Best Actor in a Leading Role

by soak0383 | created - 28 Mar 2013 | updated - 18 Oct 2018 | Public
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1. Biutiful (2010)

R | 148 min | Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib, Guillermo Estrella

Votes: 81,723 | Gross: $5.10M

Javier Bardem

2. 127 Hours (2010)

R | 94 min | Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Sean Bott

Votes: 330,893 | Gross: $18.34M

James Franco

3. Crazy Heart (2009)

R | 112 min | Drama, Music, Romance

83 Metascore

A faded country music musician is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life during a doomed romance that also inspires him.

Director: Scott Cooper | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, James Keane

Votes: 80,790 | Gross: $39.46M

*Jeff Bridges*

4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

PG-13 | 166 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

70 Metascore

Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Julia Ormond

Votes: 552,177 | Gross: $127.51M

Brad Pitt

5. The Visitor (I) (2007)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama

79 Metascore

A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Gurira, Hiam Abbass

Votes: 40,500 | Gross: $9.42M

Richard Jenkins

6. Eastern Promises (2007)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Josef Altin

Votes: 217,758 | Gross: $17.11M

Viggo Mortensen

7. In the Valley of Elah (2007)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

A retired military investigator works with a police detective to uncover the truth behind his son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Director: Paul Haggis | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Jonathan Tucker, Jason Patric

Votes: 66,694 | Gross: $6.78M

Tommy Lee Jones

8. Venus (I) (2006)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Life for a pair of veteran actors gets turned upside down after they meet a brash teenager.

Director: Roger Michell | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Jodie Whittaker, Leslie Phillips, Beatrice Savoretti

Votes: 12,080 | Gross: $3.34M

Peter O'Toole

9. Blood Diamond (2006)

R | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Kagiso Kuypers

Votes: 471,775 | Gross: $57.37M

Leonardo DiCaprio

10. Hustle & Flow (2005)

R | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Music

68 Metascore

With help from his friends, a Memphis pimp in a mid-life crisis attempts to become a successful hip-hop emcee.

Director: Craig Brewer | Stars: Terrence Howard, Ludacris, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning

Votes: 37,244 | Gross: $22.20M

Terrence Howard

11. House of Sand and Fog (2003)

R | 126 min | Crime, Drama

71 Metascore

An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her house's new owners.

Director: Vadim Perelman | Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard, Frances Fisher

Votes: 62,700 | Gross: $13.01M

Ben Kingsley

12. The Quiet American (2002)

R | 101 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

84 Metascore

An old British reporter vies with a young U.S. doctor for the affections of a beautiful Vietnamese woman.

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Thi Hai Yen Do, Rade Serbedzija

Votes: 26,384 | Gross: $12.99M

Michael Caine

13. In the Bedroom (2001)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A New England couple's college-aged son dates an older woman who has two small children and an unwelcome ex-husband.

Director: Todd Field | Stars: Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei

Votes: 36,236 | Gross: $35.93M

Tom Wilkinson

14. Ali (2001)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

65 Metascore

A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, Mario Van Peebles

Votes: 89,265 | Gross: $58.20M

Will Smith

15. I Am Sam (2001)

PG-13 | 132 min | Drama

28 Metascore

A mentally handicapped man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter and in the process teaches his cold-hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

Director: Jessie Nelson | Stars: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 137,728 | Gross: $40.31M

Sean Penn

16. Training Day (2001)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

69 Metascore

On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the L.A.P.D. with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.

Director: Antoine Fuqua | Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger

Votes: 364,812 | Gross: $76.63M

*Denzel Washington*

17. Quills (2000)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama

70 Metascore

In a Napoleonic era insane asylum, an inmate, the irrepressible Marquis De Sade, fights a battle of wills against a tyrannically prudish doctor.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine

Votes: 49,728 | Gross: $7.06M

Geoffrey Rush

18. Cast Away (2000)

PG-13 | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

A FedEx executive undergoes a physical and emotional transformation after crash landing on a deserted island.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez, Lari White

Votes: 485,177 | Gross: $233.63M

Tom Hanks

19. Before Night Falls (2000)

R | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

The life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas.

Director: Julian Schnabel | Stars: Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, Olatz López Garmendia, Giovani Florido

Votes: 23,091 | Gross: $4.22M

Javier Bardem

20. The Hurricane (1999)

R | 146 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

74 Metascore

The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber

Votes: 87,572 | Gross: $50.67M

Denzel Washington

21. Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

70 Metascore

In the 1930s, jazz guitarist Emmet Ray idolizes Django Reinhardt, faces gangsters and falls in love with a mute woman.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Sean Penn, Samantha Morton, Woody Allen, Ben Duncan

Votes: 30,911 | Gross: $4.20M

Sean Penn

22. The Straight Story (1999)

G | 112 min | Biography, Drama

86 Metascore

An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Jane Galloway Heitz, Joseph A. Carpenter

