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Chris Evans' 10 Best And 10 Worst Movies

Chris Evans exudes a golden boy glow, one that shines through in character he's played throughout his 20-plus year career. Today, he's famous for embodying Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he first came to wide-spread attention by playing a very different superhero: Johnny Storm in "Fantastic Four." In between superhero roles, Evans has racked up a diverse array of credits in popular and cult classic films like "Snowpiercer," "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," and "Knives Out." In the process, he's demonstrated a noteworthy range as an actor, with the ability to convincingly play everything from a romantic lead to a charismatic sociopath to a conflicted everyman. And now that he's wrapped up his time in the MCU and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) has taken up the mantle of Captain America, Evans will no doubt expand that repertoire even further.

Yet, not all of Evans' movies have been slam-dunks. Especially earlier in his career, Evans played plenty of characters that may have looked promising on the script page but didn't work well on the big screen. Still, with his voice role as the title character in Pixar film "Lightyear" and his turn as an psychopathic government operative in "The Gray Man," Evans is poised to add a new set of fun and fascinating projects to his filmography. Based on aggregate critics' ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, here are Chris Evans' best and worst movies.

Worst: The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019)

In the early 1980s, a group of Israeli Mossad agents rented a beach-side hotel in Sudan to use as a front to smuggle Jewish Ethiopian refugees into Israel. This true story is the basis for "The Red Sea Diving Resort" and it's a story that deserves to be told. However, the movie's execution doesn't live up to its source material, largely by focusing on the Mossad agents instead of the Ethiopian refugees, turning it into a white savior tale. The film also can't decide if it wants to be an action extravaganza or a serious examination of the challenges faced by refugees, and as a result, it doesn't succeed as either.

Plus, in a rare situation for Evans, the actor feels miscast as the lead character, driven Mossad agent Ari Levinson. Evans often seems like he's in Captain America mode in the film, engaging in daring heroics and frequently working out, but his performance doesn't quite fit the film. "The Red Sea Diving Resort" seems to have good intentions and genuinely want to draw viewers' attention to the plight of refugees. Unfortunately, it's never interesting enough to truly inspire.

Best: Sunshine (2007)

Director Danny Boyle's sci-fi spectacle "Sunshine" depicts a near-distant future where the sun is dying. This will doom all of life on Earth unless a crew of astronauts can reignite the star with a nuclear device. While the movie can be a bit of a slow burn, that also makes it all the more psychologically harrowing, as the fate of humanity hinges on every choice the crew make.

Evans plays the stolidly heroic engineer James Mace, a character who operates well under pressure, even as he encounters situations no one could possibly have imagined. The actor is believable as a man committed to getting the job done. The movie leans into horror in its second half, and the abrupt tonal shift turned off some critics and viewers. However, it's a visual feast from beginning to end, and the script by Alex Garland is smart even with its action and horror elements. Plus, "Sunshine" is the rare movie where light is just as foreboding as darkness.

Worst: Fantastic Four (2005)

"Flame on!" So shouts Evans as Johnny Storm when summoning his fiery powers in this superhero origin story. Although "Fantastic Four" was a box office success and spawned a slightly better regarded sequel, it was poorly received. Consequently, it didn't have as much of an impact on Evans' career — certainly not as it could have if it hadn't largely been relegated to a footnote in the ever-growing comic-book movie pantheon.

The movie is often campy and silly, even though the tone isn't always consistent. The actors, who include Jessica Alba, Julian McMahon, and Michael Chiklis, don't always seem like they're in the same film. Still, Evans, in a break-out role, is one of the best things about "Fantastic Four." Even though some of his character's ways with women wouldn't make it into a movie today, overall he turns in an exuberant performance as the confident, cocky Human Torch that's a lot of fun to watch.

Best: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

"Fantastic Four" may have vaulted Evans to early fame, but it wasn't until six years later and his debut as Steve Rogers in "Captain America: The First Avenger" that he truly became a star. Yet, given his previous experience playing a Marvel superhero, Evans turned down Captain America three times before finally agreeing to take on the role. Of course, now it's almost impossible to imagine anyone else as the character and it all started with Evans' turn in Rogers' origin story.

