Every single Zac Efron movie, ranked

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Zac Efron has starred in a variety of films, from musicals to dramas. 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. But not all of his films have been critical hits.

Read on for 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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Zac Efron in ‘New Year’s Eve.’ New Line Cinema

Rotten Tomatoes score: 7%

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.


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

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Zac Efron and Robert De Niro in ‘Dirty Grandpa.’ Lionsgate

Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%

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.


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

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Zac Efron and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in ‘Baywatch.’ Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 17%

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.


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

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Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron in ‘The Lucky One.’ Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 20%

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.


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

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Zac Efron in ‘That Awkward Moment.’ Focus Features

Rotten Tomatoes score: 22%

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


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

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Zac Efron in ‘Charlie St. Cloud.’ Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 28%

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.


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 ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.’ YouTube/20th Century Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 38%

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).


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

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Zac Efron in ‘We Are Your Friends.’ Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 38%

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.


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

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Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey in ‘The Paperboy.’ Millennium Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 45%

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.


He voiced Fred Jones in “Scoob!” (2020).

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Zac Efron voiced Fred in ‘Scoob!’ Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 48%

Synopsis: A reboot of the beloved “Scooby-Doo” series, this animated comedy follows the gang as they try to stop a frightening ghost dog from being unleashed upon the world.


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

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Zac Efron in ‘Parkland.’ Exclusive Releasing

Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%

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.


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

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Zac Efron in ‘At Any Price.’ Sony Pictures Classics

Rotten Tomatoes score: 51%

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.


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. Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 54%

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.


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.’ Brian Douglas/Netflix

Rotten Tomatoes score: 54%

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 realises that she has to side with Ted or face the truth.


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

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Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman in ‘The Greatest Showman.’ Fox

Rotten Tomatoes score: 56%

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).


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

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Zac Efron in ’17 Again.’ MMVIII New Line Productions, Inc/IMDb

Rotten Tomatoes score: 56%

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 (Efron) with a chance to relive the glory days of high school.


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

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Zac Efron in ‘The Bach Bum’ Iconoclast

Rotten Tomatoes score: 56%

Synopsis: In the comedy “The Beach Bum,” 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.


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

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Zac Efron played a fraternity brother in ‘Neighbours 2.’ Chuck Zlotnick/Universal

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%

Synopsis: In the sequel to the comedy “Neighbours,” 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.


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

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Zac Efron as Troy Bolton in ‘High School Musical.’ Disney Channel

Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%

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 theatre student Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale).


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

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Zac Efron in ‘High School Musical 3.’ Walt Disney Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%

Synopsis: Before they graduate from their senior year, Troy (Efron) and Gabriella (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.


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

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Zac Efron in ‘Liberal Arts.’ IFC Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 71%

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 a young student (Elizabeth Olsen).

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


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

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Zac Efron in ‘Neighbours.’ Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 73%

Synopsis: In the first “Neighbours” 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 neighbours battle the fraternity for peace and quiet for the sake of their newborn.


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

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Zac Efron in ‘High School Musical 2.’ Disney Channel

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

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.


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

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Zac Efron and Claire Danes in ‘Me and Orson Welles.’ Freestyle Releasing

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

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).


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. A24

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

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.


Efron played heartthrob Link Larkin in “Hairspray” (2007).

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Zac Efron and Brittany Snow in ‘Hairspray.’ New Line Cinema

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Synopsis: The musical “Hairspray” centres 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 realises that Corny Collins is stuck in the past with its promotion of racial segregation.

Efron starred opposite Blonsky as TV heartthrob Link Larkin.

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