There has always been a league of actors/actresses who generally get to be treated with this so-called tag of “underrated” in one time or another in their career, not only in Hollywood, but also in world cinema. Joaquin Phoenix (first name pronounced as “Wha-keen”, only if you didn’t know) is certainly one such actor, who without a doubt will feature among top ranks, if we take a list of leading contemporary Hollywood actors. A career that has witnessed its ups and downs at times has managed very well in recent past to marvel us, with the latest being, winning one of his rare internationally acclaimed achievement; the Cannes best Actor award this year for Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here”. Despite being nominated for 3 Academy and 5 Golden Globe awards in the past for some of his fabulous performances, he had only managed to win one. For someone of his caliber and pristine style this was way too long.
Having a family of actors all around, he had developed his creative instincts at a very young age and followed their lead into acting. He is mostly known to his earlier audiences on account of his brother/actor, the wonderful River Phoenix who appear as the unforgettably charming ‘Chris Chambers’ in the 1986 feature “Stand By Me”. About his own acting, he has said, he regrets his previous performances and is always trying to improve and develop on his skills in each part he gets. On multiple times in his course as an actor, he almost bid adieu to his career, the second time being more worse where he announced himself to be moving on and choosing rap as a line of work. Director Casey Affleck’s 2010 mockumentary-drama “I’m Still Here” follows this subject matter, which has some of his private and tormented moments, unfortunately not featuring here.
Barring certain rare cases like those mentioned above where some of the personal decisions had resulted in the slight doom of his career at a certain phase, it is of no argument that he is a fine actor and a wonderful human being. He is not interested in appearing cheeky award season flicks and dedicates one hundred percent to all his roles. Appearing in a wide range of films, often he does characters who are mentally and emotionally troubled. In my opinion, directors all around the world have not been able to utilize completely the talent that Phoenix is and if given with some more challenging and multi-dimensional roles in the future, we are yet to witness the masterful actor he is. He is such an improving actor as I mentioned earlier and some of his brilliant performances have come in the second part of his career. So, without further ado, let us get down to the business and list down the top 10 Joaquin Phoenix movies. You can watch some of these best Joaquin Pheonix movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. Signs (2002)
“Signs”, was one of M. Night Shyamalan’s better movies. Like most of his other flicks, this also deals with a supernatural plot and is mostly thrilling at times. Composer James Newton Howard’s music helps to the cause of the film in a great way. It was received with mixed reviews among critics, although it managed to bag a lot from the box-office. This is one of those movies where the title is very aptly used. It doesn’t drag you a lot and the filmmaker arouses apprehension through subtle acts. The film’s final act was an average one, given the excitement it gave at the start. The director has a brilliant knack for building suspense, inviting the audience to his world, but he doesn’t deliver well on the finale which dwells on a weak thread.
It was Phoenix’s first collaboration with Shyamalan, and following the success of this film they both united for another film called “The Village”. Mel Gibson gives a solid feat and the children are adorable. Despite co-starring with one of the greats, he is able to pay justice to his role. It was also a character that was in a different dimension than the roles he was doing before. Even if there was no space to express himself, he did a fine job.