Just a few short years ago, it would’ve seemed crazy to think of Chris Pratt as one of the biggest movie stars in the world. For a while, he was known as the lovable schlub Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation. Andy was a great character, and Pratt was always hilarious in the role (both delivering his written lines and famously improvising new ones), but he wasn’t someone you’d typically associate with an action hero, unless that action hero was Burt Macklin. However, ever since James Gunn took a chance on him for the part of Star-Lord in the MCU, he’s become an instantly recognizable A-lister. So, here are Chris Pratt’s 10 Best Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes.
10 Jurassic World (72%)
Chris Pratt was thrilled to be a part of this 2015 reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise, because he said that Steven Spielberg’s original was his generation’s Star Wars. Jurassic World was controversial for breaking the franchise’s rule of only harming human characters who deserved it (seriously, was there any need for that poor glorified babysitter to get such a grisly, drawn-out death?) and for having more nostalgic callbacks than The Force Awakens, but it was a heck of a lot better than its messy 2018 sequel. Plus, it has the sense of fun, adventure, spectacle, and dino carnage that has always made this franchise such a joy.
9 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (84%)
Writer-director James Gunn’s sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy had a slower pace and took longer to get going as a superpowered action-adventure than its predecessor, but this simply paved the way for a more character-focused story.
From Peter Quill’s complicated relationships with his two dads to Gamora’s complicated relationship with her sister to Rocket’s complicated relationship with everyone (and burgeoning friendship with not-so-different Yondu), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gave its characters the space for some soul-searching and personal growth. Vol. 2 still has plenty of action and it arguably has a better soundtrack than the first one, too.
8 TIE: The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (85%)
This year’s sequel to The LEGO Movie was nowhere near the box office smash of the first one, but it was almost as great. The great thing about the original was that no one expected it to be any good and then it was, so it came as a breath of fresh air. Then when the sequel rolled around, simply by virtue of being the sequel and sharing the same characters and themes, it wasn’t as much of a breath of fresh air. Funnily enough, the same exact thing happened with Chris Pratt’s other breath-of-fresh-air franchise that no one expected to be any good until it was: Guardians of the Galaxy.
7 TIE: Avengers: Infinity War (85%)
Chris Pratt’s character Peter Quill had a pretty big role to play in the gargantuan, yet surprisingly focused epic that is Avengers: Infinity War. He has to decide to kill the love of his life, Gamora, to save the universe, only to have the rug pulled out from under him via Thanos and the Reality Stone. Then, later, when he learns that she’s been killed by the Mad Titan just as the Avengers are about to get the Infinity Gauntlet off his hand, he loses it and starts punching Thanos, bringing back his consciousness and dooming the universe. Fans hated him for this, but at the end of the day, surely his emotions are understandable.
6 Guardians of the Galaxy (91%)
As the first MCU solo movie not to concern any of the core six Avengers — and a cosmic adventure about a talking tree and an ass-kicking raccoon at that — Guardians of the Galaxy was considered to be a huge risk by Marvel. But then, with its lovable band of misfits, refreshing sense of humor, and killer ‘70s soundtrack, it was a splash of inventive fun for the superhero movie genre. The first Guardians movie is a fast-paced action-adventure, but it also has plenty of moments that hit you in the feels, and it’s those moments that make the movie so endearing and emotionally resonant.
5 Zero Dark Thirty (92%)
Director Kathryn Bigelow reteamed with Mark Boal, the ex-journalist who wrote the script for her visceral Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker, for this thriller about the search for Osama bin Laden. Jessica Chastain stars as a fictional CIA intelligent analyst named Maya, while Chris Pratt has a key supporting role as one of the Navy SEALs involved in the fateful mission to assassinate bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, although it proved to be controversial among CIA officials, who questioned where Bigelow and Boal got information that was supposed to be classified.
4 TIE: Moneyball (94%)
When you have a dry topic to make a movie about (like the passing of a Congressional bill or an Apple product launch or, in this case, the financial side of Major League Baseball), you get Aaron Sorkin to write the script. Bennett Miller’s Moneyball, adapted from Michael Lewis’ non-fiction book of the same name, was also helped by having Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and an Oscar-nominated Jonah Hill in starring roles. Chris Pratt only has a small role in the film, as the Oakland Athletics’ first baseman Scott Hatteberg, but his scenes are among the most pivotal to the plot.
3 TIE: Her (94%)
Spike Jonze’s sci-fi romantic drama Her stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man in the near future — only near enough to have slightly better technology than we have now — who falls in love with a Siri-esque virtual assistant on his smartphone. Chris Pratt has a supporting but typically lovable role as Phoenix’s supportive co-worker. These days, science fiction cinema is dominated by movies about killer robots and alien invaders and major cities getting blown up by lasers. It’s nice to see a filmmaker like Jonze boiling the genre back down to its most fundamental elements to deliver a more thoughtful movie.
2 TIE: Avengers: Endgame (94%)
Star-Lord only had a small role in Avengers: Endgame, because he was dead for the first two acts and only reappeared for the third-act battle when the Hulk snapped him back to life, along with the trillions of other lifeforms who turned to dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
Still, Star-Lord had a couple of important moments, like his heartfelt reunion with Gamora, his long-awaited return to Earth, and his banter with Thor that set up a beautiful love/hate relationship. Earlier this year, Endgame became the highest grossing movie of all time, finally toppling James Cameron’s Avatar following its decade-long reign.
1 The LEGO Movie (96%)
When Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were tasked with directing The LEGO Movie, their job was basically impossible: make a movie about a toy that doesn’t look like a shallow cash-grab and justifies its own existence, but also sells a lot of toys. In the end, they succeeded admirably by making a movie about what makes that toy so great. LEGO encourages kids to be creative by building their own toys, and then breaking them apart and building new toys with the pieces. Thematically, The LEGO Movie uses breaking away from the instructions as a metaphor for living life to the fullest. It’s a really delightful movie.