Top 10 Best actors living today

And now, for your reading and debating pleasure, I’d like to present my top 10 list of best actors living today. Fell free to leave your comments to let me know who you didn’t think should be on it, or who you thought I left out. Although this list is a subjective one, I’m always right. :)

Read the List…

#10 – Edward Norton
Hitting the ground running in his first major film Primal Fear, Ed Norton hasn’t stopped. Great performances in Fight Club, The Score and Rounders all pale in comparrision to one of the most powerful performances ever given by an actor in the film American History X.

#9 – Johnny Depp
Even though this guy is probably forever cursed to be known as “That guy from 21 Jump Street”, Depp has rounded into a fantastic actor. His performance in Blow was just amazing, and I always thought it was a crime that he didn’t get nominated for an Oscar for Chocolat.

#8 – Anthony Hopkins
Ok, even if you take away all the Hannibal Lecter stuff, Sir Anthony still has a long enough list of top notch performances to get him into any Acting Hall of Fame (if such a thing existed).

#7 – Jack Nicholson
I’m trying to remember why on earth I don’t have this guy rated higher on the list. As The Joker in Batman he gave us the best comic villain in film history. In As Good As It Gets he took home an Oscar for making rudeness fun again. He gave us “You can’t handle the truth!!!” in A Few Good Men. Terms Of Endearment, The Shining, Hoffa, man the list goes on and on.

#6 – Daniel Day-Lewis
This guy plays a role with power and passion like few ever have. He’s the sole reason why The Gangs Of New York was nominated for anything at all, and In The Name Of The Father totally hinged on his pure talent. This guy does NOT get the credit he deserves, and I predict he’ll get at least 2 more Oscars before his fantastic career (which is still just starting) is done.

#5 – Russell Crowe
Love him or hate him, you have to bend your knee and acknowledge that this guy has more pure talent in one finger than many other Oscar winners have in their entire bodies. I first had to sit up and take notice of him in The Insider, a film in which he completely out performed Al Pachino (not an easy task). Almost everything he’s been in since has been worthy of Oscars. Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind are wonderful, but many people forget the job he did in films like Mystery Alaska and L.A. Confidential. Like it or not, he’s going to be around for a long time to come.

#4 – Kevin Spacey
Spacey is the kind of actor thats good enough to almost make you think a bad film is actually good just because of his performance in it (films like The Life Of David Gale, Pay It Forward and K-Pax). His role in The Usual Suspects will always be on my top ten of all time. Oh yeah, and he was in that little film American Beauty too that bagged him his second Oscar.

#3 – Brad Pitt
This guy’s worst enemy is his own good looks. A lot of people just can’t seem to see past the “hunk” exterior enough to realize he is one of the finest actors on the planet today. I myself didn’t realize this until I saw 12 Monkeys for the first time. WOW! I also thought it was outrageous that he didn’t get an Oscar nomination for his role in Snatch. Se7en, Legends Of The Fall, A River Runs Through It, Interview With A Vampire, Seven Years In Tibet, Meet Joe Black, Fight Club… he’s just plain good in everything he’s in. Very rare.

#2 – Tom Hanks
This man already has 2 Oscars, a couple of other nominations, the AFI Lifetime award and yet I still get the feeling we have yet to see the best of Tom Hanks. Breaking out of the “Comic Actor” stereotype that Jim Carrey can’t budge from, Tom is almost universally acknowledged as the finest actor in the industry today (except on this list). He is the man, and if you don’t think so, you’re dumb.

#1 – Robin Williams
Ok, I know this one caught you by surprise. Many people think of comedy when they see Robin Williams, and that’s fair. But we often forget that this man has more pure range and as actor than I think I’ve ever seen. He can be wild and wacky (Death to Smoochy, The Bird Cage, Mrs. Doubtfire) but he can turn it on and floor you in a dramatic role too (Good Morning Vietnam, Good Will Hunting which he won an Oscar for, Dead Poets Society) and he can freaky you out as a villain (One Hour Photo or the much underrated Insomnia). There is literally nothing that this man can’t do as an actor. He’s been nominated for Oscars 3 times, winning once. And with all due respect to Mike Myers or Jim Carrey, he is still hands down the funniest man in Hollywood.

So there you have it. That’s my list of the top 10 actors living today. What do you think? Is there anyone I left off that should have been on it?

Honorable Mention goes to:
Mel Gibson
Denzel Washington
Peter O’Tool
Ben Kingsley

76 thoughts on “Top 10 Best actors living today

  1. I agree with alot of the actors that are listed here , but I was wondering why no one has mentioned Christian Bale … He is definately someone to look out for in the future . Batman is basically his biggest movie to date , but he has some amazing acting skills . He is still young , but I am sure he will be worthy watching out for in the future . Anyone who has seen American Psycho will agree with me … ???

  2. What an impossible task you’ve given yourself here John. It is possibly the most difficult task to attempt. Naming the top ten actors. For one thing living or dead. That would help immensely. Also is it only on screen?

