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From “The Crash” to “Men in Hot Demand”: 10 of the best roles of Gerard Butler

Why the world fell in love with the brutal Briton.

Crash (2023)

Civil aviation pilot Brody Torrance is preparing to make another working flight. Suddenly, he learns that the defenders of law and order want to transport on his plane the criminal Louis Gaspard, who is being extradited on charges of murder. Torrance reluctantly agrees to take the unexpected passenger, hoping he won’t cause trouble. During the flight, the plane gets into a storm and makes a hard landing on the Philippine island of Jolo, captured by a gang of violent rebels. The rebels take the passengers and crew of the plane prisoner. In order to save the lives of the hostages, Brody takes a desperate step and decides to join forces with Gaspard.

Surely, many fans of the actor dream of enjoying his charisma on the big screen as soon as possible. Fortunately, right now Russian viewers have such an opportunity, because recently the picture “Crash” was released in the domestic rental. This tape has become a new directorial work by the French director Jean-Francois Richet , the author of the cult films “Enemy of the State No. 1” and “Blood Father” . Critics warmly received the project, calling it a “first-class action movie”, “a skillfully executed adrenaline rush” and just a very enjoyable film, while Gerard Butler fans were completely delighted with it, gaining a 94% approval rating on the aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

“Crash” is out now. Do not miss!

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

The whole family of Clyde Shelton perishes at the hands of cruel bandits. The police catch the criminals, but they escape punishment thanks to a deal with the servants of the law. Then the hero decides to take justice into his own hands and punish the killers on his own. The revenge plan is successful, but Shelton does not stop there and challenges the whole rotten system that let him down.

Of course, any top of the best works of Gerard Butler simply cannot do without the popularly beloved painting “Law Abiding Citizen”. It is quite simple to understand the reasons for such popularity of the film: instead of the brutal action heroes typical of the actor, here he plays a cold, prudent intellectual who systematically removes obstacles in his path. The creators of the tape do not try to present him as a positive character, leaving the audience to judge for themselves whether the ends justify the means. The subtle combination of ambiguous morals, a sharp plot and Butler’s huge acting talent creates a truly unique social drama that can surprise again and again with each new revision.

Rock and Roll (2008)

The film tells about a group of motley English criminals trying to climb to the top of the London underworld. One day, the heroes learn that the swindler Lenny Cole and the Russian oligarch Yuri Omovich have made a profitable land deal for millions of pounds, and decide to pull off a dangerous adventure in order to “save” two rich people from their fortune.

Butler’s charisma, dashing crime plot and Guy Ritchie ‘s signature style – that’s the great combination that gave the world the crime thriller “Rock and Roll”. This film not only became one of the best works of the world-famous British director, but also rightfully earned the title of a real classic of the genre and, of course, marked another significant milestone in the career of our favorite actor. Although, after the release of the picture, Richie shot more than one tape about the gangs of his native England, “Rock and Roll” to this day looks incredibly cheerful and fun, again reminding that time is not an obstacle for art.

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Berk Island is famous not only for its beautiful Scandinavian landscapes and good-natured locals, but also for the regular attacks of bloodthirsty dragons. The Vikings of Berk are already used to fighting back fire-breathing creatures. The young son of the leader of the settlement, Hiccup, also dreams of one day becoming a worthy successor to his father’s work and killing the dragon with his own hands. Once, in the heat of a night battle, he manages to injure the most dangerous of the fiery predators – the legendary Night Fury. He goes in search of a wounded dragon to finish off the enemy. But suddenly for him, acquaintance with Fury becomes the beginning of a long beautiful friendship that changed Berk Island forever.

Few people know that Gerard Butler shines on the screen not only in films, but sometimes also looks into animation projects. His biggest work in the field of animation was the voice acting of the mighty Viking leader Stoick in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. Charming with good humor, caring and wise character sunk into the soul of the audience and became an integral part of the popular franchise. However, the main element of the character’s image, of course, was Butler’s voice, which gave the hero a special depth and strength. Although you can only appreciate the quality of the actor’s work in the original English voice acting, the very knowledge that he had a hand in the creation of “How to Train Your Dragon” will certainly add a pleasant “zest” to watching the trilogy.

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

The owners of the Opera Populer theater were shocked by a series of accidents that befell the employees of their establishment. Among the troupe, rumors immediately began to circulate that the tragic incidents were not at all accidental, but were due to the fault of the mysterious Phantom of the Opera, who lives in the tangled dark corridors of the building. Due to the refusal of the main star of the opera to play in such conditions, the owners of the theater decide to invite an unknown dancer Christina Dae to the main role. To everyone’s surprise, she plays her role just brilliantly. She later confesses that she learned to sing from a mysterious masked stranger whose voice calls out to her from the depths of the theatre.

