Total Recall: Channing Tatum's Best Movies

We count down the best-reviewed work of the Magic Mike star.

Channing Tatum

It takes guts to shake your moneymaker in public, let alone for a filmmaker as talented as Steven Soderbergh, so give Channing Tatum points for courage: That's exactly what he did in Magic Mike, the stripper drama that's thrusting its well-oiled abs into theaters this week. In honor of Channing's chutzpah, we decided to dedicate this week's list to his up-and-coming career -- which is still young, but contains more noteworthy films than you might initially suspect. It's time for Total Recall!


39%

10. The Eagle

A particularly good-looking Roman war epic, 2011's The Eagle starred a sword-wielding Tatum as a centurion sent to a British outpost to command one of the empire's distant garrisons. Forced into an early retirement after being wounded in battle, he takes his slave (Jamie Bell) on a complicated quest to clear his long-missing father's name, running afoul of a vicious northern tribe in the process. The Eagle crash-landed at the box office, where audiences ignored it and critics generally dismissed it as a waste of time. New York Magazine's David Edelstein cast a dissenting vote in his review, however, enthusing that "Wild-eyed, long-haired Brits leap atop the Romans' shields as the soldiers blindly hack away, the bodies so close that you can barely tell the victor from the vanquished. The battles in the fog and rain have a hallucinatory power."

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39%

9. Fighting

You have to respect a movie that sums up its entire plot in a single word -- or at least, that may have been the thinking behind 2009's Fighting, which reunited Tatum with A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints director Dito Montiel to tell the story of a young NYC scam artist (Tatum) who finds himself drawn into the shady world of underground fighting by a skeevy ticket scalper (Terrence Howard). It failed to land much of a punch during its theatrical release, either with critics or consumers -- but a few scribes thought it was a winner, including David Denby of the New Yorker, who wrote, "The fights may not be very convincing, but the story's underdog structure is satisfying in a happy-cliché sort of way. Fighting is Rocky without the bombast, Fight Club without the daft metaphysical pretensions."

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43%

8. She's the Man

If starring in a teen rom-com loosely inspired by a Shakespeare play worked for Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, it might have worked for Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum, right? Alas, 2006's She's the Man failed to score a 10 Things I Hate About You-sized hit when it arrived in theaters, with audiences expressing a distinct lack of interest in seeing the fresh-faced duo attempt to put a modern teen spin on the classic cross-dressing comedy Twelfth Night. Critics were generally unkind, but some were able to find enough bright spots to offer positive reviews -- including the BBC's Neil Smith, who wrote, "Bynes tackles her part with gusto, while Tatum underplays his to striking effect."

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53%

7. Battle in Seattle

Director Stuart Townsend employed an eclectic ensemble cast to recreate the infamous protests at the 1999 World Trade Organization conference, giving a pre-breakthrough (but post-Step Up) Tatum a chance to prove he could carry his own weight alongside dependable vets like Woody Harrelson and Charlize Theron. It wasn't a big hit, seeing only limited release, and a fair number of critics felt it did a poor job of putting the events it attempted to depict in sufficient context. But for others, Battle in Seattle's successes outweighed its failures; as Kirk Honeycutt argued for the Hollywood Reporter, "While it makes no bones about where its sympathies lie, these fictional stories show a genuine fascination with the role politics plays on both sides of such confrontations and how things can spin out of control with no single person to blame."

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65%

6. Stop-Loss

American audiences are well aware of the fact that their soldiers often have a hard time adjusting to life on the home front after war -- and they're not shy about avoiding movies that tell those soldiers' stories. Kimberly Peirce's Stop-Loss was no exception during its theatrical run, falling victim to the same commercial indifference that felled Rendition, Body of Lies, Green Zone, and others -- in spite of a hot young cast that included Tatum, Abbie Cornish, Ryan Phillippe, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It was the audience's loss as far as the New Yorker's David Denby was concerned; he called Stop-Loss "forceful, effective, and alive, with the raw, mixed-up emotions produced by an endless war -- a time when the patriotism of military families is in danger of being exploited beyond endurance."

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Comments

Paul Alvarez

Paul Alvarez

The best in this title belongs in quotations.

Jun 27 - 04:40 PM

Drew Maroe

Drew Maroe

hahaha, i was thinking the exact same thing lol

Jun 27 - 05:05 PM

Drew Maroe

Drew Maroe

hahaha, i was thinking the exact same thing lol

Jun 27 - 05:05 PM

Zack Petrie

Zack Petrie

Next week can you guys do Total Recall: Potatoes Best Movies....the list will probably come out better than this

Jun 27 - 05:18 PM

jefito

Jeff Giles

Okay, Zack, that was pretty funny. I'm stealing that idea the next time we're stuck for a Total Recall topic.

Jun 28 - 04:58 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Good idea for the next Lena Dunham movie.

