Although you might think of Justin Timberlake as a best-selling musical artist, he has also impressed audiences around the world with his acting prowess and captivating film roles.
In fact, some of the best Justin Timberlake movies boast an A-list cast, award-winning directors, and impressive soundtracks. Here are his best films ranked to add to your must-see list.
Who Is Justin Timberlake?
Justin Timberlake made a name for himself at a very young age. As a child, he entertained the masses by appearing on Star Search and as a member of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club.
He later became a member of the immensely popular boy band NSYNC, which shot his level of stardom through the roof in the late 1990s. Some of the band’s biggest hits include “Bye Bye Bye,” “It’s Gonna Be Me,” and “Tearing Up My Heart.”
After a good run with NSYNC, Justin went on to have an incredible (and ongoing) career as a solo artist. His albums are not only commercially successful but also critically acclaimed.
His accolades include several Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, and more.
Timberlake decided to expand his talents by focusing on acting and has graced the silver screen in several movies.
You can see Timberlake’s growth as an actor through the years, as he took chances in everything from animated films to romantic comedies and action films to dramatic roles. We’ve ranked some of his best movies below.
13 Best Movies Featuring Justin Timberlake
1. The Social Network (2010)
English 2h IMDb
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
Many questioned the choice to include Justin Timberlake, a musical artist, in David Fincher’s highly anticipated film The Social Network.
However, Timberlake quickly proved his critics wrong with a stellar performance as Napster-founding maverick, Sean Parker. He takes the quick and witty Aaron Sorkin dialogue in stride and delivers a seamless depiction of the eccentric entrepreneur.
The film revolves around Mark Zuckerberg creating the biggest social network while a student at Harvard.
He meets Sean Parker, who leaves a lasting impression on Zuckerberg—much to the dismay of Zuckerberg’s business partner, Eduardo Saverin. Parker eventually becomes part of the development and growth of the social media network, which became Facebook.
2. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
English 1h 44m IMDb
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
The Coen Brothers wrote and directed a deep and melancholic film that features a young folk singer in New York in the early 1960s. As part of a duo, he found some success.
However, he is struggling to make it on his own. The film gives us a glimpse into the journey of Llewyn Davis as he struggles to find an audience and some recognition for his music.
In this movie, Justin Timberlake plays Jim, a fellow folk singer and reluctant friend of Llewyn. As a struggling artist, Llewyn turns to Jim for help but doesn’t get the response he was hoping for.
Timberlake does an excellent job of portraying the cheery and more commercially appealing musician, juxtaposing the broody and depressed Llewyn. He also gets to show off his singing chops with some original folk songs.
3. Friends With Benefits (2011)
English 1h 49m IMDb
Director: Will Gluck
Stars: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Patricia Clarkson
Starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, Friends With Benefits is a fast-paced and oftentimes ironic romantic comedy that set the standard for many more rom-coms to come.
Although the movie was written as a fun story and not intended to garner awards, many critics agree that the acting and chemistry between the two leads were exceptional and the most successful parts of the film.
Timberlake is able to highlight his comedic skills with impeccable timing and suave delivery to stay toe-to-toe with the more experienced Kunis.
The attraction, inside jokes, and witty dialogue between the two characters draw the viewers in to invest in their journey from friends with benefits to something more.
4. Trolls (2016)
English 1h 32m IMDb
Director: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn
Stars: Anna Kendrick(voice), Justin Timberlake(voice), Zooey Deschanel(voice)
This DreamWorks animated film is a favorite for people of all ages. The colorful characters fill a world of overly optimistic trolls who are quick to give a hug or sing a merry tune no matter the circumstances.
However, Justin Timberlake’s character, Branch, is less than enthusiastic to play into all the glitter and rainbows.
In addition to Timberlake’s contribution to the film’s mega-hit song “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” he portrays the grumpy Branch perfectly as he works with the bubbly Poppy, voiced by Anna Kendrick, as they head out on an epic rescue mission.
Timberlake provides the audience perspective with his dry and pessimistic approach throughout the plot. In the end, it’s a feel-good film that plays into all of Timberlake’s strengths.
5. Trouble With the Curve (2012)
English 1h 51m IMDb
Director: Robert Lorenz
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman
If you’re a fan of baseball and heartfelt father-daughter stories, Trouble With the Curve has everything you could ask for, including an endearing heartthrob love interest played by Justin Timberlake.
Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood make up the dad-and-daughter duo, leading the rest of the A-list cast throughout the story.
In this film, Timberlake delivers an emotionally driven performance as Johnny, a former baseball player turned scout.
He manages to find a balance between charm, humor, regret, and heartbreak to give Johnny a depth and connection that other actors may have muddled. In the end, it’s a powerful story with an excellent cast that leaves you feeling good.
6. Black Snake Moan (2007)
English 1h 56m IMDb
Director: Craig Brewer
Stars: Christina Ricci, Samuel L. Jackson, Justin Timberlake
Black Snake Moan is a racy and provocative film that also offers meaningful messages of trust and genuine connection. Christina Ricci stars as Rae, notorious for her promiscuity and party habits in the sleepy southern town.
Samuel L. Jackson plays Lazarus, a God-fearing farmer who is dealing with his emotional turmoil after his wife leaves him.
After Rae’s boyfriend Ronnie, played by Justin Timberlake, leaves for the military, Rae goes on a binge and ends up half beaten to death on the road in front of Lazarus’ farm.
Although this is not Timberlake’s biggest role and the film did not find commercial success, it still deserves a notch on Timberlake’s acting belt.
