10 Best Alexander Skarsgård Movies, According to Rotten Tomatoes

The Swedish Skarsgård family is full of seasoned performers: father Stellan and sons Alexander, Gustaf, and Bill, most notably. The eldest sibling, Alexander Skarsgård, has made his way to the A-list with his varied acting roles, gaining notoriety in the U.S. as broody vampire Eric Northman in HBO’s sexy hit True Blood, and has since appeared in blockbusters and independent fare in America and Sweden. With his towering stature and smoldering intensity, Skarsgård often plays intimidating yet charismatic characters, bringing a quiet intensity to his roles.


Alexander Skarsgård has earned high praise for several notable TV roles – Succession, Big Little Lies, The Little Drummer Girl, and The Stand – but has also gone onto the big screen as both a leading man and a supporting player. Many of his films have received considerable critical praise, achieving high scores on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Indeed, four of Skarsgård’s higher-rated films have been released in the last three years, confirming his status as one of the most intriguing actors working today.


10 ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Alexander Skarsgard as Dr. Nathan Lind looking concerned in Godzilla vs. Kong
Image via Warner Bros.

Adam Wingard‘s Godzilla vs. Kong, arguably the best American Godzilla movie, pits the two Titans against each other when a group of scientists tries to return Kong to his home in Hollow Earth. The film doesn’t skimp on the title’s promise, but it’s no surprise when the two beloved giants combine forces against an even bigger threat when Mechagodzilla starts wreaking havoc on the city.

Let’s face it: any movie featuring Godzilla or King Kong is not about the humans on the ground but about monster mayhem and the destruction the giants cause. Alexander Skarsgård plays Hollow Earth theorist Nathan Lind well, but critics agreed that the human subplots were dull and forgettable compared to the engaging action set pieces and impressive special effects. Godzilla vs Kong sky-rocketed to the top of the box office, reaching $470M – even in the middle of the Covid pandemic.

Godzilla vs. Kong Film Poster

Godzilla vs. Kong

Release Date
March 31, 2021

Cast
Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
113 minutes

Director
Adam Wingard

Watch on Netflix

9 ‘The East’ (2013)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Alexander Skarsgard & Elliot Page as Benji and Izzy looking uncomfortable at a party The East
Image via Twentieth Century Fox

The East is a political thriller starring Brit Marling as Jane, a private intelligence agent who infiltrates an underground environmentalist organization. Skarsgård’s charismatic Benji leads the activist group, The East, on several vandalistic attacks to get revenge on the big companies that did them harm. Jane’s loyalties are put to the test after starting a romance with Benji and when one of The East is killed.

Following its Sundance premiere, The East was lauded by critics for asking a polarizing question of its audience: is The East a terrorist organization, or is it comprised of environmental activists? The ensemble cast – including The Umbrella Academy‘s Elliot Page, Patricia Clarkson and Toby Kebbell – received praise for their earnest and well-acted performances. The narrative, however, left some viewers wondering who the heroes truly were.

The East

Release Date
May 31, 2013

Director
Zal Batmanglij

Cast
Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, Elliot Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Aldis Hodge

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
116

Rent on Amazon Prime

8 ‘Melancholia’ (2011)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Alexander Skarsgård, Kirsten Dunst, and Charlotte Gainsbourg as Michael, Justine, and Claire looking up at night in Melancholia.
Image via Nordisk Film

In Melancholia, one of Lars von Trier‘s best movies, Skarsgård plays Michael, the new husband to Kirsten Dunst‘s Justine. What should be a happy wedding day, however, marks the beginning of the end, as a rogue planet is found to be hurtling toward Earth. Justine and her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) process the news in very different ways. Melancholia is the final film in von Trier’s “Depression Trilogy,” which also includes Antichrist and Nymphomaniac Parts One and Two.

