Vin Diesel's Best Movies

In this week's Total Recall, we count down the best-reviewed work of the Riddick star.

67%

5. Boiler Room

A sort of miniature blend of Glengarry Glen Ross and Wall Street, Ben Younger's Boiler Room looked at the seedy underbelly of the tech bubble's millionaire boom, peeking inside the price-fixing exploits of a seedy Long Island "chop shop" brokerage firm. It wasn't a big hit, and critics were fairly divided in their opinions, but it gave Diesel the opportunity to deliver a nicely understated dramatic supporting role, and with just a few more reviews from writers like the New York Times' A.O. Scott -- who said it "reflects the sensibility of the generation it holds up to critical scrutiny, and it's a cunningly ambiguous act of self-portraiture" -- Boiler Room would have a nice fresh tomato next to its title.

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68%

4. Fast & Furious 6

After shifting into a higher critical and commercial gear with Fast Five in 2011, the Fast & Furious franchise kept the pedal to the medal with Fast & Furious 6 two years later, retaining the series' new heist thriller approach (and recent cast addition Dwayne Johnson) for another round of souped-up action and automotive mayhem. While the series' sixth installment ultimately fell a few percentage points shy of its predecessor, it still went down as one of the summer of 2013's better-performing blockbusters, rolling up nearly $800 million in worldwide grosses -- along with applause from critics like Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who wrote, "It's a ripsnorting carmageddon that stylizes automotive annihilation the way John Woo used to choreograph death and destruction with guns and explosions."

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77%

3. Fast Five

Very few franchises notch critical high marks with their fifth installments, and The Fast and the Furious series -- a perennial critics' target since its debut in 2001 -- hardly seemed like a logical candidate for ever achieving Certified Fresh status. But lo and behold, that's exactly what happened in 2011, when Fast Five roared off to 77 percent on the Tomatometer (and over $625 million in worldwide grosses). So what changed? Well, it didn't hurt that Five's storyline took a "heist action" approach rather than the "street racing action drama" of previous installments, and the returning cast members (including Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, and of course Vin Diesel) benefited from the copious charisma of new addition Dwayne Johnson. Whatever the reasons, longtime Furious fans had company in critics like Connie Ogle of the Miami Herald, who called it Five "Embarrassingly fun, the sort of speedy, senseless, violence-crammed action flick that virtually defines the summer season, with superheroes who aren't gods or crusaders in tights but guys in T-shirts and jeans who can drive cars really fast."

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92%

2. Saving Private Ryan

Movies like xXx and The Pacifier make it easy to forget this, but Vin Diesel has always been more than your average action star; in fact, he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in his film debut, 1995's Strays -- and managed to have it screened at Cannes, where it attracted the attention of Steven Spielberg, who was inspired to create the role of PFC Adrian Caparzo in Saving Private Ryan specifically for Diesel. And while it wasn't the film's biggest role -- in fact, Diesel's character is the first member of the squad to be killed -- it still gave him a nice leg up from one of the biggest directors in the business, and allowed him to be a part of what James Berardinelli of ReelViews called "a singular motion picture experience."

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97%

1. The Iron Giant

Today, he's animation royalty, but in 1999, Brad Bird was still a relative unknown getting his first big break with a Warner Bros. feature based on Ted Hughes' 1968 children's book, The Iron Man. Commercially speaking, Giant was a less than auspicious debut -- thanks to what many saw as a misguided promotional campaign on the studio's part, the movie only managed a pitiful $23 million domestic gross -- but the adventures of young Hogarth Hughes and his imposing metal friend struck a deep chord with critics like the Chicago Tribune's Mark Caro, who wrote that "animated films excel in conjuring up colorful fantasy worlds, but few evoke an actual time and place as vividly -- and playfully -- as The Iron Giant does." Diesel, of course, was the voice of the titular giant -- and lest you scoff that lending your voice to an animated robot doesn't require much in the way of actual, you know, acting, we defy you to watch the film's climactic sequence without having your heart torn out by Big Vin's delivery of one simple word: "Superman."

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In case you were wondering, here are Diesel's top 10 movies according RT users' scores:

1. Saving Private Ryan -- 92%
2. Fast & Furious 6 -- 84%
3. Fast Five -- 82%
4. The Fast and the Furious -- 79%
5. The Iron Giant -- 78%
6. Pitch Black -- 76%
7. Boiler Room -- 74%
8. Fast & Furious -- 73%
9. The Chronicles of Riddick -- 69%
10. The Pacifier -- 66%


Take a look through Diesel's complete filmography, as well as the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don't forget to check out the reviews for Riddick.

