Top 5 – Johnny Depp Performances

We recently reviewed Black Mass for my podcast, I Like To Movie Movie, and decided to talk about our Top 5 Depp performances. It turned out I’d only seen about a dozen Depp movies so my selection was limited, but he’s done good work so often I don’t regret a single one of these choices. Which is part of the point of this list – there seems to be an odd backlash against him of late, so we wanted to celebrate him and his great career instead.

  1. Dead ManIf I’m being fair, I haven’t seen this in about 8 years. But it affected me in a big bad way, and I distinctly remember being wow’d by the subtlety of Depp’s performance, which is usually anything but. This movie helped me confront my growing fear of death, rather than distract me from it, and that’s a unique and important thing.
  2. Fear and Loathing in Las VegasDoes anyone think I need to note why this is here? He’s brilliant in this, simultaneously bringing the mythos of Thompson to the screen as well as adding to it. This is just a great movie.
  3. BlowThis one makes my list because he gives a great performance without delving into heavy make up or silly voices (I’m not putting either of these characteristics down by the way, just noting that he does great work in and out of costume). He looks and sounds like Depp here, yet establishes a character and delivers some really excellent dramatic work.
  4. TuskMy man gets points for his unrelenting commitment to the weirdness here. And thank God it’s him in the part, honestly. Those monologues could be unbearable in lesser hands.
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlThis is one of very few decent pirate movies in my opinion, and a large part of that is due to the immensely entertaining character that Depp helped create. 4 sequels have been made on the strength of that performance; that’s pretty incredible.
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Garrett Smith

Comedian of no repute. Co-host of the I Like To Movie Movie podcast and Movie Movie Live! the monthly game show based on the podcast.
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