10 Best Josh Brolin Movies
Josh Brolin is a talented actor. While he’s best known for his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Thanos — he has many other great characters under his belt. He has become a fixture of movies made by the Coen Brothers in the past decade-plus, starring in No Country for Old Men, followed by True Grit and Hail, Caesar! He’s worked with other auteurs of the modern era like Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice) and Denis Villeneuve (Sicario). Indeed, Brolin has had quite a career — and he shows no sign of slowing down. He has a wealth of great roles in great films. Below you’ll find the creme de la creme of his body of work.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
In the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men, Brolin plays Llewelyn Moss, a man who comes into a windfall of cash and heroin. As a result, he finds himself in the middle of a cat-and-mouse chase between Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) and killer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) — though who is the cat and who is the mouse is unclear. The film is widely considered to be a modern masterpiece.
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Inherent Vice (2014)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel Inherent Vice tells the story of a drug-addicted private investigator named “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) in Los Angeles, 1970. He finds himself amidst a conspiracy when he takes on a case as a favor to his ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay (Katherine Waterston). Brolin plays “Bigfoot” Bjornsen, a detective for the LAPD with whom Doc frequently crosses paths. Inherent Vice is a big confounding and often necessitates a second viewing but it is infinitely watchable as well.
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True Grit (2010)
The Coen brothers’ remake of the 1969 John Wayne-starring film, Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) is a fourteen-year-old girl whose father is murdered by the outlaw Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). She hires a heavy-drinking U.S. Marshal named “Rooster” Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to help her hunt Chaney down. True Grit is a truly great western — and one of the few reboots to achieve a level of greatness above its predecessor.
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In Sicario, an unseasoned FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is placed on a joint task force along the Mexican-American border with a CIA officer (Brolin) and a mysterious independent contractor (Benicio del Toro). While there, she finds the line between right and wrong shifting and blurring all the time. With a great story by rising star Taylor Sheridan and the talented Denis Villeneuve behind the camera — Sicario is easily one of Brolin’s best and one of the best of 2015.
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Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Hail, Caesar! is the type of brilliant dark comedy we’ve come to expect from the Coens. Set in the heyday of the McCarthyism, Brolin plays protagonist “fixer” Eddie Mannix — whose job is to keep scandalous stories about the stars of his Hollywood studio from hitting the tabloids. Throughout the film, he has to resolve a number of interpersonal issues on and off set — namely the kidnapping of big star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) from the set of a Biblical epic called Hail, Caesar!
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The Goonies (1985)
The classic adventure film about a crew of foul-mouthed kids who find a treasure map would be incomplete without Brolin as Brand Walsh, the meathead older brother of gang leader Mikey (Sean Astin). He is a fun addition to the Richard Donner-directed, Chris Columbus-written bunch of adolescent treasure-hunters.
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Gus Van Sant’s Milk tells the story of the brief political career of the first openly-gay government official in California, Harvey Milk. Sean Penn gives a moving performance as the eponymous Milk, while Brolin plays Dan White — another public figure, one who frequently butted heads with Milk, and would eventually assassinate him. Milk is one of Van Sant’s best.
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Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter (2018)
In Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter, a movie by Jody Hill — the mind behind Eastbound and Down, Vice Principals and Observe and Report — Brolin plays a father and deer hunter hoping to reconnect with his son. Like much of Hill’s stuff, it attempts to study a case of modern American masculinity — but is probably not his sharpest work to date.
Not yet available on Amazon.
Men in Black 3 (2012)
In the third Men in Black film, intergalactic immigration Agent J (Will Smith) has to go back in time to save his partner Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones)’s younger self (Brolin). Brolin is so pitch-perfect as a young Tommy Lee Jones that it makes one wonder if the story was written specifically with him in mind.
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Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
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