The Jackass Films, Ranked

Jackass Number Two cover

Before there was TikTok, or Vine, or even YouTube, there was MTV’s Jackass TV series, which fed viewers (mostly teenage boys and young men) a constant, uninterrupted stream of dudes with questionable intelligence performing ridiculous stunts (with often disastrous results) and tormenting each other with disgusting or dangerous pranks.

Even though the show only ran for three seasons between 2000 and 2001, the concept proved so popular and the group of lovably bone-headed guys proved so beloved that the series was spun-off into multiple subsequent TV shows and, perhaps more culturally significantly, a total of nine feature-length films.

While it may seem on the surface that each of these films would essentially be the same concept run into the ground, they actually vary widely in quality, as any true Jackass fan will attest. Below is my definitive ranking of all nine films in the Jackass series:

1. Jackass Number Two

Jackass Number Two screenshot

Year: 2006 | Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jackass Number Two is inarguably the best movies in the series. The laughs are more consistent, the tone is lighter than in Jackass: The Movie (2002) and one segment (involving a particular bodily fluid from a particular barnyard animal) actually almost made me gag, which is no small feat; in fact, it’s the only stunt from any of the films to do so.

The cast seems to be in a better place here than they were in the first movie, even though I have absolutely no evidence to back that up. Johnny Knoxville is a fucking mad man who will stop at absolutely nothing to get the shot. Whereas Ryan Dunn was kind of a downer and an asshole in the first movie, he’s actually incredibly hilarious here; almost every word that came out of his mouth made me laugh out loud. Even Bam Margera, who I really, really seem to dislike with a passion, is somewhat tolerable here.

If it weren’t for some unfortunate racial profiling and an egregious use of brown face that seemed acceptable at the time, but for which I can make no excuses today, Jackass Number Two just might have been a five-star movie for me. I laughed longer and more often than I have at a movie in a long time.

Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Runtime: 1 hr. 32 min.
Rating: R

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn

2. Jackass 4.5

Year: 2022 | Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I think that I liked Jackass 4.5 even better than Jackass Forever (2022). I laughed so hard for so long at the “Zach Sashimi” segment that I had to pause for like five minutes before going on. Other highlights include like 10x more Spike Jonze than in Forever, and these motherfuckers having “Dark Shark” repenting for all of his sins by the end of this movie.

Look, is it stupid and pointless and not really adding anything to the artistry of the filmmaking platform? Sure. But it’s also a hell of a lot of fun, and I hope that they keep making these movies forever.

Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Runtime: 1 hr. 30 min.
Rating: TV-MA

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Ehren McGhehey

3. Jackass 3.5

Jackass 3.5 screenshot

Year: 2011 | Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I seem to be in the minority by thinking that Jackass 4.5 is a funnier movie than Jackass Forever (both 2022), so I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m also doubling-down and saying that I liked Jackass 3.5 more than Jackass 3D (2010).

The outtakes from the failed stunts in this movie are often funnier than the stunts that went well enough to include in the main film, and the behind-the-scenes footage here is the best out of all the .5 movies.

Rick Kosick saying “I can’t believe this guy is a director!” after Spike Jonze fucks up a shot is arguably the funniest single thing from any of these movies.

Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Runtime: 1 hr. 25 min.
Rating: Unrated

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Ryan Dunn, Dave England, Preston Lacy, Bam Margera

4. Jackass Forever

Jackass Forever screenshot

Year: 2022 | Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jackass Forever definitely has a different tone than the previous entries in the Jackass series, and to me, that is a good thing. It’s obvious the cast got together to make this movie not out of contractual obligation or money, but because they missed doing what they do best and just wanted to give it one (maybe) last hurrah. It feels weird to say this consider how many fully exposed penises there are in this film (supposedly a record was broken), but this is the most wholesome of the Jackass films.

The intro and grand finale of Jackass Forever are also the most ambitiously impressive stunts in any of these movies. In Jackass 4.5 (2022), it’s revealed that Spike Jonze was the brainchild behind the entire opening sequence of this film, and honestly? It’s some of his best work to date.

Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Runtime: 1 hr. 36 min.
Rating: R

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña

5. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 screenshot

Year: 2013 | Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 is basically exactly what you want out of a making-of documentary. None of the footage that could have been used in the Bad Grandpa (2013) film is funnier than anything that made the cut, but some of the outtakes and things that didn’t work are hilarious in their failure.

