Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins’ Latest 10 Movies vs. Greatest 10 Movies

Anthony Hopkins
Latest vs. Greatest looks at directors, actors, actresses, screenwriters and composers to assess the state of their career as it stands.  We’ll look back at the latest 10 movies the artist has done, rate them and then average them out to see where they stand today.  We’ll also rank their 10 greatest movies and give them the same treatment to compare what they have been doing to their very best work.  (A quick side-note: if an artist is/has been a regular on a TV show we’ll also grade the seasons individually; artists need 10 projects to qualify).

Anthony Hopkins, like Morgan Freeman in our last profile, is someone whose career didn’t really reach superstardom until later in life – in his mid-fifties, really.  Hopkins has been acting since 1965, but it wasn’t really until 1991, when he became a household name for The Silence of the Lambs.The Lion in Winter, Anthony Hopkins, Katherine HepburnHopkins’ second film, and I believe still the best he’s been in, was 1968’s The Lion in Winter with Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn.  Hopkins played the eldest son of an aging king, angling with his brothers for the best position to take the old lion’s throne.  It’s a fantastic film, and while Hopkins is overshadowed by O’Toole and Hepburn (who wouldn’t be?) it had to be a tremendous boost to start his acting career in such and excellent film with such excellent company.
Anthony Hopkins
In the gap between Lion and Lambs, Hopkins worked almost exclusively in TV.  He appeared in a number of series on the BBC, mini-series like The Edwardians and War & Peace and TV movies like All Creatures Great and Small, Victory at Entebbe and The Man Outside.
Anthony Hopkins, The Elephant Man

Hopkins did do a few films during his BBC years including the World War II epic A Bridge Too Far and The Elephant Man, in which he was outstanding as a doctor who rescues a disfigured man from a life as a sideshow freak.  I honestly don’t care for most of David Lynch’s films, but The Elephant Man is a powerful piece of work and should be mandatory viewing for fans of Hopkins.
The Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins, Hannibal Lecter
And then came Dr. Hannibal Lecter.  In The Silence of the Lambs, Hopkins creates one of the most mesmerizing villains in cinema history.  His cannibalistic psychiatrist is needed by the FBI in a manhunt for another serial killer and he agrees to help, but only through dealing with Jodie Foster’s character.  I have a complicated love/hate relationship with this film.  I find parts of it to be disgusting and unwatchably creepy, but the scenes between Hopkins and Foster are mesmerizing.  They’re some of the best scenes in film; psychologically hypnotic and indelible.  Hopkins won his only Oscar to date for the role (he’s been nominated three other times), and deservedly so.  I wish he’d left the part alone and not indulged the horrid follow-up films (Hannibal and Red Dragon), but they haven’t diminished the power of the character Hopkins conjured in Lambs.
CS Lewis, Shadowlands, Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger
Hopkins followed Lambs with a number of excellent films: Chaplin, Howard’s End, The Remains of the Day and one of my personal favorite films: Shadowlands.  The story of writer and theologian CS Lewis and his unlikely and tragic marriage is a heartbreaking study of love, pain, God and why God allows either.  It’s overlooked and didn’t get near the recognition it deserved, but I couldn’t recommend it more highly.  It also showed Hopkins’ amazing ability to transform himself.  This is a man who has morphed into serial killers, Christian authors, Presidents, Picasso, Dickensian creations, Norse gods and Spanish super heroes.  That he can do so with such ease and conviction is a testament to the versatility that is one of his greatest strengths as an actor.
Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, The Legends of the Fall
Edward Zwick’s The Legends of the Fall is one of the most underrated pictures I’ve ever come across.  I think USA Today gave it 1.5 stars when it debuted.  This sprawling epic of a family, their lives and loss is held together by Hopkins, who plays the patriarch of the clan.  This is also possibly one of the saddest films I’ve ever seen, but the journey is worth it.
Anthony Hopkins, John Quincy Adams, Amistad
After tackling Nixon and Picasso, Hopkins took on another American President in Amistad: John Quincy Adams.  For his portrayal he earned his fourth (and latest) Oscar nomination and deservedly so.  I featured his ten minute monologue to the Supreme Court a few weeks ago (click here to watch), and I think it’s one of the great film monologues of the last 25 years.  Hopkins steals this film, and gave me a greater appreciation for our sixth President.
Anthony Hopkins, The Mask of Zorro
One of Hopkins talents over his career is his ability to play a huge range of ages convincingly.  Now, he’s getting too old to pull it off but there was a long period of time where he could play anyone from 30 to 90 with ease.  He even managed to pull off an aging super hero in The Mask of Zorro, which doesn’t get nearly enough recognition.  It’s a swashbuckling adventure ride in the vein of the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, and another feather in the versatile Hopkins portfolio.
Thor, Odin, Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Thor The Dark World
Over the next decade, Hopkins made a number of fine films: Hearts in Atlantis, Instinct, The World’s Fastest Indian and Fracture among them, but what do you play when you’ve already played kings, presidents and super heroes?  How about a god?  Hopkins brought instant gravitas and credibility to Thor and Thor: The Dark World as Odin, The All-Father, and picked up a whole new generation of fans in the process.  I hope we’ll see him in Thor 3, but the ending of Thor 2 leaves that a bit dubious.

