The 7 Best And 7 Worst Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Movies

Hollywood has seen an array of professional wrestlers successfully turn to acting, but none of those wrestlers-turned-actors have reached the heights of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

According to his Rotten Tomatoes page, Johnson has over 70 acting/guest star credits, 20 producing credits, and a writing credit which span across films, television shows, video games and more. Those numbers will continue to grow, too, as Johnson continues to earn roles in blockbusters while running his own production company, Seven Bucks Productions. Johnson's films have grossed billions of dollars in the box office and his social media following is in the millions, meaning there truly are "millions ... and millions of Rock fans."

Like most actors, Johnson's filmography is filled with some classics mixed with some duds. Of course, Johnson's performances have been good in pretty much everything, but that doesn't mean he hasn't appeared in some stinkers every once in a while — as a working actor, that's basically unavoidable. Luckily, his filmography is filled with more good than bad. That said, this list highlights the seven best and seven worst films that have featured Johnson in a significant role.

Best: Moana

Johnson is a man of many talents, and one of his best acting talents is his voice-over work. Perhaps the best example of that comes from one of Disney's best animated films of the past decade: "Moana." In "Moana," Johnson plays Maui, a shapeshifting demigod who is a little bit obnoxious and obsessed with himself. In the 2016 film, Maui and Moana sail across the sea to return an ancient relic to a goddess. Johnson's voice acting as Maui includes singing the song "You're Welcome," which perfectly encapsulates Maui's character while showing off Johnson's surprising singing talent.

"Moana" is one of Johnson's best-reviewed films. It holds a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and is almost universally loved by animation and Disney-film enthusiasts. Ethan Anderton of /Film gave the film a 10 out of 10 rating, saying the film's "humor and much more is consistently provided by the cocky demigod Maui ... the voice of Dwayne Johnson makes him extremely charming, even in his moments where he's being kind of a jerk."

Worst: Tooth Fairy

Johnson was, at times, made fun of in the wrestling business for doing this film, but working in family films is one of the best ways to make a name for oneself in Hollywood.

Johnson was starting to hit his stride as an actor when the 2010 film "Tooth Fairy" came around. In it he plays Derek Thompson, a hockey player who is forced to become a tooth fairy as punishment for crushing the dreams of his girlfriend's son. This movie shows just how much Johnson doesn't mind making a fool of himself by dressing up in a pink tooth fairy outfit, wings and all.

Unfortunately the movie was panned, holding just a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. The good news is that Johnson was praised for his performance as a likeable lead with charisma and charm — the poor reviews were more due to the dull, uninventive script than any character's particular acting.

Best: Fighting With My Family

This is sort of an unconventional entry in this list, but it's important one that ultimately deserves to be listed among Johnson's best films.

The 2019 film "Fighting With My Family" tells the story of former WWE wrestler Paige and her journey from wrestling in the European indie circuit, through WWE's developmental system, and eventually to the company's main brands. Johnson's portrayal is unique because he doesn't actually portray a character in the film — he portrays himself. He has a small amount of screen time in the film but his "character" plays an important role in inspiring the film's portrayal of Paige, helping her achieve her goal of becoming a WWE superstar. 

Johnson also served as a producer for "Fighting With My Family," which holds a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and is considered by many to be one of the best films about professional wrestling ever made. /Film's Ethan Anderton gave this one an 8 out of 10 rating, noting "[director] Stephen Merchant and Dwayne Johnson may make for an odd pairing, but that's appropriate for a movie about families, both makeshift and otherwise. And that makes this a special kind of uplifting sports flick, one that even non-wrestling fans can enjoy." Wrestling Inc's Nick Hausman also gave the movie a positive review, praising Johnson's appearance as "great" and calling the flick "an absolute blast."

Worst: Baywatch

It's fitting that they landed one of Hollywood's buffest actors for a movie in which everyone is shirtless almost the whole time.

Johnson stars alongside Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario in "Baywatch," a 2017 movie based on the television series from the '90s. Johnson's character, Mitch Buchannon, leads a group of lifeguards who attempt to save their beach by taking down a shady businesswoman. The movie itself is okay and has some entertaining moments, but it feels more like a generic action comedy and less like the memorably campy "Baywatch" show that fans loved back in the day.

"Baywatch" has a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, though Johnson was unsurprisingly praised for his performance. Owen Gleiberman of Variety noted that Johnson "never phones in a line. His delivery cracks like a whip, so that each time he calls Matt by the name of another boy band, the joke stays fresh." He also ponders whether the film loses steam once Johnson's character is knocked out of action, asking, "Was it really The Rock who was holding it all together?"

