Mark Sinclair, aka Vin Diesel, was born in California on July 18, 1967. Vin struggled to enter the film industry. Vin caught the attention of Steven Spielberg through his short film Multi-Facial which he himself directed, produced, scored, and starred in. Steven Spielberg, impressed by his work, cast him in his blockbuster movie Saving Private Ryan (1998). Vin Diesel then starred in massive hits such as XXX, Boiler Room, The Chronicles of Riddick, Pitch Black, and his most famous work as Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Let’s take a look at the 15 best Vin Diesel movies of all time:
15. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016)
Based on the best-selling novel by Ben Fountain, the movie is a war drama that revolves around a 19-year old private Billy Lynn played by Joe Alwyn, who after returning from a tormenting battle in Iraq with his companions is celebrated as a war hero. The film then follows a series of flashbacks that depict the events of what actually happened which contradicts America’s falsified depictions of gallantry.
The film was shot at a whopping 120 fps rather than the usual 24 fps because Ang Lee wanted to make the whole experience of the film very immersive and engaging. The production budget of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was a total of 40 million USD but managed only to gross a total of 30.9 million USD worldwide. The movie was not received very well by the critics and has a 44% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film’s technological aspects were also criticized. Apart from that, the film’s deep emotions and the engaging story went hand in hand and were praised widely.
14. Babylon A.D. (2008)
Based on the 1999 novel Babylon Babies by Maurice Georges Dantec, Babylon A.D. is a sci-fi set in a desolated, wrecked dystopian future that shows a hardcore mercenary Toorop played by Vin Diesel, who lives by his own rules. Toroop takes up an assignment that requires him to bring a young woman Aurora (Mélanie Thierry) and her guardian, Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh), from Kazakhstan to New York safely. Toorop encounters deadly obstacles at every step, and a realization starts to hit him that Aurora embodies the last hope for the survival of humanity.
The film had a production budget of 70 million USD and managed to earn a total of 72.1 million USD worldwide. The film was received very poorly and has a mere approval rating of 6% on Rotten Tomatoes. The weak script and low-grade action sequences were termed as reasons for the poor performance of the film despite an impressive performance by Diesel.
13. The Pacifier (2005)
The American family comedy stars Vin Diesels as an Elite Navy Seal, Shane Wolfe who is set up on a mission to rescue a scientist Howard Plummer, played by Tate Donovan, who is working on a top-secret government project. Shane fails to save him, and Howard ends up being assassinated by the enemy team. Circumstances then lead to Shane being assigned to look after Plummet’s four children and a pet duck who all possess distinct personalities. The film follows Shane going crazy managing and protecting the family.
The film was not received well by the critics but still managed to earn 198.6 million USD worldwide. Diesel’s comedic side was also refreshing for his fans
12. A Man Apart (2003)
A Man Apart is an American action film that features Vin Diesel and Larenz Tate in lead roles as DEA Agents, Vetter and Hicks respectively. They battle the drug cartel to shut down drug activities along the US-Mexican Border.
The story takes a twist when the Cartel murders Vetter’s wife as revenge for the capture of the cartel kingpin, Memo Lucreco by the DEA. Vetter and his partner Hicks team up with the captured Cartel boss to hunt down the new Cartel boss.
The film had a production budget of 36 million USD and earned nearly 44 million USD worldwide. The film holds an 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was criticized for the poor synchronization between the action and drama elements.
11. The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
The Last Witch Hunter is an American fantasy action film that sees Vin Diesel as Kaulder, an immortal witch hunter. Klaude was cursed with immortality when he slew a powerful Witch queen centuries ago. Now, the human race is again faced with an unimaginable magnitude of danger with the risk of her resurrection as Kaulder, the last of his kind is confronted with her vindictive outrage.
The film received generally unfavorable reviews from the critics and was said to be boring. Its digital effects were also heavily criticized for being flawed and not up to the mark. In a survey conducted by CinemaScore, audiences graded the film B- on a scale of A+ to F.
10. Knockaround Guys (2001)
The plot of Knockaround Guys follows four sons played by Barry Pepper, John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper, Vin Diesel, and Seth Green, whose fathers are well-known gangsters in Brooklyn. The four boys unite together to retrieve a bag of cash that went missing from the airport. The boys get in trouble when the money somehow lands in the hands of some corrupt cops of Montana Town. Now, the boys must do everything to retrieve the bag which is desperately wanted by some important mafia members in Chicago.
The film brought together several renowned figures and was well received in terms of acting. Apart from the class A cast, the film received somewhat unfavorable reviews from the critics. The film managed to earn only 14.1 million USD against a production budget of 15 million USD.
9. Bloodshot (2020)
Based on the Valiant Comics character, Bloodshot is an American superhero film that sees Vin Diesel in the lead role as a U.S. Marine named Ray Garrison. The plot progresses as Ray and his wife are kidnapped and murdered by a guy named Martin Axe.
A team of scientists brings Ray back to life using nanotechnology, which along with his rebirth also gives him superhuman capabilities, turning him into a biotech killing machine-Bloodshot. Following his resurrection, Ray loses all his memories, but as his memories start to flood back in, he sets to seek revenge from the guy who murdered him and his wife. As he sets on his mission, he unveils some dirty secrets which form the plot of the film.
