Born on October 12th, 1968, Hugh Jackman became a household name after appearing in the 2000’s X-Men. Jackman’s portrayal of the legendary Logan/Wolverine was universally praised upon its debut, and he went on to play the role for over seventeen years and nine films.
Hugh Jackman may always be identified with a single iconic role. Still, he has actually demonstrated his acting chops in a number of films. Triple-threat actor Hugh Jackman is one of the most adaptable performers of his time. He comes from a theatre background and can act, sing, and dance, so it’s no surprise he enjoys working in musicals. The vast range of Jackman’s performances over the years is a testament to his commitment to his craft.
That being said, we’ve compiled a list of top Hugh Jackman movies from his extensive filmography.
The Prestige (2006)
Genre: Drama, Sci-fi, Mystery
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson,
Director: Christopher Nolan
IMDB ratings: 8.5
It was one of the initial movies to prove that Jackman could pull off dramatic roles. One of his finest acting moments came in this Christopher Nolan classic. The director unlocked the actor’s latent abilities, resulting in an unforgettable performance.
Magician Robert Angier, portrayed by Jackman, is fixated on fame and the secret techniques of his rival, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). It’s exciting to watch the two magicians and the actors try to outdo each other. The twisting, engaging journey that the actors take the audience on is matched by the quality of the story. In the end, you’ll wish the actor would play more complex roles like this.
Genre: Action, Sci-fi, Drama
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dafne Keen, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook
Director: James Mangold
IMDB ratings: 8.1
Logan was the final film starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine after he had played the role for seventeen years. It is widely considered the best X-Men film and one of the best superhero films. When a young mutant comes looking for help, Logan hides out with an ailing and increasingly unstable Charles Xavier. Then, Logan embarks on a daring final mission to rescue Laura and finally escape Transigen.
All three leads gave outstanding performances, but Jackman’s is the one that holds the film together. This brutal and eerie interpretation of Wolverine, made possible by the film’s R rating, is one for the ages. Jackman was given a fitting sendoff, and Logan’s tragic death scene is one of the most moving in the history of the superhero film. Fans will miss Jackman in the role, but he can take comfort in the fact that his performance was universally praised.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Genre: Action, Sci-fi, Adventure
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy
Director: Bryan Singer
IMDB ratings: 7.9
In a last-ditch effort to prevent certain doom for mutants and humans alike, the X-Men send Wolverine back in time.
Starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan: A mutant with the ability to heal quickly, enhanced animal senses, and retractable bone claws in 1973; in the future, his skeleton and claws are laced with adamantium in his body, making him nearly invulnerable. Because his healing ability also retards his aging, he will likely outlive the average human. Jackman said it was interesting to have Wolverine’s gruff personality drive the plot.
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Drama
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal, Melissa Leo
Director: Denis Villeneuve
IMDB ratings: 8.1
Keller Dover in Prisoners is one of Jackman’s more heartfelt performances. Dover, whose daughter and her friend vanished on Thanksgiving Day, takes matters into his own hands and comes into conflict with Jake Gyllenhaal’s lead detective.
The work that Jackman has done here is extraordinary. But, unfortunately, he wasn’t honored for the role many critics hailed as his career high point. Dover’s desperation rises as the police follow dead ends, leading him to kidnap and torture the man he believes to be responsible. Jackman does an excellent job of portraying what must be every parent’s worst nightmare, and the film’s surprising twist ending is still talked about today.
Les Misérables (2012)
Genre: Romance, Drama, Musical
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Hathaway
Director: Tom Hooper
IMDB ratings: 7.5
Jackman’s performance as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables (2012) earned him a nomination for an Academy Award. Valjean is being pursued by the cruel Inspector Javert in 19th-century France as he tries to protect and raise a young girl named Cosette during the turbulent events of the June Rebellion of 1832. Aside from Jackman’s nomination, the film went on to win three Oscars.