Best: Fast Five

This is one of the roles that allowed Johnson to earn the nickname "franchise Viagra." Before the 2011 film "Fast Five," the "Fast & Furious" franchise had several uninspired sequels that earned poor critical reviews. But when Johnson showed up for "Fast Five," the franchise took a different turn. Johnson appeared in the film as Luke Hobbs, a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agent looking to track down and arrest the main characters, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), and their crew. There's no way around it — Johnson is a badass in this film and has an epic showdown with Diesel.

Johnson's performance, his on-screen chemistry with Diesel and the film's high-octane action allowed this film to revamp the franchise. It holds a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and has spawned four sequels and a spin-off film, with more on the way. The 2019 spin-off film "Hobbs & Shaw" features Johnson as the lead alongside Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw as the two take on Idris Elba's Brixton Lore, a genetically-enhanced terrorist.

Worst: Doom

The 2005 film "Doom" features a rare instance where Johnson's performance was criticized instead of praised. Based on the video game series of the same name, Johnson plays Sarge, leader of a military crew sent to Mars to retrieve data from a station that has been taken over by demon-like monsters. Critics disliked the film overall, calling it unoriginal and brainless, and criticizing the action for being difficult to follow. Johnson's performance was panned, with Justin Chang of Variety noting that Johnson "delivers a surprisingly humorless, uncommitted performance ... Johnson snarls and swears up a storm, but aside from a few trademark twitches of the eyebrow, he exhibits little of the easy charisma that has distinguished him among action stars."

"Doom" holds an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite poor reviews it did manage to spawn a direct-to-video reboot, "Doom: Annihilation," but stars from the original film did not return.

Best: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Another example of Johnson's "franchise Viagra" appears in the 2017 film "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," a sequel/reboot to the 1995 classic, "Jumanji." This is one of Johnson's more interesting roles as he doesn't quite play the "tough guy" persona like many would expect. His character, Dr. Xander "Smolder" Bravestone, is a character inside a "Jumanji" video game. The film's main protagonist, Spencer Gilpin (played by Alex Wolff), "plays" as Bravestone in the film's video game. Essentially, Johnson's character is an awkward teenager inside a muscular tough guy's body. The contrast between Bravestone's appearance and how he actually acts makes for hilarious and sometimes introspective moments, as Johnson perfectly channeled what it would be like to have an unconfident, skinny teen inside the body of a buff archeologist.

The film holds a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. Karen Han of /Film gave the movie an 8 out of 10 rating, calling it "the most pure fun I've had at a movie in 2017." The film spawned a 2019 sequel "Jumanji: The Next Level," which received similar praise of being a fun and humorous popcorn flick. Acting as a producer for the films, Johnson plans to reprise his role as Bravestone in future sequels as well.

Worst: The Game Plan

Before "Tooth Fairy," there was Johnson's first lead role in a family film — the 2007 sports comedy movie "The Game Plan." In it, Johnson plays Joe Kingman, a professional quarterback who discovers he has an eight-year-old daughter right at the beginning of a playoff run. The movie is about what you'd expect — the child makes things difficult for Joe Kingman, but he begins to gain affection for her as the two spend time together. The two leads — Johnson and Madison Pettis, who plays the daughter, Peyton Kelly — have good chemistry and the film is sweet overall, but it's predictable and doesn't do anything to break the mold in terms of its script.

"The Game Plan" ended up with a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the review aggregator summarizing consensus by saying, "Despite The Rock's abundant charisma, The Game Plan is just another run-of-the-mill Disney comedy."

Best: DC League of Super-Pets

Johnson followed up his excellent voice-over work in "Moana" with another animated project a few years later — the 2022 film "DC League of Super-Pets," based on the DC Comics team Legion of Super-Pets. Johnson plays the voice of the film's lead hero, Krypto the Superdog, Superman's pet Labrador who works with other animals to rescue other superheroes from Lex Luthor. Johnson also voices Black Adam and his dog Anubis. While the film doesn't really break much new ground and is sort of run-of-the-mill, it still offers entertainment for kids and laughs for adults as Johnson and co-star Kevin Hart prove they can still be fun as a duo, even though we've seen them together so many times.

"DC League of Super-Pets" holds a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. Dominic Griffin of Looper gave it a seven out of 10 rating, calling Johnson's performance as Krypto "charming" and noting that the movie's overall voice acting is "inspired across the board."

