The other day, The Dilemma and I were able to find some time in our busy schedules and retire to a local watering hole to watch a Yankees playoff game. Since it was baseball, our minds quickly began to wander. The Dilemma asked, “If you could only watch one actor’s movies for the next decade, who would you choose?” A good question, one worthy of serious study. So we broke out the iPhone… we went through some popular actor’s oeuvres, trying to ascertain who made the wisest career choices.
The rules: We were judging the movies, not the performances; it was a straight-up good-or-bad determination; if we couldn’t come to a consensus, the movie didn’t count (for example, The Dilemma’s cold heart doesn’t have any room for the magic of Titanic); if neither of us saw the movie it didn’t count, unless it was obvious (for example, Extraordinary Measures or Eat Pray Love); it had to be a significant role.
In our continuing attempt to have this blog make our drinking tax-deductable, here are the results:
Ben Affleck: 7 good, 18 bad (28%)
Note: Our initial hunch that he would have the worst filmography was proven out. What a douche.
Denzel Washington: 12 good, 22 bad (35%)
Julia Roberts: 12 good, 17 bad (41%)
Note: Not only is Julia Roberts the only true female movie star, but The Dilemma refuses to believe her listed age of 42. I’m not so sure… that puts her at 21 in Mystic Pizza, which seems believable to me. Also, Matt Damon is listed at 40, and Mystic Pizza was also his first credit (in a minor role). I’m giving Julia the benefit of the doubt… I think she just got very big very young.
Will Smith: 8 good, 7 bad (53%)
Note: Surprising that he’s made so few movies.
Tom Hanks: 17 good, 15 bad (53%)
Note: His numbers are brought down by an early cold streak… from ’85 to ’89, his only good movies were Big and Punchline.
Brad Pitt: 17 good, 12 bad (59%)
Johnny Depp: 15 good, 10 bad (60%)
Note: Thought this would be higher… not as discerning as I’d imagined.
Harrison Ford: 18 good, 12 bad (60%)
Note: The winner of the should-have-died-young-in-a-car-crash award… he started off 14-0, but since 1997 (Air Force One), he hasn’t had a single good movie.
Matt Damon: 14 good, 9 bad (61%)
Tom Cruise: 21 good, 9 bad (70%)
Note: Despite his obvious craziness, Cruise has had a pretty good strategy for choosing films… he’s worked with as many good directors as possible. Here are some of the directors he’s done movies with:
Coppola, Curtis Hanson, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Scorsese, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Ron Howard, Sydney Pollack, Neil Jordan, DePalma, Cameron Crowe, Kubrick, P.T. Anderson, John Woo, Spielberg, Michael Mann, J.J. Abrams, Robert Redford, Bryan Singer. Pretty good collection.
Leonardo DiCaprio: 15 good, 1 bad (94%)
Note: The clear winner… even Leo-hater The Dilemma had to tip his Yankees cap. If you ever find yourself in a situation where a psycho is going to shoot you in the head if you see a movie by anyone but one actor, Leo’s the clear choice going forward.