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Hayden Christensen's Best Movies, Ranked by Metacritic

From 'Star Wars' to indie dramas, discover Hayden Christensen's best movies, ranked by Metascore.

Annie Lyons
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Hayden Christensen

Karwai Tang / Getty Images

After making his first acting appearance at age 13, Hayden Christensengained wider recognition in the early 2000s due to his iconic role as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise. He first appeared as Anakin in Attack of the Clones, the second film in director George Lucas' prequel trilogy. It's not surprising that his Star Wars projects make up a significant portion of his highest-rated projects in the below list. 

However, Christensen has taken his action skills to a number of thrillers outside the popular franchise, including Jumper and American Heist. He has starred in a wide variety of other genres too, such as horror movie Vanishing on 7th Street, biopic Shattered Glass, and romantic comedy Little Italy.

The Canadian actor first gained critical acclaim after portraying a misunderstood teen in family drama Life as a House. This performance earned him nominations for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. His performance in Star Wars also won him Cannes Film Festival's Male Revelation award, which is intended to spotlight rising young actors, as well as six Teen Choice Award nominations. 

After nearly 15 years away from the Star Wars universe, Christensen had a cameo voice role in The Rise of Skywalker. Now, he returns full force in the new TV series Obi-Wan Kenobi, reprising his role from the prequel trilogy alongside Ewan McGregor. Plus, he'll also appear in the upcoming Ahsoka series that's scheduled to be released in 2023. 

Here, Metacritic highlights Christensen's best movies, ranked by Metascore.


The Virgin Suicides

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of psychological dramas and explorations of girlhood
Where to watch:

, EPIX, fuboTVGoogle Play, iTunes, , Vudu
Runtime: 97 minutes

With dreamlike visuals and poignant melancholy, Sofia Coppola considers the chasms between fantasy, memory, and adolescence in her directorial debut. Based on the 1993 best-selling novel of the same name by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides unravels the haunting tragedy of five beautiful but enigmatic sisters in 1970s suburbia. After the youngest sister's death by suicide, their strict parents isolate and suppress the remaining girls. The film is told from the perspective of neighborhood boys who obsess over the sisters, but never really understand them. Christensen plays one admirer who escorts a sister to a dance. 

"In an astonishingly assured film debut, Coppola captures the poetry and sweetness of Eugenides' novel without allowing any of the standard rites of passage — first dates, high-school dances — to feel trite." — Sarah Hepola, The Austin Chronicle


Shattered Glass

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of journalism dramas and stories inspired by real scandals
Where to watch:

,Google Play, iTunes, Tubi, Vudu
Runtime: 94 minutes

Based on a true story, Shattered Glass is a biographical drama that examines a popular up-and-coming journalist's public disgrace. Christensen stars as Stephen Glass, an associate editor at The New Republic. Another reporter, Adam Penenberg (Steve Zahn), discovers large incongruities in Stephen's latest hit story and begins investigating his claims. As Stephen tries to cover his tracks, his fabrications are soon revealed to go even further than they appeared. Also starring Chloë Sevigny, the film examines media ethics, the dangers of sensationalism, and the rise of internet journalism.

"A moral, not a moralistic, movie. It's also a bracing aesthetic achievement, creating a fictional version of a factual case that illuminates as it entertains." — Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun


Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of Star Wars and villain origin stories
Where to watch:

, Google PlayiTunesVudu
Runtime: 140 minutes

The final film in Lucas' Star Wars prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith depicts the transformation of Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) into one of the most iconic villains of cinema history, Darth Vader. As the Clone Wars rage on, Anakin's secret wife, Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), reveals she's pregnant. Fearful for Padmé's life, he is increasingly manipulated by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, leading to catastrophic tragedy across the galaxy. Fans of the original Star Wars trilogy might know how this episode inevitably ends, but new details are revealed alongside thrilling lightsaber duels and shocking turns.

"Even for non-fans, Revenge of the Sith is engrossing, and fans of the series will likely be over the moon — and into another galaxy — with this film." — Claudia Puig, USA Today


Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Metascore: 54
Best for: Fans of sci-fi adventures and stories about political intrigue
Where to watch:

, , Google PlayiTunes,
Runtime: 142 minutes

Taking place 10 years after The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones delves into the complicated politics of the Galactic Republic. Anakin has grown up and is now the apprentice of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor). Tension rises in the galaxy as a burgeoning separatist movement threatens the Republic's order. When Senator Padmé Amidala narrowly survives an assassination attempt, Obi-Wan investigates and makes an unexpected discovery. Elsewhere, Anakin and Padmé find themselves falling for each other. The film introduces new key characters and further sets the stage for the original Star Wars trilogy, concluding with an epic final battle. 

"It's exactly the big fix of Saturday-matinee adventure, blazing special effects, inside humor and sly self-references for which its fans have been lusting." — William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer


In the Mouth of Madness

Metascore: 53
Best for: Fans of horror, cult classics, and movies where reality blurs
Where to watch:

Google PlayiTunesVudu
Runtime: 95 minutes

Reality and fiction blur in this meta horror film directed by genre legend John Carpenter. In the Mouth of Madness stars Sam Neill as John Trent, an insurance investigator looking into the disappearance of an acclaimed horror novelist. Clues soon lead him to a Stephen King-esque New England town that eerily parallels the author's fictional works. John wonders whether it's all an elaborate publicity stunt, but as supernatural events start occurring, he begins to lose his grip on reality. Making his first film appearance, Christensen has a small role as a paper boy. 