Thanks in large part to Jackman’s experience in musical theatre, Jean Valjean feels grounded in the film. A first for a film musical of this scale was that the entire cast performed the score live on set. His talents shine through in an emotional tour de force that leaves audiences breathless.
Real Steel (2011)
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly
Director: Shawn Levy
IMDB ratings: 7.0
Following the death of his ex-girlfriend, Jackman’s character in Real Steel finds it difficult to rebuild his relationship with his son, Max. So instead, they bond over the fact that robots have taken over boxing. Together, they create a contender they call Atom to fight for the world title. It’s a unique twist on the Rocky story, with robots in the ring instead of humans.
The film’s heart lies in the father-son relationship between Charlie and Max, not the boxing robots or the visual effects. This initially attracted Jackman to the role, which shows in his character portrayal. As a film, it was only a moderate success in 2011, but by 2021, it had become one of Netflix’s most-watched titles. However, it was not until a few months later that Disney+ revealed they were working on a sequel series.
Bad Education (2019)
Genre: Biography, Crime, Comedy
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Ray Romano, Welker White
Director: Cory Finley
IMDB ratings: 7.1
Since it was Jackman’s first film, HBO paid $17.5 million to acquire Bad Education and premiered it on HBO Max. Adopted from a true story, the movie features Jackman as school superintendent Frank Tassone. It depicts the largest public school embezzlement in American history. Besides Allison Janney and Ray Romano, Geraldine Viswanathan was also in the film.
This performance exemplifies Jackman’s acting prowess and range, as he is able to convey profound feelings. Despite his embezzlement and secret homosexuality, Frank is still a beloved figure who cares about his students’ success. Jackman deservedly received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie” for his performance in the movie.
The Fountain (2006)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Sean Patrick Thomas, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn
Director: Darren Aronofsky
IMDB ratings: 7.2
The Fountain, a film by Darren Aronofsky that tells a story set in the past, the present, and the future, is vastly underappreciated. Each of Jackman’s three characters, a conquistador, a medical scientist, and a time traveler trapped in a glass biosphere, is obsessed with living forever. The film received mixed reviews upon its initial release. Still, it achieved classic cult status in the following years.
It is one of his earliest roles. Jackman showcased his range by playing three distinct characters across three different eras in the film The Fountain. It was also one of the first films in which Jackman showed he had more to offer than just a spot-on portrayal of Wolverine. It’s worth noting that Aronofsky had the chance to direct The Wolverine before James Mangold took over, which speaks to his ability to recognize and cultivate talent.
The Greatest Showman (2017)
Genre: Biography, Musical, Drama
Cast: Michael Gracey
Director: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Zendaya
IMDB ratings: 7.5
The Greatest Showman, another musical starring Jackman, was an international smash released in 2017. The film chronicles the initial years of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, which was founded by P.T. Barnum. One of the highest-grossing musicals, the film brought in $435 million worldwide.
Despite negative reviews, Jackman and the rest of the cast received high marks for their performance, and the film’s soundtrack was a huge success. A personal project for Jackman, production on the film officially began in 2009 after being announced. Hugh Jackman put on a musical extravaganza for the film and later used the songs in his worldwide concert tour. It was appropriately titled Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show.
Night At the Museum: Secrets of The Tomb
Genre: Biography, Musical, Drama
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams
Director: Shawn Levy
IMDB ratings: 6.2
Secrets of the Tomb, the third and final installment in the Night at the Museum series, includes an unexpected cameo appearance by Jackman. In the real world, Sir Lancelot eventually finds the production of Camelot with Hugh Jackman and Alice Eve in the lead roles. But, unfortunately, he interrupts the show, making Jackman more and more irate.
Rarely seen in comedies, Jackman’s quick cameo showcased his comedic side. To great comic effect, it lampoons his theatrical interests and Wolverine persona. The film’s director, Shawn Levy, is a personal friend of Jackman’s. The two have collaborated on multiple occasions throughout their respective careers.