Chris Hemsworth is one of the most popular actors in the world right now. Not necessarily as an actor, but as a superstar. His rise to global fandom is on the back of his presence as Thor in the Marvel movies and his status as one of the most handsome men in the world. The Aussie actor has built a great reputation as an action man. He has shown that he can be trusted to lead a movie, even if lacks the other elements of the story. His physique often makes his roles believable, and at times, his acting does too. So that is a bonus. In the context of his latest success with the Netflix film Spiderhead, we have come up with a list of his best works to date. This is the best Chris Hemsworth movies list.
10. Extraction (2020)
‘Extraction’ trended in the top 10 in India for quite some time. In fact, it broke some kind of viewing record on the streaming platform as well. It was Hemsworth’s first film as a producer and it is safe to say, he has a bright future. ‘Extraction’s biggest attraction is the sub-Indian continental setting that provides a new flavor to the action sequences.
Hemsworth is the leading man, central to the plot and everything that happens in it. His electric performance has all the style that makes great action heroes. Incredible stunt work goes along well with raunchy one-liners and an iron-clad ability to look awesome for the camera. Hemsworth, it seems, has cracked the code to solidify his status in the industry. Without falling too fervently into archetypes, Hemsworth creates a refreshing portrait that benefits from a focus on execution and optimally utilizing the actor’s macho persona.
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9. In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
Mody-Dick is a beloved childhood relic that we relish going through even today. Captain Ahab is a figure etched in pop culture’s semantics as an obsessed man seeking revenge from nature’s untamable giant. ‘In the Heart of the Sea’s story has a fascinating correlation to Herman Melville’s wondrous spirit. In fact, the 1851 novel was inspired by the events that are retold in the 2000 novel, on which the film is based.
Hemsworth plays Owen Chase, whose perspective of things has a leading role in the story. Chase is kind of an outlaw in traditional terms – inventive and popular among sailors for his raw skill. Hemsworth has no troubles playing the kind, seamlessly transitioning into the character as if it were a part of his own personality. The story that the film dramatizes has sufficient intrinsic themes and philosophy so as to make the job easier for the writers to look for more. Special effects work on ‘In the Heart’ is indeed special. It successfully manages to create a visual marvel that is as compelling to see as it is to experience as part of the storytelling.
8. Men in Black: International (2019)
The MIB series was a classic owing to Smith and Jones’ special chemistry. Police for aliens was an exciting movie story – in the 2000s. What could be done to reinvent the story and adorn it with modern sensibilities in a more nuanced context? A question worth a million dollars and maybe more, but one that director Gary Gray and writers Art and Matt cannot figure out. The puzzling mystery of escaping the shadow of its franchise originals falls heavy on their shoulders. They come up strikingly short of an answer.
So why watch the film? Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth. Both actors give above-average performances – both together and individually – getting the mix of comedy and serious just right. They match each other’s energies really well, creating a buddy-cop duo with a unique twist. Hemsworth gives a neat performance without too much effort. Neither under nor over, his Agent H is a classy assimilation of yesteryear templates built by better actors and inspired filmmakers.
7. Spiderhead (2022)
This experimental science-fiction flick falls into familiar genre traps created to lazily put stories to rest. Innumerable movies recently have boasted of an enticing premise with promising potential but fail to take the momentum through to carve a special film. ‘Spiderhead’ belongs to that spectrum. Hemsworth plays Abnesti, your run-of-the-mill billionaire megalomaniac looking for ways to control the world. Guys like him think of themselves as above the law and everyone else in status. For them, sacrifices, human or otherwise, are just small obstacles that have to be negated in order to achieve the larger goal.
The revelation comes late in the story albeit without the punch. Hemsworth satisfactorily plays Abnesti, bringing out the inherent duality in his character, at once a compassionate science-man looking to make a difference in people’s lives and a vile tempest of greed, capitalism, and exploitation, looking to bring them under his feet. There aren’t a lot of complex emotions involved to play him. Just a manipulative and prodigal stretch to create an illusion – self and otherwise.
6. Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
This is probably one of Hemsworth’s first roles as a villain. And he nails it. Due to his physicality and certain creative choices made by the director, his Billy Lee is pure evil incarnate with a sociopathic streak. The charisma works like a charm on his followers, who together try to defy societal rules and expectations.
If you were to meet him in real life, I doubt you could have resisted his gift of the gab. He arrives quite late in the movie – in the climax. By then, ‘Bad Times’ has already established its tenor and narrative, and hence, Hemsworth’s Billy is just the icing on the cake. His performance is impactful, brief, and the perfect twist to this taut thriller that surprises you at every turn.