Much easier to watch than von Trier’s other two films in his trilogy, Melancholia is an exploration of dread, depression, and anxiety that had viewers gripped and enthralled by the hauntingly beautiful visuals. Skarsgård plays a supporting part alongside frequent von Trier collaborator and Alexander’s father, Stellan. While the ensemble was all-around praised, Melancholia proved to be mainly a showcase for Dunst’s performance; she won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival and National Society of Film Critics.

melancholia

Release Date
May 26, 2011

Director
Lars von Trier

Cast
Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgard, Brady Corbet, Cameron Spurr, Charlotte Rampling

Rating
R

Runtime
130

Watch on Hulu

7 ‘Hidden’ (2015)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Alexander Skarsgard as Ray looking at someone off-camera in a dark room in the film Hidden
Image via Warner Bros.

The Duffer Brothers, now known for the cultural phenomenon Stranger Things, had their feature film debut with Hidden, starring Skarsgård and Andrea Riseborough as Ray and Claire. The husband and wife hide in a fallout shelter with their daughter, Zoe, after an outbreak destroys the country. Secluded, the family fears being killed by Breathers, who viewers assume to be the infected.

Hidden provides a nice twist, though, when it is revealed that Ray, Claire and Zoe are actually infected, and viewers are watching the narrative from the zombies’ point of view. Constructed like a chamber piece, Hidden relies heavily upon its performers, who emanate honesty in the enclosed spaces and tight framing. Leaning into his role of family protector, Skarsgård plays against type and brings levity and hope in the darkness.

Hidden

Release Date
September 15, 2015

Director
Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer

Cast
Alexander Skarsgard, Andrea Riseborough, Emily Alyn Lind, Heather Doerksen, William Ainscough

Rating
R

Runtime
83

Rent on Amazon

6 ‘Long Shot’ (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Alexander Skarsgard and Charlize Theron as James and Charlotte posing for a photo while at a party in Long Shot
Image via Lions Gate Films

One of Alexander Skarsgård’s first roles in an American film was as an air-headed model in Zoolander (orange mocha frappuccino, anyone?). Now mostly known for his intense or villainous roles, Skarsgård returned to comedy with a toothy grin – alongside Seth Rogen (in one of his best films) and Charlize Theron in the political satire Long Shot.

In this odd-couple romantic comedy, Theron plays Charlotte, a politician running for president, with Rogen as her speechwriter, Fred. In a smaller role as the Prime Minister of Canada, Skarsgård plays a cheesy romantic suitor for Charlotte. Despite the far-fetched central love story between Charlotte and Fred, Long Shot was well-regarded for its charm and refreshing humor.

Long Shot 2019 Film Poster

Long Shot

Release Date
May 3, 2019

Director
Jonathan Levine

Cast
Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael, O’Shea Jackson Jr.

Rating
R

Runtime
125 minutes

Watch on Netflix

5 ‘What Maisie Knew’ (2012)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Alexander Skarsgard and Onata Aprile as Lincoln and Maisie outside in the film What Maisie Knew
Image via Millennium Entertainment

What Maisie Knew features another rare non-villain role for Alexander Skarsgård. In the film, he plays Lincoln, the new love interest for six-year-old Maisie’s mom, Susanna (Julianne Moore), who’s involved in a heated custody battle. Maisie (then-newcomer Onata Aprile) is stuck between two unfit parents, with the new spouses in their lives providing Maisie’s only solace. During the divorce proceedings, Skarsgård’s Lincoln is playful and reliable, contrasting Moore’s flighty rock star.

The role was a nice shift in tone from his previous evil ones, proving his surprising versatility when playing quieter, more relatable roles. Onata Aprile as Maisie was also praised for her naturalistic work in the film, earning significant praise from critics. What Maisie Knew is a challenging but rewarding watch, a searing family drama that is as insightful as it’s haunting.

Watch on YouTube

4 ‘Infinity Pool’ (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Alexander Skarsgard as James looking bored in a white room in the film Infinity Pool
Image via NEON

In Brandon Cronenberg‘s 2023 film Infinity Pool, Skarsgård stars alongside modern scream queen Mia Goth. While staying at an exclusive island resort, James (Skarsgård) finds himself at the mercy of the island government as well as relying upon mystery woman Gabi (Goth) for answers. Infinity Pool asks viewers to question not only their morality but reality itself.

