Hugh Jackman is clearly as obsessed with Ryan Reynolds as Reynolds is with Wolverine. So it seemed fitting to follow last week’s suggestions on Ry-guy roles with a list of Jackman movies worth streaming. Jackman actually has a shorter filmography than Reynolds, but it’s packed with more worthy titles than one list can cover. I’m skipping his famous X-Men movies, and not just because none of them are on Netflix. (Logan is definitely worth watching, but you knew that.)
Per usual, Netflix only has a handful of options, and the streamer doesn’t tend to get the best films all at once. So you have to balance your streaming odds with other options like Amazon, and wherever else you personally like to stream. Here are some options for your viewing pleasure right now.
This 1999 drama was Hugh Jackman’s very first film role. He plays Wace, brother of Barky (Marty Denniss), in the indie film which co-starred fellow Aussie Joel Edgerton. Jackman actually won the Film Critics Circle of Australia award for Best Male Actor for this role (beating out none other than Heath Ledger for Two Hands.) Amazon Prime Video has Erskineville Kings available right now, and it’s a great way to see how it all began for Jackman, before he shot to fame as Logan/Wolverine in 2000’s X-Men.
Stream Erskineville Kings right now on Amazon.
Kate & Leopold
Hugh Jackman is charm itself in this time travel romantic comedy that helped put him on the map as a heartthrob. He had just established himself as a badass beefcake-with-heart in X-Men. The next year, he showed his debonair side in this adorably cheesy Meg Ryan rom-com. Interestingly enough, Kate & Leopold was directed by James Mangold, who would return to direct Jackman as Wolverine in the acclaimed X-Men movie Logan. The supporting cast of this movie is amazing — Liev Schreiber, Breckin Meyer, Natasha Lyonne, Bradley Whitford — and it’s worth re-watching this beauty just for them.
Stream Kate & Leopold right now on Starz, and through Amazon with a 7-day free trial of Starz.
Hugh Jackman is known for playing heroes, so it was a stretch for him to play a bad guy in Chappie — even if that bad guy finally gave him another opportunity to use an Australian accent. Jackman plays an ambitious soldier-turned-computer designer who wants to create a killing robotic machine, something very different from human-like robot Chappie. Jackman told the Chicago Sun-Times he appreciated the acting stretch:
Except for that horrible mullet, I loved playing Vincent. I got all my viciousness out on the screen.
Chappie was co-written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, who also made the brilliant District 9 with Sharlto Copley, as well as Elysium with Matt Damon. Chappie wasn’t a big hit with critics, but it’s still good to see Hugh Jackman in a different light.
Stream Chappie right now on Netflix.
Christopher Nolan has yet to make a bad movie. I’d argue he’s yet to make a movie that wasn’t great. The Prestige is actually one of Nolan’s under-appreciated movies, at least when it comes to critics, with a lower score from critics than most (76% still isn’t bad) — along with a B CinemaScore from moviegoers polled on opening night. I don’t care. I loved the literal and figurative magic of it all, along with the performances, and just the look of it. The Prestige earned Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. It’s a gorgeous film, with acres of charisma from both Jackman and Christian Bale as rival magicians. And David Bowie as Tesla! The Prestige was based on the 1995 novel of the same name by British writer Christopher Priest, so if you love the movie too, consider picking up the book as well.
Stream The Prestige right now on HBO or through Amazon with a 7-day free trial of HBO.
I’m not going to pretend Swordfish is one of the great crime thrillers of our time, but Hugh Jackman is one of the main stars and it’s on Netflix right now, so I felt like I should include it. We gotta work with what we got, kids. Please complain to Netflix about the selection. Swordfish came out in 2001 and made headlines for Halle Berry’s topless scene and John Travolta’s Razzie-nominated performance. But it was a big career move for Jackman to co-star alongside them. After all, in 2001, he only had a handful of movies on his resume — including his breakout in X-Men in 2000. This R-rated crime thriller came out several months before the very different Kate & Leopold in 2001.
Stream Swordfish right now on Netflix.
BONUS: Movie 43
OK, this one is really weird and got terrible reviews, but stay with me. Movie 43 features 14 different storylines, each one by a different director. Hugh Jackman co-stars with Kate Winslet in “The Catch.” They go on a double date, and at first she’s charmed by the city’s most eligible bachelor. But it soon becomes more clear why he might still be single — when he removes his scarf, she sees … well … not to spoil it … but … you can actually see in the photo above … he has a pair of testicles dangling from his neck. I don’t know what to tell you about why, but “The Catch” was produced and directed by Peter Farrelly, whose Green Book just won the Oscar for Best Picture. Movie 43 was eviscerated by critics with a 5% rating — the lowest of Jackman’s career, and probably most careers. But come on. You should watch for the testicles dangling from his neck! Because he plays it off like it’s nothing and the immature 12-year-old in you might enjoy it.
Stream Movie 43 right now on Netflix.
If you’re looking for more streaming recommendations, check out these past features:
What Hugh Jackman movies have you been streaming lately, and on what platforms?