Best James Franco Movies

Photo: Alessio Botticelli (Getty Images)

Looking through all the James Franco movies on IMDB might tire your middle finger as it involves a lot of scrolling seeing how the actor is “artsy” and obviously can’t say no to any little project. The number of Franco’s movies that have less than 100 votes on IMDB is insane for such a well-known A-list Hollywood star, as is the number of short films and minor, barely supporting roles. And the majority of these flicks are plain bad. That still doesn’t mean there are no great James Franco movies, like the ones we have listed here.

Best James Franco Movies

127 Hours (2010)
James Franco movies - 127 hours

Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures

After the performance Franco gave in what is basically an ambitious actor dream – a one man show, it was expected that he would become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, yet due to his career choices, he left that spot out to others. But what Danny Boyle brought out from Franco in 127 Hours just makes us sorry for the squandered potential as he delivers on the subtle and the outrageous side of the acting job in this one. The fact the movie is based on a true story gives even more weight to what Franco pulled in this adventure drama.

Pineapple Express (2008)

Stoner comedies got sort of old at the break of the millennium, and there’s been only a handful of them after 2000. Following Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, the equally amusingly named Pineapple Express is the best movie marijuana-lovers have to enjoy, or just comedy fans in general. Franco plays the most lovable drug dealer ever, and his just-got-out-of-bed style is entertaining throughout the pretty long and original comedy. This ensemble cast flick made us want more James Franco comedy movies as he is the funniest of the bunch, but the follow-ups like Your Highness and The Interview simply weren’t good enough.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
James Franco movies - The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Image: 20th Century Fox

In a movie that is to be blamed for the epidemic of reboots due to its success and transformation into a trilogy, James Franco might be overshadowed by Andy Serkis playing the role of the chimp but still gave a great, subtle performance. That seems to be where Franco is most comfortable, at the art of giving sly portrayals of characters with short bursts of strong emotions. The rise of the Planet of the Apes really surprised with the quality of action shots and the coherence of the wild, sci-fi premise. It’s also the most successful of the James Franco movies.

Spider-Man (2002)

After starting out young and quickly getting a role on TV in the monumental Freaks and Geeks, Franco got a role in one of the biggest movies ever when it comes to earnings and influence on the industry. The first Spider-Man movie not only strongly fueled the comic-book movie mania we’re now living in at the very beginning, it was also the first movie that passed the $100 million mark in a single weekend. And while Franco wasn’t the lead, his supporting role was quite important for the movie, as for the second movie in the franchise.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Although he did have a smaller supporting role in the first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie, Franco’s character Harry Osborn moves the plot and is basically the main instigator of the second film. The nature of the character allowed Franco to showcase two opposing sides of his acting spectrum, and to establish himself as the go-to guy in the industry. Unfortunately, the third Spider-Man movie was abysmal, and not even Sean Connery and Christian Bale could’ve saved it.

What are some of your favorite James Franco movies? Please don’t write Spring Breakers. Also, what would you like to see him do next, comedy, drama, or action?