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5. Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Big studio films, shot on budgets the size of a country’s economy, often leave you flustered. Purists aren’t the only ones who suffer; the masses do, too. In ‘Snow White’, the case is somewhat similar. The age-old fairytale is one of the most ubiquitous stories around the world. Its popularity is hardly in question. But adapting it for the screen without any fundamental creative changes necessary for dramatization is not a prudent decision. Universal makes it anyway and the result is a mess of a film that never seems inspired enough to escape the studio stamp. The narrative felt rushed and incomplete.
While the evil queen was at least partially characterized, Snow White, the supposed main character, was not. What could have been a decent movie was sullied by this odd decision, among many others, by the filmmakers. There is one instance where Hemsworth, as the Hunstman, tears up after losing Snow White (Kristen Stewart). It is an elaborate scene but pretty unexpected as it brings out the ‘actor’ in him. For his part, Hemsworth does justice to his cardboard character, who does not get sufficient interest from writers. He carries the weight of execution the best among the lot. Theron and Stewart, surprisingly, are average in their performances. Overall, a film to watch for its visual artistry and Hemsworth’s worthy fight scenes.
4. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
As a viewer, you are always looking forward to something unique and fresh. Even if it is a bit self-indulgent and tacky, you tend to take it. Drew Goddard does exactly that with The Cabin in the Woods. It is not meant to be a straightforward movie about a group of college students going to secluded woods and getting killed.
As you will discover, it strikes at the very root of the slasher tropes that have become dated. They do not remain inspiring anymore. When you catch them stacked up in a movie, all you can do is let out a disappointed sigh. Hemsworth does not headline the film but plays Curt, the athletic jockey in the group. Goddard’s structure is such that there is no pressure on Hemsworth or even the other actors to pull off their best acting performances. Some misses here or there do not pinch you because of how overwhelmed you are with the director’s and writers’ ingenuity. This revisionist sci-fi film is a cult classic for all the right reasons.
3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Hemsworth has given ‘Thor’ such a fun-filled image that any film he has reprised the part in can feature here. ‘Ragnarok’ one of his standalone features, is here because of how well he brings out the combination of muscle and dumb-wit style of comedy. It was also one of the toughest challenges Thor has faced in terms of the formidable enemy Hela.
Under Taika Waititi’s direction, Hemsworth and Blanchett create electric chemistry despite being on the opposite sides of the battle. Their banter is particularly interesting. Ruffalo’s changed avatar definitely added a campy and self-indulgent element to the storytelling but for once, it works marvelously. Hemsworth has created a memorable character that now seems like couldn’t have been played better by anyone. He has made it so that Thor seems perfectly tailored to his strengths as an actor and performer. Hemsworth has discovered the right vein in which to bound Thor, as opposed to delirious experimentations some “other” actors in the MCU have been guilty of. ‘Ragnarok’ is one of the best Marvel films that will unleash a laugh riot on you.
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2. 12 Strong (2018)
In strictly military terms, the cinematic standards have been set high. War is a favorite subject of filmmakers looking to explore the complexities of human behavior and morality in the context of extremism and violence. Both are at their peak in ’12 Strong’, along with a brutal depiction of the price paid in such conflicts.
Hemsworth plays Mitch Nelson, the leader of the twelve. Unlike most other characters, Hemsworth has to play it carefully with Nelson. Not only is the character based on a real man’s life, but he is also actually a real-life hero. The high-stakes game of life and death is experienced the most viscerally by soldiers in combat. Without being serious-minded in your approach, you can hardly make any inroads into recreating that environment. Nelson demands a bit more than usual from Hemsworth and the actor is up to the task. The many moving parts of Nelson such as his patriotism, individual scales of morality, and the strength he gets from his family are captured adequately in the representation. He comes across as a leader of men, prepared to die for and by his mates.
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1. Rush (2013)
‘Rush’ sees Hemsworth deliver his finest dramatic turns in his acting career. The sports film tells the real-life, cut-throat rivalry between Nicki Lauda and James Hunt. Hemsworth plays the latter, bringing his charms and indivisible, corrupting energy to him. He is not the most likable character and Hemsworth’s portrait reflects exactly that. For most parts of ‘Rush’, you actually root against Hunt. It is only as the end approaches that you understand as a viewer the beauty of Ron Howard’s compelling narrative.
Bruhl is equally up to the task. The exactitude of his performance surprised even Lauda. Without any background, one would think Bruhls was more Lauda than the man himself. Hemsworth took some liberties in playing Hunt but pretty much got his vibe right. Rush’s zany soundtrack makes so much sense when viewed in hindsight. The chase sequences are breathtaking and add to the appeal of the experience of watching the film. It is a rare genre thinkpiece with strong deviations towards becoming a classic.