Brendan Fraser is one of those actors you know best from a handful of films. He seemingly disappeared after some of his most significant roles in the 90s and early 2000s, but the good news is that he is back! Currently rebuilding his career, let's check out his best films (so far).
1. The Mummy (1999)
Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
When we think of Brendan Fraser, The Mummy, is his most iconic role. As one of the roles he was born to play, he was cast because of the success of George of the Jungle. The film itself is loosely based on the movie from 1932 of the same name, starring Boris Karloff. This updated film adds some comedy and more romance to the original.
His Most Iconic Role
The film centers around the doomed love story of Imhotep and Anck Su Namum and the successful love story of Evie and Rick. The latter, along with Evie's brother Jonathan, embark on a journey to find the ancient city of Hamunaptra in a race against another group of treasure hunters. They accidentally awaken the mummy of Imhotep, who was buried alive for killing the Pharaoh (and daring to love Anck Su Namum, his mistress), and now desires to resurrect his love.
2. Gods and Monsters (1998)
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Another film that harkens to the classic monsters of old Hollywood, Gods and Monsters highlights the end of James Whale's life. The legendary director is behind classics such as 1931's Frankenstein, 1933's The Invisible Man, and 1935's The Bride of Frankenstein.
About a Legendary Director
The film stars Ian McKellan as Whale and Brendan Fraser as Clayton Boone, his gardener. It takes you through the friendship between the two men as Whale tells him of experiences, and the last few days of his life.
3. The Quiet American (2002)
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
According to the American Film Institute, The Quiet American was voted one of the top 10 Best Films of 2022, so it is a must-see film for any Brendan Fraser fan. The plot based on a novel of the same name features a love triangle between Thomas (Michael Caine), Alden (Brendan Fraser), and Phuong (Thi Hai Yen Do) that turns into a mystery when one of them is murdered.
Voted One of The Top 10 Best Films
Thomas is called in when Alden is found murdered about a year after they first met. It was originally strained because of both of their interest in Phuong. The mystery is whether Thomas knows anything about what truly happened to Alden.
4. School Ties (1992)
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Often cast in comedy and adventure-type roles early in his career, School Ties features one of Brendan Fraser's earliest dramatic roles as David in this film set in the 1950s. It is based on the experiences of legendary writer and television producer Dick Wolf.
One of His Earliest Dramatic Roles
When David receives a football scholarship to a prestigious school, he must hide the fact that he's a Jew. This film is a thought-provoking look at antisemitism and prejudice and how we deal with it.
5. Blast From The Past (1999)
Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
In one of three films where he plays a man out of time/modern life (the other two being Encino Man and George of the Jungle), Brendan Fraser plays Adam, who spent his 35 years of life in a bomb shelter while the world above went on without him and his family.
35 Years in a Bomb Shelter
Adam grows up a sheltered life with his parents (played by Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek) when they believe that the outside world is gone after a plane crashes into their house in 1962, engaging the locks on their shelter. They think it was a bomb. When the locks finally open, Adam ventures into the world. He learns that there was no nuclear war. He also meets Eve (Alicia Silverstone), who he woos with his old-fashioned ways.
6. No Sudden Move (2021)
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
As Brendan Fraser's only comeback film on this list, it proves that he still has what it takes to succeed in the industry. The crime film was an encouraging addition to this list, and it makes us excited about what's in store for Fraser next.
Proves He Still Has What It Takes
The film features Fraser as Doug, who is a criminal recruiter. He hires a group of gangsters for a seemingly easy job of stealing a document, but it doesn't go at all as they planned. Then they begin the search to find who hired them.
7. Still Breathing (1997)
Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
In another of Brendan Fraser's romantic comedies that he excels at, we have the film Still Breathing. This film balances magic and romance well, which makes for a fun watch.
Balances Magic and Romance
It follows Fletcher (Fraser) as visions of a beautiful woman haunt him. While this may seem strange, it is normal for the men in his family, who dream about their wives before they meet. Fate soon brings them together, but she is a con artist, which brings all sorts of complications.
8. The Mummy Returns (2001)
Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
While not quite as strong as the original, The Mummy Returns is an enjoyable follow-up to Brendan Fraser's most well-known movie. We pick up with Evie and Rick nine years later, where we are introduced to their son Alex, who will be a driving force in the plot.
