Charismatic actor Vin Diesel has been one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, famously headlining the Fast & Furious franchise for decades. Born Mark Sinclair, the movie star took on the stage name while working as a New York City bouncer in hopes of establishing a tougher and edgier-sounding persona.
Diesel made his cinematic debut in the 1990 drama Awakenings before landing parts in films like Saving Private Ryan and The Iron Giant, before nabbing his most iconic and enduring role to date: Dominic Toretto in 2001’s The Fast and The Furious.
Diesel would go on to appear in eight action-packed installments of the blockbuster series, as well as other unforgettable flicks including XXXand The Chronicles of Riddick franchises. He also voiced the tree-like humanoid Groot in six Marvel superhero movies as well as the animated short series, most recently in 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Let’s check out Vin Diesel’s best films, as ranked by Rotten Tomatoes.
10 The Fate of the Furious – 67%
In the eighth sensational installment in the adrenaline-pumping franchise, gifted street racer and former criminal Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) finds his laid-back existence with new wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) compromised when he is swept up in a dangerous scheme and cyberterrorist attack after being approached by fugitive mastermind Cipher (Charlize Theron) in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious. Dom is forced to betray those closest to him after Elena (Elsa Pataky) and their young son are held hostage, resulting in an explosive showdown between the family man and his crew in the blockbuster hit.
9 Fast & Furious 6 – 71%
After Dom and the rest of his lovable misfit gang are given a chance at a new life and offered pardons for their past crimes in return for tracking down a mercenary agency, they find the task complicated by the arrival of the ruthless rogue British SAS major Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) in the 2017 action extravaganza Fast & Furious 6.
Dom, Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), and their fellow car enthusiasts embark on a globe-trotting excursion while in pursuit of Shaw and his dangerous team, with Toretto’s longtime love Letty now part of the nefarious mercenaries they are attempting to take down.
8 Fast Five – 78%
The Fast & Furious franchise shifted its focus from featuring only straight car chases to adding more exhilarating action and combat sequences into the mix in 2011’s Fast Five, which sees Dwayne Johnson joining the star-studded cast as relentless DSS agent Luke Hobbs as he fiercely goes after Dom and the gang in an effort to arrest them and return them to the U.S. While attempting to evade capture, Dom, Brian, and Mia enlist their savvy crew to help them execute the largest and most lucrative heist of their careers while hiding out in Rio de Janeiro: robbing $100 million from a vicious drug lord and businessman.
Fast Five is widely regarded as one of the best entries in the series, earning praise for its electrifying action scenes, charismatic performances, and winning addition of Johnson to the cast. Diesel and director Justin Lin brought the wrestler-turned-actor to the Fast & Furious family after fans pleaded to see Diesel and Johnson in a film together on social media, and the role of Hobbs was redesigned for the Jumanji star.
7 Furious 7 – 81%
2015’s Furious 7 marked the late and great Paul Walker’s final film appearance after his tragic death in 2013, with the exciting flick centering on Dom, Brian, and their merry band of car-loving misfits as they are recruited by the mysterious Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) to prevent a massive terrorist attack by a hacker (Djimon Hounsou), while being relentlessly targeted by rogue mercenary Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) seeking vengeance for his comatose brother Owen.
Furious 7 premiered to widespread critical and commercial acclaim, earning over $1.5 billion and becoming the most lucrative and highest-grossing installment in the fan-favorite series. Moviegoers were blown away by the exciting and delightfully over-the-top action sequences and heartrending tribute to Walker, with many fans considering it to be the greatest film in the entire franchise.
6 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – 82%
Marvel’s most lovable and endearing heroes Star-Lord, Rocket, Drax, and the whole Guardians gang were back at it again for one final adventure in 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which focuses on the offbeat outlaws as they head off on a dangerous mission to protect Rocket (Bradley Cooper) from an alien cyborg scientist known as the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwujui) while contending with the powerful and relentless aritificial being Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) sent to eliminate the Guardians.
Diesel once again reprised his role as the scene-stealing tree-like humanoid Groot, Rocket’s closest friend and one of the franchise’s most beloved characters. Vol. 3 was a knockout with audiences across the world, raking in over $845 million and being lauded as a satisfactory and worthy conclusion for the beloved trilogy. Vox wrote in their glowing review, “Director James Gunn’s final Guardians chapter rips and roars with the confidence and emotions that nine years and multiple movies featuring this band of space underdogs bring.”
