Top 5 Joaquin Phoenix Movies

Updated on May 6, 2019

Joaquin Phoenix has proven time and time again that he is an amazingly diverse actor. This guy has played almost everything from an Emperor to Johnny Cash. Phoenix seems like he never plays the same character twice and transforms into his characters in every role. Phoenix is a very underrated actor and can give emotion in a scene by the littlest things as facial gestures. With the Joker origin movie coming into theaters later this year starring Phoenix in the lead role, here is a list of my personal top five favorite Joaquin Phoenix performances.

5. You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here is the modern remake of Taxi Driver with the same slow burn atmosphere. Phoenix gives a dramatic performance as Joe, a veteran traumatized by his past life. After the Senator's daughter goes missing, Joe is thrown into a conspiracy that will lead down a dangerous road. With the heavy burden of his past on his shoulders, Joe will stop at nothing to do the right thing. Phoenix delivers a heartfelt performance from a character who does not say much. I love this role because Phoenix makes us feel so much for this character who seems so lost in the world he lives in. With the brief shots shown of his past, we really get to see how broken this character is and how he came to be that way. We believe that this character has been through hell and just wants to do the right thing. Even though he is hurting people, bad people, we are rooting for this character to succeed in the end.

4. Signs

Phoenix plays the brother of Mel Gibson in this creepy science fiction movie from M. Night Shyamalan. This movie alone is amazing. It is both silly and scary and delivers a heartfelt story along the way. Phoenix has some really funny scenes while also having some really dramatic ones also with his interactions with Gibson. This character, like his role in You Were Never Really Here, does not have much to say. In Signs, his character is also in a slow burn type of movie, but again, with the way Phoenix delivers the character to the screen sells the whole thing. This role shows off how goofy Phoenix can be. It is a serious movie, but it is also a Shyamalan film so it is also quirky. Phoenix gets a chance to really play that quirky element to his character and it works for this type of movie.

3. Her

Her, directed by Spike Jonze, is a unique movie to say the least. Phoenix plays Theodore, who falls in love with his computer. Only Joaquin Phoenix can make us love a character like this one. The way he portrays this character as this lonely person longing for love makes us cheer, laugh, and cry. He made me believe in love... even though it is with his computer. He sells the character so much, I forget that his love is even for a technological device and I buy into it completely. This is a movie not everybody will love, but if you have seen it, you can't deny the amount of emotion Phoenix brings to this character. This character will bring you to tears. There are so many sweet moments that happen in this movie and it is all due to Phoenix's portrayal. This was a one man show. He did not have anyone right in front of him to work off of- this was all him. He carried this film's emotions on his shoulders. No one but Phoenix could have played this role as good as he did.

2. Gladiator

Gladiator is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Phoenix as a corrupt emperor. This film is different than those on this list as Phoenix is not as sympathetic as the previous characters. In this film he plays a very evil man in a time when people fought each other for the death for sport. Phoenix delivers his performance as a believable evil in this film. He is terrifying and ruthless. This is one that I grew up on because my father loved it so much. This may have a lot to do with why it is one of my all time favorites of his. With that out of the way, it is pure enjoyment to watch Phoenix become this corrupt emperor in this bad ass movie. I wouldn't say you will be rooting for Phoenix when it comes to the end of the film, but you will be enthralled by his performance. Just as it is with his previous characters, Phoenix loses himself in the role and is totally believable as the bad guy.

1. Walk the Line

In the number one spot is Walk the Line where Phoenix portrays Johnny R. Cash. Walk the Line is not only my favorite Joaquin Phoenix performance but one of my favorite movies of all time. This movie has it all with the familiar songs and the heart wrenching comeback story of the greatest country singer ever. Phoenix becomes Johnny Cash through the look, personality, and the singing. I mean, he IS Johnny Cash on screen. We see his rise and fall due to drugs and fame. We see Phoenix lose himself again in an amazing performance that makes you stand up and cheer at the end of the movie. He makes this performance so believable that it feels like a documentary rather than a movie. I can't say enough about his performance. He brings out the dark side of Cash that Johnny Cash sang about in his songs. He brings the demons of Cash to life in pure Johnny Cash style.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)