Neil Davidson/IFC Films courtesy Everett Collection
(Photo by Neil Davidson/IFC Films courtesy Everett Collection)

All Ewan McGregor Movies Ranked

From independent dramas to a certain trilogy of big-budget sci-fi prequels, Ewan McGregor has led an admirably varied life on the big screen — as well as off, where he’s an accomplished stage actor as well as a bestselling author. Since he made his big breakthrough in Trainspotting, there’s really no telling where you’ll see him next, whether it’s leading parts in huge hits like Moulin Rouge! and the Star Wars franchise or supporting turns in less widely seen fare — just one of many reasons why it’s never a bad time to look back at the best and worst Ewan McGregor movies. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up his major roles (sorry, Being Human and Nanny McPhee Returns fans), ordering the whole lot by Tomatometer.

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 11.616%
Critics Consensus: Improbable and muddled.
Synopsis: Part high-tech spy thriller and part psychological study, Eye of the Beholder was Ewan McGregor's first feature film following his... [More]
Directed By: Stephan Elliott

#53

Mortdecai (2015)
12%

#53
Adjusted Score: 15.166%
Critics Consensus: Aggressively strange and willfully unfunny, the misguided Mortdecai sounds a frightfully low note in Johnny Depp's post-Pirates filmography.
Synopsis: Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part... [More]
Directed By: David Koepp

#52

Deception (2008)
13%

#52
Adjusted Score: 15.946%
Critics Consensus: Deception is a middling, predictable potboiler with mediocre dialogue and ludicrous plot twists.
Synopsis: "Are you free tonight?" A simple enough question, but how Jonathan McQuarry answers it will change his life forever. A... [More]
Directed By: Marcel Langenegger

#51

Zoe (2018)
33%

#51
Adjusted Score: 33.327%
Critics Consensus: Zoe has some interesting ideas but never manages to get a satisfying grip on them, settling for slow-moving sci-fi that ultimately fails to engage.
Synopsis: Director Drake Doremus's science fiction romance envisions a Pygmalion-esque dynamic between a lonesome artificial-intelligence engineer/divorcee (Ewan McGregor) and Zoe (Léa... [More]
Directed By: Drake Doremus

#50

Amelia (2009)
20%

#50
Adjusted Score: 24.564%
Critics Consensus: Amelia takes the compelling raw materials of its subject's life and does little with them, conventionally ticking off Earhart's accomplishments without exploring the soul of the woman.
Synopsis: An extraordinary life of adventure, celebrity and continuing mystery comes to light in "Amelia," a vast, thrilling account of legendary... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Dryburgh, Mira Nair

#49

Incendiary (2009)
22%

#49
Adjusted Score: 17.486%
Critics Consensus: A solid performance from Michelle Williams isn't enough to save this well meaning, but disappointing, cliché ridden drama.
Synopsis: A woman wrestles with grief, betrayal and redemption in this psychological drama from director Sharon Maguire. One afternoon, a young... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#48

Nightwatch (1998)
22%

#48
Adjusted Score: 22.766%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Like The Vanishing (1988 and 1993), Nightwatch is an English-language version of a foreign-made film with the original director hired... [More]
Directed By: Ole Bornedal

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 24.768%
Critics Consensus: American Pastoral finds debuting director Ewan McGregor's reach exceeding its grasp with a well-intentioned Philip Roth adaptation that retains the form, but little of the function, of its source material.
Synopsis: AMERICAN PASTORAL follows Seymour "Swede" Levov, a legendary high school athlete, who grows up to marry a former beauty queen... [More]
Directed By: Ewan McGregor

#46

Stay (2005)
27%

#46
Adjusted Score: 30.639%
Critics Consensus: A muddled brain-teaser, Stay has a solid cast and innovative visuals but little beneath the surface.
Synopsis: Marc Forster's psychological thriller Stay stars Ewan McGregor as Sam Foster, a psychologist who begins to feel his grip on... [More]
Directed By: Marc Forster

#45

Rogue Trader (1999)
30%

#45
Adjusted Score: 30.194%
Critics Consensus: Rogue Trader tells its headline-grabbing true story too late to really have much of an impact - and too clumsily to take advantage of Ewan McGregor's game performance.
Synopsis: Ewan McGregor stars in this drama as Nick Leeson, the real-life stockbroker whose excess ambition and reckless investment strategies destroyed... [More]
Directed By: James Dearden

#44

Valiant (2005)
32%

#44
Adjusted Score: 35.228%
Critics Consensus: Valiant has a good collection of voice talents, but the story is strictly by-the-numbers.
Synopsis: Inspired by the true-life story of carrier pigeons who were trained to carry vital information for the Allied forces across... [More]
Directed By: Gary Chapman

