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All James McAvoy Movies Ranked

James McAvoy got his start in British comedies and dramas, working in ensembles like Bright Young Things and TV’s Shameless, while taking the lead early in Starter for 10. His role as hirsute satyr Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe got him major exposure, and an in with the young crowd. McAvoy started to pick up awards attention while on the peripheral in the Forrest Whitaker-starring The Last King of Scotland, a fitting fate considering the observer character he played in that Idi Amin biopic. The Best Picture-nominated Atonement quickly followed.

But it was his role in the raucous Wanted that proved his breakthrough, and that maybe McAvoy could hack it in action blockbuster world. This led to his most iconic role yet, that of Professor X as the X-Men sidewined into the past with First Class. His matchup against Michael Fassbender’s Magneto remains among the most engaging hero/villain feuds in superhero cinema.

2019 was one of his busier years, appearing in three movies, all sequels wrapping up their franchises: Dark Phoenix, IT Chapter Two, and Glass. With that, we’re ranked all James McAvoy movies by Tomatometer!


Submergence (2017)

Adjusted Score: 24048%
Critics Consensus: A slow-moving misfire, Submergence isn't as deep as it thinks it is -- but still manages to drown its stars in a drama whose admirable ambitions remain almost entirely unfulfilled.
Synopsis: Clinging to life in a cell in Africa, James is brutally interrogated by jihadis. Worlds away, Danielle prepares to descend... [More]
Directed By: Wim Wenders


Dark Phoenix (2019)

Adjusted Score: 41504%
Critics Consensus: Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc -- with deeply disappointing results.
Synopsis: During a rescue mission, Jean Grey is hit by a cosmic force that makes her infinitely more powerful, but far... [More]
Directed By: Simon Kinberg

Adjusted Score: 32256%
Critics Consensus: A re-imagining without the imagining, Victor Frankenstein plays at providing a fresh perspective on an oft-told tale, but ultimately offers little of interest that viewers haven't already seen in superior Frankenstein films.
Synopsis: When the experiments of radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) go too far, only Igor Strausman (Daniel Radcliffe), his equally... [More]
Directed By: Paul McGuigan


Sherlock Gnomes (2018)

Adjusted Score: 28782%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Gnomes is sadly, utterly stumped by the mystery of the reason for its own existence.
Synopsis: When Gnomeo and Juliet first arrive in London, their biggest concern is getting their new garden ready for spring. After... [More]
Directed By: John Stevenson


The Pool (2002)

Adjusted Score: 17814%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A masked killer slaughters young people having a party at a fancy gymnasium.... [More]
Directed By: Boris von Sychowski


Glass (2019)

Adjusted Score: 58317%
Critics Consensus: Glass displays a few glimmers of M. Night Shyamalan at his twisty world-building best, but ultimately disappoints as the conclusion to the writer-director's long-gestating trilogy.
Synopsis: David Dunn looks to deliver vigilante justice to the Beast -- the madman who has superhuman strength and 23 personalities.... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

Adjusted Score: 49888%
Critics Consensus: Welcome to the Punch is a little deeper and more thoughtful than most police dramas -- but not quite enough to surmount its thinly written characters and numbing violence.
Synopsis: When a notorious criminal is forced to return to London, it gives a veteran detective one final chance to bring... [More]
Directed By: Eran Creevy

Adjusted Score: 62816%
Critics Consensus: Overloaded action and a cliched villain take the focus away from otherwise strong performers and resonant themes, making X-Men: Apocalypse a middling chapter of the venerable superhero franchise.
Synopsis: Professor X (James McAvoy) and Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) lead a team of young X-Men to stop the immortal mutant Apocalypse... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

Adjusted Score: 50916%
Critics Consensus: The dramatic aspects of Rory O'Shea Was Here veer into mawkish, formulaic sentiment, which undercuts the characters' individuality.
Synopsis: Two friends (James McAvoy, Steven Robertson) with disabilities move into their own apartment and vie for the affections of their... [More]
Directed By: Damien O'Donnell


Penelope (2006)

Adjusted Score: 57623%
Critics Consensus: Though Penelope has a charming cast and an appealing message, it ultimately suffers from faulty narrative and sloppy direction.
Synopsis: Born with the snout of a pig, a young woman (Christina Ricci) believes the only way to break the curse... [More]
Directed By: Mark Palansky


The Conspirator (2010)

Adjusted Score: 61297%
Critics Consensus: The Conspirator is well cast and tells a worthy story, but many viewers will lack the patience for Redford's deliberate, stagebound approach.
Synopsis: A novice lawyer (James McAvoy) realizes that his client (Robin Wright), the only woman charged with conspiring to kill President... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford


Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

Adjusted Score: 59504%
Critics Consensus: While it has moments of inspiration, Gnomeo and Juliet is often too self-referential for its own good.
Synopsis: Love-struck garden gnomes (James McAvoy, Emily Blunt) become part of a feud between rival neighbors in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace.... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury


Becoming Jane (2007)

Adjusted Score: 61997%
Critics Consensus: Although Becoming Jane is a well-crafted period piece, it lacks fresh insight into the life and works of Jane Austen. The film focuses too much on wardrobe and not enough on Austen's achievements.
Synopsis: Though her parents expect her to marry a wealthy suitor, young Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway) becomes involved with a penniless... [More]
Directed By: Julian Jarrold


Wimbledon (2004)

Adjusted Score: 64354%
Critics Consensus: A predictable, bland rom-com, but Bettany proves to be an appealing lead.
Synopsis: An English tennis player (Paul Bettany) reinvigorates his game after finding romance with an American counterpart (Kirsten Dunst).... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine


