Ryan Gosling’s filmography is quite iconic as they are some of the best movies of his generation. His career had him star in romantic leads as well cross-genres. The award-winning actor is one of the most acclaimed stars of his time. TechTrends decided to narrow down a list of the best Ryan Gosling movies of all time for you to choose from for movie night.
Ryan Gosling began his career as a child in the 90s and appeared in shows such as Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?. His first notable role came in 2000 when he played in Remember the Titans. Since then, he has established himself as one of the best actors in Hollywood and has two Academy Award nominations. Moreover, he won a Golden Globe and two Saturn Awards. His success is courtesy of his amazing performances that led smaller budget films to become successful. Starting from a romantic lead, he turned into a movie star and featured in action and sci-fi genres.
Some part of his popularity is because of the fact that he tries to stay out of the public’s eye and avoids scandals. Without further ado, let’s get to the list of the best must-see Ryan Gosling performances, ranked based on their rating on IMDb.
Best Ryan Gosling Movies of All Time
Few actors have had a fascinating career like Ryan Gosling in the 21st century. He appeared in many different genres over the years, comedies, serious dramas, and many things in between. Here are the best Ryan Gosling films of all time.
12. The Ides of March 2011
- Genre: Drama/Political Drama
- Director: George Clooney
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 83%, IMDb 7.1
George Clooney directed the movie The Ides of March in 2011 and it is a political drama. The star of the film is Ryan Gosling who is a junior campaign manager for the Pennsylvania Governor, setting up a campaign for the United States president. Once he found out that the governor slept with a woman and got her pregnant in an affair, everyone aims to keep his picture clean. George Clooney plays the role of the presidential candidate and he was able to add his charisma and charm to the character. This is yet another one of the best Ryan Gosling movies of all time. Add it to your watch list.
Read more: Best George Clooney Movies of All Time
11. Half Nelson 2006
- Genre: Drama/Social Problem
- Director: Ryan Fleck
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps, Anthony Mackie, Nathan Corbett
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 78%, IMDb 7.3
Ryan Gosling had a break through when he appeared in the independent drama Half Nelson playing the role of Dan Dunne. He is a middle school teacher who becomes friends with a student when they find out about his history of drug use. For his incredible performance in this movie, Gosling earned his first Academy Award nomination at the age of 26, becoming the eighth youngest to have done so. Although he did not with at the Oscars, he did grab an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead. This is indeed one of the best Ryan Gosling movies of all time.
10. Lars and the Real Girl 2007
- Genre: Romance/Drama
- Director: Craig Gillespie
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Patricia Clarkson, Kelli Garner
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 81%, IMDb 7.3
Lars and the Real Girl premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, with Gosling playing the titular character. He is a socially awkward man who creates a romantic relationship with a doll, but it is nonsexual. He found the doll from the internet and for his performance, he got nominated for a Golden Globe award, but he lost to Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The screenplay was original and even got a nomination in that category. Add it to your watch list as it is one of the best Ryan Gosling movies of all time.
9. Blue Valentine 2010
- Genre: Romance/Drama
- Director: Derek Cianfrance
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, Faith Wladyka, John Doman, Eileen Rosen
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 86%, IMDb 7.3
Blue Valentine follows a heart-wrenching story of ups and downs of a couple from marriage to divorce. Ryan Gosling appears as Dean Pereira, who was quite charming in romance at the beginning but very unlikable during the end. Although it was his co-star Michelle Williams who got an Oscar nomination, Gosling was nominated for a Golden Globe and Satellite Award, but he did not win. Blue Valentine is the ninth one on our list of the best Ryan Gosling movies of all time.
Read more: Best Romance Movies of All Time
8. First Man 2018
- Genre: Drama/History
- Director: Damien Chazelle
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Patrick Fugit, James R. Hansen
- Rating: IMDb 7.3, Rotten Tomatoes 87%
Another one of the best Ryan Gosling Movies of All Time is First Man, where he had his first biographical role as he portrayed Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the Moon. This tense biographical drama centers around the years that led to the first Apollo 11 mission. Despite having a great rating, its box office was not so impressive. Gosling paired with Damien Ghazelle and their collaboration was a powerful one as they worked together on La La Land. For his incredible performance as Armstrong, Gosling received yet another Critics’ Choice nomination for Best Actor, but it was Christian Bale who won it for Vice.
7. The Nice Guys 2016
- Genre: Action/Comedy
- Director: Shane Black
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Angourie Rice, Angourie Rice, Margaret Qualley
- Rating: IMDb 7.3, Rotten Tomatoes 91%
The Nice Guys is directed by the acclaimed Shane Black, who worked with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe to make this action-comedy. The movie follows the story of Gosling’s private investigator named Holland March, with Crowe portraying the role of a straight man. His character is named Jackson Healy, who is tasked with keeping Gosling’s Holland March from trying to find a missing woman. However, things change and former rivals have to work together in order to find answers. The two actor’s chemistry is entertaining to watch, making this one of the best Ryan Gosling movies of all time.
