Karl Urban is a New Zealand actor who has made a name for himself in Hollywood with his versatile range and impressive performances.
He has starred in a variety of films, including action blockbusters, sci-fi epics, and dramas. Some of his best-known roles include Eomer in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the “Star Trek” reboot films, and Judge Dredd in “Dredd”.
Best Karl Urban Movies
In this article, we will be exploring some of Karl Urban’s best movies and the roles that have made him a household name in the film industry.
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is a high-fantasy film released in 2003, directed by Peter Jackson.
It is the third and final installment in the “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy based on the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. The film stars an ensemble cast that includes Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, and Orlando Bloom.
The story continues from where the second film, “The Two Towers,” left off, with Frodo (played by Elijah Wood) and Sam (played by Sean Astin) continuing their journey to destroy the One Ring while their friends fight to defend the kingdom of Gondor against the forces of Sauron.
The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide and winning 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was praised for its stunning visuals, epic battle sequences, and emotional performances.
“The Return of the King” is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made and a triumph of filmmaking that remains a classic of the fantasy genre.
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” is a 2002 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson, based on the second volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The film stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Astin, and Andy Serkis.
The movie picks up where the first installment, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” left off, with Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and his friend Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) continuing their journey to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.
Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) pursue a band of orcs who have captured Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), while Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is resurrected to lead the defense of the realm of Rohan against the forces of the dark lord Sauron.
The film also introduces the character of Gollum (Andy Serkis), a former hobbit who has been corrupted by the power of the One Ring and serves as a guide to Frodo and Sam on their journey.
“The Two Towers” received critical acclaim, with many critics praising the film’s visual effects, cinematography, and performances from the cast. It was also a commercial success, grossing over $950 million worldwide.
The film was followed by the third and final installment of the trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” which went on to win 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
“Thor: Ragnarok” is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor. The movie is directed by Taika Waititi and stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk.
Chiwetel Ejiofor has not appeared in “Thor: Ragnarok.” However, the movie features a talented ensemble cast including Cate Blanchett as Hela, the goddess of death, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, a former Asgardian warrior who teams up with Thor to save their home planet from destruction.
The film received widespread critical acclaim for its humor, visual effects, and ensemble cast. It is widely considered to be one of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was a commercial success, grossing over $850 million worldwide.
4. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
“Star Trek Into Darkness” is a 2013 science fiction action film directed by J.J. Abrams and starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
The movie is the twelfth installment in the “Star Trek” film franchise and the sequel to the 2009 film “Star Trek.”
The movie follows the crew of the USS Enterprise as they track down a dangerous terrorist named John Harrison (played by Cumberbatch) who has attacked Starfleet Headquarters.
As the crew pursues Harrison, they discover a larger conspiracy at play that threatens the entire Starfleet organization.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” is a thrilling adventure that combines action-packed set pieces with complex themes about loyalty, sacrifice, and the ethics of warfare. The film also features strong performances from its cast, particularly from Cumberbatch as the mysterious and menacing villain.
The movie was a box office success, grossing over $467 million worldwide, and received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences alike.
While some fans of the franchise criticized the film for its departures from the original series, others praised it for its exciting storytelling and impressive visual effects.
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5. Dredd (2012)
“Dredd” is a science fiction action film released in 2012, directed by Pete Travis and based on the “Judge Dredd” comic book series.
The film stars Karl Urban as Judge Dredd, a law enforcement officer in a dystopian future who has the power to be judge, jury, and executioner.
In the film, Dredd is assigned to a high-rise apartment building where a drug lord named Ma-Ma (played by Lena Headey) and her gang have taken over.
The film explores themes of justice, violence, and corruption in a futuristic society. “Dredd” received positive reviews from fans of the comic book series and action movie enthusiasts, with particular praise for its stylish visuals and intense action sequences.
While it did not perform well at the box office, “Dredd” has gained a cult following in the years since its release and is often cited as an underrated gem in the action genre.
