To showcase some of the best Gerard Butler movies before the premiere of his recent movies, below is a list of his best works.
One of Hollywood’s most popular actors, Gerard Butler, is highly regarded by his fans.
With his off-screen Scottish charm setting him apart from the abundance of other actors, he is a genuinely likable leading man.
He sticks to what he knows and manages to capture audiences with compelling performances in everything from science-fiction disaster movies to romantic comedies.
1. Chasing Mavericks (2012)
- Director: Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson
- Cast: Jonny Weston, Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, Leven Rambin, Greg Long, and Peter Mel
- IMDb rating: 7.1/10
Chasing Mavericks is one movie that has to be on any list of the best Gerard Butler movies.
It follows the true story of surfer Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston) and is notable for being Curtis Hanson’s last movie as a filmmaker and Michael Apted’s second-to-last.
Apted took over as director when Hanson’s health issues worsened.
Moriarty rose to fame at 16 for surfing Mavericks, the colossal Northern Californian swell that has earned a reputation for many big wave surfers.
The movie details how he accomplished it with the help of Richard “Frosty” Hesson, his dependable instructor and closest friend (Gerard Butler). Butler has the gravity and charm necessary to excel in a mentor position.
However, what makes his performance in “Chasing Mavericks” even more remarkable is how well he sells the surfing scenes.
The actor trained with big wave surfer Grant Washburn to ensure he did it right.
His commitment to the part is abundantly apparent in the movie, which has some of the most exciting (fictional) surfing scenes ever filmed.
2. The Vanishing (2018)
- Director: Kristoffer Nyholm
- Cast: Peter Mullan, Gerard Butler, Emma King, Gary Lewis, Connor Swindells, Ken Drury, and Gary Kane
- IMDb rating: 7.9/10
In addition to being a masterfully written and tense thriller, The Vanishing is among the best Gerard Butler movies on this list. That is the least well-known and underappreciated project.
It is a dark movie that worsens as it goes along since it is based on the actual 1900 disappearance of a crew working at the Flannan Isles Lighthouse.
Three men, James (Butler), Thomas (Peter Mullan), and Donald (Connor Swindells), who are starting a six-week shift at a remote lighthouse, are the movie’s main characters.
Each person comes to work with their baggage, which will soon become more problematic due to an unexpected discovery.
The three men discover a boat washed up on the sand after a storm, a corpse, and an enormous wooden box filled with money.
This fortunate break, which has the potential to alter their lives, comes at a high price since they will not only have to protect it from onlookers but maybe even from one another.
It is one of the best Gerard Butlers movies that combines horrible violence with a gorgeous background to leave an imprint on your mind that you won’t be able to shake off so quickly.
It has three excellent performances that exceed the subject in every single moment.
3. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
- Director: Dean DeBlois
- Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
- IMDb rating: 7.8/10
Butler’s portrayal of Stoick, a heartless Viking father, could have gone anyway, as could the whole “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise.
Thankfully, this series showed that DreamWorks could produce sincere, aesthetically gorgeous, dramatic CGI animated masterpieces on the scale of Pixar.
It also gave Butler one of the best parts of his career, which is only fitting. It’s hard to compare “How to Train Your Dragon 2” to the first.
The story sees the powerful chieftain of Berk settling into a softer, more sensitive, and more emotionally adaptable version of himself after the previous movie’s events.
The emergence of his long-lost wife, Valka, who brings all of Stoick’s suppressed anguish, fear, and love to the fore, challenges him in his quest for personal development right away.
Butler has excellent on-screen chemistry with his co-star, even in animated form, and the movie gives him a perfect opportunity to finish Stoick’s story.
4. The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
- Director: Joel Schumacher
- Cast: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver, Ciarán Hinds, and Simon Callow
- IMDb rating: 7.2/10
In Joel Schumacher’s cinematic version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical The Phantom of the Opera, Gerard Butler, a guy who is not a vocalist, does a remarkably decent job.
Hugh Jackman was initially supposed to play the role, but the producers decided against him since he was too busy shooting Van Helsing.
Webber worked with Butler to modify the songs to fit Butler’s vocal range. Purists may find the outcome disappointing, but he does a great job.
The dark, sad madman lurking about the opera theater and drooling over Christine (Emmy Rossum) from the shadows is also brilliantly cast in him.
Butler excels at playing moody pathology and regularly conveys pity and terror simultaneously.
