The 3 Best Jeremy Renner Movies Everyone Needs To See

With Jeremy Renner recovering in the ICU after a freak snow-plowing accident, I thought it would be a good time to talk about my three favorite non-Marvel movies the actor has starred in. He’s starred in a bunch, and I considered making a longer list, but I decided instead to focus on just the ones that made a genuine, truly memorable impact on me as a cinephile.

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The three movies in this list are all remarkably different as well, and Renner plays very different characters in each one. Let’s take a look.

The Town (2010)

Ben Affleck is best known as a movie star, but he’s actually a remarkably talented director as well, and The Town is one of his best movies—both as an actor (he plays Doug MacRay, the leader of a gang of bank robbers) and director. Jeremy Renner’s character in the film, James ‘Jem’ Coughlin, is the hot-headed wildcard in Doug’s and puts in one of the best performances of his career. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor but lost out to Christian Bale who won for his role in The Fighter (ironically, another film set in Massachusetts dealing with working class people and directed by David O. Russell who would later direct Renner in American Hustle).

You can watch The Town on HBO Max.

Arrival (2016)

Directed by Dune director, Denis Villeneuve, The Arrival is one of the best science-fiction films of the last decade. It’s a thought-provoking, nuanced story of the arrival of a strange alien craft in Montana and the linguist, Louise Banks (Amy Adams) who is brought in to try to communicate with the mysterious aliens onboard. Renner plays physicist Ian Donnelly, and the two team up on their research. What appears to be another epic sci-fi alien-invasion film turns heart-wrenchingly personal, a profound inquiry into time, language and human nature.

You can watch Arrival on Starz.

Wind River (2017)

I don’t want to rank these three movies because each is so different from the other, but I think Wind River is the most important of the three from a cultural standpoint. Taylor Sheridan of Yellowstone fame wrote and directed this one, and like much of his work it highlights the plight of Native American women in today’s society. Renner stars across from Elizabeth Olsen as the two investigate the death of an 18-year-old Native American woman found frozen in the snowy Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. Renner plays US Fish and Wildlife Agent Cory Lambert and Olsen plays FBI Special Agent Jane Banner. What follows is a gripping, tense, disturbing investigation into a heinous crime and quite possibly my favorite of Sheridan’s many productions. Both Renner and Olsen (and the entire cast) really knock it out of the park—though this is not for the faint of heart.

Ironically, given the film’s focus on sexual violence, Wind River was originally distributed by The Weinstein Company, but following revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault Lionsgate became the official distributor and Sheridan required all things TWC be removed from the film and its credits, and donated the money Weinstein would have made on the film to charity.

You can watch Wind River on Vudu.

Let me know if you have any other Jeremy Renner favorites on Twitter or Facebook. Here’s to hoping the actor makes a speedy recovery!

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The 3 Best Jeremy Renner Movies Everyone Needs To See

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