Hugh Jackman has returned to the role that made him famous. As we stated in our The Wolverine review, Jackman is what makes the Wolverine solo movies worth watching. But the Broadway song and dance man, who is equally at home in an action movie as a period piece or romantic comedy, has crafted a list of films on his resume of which he should be quite proud.
In honor of his return to cinemas in the latest X-Men story, we present the Top 10 Hugh Jackman Movies. What’s number one?
10. Van Helsing
Sure, it wasn’t everything we thought it would be, but Van Helsing is a perfect example of what makes a great Hugh Jackman movie. It must be a vehicle to show off the actor’s vast talents.
Also, whoever he’s paired with in a film, Jackman is a volley partner who helps those opposite him to raise their game. The idea of the film had merits, but it was the Jackman show. Putting him in a landscape where classic demons, ghouls and all sorts of unsavory things run amuck, along with Kate Beckinsale fighting alongside him, and we have a perfect way to start off our Hugh Jackman Top 10 Movies.
9. Kate and Leopold
Another example of how the Australian actor’s presence can elevate a movie. No one but Jackman could have played a man from the 1800s stuck in modern day America and pulled it off with the script given for Kate and Leopold. Again Jackman made the person who he is playing with onscreen even better. Here, Meg Ryan gives a performance that saved her career as a romantic comedy lead… at least for one more movie.
8. Someone Like You
Most actors would follow up their action and superhero movie explosion with something that was at least as big, if not bigger. But not Jackman. The man has too many talents and was wise enough to know if he went that route, he would be typecast. And frankly, that would have been a crime to international audiences.
Instead after X-Men, he did the romantic comedy Someone Like You with Ashley Judd and Greg Kinnear. What else is fascinating about his choice to make Someone Like You is that he took a risk by playing a womanizer. But with his Aussie charm and talents in tow, audiences still adored him.
Can you imagine Jackman portraying a small town Iowa used car salesman who is romancing the married Jennifer Garner? It's not hard to do when you consider the power of Jackman. Toss in a stellar film that has biting commentary about our current political culture and Butter goes down like… butter.
6. The Fountain
Incredibly trippy and quite powerful, The Fountain showed even more of Jackman’s depth as an actor. He was able to appear in a film, both as its romantic lead, the eyes and ears for the audience in a wildly original sci-fi story, but also keep it as grounded as can be so that viewers can understand its brilliance.
5. Real Steel
Real Steel has no business being as fun and awesome as it is. The story of a washed-up boxer (Jackman), his estranged son and professional robot boxing added up to a blockbuster that surprised critics and was adored by audiences. If you don’t get utterly pumped up and inspired by Real Steel, you might need to visit a doctor.
4. Les Miserables
Jackman carries a movie that is already quite powerful in its cast and their abilities. But, there is something about the actor’s portrayal of the life of Jean Valjean that is uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time.
And that voice soars!
His musical theater training was finally able to be shown off in Les Miserables after years of being tough on screen. We saw him host the Oscars and do the song and dance moves better than we’ve seen on that stage in decades. So, it was only a matter of time before Jackman was able to show off those skills on the big screen. And was it ever worth the wait.
3. The Wolverine
The film not only makes up for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but manages to shoot to near the top of the entire Marvel X-Men franchise. Jackman has been Wolverine for 13 years, and boy, does he know his way around in that character's constantly conflicted emotions. The Wolverine bullet train clip shows how the man who can sing, dance, act, make us weep and laugh, can also force us to hold our breath in the most intense of action scenes.
Watching Jackman as Wolverine/Logan is like looking at a fine bottle of wine… it just gets better and tastier with age.
2. The Prestige
The Prestige came out when there was that “other” 1800s magic movie and the reason why most can never think of its name is the magical duel between The Prestige leads Jackman and Christian Bale. Bale’s frequent collaborator Christopher Nolan helmed the instant classic, but it is Jackman who elevates it to a whole nother level.
1. X-Men 2
The best X-Men movie is also Hugh Jackman’s best movie. From beginning to end, X-Men 2 holds its audience in its grasp and never lets it go until the credits roll. Jackman played Wolverine for the second time and proved that his casting the first time out -- when he was a relative unknown -- was no fluke.
It was an all-star cast with legendary British actors Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen leading the way. But, why do you think the only X-Men character from that series to get their own movie is Wolverine? That’s right, because audiences grew attached to the blades-from-the-knuckles vicious fighting machine played by the Down Under actor who has became an international superstar.
Honorable mention: Australia, Rise of the Guardians, Scoop and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.