"All in all, In the Mouth of Madness is a fun, clever horror picture, full of creepy crawlies, things that go bump in the night, and references to everyone from H.P. Lovecraft to Dario Argento." — Joey O'Bryan, The Austin Chronicle


Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

Metascore: 53
Best for: Fans of Star Wars and space thrillers
Where to watch:

, , Google PlayiTunesVudu
Runtime: 142 minutes

In the sprawling conclusion to the latest Star Wars trilogy, Rey (Daisy Ridley) bands together with her friends in the Resistance to finally defeat the oppressive First Order. Her fate is tied together with that of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who struggles with his allegiances. As she journeys to face off against the resurrected Emperor Palpatine, she must draw on her connection with the Jedi and finally learn the truth about her identity. Christensen contributes voice work to the film, cameoing as a Force ghost who gives Rey strength during a pivotal moment. 

"It's a breakneck conclusion to what's been a breakneck restart." — Michael Roffman, Consequence


Vanishing on 7th Street

Metascore: 50
Best for: Fans of survival stories and post-apocalyptic thrillers
Where to watch:

, Google PlayiTunesPluto TV, Tubi,
Runtime: 90 minutes

Darkness is often an essential element in horror films, making you wonder what monsters or killers lurk in the shadows. But in Vanishing on 7th Street, darkness itself is the culprit. This peculiar premise follows the aftermath of an unexplained blackout in Detroit. When Luke (Christensen) wakes up the next morning, he discovers that most of the city's population has abruptly disappeared, leaving only their clothing behind. He learns light provides protection from the mysterious danger and unites with other survivors (played by Thandiwe Newton and John Leguizamo). Together, they must keep the lights on and try to find safety.

"The actors work hard to convey terror-especially Mr. Christensen...but the panic that overtakes the characters never quite grips the audience." — Rex Reed, The Observer


New York, I Love You

Metascore: 49
Best for: Fans of Love Actually and the Big Apple
Where to watch:

, iTunes, , Pluto TV, Tubi, Vudu 
Runtime: 103 minutes

New York, I Love You pens a love letter to its titular city through a series of stories about love and heartbreak. Similar to movies like Love Actually and Valentine's Day, the romantic anthology follows an extensive cast of characters searching for connection across the five boroughs. Instead of one interconnected story though, the film's structured into 11 distinct vignettes, each with its own director. The film has a star-studded ensemble cast, including Christensen, Portman, Bradley Cooper, Blake Lively, Ethan Hawke, Kevin Bacon, Cloris Leachman, and Orlando Bloom.

"The segments don't form anything like a coherent whole, but they aren't distinctive enough to clash meaningfully with each other, either." — Sam Adams, The A.V. Club


Factory Girl

Metascore: 45
Best for: Fans of 1960s counterculture and biographical dramas 
Where to watch:

Google PlayiTunesPluto TV, Tubi, Vudu
Runtime: 90 minutes

Inspired by true events, Factory Girl considers the complicated power dynamics of an artist-muse relationship. In the mid-1960s, socialite Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller) moves to New York City where she meets famed artist Andy Warhol (Guy Pearce). He takes her under his wing and casts her in many of his experimental film projects, launching her to international fame. Edie becomes part of the city's bohemian artist community and finds romance with a charming musician based on Bob Dylan (played by Christensen). However, her troubled past and volatile relationship with Warhol soon lead to tragedy. 

"This is a movie about power, and its spectacle is that of a woman losing all of it." — Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle


Life as a House

Metascore: 45
Best for: Fans of tearjerkers and family dramas 
Where to watch:

, Google PlayiTunesVudu
Runtime: 125 minutes

A sentimental drama about a family rebuilding, Life as a House stars Kevin Kline as cynical George Monroe, a father struggling to connect with his ex-wife Robin (Kristin Scott Thomas) and troubled teen son Sam (Christensen). After discovering he has an advanced case of terminal cancer, George decides to tear down his father's old shack and build a new custom house in its place. He enlists a reluctant Sam to help, giving them one last summer together as George's condition worsens. Christensen's portrayal of Sam earned him nominations for a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. 

"Just when this sunshiny and affectionate comedy is beginning to bloom, the inevitable, tear-jerking conclusion closes off the fun like a Venetian blind blocking the light." — David Denby, The New Yorker


Takers

Metascore: 45
Best for: Fans of elaborate heists and crime movies
Where to watch:

Google PlayiTunes, Tubi, Vudu
Runtime: 107 minutes

A meticulous group of bank robbers try to pull off one last heist in this action thriller. Christensen, Idris Elba, and Chris Brown play members of the crew who live lavishly in between jobs. After a former member gets released from prison, he brings them a job involving enough money to retire on. Meanwhile, two single-minded detectives (played Matt Dillon and Paul Walker) are hot in pursuit. The film moves at a fast pace with plenty of action sequences taking place on the L.A. streets. As the detectives close in, Takers examines how even the best laid plans can turn deadly. 

"It's a film far more concerned with style — architectural, vehicular and wardrobe-related — than substance." — Claudia Puig, USA Today