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Cavill’s Corner: Ranking every Henry Cavill film

Written by: Fiona Underhill, CC2K Staff Writer


Mission: Impossible – Fallout has been inspirational. It has inspired brave souls to attempt to grow magnificent mustaches and others to reload their arm guns before completing basic every day tasks. This inspiration has come from one man and it is not Tom Cruise; it is the magnificent mustachioed man-beast, HENRY CAVILL. Watching Fallout has also compelled one intrepid reporter to watch (or re-watch) every single film that she could lay her hands on from Cavill’s IMDb list and rank them just for you, dear readers. It was an arduous task, involving two weeks of pain-staking, grueling research for the benefit of cc2konline. Not all Supermen wear capes.

17) Batman vs Superman (Zack Snyder, 2016)

[insert Mariah Carey I-don’t-know-her gif]

Film: 1/2 star out of 5 (for Wonder Woman)

Cavill’s Performance: Too angry to write words, sorry. I will just say IT IS NOT HIS FAULT. 2 stars out of 5

Hotness: One of the best scenes in the Snyder DC Trilogy is in this film, to be fair; it’s Clark and Lois in the bath. For this, alone: 4 thirsts out of 5

16) Whatever Works (Woody Allen, 2009)

I confess, I could not stomach watching this whole film and fast-forwarded to Cavill’s scenes. I could not handle Larry David as yet another proxy for Allen in a relationship with a beautiful young woman forty years his junior (this time played by Evan Rachel Wood). Enough of the dialogue was experienced to know it was an utter cringe-fest. However, it’s nice to see Cavill in a rare romantic role (I know he’s romantic because his character says things like “I’m very romantic by nature”) and my heart cries out to see him in a well-written rom-com, or maybe a sweeping, epic historical love story.

Film: 1/2 star out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: 2.5 stars out of 5

Hotness: Good hair and level of stubble, wears a fetching leather jacket, British accent. 4 thirsts out of 5

15) Blood Creek (Joel Schumacher, 2009)

There is no way to describe this movie other than utterly bizarre. Henry Cavill as the heroic lead of a Schumacher horror B-movie makes a lot more sense than Michael Fassbender as the villain, who spends most of the film under several layers of prosthetics. It’s based around Nazi curses, Nordic symbols and all sorts of other nonsense and was pretty interminable to sit through.

Film: 1 star out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: 3 stars out of 5

Hotness: Not the best hair length, but does have stubble. Watching these films has reminded me how baggy and terrible pre-2010 fashion was. American accent. Not particularly muscly but that doesn’t bother me, nice arms, hairy chest. There is one scene where he’s strung up topless and tortured for a bit; I wasn’t complaining. 3 thirsts out of 5

14) Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)

22 year old Cavill plays an American teenager in this seventh? eighth? sequel in the horror franchise. It’s terrible but has some half decent blood and gore, and basically takes place over the course of one long party scene. Spoiler Alert: Cavill comes back as a zombie, which is pretty entertaining.

Film: 2 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: 1 star out of 5

Hotness: He’s very young, has truly terrible hair and clothes, and a bad American accent. However, this is one of only three entries on the list that includes anything approaching a Cavill sex scene. It’s a desert and we have to quench our thirst when we can. There is something slightly appealing about bad boy Cavill smoking while receiving a very bad BJ. He also does bad tongue-kissing and touches boobs! 3.5 thirsts out of 5

13) The Cold Light of Day (Mabrouk El Mechri, 2012)

This has a surprisingly big-name cast for a movie you’ve probably never heard of. Cavill plays the son of Bruce Willis (the resemblance is uncanny) and Sigourney Weaver is the baddie. It’s a run-of-the-mill action thriller set on the island of Majorca about an “average guy” getting caught up with spies and espionage. This is – by a conservative estimate – the third blatant audition for Bond on Cavill’s CV. His thirst to be Bond is perhaps even stronger than our thirst for him. It’s boring and forgettable.

