What are the Taika Waititi movies ranked? Every so often, a name takes the film industry by storm. So, who is the latest big personality to grab the spotlight, and is seemingly on every big studio’s call-back list? Well, if you have stayed up to date with mainstream entertainment, the award circuit, and comic book films, it will come as a shock to no one to hear that it is Taika Waititi.
From the MCU to Oscar winners, the New Zealand filmmaker has proven himself as a talent and has undoubtedly become a force to be reckoned with in recent years. Currently, the director is busy working on a number of new exciting productions such as a Star Wars movie, and a Flash Gordon remake. But setting his future new movies aside, Waititi’s filmography is already packed with absolute winners for all of us to enjoy.
So, to celebrate the director’s achievements, we here at The Digital Fix decided to do what every self-respecting movie fan would: rank everything Waititi has ever done. From quirky rom-coms to vampire movies, here are all Taika Waititi movies ranked from worst to best.
Taika Waititi movies ranked from worst to best:
- Eagle Vs. Shark
- Jojo Rabbit
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Thor: Love and Thunder
- Hunt for the Wilderpeople
- What We Do in the Shadows
Eagle vs Shark (2007)
Every director starts somewhere, and in 2007 Taika Waititi made his big directorial debut with the rom-com Eagle vs Shark. The premise is pretty simple. Basically, two awkward 20-year-olds, Jarrod and Lily, fall in love one night at a costume party. The two enter a relationship and then attempt to murder Jarrod’s childhood bully.
Now before you get excited, there are no cold-blooded murderers in this film (I know, we are disappointed too). Instead, the romance movie is a sweet coming-of-age story that sees two people joining hands to navigate loneliness and their shared social clumsiness.
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But all that being said, the comedy element is really hit and miss with this flick, with some jokes never landing. It is evident that Waititi was still trying to find his voice and style as a director here. While Eagle vs Shark is by no means bad, it just isn’t as good as Waititi’s other films.
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
The film that won Taika Waititi an Academy Award, Jojo Rabbit, should be a classic, but unfortunately, it just isn’t. Telling the story of a young Nazi child who is so enamoured with the fascist regime that he has conjured up Hitler as an imaginary friend, Jojo Rabbit attempts to offer a unique perspective of the war through the eyes of a child.
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Story-wise, the flick is packed with fascinating ideas as we watch the young lad becoming aware of the horror and morally corrupt nature of the party and the man he once idolised. But although its concept works well on paper, here is a film that never fully reaches its full satire, and emotional potential – and therefore must be penalised for it on our list.
Tonally Jojo Rabbit struggles to balance whimsy with hard-hitting moments. But the flick does show that Waititi is a man with a well of imagination and character – so points for that.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Here is the film that ushered Taika Waititi into the major studios’ eyelines, proving that the director could handle big budgets and big stars. Thor: Ragnarok, the third headline movie in Chris Hemsworth’s run as the Asgardian hero, is hands down the best Thor movie we have seen so far. It is colourful, full of humour, and is widely considered one of the best Marvel movies in the MCU period, and perhaps even one of the best superhero movies of all time.
The film follows Thor as he tries to prevent the apocalyptic event known as Ragnarok from wiping out his home. However, his heroic plans get somewhat thwarted and instead, he finds himself imprisoned on the planet Sakaar. Luckily, some allies help him along his way and the adventure to save Asgard kicks off again.
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The movie also helped define Waititi’s large directional voice and style, giving us deadpan comedy, character focus, and vibrant cinematography. If you are looking for a crowd-pleasing pick of the director’s filmography, then Ragnarok is for you.
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Having proven how colourful, loud, and charming he could make a blockbuster, Waititi reunited with Marvel for another instalment with the God of Thunder. The fourth Thor movie is all about giving the Asgardian hero renewed purpose post-Endgame, and it achieves with one of his most fearsome on-screen villains in Christian Bale’s Gorr.
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Natalie Portman finally returns, giving their romance some much-needed catharsis. She’s carrying Mjolnir as the Mighty Thor, something Hemsworth’s version takes completely in his stride. One-liners and sarcasm are plentiful, but Waititi shows a more sincere side as well, bringing more of the tonal balance we know from his independent work.
Thor: Love and Thunder has its flaws, as it still feels like Waititi’s hampered by an unseen mandate. But it’s better-rounded than Ragnarok, and has plenty of Guns N’ Roses to boot.
Hunt of Wilderpeople (2016)
Just like Taika Waititi’s other films, Hunt of Widerpeople combines quirky comedy with some solid storytelling to deliver pure fire entertainment. However, few other films prove to be as heartfelt or as endearing as this feature.
Ricky (Julian Dennison), a Juvenile delinquent, begins a new chapter of his life once he is adopted by the childless couple Hec (Sam Neill) and Bella (Rima Te Wiata), in the countryside. However, once Bella dies and Hec threatens to return him to the foster system, Ricky runs away into the wilderness, and a full-out nationwide manhunt ensues.
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Waititi shows that he is a director who can truly get the most out of his actors as Sam Neill’s performance is fantastic, as is child star’s Julian Dennison. Too often is Hunt of Wilderpeople overlooked as the top-notch comedy that it is. From performances to script and pacing, close to everything in this flick just works.
What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Listen, most of us here at The Digital Fix identify are self-identified goths, so it would have been a crime not to put the vampiric mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows high in our rankings. Based on a short film of the same name, this monster movie follows the life of three vampire roommates trying to co-exist and live in the modern world.
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The flick puts a unique spin on the vampire genre, playing with tropes and archetypes through a lens of delightful cringe and self-awareness. The film is also just downright hilarious and one of those rare horror comedies that feels organic in balancing the two genres.
Here Waititi shows off not just his directorial chops but proves himself as a charismatic actor, and fabulous writer too. What We Do in the Shadow is the perfect demonstration of Waititi’s whimsy, cynical humour, and ability to keep us on our toes.
Boy is truly Taika Waititi at his best. It is full of heart, humour, and is a cleverly strung-together narrative detailing a unique coming-of-age story. Following the pre-teen (James Rolleston), we see a boy who is obsessed with two things: Michael Jackson and the prospect of his estranged father, Alamein (Waititi), returning home.
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When his criminal dad does return to retrieve a bag of money he buried years ago, a surprisingly deep drama unfolds. Boy is down to Earth while also holding the typical brand of Waititi whimsy.
Although this flick was only Waititi’s second full-length feature, Boy went on to become the highest-grossing New Zealand film at the local box office and still stands as one of his greatest creative triumphs.