Here is a compilation of the 36 Best Movies Of Benedict Cumberbatch that are a must-watch. Benedict Cumberbatch, an English actor, is best known for his roles as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock and Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is an actor, though, and his filmography is filled with fantastic movies.
In his filmography, Cumberbatch has been in computer-animated family comedies like The Grinch, the historical biopic 12 Years a Slave, and thrillers like The Fifth Estate. February 23, 2022 revision: If you’re a fan of Cumberbatch, you’ll be pleased to see that we’ve added more of his finest movies to our list.
Cumberbatch has garnered numerous nominations for Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, Academy, and Golden Globe Awards, as well as awards such as the Laurence Olivier Award, British Academy Television Award, and Primetime Emmy. He has demonstrated over two decades that he is a remarkably varied and gifted performer. The top films starring Benedict Cumberbatch are listed below.
36 Best Movies Of Benedict Cumberbatch
1. Black Mass (2015)
Based on the true story of FBI informant and Irish Mob godfather James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp), who struck a “secret trading” deal with his brother, state senator William “Billy” Bulger, and FBI agent John Connolly. Things turned out to be rather violent as a result of their failed attempts to overthrow the Boston mafia and the Italian mob. Black Mass also features Kevin Bacon and Jesse Plemons in addition to Peter Sarsgaard, Dakota Johnson, and Corey Stoll. In general, reviews were favorable, and the $53 million budgeted production brought in $99 million. Black Mass should be watched just for Cumberbatch’s impeccable Boston accent, which is always top-notch.
2. The Mauritanian (2020)
A horrifying narrative of injustice, brutality, and moral reflection following the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks is given in The Mauritanian. The movie, which is based on the book “Guantanamo Diary,” tells the true tale of Mohamedou Ould Salahi, who was brought covertly by rendition to the Cuban prison camp. A well-acted but too procedural tale explores his interrogation, the methods utilised, and the utilized mats to release him. The Mauritanian makes a strong argument for self-examination. We must hold those responsible for this horrible atrocity accountable, but we cannot compromise our core principles or give way to unrestrained revenge.
In the movie, Cumberbatch portrays Stuart Couch, a conflicted Marine prosecutor. Although The Mauritanian focuses mostly on Salahi’s tragic trip, it is Couch’s supporting character development that effectively drives the narrative as his perspective on prisoners see-saws over a highly emotional journey.
3. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
In the follow-up to J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot Star Trek Into Darkness, Cumberbatch plays the famous Star Trek villain Khan. Like its predecessor, Into Darkness moves quickly and is entertaining. J.J. Abrams’ signature lens flares are evident throughout the movie, which also has a lot of action set pieces.
The Star Trek franchise is well renowned for its recurring themes of alien civilization research and space travel. Even though Into Darkness prioritizes action over “no man has gone before” exploration, it remains an enjoyable movie that succeeds in captivating viewers.
4. Doctor Strange (2016)
One of the best and most significant movies in the MCU is unquestionably the 2016 picture Doctor Strange by director Scott Derrickson. Doctor Stephen Strange and the mystical world of sorcerers are introduced in the movie to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A terrible vehicle accident in which Cumberbatch’s character loses control of his hands causes him to swiftly become humbled, offers a compelling origin narrative. Stephen is aware of just how much he doesn’t know.
The movie, which stars Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, mixes stunning graphics with the spectacle of the MCU to introduce one of the most iconic characters from the Marvel Studios.
5. Atonement (2007)
Atonement, a 2007 romantic war drama, is a powerful and melancholy movie about two lovers in which falsehoods and misinterpretations from third parties are pervasive. As a result, there is turmoil, which severely disrupts people’s lives. A decade later, Joe Wright’s dramatic movie still dazzles with excellent performances and unexpected emotional depth.
Atonement stars Cumberbatch before he was cast as Sherlock on the BBC and gained more notoriety. Even so, although playing a minor part, he is just as mesmerizing, terrifying, and bewitching in Atonement.
6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
The Cold War-era spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy centers on the hunt for a Soviet double agent inside MI6. Despite having a sluggish pace at times, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy provides a compelling and intricate look into the world of espionage.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has an intriguing notion only from the concept. The movie, however, perfectly realizes its idea, arousing the anxieties and emotions of paranoia that would inevitably surface when one is unsure of whom to trust.
7. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
After Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok, Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange made his third appearance in the MCU in Avengers: Infinity War, where he immediately gained popularity. As the sarcastic, potent sorcerer, Doctor Strange excels in an ensemble movie. Strange had a key role in setting the stage for the Avengers’ eventual route to victory in Avengers: Endgame during the events of Infinity War.
The picture that Joe and Anthony Russo directed accomplishes the Herculean feat of managing numerous Marvel characters while giving each one a chance to shine. The Russo brothers achieve this while continuing to create a story with high stakes, test Marvel’s heroes, and develop emotional sequences that compel viewer participation.
8. 1917 (2019)
A telegram that would save thousands of lives must be delivered to Colonel Mackenzie (Cumberbatch) by two British troops, Schofield and Blake, in a race against time in 1917. Trench fighting is depicted in the movie, and there is a memorable scene in which Schofield sprints across the battlefield.
A tense, ambitious, and big-budget World War I movie is 1917. Cinematographer Roger Deakins photographed 1917 so that it appears as though it were shot in a single take, in addition to outstanding performances, a stellar cast, and an incredible storyline. The end effect is an engrossing cinematic experience that moviegoers interested in a World War I epic should not miss.
9. The Imitation Game (2014)
The historical drama The Imitation Game, starring Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch, is partially based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma, which was released in the 1980s. Cumberbatch portrays British codebreaker, computer scientist, and mathematician Alan Turing. During the Second World War, Alan Turing worked for the British government, decrypting signals encrypted by German intelligence.
The Imitation Game, despite being based on a real-life historical figure, departs from reality with several historical mistakes and condenses history into a two-hour film. Although Alan Turing is depicted in the movie as a gay man as well, the film does not go into great detail on Turing’s struggles with his sexuality and the prejudice he encountered in real life. The Imitation Game is a theatrical biopic that chronicles the extraordinary tale of a real-life historical figure while entertaining with excellent performances.
10. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Due to its subject matter, which depicts the history of slavery in America, 12 Years a Slave is not the easiest movie to see. The memoir Twelve Years a Slave, written by Solomon Northup in 1853, is the basis for the movie. Born in New York State, Solomon Northup was an African-American who was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. Before being set free, Northup worked on Louisianan plantations for twelve years. With actors like Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender, Alfre Woodard, Michael Kenneth Williams, Brad Pitt, Adepero Oduye, and Paul Dano on board, the movie adaptation of the biography boasts an excellent cast.
Solomon Northup is portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange co-star. The critically acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, received nine Academy Award nominations and won Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o). Its representation of the brutality and injustice that slaves endured in the nineteenth century is frightening. It is passionate and powerful.
11. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
A consensus is emerging among fans that Tom Holland’s third solo Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home, is among the best Spider-Man movies to date. When Peter Parker asks Doctor Strange for help in making the public forget that Spider-Man is a superhero, Benedict Cumberbatch joins the Spider-Man cast. The greatest obstacles Spider-Man has ever encountered are shown to him in the movie, making Tom Holland’s Spider-Man always on his toes and causing him to reflect on what it means to be a true hero.
No Way Home sheds further light on the personalities of Peter Parker and Stephen Strange. Strong themes of duty, power, and consequence encapsulate the essence of a hero as well as Spider-Man. No Way Home is one of the movies for which Cumberbatch is best known because of its deep character development and character examination.
The Marvel blockbuster was left out of all the main categories for this year’s Oscars despite having some of the greatest ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, rising the box office rankings to become the sixth-highest grossing movie of all time, and ranking third in the domestic box office. The record-breaking film that truly epitomizes the term “fan-favorite” has revived hopes for a modest consolation with the announcement of a new fan-selected prize.
12. The Power of the Dog (2021)
The Power of the Dog, a 2021 movie, features one of Benedict Cumberbatch’s best performances. The Power of the Dog is a superb Western drama about a recalcitrant character who refuses to adapt to the times, even though it may be aimed at a more specialized audience than Cumberbatch’s earlier movies. It is a more psychological drama that offers a thorough, analytical look at the flawed Phil Burbank rather than one about a heroic cowboy (Cumberbatch).
The Power of the Dog, which Jane Campion both wrote and directed, is a masterful example of her talent as a filmmaker. Benedict Cumberbatch receives the opportunities and material he needs to deliver a great performance because she can make the most of his talent.
13. Third Star (2010)
James had just celebrated his 29th birthday, but he wasn’t very amused by the celebrations because he knew it would be his last. He finds out to have cancer, which is terminal. James (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) embarks on a journey with his three closest friends, Davy, Bill, and Miles, before his life expires. They travel to Barafundle Bay, a popular beach in Pembrokeshire that is James’ favorite. The four buddies set out on a voyage to make a lasting impression.
