Prepare for Star Trek Beyond with our guide to the most memorable Chris Pine movies
The Star Trek franchise has gone beyond colons in Star Trek Beyond, the next chapter in the reboot films. For the third time, Chris Pine will appear as the young Captain James T. Kirk alongside with the rest of the new Star Trek cast. And while Pine’s first two Star Trek films did well, it’s still an open question about whether Pine is a box office draw by himself.
Make no mistake, Pine has done quite well during his 13 years as a professional actor. But he’s also come up short as the latest actor to reboot Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Outside of Star Trek, Pine has yet to find a signature hit. His next potential blockbuster, Wonder Woman, has him in a supporting role as Steve Trevor, the long-time love interest of the title character.
Ahead of Star Trek Beyond’s release on July 22, ComingSoon.net has put together a retrospective of Pine’s films to date with a spotlight on the most memorable projects. Share your own favorite Chris Pine movies in the comment section below!
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
It’s kind of appropriate that Pine’s career is currently book ended by his appearances as the love interest for Wonder Woman and the love interest for the future Catwoman. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement was Pine’s first feature length film, and he played Lord Nicholas Devereaux, an unlikely suitor for the heart of Anne Hathaway’s Princess Mia.
The Princess Diaries 2 is a very Disney movie, and most of the focus was on Hathaway’s character. But Pine turned enough heads in the role that it ultimately led to chances to appear as the lead in his next few films.
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: Smokin’ Aces (2006)
After headlining two low-budget romantic comedies, Pine got his first taste of the action genre in Smokin’ Aces as Darwin, one of a trio of Neo-Nazi brothers including Kevin Durand and Maury Sterling who were sent to kill Jeremy Piven’s Buddy “Aces” Israel before he could cut a deal with the Feds.
Pine’s role in this film is relatively small, since the gimmick of Smokin’ Aces was the multiple assassins as played by Alicia Keys, Taraji P. Henson, Tommy Flanagan, and Nestor Carbonell. Ryan Reynolds played Richard Messner, the FBI agent assigned to protect Israel. The film was a modest hit at the box office.
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: Star Trek (2009)
Not all classic Star Trek fans are that fond of the reboot films directed by J.J. Abrams, but the state of the franchise in 2009 tends to be overlooked. There hadn’t been a Star Trek film since 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis or a TV show since Star Trek: Enterprise ended in 2005. The series needed fresh blood, and that’s what it got in this film.
Pine took over the role of Captain Kirk from William Shatner, and headlined the Star Trek reboot alongside Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy, both of whom appeared as Spock. The reboot was a smash success, but some complained that it veered away from the sci-fi aspects of Star Trek and became more of an action film.
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: Unstoppable (2010)
Unstoppable is the case study of why Pine hasn’t fully arrived yet. In 2010, Pine was paired with Denzel Washington and Rosario Dawson in a Tony Scott-directed film that got pretty good reviews…and yet Unstoppable tapped out at around $81 million domestically. That’s a modest hit, or at least it would be if the production budget hadn’t been closer to $100 million. Then a modest hit becomes a flop.
The unfortunate part is that Unstoppable is actually pretty good. Pine played Will Colson, a conductor who teamed up with Washington’s Frank Barnes to stop a runaway train.
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: This Means War (2012)
Want to talk flops? Welcome to This Means War. For this movie, Pine portrayed CIA agent Franklin “FDR” Foster, a man who found himself in a rivalry with his friend and fellow agent Tuck Hansen (Tom Hardy) for the heart of Reese Witherspoon’s Lauren Scott. Essentially, it was a romantic comedy action film… that nobody wanted.
$54 million would be considered a respectable return at the box office, if the film hadn’t cost at least $65 million to make. But the unmistakable impression is that the public had little interest in seeing Chris Pine as the next big action star.
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Star Trek Into Darkness eroded a lot of the good will for the Star Trek reboot by shamelessly remixing and mashing up the events of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. That included giving Pine’s Captain Kirk the epic “death” that belonged to Spock in the first telling of the story. Although it was unintentionally hilarious when Quinto’s Spock screamed “Khaaaan!” And wasn’t it weird that Kirk didn’t have any major radiation burns in that scene?
This movie was not a financial failure by any means, but the critical and fan response was lukewarm compared to the first reboot.
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit was the second attempt to reboot the Jack Ryan feature film franchise, with Pine taking over the title role that was previously held by Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and Alec Baldwin. And it was yet another Chris Pine action film to bring in less than its production budget.
It’s unfair to completely pin this movie’s failings on Pine. But as the leading man, he certainly deserves his share of the blame. It’s a very average film and audiences did not respond to it.
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)
Horrible Bosses 2 had a different part for Pine. Rather than casting Pine as the hero, he played Rex Hanson, the somewhat sympathetic antagonist of the film. However, audiences treated it with the indifference of a regular Chris Pine action film and it managed just over $54 million domestically, which is less than half what the first Horrible Bosses movie made.
Perhaps the real lesson here is that not every comedy deserves to get a sequel.
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: Z for Zachariah (2015)
You’d think that a movie with Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chris Pine as the only primary performers would get a lot of attention. And yet Z for Zachariah came and went at the box office with little response at all. The film was an adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien’s novel, with Pine’s Caleb added to the story as a catalyst for romantic tension between Robbie’s Ann and Ejiofor’s John Loomis.
Z for Zachariah didn’t flinch from going dark, even if it wasn’t quite a faithful adaptation. But it only received a limited release in this country.
Chris Pine Movies Spotlight: The Finest Hours (2016)
Pine’s most recent film, The Finest Hours came out earlier this year to a colossal thud at the box office. The story was based on the real Coast Guard rescue of the SS Pendleton in 1952, with Pine as Bernard “Bernie” Webber, one of the leading figures in that incident. As historical disaster thrillers go, it’s not bad. But the audience simply wasn’t there for this picture, leaving another disappointing mark on Pine’s record.[Gallery not found]