Finally, here's Diesel's acting and directorial debut -- Strays, from 1997:

Comments

David Rocha

David Rocha

I already knew #1 was Iron Giant. I tell everyone I know that it is his best role.

Sep 4 - 04:55 PM

Dave J

Dave J

How can anyone call his voice animation a role since there are many other people who can inherit those exact same voices! I mean, wasn't there three different people who did the voice for Aladdin! And I'm sure those aren't the original voices for Scooby Doo and the Smurfs movies!

Sep 4 - 05:06 PM

Gene Prewitt

Gene Prewitt

You certainly hold no value for the amount of talent it takes to voice act well. Sure multiple people can copy a similar voice to play the continuing rolls of characters that never age, but they are very bigs shoes to fill. Just because you sound like Genie from Aladdin, doesn't make you Robin Williams.

Sep 4 - 05:58 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I've seen my fair share of voice over films, and majority of them occur on Japan animation, Chinese martial movies from the likes of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, and those spaghetti western movies coming out of Europe from the likes of Leone, Corbucci and Umberto Lenzi!

Sep 5 - 11:57 AM

Anthony Sheets

Anthony Sheets

Yes thank you lol.

Sep 5 - 01:43 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"Just because you sound like Genie from Aladdin, doesn't make you Robin Williams"

I just wanted to respond to this, I just wanted to say that if there were no credits, you could be going on thinking that Robin Williams voiced all of the "Aladdin" movies! Had people had not known that Robin Williams didn't do the voice work of the genie for the rest of the movies people such as yourself would not have known about it all! If producers don't want to use the original voices does not mean that the actual film itself is not very good!

Sep 5 - 04:44 PM

Joe O'Leary

Joe O'Leary

It may not make you Robin Williams, but it may make you Dan Castellaneta, who voiced the Genie in Return of Jafar and also voices the little known cartoon character Homer Simpson...D'oh!

Sep 8 - 03:14 PM

Owen Bragg

Owen Bragg

my neighbor's step-mother makes $83 an hour on the computer.Get the facts.== > w瓀瓀.B璦瓂񬅟.co璵

Sep 8 - 05:43 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Even if it was a voice role it was still his most powerful performance to date. With a mere few words he was able to make me care more for The Iron Giant than any of his live action characters.

Sep 5 - 12:46 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Look, don't get me wrong I'm not downplaying the role of voice over work but I think the point is that animated movies can still be successful without a recognizable actor tagged onto the credits! After all, Vin Diesel's name wasn't even a household name during the time of "The Iron Giant's" initial release!

Sep 5 - 01:29 PM

Jakub Podgajniak

Jakub Podgajniak

I agree with you Dave - a performance where they ask a guy to say few lines and get himself recorded, probably even in the living room of his house, doesn't qualify as performance. Its like saying George Clooney had a major role in South Park movie and one episode - he played Sparky the Dog and made the woof woof sound.

Sep 5 - 01:39 AM

Ronald Domholdt

Ronald Domholdt

""Just because you sound like Genie from Aladdin, doesn't make you Robin Williams"

I just wanted to respond to this, I just wanted to say that if there were no credits, you could be going on thinking that Robin Williams voiced all of the "Aladdin" movies! Had people had not known that Robin Williams didn't do the voice work of the genie for the rest of the movies people such as yourself would not have known about it all! If producers don't want to use the original voices does not mean that the actual film itself is not very good!"

Robin was the Genie in 1 and 3.

Sep 6 - 10:25 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Whether you know which Aladdin movies Robin Williams did the voices on is totally irrelevant for it should not be a factor whether or not the movie is any good or not! I'm just saying that both the Smurfs movies as well as the Scooby Doo movies were still successful without the original characters who did those voices! And you cannot tell me that the Mickey Mouse character always had just the one voice!

Sep 6 - 12:14 PM

Shane Stephenson

Shane Stephenson

As an animation fan, I can tell you that I can always tell when a voice actor has been changed. Nobody does the same voice the exact same way.

Sep 9 - 01:07 PM

Rebec Herrick

Rebec Herrick

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Sep 7 - 08:00 PM

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Safizy Fikuh

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Sep 8 - 08:19 PM

Dave J

Dave J

That really caught me off guard! Who would've thought tough guy Vin Diesel was even involved in The Iron Giant!

