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Taylor Kitsch Best Movies & TV Shows — From ‘Friday Night Lights’ to ‘Battleship’

"Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose."


We fell in love with him as Dillon, Texas’ resident broody bad-boy throughout the early 2000s in his role as Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights, but who imagined Taylor Kitsch, the Canadian heartthrob, would grow into one of the most versatile thespians in Hollywood, acting in some of the most acclaimed movies and TV shows of the last decade?

Before hitting the big screen, he led many lives: hockey player throughout his youth, personal trainer upon making his big move to New York City, and Abercrombie model were a few of the ventures he’s pursued throughout his life.

Taylor Kitsch, 2006 taylor kitsch movies and tv shows
Taylor Kitsch, 2006David Livingston/Getty Images

However, his big break in Friday Night Lights is what propelled him to stardom, putting an end to the struggle he endured as a young actor, who, for a period of time, experienced homelessness, sleeping on subways.

RELATED: ‘Friday Night Lights’ Star Kyle Chandler: Where Is He Now & Will There Be a Reboot?

With those days far behind him, Kitsch’s career continues to flourish, and he’s even set to star in American Primeval in 2024, a Netflix series about the origins of the American West, collaborating once again with Friday Night Lights executive producer Peter Berg.

Here, take a look at our ranking of the best Taylor Kitsch movies and TV shows of his career.

Taylor Kitsch top 10 movies and TV shows, ranked

10. Battleship (2012) Taylor Kitsch movies and TV shows

Taylor Kitsch leads this film as Alex Hopper, a lieutenant in the Navy, who, thanks to his less-than-ideal behavior, has him facing a disciplinary discharge. However, an alien presence on Earth forces him to assume command and prove he has what it takes to not only continue his service, but to ultimately save the world from an unknown fate.

While perhaps not a critical success, Battleship still has the charm of a sci-fi action movie that makes it a guilty pleasure for many.

Additionally, the film put Taylor Kitsch alongside his Friday Night Lights co-star Jesse Plemons, who played the role of Landry Clarke in the acclaimed series. Alexander Skarsgård and Rihanna also had roles in the film.

9. Only the Brave (2017)

Only the Brave tells the story of a group of courageous men, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, who became known as one of the most skilled teams of firefighters in the United States. Based on a true story, Only the Brave chronicles the brotherhood and selflessness that went into fighting a historic Arizona wildfire.

8. The Terminal List (2022)

Taylor Kitsch stars alongside Chris Pratt in this action-thriller Amazon Prime series, in which Pratt’s character of James Reece returns home after his Navy SEAL Platoon is ambushed, only to discover the safety of he and his family is at risk. Taylor Kitsch plays former Navy SEAL Ben Edwards.

7. The Grand Seduction (2013)

Taylor Kitsch stars as Dr. Paul Lewis, a doctor who ends up in a small fishing community in Newfoundland for a month, acting as their resident physician. What he doesn’t realize is that the townspeople are secretly persuading him to stay and practice there permanently for their own reasons.

6. True Detective, Season 2 (2014)

The second installment of this renowned series, True Detective season 1 was met with critical acclaim for the mystery uncovered by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. In season 2, we see a cast of familiar faces bring yet another crime story to life, including Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn and of course, Taylor Kitsch.

Kitsch stars as Officer Paul Woodrugh, a California Highway Patrol officer who discovers the body of a city manager discarded on the side of a highway while on a motorcycle ride one evening. This unfolds a series of events, ultimately intertwining the lives and intentions of each of the characters.

Related: Jodie Foster Reflects on Her Storied Career and Teases ‘True Detective: Night Country’

5. American Assassin (2017) Taylor Kitsch movies and TV shows

American Assassin stars Dylan O’Brien as Mitch Rapp, a man whose girlfriend is murdered by terrorists while the two are vacationing in Ibiza together. Unable to cope with this loss, he embarks on a journey toward vengeance so he can take down the killers on his own.

When he finally gets the opportunity to confront the men responsible, he is intercepted by U.S. Special Forces who complete his goal before he can. Then recruited for a black-ops mission, he finds himself working toward preventing a mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) from carrying out a plan of epic destruction.

4. Waco (2018)

This 2018 miniseries put Taylor Kitsch at the forefront as David Koresh, leader of the religious group known as the Branch Davidians, who were in a 51 day standoff with the FBI and ATF at their Waco, Texas compound.

Nearly unrecognizable in his role, Taylor Kitsch showed just how skilled of an actor he really is in this intense and gripping series.

3. Painkiller (2023)

Another miniseries, Painkiller is a fictionalized depiction of the rise of the opioid epidemic in the United States, with a focus on Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin.

Taylor Kitsch brings to life the tragic story of Glen Kryger, a man who was injured at work, was prescribed OxyContin, and in a story all too familiar, becomes addicted.

Kitsch’s performance in the series received positive reviews for his heartbreaking portrayal, and director and executive producer Peter Berg, who worked with Kitsch on Friday Night Lights, knew he was the right fit for the role.

Obviously, I have a great relationship with Taylor. I’ve known him for so long, and I know that he’s had very personal family connections to OxyContin,” Berg told TV Insider.

“He had a sister that struggled with a very serious OxyContin addiction, and he took time out from his career to help her. She’s good now, but I know how rough it was for Taylor and his family to go through an opioid addiction that intensely.”

Berg continued, “…I immediately thought about him because I knew he was right for the role to play someone like Glen, a small business owner gets hurt on a job — that seems right in Taylor’s wheelhouse. The fact that he had such a personal connection to the opioid crisis made me calling him that much easier. He was the first and only call I made.”

2. The Normal Heart (2014) Taylor Kitsch movies and TV shows

The Normal Heart tells the story of a group of men who come together in the early 80s to spread awareness about HIV-AIDS to both the mainstream public and the gay community, during a time where the truth of the disease was largely unknown.

1. Friday Night Lights (2006 – 2011)

Easily his most iconic role of all the Taylor Kitsch movies and tv shows on this list, there is something so singular about Tim Riggins, arguably the most top-tier heartthrob of the entire Friday Night Lights cast (behind Kyle Chandler‘s Coach Taylor, of course).

The series tells the story of the people in the town of Dillon, Texas, where football reigns supreme. Kitsch rose to fame for his role as bad-boy football player Tim Riggins, whose soft spot for Lyla Garrity made him our ultimate TV crush of the 2000s.

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