With the home entertainment release of The Lost City on August 3, there’s no better reason to look back on five of Channing Tatum’s best movies, and with such a diverse range of titles to his name, this is bound to be a contentious listing amongst his most loyal fans!
Tatum’s career has an incredible trajectory when you go right back to the start and consider some of his earliest film roles: Coach Carter, Supercross, She’s the Man and A Guide to Recognising Your Saints, not to mention his star-making turn in Step Up. The Alabama-born actor is a highly talented all-rounder, to be sure, and his ability to traverse genres is unique. From his action star turn White House Down and G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra to his natural comedic chops in 10 Years and Hail, Caesar! – not to mention his weighty dramatic brilliance in films like Foxcatcher, Dear John, Side Effects and Stop-Loss amongst others – his range is immense.
Did you see what we did there? It’s better to include as many of his movies in the preamble than it is to to annoy his devotees by excluding them from our list! We agree, he’s great! But here are five Channing Tatum movies that we’re particularly fond of.
Magic Mike (2012)
We had to come out of the gates strong, and Magic Mike is perhaps Tatum’s most iconic and career-defining moment. He reunited with his Haywire director, Steven Soderbergh, for this truly exceptional film, which was – contrary to misconceptions – a serious and fascinating look into the world of the male adult entertainment industry.
Tatum plays an ambitious young stripper who is taken under the wing of an older, more seasoned performer (played by Matthew McConaughey), and rises to the top of his profession.
It’s an eye-opening comedic drama that boasts phenomenal choreography, and truly showcases Tatum’s versatility. He went on to produce and star in the direct sequel Magic Mike XXL (2015) and will be returning for Magic Mike’s Last Dance next year.
Logan Lucky (2017)
Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky has been described by some critics as a redneck version of his earlier film, Ocean’s 11, and… that would be a fair assessment. The film marked the fourth collaboration between Soderbergh and Tatum, and is remembered mostly for the mesmerising dynamic of its three leading actors, with Daniel Craig and Adam Driver starring alongside Tatum.
Telling the story of three brothers who attempt to rob a motor speedway during an annual event, the film blends comedy and action with precision, and proves to be a high-octane thrill ride. The critics are correct: Logan Lucky is certainly cut from the same cloth as Ocean’s 11, but it’s lacking some serious fabric softener, presenting as a much grittier escapade.
Tatum’s star was still on the rise when he made Fighting, and it’s a film that seems to be forgotten amongst the man’s body of work. Re-teaming with his A Guide to Recognising Your Saints director, Dito Montiel, it’s the story of a young petty criminal from New York City who finds himself swept up in the world of bare-knuckle, underground street fighting.
It could even be described as an urban spin on The Karate Kid, and is worth a re-evaluation now that Tatum’s Hollywood status is at its peak.
21 Jump Street (2012)
The big screen remake/adaptation of 21 Jump Street has no business being as good as it is, and its triumph was owed to the satirical approach taken by Jonah Hill, who conceived the film before handing it over to the writers.
Taking place within the same cinematic universe as the original TV series from the ’80s, the movie adopts the same premise and follows two young detectives who go undercover in a high school to uncover a drug ring. Unlike the Johnny Depp-led television show which served as a social commentary, the movie plays for laughs, and is more comparable to the sort of fare produced by Judd Apatow.
If there’s one film from Tatum’s long resume which best demonstrates his comedic prowess, it is 21 Jump Street – without question. His precision and comedic timing makes his one of the funniest, most dim-witted characters in recent memory. An equally hilarious sequel, 22 Jump Street, was produced in 2015, however the long-rumoured third installment is yet to be made (as is the oddly-suggested Men in Black crossover movie).
The extent of Channing Tatum’s talent makes us sick. As if being proficient in drama, comedy, action, dancing and producing wasn’t enough, now he’s directing movies!
Dog is a passion project that derives from a documentary Tatum produced about war dogs (literally, dogs trained to serve on the battefield), and it tells the story of an army ranger who is tasked with driving a vicious service dog to the funeral of its fallen master.
The film skilfully balances drama with comedy, and takes cues from movies like Turner and Hooch, Max and Meagan Leavy. Mostly a road trip story, Tatum explores the heavy theme of PTSD with a deft hand for levity, which makes for an endearing and heart-warming story that doesn’t overdo the schmaltz (but tugs at the heartstrings all the same).