British filmmaker Hattie Dalton’s heartwarming comedy/drama Third Star follows the journey of a dying young man named James to his favorite location on Earth, Barafundle Bay. Tom Burke and Adam Robertson also appear in the movie, and their supporting roles truly help to bring this lovely tale to life.
Many people consider Third Star to be one of Cumberbatch’s most underappreciated movies to date, even though it may not be the most well-known or mainstream choice. It conveys a very moving and significant subject without ever wallowing in gloom, instead adding a crucial element of humor to keep the viewer interested.
14. Amazing Grace (2006)
Slavery was widespread throughout the British Empire as well as the United States. In the Michael Apted-directed film Amazing Grace, William Wilberforce, a member of the House of Commons, and his close friend William Pitt strive to eliminate the slave trade in 18th-century England.
When Wilberforce’s legislation was rejected in 1791, the seemingly insurmountable effort came to an end in disappointment, but the two friends dared to carry on. The situation severely tests their friendship as the stakes rise.
15. The Current War (2017)
The industrial age is a time of thriving business. Thomas Edison was a brilliant inventor and astute businessman who was motivated to use his electrical system to power the entire planet.
George Westinghouse, a fellow electrical industry pioneer, is challenging Edison for supremacy, but he’s not the only one. As none other than Nikola Tesla supports Westinghouse in his conflict with Edison, the Current War heats up.
16. War Horse (2011)
The touching story of Albert Narracott and his Thoroughbred bay horse named Joey is told in the Steven Spielberg film War Horse. The two were best friends until World War I put a stop to their relationship.
Albert resolves to find his beloved horse to be reunited with it once more as Joey is auctioned off to the British cavalry. The movie was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
17. Van Gogh: Painted with Words (2010)
Vincent Van Gogh was, without a doubt, one of the finest painters of all time and a significant figure in Western art. The artist went above and beyond in creating his extraordinary work, whether it was a landscape or a portrait.
In the 2018 biopic At Eternity’s Gate, Willem Dafoe gave a stunning performance that brought the artist to life, but Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t far behind with his portrayal of the artist in the television film Van Gogh: Painted with Words.
18. Wreckers (2011)
Married couple David and Dawn want to live a better life in the future. They recently relocated back to the community where David spent his formative years, working together to restore a home and try for a child.
Nick, David’s mentally ill brother, soon surprises them and leaves. Dawn now has access to her husband’s past because the two haven’t spoken in years. When David develops jealousy over his wife and brother’s growing closeness to one another, things quickly spiral out of control.
19. Brexit: The Uncivil War (2019)
Brexit: The Uncivil War daringly exposes the thrilling decisions that forever altered the very landscape of the world by highlighting the historical events leading up to the United Kingdom’s referendum on EU membership, also known as the Brexit referendum.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Dominic Cummings, the Campaign Director of the pro-Brexit organization Vote Leave, is front and center and completely nails his performance.
20. Hawking (2004)
The Theory of Everything, a biography of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, generated a lot of excitement in 2014. While Benedict Cumberbatch, another English actor, played Hawking in the television movie Hawking ten years before Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar-winning performance, Hawking. Hawking was Cumberbatch’s first major television role, and it primarily focused on his time as a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge. The actor took up the Golden Nymph for Television Films – Best Portrayal by an Actor for his eerie performance.
Before Eddie Redmayne portrayed Hawking in The Theory of Everything, one of his greatest performances, Benedict Cumberbatch also represented the quirky scientist in this BBC TV film. The movie focuses on Hawking’s early academic years, including his profoundly transformative diagnosis. Although this is one of Cumberbatch’s earlier performances, his acting prowess still shows in this challenging and intricate character. He effectively captures all of the physicist’s unique characteristics and qualities while deftly examining the difficulties posed by his impairment.
21. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Tolkien fans still found a lot to love in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, particularly Benedict Cumberbatch’s menacing performance as the main antagonist Smaug opposite Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins. Even though Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy wasn’t quite as successful as his original Lord of the Rings adaptations, Tolkien fans still found a lot to love.
By the way, this isn’t the first time Freeman and Cumberbatch have appeared in a film together. They also portrayed close friends Holmes and Watson in the BBC television series Sherlock, a role for which Cumberbatch has come to be somewhat known.
22. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Ragnarok, widely regarded as the best movie in the MCU’s Thor trilogy, tells the tale of the title character being imprisoned on a distant planet as his long-lost sister Hela destroys his homeworld Asgard. Thanks to Waititi’s original directing, it is far more enjoyable and funny than the other two parts.
Ragnarok also sees the return of the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo, who has been absent from the MCU for several years. The on-screen chemistry between Ruffalo and Hemsworth is dependably enjoyable to watch, but Loki and Valkyrie, two new and recurring side characters, really steal the show.
23. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Unquestionably, Endgame was one of this generation’s defining cultural moments. The movie, which marked the end of a full decade in film, followed the remaining Avengers’ quest into the past to recover the lost Infinity Stones, save their allies, and finally defeat Thanos.
Although Cumberbatch played Doctor Strange again, he was unable to assist the remaining Avengers until the last battle because of his character’s “vanishing” at the end of the previous chapter. Despite this, his character still played a significant part in this epic tale and left a lasting effect.
24. Four Lions (2010)
In the satirical dark comedy Four Lions, four young British-Muslim guys who want to be terrorists are playfully followed. As negotiator Ed, Cumberbatch plays a small, amusing, and not particularly memorable role in the movie.
The movie, which was released the same year as Cumberbatch’s breakout role as Sherlock, was made before he was the celebrated and well-known actor he is now. Some others were surprised by the movie, which by Chris Morris, a first-time feature film director, cleverly delivered the dark humor promised.
25. The Courier (2020)
The Courier had its debut in January 2020, but the theatrical distribution wasn’t until mid-2021, which increased interest in the film while cinemas were closed all over the world. It adds to Cumberbatch’s portfolio of spy movies.
Cumberbatch plays a man hired in the 1960s to deliver communications to a Russian spy based on actual events. Greville Wynne is a typical businessman who was chosen by intelligence officials because they believe it would be preferable to utilize a “normal person” as opposed to a spy to escape suspicion. Wynne is imprisoned in Russia for delivering those communications, and while there, he must defend his innocence. For those who like psychological dramas, this one is for you.
26. Starter For 10 (2006)
Starter For 10 is one of Cumberbatch’s earliest roles in a feature film, a movie that not many people have probably heard of. It is a comedy and coming-of-age tale about an English working-class youngster trying to succeed in the world of private universities.
Throughout many of his roles, Cumberbatch gives hints of his comedic prowess, and he maintains that prowess in this movie. While playing a smaller role, Cumberbatch nevertheless performs admirably and begins his ascent to bigger, better jobs that would eventually lead to his current status as a celebrity.
27. Stuart: A Life Backwards (2007)
the generation’s underappreciated motion picture. But it included two actors who have become well-known. Tom Hardy was one, and Benedict Cumberbatch was the other. In the movie, Cumberbatch portrays a writer who occasionally flashes back to the life of his alcoholic companion, played by Tom Hardy. Animated segments are inserted throughout to greatly enhance the film. Cumberbatch has embodied the role to the fullest extent, expressing every emotion. A film that was overlooked but ought to have a far bigger audience. A timeless work in and of itself.
28. Louis Wain (2021)
His distinctive artwork frequently includes anthropomorphized cats and kittens with big eyes. Notably, it was thought that he battled schizophrenia in his later years. Psychiatrists assert that his mental state can be seen mirrored in his works, but there are some questions about the reality of this assertion. As we watch how the artist finds inspiration and engages with those who he values most in his life, the movie will follow Louis Wain’s personal and professional life.
While Claire Foy will portray Emily Richardson Wain, Louis Wain’s wife, Benedict Cumberbatch will portray Louis Wain himself. Notably, Emily was 10 years Louis’ senior and served as the governess for her sister. The movie will undoubtedly examine the fact that their marriage was highly scandalous at the time. Cumberbatch has represented real-life individuals brilliantly in the past, such as Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.” He is a powerful performer who will undoubtedly bring his talents to the role of the English painter.
29. To Kill a King (2003)
The soldiers of Parliament, under the command of Thomas Fairfax and his devoted lieutenant Oliver Cromwell, triumph at the end of the English Civil Wars, and Charles I is taken prisoner. A treaty protecting future liberties has been prepared by Parliament, which Denzil Holles controls.
Due to Fairfax’s popularity, he can keep the peace despite the restless and unpaid Parliamentary army. The monarch asks that Fairfax’s wife Anne, whose family is a royalist, be permitted to visit him for companionship even though he is reluctant to sign the treaty. The king is courteous to the leaders of the British Parliament. Fairfax concurs. During a meal with Cromwell’s family, Anne tells Fairfax she is expecting a child.
