There aren’t many performers in the industry right now that are more visible than Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo is a stage and film veteran who is active on social media and has always had a nice sense of humor about himself. For over two decades, he’s consistently delivered superb and diverse performances, appearing in a wide range of dramas, comedies, indies, and large franchises. He’s also been in a number of HBO shows, including The Normal Heart and I Know This Much Is True, for which he received critical praise.
Ruffalo is most known to mainstream audiences as Bruce Banner in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a position he took on despite reservations.
The Hulk‘s earlier incarnations, played by Eric Bana and Edward Norton, both failed to establish the character on a long-term basis, therefore Ruffalo had to debut in the major crossover event The Avengers.
He grabbed the hearts of fans right away and has been a terrific recurrent face for the past decade on the show.
Ruffalo’s next project is Shawn Levy‘s science fiction Netflix feature The Adam Project, but he already has a full schedule. Some of his finest films, such as Begin Again, Now You See Me, Collateral, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and other MCU projects, must be left off when looking at his best work. With that in mind, here are the top nine Mark Ruffalo films of all time.
9. The Brothers Bloom
Ruffalo is cast in one of the most bizarre roles of his career in Rian Johnson’s crazy take on the caper picture. Ruffalo is tremendously innovative and ideally suited for a character that is constantly delivering some type of performance, which may not be visible given how subtle he is. In The Brothers Bloom, he plays con artist Stephen Bloom, who collaborates with his brother Bloom to pull out grandiose heists (Adrien Brody). Without straying from the fast-paced humor, Ruffalo hints at the depth of their connection.
8. The Kids Are All Right
The Kids Are All Right is a “dramedy” that delves into the unpleasant realities of sexuality and relationships. Despite their love connection with their parents, Dr. Nicole ‘Nic’ Allgood (Annette Bening) and Jules Allgood (Mia Wasikowska), the two youngsters Laser (Josh Hutcherson) and Joni (Mia Wasikowska) decide to look for their biological father (Julianne Moore). For his good-natured portrayal as Paul Hatfield, an organic cook who gets unexpectedly linked with youngsters with whom he has no relationship, Ruffalo won his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Ruffalo is naturally charming, even when Paul inadvertently puts the family dynamics off.
7. Shutter Island
Ruffalo is a master of understatement, and he manages to keep all of Shutter Island‘s fascinating story twists hidden until the very end. Teddy Fields, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a U.S. Marshall dispatched to investigate a psychiatric hospital on a mysterious island with his sidekick Chuck Aule in Martin Scorsese’s psychological thriller (Ruffalo). The decisions Ruffalo takes to hide Aule’s true motives aren’t immediately apparent, but when you watch it again with the finish in mind, his brilliance shines through.
6. Dark Waters
In addition to his celebrity, Ruffalo is an outspoken supporter of social and political concerns and has utilized his celebrity to effect real change. It’s only logical that a real story like Dark Waters, which exposes the horrific corruption in the chemical manufacturing sector, would pique his interest. Ruffalo plays Mark Bilott, a corporate defense lawyer for the chemical corporation DuPont who decides to file a lawsuit against his employer after residents of a tiny West Virginia town notify him of the catastrophic contamination that has gone unnoticed. As strong voices try to silence Bilott, what starts out as an uplifting narrative of activism turns into an anxiety-inducing thriller.
Margaret is one of the great underappreciated classics of the twenty-first century, and given Kenneth Lonergan’s screenplay’s profundity, every performance, no matter how brief, had to be flawless. The film is about a teenage girl named Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin) who witnesses a tragic bus accident and unwittingly distracts the bus driver Gerald Maretti (Mark Ruffalo) before he hits a pedestrian. Maretti has evolved to live in denial of what happened, despite the shame he feels, in a film that tackles difficult moral concerns.
With his terrific portrayal as Inspector Dave Toschi in the 2007 crime thriller Zodiac, Ruffalo is just as precise as David Fincher’s direction. The fact that Zodiac is centered on the perspectives of journalists Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) is one of the reasons it stands out among serial killer films, yet police involvement is required. Ruffalo makes a convincing tired detective eager to collaborate with everyone in order to capture the elusive culprit.
The dramatic changes of Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum as mentally ill tycoon John Eleuthère du Pont and Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, respectively, garnered attention to Foxcatcher. Ruffalo, on the other hand, is as enthralling as Mark’s brother Dave, a fellow gold medalist who begins to doubt his brother’s devotion to their enigmatic new coach. The tragedy of Foxcatcher revolves around Dave, and Ruffalo makes the gruesome ending’s emotional gut-punch even more dramatic. He received his second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Only a few recent films can compare to All the President’s Men in terms of journalistic realism, but Spotlight is one of them. It’s another narrative about a horrifying topic that Ruffalo was personally involved with after the film’s release, as he helped campaign for survivors of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church. The film is based on the true story of the Boston Globe reporters who broke the scandal in 2002, and each actor is generous with their screen time in order to honour each member of the investigating team. Ruffalo’s angry monologue, which portrays the wrath of staff writer Michael Rezendes, is the most striking passage in the film. He yells, “They knew!” “And they stood by and watched it happen.”
1. You Can Count On Me
Ruffalo was recognized for his versatility on the stage because to his numerous work in Off-Broadway shows even before he portrayed a superhero and had action toys created in his likeness. Kenneth Lonergan’s directorial debut, You Can Count On Me, has the contemplative intimacy of a play, and it was only appropriate that his breakout part would come in a picture by a playwright. It depicts the touching story of Sammy Prescott (Laura Linney), a small-town bank employee whose life is rocked when her reckless brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) returns to their community. Terry is well-intentioned but prone to misbehavior, but his nurturing of Sammy’s small son Rudy (Rory Culkin) revealed Ruffalo’s more considerate side.