There are very few actors that can stand toe to toe with Andy Serkis in regard to the wide range of movies and TV shows he has taken on in his career. From performing on stage to acting in front of the camera, or even lending his voice to computer-generated characters, the County College, Lancaster alumni has done it all to commercial and wide critical acclaim. His filmography consists of a good number of record-breaking films that have made it a headache to rank them from best to worst.
Regardless, we have been able to put into consideration different factors (critics, ratings, and commercial success) that have been put together to determine which project from the long list of Andy Serkis movies and TV shows that would rank highest or lowest.
Andy Serkis Movies and TV Shows
1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Lord of the Rings film series is without a doubt Andy Serkis’ most popular and successful work. The three-part epic fantasy adventure film, which featured an ensemble cast of actors that include Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, and Sean Bean among many others, follows the journey of the hobbit Frodo Baggins on his quest to destroy the One Ring, which would, in turn, destroy its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron.
The trilogy was critically acclaimed and heavily awarded, winning 17 Academy Awards from 30 nominations. It further enjoyed massive financial success as it ranks as one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Serkis plays a variety of roles in each film in the franchise. In the first one, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), he plays Gollum / Sméagol and also lends his voice to the Witch-king of Angmar. For the second film, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), he plays Gollum / Sméagol and lends his voice to Snaga and Mauhur. The third and final film in the series, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), had him only reprise his Gollum / Sméagol role.
2. Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther is a superhero film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that focuses on its titular character, also known as T’Challa, who is crowned king of Wakanda following his father’s death. Things, however, do not go smoothly for the new king as he has to fight off the challenge of a new-found relative who plans to abandon the country’s long-standing isolation policy to start a global revolution.
Andy Serkis plays the role of Ulysses Klaue, a South African black-market arms dealer who is one of the few foreigners to ever enter Wakanda where he was able to gain access to its precious vibranium metal.
3. Planet of the Apes Film Series
Another one from the top shelf of the list of Andy Serkis’ movies is the Planet of the Apes film series reboot, which consists of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017).
The English actor plays the role of Caesar, a common chimpanzee and leader of the evolved ape tribe. For his performance in the first installment of the reboot film series, Serkis was named Best Supporting Actor at the Saturn Awards. He further received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the second installment and a Best Actor nomination for the third film.
4. Little Dorrit (2008)
Little Dorrit is a British miniseries based on Charles Dickens’s serial novel of the same name. The show, which was a joint production of the BBC and the American PBS member station WGBH Boston, follows the life of a young girl named Amy Dorrit, who is born and raised in the Marshalsea prison for debtors in London. For over two decades, the girl has lived there with her family whom she helps by working as a seamstress. Things later get tricky as Dorrit falls in love with the son of the cranky old woman she works for.
For his role in this movie that was critically accepted, Serkis was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards.
5. Longford (2006)
Longford is a biographical crime drama film that centers on Labour Party politician and social reformer Lord Longford and his unpopular campaign for the parole of Moors Murderer Myra Hindley, who is several years into her life sentence for taking part in the murder of three children with her boyfriend, Ian Brady. As the story unfolds, Myra confesses to a number of other murders, however, Longford remains loyal to her in public although he is full of doubts in private.
The film, which stars Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, and Samantha Morton, was directed by Tom Hooper and written by Peter Morgan. Serkis received two nominations for his performance, a Best Supporting Actor nomination for a Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 2008 Golden Globe Awards and a Best Actor nomination at the 2007 BAFTAs, the latter of which he lost to co-star Broadbent.
6. Topsy-Turvy (1999)
Topsy-Turvy is a British musical drama film that focuses on the 15-month period that led up to the founding of the Victorian-era theatrical partnership between dramatist W. S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan for the premiere of the two-part comic opera, The Mikado. The story looks at the creative conflict between the two and their decision to still continue their partnership, leading to the creation of more operas of the kind.
Critically, Topsy-Turvy was lauded for its accurate depiction of the Victorian era theatre circle although the fact that actors in the film had to do their own singing was not welcome. The film was further a commercial failure as it failed to recoup its production cost, hence the reason why it ranks lowly on the list of Andy Serkis movies.
7. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010)
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll is a biographical film about English singer, songwriter, and actor Ian Dury who rose to fame in the late 1970s during the punk and new wave era of rock music. The film follows Dury’s rise to fame amid his personal battle with a disability he had, which was caused by his contraction of polio when he was a child. It shows how this disability affected his relationships with people of both sexes, as well as the lifestyle, being a star had afforded him.
Andy Serkis plays the role of Dury in the film. His performance earned him three Best Actor award nominations at the British Independent Film Awards, the British Academy Film Award, and the Evening Standard Film Awards, the last of which he took home. Other notable actors and actresses to appear in the film include Naomie Harris, Ray Winstone, Noel Clarke, Ralph Ineson, Mackenzie Crook, and Luke Evans.
8. Oliver Twist (1999)
Based on the book Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, this ITV-produced miniseries revolves around the basic idea of the famous novel, however, almost every detail of it is changed in order for it not to qualify as an adaptation but rather as a miniseries that plays like an original story. One notable change to the story was that Oliver Twist’s criminally-inclined half-brother, Monks, was made out to be an out-and-out murderer as he kills his father, however, he later changes from being an evil villain to someone who reforms to the point of finding love, getting married, and starting a family.
Andy Serkis plays the role of Bill Sykes, a malicious criminal, robber and murderer who serves as the main antagonist in the story.
9. 13 Going on 30 (2004)
13 Going on 30 is an American fantasy romantic comedy film that also stars Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, and Judy Greer. The film is about a 13-year-old girl who dreams of being popular. This dream manages to somehow come through after the girl, who was being humiliated by her friends and classmates during her birthday party, wished to be 30 years of age as she locked herself up in the closet. The young girl woke up the next morning to be 30, rich, and very popular.
The film ranks among the poor ones on the list of Andy Serkis movies and TV shows due to the fact that the plot of the film can be described as similar to dozens of other projects that have been previously made. On a positive note, however, critics and fans alike lauded the film for the performances of the actors in it and the sense of humor it was able to provide. It was also further commercially successful, earning award nominations for its lead actress.
10. Loop (1997)
Another one of the many British romantic comedy films Andy Serkis has appeared in, Loop follows the life of Rachel, a character who is ruthlessly dumped by her boyfriend for unspecified reasons. Due to this, the heartbroken girl goes to extreme lengths to exact revenge on her now ex-boyfriend.
While Loop was far off from being Serkis’ first role in front of the camera, it was one of his first feature film projects in a lead role. This may have contributed to him not scrutinizing his appearance in the film that has been described by critics as poor. Reviewers pointed out that the film had lots of problems with its cinematography, sound, script, and direction. One critic went a step further to add that it was a mystery that the film got to be produced when many others that are far better than it have languished for one reason or the other in the production line.