Top 10 Johnny Depp Films
Johnny Depp has been in a plethora of roles since he started his career in Hollywood, and this list explores some of his most memorable ones.
Johnny Depp has certainly had one of the most eccentric careers in Hollywood, and his films have ranged from the dramatic all the way up to the whimsical spectrum of contemporary cinema.
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Although he’s a frequent collaborator with Tim Burton, Depp has also expanded past his partnership with the director to create one of the past decade’s most memorable characters in Jack Sparrow. That’s not all, though, as his films have been hits for years.
10) Secret Window (2004)
Secret Window might not have been one of Johnny Depp’s most high profile movies, but it’s certainly an interesting character study about an isolated writer slowly going insane.
Largely cerebral the film takes viewers on a roller coaster along with Depp’s character, Morton “Mort” Rainey. It’s a hard movie to classify as it’s neither a thriller nor a horror film, but for anyone that enjoys Johnny Depp’s character films it is certainly worth a look.
9) Alice in Wonderland (2010)
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When Tim Burton decided to tackle Alice in Wonderland it seemed fairly obvious that Johnny Depp would have a role. While it wasn’t clear exactly who he would play, it made perfect sense that he would be cast as the iconic Mad Hatter.
Depp also returned for the film’s sequel, which was just as whimsical and wild in both set and character design. Depp gives a notable performance as a truly insane Mad Hatter that fits right up there with some of his most memorable characters.
8) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Sweeney Todd is a classic stage play that Tim Burton decided to adapt with his unique approach to horror. Given the history between the director and the actor, it was almost predictable that Johnny Depp would star as the lead, and so he did.
The film was about an evil barber who killed victims that were then used to create meat pies in the bakehouse of Mrs. Nellie Lovett, played in the film by Burton’s then-wife Helena Bonham Carter. It’s a rather bizarre musical that fires on all cylinders.
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7) Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Just like Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow is a classic story that Tim Burton decided to adapt with a thrilling twist. Johnny Depp’s Ichabod Crane is a different kind of character than the one presented in author Washington Irvin’s eponymous story, but it definitely ups the story’s suspense.
Combined with some political intrigue, Sleepy Hollow is a fairly unique take on a legend with a classic villain. This film’s Headless Horseman is definitely one of the legend’s most iconic.
6) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Anyone familiar with Hunter S. Thompson’s work knows what kind of trippy adventure it can be, and probably no story is filled with more craziness than Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It’s not an easy film to adapt, and yet somehow it was made to work.
Along with Benicio del Toro, Johnny Depp played a ridiculous drug filled writer on assignment in Las Vegas. It’s a bizarre mind trip that’s made all the more personal by the fact that Johnny Depp was a close personal friend of Thompson’s.
5) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Johnny Depp is such a star in today’s world that sometimes people forget he was in the original Nightmare on Elm Street. Even more, his character had one of the film’s most iconic deaths by being sucked into a bed and shot out in a fountain of blood.
Johnny Depp had become such a huge star in the years after the film’s release that when Wes Craven eventually decided to do a meta sequel to the franchise, he didn’t even think Depp would want to be involved. However, Depp appreciated his role in the film so much that he would have been included if asked.
4) Blow (2001)
When movie fans think of crime dramas about the drug trade Scarface and American Gangster certainly come to mind, however Blow should be close to the top. It’s a film about a real life drug dealer that became a huge importer of cocaine.
Johnny Depp does an excellent job showcasing this drug runner’s ability to smuggle. It also has a very tragic character arc as things could have gone way different for him if only his true love didn’t die early in the film.
3) Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Of all the wild and crazy films that Johnny Depp and Tim Burton made together, none come quite as close as Edward Scissorhands did to perfection. The film is about a tragic humanoid creation that has scissors for hands and can’t quite find a place for himself in the world.
The way Burton directs the film to be almost like a lucid dream adds to the character’s torment and confusion. Depp’s performance is remarkable as he is able to give off feelings of horror and sadness at the same time.
2) Donnie Brasco (1997)
The Martin Scorsese films Goodfellas, Casino, and The Departed are always cited as great gangster movies. While not directed by Scorsese, however, Donnie Brasco should also be considered one of the best.
Based on a true story, this movie has Johnny Depp playing an undercover cop that infiltrates the highest levels of the mob. Alongside Al Pacino, the film shows the struggles undercover officers often face when they are in danger not just for being a cop but also for being a gangster.
1) Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Although he’s portrayed a wide range of characters, none has been more memorable or entered the pop culture consciousness more than Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s become such an icon that he’s moved past the movies with real life imitators and attractions in Disney World.
The first Pirates of the Caribbean film arguably remains the best, but it spurned a gigantic franchise that will probably continue as long as can be. Depp might have fallen off of the franchise, but he is certainly responsible for its undoubted success.