Mark Wahlberg is in for another box office hit thanks to Unexplored, and this is a rare instance in which he stepped in in a supporting role. “Marky Mark” is one of the most bankable stars in the business right now, and recently he’s rarely appeared in movies where he’s not the main man. Although he entered the world of streaming with Netflix Spenser Confidential and Paramount+ InfiniteWahlberg is one of the few genuine “movie stars” who still have a loyal fan base in theaters.
It certainly comes with some baggage; Wahlberg is almost renowned for his outrageous public statements, and his checkered past is often the subject of debate. Although he had recently moved into mostly familiar action and comedy roles earlier in his career, Wahlberg showed a willingness to work with writers. Who would have thought the former ‘Funky Bunch’ member would end up working with filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, James Gray, and David O. Russell?
It’s interesting to look at Wahlberg’s entire filmography and consider how diverse it is. Between high-profile projects, studio action movies, crowd-pleasing comedies, and the god-awful Transformers suites, Mark Wahlberg’s work is just as unpredictable as he is. Here are Wahlberg’s eleven greatest films, ranked.
11. Three Kings (1999)
The ’90s were a very different time for Wahlberg, and they were certainly a very different time for writer/director David O. Russell. Before becoming an award favorite with Silver Linings Playbook and american hustleRussell embodied the chaotic spirit of independent filmmakers of the 90s. three kings is a fascinating mix of genres; it’s a harsh satire of American involvement overseas that takes a tough genre approach with its heist storyline. Walberg, George Clooney, and Ice Cube stars a trio of soldiers who stage a gold heist during the 1991 invasion of Iraq. Wahlberg’s comically boring approach is perfect for Russell’s commentary on dehumanization in the military.
10. The Other Guys (2010)
Wahlberg then co-directed the daddy’s house franchisee with Will Ferrellbut the duo was much stronger together in Adam McKay’is a surprisingly nuanced buddy comedy from 2010. the other guys casts the pair as New York detectives who live in the shadow of the city’s main heroes PK Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Christopher Danson (Dwayne Johnson). When they finally get a chance to intervene, Wahlberg and Ferrell uncover a conspiracy that links an eccentric billionaire to internal police corruption. Wahlberg and Ferrell are a perfect duo; Ferrell is a passive type and Wahlberg’s character seems to be exasperated by everything his partner says.
9. The Italian Job (2003)
Italian work was a rare remake that actually surpassed its original, as F. Gary GrayThe 2003 update pays far more attention to character development than the original 1969 British film. Wahlberg proved he could share the screen in a name-heavy heist film, including Charlize Theron, Seth Green, Jason Statham, and Def. Mos. He’s actually quite generous with his screen time. The heartfelt moments he shares with Theron as they mourn the loss of their former team leader (Donald Sutherland) were the perfect character touches the movie needed amid the nonstop action.
8. The Gambler (2014)
The remake of the 1974 classic James Caan star vehicle The player was one of the most ambitious projects of Wahlberg’s career. He plays Caan’s character, Jim Bennett, an English professor who gets caught in over his head after betting too big. Wahlberg may be more convincing at the poker table than he is in the classroom, but he’s not afraid of how unsympathetic Bennett can be. The player is no standard crowd pleaser, and Bennett is a walking wreck you can’t take your eyes off of.
7. Deep Sea Horizon (2016)
Wahlberg isn’t necessarily known for his sensitivity, but he delivers a respectful performance as a real-life employee of the Mike Williams oil rig, which was caught in the 2016 oil spill. Deep water horizon explores BP’s corruption and how it leads to devastating consequences for the environment and the workers caught in the middle of the spill. Wahlberg collaborated with the director Peter Berg on several films, and here he gives a solid performance as an ordinary man who is forced to watch his friends suffer and perish. It is a powerful testimony to the spirit of the true victims. The final moments of Williams reuniting with her family after the chaos are absolutely heartbreaking.
6. Sole Survivor (2013)
sole survivor is the strongest of Wahlberg’s films with Berg. Once again he plays a true hero in First Class Marcus Luttrell, and he showed his respect for the military by engaging in intense physical demands. It was equally important for Luttrell to stand out as an individual in order to humanize the tragic events, and Wahlberg was able to bring his personality to the role. The moments of complicity he shares with his fellow soldiers, Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy (taylor kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and Matthew Axelson (Ben Foster) are very believable. The excellent chemistry of the four actors makes the action-packed third act even more intense.
5. All the Money in the World (2017)
All the money in the world has been the subject of much controversy. After Kevin Spacey has been replaced by Christopher Plumer in the retakes, there were discrepancies on michelle williams‘ salary compared to Wahlberg’s. Remarkably, this is also the film where Wahlberg gives his most understated performance. He appears as Fletcher Chase, a former spy who serves as John Paul Getty’s (Plummer) personal agent. While it’s clear that Chase has seen his fair share of action, he’s also sensitive to the human costs of his profession. When his boss refuses to act, Chase sets out to help Gail Getty (Williams) save her kidnapped son.
4. I Heart Huckabees (2004)
David O. Russell tends to bring out the best in Wahlberg, and he’s never been funnier than he is in I Heart Huckabees. The extremely strange film explores the adventures of existential detectives Bernard (Dustin Hoffman) and Vivian Jaffe (Lily Tomlin) as they help their struggling clients discover the meaning of life. Tommy Corn (Wahlberg) is looking for the couple because of his obsession with oil industry corruption. You wouldn’t normally see Wahlberg spouting extreme anti-consumer statements, but he’s absolutely hilarious as he delivers one nonsensical monologue after another.
3. Boogie Nights (1997)
boogie nights is a film about the very nature of fame. Wahlberg starred as an emerging talent as he built his own career, and he captures the anxiety of a young performer. It was another instance in which Wahlberg could have easily been upstaged by his incredible co-stars, but Eddie Adams’ transformation into porn sensation Dirk Diggler is surprisingly heartfelt. Dirk expects to fall prey to producer Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), but he finds his place by meeting an atypical cast and team that support him. Paul Thomas Anderson really humanized the industry, and Dirk knows the ups and downs of being in a non-traditional family.
2. The Fighter (2010)
The fighter is more than just an inspirational boxing movie, but that doesn’t mean Micky Ward (Wahlberg) isn’t an underdog worth rooting for. Micky is seen as a “stepping stone” for other boxers, and he is forced to be responsible for his dysfunctional family. Micky trains with his brother Dicky (Christian Bale in an Oscar-winning performance), who is extremely underweight due to his cocaine addiction. Wahlberg shows the simultaneous physical and emotional burdens Micky endures as he rises to success; he knows that Dicky’s only goal is to see him succeed, but he doesn’t know how much time his brother has left.
1. The Departed (2006)
The dead is one of the best films of the 21st century, and it certainly has one of the best actors. Wahlberg is sort of the scene stealer among an ensemble that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga, and Martin Sheen. Staff Sergeant Sean Dignam is the crude comic relief from the mystery and may be the only cop noble (and smart) enough to survive. Wahlberg’s real strength is when he *isn’t* the star, and in The dead it leaves the viewer wanting more. Watching him yell swear words might not be the only reason The dead is so reviewable, but Wahlberg’s performance makes the film’s dark thrills even more wicked.
Holland also talks about how he listens to the “Lone Survivor” soundtrack if he needs to get emotional in a scene.
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