10 Best Karl Urban Roles, According To Rotten Tomatoes

With Karl Urban's new animated film Sea Beast releasing this week, the Kiwi actor continues his winning streak of must-see projects. However, Urban, who's become even more famous due to his portrayal of Billy Butcher on The Boys, has a long history of popping up in some of the 21st century's most memorable films.

From the lands of middle-Earth in The Lord Of The Rings to aboard the USS Enterprise in Star Trek, Urban's screen presence has transcended genre to make him one of the most recognizable character actors around.

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10 The Bourne Supremacy (2004) - 82%

The second film in the Bourne franchise, The Bourne Supremacy picks up shortly after the first one and follows Jason Bourne's attempt to learn more about his past. Urban plays Kirill, an FSS agent turned assassin who's been hired by a Russian oligarch to frame and kill Jason.

Related: Jason Bourne's 10 Best Fights In The Franchise, Ranked

Serving as Bourne's primary antagonist, Urban executed the film's stunts with the gritty precision fans of the franchise have now come to expect. During the film's final fight, Urban and Damon's car chase cements itself as one of the most memorable sequences in the series.

9 Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) - 84%

One of the best Star Trek movies according to Metacritic, Star Trek Into Darkness finds the crew of the USS Enterprise facing off against Khan, a genetically engineered superhuman with mysterious motives.

Urban appears for the second time as Bones, the ship's chief medical officer. A role that first stretched his comedic range, Urban finely balances creating his own, ill-tempered interpretation of the character while paying homage to the character's original performance from DeForest Kelly on the original show.

8 Out Of The Blue (2006) - 84%

A heavy New Zealand crime drama, Out Of The Blue follows the real-life events of the Aramoana massacre, which saw the town's resident David Gray go on a shooting spree that killed 13 people. The film was praised for its realism and restraint in presenting one of the nation's most traumatic modern events.

In the film, Urban plays Constable Nick Harvey, one of the first law enforcement officers called to the scene. While Out Of The Blue was met with local controversy due to its subject matter, Urban and his castmates' portrayal of bravery and courage while facing chaos led it to become one of the highest-grossing local films in the country.

7 Star Trek Beyond (2016) - 86%

Karl Urban Bones McCoy Star Trek Beyond

The third film in the most recent Star Trek series, Star Trek Beyond takes place on Altamid after the crew of the enterprise is tricked into going on a rescue mission there and gets ambushed by Krall, a local swarm leader.

Related: 10 Highest-Grossing Star Trek Movies, Ranked By Box Office Mojo

In his third outing as Dr. Leonard McCoy, Urban continues to build on his wild-eyed performance, primarily as Spock's foil and confidant when they discuss Spock's relationship troubles with Uhura. While the film was well-received, it underperformed financially, putting in doubt whether there will be another installment in this iteration of the franchise.

6 Pete’s Dragon (2016) - 88%

Karl Urban in Pete's Dragon

One of David Lowery's best movies according to IMDb, Pete's Dragon finds a boy and his dragon stumbling into a lumberjack and his family in the Pacific Northwest. Urban plays Gavin, the lumberjack's brother who forms a hunting party to find the dragon after it inadvertently causes an accident near Gavin's lumber camp.

As the antagonist in a children's film, Urban masterfully volleys his character between reactionary retribution and protecting his family from danger, opting for the latter at the end of the film. This results in Pete's Dragon carrying real stakes without being too scary for younger viewers.

5 Thor: Ragnarok (2017) - 93%

Karl Urban as Skurge with Des and Troy in Thor Ragnarok

The third edition in the Norse myth-based Marvel series, Thor: Ragnarok finds the titular character struggling to escape the planet Sakaar to save Asgard from an impending Ragnarök led by his estranged sister, Hela.

Urban plays Skurge, an Asgardian warrior who becomes Hela's henchman after siding with her to survive. A smaller but important character, Urban's arc as a regretful minion of evil pays off at the end of the film and is one of many characters that helped revitalize interest in the world of Thor.

4 The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003) - 93%

The final part of the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy and one of the best movies of all time according to IMDb, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King finds Frodo completing his journey to Mount Doom alongside Sam and Gollum while the rest of their party joins forces to fight Sauron in Minas Tirith.

In The Return Of The King, Urban reprises his role of Éomer, who leads the Riders of Rohan into battle. A secondary character, Éomer stands out as a fan favorite due to his stubborn attitude, golden locks, and unbreakable spirit. In only his second international role, Urban laid the groundwork for the rest of his career.

3 The Boys (2019-) - 93%

boys billy butcher

Considered the best live-action superhero show, The Boys tracks a group of vigilantes, who combat 'Supes' that abuse their superhuman abilities. Known for its gory, outrageous set pieces, the satire covers everything from cancel culture to the rise of far left-wing and ring-wing groups in mainstream society.

Urban plays the leader of 'the Boys' Billy Butcher, a former government operative who distrusts all 'Supes' and has a settle to score with Homelander, America's hero. As the show's gritty antihero, Urban shines, creating an emotional, wounded performance buried beneath the bravado and cheeky one-liners.

2 Star Trek (2009) - 94%

Karl Urban as McCoy in Star Trek

Star Trek, the first film in the most recent big-screen reboot, finds the crew facing off against Nero, a Romulan from the future set on destroying the United Federation of Planets. Alongside stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana, Urban brought refreshing new chemistry to the iconic franchise.

Related: The 10 Best Star Trek Movies, According To Ranker

Envisioned by J.J. Abrams, Star Trek was an ensemble achievement that gave each core cast member their moments to shine. For Urban's Bones, this included smuggling Kirk on board the USS Enterprise, his insult-laced arguments with Spock, and his reaction to Kirk's promotion to Captain.

1 The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002) - 95%

The second film in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers intercuts three stories: that of Frodo and the ring, Gandalf and company in war-torn Rohan, and Merry and Pippin's plan to attack Isengard.

Urban's Éomer is the nephew of Saruman-controlled Théoden, Rohan's king, and leader of a small group of loyal followers. With a cast that mostly appeared in the first film, Urban was up to the challenge of entering the world, gelling immediately opposite Ian McKellen as their characters turn the tide at the Battle of Helm's Deep.

2022-07-07T16:54:08.000Z

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