Josh Brolin, son of the veteran actor James Brolin, has been following in his father’s footsteps since he first appeared in Goonies over 30 years ago. Brolin has matured into one of the most reliable character actors in Hollywood (even though that character is usually some variation on either an oily creep or an affable modern cowboy, he still manages to make either one work very very well). Brolin has been part of extremely talented ensembles in memorable films like Sicario, Only the Brave, American Gangster, and In the Valley of Elah. A favorite of the Coen Brothers in films like Hail Caesar!, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit, Brolin is capping one of the more memorable summers in recent memories with three big sequels in less than two months. The most memorable film moment so far in 2018 was Brolin’s in Avengers: Infinity War as his uber-MCU villain Thanos’s “Snap Heard Across the Universe” still has comic fans breathing into paper bags.
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Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks are, in my mind, the two best actors of their generation. Both started in TV, Hanks in comedy with Bosom Buddies, and Washington in drama on St. Elsewhere. Where Hanks’ career has exceeded Washington’s is not in talent, it is in project selection. Washington elevates anything he’s in, no matter how mediocre, but he’s unfortunately had stretches of his career where he’s picked projects way beneath his astounding talent level. Lately, though, Washington has been on a roll balancing commercial successes like The Equalizer and The Magnificent Seven with astounding dramatic performances in films like Flight and Fences. Like the best actors, there is no limit to what he can achieve if paired with the right cast, project, and director. He can be eminently likable, intensely despicable, sympathetic, heroic, noble and fallen all with an ease that lulls the audience until he turns it up and he grabs the screen by the throat and sears a moment into your mind forever. Glory, Philadelphia, The Hurricane, Flight, Fences, all of these films have moments that transcend what even great actors can do, and you realize that you’re watching someone whose work will be remembered as long as they’re showing films. He’s that good, and he keeps getting better. Washington is also a talented director, helming Antwone Fisher, The Great Debaters, and Fences
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Russell Crowe had about as good a five years as any actor has in the late 1990s – 2000s with films like The Insider, LA Confidential, A Beautiful Mind, and Gladiator. Not only is Crowe a chameleon as a dramatic actor, he’s an outstanding action star, and if the sometimes temperamental star is in the right setting, he has a very sardonic, dry comedic prowess. He helped kick off the DC Extended Universe, doing a better Jor-El than Marlon Brando (granted it helped that no one ever cared less about a part than Brando did being Jor-El) in Man of Steel, but aside from that and 2016’s The Nice Guys, good parts have been rare for Crowe in the last decade. I’m not sure if the Australian star has lost his desire, or if he’s burned too many bridges, but when you can light a fire under him, he’s one of the best actors alive, so hopefully the right part will come his way soon. Continue reading Russell Crowe’s 10 Best Movies