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The Best Ian McKellen Movies

Updated December 4, 2019 2.6k votes 160 voters 12.9k views68 items

List RulesVote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best Ian McKellen movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Ian McKellen's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Ian McKellen movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Ian McKellen movies will be at the top of the list. Ian McKellen has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Ian McKellen movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Ian McKellen films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Ian McKellen role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Ian McKellen performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

List films include Plenty, E'gad, Zombies! and many additional films as well.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Ian McKellen movies?" and "What are the greatest Ian McKellen roles of all time?"

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  • 1
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    162
    20

    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    X-Men
    95
    29

    X-Men

    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman

    Released2000

    Directed byBryan Singer

    X-Men is a 2000 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    58
    8

    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    X-Men 2
    89
    35

    X-Men 2

    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman

    Released2003

    Directed byBryan Singer

    X2 is a 2003 American superhero film, based on the X-Men superhero team appearing in Marvel... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
    47
    15

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen

    Released2002

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Stardust
    44
    19

    Stardust

    Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro

    Released2007

    Directed byMatthew Vaughn

    Stardust is a 2007 British-American romantic fantasy film from Paramount Pictures, directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Gods and Monsters
    58
    38

    Gods and Monsters

    Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser

    Released1998

    Directed byBill Condon

    Gods and Monsters is a 1998 British-American drama film that recounts the last days of the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Macbeth
    31
    11

    Macbeth

    Ian McKellen, Judi Dench

    Released1979

    Directed byPhilip Casson

    Macbeth is a 1978 videotaped version of Trevor Nunn's Royal Shakespeare Company production of... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    The Scarlet Pimpernel
    25
    8

    The Scarlet Pimpernel

    Ian McKellen, Jane Seymour

    Released1982

    Directed byClive Donner

    The Scarlet Pimpernel is a 1982 British romantic adventure film set during the French... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    The Da Vinci Code
    50
    39

    The Da Vinci Code

    Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen

    Released2006

    Directed byRon Howard

    The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery-thriller film produced by John Calley and Brian... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Apt Pupil
    42
    33

    Apt Pupil

    Ian McKellen, David Schwimmer

    Released1998

    Directed byBryan Singer

    Apt Pupil is a 1998 American thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and starring Ian McKellen... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    X-Men: The Last Stand
    50
    43

    X-Men: The Last Stand

    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman

    Released2006

    Directed byBrett Ratner

    X-Men: The Last Stand is a 2006 superhero film, based on the X-Men superhero team introduced... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    The Hobbit trilogy
    34
    25

    The Hobbit trilogy

    Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace

    Released2012

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Hobbit is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Last Action Hero
    33
    26

    Last Action Hero

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tina Turner

    Released1993

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    Last Action Hero is a 1993 American action-comedy-fantasy film directed and produced by John... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Magneto
    27
    22

    Magneto

    Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart
  • 16
    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
    32
    29

    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

    Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly

    Released2013

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Hobbit: There and Back Again retitled to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a 2013... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    The Golden Compass
    33
    31

    The Golden Compass

    Nicole Kidman, Eva Green

    Released2007

    Directed byChris Weitz

    The Golden Compass is a 2007 American fantasy-adventure film directed by Chris Weitz. A young... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Cloud Atlas
    19
    15

    Cloud Atlas

    Halle Berry, Tom Hanks

    Released2012

    Directed byTom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

    Cloud Atlas is a 2012 science fiction film written and directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    19
    19

    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

    Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly

    Released2014

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Hobbit: There and Back Again is a 2014 film writted by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    David Copperfield
    14
    14

    David Copperfield

    Ian McKellen, Daniel Radcliffe

    Released2000

    Directed bySimon Curtis

    David Copperfield is a two-part BBC television drama adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Alfred the Great
    17
    18

    Alfred the Great

    Ian McKellen, Michael York

    Released1969

    Directed byClive Donner

    Alfred the Great is a 1969 epic film which portrayed Alfred the Great's struggle to rid Wessex... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    King Lear
    17
    18

    King Lear

    Ian McKellen, Sylvester McCoy

    Released2009

    Directed byTrevor Nunn

    King Lear is a 2008 television film based on the William Shakespeare play of the same name,... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Emile
    15
    17

    Emile

    Ian McKellen, Deborah Kara Unger

    Released2003

    Directed byCarl Bessai

    Emile is a Canadian film made in 2003 by Carl Bessai but not released widely until 2004. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Neverwas
    15
    17

    Neverwas

    Ian McKellen, Nick Nolte

    Released2005

    Directed byJoshua Michael Stern

    Neverwas is a 2005 Canadian-American fantasy drama film written and directed by Joshua Michael... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Flushed Away
    21
    26

    Flushed Away

    Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman

    Released2006

    Directed bySam Fell, David Bowers

    Flushed Away is a 2006 British/American computer animated action/adventure comedy film... more on Wikipedia

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