    T.V. or movies or both? Being a movie blog site I would assume you mean only in films. Its not like sports where you can look at stats and say well this guy is better than that guy. Do we consider the bankability of the actor? Do you look at how many great roles the actor has done or the greatness of the roles the character has done. Take Dicaprio, I would say he was absolutely amazing in Gilbert Grape and as Howard Hughes and good in a few others but an actor like Jack Nicholson who continuously gives great performances but is also a bit of a caricature of himself now. Also shall we consider how many times the actor has reinvented himself or even herself for the screen? Has Kurt Russell ever played the same type of character? Then again Harrison Ford brought some of the best characters alive for the screen and possibly saved some films that could have been lame b-movies and made them the legendary movies the world loves.

    An impossible undertaking and good luck with it.

  3. Denzel Washington???????….where is he, pretty good list though, but you have left out the inspirational man Denzel….and others already mentioned like Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro

  4. just had 15 rounds w/ my bro over who’s better pitt or cruise. happy to see cruise wasn’t on your list where he definatly doesn’t belong. although he’ll have a good point if he notices deniro isn’t either (big blunder). the argument started when i mentioned “range” where i believe it’s not even close. his favorite movies r born on the 4th & magnolias, great fliks but pitt stretches himself in everything he does. agree anyone?

  5. I believe that the sexiest actor alive today is Heath Ledger. He is the best Aussie actor i’ve seen in a long, long time. Keep it up Heath.

    luv Courtney.

  6. Sorry guys, always believe that a woman knows a good man who’s genuine, and she certainly knows a man when his acting deserves an Oscar! Take it from me – WE KNOW! Hence my list for top 12 actors alive today and please don’t argue with me.

    1. Robert Dinero
    2. Al Pacino
    3. Anthony Hopkins
    4. Jack Nicholson
    5. Tom Hanks
    6. Denzel Washington
    7. Morgan Freeman
    8. Samuel L Jackson
    9. Mel Gibson
    10. Tom Cruise
    11. Johnny Depp
    12. John Travolta

  7. Daniel Day Lewis
    Russel Crowe
    Sean Penn
    Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Anthony Hopkins
    Edward Norton
    Matt Damon
    Tom Hanks
    Morgan Freeman
    Jim Carrey
    Kenneth Branaugh
    OVERRATED
    Robert De Niro- While good in the parts he acts,he
    is limited. He has 1 facial expression. The raised
    eyebrows and lips pressed together. He virtually plays the same part (or type of part) in almost
    every movie.
    Tom Cruise- Has only 2 ways of acting. The smirky
    look and the slightly confused look. He is very limited.

  8. -johnny depp
    -brad pitt
    -jim carrey
    -kevin spacey
    -tom cruise
    -tom hanks
    -edward norton
    -dustin hoffman
    -leonardo dicaprio
    -christian bale
    -jude law
    -denzel washington
    -robin williams
    -jack nicholson
    -al pacino
    -mel gibson
    -geoffrey rush

  9. To Alex, shut up you greasy-ass beaner! Al Pacino’s Cuban accent isn’t very hard to learn. I had a foreign exchange student from Cuba at my school, and though he kind of had the same accent, there was a lot of difference. I’ll admit, Robert De Nero and Al Pacino are pretty good actors, I don’t think they’re close to Johnny Depp. He gets dogged on as being a stupid young actor. WRONG! He may look like he’s only 25, but he’s 41! I think most guys don’t like him because of his looks; they kind of judge him like without his face he would be nothing, which is totally false. He hasn’t been in any top chart movies except Pirates of the Carribbean, but thats because he’s a picky actor. Unlike most of these so called “greatest actors” he doesn’t just go for an acting job on a movie because it’s going to make a lot of money. He reads over the scripts, and if it’s a story line that he enjoys and is interested in, he takes it. It’s increadible how many movies Johnny Depp has turned down. IT’s mainly because he likes playing strange characters. Another thing is, Unlike De Niro and Pacino, he can play any role in the entire fucking world! In every single movie he is in, his character’s voice, personality, and overall feel is completely differrent. If you haven’t actually watched and I mean REALLY WATCH his movies, then you are missing out. I dare you to go rent some of his movies and watch them and see if you can truthfully tell me that you still don’t think he’s worthy of at least the top 10 list. Unless you want to continue with your ignorance of worshiping Robert De Nero and Al Pacino. If you do want to stay a fanatic of theirs, then don’t watch Depp’s movies, because your opinions WILL change.

    Ignorance is bliss

  10. Jim Carrey is great in Etertal Sunshine. I watched it a few days ago and it really was a great movie. Started watching it about 4 months ago, but didn’t give it a chance, turned it off about 5 minutes into it. Jim Carrey is great in comedies, I mean ACE Ventura is hilarious but corny, not really great actor stuff. But he is great in serious roles like Eternal Sunshine too. Not sure I would put him in the top 10, but he’s worth mentioning. My top Ten is actors that get me interested when a movie comes out. And there not in any order except for the 1 slot. 1- Russell Crowe, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham, Joaquin Phoeinx, John Travolta

  11. I respect your firm resolve in stating your views on this list. My view: Tom Hanks is a superior actor to Robin Williams.