Not for everyone, Infinity Pool relies on the psychological horrors that are implied by the sci-fi possibilities rather than the extensive body horror often attached to the Cronenberg name. Skarsgård and Goth put in critically acclaimed performances amid the hallucinogenic and often vulgar visuals, nudity and gore included. The darkly humorous commentary on money and morality successfully gets under the viewer’s skin.

Infinity Pool Film Poster

Infinity Pool

Release Date
January 27, 2023

Director
Brandon Cronenberg

Cast
Alexander Skarsgard, Mia Goth, Cleopatra Coleman, Jalil Lespert

Rating
R

Runtime
117 minutes

Watch on Hulu

3 ‘The Northman’ (2022)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Amleth standing in a battlefield and looking fierce in The Northman
Image via Focus Features

In The Northman, the brutal and very R-rated fantasy film from Robert Eggers, Skarsgård returns to the Viking physique he showed off in True Blood and The Legend of Tarzan to portray the ferocious Amleth. Based on Hamlet and heavily influenced by Norse mythology, The Northman follows Amleth as he seeks revenge on the man who killed his father.

Artsy and bloody, The Northman was praised for its breathtaking visuals and visceral, fearless performances, being called a “death-metal ode to honor” by The Daily Beast. The Northman provided Skarsgård the chance to showcase not only his physicality but also a primal and raw acting performance. He balances the brutality of revenge with a complex, grief-ridden backstory.

The Northman Movie Poster

The Northman

Release Date
April 22, 2022

Director
Robert Eggers

Cast
Bill Skarsgard, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard, Willem Dafoe, Ralph Ineson

Rating
R

Runtime
137 Minutes

Watch on Peacock

2 ‘Passing’ (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Ruth Negga and Alexander Skarsgard as Clare and John looking at each other lovingly in the film Passing
Image via Netflix

Actor Rebecca Hall made her directorial debut with the modern black-and-white drama Passing, with Skarsgård as John Bellew and Ruth Negga as his wife, Clare. In 1920s New York, Clare is a light-skinned Black woman passing as white and keeping the truth from her husband. Clare’s life is upended when she runs into her childhood friend Irene (Tessa Thompson).

Skarsgård’s intervention in the film is short but impactful. While Ruth Negga’s performance garnered most of the accolades, critics agreed that Passing was masterful and tremendous from start to finish. Shot like a chamber piece in confined spaces, Passing relies on the cast’s honest and purposeful performances that bubble with emotional turmoil just under the surface.

passing poster

Passing

Release Date
October 27, 2021

Director
Rebecca Hall

Cast
Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, Andre Holland

Watch on Netflix

1 ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’ (2015)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Kristen Wiig, Bel Powley and Alexander Skarsgard in The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Image via Sony Classics

Alexander Skarsgård’s highest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes is The Diary of a Teenage Girl, which also stars Kristen Wiig as Charlotte and Bel Powley as her daughter Minnie. In this underrated coming-of-age film, Skarsgård plays Monroe, boyfriend to Charlotte and the object of 15-year-old Minnie’s affection. Dealing with difficult subject matter like teen sexuality, the film was hailed for being unconventional and honest.

Even though Monroe is an adult who is in a physical relationship with a minor, Skarsgård and the film garnered universal acclaim. Critics applauded The Diary of a Teenage Girl for its lack of judgment and shockingly honest portrayal of a teenage girl’s sexual awakening. And, as a credit to Alexander Skarsgård’s acting, he capably makes typically creepy characters charming and likable.

diary of a teenage girl

Release Date
August 7, 2015

Director
Marielle Heller

Cast
Bel Powley, Domino The Cat, Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgard, Christopher Meloni, Abby Wait

Rating
R

Runtime
102

Rent on Amazo

NEXT: The 10 Best Bill Skarsgård Movies and TV Shows, Ranked

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