(Photo by Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

All James McAvoy Movies Ranked

James McAvoy got his start in British comedies and dramas, working in ensembles like Bright Young Things and TV’s Shameless, while taking the lead early in Starter for 10. His role as hirsute satyr Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe got him major exposure, and an in with the young crowd. McAvoy started to pick up awards attention while on the peripheral in the Forrest Whitaker-starring The Last King of Scotland, a fitting fate considering the observer character he played in that Idi Amin biopic. The Best Picture-nominated Atonement quickly followed.

But it was his role in the raucous Wanted that proved his breakthrough, and that maybe McAvoy could hack it in action blockbuster world. This led to his most iconic role yet, that of Professor X as the X-Men sidewined into the past with First Class. His matchup against Michael Fassbender’s Magneto remains among the most engaging hero/villain feuds in superhero cinema.

And it turns out McAvoy just can’t quit comic books as he took on the role of the central baddie in Split, which turned out to be a secret sequel to M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable. With those two, along with Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis, together to complete the trilogy in this week’s Glass, what better time than now to say ahoy to McAvoy’s filmography, all ranked by Tomatometer.

#29

Submergence (2018)
20%

#29
Adjusted Score: 21.401%
Critics Consensus: A slow-moving misfire, Submergence isn't as deep as it thinks it is -- but still manages to drown its stars in a drama whose admirable ambitions remain almost entirely unfulfilled.
Synopsis: James (James McAvoy) is a British agent under the cover of a water engineer, while Danny (Alicia Vikander) is a... [More]
Directed By: Wim Wenders

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 30.76%
Critics Consensus: A re-imagining without the imagining, Victor Frankenstein plays at providing a fresh perspective on an oft-told tale, but ultimately offers little of interest that viewers haven't already seen in superior Frankenstein films.
Synopsis: James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale. Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein... [More]
Directed By: Paul McGuigan

#27

Sherlock Gnomes (2018)
27%

#27
Adjusted Score: 29.039%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Gnomes is sadly, utterly stumped by the mystery of the reason for its own existence.
Synopsis: When Gnomeo and Juliet first arrive in the city with their friends and family, their biggest concern is getting their... [More]
Directed By: John Stevenson

#26

The Pool (2001)
36%

#26
Adjusted Score: 15.233%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this chilling and violent homage to teenage slasher thrillers, a group of high-schoolers celebrate their upcoming graduation with a... [More]
Directed By: Boris von Sychowski

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 49.242%
Critics Consensus: Welcome to the Punch is a little deeper and more thoughtful than most police dramas -- but not quite enough to surmount its thinly written characters and numbing violence.
Synopsis: Former criminal Jacob Sternwood is forced to return to London from his Icelandic hideaway when his son is involved in... [More]
Directed By: Eran Creevy

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 60.603%
Critics Consensus: Overloaded action and a cliched villain take the focus away from otherwise strong performers and resonant themes, making X-Men: Apocalypse a middling chapter of the venerable superhero franchise.
Synopsis: Following the critically acclaimed global smash hit X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer returns with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Since... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 50.597%
Critics Consensus: The dramatic aspects of Rory O'Shea Was Here veer into mawkish, formulaic sentiment, which undercuts the characters' individuality.
Synopsis: Michael is a twenty-four-year-old who has cerebral palsy and long-term resident of the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, run... [More]
Directed By: Damien O'Donnell

#22

Penelope (2006)
54%

#22
Adjusted Score: 57.818%
Critics Consensus: Though Penelope has a charming cast and an appealing message, it ultimately suffers from faulty narrative and sloppy direction.
Synopsis: Penelope Wilhern, born to wealthy socialites, is afflicted by a secret family curse that can only be broken when she... [More]
Directed By: Mark Palansky

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 59.151%
Critics Consensus: While it has moments of inspiration, Gnomeo and Juliet is often too self-referential for its own good.
Synopsis: The greatest love story ever told, starring...garden gnomes? In the upcoming "Gnomeo & Juliet," Shakespeare's revered tale gets a comical,... [More]

#20

The Conspirator (2011)
55%

#20
Adjusted Score: 59.657%
Critics Consensus: The Conspirator is well cast and tells a worthy story, but many viewers will lack the patience for Redford's deliberate, stagebound approach.
Synopsis: In the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#19

Becoming Jane (2007)
58%

#19
Adjusted Score: 62.14%
Critics Consensus: Although Becoming Jane is a well-crafted period piece, it lacks fresh insight into the life and works of Jane Austen. The film focuses too much on wardrobe and not enough on Austen's achievements.
Synopsis: "Becoming Jane," is the story of the great, untold romance that inspired a young Jane Austen, played by Anne Hathaway.... [More]
Directed By: Julian Jarrold

#18

Wimbledon (2004)
61%

#18
Adjusted Score: 64.65%
Critics Consensus: A predictable, bland rom-com, but Bettany proves to be an appealing lead.
Synopsis: Peter Colt is an unlucky guy, scoring "love" both professionally and personally. Seeded near the bottom of the world tennis... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine

