Dylan O'Brien's Best Movies and TV Shows, Ranked by Metacritic

Dylan O'Brien has come a LONG way from YouTube!
by Taylor Freitas — 

Dylan O'Brien

Phillip Faraone / Getty Images

He may have gotten his start on teen-focused TV shows and films, but more than a decade into his career, Dylan O'Brien has successfully proven that he's comfortable performing across diverse genres, including comedy, drama, action, and science fiction.

Before working in film and TV, O'Brien first earned the attention of entertainment industry insiders through his YouTube channel, where he created and starred in a series of original videos — while he was still in high school. A few years later, in the early 2010s, he kicked off his professional acting career with key roles in young adult-oriented shows and movies including Teen Wolf and The First Time

From there, O'Brien continued building his film and TV résumé with appearances in New Girl and The Internship, and by 2014, the native New Yorker had largely transitioned to the big screen, landing starring roles in the Maze Runner trilogy, American Assassin, Bumblebee, Love and Monsters, and Flashback. In 2021, O'Brien made headlines again when he co-starred with Sadie Sink in All Too Well: The Short Film, a 15-minute romantic drama written and directed by Taylor Swift and released as part of Red (Taylor's Version).

O'Brien's latest project is the upcoming comedy Not Okay. The film stars Zoey Deutch (who previously worked with O'Brien on 2022's The Outfit) as Danni Sanders, a fame-obsessed young woman who pretends to be involved in a tragedy to gain stardom.

Here, Metacritic highlights the best movies and TV shows O'Brien has acted in, ranked by Metascore.

Curb Your Enthusiasm 

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of improv comedy
Where to watch: 

, , , ,
Seasons: 11 (so far)

Created by and starring Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm depicts a fictionalized version of David's life in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, where he often finds himself in hilariously absurd situations. Over the course of more than two years on the air, the show has featured dozens of guest appearances from hundreds of comedians and celebrities, including the Seinfeldcast, Richard Lewis, Ted Danson, Wanda Sykes, and more. In the show's most recent season, O'Brien plays a version of himself in an episode titled "Angel Muffin," in which he is being considered to play a younger version of Larry in a new Netflix show.

"At this point, Curb Your Enthusiasm isn't just prettay prettay good, it's prettay prettay damn near flawless." — Ross Bonaime, Collider

The Outfit (2022)

Metascore: 69
Best for: Fans of organized crime dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , , Vudu
Runtime: 105 minutes

As the first feature film directed by Graham Moore (who also co-wrote the screenplay), The Outfit follows the life of Leonard Burling (Mark Rylance), an English tailor (also known as a "cutter"). Although he used to be a high-end tailor in London, Leonard now runs a shop in a dangerous part of Chicago, where he makes clothing for the Boyles, a powerful family of Irish-American mobsters. Matters are fairly peaceful between both parties until Ritchie Boyle (O'Brien) comes into the tailoring shop after being shot — forcing Leonard to get involved with the family's illicit dealings.

"The Outfit is imperfect, but it works perfectly." — Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

Deepwater Horizon

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of disaster films
Where to watch:

, , , Vudu
Runtime: 107 minutes

Based on real events, Deepwater Horizon is a re-telling of the catastrophic 2010 drilling rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It stars Mark Wahlberg as Mike Williams, a technician who takes charge in the aftermath of the explosion in an attempt to save the crew members aboard the vessel. O'Brien plays Caleb Holloway, a member of the drilling team who helps Mike with the rescue effort. Released in 2016, Deepwater Horizon received several major award nominations, including two at the Academy Awards and one at the BAFTA Awards.

"Deepwater Horizon is effective, efficient and furiously paced." — Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

New Girl

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of quirky sitcoms
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix,
Seasons: 7

The Elizabeth Meriwether-created show premiered in 2011 and stars Zooey Deschanel as Jessica Day (better known as Jess), a teacher who moves into an apartment with three male roommates. After moving in, Jess grows close with each of the men, especially Nick Miller (Jake Johnson), who eventually becomes her romantic interest. In one episode of New Girl's second season, aptly titled "Virgins," each of the roommates reflects on how they lost their virginity, and Jess tells a story that involves a flashback to an encounter with a man simply known as "The Guy" (O'Brien).

