Our Favorite Non-Marvel Movies Starring Avengers Stars
Our Favorite Non-Avenger Movies Starring Avengers Stars
Sure you know them as the superheroes that form the awesome bad guy fighting team known as The Avengers. But these actors behind the superhero costumes have starred in some of our favorite films over the years. Here, we reveal some of our non-Marvel favorites from each of The Avengers actors.
Robert Downey Jr.
You know him as Tony Stark, the snarky, wise-cracking superhero otherwise known as Iron Man. But long before he had JARVIS assemble the Iron Man suit onto his body, Downey delivered some memorable performances. Here's some of our favorites from an actor whose career spans over three decades.
Sure he may not be the star of this '80s John Hughes classic, but as the school bully Ian, Downey's smarminess so well imbued in Tony Stark is front and center as he and his buddy Max (Robert Russler) torment the nerdy duo of Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith.
In a critically acclaimed role that earned him a handful of award nominations (including a best actor Oscar nod), Downey summoned his inner silent star in the story of film icon Charlie Chaplin.
Admittedly when the prospects of a Sherlock Holmes movie was first announced, there was a bit of trepidation as to who could play the world famour detective. Two movies (a third is coming next year) and over $1 billion in worldwide box office receipts later, Downey pulls off director Guy Ritchie's mile-a-minute dialogue and gritty Holmes in spades.
Capitalizing on his critical acclaim, director Joe Wright cast Downey as L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez in this film based on the true story of musical prodigy Nathaniel Ayers, who developed schizophrenia in his second year at Juilliard and ended up homeless on the streets of downtown L.A.
Downey teamed with director David Fincher for this 2007 mystery based on the notorious real-life serial killer known as Zodiac. As San Francisco Chronicle crime reporter Paul Avery, Downey, with the help of editorial cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), sets out to uncover the killer's true identity.
He established himself as the go-to guy for indie movies but in the latter half of his career, Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner/The Hulk in The Avengers has dellivered some strong performances in blockbuster films. Here's some of our favorites...
The Brothers Bloom
An underrated post modern caper film from director Rian Wilson (his latest film will be Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Wills), The Brothers Bloom are a pair of con artists who, after 25 years of tricks, have a bit of a sibling quarrel. Adrien Brody's Bloom realizes that Ruffalo's Stephen controls everything in their lives. He ends the partnership and sets off a series of unpredictable events.
While director Michael Mann's excellent crime thriller stars Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx and Jada Pinkett Smith in excellent performances, there's also an entire cast of supporting actors who deliver memorable moments, including Ruffalo's Detective Fanning, who puts the pieces together and starts to chase down Cruise's stoic killer.
You Can Count on Me
If you're wondering where Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner developed his credible sensitive side, check out this acclaimed indie flick - winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival - starring Ruffalo and Laura Linney as estranged siblings, and Rory Culkin as the nephew with whom Ruffalo develops an unlikely friendship.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
As Lacuna employee Stan Fink, Ruffalo is tasked with helping Jim Carrey forget all about his darlin' Celementine (Kate Winslet) in director Michael Gondry's 2004 cult classic.
Ruffalo teams with Martin Scorsese and co-stars with Leonardo DiCaprio in this adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel. The film went on to become Scorsese's highest worldwide grossing film of all time.
While robert Downey Jr. played the San Francisco Chrinocle reporter tracking down the Zodiac killer, Ruffalo portrayed a San Francisco detective assigned to the case with partenr Anthony Edwards.
It's kind of amazing that Chris Evans has had a steady acting career for over a decade now. In an industry that chews up pretty faces and spits them out when they've lost their mojo, Evans has skirted some critical duds to ultimate arrive as Captain America. No duds here, though. Just a few of our Chris Evans favorites.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Evans portrays second evil ex, popular actor and skateboarder Lucas Lee. "Prepare the wrath of the League of Evil Exes," never sounded so cool.
The Perfect Score
A teen heist film, Score stars Evans stars as one of six high school students whose future will be jeopardized if he fails the upcoming SAT exam. The group devises a plan to break into the test building and obtain the answers. The film features nods of The Breakfast Club and Dazed and Confused.
Before he donned the Captain America costume, Evans was cleaning up the L.A. streets alongside Keanu Reeves in this 2008 crime drama.
Not Another Teen Movie
Evan's big break came in the form of this 2001 comedy which parodied stereotypical characters from the modern teen film genre. Evan plays the star football player, Jake Wyler.
Aside from curvy sex appeal and the seductive husky voice, Johansson has established herself as one of Hollywood's young leading ladies. As she suits up for a second turn as assassin Black Widow in The Avengers, here are some of our favorites from the fair-skinned beauty's catalog of films.
In Good Company
Dennis Quaid plays a veteran sales executive whose company is undergoing a sudden corporate take-over. He is placed under the supervision of Topher Grace, who becomes romantically involved with Quaid's daughter (in the movie) Scarlett Johansson.
A forgotten classic among Scarlett's filmography. This 2001 dramedy based on the graphic novel of the same name co-starred Johansson and Thora Birch as friends living outside the radar of high school normalness. The film co-stars Steve Buscemi and Brad Renfro.
The Perfect Score
While Chris Evans and company are plotting to break into the ETS building to steal the answers for their upcoming SAT exam, they learn Scarlett's father owns the very building they're trying to get into. Although she is reluctant at first, her character ultimately decides to tag along just for fun.
