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Top 10 Johnny Depp Movies

5. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Having garnered a decidedly mixed response upon its original release, the reputation of this Thompson adaptation has only grown since, with Depp’s turn as chemically-frazzled eccentric Raoul Duke being seen by many as a superb embodiment of both the essence of the famed source novel and of Thompson himself. And though a planned re-team with Gilliam on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote ended in disaster, Depp was able to step and help the director when Heath Ledger died during the production of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

4. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Sure Depp was well-known prior to this breakthrough hit – primarily thanks to his role on 21 Jump Street – but this first hook-up with Burton established him as a major Hollywood player (and tabloid fixture too, courtesy of his relationship with co-star Winona Ryder). Justly so too, as his sensational performance gave this filmic fairy tale heart beyond Burton’s now-familiar storybook styling.

3. Donnie Brasco (1997)

Directed by the Brit who had recently made Four Weddings and a Funeral and would go on to work on the Harry Potter series, this ’70s-set true story is a perhaps slightly under-appreciated marvel of Mafia movie-making. Depp is the title character, that being a cover identity established by FBI man Joe Pistone as he secreted himself within the east coast mob. Great period fashions, a decent turn from co-star Al Pacino (before he completely descended into shouty parody), and good moustache from that man Depp.

2. Ed Wood (1994)

The pinnacle of Depp’s working relationship with Burton… in a movie which almost no one saw upon its original release. Depp is infectious and effervescent as the worst director in cinema history, while the relationship between his Wood and faded horror legend Bela Lugosi (an Oscar-winning Martin Landau) provides the film with emotional depth beyond the B-movie kookiness.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

The movie that finally turned Depp into a confirmed superstar at the global box office – a status richly deserved for his bold, hilarious turn as dissolute corsair Captain Jack Sparrow. Three sequels have followed, but while Depp has been superb in all of them, none has managed to measure up to this first instalment in terms of seamlessly melding belly laughs and buccaneering adventure.

Agree/Disagree with the order? What’s missing? Let me know in the comments.

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13 Comments »

  • antonio pantoja said

    Extremely disappointed not to see “Blow” in your top 2.

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  • G said

    Blow is an obvious choice for missing movies, but what about Nick of Time?

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  • Joker said

    Yeah its a good list, but I’m surprised you didn’ t put Blow on here. I’d take out Dead man or Sweeney Todd and replace it with Blow.

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    For me, Blow is pretty forgettable – I watched it a second time a few years later and had no idea what was coming next. Dead Man I haven’t seen. In Pirates he was pretty good at distracting me from how bored I was with the rest of the movie. Ed Wood, now there’s a film, and there’s a couple of superb performances, from him and Martin Landau.

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  • kramer said

    I thought Ed Wood was excrutiatingly boring. My opinion is biased however as I’ve never been into Arthouse type films.

    I liked The Ninth Gate with Depp. If anything, I’d probably drop that in there somewhere.

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  • Thom said

    Pirates number 1? Wow didn’t see that coming. A great character but not his best film. Ed Wood is a great number 2 but for me Edward Scissorhands is number 1. Johnny’s fragility is perfect for the character.

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  • Joseph said

    Secret Window was pretty good, too.

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  • SuperSerb said

    1. Dead Man
    2. Public Enemies
    3. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
    4. From Hell
    5. Finding Neverland
    6. The Libertine
    7. The Ninth Gate
    8. Don Juan DeMarco
    9. Donnie Brasco
    10.Pirates of the Caribbean

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  • Zac said

    Excellent list. It’s hard to pick the best Johnny Depp movie. But, I think I’s have to go with the Donnie Brasco. Don’t think any other actor could have done justice to this movie, Johnny Depp is the best actor of his generation.

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  • Ruby Gormley said

    Awesome article post.Much thanks again.

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  • puppy said

    most of these are scary, i’m not saying johnny is evil. johnny is still coooool

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  • tom said

    secret window easy in top 5…

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