‘Moulin Rouge’ (2001)
We’ll never get tired of Ewan McGregor pouring his heart out to Nicole Kidman in song. As tragic, love-obsessed poet Christian in Baz Luhrmann’s frenetic musical, McGregor is swoonworthy at all times, especially when he’s singing the film's tango take on The Police’s “Roxanne” after having his heart ripped out. Sigh.
‘The Ghost Writer’ (2010)
McGregor anchors Roman Polanski’s riveting thriller about a writer dispatched to a remote beach house to help complete the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan). Filled with unsuspecting twists and top-notch dialogue, as McGregor’s character- known only as “The Ghost” – dips deep into paranoia and conspiracies.
Deep in Edinburgh’s rough drug scene, Renton (McGregor) tries his best to clean up and get out before the heroin and his pals do him in. While not his first role, “Trainspotting” offered the Scottish actor his first big break, wowing at the Cannes Film Festival. He, along with his original co-stars, returned for Danny Boyle’s well-received sequel in 2017.
‘Shallow Grave’ (1994)
McGregor is director Danny Boyle’s leading man in the wickedly comic “Shallow Grave". Eerie, graphic and downright nasty at times, McGregor’s Alex is a smartass you can’t help but root for after he and his pals discover their new flatmate dead with enough piles of cash to tear their friend group apart.
The film marked the beginning of a partnership between actor and director that would span three films, eventually sparking in a decade-long feud where neither man spoke to the other for years after Boyle cast Leonardo DiCaprio over McGregor in “The Beach”. We’re glad they were finally able to put the past behind them to reunite for “Trainspotting 2”.
‘Down With Love’ (2003)
As flashy playboy journalist Catcher Block, McGregor gets to play two roles – the big city ladies’ man and his undercover persona as a gullible southern astronaut – as he writes an expose on a feminist advice writer (Renee Zellweger). A tongue-in-cheek homage to the Rock Hudson and Doris Day sex comedies of the 1960s, McGregor excels at delivering the double entendres and fast-talking quips in the zany caper.
Wanting to capitalize on McGregor’s “Moulin Rouge!” performance and Zellweger’s “Chicago” role, “Down With Love” caps the whole thing off with a swinging ‘60s’-inspired musical number.
‘Big Fish’ (2003)
Tim Burton’s whimsical father-and-son tale is absolutely charming, thanks to some spot-on casting with McGregor as the young Edward Bloom and Albert Finney as Bloom in his old age. While this really is Finney’s movie, McGregor shines in the sweet and endearing part.
‘The Impossible’ (2012)
Get ready for a flood of tears. Set around the astonishing real life story of a family‘s harrowing journey after they are torn apart by the Boxing Day tsunami in Thailand, McGregor excels in his role as a father searching for his missing wife and son in the heart-wrenching drama.
‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ (2009)
McGregor takes a supporting role to Jim Carrey in the dramedy “I Love You Phillip Morris”, based on an incredible true story. Balancing Carrey’s manic energy, McGregor is goofily sweet and charming as the titular Phillip, a man who becomes the love of con man Steven Russell’s (Carrey) life after the pair meet in jail in the film.
An intelligent and moving look at a man (Ewan McGregor) whose new relationship opens the floodgates to his memories of his recently-deceased father (Christopher Plummer), who, at the age of 75, came out of the closet to live the remainder of his life to the fullest. Emotional, moving and at times hilarious, McGregor is note-perfect in the romantic drama.
‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith’ (2005)
You could pick any of McGregor’s outings as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels, but we’re going for “Revenge Of The Sith” based on the endlessly meme-able moments in the film. Not every actor can handle screaming at Anakin Skywalker in a lava field and make it emotional and convincing, but McGregor can. Lucky for us, he’s set to reprise his role for a new Disney+ series.