Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

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Newsweek

Dwayne Johnson had an unlikely route to the Hollywood A-list. After achieving acclaim as a WWE wrestler, he managed to successfully transition into acting, slowly working his way up from low-rent action flicks to become one of today’s major male actors. Forbes says he was the second highest-paid actor of 2018, pulling in a $124 million paycheck that year alone, almost twice as much as he made in 2017.

What’s the secret to his commercial success? His devoted fanbase is partly behind it—Johnson has been in the public eye since he joined the WWE (then the WWF) in 1996. Even in his wrestling days, he leveraged his charismatic and likable persona to become a crowd favorite, even while his wrestling persona was technically a villain.

This popularity and wide name recognition helped secure roles in action movies like 2001’s The Mummy Returns and 2002’s The Scorpion King. Both movies were huge commercial successes, a seal of approval from fans who wanted to see the star outside of the ring.

His career was given another boost when he joined the Fast and the Furious universe for its fifth outing in 2011. His presence helped revive the flagging franchise—he’s appeared in all the sequels since.

Through social media, he’s managed to feed his image as an affable everyman, and he’s now the fifth-most-popular person on Instagram, with 122 million followers. Aside from developing his own personal brand, this strong online presence is key to his commercial success; according to Forbes, it can be used to promote his movies, and helps him “negotiate an extra seven figures atop his standard contract for promotion.”

Despite only having made a handful of critically-approved movies, Johnson is hugely bankable. The 31 movies in which he had a substantial role have taken more than $3.6 billion at the U.S. box office. His only flop was 2006’s Southland Tales—director Richard Kelly’s follow-up to Donnie Darko—which took just $275,380 on a budget of $17 million.

At 46 years old, Johnson remains as prolific as ever, with eleven projects in the pipeline. Perhaps the most intriguing of these is The King, due for release in 2020, in which he is set to play Kamehameha Kūnuiākea, the founder of Hawaii.

Using data from critical review aggregation websites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, as well as user-submitted reviews from IMDb, we’ve ranked all of Johnson’s movies, from worst to best.

01 Doom
Doom: Universal Pictures

31. Doom (2005). Total score: 41.7%. IMDb users: 5.2. Metacritic: 34. Rotten Tomatoes: 3.9. Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak. Starring:  Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, The Rock. 
Plot summary: Space Marines are sent to investigate strange events at a research facility on Mars but find themselves at the mercy of genetically enhanced killing machines.

02 Doom
Doom: Universal Pictures

What the critics said about Doom: "The performances are awful, the action sequences are impossible to follow, the violence is gratuitous, the lighting is bad and I have my doubts that catering truck was even up to snuff on this project." Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper.
Domestic box office gross: $28,212,337.
 

03 Tooth Fairy
Tooth Fairy: Twentieth Century Fox

30. Tooth Fairy (2010). Total score: 42%. IMDb users: 5. Metacritic: 36. Rotten Tomatoes: 4. Directed by: Michael Lembeck. Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Julie Andrews, Seth MacFarlane, Billy Crystal. 
Plot summary: A bad deed on the part of a tough minor-league hockey player results in an unusual sentence: He must serve one week as a real-life tooth fairy.

04 Tooth Fairy
Tooth Fairy: Twentieth Century Fox

What the critics said about Tooth Fairy: "Hey, how funny would it be to put Dwayne Johnson in ballerina slippers, pink tights, and a tutu? Not very. But here's the movie anyway, scarcely more than the pitch meeting that spawned it." Wesley Morris, Boston Globe.
Domestic box office gross: $60,022,256.

05 Baywatch
Baywatch: Paramount Pictures

29. Baywatch (2017). Total score: 44.3%. IMDb users: 5.6. Metacritic: 37. Rotten Tomatoes: 4. Directed by: Seth Gordon. Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson. 
Plot summary: Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon butts heads with a brash new recruit, as they uncover a criminal plot that threatens the future of the bay.

06 Baywatch
Baywatch: Paramount Pictures

What the critics said about Baywatch: "Thank heaven for Dwayne Johnson, whose foot-wide smile will not be switched off, and who saves the life of the movie. Whether it deserves to be saved is another matter." Anthony Lane, New Yorker.
Domestic box office gross: $58,060,186.

07 Be Cool
Be Cool: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

28. Be Cool (2005). Total score: 46.7%. IMDb users: 5.7. Metacritic: 37. Rotten Tomatoes: 4.6. Directed by: F. Gary Gray. Starring: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn, Cedric the Entertainer, André Benjamin, Christina Milian, Harvey Keitel, Steven Tyler, Danny DeVito, James Woods, The Rock. 
Plot summary: Disenchanted with the movie industry, Chili Palmer tries the music industry, meeting and romancing a widow of a music executive on the way.

08 Be Cool
Be Cool: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

What the critics said about Be Cool: "The bits with Cedric the Entertainer and his gun-toting posse struck me as a flaming racist outrage, and casting The Rock as a flamboyantly gay actor/singer must have looked funnier on paper." David Edelstein, Slate.
Domestic box office gross: $56,046,979.

09 Planet 51
Planet 51: TriStar Pictures

27. Planet 51 (2009). Total score: 47.3%. IMDb users: 6.1. Metacritic: 39. Rotten Tomatoes: 4.2. Directed by: Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad, Marcos Martínez. Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Jessica Biel, Gary Oldman, John Cleese, Justin Long. 
Plot summary: An alien civilization is invaded by Astronaut Chuck Baker, who believes that the planet was uninhabited. Wanted by the military, Baker must get back to his ship before it goes into orbit without him.

10 Planet 51
Planet 51: TriStar Pictures

What the critics said about Planet 51: "Planet 51 mainly succeeds at reminding you of all the better movies that inspired it." Brian Miller, Village Voice.
Domestic box office gross: $42,194,060.

11 G
G.I. Joe: Retaliation: Paramount Pictures

26. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013). Total score: 48%. IMDb users: 5.8. Metacritic: 41. Rotten Tomatoes: 4.5. Directed by: Jon M. Chu. Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Adrianne Palicki, Bruce Willis, Jonathan Pryce. 
Plot summary: The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.