While most people know him for The Batman and Twilight movies, Robert Pattinson has made many other noteworthy films. Here are the best of the best.
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Robert Pattinson has been in some bizarre movies over the years. From high school teen dramas about a 108-year-old vampire falling for a 17-year-old girl because she’s… not like other girls to weird western films with a miniature horse and way too many twists for its own good.
Time and time again, the English actor has proved that he can transform and morph into whatever role he needs to portray. Bruce Wayne and Preston Teagardin are two very different characters, yet Pattinson does an excellent job with both.
Let’s rank some of Robert Pattinson’s best movies.
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14. The Twilight Saga (2008 – 2012)
The Twilight film Saga was based on Stephine Meyer’s bestselling book series and has earned its place on this list solely because it put Pattinson on the map.
The films follows the “love story” of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and the Cullen family’s attempts to keep Bella safe from a group of hostile vampires that become obsessed with hunting Bella for sport because of the scent of her blood. Unfortunately, when they kill one of the hostile vampires, they don’t realise that his mate, Victoria, has begun plotting her revenge.
The Cullens move away to protect Bella because Edward thinks his family is a danger to her. But, of course, Bella then falls into depression and starts participating in thrill-seeking activities to evoke Edward’s image in her brain. Meanwhile, Victoria has been hunting Bella and waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Fortunately, there are werewolves around to protect Bella from the hostile Vampires.
Bella then marries Edward to be turned into a vampire (after she spends a whole movie trying to make a decision), becomes pregnant with a half-human half-vampire baby that nearly kills her and then learns that Jacob has imprinted on her newborn daughter.
She then works with the Cullens to protect her daughter from execution, accepts that Jacob will protect her daughter, and she and Edward live out the rest of their days together.
Pattinson did a good job with what he was given.
13. Maps to the Stars (2014)
This satirical drama was directed by David Cronenberg and was the second collaboration between him and Pattinson.
Pattinson plays Jerome Fontana, a struggling actor who works as a limo driver and the sanest character in the film. But, he said, “Jerome would never accept that he is just a limo driver. I think he feels he’s just waiting for his break. And yet, he’s seemingly the only one in this story who’s not going insane – or who isn’t a ghost.” When speaking about the script, he said, “It’s really about people who lie to themselves – right up until the end.”
The film is rather interesting, but also very disturbing after the reveal. It follows Agatha Weiss (Mia Wasikowska), a woman with severe burn scars, as she travels to find her brother and tell him the truth about their parents. Along the way, she is hired as Havana Segrand’s (Julianne Moore) assistant, and audiences learn that her parents had shunned her because she almost killed her brother when she was younger. She also meets and starts a romance with Jerome along her journey.
When she tells her brother about their parents, the two conspire against them and eventually kill their parents before committing suicide together.
12. The Childhood of a Leader (2015)
This historical drama is Brady Corbet’s (who is also a co-producer and co-writer) feature film directional debut and is loosely based on the short story of the same name written by Jean-Paul Sartre. The film follows the childhood of Prescott, a boy who becomes a fascist leader immediately after World War I.
Robert Pattinson plays two roles in the film: Charles Marker, a family friend and a free-thinking journalist, and an older Prescott.
Tom Sweet is the real star of the show, but as the film slowly reveals its hand, Pattinson’s background role in the film begins to shine through. It’s sinister, unnerving and brilliant.
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11. Cosmopolis (2012)
This drama-thriller is based on the novel of the same name written by Don DeLillo. The film follows Eric Packer, a 28-year-old billionaire, through his day as he drives his limousine through New York City to his preferred barber. The film is very open-ended and has earned its spot as one of the better Robert Pattinson movies.
Over the course of the day, Packer loses the entirety of his wealth, has an affair or two, gets a prostate exam in the backseat of his car and learns that someone is trying to assassinate him. The day gets progressively more chaotic as the billionaire’s world crumbles around him, and it becomes impossible to look away.
Pattinson commits to the role and brilliantly brings David Cronenberg’s vision to life. He masterfully earned himself the image of a steely Adonis type in the twisted drama.
10. The King (2019)
This epic war film features one of Pattinson’s smaller roles and is more a Timothée Chalamet movie than a Robert Pattinson movie, but he does an excellent job as Dauphin of France.
