Top 5 Josh Brolin Roles

15 January 2020
M-Net Movies looks at five of Josh Brolin's best roles.
josh brolin thanos

When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we can’t contain our enthusiasm. We’ve looked at MCU Easter eggs. We’ve looked at MCU one-liners. We’ve looked at MCU greats like Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson. We even met members of the Black Panther cast. Now, since Avenges: Endgame is your Sunday night movie this weekend, we’re looking at Thanos; more specifically, the actor who plays him: Josh Brolin.

From debuting in what would become a movie classic to becoming the central villain in a massive movie franchise, Brolin has had a long and varied career. As always, narrowing down an illustrious filmography is no easy task. But we’re happy to do it when it means relooking at the performances of a great actor. Besides, we found a way to sneak in one or two more of Brolin’s roles.

Brandon “Brand” Walsh, The Goonies (1985)
As a director and producer, Richard Donner brought audiences a trove of entertaining gems in the ‘80s, including this fun-filled and booby-trapped treasure-hunting adventure flick. Brolin stars as the obnoxious older brother Brand to Sean Astin’s Mikey. As part of an endearing and charming ensemble, the seventeen-year-old Brolin secured his place in pop culture history long before Thanos came along.

Llewelyn Moss, No Country for Old Men (2007)
For his next spot on our list, we’re taking a leap forward…to the next century. But make no mistake, Brolin kept busy with top Hollywood talent until then, working with the likes of Guillermo del Toro, Paul Verhoeven, Woody Allen, and Robert Rodriguez. But it was with this gritty Western that Brolin found that coveted actor-director relationship that leads to constant collabs. Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men gave us a memorable cast of characters, including Brolin’s Moss. He delivers his performance with quiet intensity as he navigates the character’s moral complexities. His collaboration with the Coen brothers didn’t end there, and he would reteam with them for two completely different but equally brilliant performances, in True Grit and Hail, Caesar!

Dan White, Milk (2008)
Don’t think Thanos is the only time Brolin’s been villainous. He’s made quite a career out of playing the bad guy. However, part of his talent lies in distinguishing each performance so well. In this award-winning biopic, Brolin plays real-life assassin Dan White. But, as any good actor should (especially when taking on less sympathetic characters), Brolin does not deliver a one-note performance, but creates a character that lends credence to the real-life story.  

Lt. Det. Christian "Bigfoot" Bjornsen, Inherent Vice (2014)
This P.T. Anderson-directed pic is backed by a strong ensemble that includes Brolin. The actor’s knack for comedy often goes unappreciated – perhaps because he threads it so organically into his performance – and it’s on perfect display in this quirky noir based on Thomas Pynchon’s novel.

Thanos, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Brolin went mo cap for this madcap maniac. But, as is true of so many great villains, the character was more than just dastardly plans and maniacal cackling. With the help of Brolin’s performance, Thanos was elevated to the rank of great cinematic villain, joining the likes of Darth Vader and the Joker. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he was tasked with playing another comic book villain around the same time, portraying Cable in Deadpool 2. But in true Brolin style, he made each character memorable and mesmerising in his own way.

Watch Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, your Sunday night movie on 19 January at 20:05 on M-Net channel 101.