Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Katie Walsh

What to stream: With Ryan Gosling's return in 'The Gray Man,' where to find actor's best films

After four long years, Ryan Gosling returns to the movies, starring in the Netflix action Flick “The Gray Man.” The last we saw of Gosling, he was playing another notable “man,” as Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle’s moon movie “First Man” back in 2018. Now, he’s back in action, beefed up in his best Bourne/Bond mode for the Russo brothers (“Avengers: Infinity War,” “Avengers: Endgame”), facing off with a mustachioed Chris Evans as a secret CIA assassin on whom the government has suddenly turned in “The Gray Man,” streaming on Netflix Friday.

In honor of his return to the (small) screen, and in celebration of those remarkable paparazzi photos of him in costume as Ken for Greta Gerwig’s forthcoming “Barbie” movie, it’s an opportunity to run down the best of Gosling’s long career and take a look at his ability to transcend genre in his leading man roles.

Now, you’d have to head to YouTube to check out Gosling’s very first TV role at the age of 12 on “The All New Mickey Mouse Club” aka “MMC,” alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, JC Chasez and Christina Aguilera. And while that is a worthy Google (add “Goosebumps,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” “Breaker High” and “dancing” for more young Gosling fun), we’re here to focus on his film work, and the variety of roles he’s played.

His early breakout film roles were on the darker side: as a young Jewish neo-Nazi in the 2001 Sundance darling “The Believer” (stream it on Kanopy or Roku Channel) and in the 2002 psychological thriller “Murder by Numbers” opposite Michael Pitt and Sandra Bullock (available to rent on digital platforms).

Gosling has always been at home in the realm of heady indie dramas, gaining notice for his work in the 2006 film “Half Nelson” (stream it on Starz, Roku, Tubi and Kanopy), “Lars and the Real Girl” in 2007 (HBO Max, Cinemax) and “Blue Valentine” in 2010 (Peacock). But among those more intense films, he sprinkled in the romantic melodrama “The Notebook” opposite Rachel McAdams (rent it digitally) and as a suave cad in the romantic comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love” in 2011 (stream it on Tubi or rent).

He’s also capable of slipping into high-concept action and thriller roles, like his two collaborations with Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn, “Drive” in 2011 (Tubi and available to rent) and “Only God Forgives” in 2013 (available on Roku, Vudu, Tubi, Redbox, Plex). He teamed with directer Derek Cianfrance once again for the 2012 film “The Place Beyond the Pines” (on Peacock), and starred opposite Harrison Ford in Denis Villeneuve’s epic sequel to “Blade Runner,” “Blade Runner 2049” (on HBO Max and Netflix).

Though Gosling does brooding well, he’s incredibly funny too, as seen in the underrated 2016 L.A. noir “The Nice Guys,” written and directed by Shane Black (rent it digitally). He also dusted off his dancing shoes for the swooning romantic musical “La La Land” in 2016 (stream it on Hulu).

Additionally, he can do political dramas like the 2011 film “The Ides of March” (stream it on Starz), or Adam McKay’s financial crisis ensemble film “The Big Short” in 2015 (rent it digitally). He’s even dipped his toe into the world of the biopic with the intense “First Man” (rent it digitally).

It’s nice to see Gosling back in the movies, and from “The Gray Man” to “Barbie” to his take on “Wolfman” with Cianfrance, which is in preproduction, it’s clear he’s still got a vast appetite for a wide swath film roles, and that is a very good thing.


Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.