#43
Adjusted Score: 36.592%
Critics Consensus: Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker is strictly children's fare, as it lacks originality, excitement, and believabiltity.
Synopsis: An outwardly ordinary teenager finds himself suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances upon discovering that his entire youth was part of... [More]
Directed By: Geoffrey Sax

#42

Angels & Demons (2009)
37%

#42
Adjusted Score: 44.778%
Critics Consensus: Angels and Demons is a fast-paced thrill ride, and an improvement on the last Dan Brown adaptation, but the storyline too often wavers between implausible and ridiculous, and does not translate effectively to the big screen.
Synopsis: Angels and Demons re-teams director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks for the sequel to their international blockbuster adaptation of... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 40.643%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The acclaimed Trainspotting trio (director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, scripter John Hodge) reunited for this update of '30s screwball... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#40
#40
Adjusted Score: 7.512%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A handful of couples discuss their romantic and erotic tribulations on a sunny afternoon in this romantic comedy drama. It's... [More]
Directed By: Ed Blum

#39

The Island (2005)
40%

#39
Adjusted Score: 46.371%
Critics Consensus: A clone of THX 1183, Coma, and Logan's Run, The Island is another loud and bombastic Michael Bay movie where explosions and chases matter more than characters, dialogue, or plot.
Synopsis: Blockbuster action director Michael Bay delivers a striking look at a strange world of the future in this sci-fi action... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

#38

Jane Got a Gun (2016)
41%

#38
Adjusted Score: 43.406%
Critics Consensus: Jane Got a Gun flounders between campy Western and hard-hitting revisionist take on the genre, leaving Natalie Portman's committed performance stranded in the dust.
Synopsis: Natalie Portman stars in this western concerning a woman who has to defend her home against a group of outlaws.... [More]
Directed By:

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 25.847%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: World War II: What if Nazis seized London and all of England had to band together? When scarily campy Nazi... [More]
Directed By: Edward McHenry

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 48.275%
Critics Consensus: Colin Farrell and Tom Wilkinson act up a storm in Cassandra's Dream, but Woody Allen's heavy-handed symbolism and foreshadowing drains the plot of all tension.
Synopsis: Two brothers with serious financial woes are approached by a third party to commit a crime, but things go bad... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#35
Adjusted Score: 57.257%
Critics Consensus: Though The Men Who Stare at Goats is a mostly entertaining, farcical glimpse of men at war, some may find its satire and dark humor less than edgy.
Synopsis: Reporter Bob Wilton is in search of his next big story when he encounters Lyn Cassady, a shadowy figure who... [More]
Directed By: Grant Heslov

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 59.356%
Critics Consensus: It's enthusiastically acted and reasonably fun, but Jack the Giant Slayer is also overwhelmed by digital effects and a bland, impersonal story.
Synopsis: "Jack the Giant Slayer" tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#33

Perfect Sense (2012)
53%

#33
Adjusted Score: 54.293%
Critics Consensus: Perfect Sense has interesting ideas and charismatic stars, all of which add up to a viewing experience that's frustratingly less than the sum of its intriguing parts.
Synopsis: A hit at Sundance '11 and winner of the Ediburgh Film Festival's prize for Best New British Feature, the amazing... [More]
Directed By: David Mackenzie

#32

Nora (2001)
55%

#32
Adjusted Score: 23.189%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The true story of the intense love affair between James Joyce and Nora Barnacle, the simple servant girl who became... [More]
Directed By: Pat Murphy

#31

Velvet Goldmine (1998)
55%

#31
Adjusted Score: 56.747%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: At the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, American independent director Todd Haynes (Safe) received the "Artistic Achievement" award for this re-creation... [More]
Directed By: Todd Haynes

#30
Adjusted Score: 65.32%
Critics Consensus: Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy -- albeit visually dazzling -- start.
Synopsis: In 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars, the ultimate sci-fi popcorn flick-turned-pop-culture myth machine. It quickly became the biggest money-making... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#29

Down With Love (2003)
59%

#29
Adjusted Score: 63.726%
Critics Consensus: Looks great, but Zellweger and McGregor have no chemistry together, and the self-satisfied, knowing tone grates.
Synopsis: A post-modern sex comedy set in the early 1960s centering upon a love affair between a best-selling advice author and... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#28

Young Adam (2004)
62%

#28
Adjusted Score: 64.874%
Critics Consensus: A grim mood piece with good performances from the leads.
Synopsis: The corpse of a young woman is found floating in a canal by a drifter working on a barge traveling... [More]
Directed By: David Mackenzie

