Robert Pattinson’s 12 Best Movies, Ranked

Robert Pattinson is one of the most fascinating actors of our time. From his breakout in the Twilight franchise to his extensive work in various independent films and recent return to major blockbusters, the actor has displayed an incredible range.

To celebrate his career thus far and highlight some films fans may not have seen, I’m ranking his twelve best movies. 

12. The Devil All The Time (2020)

Robert Pattinson The Devil All the Time
Image Credit: Netflix.

Based on Donald Ray Pollock’s novel of the same name, The Devil All The Time is a brutally bleak film. The film follows Arvin (Tom Holland) as he comes of age during the 1950s and 60s, and encounters a variety of all too human horrors. Among them is Pattinson’s Preston Teagardin, a charismatic preacher who uses his influence to seduce underage girls. Pattinson gives a genuinely creepy performance that’s the best part of the film, which is otherwise well-made but almost comically cruel. 

11. Cosmopolis (2012)

Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis
Image Credit: Entertainment One.

David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis follows young billionaire currency speculator Eric Packer (Pattinson) as he travels around a Manhattan that’s just slightly different from the one in our world or time. He meets with his wife, his doctor, and several other people over the course of his day as his fortune begins to wither due to major speculation losses. The film succeeds more as a performance vehicle than as a film, as its lack of narrative momentum and the sometimes painfully stilted dialogue keep the audience at arm’s length. But as a performance vehicle, it’s a must-see for Pattinson fans. 

10. The Childhood of a Leader (2015)

Robert Pattinson The Childhood of a Leader
Image Credit: IFC Films.

The feature directorial debut of actor Brady Corbet, The Childhood of a Leader immediately announced a unique and exciting voice in filmmaking. The film centers on a young boy, the son of an American diplomat, who witnesses some of the negotiations that eventually become the Treaty of Versailles. But it’s not that political moment that the film is interested in. It’s how it shapes this young man and how his sociopathic tendencies combine with the lessons he learns during this time to create a future fascist leader. Pattinson plays another diplomat and friend of the child’s father, as well as the adult leader in a flash-forward. 

9. Damsel (2018)

Robert Pattinson Damsel
Image Credit: Magnolia Pictures.

Damsel centers on wealthy young man Samuel Alabaster (Pattinson), who leaves his comfortable home on the East Coast to become a pioneer and track down his beloved Penelope (Mia Wasikowska) after she’s been kidnapped. Or so he says. The Western is a broad black comedy in which Pattinson is entirely willing to play a naive, arrogant fool who has gotten in over his head. Like any good Western, it’s beautifully shot, and the equally silly and dark humor and biting satire of gender relations make for a delightful film. 

8. The Batman (2022)

Robert Pattinson The Batman
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Matt Reeves’ The Batman offers another specific vision of the iconic superhero. The film draws heavily from serial killer mysteries and neo-noir to deliver a superhero movie that often feels more like a hyper-stylized gritty crime drama than a superhero movie. Pattinson’s performance as Batman/Bruce Wayne is also unlike any other Batman performance we’ve seen in live-action and lends the young vigilante a haunted and anti-social quality that’s far from the playboy persona we’ve seen Bruce Wayne put on in other films. Sadly the film is far too long at nearly three hours and becomes fairly paint by numbers in its final third which keeps it from landing higher on this list. 

7. Twilight (2008)

Twilight, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

The movie that made Pattinson a household name remains one of the most fun teen movies of the 2000s. Twilight, based on the novel of the same name by Stephenie Meyer, tells the story of a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. But unlike the other versions of this story we’ve seen (and we’ve seen several), this time, the vampires are sparkly and live in a big house as a family. The movie certainly has its flaws, but as far as lighthearted high school movies from a specific era go, you can’t get much better than Twilight

6. The Lost City of Z (2016)

Robert Pattinson Lost City of Z
Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

The Lost City of Z is the rare biopic that’s unique; it helps that it’s not a music biopic or about a royal, but it’s still worth celebrating. The film, based on the non-fiction book of the same name by David Grann, tells the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) and his discovery of what he believed to be an ancient lost city deep in the Amazon rainforest. But the film doesn’t just tell of the discovery; it chronicles the entirety of Fawcett’s life, which included serving in World War I, several trips between England and Brazil, and desperate attempts to convince others of the city’s existence. Pattinson plays Henry Costin in the film, a devoted friend of Fawcett’s and fellow explorer who does all he can to ensure the success of their expeditions. 

5. Maps to the Stars (2014)

Robert Pattinson in Maps to the Stars
Image Credit: Focus World.

Pattinson’s second film with David Cronenberg doesn’t center him, but it doesn’t really center anyone. Maps to the Stars centers more on Hollywood as a place and the various lives of an industry family and those around them than any single character. It’s an ensemble film with a fantastic cast, including Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and the late great Carrie Fisher as herself. Pattinson plays a limo driver and aspiring actor who begins a romantic relationship with one of the family members. The film has several icky twists and turns and is perhaps Cronenberg’s most perverse film outside the body horror genre, and that’s a great compliment. 

4. The Lighthouse (2019)

The Lighthouse 2019
Image Credit: A24.

Among the several singular films in Pattinson’s career, The Lighthouse may be the most unique. The film, presented in black and white and with a 4:3 aspect ratio, tells the story of two lighthouse keepers, Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, who begin to go mad while isolated on a lighthouse island in the late 19th century. It’s equal parts comedy, fantasy, cat and mouse thriller, and horror film without ever feeling incohesive. It’s a remarkable movie, and both Dafoe and Pattinson are fantastic. 

3. Good Time (2017)

Robert Pattinson in Good Time
Image Credit: A24.

The film that should have earned Pattinson his first Academy Award nomination if not win, Good Time shows the actor transformed into Connie, a petty criminal from Queens determined to free his mentally disabled brother from police custody. The film is often painful to watch as we see Connie make increasingly desperate choices that place him and those around him in danger. It’s a brutally effective ride of a movie that deserves just as much attention as the writer/director Safdie brothers’ follow-up film, Uncut Gems. 

2. High Life (2018)

High Life
Photo Credit: A24.

High Life is celebrated French director Claire Denis’s first fully English language film, and Pattinson’s central performance plays a key role in making that transition a success. Pattinson plays Monte, the only surviving member of a space crew of death row inmates and their reproduction-obsessed doctor. The film jumps back and forth in time, showing Monte alone on the ship with his daughter and the events leading up to the other crew members’ deaths. It’s a film that overwhelmingly takes place on one spaceship but feels expansive in its scope because of the ideas it engages with about humanity, our place in the universe, and our social structures.

1. The Rover (2014)

Blank 1600 x 900 11
Image Credit: A24.

Pattinson’s best film is also one of his most underseen. The Rover is a post-apocalyptic western that follows two men, the hardened Eric (Guy Pearce) and mentally disabled Rey (Pattinson), as they track down the gang that stole Eric’s car. But things are complicated by the fact that Rey’s brother is a member of that gang. It’s a movie about survival in a cruel world and what we choose to place meaning when society collapses. The Rover is far from a fun film, but it’s achingly sincere in its exploration of where people find hope when all seems lost. 

Kyle Logan is a film and television critic and general pop culture writer who has written for Alternative Press, Cultured Vultures, Film Stories, Screen Anarchy, and more. Kyle is particularly interested in horror and animation, as well as genre films written and directed by queer people and women. Kyle has an MA in philosophy from Boston College, is a member of the Chicago Indie Critics, and along with writing, organizes a Queer Film Challenge on Letterboxd.