Pattinson seemed to have a lot of fun playing the maniacal Dauphin and stole almost every scene in which he and Chalamet acted. His character is a flamboyant madman made even more ridiculous by a ludicrous French accent.
David Michôd loved how Pattinson played the character, saying in an interview with Variety, “Pretty much in ways that I fully 100% endorse and love, that character is a Robert Pattinson creation. The great fear always is that you end up with Monty Python and the Holy Grail and ridiculous French accents. But at the same time, I kind of needed his character to be kind of absurd.”
9. The Rover (2014)
This contemporary western takes place in the Australian outback, which has become overrun with criminal activity ten years after a global economic collapse.
Pattinson plays Reynolds, a character he describes as “a dependent who has been protected by people his entire life, but he has also burdened them, and he thinks that he can’t really live as an independent person. He’s a little slow, and very, very needy. And he feels like he needs people to look after him all the time.”
He does an excellent job bringing the naïve southern American to life and is a great contrast to Guy Pearce’s violent and bitter character, Eric.
The film follows Rey and Eric as they travel across the Australian outback looking for Eric’s car and Rey’s brother Henry (Scoot McNairy), who stole the car. There’s plenty of action, and watching Eric and Rey slowly bond with one another as the film progresses is one of the best parts of the movie.
The dynamic between Pearce and Pattinson’s characters was highly praised, and The Rover easily earned its spot as one of the best Robert Pattinson movies.
8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
The role of Cedric Diggory, everyone’s favourite Hufflepuff (besides Deadpool or Newt Scamander), was given to Robert Pattinson. He did a brilliant job of portraying a character that embodied all the traits of Hufflepuff. He was modest, helped Harry figure out the clue for the Second Task and had no trouble admitting that Harry was the one who deserved to win the Triwizard Cup.
He cared deeply for his family, kept his promises and was strong enough to resist Fleur Delacour’s Veela charm. His death in Goblet of Fire is one of the most devasting scenes in Harry Potter history, and Pattinson’s brilliant portrayal of the character made it sadder.
The Goblet of Fire might not be a Pattinson-centric film, but he shone in all his scenes and brought the qualities of a true Hufflepuff to life in the most memorable way.
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7. Water for Elephants (2011)
This romantic drama follows the story of Jacob Jankowski, a veterinary student who was present during one of the worst circus disasters people of which had ever heard. While studying for his final exams as a young man, he learned that his parents had died in a car accident and decided to hitch a ride with a passing circus train.
He is soon hired as the circus vet and is assigned to train an Asian elephant, something he struggles to do until he learns that she understands Polish. During all this, Jacob was slowly falling for the Ring Leader’s wife, Marlena Rosenbluth (Reese Witherspoon). When her husband finds out, a series of unfortunate events follow that start with him threatening to throw Jacob out of the movie circus train.
Marlena and Jacob run away together, but they are soon found, and Marlena’s husband’s men beat Jacob. This doesn’t deter him, though, and he returns to the circus train to kill him but soon learns that the Ring Leaders employees have become tired of his cruelty and plan to betray him. They do so by releasing all the circus animals during Marlena’s performance, and in the chaos, the Ring leader is killed by Jacob’s beloved elephant.
This has one of the sweeter endings of many of Robert Pattinson’s movies. Pattinson did a fantastic job with Jacob. He and Witherspoon portrayed the love story between Jacob and Marlena in a beautiful and memorable way.
6. The Devil All the Time (2020)
This psychological thriller crime drama boasts an impressive cast. While he’s not the lead of the film, Pattinson does an excellent job with his character, making this film one of the better Robert Pattinson movies. The film received a mixed response that leaned closer to the positive, and while audiences were critical of the length and dark tone of the film, they praised the performances of Tom Holland and Pattinson.
He plays Preston Teagardin, a sleazy narcissistic reverend who seduces and rapes young girls. One of the young girls is the adoptive sister of Arvin Russell (Tom Holland), who becomes pregnant and commits suicide after Teagardin denies her to avoid bringing shame to her family.
Pattinson does an excellent job with the role he’s given, perfectly portraying a “fiery, bible-thumping small-town preacher who has more sin in his heart than any dozen members of his flock.”
