Channing Tatum has starred in an array of films ever since hitting the big screen back in 2006. At just 41 years-old, the Hollywood heartthrob has had nothing short of an amazing career and has played a wide range of movie roles that have cemented him as one of the top actors of our generation.
Although he is mostly known for his ‘lovable jock’ persona and his good looks, Channing has also shown his comedic and dramatic skills more than once, proving that he has far more to showcase than just a pretty face and great dance moves.
Without further ado, here are 17 Channing Tatum movie roles ranked from least to best.
17. Jupiter Ascending (2015)
Role: Caine Wise
Ever wondered what Channing would look like half-human, half-wolf? Here you have it! Not exactly dubbed the best sci fi movie around, Channing’s acting chops as a badass space agent are decent, but most of the time, we just can’t take him seriously – his pointy ears, eyeliner, and occasional snarling are probably to blame.
16. Public Enemies (2009)
Role: Pretty Boy Floyd
Although his role in this acclaimed thriller is brief, it’s certainly a treat to see Channing as a baddie for once (and in the role of a real-life gangster at that!). Teaming up with big names like Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, his short-lived portrayal of Pretty Boy Floyd was certainly praiseworthy. Not to mention this is one of the rare movies where he finally has a full head of hair rather than his famous buzz cut. Need we say more?
15. A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints (2006)
Role: Young Antonio
In this gut-wrenching drama film that revolves around the troubled childhood of an acclaimed writer in 1980s Queens, Channing plays a troubled, daredevil teen who sadly doesn’t escape his difficult upbringing like his main character. It’s rare for an actor to show such terrific acting chops in the early days of his career, but Channing did a fantastic job in this “breakout performance” as earnestly as possible without ever letting it turn into a caricature.
14. She’s the Man (2006)
In this hilarious teen rom-com led by Amanda Bynes, Channing plays a lovable hunk who befriends Amanda’s character as she pretends to be her twin brother in college. Although he could easily have been annoying as the successful soccer player everyone adores, Channing manages to give his character the kind of unexpected depth and softness that makes you swoon.
13. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Role: Conrad Hauser
Despite saying that he “hated” this film, nothing beats Channing’s charisma in these action movies. Here he plays the role of Conrad Hauser, the young member of an elite military team who knows exactly how to use both his wits and strength at the right moment. Although people were mostly used to seeing him play in romantic comedies or dramas at the time, Channing’s efficient work in this movie proved that he could pretty much do everything, especially if it requires him to look like a real-life action figure.
12. White House Down (2013)
Just like his work in the G.I. Joe movies, Channing knows how to turn into an action star when the script demands it. In this thrilling political blockbuster, the actor proves once again that his abs can be put to good use, especially when it comes to protecting the president of the United States against a national threat. He also plays a dad, which will require you to have some tissues at hand.
11. Haywire (2011)
In this tense action thriller, Channing surprisingly plays a baddie rather than a hero. Although he remains charismatic as hell, you love to hate his character, a cold-blooded black ops agent who attempts to neutralize a member of his own agency for mysterious reasons. Despite being known for likeable roles, Channing clearly had a lot of fun taking a leap and trying his hand at something new – and it paid off!
10. Step Up (2006)
Channing proudly break-danced his way through Hollywood following the release of Step-Up – a movie that certainly defines his career. Being a great dancer to begin with, he didn’t have to prepare a lot for the role of this talented and carefree street dancer who partners up with an uppity ballerina at a prestigious dance school. The chemistry between Channing and Jenna Dewan was actually so off the charts, that they fell in love on set. We can totally see how that happened!
9. Side Effects (2013)
Role: Martin Taylor
In this tense thriller which also stars Jude Law and Rooney Mara, Channing plays a recently released convict whose relationship goes down the drain in the darkest possible way as his girlfriend starts to exhibit eerie behavior. If you need yet another proof that Channing can handle a dramatic role, then Side Effects is your go-to.
8. The Eagle (2011)
Proving that good acting can go hand in hand with good looks, Channing surprised all movie critics as Marcus Aquila in The Eagle. He effortlessly shined as a Roman soldier and certainly looked the part as a strong leader. Other than Channing’s unexpectedly great performance, there are also no over the top effects or mythical creatures, which makes this historical adventure movie even more enjoyable to watch.
7. Dear John (2010)
Role: John Tyree
Although he could have stayed away from romantic movies after making it in the action world, Channing returned to the genre that made him famous with Dear John. The tear- jerking movie adaptation of the novel by Nicholas Sparks sees the star playing a charming young soldier who, after getting deployed overseas, keeps in touch with his girlfriend by exchanging letters with her. We’d tell you to prepare the tissues, but the synopsis says it all.
6. The Vow (2012)
Ah The Vow… yet another sob-fest that will make you cry until your neighbors ask you to tone it down. In this heart-wrenching drama, Channing plays a loving boyfriend whose world is turned upside down after a car accident leaves his girlfriend unable to remember him or their entire relationship. This movie is heartbreaking in every way, but Channing’s ultra-romantic and charming character makes it all worth it.
5. Magic Mike (2012)
Far from being the most complex of Channing Tatum’s roles, Magic Mike was definitely a passion project for the star, since its plot is almost autobiographical. Indeed, Channing was once a strip-teaser in real life, and this movie shows that his training didn’t go to waste! Turn this one on with the girls and have a blast watching Channing looking his best ever.
4. Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Role: Burt Gurney
In this funny and fascinating exploration of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Channing plays alongside a handful of heavyweights, yet still finds his footing as a movie star who bewilders audiences with his dancing skills. This is something that isn’t hard to believe from an actor who has proven time and time again that he can put on a show like no other. Channing did have to learn to tap-dance and sing for this movie, though, but you’d think he’s been doing it all his life!
3. 21 Jump Street (2012)
It doesn’t get more hilarious than seeing a 31 year-old Channing Tatum play a cop who infiltrates a high school to dismantle a drug ring. Once again, his comedic skills shine in this performance that sees him mix action and comedy in some truly hysterical scenes that will have you in stitches. Channing’s commendable role as Jenko will have you laughing uncontrollably from start to finish. This comedy film is a must-watch whether you like Channing or not!
2. Logan Lucky (2017)
Role: Jimmy Logan
In this fast-paced heist comedy, Channing transforms into a loveable, but resentful blue-collar worker who devises a plan to steal from the speed racing company that just let him go. After years of playing dancing hunks and action heroes, it’s refreshing to see him play an everyman who would do anything for his family.
1. Foxcatcher (2014)
Role: Mark Schultz
Both Channing Tatum and Steve Carell absolutely shine in this gripping drama based on a true story, which explores the toxic relationship between a wealthy philanthropist and a young wrestler who hopes to escape his brother’s shadow. In this extremely raw and vulnerable role, Channing not only shows that he can be more than eye-candy, but also that he ranks among the most talented actors of his generation.
Here you have it, 17 of Channing Tatum’s best movies, ranked! Although he’s often considered a ‘pretty boy’ actor, Channing has an extremely eclectic and acclaimed filmography to disprove that assumption.
From troubled teenagers to family men, popular college jocks to doting rom-com boyfriends, he’s truly done it all in just over a decade, and we can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us.
Let us know in the comments which of these movies you love the most, and don’t hesitate to bring your own suggestion to the table. The more the merrier!
Paul Walker’s 15 Best Movie Roles