It can be difficult to know where to start if you’re a huge Johnny Depp fan and want to ensure you’ve seen all of his best movies. Here is a list of 30 of his top films of all time (with some honorable mentions at the end, because are 30 Johnny Depp films really enough?) Take a look and see how many of these you have already seen.
This order isn’t based on box office performance or which Hollywood filmmaker directed it and is more based on the general reception and viewing pleasure of the movie itself. So there may be a few films in this list that are a little less well-known.
|The Vicar of Dibley||Black Mirror||The Last Kingdom||The Bodyguard||Peaky Blinders|
|Lead Star||Dawn French||Daniel Lapaine||Alexander Dreymon||Thomas Vincent||Cillian Murphy|
|Number of Series||3, plus Specials||6||5||1||6|
|Original Run||1994 - 2000||2011-present||2015-2022||2018||2013-2022|
|Available on Amazon Prime Video?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Watch The Vicar of Dibley on Prime Video →||Watch Black Mirror on Prime Video →||Watch The Last Kingdom on Prime Video →||Watch The Bodyguard on Prime Video →||Watch Peaky Blinders on Prime Video →|
30 - Arizona Dream
Arizona Dream is an abstract but compelling film about a New Yorker, Johnny Depp, traveling to Arizona for his Uncle’s wedding. He instead is entangled in romance with two very different women, one a widow of a rich miner and one…plays the accordion for turtles. This is definitely one of Depp’s stranger films, but can be fun to watch as you never know what will happen next.
29 - The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus
An unfortunate sad undertone follows this Terry Gilliam film as it was Heath Ledger’s final performance, but in order to complete filming, the character of Dr. Parnassus went through multiple transformations in the film, with the roles being filled by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell.
28 - Dark Shadows (2012)
Dark Shadows is a dark fantasy film based on a soap opera television show of the same name. It follows the story of Barnabas Collins, portrayed by Johnny Depp, a vampire who is set free and returns to his home filled with his dysfunctional descendants. The now head of the family, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer), has called upon help from Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter) to be the family's live-in psychiatrist. The plot is somewhat lost between comedy and horror and never quite manages to blend the two seamlessly, but this Tim Burton movie is still an enjoyable watch regardless.
27 - Don Juan DeMarco (1994)
Don Juan DeMarco is a cheesy but endearing story with great performances from Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando. Don Juan is the famous story of a man considered to be the best lover in the world, and this film explores the relationship between Don Juan (Johnny Depp) and his psychiatrist (Marlon Brando), as the psychiatrist begins to believe Don Juan is who he says he is.
26 - Into the Woods (2014)
Into the Woods tells the story of a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) being cursed by a once beautiful witch, played by Meryl Streep. The curse renders them childless, and they plan to venture into the forest to try and find the ingredients they need to reverse the spell and turn the witch back to her beautiful self. They meet Rapunzel, Jack, Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella on their journey. This musical fantasy film is a great watch if you love whimsical stories with a dark twist, and Johnny Depp’s performance as the Wolf is one not to be missed.
25 - Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a black comedy adventure film based on the novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson. Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro) journey through Las Vegas for their journalism but fall into the city's underbelly of psychoactive substances.
24 - The Lone Ranger (2013)
If you’re looking for a fun Western film, look no further. With great stunts, great action, and great performances, The Lone Ranger has everything you need for an entertaining movie. Johnny Depp plays a Native American named Tonto, an old companion of the Lone Ranger John Reid (Armie Hammer).
23 - Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
In classic Robert Rodriguez style, this American Western action film feels like a whirlwind of rising body counts and endless action. It performs well as the sequel to Desperado (1995), and Depp’s performance as CIA agent Sheldon Sands is definitely a stand-out part of this movie.
22 - Dead Man (1995)
This entirely monochrome movie is very interesting to view, although it may be a bit on the eccentric side. The film follows the story of an account on the run for murder named William Blake. He meets a Native American spirit guide who believes he is the reincarnation of the English poet William Blake.
21 - Benny & Joon (1993)
The film has its controversies with the reactions to mental illness, but it provides an honest look at how relationships can be affected by our inner struggles. Benny (Aidan Quinn) cares for his mentally ill sister, Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), and they welcome Sam (Johnny Depp) into their home. Sam and Joon fall in love and run away after some tension, and Sam soon realizes he may be in over his head.
20 - Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Although Depp is not the main star of Alice in Wonderland (2010) or Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), he provides an incredible mad-hatter performance, earning him a golden globe nomination. The Tim Burton style shines through in Depp’s character with the overexaggerated features and immense originality in the piece. Depp shows a compassionate side to the mad hatter character in his bond with Alice, portrayed by Mia Wasikowska.
19 - Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Sleepy Hollow is a classic Tim Burton gothic supernatural film in his typical style. It stars Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane and Christina Ricci as Katrina Van Tassel. Depp’s stand-out performance absolutely makes this film, as his eccentric portrayal of the anti-hero captures the essence of the story.
18 - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
Although Depp has a difficult history with the Fantastic Beasts series, after being forced to quit his role as Gellert Grindelwald for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2020) due to his High Court libel trial, his performance in the first two additions to the series is incredible. Johnny Depp plays an amazing Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald that should not be missed.
17 - Public Enemies (2009)
Major bank robber John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) is made public enemy number one by J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) as they struggle to capture the skilled and charming outlaw. The film is based on the real-life of John Dillinger and goes to great lengths to recreate parts of his life in exact detail.
16 - Minamata (2020)
Set in 1971 in Minamata, Japan, this film explores the coastal city being ruined by mercury poisoning. Photographer W. Eugene Smith (Johnny Depp) travels to this place and uses his skills to expose the city's gross negligence.
