(Photo by Diyah Pera/©Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Zac Efron Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer

Zac Efron was the prince of the late-2000s musical with the Certified Fresh Hairspray and, of course, the High School Musical franchise, which by its third and final entry had graduated from the TV space and into a full-fledged theatrical experience. Senior Year and Hairspray were big money makers, and so was Efron’s first post-High School movie, 17 Again. Critics were just on the edge of giving it a Fresh rating, but the transformation comedy certainly appealed to his fan base, and set Efron up for a future as lead man in films.

After getting the requisite Nicholas Sparks adaptation out of the way (The Lucky One), Efron spent several years building up a dramatic resume, though only Richard Linklater’s Me and Orson Welles connected with critics. After the surprise box office success of the Certified Fresh Neighbors, Efron found a new career tack in raunch comedies, letting loose in the likes of Dirty Grandpa, Baywatch, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and The Beach Bum.

Efron starred in 2019’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, a Ted Bundy biopic that coincided with the 30th anniversary of his execution. And Efron returned in 2020 on a much lighter note, voicing the ascot-less Fred in Scoob!, the latest in the venerable Scooby-Doo franchise. Jinkies! Now it’s time to look back on all Zac Efron movies, ranked by Tomatometer!


New Year's Eve (2011)

Adjusted Score: 11.054%
Critics Consensus: Shallow, sappy, and dull, New Year's Eve assembles a star-studded cast for no discernible purpose.
Synopsis: New Year's Eve celebrates love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts, in the intertwining stories told amidst the pulse... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall


Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Adjusted Score: 15.797%
Critics Consensus: Like a Werther's Original dropped down a sewer drain, Dirty Grandpa represents the careless fumbling of a classic talent that once brought pleasure to millions.
Synopsis: Jason Kelly [Zac Efron] is one week away from marrying his boss's uber-controlling daughter, putting him on the fast track... [More]
Directed By: Dan Mazer


Baywatch (2017)

Adjusted Score: 27.07%
Critics Consensus: Baywatch takes its source material's jiggle factor to R-rated levels, but lacks the original's campy charm -- and leaves its charming stars flailing in the shallows.
Synopsis: BAYWATCH follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) as he butts heads with a brash new recruit (Efron). Together, they uncover... [More]
Directed By: Seth Gordon


The Lucky One (2012)

Adjusted Score: 25.203%
Critics Consensus: While it provides the requisite amount of escapist melodrama, The Lucky One ultimately relies on too many schmaltzy clichés to appeal to anyone not already familiar with the Nicholas Sparks formula.
Synopsis: U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he... [More]
Directed By: Scott Hicks

Adjusted Score: 27.177%
Critics Consensus: Formulaic and unfunny, That Awkward Moment wastes a charming cast on a contrived comedy that falls short of the date movies it seems to be trying to subvert.
Synopsis: Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan star in the R-rated comedy, THAT AWKWARD MOMENT, about three best friends... [More]
Directed By: Tom Gormican

Adjusted Score: 31.32%
Critics Consensus: Zac Efron gives it his all, but Charlie St. Cloud is too shallow and cloying to offer much more than eye candy for his fans.
Synopsis: Accomplished sailor Charlie St. Cloud has the adoration of mother Claire and little brother Sam, as well as a college... [More]
Directed By: Burr Steers

Adjusted Score: 44.3%
Critics Consensus: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates benefits from the screwball premise and the efforts of a game cast, even if the sporadically hilarious results don't quite live up to either.
Synopsis: Hard-partying brothers Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) place an online ad to find the perfect dates (Anna Kendrick,... [More]
Directed By: Jake Szymanski

Adjusted Score: 42.642%
Critics Consensus: We Are Your Friends boasts magnetic stars and glimmers of insight, but they're lost in a clichéd coming-of-age story as programmed as the soundtrack's beats.
Synopsis: Set in the world of electronic music and Hollywood nightlife, an aspiring 23-year-old DJ named Cole spends his days scheming... [More]
Directed By: Max Joseph


The Paperboy (2012)

Adjusted Score: 50.119%
Critics Consensus: Trashy and melodramatic, The Paperboy is enlivened by a strong cast and a steamy, sordid plot, but it's uneven and often veers into camp.
Synopsis: A sexually and racially charged film noir from Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious), The Paperboy takes audiences deep into the... [More]
Directed By: Lee Daniels


Parkland (2013)