Sep 4 - 05:01 PM

John Loo

John Loo

*facepalm* You don't read the credits?

Sep 6 - 01:13 AM

Jugum's C.

Jugum's Cloud

Why does that deserve a facepalm? And, if even if he'd read the credits at the time of its release in 1999, the name "Vin Diesel" would've meant nothing. Sometimes it's only in retrospect that you realize so-and-so played such-and-such a role, once they've become more popular.

Sep 6 - 10:04 AM

Dave J

Dave J

You tell me, was Vin Diesel a household name to you during the year of 1999! And are you one of those people who always read and remember everyone in the credits after watching every movie!

Sep 6 - 02:34 PM

Willem DaPerson

Willem DaPerson

Not the most distinguished filmography, but I hugely respect Vin Diesel for overcoming meh acting ability, and making himself one of the biggest action stars of medern times. He seems genuinely grateful for what he has, and that's always refreshing so yeah, he gets my approval.

Sep 4 - 05:01 PM

Dave J

Dave J

How can anyone call his voice animation a role since there are many other people who can inherit those exact same voices! I mean, wasn't there three different people who did the voice for Aladdin! And I'm sure those aren't the original voices for Scooby Doo and the Smurfs movies!

Sep 4 - 05:06 PM

Gene Prewitt

Gene Prewitt

You certainly hold no value for the amount of talent it takes to voice act well. Sure multiple people can copy a similar voice to play the continuing rolls of characters that never age, but they are very bigs shoes to fill. Just because you sound like Genie from Aladdin, doesn't make you Robin Williams.

Sep 4 - 05:58 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I've seen my fair share of voice over films, and majority of them occur on Japan animation, Chinese martial movies from the likes of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, and those spaghetti western movies coming out of Europe from the likes of Leone, Corbucci and Umberto Lenzi!

Sep 5 - 11:57 AM

Anthony Sheets

Anthony Sheets

Yes thank you lol.

Sep 5 - 01:43 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"Just because you sound like Genie from Aladdin, doesn't make you Robin Williams"

I just wanted to respond to this, I just wanted to say that if there were no credits, you could be going on thinking that Robin Williams voiced all of the "Aladdin" movies! Had people had not known that Robin Williams didn't do the voice work of the genie for the rest of the movies people such as yourself would not have known about it all! If producers don't want to use the original voices does not mean that the actual film itself is not very good!

Sep 5 - 04:44 PM

Joe O'Leary

Joe O'Leary

It may not make you Robin Williams, but it may make you Dan Castellaneta, who voiced the Genie in Return of Jafar and also voices the little known cartoon character Homer Simpson...D'oh!

Sep 8 - 03:14 PM

Owen Bragg

Owen Bragg

my neighbor's step-mother makes $83 an hour on the computer.Get the facts.== > w瓀瓀.B璦瓂񬅟.co璵

Sep 8 - 05:43 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Even if it was a voice role it was still his most powerful performance to date. With a mere few words he was able to make me care more for The Iron Giant than any of his live action characters.

Sep 5 - 12:46 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Look, don't get me wrong I'm not downplaying the role of voice over work but I think the point is that animated movies can still be successful without a recognizable actor tagged onto the credits! After all, Vin Diesel's name wasn't even a household name during the time of "The Iron Giant's" initial release!

Sep 5 - 01:29 PM

Jakub Podgajniak

Jakub Podgajniak

I agree with you Dave - a performance where they ask a guy to say few lines and get himself recorded, probably even in the living room of his house, doesn't qualify as performance. Its like saying George Clooney had a major role in South Park movie and one episode - he played Sparky the Dog and made the woof woof sound.

Sep 5 - 01:39 AM

Ronald Domholdt

Ronald Domholdt

""Just because you sound like Genie from Aladdin, doesn't make you Robin Williams"

I just wanted to respond to this, I just wanted to say that if there were no credits, you could be going on thinking that Robin Williams voiced all of the "Aladdin" movies! Had people had not known that Robin Williams didn't do the voice work of the genie for the rest of the movies people such as yourself would not have known about it all! If producers don't want to use the original voices does not mean that the actual film itself is not very good!"

Robin was the Genie in 1 and 3.

Sep 6 - 10:25 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Whether you know which Aladdin movies Robin Williams did the voices on is totally irrelevant for it should not be a factor whether or not the movie is any good or not! I'm just saying that both the Smurfs movies as well as the Scooby Doo movies were still successful without the original characters who did those voices! And you cannot tell me that the Mickey Mouse character always had just the one voice!

