Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is an unapologetic powerhouse. Usually when a man refers to himself as “Franchise viagra,” I would audibly scoff and start cultivating a tweet with enough shade to collapse the sunscreen industry. However, in Dwayne Johnson’s case, the numbers simply speak for themselves. His movies have grossed a stupid amount of money. $2,274,834,878 to be exact- which is roughly 7 1/2 times the population of Uzbekistan.
With reboots of Jumunji and Baywatch, Disney’s Moana and the extremely-anticipated eighth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise all scheduled to drop within the next year, that number is sure to increase, as will Johnson’s stardom. Now maybe I’m biased, because I love this man. I love all the crazy crap that he does. Do I sometimes fantasize about opening a cafe called “Grain Johnson’ that serves Wheatgrass and the Furious? Maybe. And in that scenario would the waiters ask every single customer if they can smell what the Wok is cooking? Of fucking course they would. However, this is beside the point. Because The Rock is good, and you should all feel good about liking The Rock.
What I find truly fascinating about the actor formerly named after a naturally occurring mineral is that he represents an entity that was long thought to have died out. In the 80’s and early 90’s, Hollywood had its fair share of larger-than-life action stars. Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme all represented a trend of real-life superheroes– insanely large, muscular men, who traded in their long-sleeve shirts for tank tops and their corn flakes? Well, those were tossed aside in order to consume a more heartier breakfast of ‘never bleeding even when the bullet hits a major artery.’ However, Hollywood discarded these so-called friendly giants like I discard any snack labeled with the phrase “fat-free.” Instead, audiences demanded that ‘average joe’s’ star in their action movies, so anyone can feel like they have a shot at stopping a group of German terrorists from blowing up the Nakotomi Plaza on Christmas Eve. So those roles went to Bruce Willis and, for some reason, Bradley Cooper, and in turn, every 6 ft 5, 275lb meathead hung his oversized head and cried, knowing he’ll never get a chance to save the world again.
Not so fast!
Enter, Dwayne Johnson, who successfully transitioned from a career in fake-wrestling to the full-time job of fake-murdering, and the world has never been more grateful. So just how did Johnson go from being a wrestling star to one of the biggest names in show business in just a few short years? It wasn’t easy, and he’s certainly dropped more than his fair share of turds on his way to becoming the most bankable action star on the planet.
So chalk it up to my growing state of depression following this election, or the fact that I’ve simply had more time to myself since I avoid healthy relationships like Chris Christie avoids conversations about bridges or fitbits, but I decided to watch and rank all of Dwayne Johnson’s movies. This has taken an inordinate amount of time to accomplish, and it probably cut a few years off my life, but here it is – all of the Rock’s movies, ranked.
26. The Mummy Returns (2001)
The Rock’s first feature film was also his worst, playing the largely unseen villain called ‘The Scorpion King.’ Outside of the fact that Scorpion King kind of sounds like the AOL screen name of someone who took his robot to prom, Johnson is given no dialogue, and is replaced by what I can only assume is just a massive fuck-up courtesy of the special effects department.
24. Planet 51 (2009)
Perform a Google image search of the movie ‘Planet 51.’ Now imagine how little fun I had watching it.
23. Southland Tales (2006)
Similar to every sandwich I’ve eaten that was completely devoid of either ranch or bacon, this film is overwhelmingly forgettable.
22. Tooth Fairy (2010)
On paper, The Rock playing the role of everyone’s favorite dental-obsessed angel sounds exhilarating. However, it’s sadly just 101 minutes of you wishing that you actually got a root canal instead.
22. Doom (2005)
In this movie, Johnson is turned into a zombie alien and utters the phrase, “Semper Fi….Motherfucker.” It’s the only part of the movie I remember, and rightfully so.
21. Empire State (2013)
Empire State centers around The Rock trying to stop Emma Roberts and Chris Hemsworth’s brother from stealing an armored car. There is nothing that is remotely good, bad or interesting about this movie. I stared at the screen for 90 minutes and felt absolutely nothing. It was one of the loneliest moments of my life. Two stars.
20. The Game Plan (2007)
I’ve seen this movie many times, because I need to be put down. It’s essentially The Rock’s answer to Vin Diesel’s The Pacifier, and while The Game Plan has its fair share of laughs, I still think Diesel’s is the superior children’s film. I am the only person to have ever had these opinions.
