8 Great Chris Evans Performances That Aren't Part of the MCU
We love Chris Evans as Captain America so much, we could watch those movies all day. But, of course, our favorite Chris (fight us!) has made many other worthy films outside the MCU.
On the occasion of Evans's 38th birthday, here are some of our favorite performances where he's not playing Cap. Especially if you prefer your Evans bearded.
8. "Cellular" (2004)
In this fast-paced popcorn movie, Evans plays ordinary (sometimes shirtless) college student Ryan, who gets a random call on his cell phone: The woman on the other end (Kim Basinger) claims to have been kidnapped and he's her only hope. It's up to Ryan to save the day, almost single-handed. Long before he played Cap, he showed us he had the right stuff for these kind of heroics.
7. "The Iceman" (2013)
Evans's role in this biopic of mob hitman Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) isn't large, but it is memorable. He plays fellow hitman, Robert Pronge, aka "Mr. Freezy," who drove an ice cream truck -- all the better to keep his victims on ice. It was from Pronge (nicknamed "Mister Softee" in real life), that Kuklinksi got the idea to freeze his own victims, thus earning the moniker "The Iceman."
6. "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" (2010)
Evans is a hoot and a half (with a very strong eyebrow game) as Lucas Lee, one of the seven evil exes Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) must fight. Lee is a vain actor-slash-skateboarder, about as different a comic book role from Cap as you could get and Evans absolutely kills it.
5. "Sunshine" (2007)
This Danny Boyle sci-fi film, in which a crew must travel to a dying sun and reignite it to save earth, was woefully overlooked when it came out. Not only is the cast -- including Evans, Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, Hiroyuki Sanada, Cliff Curtis, and Benedict Wong -- great, but this existential space drama is head and shoulders above just about everything released since. Be prepared, it's a trip.
4. "The Losers" (2010)
Our favorite character in this underrated action comedy about a black ops team: Evans's techie Jensen. The scene where he gets an elevator to himself by singing along, far too enthusiastically with Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'' alone would cement that. But then, when he's cornered in an office building, he confronts the armed security guards with just his bare hands. That's when he delivers a speech that hilariously prefigures his role as Cap: "I'm warning you, I am a lethal killing machine. It was a secret government experiment. They did stuff to me. Spooky stuff..." Fortunately he's got back-up, so his imaginary gunshots actually hit.
3. "Snowpiercer" (2013)
In Bong Joon-Ho's gritty sci-fi action flick, the only people left alive after a geological catastrophe live on a supertrain that never stops moving. The front cars live in opulent luxury while the rearmost cars live with abject squalor and starvation. Evans is the guy who decides it's time to lead a revolt and take over the train. Even if the social class metaphor doesn't entirely work, the film features some terrific action sequences and some powerful scenes for Evans.
2. "Gifted" (2017)
Custody battle plots are usually a snooze, but we love this movie where Evans plays Frank, who's fighting to give his math-genius niece (Mckenna Grace) a normal life instead of the high-pressure academic schooling his mother wants to set for her. Frank's romance with his niece's teacher (Jenny Slate, whom he also dated in real-life for a while) is a welcome bonus.
1. "Puncture" (2011)
After 2005's "Fantastic Four" (which looks better and better in retrospect), Evans became "that hot shirtless guy." Evans understandably was frustrated that nobody was seeing his dramas like this one, where he plays a drug-addicted lawyer on the biggest case of his life. He's still "that hot shirtless guy" even in this film, at times, but here's proof if you needed it that he's got more than ample dramatic chops.