Film: 2.5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: 3 stars out of 5

Hotness: Good hair length (filmmakers – allow us to see those curls), good stubble. Gets increasingly battered and bruised as the film goes on – no bad thing imo. Has a topless scene where he swims from his family’s yacht to shore and walks out of the sea onto the beach (AWOOGA! BOND! AWOOGA!). Apparently it took effort (eating badly, not obsessively working out) to go from his crazy Immortals body to more of an everyman body, but Cavill’s downtime bod still puts most mere mortals to shame, serves good shoulders/arms and that’s the main thing. Unfortunately any potential sexual tension/love interest is with a character who (spoiler alert) turns out to be his sister. Points deducted for American accent and the absolutely hideous sneakers and baggy cargo shorts he wears throughout. 3 thirsts out of 5

 

12) Immortals (Tarsem Singh, 2011)

I have a soft spot for the full-tilt ambitious loopiness of Singh; I adore The Cell, The Fall and Mirror Mirror. I know Singh has a good eye because he has chosen four of Fiona’s Boys for starring roles in his films (Cavill, Armie Hammer, Lee Pace and Matthew Goode). His distinctive visual style and risk-taking approach is to be encouraged because at least it’s not boring. Very much in the vein of 300, this swords-and-sandals epic set in Ancient Greece has an impressive cast which includes Mickey Rourke as the villain, the stunningly beautiful Freida Pinto as the love interest, and John Hurt as the wise old sage; as well as Stephen Dorff, Luke Evans and Twilight’s Kellan Lutz. It’s pretty entertaining and doesn’t deserve its bad rep.

Film: 2.5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: 3 stars out of 5

Hotness: A very different body type to Superman, Cavill spends pretty much the entire film topless and Singh requested an 8-pack for this task. Incredibly muscular, but without the broad shoulders/narrow waist look of Supes; he is toned, tanned and his chest is hairless. I personally prefer this look on Cavill. He looks taller and leaner as opposed to the short/stocky look he has in UNCLE and other films. He also has good hair and a British accent in this. He shares a sex scene with Pinto (who used a body double), but it falls frustratingly short of being properly sexy. 5 thirsts out of 5

11) The Count of Monte Cristo (Kevin Reynolds, 2002)

The earliest entry on our list sees Baby Cavill in a fairly minor role as the son of Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce). He gets kidnapped in Venice and saved by the Count (Jim Caviezel), who is actually Edmond Dantes, Mondego’s childhood friend, hellbent on revenge after years in prison. The film is entertaining enough but quite a lot to sit through for a glimpse of a teenaged Cavill.

Film: 3 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: You can see his little teenage enthusiasm and earnestness shining through. Hard to resist. 3 stars out of 5

Hotness: He’s a baby. A very pretty baby. 1 thirst out of 5

10) Red Riding Hood (Randal Kleiser, 2006)

I want to know everything about this film, particularly from Cavill’s point-of-view. 2005 was a hell of a year for the 22-year-old. He auditioned for Bond (which went to the considerably older Daniel Craig). He auditioned for Superman (which went to Brandon Routh in what would become Superman Returns). During or shortly after this time, he also starred in this straight-to-DVD Red Riding Hood musical starring Joey Fatone. I can only picture the heads of agents and managers rolling afterwards. I have done deep-dives into the IMDb lists of many, many actors. I have never witnessed anything as batshit bananas as this. This movie stars no less than two (!) cast members from My Big Fat Greek Wedding: Lainie Kazan as Grandma and Joey Fatone as the Wolf. According to IMDb, Morgan Thompson was sixteen when she starred in this film as Red, however, she looks eleven. This is something of a mistake when her character clearly has the hots for Cavill, and at one point does an excruciating slow-dance with him. I am extremely disappointed to tell you Cavill doesn’t sing during this musical, but he joins in with some of the dancing at the end, bless him. The whole thing needs to be seen to be believed because any descriptions would not do it justice. I spent $7 on the DVD and have no regrets.

Film: 5 bananas out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: Your entire body will invert from how much you are cringing on his behalf. 1 star out of 5

Hotness: I couldn’t take my jaw off the floor long enough to fully take him in but he does have pretty curly hair. 2 thirsts out of 5

9) Sand Castle (Fernando Coimbra, 2017)

Starring Nicholas Hoult (doing his terrible American accent), Logan Marshall-Green and (everyone’s current favorite internet boyfriend) Glen Powell, Sand Castle is set in Iraq in 2003. The plot isn’t exactly thrilling – it’s mostly based around fixing water pipes – but it is well acted. Cavill plays Captain Styverson (“O Captain, My Captain”) and doesn’t have a huge role, but admittedly there is something appealing about watching him commanding troops, and there’s a scene where he directs Hoult to paint a dog green.