19. Gridiron Gang (2006)
This movie is ok. I like football, so I can fuck with it. However, it tries exceedingly too hard to replicate Remember the Titans. The only problem there is that you won’t Remember this movie.
18. Walking Tall (2004)
Walking Tall is that movie you watch when you’re eight and you think is the pinnacle of film. Then you watch that same movie ten years later and you start to question how dead your brain was at age eight. It’s fine. It’s nothing special, though not for lack of trying.
17. G.I. Joe Retaliation (2013)
Ok, I might catch some flack for how high this movie is ranked, if anyone was actually still reading this. Hear me out, this movie is hilarious. It’s the epitome of ‘so bad, it’s good’ and Bruce Willis does not want to be in this movie at all. Like at all. He would rather be dead than act in this movie. Full-on dead. It’s amazing. Please find someone you love and watch G.I. Joe Retaliation with them tonight.
16. Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
Funnily enough, more people have seen the meme inspired from this film than the actual movie itself, which is honestly just a solid kids flick. Nothing wrong it. Have a baby with another human, raise it and then show it this movie when they are like 10 or 11. They’ll fucking love it.
15. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)
In this movie, Dwayne Johnson rides a giant bee. It’s a MUST SEE.
14. Get Smart (2008)
It’s no secret that The Rock is super lovable both on and off the screen. Though he’s playing a supporting role in this remake of the classic series from the 60’s, it’s nice to see his charismatic persona rub people the wrong way, while carving out a decently acted role as one of the movie’s villains.
13. San Andreas (2015)
Seriously, when the state of California is under attack from one of the most deadliest earthquakes in its history, putting all of their hopes on someone who literally calls himself “The Rock” just makes perfect sense.
12. The Scorpion King (2002)
Unlike the first movie on this list, the actual Scorpion King movie is quite good! Well, it’s not, but it’s super fun and there’s not too many movies where the lead character says “Catch this” before killing the villain with an arrow that the latter TRIED TO CATCH. I would say spoilers, but there is literally no one on this planet who would be upset with me ruining The Scorpion King. Unless I was cloned.
11. Be Cool (2005)
The Rock is at his best when he gets to flex his comedic chops, and his turn in this 2005 comedy as Vince Vaughn’s gay, country-loving bodyguard showcased just how versatile he could be.
10. Hercules (2014)
The Rock > Kellan Lutz. This applies to every scenario, regardless of context.
09. Faster (2010)
Though surprisingly not part of the Fast franchise, this movie plays out almost like a spin-off of the series and is a welcome-addition to the bookshelf of any adrenaline film-junkie who wants to watch Dwayne Johnson just fuck up the life of Billy Bob Thornton for two hours.
08. Pain & Gain (2013)
This movie is HILARIOUS, albeit, not always intentionally. Case in point, Johnson’s character, seen above looking larger than the entire Earth, loves cocaine, his best friend is Mark Wahlberg and the movie is directed by America’s least-favorite overly patriotic stepdad, Michael Bay. It’s batshit insane, and I hated every second of it in the best way possible.
07. Snitch (2013)
Some say Snitches get Stitches, but this Snitch gets…. TWO THUMBS UP. (Sorry).
06. Furious 7 (2015)
I think I’ve made my thoughts on this franchise abundantly clear – it’s pure gold. However, Johnson is barely in the 7th installment of the franchise, which takes a more emotional turn due to the unfortunate death of Paul Walker. Great movie, just not the best “Rock” movie.
05. The Other Guys (2010)
Though his appearance is brief, it’s incredibly memorable. Also, this is one of the few movies on this list that are certifiably fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Somehow, there is a lot of green on The Rock’s filmography. 😬
04. Central Intelligence (2016)
Without a doubt, Central Intelligence is Johnson’s best comedic role to date. Playing the pathetically-adorable, pop-culture loving FBI agent Bob Stone, he is the perfect complement for Kevin Hart and his wildly spastic, often incoherent, delivery and personality.
03. Fast and Furious 6 (2013)
Johnson is no longer the antagonist he was in the previous Fast installment, and with the metaphorical handcuffs taken off, he is now allowed to shine like the top of Vin Diesel’s head.
02. The Rundown (2003)
This was only Johnson’s second feature film, but it was also one of his best. Both his charisma and his absurd strength are on-display here, in one of his best-reviewed movies, currently sitting at 70% on Rotten Tomatoes.
01. Fast Five (2011)
Without Johnson, this is one of the best movies of 2011. With Johnson, this is one of the best movies of all-time.