Throughout the history of film, there have been many acting performances that stay with you long after you watch the film. While this was a very hard list to compile, the following 10 performances show how acting should be done.
Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart
Gibsons role as William Wallace shows him fighting for Scottish freedom against English opression. Gibson takes his character from from pure rage to loving compassion.
Morgan Freeman as Red in The Shawshank Redemption
Freeman plays Red, the guy that can get you things inside prison. He befriends Andy Dufrane who helps him realize that fear can hold you prisoner, but hope can set you free. Tim Robbins performance in this movie can also be considered.
Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront
Brando plays a former boxer who struggles with the tactics used by his crime boss. The epic line "I coulda been somebody, I coulda been a contenda" puts Brando as one of the top actors of all time.
Denzel Washington as Malcom X in Malcom X
Denzel Washington plays Malcom X better then anyone else could have done. As far as bio-pics go, this is the best of the best.
Peter Sellers as Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove in Dr. Strangelove
Sellers plays 3 characters in this epic movie and is extremely funny in each role.
Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview in There Will be Blood
Like any other role that Daniel Day Lewis takes on (Gangs of New York) he attacks it with passion and energy. Daniel's take on Daniel Plainview an oil tycoon with a vision is simply brilliant.
Roberto Benigini as Guido Orefice in Life is Beautiful
Benigini's performance as Guido Orefice, a Jewish person in a Nazi concentration camp will stay with you forever. Throughout the film Guido must stay in high spirits no matter what, so that his young son can stay happy. This performance will take you to both amazing highs, and lows.
Robert De Niro as Jake La Motta in Raging Bull
De Niro plays a temperamental and paranoid boxer in Jake La Motta, who winds up alienating himself from his family and friends. Not only did De Niro star in the film, he also helped write the script. De Niro plays the role with a flair and style that only he could pull off.
Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the Lambs
Hopkins won fame for this role as Hannibal Lector as he won an Oscar for best actor with the least time on screen. In this film Hopkins plays a psycho Hannibal Lector, who knows the secret name of a wanted man, Buffalo Bill. Lector plays mind games with police investigators and this performance will play games with your mind as well.
Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather
What more can be said about the acting of Marlon Brando? He plays the role of Vito Corleone, Don and leader of the Corleone mafia family. If you don't like this movie, Brando will make you an offer you can't refuse.