Film: 3.5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: Definitely one of his better performances. There is a scene where he is trying to get something out of a local sheikh, who doesn’t want to help him and he does “barely concealed rage” well here. 4 stars out of 5

Hotness: Shaved head coupled with huge bushy beard. I’m not NOT into it. Still packing Justice League muscle. One of his better American accents, going for something more Southern. 3.5 thirsts out of 5

8) Tristan and Isolde (Kevin Reynolds, 2006)

Exactly the type of vehicle I crave for most of Fiona’s Boys – a sweeping, historical, romantic epic (in the vein of Outlander). Unfortunately the romantic hero here is James Franco (with terrible hair) and Cavill is relegated to sidekick status. To be fair to Franco, his English accent is passable and the love-story between him and Sophia Myles is enjoyable enough. Bonus Rufus Sewell, Bronagh Gallagher and Dexter Fletcher round out a good cast in an entertaining movie. It all just feels like such a waste when Cavill is RIGHT THERE.

Film: 3.5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: Pretty good. It’s a very similar part to him in The Tudors (this was a good audition for that role), which sometimes involves loyalty, and at others times, duplicity and betrayal. 3 out of 5

Hotness: I’ll be honest, this is pretty high on the thirst rankings for me. Long hair (some of it is plaited!) and stubble. Nothing notable in the way of being “built,” but that’s not high on my priority list. He’s so pretty in this film. 4.5 out of 5

7) Man of Steel (Zack Snyder, 2013)

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about the film; I’m saving that for Stage Two, where I go into Cavill’s three Superman films (so far) in-depth. So, this is going to be a journey that takes you through the devastating disintegration of Cavill’s hotness level as the film progresses.

Clark begins the film incognito, working as a fisherman. Fisherman Cavill is pretty much number one on my list of fan-casting roles for him. I may have a pitch ready to go in which he’s a mustachioed Norwegian fisherman who builds his own boats and his loneliness is interspersed by visiting (hot) men and women to his isolated fishing village, inspired by a specific New York Times photoshoot. I digress. At the start of Man of Steel, Cavill looks like this:

  

There is a famous topless scene where Clark emerges from the sea and has to steal clothes from a car. Cavill worked insanely hard for this scene, practically starving himself to minimize body fat. His shoulders, arms and pecs are obscenely big, coupled with a narrow waist and this lewk is not really for me. I do think that it’s good on Cavill for insisting Superman could be hairy chested though. The beard (in at least some of the shots) looks like a stuck-on fake, but it’s a beard. That is always a good thing.

Later on in the film, Clark is working in Alaska and still has good hair and an acceptable level of stubble. There’s a lovely bit where he’s working in a bar and smiles at a waitress. Then some men confront him and instead of fighting them, he rearranges their truck into a log sculpture. It is great. Then he shares an ice-cave based scene with Lois and looks HOT throughout.

  

Next comes basically the most disappointing transformation in all of film history (up until Harris Dickinson’s haircut in Beach Rats at least). When Cavill becomes Superman, he has slick-backed black hair and is clean shaven. I get the clean-cut look fits the character, I do. But that does not stop it being upsetting. Also, and I will never forgive them for this, Cavill has beautiful, thick, curly hair which naturally and perfectly lends itself to a kiss curl. SUPERMAN’S KISS CURL IS CANON, PEOPLE. But no. Cavill even trolled us by attending the Justice League premieres with a PERFECT kiss curl. There is a very brief scene at the end of Man of Steel when Clark rocks up to the Daily Planet newsroom in the classic Clark glasses. Glasses are ALWAYS a positive step, hotness-wise. Just imagine if they could be coupled with decent hair and stubble…

  

Film: 3.5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: He is trying so hard with what he’s been given, bless him. 4.5 stars out of 5

Hotness: Well, the whole thing is a roller-coaster, as I’ve mentioned. It starts so well and then all goes horribly wrong. Glasses go some way towards redeeming the situation at the end, but it’s not enough. 2.5 thirsts out of 5

6) Justice League (Zack Snyder, 2017)

Bracing myself for how much flack I’m going to get for putting this higher than Man of Steel, but I found Justice League to be really good fun! Wonder Woman, the Amazons, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and a much less annoying Batfleck all make for an enjoyable time. This film will live in hilarious infamy for mustache-gate, and I think I will always ALWAYS find it funny. They START the entire film with Cavill’s play-doh face and I respect the level of petty the Mission Impossible producers reached in making this happen. Whew, you’ve gotta love a shambolic pile of color, good jokes and a face that belongs in Lazy Town.

Film: 3.5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: Cavill is again under-used and mishandled (more of this in Stage Two), but he does seem to be having more fun than his last Supes outing, and he was wisely given speeches that make him sound more like the Supes we know and love. 4.5 stars out of 5

Hotness: Oh it’s an ungodly mess. I can’t even. 1 thirst out of 5

5) Stardust (Matthew Vaughn, 2007)

It is a bit of a cheat to put this so high on a Henry Cavill list because he only has a tiny role, but it’s a great film! Absolutely everyone is in this movie, so I will highlight some of my personal favorites: Charlie Cox, Ben Barnes, Nathaniel Parker, Mark Heap, Rupert Everett, Adam Buxton, Sarah Alexander, Joanna Scanlan, Dexter Fletcher, and the incomparable Michelle Pfeiffer. It is in the tradition of some of my most-loved films, such as The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and good films in this genre don’t come along very often.

