RANKED! The Best of Charlie Hunnam’s Movie Roles (Including Guy Ritchie’s ‘The Gentlemen’)
Charlie Hunnam is an interesting actor. He has the looks of a leading man, while also having the abilities of a character actor (if given the right role). Hunnam began his professional acting career in 1999, but his star has been rising ever since. Although the English actor is perhaps most beloved for his leading role in Sons of Anarchy, Hunnam has accrued a decent filmography in the time since. With his latest role being in the new Guy Ritchie film, The Gentlemen, there’s no better time to rank the best Charlie Hunnam roles so far.
Cover Photo: Miramax
9. Jay, ‘Deadfall’
As one of his first roles after his tenure on Sons of Anarchy, Deadfall is a pretty bad movie. Despite being unremarkable in a myriad of ways, Hunnam’s turn as a former boxer with a criminal history is one of the highlights of the movie. It’s the type of role that’s totally within his wheelhouse, but he still manages to give a solid performance nevertheless.
8. King Arthur, ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’
Another objectively terrible movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is not only a movie that has to be seen to be believed but one that actually thought it would spark a whole franchise of King Arthur movies. Although Guy Ritchie’s take on the legend of King Arthur is woefully misguided, Hunnam is actually a good choice to embody a modern take on the character. While he essentially plays a bad boy from medieval times, the silliest part of their take on this character is the fact that his hairstyle makes him look like a modern hipster who happens to be in period clothing.
7. Nicholas Nickelby, ‘Nicholas Nickelby’
While most people haven’t seen Nicholas Nickelby, it’s based on Charles Dickens's serials of the same name. Considering that the film represents Charlie Hunnam’s big break in the industry and his first leading role, it’s a surprisingly dynamic performance from the English actor. It’s not necessarily a memorable movie, but Hunnam is able to prove himself with an interesting performance against respected thespians such as Christopher Plummer and Jim Broadbent.
6. Patric, ‘Children of Men’
Although Charlie Hunnam’s role in Children of Men is minuscule, it’s easily the best film that he’s participated in. Regardless, his role in Alfonso Cuarón’s science fiction opus features a decent showing from the actor, especially because getting hit by a door from a moving car is his most interesting character moment. It also features Hunnam sporting some hilariously sweet dreadlocks, so there’s that.
5. Raleigh Backet, ‘Pacific Rim’
The intent of Pacific Rim is often misinterpreted, which means Guillermo Del Toro’s blockbuster opus is often underrated when it knows exactly what it’s trying to be. While the same applies to Charlie Hunnam’s performance in the film. It’s also notable for being one of the few times he’s played an everyman. As a result, Hunnam’s performance in Pacific Rim is solid but intentionally bland nevertheless.
4. Wiliam 'Ironhead' Miller, ‘Tripe Frontier’
Triple Frontier is more notable for pitting Charlie Hunnam against his less-talented doppelganger in Garrett Hedlund than it is as a movie itself. A fight between Hunnam and Hedlund is the most interesting aspect of a film that is surprisingly dull. While Pedro Pascal gives the best performance in Triple Frontier, Hunnam also gives a surprisingly nuanced performance.
3. Raymond, ‘The Gentlemen’
Hunnam’s character in The Gentlemen is undoubtedly the kind of role that best fits his acting style. While Hunnam is essentially the co-lead of the movie, he and Guy Ritchie are able to craft an interesting spin on the traditional gangster consigliere archetype. It’s a smart, compelling, and subtle performance.
2. Percy Fawcett, ‘The Lost City of Z’
The Lost City of Z marks the first time in Charlie Hunnam’s career that he’s played a real-life person, and this fact alone exponentially increases the effectiveness of his performance. While Hunnam has the tendency to not only play scenes over the top but also to play the same traits in his different roles, his take on Fawcett is meticulously reserved. Even though the Lost City of Z is sometimes a miss, the reason it’s mostly a hit is because of Hunnam’s presence and chemistry with Robert Pattinson.
1. Henri Charrière, ‘Papillion’
Ironically enough, Hunnam’s best role to date also features the actor portraying a real person in the form of escaped convict Henri Charrière. Although Papillion is essentially a close remake of the 1973 Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman film of the same name, it’s far more effective than the critics would have you believe. While the remake never quite reaches the classic status of its predecessor, Hunnam brings a good amount of gravitas similar to that of McQueen. In short, it’s his most effective role to date.