He blends well with Schumacher’s adaptation’s somewhat extravagant visual splendor. This is undoubtedly one of the best Gerard Butler movies.
5. Nim’s Island (2008)
- Director: Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin
- Cast: Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler, Abigail Breslin, Michael Carman, Mark Brady, Anthony Simcoe, and Christopher James Baker
- IMDb rating: 6.0/10
“Nim’s Island” reunites the attention-grabbing trio of Butler, Jodie Foster, and Abigail Breslin for a lighthearted, classic adventure story with a lighthearted meta twist.
On an isolated island in the South Pacific, a girl called Nim communicates by email with an adventure book author, who, despite the intensity of her writings, suffers from agoraphobia and severe neurosis.
The author must confront her worries as the girl encounters tropical danger. Butler portrays Alex Rover, the imaginary adventurer invented by Foster’s Alexandra Rover, and Jack Rusoe, a widowed marine researcher and Nim’s father.
Alexandra imagines herself speaking with Alex when she is alone in her home. The movie is an entertaining, family-friendly adventure that benefits from excellent acting.
The dual part, however, enables Butler to showcase two essential sides of his star persona: the burly, masculine action guy and the sympathetic and approachable father figure/love interest.
This is what makes it noteworthy in the context of Butler’s career.
6. Dear Frankie (2004)
- Director: Shona Auerbach
- Cast: Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler, Mary Riggans, Sharon Small, Sophie Main, and Katy Murphy
- IMDb rating: 7.7/10
The movie, directed by Shona Auerbach and based on a screenplay by Andrea Gibb, is a worthy addition to the best Gerard Butler movies.
To avoid her violent ex-husband, Lizzie Morrison took her nine-year-old deaf son Frankie (Jack McElhone) to the Scottish seaside town of Greenock.
Lizzie makes up the story that Frankie’s father is a merchant marine working far away because she lacks the courage to tell him the truth.
Lizzie hires the Stranger (Butler) to pose as Frankie’s father for the day after a string of coincidences lead Frankie to assume that his father has finally visited him.
This overview might have been used to create something exciting, yet “Dear Frankie” is always brutally honest and heartfelt.
Butler has the opportunity to fully commit to a breathtakingly modest and challenging character in this movie.
It’s safe to say that it’s one of the best Gerard Butler movies to date, which gives the audience optimism that he’ll make more arthouse dramas in the future.
7. Plane (2023)
- Director: Jean-François Richet
- Cast: Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Tony Goldwyn, Yoson An, Evan Dane Taylor, Paul Ben-Victor, and Daniella Pineda
- IMDb rating: 6.5/10
Even though Plane, the most recent inclusion on this list of the best Gerard Butler movies, has some amusement at the end, getting it isn’t enjoyable.
It seems like a lot of fun to watch a movie where Butler portrays a guy who needs to make an emergency landing on a plane and then fight off intruders.
Unfortunately, the spectacular ending cannot make up for the generally boring journey it took to get there.
Although the pilot and his unexpected friend must live with the rest of the passengers until a rescue, their chemistry isn’t enough to let this entertaining movie take off as much as it should have.
However, it is the one that ends with about the greatest spike one could wish for when it comes to many of Butler’s works.
One can only hope that the projected sequel makes better use of the promise of its idea.
8. Gamer (2009)
- Director: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
- Cast: Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Ludacris, Amber Valletta, Kyra Sedgwick, Logan Lerman, and Alison Lohman
- IMDb rating: 5.7/10
The movie centers on John “Kable” Tillman (Butler), who uses video games to manipulate people as their avatars in a dystopian future.
He is the most well-known and successful death row convict playing the computer game “Slayers” to get a pardon.
He longs to reconcile with his estranged wife, Angie (Amber Valletta), a professional actress-avatar in the “Sims”-style live simulation game “Society.”
In addition to the gonzo music, fury, and brutality that only this specific star-director alignment could produce, conspiracies, insurrections, and sci-fi twists follow.
9. Copshop (2021)
- Director: Joe Carnahan
- Cast: Gerard Butler, Frank Grillo, Alexis Louder, Toby Huss, Chad L. Coleman, Ryan O’Nan, and Jose Pablo Cantillo
- IMDb rating: 6.2/10
When reviewing the best Gerard Butler movies, Copshop stands out as the most tenacious and ruthless entry that is considerably more enjoyable than it should be.
A con man called Teddy (Frank Grillo) attempts to hide in a building in the hopes that no one can find him at the beginning of this movie, which is set in a single police station.