Which brings us to Hopkins’ 10 latest films:
HOPKINS’ LATEST TEN:
1. Noah (2014)………………………………..7.00
2. Thor the Dark World (2013)……9.75
3. RED 2 (2013)………………………………5.00
4. Hitchcock (2012)……………………….4.00
5. 360 (2011)…………………………………..5.00
6. Thor (2011)…………………………………9.75
7. The Rite (2011)…………………………..4.75
8. You Will Meet a Tall
Dark Stranger (2010)…………………….4.00
9. The Wolfman (2010)………………….2.75
10. The City of Your
Final Destination (2009)……………….6.00
HOPKINS’ CURRENT AVERAGE: 5.800

Obviously, Hopkins is a better actor than a 5.8, but his film choices (and he still works quite a lot for a man in his seventies) haven’t been great.  In fact, aside from the Thor films, they’ve been pretty abysmal.  His greatest films more accurately reflect the stature of his career (and keep in mind that I have no access nor time to review the 25 years he worked in TV that very well may change this list for the better).
Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs, Anthony HopkinsHOPKINS’ GREATEST TEN
1. The Lion in Winter (1968)……………..10.00
2. Shadowlands (1993)……………………….10.00
3. Legends of the Fall (1994)……………..10.00
4. Thor The Dark World (2013)…………9.75
5. Thor (2011)……………………………………….9.75
6. The Mask of Zorro (1998)………………9.25
7. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)…..9.25
8. Amistad (1998)…………………………………9.25
9. Chaplin (1992)………………………………….9.00
10. The Elephant Man (1980)…………….8.50
HOPKINS’ GREATEST AVERAGE: 9.475

There’s no denying Anthony Hopkins is one of the best, most versatile actors in modern cinema.  He has three films coming out this year: Solace, Autobahn and Kidnapping Freddy Heineken, then it looks like he’ll be returning to his roots in TV starring in an HBO series based on Westworld (yes, the Yul Bruyner robot western).  His career continues on and he continues to impress with the consistent quality of his performance.  Even if the movie isn’t good, you know Hopkins always will be and that’s one of the hallmarks of the greatest actors.
Anthony Hopkins

2 thoughts on “Anthony Hopkins’ Latest 10 Movies vs. Greatest 10 Movies”

  1. Hard to believe that Hopkins is only in Silence of the Lambs for something like twelve minutes.

    I’m happy about your love for Shadowlands. That movie was important to me when it came out. Also, Legends of the Fall. Have you read the original novel by Jim Harrison? He wrote another wonderful book called Returning to Earth that really got to me, and I highly recommend it.

    Like

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