RANKED! The Best Mark Wahlberg Movies (Ahead of ‘Spenser Confidential’)
Mark Wahlberg is one of Hollywood’s most underrated and underutilized actors. The man formerly known as Marky Mark made his film debut in the 1994 army comedy Renaissance Man and has appeared in a steady stream of flicks since. While often pigeon-holed into tough-guy roles (he does hold a gun more believably than most actors), he’s shown depth playing characters that range from a porn star to a gambling addict to a professional boxer. In addition to acting, Wahlberg is a prolific producer, a father of four, and the co-founder of burger joint Wahlburgers. But his next big project is Spenser Confidential. Ahead of that cop comedy, we’ve sifted through Wahlberg’s filmography and ranked his best movies.
Cover Photo: Lionsgate
10. 'The Other Guys'
Yes, Wahlberg can do funny. And he does so with aplomb in this cop comedy opposite Will Ferrell. The dynamic duo play "the other guys," or the odd-couple cops called in to tackle a conspiracy case when more competent policeman are indisposed. If this GIF alone doesn't make you want to see the film, nothing will.
Every actor needs a sports biopic in his filmography. This is Wahlberg's, in which he plays Vince Papale, a man who loses his job and his wife in quick succession but soon finds himself playing for his favorite NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles, in 1976.
8. 'Lone Survivor'
In this memoir-based war flick, Wahlberg stars as Marcus Luttrell, one of four Navy SEALs tasked with snagging (or snuffing out) Taliban leader Ahmad Shah in Afghanistan in 2005. It's a brutal, bloody film but Wahlberg imbues his role with bravery and authenticity.
7. 'The Italian Job'
In this adrenaline-fueled flick, Wahlberg plays Charlie Croker, a lifelong thief who masterminds a gold heist. What the plot lacks in originality, Wahlberg makes up for with cunning and charm.
6. 'The Gambler'
In this intriguing drama, Wahlberg plays down-on-his-luck (but still insufferably arrogant) ex-gambler Jim Bennett, who gets back into the game with dreams of winning big and paying down his debts.
5. 'Three Kings'
Part farce, part action flick, this 1999 film takes viewers back to the end of the Gulf War, and casts Wahlberg as one of three soldiers recruited for a treasure-stealing mission. It's a wild, unhinged ride across the desert.
Photo: Warner Bros.
4. 'Patriots Day'
Wahlberg brought all his Alpha male wiles to his role as Sergeant Tommy Saunders in this tense action film about the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013. Wahlberg is never more in his element than when donning a bullet-proof vest and hot on the heels of bad guys.
3. 'Boogie Nights'
Wahlberg let his freak flag fly as well-endowed dishwasher-turned-porn star Eddie Adams (aka Dirk Diggler) in this Paul Thomas Anderson film set in the late '70s and early '80s. Porn with heart? Yes, it’s possible, thanks to Wahlberg’s performance.
2. 'The Fighter'
Wahlberg gives a knockout performance in this Academy Award-nominated film about real-life boxer Micky Ward, who tries to make a name for himself in the sport despite the shadow of his drug-addicted, ex-boxer half-brother, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale).
1. 'The Departed'
Working with Martin Scorsese is every actor's dream, and Wahlberg fulfilled it in this gritty and violent crime drama. As Staff Sargent Dignam, Wahlberg portrays an abrasive man intent on avenging the deaths of his law enforcement colleagues. Wahlberg netted his first (and so far only) Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination in 2007 for the role. He didn't win, but the film nabbed four other Academy Awards, including Best Picture.