Jun 28 - 03:27 PM

tgibfo

Matt Ritchey

So we've got TOY STORY 1, 2 and 3 on that list.........all with better Tomatometers than this one....

Jun 29 - 12:10 PM

Eugene S.

Eugene Schreck

The only film I care to see of these is Stop-loss and that's because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Jun 27 - 05:46 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I had no idea how beloved the "Step Up" movies are for RT users.

Jun 27 - 05:55 PM

CoreyG

Corey Gallagher

Believe he has potential he just has to choose his films better. 21 Jump Street was hilarious and Magic Mike I'll rent to see what all the hubbub is about.

Jun 27 - 06:12 PM

William H.

William Howell

Did this list just happen?

Jun 27 - 06:21 PM

Sir Phobos

Sir Phobos

He would make a good Robin for TDR.

Jun 27 - 06:30 PM

This comment has been removed.

Sir Phobos

Sir Phobos

Why are you hating on Robin, you obviously have never read the comics, and are basing your judgement on Batman Forever and Batman and Robin.

Jun 28 - 06:20 PM

tgibfo

Matt Ritchey

Okay, this is so totally way off topic, but Robin was weak to begin with, and superheroes don't have sidekicks or partners these days. It actually weakens them. You can't set somebody up as a loner out for justice and then turn him into a team player. It's like giving Spider-man a little buddy to swing around town with or Superman gets his dog Krypto. There's a lot of stuff that worked in comics that's just too cheesy these days. MAYBE you could set up Nightwing as a kind of alternate superhero who begrudgingly gets along with Batman even though they both work alone, but Robin's days have been numbered.

Jun 29 - 12:14 PM

Zachary T

Zachary Thomas

hahahahaha

Kind of surprising, Tatum seems to have a staying power (I've seen more obscure Total Recalls). Didn't know Coach Carter was his debut.

Jun 27 - 10:41 PM

Paul McGowan

Paul McGowan

not a bad matchup, but Nolan hates that character and said he will never use it, and for that I am thankful

Jun 30 - 09:53 PM

Kurtiss Keefner

Kurtiss Keefner

Why are we still discussing casting for a film that finished production months ago?
Oh and just for future reference, and it should be DKR. Articles such as "the" are not used in acronyms and you forgot "knight" :P

Jun 30 - 10:14 PM

Corey Dowd

Corey Dowd

Actually, articles are used in acronyms if they're the first word. TDKR is correct.

Jul 1 - 07:04 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

BS. Where is TUSA, TNRA, TUN, TNAACP, TNFL, TFBI? Oh right, they don't exist because it isn't proper to add articles in acronyms. That's why it's "the" USA, "the" NRA, "the" UN, "the" NAACP, "the" NFL, and "the" FBI. It's only been recently, within the last few years, that more people are adding articles to their acronyms.

Jul 1 - 04:39 PM

quiktripper

Sean B

All I know is his performance in GI Joe is just about the worst acting I have ever seen... and I've seen a lot

Jun 27 - 06:34 PM

quiktripper

Sean B

Let me say again... He sucks

Jun 27 - 06:35 PM

BMS1234

brandon sideleau

A few months ago I had written this guy off as one of the worst actors in the industry; but with '21 Jump Street' I find myself thoroughly eating my hat...I guess I'll have to give him another chance.

Jun 27 - 06:39 PM

Jr Lizaola

Jr Lizaola

this guy gets better with every movie...21 jump street made me a believer...

Jun 27 - 08:08 PM

reavus4983

Mike Saxton

He's talented.

DEAL WITH IT

Jun 27 - 08:36 PM

Will Geisler

Will Geisler

Lulz

Jun 27 - 10:07 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Talent isn't that obedient.

Jun 28 - 03:29 PM

Bobby Richards

Bobby Richards

I admit, Tatum is growing one me. He was impressive in 21 Jump Street. In Haywire, he wasn't bad even though he had a somewhat small part. His fight scene was hilarious though.

Jun 27 - 09:03 PM

This comment has been removed.

Sir Phobos

Sir Phobos

Why are you hating on Robin, you obviously have never read the comics, and are basing your judgement on Batman Forever and Batman and Robin.

Jun 28 - 06:20 PM

tgibfo

Matt Ritchey

Okay, this is so totally way off topic, but Robin was weak to begin with, and superheroes don't have sidekicks or partners these days. It actually weakens them. You can't set somebody up as a loner out for justice and then turn him into a team player. It's like giving Spider-man a little buddy to swing around town with or Superman gets his dog Krypto. There's a lot of stuff that worked in comics that's just too cheesy these days. MAYBE you could set up Nightwing as a kind of alternate superhero who begrudgingly gets along with Batman even though they both work alone, but Robin's days have been numbered.

Jun 29 - 12:14 PM

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