Category Archives: Their 10 Best

Emily Blunt’s 10 Best Movies

Emily Blunt, Sunshine Cleaning

I think Emily Blunt is the most versatile actress in Hollywood.  There is literally nothing she cannot do and do well.  Drama, comedy, period pieces, she’s the best female action star since Sigourney Weaver, and on top of all of it she can sing and dance.  I have never seen Blunt turn in a bad performance, even if the movie she was in didn’t entirely click.  That skill set is going to allow her to break through that idiotic wall that exists for actresses between 40-60.  Even the best actresses usually have an area of weakness. For example, as superb as she is, no one is going to buy Meryl Streep in an action film.  I use Streep as an example, because it was Blunt’s role as her acerbic assistant in The Devil Wears Prada that first got her wide notice, and you CAN stick Blunt in action/science fiction films like Sicario, Looper, and the underrated Edge of Tomorrow and she will blow you away in either setting.  Turning only 34 this week, Blunt has a long career ahead of her making what I can only imagine will be one of the most diverse filmographies in movie history.

Emily Blunt, The Edge of Tomorrow
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John Hurt’s 10 Best Movies

John Hurt

John Hurt may not be an instantly recognizable name to casual film fans, but everyone who has seen a fair number of movies has seen his work.  He was Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter series.  He was The Storyteller in Jim Henson’s wonderful and too-short-lived eponymous series.  He was nominated twice for Academy Awards in 1977 for Midnight Express, and for what is probably his most indelible performance, that of the title character in 1980’s The Elephant Man.  He was also the unfortunate victim in one of the most famous scenes in film history: the “chest burster” dinner scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien.  He brought gravitas and dignity to every project he participated in, and I always was instantly more interested in a film when his name appeared in the credits.  Hurt has an astounding 204 credits as an actor over the course of his career, rarely as the leading man.  As a result, some of the best films he was in; he was barely onscreen for more than a handful of a moments.  I would be lying if I said I’ve seen even a quarter of his filmography, but any movie he appeared in was better for his presence, and these are my ten best of those.

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Amy Adams’ 10 Best Movies

Amy Adams, Enchanted

Amy Adams has unfortunately inherited the mantle Kate Winslet had to drag around for a decade: “Best Actress Without An Oscar”.  Nominated five times (it should be six if someone can make sense of how Arrival can get 8 nominations and not one for its star?), she’s 0 for 5.  Adams has put together an amazing body of work since she broke out in 2005’s Junebug and earned her first Oscar nod.  Whether in supporting roles as in Doubt, Charlie Wilson’s War, or Her; or as a lead in American Hustle, Big Eyes, or Enchanted, Adams always delivers strong performances.  I think her best performance was American Hustle, but her best movie was 2016’s science fiction masterpiece Arrival.  In the age of the comic book movie, most stars have been snapped up by DC or Marvel.  Adams has played Lois Lane in the DCEU in Man of Steel (which was good) and Batman vs. Superman (which was really not but not Adams’ fault).  It’s an unfortunate reality that quality actresses have a harder time finding quality roles as they age.  Adams is defying this trend, and eventually the Academy will recognize her as one of the strongest actresses of the last 30 years.

Amy Adams, Lois Lane, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
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Tom Hanks’ 10 Best Movies

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Tom Hanks is the biggest star in Hollywood and has been for over two decades.  From a start as a comedian, first on TV in Bosom Buddies and then in film with movies like Bachelor Party, Hanks got his big break, first in 1984’s Splash, then exploding into popularity in 1988 with his first Oscar nomination for Big.  Since then, he has gone on to win two Oscars, four Golden Globes, and his work with HBO on miniseries like From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, and The Pacific has won him six Emmys.

Tom Hanks, Robert Loggia, Big

Hanks is often called the “Jimmy Stewart of our generation” in that despite being the star he is, he’s a genuine person; the everyman who becomes someone with whom the audience can instantly relate.  Many actors, especially comic actors, really just play a heightened version of themselves in film.  Hanks began his career doing this, but soon disappeared into his roles and those roles defined some of the finest cinema of the last 30 years.  Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, the Toy Story Trilogy, Cast Away, Road to Perdition, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, Charlie’s Wilson’s War, and the list goes on and on.  Hanks’ #11-20 films are of a quality that most actors would kill to have them as their top 10 (and I cheated and combined the Toy Stories to get two more films on the list; perks of making the rules).  Hanks turned 60 in 2016, hard as that is to believe, but he’s still Hollywood’s leading man.

Jim Lovell, Apollo 13, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard

PS – If you find yourself in a movie and Tom Hanks is the captain of whatever vessel you’re traveling on (Captain Phillips, Sully, Apollo 13)…..buckle up.  Things are going to be ok, but you’re in for a bumpy ride.  If he’s the captain of your platoon, that is another story altogether.
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Site Note: New KT Feature-Their 10 Best

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Two years ago I wrote a monthly feature called “Latest vs. Greatest” where I would rate an actor, director, composer, etc.’s 10 latest films against their 10 greatest films as a sort of career barometer.  I also threw in a feature-length biography to boot, and though they were some of the most-read posts I’ve written, I discontinued the feature because writing them was getting to be so time consuming and expensive that I just couldn’t keep up.  I’ve been mulling over how to bring it back in some way in a simpler form, and that form will be a new, weekly column on Sundays called “Their 10 Best”.

It will be much simpler than “Latest vs. Greatest”.  I will do a brief introduction of the subject, review their career honors, and then present a simple list of what I feel are the ten best films (or TV shows) in which they have been involved.  Lists are fun; they’re great for starting movie nerd debates, and I think this better captures the spirit of what I originally wanted to do with the original column.  I will also try to keep them dynamic and updated as new films in which subjects are released and new honors are bestowed.  If a subject was previously featured in Latest vs. Greatest, I will link to that profile as well, and to make sure it’s liked, our first column will be Tom Hanks, who I DEFY you to dislike.

Note: The Latest vs. Greatest Columns will still be archived at the bottom of the Their 10 Best page since this is an evolution of that feature.
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