Summary List Placement
Stan’s worst-reviewed movie is the 2012 horror film “The Apparition,” which has a measly 3%.
Synopsis: A group of college students, including Stan’s character Ben, attempt to recreate the “Charles Experiment,” which sees them stare at a drawing of a dead man named Charles to summon his spirit. It works, and they slowly get picked off one by one.
“The entity is a ghostly presence amid an even ghostlier absence. This is truly distressed real estate,” wrote The Boston Globe’s Mark Feeney.
In 2006, he had appeared in another horror film, “The Covenant,” as the film’s antagonist Chase.
Synopsis: A group of high school boys who are descended from ancient witches have to contend with the fact that their magic is slowly killing them. They also must confront a new foe, Chase, who threatens all of them.
“Flying scenes, frat-boy face-offs and pyrotechnic punch-ups are punctuated by excruciating expository dialogue,” wrote Nigel Floyd of Time Out.
That same year, he appeared in “The Architect” as the main character’s son, Martin.
Synopsis: An architect is forced to come to terms with his life — his wife is bored, his son doesn’t care about following in his footsteps, and his daughter is growing up too fast — while contending with the fact that one of his projects has led to community decay.
“Despite his obvious earnestness, first-time director and cowriter Matt Tauber is ill equipped to mine emotions this complex,” wrote Michael Booth for the Detroit Free Press.
Stan co-starred with Amanda Seyfried in the 2012 thriller “Gone.”
Synopsis: A woman, Jill, is dealing with the aftermath of her brutal kidnapping a year prior, including that no one believes it actually happened. After her sister goes missing, she fears that her kidnapper has struck again.
Derek Malcolm of the London Evening Standard wrote, “It’s one of those Hollywood movies that goes in one eye and out the other.”
In the 2009 film “Spread,” Stan plays Harry, the best friend of a narcissistic gigolo Nikki, played by Ashton Kutcher.
Synopsis: After Nikki, a gigolo who lives without a care in the world, meets Heather, he becomes fixated on her — to the detriment of everything else in his life.
“Shallow, melodramatic, pretentious and wildly misguided, it’s also ambitious, entertaining and rather funny,” wrote Tom Huddlestone of Time Out.
In the 2015 sports comedy “The Bronze,” Stan plays the arrogant Team USA gymnastics coach and gold medalist Lance Tucker.
Synopsis: Former bronze medalist Hope Greggory, who has been coasting on her minor celebrity ever since, decides to coach young gymnastics superstar Maggie in order to receive a $500,000 inheritance from her dead coach.
“This ostensibly edgy comedy didn’t wring a single laugh out of me until maybe fifteen minutes before the finale,” wrote Glenn Kenny for RogerEbert.com.
In “I’m Not Here” (2017), Stan plays the younger version of JK Simmons’ character Steve.
Synopsis: An older Steve is forced to look back at his life and figure out why he’s been left old and alone.
“There isn’t a moment of ‘I’m Not Here’ that didn’t have me fervently wishing I wasn’t here,” wrote the New York Post’s Sara Stewart.
Stan plays Frank, one corner of a love triangle and a free-spirited “bad boy” in the 2019 film “Endings, Beginnings.”
Synopsis: After a bad breakup turns Daphne’s world upside-down, she finds herself drawn to two polar opposite men who happen to be best friends: Jack, a stable and serious writer, and Frank, a free-spirited guy always down for adventure.
Paste Magazine’s Amy Amatangelo wrote “‘Endings/Beginnings’ swerves toward an uplifting and positive conclusion [that] doesn’t feel natural or earned. By then, one can only hope those familiar, poorly lit faces made the viewing worthwhile.”
Stan has a small role as Leo in “The Education of Charlie Banks” (2007).
Synopsis: Charlie and Danny are childhood best friends who are now roommates in college. But when Mick, someone with a dark link to their hometown, decides to come stay with them, Charlie is worried he’s planning revenge.
“Though painted with broad strokes and marred by dialogue howlers during key moments, ‘Education’ tracks Charlie’s emerging sense of identity and perspective,” wrote Film Comment Magazine’s Nicolas Rapold.
