With his boyish good looks and charm, it’s hard to believe that James McAvoy is turning 39 this April 21st. The actor’s rise to fame started with a role on Shameless (the English version, not to be confused with the Showtime remake), and has been ascending ever since, landing him smack dab in the middle of the X-Men franchise.
To celebrate McAvoy’s big day, here are just a handful of our favorite Scotsman’s best performances.
Type: Horror, Thriller
Release Date: 2017
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley
Rating: 77% RT, 7.3/10 IMDb
In M. Night Shyamalan’s celebrated Split, James plays a character with 23 separate and distinct personalities. While at times terrifying, James impressed with his portrayal in this thriller, and was asked to reprise his role in 2019’s Glass.
X-Men: First Class
Type: Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Release Date: 2011
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
Rating: 86%, 7.7/10 IMDb
James joined the superhero/super-villain roster in 2011’s X-Men: First Class. And what better role for McAvoy to step into than the iconic mutant Professor X.
Type: Crime, Action & Adventure
Release Date: 2008
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman
Rating: 71% RT, 6.7/10 IMDb
In this sleek and stylish action-adventure film from 2008, McAvoy portrays a young man who is recruited into an elite group of assassins. As violent as you would expect it to be, Wanted manages to accomplish exactly what it sets out to do.
Type: Mystery, Drama
Release Date: 2007
Director: Joe Wright
Starring: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Romola Garai
Rating: 83% RT, 7.8/10 IMDb
In this sweeping period piece, James portrays a young man who suffers an unfortunate turn of events after a lie is told about him. With a remarkable cast, this film was one of the best from 2007.
Type: Mystery, Action & Adventure
Release Date: 2017
Director: David Leitch
Starring: James McAvoy, Charlize Theron, Sofia Boutella
Rating: 78% RT, 6.7/10 IMDb
While McAvoy only plays a supporting character in 2017’s sexy-as-it-sounds Atomic Blonde, fans will find it well worth the watch.
Type: Comedy, Fantasy
Release Date: 2006
Director: Mark Palansky
Starring: James McAvoy, Christina Ricci, Catherine O’Hara
Rating: 54% RT, 6.8/10 IMDb
If you’re into something “sweet” rather than something sexy, Penelope is where you should look for your McAvoy fix. This adorable 2006 film is full of magic, heart, and true love.
Type: Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Drama
Release Date: 2010
Director: Robert Redford
Starring: James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Evan Rachel Wood
Rating: 55% RT, 6.9/10 IMDb
In this historical drama, McAvoy plays the lawyer defending a woman accused of being a part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
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