John C. Reilly is one of those actors who can seemingly do anything. He seems just as comfortable in small indies as he does in big blockbusters. He can do comedy just as well as he does drama. He can play the villain as effectively as he plays the romantic lead. He is one of the most versatile actors working today.
With such enviable skills, Reilly has been able to insert himself in some pretty wonderful projects over the years. Starting out as a character actor and becoming a genuine star, Reilly has worked with some of the best filmmakers around on some of the best movies in the last few decades. Here are John C. Reilly's best movies, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
10 Cedar Rapids (86%)
Reilly became a big star thanks to his comedies like Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, but Cedar Rapids remains one of his overlooked comedies. The film stars Ed Helms as an unadventurous salesman who is taken on a wild ride while at a business conference.
Reilly steals the show as a convention veteran who takes Helms under his wing and shows him how to let loose. The movie was called conventional yet endearing with its strong cast adding a lot of charm and heart to the humor.
9 Wreck-It Ralph (87%)
Reilly certainly has a distinct voice so it was only a matter of time before he headlined his own animated film. Wreck-It Ralph has Reilly playing the titular role, a video game villain who dreams of one day becoming the hero.
The clever premise made for one of those rare non-Pixar animated movies that really stand out. Critics called it a perfect family film that entertains both children and parents. The colorful and inventive animation makes for a dazzling adventure.
8 The Sisters Brothers (87%)
The Sisters Brothers is one of Reilly's more recent films and an overlooked gem. The Western stars Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as brothers who work as hired guns, hunting down a businessman with a valuable secret.
Reilly takes the lead in the film, playing the less confident brother who struggles with their life of violence. The movie was praised for its impressive cast who all give great performances. They also pointed out that, while the film seems to be telling a familiar story, it finds interesting new areas to explore.
7 The Lobster (88%)
Even as an established leading man, Reilly seems more than willing to take supporting roles in interesting projects. The Lobster is a dark comedy about a treatment center for single people that inspires its participants to find a partner or be turned into an animal for the rest of their life.
Reilly plays a smaller role as one of the hapless and pathetic participants in the program. Though a strange concept for a film, critics loved its dry humor and deadpan performances. Director Yargos Lanthimos was also praised for the memorable visual style of the film.
6 Ralph Breaks The Internet (89%)
While sequels to animated films can often have diminishing returns, Ralph Breaks the Internet managed to improve on the original. The new adventure finds Ralph and his new friend Vanellope heading into the world of the internet.
The sequel expands on the world of the original in inventive and clever ways. It was seen as a funnier and more entertaining adventure with a surprising amount of heart and some solid messages for its younger viewers.
5 What's Eating Gilbert Grape (90%)
Reilly was not quite the household name in the 90s but his reputation as a solid character actor scored him roles in beloved films. What's Eating Gilbert Grape? was a drama that starred Johnny Depp as a young man caring for his mentally-disabled brother and obese mother when he unexpectedly falls in love with a young woman.
Reilly provides some great comedic relief as one of Depp's friends with big plans for his small-town life. Critics admitted the story was nothing ground-breaking but the movie succeeded thanks to its moving performances and heartfelt moments.
4 When Marnie Was There (91%)
When Marnie Was There finds Reilly providing his voice to another unique animated project, although one vastly different from Wreck-it Ralph. The movie comes from the brilliant minds at Studio Ghibli and tells the story of a young girl who starts a new life in the country and meets a new friend named Marnie. As their friendship grows, the girls find they might share a deeper bind than they thought.
Though critics pointed out that it lacks some of the magic of Studio Ghibli's more impressive work, it is still a beautiful and stunning film to watch with an engrossing story.
3 Guardians Of The Galaxy (91%)
Though Reilly is more often seen in smaller films, even he was persuaded to join the big-budget world of the MCU. Guardians of the Galaxy brought one of Marvel's more obscure teams to the big screen in this oddball space opera which saw the unlikely heroes reluctantly saving the galaxy.
Reilly had a supporting role as a key member of the Nova Corps who crossed paths with the Guardians. The film's colorful style and likable characters helped make it feel like something fresh in the MCU and critics praised the hilarious irreverent humor.
2 Stan & Ollie (93%)
Reilly's talents as a comedic actor and dramatic actor melded together in the recent biopic, Stan & Ollie. Reilly and Steve Coogan star as Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel, the famed comedic duo from the 30s and 40s. The film explores the pair in the later years of their careers.
Reilly is hardly recognizable under heavy prosthetics and gives a fantastic performance which was called one of his best. The film itself was praised as a touching tribute to the performers and a fascinating behind the scenes look at show business in the 50s.
1 Boogie Nights (93%)
One of Reilly's most frequent collaborators throughout his career has been Paul Thomas Anderson. Their second film together remains a highlight in both of their careers. Boogie Nights follows Mark Wahlberg as a young man being brought into the world of porn movies in the 1970s.
Reilly plays Wahlberg's best friend and fellow porn star in one of the funniest performances in the film. Boogie Nights has been called a modern masterpiece by critics with amazing performances from an all-star cast, stunning direction from Anderson and a captivating story.