  12. Kevin Bacon is underrated for a very good reason, he’s a terrible actor. If Bacon was any good he would get more good roles, but he is destined for Tremors sequels til he retires. dean, I think the River Wild is the only other Bacon movie I’ve seen, it was ok. But when you watch Kevin Bacon playing a part you don’t get the same good feeling like when you watch Russell Crowe play a part. Russell Crowe is the greatest actor alive today. Gary Oldman, he doesn’t seriously deserve a top ten spot. There isn’t one actor on the original list that Gary holds a candle too. He belongs in the crap actor category with Bacon, William H. Macy, Richard Gere, Bill Paxton, and there’s more, just can’t think of them right now. But back too Russell Crowe, name any actor today that could possible compare to Russell Crowe on any level. And American Beauty beating out The Insider in the 2000 Academy Awards is screwed up.

  13. Jim carrey is good…… SHUT UP HE IS!!….

    you should at least have gavin De Niro and Al a honourable mention, I mean come on!!…, but I guess your putting Ed Norton on the list makes up for it

  14. Bacon is great. What a great bad guy! The River Wild, Sleepers, Wild Things. He has a coolness that really helps. Gary Oldman is one of my favorites and I would put him on the list. Have you seen State of Grace with Oldman and Sean Penn?

  15. Kevin Bacon is the MAN!!! He has always been underrated and I hate it. I really hope he is given really good projects, saying that, have you guys seen him in “The Woodsman”?

    I also loved him as Valentine in “Tremors”, the sequels sucked, but I get a kick watching that one, easily one of my favorite guilty pleasures for all time!

  16. I’d give a nod to Gary Oldman too. If you want diversity, take a look at his performances in True Romance, Stoker’s Dracula, Leon (The Professional), and The Contender. This guy can transform!

  17. Dean, I’m in college too. So your trying to be an actor? I think thats pretty cool, your first posting sounded like you were gonna be smart ass. But you seem like a nice guy. No harm intended either. And I was kidding about Bacon, I think he’s the worst actor ever. Good Luck with your acting career

  18. I meant no harm Crowe, by saying I am an actor, I am also only a collge student. But i felt that by announcing my “future” profession would bring some credibility. And you’re damn right Bacon is a good actor.

  19. Because your an actor dean you must have more credibility than the others who posted. Please list some of your own works. And thanks for finally mentioning Kevin Bacon, we all know his work on the USA orginal “Tremors” is truly amazing.

  20. I am an actor, I have seen many many many films. This is my list>

    1.Robert DeNiro
    2.Marlon Brando
    3.Jack Nicholson
    4.Paul Newman
    5.Dustin Hoffman
    6.Gene Hackman
    7.Sean Penn
    8.Daniel Day-Lewis
    9.Tom Hanks
    10.Johnny Depp
    11.Kevin Spacey
    12.Denzel Washington
    13.Edward Norton
    14.Jeff Bridges
    15.River Phoenix
    16.Robert Downey Jr.
    17.Leonardo DiCaprio
    18.Val Kilmer
    19.Tim Roth
    20.Morgan Freeman

  21. Oh yeah how could I forget Morg Freeman, and Sam Jackson.
    People stop hating on Leo Dicaprio. even though he looks young, he is still a grimy actor. People cant seem to get past his looks. He is real gritty on the scene, but for some reason people dont take him seriously.

  22. Over the Last Decade it is Denzel, Hanks, and Crowe. Nicholson is great, I like Norton that is one of my favorites. Duvall is a very good actor. Brad pitt is tight too. Depp is good but His range is not that big.

    Top two is Denzel and Hanks. Thats it that is the bottom line. How can you put robin williams as #1. Again I know you are trying to get people to post or read but if you want to be controversial say some like Ben Affleck is #1. You know. If you want controversy go all the way, dont go half way. feel me b.

  23. angry: shut up please… do you really wanna tell me that ed norton always plays himself. that’s laughable. ed norton is the best (young) method actor of this time who does a lot of research to play his role perfectly

    randy: i agree with you except losing ed norton and rob williams

    >>ALEX MARIAH: your MY MAN

  24. Top Ten:

    1) Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin)
    2) Sean Penn (I Am Sam/Sweet and Lowdown)
    3) Marlon Brando (The Godfather)
    4) Jack Nicholson (The Shinning)
    5) Max Von Sydow (Pelle the Conqueror)
    6) Anthony Hopkins (The Remains of the Day)
    7) Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption)
    8) Edward Norton (American History X)
    9) Willem Dafoe (Shadow Of The Vampire)
    10) Ben Kingsley (Gandhi)

    Honorable mention:
    Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump)
    Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie)
    Robert DeNiro (Taxi Driver)
    Geoffrey Rush (Shakespear In Love/Quills)
    Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind)

  25. I would like to differ tremendously with all these rankings.

    Every actor is different and has his own style of acting.Alpacino , no doubt is deserving and so is marlon brando but the only actor of this current generation who can be called great is none other than Tom Hanks

    Look at him , he has no looks,no great metallic body . His USP is his acting . Which other actor would have hold the audience rivetted to the end in a movie like Cast Away.

