He’s either one of the most distinguished or one of the most creepy guys in show business depending on who you talk to but one thing is very clear, John Malkovich is one of the best without a doubt. His resume speaks for itself considering that he’s been in just about every type of movie that’s suited for his unique style of acting and has seen him excel in whatever role he’s put into. Sure, some movies have flopped and others barely got any attention at all, but the fact that he keeps going and that he’s still so immensely popular is enough to intuit that he’s a worthwhile actor and someone that a lot of casting directors might look to for a variety of roles. Now that he’s getting older it would seem that he can still pull off a wide variety of characters, but there’s no doubt that he’s a bit more selective, as he’s earned the right.
Here are a few of his best movies from throughout his career.
5. Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
A lot of us know the story of Joan of Arc, at least one version or another depending on what we’ve seen, read, or been exposed to, but this one is a stark and very shadowed affair that puts a few people in a negative light and even casts doubt upon the future saint at one point. She did manage to encourage her countrymen to fight back, but Charles VII, who wanted only a crown and a country to rule over it seems, was quick to turn his back on her when it appeared that she might threaten his position. The part of the king was played beautifully since whether or not it’s true in history, he was a coward and a weakling in the movie that held onto his throne with the barest of grips until a young woman gave him the resounding victory he needed.
4. Con Air
The guts and nerve it would take to assume control of a prison plane is enough to think that Cyrus is the kind of guy you should be thankful doesn’t pop up in real life all the time. His willpower and resolve were never in question throughout the movie since he was willing to say or do anything to keep the control he’d gained. Of course when that control was challenged he kind of fell apart since he didn’t seem to factor failure into his plans, or the presence of an Army Ranger that was on his way home to see his family. Never, EVER, come between a man and his family, especially if he’s a highly-trained soldier with no compunctions about harming those in his way.
3. Being John Malkovich
A man reporting to work in a strange kind of half-level office makes a discovery one day that would probably astound most people and frighten others. He finds a hidden passageway that somehow dumps him into the mind of John Malkovich. How this happens and why is explained in a long and frustrating way throughout the movie when his actions are discovered, but it does make you wonder about the reality we live in and what might happen if such a thing were true. The implications are a bit much when you really think about it since there would be too much excuse for those that claim to not be in their right mind.
2. In the Line of Fire
Frank is a man that lives with the kind of guilt that very few people could stomach since his inability to act in time cost the nation a president when he was younger. As security detail for the current president, after a few calls from the mysterious Booth, he is seeking redemption as well as a chance to avoid yet another costly mistake that might be made should his colleagues decide to not listen to him. Booth is the kind of person that you don’t want to meet, talk to, or even knows exist since the chances are good that if he deems you expendable you won’t last very long. But in the end Booth is neutralized and Frank finally gets to retire.
1. Of Mice and Men
George and Lennie are just trying to make do as they move from place to place, but Lennie’s inability to integrate fully into one place or another tends to make it impossible for them to stick around. During the film they do find a farm to work on and are doing well, despite a run-in with the owner’s son, whom Lennie is told to attack during an altercation. The final straw comes however when a young lady that takes a shine to Lennie is accidentally killed by the big man, prompting him and George to take flight. George shoots Lennie in the back of the head not long after, doing both of them a kindness since Lennie simply can’t change, and he doesn’t want to see him hanged or imprisoned.
John is a talented man, but a little odd sometimes.