It: Chapter Two (2019)

Adjusted Score: 82812%
Critics Consensus: It: Chapter Two proves bigger doesn't always mean scarier for horror sequels, but a fine cast and faithful approach to the source material keep this follow-up afloat.
Synopsis: Defeated by members of the Losers' Club, the evil clown Pennywise returns 27 years later to terrorize the town of... [More]
Directed By: Andy Muschietti

Adjusted Score: 67276%
Critics Consensus: Colored with witty performances and a camp sense of satire, Stephen Fry's version of Evelyn Waugh's novel may only be fitfully successful but it does mark a promising debut for the British comic.
Synopsis: After losing the manuscript of his first novel, a penniless writer (Stephen Campbell Moore) must raise enough money to marry... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Fry

Adjusted Score: 68929%
Critics Consensus: Led by strong performances from Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is a hauntingly original rumination on love and loss.
Synopsis: Following the death of their child, a woman (Jessica Chastain) leaves her husband (James McAvoy) and flees to the suburban... [More]
Directed By: Ned Benson


Filth (2013)

Adjusted Score: 69141%
Critics Consensus: Warped, grimy, and enthusiastically unpleasant, Filth lives up to its title splendidly.
Synopsis: A drug-addled, manipulative misanthrope (James McAvoy) begins to experience increasingly severe hallucinations as he tries to solve the murder of... [More]
Directed By: Jon S. Baird


Trance (2013)

Adjusted Score: 76643%
Critics Consensus: As stylish as ever, director Danny Boyle seems to be treading water with the surprisingly thinly written Trance -- but for fans of Boyle's work, it should still prove a trippily entertaining distraction.
Synopsis: A criminal (Vincent Cassel) hires a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) to probe the mind of a brain-injured auctioneer (James McAvoy) to... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle


Bollywood Queen (2002)

Adjusted Score: 19124%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Family interference and culture clash threaten the romance between the offspring (Preeya Kalidas, James McAvoy) of rival clothiers in London.... [More]
Directed By: Jeremy Wooding


The Last Station (2009)

Adjusted Score: 75948%
Critics Consensus: Michael Hoffman's script doesn't quite live up to its famous subject, but this Tolstoy biopic benefits from a spellbinding tour de force performance by Helen Mirren.
Synopsis: While Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) and his wife (Helen Mirren) battle over the rights to his literary legacy, Tolstoy's trusted... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman


Wanted (2008)

Adjusted Score: 79987%
Critics Consensus: Wanted is stylish, energetic popcorn fare with witty performances from Angelina Jolie (playing an expert assassin), James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman that help to distract from its absurdly over-the-top plot.
Synopsis: After his estranged father is murdered, an office drone (James McAvoy) joins secret assassins who take their orders from Fate... [More]
Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov

Adjusted Score: 83189%
Critics Consensus: With first-rate special effects and compelling storytelling, this adaptation stays faithful to its source material and will please moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: Children (Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley) join forces with the lion mystic Aslan to free the land of Narnia... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Adamson


Split (2016)

Adjusted Score: 92248%
Critics Consensus: Split serves as a dramatic tour de force for James McAvoy in multiple roles -- and finds writer-director M. Night Shyamalan returning resoundingly to thrilling form.
Synopsis: A psychotic man (James McAvoy) who has 23 personalities holds three teenage girls captive in an underground cell.... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan


Atomic Blonde (2017)

Adjusted Score: 96140%
Critics Consensus: Atomic Blonde gets enough mileage out of its stylish action sequences -- and ever-magnetic star -- to make up for a narrative that's somewhat less hard-hitting than its protagonist.
Synopsis: With the Berlin Wall about to fall, an elite MI6 spy travels into the heart of the city to retrieve... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch


Strings (2004)

Adjusted Score: 14732%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A race of living puppets vies for control of the kingdom after the monarch kills himself to clear the way... [More]


Atonement (2007)

Adjusted Score: 91381%
Critics Consensus: Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel.
Synopsis: A false accusation changes forever the lives of a young teen (Romola Garai), her older sister (Keira Knightley) and the... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

Adjusted Score: 96716%
Critics Consensus: With a strong script, stylish direction, and powerful performances from its well-rounded cast, X-Men: First Class is a welcome return to form for the franchise.
Synopsis: Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) work with other mutants to prevent a nuclear nightmare, but a... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

Adjusted Score: 93084%
Critics Consensus: Forest Whitaker's performance as real-life megalomaniac dictator Idi Amin powers this fictionalized political thriller, a blunt and brutal tale about power and corruption.
Synopsis: The personal physician (James McAvoy) of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) witnesses his murderous reign of terror.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald


Starter for 10 (2006)

Adjusted Score: 92558%
Critics Consensus: Starter For 10 is a spirited coming-of-age tale that remains charming and witty even as it veers into darker teritory. The unique setting of a quiz show makes the film wittier than your average romantic comedy.
Synopsis: A working-class student (James McAvoy) navigates his way through a fancy university, finding romance and academic challenge along the way.... [More]
Directed By: Tom Vaughan

Adjusted Score: 106492%
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.
Synopsis: The X-Men (Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart) join forces with their younger selves in order to change the past... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer


Arthur Christmas (2011)

Adjusted Score: 98211%
Critics Consensus: Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.
Synopsis: Santa's youngest son (James McAvoy) sets out on an urgent mission to deliver a present to a forgotten child before... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Smith

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