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Over the years, John Cena has gone from a multi-time WWE Champion to one of the biggest (both size and popularity) stars in Hollywood with performances in the likes of F9 and The Suicide Squad. But before he was going toe-to-toe with Vin Diesel and being the biggest douchebag in the DC Comics universe, Cena went on a remarkable cinematic journey that took him from WWE-produced action flicks to some of the best comedies of the past decade.
Below is a list of John Cena movies including Trainwreck and the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee and nine others that are worth checking out for one reason or another. In addition to that, we’ve provided information on where you can watch these movies streaming as well as purchase them if you want to be able to see Cena whenever you want. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s take a look at John Cena’s life in movies…
Judd Apatow's 2015 romantic comedy Trainwreck tells the story of serial dater Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer, who also wrote the movie) as she tries to take her love life serious upon meeting and falling for sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader) in New York City. But before Amy changes her perspective on dating, and love for that matter, she finds herself dating the muscle-bound gym-addict named Steven (John Cena) for a stretch that includes a hilarious sexual encounter, one of the best back-and-forths set in a movie theater, and a shockingly emotional breakup scene. And although Cena is only in the movie for a few minutes at most, he makes the most of the time and proves that he's more than just another wrestler-turned-actor.
One of the better entries in the Transformers franchise to date, the 2018 spinoff/prequel Bumblebee follows the titular Autobot as he seeks refuge as a beat-up yellow Volkswagen Beetle in a junkyard in 1980s California. The story picks up when Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) finds and revives Bumblebee, an action that sets plans in motion to save the Autobots’ destruction at the hand of the Decepticons and their pawn, Jack Burns (John Cena). Playing the complex villain-type he never got to portray in WWE, Cena shines as the complex antagonist and adds a nice charm to the character you both love and love to hate.
When a group of parents played by John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz discover their teenage daughters have made a pact to lose their virginity on the night of their prom, the trio do everything in their power (including butt-chugging) to stop them before it’s too late. The hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt 2018 comedy Blockers is a good time for everyone (well, everyone of a certain age) and tells two fascinating stories focused on the changing relationship between parents and their daughters as they grow older. And while everyone in the Blockers cast is firing at all cylinders, Cena really goes all out here and steals the show whenever on screen. Just a heads up, the movie gets pretty gross at times.
The Marine (2006)
Okay, the WWE-produced 2006 movie The Marine is a not-so-good, run-of-the-mill action thriller but boy is it a blast to watch. Basically, a recently discharged Marine named John Triton (John Cena) comes home from a tour of duty in Iraq to discover that his wife, Kate (Kelly Carlson) has been kidnapped by a group of jewel thieves led by an extremely deadly and sinister madman named Rome (Robert Patrick). With local authorities overmatched and outgunned by the ruthless gang, only the Marine can save his wife and bring the band to justice. This movie has a little bit of everything in terms of action movie tropes, which help make it a shockingly violent good time. Too bad it's no longer on the list of surprisingly fun to watch Netflix movies.
12 Rounds (2009)
A few years after making his acting debut with The Marine, John Cena led another WWE Studios production with the thrilling action movie called 12 Rounds. The movie starts off with New Orleans police officer Danny Fisher (Cena) preventing master thief Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen) from successfully pulling off what would be one of the biggest heists in the Big Easy’s history. But that’s just the beginning as Jackson breaks out of prison, kidnaps Fisher’s fiancée (notice a trend here), and forces the cop to solve a series of elaborate puzzles and deadly traps. Just imagine Die Hard with a Vengeance, but instead of Bruce Willis rattling off a series of one-liners you see John Cena bringing elements of professional wrestling into the action world.
Playing With Fire (2019)
There must be some unofficial rule for action stars to make a least one movie where they’re paired up with young kids. Over the years, beefed-up actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Dave Bautista have shared the screen with pint-size counterparts, and so it was only a matter of time before John Cena followed that same route. Enter Playing with Fire, the 2019 family-friendly comedy that sees Cena take on the role of Jake Carson, a straight-laced, no nonsense fire chief who rescues a group of three siblings alongside fellow firefighters Mark Rogers (Keegan-Michael Key) and Rodrigo Torres (John Leguizamo). Throughout the course of the movie, everyone involved learns what it means to be family, for better or for worse.
Based on the 1936 children’s book The Story of Ferdinand, the 2017 animated comedy Ferdinand centers on a gentle giant of a bull who escapes the world of competitive bullfighting and finds refuge on a Spanish farm with hopes of living a fun and relatively peaceful life. The movie could have ended there and left audiences with a short and sweet story that is full of laughs and love despite being incomplete. But this movie doesn’t stop there. When Ferdinand (John Cena) is taken back to his old stomping grounds, he’s forced to square off with the most notorious living matador, El Primero (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and finds out what he’s made of.
The 2015 comedy Sisters is primarily carried by the duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as two siblings who decided to throw an epic rager in what is the final weekend at their childhood home before their parents sell it. The straightforward yet promising setup and the pairing of the former Saturday Night Live standouts is enough to make this an enjoyable comedy, but in comes John Cena’s Pazuzu, a beefed-up and heavily tattooed drug dealer whose stash would put Tony Montana, Hunter S. Thompson, and just about everyone else to shame without even batting an eye. Released just a few months after Cena got a lot of laughs out of audiences with Trainwreck, Cena proved that it was anything but beginner’s luck and that he could hold is own comedically just like he had done physically in the ring throughout the decade preceding the film’s release.
The Wall (2017)
One of the best movies on Amazon prime, the 2017 military thriller The Wall follows two American soldiers, Allan “Ize” Isaac (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Shane Matthews (John Cena) as they answer a distress call in war-torn Iraq only to find themselves in the middle of a sniper’s elaborate and deadly trap. One of the more dramatic roles of Cena’s career, Doug Liman’s tense drama is a slow and methodical race against time with a dwindling supply bullets and strength for badly injured and outmatched U.S. soldiers.
Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)
Picking up following the events of the first film in the franchise, Daddy’s Home 2 once again centers on the seemingly never-ending battle between father Dusty Mayron (Mark Wahlberg) and step-father Brad Whitaker (Will Ferrell) but this time with additional characters thrown into the mix, their fathers: Kurt Mayron (Mel Gibson) and Don Whitaker (John Lithgow). On top of that, Dusty also has to compete with Roger (John Cena), the massive father of his step-daughter who had a brief cameo at the end of 2015’s Daddy’s Home. With more stakes and factors playing into the equation of the growing family at the center of the story, Daddy’s Home 2 is more of the same but turned up a notch.
Tour De Pharmacy (2017)
The 2017 HBO mockumentary film Tour de Pharmacy tells the fictionalized (and completely over-the-top) story of the 1982 Tour de France which is full of insane personalities, excess, and loads and loads of steroids. Poking fun at the doping scandals that have followed competitive biking and other sports of the years, Tour de Pharmacy does a remarkable job of finding time for every single member of its massive cast which includes Andy Samberg, Jeff Goldblum, Orlando Bloom, Daveed Diggs, John Cena, Danny Glover, Dolph Lundgren, Kevin Bacon, Lance Armstrong, Mike Tyson, John Hamm, and nearly a dozen others. This is even more remarkable considering the movie is not even 45 minutes long.
With The Suicide Squad, Vacation Friends, and other great 2021 movies coming our way from John Cena, it’s only a matter of time before this list becomes larger and wilder like a WWE crowd upon the return of the leader of Cena Nation.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.