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Chris Hemsworth in Thor: The Dark World

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It is an ongoing challenge for moviegoers to not see Thor whenever they see Chris Hemsworth, and understandably so. However, while you are certain to find a few (or more) Marvel movies on this list, it is important to remember that the 36-year-old Australian has talent that ranges past playing the God of Thunder.

In fact, Chris Hemsworth often has a reputation for being the strongest element of some of the projects he has participated in. His role in Snow White and the Hunstman earned him a sequel in which he was the main focus, his chemistry with co-star Tessa Thompson made Men In Black: International watchable at times, and he stole the show from the central female cast of of Paul Feig’s 2016 Ghostbusters reboot.

Of course, this is not a list of movies that Chris Hemsworth made better. These are our picks for the best movies starring Chris Hemsworth...

Ed Helms and Chris Hemsworth in the 2015 Vacation reboot

10. Vacation (2015)

You would never guess from the first moment you laid eyes on him that Chris Hemsworth was any more than a jacked pretty boy who who can recite dialogue with an appropriate charm. It would take this soft reboot/sequel of the classic 1983 comedy starring Chevy Chase that became a surprise franchise vehicle to prove to people that the actor could actually be funny.

While taking his family on a road trip to Wally World, just like his dad did, grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) makes a stop to visit his sister Audrey (Leslie Mann), where she lives with her wealthy entrepreneur husband Stone Crandall (Chris Hemsworth), who makes his in-laws uncomfortable by showing off his… belongings. The 2015 Vacation is not the best of the series following the Griswold’s disastrous adventures, but still brings the laughs, especially with Hemsworth onscreen.

Stream it here.

Chris Hemsworth in Bad Times at the El Royale

9. Bad Times At The El Royale (2018)

It is films like The Avengers and The Cabin in the Woods that prove Chris Hemsworth often shines the brightest when part of an ensemble, and not just because he happens to be among the tallest and best-looking of the bunch, admittedly. There is not a lot that I want to give away about how he stands out in Bad Time at the El Royale, but I can promise you that his character, Billy Lee, is very much against type.

In writer and director Drew Goddard’s 1969-set ode to Agatha Christie whodunnits, several strangers check into the understaffed, overly vacant titular Lake Tahoe hotel, at which it appears that not everyone is there is particularly innocent. With an all-star cast also featuring Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Cynthia Erivo, and more, Bad Times at the El Royale is a Hitchcockian gem that boldly indulges in getting down and dirty with clever twists, shocking violence, and Chris Hemsworth like you have never seen him before.

Stream it here.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor with his fellow Avengers in Avengers: Age of Ultron

8. Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

Speaking of Chris Hemsworth in ensemble pieces, writer and director Joss Whedon’s sequel to 2012’s The Avengers was the actor’s second collaboration with the fellow heroes in the MCU, his fourth appearance as Thor, and also his second appearance in a good MCU movie. However, among the MCU crossover event films, Avengers: Age of Ultron is rarely considered to be a favorite.

As much as I enjoy the 2015 blockbuster in which Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo) AI called Ultron (James Spader), instead of being the “suit of armor around the world” they hoped, turns about to be their greatest threat yet, I will admit that, with all of its dark twists and overcrowded subplots, it can prove to be an exhausting experience. Nonetheless, it is an Avengers movie, which is always a treat no matter what happens, and it kicks off the quest that leads Thor to Ragnarok… but more on that later.

Stream it here.

Chris Hemsworth in Star Trek

7. Star Trek (2009)

With as high on the A-list as Chris Hemsworth is today, it sounds surprising that his film career has a beginning similar to Kevin Costner’s debut in The Big Chill as the deceased Alex in a flashback that was edited out of the final cut. The biggest difference between that and Hemsworth’s role in Star Trek is that he still got to be in the movie, just not for very long.

The actor did, in fact, make his big screen debut after getting his start on Australian television in J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the iconic science fiction series as George Kirk, an ill-fated Star Fleet officer and father to future Enterprise captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine). Despite the fact that Chris Hemsworth’s initial appearance does not make it past the opening credits of Star Trek, his character became important to Captain Kirk’s arc throughout the franchise, which also saw a reprisal in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness.

Stream it here.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in The Avengers

6. The Avengers (2012)

While the aforementioned Avengers: Age of Ultron was well-done, but overwhelming at times, its predecessor was an absolute treat. After giving the initial six main heroes of the MCU their own proper introductions in previous films, the Avengers are brought together brought together in the epic 2012 crossover event in which they are tasked by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to help defeat Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s adoptive brother.

