Culture

Tom Hiddleston’s Birthday: Loki Actor’s Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

Tom Hiddleston, who turns 38 today, first rose to fame as Loki in Thor (2011). Since then he has become a mainstay of the Marvel Universe, and has also starred in High-Rise, Kong: Skull Island and hit British television series The Night Manager.

Born on February 9, 1981, Hiddleston’s life could easily have been so different. He was studying Classics at the University of Cambridge when he was spotted by a talent agent during a student production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Hiddleston completed his studies, graduated with a double-first—the highest honor—and then went to RADA, Britain’s eminent acting school.

He never looked back, but even when his big break came, it didn’t quite go to plan. Hiddleston was initially asked to audition for the titular role in Thor, before the directors and producers—one of whom Hiddleston had worked with on stage—decided on Chris Hemsworth. Yet they gave Hiddleston six weeks to bulk up and, after a strict diet and exercise regime, he gained the role of Thor’s arch-nemesis and adopted brother, Loki. It made his name in Hollywood.

“It was massive and it's completely changed the course of what is available to me to do,” he told The Daily Telegraph in 2012. In 2013, Empire magazine ranked Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki as one of the 20 greatest movie characters of all time.

This year will see him star in Avengers: Endgame and perform in London’s West End in a production of Harold Pinter’s play Betrayal. To celebrate his 38th birthday, Newsweek has analyzed data from review aggregation websites Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and IMDb to rank his 15 best movies.

01 I Saw the Light Tom Hiddleston Sony Pictures Classics

15. I Saw the Light (2015). Total score: 52%. IMDb users:. 5.7. Metacritic: 47. Rotten Tomatoes: 4.6. Rotten Tomatoes users: 2.9.

Directed by: Marc Abraham. Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Maddie Hasson.

Plot summary: The story of the country-western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life.

What the critics said: "Hiddleston gives the role his considerable all, including singing Hank Williams hits in a voice that persuasively suggests the real thing. Hiddleston is not what's wrong with this movie. But damn near everything else is." Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

02 High-Rise Tom Hiddleston Magnolia Pictures

14. High-Rise (2015). Total score: 60%. IMDb users:. 5.6. Metacritic: 65. Rotten Tomatoes: 6.3. Rotten Tomatoes users: 2.8.

Directed by: Ben Wheatley. Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss.

Plot summary: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

What the critics said: "There are certain movies that you really want to like based on their ambition, or their weirdness, or their ambitious weirdness, and ultimately you just can't. Ben Wheatley's High-Rise is one of those movies." Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly.

03 Early Man Tom Hiddleston Lionsgate

13. Early Man (2018). Total score: 65%. IMDb users:. 6.1. Metacritic: 68. Rotten Tomatoes: 6.7. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.2.

Directed by: Nick Park. Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall, Miriam Margolyes, Rob Brydon, Kayvan Novak, Richard Ayoade.

Plot summary: Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home.

What the critics said: "I'm a little sorry that this utterly silly feature from Nick Park and Aardman Animations was not around when I was 7 or 8 years old, or when my children were wearing out the Wallace and Gromit video cassettes that someone had given them for Christmas." A.O. Scott, New York Times.

04 Crimson Peak Tom Hiddleston Universal Pictures

12. Crimson Peak (2015). Total score: 65.75%. IMDb users:. 6.5. Metacritic: 66. Rotten Tomatoes: 6.6. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.3.

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro. Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam.

Plot summary: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds—and remembers.

What the critics said: "Guillermo del Toro doesn't merely direct movies. He paints them, dreams them, shapes them into private fantasies. Too much? Of course. But that's part of the fun." Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

05 Thor- The Dark World Tom Hiddleston Marvel/Disney

11. Thor: The Dark World (2013). Total score: 66%. IMDb users:. 7. Metacritic: 54. Rotten Tomatoes: 6.2. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.9.

Directed by: Alan Taylor. Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Chris O'Dowd, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston.

Plot summary: When Dr. Jane Foster gets cursed with a powerful entity known as the Aether, Thor is heralded of the cosmic event known as the Convergence and the genocidal Dark Elves.

What the critics said: "Most of what worked in Thor works again: Hiddleston is campy and treacherous, Hemsworth is puppy-dog keen and there's a nice line in knowing jokery." Tom Huddleston, Time Out.

06 Kong Skull Island Tom Hiddleston Warner Bros.

10. Kong: Skull Island (2017). Total score: 66.75%. IMDb users:. 6.7. Metacritic: 62. Rotten Tomatoes: 6.6. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.6.

Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts. Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman.

Plot summary: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

What the critics said: "It's wildly entertaining and it has a sense of humor about itself—and it doesn't hurt when a great big monster movie features an A-list cast including John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston and John C. Reilly." Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times.

