film The Best Ian McKellen Movies  

1.1k votes 135 voters 11.8k views 66 items

List Rules Vote 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?"

Ian McKellen has worked with many famous directors, including big names like Ron Howard and Brett Ratner. Movie fans who love Ian McKellen have also been known to enjoy films starring Alan Rickman and Jim Broadbent.

list ordered by

64 7
The Lord of the Rings: The Fel... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ian McKellen Movies
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the first ...more

67 8
Ranker Video
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is ...more

56 6
Ranker Video
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson and based on the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings. It is the second ...more

41 7
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Jour... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ian McKellen Movies
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom The Hobbit is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, with large portions of ...more

39 11
Ranker Video
X-Men Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin X-Men is a 2000 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the first installment in the X-Men film series. The ...more

37 10
The Hobbit: The Desolation of ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ian McKellen Movies
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly, Ian McKellen The Hobbit: There and Back Again retitled to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a 2013 fantasy adventure film written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and one more and ...more

38 14
Ranker Video
X-Men 2 Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin X2 is a 2003 American superhero film, based on the X-Men superhero team appearing in Marvel Comics, distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the second installment in the X-Men film series. The ...more

19 5
Ranker Video
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly, Ian McKellen The Hobbit: There and Back Again is a 2014 film writted by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro and directed by Peter Jackson.

25 11
Ranker Video
Richard III Robert Downey Jr., Ian McKellen, Annette Bening Richard III is a 1995 drama film adapted from William Shakespeare's play of the same name, starring Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr., Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott ...more

23 12
Ranker Video
The Da Vinci Code Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, Audrey Tautou The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery-thriller film produced by John Calley and Brian Grazer and directed by Ron Howard. The screenplay was written by Akiva Goldsman and adapted from Dan ...more

24 14
Ranker Video
Gods and Monsters Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave Gods and Monsters is a 1998 British-American drama film that recounts the last days of the life of troubled film director James Whale, whose experience of war in World War One is a central ...more

23 16
X-Men: The Last Stand is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ian McKellen Movies
X-Men: The Last Stand Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin X-Men: The Last Stand is a 2006 superhero film, based on the X-Men superhero team introduced in Marvel Comics. The film, distributed by 20th Century Fox, is the third installment in the X-Men ...more

19 Pictures of Young Ian McKellen

10 4
Ranker Video
Macbeth Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Ian McDiarmid Macbeth is a 1978 videotaped version of Trevor Nunn's Royal Shakespeare Company production of the play by William Shakespeare. Produced by Thames Television, it features Ian McKellen as Macbeth ...more

15 9
Ranker Video
Stardust Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Claire Danes Stardust is a 2007 British-American romantic fantasy film from Paramount Pictures, directed by Matthew Vaughn. The film is based on Neil Gaiman's novel Stardust and stars an ensemble cast ...more

18 12
Ranker Video
Apt Pupil Ian McKellen, David Schwimmer, Joshua Jackson Apt Pupil is a 1998 American thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and starring Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro. It is based on the 1982 novella of the same name by Stephen King. In the 1980s in ...more

15 11
Ranker Video
The Golden Compass Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, Ian McKellen The Golden Compass is a 2007 2007 fantasy-adventure film written by Chris Weitz and directed by Chris Weitz.

14 10
Ranker Video
Last Action Hero Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tina Turner, Sharon Stone Last Action Hero is a 1993 American action-comedy-fantasy film directed and produced by John McTiernan. It is a satire of the action genre and its clichés, containing several parodies of ...more

20 Movies to Show Your Kids to Get Them into Superheroes

12 8
Ranker Video
Magneto Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart

7 4
Ranker Video
David Copperfield Ian McKellen, Daniel Radcliffe, Sally Field David Copperfield is a two-part BBC television drama adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield, adapted by Adrian Hodges. The first part was shown on Christmas Day and the second on ...more

