Sebastian Stan’s Best Movies, Ranked

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Sebastian Stan’s Best Movies, Ranked
Sebastian Stan’s Best Movies, Ranked


Sebastian Stan’s career has seen him grow from having small roles in major movies to becoming a supporting player who steals the show to a legitimate star in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. After appearing in films like The Covenant and The Education of Charlie Banks, Stan broke out with a recurring role on Gossip Girl as Carter Baizen, followed by parts in Once Upon a Time and Political Animals. It was in 2011 that he landed the role that changed his life going forward, portraying Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger, a character he’s still playing today.

Based on his recent projects, Stan appears to be fighting his MCU image. But the superhero franchise made Stan a recognizable face and allowed him to play a layered character, leading to him landing more prominent roles. Over the years, Stan has remained a pivotal part of the MCU franchise and scored several major awards nominations. Of note, Stan made appearances in critically-acclaimed movies like Black Swan and Black Panther though those are only single-scene roles in Oscar-winning movies that barely feature him. It all comes together to give Stan an impressive resume of well-received movies that is still growing as he becomes more successful.

RELATED: Who Did Sebastian Stan Play In Black Swan?


11/11 Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger tells the origin story of Steve Rogers set in the 1940s as he gets the super-soldier serum and becomes a superhero. Stan plays an important role as Steve’s best friend Bucky Barnes, who fights alongside him before tragically falling to his death near the end. Many consider Captain America the best MCU trilogy, and like the majority of the franchise’s films, Captain America; The First Avenger received positive reviews, including seven Saturn Award nominations. Stan and Evans immediately showed their strong on-screen chemistry and the action sequences were praised, but this entry in the trilogy features the least amount of Stan as Bucky.

10/11 Destroyer (2018)

Sebastian Stan in Destroyer

The neo-noir crime drama film Destroyer stars Nicole Kidman as Erin Bell, an undercover police officer who goes on a vigilante spree against gang members after a case is blown. While Toby Kebbel and Tatiana Maslany have more prominent roles, Stan has high billing as Erin’s former partner and FBI agent, Chris, with whom she also had a romantic relationship. Destroyer is grittier than Stan’s MCU movies, and it really allows him to show his range. However, the film mostly flew under the radar, though it did have critical praise and earned Kidman a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Drama.

9/11 The Devil All The Time (2020)

Sebastian Stan in The Devil All the Time

Based on the novel of the same name by Donald Ray Pollock, The Devil All the Time is a psychological thriller that proved to be a big hit for Netflix, as it was one of the most watched straight-to-streaming movies of 2020 (Variety). Taking place in 1960s Ohio, the story follows several intertwining characters including Lee Bodecker (Stan), a dirty cop, and Preston Teagardin (Robert Pattinson), a charming yet sinister preacher. The Devil All the Time is also one of Tom Holland’s best movies, as Stan’s MCU co-star plays Arvin Russell, the film’s protagonist. With a 7.1 rating on IMDb, this is one of the highest-rated movies of Stan’s career.

8/11 Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Bucky smiles at Steve in Avengers Infinity War

At the time, Avengers: Infinity War was the biggest movie in the MCU. The film sees members of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy come together to try and stop the Mad Titan Thanos from collecting the six Infinity Stones and wiping out half of all life in the universe. Along with strong reviews, Infinity War was a massive box office hit, bringing in over $2 billion (via Box Office Mojo). Stan’s role in this action epic is relatively small since there are so many characters included but a key part in Bucky’s MCU timeline is dying from Thanos’s snap.

RELATED: Chris Evans & Sebastian Stan’s Friendship Vs Cap & Bucky’s: Which Is Strongest?

