- Mark Ruffalo is known for playing Bruce Banner in the MCU, but his career goes back decades.
- His lowest-rated films are “The Dentist” (1996) and “All The King’s Men” (2006).
- Ruffalo’s highest-rated films include “Spotlight” (2015) and “You Can Count On Me” (2000).
Summary: In the dark horror comedy “The Dentist,” a dentist named Alan Feinstone (Corbin Bernsen) snaps when he realizes that his wife Brooke (Linda Hoffman) is cheating on him. He takes out his vengeance on the poor victims that find their way into his practice.
Ruffalo had a small role in the film as Steve Landers, the manager of one of Feinstone’s patients.
Critics tore the horror flick apart, saying that it essentially served as “torture porn” that inflicted almost as much pain on the audience as it did on the characters.
“Painful to watch, in more ways than one,” Alex Sandell wrote for Juicy Cerebellum.
Summary: Based on the novel by the same name, “All the King’s Men” is a political drama that centers on Southern politician Willie Stark (Sean Penn). As he builds a platform on a thin stack of promises, they collapse beneath him with his growing power.
Ruffalo had a supporting role in the film as Adam Stanton, Willie’s friend, and eventual rival.
Lacking rhythm and engaging characters in critics’ eyes, “All the King’s Men” was received as a limp political drama that was more disappointing than thought-provoking.
“A Louisiana swamp of overacting and muddled plotlines sinks this cumbersome new version of Robert Penn Warren’s political thriller,” Peter Bradshaw wrote for The Guardian.
Summary: In “View from the Top,” Donna (Gwyneth Paltrow) tries to expand her worldview by becoming a flight attendant and moving far away from her small town in Nevada. But handsome law student Ted Stewart (Ruffalo) makes her rethink her plans.
With a seemingly shallow cast of characters and a predictable plot, “View from the Top” went nowhere but down according to critics.
“The characters have no wit or charm, the plot has no conflict or development, nothing happens for any reason other than script requirements,” Rex Reed wrote for The Observer.
Summary: “54” is a dramatic look back on the disco era that follows 19-year-old Shane O’Shea (Ryan Phillippe) as he rises through the ranks of Studio 54 in one summer.
Ruffalo had a small role in the film as Shane’s friend Ricko.
Critics wished that the director of “54” had handled the interesting subject better.
“A more critical and resonant Hollywood movie about the glorious disco culture screams to be made,” wrote Emanuel Levy for Variety.
Summary: While in town for her sister’s wedding, Sarah Huttinger (Jennifer Aniston) realizes that her family may have been the inspiration for the movie “The Graduate,” which leads her to question her relationship with her mother, grandmother, and her boyfriend Jeff (Ruffalo).
Critics found the premise intriguing but felt like the film didn’t follow through, ultimately leaving them disappointed.
“A scantily clad premise that would at best have been a light-hearted farce goes in search of a heart-tugging denouement and doesn’t find it,” Susan Walker wrote for the Toronto Star.
Summary: In the thriller “In the Cut,” NYU professor Frannie (Meg Ryan) begins an affair with a local detective Giovanni Malloy (Ruffalo) as he investigates a string of gruesome murders in their neighborhood.
Although “In the Cut” was visually engaging, critics realized that there was little substance beneath the shine.
“Beneath its dense texture and rich mood, Jane Campion’s romantic thriller is about nothing and goes nowhere,” Christy Lemire wrote for the Associated Press.
Summary: Set during World War II, “Windtalkers” centers on Sergeant Joe Enders (Nicolas Cage) as he returns to active duty after a brutal battle wipes out his entire squad.
Ruffalo had a supporting role in the film as Corporal Milo Pappas.
Critics admitted the history behind the story was interesting, but the film itself lacked originality and insight.
“The energy and conviction of the action sequences don’t quite compensate for ‘Windtalkers” emotional cliches and historical heedlessness,” Richard Schickel wrote for Time Magazine.