An Enjoyable Follow-up
Imhotep has awakened again and is after the Bracelet of Anubis so that he can command the Scorpion King's (Dwayne Johnson) army. He meets up with the reincarnation of his lost love, Anck Su Namum, and kidnaps Alex, who accidentally latched the bracelet onto his wrist. This film was significant in another manner in that it introduced Johnson in his first film appearance that wasn't related to wrestling.
9. Journey to The Center of The Earth (2008)
Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
As a Sci-Fi adventure, this one is pretty easy to watch, and the visual effects keep your interest. Jules Verne's classic tale has had nine different film adaptations due to the great story.
An Easy-to-Watch Sci-Fi Adventure
This one from 2008 features Brendan Fraser as Trevor, who embarks on a journey to find his missing brother. He brings along his nephew, a scientist, and a mountain guide to help traverse the lost world in the Earth's center.
10. Encino Man (1992)
Rotten Tomatoes: 15%
In a strange parallel to the story of Captain America (and Forever Young, which also came out in 1992), Encino Man goes back even further to a caveman who was frozen and later thawed out. He has much more to learn than his other frozen counterparts about how much the world has changed.
Plays a Thawed Caveman
Link (Brendan Fraser) is unearthed in the backyard of a high school student and his friend (Sean Astin and Pauly Shore). The two teenagers attempt to teach him about modern life and ride his coattails of how cool everyone at school finds the new student.
11. George of The Jungle (1997)
Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
The sheltered George in George of the Jungle is a bit like Link from Encino Man, and he makes for an enjoyable kids' movie. A bit more buff Brendan Fraser is mostly unclothed for most of the film, which is a treat for moms. Plus, director Stephen Sommers appreciated his portrayal here so much that he considered him to play Rick in The Mummy.
An Enjoyable Kids' Movie
A woman (Leslie Mann) ventures into the jungle for an adventure before she gets married, but she gets more than she bargains for when she has a run-in with a lion. A jungle man, who apes raised, saves her and she soon falls in love with him.
Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Bedazzled is goofy, but an entertaining movie about a man who makes a deal with the devil, who in this incarnation is Elizabeth Hurley. He is hopelessly in love with one of his coworkers, so he agrees to work with her.
Goofy, but Entertaining
In exchange for his soul, Elliot (Brendan Fraser) receives seven wishes from the princess of darkness. He soon realizes they aren't fulfilled how he wants and tries to get out of the deal. When he makes a selfless wish, he gains back his soul.
13. Gimme Shelter (2014)
Rotten Tomatoes: 28%
Based on the true story, the film Gimme Shelter is a gritty, hard-to-watch look at life on the streets. It seems that Apple (Vanessa Hudgens) can't get a break.
Gritty, Hard to Watch Look at Life on The Streets
When she runs away from her addict and prostitute mother, who is grooming her to follow in her footsteps, Apple tracks down the father (Brendan Fraser) she never met. He takes her in, but after being there just a short time, they learn that she's pregnant and kicks her out. She finds a shelter to live in and begins to build a life for herself.
14. The Air I Breathe
Rotten Tomatoes: 10%
Although The Air I Breathe is relatively unknown compared to other Brendan Fraser films. This crime drama is based on a Chinese proverb about life being broken into four emotions—happiness, sorrow, pleasure, and love.
Based on a Chinese Proverb
Fraser personifies pleasure, who can see the futures of the people around him. The lives of the people who represent the four emotions intertwine as Pleasure falls for pop star Sorrow (Sarah Michelle Gellar), whose blood type is sought after by Love (Kevin Bacon), trying to save the love of his life.
15. Airheads (1994)
Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fun for a laugh, Airheads, is a silly comedy about a heavy metal group trying to make it big. This one is a goofy film starring Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi and Adam Sandler.
Silly Comedy About a Heavy Metal Group
The three men are part of the group called The Lone Rangers. When a radio station refuses to play their demo tape on air, they decide to take over the station with plastic guns and play their music. Things go wrong when the real police arrive.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Kristen Winiarski has worked as a professional writer for 15 years, studying classic TV shows and films to further her expertise and understanding about how they have evolved. This passion led her to start her own classic movie blog before branching out into the professional entertainment writing world.