We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

The 12 best Dave Bautista movies ever made

He's a former WWE champion, but Dave Bautista is now one of our finest actors. So let's look at the best Dave Bautista movies, from the MCU to Blade Runner.

Best Dave Bautista movies

What are the best Dave Bautista movies? After making a name for himself as Drax the Destroyer in 2014, Dave Bautista has joined the Hall of Fame of Wrestlers in Hollywood. That puts the former WWE Champion right up there with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Andre the Giant, and Bautista’s former in-ring rival John Cena.

Dave Bautista burst onto the movie scene as one of the best Marvel characters with his hilarious work as Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy cast, but his best movies span genres and styles. He’s appeared in some of the best science fiction movies, like Dune and Blade Runner 2049, but he’s also done comedy, drama, and everything in between.

With that in mind, we had plenty of great options to choose from when picking the best Dave Bautista movies. We believe that Dave Bautista is the best wrestler turned actor and, based on this list as well as the new movies on his slate, we dare you to argue with us.

The 12 best Dave Bautista movies:

  1. Final Score
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  3. Stuber
  4. Spectre
  5. Army of the Dead
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  7. Dune
  8. Knock at the Cabin
  9. Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy
  11. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  12. Blade Runner 2049

Best Dave Bautista movies - Final Score

12. Final Score (2018)

It seems as if wrestlers who pursue acting are forced by their reputation to work their way through some pretty dismal action movies, often with a direct-to-video vibe. Thankfully, Final Score is much better than that. It takes advantage of the fact West Ham United’s former stadium was due for demolition in real life, using it as the backdrop for a Taken-esque thriller.

Bautista knows exactly the movie he’s making here and plants his tongue firmly in his cheek. Pierce Brosnan’s in it too, sporting great facial hair and a not-so-great accent. It’s as dumb as a box of frogs, but it’s also terrific fun.

Best Dave Bautista movies - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

11. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

Bautista has said he expects the latest Guardians outing to be his final MCU appearance, and it’s a terrific farewell to Drax the Destroyer. As we wrote in our Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 review, the film is packed with emotional depth and resonance, with Drax in particular given a strong personal arc in the story.

It’s absolute proof that, despite the undeniable spectacle on offer throughout the Marvel movies in order, the best superhero movies have more than that at their heart. It’s been a great ride with Drax, but this was probably the right time to say goodbye.

best dave bautista movies: dave bautista in stuber

10. Stuber (2019)

OK, we admit that this one is far from a work of art. Even by buddy cop movie standards, it’s not particularly groundbreaking or memorable. Bautista plays a cop on the trail of a killer, who joins forces with a reluctant Uber driver played by Kumail Nanjiani.

It’s not the recipe for greatness, but Bautista made a potentially bad film watchable thanks to his natural aptitude for comedy and easy rapport with Nanjiani. We might not have witnessed the next Lethal Weapon, but we had a good time.

YouTube Thumbnail

9. Spectre (2015)

As the menacing Mister Hinx, Bautista had next to no lines, but that didn’t stop him from being one of the best movie villains in Spectre. In fact, throughout the whole film, he only said a single word. This means that Bautista had to rely solely on stunts, body language, and other means of conveying his character’s sinister presence.

Without lines to fall back on, non-verbal acting was more important than ever in this film — and Bautista just about manages to pull it off. As the James Bond movies in order continue (probably forever), we don’t expect to see many henchmen more formidable than Hinx.

best dave bautista movies: dave bautista in army of the dead

8. Army of the Dead (2021)

On paper, blending the classic heist film with the shock and gore of the best horror movies sounds ridiculous. And so, it makes sense that Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead is as insane on-screen as it is on paper.

The story follows a team of mercenaries, led by Bautista, as they attempt to rob a casino left abandoned amid the zombie infestation of Las Vegas. It’s a little messy and confusing at times, but Bautista, as the movie’s lead, largely holds the uneven escapade together. It stands among the best Netflix movies, as far as we’re concerned.

YouTube Thumbnail

7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Although Drax played a smaller role in this film than its predecessor, Bautista continued to provide solid comic relief in James Gunn’s epic follow-up to one of the most surprising MCU success stories.