Summary: In the dramatic comedy “Sympathy for Delicious,” Dean O’Dwyer (Christopher Thornton) works as a DJ in the Los Angeles music scene until a motorcycle accident leaves him paralyzed. O’Dwyer is then approached by Father Joe (Ruffalo) who offers to help him through faith-healing, which leads Dean to discover some otherworldly healing powers.
Critics said Ruffalo, who also directed the film, showed moments of promise as a new director. But overall, critics agreed that his effort couldn’t save an incoherent story.
“Despite the powerful sense of place, ‘Sympathy for Delicious’ unwinds a narrative thread that grows increasingly tattered and flimsy,” Sheri Linden wrote for the Los Angeles Times.
Summary: In “Now You See Me 2,” magicians Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo), J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and Lula (Lizzy Caplan) are blackmailed into helping a tech mastermind (Daniel Radcliffe) pull off a grand heist.
Critics were underwhelmed by “Now You See Me 2.” They found it entertaining on the surface but predictable underneath.
“Another massively overlong, overcomplicated and under-interesting caper,” Peter Bradshaw wrote for The Guardian.
Summary: In the drama “Reservation Road,” the lives of two strangers, Ethan (Joaquin Phoenix) and Dwight (Ruffalo), become intertwined when a tragic car accident leads to the death of a child.
Critics had nothing but praise for the acting performances in the film — particularly the ones from Phoenix and Ruffalo — but found little else to like.
“A film of distinguished performances that rise above a coincidence-riddled and perfunctory screenplay — without redeeming it,” Carrie Rickey wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Summary: “XX/XY” is a romantic drama that centers on Coles (Ruffalo), a college student who finds himself in a love triangle with Thea (Kathleen Robertson) and Sam (Maya Stange) across a 10-year span.
The film itself was panned as empty-headed and immature, but critics thought Ruffalo’s star-making performance was a much-needed silver lining.
Stephen Rea wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Although the script, by [Austin] Chick (a Sarah Lawrence alumnus), can be painfully old hat, this little indie’s cast goes a long way toward making the story interesting, even compelling.”
Summary: When Joline’s (Heather Graham) husband Carl (Luke Wilson) abruptly leaves her and their life in New York City for a new girl in El Paso, Texas, Joline takes it upon herself to get her husband back.
Ruffalo had a brief appearance in the film as T-Bo.
Though Graham’s lead performance left a positive impression on viewers, “Committed” earned mixed reviews from critics who felt it was largely charmless and unfunny.
“Neither the characters nor situations are as sympathetic or funny as writer-director Lisa Krueger seems to think,” Michael Wilmington wrote for the Chicago Tribune.
Summary: When a doctor (Ruffalo) suddenly loses his vision, his shock turns into widespread horror as others are infected with the blindness and forced into quarantine. Coming to his aid, his wife (Julianne Moore) pretends to be blind in order to help the group escape from a psychiatric hospital.
The top-notch cast tried to elevate an unconvincing story, but many critics weren’t won over.
“His actors do their best, and Moore certainly remains a powerhouse presence whenever she’s on camera,” Kevin Maher wrote for The Times. “But mostly they struggle to be seen beneath the leaden messages.”
Summary: In “Now You See Me,” a group of magicians — J. Daniel (Eisenberg), Merritt (Harrelson), Jack (Franco), and Henley (Isla Fisher) — attempt to pull off their biggest trick yet as FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo) tails them.
Underneath the razzle-dazzle of magic stunts, “Now You See Me” began to unravel toward the end, according to critics.
“With a talented cast and a twisty bit of storytelling, this is an adequate bit of entertainment that is enjoyable in the moment — even if it is rather implausible if you think about it,” Michael Compton wrote for the Bowling Green Daily News.
Summary: In the romantic drama “Thanks for Sharing,” Adam (Ruffalo), Neil (Josh Gad), and Dede (Pink) try to navigate dating in New York City while also attending group therapy for sex addiction.