Votes: 76,251 | Gross: $6.20M

Richard Farnsworth

23. The Insider (1999)

R | 157 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

84 Metascore

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a 60 Minutes (1968) exposé on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Diane Venora

Votes: 152,342 | Gross: $28.97M

Russell Crowe

24. Affliction (1997)

R | 114 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

79 Metascore

A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintegrate.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn, Brigid Tierney

Votes: 14,161 | Gross: $6.30M

Nick Nolte

25. Wag the Dog (1997)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a Presidential sex scandal.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 75,663 | Gross: $43.02M

Dustin Hoffman

26. Ulee's Gold (1997)

R | 113 min | Drama

77 Metascore

A reclusive beekeeper slowly pulls his dysfunctional family back together, but not without having to fight his son's previous dastardly cohorts.

Director: Victor Nunez | Stars: Peter Fonda, Patricia Richardson, Christine Dunford, Tom Wood

Votes: 6,539 | Gross: $9.05M

Peter Fonda

27. The Apostle (1997)

PG-13 | 134 min | Drama

83 Metascore

After his happy life spins out of control, a preacher from Texas changes his name, goes to Louisiana and starts preaching on the radio.

Director: Robert Duvall | Stars: Robert Duvall, Todd Allen, Paul Bagget, Lenore Banks

Votes: 12,847 | Gross: $20.73M

Robert Duvall

28. Sling Blade (1996)

R | 135 min | Drama

84 Metascore

Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter

Votes: 83,269 | Gross: $24.48M

Billy Bob Thornton

29. The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

79 Metascore

The story of a controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Brett Harrelson

Votes: 83,959 | Gross: $20.19M

Woody Harrelson

30. Shine (1996)

PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Music

87 Metascore

Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Director: Scott Hicks | Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine, Sonia Todd

Votes: 49,281 | Gross: $35.81M

*Geoffrey Rush*

31. Il Postino (1994)

PG | 108 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

Simple Italian postman learns to love poetry while delivering mail to a famous poet; he uses this to woo local beauty Beatrice.

Directors: Michael Radford, Massimo Troisi | Stars: Massimo Troisi, Philippe Noiret, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Renato Scarpa

Votes: 31,273 | Gross: $21.85M

Massimo Troisi

32. Nixon (1995)

R | 192 min | Biography, Drama, History

66 Metascore

A biographical story of former U.S. President Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy, to his eventual Presidency, which ended in shame.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe, Ed Harris

Votes: 27,430 | Gross: $13.56M

Anthony Hopkins

33. Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

PG | 143 min | Drama, Music

59 Metascore

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Director: Stephen Herek | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis

Votes: 34,000 | Gross: $82.57M

Richard Dreyfuss

34. Nobody's Fool (1994)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

86 Metascore

A stubborn man past his prime reflects on his life of strict independence and seeks more from himself.

Director: Robert Benton | Stars: Paul Newman, Bruce Willis, Jessica Tandy, Melanie Griffith

Votes: 17,356 | Gross: $39.49M

Paul Newman

35. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

Votes: 1,667,944 | Gross: $330.25M

*Tom Hanks*

36. What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)

R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of singer Tina Turner's rise to stardom and how she gained the courage to break free from her abusive husband, Ike Turner.

Director: Brian Gibson | Stars: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, RaéVen Kelly, Virginia Capers

Votes: 15,968 | Gross: $39.10M

Laurence Fishburne

37. Philadelphia (1993)

PG-13 | 125 min | Drama

66 Metascore

When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman

Votes: 210,877 | Gross: $77.32M

*Tom Hanks*

38. Malcolm X (1992)

PG-13 | 202 min | Biography, Drama, History

72 Metascore

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee

Votes: 77,554 | Gross: $48.17M

Denzel Washington

39. Chaplin (1992)

PG-13 | 143 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

47 Metascore

A movie about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys, John Thaw

Votes: 50,724 | Gross: $9.49M

Robert Downey Jr.

40. Cape Fear (1991)

R | 128 min | Crime, Thriller

73 Metascore

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis

Votes: 158,898 | Gross: $79.10M

Robert De Niro

41. The Field (1990)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Thriller

When a field (which has been farmed by the McCabe family for generations) goes up for auction, the patriarch of the McCabe family will stop at nothing to prevent a rich American from buying it.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean, Frances Tomelty

Votes: 5,181 | Gross: $1.41M

Richard Harris

42. Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)

PG | 137 min | Comedy, Drama, History

79 Metascore

Embarrassed by his large nose, a romantic poet/soldier romances his cousin by proxy.

Director: Jean-Paul Rappeneau | Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Anne Brochet, Vincent Perez, Jacques Weber

Votes: 21,177 | Gross: $15.14M

Gérard Depardieu

43. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

72 Metascore

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 225,803 | Gross: $184.21M

Kevin Costner

44. Reversal of Fortune (1990)

R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, Mystery