    Saving Private Ryan was something in which he made one hell of an impact. I didnt knew why he didnt get the oscar.

    By this time around he should have got 4 oscars for I also feel that he was very good in Cast Away.

    But giving him Four Oscars would be like hailing him as the greatest actor ever and so he should have no more than 2.

    while other actors have good performances , he is one such actor whose performance is THE only the good thing in the movie.

    PRADEEP

  26. Where are

    Sidney Poitier
    Robert De Niro
    Samuel L. Jackson
    Denzel Washington
    Robert Duvall
    Gene Hackman
    Sean Penn
    Tom Cruise
    and Sean Connery?

  27. the greatest actors go like this
    1.Robert Deniro
    2.Jack Nicholson
    3.Al Pacino
    4.Dustyn Hoffman
    5.Bill Murray
    6.Denzel Washington
    7.Marlon Brando
    8.Tom Hanks
    (tie)Mel Gibson
    9.Christopher Walken
    10.Johnny Depp
    11.Gene Hackman
    12.Morgan Freeman
    13.Sam L. Jackson
    14.Robert Duvall
    15.Kevin Costner
    16.Sean Connery
    17.Ian Mckellan
    18.Robin Williams
    19.Peter Otoole
    20.Anthony Hopkins
    21.Jim Carrey
    22.Edward Norton
    23.Kurt Russel
    24.Danny GLover
    (tie)Jeff Goldblum
    25.Laurence Fishburne

    Worst Actors
    1.Ben Afflek
    2.Keanu Reeves
    3.Leo Decaprio
    4.John Travolta

  28. Here are my picks

    Top 25 MALE actors:

    1. Geoffrey Rush (Shine / Pirates of the Caribbean)
    2. Marlon Brando (The Godfather / Apocalypse Now)
    3. Morgan Freeman (Driving miss Daisy / Lean on me)
    4. Ed Harris (The Rock / Apolo 13)
    5. Kenneth Branagh (Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V)
    6. Daniel Day Lewis (Gangs of New York / My Left Foot)
    7. Christopher Walken* (The Deer Hunter / Catch Me If You Can)
    8. Jack Nicholson (A Few Good Men / Terms of Endearment)
    9. Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction / Changing Lanes)
    10. Richard Harris (Cry, the Beloved Country / Camelot)
    11. Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man / The Graduate)
    12. Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List / Les Miserables)
    13. Robert De Niro (Taxi / Awakenings)
    14. Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump / Cast away)
    15. Denzel Washington (The Hurricane / Training Day)
    16. John Travolta (Pulp Fiction / Face off)
    17. Gene Hackman (Mississipi burning / Crimson Tide)
    18. Al Pacino (The God Father / Glengarry Glen Ross)
    19. Sean Penn (I Am Sam / Dead Man Walking)
    20. Kevin Kline (Grand Canyon / Cry Freedom)
    21. Gerard Depardieu (Le Comte de Monte Cristo / Les Miserables)
    22. Harvey Keitel* (Mean Streets / The Piano)
    23. Brad Pitt (Snatch / Se7en)
    24. Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas / The Rock)
    25. Edward Norton (American History X / 25th Hour)

    *underrated actors

    MALE actors with exceptional performance(s):

    1. Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean / Blow)
    2. Jamie Foxx (Collateral / Ray)
    3. Leonardo DiCaprio (This Boy’s Life / Gangs of New York)
    4. Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting / The Talented Mr. Ripley )
    5. Rob Brown (Finding Forrester)

  29. Great list, I would have to add honourable mention to Sean Penn, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman.

    Not so sure about Brad Pitt though–

  30. My top 10

    1.Robert De Niro (Raging Bull)
    2.AL Pacino (The Godfather)
    3.Jack Nicholson (One flew over the cuckoos nest)
    4.Marlon Brando (On the waterfront)
    5.Morgan Freeman (The shawshank Redemption)
    6.Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking)
    7.Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man)
    8.Daniel Day-Lewis(My Left Foot)
    9.Kevin Spacey (American Beauty)
    10.Tom Hanks (Forest Gump)

  31. Hey…what about Gary Oldman? Isn’t he British? Pacino and Deniro should never have been snubbed. They are both masters. Where is Jude Law? Christopher Walken is amazing, yet he always plays the villan, yes? Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Leo Dicaprio, Edward Norton? They are not great yet…they may be at some point. Samuel Jackson is amazing. Paul Newman is a god. Daniel Day-Lewis is a genius. What about James Wood and Harvey Kietel? Sidney Poitier beats out all the newbies on the scene without a doubt. The best of them all has recently died: Marlon Brando…RIP.

