Ryan Reynolds has been a major movie star for a few years now, having gotten his start on the sitcom Two Guys and a Girl and broken into films with the crowd-pleasing romcom The Proposal, but his stardom didn’t really skyrocket until he took on the role of Wade Wilson in 2016.
(Technically, he took on that role in 2009, but thanks to studio meddling, that monstrosity was nothing like the Deadpool we know and love from the comics.) Now, Reynolds will be forever associated with the Merc with a Mouth. Here are Ryan Reynolds’ 10 Best Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes.
10 TIE: The Croods (71%)
This DreamWorks Animation movie is slated to get a sequel soon, although its sequel has been delayed before, so we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up. The Croods is set in prehistoric times, following a family of Neanderthals as they struggle against natural disasters.
Nicolas Cage is the father who wants his family to listen to him, but he’s challenged by a hotshot young adventurer played by Ryan Reynolds, who the family start to gravitate towards. Emma Stone plays the daughter who is caught in the middle of them. It’s a really great movie; an underrated gem that can be enjoyed by children and adults.
9 TIE: Definitely, Maybe (71%)
Not to be confused with Oasis’ debut album, this romantic dramedy takes place in New York in the ‘90s. Ryan Reynolds stars as a political consultant and father who is going through a messy divorce. A young Abigail Breslin plays his 11-year-old daughter, who is struggling to wrap her head around her parents’ upcoming breakup.
So, naturally, Reynolds tells her about the women he dated before her mother, and how those relationships led him to marry her in the first place. Even though you can probably guess how it ends, it’s still a very sweet and engaging movie if you go in with a non-cynical viewpoint.
8 TIE: Dick (71%)
This comedic retelling of the Watergate scandal, which brought about the end of Richard Nixon’s presidency, starring mostly cast members from Saturday Night Live, has been described as a curious cross between All the President’s Men and Clueless. Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams star as a pair of 15-year-old best friends whose eyes the story is told from.
During the course of the movie, these girls end up becoming the mysterious “Deep Throat” figure who detailed the scandal for journalists Carl Bernstein (played here by Bruce McCulloch) and Bob Woodward (Will Ferrell). Ryan Reynolds has a small role as Chip.
7 The Voices (75%)
This pitch-black comedy didn’t make a huge splash at the box office, probably because movies like this don’t appeal to mainstream filmgoers, but it was a lot of fun. Ryan Reynolds stars as a factory worker who can hear his cat and his dog talking to him. Then, when he murders the girl he likes for not liking him back, her severed head starts talking to him from the fridge, too.
When he takes his prescribed meds, he sees his apartment for the flea-ridden, blood-soaked dump that it is, but when he doesn’t take them, he lives in his fantasy world. Very grim, very funny stuff.
6 Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (74%)
Ryan Reynolds only had a minor cameo appearance in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, but he made quite an impression as a male nurse in the hospital scene where Kumar briefly performs surgery. For a stoner movie, the first Harold & Kumar movie was surprisingly well-written and insightful. The best movies start off about one thing and wrap up about another thing.
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle starts off with a pair of potheads going out in search of hamburgers, but wraps up with Harold standing up for himself and asking out the girl he likes.
5 Deadpool 2 (83%)
The sequel to 2016’s Deadpool ratcheted up the awesomeness. The first one distinguished itself by being the funny, violent, sweary, sex-filled, R-rated comic book movie, but the second one really went out of its way to subvert your expectations.
From ‘Pool getting together a franchise-friendly X-Force team who all die in quick succession in the following scene to Vanessa getting controversially killed off in the film’s opening moments, Deadpool 2 prides itself on being everything you weren’t expecting it to be. Now, Deadpool 3 will really have to knock it out of the park to continue the trilogy’s exciting trajectory.
4 Deadpool (84%)
Ryan Reynolds struggled for years to get a Deadpool movie made. Not only did he want Wade Wilson to get a solo movie; he wanted it to be done right. He wanted a comics-accurate tone, costume, and characterization.
For the studio, it was a big risk: a superhero movie with an R rating, a focus on humor, an abundance of curse words, a sexually explicit montage in the first act, and the most graphic violence ever put in a comic book adaptation, that also constantly breaks the fourth wall. Of course, it doesn’t seem like such a risk now, $1.5 billion later.
3 Buried (86%)
Director Rodrigo Cortés was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and Lifeboat – thrillers that use their single-location setting to notch up the tension and suspense – when he helmed Buried. Ryan Reynolds stars as an American truck driver working in Iraq who wakes up in a coffin six feet underground, where some terrorists have buried him alive.
He has a cell phone with spotty service and a lighter that’s rapidly eating up his limited supply of oxygen. Reynolds’ performance carries the whole movie. Buried was the one that proved to audiences and casting directors alike that he was more than just a pretty face.
2 Adventureland (88%)
Superbad’s Greg Mottola directed this coming-of-age comedy-drama set at a theme park in the style of an independent film, rather than the mainstream Hollywood movie that studio executives probably wanted it to be, and that gives it a more intimate feel.
Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart play a couple of teenage employees who are working at the theme park over the summer while they figure out what they want to do with their lives. Ryan Reynolds plays a supporting role as the older bad boy who ensnares Stewart’s character, while Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are typically hilarious as the couple who run the park.
1 Mississippi Grind (91%)
Most movies about casinos and card-counting and cashing chips don’t really dig into the crushing effects of a gambling addiction, but Mississippi Grind does. The movie was written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who would go on to be hired by Marvel Studios to helm their Captain Marvel movie.
Ben Mendelsohn, who went on to play Talos in Captain Marvel, starred as a down-on-his-luck gambling addict who is trained in the art of beating the house by a charming, younger poker player, played by Ryan Reynolds. Mississippi Grind should’ve been a bigger hit with audiences than it was.