7 4
Ranker Video
The Scarlet Pimpernel Ian McKellen, Jane Seymour, Anthony Andrews The Scarlet Pimpernel is a 1982 British romantic adventure film set during the French Revolution. It is based on the novels The Scarlet Pimpernel and Eldorado by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, and ...more

8 6
Ranker Video
Cloud Atlas Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon Cloud Atlas is a 2012 science fiction film written and directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski. Adapted from the 2004 novel of the same name by David Mitchell, the film has ...more

8 7
Ranker Video
Asylum Ian McKellen, Natasha Richardson, Hugh Bonneville Asylum is a 2005 Anglo-Irish drama film directed by David Mackenzie and made by Mace Neufeld Productions, Samson Films, Seven Arts Productions, Zephyr Films Ltd and released by Paramount ...more

The Best G-Rated Music Movies

7 6
Ranker Video
Restoration Robert Downey Jr., Meg Ryan, Ian McKellen Restoration is a 1995 American historical drama film directed by Michael Hoffman. It stars Robert Downey, Jr. as a 17th-century medical student exploited by a debauched king. The film is based ...more

7 6
Ranker Video
King Lear Ian McKellen, Sylvester McCoy, Romola Garai King Lear is a 2008 television film based on the William Shakespeare play of the same name, directed by Trevor Nunn. It was broadcast on More4 in the UK on Christmas Day, and shown on PBS' Great ...more

7 6
Ranker Video
Alfred the Great Ian McKellen, Michael York, Julian Glover Alfred the Great is a 1969 epic film which portrayed Alfred the Great's struggle to rid Wessex of the invading Danes, in the 870s AD. It starred David Hemmings in the title role.

10 10
Ranker Video
Flushed Away Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen Flushed Away is a 2006 British/American computer animated action/adventure comedy film directed by David Bowers and Sam Fell. It was made in the partnership between Aardman Animations and ...more

8 8
Ranker Video
Six Degrees of Separation Will Smith, Heather Graham, Ian McKellen Six Degrees of Separation is a 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Fred Schepisi. It serves as a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated John Guare play of the same title, which ...more

Easter Eggs From Every Marvel Movie

7 7
Ranker Video
And the Band Played On Ian McKellen, Steve Martin, Richard Gere And the Band Played On is a 1993 American television film docudrama directed by Roger Spottiswoode. The teleplay by Arnold Schulman is based on the best-selling 1987 non-fiction book And the ...more

6 6
Ranker Video
Corvette Summer Ian McKellen, Mark Hamill, Danny Bonaduce Corvette Summer is an American film, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1978 starring Mark Hamill and Annie Potts. It tells the story of a lonely, car-obsessed California teenager and the theft ...more

6 6
Ranker Video
Cold Comfort Farm Kate Beckinsale, Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry Cold Comfort Farm is a 1995 British comedy film directed by John Schlesinger and produced by the BBC and Thames Television, an adaptation of Stella Gibbons' 1932 book of the same name, the film ...more

5 5
Ranker Video
Swept from the Sea Rachel Weisz, Ian McKellen, Kathy Bates Swept from the Sea is a 1997 American drama film directed by Beeban Kidron and starring Vincent Perez, Rachel Weisz, and Ian McKellen. Based on the 1901 short story "Amy Foster" by ...more

5 5
Ranker Video
Bent Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ian McKellen Bent is a 1997 British/Japanese drama film directed by Sean Mathias, based on the 1979 play of the same name by Martin Sherman, who also wrote the screenplay. It revolves around the persecution ...more

The Best G-Rated Family Movies

5 5
Ranker Video
Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny Ian McKellen, Alan Rickman, David Warner Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny is a biographical 1996 TV film which chronicles the last four years of Grigori Rasputin's stint as a healer to Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia; the heir ...more

9 10
Ranker Video
The Magic Roundabout Kylie Minogue, Ian McKellen, Robbie Williams Doogal or Sprung! The Magic Roundabout is a 2005 French-British computer-animated adventure family comedy fantasy film based on the television series of the same name, directed by Dave ...more

