Mention Chris Evans and many fans immediately think of Captain America, and his killer physique. Evans has done an outstanding job giving Cap the heart, charisma, and soul needed to lead the Avengers. The fate of Chris Evans’ Captain America seems determined, though, and (spoiler alert) we won’t likely see him again for a while. We’ll miss Steve Rogers, but excited to see any and all future Chris Evans’ movies, especially after his great performance in films such as Gifted.
The Marvel franchise has plenty of Chris Evans appearances, and some good performances, but it doesn’t stop there. The actor has shown range, and his ability to embody different personas in a variety of film projects over the years. If you’re a diehard Chris Evans fan, then we’re sure you’ve seen all of these movies on this list, but if you’re a newer fan, then check out a few of Chris Evans’ lesser known roles.
In Gifted, Frank is trying to raise his seven-year-old niece Mary (McKenna Grace), a young math protege, on his own. He’s been kind of hiding her from the world until he finally enrolls her in school, and she starts to show off her gifts. Octavia Spencer, Lindsay Duncan, and Jenny Slate also star in Gifted.
Gifted is one of those rare movies where the entire cast has amazing on-screen chemistry--especially Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace. Their chemistry is what makes this such an endearing, funny, sweet, and compelling drama. Of all the Chris Evans performances I’ve seen (including all the Marvel movie ones), this is my favorite performance from him. Frank is complex, likable, sincere, and an enthralling character to watch.
Bong Joon-ho directed Snowpiercer, a science fiction film set in a world where Earth has completely frozen. To survive, humanity now lives on a non-stop train called the Snowpiercer. The train is divided among classes, and one day the lower-class decide to revolt, and Curtis leads that revolt.
Snowpiercer is one of Bong Joon-ho’s best pictures, and one of Chris Evans' best acting performances. The film is very action-packed--so it's action first, dialogue later (especially during the last hour). However, when the film does get some time to let the characters have these real human moments, they’re just as thrilling as the action scenes. Evans, in particular, gets some really strong moments which showcase the damage the class system has done to him, and everyone around him. It highlights the darkest parts of humanity, which makes Curtis so complex. He’s a hero that’s done some really terrible things to survive, but is trying to atone for them.
Sunshine is a scifi movie about the eight person crew of the Icarus II. It’s 2057, the sun is dying, and Earth is turning to ice. The crew must get to the sun to reignite it and return to earth. It’s not long before they encounter a major issue that just spirals from there. Sunshine is an action-filled film that, once it gets rolling, really takes you on a heart-stopping, life-threatening adventure.
Sunshine has an ensemble cast that includes Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, and Benedict Wong--yup basically a whole lot of Marvel and DC actors. And that’s fitting because this movie feels like a training ground for Evans’ Captain America. Mace is a lot like Cap in his mission-driven attitude and approach, but Cap shows a lot more humanity than Mace. Mace knows that what they’re doing is greater than him and everyone on board, and he’s willing to make the necessary sacrifices. This determination and attitude makes him one of the most interesting crew members.
Before We Go (Nick)
Chris Evans starred in and directed Before We Go. If you enjoy those movies where characters spend the entire day walking around and getting to know each other, then this movie should be up your alley. It follows Nick and Brooke (Alice Eve) as they meet at a train station, then help each other deal with their romantic issues.
I love movies that involve just a day of exploring, talking, and falling in love, so Before We Go is an interesting addition to that genre. It’s setup in a way that, logically, probably won’t end in a happily ever after for this pair. However, it’s less about them ending up together, and more about their journey as individuals and as a duo. Movies like this only work if the leads are complex and have enough chemistry to carry the plot. Luckily, Evans is shamefully charming in this movie.
The Iceman (Robert “Mr. Freezy” Pronge)
Set from the mid-1960s through the 1980s, The Iceman tells the story of Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon), a contract killer for the mob, and details his rise and fall as a very dangerous hitman. Chris Evans, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and David Schwimmer also appear in The Iceman.
Evans plays Freezy, Kuklinski’s partner at a point and fellow hitman. It’s a darker role for Evans, and he brings his own brand of fast talking, immoral, criminal charm to the role. Mr. Freezy doesn’t have a code, and no job is too harsh. He’s dedicated to his job and his job only. Michael Shannon is the star of this film, and while he is great in The Iceman, Evans certainly holds his own in their scenes together.
After sleeping with her 20th man, Ally vows to not add another number to her conquest list. Instead, she enlists womanizer and next door neighbor Colin to help her track down her exes to see if maybe one of them is "the one." Evans does playboy, kind of slimy dude characters very well, and he manages to create a character who makes you roll your eyes, but whom you also root for by the end.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Lucas Lee)
Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) must battle the seven exes of his current girlfriend, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), in this film directed by Edgar Wright, which includes Kieran Culkin, Brie Larson, Brandon Routh, and Anna Kendrick.
Lucas Lee is one of these exes, from Ramona's high school days, who's now a famous actor known for playing action heroes. Evans plays an over-the-top comic book-style villain, and this is a fun character to see Evans portray. Lucas Lee has terrible cartoonishly villainous ways: he is egotistical, braggadocious, boastful, and just not awesome. And, you can’t wait for Scott to outshine and defeat him in battle.
Not Another Teen Movie (Jake)
If you watch and love teen movies of the '80s and '90s, then you probably recognize many or all of the films parodied in Not Another Teen Movie. The film follows all the cliches, character tropes, and cheesy lines from some of the best teen movies ever. Not Another Teen Movie’s cast includes Chyler Leigh, Jaime Pressly, and Eric Christian Olsen.
Chris Evans really plays up the high school jock character, clearly modeled after Freddie Prinze Jr.’s character in She’s All That and Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) from Sixteen Candles. He gives all the smoulder, stiffness, dark black hair, and strong jawline that makes these characters great. Not Another Teen Movie is extremely goofy and Evans fully embraces that part of his character.
While great films and wonderful Chris Evans performances like those in Knives Out weren’t mentioned, we’re excited to see how Chris Evans continues to evolve as an actor and creative professional, no matter the size of the part or the movie that it's in. Hopefully, many more interesting roles are yet to come.