Those of us that have grown up with Eric Roberts as part of our normal cinema experience know by now that this guy is in so many different movies that it’s likely some kind of record since he’s been seen just about everywhere at some point. It’s also been known and well-documented that he has a tendency to overdo it with his acting now and then as he puts too much of himself into a role and seems to ham it up a bit. He’s the working-man’s actor without a doubt since he does hustle and do as much as he can, but now and again it’s usually best to see a little less of him since taking Eric in big doses might make you wonder just why he’s still in the business. To be fair though he’s accomplished a lot and he’s been able to create a pretty solid career throughout the years, so a little over-acting isn’t such a big thing when it comes to realizing that he’s been doing it for the love of the craft.
Here are his five best movies.
5. Pope of Greenwich Village
Sarah Jane from Talk Film Society is on the money when it comes to stating that 1980s Mickey Rourke was at the top of his game and doing just fine before he hit the 90s and things kind of went screwy. Both Eric and Mickey played two men that were trying to get out from under life’s thumb in this movie as they planned a heist that unfortunately went wrong when it was discovered just who they were stealing from. Long story short, Roberts’ character lost his thumb, Rourke’s character lost his girlfriend, and eventually the two managed to turn the tables on the person they’d stolen from and walked away mostly unscathed.
Purgatory isn’t just a place within an old, moldy tale written by a man that envisioned several levels of hell and paradise, it’s a place where people get second chances. When a band of outlaws unwittingly enters Refuge they have no idea what to think about a bunch of townsfolk that don’t wear weapons, don’t swear, and don’t seem willing to stand up to them. When the band decides to take the town and kill everyone in it one of their number, a younger man with conscience, warns the townsfolk and is beaten nearly to death. He still gets up and stands alongside several of the townsfolk that have been revealed as former gunslingers and criminals from a former life.
3. Best of the Best
There’s always a challenge to pulling a team of athletes together that haven’t grown or acted as a team for much of their lives. The egos that contend with each other tend to get in the way, the desire to shine and stand out becomes too great, and in a big way it can kill the whole team aspect that the Koreans in this movie tend to have in spades. But somehow the American team manages to pull things together and despite a few injuries here and there pull out a win. It’s one of the more action-packed movies that shows the kind of will and determination it takes to win, plus what it takes to come together as a team.
2. The Specialist
Revenge is the name of the game in this movie since May is out to get revenge on Tomas for the death of her family, while Ned is out to get revenge on Ray for their final job in which Ray turned on him and tried to abort the mission. In a big way it becomes a game of who’s better at what they do and who thinks further ahead than the next person since Ray and Ned are so equally matched when it comes to overall skill. Tomas, played by Roberts, is kind of an afterthought since by the time he’s dead his antics and his behavior throughout the movie are kind of forgotten. But he does play the part of a nice distraction.
1. The Dark Knight
Boss Maroni is someone that’s right up Roberts’ alley since he’s the arrogant, self-assured kind of character that Eric can play so easily and perform with a level of expertise that’s kind of impressive. In fact the only time when Maroni seems nervous at all is when Dent is in the car with him and trying to gain information. While Maroni wins his coin toss his driver doesn’t, and Dent proceeds to shoot the driver in the back of the head, causing the car to flip and, as we guess, Maroni to be killed since he’s not buckled up. At least that’s what we’re led to believe since we don’t get to go back to his character after this.
He hams it up a bit, but he’s still good at what he does.