Let’s be honest here: Most of Hollywood is just pure garbage nowadays. Most writers can’t write good, original screenplays, most directors can’t direct anything better than B horror movies, and most actors just act like themselves (case in point: Tom Cruise). But that’s not to say that there aren’t still a few pros out there who murder every role they’re cast in. Let’s go through some of the actors that keep entertainment entertaining.
Gotta start off with the Hoff. Possibly my favorite actor of all time, Dustin Hoffman rose to prominence when he starred in 1967’s The Graduate…a film that is still awesome today. Why? Well, it’s about a recent college graduate who has an affair with a much older married lady, and then bangs her daughter as well. Sounds like every adolescent male’s sexual fantasy. The Hoff went half-retard and totally out-acted Tom Cruise in Rain Man to win an Oscar for best actor. He’s the most ballin’ Captain Hook that ever existed in 1991’s Hook. As much as I don’t wanna admit it, the dude even killed it in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. There’s a massive list of movies to choose from, and he’s the man in every single one (especially the original Straw Dogs, which I highly recommend).
Most people probably know Christian Bale from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but the truth is that those aren’t even close to being his best roles. #1, in my honest opinion, has got to be sociopath and serial killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. It was the role he was born to play, which makes sense considering that he’s known to fly off the handle and curse out dumbass crew members. He did Equilibrium, a lesser known dystopian thriller that is up there in my all-time favorites, and his career went nuts after Batman. The Prestige, another Chris Nolan flick, was nothing less than amazing, 3:10 To Yuma single-handedly brought the Western back to life (it also starred another actor on this list), and he most recently won an Oscar for best supporting actor in The Fighter. Need I say more?
This one is no-brainer. Ed Norton has the most hardcore list of movies under his belt, and a shit-ton of awards (no Oscars though, just nominations). He started out with a bang as “schizophrenic” altar boy Aaron Stampler in Primal Fear (Oscar nod). Then comes a sequence of amazing movies: Rounders, American History X (Oscar nod), the epic classic Fight Club (he seems to do split personalities pretty well, eh?), and Norton even showed his ability to do comedy in Keeping The Faith (which he also directed). He proved it again in the dark comedy Death to Smoochy. Dude grew out a goatee to play life-contemplating drug dealer Monty Brogan in Spike Lee’s The 25th Hour, and kept it for the role of the backstabbing douchebag villain in The Italian Job. He even killed it as the leper king Baldwin IV in Kingdom of Heaven, and you probably couldn’t even tell it was him behind the mask. His one misstep? Playing Bruce Banner in the umpteenth remake of The Incredible Hulk, which was mediocre at best, and made the good decision not to return for The Avengers.
John C. Reilly
Most people don’t even know that this “Step Brother” is a triple threat: singer, dancer, and actor. He began his career as a serious actor and theater performer, and somewhere along the way (most likely Talladega Nights) someone discovered he was also hilarious. He played a bunch of minor roles for a while: porn star Reed Rothchild in Boogie Nights, Dead Rabbit turncoat Happy Jack in Gangs of New York, was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor in Chicago, and he was even the Sasquatch in Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny. Talladega Nights set his comedy career off like a shotgun blast to the nuts, and Step Brothers is probably the role he’s best known for. But the diamond in all of this is Walk Hard: the only movie to this day that has made me laugh so hard that I fell out of my chair and rolled on the dirty movie theater floor. He sings, he plays guitar, he acts, he makes jokes. Dude is an all-around boss.
Otherwise known as god. No one can measure up to his stats: Oscar nods for best actor in Big, Saving Private Ryan, and Castaway, and Oscars for best actor in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump in back-to-back years. That’s not including a crapload of other roles that he totally made his bitch: he killed it as mega-sarcastic groom Rick in Bachelor Party, the movie that made donkey shows infamous. He played depressed, single father in the famous rom-com Sleepless in Seattle (borefest). He went into space when he played astronaut Jim Lovell in Apollo 13. Umm, he was Woody in Toy Story: nuff said. He was the douchebag corporate bookstore owner with a heart of gold in You’ve Got Mail. Paul Edgecomb from The Green Mile, anyone? Gangster Michael Sullivan, Sr. in Road To Perdition. FBI agent Carl Hanratty in Catch Me If You Can. If you can stand it, even Charlie Wilson’s War. The list goes on and on.
