Listen, it’s been just over a year since Avengers: Endgame and, despite some Spidey shenanigans across Europe, we’ve been starving. Some characters also won’t be returning anytime soon like Captain America and Iron Man.
So, I thought it would be a nice exercise to share some of my favourite non-MCU performances by the original Avengers cast. Plus, a lesser known film you might not be familiar with from each actor. There are like 12 million Avengers by the time of Endgame so we’re sticking to the OG Avengers (2012). Here we go:
Favourite performance – Spotlight (2015)
Best Picture Oscar Winner with some excellent performances but Mark Ruffalo is wonderful in this. This scene alone tells you everything.
Lesser known role – Apartment 12 (2000)
I was going to go with Just Like Heaven, only because people rate 13 Going on 30 as the superior romantic comedy, but to be honest, both were pretty successful. So instead I went for Apartment 12. A story about an artist whose life is falling apart both professionally and romantically and then he meets the girl who just moved in across the hall. I saw this years ago, and it’s not the most captivating film, in fact it’s largely forgettable, but it’s Mark Ruffalo’s first starring role and there are moments where he really shows his movie star quality.
Favourite performance – Lost in Translation (2003)
Coincidentally also my favourite Bill Murray performance. Scarlett Johansson is so good in this. And pretty young as well, but really holds her own.
Lesser known role – The Perfect Score (2004)
Not a massive hit for ScarJo based on some of her other films that came out around that time, and not the best rated film in her filmography, but quite an enjoyable film about high school kids plotting to steal the answers to the S.A.T’s. Also stars a young Chris Evans.
Favourite performance – The Town (2010)
I’m not the biggest Jeremy Renner fan, but his performance in The Town was on another level entirely. The standout performance. Plays the shady character really well.
Lesser known role – Wind River (2017)
The sleeper film of 2017. Really enjoyed this one and should have gotten more love during the Awards season. Impressive performance by Renner and some solid support by Elizabeth Olsen too.
Favourite performance – Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
I know a lot of people aren’t crazy about this film, but I really liked it. Chris Hemsworth is immense in this. And it’s not the only collab between him and Drew Goddard.
Lesser known role – Cabin in the Woods (2011)
Recently watched this one. Came out the same year as Thor so was probably overshadowed but it’s such a good Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard film and plays around with the horror genre really well. Worth your time if you haven’t seen it.
Samuel L. Jackson
Favourite performance – The Negotiator (1998)
I know he’s been in every movie ever, and there are a LOT of films of his that were great. Pulp Fiction could easily have been this pick but his performance in The Negotiator for me is phenomenal. One of my favourite crime/suspense films. Also, a solid performance by Kevin Spacey.
Lesser known role – The Sunset Limited (2011)
I only watched The Sunset Limited recently based on a recommendation. It’s a TV movie and not extremely well known but it’s has great performances by both Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones. It’s a bottle movie so it takes place entirely in one space and is extremely dialogue driven, so might not be for everyone, but it’s pretty solid.
Robert Downey Jr.
Favourite performance – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
He’s been in some great films, including Zodiac and Tropic Thunder, but my favourite performance is definitely the petty criminal (accidentally) turned Hollywood actor amidst a murder mystery. Dark comedy, Shane Black and RDJ. Also Val Kilmer is great in this.
Lesser known role – Less Than Zero (1987)
Only You was a close contender, but Less Than Zero featured a young RDJ playing a reckless drug addict. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, it’s one of the standout performances of his younger days.
Favourite performance – Snowpiercer (2013)
Chris Evans has been in so many comic book movies but this is without a doubt his best. Bong Joon Ho knocks it out of the park but Chris’ performance as the lead is one of the best things about this film. Highly recommend.
Lesser known role – London (2005)
Co-stars Jessica Biel and Jason Statham, but it’s not Cellular. In fact, it’s not a fast-paced suspense/action film at all but rather the complete opposite. London is about a drug addict who crashes a party at a New York City loft and tries to win back his ex-girlfriend. Lots of profanity and drug use, but quite a good performance by Chris Evans.
What are some of your favourite performances by the original Avengers? Let us know.
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