Happy Birthday, Ryan Reynolds! What do you get for the guy who gave us Deadpool, is way cool to his fans on Twitter, and whose career has survived The Green Lantern?

Comedy, drama, action, indie films, major studio blockbusters; the guy does it all, seemingly without breaking a sweat. His career has taken some Matthew McConaughey-like swings. He once seemed on a fast-track to the A-list, but was derailed by a stretch of box office and critical clunkers. Hollywood loves a comeback story, though, and with Deadpool, a pet project he tried to get made for more than a decade, he regained his mojo. According to Forbes, he’s Hollywood’s 15th highest-paid actor, just ahead of Matt Damon.

Call this a Reynolds “Ryan-aissance.”

On Reynolds’ special day, gift yourself with some of these lesser-known gems starring an actor who easily could have coasted on his good looks and easy charm, but who continues to defy expectations.

Mississippi Grind

This road movie is a sure bet, as gambling buddies Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn head toward a high-stakes poker game in New Orleans.

Criminal

Spoiler alert: Reynolds isn’t long for this movie, but with a cast that includes Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot, Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman, this CIA thriller will get inside your head.

Life

A Martian life form terrorizes the six-person crew of the International Space Station that includes Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Rebecca Ferguson. This deep space screamer won’t exactly be alien to sci-fi movie fans, but it is an effective scare show, and not even Reynolds’ wise cracks can break the mounting tension.

Woman in Gold

Oscar-winner Helen Mirren stars in this true story about a Holocaust survivor who is determined to retrieve her family’s treasured artworks that were stolen by the Nazis. Reynolds costars as the struggling and inexperienced lawyer who rises to the occasion (both of the case and acting alongside Helen Mirren).

The Voices

One of the oddest, best, and goriest, movies of Reynolds’ career is this pitch-black comedy about a seemingly cheerful but lonely bathtub factory worker who is urged to kill by his cat, Mr. Whiskers (his dog. Bosco, tries to talk him out of it).

 

By: Redbox Writer, Donald Liebenson