Every single Zac Efron movie, ranked

Zac Efron has starred in a variety of films, from musicals to dramas.

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Zac Efron has starred in a variety of films, from musicals to dramas.
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Disney/Netflix/New Line Cinema
  • Zac Efron is an actor primarily known for his work in ensemble comedies, musicals, and romantic dramas.
  • “Hairspray” (2007) and “The Disaster Artist” (2017) currently stand as his highest-rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Some of Efron’s worst-rated films are New Year’s Eve” (2011) and “Dirty Grandpa” (2016).
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Zac Efron has been a big name in Hollywood ever since he got his start in 2006’s “High School Musical.”

Although he is mostly known for his work in comedies, Efron has dabbled in a variety of genres, from romantic dramas to frightening mystery films based on real-life people and events. However, not all of his films have been critical hits.

Here is every movie Zac Efron has been in, ranked by critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes.

Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change.


Efron’s lowest-scoring film is “New Year’s Eve” (2011), in which he played Paul.

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“New Year’s Eve” is a romantic comedy.
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New Line Cinema

Synopsis: In the ensemble romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve,” Efron joined a star-studded cast that included Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, and many others.

Efron had a small role as Paul, a deliveryman who’s tasked with helping Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer) complete her New Year’s resolutions before midnight.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 7%


In the raunchy comedy “Dirty Grandpa” (2016), he played Jason Kelly.

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The film is rated R.
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Lionsgate

Synopsis: In the R-rated comedy “Dirty Grandpa” Efron played straight-laced Jason Kelly, a young businessman who’s tricked into taking his grandfather Dick (Robert De Niro) to spring break in Florida days before his own wedding.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%


Efron was Matt Brody in the remake of “Baywatch” (2017).

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Zac Efron and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in “Baywatch.”
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Paramount Pictures

Synopsis: Efron plays young recruit Matt Brody in “Baywatch,” a film that follows a group of beautiful, if ego-driven, lifeguards as they work together to protect their beach from insidious criminals.

Efron starred opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the action-comedy.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 18%

Read More: 10 of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s best moments


In “The Lucky One” (2012), he starred opposite Taylor Schilling.

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Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron in “The Lucky One.”
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Warner Bros.

Synopsis: In the romantic drama “The Lucky One,” Efron portrayed Sergeant Logan Thibault, a marine veteran home from active duty.

Logan returns to the US in search of Beth (Taylor Schilling), a woman whose picture kept him going during his tour in Iraq.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 21%


Efron played Jason in the romantic comedy “That Awkward Moment” (2014).

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“That Awkward Moment” features a star cast.
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Focus Features

Synopsis: In the comedy “That Awkward Moment,” Efron starred alongside Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan as three best friends who grapple with how to best approach the awkward “define the relationship” moment with their respective crushes.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 22%


He was the titular Charlie in “Charlie St. Cloud” (2010).

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Zac Efron plays a man who is haunted by his past.
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Universal Pictures

Synopsis: Based on the novel of the same name, the drama “Charlie St. Cloud” traces the upbringing of ambitious sailor Charlie (Efron) as he deals with a horrific family tragedy.

With his bright future clouded by grief, an old classmate attempts to set Charlie on the right path again.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 27%


Efron played Dave Stangle in the comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” (2016).

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Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Adam Devine in the movie.
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YouTube/20th Century Fox

Synopsis: Notorious partiers Dave (Efron) and his brother Mike (Adam Devine) attempt to find wedding dates to their sister’s destination wedding by putting an ad out online.

Their plans to impress their parents quickly get dismantled by opportunistic best friends Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 37%


The actor played Cole Carter in “We Are Your Friends” (2015).

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Zac Efron’s character was a DJ.
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Warner Bros.

Synopsis: In the drama “We Are Your Friends,” Efron played aspiring DJ Cole Carter, an electronic-music lover who finds a mentor in older DJ James (Wes Bentley).

Things grow complicated when Cole starts to fall for James’ girlfriend, which puts his career in jeopardy.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 38%


In “The Paperboy” (2012), Efron played Jack Jansen.

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The film is set in the 1960s and stars Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey.
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Millennium Films

Synopsis: Set in South Florida during the 1960s, “The Paperboy” is a drama that follows investigative reporters Ward (Matthew McConaughey) and Yardley (David Oyelowo) as they chase down a story.

Efron had a supporting role in the film as Ward’s younger brother Jack Jansen.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 45%


Efron was Jim Carrico in “Parkland” (2013).

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Zac Efron played a doctor in the film.
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Exclusive Releasing

Synopsis: The drama “Parkland,” is a retelling of the events surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Efron portrayed Dr. Charles “Jim” Carrico, the first doctor to examine Kennedy after he was shot.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%


In “At Any Price” (2013), Efron played Dean Wheeler.

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Zac Efron plays a professional race-car driver.
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Sony Pictures Classics

Synopsis: Ambitious farmer Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid) plans to pass his family business onto his son Dean (Efron), but Dean would rather be a professional race-car driver.

Despite their differences, Dean and Henry come together when the future of their family company is threatened.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 51%


He voiced Ted in Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” (2012).

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“The Lorax” is one of the few animated films that Zac Efron has played a part in.
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Universal Pictures

Synopsis: In the adaptation of the classic children’s book “The Lorax,” Efron voiced Ted Wiggins, a young boy who leaves his artificial town of Thneedville behind in search of a real, living tree.

His journey leads him to learn about the myth of the Lorax, an old forest guardian.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 53%


In “The Greatest Showman” (2017), the actor was Phillip Carlyle.