#27

Son of a Gun (2015)
63%

#27
Adjusted Score: 64.708%
Critics Consensus: Gritty, stylish, and smart, Son of a Gun serves up plenty of genre thrills while offering a refreshing change of pace for Ewan McGregor.
Synopsis: When JR (Brenton Thwaites) is sent to prison for a minor crime, he becomes the apprentice to Brendan Lynch (Ewan... [More]
Directed By: Julius Avery

#26

Robots (2005)
64%

#26
Adjusted Score: 69.697%
Critics Consensus: Robots delights on a visual level, but the story feels like it came off an assembly line.
Synopsis: A young genius wants his robots to make the world a better place. He falls in love with a very... [More]

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 70.815%
Critics Consensus: The sheer amount of acting going on in August: Osage County threatens to overwhelm, but when the actors involved are as talented as Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, it's difficult to complain.
Synopsis: AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose... [More]
Directed By: John Wells

#24

The Pillow Book (1997)
66%

#24
Adjusted Score: 68.891%
Critics Consensus: The Pillow Book is undeniably sensual and visually ravishing, but the film's narrative lacks the hypnotic pull of its imagery.
Synopsis: The erotic exploits of a Japanese woman with an obsession for body writing provides the basis of this exotic, intellectually... [More]
Directed By: Peter Greenaway

#23

Miss Potter (2007)
66%

#23
Adjusted Score: 69.677%
Critics Consensus: A charming biopic that maintains its sweetness even in sadder moments.
Synopsis: This biography of children's author Beatrix Potter explores how she overcame a domineering mother and the chauvinism of Victorian England... [More]
Directed By: Chris Noonan

#22
Adjusted Score: 73.05%
Critics Consensus: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones benefits from an increased emphasis on thrilling action, although they're once again undercut by ponderous plot points and underdeveloped characters.
Synopsis: The second prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy takes place ten years after the events depicted in Star Wars:... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#21
Adjusted Score: 71.773%
Critics Consensus: Quirky and a little reserved, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is nonetheless a charming little romantic drama sold by some strong central performances.
Synopsis: When Britain's leading fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a consultant (Emily Blunt) to help realize a sheikh's (Amr... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallstrom

#20

Shallow Grave (1995)
69%

#20
Adjusted Score: 71.93%
Critics Consensus: This black-humored thriller features characters who are more obnoxious than clever. During the second half, the movie descends into gratuitous violence.
Synopsis: In this black British comedy, set in modern Scotland, three odd people finally find a new roommate and must figure... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 83.051%
Critics Consensus: Christopher Robin may not equal A.A. Milne's stories -- or their animated Disney adaptations -- but it should prove sweet enough for audiences seeking a little childhood magic.
Synopsis: In the heatwarming live action adventure "Disney's Christopher Robin," the young boy who loved embarking on adventures in the Hundred... [More]
Directed By: Marc Forster

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 85.5%
Critics Consensus: With an enchanting cast, beautifully crafted songs, and a painterly eye for detail, Beauty and the Beast offers a faithful yet fresh retelling that honors its beloved source material.
Synopsis: Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" is a live-action re-telling of the studio's animated classic which refashions the classic characters from... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 76.875%
Critics Consensus: Our Kind of Traitor relies on solid writing and acting rather than action to deliver its spy-movie thrills -- and thankfully has the pedigree to pull it off on both fronts.
Synopsis: While on holiday in Marrakech, an ordinary English couple, Perry and Gail, befriend a flamboyant and charismatic Russian, Dima, who... [More]
Directed By: Susanna White

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 76.091%
Critics Consensus: This fact-based romantic comedy has its flaws, but they're mostly overcome by its consistently sweet, funny tone and one of the best performances of Jim Carrey's career.
Synopsis: Bad Santa co-screenwriters Glenn Ficara and John Requa re-team for this fact-based black comedy starring Jim Carrey as a Texas... [More]
Directed By: John Requa, Glenn Ficarra

#15

Miles Ahead (2016)
73%

#15
Adjusted Score: 79.365%
Critics Consensus: Miles Ahead is worth watching for Don Cheadle's strong work on both sides of the camera, even if this unconventional biopic doesn't quite capture its subject's timeless appeal.
Synopsis: MILES AHEAD is not just about the music. It's about what we all face at one time or another in... [More]
Directed By: Don Cheadle

