Unless you live under a cave, you’re likely familiar with the renowned actor, heartthrob, and Canadian icon, Ryan Gosling. As he brought his unique energy, known as “Kenergy,” to Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, let’s look into Gosling’s incredible filmography with his 10 best movies.
So here are Ryan Gosling’s 10 Best Movies
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
In the hilariously entertaining film “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” Gosling delivers one of his most comedic performances, portraying Jacob Palmer, who embodies the ideal of a “Cool Guy.” Jacob takes it upon himself to teach Cal Weaver (played by Steve Carell), a depressed and divorced dad, how to pick up women to make his ex-wife (Julianne Moore) jealous.
However, as the story unfolds, the smooth-talking Jacob unexpectedly falls for the fiery Hannah (Emma Stone). This budding romance chips away at his Cool Guy facade, revealing a more vulnerable and silly side that endears him to the audience.
Blue Valentine (2010)
In the poignant movie “Blue Valentine,” Dean Pereira (played by Gosling) is portrayed as a hopeless romantic who grapples with the turbulent rollercoaster of marriage while facing battles with alcoholism, aggression, and desperate, ill-fated love. In a tender moment during their early courtship, Dean charmingly serenades Cindy (played by Michelle Williams). Gosling’s magnetic presence captivates the audience throughout the film, allowing them to empathize deeply with Dean’s profound moments of joy and heartache.
Half Nelson (2006)
Following his heartthrob status in The Notebook, Ryan Gosling took on a different path and delivered a remarkably raw and nuanced performance in the heart-wrenching drama Half Nelson. In this film, he portrays Dan Dunne, an inner-city schoolteacher who forms an unexpected bond with one of his students after she learns about his struggles with dr*g addiction. Gosling skillfully embodies the character’s damaged facade and emotional exhaustion with a passionate expressiveness that shines through his gestures, facial expressions, posture, and voice. It comes as no surprise that this powerful portrayal earned him his first Oscar nomination.
La La Land (2016)
It’s also no surprise that La La Land nabbed Gosling his second Oscar nod, not just because of his undeniable chemistry with three-time costar Emma Stone. Gosling spent months learning to play the piano to portray struggling jazz musician Sebastian authentically. And even while singing and dancing, the actor brings a realistic humanity to his character.
The Notebook (2004)
Regardless of your feelings about this widely acclaimed romance, there’s no denying Ryan Gosling’s enchanting portrayal of Noah, a witty and determined blue-collar worker who becomes hopelessly enamored with the headstrong and radiant socialite, Allie (Rachel McAdams). Throughout the film, we witness Noah’s evolution from a carefree and confident flirt, daringly hanging from a Ferris wheel to win Allie’s attention, to a reserved and solitary man spending years constructing a house and growing his facial hair. Finally, he transforms into a passionate and heartbroken lover, pouring out his emotions to Allie in the pouring rain.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
Ryan Gosling delivers a supremely watchable performance as Luke Glanton, a motorcycle stunt rider turned bank robber, to support his lover and their baby. Gosling portrays Luke with a mesmerizing blend of dryness and magnetism, alternating between menace and gentleness, silence and deafening intensity. With an unstoppable inclination towards crime and an increasing desperation to provide for his young son, Luke’s choices lead him headlong into catastrophe.
The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Bradley Cooper, Mahershala Ali, Ben Mendelsohn, the late Ray Liotta, and Gosling’s real-life partner, Eva Mendes. Yet, in The Place Beyond the Pines, Gosling’s ability to evoke empathy from the audience appears to be at its strongest.
Although Ryan Gosling has since embraced more stoic and challenging roles, “Drive” remains one of his earliest and most renowned endeavors. In this film, Gosling portrays an enigmatic and guarded character known only as “Driver,” who leads a double life as a skilled getaway driver. Despite his lack of dialogue, Driver’s character exudes depth through his eyes and body language as he finds himself entangled in increasingly high-stakes situations and unexpectedly falls for a single mother, played by Carey Mulligan. “Drive” captivates with its dazzling and tense storyline, reflecting Gosling’s exceptional performance, which is equally mesmerizing and gritty.
The Nice Guys (2016)
The Nice Guys, released in 2016, is a black comedy film featuring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as two detectives striving to unravel the mystery surrounding a missing teenage girl in 1970s Los Angeles.
Writer-director Shane Black masterfully embraces and playfully mocks the detective genre, infusing the film with a unique and entertaining flair. Meanwhile, Ryan Gosling shines with his remarkable comedic prowess, delivering a side-splitting performance that showcases his versatility as an actor. Though the film failed at the box office, it is a classic now and was successful among fans and critics.
The Big Short (2015)
In The Big Short, Ryan Gosling undergoes a dramatic transformation with a dyed perm and brown eye contact, rendering him nearly unrecognizable as the insufferable banker, Jared Vennett. The fun Gosling has in playing Vennett is evident, amplifying the caricaturish nature of the role. His ability to make audiences loathe and laugh at the character is just as impressive as his talent for eliciting swoons and tears in other performances.
First Man (2018)
Ryan Gosling steps into the shoes of one of America’s most legendary figures, Neil Armstrong. Collaborating once again with director Damien Chazelle, Gosling portrays Armstrong in a captivating tale of how he readied himself for the historic moon mission while simultaneously confronting his tragedy.
Rather than a typical rousing biopic of an American hero, First Man provides a compelling glimpse into the dangerous nature of the early NASA space program and sheds light on why someone like Armstrong would willingly embrace such risks and challenges.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Decades after the release of Ridley Scott’s original film, Blade Runner: 2049, revitalized the long-dormant science fiction franchise, with Denis Villeneuve taking the helm as director. The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Officer K, a replicant who joins forces with retired blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) to confront the sinister Wallace Corporation.
Blade Runner 2049 is a contemplative masterpiece, and Gosling’s portrayal as Officer K truly stands out as a compelling and nuanced performance. While the film didn’t achieve massive box office success during its initial run, it has become a beloved cult classic. The movie boasts exceptional performances from the entire cast, including Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, and Jared Leto, all contributing to the film’s captivating allure. With its thought-provoking narrative and a stellar cast, Blade Runner 2049 has firmly secured its place as a celebrated sci-fi gem.