Worst: Southland Tales

"Southland Tales" isn't quite Johnson's worst-reviewed film, but to some this could be considered the worst film on this list. The 2006 dystopian comedy has a star-studded cast featuring Johnson, Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mandy Moore, and Justin Timberlake. The plot is interesting, too — it's about the lives of different people crossing in a dystopian Los Angeles setting as the United States recovers from nuclear attacks. Johnson plays Boxer Santaros, a movie star suffering from amnesia who is trying to get his next film made. The film carries an abundance of ideas and social commentary which should make for an interesting venture, but what actually gets blurted out is a mess of nonsense.

The Richard Kelly-directed movie has a 41% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Lou Lumenick of the New York Post awarding the film zero out of four stars, saying that "spending $12 and 2½ hours (30 minutes less than the Cannes cut) on something as aggressively bad as 'Southland Tales' is not something I can recommend with a clear conscience."

Best: The Rundown

Johnson's second lead role following "The Scorpion King" came in 2003 with the underrated action flick "The Rundown." Starring alongside Seann William Scott, Christopher Walken, and Rosario Dawson, Johnson plays Beck, a bounty hunter who "retrieves" people for money. His character is sent to retrieve Scott's character from the Amazon but the two get mixed up with a tyrannical treasure hunter (Walken). The shenanigans that ensue make for a funny and entertaining buddy action film. Johnson and Scott were praised as a leading duo, with David Ansen of Newsweek noting the two "work up some nice comic chemistry, but it's the dependably warped Walken who steals the most scenes."

"The Rundown" holds a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes. There have even been talks over the years of reuniting Johnson, Scott and director Peter Berg for a sequel, with Berg admitting that he had an idea for the film that was shot down by Johnson. "We almost did it!" Berg told Collider. "We made the mistake of setting the script in Alaska, and Dwayne Johnson's character was going to go to Alaska, and nobody thought that maybe Dwayne Johnson, a Hawaiian boy, doesn't want to be going up to Alaska filming in a tundra. So we gotta rethink the script."

Worst: Planet 51

Before perfecting his voice-acting talent in films like "Moana" and "DC League of Super-Pets," Johnson's first voice-over role in an animated project came in 2009 with "Planet 51."

Johnson voices Captain Chuck Baker, an astronaut who finds himself on an alien planet. "Planet 51" is an extraterrestrial movie with a twist — basically, it's the human that's the alien. It's an interesting premise which promises the potential of genre subversion, but it really ends up being another version of the 1982 classic "E.T." with the roles reversed. Still, despite the disappointing plot that plays it too safe, it offers decent entertainment for kids and adults.

"Planet 51" ended up with a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes. Glenn Whipp of the L.A. Times gave it two out of five stars, noting the film is "a missed opportunity. The premise is OK enough, even if it is like one of those old 'Star Trek' episodes ... Instead of spinning its spoof of 1950s sci-fi paranoia in new directions, the movie trades in potty humor and tired sendups of 'The Terminator' and 'Star Wars.'"

Best: The Other Guys

Does this one count as one of Johnson's best films given his minimal screen time? Probably, because he makes the most of it with an absolutely hilarious scene near the beginning of the film.

Johnson plays reckless and cocky detective Christopher Danson in the 2010 buddy cop action movie "The Other Guys." His character partners with Samuel L. Jackson's detective character P.K. Highsmith as the two cause millions of dollars worth of damage while solving crimes in New York City. Johnson and Jackson only appear in the first 15 minutes of the movie, but their "aim for the bushes" scene is so funny and shocking that it deserves to be ranked among Johnson's best.

"The Other Guys" holds a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. David Chen of /Film noted that Johnson and Jackson's famous scene was "probably the most I've laughed in a theater" that year while /Film's Ryan Scott called the movie "essential viewing."

Worst: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Yet another example of Johnson breathing new life into a franchise, the 2013 sequel to "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" features Johnson alongside Channing Tatum and Bruce Willis. This time, however, it didn't quite work out critically.

In "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," Johnson plays Roadblock, a heavy machine gunner based on the Hasbro action figure. The film features plenty of action, which is really its only selling point; as expected by a film based on action figures, the story is confusing and convoluted, and character development nonexistent. In a negative review, Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter did note that Johnson's presence "helps a good deal," but overall the film was "good if you're a 12-to-15-year-old boy, bad if you're just about anyone else."

But earning a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes didn't stop this film from continuing a franchise. "Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins" was released in 2021 serving as a reboot to the franchise, and there's at least talks of additional "G.I. Joe" films to be made in the future.

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