ROBERT PATTINSON is one of the most popular and, in some parts of the world, most respected film actors of our time. He is arguably best known for his role as DEXTER MORGAN, a character he played in the 2013 movie THE WAY, WAY BACK. THE WAY, WAY BACK was a huge hit when it was released in theaters, making over $100 million worldwide and winning numerous awards. In the years since, Pattinson has continued to grace the big screen with memorable performances in films like DUNKIRK and HUSH. He even returned to Broadway in 2018 for a limited run in the role of J.M. WESTON. You might know him from popular films like DIVERGENT, PAN’S LABYRINTH, or THE INCREDIBLE BEAST. But his movie resume also includes some notable failures, including MEEK MILLIONAIRE, BAD MILES, or the most recent movie HEAVEN, which he filmed but did not end up releasing.
While we await Pattinson’s next movie, which he is currently in post-production on, let’s take a trip back in time and revisit his previous films. Below, you’ll find information on each one of those movies along with my own personal takeaways and insights on what makes them special to this day. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn.
2013: The Way, Way Back
If you’ve even considered going to the movies this year, you’ll probably know what movie is headed to theaters this coming Friday. On February 20, the world will get the chance to see Pattinson in the starring role of Dexter Morgan for the third time ever. In addition to being the actor’s third collaboration with director George Tillman Jr., this latest version of Dexter is said to be a more personal and emotional story than the previous two films. I would have to agree, especially since it was written by Aaron Sorkin, who also wrote the iconic HBO series THE YOUNG ADULT. In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, Sorkin gave us some details on the making of the film, which he called “very emotional.” He also mentioned that he and Pattinson “talked about what it means to be a grown-up and what it means to be responsible.” Based on those sentiments, I would have to say that this new Dexter is a step forward, not only because it is one of the most anticipated films of the year but also because it is a sign that the franchise is maturing as an entity.
2012: The Last Song
THE LAST SONG is another one of Pattinson’s most recent films, and it is a romantic comedy that he also co-wrote. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and was also selected for the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival that same year. According to Variety, the film was originally intended to be a vehicle for Miley Cyrus, who was just 16 years old when the movie was shot. But after she took a break from her music career to focus on establishing herself as a serious actress, she decided against promoting the film. Since then, it’s been embraced by audiences and critics alike and established itself as one of the most memorable romantic comedies of the year. It also won several awards, including the Grand Prix at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. That same year, Cyrus was quoted as saying that “[T]his movie made me realize that there’s more to life than just having fun. You have to take things seriously and be responsible for the people you care about.”
PATTINSON’S NEXT MOVIE is set to be released this coming Friday, but if you haven’t seen it yet, there’s still time to go see it before then. It is a coming-of-age story that follows four childhood friends from Newcastle, England, who reunite after many years to form a rowing team. With a supporting cast that includes Oscar winner BERNARD HAWKINS, PATTINSON plays one of the lead roles in this film, which was directed by STEPHEN FRY. According to the director, the actor’s “performance is one of the big draws of the film. When you watch the movie and see his commitment, you’ll understand why he was picked to be a lead.” Based on an acclaimed stage play by Nick Jones, WATERBOS is said to be the first film for which Pattinson did not have a writing credit. It also received mixed reviews at the time of its premiere, which was followed by an appearance on the Big Book Live! Comedy Special the next day. But that didn’t stop audiences from showing up to see the film, which went on to make over $30 million worldwide and became one of the year’s highest-grossing films. A sequel, WATERBOS 2, was released in February 2021 and is set to be another big movie this coming Friday.
2004: The Passion Of The Playwright
FINAL DESTINATION is one of the most prestigious and controversial films of the year, and it is also one of the few that Pattinson has written and directed. Based on the Broadway play FASHION QUEEN by Richard Greenberg, who also wrote the Broadway play GRETA, the film is an adaptation of the story of Luce and Gray, two aspiring fashion designers whose friendship changes after a chance meeting with a powerful yet enigmatic man (PATTINSON) who decides to give them both a shot at designing a collection for his fashion house. The film premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2004 and was also picked up for distribution by HBO, which released it in April 2005. It was shot on location in New York City and was one of the last projects that PATTINSON worked on before heading off to direct THE WAY, WAY BACK. According to the director, the film is “sort of like a cross between BEDAZZLED and THE TURN OF THE CENTURY,” and it wasn’t easy doing this film, because he said that he and his fellow thespians “were working 16-hour days, and there were lots of changes that didn’t work out.” But despite its flaws, the film still stands out as one of the best of its kind, and one of the most memorable performances comes from PATTINSON, whose portrayal of the fashion-crazed, manipulative playboy was noted by critics for its authenticity and impact. One of these critics was Scott Tobias of The Hollywood Review, who said that PATTINSON’s “Luce is a revelation. He gets to put his vile charm to good use, and the movie gets better and better as a result.” In the years since, PATTINSON has mostly stayed clear of the limelight and focused on his craft, appearing in only a few films and TV shows. While there have been rumors of a possible DULCIMER movie or even a remake of FINAL DESTINATION, none of these have resulted in much. But then again, maybe they never will.
HAMLET is, in a word, legendary. Not only was it the film that made PATTINSON a household name, but it was also one of the biggest critical and commercial successes of its time. While it was made for only £7 million ($11 million at the time), it ended up grossing over £45 million ($70+ million) – a record-breaking sum for a British film at the time. It was also the first time that PATTINSON’s character, Hamlet, was brought to the big screen. The film was selected to play in the 1997 Venice Film Festival and was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival that same year. Since then, it’s been nominated for numerous awards, including the Palme d’Or at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival and has gone on to become one of the most celebrated movies of all time.
Those are some pretty exciting titles! As mentioned earlier, over the past few years, Pattinson has largely stayed out of the spotlight, focusing on his craft and working on only a handful of movies. While he did not always get the respect he deserved as a serious actor, these past few years have seen him rise to the top of his game, gaining a following and praise for his incredible work. At this point, most mainstream publications and critics have recognized him for his work, and perhaps even more impressively, he has taken on some challenging material and given stellar performances in all of his films, regardless of the perceived quality of the movies themselves. We can’t help but feel that history will look back on this actor with plenty of positive memories and a rich, versatile filmography that will occupy a special place in the hearts of many moviegoers. Here’s to hoping that his upcoming movies live up to the incredible standards set by his previous work!