You probably know him best as Thor in the Avengers movies, but Chris Hemsworth has been acting since 2002 and has been in Hollywood for almost a decade at this point. While he hasn’t had the most illustrious or diverse career up to this point, he’s been a part of many solid movies, and I’m sure will continue that trend into the future.
With Hemsworth in a new movie coming out shortly, let’s take a look at the top 10 movies of his career.
I almost didn’t want to do this list in alphabetical order, but that’s what I’ve gone with thus far, and I suppose it’s worth sticking to. The Avengers wasn’t Hemsworth’s first appearance as Thor, but it’s probably the best of them thus far, if only because the first Avengers movie still feels very special. It was the culmination of almost half a decade of build, and it finally united a bunch of superheroes together.
That it’s also a funny film with great action is almost a bonus. That 360 shot was worth it all by itself.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Avengers was followed up three years later by Avengers: Age of Ultron, a movie I consider close in quality to its predecessor, even if it is a noticeable step down. It lacks a great villain – the one we get is enjoyable but doesn’t seem too terribly dangerous. Still, it’s a good amount of fun and it’s hard to be disappointed with what we got – even if it can’t live up to The Avengers. Hemsworth got a bunch of good moments as Thor in this one, too.
The Cabin in the Woods
Despite being released in 2012, The Cabin in the Woods was filmed in 2009 and then sat on a shelf for a couple of years. There were good reasons for that – financial concerns, a sale to a different studio – but usually that isn’t a good sign for a movie.
As it turns out, The Cabin in the Woods is a subversive movie that directly calls out horror movie tropes and addresses them within the fabric of the film, using an ingenious setup to make them integral to the plot. It holds a lot of surprises and, if you are a fan of horror movies, it is a must-watch.
A lot of people didn’t like the 2016 Ghostbusters movie. We’ll sidestep the reasons for now, but the finished product wound up being a decently humorous but more or less mediocre movie, at least according to the people who saw it and were willing to give it a fair shake. Hemsworth plays the secretary for the new team, gets a fair few funny lines, and winds up with more to do by the end of the film. I’m not saying it’s a masterpiece or deserves to stand alongside the original, but better than Ghostbusters 2? Yes, sir.
In the Heart of the Sea
I’m not entirely sure why anyone thought we needed a Moby-Dick movie in 2015, but it happened. Or, more correctly, a movie about the event that inspired Moby-Dick. The film looks amazing, and it’s moderately entertaining – director Ron Howard doesn’t make bad movies very often – but there wasn’t really much desire for it. It failed to make back its budget and wound up being seen as a disappointment. It’s a shame, because it isn’t a bad movie.
A Perfect Getaway
There are a few people – three couples. They’re on vacation in Hawaii. There’s a killer (or killers) on the loose. Each couple suspects that one of the other couples might be the killers.
That’s the setup for A Perfect Getaway, a very fun thriller involving twists and paranoia and distrust. Hemsworth plays one of the six leads. It’s enjoyable and works well to generate suspense – and it’s one of the few pre-Thor roles you can watch with Hemsworth.
Rush is one of Hemsworth’s best non-Marvel movies, and probably his best performance so far. He plays James Hunt, an F1 driver who competes against his rival, Niki Lauda. The film is clever by not giving us a true protagonist. It bounces back and forth between the two drivers, showcasing the positives and negatives to both, and lets us pick for whom we wish to cheer – if anyone. It’s a great film.
Snow White and the Huntsman
Admittedly, Snow White and the Huntsman isn’t anything special. It’s a dark-and-gritty retelling of the Snow White story that turns her into something of an action hero. Hemsworth’s Huntsman was one of its highlights, and he wound up getting his own film a few years later: The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
So, why isn’t that film on this list? Pretty simple: it’s awful.
If this list wasn’t alphabetical, I would’ve started with Thor, since it’s the film that really got Hemsworth into the public consciousness. I don’t think Thor is a great film, if I’m being honest. It’s perfectly serviceable, but given what we’ve seen the Marvel films capable of in the years to come, it falls on the weaker end of the spectrum. Still, it’s not as blandly generic as its direct sequel, so it’s got that going for it!
Thor: Ragnarok is the third solo outing for its hero, and it’s far and a way the best of the bunch. Not only does it contain better action and have a better sense of humor, but it also reinvents its characters and allows them to grow, which keeps things fresh for the audience. It’s rare that superheroes are allowed to go any sort of quick, drastic change, but Thor: Ragnarok does this, and it’s fantastic because of it.