The dialogue may have lacked inspiration or wit, but the electric cast softened the more glaring flaws in “Thanks for Sharing.”
“At least most of the cast is appealing, with Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, and Alecia Moore (better known as pop singer Pink) delivering the uninspired dialogue with relative finesse,” wrote Ben Sachs for the Chicago Reader.
Summary: In the action-packed drama “The Last Castle,” disgraced military General Eugene Irwin (Robert Redford) goes head to head with prison warden Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini) as Irwin’s inmates rally around him.
Ruffalo had a supporting role in the film as Irwin’s fellow prison inmate Clifford Yates.
With a winding plot and bizarre character choices, “The Last Castle” left critics divided.
Moira MacDonald wrote for The Seatle Times, “‘The Last Castle,’ while engrossing in parts, might have benefited from more pre-shooting talk about what makes an intriguing character — and what makes a star performance.”
Summary: In the romantic comedy “Just Like Heaven,” young medical student Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) dies suddenly in a car accident. She begins haunting the apartment she once lived in and is peeved when a new tenant named David (Ruffalo) moves in, until they fall for each other.
When they could put the conventional romantic comedy tropes aside, critics had fun with “Just Like Heaven.”
“It’s corny, it’s somewhat predictable, but it’s also very sweet [and] funny,” Richard Roeper wrote for Ebert and Roeper.
Summary: Set in Rhode Island, the action-comedy “Safe Men” follows singers Sam (Sam Rockwell) and Eddie (Steve Zahn) as they are mistaken for a pair of safecrackers and dragged into a string of heists by the Jewish mafia.
Ruffalo had a brief, comedic role in the film as Frank, one of the actual safecrackers.
Though a few scenes gained laughs from critics, the crime comedy was largely received as overly ambitious.
“‘Safe Men’ frequently excels in its little touches while failing in the long run to generate much excitement,” Bruce Feld wrote for Film Journal International.
Summary: In filmmaker Ang Lee’s revisionist drama “Ride With the Devil,” best friends Jake Roedel (Tobey Maguire) and Jack Bull Chiles (Skeet Ulrich) find themselves at odds during the American Civil War.
Ruffalo had a supporting role in “Ride With the Devil” as Unionist Alf Bowden.
Visually rich in terms of setting and cinematography, the war drama lacked needed emotion from its leading characters in critics’ eyes.
“Politically astute, visually breathtaking but emotionally inert,” John Anderson wrote for Newsday.
Summary: The drama “What Doesn’t Kill You” tells the story of Brian Reilly (Ruffalo) and Paulie McDougan (Ethan Hawke), childhood friends who grew up to become criminals in South Boston’s Irish mafia. As Brian tries to turn his life around, Paulie offers him an escape.
Formulaic and oftentimes predictable, “What Doesn’t Kill You” was salvaged by incredible acting performances, according to critics.
“The overfamiliarity of ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ is redeemed by a full-scale performance from Mark Ruffalo,” Peter Rainer wrote for The Christian Science Monitor.
Summary: In the independent drama “We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” Jack (Ruffalo) and Terry Linden (Laura Dern) befriend married couple Hank (Peter Krause) and Edith Evans (Naomi Watts). But that friendship turns to betrayal as an affair rips the couples apart.
Despite the talented cast, the drama couldn’t overcome what turned out to be a tired concept.
“Earnest, overbearing, and fully depressing, ‘We Don’t Live Here Anymore’ features a quartet of fine performances that are somewhat undermined by the numbing, one-note tone of the entire enterprise,” Tom Long wrote for The Detroit News.
Summary: Faced with a terminal illness, overworked janitor Ann (Sarah Polley) sets out to complete a list of tasks before she dies, including finding a new wife for her husband Don (Scott Speedman), leaving behind a secure future for her daughters, and falling in love with a stranger named Lee (Ruffalo).
