At 12, Goodman quit school and started living on the streets. He sold drugs, married young, and served time in prison for his criminal activity. It was not until he saw Brian's Song that Goodman made a decision to become an actor. However, when Goodman came out of prison, he would steal from drug dealers. After deciding what he was going to do with his life, he went on an audition for a low-budget film called Southie with Donnie Walhberg. Goodman also began writing.
In 2008, Goodman co-wrote (with Donnie Wahlberg) and directed the Ethan Hawke/Mark Ruffalo film What Doesn't Kill You. Goodman has also had recurring and guest-starring roles in a number of different films and television series, including all thirteen episodes of Line of Fire (as Donovan Stubbin) and three episodes of Lost as Ryan Pryce.
Some of his other appearances include 2001 film The Last Castle, 2006 film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, two episodes of 24 and a recurring role on the first two seasons of Rizzoli & Isles.
His recurring role on Rizzoli & Isles led to him becoming a main cast member starting with the season 3 premiere. Goodman departed the main cast at the end of season 4, but has since made 3 guest appearances in season 5. He has not appeared in seasons 6 and 7.