ByMatt Juul, writer at
MMA and Entertainment Writer
Matt Juul

As the highest paid actor in the world, it's no secret that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has become a box office powerhouse over the years. While the icon turned action movie star routinely brings in big numbers when he gets the chance to grace the silver screen, some of his best roles haven't always filled up the seats at theaters. In honor of some of the wrestler's less celebrated projects, here's a quick rundown of 's most underrated movies.

The Rundown (2003)

After making his lead acting debut in 2002's abysmal The Scorpion King, The Rock starred in the 2003 action comedy The Rundown, opposite American Pie's Seann William Scott, Daredevil's Rosario Dawson, as well as the legendary Christopher Walken. Although the movie was far from being an Oscar contender, it did earn a solid amount of praise from critics at the time, particularly for the chemistry between The Rock and Scott. In the film, The Rock plays a bounty hunter who travels to Brazil to find his employer's rebellious son, played by Scott. According to director Peter Berg, The Rundown may be getting a sequel some time in the future, possibly involving Jonah Hill.

Be Cool (2005)

One of The Rock's funniest all-time roles came in the 2005 comedy Be Cool, a sequel to 1995's Get Shorty starring John Travolta. The wrestler hilariously plays a gay Samoan bodyguard named Elliott who's lifelong dream is to make it as an actor. Although we're used to seeing The Rock's comedy skills on display these days, it must've been quite the shock seeing him perform a ridiculous monologue from Bring It On in Be Cool. The film also features appearances by Uma Thurman, Danny DeVito, and Vince Vaughn.

Southland Tales (2006)

From the director of Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly's sophomore directorial effort Southland Tales failed to impress critics or fans when it was released in 2006. Although the sci-fi thriller was both a critical and box office blunder, it's not for a lack of effort. Set in a dystopian, alternate future of California, the film is an ambitious, satiric commentary on military, politics, and the media. While these types of projects aren't common on The Rock's résumé, he does a fine job as one of the lead characters, Boxer Santaros, an amnesia prone action star who ends up becoming the most wanted man in the world.

The Other Guys (2010)

Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell were supposed to be the main comedy duo in 2010's The Other Guys, but The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson sort of stole the show with their cocky cop characters. While the hot shot police detectives are quickly taken out of the picture early in the movie, The Rock and Jackson left quite the impression with their hilarious performances. Seriously, this buddy cop duo deserves its own spin-off.

Hercules (2014)

Between his huge muscles and skills in the ring, The Rock was pretty much tailor made to play the famed Greek demigod in 2014's Hercules. Although the film only received a modest amount of praise from critics, the project did post a solid box office return, because who doesn't want to see The Rock fight giant monsters and ancient deities?

The Rock's most underrated movies:

  • The Rundown (2003)
  • Be Cool (2005)
  • Southland Tales (2006)
  • The Other Guys (2010)
  • Hercules (2014)

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