For anyone who knows me, you know that I am a big movie fanatic. Drama, comedies, Independent, you name it, I'll watch it. I almost love movies more than porn and Hip Hop.. Almost. There are many actors who I feel are overrated and receive praise that they don't deserve. The following list are actors who I feel, are underrated and should be recognized for their magnificent acting ability.
Don Cheadle-One of the most talented individuals on the list, and probably the most under-appreciated. People don't give this guy credit for being one America's best actors, and that is sad. He first caught my attention in the movie "Devil in a Blue Dress" as Denzel's right hand man named "Mouse", and ever since he has been blazing a trail in Hollywood. Standout performances in "Rosewood(1995) ", "Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault(1996) (TV)", Boogie Nights (1997)The Rat Pack (1998) (TV),A Lesson Before Dying (1999) (TV), and Traffic (2000) to name a few. Hopefully, he will be a household name and people will understand his amazing talents.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
The United States of Leland (2003)
The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)
A Lesson Before Dying (1999)
Boogie Nights (1997)
Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault (1996)
Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
Jeffrey Wright- The opening line on his IMDB.com biography pretty much sums it up: "Quite possibly the most underrated and underexposed actor of his caliber and generation." This guy is remarkable, he first captured my attention playing in "Basquiat" as the lead character, talented artist Jean Michael Basquiat. He was the only watchable thing in the 2000 version of "Shaft", playing the villain named 'Peoples Hernandez". His role as Martin Luther King in the movie "Boycott" and his supporting part in "Ali" were absolutely brilliant. Anyone who has HBO say him do his thing in "Angels in America". This guy has pure acting skill, and the mere fact that he isn't a household name is rather troubling.
"Angels in America" (2003)
Boycott (2001) (TV)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman- He is defintely what you would call a character actor, so maybe it is his intent to be "under-appreciated", but his body of work is fiiled with great performances. Boogie Nights (1997), Flawless (1999), Magnolia (1999) ,The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Almost Famous (2000), Love Liza (2002), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), 25th Hour (2002) ,Cold Mountain (2003), Along Came Polly (2004). The guy holds his own whenever he is in front of a camera, and any guy who can steal scenes away from Robert De Niro gets my vote.
Almost Famous (2000)
25th Hour (2002)
Ryan Phillippe- This guy definitely has acting chops, but he is overshadowed by his more successful wife Reese Witherspoon. He first caught my attention in 1996 in a movie called "Whits Squall", as a teen who is sent off on a experimental program where he sent off to sea for a few months, and comes back with a new confidence. His breakout role came with "Cruel Intentions", that is when people really started to know who he was. He has great performances in 2001's "Gosford Park", and his role as a Hacker in "Antitrust". My favorite role of his is when he played a convict alongside Benecio Del Torro in "The Way of the Gun", one of my personal favorites. Definitely underrated, and it's a shame because I feel that he can act circles around his wife.
Gosford Park (2001)
The Way of the Gun (2000)
Angela Bassett- Let me start by saying that she is one of our finest black actors out there, male or female. The woman has a talent that can't be equaled, and I personally feel that she is underused when she is in certain movies and she is ignorantly not considered for other movies. I respect her because she has turned down roles based on her personal integrity(i.e "Monster's Ball") and you can't beat that. Plus, lets face it, she can act circles around Halle Berry. Memorable performances include Malcolm X (1992), What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), Waiting to Exhale (1995), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), The Rosa Parks Story (2002)
Whats Love Got to Do with It (1993)
John Leguizamo- The first thing I saw him was 1991 "Hanging with the Homeboys", but I would of never thought from that performance that John Leguizamo would emerge as a legitimate actor. Many of you know him from his Broadway one man shows, which are absolutely brilliant.(Sidenote: To do a one man/woman show has to be the hardest thing in show-business, exposing yourself to the masses and still making it entertaining.) He has had good performances in Carlito's Way (1993) Romeo + Juliet (1996) King of the Jungle (2001) Moulin Rouge! (2001) Empire (2002), and Spun (2002). Definitely underrated, but definitely a respectable member of Hollywood.
Carlito's Way (1993)
King of the Jungle(2001)
Paul Giamatti- Even though this guy has been around for a while and has appeared in some memorable flicks, he is definitely under-appreciated. He has built the majority of his career being a character actor, just beginning to come into his own over the past five years. You have probably seen him in movies such as "Singles", "Donnie Brasco", "Private Parts", "The Negotiator", "Big Mamma's House", "The Truman Show", and "Saving Private Ryan". But he has stand out performances playing a con man in "Confidence", animator Harvey Pekar in "American Splendor", and a newly divorced, failed writer in the recently released "Sideways". Amazing Talent.
John Turturro- First stand out role was in Spike Lee's 1989's "Do the Right Thing" playing "Pino", Sal the Pizza owners son. He showed his remarkable gift for acting back then, and he has continued to showcase his acting prowess ever since. In roles such as Barton Fink (1991) The Big Lebowski (1998) Rounders (1998) O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), he has made a case as to why he is acting force to be reckoned with. Amazing actor, with a range so wide he could virually play anything.
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Barton Fink (1991)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Brad Pitt- I know what you are all saying right now, "How in the fuck is Brad Pitt under-appreciated?" Well, Brad Pitt is definitely one of the most recognizable actors out there, but I think that people are so focused on his looks that they discredit his acting ability. The guy is a outstanding actor, his work speaks for itself-Thelma & Louise (1991), A River Runs Through It (1992), Kalifornia (1993), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994),Se7en (1995), Twelve Monkeys (1995), Sleepers (1996), Seven Years in Tibet (1997), Fight Club (1999), Snatch. (2000). Come on, wake the fuck up everybody!!
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
Fight Club (1999)