The plot’s inherent sentimentality invited criticism from more cynical reviewers, but some felt that the movie rightfully indulged in all the emotional pains of facing death and illness.
Rex Reed wrote for The Observer, “What saves ‘My Life Without Me’ from the status of a five-Kleenex weepie is the maturity of vision that permeates the writing and direction and shines through each performance.”
Summary: Tormented by her middle school peers, 13-year-old Jenna (Christa B. Allen) wishes she was older, and suddenly wakes up in the body of her 30-year-old self (Jennifer Garner). Seeking familiarity in a strange new world, Jenna finds comfort in her childhood best friend Matty (Ruffalo) who’s engaged to someone else.
Despite treading territory already covered in the comedy “Big,” the rom-com won critics over with Garner’s fun-loving, lead performance.
“A rehash of familiar material, but the engaging Garner is charismatic enough to make it magical,” Kam Williams wrote for Princeton Town Topics.
Summary: In “Date Night,” Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire Foster (Tina Fey) pretend to be another couple in order to secure a reservation at a fancy restaurant, but the name mix-up sends them down a rabbit hole of trouble when they’re mistaken for criminals.
Ruffalo had a supporting role as Brad Sullivan, Phil and Claire’s recently divorced friend.
Fey and Carell served as a memorable comedic duo, but critics felt like they couldn’t keep a nonsensical, comedic thriller afloat for the full run time.
“Whenever the dialogue takes over, and we watch Fey and Carell click as [a] romantic duo, it’s tempting to imagine these TV stars as a big-screen couple with a future they deserve: a better movie than ‘Date Night,'” Brian D. Johnson wrote for Maclean’s magazine.
Summary: On the outer rim of Los Angeles, Simon Geist (Dan Zukovic) and his girlfriend Darla (Susan Heimbeinder) use a fake magazine he dubs “The Next Big Thing” to insult rising stars and talents in Hollywood through strategic interviews.
Ruffalo appeared in the independent drama as Brent Benedict, a troubled TV star.
A handful of critics felt like the satire missed the mark, but “The Last Big Thing” earned praise from most for standing out as a unique indie hit from the late 1990s.
“The two [leads] are strangely resilient, and so is the film, a gem from an era of manufactured cult items,” A.S. Hamrah wrote for N + 1 magazine.
Summary: In the crime comedy “The Brothers Bloom,” brothers Stephen (Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) attempt to pull off one last con by tricking an eccentric millionaire (Rachel Weisz) into giving them her money.
Critics had a blast with “The Brothers Bloom,” even if they had to suspend a degree of realism.
“Writer-director Rian Johnson, following up his witty 2005 debut, the high school noir ‘Brick,’ has a real gift for putting his own modern stamp on time-tested genres,” Kelly Jane Torrance wrote for The Washington Times.
Summary: In director Martin Scorsese’s dramatic thriller “Shutter Island,” federal marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck (Ruffalo) team up to investigate the disappearance of a patient at a mental asylum on a secluded island.
Some critics were caught off guard by the surreal storytelling choices and twists, but “Shutter Island” earned mostly positive praise for Scorsese’s masterful direction.
“‘Shutter Island’ is too long and its increasingly surreal tone provides an ending that’s a bit of a cheat,” Derek Malcolm wrote for the London Evening Standard. “But, since it is a Scorsese picture, there’s a lot to intrigue on the way.”
Summary: In the adventure film “Where the Wild Things Are,” a lonely little boy named Max (Max Records) uses his imagination to run away to a fantastical world where he finds an island filled with creatures dubbed “Wild Things.”
Ruffalo made an appearance as Max’s mother’s (Catherine Keener) boyfriend.
Propelled by director Spike Jonze’s singular directing style, “Where the Wild Things Are” was praised for its originality, even if it proved a little derivative.
“It’s all very charming and quirky … But it’s also, ultimately, a little flimsy and unlikely to achieve anything like the iconic status of its source material,” Wendy Ide wrote for The Times.