Sep 6 - 12:14 PM

Shane Stephenson

Shane Stephenson

As an animation fan, I can tell you that I can always tell when a voice actor has been changed. Nobody does the same voice the exact same way.

Sep 9 - 01:07 PM

dethburger

dethburger hates Flixster

Vin Diesel is the next De Niro.

I'm talking about Chazz De Niro, my barber.

Sep 4 - 05:25 PM

Nick Thome

Nick Thome

ha

Sep 4 - 06:07 PM

Vincent

^FUCK THIS GUY

This was as funny as Movie 43.

Sep 5 - 12:40 PM

Catbus

* Catbus!

Halle Berry!

Sep 6 - 06:39 AM

Gene Prewitt

Gene Prewitt

You certainly hold no value for the amount of talent it takes to voice act well. Sure multiple people can copy a similar voice to play the continuing rolls of characters that never age, but they are very bigs shoes to fill. Just because you sound like Genie from Aladdin, doesn't make you Robin Williams.

Sep 4 - 05:58 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I've seen my fair share of voice over films, and majority of them occur on Japan animation, Chinese martial movies from the likes of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, and those spaghetti western movies coming out of Europe from the likes of Leone, Corbucci and Umberto Lenzi!

Sep 5 - 11:57 AM

Anthony Sheets

Anthony Sheets

Yes thank you lol.

Sep 5 - 01:43 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"Just because you sound like Genie from Aladdin, doesn't make you Robin Williams"

I just wanted to respond to this, I just wanted to say that if there were no credits, you could be going on thinking that Robin Williams voiced all of the "Aladdin" movies! Had people had not known that Robin Williams didn't do the voice work of the genie for the rest of the movies people such as yourself would not have known about it all! If producers don't want to use the original voices does not mean that the actual film itself is not very good!

Sep 5 - 04:44 PM

Joe O'Leary

Joe O'Leary

It may not make you Robin Williams, but it may make you Dan Castellaneta, who voiced the Genie in Return of Jafar and also voices the little known cartoon character Homer Simpson...D'oh!

Sep 8 - 03:14 PM

Owen Bragg

Owen Bragg

my neighbor's step-mother makes $83 an hour on the computer.Get the facts.== > w瓀瓀.B璦瓂񬅟.co璵

Sep 8 - 05:43 PM

Nick Thome

Nick Thome

ha

Sep 4 - 06:07 PM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

Pretty much liked all of his fresh ones, didn't really care much for his Riddick movies. And Iron Giant is definitely one of the best animated movies ever.

Sep 4 - 11:59 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Even if it was a voice role it was still his most powerful performance to date. With a mere few words he was able to make me care more for The Iron Giant than any of his live action characters.

Sep 5 - 12:46 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Look, don't get me wrong I'm not downplaying the role of voice over work but I think the point is that animated movies can still be successful without a recognizable actor tagged onto the credits! After all, Vin Diesel's name wasn't even a household name during the time of "The Iron Giant's" initial release!

Sep 5 - 01:29 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Not exactly an impressive career, but at least he has a couple of classics to his credit (Saving Private Ryan and Iron Giant obviously).

Sep 5 - 12:47 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Just a minor quibble but Chronicles of Riddick did not eke out a small return. Studios typically only keep half of what a film grosses in theaters, so in reality they only made 50 mil from Chronicles on a budget twice as big. That's why the new Riddick is so low budget.

Sep 5 - 12:57 AM

Jakub Podgajniak

Jakub Podgajniak

I agree with you Dave - a performance where they ask a guy to say few lines and get himself recorded, probably even in the living room of his house, doesn't qualify as performance. Its like saying George Clooney had a major role in South Park movie and one episode - he played Sparky the Dog and made the woof woof sound.

Sep 5 - 01:39 AM

Alex Brookshire

Alex Brookshire

Uhm, isn't Babylon A.D. is worst reviewed?

Sep 5 - 03:09 AM

Sean Hicks

Sean Hicks

Even if it isn't the worst reviewed, I think it may be the worst anyway.

Sep 6 - 09:10 AM

Dave J

Dave J

I've seen my fair share of voice over films, and majority of them occur on Japan animation, Chinese martial movies from the likes of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, and those spaghetti western movies coming out of Europe from the likes of Leone, Corbucci and Umberto Lenzi!

Sep 5 - 11:57 AM

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