8 9
Ranker Video
Scandal Ian McKellen, John Hurt, Bridget Fonda Scandal is a British drama film, a fictionalised account of the Profumo Affair based on 1987 Anthony Summers' book Honeytrap. Starring Joanne Whalley as Christine Keeler and John Hurt as Stephen ...more

6 7
Ranker Video
Neverwas Ian McKellen, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange Neverwas is a 2005 Canadian-American fantasy drama film written and directed by Joshua Michael Stern in his directorial debut. It stars Ian McKellen, Aaron Eckhart, Brittany Murphy and Nick ...more

6 7
Ranker Video
Emile Ian McKellen, Deborah Kara Unger, Tygh Runyan Emile is a Canadian film made in 2003 by Carl Bessai but not released widely until 2004. The cast included Ian McKellen and Deborah Kara Unger. The film received 2 Genie Award nominations for ...more

The Biggest Turn Ons in a Person

5 6
Ranker Video
The Hobart Shakespeareans Ian McKellen The Hobart Shakespeareans of Hobart Boulevard Elementary School is a 2005 documentary film that tells the story of the inspirational inner-city Los Angeles school teacher Rafe Esquith whose ...more

6 8
Ranker Video
The Shadow Alec Baldwin, Ian McKellen, Tim Curry The Shadow is a 1994 American superhero film, directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Alec Baldwin, John Lone, Penelope Ann Miller, Ian McKellen, Peter Boyle, Jonathan Winters and Tim Curry. It ...more

3 5
Ranker Video
Priest of Love Ian McKellen, Ava Gardner, John Gielgud Priest of Love is a British biographical film about D. H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda. It was produced and directed by Christopher Miles and co-produced by Andrew Donally. The screenplay was by ...more

6 9
Ranker Video
Jack and Sarah Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Richard E. Grant Jack and Sarah is a 1995 British romantic comedy film written and directed by Tim Sullivan. The film was originally released in the UK on 2 June 1995. The theme song in this film is ...more

3 6
Ranker Video
I'll Do Anything Ian McKellen, Rosie O'Donnell, Nick Nolte I'll Do Anything is a 1994 American dramedy film written and directed by James L. Brooks. Its primary plot concerns a down-on-his-luck actor who suddenly finds himself the sole caretaker of his ...more

The Best Karl Malden Movies

3 6
Ranker Video
The Ballad of Little Jo Heather Graham, Ian McKellen, Melissa Leo The Ballad of Little Jo is a 1993 American western film inspired by the true story of a society woman who tries to escape the stigma of bearing a child out of wedlock by going out to the West, ...more

2 5
Ranker Video
For The Love of God Ian McKellen, Steve Coogan, Julia Davis For The Love of God is a 2007 film directed by Joe Tucker.

2 5
Ranker Video
Acting Shakespeare Ian McKellen

1 4
Ranker Video
Displaced Ian McKellen, Mark Strange, Stuart McDermid Displaced is a 2006 British feature film produced by Skylandian Pictures. Produced by Mark Strange and directed by Martin Holland, the film took six years to make and secured a US distribution ...more

6 10
Ranker Video
The Keep Ian McKellen, Gabriel Byrne, Scott Glenn The Keep is a 1983 horror film directed by Michael Mann and starring Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne, Jürgen Prochnow, Alberta Watson and Ian McKellen. It was released by Paramount Pictures. The ...more

3 7
Ranker Video
Plenty Meryl Streep, Sting, Ian McKellen Plenty is a 1985 British drama film directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Meryl Streep. It was adapted from David Hare's play of the same name.

2 6
Ranker Video
The Academy Ian McKellen

2 6
Ranker Video
Doogal Kylie Minogue, Whoopi Goldberg, Chevy Chase Doogal is a 2006 film written by ... and directed by ...