Guardians 2 introduces Pom Klementieff as Mantis, with the two characters immediately forming a tender and nuanced bond. The duo share numerous moments of lightly comedic friendship during this movie, proving that Bautista’s serious acting chops were nothing to be sniffed at. Even when he’s covered in body paint.

best dave bautista movies: dave bautista in dune

6. Dune (2021)

Bautista only appeared in a handful of scenes in Dune and we expect to see a lot more of him when the Dune 2 release date eventually comes around. Still, his portrayal of Beast Rabban Harkonnen was so sinister that there was no doubt in the mind of anyone — even those who haven’t read the books — that he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Bautista’s task in Dune is simply to lay the groundwork for what Rabban will become as the epic sci-fi spectacle opens up its next chapter — and he does that perfectly.

YouTube Thumbnail

5. Knock at the Cabin (2023)

Knock at the Cabin’s overall reception might have been mixed, but in our four-star Knock at the Cabin review, James Osborne described the film as a “return to form” for director M. Night Shyamalan. Bautista leads the ensemble as the mild-mannered guy at the heart of a cult. They believe that the world will end unless a big sacrifice is made.

Bautista is utterly chilling in this movie but is also lovable at the same time. He has often played taciturn hardmen in other movies, which makes his verbose work here all the more impressive. It just shows how versatile he is.

best dave bautista movies: dave bautista in infinity war

4. Avengers Infinity War/Endgame (2018-2019)

The two-part finale to the Infinity Saga might have been an ensemble effort, but part of the reason they’re among the highest-grossing movies of all time is that every single actor in them delivered. Bautista is no different, making the most of the small moments Drax is given amid the wider battle against Thanos.

Bautista may have shared the screen with dozens of MCU characters, but his impeccable comedic timing, especially in Infinity War, ensures that his portrayal of Drax continues to be a scene-stealer.

YouTube Thumbnail

3. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy was Bautista’s breakout role for a reason. In his debut as Drax the Destroyer, he established a unique brand of hilarity, while being sure to layer the character as somebody who experienced profound grief, loss, and anger: someone who you wouldn’t just laugh with, but would also cry for.

We’d seen wrestlers make the move to the big screen before, but we’d rarely seen it happen like this. Drax showed Bautista as someone willing to look silly and lean into comedy, in between showing off those incredible fighting skills of course.

best dave bautista movies: dave bautista in knives out 2

2. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Duke, the alpha male, alt-right streamer Bautista plays in Knives Out 2, is a “douchebag.” This is an admission the actor himself made during London Film Festival’s press conference for the film, and in doing so, made one thing clear. He really understood the assignment.

The accuracy with which he plays his character is both hilarious and cringe-inducing. Most of all, it proves that Bautista’s comedic abilities can’t be attributed to a specific writer or director. By proving himself to be funny in an entirely different way in this film, he demonstrated that Drax was no fluke — he’s just very good at his job. Read our Knives Out 2 review here.

Best Dave Bautista movies - Sapper Morton in Blade Runner 2049

1. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

As with Dune, Bautista’s appearance in Blade Runner 2049 is sparing — but in his limited screentime crafts a performance that is deeply impactful and is widely considered to be one of the best performances in a packed movie. In fact, it’s Bautista’s scene-stealing appearance during the opening act that sets the tone for 2049’s spin on the world established by one of the best ’80s movies.

As doomed replicant Sapper Morton, Bautista delivers a bleak portrayal of a broken man and defies the misconceptions that wrestlers can’t act once and for all. He’s completely convinced us.

YouTube Thumbnail

For more on Bautista, check out his emotional goodbye to Drax and keep an eye on our upcoming Marvel movies list, including Deadpool 3, to see if there’s any news on the character’s return. You can also find out why Bautista turned down the Fast and Furious movies and learn about the most recent addition to that franchise in our Fast X review.

Meanwhile, find out about more of our picks from the best actors around in our guides to the best Dwayne Johnson movies and the best Michelle Yeoh movies.