"Overall [it] is more charming than hilarious." — Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Weird City 

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of sci-fi comedies
Where to watch: YouTube Premium
Seasons: 1

Jordan Peele and Charlie Sanders developed Weird City for YouTube Premium in 2019. The anthology series is set in the fictional and futuristic city of Weird, where people are split into the "Haves" and "Have-Nots" based on their economic status. O'Brien appears in the first episode of the show (titled "The One"), playing the character of Stu Maxsome, who strikes up a romantic relationship with a man named Burt (Ed O'Neill). Despite only lasting one season, Weird City managed to land an impressive set of actors, including O'Brien and O'Neill, plus Michael Cera, Laverne Cox, and Rosario Dawson

"Weird City is built on one twisted foundation." — Mark A. Perigard, Boston Herald


Metascore: 66
Best for: Fans of big-budget action flicks
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , Paramount+, Vudu
Runtime: 114 minutes

Part of the Transformers franchise, this 2018 film is the origin story of the Transformers Autobot named Bumblebee (voiced by O'Brien). In the movie, Hailee Steinfeld plays Charlie Watson, a teenage girl who receives a yellow Volkswagen Beetle as a gift, not knowing that it would transform into Bumblebee. Together, the girl and the robot forge a fast friendship and answer the call from Transformers leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) to protect the Earth against the Autbots' archrivals, the Decepticons. A sequel (Transformers: Rise of the Beasts) is currently in the works and is expected to be released in 2023.

"Nothing here surprises save the perspective. But that's enough to save it." — Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic

Teen Wolf 

Metascore: 66
Best for: Fans of teen dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , , ,
Seasons: 6

Inspired by the 1985 film of the same name, Teen Wolf is a supernatural TV series that revolves around Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), a California high schooler who gains animalistic abilities after being bitten by a werewolf. After receiving his new powers, Scott must learn how to balance them with his everyday life in order to keep his town safe and maintain a normal life. O'Brien plays Scott's best friend, Stiles Stilinski, who helps him understand and manage his new powers. The show debuted on MTV in 2011 and aired for six seasons; a follow-up film is coming soon, though he is not scheduled to reprise his role in it.

"Teen Wolf isn't joking about friendship and loyalty in the gnarly face of terror." — Matt Roush, TV Guide Magazine

Love and Monsters 

Metascore: 63
Best for: Fans of action-packed monster flicks
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunes, Paramount+, Vudu
Runtime: 109 minutes

O'Brien stars as Joel Dawson in Love and Monsters, a 2020 sci-fi adventure film set in Fairfield, Calif. The movie takes place several years after a catastrophic event in which most of humankind is killed, and giant mutated animals have taken over the planet. In this uncertain new world, Joel sets out to reunite with his former girlfriend, Aimee (Jessica Henwick), taking on any strange and terrifying creatures that he encounters along the way. Love and Monsters, which was directed by Michael Matthews, earned a nomination for Best Visual Effects at the 2021 Academy Awards.

"Love and Monsters lacks the self-seriousness of typical dystopian flicks but, despite its surprisingly perfunctory title and relatively thin plot, it doesn't completely lack depth." — Lovia Gyarkye, The New York Times

Not Okay

Metascore: 63
Best for: Fans of biting social commentary and skewering influencer culture
Where to watch: 

Runtime: 100 minutes

Writer-director Quinn Shephard follows up her 2018 debut Blame with a film that takes a hard look at the desire to be in the social media spotlight. Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch) wants to have pieces published on the online website where she works in the art department, but her voice is self-indulgent, as is her social media presence. To impress writer and influencer Colin (O'Brien), she says she got into a writers' retreat in Paris, and she sets out on local photo ops that she then Photoshops with famous French landmarks. After a terrorist attack hits an actual French landmark minutes after she posts a photo claiming to be there, she suddenly has the insta-fame (and attention from Colin) she was craving. But as she gets involved with a survivors' support group and meets activist Rowan (Mia Isaac), she finds the real friendship and community that she was craving, but it is built on a terrible lie.

"Shepard's reach might exceed her grasp, but there's no question that she takes risks and is a filmmaker of notable promise." — Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

The Maze Runner 

Metascore: 57
Best for: Fans of dystopian young-adult thrillers
Where to watch:

, , , Vudu
Runtime: 113 minutes

Based on James Dashner's 2009 novel of the same title, The Maze Runner follows Thomas (O'Brien), a teenager who awakens in an elevator with no memory of what happened. He soon discovers that he's trapped in a maze with several other young men, each of whom takes on various tasks to keep their society (called "the Glade") functioning. As the maze changes each day, it's up to Thomas and a group of other boys (known as "Runners") to find a way out before nightfall hits. Following its 2014 release, the film spawned two sequels: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Maze Runner: The Death Cure.

"As world-creation YA pictures go, The Maze Runner feels refreshingly low-tech and properly story-driven." — Ella Taylor, Varietyhttps://www.metacritic.com/movie/the-first-timean