7. Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
It is a fantasy adventure film considered a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Franco plays the role of Oscar Diggs or Oz, a magician circus who accidentally reaches the Land of Oz (Franco actually received magic lessons from the famous magician, Lance Burton to prepare for this role). He attempts to con the people of Oz into believing that he is the great magician.
Turning over a new leaf, he uses his talents to solve the problems faced by people. The movie was a critical as well a commercial hit. It grossed a whopping $493 Million worldwide.
6. Pineapple Express (2008)
The movie has Franco portraying a drug dealer again. While being with his loyal customer, Rogen’s character, they witness a murder and leave clues to their identities on the scene. Hilarity ensues as both of them have to make a run for their lives amidst the tussle between drug deals and corrupt police officials. Franco actually ran into a tree whilst depicting his character and had to get three stitches.
The film was a commercial success with international box office returns to be an impressive $101 million. Franco was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role in the film.
5. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The mega superhero movie, Spider-Man 2 (the digital effects in the movie alone caused a whopping $54 million to produce) saw Franco’s reprising the role of Harry Osbourne, Peter Parker’s best friend. Harry assumes the role of head of Oscorp’s research division after his father’s death by Spiderman. He bankrolls the fusion research of Dr. Otto Octavius, only to see it go horribly wrong.
He makes a deal with the Octavius for Spiderman’s life only to realize that it’s only Peter beneath the mask. Franco’s performance was considered an improvement on his appearance in the Spiderman (2002) movie.
4. This is the End (2013)
This is the End is a disaster comedy movie with an ensemble cast. After an apocalypse strikes, the characters attempt to ration and survive the ordeal. The characters in the movie portray fictionalized version of themselves.
The movie garnered critical as well commercial success having grossed $126 million worldwide. The movie was nominated for a Saturn Award in the Best Horror movie category.
3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Based on the acclaimed Planet of the Apes, the movie has Franco portraying the role of Will Rodman, a scientist working on attempts to cure Alzheimer’s disease by testing drugs on chimpanzees. After a test chimpanzee is killed during testing after having gone wild, Will takes care of her baby, Caesar.
Caesar develops amazing intelligent behavior having inherited the effects of drug from his mother. After having being forced into zoo sanctuary, Caesar assembles an army of apes and goes on a collision course that could spell the doom for planet Earth. Franco’s portrayal of Rodman was considered by many critics to be warm, affectionate and lovable.
2. King Cobra (2016)
The movie is based on the true story of the murder of gay porn producer Bryan Kocis (fictionalized as Stephen) in the aftermath of his fallout with his famous star, Brent Corrigan. Franco plays the role of Joe, an up-and-coming producer who attempts to take advantage of Stephen’s falling out with Corrigan.
Franco’s character was considered by many in the industry to be a caricature. Critics were divided by the amount of violence and graphic scenes in the movie. The movie was released at 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.
1. 127 Hours (2010)
Based on the true story of the mountaineer and adventurer Aron Ralston, Franco depicts the real life incident faced by Ralston whilst hiking in the Canyonlands National Park. Having his arm and hand pinned under a boulder, the movie depicts his attempts to keep his morale up by maintaining a video diary.
After being trapped for a number of days with low rations and no help on the way, he manages to free himself by self-amputating his hand. The movie was a commercial and critical success and Franco was nominated for the Academy Award for the Best for his portrayal of Ralston.
Interestingly, the camera used by Franco’s character in the film is the actual one used by Ralston during his ordeal.
We can’t resist mentioning these epic performances of James Franco as well:
- Milk (2008)
- City by the Sea (2002)
- Memoria (2015)
Did we miss any of the best James Franco movies? Please let us know in the comments below!