Stan secured the role of the romantic lead, Mickey, in 2020 film “Monday.”
Synopsis: Two strangers, Mickey and Chloe, meet while living in Athens and almost immediately have intense chemistry before embarking on a weekend-long relationship that turns into something more.
“Try though the actors may, they’re unable to make us care about characters who are primarily defined by their lousy decisions and who lack the spark to draw us closer to their flame,” wrote Ty Burr of The Boston Globe.
He plays Scott Huffman, a Pentagon staffer tasked with investigating a Medal of Honor request in 2019’s “The Last Full Measure,” which was based on a true story.
Synopsis: Scott Huffman, a Pentagon employee, investigates the life and death of Vietnam airman William H. Pitsenbarger, whose family has submitted a Medal of Honor request, only to find out there’s way more to the story.
“Here’s a true story about a young soldier’s exceptional bravery and sacrifice made into a pretty average war movie, insubstantial and TV-ish despite the appearance of some decorated Hollywood veterans,” wrote Cath Clarke for The Guardian.
Stan’s first credit on Rotten Tomatoes is 2005 film “Red Doors,” in which he plays high school senior Simon.
Synopsis: The film mainly focuses on the Chinese-American Wong family as they each navigate their lives’ own ups and downs while dealing with their distant father Ed.
G. Allen Johnson of the San Francisco Chronicle called it “A gentle, pleasant film about people you genuinely like.”
He plays Blaine, a classic ’80s ski patrol bully in the 2010 film “Hot Tub Time Machine.”
Synopsis: When four middle-aged friends reunite at the ski resort they used to frequent in their younger days, they’re dismayed to find it rundown. They decide to get drunk and drown their sorrows in a hot tub, which takes them back to 1986.
“An irreverent, guilty pleasure, frat boy comedy, it blows a big fat raspberry at sci-fi fans and tells them to stick their Flux Capacitors where the sun don’t shine,” wrote Anna Smith of Metro.
In the 2020 Netflix film “The Devil All the Time,” Stan plays a dirty sheriff named Lee Bodecker who will do anything for his family.
Synopsis: “The Devil All the Time” follows a cast of characters living in small-town Ohio in the ’60s, focusing on the saga of Arvin, an orphan, played by Tom Holland.
Leonie Cooper of NME wrote that it’s “two and a half hours of unrelenting sadness, anxiety and distress — but impossible to stop watching.”
In “Ricki and the Flash,” released in 2015, Stan plays one of Ricki’s three kids, Joshua, whose wedding she’s not invited to.
Synopsis: Ricki (Meryl Streep) abandoned her family to pursue her dreams of becoming a rock star, but years later she is forced to reckon with what it did to the three kids she left behind, including her son Joshua who didn’t even tell her that he’s engaged.
“Ricki’s life may be chaotic but the film hits the high notes when it counts, in rambunctious, crowd-pleasing fashion,” wrote Mark Kermode of The Observer.
Stan plays an FBI agent named Chris in “Destroyer” (2018).
Rotten Tomatoes score: 74%
Synopsis: Nicole Kidman plays an LAPD detective who has a past with Silas, a gang leader, who she believes is active again after 16 years. Stan plays Chris, her former FBI partner and boyfriend who worked with her during Silas’ first crime spree.
“A masterful performance by Kidman, who has proven over the last few years that she has deep reserves of talent,” wrote Wenlei Ma for News.com.au.
In his MCU debut, Stan took on the role of Steve Rogers’ best friend, Bucky Barnes, in 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Synopsis: When the puny Steve Rogers volunteers to become a science experiment for the US Army, he’s turned into the super-strong and near-invulnerable Captain America, who dedicates his life to defeating the Nazis in World War II, with the help of Agent Peggy Carter, best friend Bucky, and the rest of the Howling Commandos.
“[Director Joe] Johnston should be saluted for old-fashioned heart in a cynical age, while Marvel should be confined to barracks for cynical marketing,” wrote Empire Magazine’s Colin Kennedy.
Seven years later, he was still playing Bucky in 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Synopsis: Earth’s mightiest heroes are scattered throughout the planet — and space — to team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time to take down Thanos, their most formidable foe of all time, before he can obtain all six Infinity Stones and wipe out half the population of the universe.
