Henry Cavill’s 8 Best Movies and TV Shows Ranked by Critics

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Over the past two decades, Henry Cavill has risen from an exceptionally talented performer into a verified A-list celebrity, becoming one of the most sought-after actors in the entire business.

Portraying everything from literal royalty to one of the most iconic superheroes of all time, Henry Cavill has proven his flexibility is equal to his extraordinary talent.

Henry Cavill looking every bit the bona fide superstar that he isHenry Cavill looking every bit the bona fide superstar that he is (Credit: PA Images / INSTARimages)

There’s no mystery why Henry Cavill is one of the most in-demand actors of the modern generation. Between his good looks, excellent range, and affable off-screen reputation, he’s become both a household name and a wonderful role model for young men.

Henry Cavill: From a Young Rugby Player to a Hollywood Star

Henry Cavill was born on May 5, 1983 in Saint Helier, Jersey, located in the Channel Islands. He is of English, Irish, and some Scottish descent.

Cavill first got interested in acting during his education at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, England, where he performed in several school plays. However, he also stayed physically fit by playing field hockey and rugby.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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In fact, Henry Cavill got his first taste of the acting world when he was 16, all through happenstance. While playing rugby in Stowe, Cavill met actor Russell Crowe, who shared some insights for the young aspiring actor.

One year later, in 2001, Henry Cavill would make his on-screen debut in the mob drama, Laguna.

Henry Cavill’s on-screen debut is as Thomas Aprea in the 2001 mob drama entitled LagunaHenry Cavill’s on-screen debut is as Thomas Aprea in the 2001 mob drama entitled Laguna (Credit: Larry Baglio / Startraksphoto)

As of 2023, Henry Cavill is now 40 years old and is just reaching the prime of his career. Standing at just over six feet tall (184.2 cm), he’s a burly yet suave celebrity who always appears cheerful.

To date, he has appeared in over 20 movies and television shows, with many more in the pipeline. However, he’s yet to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy or Academy Award, but in our opinion, that’s just a matter of time.

Henry Cavill attending the Vanity Fair 2009 Tribeca Film Festival PartyHenry Cavill attending the Vanity Fair 2009 Tribeca Film Festival Party in New York City on April 21, 2009 (Credit: Humberto Carreno / Startraksphoto)

As this beloved actor continues to dominate every role he accepts, let’s take a look at some of Henry Cavill’s best movies and television shows as ranked by critics.

This list of Henry Cavill’s best movies and TV shows is ranked based on their critic’s scores on Rotten Tomatoes. It is a review aggregate site that is composed of hundreds of critics from around the world, including journalists, film critics, bloggers, and more.

8. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) – 68% Score

Based on the television series from the 1960s, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was written and directed by Guy Ritchie and stars Henry Cavill in the eponymous role.

The film is set in 1963 and follows secret agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) as he tries to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo in the 2015 spy film The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo in the 2015 spy film The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

At this point in his career, Henry Cavill was already well-liked by critics and audiences alike, which helped him nab the role. In fact, Henry Cavill beat out a slew of other actors for the role including Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and even Russell Crowe.

7. The Tudors (2007 – 2010) – 69% Score

Mostly based on historical events from 16th-century England, The Tudors is a period piece drama that ran for four seasons in the late 2000s.

The show mainly focuses on the reign of King Henry VIII (played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who deals with all manner of subterfuge and political upheaval.

Henry Cavill portrays the 1st Duke of Suffolk, Charles Brandon, another leader with his plate full of trouble.

Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon in the historical fiction television series The TudorsHenry Cavill as Charles Brandon in the historical fiction television series The Tudors (Credit: BBC Two / Showtime)

Although he floats around for most of the show, Charles Brandon becomes most prominent in Season 3, as he divulges secrets about King Henry’s betrothed.

Before his appearance on The Tudors, Henry Cavill was still struggling to pick up work, as the actor reportedly auditioned for both the Harry Potter and Twilight film franchises (losing out to Robert Pattinson on both roles).

6. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) – 71% Score

As the title would imply, Zack Snyder’s Justice League was directed and co-written by Zack Snyder and is the director’s cut of the 2017 critical bomb Justice League.

In this epic team-up film, Henry Cavill plays the iconic hero, Superman, who joins forces with the likes of Batman (Ben Affleck), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and more.

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman in the 2021 director’s cut of the 2017 superhero film Justice League entitled Zack Snyder’s Justice LeagueHenry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman in the 2021 director’s cut of the 2017 superhero film Justice League entitled Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Credit: HBO Max / Warner Bros. Pictures)

Although the movie follows a similar plot as the original theatrical cut, fans were far more pleased with this version, thanks to extra special effects and better storytelling.