  32. ok, this list was goin great until I reached the bottom and discovered you had missed out De Niro and Pacino – I know everyone has posted this, but its true, theres no such thing as a top ten list without those two.

    my top ten:

    10: GENE HACKMAN : the man has done so many great films over the years, you couldnt possibly miss him out. From Superman to the Royal Tenenbaums, the man is yet to fail.

    9: JOHNNY DEPP: People refer to him as a young actor, unworthy of being in the list…BULL SHIT. ok hes 40 first of all, then theres also the fact that even if he has been in a crap film, hes still good in it. Come on, remember Blow, Edward Scissorhands and Chocolat as well as Pirates… and Gilbert Grape.

    8: CHRISTOPHER WALKEN: The man strikes fear into the audience with his mere prescence in a film. It is impossible not to notice the mans flawless talent. Anyone remember the “Sicilian scene” in True Romance…

    7: EDWARD NORTON: Not only an excellent actor, but a very clever man. He is following in the footsteps of Method actors such as Brando, and its paying off. Fight Club – possibly the most underrated film ever made.

    6: HARVEY KEITEL: Mr White easily makes it in the list, a sensational actor, he has such amazing talent. A film with Keitel in it cant go wrong…except maybe From Dusk Till Dawn (horrible storyline)

    5: KEVIN SPACEY: Erm, hello, the man was Keizer Soze for gods sake. After appearing in some really hard hitting movies, Spacey scores high on the list, possibly the most improved actor of his generation.

    4: JACK NICHOLSON: Heres Johnny, in at 4. If you dont like Jack Nicholson, you need your head examined. The man is a Hollywood legend.

    3: MARLON BRANDO: After being in classics such as On The Waterfront and a Streetcar Named Desire, the man became the greatest and most memorable character ever to appear on the big screen…you all know who i mean.

    2: ROBERT DE NIRO: Genius, master of disguise (RAGING BULL), he can be a goodfella, but he can also scare the shit outta ya! He was of course the godfather too, so I wouldnt mess with him

    1: AL PACINO: The one, the only. The Godfather, Scarface, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Carlito’s Way, Scent Of a Woman…the list is endless.

  33. There really can’t be a list of “10 Best Actors” if there’s no room for the likes of Hackman, DeNiro, Penn and Duvall — or Toshiro Mifune, for that matter. I wouldn’t disagree with any of your choices — they are all great actors — but there is simply no arguing that Daniel Day Lewis is a “better” actor than Gene Hackman. Each, in his unique way, is…incomparable.

    There is also the glaring omission of Marlon Brando, who has probably turned in more iconic performances than any other screen actor living or dead. When his name fails to turn up on a supposed movie-lover’s list, it suggests to me that the purported movie-lover is a 20-Something boob-toober or Gen-X’er who has never even seen a black-and-white or foreign film.

    For starters, if you want to see a stunning performance by an actor whose name might not otherwise have turned up on this blog in a hundred years, in a film that probably not one person who has posted here has seen, check out Michael Redgrave in the 1951 film, The Browning Vesion.

    Wouldn’t think of signing off without listing my favorite films:

    1. Children of Paradise
    2. Citizen Kane
    3. Samurai Trilogy
    4. Lacombe, Lucien
    5. Hard Times
    6. Dr. Strangelove
    7 Godfather I & II
    8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    9. The Hustler
    10.Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    11.Tne Natural
    12.The Wild Child
    13.Singing in the Rain
    14.Butch Cassidy
    15.La Strada
    16.Enter the Dragon
    17.Pulp Fiction
    18.Lavender Hill Mob
    19.Garden of the Finzi-Continis
    20. We All Loved Each Other So Much
    21. Tarzan’s New York Adventure
    22. Missouri Breaks
    23. Brazil
    24. The Onion Field
    25. The Best Years of Our Lives

    Worst Films — Ever:

    1. Goto, Island of Love
    2. Todo Modo
    3. Bulworth/Ishtar
    4. Crossroads
    5. The Eyes of Hell

    — Rick Ackerman

  34. U’ve taken the words right out of my mouth! Bravo! There should be more people who think like us! Johnny Depp will soon win the oscar he deserves for doing nothing but the best in his roles and for never selling out. Brad Pitt has everything going for him and not just his looks. Norton is just a very smart, dedicated man and deserved something for american history x. tom hanks has gotten great recognition already and i believe hes got more to come (he will always be my favorite in forest gump). Kevin Spacey makes me smile and assure me that the movie i’m about to watch is going to be good just cuz he’s in it. anthony hopkins? need i say anyhting else but that he is a SIR.? Russel crowe=a beautiful mind=bravo!! robin williams has never let me down and i was blown away with his performance in one hour photo. i just dont agree with daniel day lewis. not a fan.good job on the list!!!