Summary: In the drama “Margaret,” teenager Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin) plays a vital role in a traffic accident that leaves her reeling. Unsure of what to do and consumed by guilt, Lisa lies to protect a bus driver named Maretti (Ruffalo).
Although the plot proved a little unwieldy, critics praised “Margaret” as an emotionally moving, beautifully acted drama.
“‘Margaret’ is less about plot mechanics than about the virtuosity of the dialogue, the complexity of the characters, and the detail and depth of their untidy world,” Nicholas Barber wrote for the Independent.
Summary: In an effort to keep the world safe from outside influence, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) develops a peacekeeping program named Ultron that backfires and takes on a mind of its own. As Ultron creates danger on a global level, Tony and the rest of the Avengers, including Bruce Banner (Ruffalo), leap into action.
Though not as universally successful as “The Avengers,” the sequel still proved to be an exciting thrill ride for most viewers.
“[Joss]Whedon delivers an uneven, if entertaining second installment that, like many superheroes, has both great strengths and hidden weaknesses,” wrote Leslie Combemale for Cinema Siren.
Summary: “Captain Marvel” serves as the thrilling origin story for pilot Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), who becomes one of the most powerful superheroes in the universe after being charged by an infinity stone.
Ruffalo appears as Bruce Banner in the film’s credit scene.
Origin stories are typically panned by critics for their drawn-out plots, and the same is the case for “Captain Marvel.” However, many still conceded that it was an engaging and entertaining film.
Anthony Lane wrote for The New Yorker, “Superhero cinema has lectured us, ad infinitum, on the responsibility that is conferred by extraordinary gifts. Praise be to Larson, for reminding us that they can be bringers of fun.”
Summary: In “Iron Man 3,” Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) is dealing with PTSD and insomnia after saving the world from Loki’s wrath. But he has to piece his world back together once again after the evil villain Mandarin tears everything apart.
Ruffalo appears in the end credits of the film as Bruce Banner.
Most critics agreed that the movie was a nice ending for fans of the series, but it wasn’t anything spectacular as a stand-alone film.
“‘Iron Man 3′ has good things in it, enough to please the series’ fans — and yet too many drawbacks to win many converts,” wrote Mick LaSalle for the San Fransico Chronicle.
Summary: A combination of archival footage and animation, the documentary “Chicago 10” depicts confrontations between police and protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention (DNC). It also follows the group of individuals who were later charged with conspiracy and incitement of a riot for their roles in the DNC protests.
In the documentary, Ruffalo voiced Jerry Rubin, working alongside actors like Hank Azaria and Jeffrey Wright.
Told through a compilation of various mediums, “Chicago 10” was described as a unique and insightful documentary.
Roger Moore wrote for the Orlando Sentinel, “‘Chicago 10’ is that nearly perfect marriage of style — edgy, different — to documentary subject: 1968, that seminal year so celebrated in 2008 for changing the America that came after it.”
Summary: In the family drama “Infinitely Polar Bear,” father and husband Cam (Ruffalo) grapples with bipolar disorder. As his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) attends business school in New York, Cam takes on a bigger role in his daughters’ lives as he tries to balance his mental wellness.
Written with bold, autobiographical strokes and carried by Ruffalo’s strong lead performance, “Infinitely Polar Bear” was a family drama with warmth and wisdom, according to critics.
“Ruffalo gives one of the most appealing performances I’ve seen from an actor in recent years,” M. Faust wrote for The Public.
Summary: After a messy breakup with her celebrity boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine), shy songwriter Gretta (Keira Knightley) performs at an open mic and catches the attention of struggling record-label executive Dan (Ruffalo) who takes it upon himself to offer her a record deal.
Although this didn’t quite have the same unique spark as director John Carney’s debut movie musical “Once” (2007), critics found a lot to love in the sweet romantic drama.
