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The 10 Best Channing Tatum Movies, Ranked – We Got This Covered

 
 

If you’re starting to feel like Channing Tatum is almost anywhere you look these days, well, you’re not that wrong.
The multi-multi-talented Tatum has grown in stature through the years and has shown a real propensity for fulfilling small roles and cameos beyond directors’ wildest dreams. Tatum can pop in and make an impact in a short time, which is amazing, but it also keeps us from getting more Tatum in roles he plays to perfection. For instance, his run in Free Guy, or Bullet Train, or Kingsman: The Golden Circle, or This Is The End — every time someone gives Tatum a chance to shine for a short time, he runs with it.
It’s great that he’s getting bigger and better roles these days, and the dude is willing to put in the work. In 2022 alone, he gets billing in three films, but we still feel like that pinnacle Tatum performance is still out there, lurking. Something that brings together his physical abilities and comedic timing, his knack to not take himself too seriously yet still committing to the bit.
With Magic Mike’s Last Dance on the horizon to jump start his (at least) three movies slated to hit next year, let’s look at Tatum’s 10 best movie roles to date. Starting with Coach Carter (hello, list!) in 2005, a year in which he was in four movies, Tatum is coming up on 50 movies (and we’re banking he’s already there with some small cameo we’ve overlooked somehow).
Before we get into the top 10 in earnest, we’d like to think that the fact Tatum has been in so many sequels, and is asked into so many cameos is because he’s a joy to work with, is willing to sacrifice for the team, and leaves a positive impression on just about everyone he works with.
Check out the list of sequels alone that he’s been in: Magic Mike XXL (2015), 22 Jump Street (2014), The Lego Batman Movie (2017), The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019), Step Up 2: The Streets (2008), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013). And that’s not mentioning the numerous times he and director Steven Soderbergh have worked together. Somewhere in the ether out there is a role and film concocted between Soderbergh and Tatum that will elevate him to levels we’re seeing with Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock right now, it’s true.
Watching this in real time, Tatum’s potential jumps off the screen. He’s refined his acting chops (and physicality) since then, which can make this role seem like it’s not the best in hindsight, but considering he was just 25 at the time and the film’s focus, he knocks it out of the park. Wait, wrong sport. His performance is a rim-rocking slam dunk.
A polarizing film to be sure. Quentin Tarantino’s take on a western just after the US Civil War features plenty of the expected Tarantino fanfare — black comedy, red violence, excruciating heartbreak, gorgeous cinematography, witty dialogue. Tatum is hellbent on saving his sister, who has been kidnapped by Kurt Russell’s character, but in attempting just that, he loses out on a bigger, meatier role, because let’s just say his part in the movie is short-lived.
The first of our Soderbergh-Tatum team ups on the list, it’s a bit of an underrated thriller in our opinion. Perhaps its subject matter is just a bit too hard to, um, swallow, as it deals with the pharmaceutical industry in America, one that we all know quite well prioritizes profits over health, short-term healing over actual cures, but let’s digress before this soap box starts teetering. Tatum, and Rooney Mara, are solid here. And hey, Jude Law is here, who we used to see all the time, too!
If there was a movie role time machine, imagine being able to transport the well-rounded current day version of Tatum into this role 10 years ago. He and Jonah Hill already sparked great rapport and somehow turned this TV classic into a comedic romp, one good enough to grant a sequel (and rumored trilogy to boot). It’s super rewatchable, quotable, and there’s even a chance that somehow, even after raking in $138 million and garnering both 85 percent on the Tomatometer and 82 percent Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s still under the radar for its quality and cheesiness.
Is The Lost City good? Is this overrating it? Underrating it? That’s a tough one. It’s not uncommon, though, that you get two great performances and clear chemistry coming through on screen, yet the film itself is a bit of a letdown. Ah, but we’ve argued against ourselves on this matter before. A movie needn’t be stellar, out of this world, mind-blowing to be considered good. Would we watch this streaming at home on a Saturday night with a glass of wine and the next day feel like it was time well spent? Of course! Would we spend time with Tatum and Sandra Bullock on screen together again? Double ‘of course!’ Not to mention, who doesn’t love seeing adult Daniel Radcliffe in cool roles?
Another movie that really, really shows off who and what Tatum is. So many things here would be far, far worse in other hands, and that’s speaking to Tatum and Soderbergh both. The movie flips the script on Hollywood in so many ways (a Soderbergh staple) and gives Tatum the true stage to show off all his immense talents. Yes, there could be a bit more beef in the storyline and underneath the characters’ exteriors, yet, that’s hardly the point here. Most likely, if you’re in the mood to enjoy this movie and like Tatum, not take things too seriously, you’re gonna have a good time.
Critics: “This is awesome!”
Audiences: “Ehhhh, um, nahh, I’m good.”
Not that Rotten Tomatoes is the be-all, end-all, but when the profits (or lack thereof) reflect the ratings, it’s pretty spot on. A superb 86 percent score on the Tomatometer, damn near entering Certified Fresh territory, and yet an abysmal 44 percent Audience Score with only about $30 million at the box office.
How on Earth could a Coen Brothers movie led by George Clooney fall so flat? They had teamed up once before to resounding success in O Brother, Where Art Thou? but this time, maybe it was the trailers that inspired just about nothing. That’s with Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Ralph Fiennes, and Josh Brolin all on board too. Tatum does a great job with his role of Burt Gurney here. Again though, not enough Tatum, so maybe that’s where the movie falls short.
Tatum took his talents behind the camera for this one, his directorial debut. If you’ve got an affinity for stories revolving around man’s best friend, and you find the charm of Tatum to melt your heart, then this definitely is the movie for you.
As of now, it sports the highest Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes for any Tatum movie, and if there were a veteran director behind the movie, it might be even better. Look, we’re not ranking Tatum’s most sincere or gut-wrenching performances here, but his best. And there’s no better Tatum right now than current, present-day Tatum. It does involve some incredibly serious story matter still, though, as Tatum portrays a former Army Ranger who is battling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, something that is very real and prevalent across America and the world, even more so if you have any friends or family who have suffered through PTSD. Other lists might tell you it’s not good, but it is good, at its heart. And that’s all we want from a Tatum movie, and a doggo movie. Don’t let the naysayers poo-poo this one for you.
There’s some hard subject matter here, which sometimes is a deterrent for audiences on the whole. Steve Carrell, Mark Ruffalo, and Tatum were all praised for their performances in this biographical sports movie centered around John du Pont and the forming of an Olympic wrestling team.
The movie, even though it only made just over $12 million and suffered losses, still drew critical praise and garnered five Oscar nominations. If you can stand the tragic outcomes and uncomfortable real-life situations the film presents, you’ll be rewarded for endearing and complete performances from Tatum and the crew.
For once, Tatum gets to play the lead even with some bigger names being involved and it not being his own vehicle (like Magic Mike). With Adam Driver and Daniel Craig both involved, Tatum still steals the show as the leader of a criminal family masterminding its way to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Outside of racing fans, the CMS might not seem like such a huge name, but it’s basically Madison Square Garden for that domain. You gotta hand it to Tatum and Driver for being considered among the most handsome men alive and still being able to grow the ugliest of facial hair out there.
Tatum brings emotional depth to the role along with his usual other talents, and the movie itself actually surpasses expectations for a heist movie. And it checks all your bingo boxes! Soderbergh plus heist film plus impossible circumstances plus down-on-their-luck criminals you want to root for. In all, everyone brings something good to the movie without taking something away.

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