Actors’ Spotlight #48: Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson Deauville 2012 2.jpg

Liam John Neeson, OBE (born 7 June 1952) is an actor from Northern Ireland. In 1976, he joined the Lyric Players’ Theatre in Belfast for two years. He then acted in the Arthurian film, Excalibur (1981). Between 1982 and 1987, Neeson starred in five films; most notably alongside Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins in The Bounty (1984) and Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons in The Mission (1986). He landed a leading role alongside Patrick Swayze in Next of Kin (1989).

He rose to prominence when he starred in the title role in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Oscar winner Schindler’s List. He has since starred in other successful films, including the title role in the historical biopic Michael Collins (1996), the film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel Les Misérables (1998), Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace as Qui-Gon Jinn (1999), the biographical drama Kinsey (2004), the superhero film Batman Begins as Ra’s al Ghul (2005), the action thriller series Taken (2008–15), the fantasy adventure film Clash of the Titans (2010) as Zeus, the fantasy films in the The Chronicles of Narnia series (2005–10), and the thriller-survival film The Grey (2011).

He has been nominated for a number of awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actor, a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and three Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama. Empire magazine ranked Neeson among both the “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” and “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time”.

Liam Neeson has created this impressive repertoire of work over the last couple of decades after starting off in only a few movies early in his career ranging from various genres from drama to action to even some comedy too, he’s had a wide range of different genres where Neeson has succeeded as an actor and these are five of his best movies:

5. A Walk Among The Tombstones

A Walk Among The Tombstones has a great visual style to it, a strong performance by Liam Neeson, a lot of great action and suspense, and a really good payoff at the end. It certainly does a better job of adapting Matthew Scudder to the big screen than 1986’s 8 Million Ways To Die did. True, it can be predictable but on the whole, A Walk Among The Tombstones has enough great entertainment value to make it one of the strongest movies to come out this year.

4. The Lego Movie

This movie is such a love letter to the LEGO name and on top of that, it’s very funny, it’s clever, the animation is beautiful to look at, the voice cast is great, and it has possibly one of the best twists in any movie that I’ve seen. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller have set themselves up as the premiere comedy directors out there with this movie, having already directed Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street, as they really do care about what project they are given and realize that if there’s something great that can be done with it, it’s worth making a movie out of.

3. Love Actually

Love Actually is a smartly written, well made, well-acted, and very believable romantic comedy that could’ve been one of the biggest disappointments ever but thankfully, Richard Curtis does a great job keeping all the characters’ chemistries perfectly matched and it never falls flat on any levels and by the end, you’re very satisfied by what you’ve seen.

2. Batman Begins

Batman Begins did a much better job of rebooting a superhero and changing certain parts of the story of how Batman came to be without letting go of what makes the Batman character such a fascinating character. And also packing on a really great cast that work really well off each other. A lot of great action, good characters, great music, it’s a great, great superhero movie and one of my all time favorite movies.

and the #1 best Liam Neeson movie is…

Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List joins 12 Years A Slave and United 93 as movies that are so hard to watch because of the subject matter involved and how depressing it can get, but at the same time, there are some of the most beautifully made and well put together movies we’ve had. If you’re looking for one of Steven Spielberg’s greatest triumphs as a director, Schindler’s List is definitely one of those straight forward masterpieces of his.

Those are his best, now here’s the worst:

5. Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

Need I Say More…

4. The Haunting

A really terrible toned down remake of a Robert Wise horror classic ruined by terrible acting by actors who should know better and Jan De Bont’s thinking he can make a better horror movie with CG overkill and lame ass jumpscares.

3. Clash Of The Titans & Wrath Of The Titans

A really bad remake of the 1981 swords and sandals classic and a sequel that was even worse and didn’t need to exist.

2. Battleship

I fucking hated this movie, I really did. I mean, I knew going into this that this was going to be bad but goddamn, this was much worse than anything I could’ve imagined.

and the #1 worst Liam Neeson movie is…

Taken 3

An end to one of the most pointless franchises in recent history.

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