6. Star Trek (2009)
“Star Trek” is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J.J. Abrams and starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban. The movie serves as a reboot of the “Star Trek” franchise, and tells the story of how the crew of the USS Enterprise first came together.
In the film, Urban plays Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, the ship’s chief medical officer. He joins the Enterprise crew along with other iconic characters such as Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, as they embark on a mission to stop a vengeful Romulan from destroying Earth.
Urban’s portrayal of Dr. McCoy received critical acclaim, with many critics praising his ability to capture the character’s wit, charm, and sense of humor. The film was a commercial success, grossing over $385 million worldwide.
Overall, “Star Trek” is a thrilling and entertaining sci-fi adventure that successfully revitalized the beloved franchise for a new generation of fans. Urban’s performance as Dr. McCoy was a standout, and helped to make the film a success.
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7. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
“The Bourne Supremacy” is an action thriller film released in 2004, directed by Paul Greengrass.
The film is the second installment in the “Bourne” film series, based on the novels by Robert Ludlum. It stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a former CIA assassin who is suffering from amnesia and trying to uncover his past.
The story picks up from where the first film, “The Bourne Identity,” left off, with Bourne living a quiet life with his girlfriend Marie in India.
However, his peaceful life is disrupted when he is framed for the murder of two CIA agents and forced to go on the run. He must use his skills and knowledge to evade the CIA’s attempts to capture him while also trying to uncover the truth about his past.
“The Bourne Supremacy” was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $290 million worldwide. It was praised for its intense action sequences, gripping storyline, and Matt Damon’s performance as Bourne.
The film also marked the debut of director Paul Greengrass in the franchise, who would go on to direct the next two installments. “The Bourne Supremacy” is widely regarded as one of the best action films of the 2000s and a successful continuation of the Bourne series.
8. Star Trek Beyond (2016)
“Star Trek Beyond” is a 2016 science fiction film directed by Justin Lin and the third installment in the rebooted “Star Trek” film series. The film stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin.
The movie follows the crew of the USS Enterprise as they become stranded on an alien planet after their ship is attacked and destroyed by a powerful alien threat named Krall (Idris Elba).
The crew must find a way to survive on the planet and stop Krall before he unleashes his devastating weapon on the Federation.
Chris Pine plays Captain James T. Kirk, the leader of the Enterprise crew. Zachary Quinto plays Spock, the logical and emotionally repressed first officer.
Zoe Saldana plays Uhura, the communications officer and Spock’s love interest. Simon Pegg, who also co-wrote the film, plays the chief engineer, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with many praising the action sequences and the chemistry between the cast. It was also a box office success, grossing over $343 million worldwide.
The film was dedicated to the memory of Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov, and died in a tragic accident shortly before the film’s release.
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9. The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
“The Chronicles of Riddick” is a 2004 American science fiction action film directed by David Twohy. The movie is a sequel to the 2000 film “Pitch Black” and stars Vin Diesel as the antihero Richard B. Riddick.
Chiwetel Ejiofor appears in the film as The Purifier, a member of the Necromongers, a powerful and dangerous religious cult led by Lord Marshal (Colm Feore). Riddick finds himself caught up in a conflict with the Necromongers when they invade and conquer his home planet of Furya.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, but was praised for its visual effects and action sequences. Ejiofor’s performance as The Purifier was also well received, with some critics noting his ability to bring depth and humanity to a villainous character.
Overall, “The Chronicles of Riddick” is an entertaining science fiction adventure that offers plenty of thrills and action.
10. Ghost Ship (2002)
“Ghost Ship” is a 2002 horror movie directed by Steve Beck and starring Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, and Ron Eldard. The film follows a salvage crew that discovers an abandoned ocean liner, the Antonia Graza, that has been missing for over 40 years.
As they explore the ship, they soon realize that it is haunted by the ghosts of its former passengers and crew, who are seeking revenge for a terrible tragedy that occurred on board.
The movie is known for its eerie atmosphere, gruesome deaths, and shocking plot twists. The film’s opening sequence, which features a graphic depiction of a mass murder on board the Antonia Graza, is particularly memorable.
