The 7 Most Memorable Sam Rockwell Movies

Sam Rockwell is a well-known actor. He has taken on a myriad of impressive roles throughout his career. Though he rarely plays the hero, he always gives a memorable performance. Whether you see him in a mass-market film like Iron Man 2 and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or something with a more modest production budget like Moon, he gives every role his all. In that regard, here is a list of his seven most memorable films to date.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the monolith it is today, the franchise was gradually building its world with each film. Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 saw the return of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and furthered his development from an egotistical arms dealer to a slightly less egotistical member of the Avengers. Rockwell gives a funny, confident performance as Justin Hammer, an equally-showy military weapons producer who rivals Stark and wants an exclusive contract with the U.S. military by any means necessary.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri made waves upon release in large part because of the way the film attempted to wrestle with middle America as it exists today. Whether it successfully offers anything of value in that regard is up to the viewer to decide. Regardless, Rockwell and his co-stars Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson received much attention for their work in the the film.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Though it failed to make back its budget at the box office, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is now widely considered to be one of the greatest westerns of the modern era. The film, which dramatizes the build-up and ultimate downfall of the relationship between Jesse James and his associate/admirer Robert Ford, features Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in the respective title roles. Rockwell gives a strong supporting performance as the eponymous coward’s older brother, Charley.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

In this adaptation of the classic British novels, Martin Freeman plays Arthur Dent, a human who is snatched up by his friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def) before the end of planet Earth as we know it. Ford reveals to Arthur that he is secretly an alien who has been working on a guide to the galaxy. The duo find themselves on a ship belonging to Ford’s relative Zaphod Beeblebrox (Rockwell), the brash and egotistical two-headed, three-armed president of the galaxy. With a funny script and solid supporting performances from Zooey Deschanel and Bill Nighy, it is an entertaining watch.

Vice (2018)

Rockwell received quite a bit of attention for his role in Adam McKay’s Vice. The film focuses on Christian Bale as former Vice President Dick Cheney and his rise to power through the American political and private systems. Rockwell, for his part in the film, plays President George W. Bush. Thanks to the makeup crew who worked on the film, Rockwell is hardly distinguishable from the 43rd president of the United States.

Moon (2009)

With a set-up sort of similar to the second act of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon does not inspire much confidence early on, but the film morphs into something all its own. Rockwell’s character Sam Bell spends a mostly solitary existence mining on the Earth’s moon, anxiously awaiting for his approaching return home. He soon discovers, however, that things are not that simple. Rockwell’s performance is more than crucial to the film’s success

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Before Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDonagh and Rockwell collaborated with Seven Psychopaths. In the film, Colin Farrell plays Marty, a screenwriter struggling to finish a script. His friend Billy (Rockwell) unwittingly pulls him into trouble with a local gangster named Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson) as a result of stealing Charlie’s dog. Rockwell deserved a steady amount of attention for his funny performance, and deservedly so.


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