Last week Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness launched in theaters, officially kicking off the summer movie season. That film features two stars who’ve been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be looking at some of the highlights of their non-MCU careers. Today, I’m looking at five features starring Doctor Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Amazing Grace (2006)
About: This was the first time I saw Cumberbatch, here playing former British Prime Minister William Pitt. He was an ally of William Wilberforce, the focus of the film, a member of the British Government who was inspired by his faith—and the song Amazing Grace—to help end slavery in England. It’s a faith-based film, but I enjoy it.
About: This film, based on the novel from Ian McEwen, comes from director Joe Wright. It was a Best Picture nominee, and a fantastic film. Cumberbatch plays a minor role in the film, but one that’s actually kind of important to the plot. I love the film but it’s not really about Cumberbatch’s performance.
About: I get it, this isn’t a film. However, I think it’s the property that really brought Cumberbatch and co-star Martin Freeman, who plays John Watson, into focus for many American viewers. Many people have tried their hand at playing Sherlock Holmes, but few have ever done it as well as Cumberbatch. This series was shaped like a grouping of films, each case running about 90 minutes. If you’ve never seen it, you should.
Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
About: Cumberbatch was set up to fail here. The Wrath of Khan is the best and most memorable Star Trek films. When J.J. Abrams decided to essentially re-make it for his second Star Trek film, while trying to be purposefully misleading about who Cumberbatch was playing, it was never going to work. The film isn’t great, but I like Cumberbatch in it for the most part. It’s also not as bad as some wanted to make it out to be.
The Current War (2017)
About: Here, Cumberbatch played Thomas Edison. In the film, he is in a war with George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) to provide the world power. This is a movie that got a somewhat terrible and awkward rollout. However, I thought it was incredibly fascinating. The cast even includes Tom Holland! Cumberbatch is good here and the film is worth checking out.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.