Country star Tim McGraw is one of the most impressive performers out there. The Louisiana native and son of former MLB player Tug McGraw (who inspired the timeless country song "Live Like You Were Dying") has proven that in addition to being a Grammy Award-winning artist with numerous Billboard-topping hits, he has what it takes to have a successful acting career. McGraw followed the path of other country singers like George Strait and Reba McEntire who've tried their hand in front of the camera. And if we've learned anything, it's that he isn't stopping anytime soon...he really is that good.
We're still not over the exciting news that McGraw will be starring alongside his wife, Faith Hill, on the upcoming Yellowstone prequel series Y: 1883. The couple will be playing husband and wife onscreen as well, depicting the first generation of the Dutton family to settle down in Montana, long before Kevin Costner's character was born. With a lengthy filmography under his belt, we have no doubt that McGraw is fully capable of leading the new show as the Dutton patriarch.
Here is our ranking of all of McGraw's best film roles to date. Time to crank up Netflix and watch some of your favorite performances today!
1. The Blind Side
The number one spot has to go to McGraw's role opposite Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side. McGraw played the role of Sean Tuohy, adoptive father to future NFL star Michael Oher. The true story of how Oher was taken in by the Tuohy family killed at the box office and earned Bullock an Oscar for her portrayal of Sean's wife, Leigh Anne.
2. Country Strong
The country star is no stranger to huge stadium tours but in Country Strong, he spends all of his time behind the scenes. McGraw played the role of James Canter, husband and manager of country music superstar Kelly Canter, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Kelly is a recovering addict trying to resurrect her career and she and James are pulled apart through an unimaginable loss. The film is moving and the soundtrack is an incredible country album, featuring a duet between McGraw and Paltrow. The film peels back the Music City curtain and allows viewers to see some of the stress in Nashville that you don't always think about as a fan.
3. Friday Night Lights
In 2004, the film version of H.G. Bissinger's book was released. The book would go on to inspire the beloved TV series starring Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler. McGraw plays Charles Billingsley, the father of high school football player Don Billingsley, played by Garrett Hedlund (Hedlund also played a country singer on tour with the Canters in Country Strong). The film is centered around a high school football team in Odessa, Texas. The stakes are high since football is life in these small towns. Charles was a former football star turned alcoholic who puts immense pressure on his son Don to live up to his personal expectations. It's a tough role that at times is hard to watch, but McGraw does it really well.
This coming-of-age drama stars McGraw in his first leading role: ranch owner Rob McLaughlin. When his 16-year-old daughter Katy brings in a wild horse, she must prove that she has what it takes to someday take over the family business. The "Humble and Kind" singer also served as executive producer of the film's soundtrack which featured the song "My Little Girl," a hit on the charts and one that the country star co-wrote with songwriter Tom Douglas.
5. Four Christmases
This might be an unexpected choice but Four Christmases is a seriously under-appreciated Christmas film. The story follows Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn trying to go on vacation for the holidays and ending up visiting both parents' homes in their respective divorced families. McGraw plays Vaughn's brother Dallas who is completely hilarious when paired with their brother Denver, played by Jon Favreau. While most of his career is centered in dramatic roles, this unexpected film shows that McGraw actually has some serious comedic chops.
In this Disney film, McGraw played the role of NASA engineer Eddie Newton, father of the film's lead character Casey Newton (played by Britt Robertson). With the help of an inventor, played by George Clooney, Casey discovers Tomorrowland and is able to get her father a new job. The film is sweet, but we wish it had more McGraw!
7. The Shack
This emotional film follows the story of Mack, a man whose faith is shattered after his daughter is kidnapped by a serial killer. He is invited to a house where he meets three people symbolizing the Holy Trinity who help him find his faith again. McGraw plays Mack's friend Willie, who is also the narrator of the film. McGraw and his wife Faith Hill sing a duet that is featured on the film's soundtrack.
8. The Kingdom
McGraw reunited with Friday Night Lights director Peter Berg to play the role of Aaron Jackson, an angry widower whose wife passed away in the terrorist attack that is central to the plot. It's a small role, but it shows off McGraw's skills for drama in this thriller starring Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, and Chris Cooper.
9. Black Cloud
Child star turned filmmaker Rick Schroder wrote and directed this 2004 film about a Navajo man trying to pursue a boxing career and make it to the Olympics. In one of his first acting roles, McGraw plays Sheriff Cliff Powers, who tends to side with the local cowboys who don't support Black Cloud or his dream.
McGraw also appears in Dirty Girl (2010).
This story originally ran on Sept. 29, 2020.