Paul Rudd is a man at the peak of his powers. The 54-year-old actor was named 2021's “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine and regularly appears in hugely successful blockbuster movies.
Moreover, he's talented, funny, and highly likable, giving us more reason to want to celebrate his brilliant body of work. His feature-length film credits number almost 70.
In this piece, we'll take you through the 22 best movies in which the fantastic Paul Rudd has appeared (no matter how small the appearance is).
1. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007, directed by Jake Kasdan)
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is a comedy movie and a parody of the biopic genre that tells the story of a fictional early rock and roll singer who overcomes adversity to become a musical legend.
John C. Reilly portrays the eponymous character, and he does so with brilliant comedic poise. Rudd appears uncredited as John Lennon alongside Jack Black, Justin Long, and Jason Schwartzman as the other Beatles. With great performances, amusement aplenty, and surprising amounts of both sentiment and good original music, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is a fun watch.
2. Monsters vs. Aliens (2009, directed by Conrad Vernon and Rob Letterman)
Monsters vs. Aliens is a monster comedy movie that's 3D computer-animated. It sees the United States Armed Forces recruiting a team of captive misfit monsters to fight an extraterrestrial villain and save the Earth in exchange for their freedom.
Rudd voices Derek Dietl, a local weatherman and the callous ex-fiancé of Susan Murphy, AKA Ginormica, one of the “monsters,” and he plays his role well. Monsters vs. Aliens is fantastic fun, looks excellent with superb animation and special effects, and is performed adeptly by a talented voice cast, including Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, and Hugh Laurie.
3. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013, directed by Adam McKay)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a comedy movie and the sequel to 2004's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. In this one, San Diego's former top-rated newsreader, Ron Burgundy, and his news team return to take jobs at New York City's first twenty-four-hour news channel.
Will Ferrell returns in the lead role, Rudd reprises his role as roving reporter Brian Fantana, and Steve Carrell and David Koechner complete the core team. Unfortunately, Anchorman 2 is less quotable than its predecessor, but it's a better movie overall that's great wacky, fun, energetically performed, and intelligent satire.
4. Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019, directed by Scott Aukerman)
Between Two Ferns: The Movie is a comedy movie and a spin-off of the web series of the same name. It stars Zach Galifianakis, playing himself, as the host of the eponymous public access television show. The film follows him and his oddball crew on a road trip to do several high-profile celebrity interviews.
Galifianakis is terrifically entertaining in the lead role. The film is highly amusing and completely captures the feel of the show. It even successfully extends the format without feeling like a sketch that's gone on for too long. Rudd merely cameos as himself, along with a couple of dozen other celebrities, as one of the interviewees.
5. Role Models (2008, directed by David Wain)
Role Models is a comedy movie about two energy drink salespeople who, after being found guilty of several minor offenses, must perform 150 hours of community service in a program designed to pair children with adult role models.
Seann William Scott plays one of the sales guys, and Rudd plays the other, and they're hilarious. Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jane Lynch, and Elizabeth Banks provide solid support. Role Models is a crude movie but an undoubtedly entertaining one.
6. The Fundamentals of Caring (2016, directed by Rob Burnett)
The Fundamentals of Caring is a road comedy-drama movie about a man going through a divorce and grieving the death of his son who enrolls in a class about caregiving and looks after an 18-year-old disabled boy, which changes his outlook on life.
Rudd plays Ben, the caregiver, and his chemistry with Craig Roberts as Trevor, the boy he cares for, is excellent. Selena Gomez adds some star power to the proceedings as a girl Trevor develops a crush on. The Fundamentals of Caring is poignant, sweet, and sometimes dark, but Rudd lights it up with his charm.
7. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022, directed by Akiva Schaffer)
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is an adventure comedy movie that mixes live-action with animation. It's a continuation of the animated television series of the same name and takes place in a world where humans live alongside fictional characters. It sees Chip and Dale reconcile after 30 years to investigate the kidnapping of their friend and co-star, Monterey Jack.
This movie comes at you from a surprising satirical angle and is fast-paced, fun, irreverent, and meta, similar to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. That's the highest compliment we can give Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers. Rudd appears in a mere cameo as himself, and he adds to what is a hoot from beginning to end.
