Your favorite actor should play a key role in your life. Your favorite actor is someone you could watch no matter your mood, somebody whose presence on the silver screen distracts from the fact that you just paid over ten dollars to watch a movie in a smelly theater with popcorn on the floor. Or, they could be someone you catch on TV, someone who gives you a brief, 30-minute to one-hour window of joy in the middle of your work week. For me, that actor is John Krasinski.
As I believe any true Krasinski fan should, I’ve seen every movie in which Krasinski has starred, as well as every episode of his long stint as The Office’s Jim Halpert. Thanks to my hard-earned expertise, I’ve rated each of the eleven films in which he starred. Not just on their overall quality, but also using a metric I invented, known as the ‘Krasinskimeter.’
The Krasinskimeter measures a movie on its utilization of John Krasinski, that is, how effectively it makes use of his charm, good looks, and charisma. For instance, in The Office, any scene from seasons one through four where Jim is flirting with Pam would make for a 10/10 on the Krasinskimeter. Meanwhile, in the season two premiere of Bojack Horseman, where Krasinski plays the animated character Secretariat, a 0/10 on the Krasinskimeter is earned, due to a limited role for Krasinski, as well as the lack of an actual appearance of Krasinski on screen.
Now that we’ve added statistics to acting, let’s add rankings. Weighting the overall movie quality with the ranking earned on the Krasinskimeter, I give you:
The Official Ringer The Ranking of the Eleven Movies in which John Krasinski Starred
Tier 4: Leave the room if this movie is on
11. License to Wed (2007)
Easily one of the worst movies I’ve ever voluntarily watched. Thanks to a terrible plot, garbage writing, and an overall cookie-cutter feel to the movie, License to Wed nearly made me regret setting out to watch every Krasinski movie. The film’s only saving graces were John Krasinski’s role as a romantic male lead, as well as the natural hilarity of Robin Williams. With those two titans of the acting profession, you’d think the movie would be able to climb up from last place, but you’d be wrong.
Overall Rating: 0/10
10. Nobody Walks (2012)
Though the movie is well made in many respects, what made it freefall down to tenth on the ranking is how nauseatingly pretentious it is. In this one, Krasinski plays a sound editor who takes in a young female artist. The artist’s passion is making films of bugs with meticulously detailed sound, which is apparently a legitimate artform. One of the most amazing feats of this film is that, while it’s able to depict a web of six or so people all cheating on each other, it also feels like nothing is happening.
Overall Rating: 2/10
Tier 3: Meh. Watch it if it’s on, I guess.
9. Something Borrowed (2011)
Very narrowly escaping the ‘Leave the room’ tier, this movie is a simple, uninteresting romantic comedy. There are a few things that make the film mildly watchable, most notably how attractive all the actors and actresses are. John Krasinski, in this movie not the romantic lead, is the best friend of the main character Rachel, and acts as her ‘reality-check’ at several points in the movie. Krasinski, despite not having a huge role, is the character to whom the audience most relates, giving this movie a significant bump on the Krasinskimeter. Though by no means a good movie, it’s watchable if you turn your brain off for two hours.
Overall Rating: 3.5/10
8. Big Miracle (2012)
A cheesy ‘inspired by a true story’ movie, it’s a big miracle this isn’t lower on the list. The miracle was pulled off, of course, in large part due to Krasinski. His character, Adam Carlson, is the newscaster who discovers three gray whales trapped underneath rapidly forming ice in Alaska. With the help of his ex-girlfriend, as well as another new love interest, Carlson and the town members of Point Barrow, Alaska save the whales, proving once and for all that with teamwork, anything is possible! The main issue with this movie is that, for a ‘based on a true story’ movie, you can tell a lot of it is, well, ‘exaggerated.’ In addition, the script, the music, and the acting are all just a little too cheesy to warrant a higher rank on this list. Of course, Krasinski’s acting is exempt from this complaint, as he gives one of his best performances in Big Miracle. His character is the ‘guy in town everyone loves,’ a role Krasinski was born to play. I’m again not going to go as far as calling this movie ‘good,’ or promise you a whaleof a good time, but Krasinski fans will definitely get a kick out of this one.
Overall Rating: 4.5/10
7. It’s Complicated (2009)
Meryl Streep. Alec Baldwin. Steve Martin. John Krasinski. Star-studded, Oscar nominated movie? Nope. Mediocre romantic comedy. It’s got a decent story though: divorced couple Jake (Alec Baldwin) and Jane Adler (Meryl Streep) rekindle their romance at their son’s graduation. Problem is, Jake is remarried, and Jane has recently started something up with an architect she hired, Adam (Steve Martin). Aside from being a movie entirely about rich white people problems, it’s a pretty fun watch. Krasinski plays Jake and Jane’s son-in-law, Harley, and is again the character the audience most relates to. Harley is the one who first discovers Jake and Jane’s affair, and he and the audience both watch uncomfortably as the rest of the family starts to figure things out. Unfortunately, Krasinski does have limited screen time in this movie, a huge blow to the film’s Krasinskimeter rating.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Tier 2: Seek it out if you have the time
6. Leatherheads (2008)
When I looked over these movies before I began watching them, Leatherheadswas the odds-on favorite to earn the top spot in the rankings. It had everything you’d want in a movie. A great lead actor: George Clooney. A promising set-up: in 1925, a struggling football team fighting bankruptcy recruits popular college football player Carter Rutherford to save the team; hilarity ensues. And of course, lots of Krasinski. But the movie fails to ever get going. It has a few laughs from time to time, and a fun female lead played by Renée Zellweger, but something about the movie was just missing. It got a little boring during stretches, and it really didn’t seem to take full advantage of its comedic potential. Krasinski was in most of the movie, helping to pick up the slack a little bit. But all in all, I’ll always remember Leatherheads as a movie that didn’t live up to my probably unrealistic expectations. But I’m gonna blame George Clooney.
