Summary

  • Dwayne Johnson has had a memorable career in Hollywood, becoming the highest-paid actor in the industry and proving that he can excel in both action-packed and comedic roles.
  • Some of Johnson’s movies have struggled at the box office and he has faced criticism for playing similar characters, but he has also had strong performances and appeared in successful franchises.
  • Films like “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” “Central Intelligence,” and “The Rundown” showcase Johnson’s talent as an action star, while movies like “Furious 7,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” and “Moana” highlight his ability to bring heart and humor to his roles.

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has become one of the biggest actors in Hollywood and, in the process, has produced some stand-out movies. Johnson began his film career in 2001 and left the wrestling industry to pursue full-time acting in 2004. While his earliest films didn’t always find the same success as his in-ring career, The Rock soon became a household name in the acting industry. While his career has been full of highs and lows, there is no doubt he has carved a memorable career as Dwayne Johnson became the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. This proves how far the former wrestler has come and is still going strong two decades later.

Although he may be a recognizable star, Johnson has struggled to find consistent success at the box office. Some of his films have failed to hit the desired heights and bombed financially. There have also been critiques over his acting range, with the actor finding himself playing similar roles frequently, creating the Dwayne Johnson character in the jungle trope. Despite the criticism, Johnson has also had some strong movies and performances. Appearing in huge franchises alongside underrated gems, Johnson has a catalog of great movies in which he played a significant role and that’s why he’s still so sought after by big studios.

10 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Release Date: August 2, 2019

Starring alongside Jason Statham, the Fast & Furious spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw, proved to be one of Dwayne Johnson’s best movies. Following The Rock and Vin Diesel’s feud, Johnson wound up moving away from the main series and instead getting his own spinoff. Playing agent Luke Hobbs, Johnson was suited to being more in the spotlight, as the chaotic, action-packed nature of the Fast & Furious franchise was perfect for him. It may not have been a series that needed a spinoff given how many movies the franchise already has, yet it allowed The Rock and Statham to share the spotlight and deliver one of the more fun movies in the Fast & Furious universe.

9 Central Intelligence

Release Date: June 17, 2016

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart taking cover in Central Intelligence

Central Intelligence proved to be the beginning of one of the best modern duos in Hollywood. The comedy film pitted two physically contrasting people together and was the first time Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson shared a screen. The two worked perfectly together, showing their amazing chemistry, which started a trend of Kevin Hart and The Rock movies. The over-the-top action scenes are complimented with some hilarious comedy that helped craft a compelling story. Central Intelligence may not go down as an all-time classic, but it is certainly a strong comedy and among Johnson’s best films.

8 The Rundown

Release Date: September 26, 2003

Dwayne Johnson as Beck with a torn shirt with smoke and flames in the background in The Rundown

As one of The Rock’s earliest films, The Rundown took a bit of a chance casting the novice actor, yet it proved a gamble worth taking. Johnson had only featured in a few movies before being cast in The Rundown, but the film proved to be one of his best. It helped show Johnson’s potential as an action star, as he played a bounty hunter in the jungle. While it may not have mixed in the same comedic chops that The Rock has grown accustomed to, the movie’s action-orientated plot made for a strong narrative. Despite a poor box office return, The Rundown performed well critically and helped put Johnson on the map.

7 Furious 7

Release Date: April 3, 2015

Dwayne Johnson as Hobbs in Furious 7

The Fast & Furious franchise is best known for being full of action and a little on the silly side. While Furious 7 still lives up to the brand’s action-heavy nature, the movie is easily the series’ most emotional. Due to real-life circumstances, the movie was forced to adapt after Paul Walker’s death significantly changed Furious 7. This tragic event massively impacted the movie, but it did make the more emotional moments mean that much more. The Rock played a big role in Furious 7, but naturally, the movie became about Walker’s character exiting the franchise and could have easily been a fitting end to the series.

6 Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle

Release Date: December 20, 2017

Rebooting popular franchises has always had mixed results, but 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ended up being a hit. Once again, The Rock and Kevin Hart appeared on-screen, but with Jack Black and Karen Gillan also starring, it helped elevate the movie and add another dynamic. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle made just under $1 billion at the box office, highlighting that with the right cast and ideas, the franchise could be a hit. The 2019 follow-up also performed well and has paved the way for another installment, with Dwayne Johnson set to return to the cast of Jumanji 4.

5 The Other Guys

Release Date: August 6, 2010

Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L Jackson on a rooftop just before they jump

While this role is much smaller than the rest of Johnson’s best movies, his opening scene does help set the tone of the movie. Having two big names like Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson attached to the project made it seem like they would play a major role. Instead, they have a hilarious death early in the movie. While Johnson has had cameos in other great movies, his role in The Other Guys was more than a cameo and he played a key role in setting up the movie’s plot. The Other Guys is one of The Rock’s funniest performances and the whole movie thrives through its ridiculous humor.

4 DC League Of Super-Pets

Release Date: July 29, 2022

Dwayne

Although Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam DC plans backfired, he did manage to find success in the DC universe in less conventional circumstances. DC League of Super-Pets was an unexpected hit that The Rock was at the forefront of. Once again, he starred alongside Kevin Hart to deliver a charming, animated film that received a strong critical response. The movie proved that Johnson didn’t need to throw on a costume to make a compelling superhero film, all he needed was a voice-acting booth. It might not have been how he had planned it, but Dwayne Johnson did find his successful DC film in the end.

3 Fighting With My Family

Release Date: February 22, 2019

Dwayne Johnson's cameo in Fighting with My Family

Johnson’s role in Fighting With My Family saw him return to his wrestling roots and help elevate the film. The story focuses on Saraya-Jade Bevis who went by the wrestling name “Paige” at the time. With wrestling being part of her family, the movie shows Paige facing the industry on her own. Dwayne Johnson’s involvement really helps the movie gain some legitimacy as it does focus on real events. There were a plethora of other wrestlers who cameod in Fighting With My Family, further putting focus on the industry and Paige’s story, which resulted in the film being a critical success.

2 Fast Five

Release Date: April 29, 2011

Vin Diesel's Dom confronts Dwayne Johnson's Hobbs in Fast Five

The Rock’s Fast & Furious debut happened to be in arguably the best film of the series, Fast Five. His introduction as Luke Hobbs saw Johnson play the movie’s antagonist, trying to capture the franchise’s main characters. Like many characters in the series, Luke Hobbs went from villain to hero in Fast & Furious, a trend that continued over the years. As the group’s main threat though, Johnson did a terrific job of portraying a determined and skilled bounty hunter and agent. He made for a compelling yet understandable enemy and was crucial to Fast Five being among the series’ best.

1 Moana

Release Date: November 23, 2016

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s best movie is Disney’s Moana. Johnson may be one of the most recognizable actors out there, with his charisma helping sell any movie, yet it was his voice-acting role in Moana that stands out as a clear highlight. The film is charming, memorable and oozes personality with The Rock being at the heart of it. He performs wonderfully alongside the lead, Auli’i Cravalho, and proved that he can step out of his comfort zone and still deliver. The movie proved so popular that a live-action Moana remake featuring Dwayne Johnson was confirmed, which could easily prove to be another one of his best films.

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