  35. Top Ten:

    Al Pacino
    Robert DiNero
    Tom Hanks
    Jack Nicholson
    Edward Norton
    Sean Penn
    Johnny Depp
    Tom Cruise
    Leonardo DiCaprio
    Mel Gibson

    ~By the way, Brad Pitt isn’t that good of an actor

  36. Surely great acting is about taking characters from a page and bringing them to life. Every actor has his limitations. I will not disagree that Williams is a good actor, but to state he is the best purely on diversity is somewhat blinkered. Could he have pulled of roles like Jake le Motta, Travis Bickle, Max Cady, Godfather or Pacinos roles as Tony Montana, Serpico, Carlito Brigante, Big Boy Caprice (the lists for both go on) and make them as memorable? Off course not. None of the actors on your list could. Your response would be “but could they do Williams roles in his films?” The answer to that would probably be No. But then William’s roles, though some are good, have not and will not be considered as classic performances and his charaters will not always be remembered. Your forgot how much of De Niros and Pacinos life goes into their roles. They live there characters and become there characters. Ultimatly a bit of that character most become them. I will not condem your top ten, that is your taste, I will however condem your reasoning behind exclusions.

  37. You critise Pacino and De Niro for always being the same, yet you name Nicholson and Hanks in your list. Dont get me wront, both great actors, but for the last 20-years, Nicholson always plays a slightly altered version of himself! Acting is more than just what you see on the screen, it is what goes into that role. De Niro has to be the most remarkable actor of any generation. The “believability” he brings to a role is amazing. To say that his chararacter in the Godfather is the same as Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, King of Comedy, Goodfellas, The Mission, Brazil, New York New York. All the above roles are different in many ways with two main things in common. Passion and edge. Ditto Pacino. His roles in Frankie and Johnny, Sea of Love, Scent of a Women, Godfather, Scarface, Author Author, Insider, Donnie Brasco, to me all vary but again played with passion and edge that not many apart from him can achieve. Other glaring ommissions from the list are Dustin Hoffman, Robert Duvall, L Jackson, Kevin Bacon, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman

  38. 1.Robert de Niro
    2.Al Pacino
    3.Edward Norton
    4.Denzel Washington
    5.Johnny Depp
    6.Dustin Hoffman
    7.Kevin Spacey
    8.Daniel Day Lewis
    9.Brad Pitt
    10.Jack Nicholson
    11.Robert Duvall
    12.Russel Crowe
    13.Anthony Hopkins
    14.Tom Hanks
    15.Samuel L Jackson
    16.Morgan Freeman
    17.Sean Penn
    18.Phillip Seymour Hoffman
    19.Harvey Keitel
    20.Tim Robbins
    21.Tim Roth
    22.Leonardo DiCaprio

  39. no pacino, richard gere, joe pesci, samuel jackson and pacino? what the fuck!!! i think this is the way it should be:
    1.- Robert de Niro
    2.- Al Pacino
    3.- jack nicholson
    4.- marlon brando
    5.- john travolta
    6.- samuel jackson
    7.- ian mc kellen
    8.- richerd gere
    9.- cantinflas y piporro
    10.- humphrey bogart 11.-pacino

  40. I´VE READING THIS INFORMATION, AND THE WAY YOU TREAT SUCH GREAT ACTORS LIKE DE NIRO AND PACINO SUCKS, LOOK, I KNOW SINCE 1995 THEY BOTH HAVE MADE NO GOOD MOVIES, BUT THEY´RE NOT BAD AT ALL! AND BESIDES, YOU´RE GENERALIZIN´ YOU THINK THEY ALWAYS MOVE THE SAME AND TALK THE SAME, WELL WHAT THE FUCK IS IN YOUR MIND?! THEY´RE NOT FUCKING MASTER OF DISGUISE, THEY´RE THE SAME GUY, AND THEY WILL BE THE SAME GUY FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFES!
    AND THEY BOTH HAVE ACTED VERY DIFERENT IN DIFFERENT MOVIES. LOOK: DE NIRO IN CAPE FEAR IS A CRAZY GIRL FUCKER, IN THE FAN HE√Ǭ¥S A LOOSER, BUT IN “HEAT” HE√Ǭ¥S A GREAT THEFT, SO I THINK YOU√Ǭ¥VE WATCHED SO MUCH CASABLANCA FOR TODAY.
    PACINO HAS A GREAT APPEARENCE IN SCARFACE, HE REALLY LEARNED HOW TO SPEAK LIKE A CUBAN, AND BELIEVE ME I KNOW MY ACCENT CAUSE IM A MEXICAN, AND KNOW VERY WEEL THEIR ACCENT ¡PUES SI A HUEVO
    EN MÉXICO SOMOS CHINGONES Y POCOS COMO YO SABEN DE CINE Y PELÍCULAS CHINGONAS COMO ESTAS!
    PACINO APPEARS GREAT IN “DOG DAY AFTERNOON” AND THE GODFATHER, THEY BOTH HAVE MADE VERY DIFFERENT CHARACHTERS SO DON√Ǭ¥T SAY BULLSHIT!