Overall Rating: 6/10
4. (TIE) Promised Land (2012)
I decided to bump this up from fifth to a tie for fourth because it has my second favorite actor playing its main character. Since I have no movie expertise and am making this list solely based on my opinions, I think I should be allowed to do that. Promised Land is an anti-fracking movie starring and written by Krasinski and Matt Damon, and despite its political premise it is a fun movie to watch. It’s well-written, with a surprisingly intricate, if slightly unbelievable, plot, and has a great role for both Krasinski and Damon. Even though I have it tied for fourth, this is the movie I’d most likely re-watch if I were to pick one. I don’t want to give up too much of the plot because I want you to watch it so I’ll just rate it.
Overall Rating: 7/10
4. (TIE) The Hollars (2016)
Starring: John Krasinski. Directed by: John Krasinski. Full disclosure, those two facts may have inflated my rating of The Hollars. But it really is a solid flick. The film has a good cast, featuring Charlie Day, Anna Kendrick, Richard Jenkins, Margo Martindale, and Randall Park. The plot follows Krasinski’s character John Hollar, who returns home after learning that his mother has fallen ill, and once home has to deal with the dysfunctional family he had tried to forget. A solid family comedy, The Hollars will give you a few good chuckles, and is worth a watch. For Krasinski fans, throw this in the ‘must watch’ category.
Overall Rating: 7/10
3. 13 Hours (2016)
This is easily the highest budget movie Krasinski has ever starred in. Before I watched this movie, I was skeptical of an action/war movie that starred Jim from The Office. But what this film taught me is that Krasinski is a much more versatile actor than he’s given credit for. The film tells the story of the 2012 attack on a US compound in Libya, and the six soldiers who defended it. The action scenes are well done and very exciting (as with any Michael Bay movie), and the characters are built surprisingly well for an action movie. At almost two and a half hours, the movie is a significant time commitment, but it’s an exciting action movie that’s worth the time.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Tier 1: Actually a great movie. You should really watch this.
2. Away We Go (2009)
A very funny flick revolving around Verona (Maya Rudolph) and Burt (Krasinski), a couple who, upon discovering that they are going to have a child, decide to travel around the country looking for the perfect place to start their family. Though it was easily my favorite movie of the eleven Krasinskimeter-wise, I decided to keep it from the top spot. (See, I do have a shred of objectivity). The reason I ranked Away We Go second is, though it’s one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen, it’s still a romantic comedy. And while Krasinski is amazing in that genre, he’s capable of more. The genre as a whole shoots for a mass audience and yearns to be “above average.” Be bold. Write a romance. Or write a comedy. Don’t split the difference. Sorry Away We Go, away you go.
Overall Rating: 9/10
1. Smiley Face (2007)
This was by far the movie I most enjoyed, despite the fact that Krasinski didn’t see significant screen time. In this movie, Anna Faris plays a stoner who, after accidentally eating her roommate’s marijuana-laced cupcakes, sets out on a series of misadventures. Krasinski’s character, one of the people she comes by during her day, is hands-down the funniest character I’ve ever seen him play. For a movie with such a simple premise, it has a very engaging plot and entertained me throughout its duration. For lack of a better pun, this movie sure gave me a smiley face.
Overall Rating: 10/10
So, there you have it. I poured around 20 hours into research in order to prep The Official Ringer The Ranking of the Eleven Movies in which John Krasinski Starred. But, let’s be honest, I enjoyed all 72,000 seconds of it. When it’s your favorite actor, you feel a connection. Time flies as you watch them display their craft, as you become wrapped into their on-screen life. You feel fulfilled after you watch them work. And after they carry a movie like License to Wed, you only kind of hate yourself for watching it.
John Krasinski is massively underrated in the acting world. He has a very particular role he excels at: the charming straight-man of the cast whose sarcastic humor and awareness of the situations he’s in make him the guy on screen that the audience relates to. And yet, from what I’ve seen in 13 Hours, Leatherheads, and Smiley Face, some of my favorite performances of his are when he’s asked to do something different.
Perhaps due to his legendary role as Jim Halpert, he’ll always be pegged for the straight-man character he’s known for. But that’s a mistake. America would be missing out on one of the best actors around. Every movie I see instantly gets worse when I find out John Krasinski isn’t in it.
Filmmakers of Hollywood, I have one thing to say: cast John Krasinski. I need more movies to watch.