June 19, 2024

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12 Best Jason Statham Movies, Ranked

8 min read

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12

The Italian Job (2003)

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The Italian Job (2003) Official Trailer # 1 – Mark Wahlberg HD

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Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, and a surplus of Mini Coopers help make this fun but somewhat forgettable heist movie one of Statham’s best early career decisions. The Italian Job (not a remake of the Michael Caine original, but rather a loose reimagining around similar themes) follows a group of thieves who are wronged by one of their own, leaving their leader dead. A year later, they plot their revenge on the traitor and recruit the fallen leader’s daughter to help them pull off the ultimate heist. Statham plays Handsome Rob, a ladies man who is the team’s wheelman. Since the highlight of the movie comes in the form of the car chases, Statham gets a true chance to shine.

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11

The Bank Job (2008)

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Inspired by an alleged real-life ‘70s burglary, The Bank Job offers another slightly more historical heist for Statham to sink his teeth into, proving he can thrive in any decade. After getting caught trying to smuggle drugs into the country, a woman (Saffron Burrows) strikes a deal with the authorities to retrieve compromising photos of Princess Margaret from a safety deposit box, with the help of Terry Leather (Statham) and a few others. After successfully breaking into the bank, the team ends up in for more than they bargained for when they discover other illegal belongings in the boxes, including a ledger of corrupt police officers and payoffs.

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10

The Transporter (2002)

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The Transporter (2002) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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Four years into his film career, Jason Statham got the chance to prove his leading man ability and to show that he could hold his own outside of an ensemble feature in The Transporter. As Frank Martin, Statham plays a former soldier-turned-mercenary driver. Although his main way of survival is to never get involved, he finds himself in trouble when he opens one of his “deliveries” and finds a living woman. A greater conspiracy quickly unfolds and Frank ends up in the fight of his life, as well as the lives of hundreds of victims of human trafficking.

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9

Wrath of Man (2021)

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WRATH OF MAN | Official Trailer | MGM Studios

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The Guy Ritchie-Jason Statham relationship has become one of the most fruitful action director-actor collaborations. One of the most intriguing films they’ve made is Wrath of Man, a starring vehicle and a return to heist form for Statham. The movie follows “H” (Statham), an armored truck driver, who raises questions about his past when he expertly thwarts an attempted robbery. Unfolding in four parts, the story plays with the timeline and offers Statham a more stylistic film as opposed to his normal cut-and-dry action flicks. While it’s neither Ritchie nor Statham’s best movie, it’s certainly a solid entry into both of their ledgers and encapsulates their strong partnership.

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8

The Mechanic (2011)

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THE MECHANIC (2011) | Hollywood.com Movie Trailers | #movies #movietrailers

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As one of the best assassins on the market, Arthur Bishop (Statham) specializes in making his murders look like anything but an assassination: suicides, accidents, and random carjackings are all on the table. Business is going pretty well until he’s tasked with killing off his mentor. When his mentor’s son wants to become an assassin, unaware of Arthur’s connection to his father’s death, Arthur takes him under his wing and the two end up in a mentorship complicated by Arthur’s shifty boss. The role is a fun chance for Statham to transition into the semi-wise teacher position, as opposed to the cocky young hotshot, and proves a longevity to his career that he’ll be able to age into.

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7

The Expendables 2 (2012)

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The Expendables 2 (2012) – Official Trailer #1

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The second and exponentially better film in The Expendables franchise highlights Statham’s continued ability to rock in an ensemble feature, despite his years as a leading man. The sequel follows a team of mercenaries whose seemingly straight-forward mission takes a turn for the worse, resulting in the death of one of their own. The team’s wish for revenge, combined with an uptick in both humor and action, makes it the best installment (so far) in The Expendables franchise. As Lee Christmas (there could be a whole separate ranking devoted to the man’s character names alone), Statham holds his own opposite Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren and comes out as the best part of each movie.

