Years ago, Chris Pratt was that guy in Parks and Recreation who occasionally appeared in films like Wanted, Bride Wars, and Jennifer’s Body. Today, he’s Chris friggin’ Pratt, movie star extraordinaire with a handful of big-time blockbusters under his belt. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opening this week, it’s time to look back on the man’s career and point out the best Chris Pratt movie performances.
You know, just in case you need a little more Pratt magic to go with your third (and final?) serving of Star-Lord starring in a Marvel movie.
Following his breakout big-screen role in Guardians, Pratt landed another massive franchise in 2015’s Jurassic World. While the sequels mostly suck, Colin Trevorrow’s first foray into the land of the dinos is an enjoyable romp that delivers plenty of CGI-fueled spectacle despite a dumb script and some clunky character beats.
Pratt does his best to channel his inner Indiana Jones, but the film never gives him a chance to be the Pratt we all know and love. Regardless, the man makes for a convincing action hero and gets a few scenes to show off his natural charisma. Jurassic World is far from perfect, but this creature feature is an entertaining, goofy summer blockbuster that is one of the best Chris Pratt movies.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy is commonplace in modern-day pop culture. In 2014, this weird, quirky, offbeat James Gunn vehicle was far from a guaranteed success. Luckily, the terrific cast of lovable characters – led by Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, and Michael Rooker (and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper) – lifts this early Marvel entry into a high-flying fantasy adventure, replete with a banging soundtrack, incredible effects, and endlessly quotable dialogue.
Pratt is perfectly cast as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, who leads this motley crew all over the galaxy. They bump into unforgettable characters and predicaments at every turn. It’s wild fun and one of the reasons the MCU attained such astronomical heights.
The Lego Movie
Loud, obnoxious, but undeniably hilarious, The Lego Movie occasionally feels like a non-stop sugar rush – and I mean that in a good way. This wildly imaginative animated flick tickles the funny bone, dazzles the eye, and – dare I say it? – touches the heart. A game voice cast consisting of Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, and Will Ferrell have a blast with the material, while directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller bring the same zany sense of fun that made Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street such a joy.
Unfortunately, the Lego cinematic franchise never quite took off the way many expected after this 2014 smash hit. Still, there’s no denying the original pic is an absolute blast from start to finish.
Avengers: Infinity War
Marvel peaked with Infinity War, in which every hero from the shared universe bands together to take on the evil titan Thanos. There’s not much else to say about this extraordinary blockbuster that finds unique new ways to shock and awe throughout its massive runtime.
Pratt returns as Star-Lord, along with his fellow Guardians, and all but dooms the universe after a silly bit of rage. Yeah, it’s not a high point for the beloved character. No matter. Infinity War kicks ass and delights on so many levels that it would be impossible not to include it on this list.
No, Moneyball isn’t a Chris Pratt movie per se, but damn if it’s not the best movie he’s ever appeared in. Brad Pitt leads the way as Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager who turns to advanced mathematics to build the perfect baseball team.
Pratt co-stars as Scott Hatteberg, a former pitcher-turned-first baseman who enjoys the film’s finest moment when he hits a crucial home run that keeps his team’s win streak alive. Directed by Bennett Miller, Moneyball ranks among the best sports films ever made.