7/11 Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Bucky and Steve hugging in Endgame

A year after the cliffhanger ending of Infinity War, Marvel fans got their conclusion in Avengers: Endgame, which managed to be even bigger. This installment has the surviving heroes of Thanos’ actions going on a heist through time to gather the Infinity Stones and bring everyone back, while a Thanos from 2014 opposes them. Like its predecessor, this was a huge hit grossing nearly $3 billion (via Box Office Mojo) and holding a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Bucky returns during the climactic battle against Thanos’s army, gives an emotional goodbye to Steve, and accepts Sam as the new Cap, which sets up The Falcon and the Winter Soldier TV series.

6/11 Fresh (2022)

Steve and Noa dancing in Fresh

After years of playing the anti-hero Bucky Barnes, Stan has taken on roles that are purely villainous with the most wicked being Steve/Brendan in Fresh, one of 2022’s best horror films. The Hulu original movie starts off as a romantic comedy where Steve woos Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) only to take a horrific twist when it’s revealed that he’s a butcher of human meat who kidnaps Noa to sell her body parts to rich cannibals. Fresh was a critical success and became a pop culture hit that has a strong 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a lot of the praise going toward Stan and Edgar-Jones’ performances.

5/11 Logan Lucky (2017)

NASCAR driver Dayton White smiling

After four years away from directing, acclaimed filmmaker Steven Soderbergh came out of retirement to helm Logan Lucky. The heist comedy tells the story of a family that attempts to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a NASCAR race. With an outstanding 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Logan Lucky’s success led to Soderbergh making several more movies in the years that followed. While the impressive cast sees Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, and Adam Driver play members of the Logan family, Stan is among the scene stealers as Dayton White, a NASCAR driver obsessed with fitness and being prepared for his races.

4/11 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Steve fends off Bucky in Captain America The Winter Soldier.

Non-comic book readers didn’t expect Stan to return for Captain America: The Winter Soldier but he did in a big way. The sequel reveals that Bucky is not only alive but has been brainwashed and works as a super-soldier assassin dubbed the Winter Soldier, who is the film’s main antagonist. Stan had more material to work with than in the first movie, and Bucky’s relationship with Steve was moved to the forefront. Due to its political thriller aspects, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is widely considered one of the best MCU movies while also introducing key characters like Sam Wilson and Wanda Maximoff to the franchise.

RELATED: Bucky’s “Happy Ending” Means An Avengers Return Would Be A Mistake

3/11 The Martian (2015)

Chris Beck lying down and giving side-eye in The Martian

Stan is often at his best when working alongside other great actors in an ensemble piece which was the case with Ridley Scott’s The Martian. Based on a novel of the same name by Andy Weir, the film centers around astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) who is left behind alone on Mars after his crew believes he died. Although Damon doesn’t share many scenes with other actors, Stan works with Jessica Chastain, Michael Peña, and more as Dr. Chris Beck, a member of the team in space. The Martian grossed over $600 million (via Box Office Mojo) and won the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy.

2/11 Captain America: Civil War (2016)

A tired Bucky Barnes talking in Captain America Civil War

While the Civil War in the MCU is about team members having differing opinions on the Sokovia Accords, the emotional crux of Captain America: Civil War is the bond between Steve and Bucky. Steve ultimately risks everything, fights against his friends, and becomes a fugitive on the run by the end of the film, all to protect Bucky. Stan gets to show different sides of Bucky as he deals with the consequences of his brainwashed actions in this movie, which surpassed $1 billion at the box office (via Box Office Mojo) and sets up the future of the MCU with new characters and the split of the Avengers.

1/11 I, Tonya (2017)

Jeff Gillooly looking worried in I, Tonya

In I, Tonya, Stan gets to play a totally different kind of character as Jeff Gillooly, the real-life husband of controversial figure skater Tonya Harding, played by Margot Robbie in one of her best movies. The film takes a comedic approach to the story of Harding’s life and the attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan ahead of the 1994 Winter Olympics. Gillooly is an abusive and manipulative husband, giving Stan a new kind of villain to play. I, Tonya was nominated for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes (losing to Lady Bird), while Stan held his own beside multi-award nominees Robbie and Allison Janney.

MORE: Why Sebastian Stan Doesn’t Play Young Luke Skywalker


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