To me, Jeremy Renner is just plain exceptional. I first took notice of him in a couple of independent movies only a few years ago, but already he has joined the ranks of Leo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ryan Gosling as one of my favorite actors of my time. I think that’s saying alot for a man who has struggled in the acting game for so long and has only just began to have his big break in Hollywood around the age of 40. He’s comes across so intense, so focused, and so consumed with his characters that you get lost in them too. He has consistently churned out some many really powerful performances in such a short time, it’s incredible. He is definitely one my list of actors I hope to meet one day. I only hope that he doesn’t get too “Hollywood” and stick close to the independent roots that have served him so well. So here’s to Jeremy Renner and his many great futures performances I’m anticipating (Bourne Legacy!). I give you my top five favorite Jeremy Renner performances to date. I highly suggest anyone of these movies for your viewing pleasure.
#5: The Avengers (2012)
I just saw this movie this weekend, and while it can be said that Renner didn’t have a big role as Hawkeye in this box office giant, he was credible as a loner and trained assassin, intensely determined, and created for his enigmatic character enough intrigue that I wouldn’t mind seeing in a Hawkeye (and Black Widow) sequel (or maybe more aptly, a prequel).
#4: Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol (2010)
Enter semi-suave Jeremy Renner as an IMF agent initially posing as an mild-mannered analyst. He was a great on-screen match for Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, holding his own against this iconic character. For me, he brought the cool and the ease that balanced out the group dynamic and was probably the best thing the film had going for it.
#3: The Hurt Locker (2009)
It takes alot to convince me to see a war movie but Jeremy Renner did it. A well deserved Oscar nomination for Renner as the cocky, reckless, and sometimes one-man-show of a three-man bomb disposal team. Renner had all the bravado this character required and perfectly fuels the tension in the group. He also convincingly gave his character depth as a family man whose biggest fault is only falling too much in love with the thrill of dismantling bombs.
#2: Take (2007)
This was the first Renner movie I had the pleasure of watching, which still stands out for me as one of his most touching and vulnerable performances to date. The movie examines all sides of the death penalty debate as a struggling mother (Minnie Driver) must come face to face with the gambling addict (Renner), who is tragically responsible for the death of her son years earlier. As a little Tribeca festival independent film, I feel it did a lot prove that Renner can extend himself beyond the action hero. Renner thoughtful plays a man struggling to deal with his actions and seek forgiveness before it’s too late.
#1: The Town (2010)
Again Renner is cast as the side-kick, this time to Ben Affleck. And yet again, he stole the show for me. In this crime drama, they both belong to a group of four criminals who Affleck never quite lives up to the viciousness afforded to his character while Renner fully commits. He dangerous, cunning, and destructive. He embodied the look and feel of a modern-day harden Boston gangster that was unlike anything I’ve seen in awhile. This was a definitely Oscar-nomination well deserved.