James McAvoy Movies: 10 Greatest Films Ranked Worst to Best

james mcavoy movies

He has audiences with his versatile performances and undeniable talent. James McAvoy’s filmography spans various genres, showcasing his ability to bring depth and nuance to every role. Here are ten James McAvoy movies, ranked from worst to best.

Wanted (2008)

James McAvoy stars as Wesley Gibson, an office worker who discovers he is the son of an assassin. Wesley joins a secret society and learns to use his unique abilities. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the film features high-octane action and stylish sequences. 

While the movie received mixed reviews, McAvoy’s transition from an ordinary man to a skilled assassin was praised. The film also features Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, adding star power to the action-packed storyline.

The Last King of Scotland (2006)

In this historical drama, McAvoy plays Nicholas Garrigan, a Scottish doctor who becomes the personal physician of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, portrayed by Forest Whitaker. The film delves into the complexities of Garrigan’s moral dilemma as he witnesses Amin’s brutality. 

McAvoy’s compelling portrayal of Garrigan’s naivety and eventual horror complements Whitaker’s intense performance. The James McAvoy movies provide a gripping look at power and corruption, with McAvoy’s character caught in the middle of it all.

Atonement (2007)

McAvoy plays Robbie Turner, a young man falsely accused of a crime in this romantic war drama. His love for Cecilia Tallis, played by Keira Knightley, faces insurmountable challenges due to a lie that changes their lives forever. 

The film’s unique narrative structure and McAvoy’s emotional performance make it a touching story of love and redemption. Directed by Joe Wright, Atonement is praised for its beautiful cinematography and powerful performances, earning several awards and nominations.

Split (2016)

McAvoy’s role as Kevin Wendell Crumb in Split is a masterclass in acting. Kevin has 23 distinct personalities, each with unique traits. McAvoy seamlessly transitions between these personalities, creating a chilling and suspenseful atmosphere. 

M. Night Shyamalan directs it, the film highlights McAvoy’s range and ability to portray complex characters convincingly. The intensity and unpredictability of his performance keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Filth (2013)

In this dark comedy, McAvoy plays Bruce Robertson, a corrupt and troubled police officer. The film, based on Irvine Welsh’s novel, follows Robertson’s chaotic life and mental breakdown. McAvoy’s fearless performance, filled with raw energy and dark humour, makes Filth a gripping and unforgettable experience. 

His portrayal of Robertson’s descent into madness is both disturbing and captivating, making the film a standout in his career.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

In this X-Men prequel, James McAvoy plays the iconic role of Charles Xavier, also known as Professor X. The film explores the origins of the X-Men and the friendship between Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), played by Michael Fassbender. 

McAvoy’s portrayal of a young, idealistic Xavier adds depth to the character, highlighting his journey from optimism to the burden of leadership. The chemistry between McAvoy and Fassbender is a highlight, bringing new life to the beloved franchise.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

In this fantasy adventure, McAvoy plays Mr. Tumnus, the kind-hearted faun who befriends Lucy Pevensie in the magical land of Narnia. His gentle and endearing performance adds warmth to the film, making Mr. Tumnus a beloved character. 

McAvoy’s portrayal brings a sense of innocence and kindness that resonates with both children and adults. The film’s magical atmosphere and heartfelt moments make it a timeless classic.

Atomic Blonde (2017)

McAvoy stars alongside Charlize Theron in this action-packed thriller set during the Cold War. He plays David Percival, an undercover MI6 agent with dubious loyalties. McAvoy’s charismatic and unpredictable performance complements Theron’s fierce portrayal of a top-level spy. 

The film’s stylish action sequences and McAvoy’s dynamic character make Atomic Blonde an exciting watch. The high-energy fights and espionage intrigue keep the audience engaged throughout.

Glass (2019)

Glass brings together characters from Split and Unbreakable, featuring McAvoy’s Kevin Wendell Crumb, Bruce Willis’s David Dunn, and Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price. McAvoy’s continued exploration of his character’s multiple personalities is mesmerizing. 

His performance remains a highlight, adding depth to the superhero genre with his complex and layered portrayal. The film ties together the stories of its predecessors, creating a unique and compelling narrative.

Atonement (2007)

A masterpiece of storytelling, Atonement earns the top spot for McAvoy’s filmography. His role as Robbie Turner, combined with the film’s emotional depth and stunning cinematography, creates an unforgettable experience. 

The tragic love story, set against the backdrop of World War II, showcases McAvoy’s ability to convey profound emotion and resilience, making it his finest performance to date. The film’s sweeping visuals and moving score enhance its powerful narrative.


Which of the James McAvoy movies critically acclaimed?

Atonement is often regarded as James McAvoy’s most critically acclaimed film, featuring a powerful performance that earned widespread praise.

Has James McAvoy won any major awards for his performances?

Yes, James McAvoy has received several awards and nominations, including a BAFTA Rising Star Award and nominations for the Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards.

What role did James McAvoy play in the X-Men series?

James McAvoy played Charles Xavier, Professor X, in the X-Men prequel series, starting with X-Men: First Class.

Which James McAvoy film involves multiple personalities?

Split features James McAvoy portraying a character with 23 distinct personalities, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

Are there any upcoming James McAvoy films to look forward to?

Yes, James McAvoy has several projects in the pipeline, including anticipated releases in various genres. Keep an eye on entertainment news for the latest updates on his upcoming films.

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