Paul Rudd's 15 Best Movies, Ranked

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Paul Rudd can be charming, goofy, heroic, and more based on his excellent filmography. Beginning with his debut in Clueless, into his collaborations with Judd Apatow, and with him flexing his superhero chops in the MCU, Rudd is a chameleon that will improve pretty much any movie or show he turns up in. While Rudd has done some great work on the small screen with runs on shows like Reno 911!, Parks and Recreation, and plenty of cartoons as a voice actor, we'll be focusing on his film career for this roundup. These TK movies are some of Paul Rudd's best work across the many genres he's succeeded in.

Role Models (2008)

Role Models is a slam dunk goofy comedy flick that we don't get enough of nowadays. Rudd plays Danny, a jaded and misanthropic salesman who gets arrested alongside his friend and is sentenced to participate in a teen mentorship program for community service.

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Clueless (1995)

Rudd felt totally natural in the major supporting role of Josh Lucas, even though it was his major film debut. He and Alicia Silverstone's Cher Horowitz start the movie at each other's throats but sweetly grow to bond and form a romance.

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Ant-Man (2015)

Also helping pen the script for this MCU, Rudd brought the perfect balance of spunk and silliness to this part while also still being believable as a hero (though starting as a petty thief). This intro set the stage for Rudd to join the Avengers, and also continue the Ant-Man standalone films.

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I Love You, Man (2009)

Rudd is masterful as the straight man in this silly "bromantic" comedy, in which he plays Peter, a real estate agent who realizes he doesn't have any close male friends to be his best man when he becomes engaged. He eventually meets Sidney, played hilariously by Jason Segel, forming his first male friendship which slowly starts annoying his fiancé more and more.

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The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)

Steve Carell and Judd Apatow reportedly wrote Rudd's part of David specifically with him in mind. Rudd crushes it as David, who spearheads efforts to get Carell's character Andy to have sex for the first time while also trying to get back with his ex Amy. Rudd showed off his talents for improvisation in this film, always feeling natural whether he was reading scripted lines or riffing.

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The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

Rudd takes on a more challenging and dramatic role as Ben in The Fundamentals of Caring, a road movie where his character becomes a caregiver for an 18-year-old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Rudd and co-star Craig Roberts life up the movie with great chemistry, as most of the plot follows the two of them on a road trip together meeting new people along the way.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

While not a revolutionary experience, the Ant-Man movies are lots of fun, and this sequel to the original was no exception! Rudd feels even more comfortable as an action star here, Evangeline Lilly is great as Wasp, Walton Goggins is an excellent villain, and there are some awesome moments of filmmaking throughout that realize Ant-Man's shrinking powers.

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Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

In an ensemble packed with hilarious performances, Rudd holds his own as the field reporter and ladies' man Brian Fantana. He's not as immediately quotable as Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy or Steve Carell's Brick Tamland but it's still a great performance in great satirical comedy.

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Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Rudd can play a douchebag just as easily as a dreamboat, and he's hilarious among a bunch of comedic heavy-hitters as the obnoxious camp lifeguard Andy. Wet Hot American Summer achieved cult classic status after a lukewarm initial premiere, and gained traction enough that Netflix has released both a prequel and sequel miniseries for it (don't worry, you'll see more of Andy in both).

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Gen-Y Cops (2000)

Ant-Man wasn't Rudd's first time in an action film! A sequel to the Hong Kong action film Gen-X Cops, Gen-Y Cops doesn't take itself too seriously as a sci-fi romp and is all the better for it. When powerful robots from Hong Kong and America are targeted by weapons dealers while at a robotics convention in the former region, Rudd's FBI agent character Ian Curtis teams up with Hong Kong cops from the original movies to stop the plot. Come for Rudd's atypical blonde hair look, stay for the cheesy 2000s sci-fi shenanigans.

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This Is 40 (2012)

A spinoff starring the married Knocked Up characters Pete and Debbie, played by Rudd and the always-funny Leslie Mann, the movie looks at the challenges of married family life honestly while still remaining very goofy and silly. Writer/Director Judd Apatow's children, Maude and Iris Apatow are very good as Pete and Debbie's kids.

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Avengers: Endgame (2019)

It'd be tough for any actor to join the Avengers when fans are so used to mainstays like Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America, but Rudd fit in perfectly for the epic conclusion of the multi-year Avengers franchise. With half of the universe blinking out of existence at the end of Infinity War, the remaining Avengers scramble to undo Thanos' catastrophic snap.

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Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Baz Luhrmann's vibrant modernized adaptation of the classic Shakespeare tragedy isn't as high only because Rudd has a relatively small (but important) role. He played Dave Paris, the governor's son who becomes engaged to Juliet. It's wild to see a young Paull Rudd delivering Shakespeare lines, but he nails it.

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Our Idiot Brother (2011)

Our Idiot Brother is a sweet dramedy, where Rudd plays who else but Ned, the titular idiotic brother who crashes back into his three sisters' lives after being kicked off his farm by his girlfriend. Rudd charms in the role, even if the plot is slightly meandering and aimless at times.

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Knocked Up (2007)

Honestly, Knocked Up is pretty overrated compared to the rest of the Judd Apatow oeuvre. It's overlong, the characters aren't quite lovable but also not that fun to hate either, but the cast of Apatow regulars still inject charm into the experience. Rudd's character, Pete, is explored more deeply in This Is 40, but still has some hilarious scenes that make us understand why he and Leslie Mann's Debbie could have their own story.

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