30. The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
Because Catherine of Aragon has just one surviving child, Princess Mary, and has not given birth to a living male successor to the kingdom, their marriage to King Henry VIII is difficult. William Carey marries Mary Boleyn. After the festivities, much to the displeasure of Anne’s mother, Lady Elizabeth, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and his brother-in-law Thomas Boleyn hatch a plan to make Thomas’ eldest daughter, Anne, the king’s mistress in the hopes that she will give birth to a son and increase the family’s wealth and status. A reluctant Anne accepts to be a mistress while knowing that it will harm her prospects of finding a high-ranking husband. She does this to please her father and uncle.
31. Creation (2009)
Charles Darwin, a British biologist, is a young parent who leads a peaceful life in a picturesque village. He is a clever and incredibly sentimental man who loves his wife and kids dearly. Annie, his eldest daughter and a bright, inquisitive ten-year-old, is greatly beloved by Darwin.
He imparts to her a great deal of knowledge about science and nature, including his theory of evolution, and narrates tales of his journeys. Her favorite tale, despite its depressing conclusion, is about Jenny, a juvenile orangutan who was transferred from Borneo to the London Zoo, where she ultimately passed away from pneumonia while being held by her caretaker. When Darwin finds out that Annie had to kneel on rock salt as a punishment for defying him on dinosaurs, he is incensed.
32. Burlesque Fairytales (2009)
A fictional 1930s London theatre serves as the setting for Susan Luciani’s 2009 British thriller Burlesque Fairytales, which stars an ensemble cast including Jim Carter, Lindsay Duncan, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The True Independent Film Festival in Seattle hosted the movie’s debut on June 7, 2009.
33. The Whistleblower (2010)
The Whistleblower is a 2010 biographical drama film starring Rachel Weisz and directed by Larysa Kondracki. The screenplay was created by Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan and was based on the true account of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska policewoman who was chosen by DynCorp International to serve as a United Nations peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1999.
While there, she came upon a Bosnian sex trafficking ring that was being supported and assisted by DynCorp employees while being ignored by foreign forces. After making an effort to break up the ring, Bolkovac was expelled from the country and sacked. She reported the incident to BBC News in the UK and successfully sued DynCorp for wrongful termination.
34. The Fifth Estate (2013)
The Afghan War Logs’ publication in 2010 serves as the narrative’s opening act. The scene then cuts back to 2007, where Australian journalist Julian Assange and German journalist Daniel Domscheit-Berg first meet at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. Daniel first connected with Assange via email after becoming interested in online activism. They started cooperating with WikiLeaks, a website that disseminates information that has been kept from the public while maintaining the privacy of its sources.
The private Swiss bank Julius Bär, whose Cayman Islands branch has been involved in unlawful operations, is their first and foremost target. The judge lifts the order notwithstanding Baer’s filing of a lawsuit and receipt of an injunction, enabling Julian and Daniel to regain ownership of the domain name.
35. August: Osage County (2013)
A remote area outside of Oklahoma in an extremely hot August is where the title’s time and place references are made. An alcoholic poet named Beverly Weston interviews and recruits a young Cheyenne woman named Johnna to work as a live-in cook and career for Violet, Violet’s abrasive and acrimonious husband, who suffers from mouth cancer and drug addiction. Shortly after, he leaves the house, prompting Violet to call her sister and daughters for assistance.
With her husband Charles Aiken, her sister Mattie arrives. Barbara, Violet’s oldest daughter, who has inherited her mother’s harsh streak, travels from Colorado with her husband Bill and daughter Jean, 14, while Ivy, Violet’s middle daughter, is single and the only one who resides in the area. Despite being apart, Barbara and Bill provide Violet with a united front.
36. The Child in Time (2017)
The Child in Time is a British television movie that Julian Farino directed. It is based on Ian McEwan’s 1987 book of the same name. On September 24, 2017, BBC One broadcast the movie’s world premiere, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch. Stephen Lewis, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, is a prominent children’s book author whose daughter goes missing.
In the movie, Sonia Chang, a multimillionaire from Goa’s China Town, has had her one and only child abducted. She offers a reward of more than 25 lakh rupees in an effort to recover her son, Vicky. She shares her enormous Goa mansion, 36 China Town, with a servant couple named Mr. and Mrs. Lobo. The local flirt, Rocky, comforts Sonia.