The awkward family reunion serves as the endearing core of Joss Whedon’s expertly constructed and relentlessly fun team-up film that would set the tone for what what was to come from future chapters in the MCU. The Avengers achieved the impossible task of putting multiple superheroes into one movie without fail a reality that comic book fans and casual moviegoers alike are proud of.

Stream it here.

Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth in Rush

5. Rush (2013)

It is a shame that English Formula One legend James Hunt died long before he could see the height of his racing career unfold onscreen in the 2013 biopic Rush. He probably would have been especially proud to see none other than Chris Hemsworth playing him.

Director Ron Howard’s Golden Globe-nominated historical drama mainly chronicles the bitter rivalry between playboy James Hunt and Australian racer Niki Lauda (future MCU antagonist Daniel Bruhl), which was the talk of the Formula One circuit in the mid-1970s. Rush lives up to its name as, not only a biopic about two of Formula One racing’s boldest competitors, but a thrilling exploit of the sport’s make-or-break risk, leaving racers with no room for mistakes.

Stream it here.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Avengers: Infinity War

4. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Until the release of another recent superhero crossover film that I will mention later, Avengers: Infinity War was the biggest thing to happen to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only did Anthony and Joe Russo's cultural juggernaut serve as a celebration of 10 years of amazing comic book movie storytelling, but also fully introduced one of cinema’s greatest villains in recent years, Thanos (Josh Brolin).

Thor’s quest in Avengers: Infinity War, from the hopeless sole survivor of the Mad Titan’s Asgardian slaughter to a thunderous redemption with the debut of Stormbreaker, only to be brought down again by Thanos’ reminder that he “should have aimed for the head,” is just one of the many, many, MANY character-driven storylines that are handled masterfully. The “impossible” task that Joss Whedon faced with just six characters in 2012’s The Avengers is nothing compared to what the Russo Brothers did in this film with almost every character previously introduced in the MCU up to that point. And the story had only just begun…

Stream it here.

Chris Hemsworth and the cast of The Cabin in the Woods

3. The Cabin In The Woods (2011)

Before teaming up with director Drew Goddard on Bad Times at the El Royale and Joss Whedon for the first two Avengers movies, a young Chris Hemsworth starred in that duo’s brilliant deconstruction of the horror genre. While Scream, the 1996 slasher revival from director Wes Craven, followed a group of characters with a meta awareness of their role in a horror film, 2011’s The Cabin in the Woods had a similar, but far more insane way to one-up that concept.

This is yet another film of Chris Hemsworth’s filmography that I would recommend you avoid spoilers before seeing if you have not already, but I will say that the actor plays one of five college students who encounter a series of disturbing events at a remote cabin, and the reason for their trouble is a brilliant twist that you would never see coming. For all of the remarkably clever and witty indictments on the horror genre we have blessed with over the years, The Cabin in the Woods is in a league of its own.

Stream it here.

Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok

2. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Having grown tired of the character that made him a household name, Chris Hemsworth was determined to make his return to the solo Thor franchise in 2017 something special. So, with a new haircut, abandoning of the famous Mjolnir, and guidance from New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (then known best for vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows) Thor reemerged as one of the MCU’s most simultaneously badass and hilarious characters in a movie that the God of Thunder could be proud of.

After his long lost sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) banishes him with intent to take over Asgard, Thor must team up with Loki, former Asgardian warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and his old “friend from work” Bruce Banner to escape a barbaric planet and save his home as the apocalyptic event prophesied as Ragnarok is imminent. Featuring a brilliantly funny performance by Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster, Thor: Ragnarok is a refreshing turning point for Chris Hemsworth’s role in the MCU that would pave the way for his character’s greatest challenge yet.

Stream it here.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Avengers: Endgame

1. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

As I said earlier, Avengers: Infinity War was only the beginning of a much larger story chronicling our Marvel heroes’ biblical quarrel with Thanos. The way the Russo Brothers completed that story the following year in Avengers: Endgame turned out to be one of the most exciting, emotionally devastating, and unforgettably well-told stories that raised the bar for comic book movies higher than we imagined.

Years after Thanos’ victory, the Avengers are given a chance to get the band back together, make things right, and redeem themselves from their dismal existence in one final quest to avenge those they have lost, and no one is in need of a boost more than Thor. While the depiction of Chris Hemsworth’s character as overweight and suffering from depression in Avengers: Endgame met some controversy as some felt it was just played for laughs, I would argue that Thor’s quest for redemption after failing to stop Thanos is one of the strongest and most genuine elements of the story and a shining example of the actor’s ability to give even a god-like character a relatable sense of humanity.

Stream it here.

Do you agree with my ranking of Chris Hemsworth’s best films, or did I leave something out that makes you want to take an Asgardian hammer to it? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for more news about the Thor actor here on CinemaBlend.

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