#17
Adjusted Score: 66.804%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is a hauntingly original rumination on love and loss.
Synopsis: With his unique vision, writer/director Ned Benson ambitiously captures a complete picture of a relationship in the beautifully relatable portrait... [More]
Directed By: Ned Benson

#16

Filth (2014)
64%

#16
Adjusted Score: 66.934%
Critics Consensus: Warped, grimy, and enthusiastically unpleasant, Filth lives up to its title splendidly.
Synopsis: Scheming Bruce Robertson, a bigoted and corrupt policeman, is in line for a promotion and will stop at nothing to... [More]
Directed By: Jon S. Baird

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 67.559%
Critics Consensus: Colored with witty performances and a camp sense of satire, Stephen Fry's version of Evelyn Waugh's novel may only be fitfully successful but it does mark a promising debut for the British comic.
Synopsis: British writer/actor Stephen Fry makes his feature-film debut with the witty, sophisticated comedy Bright Young Things, adapted from Evelyn Waugh's... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Fry

#14

Trance (2013)
68%

#14
Adjusted Score: 74.432%
Critics Consensus: As stylish as ever, director Danny Boyle seems to be treading water with the surprisingly thinly written Trance -- but for fans of Boyle's work, it should still prove a trippily entertaining distraction.
Synopsis: Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer, teams up with a criminal gang to steal a Goya painting worth millions... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#13

Bollywood Queen (2003)
71%

#13
Adjusted Score: 16.512%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A half-parody and half-loving tribute to the over-the-top style of Indian musicals, this song-and-dance-filled musical comedy-drama concerns Geena (Preeya Kalidas),... [More]
Directed By: Jeremy Wooding

#12

The Last Station (2010)
71%

#12
Adjusted Score: 74.698%
Critics Consensus: Michael Hoffman's script doesn't quite live up to its famous subject, but this Tolstoy biopic benefits from a spellbinding tour de force performance by Helen Mirren.
Synopsis: Set in the last tumultuous years of famed Russian author Leo Tolstoy's life, centers on the battle for his soul... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#11

Wanted (2008)
71%

#11
Adjusted Score: 78.293%
Critics Consensus: Wanted is stylish, energetic popcorn fare with witty performances from Angelina Jolie (playing an expert assassin), James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman that help to distract from its absurdly over-the-top plot.
Synopsis: Wesley's (James McAvoy) life is over - his pathetic old one, anyway... Fortunately, it is all because of a girl.... [More]
Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov

#10
Adjusted Score: 83.054%
Critics Consensus: With first-rate special effects and compelling storytelling, this adaptation stays faithful to its source material and will please moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: C.S. Lewis' timeless adventure "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" follows the exploits of the... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Adamson

#9

Split (2017)
77%

#9
Adjusted Score: 88.886%
Critics Consensus: Split serves as a dramatic tour de force for James McAvoy in multiple roles -- and finds writer-director M. Night Shyamalan returning resoundingly to thrilling form.
Synopsis: While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#8

Atomic Blonde (2017)
78%

#8
Adjusted Score: 91.78%
Critics Consensus: Atomic Blonde gets enough mileage out of its stylish action sequences -- and ever-magnetic star -- to make up for a narrative that's somewhat less hard-hitting than its protagonist.
Synopsis: A high-stakes, global action-thriller that takes place in the city of Berlin, on the eve of the Wall's collapse and... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch

#7

Strings (2004)
80%

#7
Adjusted Score: 12.827%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Anders Ronnow Klarlund's fantasy-action film Strings tells the tale of Hal Tara, the son of a slain ruler who sets... [More]

#6

Atonement (2007)
83%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89.877%
Critics Consensus: Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel.
Synopsis: In 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis and her family live a life of wealth and privilege in their enormous... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 94.54%
Critics Consensus: With a strong script, stylish direction, and powerful performances from its well-rounded cast, X-Men: First Class is a welcome return to form for the franchise.
Synopsis: X-Men: First Class unveils the epic beginning of the X-Men saga - and a secret history of the Cold War... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#4
Adjusted Score: 92.98%
Critics Consensus: Forest Whitaker's performance as real-life megalomaniac dictator Idi Amin powers this fictionalized political thriller, a blunt and brutal tale about power and corruption.
Synopsis: In an incredible twist of fate, a Scottish doctor on a Ugandan medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald

#3

Starter for 10 (2006)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 91.997%
Critics Consensus: Starter For 10 is a spirited coming-of-age tale that remains charming and witty even as it veers into darker teritory. The unique setting of a quiz show makes the film wittier than your average romantic comedy.
Synopsis: A working-class English boy who has been fortunate enough to be accepted into a posh private university struggles to realize... [More]
Directed By: Tom Vaughan

#2
Adjusted Score: 102.402%
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.
Synopsis: The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#1

Arthur Christmas (2011)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 96.523%
Critics Consensus: Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.
Synopsis: The 3D, CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, at last reveals the incredible, never-before... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Smith, Barry Cook

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