10 Best Actors of 2008
There are many fine actors to choose from for the 10 best actors of 2008. This year was a particularly good time for Hollywood bad boys for some reason, too. But no matter how good or bad these men are off screen, they were great in these challenging roles.
- Sean Penn. Sean Penn deserved his Oscar for the role of Harvey Milk in "Milk," but his political acceptance speech nearly spoiled the great moment. It almost made us forget why he was one of the best actors of 2008. We'll forgive him--just this once.
- Frank Langella. Richard Nixon has been the butt of jokes for so many years, so Langella's ability to make us look at the disgraced president seriously in "Frost Nixon" was quite a feat. One of the ten best actors of 2008 gave one of the best performances of Nixon--ever.
- Mickey Rourke. Many have called Rourke's role in "The Wrestler" his comeback and perhaps it was. However, this was a challenging part, playing an unlikeable character that few might be willing to take on. The best actors are oftentimes the ones that aren't interested in winning popularity contests.
- Heath Ledger. Tragically, Ledger wasn't alive to receive all the well-deserved acclaim for his part in "The Dark Knight." It's bittersweet remembering his unforgettable performance.
- Robert Downey Jr. The Oscars don't show much respect to comedies, but that doesn't mean we can't. It was hard not to love Downey's comically convicted character in "Tropic Thunder."
- Philip Seymour Hoffman. Pick any year and Hoffman could easily be on any ten best list. His role in "Doubt" found this great actor at his best.
- Brad Pitt. Critics are likely jealous of Pitt because he's better looking than most of them. But the man is better looking than most men, so get over it. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" may have been his role of a lifetime and landed him among the ten best of 2008.
- Josh Brolin. Brolin did not pick up an Oscar for his supporting role in "Milk," but his part as Dan White was no less essential. And to think this was based on a true story.
- Richard Jenkins. To get such recognition in a role as an introverted professor in "The Visitor" took quite a bit of doing. This was truly a challenge to get on the ten best list. And to be nominated for an Oscar to boot.
- Daniel Craig. With "Defiance" Craig didn't have to go on being Bond, James Bond. No, this World War II drama brought out a much more serious side from the actor. This was about the ten best actors of 2008, not about the ten best spies.