Besides his career-defining role in The Passion of the Christ, Jim Caviezel has had a long, storied career that there’s enough to have the 10 best in one list. From playing an alien warrior in a retelling of Beowulf, to a journalist who will ultimately discover an unspeakable injustice, to even a villainous role in a Stallone and Schwarzenegger-lead lead action flick, Caviezel’s versatility has allowed him to be a great and hugely underrated character actor. Here are the 10 best Jim Caviezel movies, ranked from worst to best.
What Are the 10 Best Jim Caviezel Movies?
It’s worth noting that this is not a comprehensive list of all of Jim Caviezel’s roles across his career. In particular, the movies in this list all feature Caviezel in lead or major supporting roles from his acting debut in 1991 to the current year. Without further ado, let’s check out Jim Caviezel’s 10 best movies.
The most recent of all the movies on this list, Infidel is the second collaboration between Jim Caviezel and Iranian director Cyrus Nowrasteh following 2008’s The Stoning of Soraya M. Both Infidel and the latter deals with the corruption and human rights abuses by the Iranian government, with Infidel seeing Caviezel play the role of Doug Rawlins, a Christian American journalist who is kidnapped by members of the Iranian regime while in Cairo, Egypt. Despite the mixed rating from critics, the film remains relevant to date as dealing with the topic of the Christian underground that flourishes inside Iran.
An action thriller film starring two greats of the genre, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Escape Plan features Jim Caviezel as the movie’s primary antagonist. Escape Plan sees Stallone attempting to escape a complex and isolated top-secret prison ran by Caviezel’s character, the Warden Hobbes. Stallone also reaches out to Schwarzenegger’s character and together they plan an elaborate escape, one that is thwarted numerous times by Caviezel. The latter’s performance here proves his versatility, showing a shadowy and incredibly sinister Hobbes who will stop at nothing to prevent the protagonists’ escapes.
Despite its initial reception being mixed to negative, Outlander managed to reach somewhat of a cult status today thanks to its quirky and at times larger than life characters. Outlander features Caviezel playing the role of Kainan, an alien warrior who crash lands on earth during the pre-Viking Age in Scandinavia. The film serves as a retelling of the epic Beowulf, bit with elements of science fiction thrown in. Many fans consider it one Caviezel’s best thanks to the imaginative story and colorful cast of characters, in addition to the great practical and special effects.
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Pay It Forward
Haley Joel Osment’s career-defining role in The Sixth Sense was not his only success. A year after Shyamalan’s most critically acclaimed film, Osment would go on to star in Pay It Forward, a romantic drama family film that co-starred Jim Caviezel as Jerry, a homeless drug addict. While the star-studded main cast of Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt were the real draws here, Caviezel holds his own with a vulnerable and surprisingly realistic performance of a down-on-his-luck drug addict who finds the hope and strength to change after Osment’s character touches him.
Despite being loaded with plot holes that one can expect from earlier science fiction time travel movies, Frequency is considered by many fans to be one of Jim Caviezel’s best movies, as does the actor opposite him, Dennis Quaid. Frequency tells the story of Frank and John Francis Sullivan, a father and son who gets caught up in mysterious event from an aurora borealis that allows them to manipulate past and future events to shape the present. Caviezel plays the sone, John Francis, as he seeks to save his father from an early death and prevent a serial killer from gaining traction at the same time.
Another science fiction film dealing with time, Déjà Vu is lead by a peak Denzel Washington and features Jim Caviezel as the primary antagonist. The story finds Washington as ATF Special Agent Doug Carlin who is initially tasked with investigating a bomb blast on ferry that killed hundreds of people. In the course of his investigation, he is drawn into an FBI special surveillance unit and their program called “Snow White” which allows its users to view the past via a time window. Caviezel’s role in this film is a lot smaller despite him receiving top billing, but it is nonetheless exciting to see.
The Count of Monte Cristo
An adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo is among Caviezel’s best performances as he practically vanishes in the role of Edmond Dantes. While it is based on the highly popular novel, the movie takes some liberties with some of the source material. That said, many still consider it a great film from the rising actor, whose intelligent, almost calculating take on The Count was praised and highly regarded to this day. It is also notable for being one of Henry Cavill’s earliest film roles, with the Superman actor playing the role of Albert Mondego.
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The Stoning of Soraya M.
The first collaboration between Caviezel and director Cyrus Nowrasteh is a gut-wrenching and highly controversial masterpiece; The Stoning of Soraya M. tackles a lot of societal issues within its country setting of Iran, in particular the misogyny and domestic violence that occurs within certain areas of the nation. Caviezel plays the role of a French-Iranian journalist who bears witness to a harrowing tale of a woman who was killed wrongfully by being stoned to death, a kind of execution that bears hell for anyone who even hears or sees of it. Despite garnering mixed reviews, it was praised for bringing to light some very hard topics to unpack and discuss, largely helped by the performances of everyone involved, especially Caviezel.
The Thin Red Line
Screen legend Terrence Malick’s return to cinema following a 20-year absence is also considered by many to be one of the finest war films ever crafted. The Thin Red Line features an ensemble cast of well-known Hollywood actors, including Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Adrien Brody, George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, Jared Leto, Tim Blake Nelson, Elias Kotea, and more. Jim Caviezel plays a central role within the multi-faceted story, a deserter who is once again roped into the horrors of war as seen and described by the many veterans during World War II.
The Passion of the Christ
Caviezel’s best film to date, and arguably his most popular one, is his role as the Son of God in Mel Gibson’s epic biblical drama film The Passion of the Christ. Portraying Jesus of Nazareth in his final 12 hours before his death by crucifixion, the movie was deemed extremely controversial at the time for its extreme gore and antisemitic undertones. Despite this, it went on to be a critical and commercial success, with some calling it not only Caviezel’s best film but director Mel Gibson’s as well. A sequel centered around the resurrection of Jesus has been in the works for quite some time, with Caviezel set to reprise his role.
- This article was updated on February 27th, 2023