Read more: Best Russell Crowe Movies of All Time
6. Crazy, Stupid, Love 2011
- Genre: Romance/Comedy
- Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Lio Tipton, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 79%, IMDb 7.4
This amazing comedy movie got elevated by Ryan Gosling’s effortless charm and his chemistry with Emma Stone. The story is about a middle-aged man, played by Steve Carell, who recently got separated. His new friend Jacob, portrayed by Gosling, shows him how to pick up women at bars. Stone shines bright in Crazy Stupid Love as a young attorney who is stuck with the wrong guy and his crazy family. However, when her character decides to have a one-night stand with Gosling’s, things take a turn. The sexual chemistry between the two actors also helped them a few years later when they performed remarkably in the movie La La Land. So, this has also made it to our list of the best Ryan Gosling movies of all time. We strongly recommend it.
Read more: Best Steve Carell Movies of All Time
5. The Notebook 2004
- Genre: Drama/Romance
- Director: Nick Cassavetes
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands, James Marsden
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 54%, IMDb 7.8
Quite easily picked as one of the best Ryan Gosling movies ever is the Notebook, where he portrayed the role of Noah Calhoun. The movie is based on bestselling novel with the same name, written by Nicholas Sparks. It is a tale of love that withstands trials and difficulties across many years. A man named Duke, portrayed by James Garner, starts reading a love story to a woman in the nursing room. In 1940, Ryan Gosling’s character Noah Calhoun falls for Rachel McAdams’ Allie Hamilton at a carnival. The boy is from a humble background and is a mill worker. Allie, on the other hand, has a rich family. While spending the summer together, they fall in love, despite Allie’s family being against it.
However, the two finally break up. After years, the two reconnect, trying to rekindle their love. This is indeed one of the best Ryan Gosling movies of all time.
Read more: Best Rachel McAdams Movies of All Time
4. The Big Short 2015
- Genre: Drama/Comedy drama
- Director: Adam McKay
- Stars: Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie
- Rating: IMDb 7.8, Rotten Tomatoes 89%
The Big Short is a comedic examination of the housing bubble of the U.S. that resulted in the economic crash that occurred in 2008. Ryan Gosling was part of an amazing cast and the film centered around the financial crisis of the late 2000s which started by the United States housing bubble. Gosling portrays the role of Jared Vennet, who is a salesman. Christian Bale played the role of Michael Burry, the fund manager with intelligent foresight on the housing bubble letting him capitalize on the trends of the market. The Big Short is also one of the best Ryan Gosling films ever.
Read more: Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
3. Drive 2011
- Genre: Drama/Thriller/Crime
- Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 93%, IMDb 7.8
Ryan Gosling enjoyed a banner year in 2011 when he appeared in a couple of great movies, but his most acclaimed one was Drive. He plays the role of an unnamed protagonist and it was his first collaboration with director Nicolas Winding Refn. The movie revolves around Gosling’s stuntman and getaway driver who protects his neighbor when he and her husband botch a heist. Gosling had his first real action role and pulled it off with his great performance, which earned him the second Satellite Award of his career, following Lars and the Real Girl. The list of the best Ryan Gosling movies would not have been complete without Drive.
2. Blade Runner 2049 2017
- Genre: Sci-fi/Drama
- Director: Denis Villeneuve
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Harrison Ford
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 88%, IMDb 8
Before playing in the movie The Gray Man, Ryan Gosling’s most expensive movie to appear in was Blade Runner 2049. He joined the Harrison Ford-led movie franchise, which is the only series he has ever taken part in. However, it was a box office disappointment despite the great reviews. Gosling portrays the role of K, who is a bioengineered humanoid. He is tasked with hunting and retiring old models, with his performance earning him another nomination for Saturn Award but he lost it to Mark Hamill, the Last Jedi. In addition, the movie won two Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. Don’t miss it as it is one of the best Ryan Gosling movies ever.
1. La La Land 2016
- Genre: Musical/Romance
- Director: Damien Chazelle
- Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J.K. Simmons, John Legend
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 91%, IMDb 8
La La Land is arguably Ryan Gosling’s best movie to date, where he plays the role of Sebastian. Stone and Gosling returned to the screen, and with their chemistry and skills, they proved why they are successful actors in the industry. Mia is an aspiring actress that has reached a dead-end, and Sebastian (Gosling) is a romantic who is obsessed with classic jazz. The two go on to create absolute magic. Justin Hurwitz wrote the song, and they go on to be instantly recognizable to you. Moreover, the colors used in the movie will dazzle you. As for the story, it breaks your heart and puts it back together all at the same time. La La Land won an Oscar for Best Picture. It is a must-watch and one of best Ryan Gosling movies of all time.
Read more: Best Emma Stone Movies of All Time