Funnily enough, one of the most praised changes dealt with Henry Cavill’s upper lip, as the original version used poor CGI to cover up his mustache.

5. Stardust (2007) – 77% Score

Based on the novel by popular British writer Neil Gaiman, Stardust is a fantastical drama starring Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, and Sienna Miller, among others.

Set in a magical land called Stormhold, the story follows a young adventurer named Tristan (Charlie Cox), who attempts to capture a mystical star in order to marry his desired wife, Victoria (Sienna Miller).

Charlie Cox as Tristan Thorn and Sienna Miller as Victoria in the 2007 romantic fantasy adventure film StardustCharlie Cox as Tristan Thorn and Sienna Miller as Victoria in the 2007 romantic fantasy adventure film Stardust (Credit: Paramount Pictures)

Conversely, Henry Cavill plays the role of Humphrey, Victoria’s current fiancé, who butts heads with Tristan on several occasions.

Similar to his role in The Tudors, Stardust sees Cavill at his most pompous and proper – a stark contrast to most of his modern roles.

4. I Capture the Castle (2003) – 78% Score

I Capture the Castle is a romantic comedy that was released in 2003, near the very beginning of Henry Cavill’s acting career.

This quirky tale of British romance centers on Cassandra Mortmain (Romola Garai), a young woman who lives with her family in a disheveled English castle.

Henry Cavill as Stephen Colley and Romola Garai as Cassandra Mortmain in the 2003 British romantic comedy film I Capture the CastleHenry Cavill as Stephen Colley and Romola Garai as Cassandra Mortmain in the 2003 British romantic comedy film I Capture the Castle (Credit: Momentum Pictures)

As Cassandra struggles with figuring out her life, she runs into Stephen Colley (Henry Cavill), the attractive son of the family chef. With Cassandra already promised to another man, she must balance her lust for Stephen with high expectations from her family.

As Stephen Colley, Henry Cavill demonstrated not only his ability as a rom-com heartthrob, but as an actor with depth and talent.

3. The Witcher (2019 – 2023) – 82% Score

If there’s one television show that showcases Henry Cavill at his best, it’s The Witcher.

Based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels and the subsequent video game adaptations, The Witcher is an expansive fantasy series in the same vein as Game of Thrones.

Henry Cavill plays protagonist Geralt of Rivia, the titular “witcher,” a monster hunter who becomes the guardian of a legendary princess.

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in the fantasy drama television series The WitcherHenry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in the fantasy drama television series The Witcher (Credit: Netflix)

As a huge fan of the video games, Cavill reportedly hounded the showrunners for a chance to play Geralt before the script was even written.

Once he landed the job, he completely dedicated himself to the role, spending months in sword training and performing all of his own stunts.

In a surprise turn of events, Cavill left the show after Season 3 without a clear explanation, abandoning one of his most desired roles.

2. Enola Holmes 2 (2022) – 94% Score

Enola Holmes 2 is a Netflix-produced mystery film starring Millie Bobby Brown as the lead detective and the young sister of the legendary English investigator Sherlock Holmes.

Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes in the 2022 mystery film Enola Holmes 2Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes in the 2022 mystery film Enola Holmes 2 (Credit: Netflix)

Perfectly falling back into the fanciful roles of his early years, Henry Cavill plays Sherlock Holmes, who is also embroiled in a new case. As Enola starts her career as a private eye, she also finds herself aiding Sherlock, with the pair eventually working together as a true sibling team.

The movie was met with high critical acclaim, in large part, due to Cavill’s performance, as he very briefly appeared as Sherlock in the first film.

After only receiving a few moments of screen time, fans clamored for more Sherlock, leading to this buddy comedy sequel and one of Henry Cavill’s best movies to date.

1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) – 97% Score

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, creator of other hit films like The Mummy and Top Gun: Maverick, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is another bombastic sequel in the spy thriller Mission: Impossible franchise starring Tom Cruise.

Tying up story threads presented in previous films, Fallout sees secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) battling bioterrorists as a world-ending threat looms.

Henry Cavill as August Walker in the 2018 action spy film Mission: Impossible – FalloutHenry Cavill as August Walker in the 2018 action spy film Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Credit: Paramount Pictures)

In the film, Henry Cavill plays the role of August Walker, a CIA agent sent to watch over Hunt and his team following a major mishap. With a late heel turn, Cavill plays an excellent villain, showcasing a more insidious performance than usual.

If anything, it’s worth watching so you can see Henry Cavill “reload” his arms before beating up his opponent in a bathroom fight scene.

Filed Under: Celebrities