The role of the Phantom can be called the most unusual and at the same time one of the most significant works in the actor’s career. The audience is used to seeing him in the images of brutal machos, but unexpectedly for everyone, he opened up a whole new dimension of his talent for the audience, playing the tragic and frightening protagonist of the large-scale musical Joel Schumacher based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. Butler not only accurately portrayed the character on screen, but also sang all the musical numbers to perfection, creating the most famous actor’s interpretation of the Phantom in the history of cinema.

300 Spartans (2007)

The film tells about the legendary battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartan warriors led by the fearless king Leonidas fought the army of the Persian king Xerxes.

Another must-have item in any conversation about Butler’s work is the historical thriller “300 Spartans”. It was this film that turned him from just a famous actor into one of the most iconic action movie stars of our time, forever inscribing his name in the annals of cinema history. The picture of Zack Snyder , filled with blood and incredible action, revealed to the world that unique cinematic nature of the performer, which to this day, with varying degrees of success, other filmmakers are trying to repeat. After all, it’s not for nothing that even more than 15 years after the release of the tape, the entire Internet proudly exclaims at the opportunity: “This is Sparta!”

PS I love you (2007)

Jerry and Holly are the happiest married couple in the world. They were going to spend their whole lives together and die on the same day. But, unfortunately, fate decides otherwise, and Jerry tragically dies from an incurable disease. Even before his death, the hero, realizing what hard times await his beloved in the future, writes her seven messages that should help Holly survive the loss. He ends each of the letters with the phrase “PS I love you.”

In addition to dashing action movies, on-screen tragedies and funny cartoons, Butler also managed to become the star of another genre – melodrama. Although in the actor’s extensive filmography you can find more than one wonderful romantic picture, from the melancholy “One More Kiss” to the funny “Headhunter” , Butler’s most significant achievement in this field was the tape “PS I Love You”. This uplifting story of love and loss reveals new depths of the actor’s talent, capable of touching the audience to the core with one easy smile.

” Olympus Has Fallen ” (2013), ” London Has Fallen ” (2015) and ” Angel Has Fallen ” (2019)

There must be many good actors. Unfortunately, Gerard Butler rarely starred in big franchises, preferring bright independent projects to them. A pleasant exception to the rule was the trilogy of militants about special agent Mike Banning, who regularly saves the US leadership from dangerous terrorists – Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen and Angel Has Fallen. Although here the audience will not find a deep plot or incredible acting, but high-quality action, unrelenting tension and charisma of the main star of the series will definitely not let you get bored while watching. And if you have long dreamed of spending many hours in the pleasant company of Butler, watching how he colorfully breaks the bones of enemies, and enjoying his stern, pretentious look, then this franchise is definitely worth giving a chance.

Dear Frankie (2004)

In the center of the plot is Lizzy, who alone has to raise her son Frankie. She tries to protect the boy from the terrible truth about her real father, so she sends him letters on behalf of a fictional dad, in which he tells Frankie about his incredible sea voyages around the world. But one day, by coincidence, Lizzie is faced with the need to finally introduce Frankie to his father. She decides to go on an adventure and hire a stranger to play the role of the boy’s parent.

This film of 2003 in our time was almost forgotten by the audience. All the more surprising is how well this picture brings out the multifaceted acting abilities of our favorite performer. “Dear Frankie” introduces Butler’s character as a typical leather-jacketed tough guy, but gradually transforms him into a sweet and dramatic character that you can’t help but empathize with. In addition, the film also boasts a touching storyline and a brilliant performance by Emily Mortimer , who managed to achieve amazing screen chemistry with Butler.

Hot Man (2012)

George is a professional footballer who, by chance, loses all the prestige and fortune he has gained over the years. Trying to find a way to earn a living, the hero takes a job as a coach of a children’s team. Now, in addition to improving relations with his little wards, George will have to fend off their annoying mothers who have become victims of the stunning charm of the former athlete.

In the career of many cult actors, there comes a moment when all the images and techniques of the performer turn into hackneyed clichés. The main thing in such cases is not to be sad, but to use the situation to your advantage. That’s exactly what Butler did, deciding how to make fun of his own roles in the movie “A Man in Hot Demand”. It would seem that here he again plays a brutal macho who attracts women like a magnet. But this time this image turns out to be just a mask, behind which lies the most ordinary and even somewhat ridiculous middle-aged man, stuck in the black stripe of his life. Every element of the character is pushed to the limit, from countless romances to his pathos and fist-wielding ability. This unique approach, combined with Butler’s beautiful self-irony, creates a unique spectacle that is definitely not to be missed.


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