“The wholesome, hopeful, let’s-put-on-a-show enthusiasm may sound hokey but it’s actually infectiously joyful,” wrote film critic Christy Lemire. “At the same time, Carney roughs up the edges just enough to make this fairy tale seem somewhat accessible and realistic.”
Summary: As the evil extraterrestrial Thanos (Josh Brolin) gets closer to achieving his goal of wiping out half of the universe, Tony Stark (Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner (Ruffalo), and the other Avengers team up to take the galactic villain head-on.
“Infinity War” had tons of set up and exposition to cover, so some critics felt burnt out by the long run time, but most were caught up in the spectacle of the thrilling action-adventure.
“Never has the Marvel Cinematic Universe seemed like more of a universe, in ways both good and bad,” Christopher Orr wrote for The Atlantic. “‘Infinity War’… is far from a perfect movie, but it is probably close to the best movie it could have been.”
Summary: In “Collateral,” taxi cab driver Max (Jamie Foxx) is happy to help his next rider Vincent (Tom Cruise) by dropping him off around town for large sums of cash. But after Max realizes that Vincent is an assassin who is using Max to commit murder, Max does what he can to save Vincent’s next victim.
Ruffalo had a supporting role in “Collateral” as Fanning, a narcotics detective.
The premise may get stretched a little thin toward the end of the movie’s run time, but critics were blown away by the breakneck pace of “Collateral” and the tension wrought from the two leads.
“Every bit as satisfying as a thriller should be, keeping us hanging at every turn. As the credits roll, we are out of breath,” Louise Keller wrote for Urban Cinefile Critics.
Summary: In the sports drama “Foxcatcher,” Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) aspires to the same success as his older brother Dave (Ruffalo) and sees an opportunity for success when wrestling coach John du Pont (Carell) invites him to live and train on his estate.
A fascinating character study on toxic masculinity and the loneliness of success, “Foxcatcher” handled complex themes with deft direction and a strong cast.
“‘Foxcatcher’ is an impressive film that depicts the double edged sword of male camaraderie, a blade that offers safety and comfort while unintentionally fomenting jealousy and contempt,” wrote film critic Dominic Griffin.
Summary: In director David Fincher’s suspense thriller “Zodiac,” political cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), crime reporter Paul Avery (Downey Jr.), and Inspector David Toschi (Ruffalo) hunt for the true identity of a notorious serial killer.
A dark, sizzling drama with confident direction and capable actors, “Zodiac” solidified Fincher’s place in the film industry as a director to watch.
“There are no tidy, last-minute plot twists to make you feel good in Fincher’s ‘Zodiac,’ just focus — to keep an audience focused — and the most disciplined filmmaking you’ve seen in forever,” Bob Mondello reported for NPR.
Summary: Based on a true story, the drama “Dark Waters” follows defense lawyer Rob Bilott (Ruffalo) as he seeks to unearth the illicit activities of one of the largest companies in the world — which have led to the countless deaths.
Critics noted that “Dark Waters” was able to escape the trappings of more middling environmental dramas by pairing an inspirational true story with a strong turn by Ruffalo.
“The groundswell of dogged determination propelling this environmental thriller is so powerful that it deals effortlessly with the knotty tangle of facts packed into its plot,” Sandra Hall wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald. “Much of this is down to the film’s star and initiator, Mark Ruffalo.”
Summary: In the first notable team up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tony Stark (Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers (Evans), Bruce Banner (Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) come together to defeat Thor’s nefarious brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
A spectacle with moments of humor, wit, and action-packed fun, “The Avengers” was received as a complete crowd-pleaser.
“If you are a Marvel fan, then ‘The Avengers’ will feel like Christmas,” Anthony Lane wrote for The New Yorker. “Thanks to the merry doings of the director, Joss Whedon, all your favorite characters are here, as shiny and as tempting as presents under the tree.”
Summary: In “The Kids Are All Right,” partners Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Moore) raise their teenagers Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson) in a happy household, but the two moms are blindsided when Joni reaches out to sperm donor Paul (Ruffalo) to get to know her biological father.
