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Top 30: Favorite Actors

Criteria (in order of importance)
1. How much does their presence in a movie effect my willingness to watch it. Even if a movie doesn't look great, am I still going to check it out based on them being in it.
2. How interested am I in the movies that they choose to take a role in? Are they using their clout in Hollywood to get some interesting bad ass films made, or are they just taking the big paychecks and kicking out crap studio flicks
3. Acting skills.

Here are the actors that almost made the cut, unfortunatly I had to cut this list off eventually - Tom Hanks, Chris Evans (Only because of Sunshine), Kurt Russel, John C Reilly, Tim Roth, Michael Keaton, Woody Harrelson, Val Kilmer, Jeff Goldblum, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mickey Rourke.

30. Al Pacino
Al Pacino

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Michael Corleone (The Godfather), 2. Tony Montana (Scarface) 3. Carlito 'Charlie' Brigante (Carlito's Way) 4. John Milton (The Devil's Advocate) 5. Lt. Vince Hanna (Heat)

He's been overacting for the last couple decades, which is why he's so low here.

29. George Clooney
George Clooney

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Out of Sight (Jack Foley), 2. Danny Ocean (Ocean's Eleven), 3. Ryan Bingham (Up In the Air), 4. Harry Pfarrer (Burn After Reading), 5. Everett (O Brother, Where Art Though?)

I think he's got a lot more range than people give him credit for, and he almost exclusively works on cool projects.

28. Robert Deniro
Robert Deniro

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver), 2. Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull), 3. Max Cady (Cape Fear), 4. Rupert Pupkin (The King of Comedy), 5. Vito Coleone (The Godfather: Part II)

Probably the hardest actor on this list to narrow down to just 5 great roles. He's got the best body of work of any living actor. The reason he's so far down is his last great role happenned over 10 years ago and I'm trying to keep things contemporary.

27. Hiroyuki Sanada
Hiroyuki Sanada

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Seibei Iguchi (The Twilight Samurai), 2. Kaneda (Sunshine), 3. Ujio (The Last Samurai), Momochi Takamaru (Shogun's Ninja), Jotaro Fuefuki (Ninja Wars)

I've seen a few of his early action heavy roles, nothing from the middle of his carreer, and most of his more recent international and hollywood work. Really great at playing a stoic, silent, badass types.

26. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Maverick (Top Gun), 2. Frank T. J. Mackey (Magnolia), 3. Vincent (Collateral), 4. David Ames (Vanilla Sky), 5. Les Grossman (Tropic Thunder)

Deserves a lot more credit than he receives for getting lots of sweet movies made and taking on a variety of different, interesting roles.

25. Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig

5 Favorite Roles - James Bond (Casino Royale), 2. XXXX (Layer Cake), 3. Steve (Munich), 4. Connor Rooney (Road to Perdition), 5. Tuvia Belski (Defiance)

Best bond since Connery, even has potential to one day pass him by.

24. Sly Stallone
Sly Stallone

5 Favorite Roles - 1. John J Rambo (First Blood), 2. Rocky Balboa (Rocky), 3. Freddy Heflin (Copland), 4. Lt. Raymond Tango (Tango & Cash), 5. Gabe Walker (Cliffhanger)

Only person to make it onto my favourite directors as well as favourite actors list. He's got the total package.

23. Sam Jackson
Sam Jackson

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction), 2. Lazarus (Black Snake Moan), 3. Elijah Price (Unbreakable), 4. Ordell Robbie (Jackie Brown), 5. Mitch Henessey (The Long Kiss Goodnight)

Puts out a lot of crap, but mixes in enough nuggets of gold to keep me happy. And even much of the crap he's in, his presence makes those films a lot more fun.

22. Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Lester Bangs (Almost Famous), 2. Scotty J. (Boogie Nights), 3. Allen (Happiness), 4. Dean Trumbell (Punch Drunk Love), 5. Caden Cotard (Synecdoche, New York)

Probably number 1 on a lot of people's lists, and I can certainly see the justification. I don't doubt his acting skills. The reason he's not higher here is mainly his choice of films aren't always my cup of tea. Lots of arty dramas, almost zero action films (except Mission Impossible: III).

21. Ed Norton
Ed Norton

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Derek Vinyard (American History X), 2. The Narrator (Fight Club), 3. Harlan (Down in the Valley), 4. Aaron (Primal Fear), Monty Brogan (The 25th Hour)

Was in his artistic prime roughly 10 years ago, maybe getting a little too serious in recent years. Regardless, he's always awesome in whatever he decides to do.

20. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Raoul Douke (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), 2. Edward Scissorhands (Edward Scissorhands), 3. Ed Wood (Ed Wood). 4. Cry-Baby (Cry-Baby), 5. William Blake (Dead Man)

Represtents a pretty sweet filmography. Slowed down a little in recent years, but still always gives it his all and brings something interesting to all his roles.

19. Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Jeffrey Lebowski - The Dude (The Big Lebowski), 2. Bad Blake (Crazy Heart), 3. Jack Lucas (The Fisher King), 4. Kevin Flynn/Clu (TRON), 5. Lightfoot (Thunderbolt and Lightfoot)

Seems like a reasonably massive hippy in real life, probably why he's so great at playing musicians and slackers.

18. Bill Murray
Bill Murray

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Herman Blume (Rushmore), 2. Bob Harris (Lost in Translation), 3. Dr. Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters), 4. Phil (Groundhog Day), 5. Tripper (Meatballs)

The master of dry comedy.

17. Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood

5 Favorite Roles - Harry Calahan (Dirty Harry), Blondie (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), 3. William Bill Munny (Unforgiven), 4. Franki Dunn (Million Dollar Baby), 5. Josey Wales (Oulaw Josey Wales)

The OG badass.

16. Matt Damon
Matt Damon

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity), 2. Mark Whitacre (The Informant!), 3. Colin Sullivan (The Departed), 4. Will Hunting (Good Will Hunting), 5. Linus Caldwell (Ocean's Eleven)

He and Dicaprio are kind of on a similar wavelength for me. I think Leo's got a little more pull in hollywood and can maybe get some better films made, but they could almost be interchangeable on this list.

15. Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio

5 Favorite Roles - Teddy Daniels (Shutter Island), Billy Costigan (The Departed), 3. Arnie Grape (What's Eating Gilbert Grape), 4. Amsterdam Vallon (Gangs of New York), 5. Danny Archer (Blood Diamond)

His skills are increasing as he ages. I quite disliked him early in his career - a little too much of a pretty boy, but he's competently played a number of badasses more recently. And it doesn't hurt that he exclusively works with the cream of the crop of hollywood directors.

14. Joseph Gordon Levitt
Joseph Gordon Levitt

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Neil (Mysterious Skin), 2. Brendan (Brick), 3. Chris Pratt (The Lookout), 4. Richie (Killshot), 5. Rex Lewis/Cobra Commander (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)

Always involved in interesting films, has serious potential to move up higher on the list in the coming years.

13. Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Sam Bell (Moon), 2. Chuck Barris (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), 3. Zaphod Beeblebrox (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), 4. Glenn Marchand (Snow Angels), 5. Bronco/Brutus (Gentlemen Broncos)

Always good, and hooks up roles in a nice mix of indie and mainstream films.

12. Kurt Russell
Kurt Russell
5 Favorite Roles - 1. Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China), 2. Snake Plissken (Escape from New York/LA), 3. Stuntman Mike (Death Proof), 4. R.J. MacReady (The Thing), 5. Wyatt Earp (Tombstone)

Maybe the most naturally charsimatic actor on the list. Also incredible at playing a sarcastic smartass.

11. Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood), 2. Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting (Gangs of New York), 3. Hawkeye (Nathaniel Poe) (The Last of the Mohicans), 4. Christy Brown (My Left Foot), 5. Danny Flynn (The Boxer)

Possibly the best acting skills of anyone here. Not exactly a workoholic though.

10. Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Count Dracula/Vlad III Draculea (Bram Stoker's Dracula), 2. Stansfield (Leon: The Professional), 3. Jackie Flannery (State of Grace), 4. Sirius Black (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), 5. Rolfe (Tiptoes)

No one plays a slightly unhinged asshole quite like Gary.

9. Clive Owen
Clive Owen

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Jack Manfred (Croupier), 2. Theo Faron (Children of Men), 3. Dalton Russel (Inside Man), 4. Larry (Closer), 5. The Driver (BMW Films)

Only Englishman slicker than James Bond.

8. Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Bobby Peru (Wild at Heart), 2. Max Schreck (Shadow of the Vampire), 3. Eric 'Rick' Masters (To Live and Die in L.A.), 4. Klaus Daimler (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), 5. Jesus (The Last Temptation of Christ)

Can do it all. Takes on lots of bizarre roles, and is always amazing at inhabiting them.

7. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Max (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior), 2. Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon), 3. William Wallace (Braveheart), 4. Porter (Payback), 5. Thomas Craven (Edge of Darkness)

Has been pretty steadily great his whole career. No one plays extreme emotion as well as him - mainly crazy, angry, or distraught.

6. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Tyler Durden (Fight Club), 2. Mickey O'Neil (Snatch), 3. Detective David Mills (Se7en), 4. Jeffery Goines (12 Monkeys), 5. Lt. Aldo Raine (Inglourious Basterds)

His track record of films since he gained some pull in hollywood has been pretty amazing. Uses his clout for the forces of good - to get awesome movies made.

5. Nic Cage
Nic Cage

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Sailor Ripley (Wild at Heart), 2. H.I. McDunnough (Raising Arizona), 3. Charlie Kaufman/Donald Kaufman (Adaptation), 4. Peter Loew (Vampire's Kiss), 5. Roy Waller (Matchstick Men)

I'vea already posted about my Nic Cage love in listing his top 10 films. The master of 'mega' acting.

4. Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Anton Chigurh (No Country for Old Men), 2. Ramon Sampedro (The Sea Inside), 3. Benito Gonzalez (Golden Balls), 4. Romeo Dolorosa (Dance With the Devil), 5. David (Live Flesh)

I need to catch up more with his older spanish output because everything I've seen of his he's been a force of nature in.

3. Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck

5 Favorite Roles - Jim (Lonesome Jim), Patrick Kenzie (Gone Baby Gone), Robert Ford (The Assassinatino of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Virgil Malloy (Ocean's Thirteen), Chris (The Last Kiss)

All the movies listed are the grand total of films I've seen him in (Not counting the Ocean's sequels), and I recognize that it doesn't seem right to put him this high on the list, but of anyone on here I think he has the brightest future. He seems to be reasonably picky about choosing roles, and has a solid presence in all the films I've seen him in. I've got a feeling that in a few years this placement will be justified.

2. Benicio Del Toro
Benicio Del Toro

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Dr. Gonzo (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), 2. The Way of the Gun (Mr. Longbaugh), 3. Javier Rodriguez (Traffic), 4. Fred Fenster (The Usual Suspects), 5. Che (Ernesto Che Guevara)

Hasn't exactly been tearing it up like he used to (Around the late 90's he couldn't be touched), I suspect he has at least a few classic roles left in him.

1. Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen

5 Favorite Roles - 1. Tom Stall (A History of Violence), 2. Nikolai (Eastern Promises), 3. Aragorn (The Lord of the Rings), 4. Man (The Road), 5. Everett Hitch (Appaloosa)

Probably on the hottest streak of anyone on the list. Everything he's starred in as of late has been great, and he's been a complete badass in each of those films.
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