  41. Thats a great list but I think Edward Norton should have been at number 1. His acting is so perfect and he extremely underrated and underestimated. Edward Norton is by far the best actor alive today and should be acknowleged.

  42. All those mentioned are very good actors, some great, and even if I don’t particularly like some of them, you have to respect the work they have all done, but that’s what personal choice is all about, talking of which, how about these.

    Alec guiness
    John Gielgud
    Peter O’toole
    Ian McKellen
    John Mills
    Richard Harris
    Richard Burton
    Cary Grant
    Richard Attenborough

    Ok, the list is flawed on three counts,

    First, being that I have chosen only British actors, and being British , I could be accused of a certain lack of objectivity.

    Second, some of them are dead, so don’t really belong on a list of living actors.

    Third, I surely have given my age away, it seems I can’t think of m1any young aspiring British actors, and Hugh Grant certainly not one of them.

    But you have to admit (if you have heard of them that is) that these are truly great actors, with a wide range of skills and diversity of performances. Maybe not all box office draws, especially the dead ones, but great actors despite (or because) of that.

  43. I really like Walken too… but the same problem exists with him as with Pacino and Deniro… he’s basically the same character in every film he’s in. Seriously, he always acts the same. I love seeing him in film… but if don’t have the ability to be diverse, then you can’t be considered one of the “best” actors. Just my opinion.

  44. Pathetic!! where’s Pacino and Da Niro?? Watch these films then re-do the list: Scarface (watch it about 10 times), Godfather parts 1 and 11 (about 8 times each), Carlito’s Way (about 4 times should do), Dog Day Afternoon (you’ll want to watch it again and again, Taxi Driver, Casino, The Deer Hunter. Respects for including Jack Nicholson, totally agree there. But come on – Robbin Williams??? If you don’t enjoy my listed movies you need to get your priorities right man!!

  45. My Top Ten:

    Sean Connery
    Robert Deniro
    Jack Nicholson
    Robert Duvall
    Al Pacino
    Marlon Brando
    Dustin Hoffman
    Ian McKellen
    Kenneth Branaugh
    Sean Penn

  46. you forgot PAUL NEWMAN! and how is robert dinero not on there?? but its a pretty decent list i guess. i totally agree with robin williams, not that i’d put him first…but he really should be acknowledged with more respect when it comes to serious acting.

  47. I must admit that Leonardo Dicaprio is very good for a guy his age. He was great in Whats eating Gilbert Grape and Catch me if you can. Otherwise the list is pretty good.

  48. How could you leave Christopher Walken? Have you even seen The Deer Hunter?
    This brilliat actor won an oscar for that role. And he deserved it. For Shame.

  49. Lose Depp, Norton, and Williams; enter Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, and Sean Penn. Also consider Tim Robbins and John Malkovich-both very good though perhaps not top 10.

  50. There are some good picks, but you are disregarding several experienced, much better actors then some of the others on that list. The actors on the list are very talented, but have yet to make themselves stand out as actors.
    My personal top ten would read as follows:
    1.Marlon Brando-Despite his recent career downward spiral, his body of acting is rivaled by none i.e. On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Godfather, even his controversial character Kurtz in Apocalypse Now distinguish him as the most dynamic and greatest actor alive.
    2.Paul Newman- Newman is a close second with memorable performances that have a span almost as long as Brando’s. With characters like Cool Hand Luke and Fast Eddie Felson, and movies like The Verdict, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, The Sting, and Butch and Sundance he is secure at N0.2
    3.Jack Nicholson- Nicholson defined himself as a great character actor with roles in Chinatown, Five Easy Pieces, The Shining, Terms Of Endearment, A Few Good Men, and As Good As It Gets. However, it is his definitive role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest which cements his place at No.3.
    4.Robert DeNiro- This actor is like a chameleon and is multi-faceted with skill at both drama and comedy. He was the perfect choice to play the young Brando in Godfather Part II, has created great characters like Jimmy the Gent, Travis Bickle, his bone-chilling interpretation of Mitchum’s Max Cady, and his award winning Jake LaMotta. He was robbed at the awards when he didn’t win for The Deer Hunter. Finally, he has shown tremendous skill at comedy as well. He definitely belongs in the fourth slot.
    5.Dustin Hoffman- Hoffman is a perfectionist and his films show it. He shines in films like The Graduate and Kramer Vs. Kramer, created a great screen character, Ratso Rizzo, in Midnight Cowboy, and was amazing as the Rain Man.
    6.Daniel Day-Lewis- While Lewis hasn’t made many films, he is the reason they are all great. My Left Foot, In the Name Of the Father, even Last Of the Mohicans, he was excellent. And he was the only good thing in Gangs Of New York, he created one of the most memorable villains in Bill the Butcher.
    7.Al Pacino- Pacino earned his place here with flawless work in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, and with great roles in Dog Day Afternoon and Scarface. He brought the best out of Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco. Plus, he made the best screen version of Satan in The Devil’s Advocate.
    8.Robert Duvall- Duvall has given powerfull performances in all his lead roles and brings a spark to the movie in all his supporting ones. He played the voice of reason and logic in both Godfather movies, created a powerful character in The Apostle, and created one of the most memorable characters in Apocalypse Now, Lt. William Kilgore.
    9.Morgan Freeman- Freeman has consistently been an outstanding and accomplished actor. He brought a sense of wisdom to Glory, a great performance in Driving Miss Daisy, and a powerful turn in the masterpiece The Shawshank Redemption. Even his crime dramas are made better just because of him. Plus, he is one of the few actors who seem able to portray God convincingly as in Bruce Almighty.
    10.Tom Hanks- Hanks delivers powereful performances in almost every movie he has made because he brings an innate humanity to all his characters. Forrest Gump, Big, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, even Toy Story features his ability to make his characters believably human and identifiable to audiences. The clincher is his powerful performance in Philadelphia.
    I would give honorable mention to Johnny Depp, Edward Norton, Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Denzel Washington, Harrison Ford, Christopher Walken, and Anthony Hopkins.

