Mark Ruffalo Movies list

Sherpa's Top 10: Mark Ruffalo movies

Mark Ruffalo has - with almost no one noticing - built a solid case for being considered one of the top male actors of the 2000s.

This week, Ruffalo joins the list of actors who have portrayed the Incredible Hulk (We love you, Lou!) as he muscles up in "The Avengers, " the Marvel gang that includes Iron Man, Captain America and Thor.

The 44-year-old Wisconsin native who grew up in Virginia is the father of three and seems to be the best Hollywood bet when a director needs a charming, likable everyman character.

While he gets steady work in rom-coms, his best efforts have come when he has been cast as a cop. Go figure, then go read the list:

10. The Last Castle (2001) Yates: So-so movie with a great cast. Robert Redford is a court-martialed general who is transfered to a prison run by James Gandolfini, whose cruel methods lead to an uprising. Ruffalo has a small, but well-done role as an anti-social prisoner.

9. 54 (1998) Ricko: Comedian Mike Myers plays legendary disco owner Steve Rubell in this average, but stylish, look at the burgeoning disco movement in New York City in the 1970s. Well before becoming known at any level, Ruffalo has a small role as Ryan Phillippe's buddy.

8. My Life Without Me (2003) Lee: Sarah Polley leads this film as a young wife and mother who is told she has cancer and two months to live. Facing this hard truth alone, she comes up with a list of things to do before the end. Ruffalo plays a lonely man who falls for her. Sad, but well done.

7. The Kids are Alright (2010) Paul: Most would have this higher, but I found it cliched and predictable. Ruffalo was the best part of this soap, playing a not-altogether-honorable restaurant owner who momentarily comes between a lesbian couple. Ruffalo was nominated for best supporting Oscar.

6. Just Like Heaven (2005) David: Arguably the guiltiest of my guilty-pleasure movies. Ruffalo plays a man who moves into the apartment of a recently deceased woman (Reese Witherspoon) and then begins to see and talk to her. Goofy, but the two leads have enough charm to pull it off.

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Stan: The bizarre, moving story of a break-up. After a split, Kate Winslet goes to a clinic where memories can be erased, and ex-beau Jim Carrey does the same. Ruffalo plays one of the clinicians. The strong cast keeps this off-beat Charlie Kauffman yarn compelling and on track.

4. You Can Count on Me (2000) Terry Prescott: Ruffalo plays an irresponsible brother who comes back to visit his sister (excellent turn from Laura Linney). The steadfast Linney, a single mom, grapples with her feelings toward her sibling. Slow going at first, but Kenneth Lonegran's film turns into one of the better personal dramas in recent years.

3. Ride with the Devil (1999) Alf Bowden: Ang Lee helmed this broad, gritty look at the nasty guerilla war between "Jayhawks" and "Bushwhackers" along the Missouri-Kansas border during the Civil War, Based on Daniel Woodrell's superb book "Woe to Live On." Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers are the main characters.

The next two films are among my favorites of the new millenium, and I'll watch them to the end when I catch them on cable. But they're best viewed from start to end - great casts and directors, top-notch tension.

2. Collateral (2004) Fanning: Michael Mann puts his indelible style on this neo-noir tale of a hit man (Tom Cruise) who goes to L.A. for one night to take care of business and commandeers a cab and its driver (Jamie Foxx). Ruffalo plays the narcotics detective who stumbles onto the case and puts the pieces together. Highly underrated film, and I just love how Mann movies look and feel.

1. Zodiac (2007) David Toschi: David Fincher manages to keep a 2.5-hour procedural movie bristling with suspense as he retells the true story of the Zodiac killer who preyed on San Francisco in the 1960s and 70s. Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruffalo play three people whose lives are forever changed by their obsession with the case. Not a single Oscar nomination? So wrong.

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