Lost in Translation
In her breakout role, Johansson stars as young Yale graduate Charlotte whose husband essentially abandons her in a Tokyo hotel room. She meets Bill Murray in the hotel lobby and the pair spend an intimate few days before Murray's departure.
In the first of three Woody Allen films, Scarlett plays a fiancee who instantly falls for Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Allen's dramatic thriller earned him a screenwriting Oscar nomination.
Vicky Christina Barcelona
In her third Woody Allen film, following Scoop, Johansson and Rebecca Hall play a couple of American women who spend the summer in Barcelona and meet an artist (Javier Bardem) who is attracted to both of them, but is also enamored with his emotionally unstable wife, played by Penelope Cruz.
True, his breakout role came in a small role in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek and more recently Thor, but the man who portray the Norse God of Lightning has a bright future ahead of him. Here's one of our favorites...
Cabin in the Woods
While Thor is easily his breakout role, we look to his turn in Joss Whedon's mind-bending Cabin as another excellent performance from a rising star.
Beloved as Agent Coulson, Gregg often plays the supporting bit part in movies. He's also directed a few films, but one of our favorite performances was this small role in a recent indie hit.
(500) Days of Summer
Roses are red, violets are blue,... if you watched Summer then you know how Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Valentine's Day card, recited by Gregg, ends. And besides, it's kind of fun to hear Agent Couslon curse.
Talk about an actor whose star is not only shining, Renner's is damn near bursting. Already notching roles in box office successes in some of our favorites, he'll embody a new Treadstone patient in The Bourne Legacy later this year and lead a new Hansel and Gretel re-imagining in 2013. Here's a few of our favorites from this two-time Oscar niominated actor.
28 Weeks Later
This sequel to 28 Days Later finds Renner as a Delta sniper in charge with keeping his assigned distrcit secure. There is still talk of another sequel, 28 Months Later possibly arriving in theaters next year.
The Hurt Locker
Kathyrn Bigelow's Oscar-winning war suspenser was anchored by excellent performances from Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty and Jeremy Renner. Renner spent a week living and training at Fort Irwin, a U.S. military reservation in the Mojave Desert in California where he was taught to use C4 explosives, learned how to render safe improvised explosive devices, and how to wear a bomb suit.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
While Ethan Hunt was busy crawling up mile-high skyscrapers and Simon Pegg was cracking jokes and Paula Patton served as lovely back-up, Renner plays William Brandt, IMF Secretary's chief analyst and former IMF field agent. The team is guarded around Brandt at first, but he proves his allegiance throughout the film.
Renner received several award nominations for his turn in Ben Affleck's crime drama. Set against the backdrop of Boston, Renner plays James "Jem" Coughlin, Affleck's best friend and a member of his crime team, who attempt to pull off a brazen robbery at Fenway Park.
If it seems like Tom Hiddleston came out of nowhere, well, it's because he did. The classically trained actor wreaks havoc on Earth as Loki and the hearts of women everywhere. While he'll return in Thor 2, here are a couple of our recent favorites...
Steven Spielberg's story about an extraordinary horse was poised to make a run at a few Oscars. While it was upstaged by a silent French film (The Artist in case you've already forgotten), Hiddleston delivers a solid supporting performance as Capt. James Nicholls, who looks after Albert's beloved horse Joey during World War I.
Midnight in Paris
Hiddleston was also part of another award-winning film last year when he portrayed iconic author F. Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen's whimsical Midnight in Paris. Look for more Hiddleston in Thor 2, due out next year.
Samuel L. Jackson
You know him by his voice and his liberal use of profanity. We speak, of course, of Samuel L. Jackson. From blockbuster hits to smaller projects, here's a look at a few of our favorites from Mr. Jackson.
Based on a true story in which Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter made headlines in 1999 for benching his MVP and undefeated team due to poor academic results, Jackson does a masterful job in portraying frustration and conversely, fatherly support for his players.
All Doyle Gipson is trying to do is get to a court hearing to try and gain custody of his children before his estranged wife re-locates them to Oregon. Then Ben Affleck does a hit-and-run and unleashes the cunning wrath of Mr. Jackson.
Die Hard with a Vengenace
John McClane: Thanks a lot, Jesus.
Zeus: Why the hell do you keep calling me Jesus? Do I look Puerto Rican to you?
John McClane: That guy back there, he called you Jesus.
Zeus: No, he didn't, he said "Hey, Zeus." My name is Zeus.
John McClane: Zeus?
Zeus: Yeah, Zeus. You know, Mount Olympus, father of Apollo, don't f**k with me or I'll shove a lightning bolt up your ass, Zeus! You got a problem with that?
It's easy to overlook this crime drama from Paul Thomas Anderson, given the number of blockbuster films on Jackson's lengthy resume. The film co-stars Philip Baker Hall and John C. Reilly in solid performances in a film totally worth seeking out.
The dinosaurs and Jeff Goldblum may be what you remember the most from Steven Spielberg's classic, but if you re-watch this film, you'll see a brief appearance by Jackson as Ray Arnold, the park's chief engineer.
Royale with Cheese. Ezekiel 25:17. That tasty Kahuna Burger. You could spend hours quoting Jackson's Jules Winnfield from Quentin Tarantino's classic crime drama. Jackson received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the Jehri-curled, Bible reciting killer, but lost out to Martin Landau in Ed Wood.