“Never has the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ seemed like more of a universe, in ways both good and bad. ‘Infinity War’ — the title is almost too apt — is far from a perfect movie, but it is probably close to the best movie it could have been,” wrote The Atlantic’s Christopher Orr.
He returned to his thriller/horror roots with 2018’s “We Have Always Lived in the Castle,” playing Charles, a shady cousin of the main characters.
Synopsis: The Blackwood sisters are ostracized from the rest of society, as their whole town believes they are witches who poisoned their own parents. When their charismatic cousin Charles comes to town, Constance and Merricat disagree on his intentions and what to do with him.
“The film adaptation of ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ understands Shirley Jackson’s novel as a tale of male abuse and female rage,” wrote Roxana Hadadi for Pajiba.
After Bucky’s assumed death at the end of the first “Captain America” film, he returns as a Hydra assassin nicknamed the Winter Soldier in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014).
Synopsis: After the events of “The Avengers,” Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) is working for S.H.I.E.L.D., a US governmental agency. But when his boss, Nick Fury, discovers a huge conspiracy, he’s seemingly killed and Steve is forced to go on the run. At the same time, he discovers his best friend from the ’40s, Bucky, didn’t actually die during WWII, and was instead discovered by the Nazis. He was tortured and brainwashed into becoming the mindless killing machine the Winter Soldier.
Kate Erbland of MTV wrote, “‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ neatly and entertainingly puts into motion some big changes in the Marvel universe, while still sticking to its own charms — no easy feat, but one fit for a hero.”
Bucky’s next appearance, 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” shares the same rating.
Synopsis: After Hydra was destroyed at the end of “Winter Soldier,” a newly free Bucky is lying low in Romania. However, when he’s framed for a bombing in Vienna, Steve comes to his defense, flying in the face of a new agreement called the Sokovia Accords which aims to hold superheroes accountable, splitting the Avengers down the middle.
“It is one of the best movies to ever come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, balancing engaging action set pieces and witty dialogue with intelligent character studies and ethical debates,” wrote Salon’s Matthew Rozsa.
The 2017 film “I, Tonya,” in which Stan plays Tonya Harding’s husband Jeff Gillooly, also has a 90%.
Synopsis: Based on the real life of figure skater Tonya Harding, the film follows her life from childhood and learning how to skate, all the way to the infamous night when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked and beaten.
“‘I, Tonya’ is far from your typical biopic, and it’s all the better for it. Buoyed by sharp, fun storytelling and Oscar-worthy performances, it’s exactly the type of movie this story deserved,” wrote CultureMap’s Alex Bentley.
In “The Martian” (2015), Stan plays Chris, one of the astronauts who is forced to leave Matt Damon’s character Mark behind on Mars.
Synopsis: Mark Watney is a botanist and a member of the Ares III mission to Mars. When a storm separates him from his crew, he’s left behind and must figure out a way to survive on the red planet alone.
“Despite being marketed under the mainstream bait of a ‘space movie,’ ‘The Martian’ is, more than anything, a love letter to science, without ever feeling like a boring textbook,” wrote Complex’s Kristen Yoonsoo Kim.
In Steven Soderbergh’s 2017 heist film “Logan Lucky,” Stan plays NASCAR driver Dayton White.
Synopsis: Channing Tatum and Adam Driver co-star as the Logan brothers who devise a plot to rob a NASCAR speedway, but, in classic Soderbergh style, there are many twists and turns along the way.
“A singular film-maker returns from a cinematic sabbatical in qualified triumph. We’re lucky to have him,” wrote Donald Clarke of The Irish Times.
But Stan’s all-time highest-rated film is 2019’s”Avengers: Endgame,” which sees him make a triumphant return in the last third of the movie as Bucky.
Synopsis: After Thanos dusts half the universe, the original six Avengers (along with some new allies) go on a “time heist” through their own past to find all six Infinity Stones and return all their lost loved ones to the present.
“The only complaint about ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is that it raises the bar so high that there may well never be a superhero movie to match it,” wrote Matthew Norman of the London Evening Standard.