5 Avengers: Infinity War – 85%
The Russo brothers’ 2018 blockbuster juggernaut Avengers: Infinity War features the eponymous superheroes teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy in a valiant effort to stop the alien warlord and ultra-villain Thanos from gathering all six of the all-mighty Infinity Stones that if fully collected would result in the decimation of half of the entire universe’s population. The beloved Marvel champions must give it their all to prevent Thanos from carrying out his master plan to keep the planet safe and humanity intact.
The star-studded picture featured some of Hollywood’s most beloved performers including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, and Chadwick Boseman, with Diesel also returning to voice an adolescent Groot. Avengers: Infinity War was the first superhero film to gross over $2 billion worldwide and earned numerous accolades including an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.
4 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – 85%
The highly-anticipated sequel to the original smash hit, 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 centers on the endearing heroes as they set out to help Peter Quill A.K.A. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) discover more about the identity of his mysterious father, with their investigation leading Quill to the ancient Celestial Ego (Kurt Russell) who has ties to both the wise-cracking leader and empathic Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Quill is joined by Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Baby Groot on his life-changing journey, as he learns there is more to his otherwordly dad than meets the eye.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 outperformed its predecessor and was lauded for its lively humor, exciting action scenes, breathtaking visuals, and winning performances by its dynamic ensemble cast. Its overwhelmingly positive reception led to both the 2022 Disney+ special The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and the third and final installment of the beloved trilogy, which was released in theaters in 2023.
3 Guardians of the Galaxy – 92%
Based on the celebrated Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, James Gunn’s 2014 triumph Guardians of the Galaxy introduced audiences all across the world to the brash and hilarious half-human/half-alien leader Peter Quill/Star-Lord as he meets a group of extraterrestrial troublemakers who find themselves on the run from determined bounty hunters and the henchmen of the powerful and merciless villain Ronan. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Dave Bautista are just a few of the major stars who headline the sensational flick, with Diesel memorably voicing the charming Groot.
Despite only repeating his catchphrase “I am Groot” over and over in the film, Gunn was blown away by the actor’s ability to take the line and completely change it with every delivery, revealing at the time:
“The ways in which Vin Diesel says, ‘I am Groot,’ I am astounded. All of the ‘I am Groots’ that were earlier voices didn’t sound very good at all … Vin came in and in one day, laid down all these ‘I am Groot’ tracks, and he’s a perfectionist… It was amazing when we first put that voice in there how much the character changed and how much he influenced the character.”
2 Saving Private Ryan – 94%
Widely regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time and one of Steven Spielberg’s most revered cinematic accomplishments, the 1998 epic war drama Saving Private Ryan famously follows a group of courageous soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) as they set out to track down the eponymous Private (Matt Damon) after the deadly Normandy Landings in order to bring him to safety and notify him that his three brothers were tragically killed in combat. The brave men venture into enemy territory in search of Ryan, witnessing unfathomable horror and war atrocities along the way.
The acclaimed World War II picture featured a stellar ensemble cast like Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, and Giovanni Ribisi as members of Miller’s elite group of soldiers, with Vin Diesel appearing as the weary-yet-compassionate Adrian Caparzo. Saving Private Ryan was revered by both critics and audiences alike, winning five Oscars including Best Director for Spielberg, and remains one of the most emotionally moving and harrowing masterpieces to ever grace the big screen.
1 The Iron Giant – 96%
The criminally underrated 1999 animated sci-fi film The Iron Giant takes place in the town of Rockwell, Maine in 1957 during the Cold War and focuses on nine-year-old boy Hogarth Hughes as he stumbles upon a massive alien robot (Diesel) hiding in the nearby forest whom he befriends and develops an unbreakable bond with. Hogarth makes it his mission to keep the 50-foot metal-consuming robot hidden from a suspicious government agent, as the android instinctively reacts defensively when in the presence of a weapon and involuntarily attempts to destroy it.
Based on the Ted Hughes novel of the same name, the heartwarming flick failed to make a splash at the box office but nonetheless garnered rave reviews for its stellar voice performances, stunning visuals, and intriguing storyline, going on to win nine Annie Awards and taking home the Best Animated Feature Film. The Iron Giant has since attracted a passionate cult following and remains one of director Brad Bird’s most underappreciated but wondrous creations.
Charismatic actor Vin Diesel has been one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, famously headlining the Fast & Furious franchise for decades. Read More