The movie imagines a world where Captain America was created to fight Nazis in World War II, but even more interesting than the story of how Rogers got his powers is the story of why. From the beginning, Rogers is established as noble, dignified, and selfless, despite his scrawny, pre-superhero physique. It's a character portrait that grounds all of Rogers' actions for the remainder of his tenure in the MCU, and ensured audiences he could always be relied upon to do the right thing. Whether he's bantering with his best friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) or taking on the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Evans perfectly embodies a superhero that represents the American ideal.

Worst: Before We Go (2014)

"Before We Go" has the distinction of being Evans' directorial debut, and his sole effort helming a film to date. Yet, while Evans and his costar Alice Eve are both endearing and sympathetic, the movie comes across as a lighter, less meaningful "Before Sunrise." Evans plays Nick, a trumpet player busking at Grand Central Terminal when Eve's Brooke runs past. When Nick learns she's missed her train and her purse has been stolen, he offers to help her get back to her home in Boston, where she insists she must return by morning. The pair encounter obstacle after obstacle in their attempts to get Brooke out of New York over the course of the night, but in the process, they start to enjoy each other's company.

The movie's very minimalist without so much as background music punctuating most of its scenes. Still, Evans and Eve have a winning chemistry that makes the movie enjoyable enough, although the fact that Brooke is married and Nick is still hung up on an ex box the story in even as it hits many romantic notes. It's also never clear quite what the movie wants to communicate about love, relationships, or even New York, and as a result, the film isn't particularly memorable.

Best: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" barely registered at the box office when it premiered over 10 years ago, but since then, director and co-writer Edgar Wright's film has developed a cult following that's ensured it remains part of the pop culture conversation. It's hard not to get drawn into the movie, which, despite not having the most involving story, is a giddy and engaging experience with a breezy style that draws on video game and graphic novel conventions.

Evans plays Lucas Lee, the second in a group of seven evil exes that Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) must fight and defeat if he wants to date his new love interest Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). While Evans is on screen only briefly, he steals his scenes as a movie star/skater bro who takes on a very confused yet starstruck Scott. Evans seems to have a lot of fun as Lucas, adopting an overconfident attitude and a surfer dude way of speaking that's both comical and intimidating. It's an entertaining performance that's not quite like anything else Evans has done.

Worst: The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond (2008)

Several movies adapted from Tennessee Williams plays, including 1951's "A Streetcar Named Desire" and 1958's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," have stood the test of time. Unfortunately, that won't be the case for "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond," which boasts the only screenplay penned by Williams that wasn't first written for the stage. However, the story doesn't reach the heights of Williams' best-known works. The movie tells the tale of free-spirited socialite Fisher Willow (Bryce Dallas Howard), who has returned home to Tennessee in the fall of 1923, where she must participate in the Memphis debutante balls at the demand of her aunt.

Fisher hires Evans' Jimmy Dobyne to act as her escort to these events, despite his lack of wealth or status. Yet, it's clear to Jimmy that Fisher may want more from him than just someone to take her to parties. Their relationship reaches a breaking point when, after he turns away when she tries to kiss him, she loses one of the expensive teardrop diamond earrings she was wearing and accuses him of stealing it. While the production looks lovely and Howard turns in a spirited performance, the film still has a musty, old-fashioned feel that never delves into the depths of Fisher or Jimmy or explores what draws them to one another. While Evans' Southern-fried accent is initially jarring, he's fine, if not particularly noteworthy, as the upstanding Jimmy.

Best: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

"Avengers: Infinity War" was the beginning of the end of MCU's Infinity Saga. It featured practically every superhero in the franchise banding together to fight Thanos, who's on a mission to gather several mystical Infinity Stones so he can literally snap away half of life in the universe. The movie is epic in scope and a true ensemble film, which means that although almost every character is given a moment or two to shine, that time doesn't last long. Nonetheless, between its high-stakes plot and the fact that fans had already spent hours with many of the MCU's characters in previous movies, the film is a thrilling culmination of everything that the franchise had spent 10 years building.