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 78.937%
Critics Consensus: Last Days in the Desert offers enough stately grandeur and spiritual exploration to offset an occasionally ambiguous narrative.
Synopsis: This film follows Jesus in an imagined chapter from his forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On... [More]
Directed By: Rodrigo García

#13

Black Hawk Down (2001)
76%

#13
Adjusted Score: 81.554%
Critics Consensus: Though it's light on character development and cultural empathy, Black Hawk Down is a visceral, pulse-pounding portrait of war, elevated by Ridley Scott's superb technical skill.
Synopsis: A quickly forgotten chapter in United States military history is relived in this harrowing war drama from director Ridley Scott,... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#12

Moulin Rouge! (2001)
76%

#12
Adjusted Score: 82.513%
Critics Consensus: A love-it-or-hate-it experience, Moulin Rouge is all style, all giddy, over-the-top spectacle. But it's also daring in its vision and wildly original.
Synopsis: The third film from pop-music-obsessed director Baz Luhrmann tweaks the conventions of the musical genre by mixing a period romance... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#11

Big Fish (2003)
76%

#11
Adjusted Score: 82.206%
Critics Consensus: A charming father-and-son tale filled with typical Tim Burton flourishes.
Synopsis: The story of a braggart and exaggerator, Edward Bloom, and his son, William, who--after a long estrangement--returns home only to... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#10

Brassed Off (1997)
79%

#10
Adjusted Score: 80.863%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Set in Yorkshire, this socially conscious British comedy-drama centers on a small coal town and the famed brass band that... [More]
Directed By: Mark Herman

#9

Little Voice (1998)
79%

#9
Adjusted Score: 81.139%
Critics Consensus: Little Voice brings its award-winning source material to the screen in style, elevated by a commanding lead performance from Jane Horrocks.
Synopsis: Based on the Olivier Award-winning London play, LITTLE VOICE follows the story of a young girl who can only express... [More]
Directed By: Mark Herman

#8

T2 Trainspotting (2017)
79%

#8
Adjusted Score: 88.506%
Critics Consensus: T2 Trainspotting adds an intoxicating, emotionally resonant postscript to its classic predecessor, even without fully recapturing the original's fresh, subversive thrill.
Synopsis: First there was an opportunity......then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#7
Adjusted Score: 88.813%
Critics Consensus: With Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas brings his second Star Wars trilogy to a suitably thrilling and often poignant -- if still a bit uneven -- conclusion.
Synopsis: George Lucas draws the Star Wars film series to a close with this dark sci-fi adventure which sets the stage... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#6

Haywire (2012)
80%

#6
Adjusted Score: 86.394%
Critics Consensus: MMA star and first-time actress Gina Carano displays ample action-movie chops in Haywire, a fast-paced thriller with a top-notch cast and outstanding direction from Steven Soderbergh.
Synopsis: This dynamic action-thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh boasts a talented cast that includes Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Antonio... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#5

The Impossible (2012)
82%

#5
Adjusted Score: 88.552%
Critics Consensus: The screenplay isn't quite as powerful as the direction or the acting, but with such an astonishing real-life story at its center, The Impossible is never less than compelling.
Synopsis: Maria, Henry and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical... [More]
Directed By: J.A. Bayona

#4

The Ghost Writer (2010)
84%

#4
Adjusted Score: 89.56%
Critics Consensus: While it may lack the revelatory punch of Polanski's finest films, Ghost Writer benefits from stylish direction, a tense screenplay, and a strong central performance from Ewan McGregor.
Synopsis: When a successful British ghost writer, The Ghost, agrees to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang,... [More]

#3

Emma (1996)
84%

#3
Adjusted Score: 86.456%
Critics Consensus: Emma marks an auspicious debut for writer-director Douglas McGrath, making the most of its Jane Austen source material -- and a charming performance from Gwyneth Paltrow.
Synopsis: Based on a comic novel by 19th century author Jane Austen's , this medium-budget romance features charming, sprightly humor chronicles... [More]
Directed By: Douglas McGrath

#2

Beginners (2011)
84%

#2
Adjusted Score: 88.235%
Critics Consensus: Wearing its twee heart on its sleeve, Beginners explores the depths of modern, multi-generational romance with wit and depth.
Synopsis: Beginners imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver (Ewan McGregor). Oliver meets... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mills

#1

Trainspotting (1996)
90%

#1
Adjusted Score: 94.599%
Critics Consensus: A brutal, often times funny, other times terrifying portrayal of drug addiction in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth viewing as a realistic and entertaining reminder of the horrors of drug use.
Synopsis: Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), a young man with few prospects and fewer ambitions, lives in economically depressed Edinburgh. Like most... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

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