The film received mixed and average reviews. The closing of theatres worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic led Sony to release the film digitally just after two weeks of the release. Bloodshot is supposed to be the first installment in a series of films set within a Valiant Comics shared cinematic universe.
8. Strays (1997)
The American drama film Strays stars Vin Diesel as a criminal who wants to alter life and find meaning in it. The story progresses as he meets and falls in love with a girl, Heather, who lives next door.
The film was a debut for Vin Diesel as a feature film director and sheds light upon his youth and upbringing in New York. It was criticized for being slow and inadequate dialogue while the acting was appreciated and contributed to the engagement element of the movie.
7. Pitch Black (2000)
Pitch Black is an American sci-fi action horror film in which Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, and Keith David serve as lead actors. Vin Diesel plays the role of a criminal, Richard B Riddick who is being transported to prison in a spacecraft when it meets an accident and crash lands on a deserted planet. Faced with threats and hostile conditions, Riddick teams up with the rest of the crew in order to escape the horrors of the desolated planet.
Pitch Black had a production budget of 23 million USD and earned a total of 53.2 million USD worldwide. The film was appreciated for its engaging story element and became a cult classic among sci-fi fans.
6. xXx (2002)
The American action film is the first installment in the triple x (XXX) movie series. The film sees Vin Diesel in the lead role as Xander Cage; an extreme athlete turned spy for the National Security Agency. All his abilities are put to test when he is sent on a critical mission in Central Europe.
xXx earned 277.4 million USD worldwide against a production budget of 88.3 million dollars. It received appreciation for its action sequences and was panned for its choppy screenplay.
5. Fast Five (2011)
Fast Five is the fifth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. The film follows the events of Fast & Furious (2009), where former cop Brian O’Conner (Late Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) break Dom (Vin Diesel) free out of custody. Evading the authorities by traveling consistently, they once again bring together the whole crew in Rio where they set on a mission to execute a heist worth 100 million dollars which can be the key to their permanent freedom.
The film also brings in a new face, Dwayne Johnson as a federal agent, Luke Hobbs who is after the crew. The addition was received positively, and Dwayne was appreciated for his acting. The film made around 626.1 million USD worldwide against a production budget of 125 million USD, making it the highest-grossing film of the franchise. The film was praised widely by critics and was appreciated for its fine combination of action and humor.
4. Find Me Guilty (2006)
The American courtroom drama is based on the actual events of the most extended mafia trial in American history. The film sees Vin Diesel as Jack DiNorscio, a mobster who is jailed for a drug charge. Jack is a loyal man who refuses to press charges against his former associates in the Lucchesi crime family and stands trial. The film follows a series of amusing and severe events where we see Jackie fighting his case to defend himself, with his insufficient knowledge of the law to change the course of the trial.
The film received favorable reviews from the critics and has an approval rating of 62% on Rotten Tomatoes. Vin Diesel was heavily praised for his acting, thus making him a good choice for the role.
3. Boiler Room (2000)
The American crime drama, Boiler Room stars Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Ben Affleck. Nia Long, Nicky Katt, and Scott Caan. The plot revolves around a Seth played by Giovani Ribisi, who is a college dropout and is adamant to prove his worth to his dad, a federal judge, rather displeased with his son. Working on his aim, Seth takes up a job as a stockbroker in a firm with the hopes of making a lot of money and earn the pride of his dad. The plot takes a serious turn when he finds out some dirty secrets about the firm.
The film grossed 28 million USD worldwide against a production budget of 7 million USD. The film received generally favorable reviews from the critics. The regard to detail was admired by the critics and termed the movie a “compelling” experience.
2. Riddick (2013)
Riddick: Rule of the Dark is the third installment in the Riddick movie series. Vin Diesel serves the lead role of Riddick in the film. Stranded on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself battling for survival against alien predators. The plot progresses as Riddick sets on a mission to activate a beacon crucial for his escape. With this, he is faced with new lethal threats that make his fight for survival tougher than ever.
The film received mixed reviews by the critics and grossed 98.3 million USD worldwide and had a production budget of 38 million USD.
1. Furious 7 (2015)
Furious 7 is the seventh installment in the Fast and Furious franchise and the last film of Paul Walker, who died in a car accident on November 30, 2013, while the movie was still in production. Following his death, alterations were made to the script, and his brothers, Caleb and Cody were used to completing his remaining scenes.
The film following the events of Fast and Furious six shows the crew living a free life in the US when they are confronted by Deckard Shaw played by Jason Statham, who is here to avenge the death of his brother, Owen Shaw. The film follows a series of events showing the crew fighting against the rogue professional forces assassin. The crew also gets involved with the government to rescue a computer hacker who has developed a program that is of immense worth to the government.
The film received a positively overwhelming response from the viewers as well as the critics, with the film being highly praised for its excellent action sequences, acting performances, and its touching tribute to Paul Walker. The film was a financial hit and grossed a whopping 1.515 billion USD worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of the franchise.
We cannot resist some of the great performances of Vin Diesel as well:
- Saving Private Ryan (1998)
- The Iron Giant (1999)
Hope you enjoyed reading our list of the best Vin Diesel movies of all time. Feel free to share your views in the comments below!