He is known for his roles in the films Jackie Brown (1997), Magnolia (1999), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), and Walking Tall (2004). Bowen also had a recurring role as Danny Pickett on the ABC television series, Lost.
Bowen comes from an acting family. His parents are actress Sonia Sorel (née Henius; 1921–2004) and Beat painter Michael Bowen. He is half-brother to the actors Robert and Keith Carradine.
He played Agent Mark Dargus in Jackie Brown (1997), the partner of ATF agent Ray Nicolette. The film was directed by Quentin Tarantino.
He played pushy father Rick Spector in Magnolia (1999).
He played the hospital orderly and rapist Buck in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), again directed by Tarantino.
He played corrupt sheriff Stan Watkins in the action film Walking Tall (2004).
He played the security chief Danny Pickett in Lost, a recurring guest starring role that spanned the second and third seasons and lasted from 2006 into 2007.
He played Morton in the remake of the 1972 film, The Last House on the Left, in 2009. His character, Morton, is brutally murdered by Paul's character, Francis, along with a gang of psychopaths.