Praise for the greatest on-screen performances are usually given to dramatic performances — Leonardo DiCaprio, Viola Davis, Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington are usual contenders for their roles in various movies. While these actors are all fantastic, a lot of other performances are often overlooked for multiple reasons.
Chris Evans may get overlooked as Captain America because he's starring in a comic book movie. Sean Connery's role in Finding Forrester is often forgotten because the film wasn't seen by a large audience. Ben Affleck's performance in Gone Girl isn't celebrated because readers preferred the book over the movie. With this in mind, I want to share some love for some performances I believe get overlooked, either because of who the actor is, the role they played, or the film's genre.
1. Raúl Juliá As Bison In 'Street Fighter' (1994)
Was this movie awful? Well, yeah, but despite how bad this movie is, Raúl Juliá was amazing in every scene. Every line was delivered with so much passion and emotion that it was almost like he was trying to save the movie by himself. Juliá as Bison was one of the few saving graces in this movie.
2. Jim Carry As Chip Douglas In 'The Cable Guy' (1996)
I don't know if #JimCarry will ever truly be appreciated for his skill as an actor. If there is a movie where I think Carry truly shined, it's The Cable Guy. Not only was he his normal, goofy self in a comedy, but he also played a psychotic, obsessive character. People often say The Truman Show was Carry's best performance, but my pick will always be The Cable Guy.
3. Robert Downey Jr. As Kirk Lazarus In 'Tropic Thunder' (2008)
From the moment we see #RobertDowneyJr as the priest during a fake preview, he stole the show. RDJ was literally "the dude playing the dude disguised as another dude."
He delivered quote after quote that will be remembered for decades, but there's more than just his part in the movie. For example, on the movie commentary, RDJ actually stays in character as Kirk Lzarus. Like he said in the film, he "doesn't drop it until the DVD commentary." It was brilliant. His facial expressions throughout the film are subtle, but help sell the role perfectly.
4. Val Kilmer As Dieter Von Cunth In 'MacGruber' (2010)
This was one of the few times #ValKilmer stepped away from a dramatic role and tried something goofy. And guess what? He was AWESOME! While keeping his straight face, he played off of Will Forte's silly character and still managed to deliver a few great jokes of his own. Seeing him paint a naked old woman with a straight face or seeing him dance around with a piece of MacGruber's hair was unforgettable. A role for which he will never truly get the credit he deserves.
5. Jason Patric As Max In 'The Losers' (2010)
The Losers goes down as a comic book movie that wasn't given enough time to really pick up speed. They had an amazing cast and, more importantly, a great villain. Max was devious, ruthless, sarcastic, cynical and hilarious. In short, he was everything you want from your villain in a movie. I'd go as far as to say his portrayal as a movie antagonist was perfect.
6. Hugh Jackman As Logan In 'Logan' (2017)
Is this role under appreciated by the fans? Absolutely not. But, it will be under appreciated by the Academy. Hugh Jackman went further than just playing a comic book character. I'd go as far as to say he revolutionized what it means to play a role in a comic book movie. He was everything that I remember #Logan being in the comic books, and then some. Hugh Jackman should be the first actor to receive a major award for his role as a comic book hero.
Nobody is going to play the role of a father, caretaker, friend, savior and a hero in one movie. And if they do, they damn sure won't do it as good as #HughJackman.
7. Dominic West As Jigsaw In 'Punisher: War Zone' (2008)
Punisher: War Zone is looked at as one of the worst Marvel Comics movies of all time — and rightfully so. The acting was terrible, but there was a shining light in this movie (other than Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle).
Dominic West got his Jack Nicholson on and played a man who went from narcissist gangster to crazy, scarred villain. If you get a chance, go watch the movie and you will have a different take on the movie once you notice how similar West's role was to Nicholson's and also why he deserves a higher praise than he's received.
8. Lily James As Elizabeth Bennet In 'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies' (2016)
They took a classic book and added zombies. Yes, I understand how silly that sounds, but guess what? It worked. Not only did Lily James play the role of zombie killer with ferocity, but she also pulled off the part of Elizabeth Bennet with the grace that was found in the book. The movie stayed as true to the source material as possible while adding zombies to the book's poetic nature.
9. Keanu Reeves As John Constantine In 'Constantine' (2005)
If I am being completely honest with myself, this movie was not a good representation of the #Constantine character. But, that doesn't make this performance bad. Take away the name of the movie and look at it as a supernatural noir flick, and you'll have a whole new perspective about how great Keanu Reeves was. Reeves has proven that he is at his best when he can broody and angry, so this was a perfect fit.
10. Nicolas Cage As Big Daddy In 'Kick-Ass' (2010)
Nicolas Cage is known as one of the worst actors of all time. As my wife pointed out, all of his best movies always star someone else to balance him out (The Rock has Sean Connery and Face/Off had John Travolta). While #KickAss had an amazing supporting cast, #NicolasCage stood out and was amazing. Was he cheesy and corny? Absolutely, but he was supposed to be. He was Batman from the early episodes with Adam West. Except he had an edge, and a gun. Nicolas Cage should not be overlooked for his part in this movie.
11. Wesley Snipes As Blade In 'Blade' (1998)
Forget Iron Man and The X-Men movies, the Marvel Comics movie franchises should be sending Wesley Snipes annual gift baskets for getting the ball rolling on the movie franchise. Before Robert Downey Jr. was Tony Stark and before Chris Evans was Johnny Storm or Steve Rogers, Wesley Snipes was the guy taking a Marvel character and perfectly breathing life into it. His performance is underrated among those who have been following comic movies since day one, but he is still often overlooked for what he did.
12. Julianne Moore As Margaret White In 'Carrie' (2013)
Very few people can really make my blood boil in how they play an antagonist. #JulianneMoore did exactly that, and then some, with her performance in #Carrie. She was an abusive, crazy, overly religious and overprotective mother. There was no way you could watch this movie and not hate her. She was flat out EVIL! This was also one of the few remakes that was actually good.
13. Carl Weathers As Apollo Creed In The Rocky Franchise (1976–1982)
Everyone talks about how great Sylvester Stallone was in Rocky — and it is justified — but everyone forgets that without Carl Weathers playing the role as well as he did, Rocky wouldn't have turned into the franchise that it became. Carl Weathers played off of Stallone perfectly. He has one of the top five most underappreciated roles in such a highly rated movie franchise.
14. LL Cool J As Dwayne 'God' Gittens In 'In Too Deep' (1999)
*WARNING* The video below may be uncomfortable to some viewers
LL Cool J went from one of the pioneers of Rap and Hip Hop to a money maker in Hollywood (every rapper who's in movies and TV should thank LL Cool J every time they see him). But before he was helping take in criminals in NCIS, he playing a criminal in what I think was his best role ever: God in In Too Deep. What made this role so special was that LL played a character he hasn't played since — a ruthless, hardcore gangster. And he was amazing. There is one scene in particular with a pool stick that, well, I think you should watch the movie and see for yourself.
15. Robert Englund As Freddy Krueger In The Nightmare On Elm Street Franchise
*WARNING!* These scenes may not be suitable for everyone.
Freddy Krueger is known as one of the best movie villains ever. He is the reason kids were scared to fall asleep for months on end — scared that Freddy would get them. Movie fans don't underrate his importance, but he has absolutely been slighted by the Academy and other Awards panels.
I personally think that the reason there are still so many horror movies being made is because of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. If not an Oscar, Englund deserves a lifetime achievement award. Whether he was a more serious Freddy in the first movie or the goofier Freddy in later films, Englund was phenomenal.
What actors or actresses do you think gets overlooked for their performance and in what movie? Let me know in the comments below