07 Thor Tom Hiddleston Paramount Pictures

9. Thor (2011). Total score: 67.5%. IMDb users:. 7. Metacritic: 57. Rotten Tomatoes: 6.7. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.8.

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh. Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba.

Plot summary: The powerful, but arrogant god Thor, is cast out of Asgard to live amongst humans in Midgard (Earth), where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

What the critics said: "A giant notch up is Hiddleston, who'd make a good Edmund in King Lear: You register the chip on his shoulder rather than the villainy." David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture.

08 The Deep Blue Sea Tom Hiddleston Music Box Films

8. The Deep Blue Sea (2011). Total score: 70%. IMDb users:. 6.3. Metacritic: 82. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.1. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.2.

Directed by: Terence Davies. Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Ann Mitchell, Simon Russell Beale.

Plot summary: The wife of a British judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.

What the critics said: "Hiddleston is good as the fickle playboy but Weisz, who smolders as Hester, is better." Linda Barnard, Toronto Star.

09 Archipelago Tom Hiddleston Artificial Eye

7. Archipelago (2010). Total score: 71.5%. IMDb users:. 6.1. Metacritic: 82. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.7. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.3.

Directed by: Joanna Hogg. Starring: Christopher Baker, Kate Fahy, Tom Hiddleston.

Plot summary: Deep fractures within a family dynamic begin to surface during a getaway to the Isles of Scilly.

What the critics said: "It's a difficult watch and a difficult sell, but this is quietly outstanding." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

10 War Horse Tom Hiddleston Touchstone Pictures

6. War Horse (2011). Total score: 72.5%. IMDb users:. 7.2. Metacritic: 72. Rotten Tomatoes: 7. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.8.

Directed by: Steven Spielberg. Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston.

Plot summary: Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.

What the critics said: "Sweeping in its style and old-fashioned in its narrative structure, War Horse will likely take its place alongside beloved family films." Claudia Puig, USA Today.

11 Only Lovers Left Alive Tom Hiddleston Sony Pictures Classics

5. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). Total score: 75.5%. IMDb users:. 7.3. Metacritic: 79. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.4. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.8.

Directed by: Jim Jarmusch. Starring: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska.

Plot summary: A depressed musician reunites with his lover. Though their romance, which has already endured several centuries, is disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister.

What the critics said: "Swinton, her hair white and long and her eyes tired and kind, and Hiddleston, moody and resigned, are wonderful—delivering their lines with the dry sighs of a desert breeze." Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer.

12 Thor- Ragnarok Tom Hiddleston Marvel/Disney

4. Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Total score: 78%. IMDb users:. 7.9. Metacritic: 74. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.5. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.2.

Directed by: Taika Waititi. Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum.

Plot summary: Thor is imprisoned on the planet Sakaar, and must race against time to return to Asgard and stop Ragnarök, the destruction of his world, at the hands of the powerful and ruthless villain Hela.

What the critics said: "The whole movie is a grab-bag of insanity so off-the-chain hilarious that you stick with it even when the convoluted plot goes haywire." Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

13 Midnight in Paris Tom Hiddleston Sony Pictures Classics

3. Midnight in Paris (2011). Total score: 79%. IMDb users:. 7.7. Metacritic: 81. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.8. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.

Directed by: Woody Allen. Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Carla Bruni, Alison Pill, Tom Hiddleston, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Adrien Brody, Corey Stoll, Sonia Rolland.

Plot summary: While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight.

What the critics said: "It makes us happily remember the movies we thought Allen wasn't able to make anymore, even while the filmmaker reaches into the past to add one more great one to the list." Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times.

14 The Avengers Tom Hiddleston Marvel/Disney

2. The Avengers (2012). Total score: 79.5%. IMDb users:. 8.1. Metacritic: 69. Rotten Tomatoes: 8. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.4.

Directed by: Joss Whedon. Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson.

Plot summary: Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are going to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

What the critics said:  "The dialogue sparkles as brightly as the special effects; these people may be wearing ridiculous costumes but they're well fleshed-out underneath. And so in every regard, this movie truly fulfills its hype." Christy Lemire, Associated Press.

15 Avengers- Infinity War Tom Hiddleston Marvel/Disney

1. Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Total score: 79.75%. IMDb users:. 8.5. Metacritic: 68. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.6. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.5.

Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Josh Brolin.

Plot summary: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

What the critics said: "It's the epitome of a summer blockbuster. The explosive action is practically nonstop, breaking only occasionally for jokes and a touch of romance—though without ever breaking its grim, apocalyptic tone." Britton Peele, Dallas Morning News.

Join the Discussion

Editor's Pick