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Best Actors of the 21st Century

imdb.com has many user-posted lists, and one of them is a list of the 25 Best Actors of the 21st Century. The list below excerpts their top 25, which includes late greats Heath Ledger and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Are there any glaring omissions? Is there anyone on the list who shouldn’t be? Anyone need to move up or down? What makes an actor either worthy of your list or unworthy of this list? For your favorites, please describe their best performances. For your least favorites, please explain their shortcomings. If you want to deal only with the top ten or pick and choose, that’s fine too.

1. Daniel Day-Lewis
2. Leonardo DiCaprio
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman
4. Jack Nicholson
5. Morgan Freeman
6. Russell Crowe
7. George Clooney
8. Javier Bardem
9. Brad Pitt
10. Christian Bale
11. Jeff Bridges
12. Sean Penn
13. Joaquin Phoenix
14. Heath Ledger
15. Johnny Depp
16. Denzel Washington
17. Tom Hanks
18. Clint Eastwood
19. Geoffrey Rush
20. Colin Firth
21. Viggo Mortensen
22. Tom Wilkinson
23. Gary Oldman
24. Bill Murray
25. Don Cheadle

  • Perhaps shorten the list to a top 5 or a top 10 at the most; otherwise, your work would be overwhelmingly long. – J.D. Jankowski 5 years ago
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  • Good point. One reason I included the last sentence of the descrption... – Tigey 5 years ago
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  • Is there a more up to date listing? Writing an article about a 2014 listing seems quite after the fact. Otherwise, sounds like a fun article. – LondonFog 5 years ago
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  • I think the writer did a great job posting this, but I feel like the list should condense down to top 10 because then it would be able to seek the audience attention. Personally, I don't like Bill Murray!! – mmq2 5 years ago
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  • How is Tom Hanks #17?--the man is a chameleon!! A relatively solid list, but I would definitely delete Russel Crowe and move Viggo Mortensen way up the list. Also, whomever takes on this topic should only take on part of this list or an aspect dealing with this list. – danielle577 5 years ago
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  • Agree on all three counts, danielle577. I still hold a private grudge against Leonard Maltin for panning Forrest Gump. And Hanks' performance in Road to Perdition was one of his best (and perhaps Paul Newman's very best). How about the omission of Forrest Whitaker? James McAvoy? Benicio Del Toro? Jude Law? Laurence Fishburne? My Top Ten is now in triple digits. – Tigey 5 years ago
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  • For what it's worth, perhaps the best piece of acting I've seen in a Hollywood movie in years is Matthew McConaughey's lunch scene with Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. McConaughey would be on my list. – Tigey 5 years ago
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