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20 Mark Wahlberg movies ranked from best to worst

Mark Wahlberg movies include slapstick comedies and serious action flicks. We ranked them from best to worst.

By John Marshall
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In Mark Wahlberg movies, the star plays a lot of roles (and don’t forget his offscreen characters). From a felonious, drugged-up Boston street tuff to an ’80s boy band front man, he did it all before becoming an actor in the best action movies and sports movies. Oh, and if that’s not enough, his title now includes things like producer and businessman, too. Here, we rank his movies from good to so-bad-they’re-good.

Mark Wahlberg movies ranked

I Heart Huckabees
Photograph: Courtesy Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock

1. I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Movies Comedy

In this quirky comedy that aims to deconstruct Existentialism, Wahlberg plays a nihilistic firefighter whose life is engulfed by the magnitude of his own philosophical questions. He expresses this character convincingly and successfully translates his typical chest-thumping bravado into a man plagued by enigmas—making his performance easily the funniest part of the movie.

2. The Departed (2006)

Movies Drama

This film portrays a crooked Boston underworld, where cops and criminals are hard to distinguish and good and bad are even harder to tell apart. Wahlberg plays FBI agent Dignam, and he effortlessly animates the steely eyed cynicism and enthusiastic desk punching you would expect from a guy like that.

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3. Boogie Nights (1997)

Movies

Wahlberg’s critically acclaimed character, Eddie Adams, is a nightclub dishwasher from the San Fernando Valley when he is “discovered” by a 1970s porn mogul. While he is briefly ensconced in a gilded and glamorous existence, Eddie’s life ultimately decays into one defined by drugs, violence and disillusionment—a trajectory meant to embody the rise and fall of an era commonly called the Golden Age of Porn.

4. Ted (2012)

Movies Drama

In this comedy, Wahlberg is again tapped to play a crude, beer-guzzling Bostonian (this one is named John Bennet). But there is one major departure: His best friend is an anthropomorphic teddy bear with a penchant for prostitutes. All is well until their cozy, pleasure-seeking existence is interrupted by Bennet’s new girlfriend—then there’s trouble in paradise, and it’s very funny.

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5. The Italian Job (2003)

Movies Thriller

This American remake of the U.K. classic by the same name takes place along the canals of Venice—the one in Los Angeles, that is. Wahlberg plays professional safecracker Charlie Croker, a chief of thieves whose thirst for gold is exceeded only by his desire for revenge.

Renaissance Man
Photograph: Courtesy Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

6. Renaissance Man (1994)

Movies

In this bizarre war movie, a down-and-out advertising executive (Danny DeVito) finds temporary employment teaching at an Army base outside Detroit. He is assigned an essentially illiterate cadre of soldiers (including Wahlberg as private Tommy Lee Haywood), and instructs them to put on a performance of Hamlet. Wahlberg is among the few redeeming factors in a film that fails to deliver anything entertaining—much less explain why boot camp would include English lit.

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7. The Fighter (2010)

Movies Drama

Boxer Micky Ward was a local hero from Lowell, MA, who had a brief, promising professional career but receded from the ring before he realized his talent. Wahlberg played Ward in the boxing movie after spending five years prior working on getting it made, and it went on to receive seven Academy Award nominations.

The Perfect Storm
Photograph: Courtesy Warner Brothers

8. The Perfect Storm (2000)

Movies Drama

In 1991, a cyclone tore through much of the East Coast. Known as the Perfect Storm, its effect on one commercial fishing vessel in particular was immortalized in a book by Sebastian Junger. While the film adaptation of The Perfect Storm starring Wahlberg is not strictly adherent to the facts, it evocatively captures the central terror of the tale.

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Traveller
Photograph: Courtesy October Films

9. Traveller (1997)

Movies

In this movie, a cabal of con artists wanders along the fringes of society in North Carolina. Despite not making a splash at the box office, it’s since developed a cultish kind of notoriety and is among the better examples of crime drama from recent decades.

The Yards
Photograph: Courtesy Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

10. The Yards (2000)

Movies

Wahlberg doesn’t only film in Boston—in this New York movie, the yards are where contractors fix up broken down railcars of MTA commuter trains. It’s the 1980s, and there is fierce competition between rival repair outfits, which leads to sabotage before escalating to murder.

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