8. Clueless (1995, directed by Amy Heckerling)
Clueless is a coming-of-age teen comedy movie loosely based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma, which also produced a spin-off television sitcom. It's about a beautiful and rich high school student, Cher Horowitz, who befriends a new student while playing matchmaker for her teachers, examining her existence, and searching for love.
Rudd plays Josh Lucas, the rich girl's love interest and ex-stepbrother. It was his movie debut, and he gave a typically confident and likable performance. Clueless is a funny, soft satire of teen movies that cleverly reshapes Emma into a more modern setting. Alicia Silverstone is captivating and infectiously cheery as Cher.
9. Sausage Party (2016, directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan)
Sausage Party is a computer-animated adult black comedy movie about an anthropomorphic sausage who lives in a supermarket. After discovering what happens when groceries are purchased, he attempts to escape his fate with his grocery friends.
It has potentially offensive material, so don't watch it if that's likely to bother you. If it doesn't bother you, you'll have a blast. Sausage Party is hilarious, well-animated, and both surprisingly intelligent and thought-provoking. Rudd voices Darren, the supermarket manager nicknamed the “Dark Lord” by the groceries, and he's terrific in the antagonistic role.
10. Prince Avalanche (2013, directed by David Gordon Green)
Prince Avalanche is a comedy-drama movie based on the 2011 Icelandic film Either Way (Á annan veg). It's about two city-based highway road workers spending the summer of 1988 in the country, where they find themselves at odds with the women they left behind and at each other's throats.
Rudd plays Alvin, one of the road workers, alongside Emile Hirsch as the other one, and their low-key performances and chemistry are fantastic. Prince Avalanche is an unconventional and eccentric movie that shuffles along in a bizarre, enjoyable, and gripping way. It's full of heart and humor and demonstrates male bonding most touchingly.
11. This Is the End (2013, directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg)
This is the End is an apocalyptic black comedy movie focusing on fictionalized versions of its famous cast during a biblical apocalypse. It's a feature-length adaptation of the 2007 short film Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse.
That cast includes James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, and Emma Watson. Rudd plays himself in a mere cameo, but he brings bags of fun to the table, as he tends to do. This is the End's stars are admirably self-deprecating and energetic, making for a funny film that deserves tonnes of praise for its sheer ambition.
12. Ant-Man (2015, directed by Peyton Reed)
Ant-Man is a superhero movie and the 12th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on two Marvel Comics characters who use the Ant-Man name – Scott Lang and Hank Pym. In the film, the former helps protect the latter's shrinking technology, and they plot a heist with global ramifications.
Rudd plays the eponymous hero in this one in his first outing as the character, and he's fabulous in the role. The fantastic supporting cast includes Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, and Michael Peña. Ant-Man is a delight on an appropriately smaller scale than most superhero offerings, and it's fun, humorous, thrilling, and action-packed.
13. I Love You, Man (2009, directed by John Hamburg)
I Love You, Man is a bromantic comedy about a man with no friends searching for someone to be the best man at his upcoming wedding. However, his new best friend ends up putting a strain on his relationship with his wife-to-be.
The husband-to-be, played by Rudd, has excellent chemistry with Jason Segel as the troublesome best man, and both actors are hilarious. I Love You, Man is an infectiously fun, heartwarming, and easy watch. It also has a whimsical supporting cast that includes Rashida Jones, J. K. Simmons, Andy Samberg, Jaime Pressly, Jon Favreau, and Lou Ferrigno.
14. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008, directed by Nicholas Stoller)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a comedy movie about a man taking a Hawaiian vacation to get over a recent break-up with his actress girlfriend, the eponymous Sarah Marshall. However, Sarah's heading to the same place with her new rock star boyfriend.
The core cast of Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Russell Brand give strong performances in this film. Rudd has a funny minor role as surfing instructor Chuck AKA Kunu. Forgetting Sarah Marshall combines romance with racy adult comedy perfectly, and it'll give you some genuine belly laughs.
15. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005, directed by Judd Apatow)
The 40-Year-Old Virgin is about a 40-year-old employee at an electronics store who is yet to lose his virginity. The plot centers on his co-workers' attempts to help him do so, ultimately resulting in him finding love.
It's a hilarious, surprisingly heartfelt, and even more remarkably wise movie. The 40-Year-Old Virgin was the movie in which Steve Carrell graduated to leading man status, and he did so seamlessly, performing brilliantly as the eponymous Andy Stitzer. Rudd plays the lovelorn David, one of Andy's co-workers, and he does so with his usual charm and zest.