As Captain America, Evans has a couple of rousing stand-out moments, including his initial entrance when he, Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) show up just as Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) appear to be fighting a losing battle against Thanos' minions. Then, later, in a last ditch effort to stop him, Cap takes on Thanos, using all of his considerable strength to try to defeat the Mad Titan. Evans' character is so well established by "Infinity War" that all he has to do is strike a heroic pose to make fans cheer. Yet, Evans doesn't mail it in, delivering his lines and throwing himself into the action with conviction.

Worst: Fierce People (2005)

"Fierce People," which has a stellar cast including Evans, Diane Lane, Donald Sutherland, Kristen Stewart, and the late Anton Yelchin, seems like the kind of film that should resonate with both critics and audiences. It's a coming-of-age story about teenage Finn (Yelchin), who is forced to move with his massage therapist mother into the guesthouse of her wealthy client after he's arrested while buying her drugs. Finn is fascinated by the native South American tribe studied by his anthropologist father, who he's never met, so he decides to undertake his own anthropological study of the wealthy elites who now surround him.

The movie touches on class issues, drug addiction, and sexual awakening, giving it all the makings of a thought-provoking story. However, its insistence on comparing the brutality of the South American tribe studied by Finn's father with the rich folks Finn is now surrounded by never leads to anything insightful, especially after the story takes an abrupt turn from carefree teenage fun to vicious drama. In a precursor to his turn as another character from a wealthy family in the much better "Knives Out," Evans plays the noxious Bryce whose charismatic exterior covers up something more sinister.

Best: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

The third and final film in the MCU's Evans-led "Captain America" series, "Civil War" is more like an Avengers team-up movie than a Captain America-centric outing. That said, the film continues the previous two "Captain America" films' tradition of baking serious political themes and personal stakes into the stories. In this case, following the events of "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the governments of the world unite to create the Sokovia Accords as a way to regulate the Avengers and any other superheroes who might appear. However, the team quickly becomes divided between those who believe they should submit to oversight, led by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), and those who believe they should be trusted to defend humanity as they see fit, led to Steve Rogers.

Each superhero is forced to pick a side, and the two groups eventually come to blows in an extended fight scene that's both thrilling and emotionally charged. Evans brings the usual gravitas to Captain America, nicely balancing Cap's need to stick to his beliefs while still maintaining his loyalty to Tony and the rest of the Avengers, even those who don't agree with him. It's a movie where everyone has a point and no one wins, so by the time the final battle happens, in which Bucky and Cap take on Iron Man, it's equal parts exciting and heartrending.

Worst: Push (2009)

In between Evans' roles in "Fantastic Four" and the MCU, he starred in "Push" as another kind of superhero entirely. The film depicts a world where some people are born with superpowers, a reality the governments of the world are attempting to weaponize, forcing many of those with special abilities into hiding. Unlike the brash Johnny Storm or the honorable Captain America, Nick, Evans' character in "Push" is a normal guy who happens to have telekinetic powers, making him a target of an agency called The Division. Nick has escaped to Hong Kong where he attempts to keep a low profile, but when Cassie (Dakota Fanning), a young girl who can see the future, approaches him about finding a recently escaped captive of Division who has a case with something important in it, he decides to help because he believes it could lead to the agency's demise.

"Push" is a different take on superhero fare, which makes it unique, and it especially succeeds at conjuring a gritty look and feel. However, its overly complicated story makes it hard to invest in, especially since the movie doesn't really have anything insightful to say. Evans is the closest thing the story has to an everyman, albeit one who can make things move with his mind, and he turns in a solidly entertaining performance, even if the movie as a whole doesn't do much to support his efforts.

Best: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is the second entry in the "Captain America" series but a direct continuation of the events of "The Avengers," which means Steve Rogers is now in the present day after taking a lengthy nap while frozen in ice. The movie features Evans at his most effective as Captain America, as he works to forge connections with new characters like Sam Wilson while still maintaining his position as one of the best fighters on the planet. Most impactful of all, though, is Evans' emotional work when he realizes his old friend Bucky, who he thought died on a mission during World War 2, is not only still alive but has been brainwashed by the evil organization HYDRA.