Fresh, funny, and filled with a wealth of emotion, “The Kids Are All Right” hit high notes across the board.
“The film gets better and better, powered by a sharp, wise script and superlative acting,” Nigel Andrews wrote for the Financial Times.
Summary: After a devastating breakup, Joel (Jim Carrey) is disturbed to learn that his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) elected to have an experimental surgery to erase him from her memories. After demanding the same operation, Stan (Ruffalo) and Patrick (Elijah Wood) pick apart Joel’s memories as he relives his relationship in reverse.
Expertly written and delicately crafted, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” turned the romantic drama genre on its head, according to critics.
“‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ goes by like a fevered dream of love, but one you remember vividly, with profound pleasure,” Joe Morgenstern wrote for The Wall Street Journal.
Summary: In “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Shaun (Simu Liu) confronts a hidden part of his past in the dark web of the Ten Rings organization when his estranged father tries to attack his late mother’s homeland.
Ruffalo appeared briefly in an ed-credit scene as Bruce Banner in hologram form.
Many critics found the film to be a strong debut for the new Marvel superhero.
Peter Travers wrote for ABC News, “So what if the showoff climax subs depth for dazzle. As the first Asian hero in Marvel history, former stuntman Simu Liu is action poetry in motion and his epic starring debut kicks off the fall film season on a rousing high note.”
Summary: Stranded far from Asgard without his hammer, Thor (Hemsworth) finds himself imprisoned on a planet called Sakaar. Knowing that his half-sister Hela is laying waste to his beloved home, Thor recruits the help of hulked-up Bruce Banner (Ruffalo) and new ally Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson).
Colorful, visually rich, and artfully told, “Thor: Ragnarok” succeeded as both an action-packed Marvel movie and a buddy comedy.
“Taika Waititi’s irreverent humor makes this film delightful with a tongue in cheek tone,” Murtada Elfadl reported for the podcast Sundays with Cate.
Summary: After failing to vanquish Thanos in time, Tony Stark (Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers (Evans), Bruce Banner (Ruffalo), and the remaining Avengers attempt to reverse time and save half the world’s population from being lost forever.
Built upon years of character development and endless action, “Endgame” ushered a decade of Marvel films toward a fitting, if temporary, conclusion.
“This is a feat of engineering,” Amy Nicholson wrote for Film Week. “I felt a sense of catharsis finishing it.”
Summary: Set during the early 1980s, “The Normal Heart” portrays the HIV-AIDS crisis from the perspective of outspoken activist Ned Weeks (Ruffalo) and his closeted partner Felix Turner (Matt Bomer).
Despite taking on the hard task of depicting a heart-wrenching time in American history, “The Normal Heart” was applauded for breathing added life and warmth into an already beloved play.
“If anger and suffering were all there were to ‘The Normal Heart,’ watching it would be torture,” Matt Zoller Seitz wrote for Vulture. “Luckily, it has heart to match its guts.”
Summary: In the independent drama “You Can Count on Me,” Sammy (Laura Linney) tries to create a semi-normal life for her son Rudy (Rory Culkin) as she helps her estranged brother Terry (Ruffalo) get back on his feet.
Refreshing and brimming with love for its complicated characters, “You Can Count on Me” proved to be a worthwhile drama.
Summary: In the drama “Spotlight,” a team of Boston Globe journalists, led by Mike Rezendes (Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton), investigate rumors of molestation by local priests who are being protected by the Catholic Church.
Tightly wound and filled with suspense, “Spotlight” deserved high praise for its central stars and expert direction in critics’ opinions.
“‘Spotlight’ manages the seemingly impossible task of wooing journalists with authenticity while still elevating reporters to hero status, as they battle a formidable and corrupt institution with righteous determination,” wrote Zach Schonfeld for Newsweek.
Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change. Films without critical scores were not included.