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6

Snatch (2000)

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Snatch (2000) Official Trailer 1 – Brad Pitt Movie

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Another Ritchie collaboration, Snatch offers a somewhat familiar but still fun caper. This time, Statham stars as an illegal boxing promoter who, after arranging a fixed fight, finds himself in hot water when the planned loser knocks out his opponent in one punch. The story runs concurrently (and eventually converges) with the criminal activity surrounding a massive diamond in London. It combines Ritchie’s signature blend of action and black comedy, a style of movie that Statham seems to be made for.

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5

Furious 7 (2015)

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Furious 7 – Official Trailer (HD)

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Joining the Fast & Furious franchise was inevitable for Statham, as a certified action star, but it’s never clear how smooth the addition of a new team member will be to the cast. Fortunately for Statham and everyone involved, he was one of the best add-ons to the franchise, and even got his own spin-off with The Rock, 2019’s Hobbs & Shaw. After getting introduced in the end credits in Fast & Furious 6, Statham shines in Furious 7 as Deckard Shaw, the brother of one of the series’ earlier antagonists. Although Statham’s character spends the seventh movie as the villain, he ingratiates himself into the team and the Fast & Furious community as a whole as the franchise goes on, making him one of the more memorable newcomers.

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4

The Meg (2018)

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Statham’s work in The Meg is perhaps most emblematic of what he does best in a leading role. As Jonas Taylor, he plays a deep sea rescuer who is tasked with taking down a loose megalodon shark after it escapes from the Mariana Trench into open water. Tormented by a botched rescue in his past, he approaches his task with both weathered sincerity and incredulousness that an ocean-spanning Meg chase is actually happening. A mix of a ludicrous plot approached with serious commitment–bolstered by good CGI and a cast of equally devoted co-stars–the movie is a bonafide hit, even if it doesn’t seem like it would be.

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3

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

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Statham’s first Ritchie team-up (and his first ever film role) is still one of his best. In Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, four friends (including Statham’s character, Bacon) pool their money together so that the gambling aficionado of the group can play in a high-stakes game. Unbeknownst to the quartet, the game is rigged, and they end up owing half a million pounds to a nefarious character. In order to pay back their debt within a week (or face the frightening consequences), they opt to rob the small-time gang members who live next door and are planning their own separate robbery (a heist of a heist, if you will). Dark, funny, and clever, it’s Ritchie at some of his best, with Statham along for the ride.

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2

Crank (2006)

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The premise of Crank alone promises a good time. Following a mission gone wrong, hitman Chev Chelios (Statham) is injected with a poison that will slow his heart rate until it kills him. If he wants to live, Chev must keep his heart rate up with adrenaline spikes while he tries to find an antidote for the poison. The situation necessitates all of the adrenaline-pumping hallmarks of a good action movie: intense fights, reckless driving, public sex. Not worried about a realistic or sensical plot (what truly good action movie is?), the movie is strung together by action sequences and becomes a showcase for Statham to prove that he can truly do anything in the action-thriller sphere.

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1

Spy (2015)

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Spy | Official Trailer 2 [HD] | 20th Century FOX

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The number 1 slot might be a bit of a surprise in the context of Statham’s other movies, especially considering his character’s “supporting” status, but Spy is by far Statham at his best. With Spy, Statham uses his action base to explore his comedic chops–to excellent effect. In the Paul Feig-directed film, which follows a CIA desk jockey-turned-field agent portrayed by Melissa McCarthy, Statham plays Rick Ford, a fellow spy. Cocky and foul-mouthed, Ford tags along on McCarthy’s high-stakes mission, believing that she will screw up, and adds to her rag-tag group of agency misfits. While he steals most of his scenes (make sure to stick around for his bonus credits moment), he also creates space for McCarthy to do her thing, making him the ultimate cast addition.

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Headshot of Lillian Brown

Lillian Brown is a culture writer based in Boston. Her work has appeared in Vulture, The Daily Beast, The Boston Globe, and Time, among other publications.  

 

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