Film: 4 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: 2.5 stars out of 5

Hotness: The blonde isn’t really working for me, but it is a rare pre-Fallout sighting of the CAVILLSTACHE. 2 thirsts out of 5

4) I Capture the Castle (Tim Fywell, 2003)

This is the exact kind of thing that makes me occasionally grateful to my broken brain which won’t allow me to like things in a normal way. This film had been on my Amazon watchlist for ages and I’d never got around to it. My Cavill deep-dive prompted me to watch it, and I absolutely loved it. It’s got a really good cast, led by the fantastic Romola Garai and also includes Bill Nighy, Rose Byrne, Tara Fitzgerald, Henry Thomas (Elliott from ET!) and Marc Blucas (Riley from Buffy!). It’s about a family living in a crumbling castle and struggling with poverty, which prompts Rose, in particular, to try to marry her way out of it. Cavill plays Stephen, a local boy who helps out with the house and the garden and who has feelings for Cassandra (Garai). There is one point where Stephen is discovered by an older woman – a photographer who keeps him as her model/muse/sex-slave – and if that’s not #goals, I don’t know what is. I have to tell you that (spoiler alert) Garai chooses Henry Thomas over Henry Cavill in yet another hilarious over-looking of the fact that you’ve got Cavill RIGHT THERE in your movie. Despite this tomfoolery, it’s a great film I highly recommend.

Film: 4.5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: Really sweet, utterly adorable, your heart will melt. 4 stars out of 5

Hotness: Yes, he is Baby Cavill. However, he has grown up in the year since Monte Cristo and certainly has an appeal here. He spends most of the film in white tight-fitting shirts or vests, overlaid with either suspenders (we call them braces in the UK) or a waistcoat and well, it’s a good look, especially when he’s doing manual labor. He shares a passionate kiss with Garai and as I’ve said, Cavill’s CV is slim pickins in this department. 4.5 thirsts out of 5

 

3) The Man From UNCLE (Guy Ritchie, 2015)

Cavill has ramped up his Bond auditioning efforts in recent years, firstly with this hugely enjoyable film version of the 1960s TV show. Stunning cast, stunning costumes, stunning locations; the whole thing is a sumptuous feast for the eyeballs. Cavill’s chemistry with Armie Hammer is off-the-charts, both in terms of humor and sexiness; “I’ll take top.” “I’ll take bottom.” are lines which will live in infamy. Alicia Vikander has never been so charming or appealing, and Elizabeth Debicki is devastatingly beautiful in her monochrome outfits. Any film which features a scene in which two incredibly handsome men argue about women’s designer fashions in a boutique in Rome is going to be a winner with me and, well, most ladies I know. The internet has been crying out for a sequel, which would truly make all of our dreams come true. The tease at the end of the film is painful to watch every time, knowing it hasn’t become a franchise yet.

Film: 4.5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: Definitely one of his best. He oozes Cary Grant charm in what is easily his best American accent. He nails the tricky mid-Atlantic/mid-’60s thing perfectly, which is not easy to do. The lack of shirtless scenes meant Cavill could concentrate on other aspects of his performance for once, including actually learning the tablecloth trick. 4 stars out of 5

Hotness: To be honest with you, this re-watch is the first time I’ve paid particular attention to Cavill in this film, as my eyes have always been drawn to Hammer (as well as Luca Calvani’s beautifully mustachioed Alexander) in the past. It goes without saying Cavill wears the hell out of a suit here, but clean-cut, fresh-faced Henry has never been that appealing to me. It doesn’t help that he looks short and stocky next to the 6’5″ Hammer. The best scenes for Cavill hotness are when he’s wet and/or disheveled because then my Achilles Heel, the Cavill Kiss Curl, comes out. UNCLE includes the best sandwich-eating movie scene of all time, in which a wet Cavill finds a truck containing wine and a picnic and calmly enjoys them while Hammer-based mayhem ensues around him. There is also a rain-soaked scene near the climax in which three hot men get very wet and it’s a lot. 2.5 thirsts out of 5

2) The Tudors TV Show 2007-2010

The Tudors is an epic historical television series (which you can currently find on Netflix) with a huge cast that covers the reign of Henry VIII. Most of the cast end up beheaded or hanged by Jonathan Rhys-Meyer’s Henry, but Cavill’s Charles Brandon manages to survive all four seasons. It’s a sexy show all around, particularly in the first season with Natalie Dormer’s Anne Boleyn. Something this show does really well is convincingly age and transform Meyers and Cavill across the timeline of Henry’s reign. It’s a really good show I highly recommend, even for non-thirst reasons.