Adjusted Score: 54.419%
Critics Consensus: Although its decision to look at John F. Kennedy's assassination through uncommon perspectives is refreshing, Parkland never achieves the narrative cohesion its subject deserves.
Synopsis: PARKLAND recounts the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy... [More]
Directed By: Peter Landesman


At Any Price (2013)

Adjusted Score: 54.509%
Critics Consensus: At Any Price features a terrific performance from Dennis Quaid, and it offers further evidence of Ramin Bahrani's unique eye for detail, but film is weighted down by an overly melodramatic story.
Synopsis: In the competitive world of modern agriculture, ambitious HENRY WHIPPLE (Dennis Quaid) wants his rebellious son DEAN (Zac Efron) to... [More]
Directed By: Ramin Bahrani


Scoob! (2020)

Adjusted Score: 54.537%
Critics Consensus: Scoob! is fun enough for youthful viewers and some hardcore fans, but never quite solves the mystery of why audiences shouldn't watch old episodes instead.
Synopsis: "SCOOB!" reveals how lifelong friends Scooby and Shaggy first met and how they joined with young detectives Fred, Velma and... [More]
Directed By: Tony Cervone

Adjusted Score: 59.58%
Critics Consensus: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is cute and funny enough but the moral simplicity of the book gets lost with the zany Hollywood production values.
Synopsis: The 3D-CGI feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is an adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic tale of a forest creature who... [More]
Directed By: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda

Adjusted Score: 61.464%
Critics Consensus: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile often transcends its narrative limitations through sheer force of Zac Efron's compulsively watchable performance.
Synopsis: Elizabeth Kloepfer refused for years to acknowledge that her boyfriend was a serial killer. Her partner, Ted Bundy, became famous... [More]
Directed By: Joe Berlinger


The Beach Bum (2019)

Adjusted Score: 60.642%
Critics Consensus: The role of a lifetime for Matthew McConaughey, The Beach Bum is set apart by Harmony Korine's distinctive style, but that isn't always enough to offset the unfocused story.
Synopsis: THE BEACH BUM follows the hilarious misadventures of Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a rebellious rogue who always lives life by his... [More]
Directed By: Harmony Korine

Adjusted Score: 67.034%
Critics Consensus: The Greatest Showman tries hard to dazzle the audience with a Barnum-style sense of wonder -- but at the expense of its complex subject's far more intriguing real-life story.
Synopsis: Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show... [More]
Directed By:


17 Again (2009)

Adjusted Score: 60.464%
Critics Consensus: Though it uses a well-worn formula, 17 Again has just enough Zac Efron charm to result in a harmless, pleasurable teen comedy.
Synopsis: A former high school basketball star gets a second shot at life when he's miraculously transformed into a teenager and... [More]
Directed By: Burr Steers

Adjusted Score: 71.76%
Critics Consensus: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising may not be strictly necessary, but it still wrings a surprising amount of humor from a recycled premise with a distaff twist.
Synopsis: Young parents Mac (Seth Rogen and Kelly Radnor (Rose Byrne) find their troubles are far from over in this sequel... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

Adjusted Score: 46.679%
Critics Consensus: High School Musical is brazenly saccharine, but it makes up for it with its memorable show tunes, eye-popping choreography, and appealing cast.
Synopsis: The captain of the East High basketball team and the key member of the academic club shock the student body... [More]
Directed By: Kenny Ortega

Adjusted Score: 67.566%
Critics Consensus: It won't win many converts, but High School Musical 3 is bright, energetic, and well-crafted.
Synopsis: Seniors Troy and Gabriella face the prospect of being separated from one another as they head off in different directions... [More]
Directed By: Kenny Ortega


Neighbors (2014)

Adjusted Score: 81.794%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of bawdy humor evenly spread between its well-matched stars, Neighbors earns its R rating -- and filmgoers' laughs.
Synopsis: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne lead the cast of Neighbors, a comedy about a young couple suffering from... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

Adjusted Score: 68.988%
Critics Consensus: Surprisingly better than its predecessor, High School Musical 2 returns to enchant tweens with its snappy songs, wicked dance moves, and peppy spirit.
Synopsis: The musical fun continues in director Kenny Ortega's sequel to the 2006 Disney Channel hit.... [More]
Directed By: Kenny Ortega


Hairspray (2007)

Adjusted Score: 98.451%
Critics Consensus: Hairspray is an energetic, wholly entertaining musical romp; a fun Summer movie with plenty of heart. Its contagious songs will make you want to get up and start dancing.
Synopsis: Sixteen years after the release of the original film, New Line Cinema brings a feature film adaptation of the Tony... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

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