock proved that he was not at the top of the mountain for leading men in blockbuster action movies. Thanks to The Rock, Fast and Furious went from a fun action series to a multi-billion dollar franchise.
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