Simon Pegg is widely known from Tom Cruise-led ‘Mission Impossible’ series as the awkward and brilliant Benji. The British actor has been a regular feature in the series and his involvement has increased over time. Known for his exceptional comic timing and understanding, the actor has also been involved in one of the finest black-comedy trilogies of the 21st century. In cahoots with writer-director Edgar Wright, Pegg has starred and co-written the Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy. The acclaimed set of movies work on similar formulas and yield similar, magnificent results. Here’s the list of top Simon Pegg movies and TV shows, selected from his impressive filmography. You can watch some of these best Simon Pegg movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. Kill Me Three Times (2014)
‘Kill Me Three Times’ received a revival in the form of a villainous Simon Pegg. Well, it was killed a fourth time due to its uninspiring and derivative storyline. It is not an expedient observation seeing actors play a role reversal. It takes guts and certainly a lot of encouragement from the script and the director to do so. Pegg, while had the former, struggled with the latter. The only good thing the movie can be remembered by is a fantastic performance by Pegg.
9. Absolutely Anything (2015)
Simon Pegg’s fruitful relationship with science-fiction has developed a recognizable pattern. Set against the backdrop of our normal lives and wielding a protagonist as banal as us, the narrative quickly merges that with the unthinkable and brings out an entertaining and jarring combination of the two. ‘Absolutely Anything’ refers to the incompetency of Neil Clarke, a school teacher who finds himself disabled dealing with the impending alien invasion. His talking dog (oh, I wish) is the only source of hope if humanity can survive. While holistically similar in approach to already tried cinematic clichés, ‘Absolutely Anything’ benefits from a charming cast that makes the languid and arbitrary script bearable.
8. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2017)
‘Rogue Nation’, the fifth installment in the series, revolved around the Syndicate, a criminal organization of highly-trained assassins, all registered as dead. The first mention was in the previous movie, and Ethan Hunt now has to face the task of guardedly collaborating with British Intelligence in order to bring down the organization. Watching Tom Cruise on a bike is certainly an adventure and the movie continues with the clichéd, yet successful tropes the franchise has built over the years. Like all other installments, ‘Rogue Nation’ features Cruise doing the impossible and pulling of hanging to the door of an Airbus. Certainly a worthy successor and rewatchable.
7. Spaced (1999-2001)
In many ways, ‘Spaced’ feels like a much funnier and less high-profile version of ‘American Hustle’. It convalesces on the lives of Tim, a comic book artist who just broke up with the love of his life, and Daisy, an aspiring writer, who meet by chance and decide to pose as a professional couple to secure a relatively cheap flat. Co-created with Edgar Wright, Pegg also stars as the eponymous character and slays in his leading role. Winner of major television awards, ‘Spaced’ remains a classic example of how to keep things memorable, rather than stretching them out.
6. Star Trek (2009)
JJ Abrams has become quite a sensation with his illustrious filmography. The multi-tasking director has shown immense craftsmanship and imagination in resurrecting, creating, and driving sci-fi franchises. One of them has been the ‘Star Trek’ series which has always made its mark on the box office. The first movie was a huge commercial and critical success, earning praise for Abrams’ brilliant animation of the beloved story. The cast has since gone on to achieve stardom and has reappeared in further installments.
5. Hot Fuzz (2007)
The parody film certainly turned out to be a sleeper hit and elevated Wright as a director of class and temperament. The holy trident of Pegg, Wright, and Frost reunited for the movie, set amidst the backdrop of Sandford, a village in the West Country. Over a hundred action films were used as inspiration for developing the script. Filming took place over eleven weeks in early 2006, and featured an extensive cast along with various uncredited cameos. Visual effects were developed by ten artists to expand on or add explosions, gore, and gunfire scenes. All this to give rise to one of the best parody movies ever made.
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
After the IMF is accused of bombing the Kremlin, it falls on the shoulders of Ethan Hunt and a handful associates to stop an impending nuclear wipeout. ‘Ghost Protocol’ is probably the best of the MI series, managing to strike a harmonious balance between comedy, action, and thankfully, an intriguing narrative. Tom Cruise and his gang of bad-ass agents deliver resounding performance, filling the movie with the style and swagger that it has come to be known for.
3. Paul (2011)
‘Paul’ exemplifies how a refreshing science-fiction should be. Original story, a familiar background, and two brilliant comic actors who understand the nuances of the genre. Featuring a constellation of comic geniuses, ‘Paul’ revolves around two inept, unsuspecting geeks, who are wishfully hunting for their next comic subject. Their road trip into Area 51 quickly turns into a cat and mouse game with federal officers as they seek to help him return to his spaceship.
2. The World’s End (2013)
If you’d ask me my favorite movie of Wright, I’ll probably say ‘The World’s End’. For much of the film, the tone and the nature of the script remains bereft of fiction and delves with precision and care into the lives of five old friends, who are persuaded to complete a bizarre challenge left incomplete two decades ago. It is until the fade end of the movie that the pulsating destruction lies forth. The gorgeous chemistry between the leads and the typical relentless, consuming style of Edgar Wright make this action-comedy film one to remember.
1. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The best of the lot undoubtedly has to be ‘Shaun of the Dead’. Despite the bizarre, absurdist nature of the narrative, Pegg’s endearing performance and Wright’s sensible script all made sense. A timid salesman has lost direction in life. With all his personal relationships in turmoil, Shaun finds himself in the midst of a zombie outbreak which he inadvertently becomes a part of. The sheer genius of the script and the extraordinary performances, not only by the leads, but the extras make this brilliantly chaotic mess a modern masterpiece.