10 Best Anthony Hopkins Movies
Anthony Hopkins is a one-of-a-kind actor. Of course, he is best known for his turn as the terrifying Hannibal Lecter from the film The Silence of the Lambs—as well as its sequels Hannibal and Red Dragon. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Lecter in the first film — it remains his only Academy Award to date, though he has been nominated four times in total. In 2006, he was given the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes for his contribution to film at large. Hopkins is also well-known for some more recent performances. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe he plays Odin, Thor (Chris Hemsworth)’s father. Hopkins plays an integral role in the hit HBO series Westworld as well. Indeed, he has filled a number of memorable and beloved characters throughout his decades in the film industry. Below you’ll find ten of his best films to date.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs occurred too late in Hopkins’ career to be called his “breakout role,” though it is certainly what he continues to be best known for. He, as incarcerated psychopath Hannibal Lecter, and Jodie Foster, as FBI Agent Clarice Starling, play off each other so well. It’s no wonder the film is such a classic.
Francis Ford Coppola’s take on Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one for the ages. The film is filled with incredible setpieces and campy performances. Hopkins plays Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, the well-known adversary of Count Dracula. Even for an established director like Coppola, Dracula is easily one of his most impressive films.
The Elephant Man (1980)
The Elephant Man is far and away the most straightforward film of director David Lynch’s career. The late John Hurt plays the eponymous “Elephant Man” John Merrick, a kind but severely deformed nineteenth-century man who comes into the care of Dr. Frederick Treves (Hopkins). The two form a unique bond in the beautiful, thoughtful film.
The Remains of the Day (1993)
In The Remains of the Day, Hopkins plays an uptight butler under the employ of a British Lord. His life is thrown into emotionally-repressed chaos by a new housekeeper (Emma Thompson). The expansive, powerful, heartbreaking film spans decades from the interwar period to the postwar period.
Steven Spielberg’s Amistad brings back to life the story of a slave uprising aboard the ship La Amistad during its voyage from Cuba to the United States in 1839. Hopkins plays former president John Quincy Adams in the film, which is often touted as one of Spielberg’s best, especially with regards to his historical films.
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
Hopkins is an integral part of The Mask of Zorro. In typical fashion, he plays Don Diego de la Vega, the aging vigilante known as Zorro, who is in need of a successor. He finds one in Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas). It is an exciting film, perhaps the most fun in Hopkins’ body of work.
The follow-up to The Silence of the Lambs is simply called Hannibal after its central protagonist. It is admittedly weaker than its predecessor but nonetheless a sturdy film, directed by Ridley Scott. Part of its problem stems from Jodie Foster refusing to return to the series. She is replaced by Julianne Moore as FBI Agent Clarice Starling. It is difficult to go into more detail without spoiling the events of the previous film — but it is a thoroughly watchable although inessential sequel.
Mission: Impossible II (2000)
In John Woo’s volatile entry to the Mission: Impossible franchise, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is called upon to successfully perform another so-called impossible mission. It involves, among many things, a double agent and his swindler ex-girlfriend. Hunt receives the mission from Mission Commander Swanbeck, who is played by Hopkins. It is a small but memorable part of the exciting early episode of the series.
The Wolfman (2010)
Before Universal Pictures’ new expanded world of monsters known as the Dark Universe began, director Joe Johnston took on a remake of the 1941 classic film The Wolfman. Benicio del Toro stars as the eponymous werewolf Lawrence Talbot. Hopkins plays Sir John Talbot, Lawrence’s father. Though the film performed quite poorly at the box office, it was well-liked by many critics.
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