5 Best Billy Magnussen Movies and TV Shows: A Ranked Exploration of a Versatile Actor

Billy Magnussen has carved a unique path in Hollywood, effortlessly shifting between comedic charm and dramatic intensity. His diverse filmography offers something for everyone, and this guide delves into some of his must-watch projects, ranked from entertaining to truly exceptional.

5. Game Night (2018)

  • Summary: Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) host a regular game night with their competitive friends. When Max’s charismatic brother Brooks (Magnussen) crashes the evening with a high-stakes kidnapping scheme, the line between game and reality blurs hilariously.
  • Reason to Watch: “Game Night” is a laugh-out-loud comedy with surprising twists and turns. Magnussen steals the show as the flamboyant and unpredictable Brooks, delivering witty dialogue and comedic timing that perfectly complements the ensemble cast.
  • Pros: Fast-paced, witty script, hilarious ensemble performances, keeps you guessing until the end.
  • Cons: Relies heavily on slapstick humor at times, plot predictability in certain sections.

4. No Time to Die (2021)

  • Summary: James Bond (Daniel Craig) is lured out of retirement to face a new villain, Safin (Rami Malek), armed with deadly bio-technology. Magnussen portrays Logan Ash, a charming yet ruthless scientist working for Safin.
  • Reason to Watch: This is a quintessential Bond film with all the action, gadgets, and suspense you’d expect. Magnussen brings a menacing edge to his role, creating a worthy adversary for Bond.
  • Pros: Classic Bond elements with a modern twist, high-octane action sequences, strong performances from Craig and Magnussen.
  • Cons: The plot can feel convoluted at times, some character development could be deeper.

3. Made for Love (2021 – present) (TV Series)

  • Summary: Hazel (Cristin Milioti) escapes her controlling and tech-savvy husband, Byron Gogol (Magnussen), who has implanted a tracking device in her brain. The dark comedy follows Hazel’s journey of self-discovery as she navigates a world free from Byron’s watchful eye.
  • Reason to Watch: “Made for Love” is a darkly comedic and surprisingly poignant exploration of relationships and technology. Magnussen portrays Byron with a chilling blend of charisma and manipulation, making him a truly captivating villain.
  • Pros: Original premise, hilarious dark humor, stellar performances by Milioti and Magnussen, explores themes of technology and privacy in relationships.
  • Cons: Can be disturbing at times due to the nature of Byron’s control, some viewers may find the dark humor off-putting.

2. The Many Saints of Newark (2021)

  • Summary: This prequel to the critically acclaimed series “The Sopranos” explores the rise of Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola), Christopher’s father, in the Newark underworld during the 1960s racial riots. Magnussen plays Paulie Walnuts, a young version of the iconic character from the original series.
  • Reason to Watch: Fans of “The Sopranos” will relish this dive into the show’s origin story. Magnussen embodies the youthful arrogance and sharp wit of Paulie Walnuts, creating a compelling performance that feels true to the character.
  • Pros: Excellent expansion of the “Sopranos” universe, strong performances capture the essence of the iconic characters, explores themes of race and power dynamics.
  • Cons: May not have the same impact on viewers unfamiliar with the original series.

1. Aladdin (2019)

  • Summary: This live-action remake of the beloved Disney classic tells the story of Aladdin (Mena Massoud), a street urchin who stumbles upon a magic lamp containing a charismatic Genie (Will Smith). Magnussen portrays Prince Anders, a charming but arrogant suitor vying for Princess Jasmine’s (Naomi Scott) hand.
  • Reason to Watch: “Aladdin” is a visually stunning and heartwarming family film that captures the magic of the original animation. Magnussen delivers a delightfully over-the-top performance as Prince Anders, injecting humor and a touch of villainy into the role.
  • Pros: Visually stunning sets and costumes, memorable musical numbers, brings a fresh take on a beloved classic, strong performances from the entire cast.
  • Cons: The plot may feel predictable for some viewers familiar with the original story.

Bonus Picks

  • The Big Short (2015): This Oscar-winning dramedy tackles the 2008 financial crisis. Magnussen has a brief but memorable appearance as a cocky Wall Street salesman.
  • Ingrid Goes West (2017): A darkly comedic thriller starring Aubrey Plaza. Magnussen portrays a handsome but troubled social media influencer who becomes the target of Plaza’s obsessive character.
  • Tell Me a Story (2018): This anthology series creatively reimagines classic fairy tales. Magnussen portrays Nick Frisch, a charming but manipulative love interest in the “Three Little Pigs” retelling.
  • Impeachment: American Crime Story (2021 – Miniseries): This FX series dramatizes the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal. Magnussen plays Linda Tripp, Lewinsky’s confidante who secretly recorded their conversations, in a transformative performance.
  • Spy Kids: Armageddon (2023): A return to the beloved “Spy Kids” franchise. Magnussen takes the villainous role of Rey “The King” Kingston, a tech mogul with nefarious plans.

Looking Ahead

Billy Magnussen continues to impress audiences with his upcoming projects. Keep an eye out for:

  • The Little Mermaid (2023): The live-action remake of the Disney classic features Magnussen as Prince Eric, Ariel’s love interest.
  • Coup! (2023): A political thriller starring Jessica Chastain. Details about Magnussen’s role are under wraps, but with this star-studded cast, it promises to be a captivating watch.

Final Thoughts

Billy Magnussen has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. His ability to seamlessly transition between comedic and dramatic roles makes him a captivating actor to watch. From the hilarious antics of “Game Night” to the chilling intensity of “Made for Love,” his filmography offers a diverse and entertaining experience for every viewer. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and get ready to be surprised by the multifaceted talent of Billy Magnussen.

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