Chances are if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve already spotted Boyd Holbrook in numerous high profile and independent films for the past ten years. A budding actor in Hollywood that used to be a “model poet” in Kentucky, Holbrook has all the hallmarks of a movie star with his height, good looks, and brooding demeanor. He gives standout performances even when surrounded by huge stars like Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and others.
Beginning with small parts in films like Out of the Furnace, he’s steadily worked his way up to co-starring roles in critical hits like Logan, Gone Girl, and in TV’s Narcos. Though he’s delivered strong performances in a variety of roles, he hasn’t quite had that breakout hit that would cement him as a leading man in a nationally recognized film. No doubt it’s right around the corner, so brush up on his filmography before everyone else with these ten roles that prove he’s Hollywood’s next big star.
For many, Boyd Holbrook first caught their attention in 2017 when he starred as Donald Pierce in Logan, a gritty noir focused around one of the X-Men franchise’s most popular superheroes, Wolverine. Heavy on style and substance, it eschewed action for character building.
As its main villain, Holbrook played Pierce, leader of the Reavers and a gunslinger enhanced by cybernetics, a cold and calculating killer. He hunted Logan and his ward, a young girl who was believed to have mutant powers, with methodical malevolence. In his leather duster, he was a far cry from the character from the comics, but cooing threats in his charming Southern drawl, it wasn’t hard to see his appeal.
The wildly successful Narcos on Netflix proved an authentic look at the rise of the cocaine trade in Columbia in the late ‘80s when it premiered. It continues to focus on drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and his notorious rise to power, the law enforcement agencies that hunted him, and the politicians involved in the war on drugs in America.
Boyd Holbrook plays Steve Murphy, a Drug Enforcement Agent who uses unusual tactics (like socializing with the women that frequent the houses of drug kingpins) to gain information into the movements of their drug trading efforts. It also has a spinoff, Narcos: Mexico, that is equally popular.
8 THE PREDATOR
Part action-adventure, part comedy, The Predator was a refreshing entry into a franchise that hadn’t pleased audiences since the release of several poorly received Alien vs Predator films. A new group of predators, genetically altered with the DNA of other species they’ve conquered in space, arrive on Earth to hunt humankind.
Boyd Holbrook plays Quinn McKenna, a soldier who’s part of a group of rangers tasked with taking the hunt to the predators. The reboot is a dazzling visual and sensory overload, but for his part, Holbrook makes it an enjoyable romp. We can only hope it was successful enough to give the franchise the fresh start it needs.
In one of his more recent forays into independent dramatic film, Boyd Holbrook starred in Two/One, a fascinating study of identity, morality, and the consequences of choices. He plays the part of both leads, living on opposite sides of the world, leading completely separate lives.
When one of these men goes to sleep, the other one is awake. Eventually, chance and circumstances bring them together, and when they meet, they’re forced to confront a staggering epiphany; which one of them is a dream, and which one of them is dreaming about them? He flexes his acting muscles more than in some of his more recent leap into action and genre films, proving his versatility with a difficult part.
6 LITTLE ACCIDENTS
Little Accidents is a compelling and taut drama that chronicles an American coal mining town struggling to move on from the memory of a coal mine accident. The accident, from which there is only one survivor, makes tensions high and suspicions rampant among the citizens of the small town.
As the only surviving miner from the tragedy, Boyd Holbrook plays Amos Jenkins, a thoughtful man who seeks comfort for his guilt in the arms of the lonely wife of the executive who owns the mine. When a local boy goes missing, the entire town mobilizes around the mystery, and old wounds reopen.
5 THE FREE WORLD
In a moving look at the lengths two people will go to find happiness in love, The Free World represents all that is timeless about romance that pushes limits and extends without boundaries. Love often arrives unexpectedly, proves to be incredibly difficult, but is worth every risk we take to hold onto it.
Boyd Holbrook plays a recently released convict trying to reintegrate into civilian life when he becomes involved with a woman who’s married to an abusive cop. Though he tries to fight his feelings, he feels compelled to help her escape her troubled life, even if it risks his own freedom to do so.
4 A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES
Though it is often dismissed as one in a long line of Liam Neeson action flicks, A Walk Among the Tombstones is one of his better projects. He plays Matt Scudder, once a homicide cop in the NYPD, now hired by a drug trafficker as a private detective to find the men responsible for kidnapping and murdering his wife.
A visceral thriller, with a lot of twists and surprises, it’s slower than one would expect, but the undercurrent of menace never stops keeping viewers on their toes. Boyd Holbrook plays one of the killers, whose disturbing modus operandi may be the calling card of a serial killer, and not too dissimilar to Scudder’s methods.
3 GONE GIRL
Gone Girl is a powerful film focused on lies; the lies we tell ourselves, and the lies we tell other people. It focuses on Nick and Amy Dunne, a picture-perfect couple that have left the glittering world of New York behind to settle in a more rustic setting so that Nick can write. When Amy disappears on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick is made a prime suspect.
With an all-star cast including Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, Boyd Holbrook manages to still stand out in a supporting role as Jeff, a charming young man that Amy meets while at the Ozarks Campground, as she questions her commitment to her husband and the life they have together.
2 RUN ALL NIGHT
In another movie with Liam Neeson, Boyd Holbrook plays Danny, the son of mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), best friend to Neeson’s Jimmy Conlon, a career hitman. Run All Night focuses on both men as they are haunted by their pasts, and pursued by a policeman who's made it his life’s work to bring them down.
Danny plays an important role in setting off the early events of the film, going behind his father’s back to arrange the sale of Albanian heroin in his territory. Danny stands to get a large fee for arranging the deal, but after it goes sideways, it’s up to Jimmy to save his life and his family’s reputation.
1 THE REUNION
Boyd Holbrook has a habit of balancing his love of independent film and dramatic work with lighter, more action-oriented projects. The Reunion is no exception, which sees him star alongside John Cena and Ethan Embry as a trio of brothers who share the same father but have different mothers.
Their father has recently passed away, and their estranged sister has brought them together to see how his wealth will be distributed. In order for each of the brothers to claim their fortune, they have to go into business as bail bondsmen together. They’re unsure if they want to involve themselves with such dangerous work, let alone each other.