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Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman in “The Greatest Showman.”
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Fox

Synopsis: “The Greatest Showman” is an imaginative musical based on the origin story of entertainer P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman).

In the film, Efron played Phillip Carlyle, a playwright who falls in love with trapeze artist Anne Wheeler (Zendaya).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 56%

Read More: Every single Zendaya movie, ranked


Efron played the infamous Ted Bundy in “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” (2019).

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Zac Efron as Ted Bundy in “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.”
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Brian Douglas/Netflix

Synopsis: In the dramatic thriller “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” Efron portrayed Ted Bundy, an infamous serial killer.

In the film, Lily Collins played his long-time girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, who realizes that she has to side with Ted or face the truth.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 56%

Read More: Here’s what the cast of ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile’ looks like in real life


Efron played a de-aged Matthew Perry in “17 Again” (2009).

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This isn’t his first time playing a bit of a basketball pro.
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MMVIII New Line Productions, Inc/IMDb

Synopsis: Dissatisfied with his adult life, Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) wishes he could get a second chance at being a better husband and father.

Suddenly, Mike wakes up as his 17-year-old self (played by Efron) with a chance to relive the glory days of high school.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 56%


In “The Beach Bum” (2019), the actor was a wild card named Flicker.

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This isn’t the first time Zac Efron acted alongside Matthew McConaughey.
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Iconoclast

Synopsis: In the comedy “The Beach Bum,” Matthew McConaughey starred as Moondog, a washed-up writer dealing with addiction and a general displeasure for responsibility.

Efron had a supporting role in the film as Flicker, a deviant who helps Moondog break out of a rehab facility.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%


Efron played Teddy Sanders in “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” (2016).

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Zac Efron played a fraternity brother in this film.
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Chuck Zlotnick/Universal

Synopsis: In the sequel to the comedy “Neighbors,” Efron returned as former fraternity brother Teddy Sanders.

At first, Teddy helps a group of young women set up a sorority in his old fraternity house, but finds himself siding against them when he’s pushed out by the girls.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%


The actor got his big break playing Troy Bolton in “High School Musical” (2006).

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Zac Efron as Troy Bolton in “HSM.”
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Disney Channel

Synopsis: In “High School Musical,” Efron starred as Troy Bolton, a teen torn between wanting to play basketball and wanting to try out for the high-school musical with his new crush Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens).

But before he can audition for the musical he has to first get through ambitious theater student Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%


In “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” (2008), Efron reprised his role as Troy Bolton one last time.

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This movie showed Zac Efron’s final turn as Troy Bolton.
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Walt Disney Pictures

Synopsis: Before they graduate from their senior year, Troy (Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) have to decide if they will keep dating as they’re pulled in two different directions for college.

As they map out their future, Troy and Gabriella help their classmates stage one last musical.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%


He had a small role as Nat in “Liberal Arts” (2012).

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Zac Efron played a student in “Liberal Arts.”
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IFC Films

Synopsis: In the comedic drama “Liberal Arts,” Josh Radnor played Jesse Fisher, a college-admissions officer who is disillusioned with his life.

When an opportunity brings Jesse back to his old college, he finds himself falling for young student (Elizabeth Olsen).

Efron had a small role in the film as eccentric college student Nat.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%


He first played Teddy Sanders in “Neighbors” (2014).

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This wasn’t the last time Zac Efron played a fraternity brother.
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Universal Pictures

Synopsis: In the first “Neighbors” movie, Efron played Teddy Sanders, a party-loving college student who starts a fraternity next door to Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne).

The new neighbors battle the fraternity for peace and quiet for the sake of their newborn.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 72%


The actor returned as Troy Bolton in “High School Musical 2” (2007).

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Zac Efron sang in this film.
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Disney Channel

Synopsis: In the sequel to “High School Musical,” Efron returned as Troy Bolton, an athletic high-school student with musical aspirations.

Set in the summertime, “High School Musical 2” follows Troy and his friends as they get jobs working at Sharpay’s family-owned country club.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Read More: The worst movies every actor from ‘High School Musical’ has been in


Efron played Richard Samuels in “Me and Orson Welles” (2009).

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Zac Efron and Claire Danes in “Me and Orson Welles.”
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Freestyle Releasing

Synopsis: In “Me and Orson Welles,” Efron starred as Richard Samuels, a young actor who finds himself thrown into a New York production of “Julius Caesar” helmed by prolific director Orson Welles.

Richard attempts to navigate a working relationship with Welles as he falls for Sonja Jones (Claire Danes).

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%


In “The Disaster Artist” (2017), he had a minor part as an actor named Dan.

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“The Disaster Artist” stars Dave Franco and James Franco.
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A24

Synopsis: Based on the hectic production of the famously awful film “The Room,” this movie follows Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) and Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) as they set out to make their dream film and concoct something else entirely.

In “The Disaster Artist,” Efron had a small role as an actor named Dan, who in turn plays a character named Chris R.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%


In his highest-rated film, “Hairspray” (2007), Efron played Link Larkin.

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Zac Efron starred alongside Brittany Snow.
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New Line Cinema

Synopsis: The musical “Hairspray” centers around bright-eyed Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) and her dream to appear on the hit television program “The Corny Collins Show.”

But when an audition lands Tracy among her idols, she realizes that Corny Collins is stuck in the past with its promotion of racial segregation.

Efron starred opposite Blonsky as TV heart-throb Link Larkin.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

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