While “Ghost Ship” received mixed reviews from critics, it has developed a cult following among horror fans for its inventive scares and effective use of practical effects. The film’s spooky setting and creepy soundtrack also contribute to its lasting appeal.
Overall, “Ghost Ship” is a spooky and unsettling horror movie that is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
11. RED (2010)
“RED” is an action comedy film released in 2010, directed by Robert Schwentke and based on the comic book series of the same name by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner.
The film stars Bruce Willis as Frank Moses, a retired CIA agent who becomes the target of a hit squad after discovering a conspiracy.
Moses teams up with other retired agents, including Joe Matheson (played by Morgan Freeman), Marvin Boggs (played by John Malkovich), and Victoria Winslow (played by Helen Mirren), to uncover the truth and take down those responsible.
The film blends humor and action, with standout performances from the all-star cast. “RED” was a commercial success and spawned a sequel, “RED 2”, in 2013. While it received mixed reviews from critics, the film has become a fan favorite among action and comedy movie fans.
12. Riddick (2013)
“Riddick” is a 2013 science fiction action film directed by David Twohy and starring Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, and Katee Sackhoff. It is the third film in the “Chronicles of Riddick” franchise, following “Pitch Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick”.
In the film, Urban reprises his role as Lord Vaako, a member of the Necromonger High Command.
The story follows Riddick, played by Diesel, as he is stranded on a hostile planet and must fight for survival against dangerous alien predators and bounty hunters who are after the bounty on his head.
Although Urban’s role in the film is relatively small, his performance is a standout and helps to elevate the film. “Riddick” received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising the film’s action and visuals, while others criticized its lack of originality and character development.
Despite the mixed reception, the film was a moderate box office success, grossing over $98 million worldwide.
Overall, “Riddick” is an entertaining and action-packed sci-fi adventure that will appeal to fans of the franchise. Urban’s performance as Lord Vaako is a highlight of the film, and helps to add depth to the story.
3 Reasons To Watch Karl Urban Movies
Versatility in roles: Karl Urban is an actor known for his versatility in roles, from portraying a fierce warrior in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, to a determined law enforcement officer in “Dredd,” and a rugged space explorer in “Star Trek.” He has also demonstrated his range by playing both hero and villain characters in various movies.
Intense performances: Karl Urban’s performances are often praised for their intensity and authenticity. He has a talent for bringing depth and nuance to his characters, making them both relatable and compelling. His performances are often the highlight of the movies he stars in.
Strong presence on screen: Karl Urban has a commanding presence on screen, thanks to his tall stature and rugged good looks. He is able to convey a sense of power and authority in his performances, making him a standout performer in any scene.
His screen presence is especially impactful in action movies, where he is able to convey a sense of physical prowess and agility. Overall, Karl Urban’s movies are worth watching for his powerful performances and strong presence on screen.
Best Karl Urban Movies – Wrap Up
Karl Urban is a New Zealand actor known for his roles in both blockbuster action films and independent dramas. Some of his best movies include:
“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy (2001-2003) – Urban played Éomer, the nephew of King Théoden of Rohan, in this epic fantasy film series directed by Peter Jackson.
“Dredd” (2012) – Urban stars as Judge Dredd, a law enforcement officer in a violent dystopian future city, in this gritty action film based on the comic book character.
“Star Trek” trilogy (2009-2016) – Urban played Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, the chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise, in the rebooted “Star Trek” film series directed by J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin.
“The Bourne Supremacy” (2004) – Urban had a supporting role in this action-packed sequel to “The Bourne Identity,” starring Matt Damon as a former CIA assassin on the run.
“Pathfinder” (2007) – Urban played Ghost, a Viking raised by Native Americans, in this historical action-adventure film directed by Marcus Nispel.
Other notable Karl Urban films include “RED” (2010), “Priest” (2011), and “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017). Overall, Urban’s versatility as an actor has allowed him to excel in a wide variety of film genres, from action to drama to science fiction.