It's crazy to think that there was a time when Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was more well known within the WWE circles than he was outside of it. In the early 2000s, The Rock might have already been "the most electrifying man in sports entertainment", but he was far from big in Hollywood. However, over the years, The Rock's hard work has paid off and he's gone from a straight-to-DVD lead actor to one of the most bankable stars in the entertainment industry.
Below, we've decided to look back on Johnson's movies over the years and listed his 10 best movies.
What do you get when you let Disney work its magic on someone as larger-than-life as The Rock and utilize the talents of Lin-Manual Miranda? That's right, you get Maui. The Rock might have "only" voiced the Demigod (of the wind and sea), but his performance was perfect. To top it all off, he pulled off the singing part quite well too. There's not much to say about Johnson's role in Moana, except, maybe, you're welcome?
Fast Five and onwards (2011-)
At this point, it's impossible to separate the Fast and Furious movies. Whereas there was a distinct difference between each movie from the first to the fourth one, the fifth one and onwards has largely followed the same script only with bigger and more physics-defying stunts. It's also no secret that part of the reason why what used to be a decent series of car-racing movies just became one of the most profitable action franchises ever is the presence of The Rock.
It's just a shame that we won't be seeing The Rock anymore in future mainline installments, but at least we got to see him appear in 5 with a 6th one on the way.
Brad Peyton's 2018 action movie, Rampage, is the perfect example of throwing everything on the proverbial wall to see what sticks, and yet everything you threw stuck so you just went with it. The movie stars Johnson as someone who is an expert on primates and is best friends with George, an albino ape, who is somehow mutated into a more gigantic version of himself that goes on to fight, for some reason, a skyscraper-sized wolf and crocodile.
Rampage knows that the plot makes no sense. If anything, the movie revels in it, and it's also why it's so fun. It's just a full-on action romp from one moment to another, which all culminates in a surprisingly genuine relationship between a man and his CGI best friend.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
Don't let The Rock's boulder-sized muscles fool you. He is a sensitive chap that isn't afraid to show his vulnerability and admit his feelings. In a way, The Rock's role in 2017's Jumanji reboot, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, is pretty much exactly how he is in real life. The only bad thing about The Rock's performance as Smolder Bravestone in the Jumanji reboots is that it all ends once the kids leave the game.
The Rundown (2003)
The Rock had already starred in a handful of movies before 2003's The Rundown, but it wasn't until then that he came into his own as an action star. Arnold Schwarzenegger even made a cameo in the movie at the start, which led to a sequence that was his way of passing the torch. Thankfully, Peter Berg's movie did not disappoint. It's an excellent showcase of Johnson's prowess as a charming and magnetic personality as he takes on the role of a bounty hunter sent to Brazil to retrieve Seann William Scott.
What then ensues is a comedic action-filled adventure that features Christopher Walken playing a fantastic foil to the unlikely duo.
Pain & Gain (2013)
Leave it to Michael Bay to make a film about dimwitted bodybuilders who find themselves in a sticky situation after kidnapping a millionaire feel like an action movie. This violent and manic filming is a lot to take in at times, but Johnson nails his role perfectly as an ex-con who's trying to do things right now that he's out only to find himself excelling at doing the wrong things.
Central Intelligence (2016)
If Johnson's performance in 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was his real-life persona to a T, then you might want to consider 2016's Central Intelligence as where he perfected it. Central Intelligence is a comedy-action film that stars Johnson as a former fat guy who decides to work out, get big, and become a CIA agent. Meanwhile, his co-star, Kevin Hart, is a former athlete and homecoming king who feels like he peaked in high school despite landing himself a cushy well-paying desk job.
The main highlight of Central Intelligence was Johnson's chemistry with Hart and the two have been best buddies since. Audiences agreed too, as every movie that Hart and Johnson have starred together in has gone on to be a big hit at the box office.
2018's Skyscraper is a shameless derivative action thriller that sees Johnson do what he does best - beat up bad guys and look badass while doing it.
Skyscraper's plot is far from original. If anything, it's something that we've seen countless times over. However, Johnson's performance sells how he's able to scale the world's tallest building just so that he can rescue his family from a group of terrorists who will kill them at a moment's notice.
Skyscraper might be outlandish to the point of unbelievable but it's a crowd-pleaser through and through with performances from its lead stars, Johnson and Neve Campbell, that will have you glued to your seats from the start until the very end.
Gridiron Gang (2006)
2006's Gridiron Gang is proof of the common adage that you shouldn't bother fixing something that ain't broke. Although we've seen several other sports dramas released in the past, most have been fairly effective at tugging at the heartstrings of viewers. The reason? People can just relate to them. Of course, it also helps to have a respectable performance from its lead actor, which Johnson does in this Phil Joanou film.
This inspiring movie was based on a true story and is proof that old sports movie formulas will continue working well onto the next century.
We've seen Johnson star in movies that make him feel like he's someone who can't be taken down. Even when he's trying to show off more of his sensitive side, it never really feels like Johnson's character will lose. This is why 2013's Snitch makes the list.
Snitch sees Johnson take on the role of a divorced father who wants to prove that his son is innocent to keep him from serving a 10-year prison sentence. However, unlike in other films where Johnson's character would have gone all gone in guns blazing, Johnson's character in Snitch feels like he is in danger at every turn. Johnson's performance is consistent throughout the film as he deals with drug dealers and cartels who won't hesitate to end his life and put his son behind bars.
Say what you want about the rest of the film, but Johnson's portrayal of a concerned father in Snitch is arguably his most thoughtful performance yet.