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Chris Pine Movies: 10 Big Screen Adventures, From ‘Princess Diaries 2’ to ‘Star Trek’ and Beyond

He's been entertaining us on the big screen for more than two decades

Twenty years ago, Chris Pine movies began to arrive on the big screen, starting with The Princess Diaries 2 and continuing through over three dozen more, most recently Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. In between, he’s starred in some huge franchises, including three Star Trek adventures as Captain James T. Kirk and a pair of Wonder Woman flicks as Colonel Steve Trevor.

Born on August 26, 1980 in Los Angeles, he began acting as a member of the UC Berkeley Theater Department, eventually studying at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater. Before he began appearing in Chris Pines movies, he made guest appearances on television shows like ER, The Guardian and CSI: Miami. However, once he reached the big screen, he hasn’t looked back.

What follows is a look at 10 of the movies he’s starred in, which span a wide variety of genres and characters.

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)

Chris Pine movies kicks off with Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, which sees Anne Hathaway‘s Mia Thermopolis graduating from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, and returning to Genovia where she is reunited with her grandmother, Queen Clarissa Renaldi (Julie Andrews). What Mia discovers is that if she wants to inherit the throne, she must marry within one month. Luckily Chris Pine’s Nicholas Deveraux enters the picture, though their journey is a rocky one.

Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine in 2004's The Princess Diaries 2
Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine in 2004’s The Princess Diaries 2©Disney/courtesy

At the time of the film’s release, Pine said, “Nicholas is what’s described in the script as Cary Grant reborn, which is not, of course, a things to live up to or anything. He’s kind of the bad boy lord, who does his own thing, is extremely charming, gets his way a lot and I’m sure is successful with the ladies. I also think a lot of the credit for the films’ success is due to Annie. She did a fantastic job in the way that she made that transformation from the kind of gawky teenager place to the elegant, graceful, beautiful princess that she becomes. I think it’s magical.”

Streaming on Disney+

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Just My Luck (2006)

Kind of a romantic take on Freaky Friday, with Lindsay Lohan as the oh-so-lucky Ashley Albright, who kisses the incredibly unlucky Jake Hardin (Pine) at a masquerade ball, and somehow their luck in life swap with each others’. Needless to say, love wins out in the end.

“What great about Jake,” says Pine, “is that he takes everything in stride. I think he has so much gratitude, and the relationship that develops with Ashley after it happens is one of empathy. I think the great message of the movie is that luck or no luck, success or no success, what’s really important is the person you find that you can share your life with.”

Streaming on Hulu, Tubi, The Roku Channel

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Star Trek (2009)

Prior to its release, it seemed that the idea of rebooting the original Star Trek with an all-new cast was a true disaster in the making. Thanks to the effort of director J.J. Abrams and finding the right cast — with a shot of Star Wars-like adrenaline thrown into the mix — it works. The plot has inteference in the timeline resulting in the creation of a new one, which still brings the Enterprise crew together, but under different circumstances and sets them off on a similar but altered path. Pine is great as William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk, as are Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as McCoy, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Simon Pegg as Scotty, John Cho as Sulu and Anton Yelchin as Chekov.

Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in 2009's Star Trek
Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in 2009’s Star Trek©Paramount Pictures/courtesy

Enthuses Pine about the character of Kirk, “James Kirk is everything that you’d want to be: impulsive, brash, loud, He’s a flirt; he loves women. He likes to drink. He’s got major issues with authority and the process of the movie is how this guy is going to take all of these disparate energies and mold them into the form of a captain.”

Director J.J. Abrams and the cast of 2009's Star Trek
Director J.J. Abrams and the cast of 2009’s Star Trek©Paramount Pictures/courtesy

Of Abrams he adds, “He’s seamlessly melded big budget action adventure movies with really great character stories, which is something of an art form that I don’t think many people understand. We get to loves these character and we get to know them as people, not as heroes and not as people exploring the far reaches of the universe, but really as someone you might meet someday. I think by building that love and relationship between the characters, and between the audience and these characters, once all that great big action stuff happens, you really care what’s going on and you’re really invested.”

Streaming on Paramount+

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Unstoppable (2010)

The remote operators of a large unmanned train discover that it’s running out of control, made even more dangerous by the fact that it’s carrying toxic chemicals that would result in an environmental disaster should it derail. Attempting to stop it are Denzel Washington as veteran railroad engineer Frank Barnes and Chris Pine as train conductor Will Colson.

Says Pine, “This script is just like the train — unstoppable. It’s got this momentum to it that’s undeniable, and director Tony Scott has a visual aesthetic that is so particular and so specific to him. The events of the day are building up one another and culminating in a controlled chaos that he’s a master at building.”

