The Rock unites us all: Watch these movies with Dwayne Johnson tonight
Anthony MackieDwayne “The Rock” Johnson has become one of the most popular (and highest paid) movie actors in Hollywood history, despite his beginnings as a professional wrestler. But there’s good reason for this: The Rock’s screen presence is magnetic. His powerful physicality makes him a perfect action hero, while his natural charisma and kind eyes work to soften his intimidation factor while performing dramatic or romantic scenes.
As such, The Rock makes the perfect couch companion for entertainment purposes, especially with our beloved theaters closed and new movies only trickling into streaming services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So spend this time catching up with his impressive catalogue of work using our list of the best Dwayne Johnson movies.
The Fast and Furious franchise
There’s nowhere better to begin than with this uber-popular series of drag-racing/heist movies. While the first few entries are unfortunately Rock-less, the last several have featured Dwayne Johnson playing a major role as Luke Hobbs, a hard-hitting Diplomatic Security Service agent. This sets him up nicely to go head-to-head with outlaw Dom Toretto, played by nearly-as-gargantuan-in-size Vin Diesel.
While watching these two Adonises duke it out is action ambrosia for the viewer, eventually, Hobbs joins Toretto and his team, making for an ensemble of some of the most talented car-crashing, adrenaline-pumping actors in cinema today. Johnson’s presence here has gained so much popularity, in fact, that he managed to pull a spin-off deal for his character with the awesome Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Fighting with My Family
Although Dwayne Johnson doesn’t have a ton of screen time in Fighting with My Family, he also produced & championed it through the trials of getting it made & released. And he plays himself in the film, using his status as the WWE’s The Rock to befriend & inspire up-and-coming wrestler, Paige, played by the fabulous Florence Pugh.
This film is based on the true story of WWE’s Paige, who had to fight extra hard to gain her superstar wrestler status, even leaving behind the support of her beloved family. It’s a heartwarming and often humorous biographical tale that The Rock makes all the richer.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and its sequel, Jumanji: The Next Level reboot the original movie with an all-star cast and a fresh video game spin. In the films, four teenagers are transformed into adult avatars by a magical console, and must survive the dangers of the game to get back to the real world.
The action is balanced nicely with a copious amount of comedy, much of which is delivered by Dwayne Johnson himself. The kid occupying his massive frame is shy and awkward back home, so watching The Rock push down these social fears and delight himself with the strength of his new form makes for many feel-good moments. And his interactions with tiny Kevin Hart, possessed by the school jock, help to pile on the laughs.
One of Disney’s animated movies, Moana obviously won’t provide viewers with a live-action Dwayne Johnson to enjoy, but his voice-acting as a lead character is pitch-perfect, and the film is one of Disney’s finest in years.
Young Moana, the titular heroine of the story, sets sail into the world to save her island-dwelling tribe, teaming up with Johnson’s hilariously self-assured demigod, Maui, along the way. The constant riffing between the two is extremely entertaining, as are the creative action setpieces. But it’s the friendship that develops between Moana and Maui that is the beating heart of this movie.
Pain & Gain
While not Dwayne Johnson’s most critically acclaimed movie, Pain & Gain is a whole lot of fun, mainly because of the absurdity of the true story it depicts. Mark Wahlberg plays gym manager Danny Lupo, who recruits fellow meatheads, Paul (Dwayne Johnson) and Adrian (Anthony Mackie), to extort money from a rich fitness training client.
The three protagonists aren’t the brightest bulbs in the bunch, so their attempts to blackmail and even kidnap their wealthy mark meet with shocking and hilarious failure after failure. This is The Rock playing way off-character, easily led by the nose to execute moronic plans, and falling victim to the vices of man spectacularly.