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5. Tenet (2020)
Tenet is a great film, though it gets confusing if you think about it too hard. Pattinson admitted he didn’t know what was going on, saying, “It’s incredibly ambitious and incredibly complex. I mean no one makes movies like Chris in the first place, and this is kind of Chris Nolan on steroids with all of the new technology within the IMAX cameras, which were designed especially for this movie. I can’t really imagine not seeing it in a theatre.”
Despite the confusion it’s caused, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film is quite enjoyable and provided us with what can be considered one of the best Robert Pattinson movies. He and John David Washington work incredibly well together in this film.
Pattinson shines in every moment of Tenet, whether he’s bungee jumping off a roof, speaking in confusing sentences as he explains events or sacrificing himself. His character is one you immediately love, even if you have no idea what’s going on.
4. The Lost City of Z (2017)
The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name written by David Grann. While not technically a Robert Pattinson movie, the actor still shines as Corporal Henry Costin, whose madness and weirdness contrast greatly with Charlie Hunnam’s Percy Fawcett’s heroism and stoniness.
The film tells the story of an explorer’s obsessive quest for the mysterious Lost City of Z, s legendary jungle city said to be covered in gold. Unfortunately, his adventure leads him to become estranged from his son (Tom Holland), but the two make up after Percy goes temporarily blind from a chlorine gas attack during World War 2.
Pattinson’s role in the film proves that the actor can transform into whatever role he needs and that while he might be great in a leading role, he is also a great character actor.
3. The Batman (2022)
Many fans of the film have agreed that Matt Reeves’ The Batman is one of Robert Pattinson’s best movies. He dons the caped crusader’s cowl with a madness unseen in any previous iterations of the dark knight. In addition, Matt Reeves used the film to explore more of Batman’s detective side than has been seen in the previous movies and drew inspiration from comics like Year One, The Long Halloween and Ego.
Pattinson portrays Bruce Wayne as a reclusive billionaire who hasn’t fully dealt with his traumatic past and uses his obsessive need to protect Gotham City as a coping mechanism. Reeves and Pattinson described their version of Batman as an insomniac, unable to differentiate between his Batman persona and his public identity.
His need to be Batman has become an addiction, and he’s more flawed than traditional heroes. Over the course of the film, he realises that his role is less needed to exact his revenge on the criminal underworld that led to the death of his parents but to inspire hope in the people of Gotham and get them to make change where he can’t.
Pattinson’s dynamic with Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle is one of the best parts of the movie, as she is constantly challenging him to see things in shades of grey where he only sees in black and white. Paul Dano’s Riddler does an excellent job of challenging Batman and opening his eyes to things that weren’t clear to him before.
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2. Good Time (2017)
This heart-racing crime thriller was brought to audiences by the Safdie Brothers and is one of Robert Pattinson’s most thrilling movies. The film follows Connie Nikas, a bank robber who accidentally gets his mentally handicapped younger brother, Nick, arrested and sent to Rikers Island.
Connie tries everything to try and bail his brother out of jail, from trying to convince his girlfriend to do it to breaking into a hospital and helping who he thinks is his brother escape. Nothing goes right for him, though. Eventually, he gets his hands on a bottle of LSD solution worth quite a bit and tries to sell it, but he realises that something is going to go wrong with the exchange, so he makes a run for it.
Despite all his efforts, Connie is arrested. The film ends with the implication that Connie took full responsibility for the bank robbery as Nick’s therapist promises him that he will have a “good time”.
Pattinson’s performance was praised by fans and critics alike and showed audiences the nuance of which he is capable.
1. The Lighthouse (2019)
This artsy black-and-white film was inspired by the unfinished short story written by Edgar Allen Poe and the 19th-century legend of an accident at a lighthouse in Wales. The film is a concoction of twisted, creepy and weird that will have you on the edge of your seat. Pattinson and Willem Dafoe both do an excellent job with their roles and bringing to life a story that moviegoers can’t quite categorise.
It follows the story of two lighthouse keepers stranded on a remote island while a storm prevents them from going home. The film’s final shot will leave you asking yourself two questions: “What on Earth did I just watch?” and “How did he get there?”. Nevertheless, it’s well worth the watch, especially if you enjoy creepy older films with supernatural elements.
It is, by far, one of the best performances of Pattinson’s career.
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What is your favourite Robert Pattinson movie?