Ryan Reynolds is an incredible guy. Off-screen, he is a sassy, suave tweeter obsessed with his wife. On-screen, he plays mercenaries, art thieves, and foul-mouthed superheroes. At this point, he has done at least five movies of every genre. And yet the world always wants more. So, if, like others, you find yourself smitten by his charm and cheer and cannot wait to binge on his best work, here’s a list of the 21 best Ryan Reynolds movies ever:
I don’t think anyone’s surprised about Deadpool ranking first on the list. I mean, pretty much everyone I know and their grandma is pretty obsessed with this red-black tights-clad loose-canon of a superhero. The movie came out in 2016 and told the story of a guy with cancer. To avoid dying, he ends up undergoing a strange procedure in a shady facility. The procedure’s supposed to make him invincible, and it does, but it comes with repercussions.
The plot of the story isn’t anything earth-shattering, honestly. But his crude, often dark, humor pretty much seems to have made Deadpool a superhero everyone’s obsessed with, making this inarguably one of Ryan Reynolds’ best performances ever.
2. Mississippi Grind
This 2015 movie tells the story of a gambler — Gerry, who, swept up in his misfortune and inability to make ends meet, teams up with a charming young poker player — Curtis.
They Traverse the South
The two form an unlikely bond as they traverse the South and try to make up for all the money that Gerry lost.
3. Free Guy
Free Guy, a 2021 movie, is probably Ryan Reynolds’ dream project. The story is about a regular guy — played by none other than Reynolds himself — who one day discovers that he is an NPC living inside a video game. Everything goes awry from there. He becomes the superhero the world did not think they needed or wanted but got handed anyway.
A Refreshing Action Movie
The plot is refreshing. The action sequences are balanced with sheer hilarity. The visuals are stunning. Overall, this movie makes for a great watch no matter what you’re in the mood for — be it great storytelling or something so utterly ridiculous that it makes an odd sense.
4. The Proposal
The Proposal may not be a favorite of critics, but it is definitely one of mine. After all, you’ve got young, charming, if a tad naive, Ryan Reynolds playing the male protagonist opposite the impeccable, proud, and honestly divine Sandra Bullock.
The story is about a naive, young assistant (Ryan Reynolds) who is forced into an engagement by his boss (Sandra Bullock) so she can avoid being deported to Canada (ironically). A chaotic comedy of errors follows, slowly and inevitably helping both characters learn more and draw closer to each other.
Adventureland is a wacky, cheerful, and honestly oddly wonderful coming-of-age story of a young graduate who takes up a job at an adventure park. He soon discovers that there may be more to this nowhere job than he could have imagined.
Tale of Friendship
Ryan Reynolds plays the chaotic mentor figure in this often wholesome, mostly strange tale of friendship, loyalty, and self-discovery.
Directed by Rodrigo Cortés, this 2010 movie follows Ryan Reynolds’ character as he plays a truck driver in Iraq. After being attacked by a group of Iraqis, he wakes up to find himself buried alive in a casket.
Armed with a lighter and a cell phone that’s quickly running out of charge, Reynolds’ character must race against the clock if he is to make it out alive. Most of the movie is shot inside the closed confines of the casket, making it as jarring as it is claustrophobia-inducing.
7. Deadpool 2
Ryan Reynolds returns as the foul-mouthed superhero/mercenary in this Deadpool sequel. His mission? To protect a young superpowered boy from the super-powered cyborg — Cable. While on this (mis)adventure, he gathers a team of fellow rogues with superpowers and odd quirks to serve as sort of bodyguards to the boy.
Things Get Wacky
To no one’s surprise, a comedy of errors ensues as the group forms odd bonds while things get wackier than ever.
8. The Voices
Often marketed as a wacky comedy, the movie itself is darker than you may ever expect it to be. It offers an insight into the mind of a deranged murderer as he tries to woo his office crush with the help of his psychiatrist. When she stands him up, though, the voices of his malicious cat and benevolent canine inspire him to make sinister decisions.
Presented like a horror-comedy, I think this movie ends up more horrific than comic. After all, despite the pastel colors and layers of sugar-coating, the underlying idea is that you are watching a severely mentally ill guy slowly but surely lose his little grasp on reality. It’s a very well-made movie, nevertheless, but the violence portrayed does call for a strong stomach.
9. Definitely, Maybe
Definitely, Maybe is one of the OG romantic comedies that takes the comedy aspect in its genre as seriously as it takes the romance. Released in 2008, this tells the story of Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds), who is in the middle of divorcing his wife. His daughter, Maya, begs him to tell her the story of how her parents fell in love.
This is how he launches into a tale of his youth, spanning three love stories, followed by disasters. In the end, he says, love is not always enough. On the other hand, Maya tries to convince him that he may still have a shot at the happy ending he believes he missed.
10. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
When Detective Harry Goodman goes missing, his 21-year-old son must embark on an adventure to find his missing father. In his search, he finds an unlikely ally in the form of a Pikachu — who is Harry’s former partner.
The Pikachu is a sassy sleuth who wants to be a detective in a world where Pokémons fight battles after endless battles against each other. Together, they pursue clues through the neon-hued Ryme city, in a world where Pokémons and humans coexist in apparent peace.
This 2022 Christmas comedy, Spirited, puts a musical and rather magical twist on a classic Christmas tale.