The Show: 4.5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: Of course, it is unfair to compare this to any of his films because it’s a series that spanned four years. This is by far Cavill’s best performance though. He has never again approached the range and complexity he manages to show across the four seasons of The Tudors. It’s fascinating to watch him go from charming cad to vulnerable elder statesman. He is constantly torn between his loyalty and duty to his King, and what he believes is morally right. He becomes commander of Henry’s armies but struggles with violence, particularly towards women and children. I would dearly love to see Cavill come close to challenging himself like this in any of his future film roles. 4.5 stars out of 5

Hotness: 

Season One – 

Deciding on which of the four Brandon looks is my favorite has been a difficult decision. Let’s be honest, Tudors Cavill could ruin me in four different ways and I’d thank him for it. Cavill starts The Tudors with short hair and stubble. Despite my affection for his thick head of curls, this is actually a look that works well on him and it brings out his eyes. Season One sees Brandon getting the most sexy action; he has a nude scene in the first episode. Brandon turns his affections to Henry’s sister and they share some sexy scenes on a ship. 4 thirsts out of 5

Seasons Two and Three –

I did a Very Important Twitter Poll on Cavill’s Tudors look and this one won the popular vote. Longer hair and slightly more stubble; it’s a good look, don’t get me wrong. Unfortunately Brandon’s sex scenes dwindle in these seasons. He takes a 17-year-old wife and puts his womanizing ways behind him. However, in Season 3 he commands an army in Yorkshire and gets to wear armor and chainmail, it’s a strong look. 3.5 thirsts out of 5

Season Four –

The hair is questionable (too long, in my opinion) and bordering on a man-bun when he ties it back. The full beard is good, however. The main positives in this season are that Brandon is back commanding armies (this time in France) and he gets to have a romance! Yeay! He meets a young French woman during battle, takes her prisoner and they have sexy tent-based sex. 4.5 thirsts out of 5

1) Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Chris McQuarrie, 2018)

No other film could be number one, as this was where it all started. I was perfectly happy going about my (relatively) normal life, aware of Henry Cavill’s existence, then Fallout happened and bam, here I am, at the bottom of an extremely deep Cavill well. Let’s start with the film itself. The impossible missions themselves were barely on my radar. I had seen the first two when they came out way back when. I had not seen 3-5. Then the Fallout hype machine started, everyone and their second-cousin was doing re-watches of the entire franchise and, I confess, I saw a bandwagon and jumped aboard. I watched numbers 3-5 at home (Rogue Nation was my favorite, in case you care) and went to the movies to see Fallout. It was a pleasure to see Simon Pegg, Sean Harris and Rebecca Ferguson again, this time joined by the incredibly sexy Angela Bassett and Vanessa Kirby. But I was clearly unprepared for Cavill. I was aware of the mustache. I was aware of the magic gif where he reloads his arm guns and generates enough energy to force more manly stubble out of his face and produce a breast pocket. But this had not adequately prepared me for seeing that entire bathroom fight sequence. I am not sure I’ll ever be the same again. Bless Cavill’s thirst to be Bond because it has given us Napoleon Solo and August Walker, two fine creations of our time.

Film: 5 stars out of 5

Cavill’s Performance: I confess, while watching it, I was thinking “Armie Hammer could act the shit out of this role.” However, the physicality is such a fundamental part of Walker, I can’t really imagine anyone else doing it. The character goes through a journey, which I won’t spoil here and Cavill does a great job with the various aspects of it. 3.5 stars out of 5

Hotness: Off-the-charts. The mustache has broken me. The fighting has done me in. I am spent. One billion thirsts out of 5.

So; there you have it. If you’ve made it this far on this journey with me, I commend you. I’ve dropped a lot of hours on this project and I’m just pleased it has not been for naught. Not to scare you, but this is just the first part of my CAVILL COLOSSUS. Join me in Part Two, where I go into a lot more depth on how I feel about Cavill and Snyder’s DC Trilogy. RIP my mentions.

Author: Fiona Underhill, CC2K Staff Writer

Brit living in Southern California.
Former teacher of Media and Film Studies.
Current film writer for jumpcutonline.com, moviejawn.com and others.

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