He takes a tough role and executes it well, even with the pressure of acting opposite some big-named screen veterans. If you’re in the mood for something a little edgier, this one is worth a watch.
7. Bad Teacher (2011)
English 1h 32m IMDb
Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake
Adding to his range of acting roles, Justin Timberlake plays Scott Delacorte, a naive and likable substitute teacher opposite Cameron Diaz as Elizabeth Halsey in Bad Teacher.
Elizabeth is an inappropriate and ruthless middle school teacher who absolutely hates her job.
After realizing Scott comes from a wealthy family, Elizabeth dedicates her time to seducing Scott and trying to trap him into a relationship, despite the gym teacher (Jason Segel) trying to make moves.
Timberlake shines as the moral and wholesome sub who simply wants to help his students and live his best life. To Elizabeth’s dismay, she realizes she may not be his type—or he may not actually be hers.
There are several irreverent laughs and fun yet cringe-worthy moments throughout the film coming from Timberlake’s portrayal of Scott, which is more than enough to watch this movie.
8. Wonder Wheel (2017)
English 1h 41m IMDb
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, Robert C. Kirk
Justin Timberlake heads an all-star cast in Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel, in which he plays a lifeguard on a popular Coney Island beach in the 1950s.
Timberlake does an excellent job of carrying the story and navigating the narrative as more and more details are unveiled to him and the audience from atop his lifeguard perch.
With a strong script and exceptional acting, Timberlake delivers a highly underrated performance opposite some skilled actors, including Kate Winslet, Jim Belushi, and Juno Temple.
Although Wonder Wheel was never a mainstream hit, Justin Timberlake fans are doing themselves a disfavor by not indulging in this witty Woody Allen film.
9. Alpha Dog (2006)
English 2h 2m IMDb
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin
On the surface, Alpha Dog may look like a party film showing energetic 20-something-year-olds having the time of their lives. However, as you get deeper into the plot, the film takes a dark turn as it plunges toward the end.
Justin Timberlake takes a more sizeable role in this film as Frankie Ballenbacher, a close friend of drug dealer Johnny Truelove.
After randomly kidnapping the younger brother of a hothead who owes Johnny money, Frankie realizes he and the rest of their crew are in more trouble than they thought.
Timberlake’s Frankie goes on a rollercoaster of emotions and real-life epiphanies as they try to navigate their circumstances. In the end, Timberlake delivers a versatile performance that drives much of the movie’s plot.
10. Trolls World Tour (2020)
English 1h 31m IMDb
Director: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith
Stars: Anna Kendrick(voice), Justin Timberlake(voice), Rachel Bloom(voice)
As a follow-up to the 2016 animated film Trolls, the highly-anticipated Trolls World Tour features Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick reprising their roles as Branch and Poppy, respectively.
However, the plot of this movie revolves around music. With the first film’s success and its record-breaking soundtrack, there are even more songs across various genres to love in this one.
Timberlake seamlessly continues Branch’s story and development as he works with Poppy to meet the other types of trolls and unite them against the hard rock-playing Queen Barb, who wants to eradicate the other music genres.
Timberlake ups the charm and musical chops to make this a worthy sequel to the original.
11. In Time (2011)
English 1h 49m IMDb
Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy
Justin Timberlake takes the lead in this clever film that examines the fragility of time and disparity in income class when it comes to long life.
With every human genetically engineered to live only to the age of 25, people must buy more time if they wish to live longer.
In Time features Will Salas, played by Timberlake, as he tries to navigate his way through the system after wrongfully being accused of murder.
This refreshing take on the sci-fi genre tackles several themes as we follow Timberlake’s action-packed journey through the film.
He plays the reluctant Robin Hood-type hero to the “T” opposite Amanda Seyfried and a cast of award-winning actors. In Time shows that Timberlake can really play the leading man in an action-packed full-length film.
12. Southland Tales (2007)
English 2h 25m IMDb
Director: Richard Kelly
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott
Although this is another one of Justin Timberlake’s smaller roles, Southland Tales gives viewers the opportunity to appreciate his range and comedic talent as an actor.
Playing Private Pilot Abilene, there is an impressive drug-induced dream sequence in which Timberlake lip syncs to The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done” as he stumbles through an arcade filled with beautiful women dressed as nurses. That alone is worth the watch.
Aside from Justin Timberlake, the movie features hilarious and thoughtful performances by Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott, and Janeane Garofalo as they traverse the absurd futuristic Los Angeles landscape.
13. Shrek the Third (2007)
English 1h 33m IMDb
Director: Chris Miller, Raman Hui
Stars: Mike Myers(voice), Cameron Diaz(voice), Eddie Murphy(voice)
Justin Timberlake debuted his animated acting skills as Artie, the teenage air to the throne of Far, Far Away in Shrek the Third.
As an early role in his acting career, Timberlake is able to hold his own when paired with the well-established and beloved characters of Shrek, Donkey, and Puss and Boots.
After Fiona’s father dies, Shrek finds himself thrust onto the throne as the next in line to rule. However, he’s on a mission to find the true heir, so he can return to his swamp with Fiona and his growing family.
Overall, the animation is fantastic, the storyline solid, and the humor full of ironic pop references and over-the-top fairytale exaggerations—much in line with the previous two Shrek movies.
Must-See Justin Timberlake Films
So, how many of the best Justin Timberlake movies have you seen? If you find yourself unable to check all of these off your list, it’s time to grab that popcorn, put your feet up, and enjoy some of his best roles in these films!
Whether you’re a fan of his music or not, or if he has a minor role or top billing, you’re sure to be impressed by his acting versatility, comedic instincts, and character chemistry in all 13 of these movies.