Orlando Bloom rose to prominence playing Legolas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He has since starred in other epic films, including the war film Black Hawk Down and the romantic comedy Elizabethtown. In this psychological thriller, Bloom stars as Martin, a doctor who tampers with his patients to feed his delusional ego. This is a dark and underrated performance from the actor.
1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2001)
Orlando Bloom reprises his role as Legolas in this second installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. The film follows Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves on their quest to reclaim their kingdom from the dragon Smaug. This repelis film also features a lot of action, including several lengthy chase sequences and a prolonged battle with bloodthirsty Orcs.
The movie is a brisk and exhilarating adventure tale that demonstrates that Jackson still has an eye for big-league popular movies as well as for the kind of grandiose special effects that are the bread and butter of modern blockbusters. It lurches from CGI-fueled battle scenes to narrow escapes down dizzying mountain slopes, craggy cliffs and lofty tree branches, with characters frequently found millimeters away from certain death. The acting is generally strong and there are some good insertions of humor.
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is undoubtedly Orlando Bloom’s most iconic film work. He was relatively unknown when the first movie was released, and he became an international star upon assuming the role of Legolas in this fantasy epic.
The film depicts the battle between good and evil in Middle-earth, with the future of civilization resting on the fate of a single Ring. It’s an epic story with plenty of action, romance, and adventure.
Bloom’s acting skills were praised by critics, and he would continue to make smaller films like Elizabethtown and Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven before resuming his role as Legolas in the Hobbit series. He also starred as Paris in the historical drama Troy (2004). He then went on to play Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The movie was an enormous hit, bringing in massive amounts of money.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003-2007)
After gaining prominence in the Lord of the Rings series and other epic blockbusters, Bloom took on another massive franchise in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. He starred as Will Turner alongside Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, as well as Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann.
The first in the series was a hit, and the film cemented Bloom as a lead romantic actor. He reprised the role in two back-to-back sequels, Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End.
He also starred in the 2005 underrated romantic tragicomedy Elizabethtown as shoe designer Drew Baylor. In this repelisplus film, he plays a man down on his luck who finds love on an empty red eye flight. This movie is a great showcase of Bloom’s athleticism and charm. He’s also good at playing a straight character, something he carries over into his work on Carnival Row.
4. Kingdom of Heaven (2001)
Orlando Bloom’s career skyrocketed in the early 2000s thanks to two massive franchise blockbusters. But he also proved himself to be an able dramatic lead in Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown and an impressive action star in Ridley Scott’s medieval war drama Kingdom of Heaven.
This Crusades-set chronicle focuses on Balian of Ibelin, a French blacksmith who helps Jerusalem fight off the Muslim forces of Saladin. While it boasts some decent battle scenes, this ham-fisted propaganda film lacks the punch of its director’s overrated Gladiator.
This is where Bloom became a household name. He played elf Legolas in all three of the original Lord of the Rings films, alongside larger-than-life actors such as Brad Pitt and Eric Bana. And although the movies weren’t exactly classics, they provided plenty of old-school entertainment.
5. Zulu (2001)
Before his starring turn in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Bloom proved himself as a versatile actor with smaller roles like Paris, the Greek prince whose actions predicate the Trojan War in the 2004 blockbuster Troy and crusader Balian de Ibelin in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. In both films, he held his own against larger-than-life performances from Brad Pitt and Eric Bana.
He then starred as blacksmith-turned-pirate Will Turner in Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean series, becoming an audience favorite alongside the series’ main star Johnny Depp. His chemistry with Knightley was evident in each film, and his role as the moral compass of the crew cemented him as one of Hollywood’s most attractive leading men. He continues to impress in the neo-noir fantasy Amazon Prime series Carnival Row.