Every man reaches certain milestones throughout their lives and one of those is getting forced to watch The Notebook with their girlfriend. An awful experience except for two things: crazy post-movie sex and Ryan Gosling. There’s no other actor in Hollywood cool enough to do an art house indie flick, and action movie and a psychological thriller in the same year, and be badass in every single role.
His first big movie was Remember The Titans and it was all up the ladder from there. He’s always been all about the Indies, and although that means we don’t get to see him that often, we respect his artistic integrity even more. Even so, he’s still found the time to play awesome roles in Crazy Stupid Love, Drive and The Ides of March. I saw Ides last night, and if it’s worth anything, it made my year.
Leo’s come along way since Titanic, the biggest chick flick of all time, but even in that he snuck onto a luxury cruise, got a married girl to let him paint her naked and went down with the ship without even blinking an eye. There’s few actors in Hollywood that when I go see their movie, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m going to see a good movie. Leonardo Dicaprio is the reigning king of this principle. He literally does not accept a role unless he has a shot at an Oscar. Call it trophy hunting or call it excellent fucking taste, either way, Leo purposefully does no wrong. Look at his recent track record: Catch Me if You Can, The Aviator, The Departed, Inception! Look at his not-so-recent track record: The Basketball Diaries, The Man in The Iron Mask. Except for his little TV stint in the late 90’s, Leo’s resume is spotless.
One might say that getting into random fist fights and releasing an awful solo music album is doing something wrong. Not us, and for the record, he won that fight and the album isn’t so bad with a few glasses of wine and a long nap. Russel Crowe has earned his spot on this list and then some. He hung around the movie scene for a little while, never giving up on his badass image before starring in Gladiator, where he played a Roman Super Soldier who fights gladiators 3x his size and is un-defeatable. The movie won Best Picture, basically uncontested, and Crowe hasn’t lost a step since.
Whether he’s an underdog boxer or a high-strung cop taking on one of the biggest gangsters in New York history, he always seems to play that character that won’t compromise and can’t be taken down. I didn’t see Robin Hood, and I don’t plan on it, but I’m sure I’d enjoy it regardless of the bad script, poor historical illustration and/or pretentious plot. Headbutt anyone you want, Russ. We got your back.
It goes without saying that you could watch any movie starring Jim Carrey that’s ever come out, ever and be laughing hysterically no matter how many times you’ve seen it. Are movies like Dumb and Dumber, The Cable Guy and The Mask the greatest movies ever written? Nope. But for what they are, they are absolutely perfect and couldn’t be without Jim Carrey. What really impresses us about Jim though is how someone who will go down in history as thee comedic actor of a generation manages to transition so seamlessly to drama.
They put him along side Kate Winslet, an Oscar winner and dramatic legend in Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind and he matched her shot for shot. Then they put him in The Number 23, a horror movie, and while it wasn’t the best script, nobody could say Jim didn’t shine. I even saw Horton Hears A Who and The Grinch, movies meant for 10 year-olds. I laughed the whole time.
All of our actos thus far have been leading men. Nothing wrong with that. After all, leading men are usually the actors that rise to the top of the industry and are remembered years later. In Paul Giamatti’s case however, not so much. Giamatti has always been a side guy, a supporting actor as their called. Steve Buscemi was one before “Boardwalk Empire” and it’s not a stamp you usually lose. Being a supporting actor is one thing though and being the greatest supporting actor of all time is another. I don’t think many would dispute the fact that Paul Giamatti earns that honor.
He’s played complimentary roles in too many movies to count. Just off the top of my head: Private Parts, Planet Of The Apes, Sideways, Shoot Em Up. The list goes on though and I’ll refer you to IMDB for the rest. There’s some actors who have all the talent in the world but just aren’t pretty or manly enough to be on the cover of a DVD or get photographed kissing Paris Hilton in public. If anyone is going to honor this giant group of supporting actors, I’d like it to be our site. Paul Giamatti: Fantastic actor, king of the supporters.