Daddy’s gotta go to work: A definitive ranking of Dwayne Johnson’s best roles
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has enjoyed an eclectic career since his early days as an eyebrow raising, People’s Elbow-pushing wrestler and has tackled action, crime, comedy, family films, and animated musicals, showing he has some serious talent underneath that mountain of hella fine man muscle he’s built out of his body.
Honestly, we’ve been fans of his for a while now and the Hollywood superstar has a career worth delving into and enjoying. So if you should feel compelled to also celebrate the performer, here’s everything you need to know about his best performances, lovingly ranked in order of awesomeness.
14. Mathayus: The Scorpion King (2002)
After the horrendous CGI hack job made of Johnson in The Mummy Returns, it was nice to see the actor given a chance to actually perform without the assistance of computer graphics. Still, not his best.
13. Derek: Tooth Fairy (2010)
Johnson throws on some wings and a pair of tights in this family film in which he plays a hockey player sentenced to serving time as the tooth fairy because of his cynical ways. He stars opposite Stephen Merchant (Logan) in the role, which is a comedy pairing we never knew we even needed.
12. Mitch Buchannon: Baywatch (2017)
Seth Gordon’s woeful remake of the 90s TV show has three jokes – boobs, balls, and dicks. Four if you include Zac Efron’s career (but that’s just mean). If you make it out of those choppy waters, you can at least enjoy the sight of Johnson strutting around a beach looking hench. Admittedly, that’s pleasant enough.
11. Raymond Gaines: San Andreas (2015)
Earthquakes in California! That’s the vibe of this movie in which Johnson makes a lot of concerned faces in a helicopter on a big mission to save his daughter.
10. Agent 23: Get Smart (2008)
Playing a perpetually pissed off Agent dealing with low-level office annoyances, Johnson is in fine form as the agency hardass failing to cope with David Koechner (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) & Terry Crews (Idiocracy) in a professional manner.
9. Chris Vaughn: Walking Tall (2004)
Opposite Johnny Knoxville (Bad Grandpa) at his most bonkers best, Johnson depicts a proud former US soldier who decides to clean up the crime and corruption that has defiled his hometown. The resulting movie is a booming symphony of destruction and chaos, with Johnson as the muscle bound conductor.
8. Beck: Welcome to the Jungle (2003)
The OG Welcome to the Jungle of Johnson’s career saw the actor joined forces with Seann William Scott (American Pie) to play two opposing personalities (an aspiring chef! A mobster’s son! It’ll never work!) struggling to survive the Amazon. They also have ya main man Christopher Walken (Seven Psychopaths) to worry about as an oppressive town operator looking to bring them down.
7. Davis Okoye: Rampage (2018)
It’s based on a classic video game and involves Johnson teaming up with Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Malin Akerman (Watchmen) to stop three gigantic animals destroying Chicago. What more do you need to know? It’s basically a modern masterpiece.
6. Bob Stone: Central Intelligence (2016)
Playing the foil to Kevin Hart’s mild mannered accountant, Central Intelligence saw Johnson flexing his comedy skills (as well as his biceps) and proving he has a lot more to offer than just explosive action sequences.
5. Christopher Danson: The Other Guys (2010)
Though Johnson plays only a minor character in Adam McKay’s cop comedy, he’s nonetheless a scene stealer as an arrogant cop with Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) as a partner. The scene in which the two “aim for the bushes” only to fall to a messy, moronic death is absolute comedy gold.
4. Spencer: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
Johnson does a great job of playing the nervous, insecure nerd of the group trapped in the hulking frame of a Jumanji game avatar, bringing a lot of heart to the role as well as a fair share of well-timed physical comedy opposite Jack Black (School of Rock), Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Hart (again).
3. Maui: Moana (2016)
Who knew The Rock had such a beautiful singing voice? And who knew he could reduce us to tears as a destructive yet sensitive demigod? But sweet mercy, he did on both accounts and now all we want is a legit feature-length live-action musical starring the guy.
2. Paul Doye: Pain & Gain (2013)
Following a trio of bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie, and Johnson) who get caught up in a failed kidnapping and extortion ring, Michael Bay’s crime comedy is far better than it has any right to be. Though Wahlberg (The Fighter) delivers an impressive performance, Johnson steals the show as a cocaine obsessed luxury lover burning his way through their riches.
1. Hobbs: The Fast & Furious franchise (2011-)
Having starred in four The Fast & Furious movies so far (with more to come, including the exciting Hobbs & Shaw spinoff with Jason Statham), it’s clear that his role as special agent Hobbs in the movies offer some of his finest and most defining performances.
His action sequences are breathtaking, his comedy is on-point, and he breathed fresh life into the franchise that has helped make The Fast & Furious movies the supercharged beasts they are today.