Evans is never showy in depicting Cap's desperate desire to reconnect with Bucky, and his subtle work ensures the relationship between the characters becomes the movie's poignant center. While "The Avengers" established Cap's confusion and sense of displacement at coming back after decades away, "The Winter Soldier" digs even deeper into the character, even as it maintains all the thrilling action and world-building fans expect of the best MCU movies.

Worst: What's Your Number? (2011)

The year Evans became Captain America, he also starred in "What's Your Number?", a romantic comedy that is built on a premise with such sexist double standards, it's hard not to be turned off. After her latest romance goes bust and she's fired from her marketing job, Ally (Anna Faris) reads an article in a magazine that claims that if a woman's been with over 20 men, she's unlikely to get married. Since Ally's racked up 19 lovers, she makes a vow to be celibate until she finds that one only to immediately break it. So in order to avoid exceeding the number 20, she decides to find and reconnect with her past boyfriends in the hopes that one of them has grown into marriage material.

Evans plays Colin, the womanizer across the hall who's been with far more people than Ally and yet expresses no concerns about his marriage prospects. Still, in exchange for Ally allowing him to hide in her apartment from the bevy of women he regularly welcomes into his bed, he agrees to help her find her exes. You can probably predict where the story goes from there. Although Faris is charming and she and Evans have an easy chemistry, the movie is too formulaic and not funny enough to transcend its flaws.

Best: The Avengers (2012)

Before "The Avengers," superhero team-ups were pretty much relegated to the realm of cartoons. As such, it was hard to imagine how Marvel could bring together its previously established heroes, including Evans' Captain America, in one film while giving each of them their due. "The Avengers" not only pulled it off, it ushered in an era where live-action superhero team-up movies have become increasingly common in the MCU and elsewhere, to the point where "Avengers"' team of six seems remarkably small in hindsight.

The film provided a first glimpse at the dynamics between these very different characters and how they'd work as a team. Although there's plenty of friction at first, especially between the self-sacrificing Cap and the self-absorbed Iron Man, the group ultimately comes together to defend New York, leading up to an exciting final showdown in which each of superheroes gets a moment to show off their skills in battle. Evans' demonstrates the isolation Steve Rogers' feels after waking up in the modern world while also confirming he's a leader, even among superheroes.

Worst: The Perfect Score (2004)

There are many things wrong with using the SAT as a standard on which to base students' acceptance to college. It's why some schools have recently stopped using it as an admissions requirement. If "The Perfect Score" had chosen to examine this, it might have been a fascinating film. Instead, it's a vacuous caper backed by a loud pop punk soundtrack aimed at disaffected teenagers struggling to define themselves. The film has little to offer viewers who've moved past adolescence, and given how dated the music, clothes, and attitudes of its characters are, even teenagers today might find it doesn't resonate.

The movie centers on Evans' Kyle, who hatches a plan to steal the SAT with a group of students from across his high school's social spectrum after he fails to score the minimum he needs on the test to gain entrance to Cornell. Yet, none of the characters or their plan is daring or rebellious enough to make this movie feel half as cool as it wants to be. Evans is charismatic as Kyle, and the part hints at leading man roles to come, even if the film is better forgotten. If anything, "The Perfect Score" may be most noteworthy for marking the first time Evans co-starred with future Black Widow Scarlett Johansson.

Best: Snowpiercer (2013)

Before director Bong Joon Ho made his masterpiece "Parasite," he co-wrote and directed "Snowpiercer," his first English-language film, an equally scathing if far more fantastical exploration of class conflict. Evans stars as Curtis, one of the underclass crammed into the back of the title train, which protects what's left of humanity after a new ice age strikes Earth. Those in the tail section live in desperate conditions, while the wealthy elites at the front of the train enjoy every luxury. Meanwhile, the train's guards enforce the class hierarchy. After almost two decades stuck in the tail of the train, Curtis leads a revolt against the guards that slowly takes him and his allies through car after car, with the goal of finally reaching the engine.

