Joaquin Phoenix: Ranked

Tools    





Joaquin Phoenix: Ranked



A list of the actor's film performances from 1995 to today.

I decided to take a page from the Gideon58 playbook and do a personal countdown of the characters performed by my favorite actor, Joaquin Phoenix. This will be a list of 32 performances from 1995 to 2019. I've not seen most of the work he did as a child actor so I've not included them. I've also excluded the narration he did for the documentaries Earthlings and Unity as I don't really consider those to be acting performances.

Please keep in mind that this countdown will be of his performances, not of the films he's in. I will post a ranked and rated list of his movies once the countdown is complete.

* * *


32. Jesus (Mary Magdelene, 2018)
31. Karl (Lou, 2018)
30. Jack Daglish (Hotel Rwanda, 2004)
29. John Marczewski (It's All About Love, 2003)
28. Charlie Sisters (The Sisters Brothers, 2018)
27. Jack Morrison (Ladder 49, 2004)
26. Kenai (Brother Bear, 2003)
25. Max California (8MM, 1999)
24. Merrill Hess (Signs, 2002)
23. Jimmy Emmett (To Die For, 1995)
22. Joaquin Phoenix (I'm Still Here, 2010)
21. Ray Elwood (Buffalo Soldiers, 2001)
20. Lucius Hunt (The Village, 2004)
19. Toby N. Tucker (U Turn, 1997)
18. Clay Birdwell (Clay Pigeons, 1998)
17. John Callahan (Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot, 2018)
16. Larry "Doc" Sportello (Inherent Vice, 2014)
15. Willie Gutierrez (The Yards, 2000)
14. Freddie Quell (The Master, 2012)
13. Leonard Kraditor (Two Lovers, 2008)
12. Bruno Weiss (The Immigrant, 2013)
11. Abe Lucas (Irrational Man, 2015)
10. Ethan Learner (Reservation Road, 2007)
09. Bobby Green (We Own the Night, 2007)
08. Lewis McBride (Return to Paradise, 1998)
07. Johnny Cash (Walk the Line, 2005)
06. Joe (You Were Never Really Here, 2017)
05. Doug Holt (Inventing the Abbotts, 1997)
04. Arthur Fleck (Joker, 2019)
03. Commodus (Gladiator, 2000)
02. Abbé de Coulmier (Quills, 2000)
01. Theodore Twomley (Her, 2013)

* * *



* * *



Number one should easy. Joker. The best performance of his entire career so far.
__________________
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!” ~ Rocky Balboa



Jesus

Mary Magdelene, 2018
Directed by Garth Davis

I've done my best not to let my overall opinion of the individual films in this list sway my rankings of the performances too much, but for Mary Magdelene it just can't be helped. Though I can't find anything in Joaquin's performance to fault (or to praise, to be honest), I despised this film and was utterly bored by it. As an atheist I went into this film without any already established investment in its story or characters, but even Joaquin Phoenix couldn't make me give a damn.

This is also the only film on the list that I have seen only one time. I just couldn't bear to endure such torture again.

Rank: 32
Film Rating:

Hotness Factor: -5 (Jesus just ain't sexy)
Write-Up: April 22, 2019



Jesus = tortured beyond belief.

Miss Vicky = had it worse watching this movie.

I haven't seen this movie myself. I'm not sure I knew of it. Anyways, I'm looking forward to following this list. Joaquin is definitely my favorite actor working today and has been for quite some years. I know you didn't like The Master too much, but you said so yourself you judge by the performances... that should be pretty high. I hope. My personal favorite performance of him (until Joker came along and I was suddenly conflicted).



Karl

Lou, 2018
Directed by Clara Balzary

This performance lands itself near the bottom of this list by default. Lou is a short film and Phoenix is in roughly 3 minutes of its 12 minute runtime. He does well enough as the single father of a lesbian teen but simply isn't given much to do.

I found the performance - and the film itself - rather forgettable.

Rank: 31
Film Rating:

Hotness Factor: 0 (He's neither attractive nor unattractive in this.)
Write-Ups: I've not written this film up.



I haven't seen this movie myself. I'm not sure I knew of it.
You're really not missing anything.

Besides just the fact that it sucks, Mary Magdelene was an inadvertent victim of the Me Too movement. It came out around the time of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and got little advertising, limited distribution, and a very delayed DVD/blu-ray release on account of being from The Weinstein Company.



I was thinking: this gal will make a hotness ranking on Joaquin’s, that’s what’s she’s doing, then I saw the meter and I’m seeing this differently now.



You're really not missing anything.

Besides just the fact that it sucks, Mary Magdelene was an inadvertent victim of the Me Too movement. It came out around the time of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and got little advertising, limited distribution, and a very delayed DVD/blu-ray release on account of being from The Weinstein Company.
You know what. When I looked this up on IMDb I didn’t see the year first I saw the plot first (despite you actually writing the year with big ass letters). And my first thought was “this seems like some #metoo kind of ****”. And then I saw the year and became more suspicious. I forgot to include it in my reply but glad my assumptions was confirmed. I’ll definitely stay away

Lol I love the hotness factor. Nice touch.
I forgot to say that too (I appearently forget a lot today). Brilliant.



Jack Daglish

Hotel Rwanda, 2004
Directed by Terry George

Joaquin does well with what he's given here - as a cameraman documenting the genocide in Rwanda - but there simply isn't enough meat to this small role for me to rank it any higher.

Rank: 30
Film Rating:

Hotness Factor: 2 (I like the scruffy look, but it's not my favorite.)
Write-Ups: November 2, 2019



John Marczewski

It's All About Love, 2003
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg

I've ranked this performance above those from Lou and Hotel Rwanda mainly because he's given more to do. Unfortunately, however, this performance is... not great. He does what he can with it but the character is bland and poorly written, much like the movie itself. Also, like the movie, he looks gorgeous, but that's about the only redeeming feature.

Sometimes even the best actors can't rise above the material.

Rank: 29
Film Rating:
-
Hotness Factor: 4 (He looks great, too bad the movie sucks.)
Write-Ups: February 27, 2016 November 18, 2019



Not really a fan, but I did like his brother, River Phoenix. Stand By Me was incredible.



Not really a fan, but I did like his brother, River Phoenix. Stand By Me was incredible.
MJ, just curious: is your signature (or whatever they call the words we put under our avatars) a signature or some sort of official designation you did not put there yourself?



I should probably go back and watch a few more of his 00's films, I doubt many stand up to his best work since then but I do remember say We Own The Night being a very good performance in an otherwise pretty average film.

That said I think someone like Phoenix or Daniel Day Lewis is naturally tied to their material, compared to say someone like Chris Walken or Sam Jackson he isn't going to be playing up a certain character regardless and so is going to depend a lot on what the film offers him.



Charlie Sisters

The Sisters Brothers, 2018
Directed by Jacques Audiard

Joaquin really seems to have had a lot of fun with this role, and I can appreciate that, but his is the least complex character of the four main roles in the film. As the volatile and mentally unstable Charlie, Phoenix comes off as one-note and the only thing that makes this performance stand out from the slew of other unstable characters he's played is that this one's in a Western. His talent is a bit wasted here, but the movie is solid overall and he looks good so... I'm not complaining too much.

Rank: 28
Film Rating:
+
Hotness Factor: 4 (His character is nuts, but I'd still **** him.)
Write-Ups: November 8, 2018, October 20, 2019