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Chris Hemsworth is in rarefied air. As Thor, he is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe character to have four standalone movies, moving ahead of Robert Downey’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. If Thor: Love and Thunder really is Hemsworth’s last Marvel movie, then he’s going out with a bang. He’ll share the screen with five Academy Award winners: Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, Natalie Portman, and Taika Waititi. Oscar nominees  Bradley Cooper and Melissa McCarthy appear. We’re ranking the five Oscar winners in Thor: Love and Thunder based on their Metacritic average scores, going from worst to best.

Chris Hemsworth (from left), Taika Waititi, and Natalie Portman at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. Five Oscar winners join Hemsworth in 'Thor: Love and Thunder,' including Waititi and Portman.
Chris Hemsworth (from left), Taika Waititi, and Natalie Portman | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

5. Natalie Portman

  • Metacritic average: 57
  • Oscar win: Best actress, Black Swan

Portman stepped away from the Thor movies following 2013’s The Dark World, but she returns as Jane Foster — and she has Mjolnir with her. Portman jumped at the chance to work with Kenneth Branagh on Thor and to make Hemsworth look even bigger than he is, as she once joked. 

On the heels of winning her Oscar for Black Swan, Portman switched gears when she starred in Thor. Portman’s career includes Academy Award nominations for best supporting actress for Closer and best actress for Jackie.

4. Russell Crowe

  • Metacritic average: 59
  • Oscar win: Best actor, Gladiator

Russell Crowe hated the Gladiator script, but he signed on for the movie after meeting with director Ridley Scott. The epic film led to his first Oscar win, which came amid a run of critical success ling before he signed up for Thor: Love and Thunder. Crowe’s win for 2000’s Gladiator came in between his nomination for 1999’s The Insider and 2001’s A Beautiful Mind.

Most Crowe movies rated by Metacritic receive positive reviews (60 and above), but a few clunkers — The Mummy, Winter’s Tale, Fathers & Daughters — drag down his average.

3. Christian Bale

  • Metacritic average: 62
  • Oscar win: Best actor, The Fighter

Like Crowe, Bale starred in a DC Comics movie before appearing in the MCU. Bale, of course, played Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. Crowe appeared as Jor-El in Man of Steel. They’re on opposite ends of the good/bad spectrum in Love and Thunder, though. Crowe plays the god Zeus, while Bale plays villain Gorr the God Butcher, whom writer and director Waititi teased as one of the best bad guys in the MCU.

Bale won an Oscar with his first nomination for The Fighter in 2011, and he earned three best actor nods over the following eight years for American Hustle, The Big Short, and Vice.

2. Matt Damon

  • Metacritic average: 63
  • Oscar win: Best original screenplay, Good Will Hunting

Damon appeared as Actor Loki in an uncredited cameo in Thor: Ragnorak. He must know a few influential people in Hollywood because he joined the main cast this time out. (Sarcasm font on that sentence). 

Indeed, Damon’s Thor role happened only because Waititi and Hemsworth asked him to do it for Ragnorak. Luke Hemsworth (Chris’ brother) is back as Actor Thor in Love and Thunder, and Melissa McCarthy plays Actor Hela (Cate Blanchett was Hela in Ragnorak).

In addition to his win, Damon earned another Academy Award nomination for best actor for Good Will Hunting. He later picked up nominations for The Martian (best actor), Invictus (best supporting actor), and Manchester By the Sea (best picture as a producer on the film).

1. Taika Waititi


‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: Taika Waititi Shares How He Persuaded Natalie Portman to Return to Marvel

  • Metacritic average: 69
  • Oscar win: Best adapted screenplay, Jojo Rabbit

Waititi does a little bit of everything. As a writer, director, producer, and actor with several credits in each category (per IMDb), he’s appeared everywhere, especially since Eagle vs Shark, which he ushered to the big screen in 2007 as writer, director, and supporting actor.

After directing and playing Korg in Thor: Ragnorak (and lying to Marvel just to get the job), Waititi filled both those roles and also wrote the script for Love and Thunder, which he says is much deeper than the previous movie.

Ragnorak is one of the better-rated movies on Waititi’s Metacritic page, but Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which he wrote, produced, directed, and acted in, has the highest score. Jojo Rabbit, coincidentally, has one of the lowest scores.

Jojo Rabbit brought Waititi an Academy Awards nomination for best picture as a producer. He also earned a nomination for best live-action short film for Two Cars, One Night.

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