The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, has cast its villain The Riddler. Paul Dano may not be a household name, but he is a face you’ve seen in many acclaimed and popular movies like There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine, 12 Years A Slave and Looper. All those movies are available for rent and purchase on popular VOD services.
If you need to brush up on Paul Dano before he riddles Batman into a tizzy, many of his movies are streaming right now on Netflix, Showtime, Cinemax or even free with ads on Vudu. Here’s a guide to some choice Paul Dano movies, to which we’re sure his turn as The Riddler in The Batman will be added.
Paul Dano tries to save ‘Okja’ on Netflix
Korean director Bong Joon-ho made his English language debut with this Netflix original film. Okja was a super pig raised to breed and feed the world. Paul Dano plays the leader of the Animal Liberation Front, trying to free Okja from the abusive breeding farm and ultimate slaughter.
Okja was a parable for the abuses the meat industry perpetrates on animals. Dano joined an all star cast including Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, but it’s Okja’s relationship with little girl Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun) that will touch you heart and possibly make you a vegetarian.
There’s nothing quite like ‘Swiss Army Man’ on Netflix
Paul Dano plays Hank, a suicidal man on a deserted island, in Swiss Army Man. The swiss army man of the title is Daniel Radcliffe, a dead body whose gas propels Hank to safety. As Hank navigates the island, the body talks to him and provides him other resources in his adventure.
Swiss Army Man is a weird movie. When it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, many Harry Potter fans walked out. However, if you’re on board with its surreal dark comedy, Swiss Army Man is actually a touching film about loneliness.
Paul Dano is 1/2 of Brian Wilson in ‘Love & Mercy,’ free with ads on Vudu
The biography of Beach Boys singer/songwriter Brian Wilson features Wilson at two ages. Paul Dano plays young Brian Wilson and John Cusack plays older Brian Wilson, once he is under the care of corrupt Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti).
Dano exquisitely shows Wilson’s sensitivity and vulnerability in his creative process. Stories of Wilson’s recording session escapades are legend, and reproduced in this movie. However, success could be hard on someone so delicate. A moment in which Wilson is overwhelmed by common sounds is especially poignant to a man for whom sound is his lifeblood.
‘For Ellen’ is also for free with ads on Vudu
Paul Dano plays a divorced man fighting for custody of his daughter. For Ellen premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, but was more of a customary indie drama than his later Sundance film, Swiss Army Man.
Dano’s character drops a bombshell in the middle of the movie that changes everything. For Ellen is a slow burn, but if you can make it up to that point, you’ll see the whole film in a different light.
Paul Dano’s performance takes no ‘Prisoners’ on Cinemax
Paul Dano stands out in another all star cast in Prisoners. Hugh Jackman plays a father searching for his missing daughter. Dano plays the prime suspect in her disappearance, and when the police let him go, Jackman’s character takes matters into his own hands.
Prisoners is an intense film with no easy answers. Dano gives a chilling performance. Let’s hope he channels that as The Riddler. You’ll also see Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and more get emotional in this film.
Paul Dano directed ‘Wildlife,’ streaming on Showtime
Showtime, the premium cable network which aired Dano’s series Escape At Dannemora, is also streaming the film he directed. Dano co-wrote the adaptation of Richard Ford’s novel Wildlife with Zoe Kazan.
Wildlife is a coming of age story for teenager Joe (Ed Oxenbould) with his parents (Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan) in the ‘60s. Joe’s father takes a job fighting Montana forest fires, but the real fire may be in their family.