Streaming on AMC+

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Into the Woods (2014)

This is one of those Chris Pine movies where he has a supporting role as the Prince in love with Cinderella (Anna Kendrick). Here’s how the plot of this Broadway musical turned film is described: “As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch (Meryl Streep), a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are childless. Three days before the rise of a blue moon, they venture into the forest to find the ingredients that will reverse the spell and restore the witch’s beauty: a milk-white cow, hair as yellow as corn, a blood-red cape, and a slipper of gold. During their journey, they meet Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack, each one on a quest to fulfill a wish.”

Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine star in 2014's Into the Woods
Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine star in 2014’s Into the Woods©Disney/courtesy

For Pine, one of the biggest challenges of Into the Woods was just the idea of acting, singing and dancing. “I was just so worried about hitting the notes correctly,” he reflects. “I have so much more respect for the art form of musical theater after having done this. It’s hard enough doing it on film and I think about people on Broadway doing it eight shows a week — and on top of that they’re dancing. It’s a tremendous art form.”

Streaming on Disney+

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Star Trek Beyond (2016)

While 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness didn’t quite measure up to its 2009 predecessor, this third (and so far final) entry in the rebooted film series brings things together in fine form, feeling the most like the original Star Trek TV series than any of them. This time out Pine’s Captain Kirk is questioning his place in the universe, which he’s forced to come to grips with when he and the Enterprise crew are battling to save the universe from a being named Krall (Idris Elba), who himself had been a member of Starfleet in the past.

The late Anton Yelchin with Chris Pine in 2016's Star Trek Beyond
The late Anton Yelchin with Chris Pine in 2016’s Star Trek Beyond@Paramount Pictures/courtesy

Points out Chris Pine, “The first two films were very kind of Spock and Kirk-centric, and there’s a reason for that, because, by definition, these characters are kind of two polarities on the spectrum and it works great to investigate that dichotomy. But there are also some fantastic other characters in this series, and they were smart enough to break us up so we could see how they work together and who they are and to see what their personalities are like and how they play off each other and how well or not they work together. It’s called Star Trek, not Captain Kirk or Spock. It’s about a family, and as a viewer I would want to see everything about this family that I could.”

Streaming on Paramount+

Wonder Woman (2017)

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, years before meeting Batman or Superman in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, leaves Paradise Island during World War I and hunts down Ares, the God of War, who threatens the globe with destruction. The impetus to this is encountering Chris Pine’s Colonel Steve Trevor, the two of them awkwardly falling in love with each other.

What drew Pine to the project was actually director Patty Jenkins: “I met her not having read the script, not knowing anything about the story, and she pitched me what she wanted to do before the script had been completed. I loved it and thought it was a character that I could play and knew an angle in on it. On top of that, she referenced movies like Romancing the Stone and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, so I was sold.”

Chris Pine and Gal Gadot on 2017's Wonder Woman
Chris Pine and Gal Gadot on 2017’s Wonder Woman©WBDiscovery/courtesy

Also appealing was the relationship between Trevor and Wonder Woman, two people so opposite yet have great chemistry. “That type of relationship has always been great to see on screen,” he says, “from Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant and His Girl Friday, to, as I mentioned, Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone, or Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock in The Proposal. Anytime there’s the couple that you want to see together that can’t be together, that are so different that finally get together — I think everybody kind of cheers when that happens. I had great fun working with Gal and to do comedy is something that I always like to do.”

Streaming on Max, Netflix

All the Old Knives (2022)

The CIA makes the discovery that one of their ranks has exposed information resulting in the death of more than 100 people. Agent Henry Pelham (Chris Pine) , along with colleague and former lover Celia Harrison(Thandie Newton), try and discover who the mole is and bring him or her to justice.

Streaming on Amazon Prime

Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

If you remember the 1970s’ thriller The Stepford Wives, you could view this as an updating of it. The setting is the 1950s where Alice (Frances Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) move into an experimental company town named Victory. Everything there seems perfect (especially the wives), but joy turns to terror when Alice begins to figure out what’s really going on. One of the few movies in which Chris Pine plays the villain, in this case one by the name of Frank.

Streaming on Max

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)

The classic game becomes a humorous and exciting fantasy adventure, as a charming thief (Chris Pine) and a band of unlikely adventurers embark on an epic quest to retrieve a long lost relic, but this particular adventure goes dangerously awry when they they piss off the wrong people.

Jonathan Goldstein and Chris Pine in 2023's Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Jonathan Goldstein and Chris Pine in 2023’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves©Paramount Pictures/courtesy

Details Pine, “What I really liked about the film or the idea of the film is that this is a crew of extraordinarily ordinary people and I am definitely the captain of that ship. This guy that I play is sort of a failure at life and most things that he puts his mind to, but he’s incredibly optimistic, so the thing that carries him through is that he’s able to see the silver lining and has a glass half-full kind of perspective on life. He’s the great motivator and party planner, even though he has no discernible skills.”

Streaming on Paramount+

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