Not only is "Snowpiercer" exciting and action-packed, it is thoughtful and intelligent in its exploration of the brutality people can visit on each other based on their beliefs about who's deserving and who isn't. In addition, its depiction of the various train cars is a stunningly beautiful encapsulation of what humanity might try to take with it if it was forced to survive in such a small space. Evans' character is neither as quirky as Tilda Swinton's Minister Mason or as esteemed as Ed Harris' Wilford, but the actor's ability to quietly exude deep feeling while also executing wicked action is on full display here, making Curtis the perfect character to ground the story.

Worst: Playing It Cool (2014)

"Playing It Cool" is another rom-com in which Evans plays the romantic lead; unfortunately, it does nothing to improve his track record in the genre. Evans' character is a screenwriter tasked with penning a romantic comedy who's struggling to turn in his script on time, due to the fact that he doesn't believe in love. That is, until he meets Michelle Monaghan's character at an event and falls head over heels, only to learn she already has a boyfriend.

Evans and Monaghan have a winning chemistry that makes "Playing It Cool" a pleasant enough watch. However, the movie indulges in quirky flourishes and meta commentary on real life versus screen romance that often comes across as more cloying than clever, and the script isn't smart or innovative enough to really dazzle. Still, it's fun to see Evans embody all the people his character imagines himself as in the film, a small touch that Evans gamely embraces.

Best: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

The spectacular conclusion to the MCU's Infinity Saga, "Endgame" is the sequel to "Avengers: Infinity War." The film benefited from spending a majority of its runtime focusing on the original six Avengers, ensuring many of them had moving and meaningful moments — especially as the story saw several of them, including Evans' Captain America, wrap up their MCU arcs. 

Evans has a few big moments in "Endgame," including fighting with a past version of himself during the team's time heist, where the heroes split up in an effort to steal the Infinity Stones before Thanos can get them, and finally revealing he's indeed worthy of picking up Thor's hammer. However, Cap's two most meaningful scenes take place in very different circumstances. First, after all the superheroes who were snapped away in the previous film return and are teleported to the location of the fight against Thanos, Cap is the one who sends them into battle with the words "Avengers, assemble." Then, in a quieter moment at the end of the film, a much older Steve Rogers appears to hand off his shield to Sam Wilson. Both are stirring moments that Evans brings to life with skill.

Worst: London (2005)

"London" may get its title from the name of a woman, but that woman (Jessica Biel) spends most of the movie in the background as her ex-boyfriend Syd (Evans) pines over her while hiding out in the bathroom at a party he's crashed. Despite featuring several future stars, including Jason Statham (with hair!) and Isla Fisher, as well as Jessica Biel playing against type after leaving "7th Heaven," "London" is a big mess — one that mostly focuses on Syd as he drinks, does drugs, philosophizes pretentiously, and mostly demonstrates what a jerk he is.

The characters in the film are almost all unlikable, and despite his considerable charisma, Evans can't rescue Syd from his obnoxious posturing or questionable choices. The movie is akin to being the only sober person at a party, where everyone else is drunkenly conversing about what they think are deep issues and sharing way too much with people they just met. In other words, a terrible experience that can't end soon enough.

Best: Knives Out (2019)

For his first widely released big-screen outing after leaving the MCU, Evans took a supporting role in the wickedly clever whodunit "Knives Out." Writer and director Rian Johnson's murder mystery is tightly plotted, expertly acted, and wildly entertaining, with offbeat elements that never overwhelm the story. Evans plays Ransom, the grandson of an affluent author (Christopher Plummer) who's died under mysterious circumstances. Although the death initially appears to be a self-inflicted, the investigation, led by Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), brings out the worst in the deceased author's squabbling family, and reveals there's more to the situation than meets the eye.

Ransom is the complete opposite of Captain America and an impressive demonstration of Evans' range as an actor. The character is an entitled, manipulative brat who can also present himself as dashing and caring when he feels he needs to. It's the kind of character viewers love to hate, and Evans seems to revel in portraying someone who doesn't care about being liked and is completely selfish, resulting in an uncomfortably entertaining depiction of a loathsome individual.