It takes the age-old Dickensian story of the miserly and morose Scrooge, and it turns it into an adventure tale where the misanthrope explores the past, present, and future to understand where things went wrong enough for him to end up alone and miserable.
Six amazed and elated astronauts onboard the space station discover the first sign of life beyond planet earth. This large, single-celled organism inhabits Mars. As the astronauts conduct their research, they quickly discover that they may have come across something far for intelligent and sinister than they had previously imagined.
A Space (Mis)Adventure
Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds star in this terrifying space (mis)adventure around a creature that may have caused mass extinction on Mars and is now quickly headed towards earth.
13. The Adam Project
Released in 2022, The Adam Project is about, well, Adam — a 12-year-old boy grieving the loss of his father the year before when he suddenly discovers a wounded pilot in his garage.
Save the Planet
This pilot turns out to be Adam himself from the future, and he has traveled to the past on a mission to save the planet. Both Adams must track down their father in the past while learning how to tolerate each other’s eccentricities.
Turbo, a young snail, dreams of winning the world’s craziest and fastest race — the Indianapolis 500. The only problem — he's a snail!
A Wonderful Adventure
But when a weird accident fills him with super speed, this young snail puts together a motley crew of other snails and embarks on an odd, wonderful adventure to achieve his lifelong dream and win the race for good.
15. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is in deep trouble. His reputation as a triple-A protection agent is wholly ruined after he messes up a mission to deliver a Japanese client safely. A couple of years after the incident, we find Michael struggling to make up for the disgraceful incident and is now serving as a mere bodyguard.
He accepts a job from Interpol to transport an international assassin, with crucial evidence against the Belarusian dictator, safely to his destination. However, the job may prove easier said than done, especially since his said client refuses to get along with him even while he serves as the target of literally everyone with a gun.
16. The Nines
Gary is an actor who plays the role of a cop on TV. On a particular day, he makes a series of bad decisions. He uses way too much lighter fluid while setting his ex’s things on fire. He then goes on to drink and drive, leading to an accident. While in jail, he decides to get his life back in order and ends up being put on house arrest.
Has He Gone Insane?
A cheerful publicist, Margaret, takes up the job and relocates him to a writer’s house while the guy is away for work. As his relationship with Margaret deepens, he finds odd things happening around him — letters from him that he never wrote and other strange incidents. Things reach a crescendo when he encounters himself in the house, leaving viewers wondering if he has finally gone insane.
17. Finder’s Fee
Tepper is a pretty honest guy. He helps his elderly neighbors out whenever he can. He keeps his promises. When he finds an abandoned wallet with next to no id and just a Big 3 lotto ticket in it, he decides to track down the guy. The owner of the wallet turns out to be Avery — a fisherman with a suspicious nature.
Battles with His Conscience
When Avery arrives to collect his wallet, Tepper discovers that the ticket in the wallet is a winning one. The rest of the movie explores his battles with his conscience after he swaps his ticket with Avery’s and slowly but surely discovers that there may be something rather sinister about Avery after all.
18. Woman in Gold
Dame Helen Mirren plays the impeccable Maria Altmann in this movie about a mission to regain possession of a painting taken from her aunt by the Nazis during WWII.
Justice and Grief
This story is about justice, grief, and an attempt to set right the utter destruction and violence meted out by the Nazis during the war.
19. National Lampoon’s Van Wilder
National Lampoon’s Van Wilder is not just another coming-of-age/romantic tale. Or maybe it is. It explores the story of Van Wilder, who is pretty much a living legend in his college. He has been there for seven years, hosting incredible parties, giving advice to his adoring fans, and just living his best life.
He embodies the campus spirit and is the heart and host of every campus party and fundraiser. But when his neglectful father suddenly discovers that Van is still in college and decides to cut him off, Van must find new ways to fund his way of life.
But when he meets a fierce and beautiful journalist, Gwen, who is tasked to write articles about him. She, however, thinks that the project is beneath her. But, as they spend more time together, van and Gwen discover that there may be more to the other than meets the eye. Van himself must face the existential crisis that he has cleverly hidden underneath the party spirit and come to terms with the idea of a life beyond campus may sound scary, but something he must inevitably pursue.
20. Safe House
Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a rookie by CIA terms. He is in charge of a safe house in Cape Town. Things turn upside down when he takes charge of the CIA’s most wanted rogue agent — Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington).
While Matt questions Tobin, mercenaries storm the house, and the two go on the run. Together, they must avoid being caught by the people who want them dead and somehow make it to the next safe house.
21. Red Notice
This 2021 movie boasts a star-studded cast. Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, and Dwayne Johnson play an international criminal, an infamous art thief, and a stringent detective, respectively. Nolan Booth (Reynolds) and John Hartley (Johnson) clash repeatedly.
Defeat The Bishop
Both are the others’ bane, except they find themselves thrown together while on a mission to salvage Hartley’s reputation and defeat The Bishop (Gadot) at her own game.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Ananyaa Bhowmik is a neurodivergent and queer pop-culture journalist with the Wealth of Geeks. She has previously worked with brands like Sterling Holidays, Myntra, Bajaj, and the Loud Interactive. She is an independent scholar, cat parent, and performance poet. Her areas of research and interest focus on and around digital marketing, Canadian indigenous history, queerness in media, and pop-culture and fandom studies.