Guy Pearce is one of the many actors that seems to get taken for granted at times even though he’s a very talented man that’s managed to create several very convincing roles in movies that have either been forgotten or turned into cult classics that people remember fondly or don’t think about all that often. A lot of his roles have seen him play someone that’s entirely serious and somehow troubled in a way that seems pretty fundamental, but most of the time he’s capable of taking that role and making it into something that a movie couldn’t do without. That’s his main talent, he can make you look at him in a way that indicates that he is entirely vital to the movie no matter how big his part is, even if all he has is a cameo it’s likely that you’ll remember the movie because he was in it. Okay, Iron Man 3 was popular before of RDJ for the most part, but you still remember Guy Pearce, right?
Here are his five best movies.
5. The Count of Monte Cristo
A lot of people for some reason didn’t care for this move but the whole story of Edmond Dantes and Fernand Mondego is one that still captivates since like it or not it’s one of the most popular tales of all time taken in a direction that makes a great deal of sense and sets up a great chance of revenge. While the movie does lag in a couple of places the action sequences are very impressive and the swordplay is a bit dramatic but still a lot of fun to watch. Plus the whole idea of not breaking after being stuck in prison for so long and finally getting your freedom and your revenge is something that many people happen to enjoy watching.
David Ehrlich of IndieWire has the right of it when he calls this story grim since from start to finish it doesn’t seem to inspire a lot of hope since it’s harsh, brutal, and only ever seems to become stoic in its most positive moments. If life on the frontier was like this back in the day, and it very well might have been, then there’s a good reason why people were a great deal tougher back then. Pearce’s character is an insanely religious and tough individual that isn’t about to let anyone get the best of him, but Dakota Fanning’s character, despite being flawed herself, is still the perfect heroine for this story, and the one bright spot that it desperately needed.
3. L.A. Confidential
Police procedural movies tend to make it seem as though Pearce can just disappear into a role and be almost entirely unrecognizable since he becomes the bookish, slightly prudish individual that has no give when it comes to his moral character. Of course no one in this movie is above reproach since it’s the type of story that bends the law a few different times and makes it clear that the ends will justify the means in one way or another. A lot of people have seen this movie as one of Pearce’s best roles and they’re not wrong since he did a great job and he managed to convince a lot of people of his sincerity.
As great and as heroic as Guy Pearce can be he can also be every bit as nasty and horrible since this movie showed just how far his character can slide. In Lawless he’s the guy you’d love to curb stomp solely because he’s the gun for hire, more or less, that operates under the idea of the law but is still fairly hard to take since he does things in his own way and uses his authority to bend the law to his needs a lot of the time. In short, he’s the kind of guy that has no moral fiber, no sense of ethics, and yet will continue to work under the idea that he’s serving the greater good in some warped way.
M. Arbeiter of Mental Floss has a whole list of facts that you might want to check out if you want to know more about this movie since believe it or not the frantic way it goes about explaining itself still doesn’t give a viewer everything. You definitely get enough to learn how Leonard came to be where he’s at, what’s wrong with him, and what he’s done to try and gain the vengeance he desires for the death of his wife. A viewer even gets the twist that comes later since it’s kind of a shock, at least to some, but it’s enough to make you want to go back and see just what it is that you might have missed.
He’s fun to watch, and a great actor.