The Voices is probably a Ryan Reynolds movie you haven’t even heard of. It had a very limited theatrical release in 2015 but was mostly relegated to video-on-demand services. It’s not hard to see why a movie like The Voices got quietly shuffled away. It’s a dark story about a serial killer as told through his perspective. Plus, it’s mixing a whole lot of tones such as black comedy, romance, horror, and legitimately disturbing drama. Yet in my mind there’s no question that The Voices is the best Ryan Reynolds movie.
Five years after its release, The Voices is a movie I still find myself returning to every so often. What is it about this twisted little tale that deserves special recognition? Here’s why it’s the best Ryan Reynolds movie.
Why The Voices Is Great
For this to be the best Ryan Reynolds movie, one of the obvious bright spots of The Voices is leading man would have to be Ryan Reynolds, and he is. Mostly known for loveable and charming characters, Reynolds is given a chance to take those qualities and examine the potentially darker facets of them. His character, Jerry, is soft-spoken, unassuming, socially awkward, sweethearted, and completely delusional. He believes that his pet dog and cat both talk to him, and it’s revealed that Jerry’s mother also heard voices which she ascribed to angels.
These grim elements are played with deft control by Reynolds. He grasps the tone of the piece so well and that’s kind of miraculous. The Voices is a movie that’s likely to turn a lot of people off because of its varied tones, but Reynolds anchors the whole endeavor with a performance that is arguably the best in his entire career. Jerry ends up doing some monstrous things in the movie, but Reynolds maintains a sympathy to the character that’s vital. If not for Reynolds’s performance, The Voices would probably be too vicious to enjoy on any level.
Thankfully, director Marjane Satrapi understands how to best shape the world of Michael R. Perry’s script. Considering that the film is positioned from Jerry’s perspective, we experience the world through his mind. This means that the sets, costumes, and even characters all get filtered through Jerry’s warped lens. Eventually, this leads to a shocking moment where all of our preconceived notions about Jerry’s life are thrown out the window. Satrapi and Perry’s tight control over the pace of the story makes a world of difference in a story like this.
Even though this is the best Ryan Reynolds movie, some people just won’t click with The Voices‘ distorted sense of humor, those that do will be immensely rewarded. This is a movie that ends with a giant dance number whose ensemble includes Jesus himself. It’s a film where Ryan Reynolds admires an Asian Elvis impersonator. And the wacky vocal performance from Reynolds as Jerry’s pets, Mr. Whiskers and Bosco, are worth the price of admission. Admittedly, selling a movie like this as a comedy does it a big disservice, but its comedic components do work when they show up.
Otherwise, this is a tragedy through and through. Jerry’s backstory ends up being utterly devastating and his mental deterioration is nothing short of heartbreaking. Even though Jerry ends up turning to murder, the film is able to remind us that he is a victim of his own instability and a system that doesn’t prioritize mental health care. There is no denying that The Voices is a bummer of a film, and that’s not necessarily what alot of people want or expect out of a film starring Ryan Reynolds.
Speaking of that…
Why Ryan Reynolds’ Best Movie Is Unfairly Overlooked
It may be the best Ryan Reynolds movie, but as already mentioned, The Voices is not a feel-good movie by any definition. It’s unavoidably dark and disturbing, but it’s also attempting to be wacky and kind of goofy. It’s a tonal blend that most people just aren’t going to vibe with. Obviously, the distributors of the film thought so and that’s one of the reasons they decided to quietly release it with very little fanfare. So, a big reason The Voices is unfairly overlooked is because it was never given a profile that would get it noticed by a lot of people.
However, The Voices is the kind of movie that is never going to hit with a mainstream audience. Its extremely unsettling subject material mixed with its tonal shifts means it’s designed to be for a select crowd. Honestly, it’s refreshing to watch movies like The Voices and be reminded that entertainment doesn’t have to be crafted for everyone.
Still, the talent involved with The Voices should pique the interest of a few normies. The cast also includes notable actors like Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick. Both are exceptional in the film and get to shine in more outright comedic roles as the movie progresses. And the filmmaking from Satrapi is undeniably well-executed.
Essentially, The Voices is unfairly overlooked because it was mostly buried on release and it’s a specific brand of wicked that a majority of people just won’t buy into. That’s a real shame because it features a multi-faceted performance from Ryan Reynolds that stands as my favorite in his entire body of work. It’s a funny, sad, moving, and ultimately affirming little yarn about loneliness, love, depression, and being different from everyone else. It also has Ryan Reynolds as an evil cat. That makes it the best Ryan Reynolds movie. Sounds like a movie worth checking out.