  51. Well, this is quite possibly the most inaccurate top ten list of actors in existence. This list reminds me of this personal favorites an uneducated giddy school girl may create with her equally uneducated friends(on the topic of film acting).Have you any idea on what makes a performance great? Read Stanislavsky or Chekhov before you make such a profound list. I’ll go ahead and give you the top 5 that a few of my fellow film students and I made at USC in the graduate program (educated picks). Robert DeNiro, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, and yes; Daniel-Day Lewis. These men and their incredible work ethic has revolutionized acting as it is known today; I could go on for days about each of these men’s individual works of art. Your list is tainted by five names (other than that, you’re all set :)

    Ed Norton- Ever noticed he plays himself in every role (same boring white guy; could that be because he is incapable?) except American history X…that was great, but we’re talkin top ten

    Johnny Depp- He’s shown he’s got talent and we know he’s a hard worker, but he’s only an up and comer; not one of the greats, and has done nothing great other than being able to be in the same room as Javier Bartom in “Before Night Falls”

    Robin Williams- This man is quite possibly the worst successful actor i have ever seen on film. His work in that “photo” movie was moving (haha!!!)…but at least he’s a nice guy

    Brad Pitt- Same as Depp

    Anthony Hopkins- Older, luckier version of Norton

    I’m sure all of the men I have listed as the bad seeds would only laugh at there names on this list and only furthur comment on the real greats. Watch these movies…
    Raging Bull, Godfather, On the Waterfront, My Left Foot, and Mystic River.

  52. Johnny Depp, Anthony Hopkins and Robin Williams gotta go (good actors but it’s a top ten). Robert de Niro, Al Pacino and Samuel L Jackson in. Then the list is complete imo. Maybe Edward Norton a bit higher.
    Robert Duvall, Morgan Freeman, Harvey Keitel could also replace anyone on the list. Gotta choose though.

  53. You did miss some actually, you missed keanu Reeves. This actor is great, he proved that he’s more then just one big action type of an actor, he can act in alot of different movies then the matrix such as: speed, sweet november,hardball, and the watcher. He can practically act in any type of way and know one realize’s it, he didn’t even get nominated for best actor in speed!!
    at least johnny depp was in your top 10, he should get an award for best actor in Pirates of the carribean: curse of the black pearl!

  54. When you look at AFI’s Top 100 movies, two of the most represented are Robert Duvall and Robert DeNiro. They have to be on this list along with Al Pacino, a personal favorite of mine.

  55. Good list. These are always tough to do but I don’t see how you can have a top ten list of actors without Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. The only choice on the list I might quibble with is Brad Pitt.

  56. Okay.. Here’s two for ya.

    Quite possibly the most diverse actor I’ve ever seen on film, and who certainly deserves to be more famous than he is, is Brandon Gleeson. — His character acting is so strong, that I’ve seen him in movies REPEATEDLY before I even knew it was the same ACTOR. Remember the drunk Spaniard in “Tailor of Panama” (which sucked)? — or the fat sarcastic sheriff in “Lake Placid”? — Or how about “Amish” – Mel Gibson’s best friend in “Braveheart”? — It’s all the same guy.

    I love Braveheart and Lake Placid, and only when I saw “A.I.” (which also sucked) did I sit in the theatre and say: “Is that the guy from Braveheart?– No, no.. that’s the guy from Lake Placid.. No, wait, I don’t know.” – I had no clue it was the same guy. An untruthfully good actor.

    and second, I know you’ll hate this one…
    Leonardo Dicaprio. — Yup, you read it. — I don’t necessarily flock to the mainstream right away, but after I saw Leo in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, I’ll forever say that he is one DAMN good actor.

  57. Great list! Offhand, I can’t think of anyone you left out, except for perhaps a few of my personal favorites, like Ralph Fiennes and Hugh Jackman. And then there’s my favorite character actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman. And I think Jamie Bell is going to be huge someday. And…I’ll shut up now. :)

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