10 Underrated Theo James Movies & TV Shows Fans Need to See
He's the guy who stole our hearts in the Divergent series, but there's so much more to this British actor's filmography!
1. Underworld: Awakening (2012)
Theo James fighting vampires and Lycans—what more could you ask for? In this installment of the 'Underworld' series, he plays David, a vampire who teams up with Selene. The story kicks off when humans discover the existence of vampires and Lycans and start an all-out war to eradicate both species. David, initially a skeptic, joins Selene in saving his vampire clan and fighting off the human threat. In the end, he undergoes a transformation—literally and metaphorically—after being revived with Selene's immortal blood.
2. The Benefactor (2015)
Here, Theo James is Luke, a young man married to Olivia. They befriend Franny, a wealthy philanthropist, who becomes obsessively involved in their lives after causing a car accident that kills Olivia's parents. Feeling indebted, Luke allows Franny to pay for his medical school and buy them a home, but realizes the man has ulterior motives. It all unravels when Franny's manipulation becomes too much to bear, leading to a confrontation between him and Luke.
3. War on Everyone (2016)
In this dark comedy, Theo James is Lord James Mangan, a master criminal who crosses paths with two corrupt cops. The cops shake down criminals for money, but they meet their match in Mangan. He's not just into petty crime; the guy is planning a major heist involving millions. The cops decide to rob him before he can pull off the heist. After a sequence of violent clashes and moral ambiguity, Mangan ends up dying, cementing the idea that nobody wins in a war on everyone.
4. London Fields (2018)
In this neo-noir thriller, Theo James is Guy Clinch, a wealthy man who becomes entangled with Nicola, a femme fatale who can foresee the future. Nicola knows she will be murdered and begins relationships with three different men, including Guy, to figure out who the killer will be. She manipulates Guy into falling madly in love with her. Guy discovers Nicola's games and, in a plot twist, it's revealed that Nicola staged her own murder to frame the men.
5. Lying and Stealing (2019)
Theo James in a heist movie! He plays Ivan, an art thief with a golden rule—only steal from those who can afford it. He partners up with Elyse, a con artist, to pull off a series of heists to pay off his debt to a crime lord. Things go south when they steal a priceless artifact, attracting the FBI's attention. In a gripping turn of events, they manage to con the crime lord and escape the clutches of law enforcement.
6. Golden Boy (2013)
In this one-season wonder, Theo is Walter Clark Jr., the youngest homicide detective in New York. The series kicks off with a seven-year flash-forward showing Walter at the pinnacle of success but soon dives back to show his ambitious climb through the ranks. Walter and his partner Don investigate a series of gruesome murders, facing internal department politics and personal demons along the way. By the end of the season, Walter cracks a case that puts him in the limelight but also raises questions about the moral compromises he made to get there.
7. Backstabbing for Beginners (2018)
Political thrillers, anyone? Theo James plays Michael, a young idealist who lands a job as a program coordinator for the UN's Oil-for-Food Programme. Initially thrilled, Michael starts to uncover massive corruption involving his boss, played by Ben Kingsley. He has to navigate a minefield of greed, risking his life to expose the truth. The movie culminates with Michael blowing the whistle, leading to an international investigation.
8. Archive (2020)
Theo James is George, a scientist working on an AI project to reincarnate his deceased wife, Jules. He creates two humanoid robots but is unsatisfied as they exhibit only basic facets of Jules' personality. As he nears completion of a third, more advanced robot, he learns his project will be shut down. In a twist, the third robot becomes self-aware and, learning she's a replacement, tries to kill George. He barely survives and decides to shut down the project, realizing he can't play god.
9. How It Ends (2018)
Post-apocalyptic road trip, anyone? Theo James is Will, a young lawyer who teams up with his estranged father-in-law Tom to find his pregnant fiancée after a mysterious apocalyptic event. They face natural disasters and human threats alike, forming a reluctant alliance along the way. In a gut-wrenching climax, Tom sacrifices himself so Will can escape a deadly confrontation. When Will finally finds his fiancée, it's implied that she had to make her own morally ambiguous choices to survive.
10. Sanditon (2019)
Based on Jane Austen's unfinished novel, this TV drama puts Theo James in breeches and cravats as Sidney Parker, a man whose family is developing the coastal resort of Sanditon. Initially brusque, he slowly falls in love with Charlotte, a young woman visiting the town. Amidst regency dances and societal dramas, Sidney is compelled to marry a wealthy heiress to save his family's failing finances, leaving Charlotte heartbroken.