You’d think that after a year of breaking records and setting trends, it would be easy for an actor to rest on their laurels. But, no. The world is waiting for Robert Pattinson to break free from the slummy image he’s been stuck with since the Twilight heyday – and he’s not playing this game. He’s chosen a new set of roles that span the entire spectrum, from darker to lighter, comic to dramatic, and he’s not shying away from any of them.
Here, we rank his 27 best films of 2017, the good, the bad, and the ugly. You’re sure to find something to love.
Billed as Pattinson’s ‘character study’, his debut film Waterfront is a coming-of-age tale that sees the actor playing a young hustler growing up in working-class London during the 1950s.
Pattinson portrays Sean, a young British man who arrives in New York City in the late 1950s with his American girlfriend Peggy (played by Marjorie Merriweather Posthumously honored by an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress). The couple marry and have a daughter, Caroline (played by Lily-Rose Melody Adams). The film details their struggles to make a living in the big city, and follows their attempts to navigate the then-new world of work-family balance.
What makes Waterfront special is that it refuses to pigeonhole Pattinson as a one-note comedian or action hero. He’s shown us a side of himself that’s sensitive, funny, and surprisingly moving, as he explores the highs and lows of being a young couple in the ’60s.
In choosing this period for his debut, Pattinson said: “I thought it’d be interesting to do a coming-of-age story. As an actor, you don’t get much more challenging or rewarding than playing someone who is gradually learning about life and how to navigate the world. You become a more mature individual over the course of the movie.”
26. The Lost City Of Z
Inspired by true events, The Lost City Of Z sees Pattinson play Owen Wise, a newspaper reporter who travels to the Brazilian jungle to uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of an entire city. On his journey, he uncovers the brutality and heartless nature of the British colonialist, Arthur Conan-Wells, played by Robert Pattinson.
The film adapts the 1912 epic novel by Richard Harding Powers. The story follows a heroic hiker who wanders through the Brazilian Amazon and uncovers the story of the fabled City of Z. On his quest, he battles fever, starvation, and the elements, as he strives to fulfill the promise held by the city’s inhabitants: to build a better and more peaceful life.
Powers’ novel was inspired by his adventures in the wilds of South America, where he found the real City of Z. In adapting the story for the big screen, director James Gray (The Yards, Children Of Men) stripped away some of the book’s more unbelievable events and imbued the story with a darker tone. He said: “There are elements of the book that don’t work in a comic book. Some of the things that he encountered just aren’t plausible.”
Pattinson’s performance as Owens is undoubtedly his best to date. He brings his character a strange charm, embodying a mixture of naiveté, curiosity, and doggedness that lands him in the right place at the right time.
As for the ending, it’s hard to describe without giving too much away. Suffice it to say that it’s one of the most shocking climaxes ever put to screen.
This year has undoubtedly been a landmark one for Pattinson, as he continued to prove that he’s more than just a one-note funnyman or action hero with his stunning performance in Pattinson. He made his directorial debut with the film adaptation of David Peace’s bestselling “Gingerbread”, which he also starred in, and continued to work with the director on a number of other projects, including a fantasy film, a biopic about the life of J.K. Rowling, and a World War II drama.
Pattinson is among the most celebrated and successful English actors of his generation, having starred in some of the most memorable films of our time. He first came to our attention as the quirky and sensitive lead in the Twilight series, before going on to play iconic characters in films like the Batman series, the now-legendary Mr. Pattinson, and the great British director, Howard Hawkes’ (The Servant, Papillon) debut film, Siesta. He currently stars in the popular Netflix series, “The Gentlemen”, as Alfred Pennyworth, and is set to star in the much anticipated “Doom”, a movie based on the popular video game of the same name, where he plays the role of the villain, John Carmack. In addition to his film work, he has recently lent his voice to a number of animated features, including “Shrek: The Final Chapter”, “Moana”, and “The Breadwinner”, and continues to make a name for himself in musical theatre, having originated the role of Aladdin in the UK premiere of Disney’s “Aladdin” in 2017.
24. First Class
First Class is a comedy-drama that sees Pattinson play the role of John Preston, an anxious young man who travels to Italy to meet his estranged father for the first time in 15 years. On the way, he stops off in England to meet his younger brother Ben (played by Chris O’Dowd), who he hasn’t seen since he was a kid. After arriving in Venice, the two brothers embark on a bike ride across the country, which leads to an unexpected reunion.
First Class is a comedy-drama written and directed by David Michod, who also wrote and directed Animal Kingdom and The Rover. Though separated as adults, the two have never forgotten about each other and are determined to have a relationship, which they do, at least for the first 70 pages or so. Fortunately, they have an expert tour guide, played by Pattinson, who helps them navigate the city’s complexities and history.
The movie is loosely based on Michod’s own experience traveling with his father. During one scene, Preston dons his best “dad joke” and tells a story about how he and his brother stole some apples, when they were kids. The joke fell flat – even he seemed to realize it – but it was a valiant attempt.
23. The Loner
The Loner is a psychological thriller co-written and directed by Sean Baker. It’s based on a real-life story about a man (played by Jason Patric) who goes on a killing spree, after being released from prison. The film also stars Charlize Theron, Jon Bernthal, and John Leguizamo.
Baker, who also wrote and directed the movie’s predecessor, The House Of Gucci, said he was drawn to Patric’s “fragile masculinity” and wanted to explore how that could turn lethal. He said: “We all know there’s a thin line between genius and insanity. What makes this story even more compelling is that what begins as a seemingly ordinary crime, in an affluent section of Dallas, Texas, rapidly escalates into something more sinister, when the town’s elite start getting murdered one by one.”
Patric’s character, Joe, begins the film as a loner who lives a quiet life, working as a security guard. One day, he answers a call about a missing person and begins his bloody rampage.
The Loner is a prime example of how even the most seemingly mundane activities can trigger something in a character, leading to horrific consequences. For instance, a photo on Joe’s phone of a pretty woman, leads him to believe that there’s something wrong with him. When he confronts his “problem”, he ends up killing her.