16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012, directed by Stephen Chbosky)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age drama movie based on Stephen Chbosky's 1999 novel. It follows an introverted first-year student who writes to an unnamed friend while being taken under the wings of two seniors who introduce him to what life is really like.
It's a beautiful and sincere movie that's a perfect adaptation of the book. It convincingly portrays teenage life and the struggles that come with it, and its young core cast of Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller give strong and admirable performances. Rudd adeptly plays an English teacher in an impressive supporting cast, including Dylan McDermott and Joan Cusack.
17. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018, directed by Peyton Reed)
Ant-Man and the Wasp is a superhero movie, the 20th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the sequel to 2015's Ant-Man. In this one, the eponymous duo work with Hank Pym to rescue Janet van Dyne from the mysterious Quantum Realm.
This movie broke norms and improved on its predecessor. Rudd competently reprises his role as the eponymous Ant-Man for the second time, and Evangeline Lily steps up brilliantly as the Wasp. The supporting cast is joined by Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, and Walton Goggins, making for a genuinely star-studded affair. Ant-Man and the Wasp is refreshingly light in tone, fast-paced, action-packed, and funny.
18. The Bob's Burgers Movie (2022, directed by Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman)
The Bob's Burgers Movie is a musical comedy based on the animated television series Bob's Burgers. It takes place between the 12th and 13th seasons of the show and chronicles Bob and his family's struggle to pay their loan after a sinkhole opens in front of their restaurant. Meanwhile, the children attempt to solve a carnival worker's murder.
The show's core cast reprises their roles alongside several Hollywood A-listers, including Rudd as Jericho, a horse who also appeared in the season six episode “The Horse Rider-er.” It's an intelligent movie teeming with humor and heart. But, importantly, you don't need to be familiar with the television series to understand or enjoy it.
19. Knocked Up (2007, directed by Judd Apatow)
Knocked Up is a rom-com chronicling the repercussions of a drunken one-night stand between an ambitious Los Angeles reporter and an immature stoner slacker that results in an unintended pregnancy.
Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen play the two leads, Alison Scott and Ben Stone, and have surprisingly good chemistry, while Rudd humorously portrays the husband of one of Alison's friends. Knocked Up is well-directed and performed, with a great script, many laugh-out-loud moments, and even a little poignant.
20. Captain America: Civil War (2016, directed by the Russo Brothers)
Captain America: Civil War is a superhero movie, the 13th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the sequel to 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The plot revolves around the Avengers disagreeing over international oversight of the team, splitting them into two opposing factions – one led by the eponymous Steve Rogers, the other by Tony Stark's Iron Man.
This movie was Rudd's first reprisal of his role as Ant-Man, as the character joins Captain America's team, and he brings fun to proceedings. Captain America: Civil War has a mature and thought-provoking political plot, loads of epic superhero action and special effects, and top performances from its all-star cast, which includes Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sebastian Stan.
21. The Little Prince (2015, directed by Mark Osborne)
The Little Prince is an animated French-Italian fantasy adventure drama based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 1943 novella. It's about a little girl whose mother tries to prepare her for their very grown-up world. Their aviator neighbor introduces her to the world of the Little Prince, a fantastical place where anything is possible.
Rudd competently voiced the adult Little Prince who has forgotten his childhood. The cast is teeming with stars, including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Benicio del Toro, James Franco, Ricky Gervais, and Paul Giamatti. The Little Prince is a beautifully-animated movie that combines stop-motion with CGI. It's visually stunning, heartfelt, hopeful, and great fun for all the family.
22. Avengers: Endgame (2019, directed by the Russo Brothers)
Avengers: Endgame is a superhero movie, the 22nd installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the direct sequel to 2018's Avengers: Infinity War. The plot follows the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies on a “time heist” in their attempts to undo Thanos' actions in Infinity War when he erased half of all life in the universe.
Rudd reprises his role as Ant-Man for the third time and plays a vital part in one of the biggest blockbuster movies ever, holding his own in an impressive ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brie Larson. Avengers: Endgame is an epic film brimming with action, emotionally impactful, with spectacular special effects, and flawlessly performed and directed.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.