He has especially been detained because he is in severe need of protection. When a hitman (Butler) appears in the cell next to him, everything is thrown out the window.
Teddy will have to forge an unexpected alliance with one of the department’s rookies (Alexis Louder) to live since he has no one to trust, and there’s a chance that everyone is a murderer.
From beginning to end, it is a good action thriller, grim and gory, without ever outstaying its welcome.
Even though it makes some compromises throughout most of the setup, once it gets going, there is no going back.
10. Mrs. Brown (1997)
- Director: John Madden
- Cast: Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Antony Sher, Gerard Butler, Richard Pasco, and David Westhead
- IMDb rating: 7.2/10
Gerard Butler’s performance in “Mrs. Brown” is one of his most honest, enjoyable, and unrecognizable performances since there was no such thing as a “Gerard Butler persona” in 1997.
This was Butler’s first major-studio role after a few small-screen appearances.
John Madden directed this historical drama and stars Judi Dench for the first of two times in her cinematic career.
It recounts the story of the infamous and contentious friendship between the newly widowed Queen Victoria and her late husband’s trusted Scottish servant, John Brown.
“Mrs. Butler,” created by BBC and initially planned to be a television film, was bought and distributed in cinemas by Miramax.
Due to the outstanding performances by Dench and Connolly, it earned tremendous economic success with its story of friendship and kindred growing within the restrictions of royal duty.
Before winning best supporting actress at the Oscars for “Shakespeare in Love,” Dench was nominated for her first Oscar for the movie.
However, the two established stars of the movie weren’t the only ones to draw notice.
The gorgeous, youthful, and uncannily charming 27-year-old actor portraying Archie Brown, John’s worried younger brother, immediately caught the attention of many audiences.
This is undoubtedly one of the best Gerard Butler movies.
11. Geostorm (2017)
- Director: Dean Devlin
- Cast: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, and Amr Waked
- IMDb rating: 5.3/10
Butler plays a guy who created a satellite network that can control the weather, but the satellites are taken over by a crazy person who wants to rule the whole planet.
The ensemble cast includes Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Richard Schiff, Andy Garcia, Zazie Beetz, Abbie Cornish, and Eugenio Derbez, several of whom will be gone by the time the credits roll.
The movie was co-written and directed by Emmerich’s longtime producing partner Dean Devlin.
Even though the movie was released in 2017, Butler’s performance as a scientist is utterly ridiculous, and the production appears old.
However, it doesn’t harm anybody, and Geostorm is a good choice if you like some of the best Gerard Butler movies.
12. RocknRolla (2008)
- Director: Guy Ritchie
- Cast: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Idris Elba, Thandiwe Newton, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, and Karel Roden
- IMDb rating: 7.2/10
Guy Ritchie has his niche, as do certain directors after “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch,” which began his early career, his mediocre movies strayed outside his comfort zone.
However, “RocknRolla” saw the venerable British director of stylish postmodern gangster movies return to form.
One of the projects that enables Butler to mix his skills as a bold action hero with more in-depth character acting is “RocknRolla.”
He portrays a wittier, self-aware persona in this scene. Even though Butler’s One-Two is the movie’s main character, the ensemble of “RocknRolla” offers as many compelling reasons to see it.
Ritchie allows them to alternately grab the spotlight from one another, with Butler serving as the event’s impressively confident anchor.
The narrative, which involves a land fraud that leaves millions of pounds available for the taking, may be characterized as a type of gangster rat race.
This puts London’s criminal underworld in a no-holds-barred scramble for the gold. This is one of the best Gerard Butler movies.
13. Dracula 2000 (2000)
- Director: Patrick Lussier
- Cast: Gerard Butler, Justine Waddell, Jonny Lee Miller, Christopher Plummer, Vitamin C, Jennifer Esposito, and Omar Epps
- IMDb rating: 4.9/10
His role as Dracula in the creatively named horror movie Dracula 2000 introduced Gerard Butler to American viewers for the first time.
Butler’s acting is mostly limited to smoldering, gaping expressions, but the screenplay manages to create an intriguing history for the well-known vampire that results in an unexpectedly moving moment.
The best parts of Dracula 2000 are when it updates Bram Stoker’s story for the modern world.
However, depending on your attitude, it is silly and filled with generally horrible acting, which isn’t always negative.
Butler has about as many lines as Boba Fett, yet he is still very entertaining.