Liam Neeson may have admitted crying while filming Qui-Gon Jinn’s ghost scene in Disney movie Obi-Wan Kenobi series, but the characters he usually plays are often more reserved. That’s not to say the 70-year-old star hasn’t taken on the odd sincere role in her long and impressive career, just that what she’s truly known for tends to be no-nonsense characters.
For those eager to see Neeson’s particular skill set, the Redditors have provided their picks for his top ten films. Within these choices is everything from vocal acting to dramatic storyline to over-the-top but completely adorable action roles. For Neeson fans who haven’t yet fully dedicated themselves to exploring this great actor’s work, this list serves as a great starting point.
10/10 Seraph falls (2006)
A longtime Western fan, Neeson was reportedly thrilled to star in this 2006 version of the genre. The story of two rivals in an ever-changing cat and mouse situation, Redditor Tr1ckery_ is unaffected by the film’s poor box office results, saying, “Seraphim Falls is a truly underrated movie.”
Neeson certainly plays his Carver character well, but the film probably failed to gain any kind of meaningful recognition thanks to its genre. Westerns simply don’t command the degree of attention they once had, and the rivalry between Pierce Brosnan’s Carver and Gideon often seems a bit far-fetched. Still, the film is worth watching for Neeson fans.
9/10 Chronicles of Narnia (2005-2010)
The great success The Chronicles of Narnia the books have been adapted into three feature films starting in 2005, with Neeson as the voice of Aslan, King of Beasts. Redditor ykey80 makes the first movie in the series Neeson’s first choice, saying, “If I had to pick 1 movie, it would be Chronicles of Narnia.”
Once again Neeson finds favor as a voice actor, although this time he is in what was otherwise a rather disappointing trilogy. As Aslan, Neeson managed to bring some sort of authority to the character and while that made the series stronger, overall it’s hard to see her as one of the best performances of him, despite being a great effort.
8/10 Husbands and Wives (1992)
This Woody Allen film about the difficulties of marriage and fidelity did not fare well at the box office at the time of its release, although it still remains a critical success. Despite his ensemble cast, Redditor totalnotsexpervert believes he can still count as Neeson’s best, saying, “It’s a ensemble cast, but it’s an important part of Husbands and Wives.”
Neeson’s role as Michael isn’t exactly huge and there’s no denying he’s a big part of the film. That said, it is difficult to compare this performance with some of his larger and more complete works than him. The characters inside Husbands and wives they’re all on the same page in terms of the film’s central theme, but Neeson still feels underused.
7/10 Rob Roy (1995)
As for the historical biographies, Rob Roy generally it has failed to arouse any interest either in a man or in an era that offers much to be interested in. Neeson starred as the 18th-century Scottish folk hero of the same name in a performance which Redditor SamuraiJackBauer ranks as the best of the star, saying, “Rob Roy comes to mind.”
Although Neeson’s performance in the film is decent, Rob Roy was largely overshadowed by Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning historical drama, Brave Heart. Both films have been widely criticized for historical inaccuracies (and bad attempts at Scottish accents), but Neeson tends to get more credit for playing a Scottish hero without the Hollywood sensationalism.
6/10 The Gray (2011)
The story of a group of oilmen who find themselves stranded in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes, The gray marks another action-packed adventure for Neeson. Editor TripleG2312 can’t resist Neeson’s intense action from the film, stating, “The best I’ve ever seen is The Gray”.
It’s hard to deny that there is a certain charm to watching a 59-year-old man fight wolves after a plane crash. Yet, as ridiculous as the concept is, Neeson makes it once again. It’s a role that few actors could actually take on and succeed with, and while it wasn’t a huge hit, The gray anyone who appreciates Neeson’s work is worth a look.
5/10 Pony (2009)
A year after the original Japanese-language version of this Hayao Miyazaki film broke Japanese box office records, an English-language version was released. This saw Neeson as Fujimoto’s voice, prompting Redditor the-splendid-ninja to declare, “I really liked the voice of him acting as the father in Ponyo.”
It is a testament to Neeson’s diversity of talents that his career has included considerable variety. While Neeson’s more recent films present him as an action hero, it’s often easy to forget how varied his work has been. His talents are in no way diminished by a dubbing performance, which ultimately enhances Miyazaki’s beloved animated story.
4/10 Batman begins (2005)
Christopher Nolan kicked off a hugely successful trilogy with this 2005 effort. Neeson plays the dual role of villain Henri Ducard and Ra’s al Ghul, delivering a performance strong enough for squirtsmacintosh’s Redditor to comment: “Batman Begins is probably Nolan’s best batman and he was a really strong villain in that movie. “
It is not particularly frequent that Neeson has played a villain in his long career and his portrayal in Batman begins he’s wonderful simply because he plays both the hero and the villain. It is through this duality that audiences can see Neeson’s strengths as an actor, delivering a performance that was essential to Batman begins and its compelling storyline.
3/10 Taken (2008)
After his teenage daughter is kidnapped by an Albanian sex trafficking ring, former Green Beret and CIA officer Bryan Mills (Neeson) takes matters into his highly capable hands. A now canceled Redditor account chooses this action thriller as Neeson’s best, saying, “Got it, not his best acting job, but my favorite.”
Neeson made what was arguably the biggest leap of his career with this massive hit, returning for two sequels. As more or less the beginning of his time as an action movie hero, Taken gave audiences a strong look at what they are capable of within the genre. It may not be high art, but the Taken the franchise was certainly positive for Neeson.
2/10 Dark Man (1990)
Having found considerable success with two evil Dead movie, director Sam Raimi made this outrageous superhero game with Neeson as the eponymous hero. Redditor ScrapMetalDrone has no doubt that this Neeson is the best, saying “Darkman for sure”.
Because of by Darkman unique set of skills, he is able to transform into anyone. This may slightly limit Neeson’s real-time screen, but it doesn’t negatively impact the performance he delivers. There is a raw brutality to the character, something Neeson will learn to exploit in the years to come as his career leans more and more towards the action genre.
1/10 Shindler’s List (1993)
The unfathomable inhumanity of the Nazis and the courage of industrialist Oskar Schindler to save Jewish citizens from certain death make this Steven Spielberg film a vital work. Neeson’s turn as Schindler is undoubtedly the choice of Redditor wpmason with “I mean … Schindler’s List”.
For many Neeson fans, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. The emotional range required to portray a character like Schindler – doing business and fraternizing with the Nazis while secretly struggling to save Jewish prisoners is nothing short of remarkable. Neeson delivers a superb performance, which earned him his first (and only) Oscar nomination.
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