Our 10 Favourite Robert Pattinson Performances

Andrew Buckle,

To celebrate the release of The Batman, we are shining a spotlight on the latest Bruce Wayne/Batman himself, Robert Pattinson.

Check out this video we put together counting down, rather loosely, our favourite Pattinson performances so far.

Pattinson’s career is fascinating. He has become one of the best, most consistent, and most interesting actors in the business. Just check out the directors he has worked with now – Claire Denis, David Cronenberg, The Safdie Brothers, James Gray, Robert Eggers, Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves among them.

From what we have come to learn about Pattinson it’s clear that he’s a pretty weird guy, and is a sure bet to transform any potentially one-note character into something unique and memorable. Read on for some further thoughts on the films we selected. Warning: mild spoilers within.

10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

The fourth instalment in the beloved Harry Potter franchise focuses on the inter-school Triwizard Tournament. Harry is unwittingly entered as the fourth participant and is pulled into a dark conspiracy that threatens the future of Hogwarts. This is where it all began. Before he was cast in the Twilight saga Pattinson was Hogwarts’ own golden boy Cedric Diggory. Handsome and popular and destined for success in one way or another, Cedric’s fate in this story is, simply, upsetting. Every Potter film has a memorable character unique to the adapted novel. A transcendent supporting performance. In Goblet that crown belongs to Pattinson.

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

9. The Devil All the Time (2020)

In The Devil All the Time a young man devoted to protecting his loved ones must face off against corruption and sinister characters in a postwar backwoods town. While this grim film can feel overly punishing at times, and the repercussions of the sordid violence often disappointingly rote, the committed performances – Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough among them – ensure it remains engaging. At the centre of it all is Pattinson’s BIG villainous turn as Reverend Preston Teagarden. With a pristine Appalachian accent he loses himself in his oily, charismatic preacher whose moral corruption becomes clearer as the story unfolds.

Watch on Netflix. Streaming subscription required.

8. Cosmopolis (2012)

In Cosmopolis a billionaire currency speculator, Eric Packer (Pattinson), sets out on a path of self-destruction as he watches his life unravel in the face of marital woes, health problems and the financial crisis. This entry into the wild world of David Cronenberg via Don DeLillo was a huge step for Pattinson to show what else he was capable of. Cosmopolis is set predominantly in a luxury stretch limousine as Packer interacts with a number of acquaintances – including his wife, his art consultant/lover and his private doctor – as he journeys across traffic-jammed Manhattan to visit his favourite barber. Pattinson presents a stony-faced exterior that exudes a suave confidence, but with destructive anxieties and self-loathing simmering below the surface.

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

7. The Batman (2022)

In the latest version of the costumed hero Batman ventures into Gotham City’s underworld when a sadistic killer known as The Riddler leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues. As the scale of the perpetrator’s plans become clear, he must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis. Matt Reeves’ vision of Batman and Gotham City is the most relevant the DC hero has been since Batman Begins (2005), all-but abandoning the norm for superhero films and instead aspiring to be a more David Fincher-like crime drama/police procedural (see Seven, Zodiac). But, Pattinson’s reclusive Bruce Wayne, a brooding goth who barely stops his nocturnal crime fighting to take in a meal or have a shower, fits perfectly into the grimy and relentlessly-ominous tone of this film.

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

6. Tenet (2020)

In Christopher Nolan’s awe-inspiring action-thriller a secret agent (John David Washington) embarks on a dangerous, time-bending mission to prevent the start of World War III. Pattinson pops up early as the Protagonist’s handler, ultimately joining him on the mission. Tenet is an awesome film, a large-scale intellectual blockbuster that is thrilling and challenging and rewards multiple watches. Robert Pattinson and Christopher Nolan are a partnership we need to see again. This is just a terrific and entertaining performance from Pattinson, who is the prime supplier of the dollops of comedy and whose wardrobe is envious.

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

5 The Lost City of Z (2016)

This spectacular-looking film tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment, the determined Fawcett – supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and fellow explorer Henry Costin (Pattinson) – returns time and again to the jungle in an attempt to prove his case. This is perhaps Pattinson’s most “supporting” performance on the list – it’s Hunnam’s show – but Costin’s subtle but unwavering loyalty for Fawcett make his grizzly-bearded explorer a huge presence here. At the time of release this was a new sort of role for Pattinson, his first true supporting work in a long time, and he absolutely nails it.

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

4 The King (2019)

Directed by Australia’s David Michod and adapted from Henry IV Parts 1 & II, and Henry V by William Shakespeare, this historical epic made a grandiose premier on Netflix back in 2019. Hal (Timothee Chalamet), wayward prince and heir to the English throne, is crowned King Henry V after his tyrannical father dies. Now the young king must navigate palace politics, the war his father left behind, and the emotional strings of his past life. This performance has it’s fair share of critics, with Pattinson’s rather ridiculous Dauphin a bit of a misunderstood character. While the Dauphin’s presence is felt well before Pattinson’s appearance in the film – he taunts Hal with an insulting coronation gift – it is his flamboyant appearance and humorous delivery that infuse some life into this moody and muddy drama. The Dauphin’s desire to converse with Hal in broken English (the “simple and ugly language”) – instead of his native French, which Hal is capable of speaking – is part of his tactic to throw off Hal in their negotiations. This also means that Pattinson gets to become completely unhinged with a thick French accent, and what a great idea that was.

Watch on Netflix. Streaming subscription required.

3 High Life (2018)

A group of criminals serving death sentences are sent on a mission in space to extract alternative energy from a black hole. On the journey each prisoner is treated as a guinea pig by Dr. Dibs (Juliette Binoche), who is fixated on trying to create a child through artificial insemination. Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his baby daughter – successfully born on board – become the last survivors and must now rely on each other as they hurtle toward the oblivion of the black hole. This largely solitary role for Pattinson, acting opposite a young baby for a stretch, is his most mature work. It is a masterclass of expressive silence. He is thoroughly convincing as a father accepting his newfound responsibility, navigating the challenges of parenthood, and giving everything he has to ensure his child survives and the mission is accomplished.

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

2 The Lighthouse (2019)

The Lighthouse is set in the 1890s and tells the story of two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) who slowly descend into madness after a storm strands them on the remote island where they are stationed. The film is shot in black-and-white with a nearly square 1.19:1 aspect ratio and can’t really be categorised – a horror film by way of psychological survival thriller, I guess. Robert Eggers’ (most recently, The Northman) exquisitely crafted film is carried by the extraordinary performances. In terms of frenzied wildman roles there are few actors that can really compete with the great Willem Dafoe. Pattinson gives it a right good go and it is a treat to watch these two rift off one another. The Lighthouse certainly isn’t for everyone; a Lovecraftian-inspired tale of mythology, isolation, inebriation and paranoia that creates some truly gruesome images but if you’re a Pattinson-completist it is essential viewing.

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

1 Good Time (2017)

After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Constantine Nikas (Pattinson) embarks on a twisted odyssey through New York City’s underworld in an increasingly desperate and dangerous attempt to get his brother out of jail. This hypnotic crime thriller premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 to rave reviews, crediting the exciting filmmaking vision of Bennie and Josh Safdie (Uncut Gems) and the astonishing career-defining work of Pattinson. There was no other option here. Carrying a thick Queens accent perfectly through, he is largely photographed in intimate close-ups so that every tic is accentuated. You feel like you are right there and implicated in all of this. This extremely tense race-against-the-clock study of desperation and improvisation has an anxiety-building pace punctuated by an elite synth score by Oneohtrix Point Never.

Buy or rent in the Movie Store.

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