Few actors are more comfortable with their positions in Hollywood than Gerard Butler. While he’s made attempts to cross into other genres occasionally, he’s long been most at home making fairly schlocky action movies.
The latest of those, Plane, just hit theaters, and seems to be the ideal movie for January, a month when December holdovers are often still on top at the box office and new releases are either non-existent or just plain awful. In honor of Plane‘s release, let’s look back at the five best action movies from Butler’s long career.
GenreAction, Adventure, War
StarsGerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West
Directed byZack Snyder
The role that proved more than any other that Butler was an action star,300is also the film that launched Zack Snyder into the stratosphere. Telling the story of the 300 Spartans who stood up to an army of 10,000 Persians in an unwinnable battle, Butler’s sheer commitment to the project is ultimately what makes the movie so compelling.
He’s a perfect fit for Snyder’s slo-mo-filled, heavily stylized action, and their combined energy is what has allowed 300to pass into the realm of iconic in the years since it was first released in 2006. Why does this Greek guy have a Scottish accent? If you’re worried about that, you’re thinking too hard.
300 - Official Trailer [HD]
GenreAction, Thriller, Crime
StarsGerard Butler, Dawn Olivieri, O'Shea Jackson Jr.
Directed byChristian Gudegast
Perhaps the quintessential Gerard Butler action movie,Den of Thievesfollows an elite unit of the LAPD led by Butler who finds itself on a collision course with some highly trained ex-military criminals. This low-brow version of Heatdelivers many of the thrills of that movie, with a little bit of a lighter touch on the pathos.
At a full 140 minutes,Den of Thieveshas a number of great individual action set pieces, but what really makes the movie work is the B-movie feeling of everything about it.Den of Thievesis stylish and fun, but it’s not taking itself too seriously.
Den of Thieves | Official Trailer | Own It Now on Digital HD, Blu-Ray & DVD
StarsGerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Finley Jacobsen
Directed byAntoine Fuqua
Butler’s most successful franchise to date is, improbably, the one in which he plays a former secret service agent tasked with saving the president from a wide variety of calamities.
Olympus Has Fallensees Butler taking on a terrorist organization that has invaded the White House, but the subsequent sequels are just as compelling as this first installment. Few men look better darting around corners and taking down bad guys than Gerard Butler, and in Olympus Has Fallen, he gets the chance to do it against one of the most familiar backdrops in America.
Olympus Has Fallen Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Morgan Freeman Movie HD
GenreAction, Thriller, Drama
StarsGerard Butler, Morena Baccarin, David Denman
Directed byRic Roman Waugh
The perfect blend of action and disaster,Greenlandis actually a fairly striking look at what it would be like to live through the end of the world. Butler leads his family across the country as they attempt to find a safe haven from a comet that is leveling cities.
As they travel, they meet people both great and terrible, and ultimately have to come to terms with their life as it crumbles around them.Greenlandis probably one of the most moving movies of Butler’s career, and it earned its spot on this list by proving that the actor was far more than just a Scottish action hero.
Greenland | Official Trailer [HD] | On Demand Everywhere December 18th
GenreComedy, Action, Romance
StarsGerard Butler, Jennifer Aniston, Peter Greene
Directed byAndy Tennant
Gerard Butler hasn’t been seen in a romantic mode for quite a few years, but he is definitely capable of turning on the charm. InThe Bounty Hunter, Butler stars opposite Jennifer Aniston as two halves of a formerly married couple.
Butler is a bounty hunter who gets a call to bring his ex-wife in, and the two wind up on something of a chase after she escapes him to chase down a lead in a murder investigation. There’s still plenty of action here for those who like to see Butler in that mode, but it’s a little bit lighter on its feet than some of the other movies on this list.
The Bounty Hunter (2010) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers
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Forget #RestoreTheSnyderVerse; Zack Snyder should direct a MCU movie instead
SnyderCon will arrive next week, with director Zack Snyder taking center stage to showcase his DC Extended Universe films and talk about what his fans love the most: himself. Arguably the most divisive director in Hollywood -- certainly the most divisive in the comic book movie world -- Snyder's name provokes both intense devotion and furious backlash. It's impossible to talk about him without acknowledging this ideological juxtaposition, to the point where his cinematic contributions have become somewhat tarnished.
And it's a shame because, love him or hate him, there's no denying Snyder is a unique filmmaker with a distinctive and instantly recognizable visual language. Highly stylized and uncompromisingly bombastic, Snyder's movies like his extended cut of Justice Leagueare a visual feast, moving paintings with exquisite, albeit harsh strokes of brilliance. His action sequences are dynamic and immersive and his worlds are rich and layered. Snyder is the type of director who cares more about how the characters look than how they act, an admittedly controversial approach for any genre outside the world of superheroes.
Who should be cast in the MCU’s Fantastic Four movie?
February 14, 2025, will mark the debut of Marvel's First Family in the ever-expanding, slightly infuriating Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film, simply titled Fantastic Four, will be helmed by Matt Shankman, who directed WandaVision, the best MCU show so far. Shankman originally worked on the screenplay with Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer, but recent news revealed Avatar: The Way of Water co-writer Josh Friedman will re-write the script, perhaps to add more sci-fi elements.
Beyond what this change in screenwriters means, at least we know the project is moving along nicely and will likely meet its tentative release date. It also means that casting for the four lead roles will almost certainly happen this year, probably at a major event like San Diego Comic-Con. Since the project was first announced in 2019, multiple names have been thrown around as potential castings for Marvel's First Family. However, until a formal announcement is made, we have ample room to make informed guesses, wishful thinking suggestions, and everything in between. And, like every superhero fan, we have several ideas of who could and should play the Fantastic Four.
Who should play Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic?
Apple TV+’s Tetris shows movies about video games are the next big thing
After more than a decade of unprecedented dominance over Hollywood, the reign of superhero comic book adaptations may finally be coming to an end. The once-bulletproof Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen its first box office disappointment in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and returning Disney CEO Bob Iger has pumped the brakes on the nonstop parade of forgettable streaming shows.
DC Films has entered a rebuilding phase after Dwayne Johnson’s long-awaited Black Adam failed to make a splash, and The CW’s sprawling Arrowverse is coming to an end after a cumulative 41 seasons across eight television titles. While the comic book movie may yet rebound in the years ahead, its place in the zeitgeist is rapidly being conquered by another arena maligned by older generations: video games.
Has the video game movie curse lifted?