Penguin Guy is a goddamn legend, and everything with Spike Jonze in this movie, while unusable for the main film, is fucking gold. Who knew that the guy behind Her (2013) is an absolute lunatic? You love to see it.

I also loved the part about the “window incident.” As an aspiring filmmaker who has been on shoots, I felt Johnny Knoxville’s pain in every nerve in my body. This is why we shoot for two months, people!

Language: English
Genre: Comedy. Documentary
Runtime: 1 hr. 16 min.
Rating: Unrated

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Jackson Nicoll, Catherine Keener, Georgina Cates

6. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa screenshot

Year: 2013 | Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I first saw Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa when it was released back in 2013, and I absolutely hated it. Like, with a passion. Upon rewatching, I’m not even sure why. I mean, sure, just like with every Jackass film, not every prank works and I wouldn’t consider Bad Grandpa on the same level as, say Jackass Number Two (2006), or even Jackass Forever (2022). But it’s entertaining enough, and Johnny Knoxville really isn’t a bad actor.

The highlights are definitely the strip club scene and the final scene in the biker bar. That one biker saying “He’s more than just money,” then following it up with “You looking at an angel of death right now” is the most simultaneously heartwarming, funny, and fucking terrifying thing I’ve think I’ve ever seen.

Language: English
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 1 hr. 32 min.
Rating: R

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Georgina Cates, Catherine Keener, Spike Jonze

7. Jackass 3D

Jackass 3D screenshot

Year: 2010 | Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Jackass 3D is about as middle-of-the-road as I imagine a movie can get. There’s almost exactly a 50/50 ratio of hits and misses here regarding the segments, and none of the “hits” had me clutching my sides in laughter like some of the best bits from the better movies. The quips and ad-libs from the peanut gallery don’t seem as funny here, either, especially compared to Jackass Number Two (2006), in which Johnny Knoxville and Ryan Dunn basically had me in stitches through the entire movie.

One good thing about Jackass 3D compared to the other movies though is that this was really Preston Lacy and Wee Man’s time to shine. They get a lot of camera time here, and they make the most of it with hilarious stunts and dialogue.

Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Runtime: 1 hr. 34 min.
Rating: R

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Steve-O, Chris Pontius

8. Jackass: The Movie

Year: 2002 | Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Watching the OG Jackass movie really drives home how well-done the later films in the series are. Don’t get me wrong, Jackass: The Movie is fine…but only just fine, with inconsistent laughs, and some sketches featuring animals that are frankly out-of-bounds by today’s standards.

But when compared to the latest installments in the series, this movie just lacks a certain…something. Maybe it’s the passing of the torch from the original cast members to the new blood, or the more recognizable celebrity cameos, or the fact that because of COVID, most of the street pranks had to be scrapped and more elaborate and, frankly, funnier stunts had to be planned in their stead…I can’t exactly put my finger on it (it’s probably a mixture of all of the above), but hopefully the Jackass reboot series follows more in the vein of Jackass Forever (2022) than of the original series and movie.

I will say, though, that Jackass: The Movie easily features the best soundtrack of the series. It’s one of the best punk soundtracks I’ve ever heard, and folks, I’ve heard a lot of them. The “Hybrid Moments” needle drop over the end credits is just… *chef’s kiss*.

Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Runtime: 1 hr. 25 min.
Rating: R

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn

9. Jackass 2.5

Jackass 2.5 screenshot

Year: 2007 | Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Ironically, where Jackass Number Two (2006) is the best entry in the Jackass “franchise” (it feels so weird to use that word to describe this specific series of movies), Jackass 2.5 is surely the weakest.

There’s just not really enough interesting footage to justify the existence of this movie, I think. It’s only a hour long, and I was still bored. I guess some of the behind-the-scenes stuff was a little interesting, but all of the stunts and pranks here absolutely deserved to be on the cutting room floor, and they frankly should have stayed there.

I don’t know if I laughed once through this, and Bam talks way, way too much. Man, I just do not like that guy.

Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Runtime: 1 hr. 4 min.
Rating: Unrated

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Spike Jonze

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