15 - Cry-Baby (1990)
A classic fun musical-comedy teen movie with Johnny Depp starring as a juvenile delinquent with some teenage tragedy. He meets Allison (Amy Locane), and they fall in love, but another boy named Baldwin (Stephen Mailer) is also in love with Allison. Baldwin treats her right in every way that the Cry-Baby doesn’t, but sometimes a perfect love isn’t what a teenager is looking for.
14 - Chocolat (2000)
Chocolat is quite a simple but endearing film. A mother and her daughter set out to open their own chocolate shop in France in a rather conservative village. They struggle with tensions with the villagers but eventually, win them over and help them with their problems.
13 - Rango (2011)
Rango is a hilarious and entertaining animated film about a pet chameleon aspiring to be a hero. Johnny Depp gives an amazing voice performance as Rango, and the character captures the movie's comedy.
12 - Black Mass (2015)
Black Mass is a violent true story crime drama based on the life of American mobster Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp). It covers the unlikely partnership between the FBI and an informant in the Irish mob.
11 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
This 2005 musical fantasy film is based on the classic Roald Dahl story of the same name. The film stars Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, as he provides an incredible and whimsical performance exploring the fun and twisted story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
10 - Corpse Bride (2005)
Corpse Bride is a 2005 animated dark fantasy film about the story of Victor (Johnny Depp) and Victoria (Emily Watson) having an arranged marriage. Although they are fond of each other, Victor’s nerves find him alone in a forest practicing his vows when a tree branch hand drags him to the land of the dead.
9 - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Sweeney Todd is a classic Johnny Depp movie and is loved by many, even those who normally dislike musicals. Alan Rickman plays the evil Judge Turpin, lusting after Mrs. Lovett to such an extreme that he falsely convicts her husband of a crime he did not commit. After 15 years, Sweeney Todd returns and vows his revenge, using his razor on his unlucky customers and sending them down a shoot to Mrs. Lovett for her meat pie shop.
8 - Finding Neverland (2004)
This well-renowned film explores the story of playwright J.M. Barrie and his experience with a family that inspired him to create Peter Pan. The film earned several nominations for Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Johnny Depp.
7 - A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
This is one of the most well-known and most-loved films starring Johnny Depp. A cherished horror classic exploring themes of vengeance, denial, and overwhelming fear.
6 - Platoon (1986)
Despite him playing a smaller role in this movie, this is one of the most highly rated Johnny Depp films on IMDB. A soldier in Vietnam is caught between a good sergeant and a bad sergeant as Platoon explores the duality of man and the decisions that must be made for your own morals.
5 - Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Edward Scissorhands is a film that explores how society treats those who are different. Edward is a harmless synthetic man, but his scissor hands and childlike personality get him entangled in false allegations while a kind lady named Peg tries to care for him.
4 - Ed Wood (1994)
Ed Wood is a movie that some younger fans of Johnny Depp may not have seen, but many of us adore this Tim Burton classic. Depp plays a director outcast from Hollywood because of his strange and eccentric films, but with the help of some friends, he brings his movies to life.
3 - What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
An incredibly beautiful and touching movie, exploring the dynamics of trying to care for people in your life whilst also looking to pursue your own happiness. Gilbert tries to keep up with his responsibilities looking after his brother Arnie, who has an intellectual disability, and his mother Bonnie, all while falling in love.
2 - Donnie Brasco (1997)
Al Pacino and Johnny Depp provide an incredible performance in the well-renowned oscar winning movie Donnie Brasco. The story is based on the real-life of Joseph D. Pistone, who worked undercover to infiltrate the Bonanno crime family under the alias Donnie Brasco. Pistone’s work led to over 200 indictments and over 100 convictions of Mafia members, and Pistone had a bounty on his head of $500,000, which he believes is still active.
1 - The Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)
Disney’s The Pirates of the Caribbean series began with The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003 and is still a widely popular series to this day, with viewers eagerly awaiting news on the next addition to the series. Johnny Depp plays the cherished character of Captain Jack Sparrow in all five of the films released as of 2023, including The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, The Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Depp was nominated for an Academy Award, BAFTA film award, and Golden Globe award and had many other nominations for his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. He won the screen actors guild award for his outstanding performance in the film series.
With credits in over 100 movies as a prolific actor, there are so many movies we couldn’t fit into this list. Here is a list of honorable mentions of other Johnny Depp films you might want to check out that just didn’t quite make it into our top 30:
- Lucky Them (2013)
- From Hell (2001)
- City of Lies (2018)
- The Astronaut’s Wife (1999)
- The Libertine (2004)
- Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
- Mortdecai (2015)
- Sherlock Gnomes (2011)
- The Professor (2018)
- Transcendence (2014)
- Waiting for the Barbarians (2019)
- Yoga Hosers (2016)
- Secret Window (2004)
- The Ninth Gate (1999)
- Private Resort (1985)
What is next for Johnny Depp?
Unfortunately, Depp’s most recent film as of July 2023, Jeanne du Barry, hasn’t performed well in the box office or reviews. Perhaps it was the entire ordeal with Amber Heard taking over Depp’s energy, but the performance definitely wasn’t what we have grown to expect from such a prolific actor.
There has been lots of speculation on whether Depp will return to the Pirates of the Caribbean series, although this does not seem too likely as producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed there is a Disney script for a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie starring Margot Robbie and a younger cast. Depp has, however, confirmed that he is directing his second film, a biographical piece named Modi. So there may be more exciting films from the beloved actor.